Friday, February 26, 2010

Comfort food

So the other day I was browsing the Pioneer Woman blog when I came across a link for her recipe for Homemade Chicken Strips. I was intrigued since I've never really seen a good "restaurant style" chicken strip made at home. As you probably know, chicken strips are one of the food groups in my world, so I was excited to find that the recipe looked super easy and contained a twist I just had to try. So I did. I know, you can't believe I'm posting about cooking, but I am. So here's how it went:

You start off by soaking your chicken strips in buttermilk for 15-20 mins. *Ty did comment on the buttermilk taste, so if you don't like it you could sub regular milk for everything. (I couldn't really tell, by the way.) While that's going on, you measure out about a cup and a half of flower and 2-3 Tbsps. of Lawry's Seasoning Salt (I'd say at least 3, 'cause I put in less and couldn't really taste it). I made 12 strips, and this was just barely enough so adjust according to how many of these bad boys you plan to make.

Then you add the twist! Slowly pour 1/4 - 1/2 cup of butter milk into the flour mixture! You may be laughing now because it's so simple, but I honestly never would have thought of this! It makes the flour kind of gloppy so it sticks to the chicken in little chunks like you see on the ones at the restaurant! *I used just over 1/4 cup, and I really think if was too much. The chicken has alot of moisture on it from the soaking, and I found that it got the flour a little too wet. This meant that there was a lot of it stuck together for the last couple of strips which made it a little harder to get them coated well. You tell me what you think when you try it...

Anyway, you dredge the strips in the flour mix and get 'em coated up good. Here's a pic of them post coat. See what I mean about the globs?

Next, you heat up the oil. P-dub said 1" of oil in the skillet. I clearly went overboard, but I've never been good at estimating stuff like that. Didn't seem to matter too much, though, so I lucked out.

When it's hot enough (flour should bubble when thrown in - learned that too) put in a few at a time to fry. You literally only cook these for like a minute and a half on each side, and they're done! Let me just say, "Yum"! The meat was tender. The coating was all crunchy. I was pretty darn proud of myself! It was an all around good experience.

Except for the disaster mashed potatoes I made to go with them. Someone please explain to me how a person messes up mashed potatoes. I'm still not sure what happened, but I'm a bit bruised. I felt the need to share this failure with you so you don't confuse me for some culinary goddess you don't even recognize anymore. I know! Close call!

So anyway, here's the finished product. I'm tellin' you, these are good. PW suggested flash freezing them just after they're coated (before you cook) and then storing them in the freezer in a Ziplock bag. Seriously, if you did this, you'd never have to buy those precooked nugget thingies again! If you want a MUCH more detailed guide to making these lovelies, follow the link at the top of the post.

Go try these, and tell me what you think!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chuckle for the day

So Anna and Abby are taking a bath, and we are singing songs as usual. Anna suggests "If You're Happy and You Know It" so we start it up. Ours usually consists of "clap your hands," "stomp your feet," and "shout Amen." I can see Anna is having a hard time doing the motions while trying not to splash too much, whack Abby, fall down, or step on all the bath toys, and finally she just kinda stops singing and dancing along. So I stop and ask, "Why aren't you singing anymore? Aren't you happy?" "No, I'm not," she replies oh so sadly. "Why not?" "Because I can't stomp my feet and clap my hands and shout 'Hey Man'!"

**Latest Installment**

You know you live in a small town when you don't put enough postage on a letter, but the post office lady just adds it, mails it, and puts a tiny envelope in your mail box with the amount you owe. You put the 17 cents, or whatever, in and you're done. -I think that one's kinda cool.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Copy Cats

The first thing I'll say is that these aren't the best pictures in the world of the girls, but I was trying to catch them playing naturally/not posed, so you get what you get. Anyway, the girls got this toy cd player/radio that plays songs for Christmas, and they both love it. Lately, though, as I watched them play I noticed something. See how Anna is holding it over her wrist?

Now check out Abby on a totally different day:Isn't that cute? I just love the idea that even at this age, they are influencing each other. Even this young, they mean so much to each other, that they emulate each other's actions. Now, I know this could turn out to be not so good when it comes to other things (I should probably start fortifying myself for those pre-teen years), but I'd like to hope that it'll be the other way around for them. My hope and prayer is that they will inspire each other to be better, kinder, more servant-like women. And for the present, that Anna will inspire Abby to do things like eat and go potty by herself. Gotta keep it real, right?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sweet Girl

I just had to take a minute to share how sweet my little Anna is. We spent a little time making Valentine's Cards for family, and the next day Anna says to me, "Mama, let's make some more Valentine Cards!" I asked who we should make one for, and she replied, "Ooo! I didn't make one for my Abigail yet!" So she promptly sat down to make one. Knowing Abby wouldn't actually know what it was, I just grabbed a scrap sheet of paper, but I thought it turned out pretty sweet. No help from me, by the way! Here's Abby receiving her Valentine.I just love that they love each other so much!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Time goes by...

I cannot believe how fast Abby is growing! It seems like just yesterday I was wondering when she'd ever sleep through the night or crawl or even pull up. Now she's doing all of those things!

Here she is with her favorite helper - the bath tub. Click here to see my 9 month photo shoot attempts. She's moving so fast now, that I can hardly catch her sitting still enough to get a good pic. Can't wait to see how much she's going to grow and change in this coming year!

The best part about the whole thing is probably how sweet my 2 girls are together. They smile and giggle at each other over nothing, and their blooming relationship is so exciting to witness. Especially when it means I can go accomplish a task without either of them hanging on my pant leg!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Even though I've spent 9 long months learning about my newest little girl. I'm realizing that I still have no idea what's going on in her head most of the time. Case in point: The other day while I was making dinner, Abby started to get a little fussy. She woke up from her nap early and had an early lunch, so I was thinking she was just getting hungry again. So, I put her in her high chair and gave her a little snack. A few minutes later, I'm thinking things are really quiet, so I turn around to check on her and see this... Poor girl fell asleep mid-snack and woke up with a nice little red mark on her head from the tray. Guess she was tired? Ah well, I still have hopes that I'll understand her some day...maybe?