Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

I saw a copycat recipe for KFC extra crispy chicken the other day and I knew I had to try it. As soon as I started coating the chicken I knew this was going to be a great recipe. The coating does its job magnificently leaving a lot of breading and the best part is that the skin has been removed. My entire family enjoyed this dish and we have decided that this will be our go to fried chicken recipe from now on.

1 whole frying chicken, cut up into 8 pieces
2-3 cups sunflower oil, for frying
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
3/4 teaspoon msg
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon fresh garlic pureed
1/8 teaspoon baking powder

 1. Remove all skin from chicken pieces. In a saute pan on medium-high heat add oil. Allow to get hot.

2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, pepper, msg, paprika, garlic and baking powder. Mix well. In a small bowl add beaten egg and milk, mix.

3. One piece at a time coat chicken in milk mixture, flour mixture, milk mixture and flour mixture once again. Lay on a large plate until all chicken has been breaded.

4. When oil is hot carefully place chicken into pan. Fry chicken on each side about 15 minutes or until golden. Place on a paper to towel to drain oil. Serve.

Yields: 8 servings

Chocolate Cupcakes

My son and I love to bake together and we were both craving chocolate in a bad way so we decided to make a night weekend of it and make some fun chocolate cupcakes. We went and stocked up on extra sprinkles because he would be doing the decorating and of course we need plenty of supplies for that. I only have a 6 cup pan so it took longer than I wanted (note to self BUY a larger cupcake pan). My little guy fell asleep while I was baking so after I finished I saved the decorating for the next day.

When we got up I frosting and he decorated and I have to say he did a fabulous job. Not only was he my decorator he also mixed it all for me the previous night. We had a really great time together making these cupcakes and an even better time eating them.

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream


1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.

3. Pour batter into cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, gradually add cocoa mixture, scraping down side of bowl as necessary. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat frosting until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds.

5. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then spread with frosting using a table knife or small offset spatula. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Yields: 2 dozen

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I am personally not a big fan of eating dark chocolate straight however when combined in desserts that is an entirely different story. I absolutely adore the way dark chocolate taste in recipes and this cookie recipe is one of those. You should have smelled my house after they cooked it smelled like a bakery for a full day and I was loving it.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound good-quality dark chocolate: 4 ounces coarsely chopped and another 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Begin by chopping one of your 4 oz. chocolate bars into chunks. Meanwhile, prepare your double boiler by filling a medium sized pot with a little water. Fill about 2 inches from the bottom. Then place your pot on the stove top at medium/high heat until water begins to boil, lower your heat to medium/low so that the water is at a low simmer. A simmer is a less aggressive boil containing very small bubbles. Put the chocolate and butter in a large bowl and place on top of the pot so it sits comfortably and the heat from the water is trapped in between the pot and the bowl. Whisk the chocolate and butter until it has completely melted. This method gently heats and melts your chocolate and butter together. Remove the chocolate from the pot and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine your flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk until combined and set aside. In an electric mixer, combine the melted chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the ingredients are combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in the flour mixture. Beat until thoroughly mixed.

3. Meanwhile, chop your other 4 oz. chocolate bar into little 1/4 inch chunks. Add the chocolate chunks and chocolate chips to your batter. Manually stir them into your batter.

4. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets with butter. With a spoon, drop the batter, spacing 2 inches apart. Your dough should be about 1.5 inches in diameter. Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are flat, soft, and surfaces have cracked. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Yields: 2 dozen

Blueberry Muffins

Growing up blueberry muffins was a staple breakfast food in our home and while shopping this week I saw some fresh, luscious blueberry’s and thought of this recipe. My son and I had a lot of fun making these for brunch and even decided to make them actual BLUEberry muffins as you see. I took a handful of blueberries and crushed them in the mix so the batter would turn blue. My son really loved that!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Working over the bowl, toss blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 1/2 teaspoons flour mixture to lightly coat; set aside the flour mixture and the blueberries.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in vanilla.

3. With the mixer on low speed, add reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. If desired, in a small bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top of muffin batter.

4. Bake, rotating pan halfway though, until muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn muffins on their sides in their cups, and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yields: 1 dozen

Adapted from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook