Crispy Fried Chicken

Next to cheese fries and a few other amazing things, fried chicken is up there in my top 5 favorite foods. There is nothing better than that perfect crispy breading, and juicy meat, and you can’t forget all the delicious sides that go along. I found this Hot Honey at ALDI and I knew I had to have it with some fried chicken. I learned a life-changing trick from Meg’s Everyday Indulgence that makes sure the breading stays on the chicken while frying. I make this after pickle brining the chicken for 24 hours. You can always omit that or marinade with buttermilk. Serve this fried chicken up with your favorite sides, like mac & cheese, french fries, or a side salad.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Pickle juice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Smashed Garlic for Brine
  • 1 LB Chicken cut of choice, I used drumsticks, can use thighs or breast
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Hot Sauce
  • 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 2 TSP Pepper
  • 2 TSP Paprika
  • 1 TSBP Cayenne Pepper
  • Berryhill Hot Honey [can buy at ALDI]
  • Peanut or Vegetable Oil for fryer

Let’s Get Cooking

In a large bowl, place the pickle juice + garlic + 1 cup of water and add in the chicken. Cover with foil and place in the fridge to rest for 24 hours. Drain chicken from brine and pat dry when ready to use.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs + water + hot sauce and set aside.

On a large plate, whisk together flour + salt + pepper + paprika + cayenne.

Dredge the chicken in the flour, then egg wash, then flour again and place the chicken on the wire rack or baking pan and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meg ensures that this allows the breading to stick to the chicken and she is absolutely right!

Heat the frying oil to 350F and work in batches frying the chicken for about 15-18 minutes or until cooked through.

Drizzle over with hot honey when warm and enjoy.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Fall Tortellini Skillet

When I make lunches for the week I love a dish that can be thrown together in one pan and be done. This recipe from Julia’s Album features roasted fall vegetables and chicken that makes for a perfect one-pan meal. I changed up the spices a little on the butternut squash, taking inspiration from my dad’s “Crack” Roasted Butternut Squash. Just because it’s your lunch for work doesn’t mean it has to lack flavor. For one person, this makes more than enough for 5 days.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, cubed
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TBSP Nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP Cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP Ginger
  • Honey
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 12 oz Brussel Sprouts [I used frozen Brussel sprouts, you can roast them off if you’d like]
  • 9 oz Cheese Tortellini
  • 1 lb Chicken Breast, cubed
  • 1 TSP Smoked Paprika
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 3 TBSP Butter
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Fresh Thyme

Let’s Get Cooking

Start with preheating the oven to 400F.

In a large bowl toss together the butternut squash + 1 TBSP Olive Oil + Chili Powder + Nutmeg + Cinnamon + Ginger + Salt + Pepper + drizzle with honey. Once coated well, spread on a lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes.

You can roast off the brussels sprouts, cut the ends off and in half, with olive oil and salt and pepper for 20-30 minutes in the 400F preheated oven with the squash. I used frozen brussels sprouts in the microwave to save some time.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the tortellini per package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a skillet, add the 2 TBSP of olive oil. Add in the chicken breast when the oil heats. Season the chicken with paprika + salt + pepper. Cook the chicken through and remove from the pan when done.

To the same skillet add butter + 1 TBSP Olive oil + garlic, and cook until garlic softens. Add in the cooked tortellini and coat with butter. Add in the roasted vegetables + chicken and mix until everything is well distributed.

Top with fresh thyme and enjoy.

Made with love,

Hannah

Malted “Forever” Brownies

One of my best friends just took a job as the Director of Athlete Mental Wellness at Michigan State. We are all so freaking proud of her but going to miss her like crazy, so of course, there was a going away party involved. There is no better crowd-pleaser than brownies. It was finally time to break open Claire’s book for her ‘forever’ brownies as she claims that this is the only brownie recipe she will ever create. These brownies are extra chewy and you can add in the optional malted powder for a little extra dose of chocolate. You need an 8×8 in pan, Claire calls for preferably metal.

