family · food · reviews · through my camera lens

Alton Brown’s Chicken Parm

If you follow me on I/G, you may have noticed that I’ve started playing “What am I making for dinner” as my I/G story from time to time.

This recipe was shared on there, and yes there were a LOT more pictures on my I/G story, but I took a few to share on here too.

Richard and I are HUGE Alton Brown fans. We have seen him live twice, watch him on YouTube and his tv shows. I also follow him in I/G and Facebook, oh and have one of his cookbooks that I use all the time. When he announced that he was re-launching Good Eats, we knew we’d be watching and making more of his recipes.

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The first episode was Chicken Parm. Who doesn’t love a GOOD chicken parm? Don’t get me wrong there are some really bad or just ok chicken parms out there, but I love a good chicken parm. So we decided this would be a good one to try… so we did!

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  • 2  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 120 grams (1 cup) plain breadcrumbs
  • 20 grams salt and vinegar potato chips, not kettle cooked or thick cut
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 70 grams (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour (I needed more)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup red sauce, divided, recipe follows
  • 2 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 ounces Italian fontina, shredded
  • 2 ounces of Parmesan, shredded
  1. Cut the flattened chicken into 6-8 pieces per breast.
  2. Salt and place on a rack on top of a cookie sheet
  3. Cover and refrigerate 30 min
  4. This is when I made the red sauce, see below for steps and heated the oven to broil
  5. Combine the breadcrumbs, potato chips, oregano, parsley and garlic powder in a gallon zip-top bag and crush into a course meal.
  6. set up a breading station (flour, egg, crumbs from step 5).
  7. Dry off chicken then put through the breading process. place on another rack over a cookie sheet to collect any excess coating
  8. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in skillet over medium heat. When the butter foams, add half the breaded chicken to the pan, but don’t overcrowd. Cook, undisturbed, until crisp and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the clean rack, wipe out the pan and repeat with the remaining butter, oil and chicken
  9. Spread 3/4 cup of the red sauce into the bottom of a a 9-by-13-inch broiler-safe baking dish and broil about 2 minutes.
  10. Remove the dish from the oven and arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer. Dot the chicken with the remaining red sauce,  Scatter the cheeses over the sauce.
  11. put back under the broiler until the cheese begins to brown
  12. enjoy!

Red Sauce

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  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Two 28-ounce cans peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • One 2-inch Parmesan rind
  1. grate garlic on micoplane to form a paste
  2. mix with 1/4 cup EVOO and salt
  3. cook in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until it begins to brown
  4. add the anchovies and break down with a wooden spatula
  5. add strained tomatoes and break up with wooden spatula
  6. submerge the Parmesan rind
  7. reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 1 hour or until the sauce looks “dry”
  8. discard the rind and use the rest for the chicken parm


This was sooooooo good. We really enjoyed this chicken parm. I used 3 breasts since that was what was in the pack we purchased. Since it didn’t all fit into the pan we had some that did not have sauce on it. This was a really good breaded chicken patty.

So here is what I’d do different… I enjoyed the sauce that was in the bottom of the pan that had been broiled, but I didn’t like having the chicken on top of it as it started to get soggy. So next time I will put one pan in the oven with just sauce, and another one with the chicken and cheese and make my own chicken parms tableside!


food · reviews · through my camera lens

Pub Cookies

Richard and some of his co-workers were having a craft beer exchange at work on Thursday. I decided that was the perfect reason to bake! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to bake. I started by searching through my pile of recipes we cut out the of the food network magazines. There I found a brownie recipe that used beer in it. I didn’t have everything to make this specific recipe, but I thought it was a good jumping off point to search for a new recipe.

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I sent Richard 3 different ideas (two different types of cookies and a different brownie recipe). He decided on Pub Cookies. So… that’s what I made!

Pub Cookies

  • 12 ounces stout beer
  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour (this will make them chewy)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 bag dark chocolate chips (I didn’t measure these I just dumped the bag)
  • 1 cup pretzel twists, broken into pieces
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  1. Put the beer in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook down the beer until you have about 1 Tbsp of beer “extract” (watch the pan, I got distracted and my beer boiled over… oops!)
  2. Cream butter and sugars
  3. Add egg and yolk
  4. Add vanilla and beer extracts
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together flours, cornstarch, baking soda and salt
  6. Add dry to wet ingredients until just combined
  7. Stir in chips and pretzels
  8. Dish cookies onto a cookie sheet and put into the fridge for at least 3 hours
  9. Heat oven to 350
  10. Bake 12-20 min (start checking around 12 min, my batches both took about 14 min)
  11. enjoy!
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These cookies do NOT taste like beer. Yes this is a strong beer and it was concentrated by cooking out the water, but it still didn’t taste like beer in a chocolate chip cookie. There is slight bitter taste that brings out those notes in the chocolate chips. The cookies are very chewy and have a great chocolate chip cookie flavor. The hit of pretzel adds an additional salty feature. (The original recipe calls for honey roasted peanuts. I would add peanuts, but not honey roasted)

