Category Archives: Recipes of all Kinds

Taco Stew Recipe

Taco stew is one of those recipes that sounds  weird to me but taste absolutely wonderful. I was given this recipe from a friend of mine and would love to share it with all of you wonderful people. The recipe is so easy and doesn’t take many ingredients. This recipe will feed about 10 or more people. Depending on how big your servings are.

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To make Taco stew you will need the following

  • 2lbs of Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion – Diced up
  • 2 Cans of Black Beans
  • 1 Can of Corn
  • 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 Large cans of peeled diced tomatoes
  • 2 packets of taco seasoning

Now granted you will notice in my pictures I forgot to add the corn… Uh Oh!  However even without the corn it still tasted fantastic.

Now the process for making this was incredibly easy.

Just cook up your diced onion and ground beef in a large pot

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Once your onion and beef are all cooked up add your black beans, corn “Don’t forget the corn,” 😉 tomatoes with green chilies, diced tomatoes and taco seasoning.

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Stir it all up and cook it until it is heated up or to a boil. Whatever hits your fancy.

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Once it is heated up dish up and garnish with some cheese and sour cream along with a slice of cornbread.

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Now eat your heart out 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this taco stew recipe. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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Cold Buster Juice Recipe

I’m not sure if you have ever tried juicing but in our family when cold and flu season start we bring out the juicer and we hit the store for fresh fruit and veggies. We have tried several different juices “Different fruit and veggies in our juice” but our favorite seems to always be Carrots, Celery and Apples and sometime a hint of pear.

Needless to say I’m the first to get the cold in our family this cold season…. Bummer I know, Right? Well This mama needs to keep up her energy and needs to get over this cold very soon and fast. Plus I can’t have anyone else catch a cold either.

Well This is what I’m doing to overcome this dreadful cold….. Lots of Vitamin C “I love Emergenc and Airborne”. Plus some Zinc Lozenges and I also Juice 2 to 3 times a day.

To make your own juice it is really important to have a juicer. We use a Jack LaLanne express. Now I will be honest over time it doesn’t work as well as it did in the beginning. We really want a vitamix. They are bit more spendy but I feel that it will be worth it in the end.

Once we have our juicer put together we gather our fruit and veggies that we plan on using.

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We cut everything up a bit. It just fits in the juicer easier.

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Then in the fruit and veggies they go and out comes the juice. 🙂

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Once it has all been juiced I place in cups and in the mouths it goes. Yes my kiddos LOVE juiced carrots, celery and apples.

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And Juice just wouldn’t be the same without those mustaches!

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This batch made about 3 1/2 cups of raw juice…. No sugars added, no preservatives added and non of the other junk that you find in juice bought in a store. Raw Juice is SO MUCH better for you!

Here is an idea of the nutrients that are packed in this awesome drink
This was one of the best websites I could find for this recipe for nutrients.

Do you juice? If so what are your favorites recipes and why do you do it?

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Homemade Vanilla Coke Recipe

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Recently every restaurant we go to my husband will ask for a vanilla coke. Needless to say he hasn’t had the greatest luck. If you are unsure of what that is, it is a Coca Cola with vanilla flavoring.

On one such occasion with the answer being no and me saying honey it can’t be that hard to make our own. After we left the restaurant he went to the grocery store and picked up a 2 liter of Coca Cola and some vanilla. Both of us thinking it was that easy to do. A little bit of vanilla and some Coca Cola. Well needless to say that wasn’t the case.  It was gross.

So I did a little research and found that you need vanilla syrup to mix with the Coca Cola. I went to the store and well that stuff was very expensive. Not very economical. So I pulled out my smart phone and started to look recipes up on the internet and I even called one of my sisters who works in bar to see  if she knew how to make it. She pointed me in the right direction for making our very own Vanilla Syrup. Who knew there were websites for making cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. We really don’t drink so that be why we had no clue. LOL oh well. The website  Drinks Mixerseems to be the place to go. The recipe was easy to follow and very economical to make. So here is the run down.

You will need the following:

  • Pan
  • Spoon
  • Sugar 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt 1/2 tsp
  • Water 1 1/2 cups
  • Real or imitation Vanilla flavoring *we used the real stuff! 2 Tablespoons
  • Ice
  • Drinking glass
  • storage container

Simple as that. I found while making this it reminded me of the Maple Flavored syrup I made a while back for all of you.

to start with this recipe put your sauce pan on the burner on medium heat with 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix until it becomes clear and starts to boil.

