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Sassy's Southern Kitchen

Fried Chicken Tenders and Honey Mustard Sauce

What’s better than a plate of tender, fried chicken strips? Tell me if you know! For this southern gal, there are few foods that taste better than a plate of fried chicken. When done right, fried chicken is the ultimate comfort food that appeals to all ages. Recently Friar Tyst and I have discovered the best method for breading and frying chicken strips, and let me tell you, it is a game changer. Now, I’m just as much of a believer in the paper bag method as the next gal, but….there’s another way to do it that will change your life, and its so simple! All you need to do is mix the dry breading ingredients in a bowl, and the wet in a shallow dish. That’s it! Somehow the tossing motion of the bowl method gives the chicken a thicker, crisper breading. Oh! I almost forgot to mention the star of the show. Honey Mustard sauce. If you think you’ve tasted the best honey mustard, think again! Queenbee finally shared  her secret recipe with me. Here it is: light mayo, honey, and yellow mustard. That’s it. It blew my mind that something so simple could taste so good…with everything! The key here is to use fresh honey from a local seller, don’t fall for the store-bought kind, it’s not the same. You can use whatever kind of yellow mustard your little heart desires, it’s all the same to me. For all of you Baptists and fellow church youth out there, this is the best example I can give you of how good this recipe is:

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In short, try this recipe, you won’t be dissapointed.

Fried Chicken Strips: 4 large chicken breasts (preferably farm-raised), 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups Italian or Panko breadcrumbs, 4 large brown eggs, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. ground black peppercorns, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. Flavor Mate Original seasoning blend.

On a plastic cutting board or other flat, washable surface, use a sharp knife to slice each chicken breast into thirds. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, breadcrumbs, and spices. Whisk until well combined. In a separate, shallow dish, whisk the eggs together until well combined. Add about one inch of vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to heat up while you bread the chicken. Create an assembly line with the chicken, wet, and dry ingredients in that order to make frying easy. Using a fork, dip a chicken strip into the eggs, let the excess drip off and use tongs to toss the strip in the dry ingredients. Shake off the excess and place the breaded strip into the skillet. Continue until all the chicken has been breaded and placed in the skillet. You should have a dozen chicken strips. Allow the strips to cook over medium heat for about three to four minutes per side. When the chicken is done on both sides, transfer it to a serving dish and begin making the honey mustard dipping sauce.

Honey Mustard Sauce: 1 cup light mayo, 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. yellow mustard, 2 tsp. honey.

Whisk together all of the ingredients in small mixing bowl. Serve immediately. Feel free to play around with the measurements here, just do what tastes good to you.:)

Be-dee-be-dee-be-dee that’s all for now folks!Image result for porky pig

Love,

Sassy

 

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One Pot Flourless Shells and Cheese

In honor of my birthday month, I am posting my new favorite recipe for my favorite food, macaroni and cheese. Ah, there have been many happy days spent with cheesy pasta as my companion. Even though it is not necessarily good for me, I will always be in love with macaroni and cheese. We have a lifelong relationship that will never be ended. This recipe produces what is probably the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had. If you are sick and tired of school, studying, learning, work, trying to earn enough money to survive, making an effort in general….then this recipe will lift your spirits and comfort your weary mind and body. I especially like how the longhorn colby and sharp cheddar work together to create greatness. Let me tell you how it went down. Last month I experienced a mental block when it came to cooking. I had lost my creative spirit, I had no desire to create new recipes. After determining that there was nothing seriously wrong with me and that I had simply succumbed to flu season and laziness….I plucked up my courage and returned to my roots. Mac and cheese. The food of my youth, the favorite of my life. As the flavors and scents filled my senses, my bowl, my mouth, and my stomach, I realized that my creativity was back and that this dish had proved to be the inspiration I needed. Onto a completely different topic….If you’re wondering why I have not filled up this post with memes and humor, it is because I am, at the moment, fresh out of humor. That is because there is only one purpose to this post: try this recipe, it’ll change your life.

