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Homemade baked breaded Chicken Strips.

Now the kids are getting a little bigger (almost 3 and 5) I'm trying to get them more involved with not just baking sweet treats but also main meals too so over the weekend I had them helping in the preparation of these chicken strips. They loved it, they always love helping out in the kitchen and as always the food they help prepare and cook themselves they enjoy eating a whole lot more than food that's just put in front of them at dinner time, they even had seconds. Also my husband has had many chicken strips over the years but he said these were the best chicken strips he has ever had.

Another reason for getting the kids involved is to teach them more about the food they eat and that chicken nuggets and food in general does not just come out of a bag from the freezer or handed to you at a fast food joint, that homemade is a lot healthier and tastes so much better, does not have to take too much time to prepare and most importantly is fun to make.


There are several ways of preparing and cooking chicken strips, this is my favourite. It is simple and easy and good for getting kids more involved in the kitchen. For those gluten intolerant out there just replace the bread and flour with gluten free versions, it is that simple.



RECIPE
serves 2
2 skinless chicken breasts
2-3 slices of bread
1 egg
all purpose flour
salt
Extra seasoning ideas
pepper, spices, herbs, Parmesan cheese, crackers instead of breadcrumbs etc.

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 200oC 350oF
2. Tear bread into pieces and blitz in a food processor to make fine crumbs.
3. Cut chicken breasts into evenly sized 1 inch strips (around 4-5 strips per breast) and leave to one side on a plate.
4. Take 3 more plates and place in a line next to the plate of chicken. The first plate cover
with flour. The next plate or shallow bowl add 1 lightly beaten egg. On the final plate add the bread crumbs seasoned with a pinch of salt and any extra seasoning.
5. Next to your final plate of bread crumbs have your baking tray ready coated with olive or any other cooking oil you use.
6. Take a few chicken strips, coat completely in flour, roll in the egg, then coat with bread crumbs before finally placing on the baking tray. Repeat until all your strips have been prepared.
7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning half way. Add a little extra oil if your strips look a little dry.
8. To test the chicken is thoroughly cooked, cut one of your strips, preferably the largest in half to make sure the meat is white and the juices run clear, if not bake for a further 5 minutes and repeat the process again.
9.Serve with your favourite sauce, bake chips, rice etc, etc.


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Chunky banana slices wrapped in pancake on skewers served with a chocolate ganache dip. I also had a maple syrup dip and some lemons so the family had a choice of toppings for breakfast on this day, Pancake Day here in the UK.

I was wondering all yesterday what pancakes to make today but then I remembered the crepes I made and how much the family loved those so thought I would go for a similar flavour combo but served in more of a fun and interesting way.


That's it from me this week, no more baking, or food photography as my eldest has chickenpox. Also tomorrow is my Birthday and I don't fancy baking, not even a cake for myself, funny as I am always making other people birthday cakes, I just don;t have the same enthusiasm for baking for myself.

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During going through the photos to make the tutorial for these I found this photo. I don;t normally like to post more than one photo of the same food but oh well.



Jam on toast is just so, well boring sometimes, especially for my kids so today for breakfast I decided to liven it up a little by turning it into something a bit different.

RECIPE


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Using up the last of the marshmallows to make this a variation on the typical rice krispie treats.
Again didn't have much time for the photography today so not happy with the photo whatsoever but I really wanted to share the idea with you that you can play with what cereal you can use instead of rice krispies.

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Moist gluten free sponge layered with fresh juicy local strawberries and a naughty helping of whipped cream.

The tastiest cake I have ever made! Made for my dad as part of a late Fathers Day meal as he has been busy, the problem is I am not sure there will be any cake left for him tomorrow as half of it has gone already! Oops!

