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Today marks a very special day at The Little Red Kitchen! Two years ago I decided to sit down and start writing about what I was cooking in my kitchen. Was it very good? Not really, but I finally found something that I truly enjoyed. If I knew cooking was my passion perhaps I would have stopped with all that music nonsense in college (kidding, Mom, KID-DING).
After two years of this blog-a-nating business (that’s what hubs calls it), I can finally come to you and talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The good: For starters, the food yo. I’m going to be brutally honest here, and toot my own horn for just a minute. I make some tasty food. I’ve spoiled my husband to the point that he’s as picky about where his food comes from now as I am. From tackling macarons many times, to adult themed desserts (more than once!), the return of poutine and a simple baked egg brunch. These were just a few of my favorite recipes this year.
Then there is you, my readers and my blogging friends. I love you all and if it wasn’t for you I’d be speaking to dead space. Thank you for coming back again and again. I can’t tell you how much your comments, pins, tweets, and likes mean to me.
The bad: Well the bad, for starters more honesty, it’s really hard maintaining your weight was a food blogger and it became more of a struggle this year than last. I guess age + excess food and drink is catching up with me. Thank goodness for an exercise routine I like. The other side of the bad, the lack of time. Between a day job, home life, and blog life there just ins’t enough time and it can be a struggle figuring it all out sometimes.
The ugly: Two words: Dirty Dishes. I have a lot of them. I don’t have a dishwasher (does my husband count?) When I go on my weekend cooking sprees I totally get dishpan hands. That is the only ugly part. Will someone come and do my dishes? I’ll cook for you!
That’s the story kids, after today I begin another year, another journey here. I think it’s completely appropriate that my two year blog anniversary also happens to fall out on the same weekend that I’m attending Eat, Write, Retreat. I hope to take away plenty of new information during my time and bring it back to you.
Finally, I asked this question last year, and I’m going to ask it again this year. What would you like to see from me in the next year? Leave your suggestions below in the comments!
Oh, right chicken and waffle sandwiches! You’ve been so patient reading on and on, how could I forget! I’ve had chicken and waffles on my mind for a few weeks after hubs tried to convince me to go out to dinner with him after a workout because the place had chicken n waffles. Well, long story short, we never had dinner that night. Wanting to recreate it at home, but a little healthier for you, here’s my version. The chicken is my fool-proof oven-fried chicken method and the waffles are the OTHER type of Belgian waffle. I showed you liege waffles at the beginning of the month, and these are Brussels style. Still made with yeast, but much lighter and less sugar.
- 1lb boneless chicken breast (skin on or off), cut in half
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- salt and pepper
- 1 (1½ teaspoons) package instant yeast (rapid rise)
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 cups all-purpse flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs, separated
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large zip top bag, place the chicken, buttermilk, cayenne pepper and salt. Seal tightly, making sure to let all the air out and shake to evenly distribute the salt and pepper. Place in a shallow dish to avoid any dripping and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and place a cooling rack on top of it.
- In a shallow dish, mix the flour, cornmeal and panko. Season with salt and pepper.
- Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess and place on the prepared rack.
- Drizzle the melted butter evenly on top of the chicken and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and crisp and brown.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the waffles.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for a few minutes.
- In a larger bowl, mix together the flour, salt, yeast mixture, milk, melted butter, egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Using your stand or hand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold the egg whites in the batter until no streaks are left. Let the batter sit for 20-25 minutes.
- Heat your waffle iron according to its directions and cook accordingly. Please note that the batter bubbles up a bit when you pour it into the waffle iron. Makes, approximately 8 waffles depending on the size of your iron.
- To make the sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the dijon mustard, maple syrup, vegetable oil and salt.
- To plate: Cut a waffle in half with a serrated knife and place a piece of chicken in the center, drizzle some of the sauce over the chicken.
Waffle recipe adapted from Food and Wine.com by Thomas Degeest