Ingredients

  • Butter for the pan
  • 1/4 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 5oz Semisweet Chocolate [64-68% Cacao]
  • 6 TBSP Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Neutral Oil, vegetable
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/2 TSP Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 TBSP Malted Milk Powder, optional
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 Cup Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped

Let’s Get Baking

Preheat the oven to 350F and line the pan with 2 sheets of foil, crossing one over the other and pressing into the corners. Lightly butter and set aside.

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into 1/4 cup boiling water until smooth.

Add in the semisweet chocolate + butter + oil into the large bowl with the cocoa mixture and set it over a medium saucepan filled with about 1in of simmering water, make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Warm the mixture, gently stirring occasionally until the butter and chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from heat and let it cool until lukewarm.

Whisk in the granulated and brown sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add in the whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla and whisk ‘vigorously’ until the mixture comes together and looks glossy and thick.

Add in the flour + malted milk powder [if using] + salt and whisk slowly until everything is combined. Add in the milk chocolate and fold in with a spatula. Scrap the batter into the prepared ban, spreading it into an even layer.

Bake the brownies until the surface is shiny and puffed, for about 25-30 minutes. [I had to bake for 35, it all depends on your oven].

Allow the brownies to cool for an hour before placing them into the fridge for another hour [allows for chewier texture]. Use the foil to lift out of the pan and cut into about 16 squares & enjoy.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Snoop Dog’s ‘Mack & Cheese’

I first off want to clarify that this is Snoop Dog’s WIFE’s, Shante Broadus’s, mac and cheese recipe. I feel that is important to point out because she deserves all the credit here. The original recipe calls for 5 cups of extra sharp cheddar. Instead, I did half with Colby-jack but you do not have to! I bought fall-shaped noodles from ALDI so I was incredibly excited to make this. I have nothing more to say about this recipe other than you need to make it and the nutmeg is game-changing.

Ingredients

  • 2 TSP Salt + more for the water
  • 1lb Elbow macaroni, or cute fall shapes
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 4 TBSP Unsalted Butter
  • 2 1/2 Cups Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • 2 1/2 Cups Shredded Colby Jack
  • 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 TSP Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 TSP Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 TSP Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 TSP Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 TSP Cayenne Pepper

Let’s Get Cooking

Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly butter a 9×13 in baking dish.

Bring a large pot of water, heavily salted, to boil. Add in the macaroni and cook 1 minute less than the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a small saucepan over MED heat, combine the milk and cream and gently heat. Be careful not to boil.

While the milk heats, in a large skillet over MED heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour and whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add in the warmed milk. Cook for 2 minutes whisking frequently or until thickened. Adjust the heat as needed so the milk does not boil.

Gradually add in half of the Colby jack and half the cheddar cheese. Whisk until fully incorporated and smooth. Add in the sour cream and whisk until smooth. Add in pepper + dry mustard + cayenne + Worcestershire sauce + nutmeg. Season with salt.

Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir until combined. Spoon the mixture into the buttered dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Serve warm and enjoy.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

I feel that apple cider unfairly takes spot #2 when it comes to fall flavors. Pumpkin always reigns supreme but I respectfully disagree. This doughnut cake from Princess Pinky Girl truly showcases that apple and cinnamon should be the real stars of fall flavors. My mom made this cake for a dinner with friends and I had to get the recipe from her to share because it may be one of my new favorite fall desserts.

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider
  • 1/4 TSP Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Cinnamon Apple Sauce
  • 3 Large Eggs, room temp
  • 1 TBSP Brown Sugar
  • 1 TSP Vanilla
  • 1/4 TSP + 2 TBSP Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted

Apple Cider Glaze

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider

Let’s Get Bakin’

Preheat the oven to 350F

In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix + apple cider + apple sauce + water + eggs, and mix until well combined. Add in 1/4 TSP cinnamon + brown sugar + vanilla and mix well.

