Fried chicken is the best picnic food. This version let’s you have your fried chicken that’s really baked. Cooking chicken in the oven cuts on calories while still providing that crispy crust that everyone loves. The trick to creating a crust on both sides of the chicken is to preheat the oven with a cookie sheet inside. That way when you are ready to put the chicken in the oven, there will already be a heated surface to crisp the bottom side of the chicken.
Buttermilk fried (baked) chicken
1 chicken – cut up
3 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp. garlic pepper
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. paprika
1 C buttermilk
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a pan, whisk together flour, garlic pepper, sugar and paprika. In a medium size bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, baking powder and baking soda until smooth. Dip each piece of chicken into buttermilk mixture, shaking off excess. Roll in flour mixture and then dip into buttermilk and flour mixture a second time. Place on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake about 50-55 minutes or until chicken is golden.
1-1/2 to 2 lbs. lean ground beef or turkey
1 TBS oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 C water
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 C uncooked rice
Heat olive oil in a big skillet (use medium heat). Saute onions until tender, and then add ground beef (or turkey) until meat is browned. Add garlic and cook an additional minute before adding remaining ingredients. Add rice and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes (or until cabbage is quite fork tender). Serves 6 to 8.
Blueberry cheesecake wontons
3/4 C wild blueberries (no need to thaw)
1/2 TBS lemon juice
2+ TBS sugar of choice (any that will dissolve will work)
1/2 TBS cornstarch mixed with 1 TBS water
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 C powdered sugar
splash vanilla extract
about 40 wonton wrappers
1 TBS unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
extra sugar for sprinkling
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine blueberries, lemon, and 2 TBS sugar. Mash blueberries lightly until juice is released and increase heat. Bring liquid to a boil and add cornstarch and water combo. Reduce heat and cook until thickened.
Meanwhile, microwave cream cheese for about 30 seconds until soft. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Lay out a few wontons. Following package instructions, wet edges and dollop each filling in the center. The package will explain how to fold pretty wontons, or you can fold into triangles (it’s easier and you get more filling in each). Repeat until no more filling remains, about 40 wontons. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with additional sugar. Arrange wontons in a single layer and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
You can then bag them for longer freezer storage, or prepare to bake. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges and tops are lightly browned and crispy. Some filling may leak out (less will leak the more frozen the wontons are). Serve warm.
Thought – last year I joined a group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet.
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(Melanie Behrens – email@example.com)
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