Monday, May 31, 2010

Homemade Mozzarella sticks

all done, ready to go in the freezer

Got this recipe from the Pioneer Womans Tasty Kitchen Blog.

You’ll need a bowl of flour… A couple of eggs..

A little milk…

And some dried parsley flakes.
Add the parsley flakes to the panko crumbs

And stir them together with a fork. Now, you could certainly sprinkle in a little salt, garlic salt, or other seasoning mix—even a little cayenne pepper—but I wanted to keep things simple. I don’t think the crumbs really need much help.

Next, splash a little milk into the eggs…

And whip it together with a fork.

Finally, unwrap as many pieces of string cheese as you need…


And just slice them in half with a sharp knife.

Now, this is just a great, basic way to bread basically anything with panko crumbs. Use this method for everything from chicken tenders to zucchini spears. In this case, just set one of the pieces of mozzarella in the bowl of flour…

And roll it around to lightly coat.

Next, dip the flour-coated mozzarella in the egg/milk mixture.

Coat it completely…

Then place it straight into the seasoned panko crumbs.

Rather than roll it around and disturb the coating, I just use my hand to scoop panko crumbs on top of the mozzarella so that it’s adequately coated.

Pat it gently to make sure it’s all coated with crumbs, then gently remove from the crumbs…

And place on a clean tray or cookie sheet.

Repeat until all the pieces are coated.

Now—this is an important step: Place the tray, uncovered, directly into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. This will flash freeze the mozzarella sticks (at least partly), which will help them stay together better when it’s time to fry, and will also keep the mozzarella from melted too quickly when it hits the hot oil.

When you’re ready to fry ‘em up, heat a good inch to an inch-and-a-half of canola oil over medium heat. Medium high or high, at least on my stove, proves to be a little too hot for panko crumbs. Medium’s about right, but you can sort of gauge your stove and see what you need to do.

Pull the frozen sticks out of the freezer…


And carefully add a few to the hot oil.

Oh! And I always feel like saying this: be careful with pans of hot oil if you have cute little roly poly kids walking around the house. I always, out of habit—even now that my roly poly kids are getting bigger—keep pans on the back burner of the stove (handles far out of reach) if I’m going to fry with oil. It’s just one of those things that crawled into my brain at an early stage of parenting, and something I’m going to keep bugging you about anytime I share a recipe that involves frying with hot oil.

Hope you don’t mind.

Things will move quickly—be ready to roll them over to the other side when the first side gets brown. The trickiest part of making these is getting the oil to just the right temp in order to melt the cheese without burning the crumbs, but it isn’t difficult to get the swing of it right away. Keep in mind that the cheese will continue to soften/melt after you remove them from the oil.

When they’re nice and golden, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.

Yum! Look at the yummy panko breading. If I took a bite of this, you could hear the crispiness in Yonkers!

Made them for my girls night out party and they were a hit, everyone liked them and several wanted the recipe, so here it is. Thanks to the Pioneer Woman!

And remember: use this flour-egg/milk-panko breading process on any number of things:

chicken tenders
zucchini spears
raw, deveined shrimp
sweet potato sticks

The list goes on!

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

  • 16 pieces String Cheese, Removed From Wrappers
  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs (I Used Kikkomans)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley Flakes
  • Canola Oil, For Frying
  • Marinara Sauce, For Dipping

Preparation Instructions

Slice string cheese pieces in half, for a total of 32 pieces.

Place flour in a small bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk.

In another separate bowl, combine panko bread crumbs with parsley flakes.

TO ASSEMBLE: One by one, roll mozzarella sticks in flour, then dunk in egg/milk mixture, then place in panko crumbs. Use your hand to sweep crumbs all over the mozzarella stick. Gently remove and place on a tray or cookie sheet. Repeat until all mozzarella sticks are coated.

***Place tray in freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to flash freeze.***

TO COOK: Heat 1 1/2 inches canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add mozzarella sticks 8 at a time. Watch closely and turn over to evenly brown, cooking less than 2 minutes. Do not allow cheese to bubble and leak.

Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve immediately with warm marinara sauce.

Crispy French Toast

Get ingredients ready!
Fry it up

Crispy French Toast


  • 12 pieces Texas Toast Style Bread
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 1-½ cup Milk
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • 4 cups Captain Crunch Cereal
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Butter, For The Pan

Preparation Instructions

Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla together. Set aside.

Place the cereal, nutmeg and cinnamon in a gallon sized bag. Crush the cereal into a course consistency. I used the heel of my hand to crush the cereal. Shake the bag to mix the spices with the cereal.

Place some butter on your skillet/pan and turn on the heat to medium. Sprinkle the cereal mixture onto a plate. Dunk the bread in the egg mixture on both sides. Place the bread on the cereal and press into the cereal. Flip the bread and repeat. Place the bread on the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes. Because you are using the Texas toast make sure the side is really brown before flipping. Cook on the other side the same way.

Serve with butter and syrup.

If you have extra you can easily freeze this by sticking the bread on a cookie sheet for about an hour in the freezer and then putting them in a gallon sized bag so they don’t stick together.

I found this recipe online, made it for breakfast for my parents when visiting and it was a hit. The crispy part is the best, I love Captain Crunch!

Southwest Chicken Sandwich

Southwest Chicken Sandwich

You will need:
4 skinned and boned chicken breasts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Mexican four cheese blend
1/3 cup mayonnaise
4 French bread slices, toasted or just use buns like I did!

1. Place chicken between two sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap, adn flattern to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

2. Stir together cilantro and next 4 ingredients. Spread on chicken.

3. Grill, covered with lid, over medium high heat 8 to 10 minuteson each side or until chicken is done. (Or cook in the skillet, like I did!)
4. Meanwhile, stir together cheese and mayonnaise. Spread on bread slices. Place bread, cheese mixture side up, on a baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

5. Place chicken on bread. I served with fries and black beans mixed with chopped onions and sour cream (not pictured).

Also made these for my parents while visiting and Daniel and my parents liked them. I suggest if you don't like Cilantro though, to just not use it, because it really holds on to that taste.

Flatbread Tacos w/Ranch Cream Sauce

Flatbread Tacos w/ Ranch Cream Sauce

I found this on a blog, and I love tacos and I love flatbread, so how can one go wrong... and who doesn't love Ranch? I made it for my parents while visiting and they thought it was great. It's an easy meal because you use biscuits to make the flatbread.... easy and worth making, good everyday meal.

Credit: Taste of Home


* 1 c sour cream
* 2 tsp ranch salad dressing mix
* 1 tsp lemon juice
* 1-1/2 lbs ground beef
* 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans,rinsed and drained
* 1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes,undrained
* 1 envelope taco seasoning
* 1 Tbs hot pepper sauce
* 1 tube(16.3oz) large refrigerated biscuits
* Optional Toppings: sliced ripe olives,shredded lettuce,cheddar cheese


In small bowl,combine sour cream,dressing mix and lemon juice;chill till serving.

In large skillet cook beef over med. heat till no longer pink;drain. Add the beans,tomatoes,taco seasoning and pepper sauce;heat through.

Meanwhile,roll out each biscuit into a 6" circle.

In a small non-stick skillet over med. heat,cook each biscuit for 30-60 seconds on each sideor till golden brown;keep warm.

above picture taken from blog.

4. To serve,spread each flatbread with 2 Tbs ranch sour cream;top each with 2/3 c meat mixture. sprinkle with toppings,if desired


Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars

making the crust
Pour the top cheesecake part onadd toffee bits

Found this recipe on Betty Crocker website, I made it for my parents when they were here and they raved about it. I have to say I was pretty proud of myself after this one, it was one of the best desserts I've had in a long time... and cheesecake is my favorite thing.

