Monday, April 27, 2015

3 Day Fried Chicken


Hi everyone, the recipe we will be making today is very time consuming.  Its the longest recipe I make, however your patience is key.  Everyone thinks fried chicken is a very simple when you know how to do it.  It is very simple however the key to making fried chicken that stands above all others including some fast food restaurants that shall remain nameless, this is where your patience will pay off.  This fried chicken has so much flavor and crisp, you will be slapping your own self away from the table to get a piece of it.  Yes it's a labor of love and your hard work will pay off.  So follow me as I take you through day by day for my 3 day fried chicken!

Ingredients:

2-5 pounds of chicken I used large chicken thighs but you can use whatever cuts you like
1 quart of buttermilk
3 tablespoons of salt of your choice the kind of salt doesn't matter just use it 
3-5 cups of cold water
4 eggs beaten
4 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons of corn starch (very important for crispiness)
Seasonings: (you can change out to other seasonings you like, this is just what I used):  1 tablespoon of Seasoned salt
1 tablespoon of Granulated Garlic
1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper 
1/8 of a teaspoon of black pepper

Instructions:
Day 1:  Grab a large bowl with a lid and add the 3 tablespoons of salt and cold water, stir and allow the salt to dissolve some and add your chicken.  You will want the water to cover the chicken but don't over flow or you wont be able to close the lid to the bowl. Now let the chicken sit for 24 hours in your fridge.
Day 2: Once 24 hours is up drain all the water and rinse the chicken.  Now add in the buttermilk leave about 2 inches from the top empty because the weight of the chicken will make the buttermilk rise.  Now add in the chicken. Put the lid back on and let sit for another 24 hours exactly.
Day 3:  Now its time to fry your chicken, first you need to drain off the buttermilk but DO NOT RINSE.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  While the chicken is drying add about 2-3 cups of vegetable oil to a cast iron frying pan or just use what you have for a frying pan but cast iron works the best, turn your burner to medium heat to let the oil come to cooking temperature.  To tell if the oil is ready sprinkle a tiny bit of flour in the oil if it starts to bubble up really nice then you know the oil is ready.  Now grab two bowls large enough for your chicken.  In one bowl add your beaten eggs and hot sauce.  In the second bowl add flour, corn starch and seasonings to. Mix them up with a fork.  Now once your chicken is dry add the chicken to the flour and seasonings, then the egg and back to the flour.  This will make a good coating for frying.  Once all your chicken is coated, slowly and gently add the chicken to the oil and cook for 15 minutes on each side.  Because my chicken was so large I had to pre heat my oven to 350 and let the chicken fully cook for another 20 minutes.  However smaller pieces of chicken like chicken legs can be fully cooked right in the oil.  Once the chicken is in the oil though DO NOT MESS WITH IT!  Leave it alone for 15 minutes or until you see parts of the underside of the chicken that are golden brown.  If you move the chicken around you will lose all that coating and all those 3 days will be all for not.  Once all the chicken is cooked grab a lint free tea towel and a large bowl to put your chicken in and serve it up.  As always any and all sides go well with fried chicken.  Down below is a video where you can see step by step what I did.  I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as my family does.  Live , laugh and love.

Video: 






Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hot Ham and Cheese Dip



Hi everyone!  Today I have a recipe for you that you can throw together with left over ham from Easter, if you are like me and freeze the left overs.  I made some toast points, cut up some carrots, celery, bell peppers and called it lunch.  The kids loved it and even better than that, there were no left overs.

Ingredients:

1 brick of softened cream cheese, I used fat free but you can use whatever you like
1 tablespoon of Mayo, you wont taste the mayo it helps with the texture
1 tablespoon of spicy mustard
1 tablespoon of sour cream
2 green onions both the green and white part diced
2 cups of shredded cheese, I used a blend of cheddar and Colby cheeses
2 cups of ham diced
A dash of Cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350, next grab a medium mixing bowl and cream together the cream cheese, mustard, mayo and sour cream.  Blend them together until you have a rich creamy texture.  Now add in the ham, green onions and shredded cheese.  Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.  In a small casserole dish or whatever baking dish you have on hand, spoon in the ham and cheese mixture and spread evenly into your baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with a little more shredded cheese and bake uncovered for about 30-45 minutes, or until hot, bubbly and golden brown on top.  When the dip comes out of the oven, sprinkle the top with Cayenne pepper (optional).  I cut up some toast points, and veggies and the kids had this for lunch.  They loved it and I loved the fact that there were no left overs.  

