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It’s Cold-ish! Stay in and Eat!

A year ago from writing this, it was 11 degrees, with the wind chill around -4. While the temps are still fairly mild for January in Pennsylvania, let’s not use that as an excuse to not stay in and eat. I thought about offering up a nice healthy recipe for those of you who haven’t

A year ago from writing this, it was 11 degrees, with the wind chill around -4. While the temps are still fairly mild for January in Pennsylvania, let’s not use that as an excuse to not stay in and eat.

I thought about offering up a nice healthy recipe for those of you who haven’t given up on your New Year’s Resolutions yet, but where is the fun in that? It’s bound to get frigid eventually, so I thought I’d offer up some fairly simple comfort food to help get you through the winter.

Let’s start with our main course. You can’t go wrong with an easy baked chicken. And, truth be told, this recipe isn’t entirely unhealthy if you are still on course to lose weight in the new year. You could easily skip the second coating on the chicken and cut the carbs making it a pretty decent chicken dish.

Crunchy Baked Chicken:

Ingredients:

• 8 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
• 4 cups corn flakes cereal
• 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine (or other fresh herb, such as parsley or chives)
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
• 4 teaspoons butter, melted
• 3 egg whites
• 4 teaspoon milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425° F. Cover 10×15 shallow pan with foil, then spray with cooking oil.

Place cereal in zippered plastic bag and crush with your hands until pieces are small.

Add fresh herbs, paprika, garlic powder and seasoned salt to cereal, and toss mixture gently to distribute seasonings. Place in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, add melted butter, egg whites and milk. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.

For each chicken breast, dip in butter mixture and then roll in cereal mixture. Double dip in each for better coverage and extra crunch. (Remember, if you want to save calories and carb, just coat the chicken once.)

Place on large shallow pan that is covered in foil and coated with cooking spray. Repeat until all 8 chicken breasts are done.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for 45 to 60 minutes. If coating starts getting too dark, cover with foil until final 5 minutes of baking.

Remove from pan to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Onto the side dish that I chose to go with this. Listen y’all. This is pretty much where the healthy options end. This recipe involves pasta. And cheese. And kielbasa. And bread. And beer. Ain’t no coming back from all that. But, everyone deserves a good mac and cheese every once in a while, and this one is really going to hit the spot on a cold night.

Craft Beer Mac & Cheese:

Ingredients:

• 4 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
• 1/2 small shallot, finely diced
• 7 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 cup Yoplait® Greek vanilla yogurt
• 2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
• 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
• 1/3 cup light local craft beer — The SOB Hill IPA from New Trail or the Kimberwickey Kolsch from Riepstine’s would both be good options here.
• 1 package (14 ounce) Kielbasa, sliced
• 1 loaf Pillsbury™ refrigerated French loaf, baked and cubed
• 1 clove garlic
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

Cook and drain macaroni. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter and add shallots. Cook for 1 minute.

Whisk in the yogurt, 1 1/4 cups of cheddar, 2/3 cup of parmesan, and beer. Continue to whisk over medium heat until a creamy sauce forms. Stir sauce into cooked macaroni. Sprinkle remaining cheddar, and 1/4 cup of parmesan into the macaroni and stir that in, as well, for extra cheesiness.

Wipe skillet clean, then return to hot stove. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the sliced kielbasa into the butter and cook until browned. Transfer cooked kielbasa to the top of the mac and cheese, stir slightly to mix into the pasta and cheese sauce.

Wipe skillet clean once more. Melt remaining two tablespoons of butter into the skillet. Add garlic and toss in breadcrumbs. Cook until breadcrumbs are toasted and golden on most sides. Sprinkle with pepper and a touch of salt.
Spread breadcrumbs on top of mac and cheese. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese mixture is bubbling and breadcrumbs are firm and toasted. Serve and enjoy!

Whether you wait for colder weather, or decide to stay in and cook just because it’s Wednesday, I hope you enjoy this!

As always, feel free to send me your recipes to try! If they are good, you may just find them here!

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