Well, we're back from our week at the beach. How I wish I could afford to live in San Diego. I love the city, it's so temperate...I could easily live there if it wasn't so stinkin' expensive. We had a great time with Jen B. and her son and my mom, then my brother came down for the weekend from Seattle. It was a great time--we fit A LOT into a week. I'm still trying to recover. We got home late Sunday night, so yesterday was spent doing laundry and trying to get everything back in order. I wanted to stay home all day because the poor baby had been in his carrier basically for four days straight (Legoland on Thursday, San Diego Zoo on Friday, Knott's Berry Farm on Saturday, and driving home on Sunday. I said we did a lot--and that was only the last half of the week!), and I thought I'd have a baby mutiny on my hand if I tried to take him anywhere. The husband and I are also going to be leading a small group from our church, and we were supposed to have our first meeting tonight, so I needed something that didn't require a trip to the store and would be easy and fast since people were coming over at 6:30.
Luckily my MOMS Club went to Dream Dinners recently so I had some dinners from that stuck in my freezer. Dream Dinners is a genius idea, and frankly I kick myself for not thinking of something similar. You go to their store, which is basically a big kitchen with several stations, and prepare a bunch of meals to stick in your freezer. They provide all the ingredients, and everything goes in either Ziploc bags or disposable pans. Smart, huh? It's even fairly reasonably priced. They require you to order a minimum of 36 servings, and all entrees come in three or six serving sizes. Some of my friends and I went in together to get to the required 36 servings. That way we all got to try some of the dinners but didn't have to fork out all the money it would cost to do it yourselves. The dinners were between $11 and $14 dinners I think for the three serving sizes. If I worked I would definitely consider doing this on a regular basis, but since I normally have a well-stocked pantry and grocery shop based on what's on sale, it's not really a money saver for me. I would go in with friends again, though, as I like the idea of having some "go to" stuff in the freezer.
Almond Crusted Chicken
Adapted from: Dream Dinners
3 chicken breasts
1/4 cup of egg substitute or separated egg whites
3/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup of sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 gallon sized zip top bags
sweet and sour sauce for dipping(optional)
Place chicken breast in a large zip top bag with egg substitute (or egg whites). Seal bag and turn until all chicken is well coated and set aside. In a separate bag add: Panko, almonds, salt, and pepper. Shake to combine and set aside. Now, take chicken bag and drain off excess egg mixture and remove the chicken. Then, add chicken pieces to the second bag with the Panko/almond mixture (discard the first bag that had the raw chicken and egg in it). Seal bag and shake to coat chicken.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place coated chicken on cookie sheet and place excess breadcrumb/almond mixture on top of each piece of chicken. Spray tops of chicken with additional cooking spray. Cook chicken for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked (internal temp. of 165 degrees F). Serve with sweet and sour sauce on the side, for dipping (optional).
This was pretty good. Really easy to make and put together, even if you hadn't done it ahead of time and stuck it in the freezer. We had some couscous and green beans on the side. Unfortunately my camera was upstairs because I had uploaded all 573 pictures I took from our trip and forgot to bring the camera downstairs. And my point and shoot camera had an unfortunate run-in with the ocean when I was saving my son from nearly drowning and being swept out to sea.