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Hard boil it for 5 minutes. Once it has boiled for the 5 minutes remove it from heat and add 2 tablespoons of vanilla. Stir it up and then let it sit until it cools down.

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“I stick it in the freezer for a bit to help the cool down process along.” Once it is all cooled down put 1 “shot” per can of coke. Now I will tell you that my hubby and I found that less is more in this case. You will have to play with the measurements to see what you like the most. We like it with 3 tsp of vanilla syrup in an 8 ounce glass of coke with ice.

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We were able to make the batch above for about .50.  This recipe will make about 500 milliliters. If you plan on buying the vanilla syrup in the store you will be paying almost $8 for a container. Also it only has about 750mililiters in the container. Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

Have you ever had vanilla coke in a restaurant or heard of it? What were your thoughts on the yummyness of it?

Homemade fondant

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Not sure if you have worked with fondant or if you have ever bought a cake with fondant on it. After my experience yesterday decorating my son’s birthday cake  with my very own fondant. I will never buy the stuff in the store again let alone I probably won’t decorate another birthday cake with frosting from the store! It was so EASY and SO Cheap! Yes it did take time and patience. I started making the fondant and finished decorating the cake in a matter of 2 1/2 hours. Granted there a lot of disturbances and breaks to help kiddos and a few other things. In the end it probably took an 1 1/2 hours to make and decorate. Still not bad. I loved the end result and I loved the fact that if I cut something wrong or it tore while placing it on the cake I could remove it and roll it out again. Unlike creamy frosting where if you make a mistake it is harder to fix.

Here is this fantastic recipe and also a how to: Video on Youtube by Sweet art Factory

  • Grab a 16ounce bag of MINI Marshmallows
  • 2lb bag of powdered sugar
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of water
  • Shortening
  • If you want flavoring you can add clear flavoring. “I didn’t use any”
  • Gum Paste “Optional” I didn’t use it.

Place your powdered sugar in a large bowl and create a crater/well in the middle of the bowl. Next place your mini marshmallows in a microwavable bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water.

Put you bowl of mini marshmallows and water in the microwave until the marshmallows are melted. “NOT BOILING” Take out of the microwave. You can add your flavoring into the melted marshmallows

Next pour the mixture into the crater/well of powdered sugar in the bowl. Make sure it doesn’t touch the sides. Mix with your fingers. My recommendation on this try not to touch the marshmallow mixture AT ALL. You will find that it sticks a lot to your fingers. To help with this add a little bit of shortening to the mixture.

Take your fondant once it is all mixed and knead it on some powdered sugar on your table or counter top. Once it is kneaded really well divide your fondant into what colors you plan on using.

Sorry I did forget to take pictures for all of you. 😦

Once you have divided your fondant go ahead and start adding your food coloring, and Knead and knead until you get the right color you want. Add more food coloring and knead as needed. Just a reminder if your fondant is sticky add a little bit more shortening. . Continue this step with all colors you need.

Here is my first step in the batman cake I made for Conner. Make sure to roll your fondant thin but not to thin or it will tear really easily. I ended up having to do this step twice because it tore.

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After I placed the first color on the cake I cut around the edges to give it a more finished look. Than I did step 2 and added the next color, black,

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To cut the fondant make sure to use a knife that has a smooth blade not one with grooves in it. Here is step 3.

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The stars are not fondant. I used glow in the dark stars. 🙂 yes I know I cheated. 😉

Here is my little boy with his birthday cake.

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“Yes I know Spiderman is owned by Marvel and Batman is DC” 🙂

I had a blast making this cake and I hope you have fun making yours as well.

I would love to hear any experiences you have had with making or working with fondant. Please leave comments or questions below.

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Homemade Croutons

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I love croutons! They have a wonderful taste and they can go with most everything. The flavor, the crunch and simplicity of making. Make it all worth while when it comes to making your very own. Oh did I mention IT is so much CHEAPER.

Croutons come in many different flavors and you can created most of them at home with only a few ingredients that you most likely already have in your cupboards and or fridge.

My favorite lately has been ranch flavored croutons. Ahhh they just melt in my mouth. You can garlic flavored, basil flavored, cheese flavored and just about any other spice you have in your kitchen.

Ok enough with how they taste let’s get started.

You will need the following.

