Chicken Melts

chicken melts recipe, homemade, copycat

Good morning everyone!  It has been for- EV- UH!  I wish I could post more 🙁

I have been working 50-60 hours per week between substitute teaching and photography while the hubby looks for a new job.  The cleaning and cooking still need done… so the blog was put on the back burner.  Currently, I will be working toward applying for a full-time job when the new school year 2017-2018 opens up.

I am still reading Ron Chernow’s Washington and it is STILL one of the best biographies.  Which probably explains that little Pulitzer Prize that it won.  The most recent tidbit I did not know is that Washington really wanted to go back to Mount Vernon and be home after the Revolutionary War.  He was happy to help with the Constitutional Convention and get the new government on its feet.  From his personal letters, it can be deduced that he only really expected to be president a couple of years.  He was there to get the ball rolling so to speak.  If Washington had known he was going to remain president for 8 years, he may never have volunteered in the first place.

chicken melts recipe, homemade, copycat

Recipe:

This recipe has a short story!  So, about 6 months ago the kids and I discovered these delicious Chicken Melts at Costco.  “Really….Really Tasty Sandwiches” is their motto and they are right!  For the price and time, they are really good and really tasty.  There are 15 chicken melts in one box and all 4 of us really like them.  Plus, they are so tasty and low in calories that we want to eat one or two!!  A box of 15 of them goes super fast!

So – I decided to try and make a copycat recipe.  It would taste almost exactly the same, but perhaps have more chicken so that it felt more like a meal than a snack.

The kids gave them 4 thumbs up!!

Woo hoo!  Eureka!

What do we do with this recipe??

  1.  You can freeze them like the Sandwich Bros. do!  Just seal in plastic and reheat in the microwave (out of the plastic bag of course!).  Start at 60 seconds per sandwich and wrap in a paper towel first with the cheese side UP.  Or you will have a cheesy microwave!
  2. Eat them for lunch!  The kids are in school and cannot heat up their own meal.  So, I send the sandwich cold to school and they still love it.  More like a deli type feel.
  3. Eat them for dinner!  Yum!
  4. Have the fixin’s stashed in the fridge for any time.  I make a large batch and then keep the chicken with cheese in a large container in the fridge.  If someone wants to make a chicken melt, they just have to add the cooked chicken to the pita pocket.
  5. Easy and cheap and tasty!  My favorite triad 🙂

Here is a photo of the whole wheat pita pockets that I purchased for making the chicken melts.  You can purchase pita pockets almost everywhere now!  Since Trader Joe’s avoids preservatives and such, I try there first.  **IMPORTANT** When opening up their pita pockets, heat them first a little.  I store my bread in the fridge and the pockets would tear when I opened them up.  BUT, they won’t tear if you heat them up for like 15 seconds in the microwave!

trader-joes-pita-pockets

This recipe is a new staple in our household and I hope you enjoy it!

Chicken Melts
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 16 sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 1-2 Tb. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • (about) 1 tsp. garlic powder (add to taste, we like it and I cover the flour with a layer of garlic powder)
  • (about) 1 Tb. paprika (I used smoked paprika and increase or decrease based on how fresh it is)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices of American Cheese
  • 8 round pita pockets
Instructions
  1. To start, I heat up my large 12″ cast iron skillet on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. I add more if it doesn’t cover the bottom of the skillet.
  2. While that heats up, slice the chicken in half LENGTHwise. You now have 8 chicken breasts. Now, cut those to fit you pita pocket. I cut mine in half again the other way to fit into the pita pocket. Now, I have 16 pieces of chicken.
  3. In a shallow bowl or baking dish, mix the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken through the flour mixture on both sides until coated. Repeat on all the chicken.
  4. Add chicken to the skillet one layer at a time. Mine holds 4-5 pieces of chicken. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Flip. Cook another 3 minutes and make sure the chicken is cooking nicely. About 2 minutes before it is done, add the cheese. Melt the cheese for 2-3 minutes and remove the chicken from the skillet onto a wire cooling rack over paper towels. This will keep the chicken crispy on the bottom and the top.
  5. Repeat by adding a little more oil to the skillet if necessary and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  6. Heat up the pita pockets for about 15 seconds in the microwave. This will allow them to open easier.
  7. Slice the pita pocket circle in half to get two half circles. Fill the pita pocket with the cooked chicken and eat while hot!
  8. Or assemble and freeze in the freezer. To reheat from frozen, wrap in a paper towel and place in the microwave with the cheese side on top. Heat for 60 seconds and check to see if it is done. If not, add a few more seconds until heated thoroughly.
  9. Or keep separated in the fridge and assemble any time you are hungry.

 

 

Applebee’s White Chocolate & Walnut Blondie Copycat

Maple Walnut Blondie-1637 on Whisk Together

Update:  I haven’t read many books since the last post.  I have been working with my Silhouette machine making vinyl tiles, cards and brainstorming an Etsy store idea.  Here are some of the tiles I have made with vinyl.  I took the floor tile from the hardware store and had a LOT of fun with it.  Some things I learned about vinyl are:  The oracle 651 vinyl has survived my dishwasher over a dozen times!  Here are the cups that have gone through the dishwasher:

Creeper Cups on Whisk Together

Here are a few of the tiles I was playing around with.  I thought the first one would be neat next to the coffee bar at church.

Jesus Tile on Whisk Together May the Road Tile on Whisk Together

Our MOPS group also did this awesome painting together like one of those group painting classes.  It was so much fun!  I made mine coral because I thought that would be pretty with the blue/grey walls.

Painting-1588 on Whisk Together

 

Maple Walnut Blondie-1629 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  Warm, chunky blondie, gooey melting vanilla ice cream and creamy sauce with a hint of maple topped with walnuts.  I made this recipe several times a long time ago when we used to attend another bible study group.  It was their favorite!!  Everyone requested it and loved every bite.  The key I found is to make sure the blondie is nice and hot before adding the ice cream and sauce.  It takes the dessert from okay to outstanding.  Everything can be made ahead of time – the bars and the sauce – even by a couple of days.  Or, freeze the blondies if you need more time.

I have had the white chocolate and walnut blondie at the restaurant before and find this is a very close match.  I’m not sure I could tell the difference side by side.  Applebee’s no longer sells this at their restaurant, so if you want to have it again – this is your chance!

The recipe is fairly straight-forward and easy to put together.  The components are not a hassle since I just cleaned my mixing bowl in between steps.

Maple Walnut Blondie-1668 on Whisk Together

Applebee’s White Chocolate & Walnut Blondie Copycat
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • Bars:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 and 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 ounces white chocolate chunks or chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tb. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • vanilla ice cream
  • additional chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. For the blondies:
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan with baking spray or shortening.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with mixer and/or whip attachment. Stiff peaks should form after 3-4 minutes.
  4. Mix in butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla. The batter might look a little chunky, but beat until smooth.
  5. In medium size bowl, sift the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  6. Slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  7. Add milk, white chocolate and walnuts. Stir until they are incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 40 minutes. The blondies will turn golden brown and a toothpick in the center will come out clean. Once cooled, then you can slice the bars
  8. For the sauce: mix everything together in a mixing bowl. Beat until combined. Use immediately or store in the fridge until the blondies are ready.
  9. To serve: Heat the blondies and sauce in the microwave until warm. Cut a square of blondies if not already cut and plate it. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Spoon sauce on top and sprinkle with walnuts.
Notes
Recipe from Todd Wilbur’s “Top Secret Recipes 2”

 

 

 

Applebee’s Bourbon Street Steak Copycat Recipe

Bourbon Street Steak

Book Update: I finally finished most of “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.”  It was probably one of the most technical “science” book I have read in 10 years, but it was worth it.  I know more about glucocorticoids than I ever thought possible… since I never even heard of them before.  If you want to know anything about stress, psychology and physiology and managing stress, then this might be the book for you.  Make sure to read the footnotes – they have some of the funniest parts.

I would write more… but my spacebar is not working right.  Makes it a little hard to type.  If only I was married to someone who worked on computers…  😉

Recipe Update:  This is one of those recipes I have made 10 or more times over the past 5 years and just realized I never posted it.    Applebee’s Bourbon Street Steak is one of my favorite meals there.  It’s fun to be able to make this for when people come over or have a nice family dinner that cost $6 instead of $40.  (Well, because Sirloin steak was on sale this week for $3.99/lb!)  You could also use this marinade for chicken or for making kebabs.

Applebee’s Bourbon Street Steak
2 large servings

Marinade for 2 (10 oz.) top sirloin steaks:
2 Tb. Worchestershire sauce
2 Tb. soy sauce
4 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp. minced garlic
1 and 1/2 tsp. meat tenderizer (McCormick makes it.  Or substitute with salt)
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1-2 cups water

Serve with:
3 Tb. butter, melted
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
pinch salt

Toppings:
1 Tb. olive oil
1 Tb. butter
2 onions, sliced thin
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1-2 cups water

1.  Combine the marinade ingredients in a bag.  Store in the fridge for 2-24 hours.  The longer the better of course.  But, you still get good flavor if you are short on time.
2.  Discard the marinade and grill your steaks.  I always salt and pepper mine before putting them on the grill as well. To Grill a steak:  preheat your grill on high 15 minutes.  Clean the grill if needed.  Keep one burner on high and the other on medium-low.    Grill 3-5 minutes on the high burner.  Flip.  Grill 3-5 minutes on high.  Move to the cooler side of the grill and cook until desired doneness.   Rest the meat 5-10 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, get a small saucepan or skillet and melt the 3T of butter and garlic powder and salt on low.  Keep warm.
4.  In a large skillet, make the onions and mushrooms.  Heat the oil and butter on medium heat.  Add your onions and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper.  Cook another 2-3 minutes.
5.  Plate your steaks after they have rested.  Pour a little garlic butter on top and serve the onions on the side.

Recipe from Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipes

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