Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Breaded Baked Chicken

This is our homemade breaded chicken. For breading, I use store bought organic bread crumbs. If preferred, a couple methods for making bread crumbs are 1) my mother-in-law's way: lightly toast bread, cool, and grate with a cheese grater, or 2) my old way: pulverize untoasted pieces of bread in a food processor.

4 chicken breasts
4 T butter, melted
1 c bread crumbs (from bread at least one day old)
Sprinkling of salt & fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 T Italian herb mix or rosemary
optional:  sliced American cheese, broken into small pieces

Bake at 375 deg, 45 min or until completely cooked when sliced
1. Preheat oven. Melt butter and pour into a pie or cake pan.
1. Combine bread crumbs, salt & pepper, and herbs in a separate pie pan.
2. Drag each piece of chicken through melted butter, then bread crumbs.
3. Place in a 9”x13” casserole dish or pan.
4. Bake (see "Bake" above).
5.  optional:  5 min before done, top with American cheese.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla beans are available at most health food stores and spice specialty stores.

3/4 c Vodka
Vanilla, about 2-4 beans (however many come in a packet), sliced lengthwise

1. Pour vodka and vanilla (entire bean, pod and seeds) in a glass bottle. I washed out a soy sauce bottle and marked a "full" line with indelible ink for adding more vodka later.
2. Shake, store in a dark cupboard. Wait 2 weeks before first use, shaking occasionally. Shake just before using. Add more vodka as needed.
3. Replace vanilla beans after 6 months.

(Ruth Yaron, 1999. See "References".)


I like cereal and look forward to eating this granola in the morning with milk. I always eat fresh fruit with breakfast; fresh berries in the granola are nice. I started making my own vanilla since I use so much, see "staples" list. I also started buying herbs and spices in bulk from a spice shop and sesame seeds from a health food store.
Parchment paper is wonderful for easy cleanup and, in this recipe, to prevent the granola from sticking to the pans. It can be found in the store next to aluminum foil. I save used paper and reuse.

5 c rolled oats
1 c raw sunflower seeds
1 c raw sesame seeds
1 c flaxseeds (I use roasted whole, ground flaxseed is fine)
1/2 c wheat germ
2 t cinnamon
1 c vegetable oil, sunflower oil works well
1 c honey
2 T vanilla

Bake at 350 °F, 18-20 min, until toasted light brown
1. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In very large bowl, stir together oats, coconut, sunflower, flax, and sesame seeds, wheat germ, and cinnamon. A wooden spoon works well.
3. in 2 c glass measuring cup, mix together oil, honey, and vanilla.
4. Pour liquid ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir with large wooden spoon. Spread onto 2 cookie sheets. Bake (see "Bake" above).
5. Let cool completely. Then break into bite size pieces.

Store on a shelf in sealed containers.

Blueberry Popovers and Crepes

Blueberry Popovers

This is a quick, easy recipe! “Popovers” might not be very accurate. These muffins don’t puff. They do pop into hungry mouths easily at our house, though. They work nicely for company because they’re basically the same tasty recipe as crepes after adding milk, recipe below, but you aren’t stuck at the stove flipping cakes for half an hour. I’ve also used them instead of cupcakes at my son’s preschool on his birthday, with kids’ complements. These can be made without blueberries, too, but once I put them in, I never looked back.

Makes about 24 popovers

2 c milk
1 c flour
½ t salt
1 T sugar
4 eggs
4 T melted butter
1 ½ c blueberries, ice melted under running water if frozen

Don’t preheat the oven.
1. Butter two 12-cup muffin pans. Even non-stick surfaces stick, so best to butter.
2. In large bowl, pour in milk, then add flour and wisk. Flour mixes easily with cold milk.
3. Add salt, sugar, and eggs. Wisk. Add melted butter. Wisk.
4. Pour batter into each muffin cup until 2/3 full.
5. Place muffin tins in oven and turn oven to 400 deg. Place muffin tins side by side on the same rack. Bake for 30 min.
6. Loosen edges carefully with a table knife. Keep warm until ready to serve by turning off oven and leaving door ajar.


Makes about 14 crepes

Same ingredients as popovers except use an additional ½ c milk.
Optional: 1 1/2 c blueberries or apple cubes with cinnamon

1. Mix ingredients as instructed for popovers with an additional 1/2 c milk. Stir in optional fruit.
2. Heat one or two 8” frying pans on medium heat.
3. Lightly butter pan before each crepe (using butter or clarified butter, which doesn't burn as easily). Make one crepe at a time by pouring 1/3 c batter into pan. When bottom of crepe is golden brown, flip to cook other side.

Serve with butter and sugar or maple syrup.