  • Bread “this is great if you accidentally left the bread bag open and a few pieces started to dry out” You will need about 6 slices. Otherwise I have used hotdog buns and hamburger buns to make these.
  • Half a stick of butter “4 tablespoons” up to 6 tablespoons.
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon
  • Knife
  • Whisk
  • Cutting Board
  • Microwavable bowl
  • Oven set at 350
  • Cookie sheet
  • Your seasonings
  • Microwave

Now let’s get started making these awesome tasting croutons.

Grab your bread and cut into small squares. “About the size you normally see croutons”. Once you have cut them all up and you have approximately 4 cups – 6 cups place them in a large bowl.

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Now grab your butter. “For every 1 cup of bread add 1 tablespoon of butter.” place it in the microwave and heat until the butter is melted.

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Next you will want to add your flavoring.

  • Garlic flavored – 2 tablespoons of garlic salt or 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • Ranch flavored – 1/2 a packet of a dried ranch packet or 2 to 3 tablespoons of ranch dressing. “You can add more if you want a richer ranch flavor”
  • Butter flavored – Just leave your butter untouched and follow the rest of the directions below
  • Cheese Flavored – 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese or 1/4 to 1/2 cup of any cheese flavor you want. “You will have to melt the cheese in the microwavable bowl with the butter.
  • Caesar flavored – Same as Ranch directions
  • Any other dressing flavors that you want your croutons to be, just follow the Ranch recipe above.

The possibilities are endless for flavors

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Once you have added your flavorings, go ahead and whisk that up. Once it has been really mixed and there are no more clumps. Drizzle half of the butter mixture over the bread chunks that you have previously cut up. Mix it all together now drizzle the last half of the butter and seasoning mixture together until all the bread chunks have been coated well.

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Now go ahead and place it on your cookie sheet. “Yes my cookie sheets are scarred from all the cooking I do. But I love them and they hold lots of memories of the deliciousness that happens in my kitchen” 🙂

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Next place your cookie sheet in the oven at 350 and bake for about 10 minutes. At the 5 min mark go ahead and move your croutons around on the pan so they don’t get to dark on one side. The longer you bake them the crispier they will get. We like ours crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Once your croutons have started to turn brown they are done. Unless you like yours super crunchy bake them a little longer.

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Now your croutons are done and it cost you less than a dollar to make enough that would normally be in a bag of croutons that you would buy at the store.

Enjoy!

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What is your favorite flavor for croutons?

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Homemade Bacon Bits

I just love bacon bits, but have you ever looked at the ingredient list on the back? EWW. So instead of buying bacon bits. I decided to make my very own.

Lately my family and I have been into salads. Our favorite seems to be a chef salad. We use romaine lettuce. I find that it taste better and is cheaper than iceberg lettuce. Plus you get more “lettuce for your money”. Diced Tomatoes, Crushed hard-boiled eggs, shredded carrots, Bacon bits and than any of our favorite dressings.

Bacon bits are one of our “toppings” that we add to our salads and it is so worth it in the end. I think these homemade bacon bits “make” the salad very tasty and very yummmmmy.

To get started you will need to grab the following

  • 1/2 lb of bacon “Will feed about 5-6 people”
  • Frying pan
  • Cooking Scissors “We have a pair that is ONLY used for cooking purposes” If you don’t have a pair I highly recommend you buy one at your local department store in the cooking utensil aisle.
  • Spatula for the frying pan
  • Stove top
  • Plate with NO paper towel “unless you really don’t like the fat drippings from the bacon.”
  • Hungry mouths

Once you have gathered all your supplies let’s get cooking.

You will need to grab your bacon and start cutting your bacon in slices from one end of the bacon to the other. Just remember that if you want your bacon bits smaller you will have to do more cutting with your scissors. Once you have cut up all your bacon. Add it to your frying pan and cook medium heat.

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Awe look at it really bubbling. It’s almost done.

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Now the bacon is nice and crispy and ready for the bowl. We don’t use a paper towel or anything to soak up the extra fat drippings. WE love the taste and it adds a little more flavor to our salads.

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* This is a small cereal bowl.*

Now your bacon bits are finished and ready for your salads or anything else you use bacon bits for.

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Our yummy salad.

*Just a reminder if you don’t use them up with your meal. They must be refrigerated.*

Have you tried making your own bacon bits before? What are some of the toppings you love to add to your salads?

Simply Homemade Maple Syrup

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I’m going to share with you today a recipe for making your very own homemade maple flavored syrup. It is simple to make and so very easy. It takes a matter of 5 to 10 min. You also need 3 ingredients. Yep only 3.  Plus you will find that tastes just about the same for only a fraction of the price. Your initial cost will be for the maple flavoring. I will be honest here I don’t buy maple syrup anymore and haven’t for several years. I can’t even tell you how much I really have saved by doing this.

