Baking Woes and Wins

Last week I had a baking FAIL. I decided to bake my grandmother's birthday cake for her 91st birthday party. She loves strawberry so I picked a recipe for a homemade strawberry cake. It looked simple enough. I decided to bake the cakes on Monday. I mixed something wrong and the cakes didn't rise. I came out with three 8 inch round strawberry pancakes. :( I froze them anyway because I thought they might still taste good. 

I scrambled for an hour or so on Wednesday morning to find a professional baker that could produce a strawberry cake by 6pm that night. Through a trusty friend via Facebook, I found Miss Muff'n bakery in Germantown. They were a life saver! They had their strawberry cream cake ready and they wrote "Happy Birthday Mem" on it. It was a hit!

On to my baking win...a few years back, my sweet friend Lee got me the cookbook called Mom-a-licious by Domenica Catelli.  It is a great cookbook that features lots of simple and healthy recipes. I mixed up her homemade shake 'n bake mix. I used these ingredients to make it.

I mixed all of these in a plastic bag and throw in boneless skinless chicken breasts that I cut into strips. I just shook them a bit and then placed them on a cookie sheet. I baked them for about 20 minutes and they turned out great. Add a little honey mustard or bbq sauce for dipping and they are delish!

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup white or wheat flour, or a combo of the two (i used white wheat flour)
1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs
1/4 cup granulated garlic (I used garlic powder)
3+ tablespoons of combined dried spices such as paprika, celery seed, oregano, dry mustard powder, curry powder, etc.
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil, parsley or thyme or a combo, minced (I omitted this step. Just didn't have any on hand.)
4-6 chicken breasts or one whole chicken, cut into pieces (quartered)
drizzle extra virgin olive oil

the process:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Place all ingredients (except chicken and extra virgin olive oil) in a large plastic bag and shake well to mix. Rinse chicken and then shake in the bag.
-Place the coated chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the size and quantity of chicken. ( i didn't line my baking sheet.)
-Bake until golden brown, crispy, and juices run clear when poked with a knife. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil afterwards.

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