The Ingredients: 16 oz. small or medium shells, 2 cups fat-free evaporated milk, 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, 2 tbsp. butter, 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup grated longhorn style Colby cheese, 1/2 tsp. ground peppercorns, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. salt, additional 1/3 cup grated cheese.

In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, add the broth, milk, and butter. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. When the mixture is simmering, add the pasta and the spices. Stir the pasta occasionally while it cooks, mainly to keep it from sticking. Let the pasta cook at medium heat until al dente. When the pasta reaches the al dente stage, reduce the heat to low and add the cheese. At this point you can add additional salt and or pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and continue to stir the mixture until the cheese is fully melted and the mixture comes together. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and serve immediately. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!

Love,

Sassy

P. S. You may have noticed that my photographer has returned! Isn’t it great??? I’m sure you will all take this opportunity to check your eyes into recovery after seeing my food photography….:)

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Our house has been hit with cold and flu season. I know, it’s the worst. To all of you fellow humans who find yourself sniffing, snorting, coughing, blowing your nose until its raw and red, swallowing every five seconds to see if your throat is still sore, trying every home remedy in the book as a vain attempt to find relief, and basically trying to survive in general, I feel for you, I really do. You know when you are so bored that you find yourself watching a YouTube video of someone making DIY toxin-free soap in a rooster costume? Yes, I have been that bored at times in my life. Any-who, for when you are sick and have literally run out of things to occupy yourself, you can read scrumptious recipes and dream of the day when you will feel well enough to eat something besides chicken soup and herbal tea, which are basically sweet and savory versions of the same so-called food. As I am currently feeling less than creative, today I am sharing with you a timeless recipe that has been in our family for as long as I can remember. We have always fondly referred to this delicacy as boiled cookies….but…..because this sounds a little strange as a recipe title, I opted for a more appealing name. For those of you who did not have a grandmother/mother/aunt/neighbor/Sunday school teacher who was always handing out baked goodies when you were a kid, boiled cookies are basically chocolate, butter, and quick oats boiled together to make a decadent version of oatmeal cookies. Glad I could clear that up for you. Now, onto the recipe!

Chocolate, butter, and quick oats boiled together to make a decadent version of oatmeal cookies: 1 stick butter, 4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk or evaporated milk, 2 tbsp. chunky peanut butter, 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 2 1/2 cups quick oats.

Place a piece of wax paper onto a mostly clean counter top.;) In a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter has melted, add the cocoa and milk of choice. Whisk until well combined. Turn the heat up to high and whisk the mixture constantly until it comes to a rolling boil. Continue whisking and let the mixture boil for about three minutes. When the mixture is slightly thickened, turn off the heat and whisk in the peanut butter. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the quick oats and chocolate chips. If the mixture does not form a soft ball, add another half cup of quick oats. Portion the cookies out onto the wax paper using a cookie scoop. This should make anywhere from 12-14 cookies. If desired, top with additional chocolate chips and raisins. Enjoy!

Love, 

Sassy;)

Easy Taco Lasagna

Greetings friends, neighbors, and fellow foodies! It is I, Sassy, here to share with you delicious recipes, excerpts from my unique brain, advice, truths, and random humorous observations! Today is no exception, as I plan to combine all the delicious qualities of this recipe with as much original humor as you can stand! Here’s how this recipe went down….there I was, standing in front of a fridge that needed to be restocked. I saw a bag of burrito style tortillas, a container of leftover rice, a spoonful of leftover turkey chili, an open can of tomato paste, and a bag of shredded cheese. I also noticed a can of beans in the pantry. What to make, what to make? I decided to gather all of my courage and create my own version of those taco lasagna recipes that are always circling like vultures on Pinterest. Why did I need courage? Well, let me put it this way:

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Thank you Boromir, for those words of wisdom. Now, onto the recipe!

