Almond-Crusted Chicken Burgers

burger-collage

Chicken burgers are so yummy, but knowing what goes into them is scary to say the least. These chicken burgers are so amazing, you will want to eat them often. The first time I made them I was playing around with grinding my own chicken. I used all breast meat and they were great. The second time I used breast and thigh and they were even better. You will need a food processor to make these. Dressing them with typical chicken burger staples like lettuce, tomato, and mayo is excellent.

You can elevate them to another level by making buffalo chicken burgers; simply dip them in Frank’s Red Hot sauce, top with a dab of blue cheese dressing, and a little lettuce for an outstanding burger. The coating on the burger is really what makes them so special. It’s sweet, crunchy, a bit spicy – and yes – healthy. I fried them before freezing them, but they can be spritzed with oil spray and baked for a lighter take. When ready for a chicken burger, pull one out of the freezer and pop it in your toaster [or regular] oven. Place on a grilled bun with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Chicken Burger Breading
1 c. unsalted dry roasted sliced almonds
4 c. corn flakes
2 tbsp. Granulated sugar
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Chicken Burger Filling
3 fresh chicken breasts (cut into 1 in. cubes)
3 fresh chicken thighs (cut into 1 in. cubes)
1 tsp. Frank’s Red Hot sauce
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. olive oil

Instructions
In a food processor, add all of the ingredients for the topping. Pulse until it resembles coarse cornmeal (there will still be some small pieces of almonds that are visible). I prefer mine slightly coarse, but if you prefer a finer grind, pulse more. Remove from processor and set aside.

On a cutting board, cut up all of the chicken into 1-inch chunks. Divide the cut thighs and breast meat in half and place half of each type of chicken into the food processor. Add 1 tsp. of olive oil. Close the cover and pulse repeatedly until you achieve the texture that appeals to you. It can be blended to your liking (finer or chunkier). When the first batch is done, place in a large bowl and add the remaining chicken and another tsp. of olive oil to the food processor and blend the remaining chicken. Add to the bowl along with the remaining ingredients (Frank’s Red Hot sauce, salt, pepper) and mix thoroughly. Grab enough chicken to make a chicken patty. Divide your breading mixture in half and begin breading the chicken patty with the crumbs. The breading will stick beautifully to the chicken.

In a 10″ skillet add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and heat on medium-high. The oil should not be smoking; if it is, lower it a bit. Place 2-3 patties in the pan and fry. The patties should get a nice golden-brown color after about 1 minute, and then you can flip and cook for another minute or so, adjusting for the thickness of your patties. They will feel firm when they are done, but it’s a good idea when cooking any meats to cut the thickest patty to check for doneness. Remove from the skillet and drain on a paper plate with paper towel liner. Let them cool and layer with parchment paper, place in a ziplock bag and freeze.

This recipe will yield 17 1/2-inch chicken burgers. Or go ahead and make chicken nuggets for an easy and quick kids meal.
Chicken Burger

Snowflakes

There’s nothing like a filled cookie! These little crunchy fruity and robust cookies will make your friends and family very happy. The dough is flavored with a hint of lemon, filled with raspberry and strawberry jam, glazed with a lemon glaze and the sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are one of the best cookies ever.

Snowflakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees ~ bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cream together:
1 cup of sugar
1 c. Butter softened (2 sticks)
Add:
3 tbsp milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg
Mix and add:
3 c. Flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix and place in a ziploc bag and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Lemon Glaze
2 c. Powdered sugar
1/3 c. Fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest

Filling:
Your favorite fruit jam.

When ready, roll out to 1/8 inch thickness.
Cut out 24 circles and half of them cut out a smaller circle in the middle. You will have 12 bottoms without a hole and 12 tops with a hole.

Any remaining dough repeat until you have used up all of the dough. You should get 24 double layer cookies from this batch. Bake them on an ungreased cookie sheet. They will be light in color but after they cool they will be crisp.
They will need to cool completely. Brush with glaze only the top of the cookies with the hole in the center. Let them dry. Add a teaspoon of your favorite jam to the bottom cookie and spread. Place the tops on the bottom. The jam will be like glue holding them together. When ready to serve sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

 

Pumpkin sugar cookies are so yummy. They have a crisp exterior from the sugar, and a soft interior. The maple glaze makes them sweet and comforting.