Lightly butter a bundt pan and flour it as well. Pour the cake mixture into the bundt pan and cook for 45 minutes. Once done, remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove from the pan once cooled.

To make the glaze: combine the powdered sugar + apple cider in a small bowl. Whisk until desired consistency.

In a separate bowl mix together the cinnamon + sugar. Once the cake has cooled, brush the surface with the melted butter. Coat the cake with cinnamon sugar.

Serve the cake with the glaze drizzled over the slices.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Brunch Burger

This burger is created after I was torn between breakfast for dinner or a hamburger. I decided to combine them for the best of both worlds. The burger turned into an absolute monster, featuring avocado, a hashbrown patty, bacon, and a fried egg. I would not recommend this burger if you’re looking for a ‘light’ meal. I have no regrets about it, hell I’d serve it with a Bloody Mary if I could. This recipe is just for one, so modify it as needed if making for more!

Ingredients

  • Hamburger Bun
  • Hamburger patty [ I made this from a pre-made patty my mom gave me, can always make your own from ground beef]
  • Half an Avocado, sliced
  • 1 Hashbrown Patty
  • 1 Slice of Bacon
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Slice Cheddar Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Let’s Get Cooking

To get started, cook your hashbrown patty per your preference, I like to do it in the air fryer, but you can bake it in the oven as well. Cook per package directions. Cook your bacon in a pan to your desired doneness, I like mine a little bit chewy but to each their own. Remove the bacon from the pan and place cooked bacon on paper towels. Place the pan back on the stove as we will cook our patty using the same pan.

Form your patty, or if you are using a pre-made one, salt and pepper on both sides. Cook the patty to your desired doneness, I prefer med-rare, so about 6 minutes each side. Remove the burger from heat and fry your egg in the same pan. Add extra olive oil if needed.

Toast your buns and now it’s time to build.

Bottom bun + sliced avocado + hashbrown + bacon + burger + cheese + fried egg + top bun

Enjoy for brunch or whenever you want!

Made with Love,
Hannah

Jalapeño Skillet Corn Bread

Corn bread is the perfect side dish, especially in the fall, and with chili. It’s crumbly and sweet which pairs so beautifully with spicy main dishes. I like a skillet cornbread because the crispy edges are my fav. I took a spin off of this Food Network Skillet cornbread and made it my own ft. bacon fat and jalapeños (obvi makes it 10 times better). Make using your grandma’s cast iron skillet, or one that you thrifted, like me.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Slices of Bacon
  • 2 Jalapeños, finely diced
  • 1 1/4 Cups Coarsely Ground Cornmeal
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 TSP Kosher Salt
  • 2 TSP Baking Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 1/3 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 TBSP Unsalted butter, melted.
  • 1 TBSP Honey

Let’s Get Cooking

Preheat the oven to 375F

Grab your cast iron and begin cooking your bacon on MED heat. Cook the bacon until done and remove and set aside. [We only need the bacon fat so if you want to eat it, give it to the dogs, or even through it in the cornbread if you so wish, do what you want].

Keep the bacon fat in the cast iron and place it in the hot oven.

In a large bowl mix together the cornmeal + flour + sugar + salt + baking powder + baking soda. Add in the butter milk + eggs + melted butter. Add in the jalapeño’s and mix well.

Carefully grab the hot cast iron and pour the batter into the skillet. Place back in the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes.

After removing from the oven, drizzle the honey over and brush to coat the top of the cornbread. Once cool, cut and enjoy.

Made with Love,

Hannah

‘Bleu by You’ Burger

Back with another Bob’s Burgers burger recipe. Who would have thought a cookbook based on a cartoon has some of the best burger recipes around, I WOULD HAVE. I would consider this burger fancy, I mean it involves a red wine reduction so pull out your fancy napkins and dive in.