Live, laugh and love and thank you all for stopping by.  Heather

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Apple Fries with Vanilla Cinnamon Yogurt Dip



Have you ever had a craving for one thing and by the time you made what you were craving, it turned into something completely different?  Let me explain, a few days ago I was craving french fries.  Yes even after gastric bypass you still get hungry, you still get cravings.  It happens a lot more than what people admit to also.  Well obviously I didn't have french fries but I have been finding since I made these little gems, I crave these instead.  Its a good thing too because they are very good for you. I will give you the recipe to both the dip and the apple fries because even though they are great on their own, when they are together, Oh my goodness gracious!  They are something to be had.  

Ingredients:

4-6 apples, I used gala but any apple will work
1/3 cup of sugar or sugar substitute, I used my no calorie sugar substitute
2-3 tablespoons of cinnamon, depending on how much cinnamon you like, I like things spicy so I used closer to 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup to a cup of vanilla flavored greek yogurt, I used oikos triple zero vanilla yogurt (15 grams of protein per container)

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray. 
You will want to slice up your apples like fries, all I did was slice off pieces of the apple around the core.  Then I sliced those chunks thin to make skinny half moon shapes.  After my apples were sliced, I mixed the sugar and cinnamon together on a large plate, and threw my apple slices in the cinnamon mixture.  Make sure to coat all sides of the apples.  Now just arrange them on your cookie sheet so they are not touching one another.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes and flip them once half way through the cooking time.  While those are cooking, its time to whip up the dip.  Grab your yogurt and add in your cinnamon sugar mixture about a tablespoon.  Mix it all up and store it in your fridge until your apple fries are out of the oven.  Once the apples are finished cooking, start taking the apples off the cookie sheet.  DO NOT LET THEM COOL ON THE COOKIE SHEET!  They will stick like cement.  Serve them on a plate with some of the dip and boom you are in snack Heaven, and you didn't have to break your diet to do so.  Its a win win situation.

I hope you all enjoy your apple fries and whether or not you make the dip with them is totally up to you but for me you cannot have one without the other.  Live ,laugh and love everyone.  

Heather

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity Salad



Hello everyone!  I made this salad over Easter for breakfast and oh my gosh, what a delicious addition to scrambled eggs if I do say so myself.  As some of you know I have had gastric bypass back in October.  I want to warn some of you now this is made with artificial sweeteners.  Real sugars, honey, ect makes me sick.  So to broaden my horizons flavor wise I use artificial sweeteners.  Honestly I cannot tell a difference in flavor, texture or otherwise.  I just know that I am not sick to my stomach after eating it.  However if you are still with the full sugar crowd have at it.  Far be it for me to tell you what you can and cannot have.  Just don't be telling me how awful artificial sweeteners are, I am well aware but believe me folks when I say I would be limited to very few things if I didn't partake in artificial sweeteners.  Different boats for different folks, live and let live.  Now with that all being said let's talk about this salad shall we?  As I mentioned this is packed with so much flavor you wont even miss the whipped cream or high calorie pastry some people put with this stuff like this.  Don't be taking my word for it, see for yourself when you make it!  

Ingredients:

2 apples diced
3 oranges reserve one orange off to the side
24 strawberries cut in half
2 bananas sliced and put off to the side
1/3 cup of artificial sweetener or sugar your choice
The juice of 1 orange

Instructions:

Ok so grab a cutting board and cut up all your fruit.  Put the bananas off to the side you will see why in a minute.  Next mix the sugar and fresh orange juice together.  Pour it over the fruit and leave out on your counter covered for 30 minutes.  This gives all the fruit time to macerate or release their juices.  Now right before you serve this peel and cut up the bananas and add the sliced bananas to everyone's individual bowls.  You do this so the bananas don't turn to mush and they will be fresh every time you have this salad.  You can serve this with scrambled eggs like I did, have it with oatmeal or by itself.  

Enjoy!

Heather

Live, Laugh and Love