 

 

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees ~ bake for 8-12 minutes

1 c. Packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. Sugar
2 sticks butter
1/4 c. Shortening
Cream the above ingredients together with electric mixer.
Add:
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 can of pumpkin purée mixed with 1 tbsp of cornstarch
Beat until creamy
Add:
3 c. Flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Mix and roll into 1 inch balls.
In a separate bowl add 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Drop each cookie ball into sugar and slightly flatten. Place on ungreased cookie sheet
Bake for 10 minutes or so until puffed and crisp on edges. Cool completely. Frost with maple glaze.

Maple Glaze
1 c. Powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. maple extract
1 tbsp milk
1/2 stick soft butter
Mix well and adjust the consistency to your liking if necessary with more powdered sugar.

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Glazed Lemon Cookies

These cookies are very bright in flavor. Probably the zest is one of the things that sends them over the top. The second thing that gives them a wow factor is straight lemon juice in the glaze. They are super delicious. If you decide to make them you may want to double the batch. I got 28 cookies. I like to double my recipes and place in my fridge a ziplock bag with dough so I can make them anytime I want. It’s very convenient especially around the holidays! Enjoy!

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees ~ bake for 12-15 minutes

2 c. Flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. Unsalted butter room temp
1 c. Sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Lemon Glaze
2 c. Confectionery sugar
2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Mix together.

Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy
Add: egg, vanilla and lemon juice
Add: flour, baking soda, salt, and zest.
Scoop with a small ice cream scoop, about a one inch ball.
Flatten slightly and space them 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Cool cookies completely. Frost with lemon glaze.

Homemade Pasta

imageFor years I have been trying to find a pasta recipe that I like. My issue has always been the texture of the dough. I love homemade pasta because it tends to be soft and tender. Every time I have ever made it the recipe has always called for semolina flour, which creates a stiff and rubbery texture. I finally found a great recipe. This comes from a lovely Italian lady named Lidia.

I was just fooling around one day when I tried the recipe. I had no intentions of even making pasta. The husband was outside working and in like 5 minutes this ball of dough was resting on the counter. It rested for 1 hour and then I cut it into 4 pieces and rolled one quarter out by hand. I cut it into wide noodles called pappardelle. I have always remembered my grandmother making pasta. She used to roll it out with a machine. The way she checked the thinness of her pasta was to lay it on a piece of newspaper. If you could see words behind the pasta it was thin enough. Really technical stuff here.

So, I make the pasta(5 minutes), I rest the pasta(1 hour), I boil the pasta(1-2 minutes) and then I taste it. It is so tender and soft and flavorful. It seriously was the best pasta I have ever tasted. After the hubby came in for lunch and I presented him with a plate of pasta, embellished with fresh slices of garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and copious amounts of freshly sliced parmesan cheese, I got the word. He states that he has never had a dish of pasta that good in his life. He then makes a joke about waiting 28 years of marriage to finally get a good dish of pasta from his Italian wife. Haha, I’m not offended!

I begin thinking about all the ways I want to make this pasta. Next stop was Canneloni, I also stuck with Lidia and used her recipe for the filling. This time I rolled the pasta out into a long rectangle. Added a scoop of filling in a line, rolled it, cut it and placed it into a pan prepared with tomato sauce. The possibilities are really endless.

Fresh Pasta

2 cups of Organic Unbleached Flour, plus more for working the dough
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 whole large eggs
3 TBSP water

In a food processor (or by hand), add 2 cups of flour and pulse to aerate. In a measuring cup add the eggs, olive oil, and water and beat with a fork just to incorporate. With the food processor running, pour slowly through the feed tube the mixed wet ingredients.

pasta mixing

 

Just as soon as a ball is formed stop mixing and remove the dough onto a floured cutting board. Knead for about a minute with flour into a smooth ball of dough.

 

pasta dough rest

 

Place into a ziploc bag and let sit on the counter for an hour. When the hour is up, have a pot of water boiling with 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp. olive oil in the water. Cut the ball of dough into 4 pieces.

pasta rolled out

 

 

Roll out one quarter of the dough with flour. As you roll the dough thinner and thinner, continue dusting with flour so it doesn’t stick to the table or rolling pin.

 

 

 

cut pasta

When you achieve the desired thickness, cut it into whatever size pasta strips you want. Keep it dusted with flour until you boil it, when ready to drop it into the boiling water, shake off excess flour. Boil for 1-2 minutes  and remove the pasta from the water. Have the sauce of your choice ready to add to your fresh pasta.

 

Enjoy this fabulous pasta!

pasta with alfredo sauce