Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One Good. One Just "Meh".

In order to entice me to try a new recipe, it has to be easy or feature flavors that I like. It can't make a huge amount. While leftovers are great for lunches at the office, too many and it just gets tossed which is a waste of money.

I've been poking around in the Pillsbury web site. I guess I joined it some time ago (I don't remember, but I'm registered) and, if I look down far enough in it, there have been recipes which spur my interest in digging out sauce pans and cookie sheets and flour, salt, butter, and eggs.

When Stanley was here, I made this cake. It's a yellow cake mix, eggs, oil, and mini chocolate chips. What attracted me to it was the addition of peanut butter into the batter. The recipe called for plain but I never have plain in the house. I always have chunky. I like chunky. Give me lots of peanut chunks in my peanut butter. Hence, unless there is a clear reason why I have to use plain, in anything requiring peanut butter, I use chunky.

It was a great photography moment to go with Stanley making cookies. The batter tasted pretty good, although the amount of peanut butter didn't really give this a peanut butter taste. I was kind of disappointed in that. While I didn't want a peanut butter cake, I have recipes to make something like that, I did want more peanut butter taste than there was.

It made a lot, as witnessed by the tube pan at the upper right. Once cut along the flutes, I tossed pieces into freezer bags and have them for snacks or to bring to lunch. The finished product is okay.

You can sort of taste the peanut butter and, for certain, the chocolate. It's a nice moist cake that holds its shape. It's much better with a couple dollops of Cool Whip on top. But to heartily recommend this, I can't. It's really not that much better than any other cake baked in a bundt pan. In fact, if I want to use that pan for making a cake, I have others that are far better than this.

I made a few other things I found in the web site, the cat cookies linked above, a puff pancake, and the stuffed ham and cheese pockets, that have been okay, but nothing I'm really excited to make again, when I really think about it. So, the rest of the recipes I printed because I thought they sounded good were gone through again and I really thought about what I wanted to cook. All but one of them were tossed. File those under "What was I thinking?" This is the one I kept.

Bacon cheddar chicken tenders. These are so easy.

I had a package of 3 large breasts so I cut them into pieces. The recipe uses just 4 breast pieces. You could use legs or wings or thighs, I'll bet, if you preferred those parts.

One half cup of Panko bread crumbs. I'd used Panko before and was sort of unimpressed. I have a friend who swears by them, but they didn't excite me. In this recipe, they were wonderful.

One half cup shredded cheddar. Make sure you get the fine shred. Medium shred doesn't want to stick to the chicken.

One egg and a teaspoon of water.

Three ounces of crumbled bacon. I had probably a half a package left from a previous fry so I just crushed all the pieces I had left.

Put the bread crumbs, cheese and bacon in a heavy plastic bag. Shake to mix. Beat the egg with the water in a small bowl. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Dip the breasts or breast pieces in the egg mixture and then drop into the bag. (Don't forget the dip in the egg mixture part. The bread crumb mix doesn't stick very well to the chicken otherwise.) Shake until the pieces are coated. Arrange all on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve with your favorite dip.

I found I didn't want dipping sauce for these. And with the size of some of the chicken pieces, I had two more meals. Served with potatoes and apple slices and I had a great dinner.

So, out of all the recipes I've tried, I have one that's a keeper. I guess that's the fun part of cooking. It opens up your palate to new tastes. They don't always work and I'm not skilled enough to figure out how to make them work, but when you find something you like, it's an "aha" moment.

Beverage:  Water


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