Recip of the Week – Chicken Fluffs

(From the Appetizer Collection at

Chicken Fluffs

Chicken Fluffs

This post is a day late as we are enjoying the humid, hot, sunny, humid, did I say humid weather in Charleston.  My last post described how we plan the week’s meals to avoid confusion and having to get a consensus of the group.  Even the best laid plans change.  We have made some minor changes along the way, subbing special items the group wants to have.

We used to make these chicken fluffs when the kids were young.  We would make about 5 lbs in a turkey fryer and all the kids and their friends would show up.  This was before Micky D’s started to use real chicken instead of the reconstituted Chicken McNuggets.  Anyway, I made some of these to take to Charleston to use for appetizers for the few who don’t eat shrimp and seafood.  They also come in handy for lunches.  This is the same recipe I use for Chicken Piccata, they stay moist and absorb the flavors of the lemon and capers.

Chicken Fluffs

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 6
Category: Appetizer
Meal: N/A
2 lb chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 large egg
3 Tb water
0.5 cup rice flour
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
0.5 cup oil, olive
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Cut chicken breast into 1/2 thick slices, on the bias. Place rice flour in a plate with a rim, mix eggs and water and place in a second plate. Put the panko in the third plate. Salt and pepper each bowl to taste.
Place enough oil in a saute pan to cover the bottom. Heat until just shimmering. Dip the chicken in the flour, then into the eggs and finally into the panko; shaking after each dip to take off the excess. Place into the hot oil and saute until golden on both sides. Do not overcrowd the pan. Add more oil to the pan as needed. Drain the cooked chicken on paper towels. Shown here with cocktail dipping sauce.

May be frozen at this point and then reheated.

See what else is cooking at

August 19, 2014 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

A Vacation Tip and a Recipe

(From the Fish Entrée  Collection at

Pan-seared Scallops

Pan-seared Scallops

We will head out to Charleston this weekend for our yearly vacation on the ocean.  Beach vacation for us means friends and family, sun and surf and really great meals and conversation around the dinner table.  There are two kinds of beach vacationers in my mind: those who need to be entertained at all time and jump from mediocre restaurant to mediocre restaurant for all their meals and those who enjoy the “fine dining” at the beachhouse.

With a little planning you can make your life much easier if you are the one entrusted, and you are entrusted, with making the food experience as good as the sun and ocean experience.  Over the years we have fine tuned our approach to meal planning.  While I do all the planning and cooking we have found each of the other “guests” should take turns in shopping for the nightly meal.

Here are tips that I find to work well:

1. Decide on a menu for the week, we include a carnivore meal and a seafood each night, along with appetizers and desserts.

2. Using we create and print the recipes needed for the daily dinner.

3. Again using the easy “Shopping List” function of we fine tune and print the shopping list each morning for the daily shopping trip for fresh fish, meats and veggies.

4. Get some prep help, I find that while offering appetizers and drinks everyone passes in and out of the kitchen and offers to help.

5. Enjoy the meal.

6. Sit back and let everyone else clean up. Perfect!

Here is one of the recipes we will have in Charleston.

Pan-seared Sea Scallops

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 2
Category: Fish Entrée
Meal: Dinner in the Round (Distinctive Dinners)
8 large scallops, sea
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
4 Tb Panko breadcrumbs
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 Tb oil, olive
1 Tb butter, salted
8 leaves sage, fresh
2 Tb butter, salted
0.5 medium lemons

Note: This recipe takes very little time to make and therefore be sure to have the rest of the meal ready to go before starting the scallops.

Dry scallops thoroughly on a paper towel. Salt and pepper both sides of the scallops. Place Panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish, salt and pepper breadcrumbs. Dip one side of scallop in breadcrumbs. Place butter and olive oil in pan; heat pan until oil begins to smoke. Place scallops, breadcrumb side down in pan and cook until light brown (about 3 minutes); flip scallops and cook for three minutes on reverse side. Remove scallops to a side plate. Lower heat to medium, place sage leaves and butter in pan and swirl, cooking for three minutes. Plate scallops and drizzle brown butter sauce over scallops, serve with a lemon wedge on the side.
Shown here with baby Yukon Gold potatoes and peas.

To view the meal plan for Charleston send me an email and I will shoot you a copy.

August 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Inez’s Brazilian Caipirinha

From the Misc Category at

Inez's Caipirinha

Inez’s Caipirinha

I know this post is a few weeks late; as the World Cup was held in Brazil a while ago, but it is still summer and summer means cool drinks with friends.  While on our western trip we met some new friends, one of whom is from Brazil.  Inez instructed me on the proper method for making a Caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil.  Not only was I making them wrong but according to Inez the proper way to enjoy the caipirinha is to pass the glass around the table while drinking beer; kind of a communal cup of joy.

This drink is the perfect for making new friends, enjoying old friends or just to have a refreshing drink while relaxing.  A word of warning, too many caipirinhas make make your head pound to the tune of , “GOAL, GOAL, GOAL!”

Inez’s Brazilian Caipirinha

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 2
Category: Misc
Meal: N/A
2 medium limes
4 tsp sugar, granulated
4 oz vodka

Cut limes into 8 wedges; removing the white pith. Muddle the limes and sugar with a pestle or wooden spoon. Add the vodka and top with ice and shake well.

Note: this drink is originally made with Cachoca, a Brazilian sugarcane rum. You may be able to order it from your local liquor store.

