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    Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad with Tangy Ranch Dressing

    June 19th, 2018

    It is officially summer and it is time to make cool and delicious salads to even out the cookouts and parties we will be attending. When it comes to a salad, I must have variety in order for it not to become monotonous. There is nothing boring about this Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad with Tangy Ranch Dressing. You will definitely fulfill your wings craving with this salad.

    This recipe is being entered for a contest with Budweiser.

    Ever since I started having kids, I knew that the cooking process would take a hit. It would mean making quicker meals or even cut the corners when creating dishes. Now that I have three girls ages 3 thru 6, I really try to create meals that are simple, quick, and super delicious. I think food should be visually appealing so then the time it takes to make a meal and then present it becomes an art for me.

    Don’t make fun. Really. Here I am a former volleyball playing, opera singing, jewelry making woman who now only has time keeping her house in order, cooking lovely meals, and raising her lovely kids. Why not switch the artistic part of me in the kitchen? It is my creative outlet and I love it!

    When Budweiser challenged me to create a recipe with their sauces and marinades I was intrigued. Budweiser has a whole line of BBQ, Steak and Burger, and Wing sauces that gives so many choices for different palates. Budweiser also offer season-packed pouch marinades to just add your meat, place in fridge overnight.

    I chose to try the Budweiser Buffalo Chicken marinade and Wing sauce because I hardly find myself every having it or choosing it at restaurants. When I do eat it, I remember how much I like it.

    I added 3 pounds of chicken breasts in the marinade pouch and allowed the chicken to marinade overnight. All I had to do the next day was heat my pan and cook the chicken. I pan-grilled the chicken for about 10 minutes, even though I used a meat thermometer to check the last temperature.  There was definitely some nice char on the chicken that made for a great tasting and moist chicken. I allowed the chicken to rest before chopping it.

    Since I like salads so much, I made a chopped salad for Father’s Day. I included tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, hard-boiled eggs, crumbled blue cheese, green onions, and the chicken. I then whipped up a simple dressing with my favorite ranch dressing. I mixed in some Budweiser Mild Wing Sauce with Ranch Dressing and presto, my dressing was ready to be added.

    How do I make this salad happen? I usually feed my kids beforehand on certain days so that I can have the kitchen to myself. It works and we have happy kids and happy parents. Thanks Budweiser for the lovely line of sauces and marinades. Make this salad and then tag me using this hashtag so I know you made it : #singerinkitchen.

    Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad with Tangy Ranch Dressing

    by Noelle Kelly

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

     

    Ingredients (2 large dinner salads)

    • 3 pounds of chicken breasts, pounded using a meat mallet
    • 1 Budweiser Buffalo Chicken marinade pouch
    • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
    • 1/2 cups English cucumber, peeled and chopped
    • 1/2 cup orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 4 tablespoons green onions, chopped
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
    • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/2 avocado, peeled,pitted, chopped
    • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut in 4s

    Dressing

    • 1/2 cup low-calorie ranch dressing
    • 1/2 cup Budweiser Mild Wing Sauce

    Instructions

    Preparing and Cooking Chicken

    The marinade pouch holds up to 3 pounds of chicken. I went ahead an marinated that amount and only used about a total of 10-ounces of chicken for the meal. I saved the rest for other meals.

    Place 3 pounds of chicken in the pouch, seal and place in fridge overnight. Next day, pre-heat a non-stick pan with about 2 teaspoons of oil. Remove chicken from the pouch and discard marinade pouch. Add chicken to the pan and cook chicken about 10 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 165 Fahrenheit.

    Salad

    Chop all your veggies and set on the side.

    Divide ingredients in half and assemble as follows:

    2 cups lettuce

    bell peppers

    cucumbers

    tomatoes

    green onions

    avocados

    hard-boiled eggs

    blue cheese crumbles

    5-ounces chopped chicken

    Dressing

    Mix 1/2 cup low-calorie dressing and 1/2 cup Budweiser Mild Wing Sauce. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons on salad and enjoy!

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    Summer Family Fun at Dutch Wonderland {Promo code included}

    June 14th, 2018

    This is officially the first summer that our little family can enjoy an amusement park. My third little girl is no longer a baby and it makes me both happy and sad. Now that she is aware of everything, she wants to be one of the big girls in the family. We decided to take advantage of checking out Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA to begin our summer family fun.

    All About Dutch Wonderland

    If you have never heard of Dutch Wonderland, then you are definitely missing out, especially if you have toddlers. It is a 43-acre family amusement park with over 35 rides including Duke’s Lagoon water play area, live entertainment along with games and food. There is also amazing camping accommodations at Old Mill Stream Campground which is perfect for out-of-town guests.