So here comes my secret recipe. “not really” I stumbled upon this recipe a couple years back in a very old cookbook.

You will need the following

  • Maple Flavoring. “you find near the vanilla flavoring and other flavorings you use in baking.”
  • White Sugar
  • Water
  • Funnel
  • Syrup container
  • Pan
  • Teakettle *Optional

You will start by putting a cup of water in your teakettle to boil or a microwave safe bowl. Next place your pan on the stove. DO NOT TURN the burner on yet. Add 2 cups of White sugar to your pan.

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Once your water is boiling add it your sugar.

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Mix until your sugar and water become clear. I will turn the burner on at this point to help the process along.

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Once this happens you can add a teaspoon or more depending on your maple flavoring. “Some are weaker than others” than stir all your ingredients together.

As a cook we get to do a taste and see if I like it. 🙂

So taste your homemade maple flavored syrup and see if you need more flavoring or not.

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Now grab your funnel and your syrup container. If you don’t have one like the one above. I would just put it into a jar that has a lid.

Now your syrup is ready for pouring over your pancakes, french toast or anything else you like to put maple syrup on or in.

*** Your Maple Flavoring container will make approximately 24 pints***

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**Just a reminder this recipe is not for making REAL Maple Syrup. This is only an alternative to the Maple Flavored Syrups you buy in the store. **

I would love to hear about your experience in making your very own homemade maple flavored syrup. If you have questions please feel free to ask.

Homemade super bubble recipe

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So recently, my 2 boys were watching an episode of Little Einsteins. If you are unsure of what show that is. Don’t worry I will try my hardest to explain it. My kids just LOVE that show. Randomly I will hear or see my children act out different aspects of the show or I will hear them say something that came from the show. For instance the other day we were driving and my eldest yells Mama go allegro! Then he yelled mom accelerado! Well needless to say I smiled to myself. If it hadn’t been for the few piano lessons I have had and even for seeing some of Little Einsteins to refresh my memory. I probably wouldn’t have had a clue.

A little about the show. Little Einsteins is based on musical instruments and classical music. 4 kids go on adventures in a “rocket”. “Which is also another character with a sense of humor” Rocket zooms through the sky. The show gets the kids to interact and practice saying “allegro, adagio, crescendo and so on. If you are unfamiliar with those words they are Latin for fast, slower than andante, gradually increase in loudness. The characters solve problems by bringing classical music into the show.

On one such episode one of the characters was learning how to drive “Rocket” and 2 of the other characters were on the ground blowing bubbles. “Super bubbles to be exact” When the third character joined the other two and were all of a sudden swept away inside a large super bubble. taking them far away. Up and over mountains and through valleys away from the character that was learning to fly “Rocket” and Rocket. The character has to practice what she has learned and listen to music to find the right path to take to find her friends.

To go along with the show I decided to make our very own “Super Bubbles”. I will have to admit I should have taken into consideration that my eldest would …….. lets see be very blunt with mama about how they are not super bubbles because he couldn’t fit inside one and fly away. Oh goodness sakes. The bubble solution was fantastic though. We would blow the bubbles and they wouldn’t pop right away. they would even land on the tall grass and not pop. So here is our solution to “super bubbles”. I hope you and your friends also have lots of fun with this recipe!

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Super Bubble Recipe

  • 1 Cup of Dish Soap – Sad to say cheap isn’t the answer here for dish soap… I found that Dawn works best.
  • 1/4 cup of corn syrup – If you add a little more it won’t hurt.
  • 6 cups of water
  • Jar or container to hold the solution
  • Spoon
  • Wand – We used a small bubble wand. The large your wand holes are the larger the bubbles.

When you mix the ingredients together make sure that you don’t make lots of bubbles.

I then put it into a large 2 liter pop bottle that has been cleaned and washed. I then cap it until their little bubble containers are empty. I do have a rule in our house one fill up per day. Otherwise. you got it. they would go through the whole solution in one day.

I hope all of you have fun trying out the Super Bubble Solution.

Question Of The Day! Have you ever tried to make your own bubble solution before?

To watch Little Einsteins Episode “Annies Solo mission” Super bubble episode Click Annies Solo Mission.

