Spicy Peanut Crusted Chicken with Coconut Peanut Dipping Sauce

I’m always looking to do something a little different with plain chicken and love adding a little spice to things, so I decided to try making a Spicy Peanut Crusted Chicken with a Coconut Peanut Dipping Sauce. I used chicken thighs for this recipe, but it would work great for chicken breasts too.

The Fresh Roasted Almond Company sent me a great sample box with a variety of their nuts and flavors. I ate some, shared some and still had a lot left so I got the idea to try using their buffalo flavored peanuts instead of the usual plain peanuts I use when I make this dish. They have a sweet and spicy taste (not an overtly a “buffalo wings” kind of flavor) that I thought would go well with the sauce I usually make with Thai peanut chicken.

I started with 1/2 cup of flavored peanuts. I usually just crush them with a mortar and pestle but I found these a little harder than the plain nuts due to their flavored coating. After a few rounds I gave in and brought out the food processor so I could grind them up better. You still want them to be a little crumbly though, so don’t grind them to dust!

Buffalo Peanuts by the Fresh Roasted Almond Co.

I combined the peanuts with 1/2 cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) that I gave a few extra crushes to so they were a little smoother than usual. You can use regular breadcrumbs, but all I had was the panko or seasoned breadcrumbs and I didn’t want to throw the flavor off with the extra seasoning.

Next beat two eggs in a separate bowl and mix together your peanut and breadcrumbs in their own bowl. First dip the chicken in the eggs, then the crumb mix. Press the chicken into the crumb mix really well on both sides so you get a good coating.

I baked them on a Copper Crisper, but you can also just use a baking sheet or pan. Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 min. I always check after 30 minutes and see if they need more time. While the chicken is cooking, it’s time to make the sauce!

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Really Easy Coconut Peanut Sauce:

1/2 can of coconut milk (Give or take depending on how thick you want it. I usually pour a little in, mix, then pour more in. You will probably have to stir the coconut milk in the can first because it usually separates)

1/3 cup of peanut butter (At can be creamy or chunky. And again, you can add more or less depending on taste)

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lime juice

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Dash of red pepper flakes if you like it a little hot.

Stir it up until it’s bubbling, then lower the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

All done and ready to serve!

img_0677.jpgThis meal goes great with plain white rice and green beans. You can also pour some of the sauce on the rice or drizzle it on the chicken. I like to put it in a little bowl for dipping but my husband takes the bowl and just dumps it on everything.

You can make this with any kind of nuts too! The Fresh Roasted Almond Co. even makes nut crumbles so you can skip the food processor part and just go straight to the dipping.

You can check them out on Facebook and Instagram, as well as their website Fresh Roasted Almond Co.

*There’s a Buy 2 Get 2 Free special on their website right now, where if you buy two of any item, you get another two products free – details on the site.

Geeking Out on Tea – Adagio Teas Have All the Awesome Fandoms

I’m a fan of tea. I was born in Alabama and was basically raised on sweet tea. When I was little, if I had a choice between milk, juice or tea, I’d go tea every time. I got into hot teas and different varieties when I got older. I also have a pretty impressive collection of Japanese tea sets.

So, if I wasn’t clear, I really like tea.

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Which brings us to Adagio.com and their amazing collection of teas of all kinds. And it’s not just the tea, but the fandom connection that got me so excited I actually ordered twice the amount of the gift certificate they sent me so I could to review the tea and do an article. So this isn’t even a totally sponsored review – I actually bought this stuff too! I just love the little tins they tea comes in. I know I’ll be using them for other things once the tea is gone.

I just worked my way through the Harry Potter Magic Potions collection, and still have Game of Thrones and the Hero Recovery pack to do. I also picked up a little Flutter Shy and a random bag of Black Dragon Pearls because how cool does that sound?