    It so happened we had out-of-town guests from Malaysia visiting so we took advantage of making it an amazing day full of rides and shows with our families. We had plenty of adults to go around to make sure our little ones had something to enjoy. We immediately took the Wonderland Train which was ideal because we could see the whole park. I loved seeing the kids get so excited!

    A Place for all Kids

    If you look at the legend, the rides were labeled according to heights and paired with a gem. I simply loved the amount of rides for kids under 36 inches. My girls and my little nephew could get on so many rides together it was so precious! No one really felt left out. In fact, families could all ride all at once. While the park boasts to be a kid’s castle of rides, it really was great for the whole family.

    We worked counter-clockwise because it happened but it ended up working well that way because we left the beginning rides that were water-related to the end. The day ended up being super ideal to enjoy the many rides. 

    After 2 hours of enjoying the park, we ended up going back to our cars and enjoying a picnic near the parking lot outside the park. While we could have enjoyed the many restaurant options at the park, we kept that for the dessert and snack options later in our day. Looks like we were not the only ones with the same idea!

    Merlin’s Mayhem

    We returned to the park to continue with Merlin’s Mayhem, Dutch Wonderland’s newest ride. It is their first suspended roller coaster that takes all riders on an enchanted journey to find Merlin’s beloved dragon friend, Mayhem. I was a bit hesitant to send my 5 1/2 and 6-year-old girls BUT they met the height requirement and they were SO excited. 

    Here’s a note to my readers who are moms. I take my husband to these parks because I get motion-sickness. Is that not crazy? I still want my girls to enjoy and experience. Granted, I did go on some kiddie rides with my children but even so, I am so sensitive. I digress.

    My girls LOVED Merlin’s Mayhem so much that I think they went on it a total of 6 times. We visited the park in the middle of the week before school let out so there were no lines. What an ideal time! We’ll soon find out how it is during the weekends!

    Water Park, Shows and More

    Duke’s Lagoon is a water attraction at Dutch Wonderland that we did not get to enjoy this time around. It was much too cool for any water activities but the kids were content with enjoying the water ride Double Splash Flume and even being splashed by the entertainers at The Adventures of Frog Prince show. I have to say it was a VERY funny and entertaining show.

    We definitely have more to discover. The park opened at 10am and we arrived at 11am and left at 5pm. We pretty much made a whole day out of the park, but we did not enjoy every show, ride or even shopping! We did manage to pick up a few Christmas ornaments because we love having memories of places we visit with our kids.

    We even noticed there are character breakfasts that are held on Fridays and Saturdays. Can’t wait to check that out.

    Summer Family Fun + Promo Code

    Since we were able to enjoy this experience, Dutch Wonderland has been so kind to extend a promo code for all my readers to enjoy.

    Admission prices at the gate are $44.99 for Royalty (ages 3-59), $33.99 for Senior Royalty (ages 60-69) and $31.99 for Senior Plus Royalty (ages 70 and over). Royalty-In-Training (ages 2 and under) are free.

    If you order online, prices are $5 cheaper and if you use MY PROMO CODE, you save an additional $4.00 making the final price $35.99 for Royalty instead of $44.99. 

    Use this code ALL summer to save money and share with your friends. Click below to enter information as shown. 

    Thanks to Dutch Wonderland for allowing me to be a summer blogger to share with others the fun we could have with little ones. We loved it!!

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    Locally Sourced Food at The Split Rail Tavern

    May 23rd, 2018

    It has been 7 months we have moved from Chester County and I have to say that I miss so many aspects of the area. I had a chance to meet up with a friend I had not seen in more than a year. I go halfway point ended up being in the West Chester area. Even though my husband works in the area, I do not need to visit, but I realized I missed being in downtown West Chester.

    It was not hard to choose a place to eat especially when I wanted to introduce a friend to a new place. The Split Rail Tavern is a great bar that offers amazing local sourced and seasonal fare. Even though I had not been to the bar in close to a year, I was happy to finally be back only to find such delicious new dishes.

    When you enter The Split Rail Tavern, you are greeted with an intimate bar setting. The bar is bustling with people enjoying their drinks while others are dining in surrounding tables. While other restaurants might have outdoor dining, this bar creates fun cozy environment to enjoy good drinks and delicious meals.

    We started out with a special drink advertised in the bar menu called Paper Plane. It ended up being a favorite of mine that I have tried to copy at home already! Anything whiskey-based is my favorite right now. This particular drink was spectacular, with a fruity/citrus flavor. It ended up being the drink of the evening.

    Let’s get to the food though. We decided to split a few starters in order to experience the newer menu items. We had a cold beet soup with pickled shrimp and a pineapple cucumber salsa. This was definitely an amazing and unique soup with a variety of flavor profiles. I would order this anytime!

