Ice Cube Trays- Oh the Uses!!

Let’s take a moment here and think fondly of the person who dreamed up the Dollar Store, and the person who invented ice cube trays. Together, they’re a beautiful thing. You can also find them in yard sales for CHEAP.

I use mine for a lot of things, but here are a few of my favorites!

  1. Use them to freeze homemade chicken, beef, or vegetable stock. Each cube is about 2 tbsp of stock. Once they’re frozen I loosen the cubes and throw them in a baggie (labeled) or plastic container and keep them in the freezer. Instant homemade stock!
  2. Use them to freeze Kool-Aid Lemonade. These ice cubes are great added to a glass of tea, and don’t leave you with a watered down drink. They’re also good with other flavors of Kool-Aid! (Think Cherry ice cubes in a glass of Blastin’ Berry Kool-Aid).
  3. Use them to freeze milk for your coffee. Cools it down and adds creamer! Especially if you mix it with some vanilla extract or something for a boost of flavor!
  4. Freeze fresh herbs in olive oil for an instant flavor boost to your cooking. Plus, don’t feel bad about wasting money when you have to throw out those fresh herbs that have gone rotten. Just freeze them before they rot.

What do you use your ice trays for?

Oh the things you can do with Dollar Store ice cube trays!!

 

 

 

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Southern Style Fried Chicken, y’all.

Who doesn’t love some good ‘ole Southern style fried chicken? Even my Northern relatives flip for it. Now you’ll have to excuse me, because my deep South roots are going to show in this post.

Warm and crispy, served with some mashed potatoes and a side of corn. Maybe some sliced tomatoes on the side? And of course, some delicious sweet tea.

I have been very surprised at the amount of people who do not know how to fry chicken. Sometimes it’s out of fear, sometimes it’s just because that’s not typical in the part of the world they live in.

Well allow me to introduce you all. Don’t be scared, it’s not hard. Bonus, once you can fry chicken you can take pride in your real (or fake) Southern roots and fry anything (and believe me, we fry everything!).

Presenting, Southern Style Fried Chicken

You need:

  1. Chicken (We prefer boneless, skinless breasts (use 6) or tenders (use 8-10) in this house)
  2. 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  3. 1 Egg
  4. 1-1½ Cups of flour, All Purpose.
  5. Paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cilantro
  6. Crushed Corn flakes or Frosted Flakes (Corn Flakes work best, but Frosted Flakes work too, they just come out darker).
  7. Vegetable or peanut oil

 

  1. You need two relatively flat dishes or shallow bowls.
  2. Pan for frying in.
  3. Paper towel or paper bag.
  4. Be prepared to get your hands messy. I wear an apron for this.

 

  • Fill your pan with oil (enough so that the chicken will be half submerged) and turn on that stove. I do not use temperatures, I just go by the oil. Once it starts bubbling it is ready. About every 3-4 minutes I turn the stove down a bit so the temperature of the oil stays consistent. On the contrary, you can start the oil off at a lower stove temperature (such as a 6 on the stove dial, which is where mine always ends up at) and not adjust it much. However, I am impatient and always start my stove off on a 9 and turn the temperature down from there.
  • Mix the Corn Flakes and Flour, and a teaspoon of paprika, garlic powder, and cilantro in one dish.
  • Whisk the egg, mayonnaise, a teaspoon of pepper and garlic powder in the other (I know, it looks gross).

Do NOT add salt yet. Salt dries out the meat and therefore goes on at the very end.

 

Left Corn Flake/Flour mixture. Right: Egg/Mayo mixture.

6 Chicken Breasts. Boneless, skinless.

  • Take a piece of chicken, dip it in the egg, then roll it in the Corn Flake/flour mixture.
  • Dip the chicken back in the egg and roll one more time in the Corn Flake/flour mixture.

I use my right hand for the egg part and left hand for the Corn Flake/flour mixture. Seems to work best for me. You can also use tongs but you’ll usually scrape some of your coating off with them.

  • Place coated chicken immediately into hot oil as you finish coating it. Do not try and coat them all and place them all at once, as this will cause your coating to start to fall off before it makes it to the pan. You will notice the oil take on some of the flour and it’s color will change, this is ok. The oil should only come up about halfway on the chicken.
  • When you see the sides begin to turn golden brown, flip the chicken over in the pan by using a pair of tongs and gently grabbing the chicken by the sides.

If the chicken seems to stick to the bottom of the pan it is not ready to flip yet! If you’re afraid it’s burning, gently use the tongs and grab the side of the chicken and wiggle it slightly to unstick it and turn your stove temperature down because it’s too hot.

When you see the sides begin to turn golden brown, flip the chicken over in the pan by using a pair of tongs and gently grabbing the chicken by the sides. Once the chicken is flipped, it looks like this.

