How to Easily Make Perfect Buffalo Chicken Tenders

December 30, 2015

     Inspired by my son, Will, and a little search, I discovered ‘How to Easily Make Perfect Buffalo Chicken Tenders.’   I don’t believe I have ever had a buffalo chicken wrap before, but I searched for recipes on google.  My thought was shredded chicken and maybe some rice in it, too.  The pictures I was seeing included fried chicken, not cooked and shredded.  Seeing the pictures, Will assured me this was what he had in mind, too.

   Being a ‘chicken tender’ lover, these are almost always on hand here in the freezer.   They are frozen side-by-side in one layer in a Ziploc freezer bag.  When removed from the freezer, they are easily thawed in no time, by putting them in a pan of cold water in the sink.  

 

   The recipe I settled on was from Aaron McCargo Jr. for Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  We used tortilla shells and added shredded cheese, too.  His recipe for blue cheese sauce is amazing with these buffalo chicken tenders!  Lemon juice brightens the blue cheese sauce and complements the heat of the buffalo chicken.  Did I tell you these were amazingly tender?  

 

   The salsa is quite tasty, too.  Both the blue cheese sauce and the salsa recipes can be found on the same page with the Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

 

   The boys ran to the store to buy a couple of ingredients for the salsa.  They could not find the Peppadew Sweet Marinated Peppers or any sweet marinated peppers. Now, I am not saying there were none in the store, but they could not find them.  They called to find out what to do, and apparently, I never answer my phone.

 

    So I googled a recipe for sweet marinated peppers.   All Recipes.com has a recipe for marinated peppers.   It just so happened I had one bell pepper in the fridge! The easy recipe calls for three peppers, so dividing the recipe by three, I ended up with the actual amount needed for the salsa recipe!  The ingredients are a bell pepper, garlic cloves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh basil, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. This recipe is another keeper!

   

 

   So my cooking process for the tenders is a little different from Aaron’s chicken breast.  Using the chicken tenders,  cut them in half lengthwise and remove that white tendon from each of them.  


 Perfect Buffalo Chicken Tenders

 

1 pound of Chicken tenders

1/4 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce  

1 cup of Flour

 1 Tblsp. Salt

 1 Tblsp. Pepper

 1 Tblsp. Paprika

  Olive oil for frying

 

    Pour enough olive oil in a hot skillet to about one-quarter inch up the sides.  On medium-high, heat the oil until hot.  (The oil will bubble around the handle of a wooden spoon when it is hot.)

   

   Pour the buffalo sauce in a bowl.  Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in another medium sized bowl.

 

   Dredge the chicken tender pieces in the buffalo sauce and then in the flour mixture.  Shake off the excess flour and place gently in the skillet in the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown on one side.  (It will only take a couple of minutes since they are relatively small.)  Turn and brown on the other side.  Remove and place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

   

   Cover loosely with Reynold’s Wrap while frying the second batch.  I used a 10-inch skillet and fried two batches.



    Serve with the blue cheese sauce, salsa, lettuce, shredded cheese, and tortillas.

 

   This is one of those recipes that I will definitely be making again soon.  As a matter of fact, a craving for these buffalo chicken tenders is overwhelming right now!

 

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Easily Make These Inexpensive Festive DIY Cocktail Napkins

December 28, 2015

DIY Cocktail Napkins

    These festive DIY cocktail napkins are so easy to make and aren’t they adorable?  A yard of fabric will make about thirty of the four-inch cocktail napkins.  They are a nice addition to your holiday entertaining, and can you imagine how many different fabrics you could use for these?  In a lovely floral pattern or soft pastels, wouldn’t they be great for a summer party?  A set of these for the 4th of July in a patriotic print is an idea!

 

   You will need a light weight fabric and interfacing.   (I washed the fabric prior to cutting and sewing so there would not be any shrinkage after the napkins were sewn and washed.  A nice thing about these little napkins is that they are washable!)   Using a rotary cutter, an acrylic grid ruler, and a self-healing mat, you will need to cut five-inch squares.  (If you don’t have these tools, it may take a little more time, but you can measure and then cut the squares with your scissors.)  

   You will also need a sewing machine, thread, pins, a steam iron, and an ironing board.   On these festive Christmas napkins, I used a gold metallic thread for the topstitching.   A matching color or a contrasting color of thread can be used for this topstitching.

 

   For each napkin, cut two five-inch squares of fabric and one five-inch square of interfacing.  (I did use iron-on interfacing for this project.)

