Paper Plate Gourmet (Food!)

Easy French Toast Sticks

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When I got married, I was so clueless about cooking I looked up how to boil water for pasta (when does the pasta go in? Do I add salt?  How big should the pot be?).

 

Unfortunately, the above is a true story.

 

Fast forward a few years and I was always buying those French Toast Sticks in a box for Max… imagine my surprise that I could just
make them fresh, myself at home!

 

Again, the above is a true story… it is shameful really.

 

So, here is the super easy recipe on how I make French Toast Sticks (even though this art is probably universally known)

Ingredients:

3 slices of bread

2 Eggs

A Bit of Milk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract (mine could have been two…)

 

Directions

1)     Preheat your griddle (I usually use the medium setting)

2)     Mix the eggs, milk and vanilla in a low bowl that will fit your piece of bread… (speaking from experience here)

3)     Coat the pieces of bread in the mixture one by one, flipping to make sure both sides are gooey

4)     Place on griddle, let it cook a few minutes (2-3) and then flip for another minute or two

5)     Remove the French toast from the griddle and cut into strips.

6)     Serve while marveling at the transformation of the humble slice of bread

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Paper Plate Gourmet : “Mock” Banana Ice Cream

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So, I will preface with the note that this does not ACTUALLY taste 100% like ice cream.  It tastes like a banana with the consistency of gelato.   (Hence the mustache… get it?  It’s like a banana in disguise?  It’s funny…)

 

 

But it is oh-so-tasty, especially when ‘garnished’ with chocolate chips, whipped cream or something else similarly detrimental to your diet.   Craig made fun of my chips. But hey, if you can keep it to a minimum, this just may be the snack that gets you through your weight loss.

 

 

All kidding aside, I found this ‘recipe’ on a very cool site (it’s vegan approved, well, before the milk chocolate chips!).  You do need a food processor – but that is all the special equipment you need.  Oh, and a cold banana.

 

Ingredients

 

1 Banana (mine was brownish and a little scary looking.  I put it in the fridge for a few hours to cool it off.  I have found that the frozen banana didn’t chop up well in my food processor)

 

Directions

 

  1. Break that banana into some chunks, toss it into the food processor and go to town until the recipe is smooth-ish.
  2. Marvel at the ease of this ‘recipe’
  3. Put it into a bowl, adorn with your toppings of choice
  4. Don’t feel guilty – it’s a banana!!!!

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Paper Plate Gourmet : Theresa’s Broccoli Slaw Pasta

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I can take absolutely no credit for today’s recipe – it is all my pal Theresa.

 

This is from that wonderful little brain of hers – broccoli slaw pasta, kind of my Spaghini  (Zucchini Pasta).  Maybe we should call this one Brocslasta (Broccoli Slaw Pasta – I am creative like that….)

 

This is something I could totally get into and is perfect for those of you who do not have a Julienne  Peeler  (CK, I am talking to you, girl.)

 

Ingredients

Broccoli Slaw (I always see it in my Stop & Shop)

Olive Oil, 1 TBS

Minced Garlic, 1 teaspoon, more or less to taste

Red Pepper Flakes, a couple of dashes, more or less to taste

¼ cup of Water

 

 

Directions

  1. Steam the Broccoli Slaw (I would try the Microwave until soft-ish)
  2. While that is steaming, mix the olive oil, minced garlic  and red pepper flakes and heat in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes
  3. Add the Slaw and water to the skillet to coat everything

 

Seems simple enough that I will have no problems with it!

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Paper Plate Gourmet : Chicken Soup

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You can call this everything but the kitchen sink chicken soup.  Or maybe It’s-All-Good soup!  Or Anything Goes Soup… you get the picture.

 

It is C-O-L-D and I had a hankering for some soup, but knew I had to use the veggies I had in the fridge.

 

I ended up using zucchini, onion and carrots.   And I felt very sophisticated portioning out individual servings of soup into these glass jars and freezing them.

 

Ingredients

1 or 2 Zucchini, cut into pieces

1 or 2 Carrots, cut into pieces

1 onion, cut into pieces

1 tbs of minced garlic, (to keep the vampires away)

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 lb of chicken breast, cut into – you guessed it- pieces

1 large container of chicken broth (I used Kitchen Basics box – I think 32 ounces)

Salt ( I like Sea Salt)

Pepper

 

Directions

  1. Precut everything!  Make your life easy!
  2. Put the olive in the bottom of a large pot, and heat over medium heat
  3. Add the chicken, salt and pepper
  4. I let this cook for a good while, 10 minutes-ish, turning the chicken, so it cooked evenly.
  5. Add the garlic, carrots  and onion, let that cook up for a bit
  6. Add the zucchini, cook for another 3-4 minutes
  7. Add the chicken broth, let that puppy cook up for another 10-15 minutes
  8. Eat!

 

I have mental issues when I only eat soup for a meal, so I usually like something else on the side.  You could always add some pasta and call it a day.  As an aside – I tried adding potatoes once, they didn’t freeze well.  Blech!

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Paper Plate Gourmet : 5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken

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I would like to introduce you to my Go-To Chicken.  It’s simple, quick and yummy.  My kind of chicken.

 

I use it on salads, as the base for my chicken salad, or, most often, like this – served alone with a side of avocado & cilantro.  AKA – a little slice of heaven.

