The kids are finally back in the classroom, and when they come home from school or sports they are generally ravenous, right? It’s a pretty good bet that if given a choice between chicken nuggets and anything else, my guess is it’s going to be the nuggets. So, why not make them delicious and perhaps healthier than the fast food version? Plus, kids love to cook these days, and if your young ones are old enough to be safe around the cook top and oven, this might be a great meal that they can make themselves! (Studies show that when kids take the initiative to cook a meal, they enjoy not only eating the food, but are more apt to want to learn how to prepare meals more often.) I discovered that on a field trip a few years ago to a Boys & Girls Club where I was teaching a cooking class. About fifty kids huddled around as I taught a hands-on cooking demonstration. They were mesmerized. Many shared their at-home cooking experiences with Mom and Dad. I was, quite frankly, stunned at their interested in every aspect of cooking, whether chopping and dicing, sautéing and of course, sharing what they had prepared. Back to the chicken nuggets. This recipe is fairly simple and super delicious, and it’s the kind of recipe that may flesh out whether you have a budding Jacques Pepin or Julia Child just waiting to cook up something fun for the family!
There’s something so wonderful about fall baking, and it all seems to kick off with pumpkin season! So here are three of my favorite cookies and bars with pumpkin as the star! Whether it’s for your Thanksgiving dessert table or Christmas cookie exchange, these treats will get you in the holiday spirit in the most delightful way!
Let’s make fall official! If you’re crazy for an ultra-moist, rich-tasting cake with a mouthwatering frosting, the Arkansas Pumpkin Cake will help kick off this pumpkin harvest season in a big way! This is a dessert that I absolutely love, and I think you will too! The recipe was sent to me by Mary Koeplin of Glendale, Arizona whose husband John was making the cake for her birthday that day. Little did Mary know that her email actually came on my birthday, and it turned out to be a wonderful gift for me, too!
“Dear Jan, I’m having this cake for my birthday and I think you would love it. I got the recipe in 1973 from my cousin Vivian Hanson who lives in Marietta, Georgia. She gave it to me when I was first married 40 years ago. It’s a very unusual cake in that it stays moist forever! Fall seems to be the best time of the year for this spice cake. We’ve only made it as a Bundt cake and it always turns out well.”
I’ve made Mary’s Arkansas Pumpkin Cake in a large Bundt pan and in a 9X13 inch baking dish. I’ve also made the recipe and divided it into two smaller, 8×8 cake pans and froze one for later. The icing is fabulous with this over-the-top moist dessert, and it’s just as delicious refrigerated as it is room temperature. Thank you, Mary! Yet another reason to be thankful as we kick off the holiday season!
Today, on the 4th of July, I want you to experience freedom! Freedom from the fear of cooking fried chicken at home, and this is just the recipe to do it! It’s absolutely perfect, not only for your Independence Day picnic or celebration, but next Tuesday is National Fried Chicken Day, so you have a legitimate excuse to make a double (or triple!) batch and enjoy it all week! I came across this fried chicken recipe in Cook’s Country Magazine. I was looking for a method that would yield an extra crispy on the outside, super moist on the inside version, and I found it in this recipe! First let’s talk about what makes this chicken moist. It gets soaked in buttermilk and salt brine which helps the chicken retain moisture and also gives it a wonderful flavor. What makes the outside crispy is the combination of flour and spices that the chicken is dredged in, and then refrigerated for several hours or overnight. When you get ready to fry the chicken, that coating has pretty much glued itself to the chicken making it the perfect crispy crust I was hoping for! If your turns out the way I think it will, it’s going to be winner, winner chicken dinner!
Watch my How To Video for Best Fried Chicken here!