family · food · reviews · through my camera lens

Maple BBQ Sloppy Joes

Image may contain: food and indoorWhen I was looking for items to put on our weekly menu, I decided to search through Rachael Ray’s sloppy joe recipes, she has quite a few. I came across her Sloppy Maple-BBQ Turkey Joes recipe and decided it would be a good one to try. So… I did!

First I made hoagie rolls. This is a recipe that I’ve used before, and that we enjoy. There is something great about the smell of fresh baked bread in the house. I don’t make it often enough, but I do love it when I do bake bread.


Maple BBQ Sloppy Joes

  • EVOO
  • 1 pound ground turkey Image may contain: food
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1  red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • About 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • About 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • About 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • About 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  1. put EVOO on a large skillet
  2. add ground turkey with S&P
  3. Once turkey browns, add peppers, onions and garlic– cook about 5 min
  4. in a small bowl whisk together tomato sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and mustard.
  5. Add to the meat and veggies, mix in and let simmer for 5-10 min

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We really enjoyed this recipe. I had mine just on the plate, but tried a bite of Richard’s sandwich. Blake and Colby both enjoyed it too, but found it very filling. There was a good balance of sweet and tang in this recipe. I added more vinegar than RR suggested, I had originally found the recipe VERY sweet.

Richard suggested adding hot sauce to the mix next time which would be a sweet heat item. Also, the original recipe calls for poultry seasoning, which I purchased to use and then totally forgot to add to the recipe… oops!

I know that we will make this recipe again!


family · food · through my camera lens

Beef Skewers– Colby’s recipe

Colby cooked dinner last night. He originally pulled out a recipe for Philly Cheesesteak Kebobs, but he decided to Colby-ize them… yep he’s my son!

On Friday, Colby created his own marinade for the meat and put it over the meats to give it a chance to do it’s magic!

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Then yesterday, he helped prep the veggies and put the meat and veggies on skewers.

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Beef Kebobs from Colby

  • 2lb beef stew
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • dried parsley
  • dried garlic flakes
  • dried onion flakes
  • Mr Dash- garlic
  • EVOO
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • steak sauce
  • S & P
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 large onion
  1. The night before create marinade and put over beef. Image may contain: food
  2. Marinade: combine all the spices (including S&P), EVOO, Worcestershire sauce and steak sauce
  3. Mix marinade well and pour over meats. Mix together to make sure all pieces are coated.
  4. Next day– take out beef and let come to room temp before cooking
  5. Chop onions and peppers into chunks
  6. Season onions and peppers with S&P and EVOO
  7. Put beef on skewers, put veggies on skewers
  8. Cook on the grill
  9. Enjoy! (we made rice and had provolone cheese with it, but that is optional)

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These tasted really good. I was impressed that Colby was comfortable enough to create his marinade without needing me to give him the exact measurements for the spices. I just pulled out a bunch of spices and he picked and choose what he wanted and went from there. The only one I had any suggestion in was the amount of salt. So often people do not put enough salt on beef to get the taste that works best.

Blake said it was the best beef he’d had in a while. Colby enjoyed it too and was proud of what he created. I felt the veggies needed more seasoning and a bit more cook, but I like my veggies on the soft size. Richard felt the beef needed a bit more seasoning, but he likes his beef highly seasoned.


food · life · reviews · through my camera lens

Baking challenge

So, if you follow my blog, you know that I enjoy baking… just a little! Typically I send in the items I bake with Richard. This way, I get to enjoy baking, but my waist line doesn’t have to worry about me eating everything.

Image may contain: indoorRichard mentioned to me that he has a co-worker who has a gluten allergy. He often feels bad that he brings things in, but can’t offer the treats to this co-worker. So he asked if I could make something gluten free. This is more challenging than you’d think. Yes, I could go buy a gluten free mix, but that’s not the point. I also didn’t want to have to buy a variety of different flours and hope that the end product tastes good for those who can and cannot have gluten.