    The Beef Carpaccio was next, consisting of Wagyu organic beef, tuna mayo, capers, fried shallots. If you had told me I would be eating raw meat six years ago, I would be laughing at you. I have, since then, enjoyed beef carpaccio several times and at different restaurants and each time it has been a tasty experience. The quality of meat sure makes a difference but the additions to each dish make an additional presentation.

    The Pork Belly Steamed Buns melted in our mouths. The combination of flavors with the soft dough of the bun was simply amazing with each bite. The pork belly was braised and was served with kimchi, hoisin and cilantro. I always like trying something new because I can then appreciate it better and share with others. 

    Burrata Caprese is a newer item on the menu. It was such an elegant presentation, I was afraid to even taste. I have heard so much about burrata but I have not had a chance to taste it until now. A traditional caprese is usually served with fresh mozzarella but the chef at The Split Rail Tavern took it another notch up, serving it with burrata. The cheese was so creamy and buttery. It paired well with the heirloom & mixed tomatoes, sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, arugula
    almond pesto, balsamic reduction, and micro basil. If I had a choice, I would go back for lunch and simply order this dish. The arugula almond pesto was so flavorful and balanced well with the sweetness of the balsamic reduction and the tartness of the vinaigrette.

    We ended the evening with dessert because you can’t leave a place like The Split Rail Tavern without trying a new creation. The chocolate mousse was served with a side of caramel and was sprinkled with chocolate chips, crushed walnuts and sprinkled with sea salt. It was a lovely combination of light texture with a rich chocolate flavor. I think we fought for the last bite.

    If you get a chance, go an experience The Split Rail Tavern with a girlfriend or with your spouse. Between the drinks and what the menu offers, you really cannot go wrong. In addition to homemade signature cocktails, the bar boasts 22 draft lines, with 8 wines on tap. There is something for everyone. They also offer brunch on the weekends with different menu options. There is something for everyone. I am just glad that the menu lists dietary options.

    The Split Rail Tavern

    151 N Walnut Street

    West Chester, PA 19380

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    Brunch with Low Carb Vegetable Pancakes

    May 14th, 2018

    Everyone in my family pretty much knows that I love brunch. While I would love to be dining at a new restaurant, that does not always pan out so I bring brunch to my little home. Brunch can be different for many people but as long as I have a cocktail and some eggs involved, I am a happy camper.

    I was given the incentive to create a yummy brunch recipe using Barlean’s Superfruit Seed Blend and Barlean’s Organic Culinary Coconut Oil. I love the fact that this coconut is flavorless which is a plus and a requirement in my home. The Superfruit Seed Blend is lovely especially when opening the bag. The smell of the berry blend within the flaxseed is lovely but not at all overpowering. I actually added it to more savory recipes than smoothies and it worked so well. I got the benefits of the antioxidants.

    When it comes to most mornings, I kind of get stuck cooking with eggs in different forms. Most mornings are pretty busy with my girls so I usually end of eating brunch while they finish their schoolwork. This gave me more room for creating a different dish for my morning.

    I shredded some zucchini and made sure to use a paper towel to remove as much as the liquid as possible. I had about 1 cup of shredded zucchini ready as my base. I chopped mushrooms, red onion, green bell pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes. I then added garlic powder, salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp of the Superfruit Seed Blend along with 2 eggs.

    I heated a non-stick skillet and added 2 teaspoons of Barlean’s Culinary Coconut Oil. I spooned 4 pancakes onto the skillet and cooked the pancakes for 4 minutes on each side on medium heat. I repeated with the rest of the batter to make another 4 pancakes.

    Depending on my morning, I usually eat the whole serving since I will not eat lunch. I served with fresh fruit and added a dollop of fat-free plain Greek yogurt with a bit of cayenne pepper on top. It was such a filling brunch and I cannot wait to eat it again. Remember zucchini season because this would be an excellent way to use your squash.

    I am thankful to incorporate healthy ingredients to make a different dish for my busy mornings.

    Low Carb Vegetable Pancakes

    by Noelle Kelly

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 10 minutes

     

    Ingredients (8 pancakes)

    • 2 small zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
    • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
    • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
    • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 Tbsp Barlean’s Superfruit Superseed Blend
    • 4 teaspoons Barlean’s Organic Culinary Coconut Oil
    • 2 eggs, beaten

    Garnishes

    • 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
    • cayenne pepper
    • fresh fruit

    Instructions

    Grated the zucchini and remove as much liquid from the squash with a paper towel. Set aside and chop all the veggies.

    Mix into the shredded zucchini. Beat the eggs and add to the veggies along with the flaxseed blend and seasonings. Mix well.