How to make tortillas and leftovers taste good: 6 burrito style tortillas, 1/2 cup leftover chili (or 1/2 cup tomato sauce), 2 tbsp. tomato paste, 1 can Great Northern beans, 1 can diced tomatoes (drained), 1/2 cup canned corn, 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, 1 cup cooked ground turkey, 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray the bottom of a casserole pan with cooking spray, or, if you’re feeling naughty, grease it within an inch of it’s life with butter. In a medium bowl, mix together the rice, beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce or chili, diced tomatoes, and corn together until well combined. Rip (or calmly slice using the plastic knife your mother got you for Christmas, very funny mom) all of the tortillas into halves. Place four tortilla halves into the bottom of the pan. Top these with half of the rice mixture. Sprinkle the red pepper over this layer and top with four more tortilla halves. Spread the remaining rice mixture over the second layer of tortillas. Top this with the ground turkey. Arrange the remaining tortilla halves over the top and top these with the remaining cheese. Bake the casserole for twenty minutes. Serves 6.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I am not following the new year trends of other bloggers by posting meat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free, otherwise known as happiness-free recipes. I have only one answer for you.

Image result for i ain't got time for that

Love, 

Sassy:-)

Happy Belated Birthday Mr. Health Inspector!

Happy belated Birthday Mr. Health Inspector! Let me start out by saying that I am so sorry for not getting this post up sooner. Life has been a little crazy lately…..;) Thank you so much for being such a great brother to all of your siblings! One of my favorite things about you is your creative side, you are always coming up with games we could play as a family both indoors and outdoors. Thank you for always trying to find ways to serve others. God has given you a heart for people, you care about them and want to give them hope. You have the gift of caring and serving, you would go out of your way to help someone else, expecting nothing in return. And another thing, you’re getting really old! What happened to those bonny bygone days of our childhood (squabbling and competing….)? They have long since past, but the memories will always be there. But before I am run away with nostalgia, let me list out some of the qualities that make you who you are!

Just: You care deeply about everything being fair for everyone. You see people as equal, no matter their race, religion, etc. You are concerned with justice for all.

Unashamed: You are unashamed of your faith, and want to share it with others. You are not afraid to be who God made you to be.

Sympathetic: You are sympathetic to the needs of others, and want to help them through their problems.

Tenacious: You have a persistence and tenacity that is sometimes frightening (in a good way, of course). You are very competitive in many ways.

Intelligent: You are very smart and have a lot of knowledge to share, I have learned many invaluable lessons from you throughout my life. Without you I never would have made it through high school.:)

Noble: You have very high moral principles, and your standards are way above average, but you stick to them, never backing down on the things that matter.

In conclusion, you are a very important, invaluable member of my esteemed cooking team, and I couldn’t do life without you! Happy belated Birthday!

 

Merry Belated Christmas! (+random updates and humor)

Hello again! I hope that everyone reading this had a great Christmas season with their families and friends! I’m sure that you noticed that I have been absent for most of this month, this is something that was not planned. Our family has gone through some health issues and other challenging circumstances this holiday season, and I was overloaded with college finals up until a few days before Christmas. So, as you can see, I have not had time to write sarcastic posts that highlight the humorous aspects of cooking and the like.:) On the bright side, in little more than a week I will be embarking on my junior year in college! This is both exciting and somewhat apprehensive for me, as I will be taking higher level classes and gaining field experience for my chosen career. Comment below if ya’ll are excited for the New Year! My response to the new year will likely be one of the following:

(A)

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(B)

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On a side note, this is exactly how I look when I try to smile…..

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If you haven’t grasped the concept by now, I am basically the living version of sadness from inside out,  I even like the color blue and wear blue glasses…..shout out to all fellow sad pals out there! Sometimes crying does help!

Onto a completely different topic, I think the majority of Walmart clientele is choosing option B from the photo below….

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On yet another side note, the below meme was my rationalization yesterday while eating a slice of red velvet cake covered in chocolate buttercream with a layer of chocolate mousse in the middle. Someday I’ll tell you how to make it, and when I do, you’ll think the same thing:

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So Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Valentine’s Day if I don’t make it back here before then!;P  I hope that at the very least, this post has made you laugh and brightened your day, that’s the best I can hope for at this point….:)

 

One Pan of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Rice!

