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Fried Chicken Parmesan…Wow!

15 Mar

Awhile back, I made Popcorn Chicken Parmesan, which is a quick and easy dish, but yesterday I had more time on my hands, so I made Fried Chicken Parmesan. My recipe is based off Aaron McCargo, Jr. (aka Big Daddy on Food Network).  Big Daddy’s chicken parmesan, while incredibly delicious, is some work. It involves pounding the chicken breast until it is thin, breading, and frying. However, if you have the time, the results are so worth it.

 

Chicken Parmesan - www.KidsWorkDinner.com

 

Chicken Parmesan

1 cup thin spaghetti

1 Jar spaghetti sauce

Deli sliced mozzarella cheese

Chicken Breast

2 eggs

¼ cup milk

Flour

Salt, pepper, seasonings

Vegetable oil

 

Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. Mix eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Mix flour, salt, pepper, and seasonings (or you can use a packaged chicken breader, such as “House of Autry”) in another shallow bowl. Place chicken breast in a heavy duty zip lock bag and pound it flat. Dredge the chicken through the egg mixture, shaking off any excess, then through the flour mixture.  Place chicken in heated oil, frying approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. While you are frying the chicken, heat the spaghetti sauce in small pan.  Place hot chicken on top of cooked pasta, cover with a slice of mozzarella cheese, and top with the heated spaghetti.  Serve with a vegetable and garlic bread.

The Verdict

Chicken Parmesan is a ton of work to prepare, but the taste is so good!

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My Macaroni & Tuna Salad

9 Aug

It has been a long, hot summer here in North Carolina and I have been trying to avoid using my oven, I have resorted to my salad arsenal to get us through until things cool off. So, why was I surprised when my ten-year-old son, B3, asked the other day, “Mom, may we have some of the tuna stuff with macaroni?” He was referring to my macaroni & tuna salad, which is usually reserved for summertime cookouts. So, I shrug my shoulders and say, “Yeah, Macaroni & Tuna Salad, that sounds good.” I cannot take credit for this recipe, my Aunt Wendy makes the best mac & tuna salad, so I stole here recipe years ago and made it my own.

Macaroni & Tuna Salad

 

Recipe 

1 box Elbow macaroni

2 can tuna, drained

1/2 cup sweet pickle relish

1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

3 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

The Verdict 

My family and I love Macaroni & Tuna Salad on a summer day. It is perfect as a side dish with hamburger or fried chicken. Although in my house, you are just as likely to find one of us eating a large serving of Macaroni & Tuna Salad all by itself, and probably out of a cereal bowl!

Cheeseburger Mac – My Kids Love This!

4 Jun

I subscribe to the “Food & Family” Magazine that Kraft Foods produces and they have a recipe called ‘The Cheesiest Cheeseburger Mac‘ that is the basis for my cheeseburger mac. I made a few changes to the original recipe, of course. For starters, I prefer Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese, instead of the macaroni & cheese dinner. Also, I use less beef than the original recipe calls for, it was a little too beefy, and too dry, for me.

Cheeseburger Mac

Cheeseburger Mac

 

RECIPE

1 pkg. Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese

1/2 lb cooked ground beef

2 slices American Cheese

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tbsp. mustard

 

Prepare the macaroni & cheese according the package directions. Add the cooked ground beef,  American cheese, ketchup, and mustard. Cook and stir until heated through.   The dish smells like a cheeseburger! My kids love to add more ketchup to the Cheeseburger Mac before they eat it.

The Verdict

This is one of those quick and easy dishes that any mom can make, and it is a great hit with the kids!

Baked Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese

21 May

My family loves the baked macaroni & cheese that I usually only make at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Lately, the kids have been asking for the dish more often, but I was hesitant to make it due to the work involved. Finally, I gave in, but I compromised…I made Baked Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese.

Baked Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese

Baked Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese

1 Box Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese

1 Bag Pizza Blend Shredded Cheese (Cheddar/Mozzarella)

2 Cups Milk

2 Eggs

2 tbsp sugar

This was simple to make, just cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and pour hot macaroni into baking dish (do not rinse). Add entire bag of shredded cheese. In a bowl, combine milk, eggs, and sugar. Pour the milk mixture over the macaroni. Make sure the milk comes to the very top of the macaroni, almost covering it. Add  more milk if necessary.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 mins, or until the top is bubbling and starting to brown.

The Verdict


While Baked Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese does not taste like my grandmothers’ recipe that I use at the holidays, it was still VERY good and a nice recipe to have when the kids are craving some comfort food.