    Heat a non-stick skillet with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Add 4 dollops ( about 2 Tbsp of batter) onto the skillet and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Repeat with the rest of the batter and 2 teaspoons of coconut oil.

    Makes 8 pancakes which makes for a filling dish for one person or for 2 people. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of fat-free plain Greek yogurt to each pancake and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

    Serve with fresh fruit.

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    Low-Carb Lovers: Baked Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Marinara Sauce

    April 27th, 2018

    There are things that I find myself hardly eating because of our low-carb lifestyle, but then I figure that adding a little here and there with better planning is not bad. I created this Baked Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Marinara Sauce for Garlic month. As an influencer for Cucina Antica, we are given fun incentives to create amazing dishes with this tasty and flavorful sauce.

    Baked Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Marinara Sauce-hero

    When I think of Italian food I think of two things, pasta and cheese. These are usually two ingredients I try to stay away from but I am learning that enjoying them in moderation and in creative ways keeps me from being grumpy about the foods I cannot eat on a low-carb lifestyle.

    Baked Chicken Parmesan - up closeCucina Antica boasts a variety of sauces in their line for every occasion. This is why I have been enjoying these sauces lately:

     

    Cucina Antica Sauces

    My husband has even given them a thumbs up and he is usually very verbal and picky about his sauces. The Garlic Marinara Sauce had a balanced garlic flavor which means that the garlic was not overdone. It was just right! I actually could have enjoyed the sauce out of the bottle, or maybe warmed up as a dipping sauce.

    Baked Chicken Parmesan - in ovenSince we have moved to Delaware County, I have noticed a lot more small grocery shops and one that I happened upon Pagano’s, a small Italian deli / shop. I picked up a nice container of bread crumbs and fresh Parmesan cheese for my breading because I wanted to go as fresh as I could.

    I prepared 40-ounces of chicken breast and divided into 5-ounce pieces and created an egg wash and my breading with the breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasonings. I dipped the chicken in the egg wash and then one round of breadcrumbs. I then added to a lined baking sheet ready to go in the oven.

    When I baked the chicken, I added olive oil spray to each side of the chicken and cooked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to imitate the crispiness of the fried version, I broiled the chicken the last 5 minutes and it was perfect!

    Baked Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Marinara SauceWe keep Al Dente’s low-carb pasta called Carb-Nada in stock for our pasta nights because it is a low-carb’s dream. I heated up the sauce and added a bottle to the pasta and then I had another bottle warmed in order to add some to the chicken when I served.

    Each 5-ounce serving came out to 3 Weight Watchers smartpoints along with 3 smartpoints for 1 1/2 cups of the pasta. It made it easier to enjoy a glass of red wine with our dinner. I have already made this meal twice this month because it has been so delicious! If you make it, take a picture and tag me #singerinkitchen.

    Baked Chicken Parmesan with Cucina Antica Garlic Marinara Sauce and wine

    Baked Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Marinara Sauce

    by Noelle Kelly

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: 20 minutes

     

    Ingredients (10 servings)

      Chicken

      • 40-ounces chicken breasts, divided in 5-ounce servings
      • season with a pinch of salt and ground pepper

      Seasoned Breadcrumbs

      • 1 cup homemade or store-bought breadcrumbs with no additional ingredients
      • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
      • 2/3 teaspoon salt
      • 2 teaspoons dried basil
      • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
      • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) packed freshly grated Parmesan

      Additional ingredients

      • 2 eggs
      • 2 bottles of Cucina Antica garlic marinara sauce
      • 1 1/2 bags Al Dente Carb-Nada pasta
      • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Lite Mozzarella Cheese

      Instructions

      For Chicken

      I like my chicken thin and tender so I used a meat tenderizer to get each chicken breast about 1/2-inch thick.

      Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper on each side of the chicken breast.

      Chicken Parmesan Assembly

      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also, start heating a large pot of water for pasta. In another medium pot, add the marinara sauce to warm.

      Mix the breadcrumbs and additional ingredients and add to a shallow dish.

      Whip the eggs and add to another shallow dish. Dip each chicken breast into the egg mixture and then coat the chicken in the breading and place on a lined baking sheet. Spray the chicken with olive oil spray on each side.

      Repeat with the rest of the chicken and bake the chicken for 15 minutes.

      Meanwhile, add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and add half the sauce to the pasta.

      Baked Chicken Parmesan after broiling

      In the last 5 minutes, remove chicken from oven and add 2 Tbsp of sauce and 1 tablespoon of cheese. Place the chicken under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes on one side and remove from oven.

      Plate with 1 1/2 cups of pasta and 5 ounces of chicken.

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