Tag Archives: homemade

Day 16: Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

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Day 16 of the Pinterest Project is already upon us and I have decided to make Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce for dinner! When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to try it. I love jalapenos and everything spicy for that matter. The spicier the better, if you ask me! This recipe uses Jalapeno Kettle Chips, which are so good. I don’t eat potato chips often, but when I do Jalapeno chips are one of the few kinds I really like to eat.

This recipe is a little different from the one that was originally posted on Pinterest from the blog “My life as a Mrs.”  If you look at her recipe, you’ll see that I made my chicken into strips instead of keeping it as breasts. I thought it was be easier to dip the chicken in the homemade jalapeno ranch sauce, then to drizzle it on top of the breasts.

Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • 5-6 hot pickles jalapeno slices, finely chopped

Chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts or tenders (about 1 3/4 – 2 pounds total)
  • 1 bag Jalapeno Kettle Chips, crushed
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash cayenne

Directions:

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:

Mix all ingredients together (adding additional buttermilk until desired consistency). Set aside and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chicken:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking dish or baking sheet for chicken. In a bowl, whisk buttermilk, salt and cayenne. If using chicken breasts, pound out chicken breasts to 1/2″ thickness and cut into strips. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, tossing well.

Place crushed Kettle chips in a shallow baking dish or bowl. Pull one piece of chicken at a time out of the buttermilk and gently shake to remove some of the excess buttermilk. Dip into the chips and coat thoroughly on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken breast are thoroughly coated.

Place chicken in oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve hot with jalapeno ranch dipping sauce.

35 minutes later and the chicken was done. Honestly I don’t know how I feel about this recipe. I was a little frustrated while making it. The chips weren’t sticking to the chicken as well as I had assumed it would and since I cooked my chicken on a baking sheet, the bottom wasn’t as crispy as the top. Also, for some reason chicken looks pink in these pictures, but it was fully cooked!

My favorite part of the recipe was the homemade ranch dipping sauce. It gave the chicken a completely new flavor which was good because I thought the chicken was too bland. I could hardly taste the jalapeno chips and instead it just tasted like baked chicken with a few crunchy things on it. I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed with this recipe and I probably won’t make it again. Maybe it would have turned out better if I had followed the directions exactly and cooked chicken breasts, but who knows. The only thing I  for sure will make again is the dipping sauce. I think it would be really good with some buffalo wings or even over a salad – it would give it a really good kick! The pickled jalapenos in it made all the difference.

Let me know if you try this recipe out and get a better result!

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Day 12: Samoa Bars

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It’s girl scout cookie season and since I cannot find Girl Scout cookies being sold anywhere in NYC, I’m making my own! I must admit that Thin Mints are my favorite ones, but those are not the ones I’m making tonight. I especially love eating thin mints after you put them in the freezer! I bought some cookies last year and froze them, but they are at my parents house in Texas! Hopefully my dad hasn’t broken into them and I can eat a couple when I go home for Easter weekend! That’s wishful thinking though because if there are sweets in the house, then my dad always hunts it out and finds it! As a kid it used to drive me insane when my dad would eat my Christmas candy especially because I was known for hiding mine and saving it! I was such a miser with my candy!

Anyway, onto Day 12 of the Pinterest Project, where I am making Samoa bars! I’m not a big fan of coconut, but I do love caramel and chocolate, which should be no surprise there. This recipe that I’m trying out was originally posted on the blog ‘Baking Bites’ and it was repinned from there. I’ve seen this recipe all over Pinterest, so I’m hoping it’s a keeper!

Samoa Bars

Ingredients:

Cookie Base

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Topping

  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9×13 inch pan, or line with parchment paper. [I didn’t have a 9×13 baking pan, so I used a cookie sheet and tried to estimate the size when rolling out the dough.] In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Beat in flour and salt until dough is crumbly. Pour dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer [or roll the dough out like I did onto a cookie sheet]. Bake 20-25 minutes or until edges are light brown and base is set. Cool completely before topping.

Preheat oven 300 degrees. Spread coconut evenly onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and toast for 20 minutes. [I only toasted mine for about 9 minutes since the oven was still extremely hot from cookie the cookie base]. While toasting coconut, stir every 5 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet, then set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When melted, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.

When cooled, cut with a large knife or pizza cutter. I used the pizza cutter which was way easier! Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent it from burning. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean sheet of parchment or wax paper to set. Place all the remaining chocolate into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle chocolate over the top of the bars. [The chocolate was too thick, so I just took a spoon and drizzled the chocoalte on top of the cookies. It doesn’t look that pretty, but it does the trick]. Let chocolate set before storing in an airtight container.

Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.

The Samoa bars turned out way better than I anticipated. The only problem that I had was that the chocolate took a while to harden, so I put the bars in the freezer for a few minutes and it turned out to be a great idea. It ended up only taking a few minutes for the chocolate to set and if I hadn’t put the bars in the freezer it would have taken a few hours since the chocolate was so hot. This is definitely a healthier and cheaper alternative to purchasing Samoas from the Girl Scouts. No offense Girl Scouts, as I used to be one too, but let’s be realistic, your cookies are always going up in price and there aren’t that many cookies in the box! If you like cookies that are both firm and chewy then you’ll like these. Also, the coconut doesn’t taste that strong, which is good if you’re like me and not a big coconut fan. Eat a bar or two with a glass of milk and you’ll be happy!