Dandelion’s

Most people call them weeds, because they take over a gorgeous a landscape of green grass. But do you know the benefits of dandelion’s? Have you ever ate one? Well needless to say I was a little skeptical until I was reading in a nutritional book about cleaning your liver. Dandelions are not a weed but a herb that has many health benefits.

The correct herbal name for this herb is Taraxacum officinale

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Here are some of the benefits of Dandelions.

  • Helps Treat Jaundice
  • Helps yellowing of the skin that is caused by liver dysfunction
  • Helps with Cirrhosis
  • Helps with Hepatitis
  • Helps with Liver disease

Helps treat

  • Infections
  • Water retention
  • swelling
  • breast problems
  • gallbladder problems
  • pneumonia

Dandelion also is used for detoxifying the liver.

Dandelion is also a mild diuretic and contains several vitamins which include Vitamin A, B- Complex, Boron, Vitamin C, Calcium, Choline, Vitamin D, Iron, Magnesium,  Manganese, Potassium and Zinc.

All parts of the dandelion are edible including the root. It has been approved by the FDA and also the Council of Europe.

Dandelions are a not only good for you to eat but they taste pretty good as well. The flower of the Dandelion is sweet along with the leaves. However the longer and more mature the leaves are the more bitter they are.

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There are a multitude of ways you can fix dandelion greens. the main way is to just pick it and eat it on the spot as you are out for a walk. Or you can collect them and place them on a plate or in a bowl for a salad.

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You can even fry them with butter and salt them to taste.

**** Please beware that you should only eat dandelion’s if it has NOT been sprayed with ANY chemicals******

for more information go to Herb Wisdom

QUESTION OF THE DAY – Have you ever eaten a dandelion before? What was your thought on the taste?

Fried Chicken and Gravy

I came across a recipe for chicken fried chicken and I tweaked it. I do that a lot it seems, tweak a recipe to my liking because someone elses recipe is off just a bit. I’m all about flavor and don’t really mind or care if it becomes even more unhealthy…. Sometimes that grease and fat is exactly what food needs to make it finger licken fantastic. And that my friends is exactly what this Fried Chicken and Gravy recipe is. Finger licken fantastic.

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First things first gather your supplies.

  • 2 lbs of thawed skinless boneless chicken breast
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of Seasoned Salt
  • Pepper and lots of it
  • 1/2 tsp pf Cayenne Pepper if you LOVE spicy food add even more.
  • 3 large plates
  • 3 bowls
  • 2 tablespoons of flour – for gravy
  • 2 cups of milk – for gravy
  • Large Frying pan
  • Whisk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Tongs

Now grab your chicken, cutting board and knife.

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You will want to Cut your chicken in thin slices, I have found that really thin isn’t too thin. So don’t worry if a piece of chicken gets to thin. sometimes those are best tasting pieces.

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now take one of your bowls and whisk together your eggs and milk.

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take your other bowl and add your flour and seasonings

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Heat your oil in the frying pan I used 3/4 cups of oil. you only want enough to cover the bottom of the pan plus a little extra. It shouldn’t cover the entire piece of chicken. You will know when your oil is hot enough by putting a dash of flour in the oil. If it sizzles it is hot enough to start frying.

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Now comes the fun part. take a piece of sliced of chicken and place it in your egg mixture.

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Then place in your flour mixture. I like to squeeze my chicken and pound it into the flour. I do this until I don’t feel any more wet chicken. I then dunk it again in the egg mixture and toss it in the flour again. I do the same thing squeeze and pound the chicken.

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Once you have about a plate full “about 3 pieces” I very carefully put them into the frying pan. Careful so hot oil doesn’t hit you. Once your chicken starts browning around the edges flip it over.

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Once your chicken is done place it on a clean plate and continue until completed. Here is all of our chicken fried to perfection.

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Once all your chicken  is completed, grab your third bowl and pour your hot oil into it. make sure you don’t spill any on yourself. you will need to take 1/4 cup of oil. If there isn’t enough in the pan add more clean vegetable oil to the pan. heat up and add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk together until you have a nice brown color.

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Now add 2 cups of milk and whisk until it thickens. Add salt to taste. Once your gravy has thickened set aside and start dishing

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Now place a piece of chicken and some yummy potatoes and a veggie of your choice on a plate and drizzle some of that fantastic finger licken gravy on top.

                   Our supper without the gravy                                            Yummmmy the gravy has been added

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Sit back enjoy. Oh by the way this is so good that quite often I eat like it’s thanksgiving. Yep it’s that good.

Give it a try and leave a comment below on your thoughts.
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