This tea is no joke. It’s a loose tea and very vibrant in color and very fragrant. The overall tone of the Harry Potter sampler seems to be dark and smokey. Most of the tea reminded me of the scent of pipe tobacco. I discovered making tea with a toddler around is a little difficult because I’d get everything set up, start brewing the tea, then get distracted and come back 30 minutes later to a very strong and bitter tea. So pay attention to your brewing time! I’m still tinkering with how to make a nice cup so my first impressions may not be the most accurate. I tried everything plain at first, then with a little sugar. I prefer teas I can drink without adding anything extra, so my favorite was the Beerbutter because it tasted great as-is. I thought Pumpkin Potion would be high on my list, but I couldn’t really detect enough of a pumpkin flavor. I liked the light scent and flavor of the Draught of Peace, and wasn’t really a fan of the Felix Felicis or Polyjuice. I’m going to give everything another try though and experiment with proper brewing times and adding in sugar or honey.

I tried making it three different ways – a french press, a tea ball and tea bags. I like the tea bag way the best because it’s really easy and there’s no mess. You just fill up a little baggie, sit it in your cup, then toss it when you are done. I got mine at the grocery store, but the ones on Amazon are way better in price: bags for loose tea  There’s also a large selection of teaware on the Adagio website if you are looking for something unique or prettier than a tea bag.

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I’m still on my tea testing journey and looking forward to starting the Game of Thrones blends next! If you have a friend who likes tea, a unique blend from their favorite fandom would make a really great gift. They have a HUGE selection, plus seasonal teas, tea of the month, and every kind of tea imaginable it seems. Because I currently have such a plethora of teas, I shared my Magic Potions collection with a friend. You can read her tea experience here: Adagio Puts the Geek in Tea

You can also check out Adagio on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

The Drunken Chef Party

Last weekend I had another ladies night gathering, this time a triple header with a fashion truck, Pampered Chef demo and drink mixes by Minute Mixology.

I deemed it “The Drunken Chef” party and then found this awesome/ridiculous photo on Google. I think everyone needs one of these for Christmas:

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I set up a mix-your-own drink station, prepped the ingredients, cleared the driveway, and then it was party time!

Belle of the Boulevard

If you have’t had a fashion truck at your party, I highly recommend it! I loved the way she set it up so it’s not just a truck you can shop in, it’s a full on mobile boutique complete with a little sitting area!

It’s been so hard for for me to actually get to a boutique lately that it was a total treat to have the boutique brought to me. Everybody had a lot of fun shopping in my driveway.

It’s a ten person minimum to have the truck set up and you get a great hostess discount! If you are in the Jacksonville area and interested, check out their Facebook page and send a message:  https://www.facebook.com/BelleBlvd

Minute Mixology

These handy little drink mix packets are perfect for busy people who like fancy cocktails with natural ingredients. They sent me six flavors to try so I put together a sampling bar where people could try some premade cocktails or mix their own. Each drink takes about 6 oz of a liquid and 1.5 oz of booze, pour packet in and stir.

The margaritas were really popular and the spicy margarita was Spicey! The Moscow Mule and Coconut Mojito tied for second, but the Old Fashioned got no love because bourbon wasn’t really a drink of choice for the ladies. The Michelada was also a tough sell since nobody wanted to mix beer with their liquor.

Check out Effie from Project_Mom_Strong showing how easy it is to mix up a cocktail!

My only question for them was if a cosmo was on their to-do list, and the answer is yes! The place to get these locally is Lucky’s Market or shop online at MinuteMixology.com

Pampered Chef

I love cooking so I always wanted to attend a Pampered Chef party and try out the products. I got to choose two recipes and then the consultant Kay gave me a grocery list for the food and she brought everything else.

She set up two stations, one for chicken nacho dip and one for brownies. Then we got to cooking! I had been eyeing the Simple Slicer in the catalog so I was excited to see that was one of the things we got to use.

We had a moment of excitement when the stoneware pan we cooked the chicken on broke apart as I was pulling it out of the oven. And then broke again when I set it on the counter! I just read the reviews for it on the website and apparently this is a common complaint.

Thankfully everything else worked great and the nacho dip and brownies were delicious.

Brownies with peanut butter drizzle ready for the oven!
Brownies with peanut butter drizzle ready for the oven!