  • After a few minutes, touch the center of the chicken with the tongs. Does it seem squishy or springy? If so, it’s not done yet. Does it seem slightly firm (not hard, just slightly firm)? If so, your chicken is done. If you want to be absolutely sure, it’s always ok to cut a piece in the middle. If you’re using tenders, they tend to float when ready.
  • Place cooked chicken on a paper towel or paper bag and lightly salt it. Let it sit for about 2 minutes before transferring it to a serving platter.

Delicious fried chicken.

 

Don’t let fried chicken intimidate you! It’s not hard and once you do it you will feel very confident in your abilities.

Want a less crispy chicken? Leave out the Corn Flakes/Frosted Flakes and just use flour.

Don’t have mayonnaise? Use 1 pat of melted butter that has cooled slightly (don’t want to cook your egg). The fat from the mayo or butter helps hold the moisture in the chicken.

 

Corn on the Cob in the Husks from the Microwave

Longest post title ever, right there.

However, it’s true and it works! I saw this little gem floating around Pinterest and decided to give it a go! And I’ve walked away with a  few tips.

Thank you Pinterest!

Thank you Pinterest!

So here’s the breakdown.

  1. Tear some of the “hair” off the top that’s showing. It can catch fire, apparently.
  2. Wet corn seems to cook better.
  3. Make sure you cut above where the husk attaches to the cob, or it won’t slide out easily.
  4. If you let it rest about 2 minutes before you attempt to cut and squeeze it, it works just as well and burns a lot less (believe me on this one!!)
  5. If you’re hungry or hurried, I do advise using oven mitts if you can’t let it rest a minute. It really does burn.
  6. It’s delicious. It’s cooked to perfection.

Taco Rolls

Ever have one of those moments where you look in the refrigerator and realize you REALLY need to go shopping? Yeah, had that moment. Spotted some half opened, left over items. And some crescent rolls.

Taco Rolls

Printer Friendly Version: Taco Rolls

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  • Crescent Rolls
  • Taco Flavored Meat (already cooked. We used leftovers).
  • Refried Beans
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Taco or Tomato sauce
  1. Place crescent roll down on baking sheet.
  2. Put a layer of refried beans on crescent roll.
  3. Top with cheese, meat, and a small spoonful of sauce.
  4. Roll up crescent roll. Bake according to directions.
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Place refried bean onto a crescent roll.

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Little bit of taco or tomato sauce. (Shown here is taco sauce).

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Add meat and shredded cheese.

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Fold the outer corner over.
(Helps hold stuff in)

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Roll ‘er up.

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Place neatly on baking sheet. Bake according to directions on crescent rolls.

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Yummy.

Summer Food- The Quick List.

There are so many great summer recipes out there. Need a quick yummy summer treats? Try these.

A twist on the summer salad, Cucumber and Chickpea Salad.

Peach Iced tea, anyone? 5 Summer Drink Recipes

Try a refreshing Black Bean & Corn Salsa to go with that BBQ.

Ten Ultimate Popsicles, Think Root Beer Float and Berry Cheesecake.

Or maybe a Kiwi Popsicle is more your style?

Or just the absolute, Lazy Summer Dessert.

Enjoy and be Merri!

Have one of your own? Let us know in the box below!!

Kitchen Helpers

Just some go-to cheat sheets that I’ve found to be very helpful!

PDF Printable: The Ultimate Kitchen Substitution List.

The best substitution list, hands down. I keep a printed copy on the side of the refrigerator.

The Size Chart – Courtesy of One Good Thing by Jillee

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Egg Substitutions – Courtesy of The Homestead Survival

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Find some good kitchen helpers on the web? Let us know in the comment below and we may link them!

Sunflower Seed Cookies

These are not your typical cookie. They have no granulated sugar, only brown.While they are sweet, they are not as sweet as most cookies. They have a delicious nutty flavor. The teen and I concocted this recipe based off several old recipes we found. Our only problem was, we couldn’t stop eating the batter while they cooked! The teen and the husband absolutely loved them! Bonus, they were super easy to make!

 Sunflower Seed Cookies

Printer Friendly Version: Sunflower Seed Cookies

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  • 1 C Butter
  • 1 ½ C Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Maple syrup
  • 1 ½ Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 C Quick cook oatmeal
  • 1 C Sunflower seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Cream together butter, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, and maple syrup with mixer.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, oatmeal, and sunflower seeds. Beat until well mixed (takes less than a minute)
  4. Place spoonfuls of batter, about 1″ apart on a greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes, or until they loose that ‘wet’ look on top.
Spoonfuls of batter, about 1" apart.

Spoonfuls of batter, about 1″ apart.