Why is rice necessary to the American diet? What ever happened to mashed potatoes? Gravy? The good stuff? However, before I get carried away, let me introduce you to a little something I like to call….I Can’t Believe it’s Not Rice! That’s right, you guessed it, today we’re cooking with orzo! Haha that was almost as good as that food channel with fake people haha……(cough cough Food Network cough). You may ask, why did I name this recipe I Can’t Believe it’s Not Rice? 1. Because it’s the first thing that came to mind. 2. Because I’m rebelling against the system in which things can only be called I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Why stop at only imitation butter? How about I Can’t Believe it’s Not Cranberry Sauce? Haha gotcha that already exists, it’s just called gelatin-cylinder-with-red-food-coloring-and-artificial-fruit-flavor. But in all seriousness, how about I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cat Food? Haha gotcha again that already exists! It’s known by common people as flat-metal-can-containing-substance-known-as-tuna-fish. You cannot prove to me that this substance is actually safe for human consumption! You know what it is? It’s actually cat food for humans! I can prove it!

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Ah ha! Is this cat food….or tuna? We may never know…..

The Ingredients: 2 cups shredded bird meat (rotisserie chicken or whatever you can find in your backyard), 2 cups I can’t believe it’s not rice (orzo), 1 can of tomatoes who have given up on life (diced tomatoes), 6 green onions, 1 cup of white, salty dust that claims to be Parmesan cheese, 2 cups tinted, salty liquid (low sodium chicken broth or 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cups of boiling water), a whole bunch of spices to redeem this mess (garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, black pepper, Garlic & Herb spice blend, Flavor Mate Original Seasoning Blend).

Pour the broth into the biggest skillet you have over medium heat. When little bubbles start appearing on the surface (simmering), add the I can’t believe it’s not rice! (orzo), and stir well. Add the tomatoes who have given up on life and stir to combine. Using a large knife, violently whack (calmly slice) the green onions into chunks. Add these to the skillet. Dump varying amounts of spices into the pan, and stir to combine (1 tsp. of each spice, except for the black pepper, let your taste buds guide you on that one). Continue to stir until the mixture thickens considerably. Add the chicken and Parmesan to the pan. Stir the contents well and turn off the heat. Serve the I can’t believe it’s not rice to your family! Enjoy! Makes four huge portions, six generous portions, seven normal sized portions, ten small portions, or twelve tiny portions. No, those calculations are not mathematically sound, I just made them up, haha!

Here’s a pan full of gruel! Enjoy my excellent photography skills!;)

Or you could exit the post and exclaim angrily

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Best Wishes regarding your eating habits,

Sassy

 

In the Pursuit of a Cookie: A Docudrama

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..what are these times you may ask? The answer is not simple, yet, I feel that it can best be summed up in a single question. What can happen in the pursuit of a cookie? In the pursuit of a cookie one may innocently select one from the pile, consume it, select another, consume it as well…and so it goes. However, in the pursuit of a cookie one can experience the most unusual and climatic circumstances that will leave them to wonder, why? It so happens that one day Queenbee was in the pursuit of one such cookie, it beckoned to her from afar as she was doing laundry. As their eyes met, they both knew that it was meant to be. Yet what Queenbee could not know was that this cookie, this sweet, chocolate-chip studded cylinder, would lead her astray. As her will responded to the call of desire….Queenbee had a great fall! As the world descended before her eyes, the cookie looked on from its place on the baking sheet, thinking that the personage of its affections was slipping out of reach. The cookie shed a chocolaty tear as Queenbee was taken to the hospital to be treated for a fractured wrist. In the dark hours of the night, the cookie grew cold and dry as it listened to the news that Queenbee would be in surgery a few days hence. As the days past and the surgery was accomplished, Queenbee forgot the cookie, and finally, the cookie, now stale and past it’s prime, was thrown in the trash and sent to the land where all uneaten cookies go. This is known as Cookieaven: The Land of Eternal Longing. Alas, by now other cookies have taken that place of that forsaken cookie, and are currently sitting in a Ziploc bag on the counter downstairs, hoping that one day, they will soon be given the honor of becoming one with the taste buds of their supreme benefactor, Queenbee.