 

This maybe a no-brainer for some people, but this was exciting for me, a woman who has a fear of francese ….

 

Ingredients

Chicken Breasts- I usually make 3 thin sliced ones

2 Lemons – more or less depending on the above

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Salt, to taste

Garlic Powder, to taste (I dump a liberal amount…)

 

Directions

  1. Add the chicken to a zip lock bag
  2. Squeeze the lemons into the bag
  3. Add the Olive Oil, Salt & Garlic Powder to the bag
  4. Close the Bag (this is so important it is getting its own step.)
  5. Shake that bag like you are “Living laVida Loca”  (I love that song… sorry)
  6.  I usually marinate it overnight, but I have also made it right away.  It’s still tasty if a little less lemony… it’s all good.
  7. Heat a skillet on the stove over medium heat
  8. Dump the contents of the bag onto the skillet once it is warm.
  9. Now, it is going to look a little odd for a bit and you will wonder if I led you astray.  The marinade will start to look white and you will worry about the chicken cooking.  It will be alright!
  10. I usually flip it once or twice to make sure I get the pink out of the chicken.  Eventually (8-10 minutes later) all the juice will cook off and your chicken will start to become golden brown.  It’s a good time to flip the chicken again.
  11. Cut into that bad boy to make sure it is done.

 

I usually make this with an avocado dip on the side – mix together avocado, cilantro, salt, garlic powder & the juice of one lime.

 

Wow!! 2 recipes for the price of 1!!!

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Paper Plate Gourmet : The Best Microwave “Baked” Potato Ever!

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Can my life be altered by a potato?

 

Possibly.

 

 

I love baked potatoes but never have the time to actually “bake” it.  Usually, I just throw it in the good ol’ microwave wrapped in a paper towel.

 

This week, while trying to do the aforementioned “cooking” I drew a total blank on how long to microwave my potato.  8 minutes? 10 minutes? I couldn’t remember.

 

So, I did what everyone does nowadays – I googled it.     Unfortunately, it was from my phone and I can no longer find the correct link! I am sorry!  It was from  an e-how page.

 

This particular post suggested rubbing the potato with olive oil.  I thought – why the heck not!  This here, my friends, is the pivotal part of this story.  I believe this step is what separates the men from the spuds.

 

My potato was FANTASTIC!  And crispy!  And done in 10 minutes!  Whoop!

 

 

Ingredients

Potato

A Smidge of Olive Oil

Sea Salt, To Taste

Toppings of your choice (be bold!)

 

Directions

 

  1. Wash the dirty potato
  2. Poke holes in the now clean potato
  3. Lather up that potato with some olive oil
  4. Add a little salt if you feel like it
  5. Place the potato in a microwave safe bowl (like my Pyrex)
  6. Microwave for 4-5 minutes
  7. Flip it over with a fork (this puppy is hot!)
  8. Microwave for another 4 minutes
  9. Let the bad boy sit for another minute or two
  10. Eat!

 

All I added was a little butter, salt, pepper and some freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese.  I have become a shredded cheese snob – I like to grate it fresh!  I can definitely taste a difference!

 

Soon, I am going to move onto loaded potatoes!!!  CRAZY DIZEE!

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Paper Plate Gourmet : Brussel Sprouts

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Guess What.  I love brussel sprouts.  HA! Who ever thought they would hear THAT coming out of my mouth?  Please pick your jaw up off the ground.

 

I bought these at the Farmer’s Market by the office  (I felt very sophisticated) .  I liked that I could buy just a little since only Pinto and I enjoy eating them in my house.

 

They are super easy to make.  When I eat them, I feel as if I have finally grown up.  (Although, I know plenty of adults who won’t eat them. Yep! I am talking about you Eyeball!)

 

Ingredients

 

The Aforementioned Brussel Sprouts

1 TBS of Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper, to taste

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Layer a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
  3. Cut the Brussel Sprouts in half (I sometimes remove the outside leaves if they look unappealing)
  4. Toss with Olive Oil
  5. Spread them out on the cookie sheet, salt & pepper them to your preference
  6. Bake for 8 minutes, stir them up, bake for another 5-7 minutes

 

I like them best hot.   When I tried reheating them  I wasn’t too happy with them.  It could just be that the microwave is not the answer to reheating everything.

 

Does anyone else like Brussel Sprouts?  Did seeing this make you run to the store to buy some?   HA!

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Paper Plate Gourmet : Avocado Toast

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What can I say, I love a good avocado.  While it is sometimes a struggle to get my family to eat something green, I am on this like white on rice.

 

Most times all I need is a vessel for an avocado.  Sometimes it is a spoon.  Or  a Salad.  Maybe a tortilla chip?

 

This time it was a slice of toasted homemade bread.

 

You can’t get easier than a slice of toast.  Yummy for breakfast, delish with lunch.  Really, it is an anytime dish.

 

 Ingredients

 

Avocado

The Juice of a Lime

Sea Salt

 Bread of your choice

 

Directions

 

1) Start to toast your bread

2) Put the Avocado into a bowl

3) Add the Juice of a Lime (more or less, to your taste)

4) Add a pinch of  Sea Salt

5) Use a fork to mash it all up

6) Top your slices of bread with as much or as little of the avocado goodness as you want.

 

See, really that easy.  Would I lie?

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