Thursday, November 15, 2018

My Play Day Recipes Included

On Tuesday, I'd posted about basically playing hooky and hanging out with my mother. The weather here in the Northeast was a little miserable, kind of like today only no snow, but cold and wet and the perfect day to whip up a little delicious food, do a mini-spa day and watch a movie. As for the movie, we watched Christopher Robin. It was absolutely enchanting, however if you're going to watch it (available from Redbox or on Prime) make sure that you have a box of tissues. My mom cried like a baby, and me, well I was my usual completely composed self. Yeah, I can't read that without laughing hysterically. I cried worse than she did -- what can I say, I have a weakness for Pooh.

For the mini-spa portion of our play day, I grabbed my Blue Lagoon Face Mask Trio. At the moment, this is my go-to because whatever my skin is trying to do -- you know, acting up like a toddler -- I can address it with one of these three masks. I also grabbed my tube of Blue Lagoon Foot Scrub when it was pedicure time! I gave my mom a quick manicure and she whips out a $3 dollar bottle of lotion. You're probably thinking the same thing that I did, but this stuff really works! I have to say that I think that Healthy Accents Essential Renewal Dry Skin Lotion is going to be my 2018 beauty bargain of the year. 😉

Okay, so enough about the "spa" part of the day -- let's get to the menu. A few encouraging words for anyone who's afraid of cooking or baking. You may "mess up" a recipe and who cares if you do!?! It will probably taste amazing anyway and you can try again. Or you can order takeout if it's a complete disaster And seriously there are way worse things to worry about than brownies that look like dog biscuits. I served up Popcorn Chicken, Pretzel Bites and Brownie Bites. I know that I mentioned hot chocolate, but I actually skipped it on Tuesday. Check out the recipes below -- they're really simple (just a little time consuming) and are the perfect menu for date night or for hanging with the family.

Popcorn Chicken


Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions (Preheat oven 350 degrees F)

Dipping Sauce: Mix mayonnaise, Frank's and honey. Transfer to a small serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Put the paprika, garlic powder, cayenne and salt in a large resealable plastic bag and shake to mix. Add the chicken and shake to thoroughly coat.
Put the flour in a large bowl. Beat the buttermilk and eggs together in another large bowl.
Get a deep baking pan and add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
Dredge the chicken in the flour. Remove from the flour, shake off the excess and dip it in the buttermilk mixture to coat. Let the excess drip off, then return it to the flour. Place the coated chicken pieces in the pan and bake until golden brown and cooked through, approximately 8 minutes.
Place the chicken pieces on a paper towel lined plate and blot.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve with Dipping Sauce.

Pretzel Bites

The recipe for these Pretzel Bites is my Homemade Pretzel Bread. The only alteration is simply cutting the dough into bite sized pieces prior to placing in the baking soda water. The cook time turned out to be the same as it is for the loaves. If you have questions, leave a comment below or on social media and I will absolutely answer you. 😃

Brownie Bites

I adapted this recipe from Entertaining With Beth, specifically from Beth's "Halloween Brownie Bites," and these are so completely addictive. The only absolute is that you will need to watch Beth's video because the recipe isn't as descriptive as it needs to be and I'm an awful person because I forgot to take notes while I was making these. I can tell you that you have to really coat the muffin tins well and let the brownie bites cool or you will never get them out of the tins. This is where I ran into a problem and had a little issue removing them from the tins, but the Bites were still totally delish and completely gone! To be exact, Beth's recipe yields 5 dozen and I wasn't up for that so I made 2 dozen with the intention of making the remaining later and because I had problems with the mini muffin tins, I simply placed the batter in a square pan and added toppings in rows.

Ingredients (Yields 5 dozen bites)

For Brownies:
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp  vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup of butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 1 tsp
  • salt


For Peanut Butter Swirl
½ cup peanut butter

For Salted, Nutty Caramel
½ cup chopped pecans
12 Lancaster Cream caramels
flaky salt

For Chocolate Chunk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350F
Melt chocolate and butter in a sauce pan on low. Allow to cool slightly.
In a medium size bowl whisk eggs and sugar together until smooth. Add vanilla, and salt. Mix until smooth.
Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture a little at a time to “temper” the eggs, then add all the mixture and whisk to combine.
Then add flour mixture, mix until smooth.
Scoop into mini muffin tin and add desired toppings.
Bake 10-12 mins. Allow to cool for at least 15 mins. Remove from tins and serve

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