Recipe

SPONGE
220g self raising flour (+1 tsp of xantham gum if using gluten free flour)
220g softened butter
220g castor or granulated sugar
4 large eggs
6tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
FILLING/TOPPING
1 Punnet of strawberries
300ml tub of double/heavy cream
3 tbsp of sugar

1. Preheat oven to 200oC and line two 8/9inch cake tins with baking paper.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until thoroughly mixed and airy.
4. Gently mix in flour (and xantham gum for those gluten free bakers)
5. Add water 1tbsp to loosen the mixture.
6. Divide into baking tins
7. OPTIONAL Place each baking tin onto a deep baking tray and fill halfway up with boiling water, this helps keeps the cake lovely and moist and browns it less, this is how I now make all my cakes, it makes a huge difference so at least give it a go :)
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
9. Allow to cool throughly on a cooling rack.
10. Wash strawberries, remove green, slice in half then place on a paper towel sliced side down to drain the juices, reducing the strawberries bleeding into the whipped cream later on.
11. Whip cream with the sugar (add more or less sugar to taste) until you have reached a soft peak.
12. Spread half the cream onto one of the sponges, cover in strawberries, then a few dollops of cream on top to stick on the next layer of sponge.
13. Cover the top of the cake with the remaining cream then get creative with decorating with the remaining strawberries.
14. Best eaten on day of baking, refrigerate remaining cake in a container for up to three days, removing from fridge an hour before serving to allow it to come up to room temperature.

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Gluten free cookie plate, bowl and a chocolate ganache dip for strawberries, banana, apple and raspberries. Basically you dunk your fruit into the dip then you can break parts of the cookie plate into the dip before finally eating the cookie dip bowl.

My fiance and kids had lots of fun eating this, it only took them 5 minutes to destroy it.

I used a basic sugar dough recipe from the BBC [link] i used a silicon cupcake case as a mold for the bowl and i just rolled out a small plate shape for the base.

I know this is not the best photo, i took so many but now that summer is ending so is the lovely natural light. Once Autumn comes i will probably not be baking so much, it will be getting much to dark to photograph.
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It is now the summer holidays, 6 whole weeks of trying to entertain a 5 and 3 year old, day 5 and I am already out of ideas! So far we have done some arts and crafts and a bit of baking. I can't bake every day so came up with the idea of instead of giving them their usual biscuits straight from the jar, why not get them to decorate them first. It keeps them happy for 10 minutes and as they only make two/three each at a time they can do this every day in several designs with all different types of biscuits and toppings. So, if you have some bored kids, siblings, cousins, grand kids etc here you go, a quick and simple activity for them to do when they are bored and want a treat but you don't have time to bake.
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This is the basic recipe, i really do encourage you to play with the quanitites and flavours and really make it your own.

I make this all the time for the kids, i got the recipe from the mother in law and have adapted it to my own taste.

if you like your desserts to be sweeter, replace 1/4 cup of flour with an extra 1/4 cup of sugar.

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A small white chocolate Easter Egg coloured green and two shades of blue.

A gift for my eldest daughters school teacher, made in the colours of the class toy Diamond The Dinosaur, each kid takes turns taking him home every day to stay the night. This weekend was Sarah's turn which gave me the idea for the colours.



This is the first time I have made my own chocolate eggs so I sure did learn a lot! So, if you have never made them before but want too, make a trial batch first to get some practice.

TIPS:
:bulletgreen: Do not make the chocolate shells too thin or they will break when removed from the mold.
:bulletgreen: When melting chocolate on the stove do not let your water get too hot or your chocolate will burn.
:bulletgreen: If your chocolate starts to go grainy add a touch of vegtable oil a few drops at a time, keep stirring and adding until it's back to a smooth consistency.
:bulletgreen: For something extra special, make some little chocolate to go inside before gluing the shell together.

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE.

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Sneaky cookies you ask? Well these were going to be chocolate chunk cookies but my youngest decided to open a bag of raisins and throw them into the cookie dough when i wasn't looking so sneaky cookies they became.
I had a busy weekend so wasn't even going to take photos for this but I just had to have a bit of sneakiness in my gallery.

BASIC RECIPE


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