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars

Prize-Winning Recipe 2010! Savor the same great taste of restaurant Crème Brûlée in an easy-to-make bar cookie.
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 3 hours 25 min
Makes: 36 bars

1pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1box (4-serving size) French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
2tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2cup butter or margarine, melted
2 1/2teaspoons vanilla
2eggs plus 3 egg yolks
2packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2cup sour cream
1/2cup sugar
2/3cup toffee bits, finely crushed

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and 1 whole egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan.
2.In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining whole egg, 3 egg yolks and remaining 1 1/2 teapoons vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over crust in pan.
3.Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set in center. Immediately sprinkle top with crushed toffee bits. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
Make the Most of This Recipe
To easily crush the toffee bits, put them in a food-safe plastic bag. Seal the bag and finely crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet.

Nutrition Information:

1 Bar: Calories 200 (Calories from Fat 100); Total Fat 11g (Saturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 1g); Cholesterol 55mg; Sodium 150mg; Total Carbohydrate 22g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 16g); Protein 2g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 8%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 2%; Iron 0% Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cheesy Artichoke Cups

press wonton wrappers in a muffin tin, the smaller muffin tins
mix cheese, olives, red peppers and artichokes together with mayo
combine ingredients
Bake in oven!
sorry about the blurry picture, I used a bad camera!

VERY good and easy, make a great appetizer!

Cheesy Artichoke Cups

24 small wonton wrappers (3-inch squares)
2 jars (6.25 ounces each) marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup sliced ripe pitted olives
1/4 cup (1 ounce) fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Press wonton wrappers into Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan using Mini-Tart Shaper. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade for later use. Pat artichokes dry with paper towel. Chop artichokes and red pepper using Food Chopper. Slice olives using Egg Slicer Plus®. Grate cheese using Deluxe Cheese Grater. Press garlic using Garlic Press.
2. Combine chopped vegetables, olives, cheese, garlic and mayonnaise in Classic Batter Bowl.
3. Fill prepared muffin cups with artichoke mixture using Small Scoop (1 scoop per muffin cup). Bake 12-14 minutes. Let cool in pan 2 minutes. Carefully remove and serve warm.
Yield: 24 servings

Nutrients per serving:
Calories 79, Total Fat 6 g

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pampered Chef Black Forest Trifle

Black Forest Trifle

1 pkg (18-21 oz) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
2 bars (1.55 ounces each) milk chocolate candy, divided
3 cups cherry pie filling
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup cranberry-cherry juice
2 cups cold 2% milk
2 pkg (3.3 oz each) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies; spread batter over bottom of Large Bar Pan. Bake 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.
2. Loosen brownie from sides of bar pan and invert onto flat side of Large Grooved Cutting Board. Cut brownie into 1-in. cubes; set aside. Chop 11/2 of the chocolate bars using Food Chopper. Reserve remaining chocolate for garnish.
3. Combine pie filling and almond extract in Small Batter Bowl; set aside 1/2 cup for garnish. Stir juice into batter bowl.
4. Pour milk into Classic Batter Bowl; add pudding mix and whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Fold in whipped topping.
5. To assemble trifle, place half of the brownie cubes into bottom of Trifle Bowl. Layer with half of the pie filling mixture. Sprinkle with half of the chopped chocolate; top with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layer one time.
6. Make chocolate curls with reserved chocolate using Vegetable Peeler (see Cook's Tip). Garnish top of trifle with reserved pie filling mixture and chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
Yield: 16 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 380, Total Fat 14 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 45 mg, Carbohydrate 59 g, Protein 4 g, Sodium 300 mg, Fiber 0 g

Cook’s Tips: To make chocolate curls, hold the Vegetable Peeler across the short side of the chocolate bar. Using even pressure, push the blade away from you to create curls.

This trifle can be assembled several hours before serving, or even the night before.

© 2010 The Pampered Chef used under license.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Okay so this is an apology! I haven't been making as much stuff lately because we are in the midst of a move and I am trying to get things packed ----and--- I am trying to lose weight, so I am not making as many things.

Trust me, we will be back in full swing in about 4 weeks, once we have moved and everything is in place! So stayed tuned and don't forget about me!