Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cleaning Out Summer

The summer decor is down and the fall is going up. Not only do I love cooking for the seasons but I LOVE decorating. Now that my husband and I are fairly settled into our home of one year and all the big immediate decorating is done, not to say there aren't small touches needed here and there, but I finally feel like I can take up seasonal decorating project. I love going through magazines like Pottery Barn and Southern Living to see their decorating styles for the seasons. In fact, I have a large stack of magazine pages on my desk full of projects I'd like to do for the fall season and around the house in general. I realized that there was no way to physically, and for my husbands sake, financially going to be able to get them all done so I decided to make a fall project list, one each week till the end of fall and the rest will get filed away to potentially be done next season. The changing of the seasons also triggers a pantry, fridge and freezer clean out. My recipes this week are simple and great for a week night meal. One of them is a perfect example of how I also like to hide vegetables from my husband and trick him into eating them but shhh... don't tell him!

Red Pepper & Herb Chicken Strips

I like doing several variations of chicken strip and using ingredients that sound good to me at that time. This time we used:

-2 strips of chicken per person (you can cut chicken breasts if you don't have strips) I used 4.
-1/2 cup flour
-1 egg, beaten
-3/4 cup panko
-1 tbsp red pepper flakes
-1/2 tsp thyme
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp oregano
-salt and pepper
-2 tbsp olive oil
Serve with a side sauce

1. Wash and pat dry chicken strips.
2. Put 1/2 cup flour in a bowl, beaten egg is a separate bowl and in another bowl mix together panko and the next 6 ingredients. Set up your assembly line in this order.
3. In a skillet heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium heat.
4. Now that everything is in order, one at a time coat your chicken in flour, then the egg, and lastly the panko mixture. With the panko mixture use your fork to generously cover the chicken and press firmly, flip and do the same thing on the other side. Place your chicken one at a time in the skillet and cook each side until it's a deep golden brown.

Summer Squash & Cheese Orzo
A fresh take on mac-and-cheese 
Serving Size: 2
1 cup orzo
3/4 cup summer squash, diced
1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tbsp parsley flakes
salt and pepper
1. Cook orzo according to package and add squash at the same to the same pot.
2. Once cooked, drain water, remove from heat and mix in  the cheese and the next 6 ingredients. Cover for 5 minutes.
3. Enjoy!  

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