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National Fried Chicken Day!

It’s an American classic meal.

Today is National Fried Chicken Day!

What’s your favorite kind of fried chicken?

My mom cooks an awesome baked version of the classic, which I have always loved.

But there are so many places to buy it too!

Today I decided to go with boneless fried chicken tenders from Popeyes . Yum!

Have you had its Mardi Gras Mustard sauce before? Delish!


COMMENT BELOW: Where do you go to get your favorite fried chicken?

CHEAP EATS: Turkey & Cheese Roll-Ups

Earlier the week before, inspired by a guest on the show I work on and by a recipe my aunt makes. I bought some Crescent rolls, some lunch meat and some cheeses at Kroger.

Last night I was SUPER hungry and wanted something fast and easy to make.

The time had come to combine all three of the ingredients spoken of above, plus a little sauce for a kick, to make some awesome turkey & cheese roll-ups.

Here are the ingredients:

L-R: Sliced oven roasted turkey breast, garlic & herb monterey jack cheese, reduced fat Pillsbury crescent, Kraft lite honey dijon dressing
L-R: Sliced oven roasted turkey breast, garlic & herb monterey jack cheese, reduced fat Pillsbury crescent, Kraft lite honey dijon dressing

Here’s how I made them:

1) Unravel crescent rolls onto a baking sheet, and preheat oven to 375. Put a dallop of the dressing on each triangle, spread evenly across the dough:

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2) Layer cheese onto triangles (I did half a slice onto each triangle):

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3) Layer one slice of turkey into each triangle (depending on size you could do half a slice), then roll up like so:IMG_4185

4) Normal baking time for crescent rolls is about 13 minutes at 375. After checking at 13 minutes I decided to put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so, just to make sure all the dough is cooked (because it’s a thicker circumference)!)

5) Put on your plate and eat up! What I love about this particular combo is you get the garlic taste, balanced with the sweet honey dijon and you get your protein in there too. Yummy, and SO easy to make. And cheap too!

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Enjoy 🙂

PINTEREST DINNER: Potato Chip Casserole

Sometimes, you just don’t feel like cooking.

Am I right friends?

I absolutely love cooking, but as a single chickie exploring her new city, I love trying all the different new foodie spots around here. (And by the way, I freaking love Kroger sushi as a meal. Inexpensive, fresh, and a great variety. If you love sushi, you should try it!)

But then there are some times where you want to cook, but you don’t want to spend all your time (and money!) whipping up a fancy dinner.

I’ll admit, that happens to me. One of my latest go-to meals so far here in Dayton is this delicious popcorn chicken (from Kroger) , buffalo style or plain, you throw it in the oven for 20 minutes, and then I either have some salad or pasta with it.

But tonight I wanted something different. Something easy to make, but a step up from popcorn chicken and salads.

I was thinking about what I had already in my kitchen, and how I could enhance it.

My mind went to the two low sodium chunk light tuna cans I had in the cabinet.

I went to Pinterest and searched “easy dinner recipes tuna” and found this gem:

Potato Chip Casserole.

My first reaction while sitting in the car looking at this before I go into Kroger: “Whaaaaaat?!” (In excitement!)

The description is what sold me: “Potato Chip Casserole. Easy recipe. Five ingredients. Half hour in the oven. Dinner is served!”

Here’s the recipe from franklymydearmojo.com:

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag (12 oz.) potato chips, crushed
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can Cream of Chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 soup can of milk
1 can (12 oz.) chicken or tuna

Well, I modified the recipe for me. There’s now 6 ingredients (the sixth you’ll see later):

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A can of cream of chicken soup, a can of cream of mushroom soup, TWO cans of tuna, three big handfuls (that you crush up) of potato chips (I used reduced fat ones), and half a soup can of milk.

Here’s how I made it:

1) Add the can of cream of mushroom soup into a bowl.

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2) Test the potato chips (because well, you have to test the potato chips, right? 🙂 )

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3) Add the cream of chicken soup can & the three big handfuls of potato chips (don’t forget to crush those with your hands!):

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4) Wash and drain the tuna (I always like to do that, especially if its in water or oil):

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5) Add the tuna into the bowl:

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6) Add the half cup of milk:IMG_4025

7) Add two slices of cheddar cheese (who doesn’t love cheese?! :))IMG_4026

8) Mix it all up in the bowl!

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9) I used a small Pyrex casserole dish, pour and spread mixture evenly into dish, and I added some potato chips on top (for presentation purposes ;))IMG_4029

10) Bake at 350 for 35 minutes (I let it cook a little longer than the recipe says, 30 minutes)

Here’s what it looks like when it’s done:

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11) Scoop some in a bowl, add your seasonings (I used some black pepper)

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12) Enjoy!

I’ve never had a potato chip casserole before, what I am loving about this dish is that the potato chips when cooked disguise for a mashed potato taste, and then with the tuna, the two soups added in and the dash of cheese and milk, it makes for a rich, hearty, filling dish, that won’t cost you the big bucks, and is super easy to make!