Our Family’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes!

UPDATE: This is a post that I put up every Thanksgiving, however, you may notice that over the years the recipes have been adapted to fit our health needs. Feel free to alter these recipes to fit your taste-buds and health needs! I hope that you and your family and friends enjoy spending the Thanksgiving holiday together. God bless you all!

Today I am sharing our family’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes that have been passed down to me through the generations, some of them are Southern Baptist favorites and others are more unconventional. The first one I am sharing with you is my personal favorite, this is my grandmother’s recipe, she makes it every year and it is always delicious.

Brown Sugar & Spice Sweet Potato Casserole: 5-6 sweet potatoes, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup cane sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 stick butter, 2-3 eggs, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. Boil sweet potatoes whole for 30 minutes, remove skins. Mash the sweet potatoes in a large baking dish and stir in milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined. In a small bowl, mix together cane sugar, flour, and additional cinnamon. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

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Next up, the turkey!

Ingredients: 1 16-20 pound fresh turkey, 1 tbsp. garlic, 1 tbsp. basil, 1 tbsp. rosemary, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. cumin, 1 tbsp. no salt seasoning, 12 tbsp. melted butter, 1 whole onion, 4 whole carrots, 4 pieces of celery, 1 bell pepper (optional). Halve all of your vegetables. Remove turkey from bag, stuff the cavity with the veggies. Mix together spices and softened butter, rub the butter mixture over the surface of the turkey until coated. Place the bird in a oven safe bag and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, place turkey (still in oven bag) in a roasting pan. Cook at 425 degrees for one hour, reduce heat to 345 degrees and bake for an additional 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Carve turkey and serve while warm.

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Cornbread Dressing has long been a traditional Thanksgiving food for our family, the original recipe was created by great-grandmother, this is Queenbee’s  favorite and a southern baptist classic.

Southern Cornbread Dressing: 1 pan of cornbread (crumbled), 2 cups Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing, 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth, 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, 3 eggs, 1/2 yellow onion (diced), 4 stalks celery (diced), 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. basil, 2 tsp. parsley flakes, 1 tsp. no salt seasoning. Combine all ingredients in a large casserole pan, mix well. Add more broth if needed. Bake at 350 degrees for 50  minutes.

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Many like to have Broccoli & WIld Rice Casserole as a Thanksgiving side, but we have always preferred Broccoli & Cheese Casserole.

Classic Broccoli & Cheese Casserole: 1 medium head of broccoli, 1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup (or 4 eggs whisked together with 1 cup of sauteed mushrooms), 1 cup crushed Club crackers, 1 cup grated cheddar cheese. Steam broccoli for 20 minutes, combine with soup (or egg substitute) in a baking dish, stir well. Top with cracker crumbs and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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We can’t forget dessert! This is one of my mom’s classic recipes, no one makes it better than her!

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Meringue Topping: 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 4 tbsp. cocoa, 1 1/2 cups milk, 4 tbsp. butter, 3 egg yolks, 3 egg whites. The Pie Filling: Melt butter in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, bake your prepared pie crust at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit. Combine all remaining ingredients in the saucepan. Whisk until combined, be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and pour into prepared pie crust. Set aside and top with chocolate chips (optional). The Meringue: Place egg whites and and two tablespoons of sugar into the bowl of a mixer and let sit on the stove while you make the pie. Using the whisk attachment, mix on high for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Spread the meringue evenly over the pie filling and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

As you can see, we got a little carried away with the meringue:)

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I hope that you enjoy these recipes as much as we have over the years!

P.S. Here’s a little something to make you laugh!

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Love, 

Sassy

 

 

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