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Soooo I started looking into it. I found a recipe that I’ve made before and realized it is gluten free! So I baked Alton Brown’s Chewy Peanut butter cookies. I was getting ready to type up a post with the recipe and realized… hey I already did that!

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This time I made smaller cookies, which made a lot more, and these were not super dry this time. It is a very strange mouth feel to me. The cookie pretty much dissolves in your mouth, so you almost don’t need to chew them. They have a decent pb flavor. I think I would increase the salt a bit and if they were rolled in sugar before baking that might help too, it isn’t needed, but it would not hurt them!

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I have another cookie recipe pinned for flourless chocolate cookies. I’ll make them soon and let you know how they turn out!

food · reviews · through my camera lens

taco sweet potato enchilada stir fry?

I was looking for something new to make with ground turkey. I came across a recipe for ground turkey enchilada stir fry. While I was interested in the concept, I knew there were too many flavors in the original recipe that would not fly in our house (with me never mind the rest of my family). This did not stop me from making this… it motivated me to tweak this recipe and make it my own! I showed the steps to this on my IG  (@teacherturnedmommy) story the night I that I made it. Also if you follow my teacher turned mommy page on facebook you saw these pictures as a teaser.

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Taco Sweet Potato Enchilada Stir Fry (it needs a better name)

  • 1lb ground turkey (or ground meat of your choice)
  • 1 Tbsp  cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp chipolte powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • S&P
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tomato diced (not needed, but I one that needed to be used up)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 10 oz can of enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  1. brown the ground meat in a large skillet
  2. season the browned meat with cumin, chili powder, chipolte powder, coriander, salt and pepper. Let cook for a bit then remove to covered dish
  3. put sweet potato into the skillet and let cook
  4. When sweet potato starts to soften, add in garlic and onion season with S&P
  5. when the onion is translucent, add: tomato, black beans, salsa and enchilada sauce
  6. add ground meat back to mixture and stir to combine.
  7. heat through
  8. serve with rice, on soft taco shells, on a salad or however you want to eat this tasty mix. (I added fresh shredded cheddar cheese to mine as well)

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The boys found this a bit spicier than they like taco meats. Granted they both picked out the meat only. Blake finally put his into a wrap with cheese and enjoyed it (yes veggies and all) I did enjoy the addition of the sweet potato as it added a different texture as well as a bit of earthy sweetness. Having the sweet potato, beans and other veggies made it very filling and you didn’t need as large of a portion as I usually feel you need when eating just taco meat. I think I will continue to play with this concept and see where it takes us.


food · reviews · through my camera lens

Slow Cooker Cherry-Chipotle Pulled Pork

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In our never ending search for new recipes/ going through all the recipes we pulled out of the Food Network Magazine, I found a recipe for Slow-cooker pulled turkey with cherry-chipotle barbecue sauce. I decided that I wanted to make this recipe, but wanted to do it with pork instead of turkey.


Cherry-Chipotle Pulled Pork

  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp corriander
  • “boston butt”/pork butt— I think the one I had was just under 3lb
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 jar of cherry jelly
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar (plus 1 Tbsp for later)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp spicy mustard (that’s what I had)
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • chipotle and adobo I used the reminder of a can I had in the freezer, so it was probably 1/2 a can or more
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic grated
  1. Season the pork with the paprika, chili powder, cumin, corriander, S&P. Place in the bottom of your “slow cooker”
  2. in a small bowl, combine: ketchup, jelly, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, mustard, chipolte and soy sauce
  3. Pour 3/4 cup of this sauce onto the pork… I put about 1/2 the container
  4. cover and cook for 4-5 hours until it is tender enough to shred
  5. in a sauce pan, cook onion and garlic until tender
  6. add the remaining sauce to the pan
  7. To this mixture add 1/2 cup of water and let the mixture simmer
  8. When it begins to thicken, I added an additional scoop of cherry jelly and the 1 Tbsp of vinegar
  9. strain the sauce
  10. When the pork is tender, shred with two forks and put it back into the cooker to let it finish cooking and get the sauce, juices into the meat.
  11. Serve on rolls with the sauce

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Ok let me first say that this sauce did not have either a chipotle or cherry flavor. The pork was cooked perfectly and was the perfect pulled pork consistency. The bbq sauce tasted really good and we actually used it later in the week on the ribs that we made.