Cheesy Baked Penne

27 Mar

Baked penne is an easy classic to make, and just one of the many Italian dishes that I make on a regular basis. We eat a lot of Italian in my house, much to my daughter’s annoyance. But, really, who can pass up pasta, tomato sauce, and melted cheese? If you can, you are way stronger than I am. Of course, I did not use a recipe for the Baked Penne, but I do have a few little quirks that make my dish my own.

Chessy Baked Penne - www.KidsWorkDinner.com

I used the Barilla Piccolini Mini Penne, I like the smaller pasta sizes, so I buy the mini versions whenever I can. I used three different meats in the dish, ground beef, ground turkey, and ground sausage. Throw in an 8 oz. bag of shredded cheese, either mozzarella, pizza blend, or a combination. Toss in a jar of spaghetti sauce, and my secret ingredient, a little bit of zesty Italian dressing (a trick I learned from Kraft Foods). Mix in all in a baking dish, bake covered at 350˚ for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.

 

Cheesy Baked Penne - www.KidsWorkDinner.com

 

The Verdict

Baked penne is main stay in my house because it is a hit with everyone in the family. This is one of those dishes where the leftovers are just as good, if not better than the first time around.

BBQ Chicken Mac…A New Standby

20 Mar

There are days when I would love to exercise my gourmet chops, and then there are days when I just need food on the table…NOW! These are the days when I have been up since 5 am, worked all day, and when I get home, I have less than an hour to get dinner and help with homework, before dashing back out to cheer practice or a cub scout meeting.  Sometimes on those days, if I do not already have a meat pre-cooked, waiting for me at home, I will dash into the grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken. In the past, I would just grab some packaged mashed potatoes and a jar gravy…voilà, dinner! Unfortunately, the kids have gotten bored with my go-to meal, and my youngest recently declared that he no longer like mashed potatoes…ugh. Time to find a new twist on my old standby, and I did. I discovered ‘BBQ Chicken Mac’.

I make a dish called ‘Cheeseburger Mac’, so ‘BBQ Chicken Mac’ peaked my interest and I gave it a shot. We loved it and the dish could not be simpler to make.

BBQ Chicken Mac - www.KidsWorkDinner.com

BBQ Chicken Mac

1 pkg. macaroni & cheese

2 cups  diced cooked chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken

1/3 cup – 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I like honey bbq)

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used pizza blend)

1 tsp. pepper

 

Prepare the macaroni & cheese according the package directions. Add the shredded cheese, 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.   Toss the cooked chicken with the remaining barbecue sauce and place on top of macaroni. Serve with vegetable of your choice, or a tossed salad.

The Verdict

My younger two kids initially did not want to try my BBQ Chicken Mac, opting instead to just have macaroni and cheese with the chicken separately. After seeing their older brother and me eat, they decided to try it and they both loved it! My daughter had a helping of BBQ Chicken Mac for seconds.

Chicken Tortellini with Asiago Cream Sauce

19 Feb

Trying new recipes on children is always a dangerous thing. My 9-year-old son looked at the ingredients for the ‘Chicken Tortellini with Asiago Cream Sauce’ and had already decided that he was not going to like it. Even still, I forged ahead, I was excited about this dish and in cooking it, and I felt my inner chef emerging. I have never been one who really enjoyed cooking; I accepted it as something that I had to do to keep my family alive. For some reason tonight was different, I was actually having fun, and I think it had to do with the fact that I was using real ingredients, not just opening jars.

The inspiration for this dish came from the grocery store frozen food aisle. I like the premade pasta dishes, but at almost $7.00 for a 2-serving package, I would need to buy at least two packages to barely feed my family of 5, at a cost of $14! Since that is not happening, I decided to look at the frozen dishes that most interested me and try to recreate them.

Chicken Tortellini with Asiago Cream Sauce

 

Chicken Tortellini with Asiago Cream Sauce

1 package Tortellini (I used Three Cheese)

2 cups cooked chicken breast

¼ cup flour

2 cups milk

5 oz. Asiago Cheese grated

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt

Pepper

Prepare the tortellini according to the package directions. To make the cream sauce: Pour flour into a medium saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat; cook until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and slowly add cheese, stirring until melted. Add pepper and salt. I served the dish with cooked spinach.

The Verdict

While the kids were not very enthusiastic about this dish, I thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband said that while he liked it, he wishes it had more seasonings. I do not agree with my husband. Sometimes we over season our food, instead of letting the natural flavors come through. I told him that he needed to train his palate to learn to enjoy the subtle flavors of food…let’s just say that we have decided to agree to disagree on this one.

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