Thanks so much for all the awesome suggestions to my dinner quandry – you guys are the best! I think my new plan is to spend the next week getting the rest of the kitchen unpacked so I can get ready to groove. I still, and this pains me so, have yet to find the box with all my herbs and spices. One of the last boxes I packed, and actually debated about packing it, because I knew I’d need it sooner rather than later. ‘Tis my project, one of many, for the weekend.
Once I get the kitchen in shape, then I’d like to tackle menu planning again. I feel like that could provide a good framework to making things a little easier when it comes to dinnertime. Even if it’s a loose plan. Knowing me and how well I do with menu plans, the looser the better. Cooking separate meals is not something I’m fond of, nor the picky eater that they tend to create – I’m totally with you all on that one! I haven’t done it yet and don’t plan to start. Nick isn’t really a picky eater now, and Madeline is far from it, and I really want to continue to foster that. One of our family friends is a picky eater, the worst one I know, and it stems from her mom totally catering to her growing up. Every time we get together for a meal, I refer to the long list of things she won’t eat. Such a shame the things she’s missing out on.
There are definitely food items that I like that I know the kids don’t, so maybe I’ll have those on nights when there are leftovers. I guess it feels like it’s a little different with The Husband not here, but in theory, there are a lot of things that I liked that he didn’t either, so it shouldn’t throw me. Of course, the quantity of food is a whole ‘nother topic. With him, we’d never have leftovers. Now I have to remember to look at serving sizes and potentially halve a recipe, or make plans to freeze some or share. It’s all workable … mostly a case of reprogramming, you know? Once I find my box of spices – ack!
For tonight’s dinner, I went with something I knew both Madeline and I would like, but that Nick might be on the fence about. While he might order chicken fingers at a restaurant, he’s not a fan of homemade chicken fingers. Can’t figure out why since I think homemade chicken fingers are better than the dried out, frozen version restaurants usually serve. I came across a new recipe for chicken fingers in the September/October issue of Taste of Home’s Simple & Delicious magazine. This version is baked, not fried, so even with the butter, it’s fairly low in fat (12 grams per serving). When Nick asked what was for dinner, I kept it short and just said “chicken.” He peered at the platter and didn’t say anything. I put two on his plate and the next thing I knew, they were gone. Ate every last speck. Apparently the key is to not call them chicken fingers. Who knew?
Quick and easy to make, it took less than 30 minutes start to finish. They are slightly crispy with the corn flake coating, yet very tender, making it both kid- and adult-approved. This is a great use of those little dregs of corn flakes you have floating around the cupboard. Truth be told, using it as breading is the only reason I have corn flakes in the house. Never was a fan of them as a child, and that hasn’t changed as an adult. Give me Lucky Charms or Cap’n Crunch any day! I know, terrible for you, but since I have it, like, twice a year, I think it’s ok.
Easy Chicken Strips
Recipe courtesy of Simple & Delicious magazine, Sept/Oct ’09
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1-1/4 cups crushed cornflakes
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
In a shallow bowl, combine flour and seasoned salt. Place cornflakes and butter in separate shallow bowls. Coat chicken with flour mixture, then dip in butter and coat with cornflakes. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until juices run clear. Yield: 6 servings.