The rolls we ate this on were the same ones Colby made for the 4th (we had this meal on the 5th). They were SUPER dense as they were now a day old. This recipe would have been really good on either a soft burger roll or even a sub roll.

While I am not sure I would go out of my way to purchase cherry jelly again to make this recipe (I have about a 1/3 of a jar left), I would make another bbq sauce like this one.

family · food · reviews · through my camera lens

Colby’s dinner: Beef Sliders with Chipotle Special Sauce

As I’ve mentioned before, I am having the boys help with dinners once a week this summer. You can see Blake’s recipe here.

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On the Fourth of July, Colby made his meal: Beef Sliders with Chipotle Special Sauce and Bobby Flay’s Parker House Rolls.

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We made the rolls first. Like with most baking, we followed the recipe pretty much to the letter. I did make the dough in the breadmaker instead of by hand and we made them into burger size rolls instead of dinner rolls.

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We made seasoned the meat early, I made the “special sauce” and then later Richard helped Colby finish the burgers.

Burgers with Chipotle Special Sauce

  • 1 lb ground chuck
  • 1 tsp dried garlic
  • 1 tsp dried onion
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix the seasoning with the ground beef. Create 4 patties. Grill

Lori’s Special Sauce:

  • 6 Tbsp mayo
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp chipotle in adobo
  • 3 Tbsp sweet relish
  • S & P
  • dried garlic
  • dried onion

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The burgers were good. We really needed more than a pound of meat, they were rather tiny burgers. I found them to be VERY salty and would have cut the salt wayyyy back. The burgers were very juicy and cooked to the perfect done-ness. The sauce was a work in progress. There wasn’t as much of a kick as I expected with the amount of chipotle in adobo I used. I kept trying it and putting more in, but it never got that kick we wanted. The rolls tasted good, but they were not the right roll for this application. Parker House rolls are dinner rolls and it was strange to have them as a burger roll. They were a bit dense and this could also be because they were larger than they are intended to be made.

Colby did a good job with this meal. He helped with every step including the grilling. I didn’t get a photo of this step.



family · food · life · through my camera lens

Blake’s Dinner- Steak Pizzaiola Pasta

So I mentioned in my post the other day that the boys are going to help make dinner once a week. They will pick out the recipe and then do most of the prep and cooking.

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This week Blake chose to make Steak Pizzaiola Pasta from Food Network Magazine.  We had to make a few changes to the recipe, but it still was good. I’ll tell you more about the result at the end of the post

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Steak Pizzaiola Pasta

  • 1/2 box of pasta
  • 1 sirloin tip steak
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red pepper cut in thin slices
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup veggie stock
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with garlic
  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box (reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water to add to sauce at the end)
  2. heat a cast iron skillet with 2 tbsp of EVOO.
  3. season steak with salt and pepper
  4. Cook steak in skillet to medium rare, remove to a plate and tent with foil
  5. add 1 tbsp of EVOO to skillet
  6. cook onions, peppers, garlic and seasoning until veggies are tender
  7. add stock and tomatoes
  8. add pasta, steak drippings and 1/2 cup of pasta water
  9. thinly slice steak and place on top of pasta.
  10. enjoy!

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This is Richard’s plate. He thought that the steak needed more seasoning, but he likes his steak with more than just salt and pepper to begin with. He also felt that the sauce was a bit too thin for his liking.

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Colby picked through and ate the steak and pasta. He said that steak was cooked perfectly but felt I cut it the wrong way (oops)

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Blake ate everything on his plate, onions and peppers included. He agreed that the sauce was a bit thin and the steak was a bit tough.

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family · food · life · reviews · through my camera lens

popcorn in a brown bag

in a recent episode of Rachael Ray’s 30 minute meals she made popcorn in a paper bag. I had to try this out for myself. I did it last week, but didn’t season it. I was waiting to try it again with Colby.

So tonight he was looking for something to have as a snack so we made popcorn.

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So take regular popcorn and pour it into the bottom of a brown lunch bag. You want to just cover the bottom of the bag. Fold the top of the bag over two or three times. Make sure you crease it well. Ok ready…. put it in the microwave on the popcorn setting. Yep that’s it!

Melt butter to pour over the top when it is done. I only melted 2 tbsp and that wasn’t quite enough. I also purchased white cheddar popcorn cheese to put on it, but you don’t have to do that.

Think about it… you control how much butter. You control the type of toppings and how much.

It is time to take control over our popcorn again! I know we will be making our popcorn like this again.

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