DAYTON: First Friday Dayton Food Truck Rally

Photo Credit: daytonlocal.com

Last night was First Friday here in Dayton.

For those who don’t know what First Friday entails, it’s a really fun, FREE, event in downtown Dayton to get Dayton people out of our homes, and to have some extra fun out and about in the city. It’s one of the many events put together by the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

There’s a variety of things to choose from while you’re  there, including live music, arts demonstrations, and of course, there’s food!

The Dayton Food Truck Rally is a fairly new event in the area. It seems more local food trucks are starting to pop up here in Dayton. And in the past few months alone, the actual Food Truck Rally downtown seems to have only gotten bigger as well.

Last night, on a whim, I went to see what the rally was all about. After finding some parking, I caught the tail end of the rally (it was scheduled from 5pm – 9pm, I got there around 8:30 – 8:45 ish). Boy, was it crowded! There were crowds of people standing around and eating, as well as checking out the different food trucks on display.

Here are the links to the two food trucks I checked out last night:

Ringo’s North Star Mobile Eatery

Harvest Mobile Cuisine

And if you would like to check out any of the food trucks that were at the Dayton Food Truck Rally (when they’re not rallying), check out the Dayton Food Trucks Facebook page. It’s a plethora of everything YOU need to know about the food trucks in the area.

Without further ado, here is the video of last night’s foodventure!

Enjoy!

CONNECTICUT: Holiday treats (and veggie eats!) at Shake Shack Westport

The holidays may be over (for now!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss what we ate!

Last week I was in CT visiting some friends with my brother.

We headed back to Shake Shack in Westport for some grub. (Here’s my previous post on the ‘Shack.)

Lo and behold, the custard menu was upon us. But not just any custard menu. The holiday flavors.

For every day of the week last month, you could try one of these 7 unique flavors:

Egg nog, figgy pudding, Christmas cookie, chocolate orange chestnut, gingerbread, candy cane crunch and apple spice cake.

I must say, ALL of these flavors sounded fantastic to me. I’ve heard about egg nog frappuccinos at Starbucks from a friend of mine, so I’m sure milkshake form would be incredible! I’ve always wanted to try figgy pudding after the famous Christmas song spoke highly of it. I’m a huge fan of gingerbread (and gingerbread lattes at Starbucks) so I know that’d make a great milkshake. Candy cane crunch sounds fantastic and if it’s similar to peppermint stick ice cream, it would definitely make a great milkshake. And the apple spice cake is making me think of the apple pie Cold Stone Creamery creation.

But as I was there on a Thursday, the flavor I got in milkshake form was the chocolate orange chestnut. This one had me really curious. Do you remember the chocolate balls the supermarkets used to sell where you whack them and it magically turns into orange-looking slices and it tastes like chocolate-orange? That’s exactly what I thought of when I was gearing up for this shake.

The addition of chestnuts I was most curious about. I’ve had water chestnuts in Chinese food, but never non-water chestnuts in my drink, or food for that matter. (I’m currently hearing the phrase “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..”). Would my drink taste roasted?

Here’s what resulted:

This milkshake was amazing and here’s why:

1) It wasn’t too sweet.

-The chocolate frozen custard mixed with the tangy orange and strong appearance of robust chestnut made it a nice balance of flavor.

2) It was not too thick, and smooth.

-You’d think mixing a bunch of chestnuts in a shake you might feel the texture of the nuts in your mouth. Wrong. This was smooth sailing.

3) It was filling.

-While the cup size may have been small, this shake will fill you up fast, along with your meal.

Which now brings me to my second topic of discussion in this post: the ‘Shroom Burger.

I made the picture bigger for you all to take a close look at this wondrous creation.

For you vegetarians and vegivores out there, this is a MUST-TRY.

I took a bite of this, and literally said “WOW!” in a loud voice to my brother and our friends.

The ‘shroom burger is not an ordinary burger. Far from it. It takes a large Portabella mushroom, some Muenster cheese, batter. Then it’s fried into that beautiful looking patty you see above. Then add juicy tomatoes, crunchy, crisp lettuce and the creamy, tangy Shack Sauce. Presto!

The mushroom is a perfect substitute for meat. It’s meaty, juicy and filling. My bite into the burger was filled with crunch from the batter, meaty/juicy from the ‘shroom and then BAM! The melted, tangy cheese soars like a rocket into your mouth. Hence why I said “WOW!” so loudly in Shake Shack that day.

My friends have been telling me to try that burger for awhile now, and I completely understand why now. Holy moly what a burger.

So, if you’re near a Shake Shack and are feeling adventurous, try one of its unique custard flavors and the ‘Shroom burger. You won’t regret it!

Shake Shack

1849 Post Road E.

Westport, C.T., 06880

Hours:

Sun. – Wed. : 11 a.m.  – 10 p.m.

Thurs. – Sat. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

203-682-6570

National Pizza Month — What’s your story?

Recently I received an email from one of my favorite pizza chains, UNO, about this month being National Pizza Month.