You may want to have some appetizers to slow the effect of the caipirinha; we have lots of good ideas at Desfrutar! ( enjoy )

August 4, 2014 at 7:20 am 1 comment

Recipe of the Week – Wrapped Up Pears

From the Dessert Category at

Wrapped Up Pears

Wrapped Up Pears

We are just back from a vacation in the Rockies.  We were on both sides, starting in Salt Lake City, then up to the Snake River Gouge and finished up on the other side in Breckenridge, Colorado.  The sights and good company of friends and family made it a memorable trip.  I volunteered to cook dinner one night for friends. I know, crazy while on vacation, but a fun night.

There were 8 of us; we started with David Lee shrimp and baked brie, the main course was Steak au Poivre, French fries and Caesar salad, and we finished with the Wrapped Up Pears.  I had a little problem with the puff pastry with the altitude at 9,000 feet; but they turned out delicious.

Wrapped Up Pears

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 4
Category: Dessert
Meal: other (General)
3 cups water
0.75 cup sugar, granulated
4 medium pears, red Bartlett
0.5 cup cream, heavy
1 tsp vanilla
0.75 package puff pastry, frozen

Heat water, sugar and vanilla in a 2- quart saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Peal and core the pears from the bottom, leaving the stems on. Place the pears in the saucepan and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pears , cool and refrigerate for an hour. Stir cream into the saucepan and reduce until golden brown. Add vanilla. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, cut the puff pastry into 3/4 inch strips and wrap around pears. Place pears on parchment on a cookie sheets and bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes. uncover and bake until golden. Spoon the caramelized cream
sauce onto the plate and place pears, drizzling the remaining sauce over the pears.

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July 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – London Broil

(From The Beef  Entrée  Collection at

London Broil

London Broil

Too hot to cook inside?  Why not fire up the grill and serve this very easy but very good alternative to the usual steak.  With very little prep work your family will enjoy this hearty choice.  Add some fresh veggies and a salad and this is a meal fit for company.

Please don’t overcook the meat.  See the quick gravy recipe below if gravy is your thing.

London Broil

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 4
Category: Beef Entrée
Meal: In Law Dinner (Distinctive Dinners)
2 lb London Broil
2 Tb oil, olive
2 Tb vinegar, red wine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp pepper, fresh cracked
1 tsp salt, kosher

Marinate London broil in oil, vinegar, chopped garlic, and salt and pepper for 1 hour. Heat grill to high, cook London Broil about 4 minutes per side for medium. Let meat sit for a couple of minutes prior to cutting cross-grain. Serve with Quick Gravy, see recipe below.

Quick Gravy

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 8
Category: Beef Entrée
Meal: Other (General)
1 10.5 oz can beef consommé
10 oz wine, dry red
0.5 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 Tb lemon, juice of
1 Tb butter, salted
1 Tb cilantro, chopped
0.5 tsp pepper, fresh cracked
2 Tb water
4 tsp cornstarch

Put first 7 ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water to make a slurry, add slurry to the gravy and stir to thicken.

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July 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm 1 comment

Recipe of the Week – Rack of Lamb

From The Other Meat Collection at

Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb

The difference between a rack of lamb and lambs chops is simply whether the chops are still connected (rack) or single chops.  When buying a rack of lamb look for a fully trimmed rack, most of the fat, but not all, has been removed from the top and the bones are “frenched”; which means the top of the bones are scrapped to remove any meat and fat. You will need about 4 chops per person, a rack usually is 8 ribs or chops.  When buying separate chops, two per person is recommended as the chops are usually thicker than the rack.

This is a great meal, good for company, if you really like the company and a special meal for any occasion.  Easy to make, quick to cook and really tasty to eat.  We served it with a salad and a homemade French baguette.

Lamb Chops

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 4
Category: The Other Meat Entrée
Meal: Guest Who’s Coming to Dinner (Distinctive Dinners)
2 Tb mustard, dijon
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tb parsley, flakes
4 large lamb, chops
0.75 cup Panko breadcrumbs
3 tsp oil, olive

Combine mustard, garlic and parsley in small bowl. Spread on lamb chops. Brown all sides in very hot oven-proof pan on stove top. Sprinkle bread crumbs on chops, drizzle oil on top of crumbs and place in pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes.  Internal temperature of 135 for rare.

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July 14, 2014 at 7:56 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Bacon and Spinach Salad

(From the Salad Collection at

Bacon and Spinach Salad

Bacon and Spinach Salad

Summer is in full swing in the Ohio Valley.  In the heat, making a lunch that is good tasting and lite enough is sometimes a challenge.  Taking a cue from a typical spinach salad and adding just enough to make it a meal; we find this hits the spot for a Saturday lunch.  Add a toast point or two and this lunch will provide just the right touch for your summer mid-day meal.

If your big eaters revolt at having just a salad for lunch add some cooked chicken or shrimp to satisfy their cravings.


Bacon and Spinach Salad

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 4
Category: Salad
Meal: other (General)
1 lb spinach, fresh baby
4 small bacon
2 Tb oil, olive
1 medium lemon, juice of
2 tsp garlic powder
4 oz cheese, feta, crumbled
3 Tb cheese, Romano, grated
0.33 cup cranberries, dried
0.33 cup pecans, toasted
0.33 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a pan until crispy. Remove the bacon and add the oil to the pan. Add the juice of the lemon to the pan. Put the spinach in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Add the oil mixture from the pan and break the bacon into small pieces ; adding to the bowl and toss. Serve with toast points.

Add cooked chicken or shrimp for a more robust salad.

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July 7, 2014 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

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