 

   With right sides together, lay one square on top of another.  Lay one square of the interfacing on top of one of the squares.  Pin the three squares together, aligning all sides.  

 

  Using your iron, lightly press to adhere the interfacing to the back of the top layer of fabric.  This will also make it easier to sew the interfacing without it slipping and moving while you sew.

 

   Stitch a one-half inch seam around the outside, leaving an opening of 1-1/2 to 2-inches.  ( have found a quick backstitch where you begin the stitches and where you end the stitches, helps keep the stitches from pulling out as you turn the piece right side out.)

 

   Trim the seams and snip the corners.  To make the crisp, clean corners, a notch cut into the corner seam allowance helps take out some of the fabric bulk.

 

   Turn the napkin rights side out, and using your iron, press.  Be sure to fold the opening seam inward and press well.

   Topstitch close to the edge, all the way around the napkin.  This topstitching will catch and secure the opening used for turning right side out, and there will be no need to hand stitch!  Secure the topstitching with one or two back stitches.

 

   A set of these would make a really nice gift, too.  Tied together with a  little matching ribbon, it would make a pretty presentation.  They sew up quickly, and while you watch television, you can mindlessly turn a stack of them right side out.

 

   These festive DIY cocktail napkins are so easy to make, you might just make several sets for yourself and maybe even some for your friends.

 

  Click here ► to pin this post!

 

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Reflecting on Christmas

December 27, 2015

 

    Reflecting on Christmas this year, I believe it will be one of my favorite memories.  From the front door entry, everything looked so orderly before everyone arrived.  With almost twenty people, young and old, arriving for appetizers, drinks, desserts, games, and gifts, the order was soon a thing of the past.

 

   This year was an exceptional one.  It was not cold and there was no snow.  The weather here in Kentucky was in the mid-sixties, the rain had come to a halt, and the sun was shining brightly.  Believe it or not, Dave, the kids, and the grandkids played corn hole on the drive!  Although the yard was saturated from the rain we have been getting, the sun dried the driveway, and it felt quite warm outside.

 

    Lady was groomed the day before Christmas Eve, and as always, was ready for company.   I know she sensed we were having another party.

    The “Christmas Game”, which I explained in an earlier post, was one of the most fun things we have done.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and perhaps it was the most fun for me!  My granddaughter, Sophia, chose the gift with a Teddy Bear in it.  I bought that with her in mind, but what are the odds that she chose that gift?  She was so excited.  She loves stuffed animals.

 

   Each gift had one of the little ‘cheesy’ cards that I had made up earlier, except for one.  That was a large holiday bag of M&M’s.  On top of the bag of candy was a poem about the M on the candy.  If you turn it around, the M becomes a ‘W’, an ‘E’, and then a ‘3’.  It relates the candy to the story of baby Jesus, which I thought was totally appropriate on Christmas Eve.  Although I created my own copy with an angel and the baby Jesus, I saw the poem on a blog.  I found the poem here. ►M&M Christmas Story  by Pam Ridenour

 

 

   Emily chose that gift and Jon-Michael read the poem aloud.  Maybe they will think of this every time they have an M&M now.  I am pretty sure I will.

 

   Everyone else read their ‘cheesy’ tags aloud when they opened their gifts, and as expected, there was a lot of laughter and there were definitely a few groans!  There were a few gift cards hidden at the bottom of bags or boxes.  There was also money hidden in a few.  Some were found and revealed upon opening and although Alex was happy with her box of mints when she found the twenty taped to the box in the sleeve, she was even happier!  The ‘cheesy’ tags can be found

here Christmas tags.

    I hung Sophia and Aidan’s stockings on the fireplace screen the night before and apparently, “Jingles” felt left out, so he hung his there, too.  The kids got a kick out of that.  Tiffany, Nate, and they spent the night and when they got up Christmas morning, it seemed Santa had eaten some of their cookies and drank the milk.   It even looked like Jingles had taken a bite of one, but he had disappeared along with Santa.

 

   We are so blessed to have my mother, our children, and grandchildren close-by. This was the first family Christmas with baby Memphis and she is a delight.  Yes, reflecting on Christmas, this was one of the best so far.

 

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Red Pepper-Ham Roll-Ups

Red Pepper-Ham Roll-Ups

  11 oz.  cream cheese softened

  2  garlic cloves, finely chopped

  1/3 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts

  1/4 cup pitted kalamata or pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped

  1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers from a jar patted dry and chopped

  1/4 tsp pepper

  8  slices of ham cut 1/8 ” thick

  pitted kalamata olives and pimiento-stuffed olives

  Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, stir in garlic, walnuts, chopped olives, red peppers, and pepper.