Courtesy of blastmagazine.com

After reading it, it sparked me to dig deep and think about how my love for this delicious savory pie originated from.

I’ve spoken on here about several national food holidays, but a whole month dedicated to pizza? There is full cause to celebrate this entire month! And I hope you do, too.

So before I pose the questions to you all in the hopes of starting a pizza-filled daily conversation for the next month  (but hey, I could speak about pizza any time, any day!), I wanted to share with you a few thoughts about pizza itself.

I’ve always had a huge love for pizza, but now that I’ve really taken the time to think about my pizza-filled experiences, it really did start at a very early age.

Courtesy of dcomposing.com

I remember reading a children’s book when I was really young about where pizza came from. A little girl asks a grandmother-type figure about where pizza comes from and it turns into a beautiful story about its origin and and how its made. I remember it being a favorite book of mine, and after some research, I believe it’s the book called “How Pizza Came to Queens,” by Dayal Kaur Khalsa. (Anyone remember this book? If anyone can help me with this, please let me know!)

Another childhood memory of mine involving pizza is a board game I used to play called “Pizza Party.” Anyone remember this too? A memory-styled game involving toppings on a pizza.

Courtesy of metalsucks.net

But it wasn’t only the books and games that got me hooked-on-pizza. It was the pie itself.

I grew up in C.T., now live on Long Island and at the very early ages of my life (0 – 4) , I lived in New Jersey. While I may not have been old enough to remember everything about my time there, I have distinct memories of a few things. One being pizza.

In the beautiful town of Wayne, N.J. lies a pizza place with a truly distinctive name: Bachagaloops.

I remembered this name so well I used to sing the name when I was younger. And now that I’ve been pondering this for the past few days, I definitely think it was to the tune of the Addams Family theme song. (Brother, correct me if I’m wrong, please!)

I don’t remember how the pizza exactly tasted, but I remember going there often and recall it being delicious. And when I had moved away from N.J. into C.T., I remember going back there and trying it again with my family and the pizza being delicious.

Food to me always sparks conversation, but I’d love to hear more from you all about your memories of pizza. It could be what your favorite pizza is, or even your first memories of pizza.

Why? Because everyone’s story will be different.

And to start it off, here’s my latest vlog with some of my pizza memories.

I look forward to hearing from you and sharing your stories.

LONG ISLAND – Avocado on Burgers and new Chicken Tenders…Oh My!

When you think of Whopper’s from Burger King, what do you think of?

The large sesame seed bun, the lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, cheese….Of course the flame-broiled meat. Yum to the max, right?

How about adding some Swiss cheese, bacon and guacamole to the mix?

Yes, guacamole.

Img courtesy of foodbeast.com

BK has added a new burger to its lineup – the “California Whopper.”

Why California, you ask?

This has happened many times in many food items I’ve seen, involving sandwiches and wraps. Many wraps or sandwiches with “California” in the title seem to have either avocados or sprouts, or both, in them, I’ve noticed. Cali definitely has some great avocados from what I hear, so the name isn’t far out of the ball park.

So what’s in this new burger?

According to its website: “A ¼ pound* of Flame-broiled beef topped with ripe tomatoes, crisp lettuce, guacamole, crispy bacon, melted Swiss cheese and creamy mayo all on a toasted sesame seed bun.”

I must say, I was rather surprised at this new addition, but at the same time I wasn’t.

Surprised because this is the first time I’ve ever seen guacamole on a burger at a fast food joint (please tell me if you’ve seen it before this), and not surprised because it seems to be the growing trend around the fast food joints in general lately, adding avocado’s to a menu item.

But this choice is a great one. Guacamole, with its main ingredient being, of course, avocados. And avocados, have many health benefits.

Here’s some info from a previous blog post I wrote:

One of my best friends, who happens to be an amazing CNA (Certified Nurse’s Assistant), told me that avocados burn off fat in your belly! This excited me even more about eating avocados. While yes, they are creamy and to some, may be considered “fatty,” according to LIVESTRONG.com‘s article on “Food That Helps You Lose Belly Fat,” avocados contain healthy monounsaturated fats, and have potassium, fiber, folate and vitamins A & D. The article also says avocados keep you feeling fuller longer! And some belly fat just may burn off too.

Here are some other facts from Avocado.org:  avocados are sodium and cholesterol-free and have only five grams of fat per serving! Also, the avocado is also known as the “Alligator Pear” due to its pear shape and green skin.

Img courtesy of delish.com

In addition to the Cali Whopper on the menu, the chicken tenders have changed! What were once the crown-shaped, fried morsels have now turned into crispier, chicken McNugget-esque chicken nuggets. I would just call these nuggets, if it were up to me, but these new changes are great.

But I don’t want to give away my review in text, so please check out my latest vlog for more:

And if you have any suggestions as to where I can head around Long Island to try some unique, local eats (or sweets!) please drop me a line. I look forward to hearing from you.

(And don’t forget to have some guac, please! )

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