Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders - and a giveaway!

Contest is closed - the winner is Kim from Stirring the Pot!  Congrats Kim!

I remember the day I brought my daughter home from the hospital.  I was elated and excited - and scared to death.  No matter how many books you read or how many classes you take, you can never really be prepared for that moment that you realize that you are a mom and that you are in charge of the life of another human being.

As your child grows up, you realize that some things come naturally, some things you run to your mom, sister or best friend for answers, and other times - your child will leave you scratching your head, not knowing what in the world you are supposed to do.

Before I had any kids, I had this idea in my head that I would never have one of what I call "chicken nugget" kids.  You know the kind - the ones that will only eat one food and no matter what the rest of the family is eating, that child has his or her chicken nuggets (or whatever the food may be!)  I was going to have a well-rounded child that was a good eater.  And, really, for the most part, I've been pretty lucky.  At 1, she was eating anything - from enchiladas to egg rolls.  But as she's gotten older, her eating habits have definitely changed.  And this week - at almost 22 months - all I can get my daughter to eat are goldfish crackers, toast, and fruit snacks.  Oh, and chocolate - she'll rarely turn down chocolate!

So baffled at what I am supposed to do, I decided to make her chicken fingers for dinner.  Every child likes chicken fingers, right?  As I was cooking, I was writing this blog post in my head about how as a child, it was always a treat to get chicken fingers, and how I was finally able to get my child to eat something besides goldfish crackers and fruit snacks.  And all the words from that blog post went down the drain as she spit them right out.  I sure am hoping that this is just a stage that she will quickly get over!!

But don't let her be the judge of the taste of these chicken fingers.  I love making chicken fingers with panko bread crumbs, because you can bake them in the oven and still get the crunch that usually only comes with frying!  This is a chicken finger dinner you can feel good about feeding your children!

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders
adapted from

serves 4

1.25 pounds chicken tenders or chicken breasts, cut into strips*
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup Progresso Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with foil, then put a baking rack on top.  Spray the baking rack with cooking spray.

In one shallow dish, place the flour.  In a second shallow dish, mix the egg and the water.  In a third shallow dish, place the panko bread crumbs, the Parmesan and salt and pepper.

Dip each chicken strip into the flour, then the egg mixture, then the bread crumb mixture.  Place on the cooling rack.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink and the coating is golden brown.

*Chicken tenders are usually so much more expensive than chicken breasts, so I'll just take each breast and cut it into strips.  Depending on the size of the breast, you can usually get 3-4 strips per breast.

Giveaway time!!  CONTEST CLOSED

If you have never cooked with Panko bread crumbs before, you really need to give them a try!  Head over to Progresso's website for a coupon for $1 off any Panko bread crumb flavor. And check out how you can win a trip for 2 to Napa to join Chef Michael Chiarello for a food-filled weekend!

Want to win a box of Progresso panko bread crumbs and Michael Chiarello's new cookbook Bottega?

Here's how you can win:

1.  Leave a comment and let me know if you've used panko bread crumbs before and your favorite way to use them.  If you've never used them before, just let me know!
2.  Subscribe to Taste and Tell via Twitter, Facebook or RSS feed.  Leave a separate comment for each.

This giveaway will end next Wednesday, November 24th at 11:59pm Mountain time.  The winner will be notified via email, so make sure there is a way for me to get a hold of you!

Disclosure - This giveaway was provided by My Blog Spark via General Mills.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tried and True or Something New? {and a giveaway!}

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Swanson.


Biggest debate is ...pie or cake!

NOVEMBER 9, 2010 12:38 AM


Have you seen Swanson’s “Great Stuffing Debate”? It all started with the debate of whether you cook your stuffing inside the bird or on the side.  (I’m an “on the side” kind of girl myself.)  But every Monday, they list a new Thanksgiving debate.  This got me thinking about what the debate would be in my kitchen.  And I realized my biggest dilemma every year is:

Tried and True or Something New?

I’ve never hosted Thanksgiving before.  Luckily, I have great family (on both sides!) and it usually ends up being more of a pot-luck event. In the past, I’ve brought pies, I’ve brought sweet potatoes, I’ve brought salads.  But no matter what I bring, I always debate on whether I should make something that I know is good, or if I should use the opportunity to try a new recipe.  Now, many of you know that I’m always game for a new recipe.  In fact, 90% of the meals I make at home are recipes I’ve never made before.  But when you are cooking for others, is it better to make something that you’ve made before and that you know will be good?

I don’t know what I’m contributing to the Thanksgiving feast this year, but I thought I’d have fun with testing out my debate.  I made two dressing recipes – one tried and true and one a new recipe that I’ve never tried before.  And do you know what?  I think I would have been safe bringing either of these to the Thanksgiving table!

First up – tried and true.  This recipe is actually one that my sister makes every year, and I LOVE it.  I have to be honest – I love turkey and all, but I mostly get excited about the side dishes.  And the dressing – one of my favorite side dishes!!  This dressing has so many flavors going on and it really brings all of the flavors of Thanksgiving to the table for me.

