Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I can cook!

Haha! Well mostly I can follow directions without burning anything.

Part of my new year's goals was to be a better cook. I've had a lot of problems in the past of things not going well for me when I try to make a meal (like dinner!) and I really wanted to improve on that. The Hubby has been complaining that he does all the dinner cooking, I don't need that, now do I?

So the first thing I did was set up a meal plan for two weeks:
Mon 1/4 - Hamburger Helper, mashed potatoes, peas (easy night lol)
Tues 1/5 - Ultimate Chicken Fingers, garlic pasta, corn
Wed 1/6 - Sandwiches, macaroni salad
Thur 1/7 - Spaghetti and slow cooker meatballs, salad, garlic bread
Fri 1/8 - Leftover sauce with elbow pasta, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
Sat 1/9 - Taco Bake
Sun 1/10 - Breakfast for Dinner - pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast

Mon 1/11 - Hot Dogs, Mac'n'cheese, corn on the cob (steamfresh)
Tues 1/12 - Tortellini with sauce, salad
Wed 1/13 - Brocolli Chicken Casserole, garlic bread
Thur 1/14 - Pizzas - BBQ for DH, sliced tomato and cheese for me, pepperoni for the girls
Fri 1/15 - Baked Ziti, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
Sat 1/16 - Tuna sandwiches, baked mac'n'cheese
Sun 1/17 - Roast chicken, squash, potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing

Then I made a grocery list, organized by my grocery store's layout:
bbq sauce
emeril's garlic parm seasoning
poptarts (for DH for work)
boneless chicken tenders
family size ground beef
roaster chicken
taco seasoning
bowtie pasta
sauce (2)
parm cheese
pizza crust
hot dogs
shredded pizza cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded taco/nacho cheese
large ricotta
sour cream
eng muffins
greek yogurt

I tried not to put too many "easy" cop-out type foods, so that I would be forced to follow the meal plan. I did include some simpler meals like the sandwiches and hotdogs, buts made sure to add sides that take time to prepare like the mac'n'cheese and the macaroni salad (we have a thing for elbows here).

Yesterday I had a bad day and couldn't handle the idea of a lot of prep work so I swapped the sandwiches for the chicken fingers. I did make the chicken fingers tonight and they were so good, my girls at it all and asked for seconds! So good, I'd like to share the recipe with you, which I found on the side of the Bisquick box!

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

* 8 boneless skinless chicken tenders
* 2/3 cup Bisquick baking mix
* 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder
* 1/2 teaspoon paprika
* 1 egg, slightly beaten
* 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


1. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. In 1 gal plastic resealable food-storage bag, mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika.

2. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture.

3. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat using remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.

4. Bake 12-14, turning halfway through bake time with pancake turner, until no longer pink in center.

5. To freeze: Coat chicken in mixture. Lay flat on a baking sheet and freeze until firm.

6. To serve: from frozen, bake at 350 15-20 minutes per side.

These are seriously the easiest chicken fingers ever. And they taste so good! I add a bit more paprika than the recipe calls for, as well as a dash of garlic powder (just a bit!). When I drizzle the butter on top, I also sprinkle a little more cheese and voila! Super yummy dinner even the kids will love!

I have leftovers, which I'll be adding to a fresh garden salad tomorrow for lunch!

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