Indoor Picnic – Recipe: Boneless Buffalo Chicken Tenders

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We play our first game of the college football season tonight.  So, of course, I planned a celebration meal.

We started with pico de gallo, chips, salsa, celery, carrots, and ranch.

Then, we moved to boneless buffalo chicken tenders, regular chicken tenders, baked French fries, and more carrots, celery, ranch, and goat cheese dressing (instead of blue cheese).

It was a feast.  And, to make it even more fun for everyone, we had a picnic in the living room floor while we watched Scooby, our little pre-game entertainment.

Oh, how I love the simple things that create family bonding time. More pictures, more memories for the scrapbook in my head.  I will go to sleep smiling as I flip through the internal videos, pictures, and memories tonight.

Recipe: Boneless Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp season salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • favorite wing sauce
  • canola oil
  • kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the corn starch, egg, red wine vinegar, season salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the chicken, and mix until well coated.
  3. Add canola oil to pan (I like to use just enough to cover the chicken once I drop it in).  Heat over medium high heat.
  4. Once heated, add the chicken tenders, one at a time, until the bottom of the pan is covered with chicken tenders.
  5. While the chicken is frying, heat wing sauce over medium low heat.
  6. Fry for about 4 minutes on each side.  Remove from the pan and drain on a paper-towel covered plate.
  7. Sprinkle the chicken with kosher salt.
  8. Dip half (or all, depending on what your family likes) of the tenders into the wing sauce.
  9. Serve with ranch or goat cheese (blue cheese) dressing.

Enjoy!

And, a very special shout-out to my daddy – Happy Birthday, Daddy – and my sister and brother-in-law – Happy Anniversary!  I love you all!!

Just Because – Recipe: The Ultimate Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

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It is Friday! And, it is also a three-day weekend.  I wanted to dance or do cartwheels down the hallway at school.  Yes, I was honestly that excited!

It was another busy day, but I knew that I could do anything today because we have three days to just relax, play, sleep late, and watch college football.

Just in case you are wondering…the washing machine has not lost its entertainment value yet.  I love it.

But, what I love even more is that my boys love each other so much.  Yesterday Gabriel said, “I hope that Ethan can talk one day, but if he cannot, I will still love him just the same.”

I made these cupcakes today, and it made my day.  When I received the order, she said that she just wanted to do something special for her husband.  How that email made my day!  I love “just because” events.  I think that almost any day can be made into an event, a reason to celebrate.  I love that about being a wife and a mom.  It is the “just because” days that create the moments and memories that we catalog into a scrapbook in our minds.

As I was thinking about that today, I realized why it is so important to do things like Pizza and Movie Night.

It is about traditions, but it is also about the very thing that defines a family – unity, love, moments, togetherness, joy, and memories.  When I go to bed at night and flip through the scrapbook in my mind, I love seeing the pictures of all of those moments, those memories, that we created out of “just because” things, both big and small.

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water

2 teaspoons yeast

2 teaspoon sugar

1 cup soy milk

2 cups brown rice flour

1 3/4 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 cup white rice flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/2 cup canola oil

1 egg

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into the warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together the flours, starches, salt, xanthan gum, unflavored gelatin, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add the yeast mixture, soy milk, canola oil, and egg. Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
  4. Put the dough in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes. I put mine in the oven, after heating it on the warm setting for 10 minutes and then turning it off.
  5. Remove the dough from the oven, and preheat the oven to 450.
  6. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, and sprinkle it with some white rice flour.
  7. Press out the pizza crusts. This dough is very sticky. So, I sprinkled flour onto the top of it, and then I sprayed some cooking spray onto my hands. Press the dough out, however big or small you would like. I made 5 personal pizzas and had enough dough left over for 1-2 more.
  8. Bake the crusts for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
  9. Add toppings, and cook another 10 minutes.
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In all honesty, this pizza crust is delicious.  Everyone liked it.  I have not been able to get Summer to enjoy my homemade pizza since we started this journey.  Tonight, she took one bite and said, “I like it, Momma!”  Those were sweet, sweet words, indeed.  I love that we are still on this journey together.  Yes, there are some things that Sean, Summer, and Gabriel do eat whenever they are not with Ethan, especially now that school is underway.  But, as a family, we stick together, continuing to fight for our sweet Ethan.  Gabriel is right, if Ethan does not ever talk, we will still love him just the same.  But, if there are things that we can do for him to help him continue to achieve great things and be the best Ethan who he can be, we will absolutely go that extra mile.

Have a great weekend…and make sure to enjoy those “just because” moments.

If You Give a Mom a Cookie… – Recipe: Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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If you give a mom a cookie,

You will see a smile appear on her face.

Then, the littles will smell the wonderful smells

And come running to see if they can have one, too.

If you give a mom a cookie,

It will just make her day.

Not just because it made her smile and sent the littles running

But, also, because being a mom, smiling in peaceful contentment, having littles, and making cookies is the definition of pure joy.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookies will be very soft, so they need to cool before eating. If you simply cannot wait (and trust me,it will be hard!), expect the texture to be very chewy-brownie-like.

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 cup canola oil

6 tablespoons almond butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put almond butter and oil in a bowl, and microwave until melted, about 1 minute. Let cool completely.
  3. Mix the flours, xanthan gum, and baking soda together and set aside.
  4. Mix the sugars with the almond butter mixture (I used my KitchenAid mixer). Add the eggs and vanilla, and stir until combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. My mixture looked very chewy and soft.
  6. Add the chocolate chips until just combined.
  7. Shape the dough into large balls - I used a cookie scoop for this, with very generous scoops. Place on baking sheet, and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
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One of the great things about these cookies is that they are still soft and just as good the next day, which is perfect for packing a little treat in school lunches.

Make these for someone you love today.  They will thank you because these cookies are truly delicious!