Sausage, Apple & Cranberry Dressing

1 ½ cups cubed whole wheat bread
3 ¾ cups cubed white bread
1 pound turkey sausage
1 cup chopped onion
¾ cup chopped celery
¾ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 ½ teaspoons dried sage
1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary
½ teaspoon thyme
1 golden delicious apple, chopped
¾ cup Swanson’s chicken broth
4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until evenly toasted.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage and onions in a skillet, breaking up the sausage.  Cook until browned and cooked through.  Add the celery, sage, rosemary and thyme and cook another 2 minutes to heat through.

Put the toasted bread cubes in a large bowl and pour sausage over.  Add the apples, cranberries and parsley.  Mix lightly.

Grease a baking dish and pour dressing mixture in.  Cover with foil.  Bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook an additional 10 minutes to brown the top.


Then there is something new.  I chose to make this recipe for 2 reasons.  First – I wanted something meat-free since I knew the tried and true recipe I was making had sausage in it.  Second, I wanted something very simple and fuss-free that anyone could make.  This recipe was perfect for both reasons!!  This recipe could even easily be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock.  And on the easiness scale – it really doesn’t get any easier than this!  In fact, this recipe could easily be made up as a side dish for dinner any night – not just on Thanksgiving!  The only change I would make would be to use a different vegetable blend next time.  I made the mistake of going to the grocery store on a Saturday afternoon – and in Utah, if you go on a Saturday afternoon, you can expect half of the things you want to be gone!  This was the only kind of mixed vegetables I could find, and I really think a good, high quality mix would make this so much better.

Garden Vegetable Stuffing

1 ¾ cups Swanson Chicken Broth
1 bag (16 oz) frozen vegetable combination
5 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing

Heat the broth to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over high heat.  Add the vegetables and heat to a boil.  Remove the saucepan from the heat.  Add the stuffing and mix lightly.

Spoon the stuffing mixture into a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.  Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until the stuffing mixture is heated through


So in the end, I still didn’t even solve my own debate!  I guess that means I need to bring something tried and true and something new!



Do you want to win a $500 Visa gift card so that you can throw a killer Thanksgiving dinner?  It’s your lucky day!  Swanson broth has given me one $500 Visa gift card to give away.  Here’s what you have to do to enter:

REQUIRED:  In a comment below, let me know what the biggest debate is around your house at Thanksgiving.

For additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each):

*Tweet about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet URL in the comments below)
*Blog about this post with a link to it (and put your blog post URL in the comments below)

Read the official rules for alternate form of entry

  • Check out the official BlogHer/Swanson rules HERE.
  • Want to save some money on your Thanksgiving feast?  Check out the Swanson website for money saving coupons!
  • Check out the other 4 bloggers who are sharing their debate stories!
  • exclusive offers page
  • This giveaway will end on 11/30/2010 at 11:59pm Mountain time.  The winner will be announced December 1, 2010. 


This was a paid post sponsored by Swanson Broth and BlogHer, but all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Traditions

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Folgers.

Me and Santa - 1983

I think that I was probably like most kids growing up. I couldn’t wait for the holidays to come. I still remember waking up on Thanksgiving to the smells of turkey and pies cooking in the kitchen. And being so excited on Christmas Eve for Santa to come that I didn’t know how I would wait through the whole night. Holidays were always special to me.

My favorite memories of the holidays growing up would have to be of Christmas. Every Christmas Eve, we would all pile into the car and head out to look at Christmas lights around town. We would travel through neighborhoods, following long lines of cars with lights turned off, ooohing and aaaahing at all of the lights and decorations. I would look forward to that night all year. Once we got home, my mom would set out to wrapping presents. We weren’t like most families that have tons of presents under the tree for weeks leading up to Christmas. We would only have a few – mostly from friends or relatives. But on Christmas Eve, my mom would lock herself into the bedroom and start wrapping presents. We would all be eagerly waiting outside her door, and when she had a few wrapped, we would take turns carrying them downstairs to put under the tree. Once they were all under the tree, I would be amazed at the amount of presents there. They seemed to reach out through half of the living room! (With 5 kids, I guess the presents started to add up quickly!) On Christmas morning, Santa would come and leave presents, and us kids would quietly play for what seemed like hours, until my parents came down and we got to unwrap all of the gifts under the tree. It was always so exciting, because we would unwrap them one by one, while everyone watched. It took hours to unwrap all the presents, but it was the best part of the day.

Now that I am grown with a child of my own, our own traditions have been started. My husband and I decided a few years ago that we needed to start our own traditions, and Fried Scones on Christmas morning soon became our first tradition as a couple. I know my husband looks forward to Christmas morning, just for those scones, and I’m sure our daughter will feel the same way soon!! As we are adding to our family and as our children grow up, I’m excited to see what kinds of traditions form in our family!

How about you? What was your Christmas morning like when you were a child?


Do you want a chance to win a trip home for the holidays? Folgers is sending 5 people home for the holidays! All you have to do is write - in 200 words or less - "What is the best part of wakin' up at home during the holidays with Folgers® coffee?"  It's as easy as that!  You can even enter as many times as you'd like, but each essay must be different.  Imagine a free trip home for you and 3 guests!  Check out their website to find out how you can win!

Also, 9 other bloggers are sharing their holiday traditions and stories. Make sure you check them out! exclusive offers page

This post was sponsored by Folgers, but all views and opinions expressed are my own.