Ingredients

  • 1 LB Thick-cut Bacon
  • 2 Small Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 3 TBSP Butter
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Red Wine, I like the Dark Horse red blend
  • 1 LB Ground Beef
  • 4 oz Bleu Cheese, diced
  • 1 Bunch Red Swiss Chard, stalks removed & leaves cut into thick ribbons
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 4 Buns

Let’s Get Cooking

Cook the bacon on the stove top or in the oven, until crispy

Saute the onions and garlic with 2 TBSP of butter over MED heat. Cook until the onions are translucent.

In the same pan, add in the tomatoes + wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it cook down for about 2 minutes, then lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally, and after about 5 minutes stir in the other TBSP of butter. Continue to simmer until the reduction thickens, enough to cover the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Pour through a straining into a bowl to remove the solids, set the red wine reduction aside.

Fold in the bleu cheese into the beef and gently form into 4 patties. Press a thumb gently into one side of the patty, creating a small indent. Season both sides with salt + pepper. The cheese may ooze a little so be careful flipping.

Saute the chard leaves with a bit of olive oil over MED heat. Add salt and stir continuously until wilted.

Toast the buns and then it’s time to build:

Bottom Bun – Burger – Bacon – Sautéed Chard – Red Wine Reduction – Top Bun

Serve with fries & enjoy!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Anthony Bourdain’s Saffron Risotto

I know I’ve said it before, risotto is all about patience. So if you don’t have patience, don’t make it; if you’re working on your patience maybe give it a try. There’s nothing daunting about risotto, it’s just time consuming. Anthony’s recipe focuses on simple ingredients to make excellent side dish, or for me, a main course.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Quarts Chicken Stock
  • Generous pinch of Saffron Threads
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Carnaroli Rice, or sushi rice, it’s all the same small grain
  • 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir
  • 4 TBSP Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • Salt to taste

Let’s Get Cooking

Pour half the stock into small pot and add in the saffron threads. Bring to a low simmer over med-low heat.

In another medium pot, heat up the oil over med-low heat and add in the onion. Stir to coat the onions in the oil and cook until they are soft, but not browned, about 5 min. Stir in the rice and increase the heat to med-high heat. Cook about 3-4 min, until the rice smells toasty. Decrease the heat to med-low and add in the wine, stir until the wine is absorbed and the smell has cooked off.

One ladle at a time, add in the saffron infused stock, stirring the rice as it becomes absorbed. Once all the saffron stock has been added, heat the remaining stock in the same pot and use for the rice. Taste the rice for doneness, it should be tender and cooked through.

Beat in the butter and cheese into the hot rice mixture with a wooden spoon. Season with salt & enjoy!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Steak Salad

No one wants a lame salad at work. I am not one who enjoys getting like a rabbit, but I understand some people like it. Anyway, lets spice up this salad with some steak and pretty much whichever toppings you enjoy. Idea and recipe for the Balsamic dressing comes from Longbourn Farm.

Ingredients

  • Salad greens of your choosing
  • Steak, I used 2 smaller cuts I found at the store
  • Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
  • Cucumbers, quartered
  • Red onion, sliced into ribbons
  • Green Onions
  • Goat Cheese [or cheese of your choosing]
  • Salt + Pepper

For Dressing:

  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 TSP minced garlic
  • 2 TSP Honey
  • 1 TSP Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1/4b TSP Pepper

Let’s Get Cooking

Heat a skillet on the stove to MED-HIGH heat. Cook the steak to your liking, I prefer med-rare so I went about 4 min per side. Remove steak from heat and LET IT REST! That part is important, this allows the juices to reabsorb and not get lost in the process of immediately cutting it.

Prep the rest of your ingredients and throw into a large bowl.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a closed container and shake to mix.

Cut the steak into strips once cooled and add to the salad. Place in your separate containers for lunches and keep the dressing on the side, or dress and serve immediately.

Made with Love,

Hannah