If you are looking to set up your own party, just click here to contact Kay. You can even do a virtual party on Facebook! The only drawback is you have to have $200 in sales at your party to get any kind of discount. So Facebook is probably the best way to go anyway since you won’t have to spend any money on food or entertaining.

Overall the party was a lot of fun! And big thanks to Minute Mixology for sending the drink mixes, Belle of the Boulevard for the private VIP shopping experience and Kay from Pampered Chef for setting us up with some yummy treats.

Let’s Get Popping with Malaysian Palm Oil

I use a lot of different oils in my cooking so I was excited about the opportunity from Moms Meet to try a free bottle of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and see what it was like. I learned the palm oil has very high smoke point and won’t break down into harmful chemicals when used at higher temperatures so it would be perfect to replace some of my other cooking oils. It’s also packed with potent phytonutrients like carotene and tocotrienols (an ultra-potent form of vitamin E) not found in other oils.

The suggested recipe was for popcorn and I admit I was skeptical about making it in a pot! I guess I thought you needed some kind of special air popper, old school tin foil bubble or microwave package to make it, but nope! All you need is a pot, oil and kernels.

I used a 6 qt. pot, 3 tbsp. of palm oil and just under 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels. The recipe called for 1/2 cup and an 8 qt. pot, so I adjusted for my smaller pot. I poured the 3 tbsp. in the pot, added three kernels, covered it with the lid and turned the heat to medium-high.

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It felt like it took forever to hear those three little pops, but really it was probably less than five minutes. After that I remove the pot from the heat and scooped the popped pieces out with a spoon. I then poured in the kernels and gave them a good shake to distribute the oil and heat evenly and ensure that everything pops at the same time. It’s an important step because otherwise it will pop unevenly and you will end up with burnt popcorn and leftover kernels.

I then put the pot back on the heat with a lid slightly askew so steam could escape. When it started popping, a few kernels escaped too!

The popping started pretty quickly and I had to adjust the lid a couple times because it kept slipping down. After a couple minutes I peeked in and there was a beautiful golden pile of popcorn. The palm oil is a rich red color from the same carotenoids found in carrots, oranges, squash and apricots and is loaded with provitamin A. The red color of the oil gives the popcorn a golden hue that makes it look like it’s right out of the movie theater.

I poured it into the bowl and found that almost every single kernel had popped and this was possibly the most perfect bowl of popcorn I had ever made. I didn’t even feel like I needed to add butter and just tossed it with a little bit of sea salt and it was delicious!

Popcorn made with palm oil

I’m really looking forward to trying the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil in other recipes like pan frying and stir fry, and making popcorn like this again! If you’d like to learn more about palm oil and its many benefits, check out www.PalmOilHealth.org .

Watch out Betty Crocker!

My son surprised me by asking to bake cupcakes this week. He usually has no interest in helping out in the kitchen so I immediately dropped everything and got to baking! In full disclosure, I was doing yardwork and it was hot and any excuse to take a break sounded like an amazing idea.

Trying to do anything with a toddler is an exercise in patience, mostly me trying to teach him to have some and let the muffins actually cook. But we both had fun, the kitchen didn’t get splattered by batter (at least not too much) and I got to share a great new experience with my son. I loved how excited he was when I popped the beaters out the mixer and told him he could lick it! Probably right now someone’s going “ewwww raw eggs, he might get sick….” but whatever, I loved doing that as a kid!

The cupcakes were delicious and I was happy to get to use some leftover Miss Jones frosting from the sampling party I did last month.

I was starting to sense a theme when later in the week he asked to make cookies. We ran into a problem when he wanted the star cookies just like on the box. I’m starting to hate pictures on boxes and the high expectations that follow! I had no rolling pin and no cookies cutters so I improvised with a glass. Guess what I learned in a very loud screaming freak out way? Circles are NOT stars. Also squares and any other shape I may have had on hand do not equal stars. So I took that dough and squashed and pinched and made that kid some stars! The results were as supurb as expected:

star cookie fail by geekmama.com

So what do you guys enjoy making with your kids? I hope your results were as spectacular as mine. (haha) They may not be pretty but at least they taste good!