Saturday, May 20, 2017

Spicy Potato Chips Crusted Chicken Strips - CIC

The moment that I saw that potato chips and soy sauce were the winners for this month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge, I made myself a promise. I would NOT make chicken with a dip. No way. Yeah. So what happened? As usual, the 20th snuck up on me. I already had the ingredients for my other dish - onion rings - but I honestly didn't know what date it was all week until I checked and realised it was the night of the 17th. How on earth did that happen?

It was a bit of a crazy week here. We had really heavy rains starting last Saturday night and spent the next few days waiting to be flooded out. It did not happen! Yaay! While we waited for the flood, our internet decided it didn't want to wait with us. Our ISP said they'd send someone out but the roads were impassable and much of the island was on standstill on Tuesday. I had an important meeting that Tuesday morning but since I don't own a boat, going was not an option. We were lucky but several persons weren't. The river closest to us rose approximately 30 feet and washed away a bridge or two. Sigh. It's not even hurricane season yet and this was the second instance of severe flooding in 3 weeks. And it's still raining right now. Oh and with this bad weather comes power cuts. I've lost count of the number of times we lost power yesterday.

So that's the story all about how it was CIC time again and I almost hadn't made anything. But not to worry! I knew that I wanted onion rings. I made them Thursday morning. They were absolutely delicious. And I ate all but 3 before I remembered to take a picture. I could have made more rings but why tempt fate? So I decided to batter and bake some chicken instead.

Look what the other bloggers made this month!

Spicy Potato Chips Crusted Chicken Strips

8 - 10 oz chicken breast, cut into strips
salt & pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of salt
4 oz barbecue flavoured potato chips
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
cayenne pepper and salt to taste


Preheat oven to 375F.
Season the chicken strips with salt and pepper.
Mix the batter ingredients until just combined. Don't overmix.
Process the potato chips into crumbs and place in a shallow dish along with the cayenne pepper.
Dip the chicken strips in the batter, shake off excess and then dredge in the potato chips. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and cooked through.

While the chicken is baking, heat the sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and water over medium heat stirring occasionally. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Mix the cornstarch in the 2 tablespoons of water and then add to the mixture on the stove. Cook until thickened. Taste and add cayenne pepper and salt to taste.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Carrot Cake Truffles - Crazy Ingredient Challenge

You'd think that having two "sweet" ingredients would make this month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge really easy for me. Not even a little bit. Carrots plus graham crackers scream carrot cake. And not only have I made such a carrot cake before, right before the winning ingredients were announced, I had made a carrot cake. There was no way I was making another one. A possible carrot-banana-graham cracker loaf seemed like the way to go for a bit. Or perhaps some bars?  All variations on that carrot cake.

In the end, I decided to stop fighting the carrot cake. This was definitely helped by Cupcake Project posting her Carrot Cake Truffles. They have mashed potatoes! It sounded weird and hence, right up my alley. I modified her recipe and produced my own little bites. You can't taste the potatoes - potatoes, after all, are a pretty blank canvas. These are not particularly sweet so you could definitely increase the sugar, a little. Or add in another sweet ingredient. Easily modified. Try them and see.

Carrot Cake Truffles
(Yield: ~14)

100 grams carrots
50 grams fresh coconut
50 grams graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
37 grams sugar
1/4 cup prepared mash potatoes (with only butter, salt, and milk)
toppings: crushed nuts, cinnamon sugar


Pulse the carrots and the coconut in a food processor until finely diced. Pulse in the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, ginger, and sugar. Stir in the mashed potatoes. Taste and adjust the spices and sugar, if necessary. Take tablespoon amounts of the mixture and roll into balls. Roll the balls into your desired toppings. Chill before serving.

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Dirty Banana Mini Bundts - #BundtBakers

Tomorrow marks 7 years since my brain surgery. This is huge for a number of reasons. I don't think about surgery as much as I used to - it's almost like it never happened. Almost. I don't have flashbacks of painful moments when I try to brush my teeth.  I hardly think about the minor deficits (mainly only visible to me). Occasionally, something will pop up. A couple weeks ago, I had to make some phone calls. In each call I would ask about a "kerb machine". After a dozen or so calls, I realised that I do occasionally still have trouble saying the letter "b". Minor matters. I honestly did not remember that bs were a problem until then. The major success here is that I am two years past the point where many persons experience regrowth and a resurgence of symptoms. I still don't know if there's regrowth - don't tell anyone that I am still avoiding MRIs. But let's shout this from the rooftop - STILL SYMPTOM FREE!

Each year I make myself a cake. I had plans for a simple hummingbird cake this year but I just couldn't swing it. Three weeks ago, I baked two birthday cakes for my brother and lost interest in all things sugary. Then the Easter holidays hit. Right now my nephews are still on holiday and kept me busy all of yesterday. Very little time for baking large cakes.

So we shall start the brainiversary celebration with these Dirty Banana Mini Bundts. This month the Bundt Bakers are all about the cocktails. I chose the dirty banana cocktail - partly because of the flavours but mainly because of the name. The dirty banana has banana, coffee, and rum. All deliciousness. Whoa - just realised that I am eating coffee rum ice cream while I type this - total coincidence.

Thanks for hosting Patricia and Cristina! See all our cocktail Bundts below!

Dirty Banana Mini Bundts
(Yield: 4 mini Bundts)

125 grams flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
118 ml buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee
56 grams butter, room temperature
67 grams granulated sugar
33 grams brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
95 grams (~1/2 cup) mashed banana
Coffee-Rum Syrup
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons strong coffee
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons rum


Grease and flour 4 one-cup capacity mini Bundt tins. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together. In a measuring cup, dissolve the instant coffee in the buttermilk.
Cream butter and the two sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. When bought have been incorporated, stir in the banana. Scrape down the batter as often as needed.
Alternate adding the flour and the coffee-milk mixture into the butter mixture. Start and end with flour, add the flour in three parts and the coffee-milk in two parts. Mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the mini Bundt tins. Bake 15- 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

While the Bundts are baking, microwave the sugar, coffee, and butter together until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Do this is short bursts - mixing in between. Be sure to use at least a 2 cup capacity container. The mixture could bubble over. When the sugar has dissolved, stir in the rum.
When the Bundts are cooked, immediately pour about a third of the coffee-rum syrup over the Bundts. Allow to cool, remove from tins and slowly pour over the remaining syrup.


Bundt Bakers Cocktail Bundts

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.  You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page. And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

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