Monday, August 6, 2012

Panko breaded chicken tenderloins with fresh tomato basil Sauce-- time consuming but worth it!

So, let me first say this meal took me about an hour and a half to make.  If you have fresh, home-grown tomatoes at hand-- it is worth it.  If you aren't sure where your tomatoes came from-- you can buy the sauce and enjoy the Panko encrusted chicken, nonetheless.

I set up a Toss, Dunk, Press process. As in toss the chicken tenderloin into the flour, dunk it into the egg, and press it into the panko crumbs.  I do toss the Panko crumbs with Italian seasonings for flavor.  Bake at 350  for about 25 minutes. It ends up looking like this:
Now, if you don't have home-grown or farmer's market tomatoes, go with your recipe of choice for topping.  If you are lucky enough to have special tomatoes on hand, this is a great recipe for sauce,, You will have wanted to start this about 1 hour prior to your chicken cook time.  Quarter the tomatoes and place in a pan with 1 cup of water.  Combine with diced onions comparable to the amount of tomatoes you are using. Also add about a Tbsp of sugar, salt and pepper, garlic to taste.At this time add your spices/herbs to the sauce.   I love fresh basil.-- amazing!!   Let them simmer to the point they are breaking down.. At that point, mash them with a potato masher, set to the side, and allow to cool a bit.Then peel and discard all the tomato skins you mange.  They will peel easily.
 So, we are almost done!!  Next, spoon about 1/2 cup onto each chicken tenderloin, top with a slice of mozzarella, return to the oven.

In about 3 minutes-- dinner is served!!  And it is fabulous!!  So thankful God has given us this abundance of ingredients to use and the skill to use them:)  Enjoy and Bon Appetit:)

I can't believe I didn't get a photo of these babies when they were out of the oven.. Do try.. And do cook.. And do enjoy!  Bon Appetit!   :)

15 minutes, 0 preservatives, cheesy ravioli = yummy weekday meal!!

    Here is a quick, easy, veggie enhanced choice for a week night meal (or a weekend lunch).  This is so easy to prepare.  At the same time, it is super cheap and free of all those nasty tasting, non-nutritious preservatives.  Deacan has a very hard time with "Chef" Boyardee-- but will eat it if that is the only source available.  Try and taste this and you will never go back!!

3 steps-- easy peasy!!

1st step:  Buy frozen cheese ravioli and boil them for about 3 minutes...  Aldi sells an excellent product for about $3/ 8 serving bag.  After boiling, strain, and toss with a bit of olive oil..
Above photo, in the same pan, mix up a jar of pasta sauce (your choice).. We love Aldi's Mushroom Pasta Sauce-- but roll with what you like.  I also added a can of stewed tomatoes to this batch. You could even branch out and do an alfredo or pesto! 

I like to get a bit fancy and add 2 tablespoons of mince garlic (for our immune systems/ Deacan's lack of adequate hand-washing).  I also throw in a handful of basil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Really- the world is your oyster here.  Whatever spices and sauces you like-- wonderful!  Just make sure they are complementary.  We can't have Judy Bloom with James Patterson.  Right?
Fresh basil, minced garlic, store-bought tomato sauce=  3 minutes to a culinary YUM!! :)  It all melts down to a beautiful medley also known as tomato sauce.. Now spoon onto those raviolis and you have an awesome meal in less than 15 minutes flat!  Sweet!!  Or shall I say "A'More!"  :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How to make Canvas Map wall Art-- easy & inexpensive!

     So, I have collected maps from my travels and whereabouts over the years.  I have been meaning to make wall art with them for quite some time (um, about 6 years).  I FINALLY got around to actually doing it! Yay!  This project is simple and costs around $10, depending on the canvas you chose.  My future project will be a bit more expensive due to the large canvas. I got two canvases in a value pack for $8 at Micheal's.  I loved the square ones:
Then it was time to bust out the maps!  Thankfully, I had them stored in a nice, neat packet and a file folder:
Once unbound, it was a bit of a mess!

After much deliberation, I found the perfect pair to go with for my "beginner's project".  I wanted to save the most special and larger maps for later, in case I messed up.  I went with a couple of maps from the Sonoma Valley wineries.  Oh, how I wish I could visit that majestic land again-- RIGHT NOW! ! :)

There are several tutorials online about how to wrap the maps around the canvas, which looks really nice.  I chose to paint a border around mine due to the size of the maps once I cut them.  If you have a larger map-- check out the wrapping technique. 

That being said, my next step was to blend a few of my paints to make it work and create a border.  I also painted wall facing edges of the canvas. 
Then, just Mod Podge onto the canvas, pasting the pieces of the map onto there per-determined spots.  I emphasize PRE-DETERMINED  because the piece will not remove easily-- hence crackling and folding.  Be extra sure where you want it-- it is a bit unforgiving of error.  My final product had a few creases.  That being said, relax but be positive about your lay out in the beginning..
Once it is all Mod Podged, it will still be kind of wet.  In spite of this fact, add another layer of Mod Podge over it.  It will seem as if it is gunky and will perhaps disenigrate -- it won't! Trust me.. Throw on a healthy layer of M.P.
Do not touch!! Put in a safe place to dry.  And within 24 hours you will have some super-cool wall art to hang.  YAY!!  Here is my finished project, sadly to say I have not hung them up yet.. I need to find my nails. HA!