  Spread cream cheese mixture on each ham slice.  Roll up, jellyroll fashion.  Place rolls seam side down, on a baking sheet.  Fill end of rolls with remaining cream cheese mixture.  Cover and freeze roll-ups for 20 minutes. 

  Place olives on small wooden picks.  Using a sharp knife, slice each roll into 1″ pieces, secure with a pick, olive on top.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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Print Recipe
Red Pepper-Ham Roll-Ups
Course Appetizer
Servings
Ingredients
Course Appetizer
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, stir in garlic, walnuts, chopped olives, red peppers, and pepper.
  2. Spread cream cheese mixture on each ham slice. Roll up, jellyroll fashion. Place rolls seam side down, on a baking sheet. Fill end of rolls with remaining cream cheese mixture. Cover and freeze roll-ups for 20 minutes.
  3. Place olives on small wooden picks. Using a sharp knife, slice each roll into 1" pieces, secure with a pick, olive on top. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
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Annual Christmas Dessert Contest and Christmas Game

December 21, 2015

 

   Preparations for our ‘Annual Christmas Dessert Contest’ and the first ever  ‘Christmas Game’ are in full swing.  The cards for judging the desserts have been designed.  This year the theme is ‘Gingerbread’.  That is left completely open to interpretation.  Gingerbread can be used, but a gingerbread man, or lady, or a gingerbread house can be represented with a different flavor.  Since I have an affinity for chocolate, maybe a chocolate gingerbread man would be great!

   The prizes for the first, second, and third place have been purchased and wrapped. The prizes always have something to do with baking or dessert making. Prizes of cookie cutters, mini-dessert glasses, and a variety of baking and decorating supplies have been given in the past.   This year is no exception.

 

   The red poinsettia tablecloth has been placed on the dining room table, and the vintage mirror runner is placed down the center of the table.  Three clear glass vases filled with silver, white,  and red ornaments decorate the runner.  Two classic crystal candle holders display gold candles.  

 

   Although the display might be simple, the desserts are meant to be the stars of the show!  The desserts will be placed on the table and numbers representing each dessert will be placed in front of each entry.    Cards for judging are printed on cardstock and will be placed on one end of the table, along with ink pens.  

 

   Everyone, big and small, participates in the judging, except for Memphis!  She is only six months old now!  The kids get a big kick out of the contest and right after Thanksgiving they begin talking about what dessert they will be making for it.

 

   This year for the first time ever, we will be playing a “Christmas Game”, which I came across on Pinterest.  The inspiration for the game came from Natalie, who has a blog, which you can find here►Let’s Get Together.


    The idea is to collect inexpensive presents for everyone who will be at the Christmas party and wrap them.  Cash or gift cards can be hidden in some of the gifts.   Natalie’s family wraps three gifts for each person.  At this point in time, I am only wrapping one gift for each person.  I just came across this last week and don’t have enough time, but maybe next year!

 

   We are having eighteen people here so eighteen numbers will be written on pieces of paper and drawn from a hat.  Number one goes first and chooses a gift and opens it.  Number two goes next.  That person can pick another gift from the pile or steal an opened one from someone else.  The person with the stolen gift can either choose another gift from the pile or steal from someone else.  

 

   The game resumes and the next number is in play.  A  gift can only be stolen three times before it is dead and can’t be stolen again.  (Most of us have probably played a similar game with co-workers, but everyone brought a gift.)

 

   I thought this was a great idea, but I took it a little farther and chose some cheesy sayings, which were also inspired by some pins on Pinterest, to accompany the gifts.  I am sure some of the puns will get some laughs and perhaps some will receive winces, but it should be fun.

    These are some of the tags I created to accompany the gifts.  Blowing Christmas Wishes Your Way is with a bottle of ‘Bubbles’, which the grandkids love.  The snowman is in a package with socks.  The little elf is on a carton of mini-Sprites and Nachos, obviously,  go with the little Mexican in the sombrero.  A muffin mix is wrapped with the muffin card and a three pack of flashlights is wrapped with the flashlight tag.

 

   Hopefully, it goes over well with the family and becomes another tradition, and next year we can look forward to our Annual Christmas Dessert Contest and Christmas Game.

 

   

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