How to make a 5 year old happy

We love Chick Fil-A especially their chicken strips. Golden brown with just the right amount sweetness and crunch makes them great. In fact, if Gabriel had his way we would eat Chickalay as he calls it every day for lunch and dinner. Reality says that it would get tiring for the rest of us and oh, Chick-Fil-A is CLOSED on Sunday. Have you ever tried to explain to a five year old why his favorite place to eat is closed on Sunday? It is not the easiest thing especially when they’re at the “why” stage. Thanks to some tweaking, testing and lots of willing volunteers, I have come up with a pretty close replica of Chick Fil-A’s world famous chicken strips. They’re pretty tasty if I do say so myself. It does make quite a bit so there’ll be leftovers but I can’t guarantee that.

Almost Chick Fil-A Strips

4 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloin strips


1 1/4  cup dill pickle juice (regular dill pickle not Kosher or Garlic Dill)

1 ½ cup whole milk

Egg Wash

2 eggs

½ c whole milk

¼ teaspoon paprika

Coating Mixture

2 cups all purpose flour

½ cup plain breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon dried basil (crush between fingers while adding to bowl)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon paprika

Vegetable Oil for frying

Mix marinade ingredients in a large plastic or glass bowl. Do not use a metal or stainless steel bowl as the pickle juice will react causing the strips to taste bad. Add chicken strips and let marinade for about 30 minutes. You can do longer if you want to but I wouldn’t go over an hour marinating. Once done marinating, drain and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes in strainer. Meanwhile combine coating mixture in a deep shallow bowl and egg wash in a separate large bowl. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a large skillet and heat to medium.

Place the drained strips into the bowl with the egg wash mixture. Take a strip let drain and toss in costing mixture to coat thoroughly.

(Here is where another person in the kitchen is going to be a huge help. One person can do the egg wash and coating step, while a second person can man the skillet. I did the egg wash and coating, and Uriah just grabbed the coated strips from the bowl.)

Once you see tiny bubbles around the edges of the oil, you’re ready to make your first test strip. My first strip I cooked for about 5 minutes on each side and it wasn’t quite ready. So we decided that about 6 minutes per side worked for us. It just depends on how big your strips are.

Once you figure out how long on each side you need to cook your chicken strips on, egg wash and coat about 4 strips at a time. Fry until golden brown and then turn over to fry to golden brown on the other side. When finished, place on paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. strips-for-blogWe served ours with French fries for a kid friendly meal that everyone enjoyed. Gabriel was one happy little boy. His response “Chickalay! Daddy got Chickalay for us!”

Until next time

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s cold…

Winter has just barely started for us here but the weather people are already talking that horrid four letter word- SNOW! Now, snow doesn’t bother me since where I grew up snow is pretty much a guarantee every winter like clockwork along with power outages and no school. Of course with snow comes scraping the windows and windshield. Let’s be honest here, how many of us have gone out and used the nearest flat object to scrape our cars. I admit I’ve even used my Kroger card in a pinch to scrape my windows. No more!  If you’re tired of scraping your windows the old fashioned way, then join the Scrape-A-Round movement. You will secure your family’s safety, access new gift ideas and scrape your windows cleaner in half the time with the world’s best windshield ice scraper. View the Scrape-A-Round action

The Scrape-a-round is a brilliant feat of ice scraping engineering. The simple explanations why Scrape-A-Round is the best ice scraper are as follows, Scrape-A-Round is the:
Best ice scraper because of the softer plastic, allows the scraper to conform to the window curvature! Find out more information:
18″ of ice scraping surface.
The comfortable grasp provides relief for the arthritic or carpal syndrome sufferer.
Direct pressure to the window, no pressure lost through the ice scraper!
The circular rotational motion of ice scraper.
Double ice scraper action, leading edge and trailing edge.
Multi functional, remove the cap and it doubles as a funnel.
This scrapes windows frost and ice free in half the time!
Makes the perfect gift for any time of year!

My readers get to save! Get FREE Shipping at Use code LU8FBEZREU2 at checkout.

Until next time…





Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Very Special Guest Blog Post

The link below is to a well written post that was written by my cousin Robert’s wife Eve about how she became in her words, How I Became U.S. Paralympics Number One Fan. Eve eloquently tells of her journey starting at age 13 with a disease called Transverse Myelitis. There is no way that I could ever do her blog post justice since although I do have a child in a wheelchair (Gabriel) I can’t write from the point of view of someone who is in a wheelchair. Only someone who has lived life in a wheelchair can truly write from that perspective including the fact those super cute toddler overalls are great for a wheelchair mom to grab a mobile baby who likes to be on the go .

The blog is available for you to read at

Please read and let Eve know what you think of her post. I’m sure she’d love to hear from all my readers.


Until next time…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Menu Plan Monday June 26 thru July 2 2016

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything. Things have been kind of odd recently for us. A few weekends ago we decided to go up and see my family before Gabriel has his open heart surgery. (He has an ASD and a VSD along with perforations between the chambers so he’ll be having surgery to fix this).

We went into town to get some groceries and came home. Now the last thing that I personally remember is telling my husband that I wasn’t paying fourteen bucks for a cheese pizza but apparently I told my oldest daughter and him that my head hurt really bad and I was going to lie down.

So you can imagine about how shocked I was when I woke up in the back of an ambulance speeding down Union Valley Road towards the hospital! Being a mom the first thing I asked was , “Where are the kids and who’s watching them?!”.Never mind the fact that I had two 12 gauge IVs stuck in my arms.

After what seemed like forever the illustrious doctors at the first hospital announced that they had no neurologist on staff so they were transferring me to a hospital that was 45 minutes away. Now this hospital is less time from my parents house BUT since I wasn’t close enough to the county line, EMS technically couldn’t take me there. My kind caring brother said they only take you to the first hospital to die. Uh gee thanks Josh for those kind caring words.

Four days later they released me with a diagnosis of a grand mal seizure and a cardiac drop attack, a prescription with an anti-seizure medication, a list of restrictions about as tall I am, multiple appointments with multiple specialists, a left arm that look like Mike Tyson got a hold of it and a bill from NOT one but two separate healthcare systems (thank you Greg from BlueCross of Tennessee for helping me with the logistics of getting an out of state emergency room and hospital admissions bills taken care of).

As you can imagine, we have been doing simple meals recently. My new to me go to cookbook is The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook printed in 1959. This book is wonderful and to think that someone threw it in the free bin at the local bookstore since it was “too old” according to their sale policies. It covers everything from planning family meals to what to do when one of the children is sick to cooking on a boat to hosting affairs for 100 people to when there’s a death in the neighbor’s family. If you happen across a copy of this book grab it and hold fast to it.

For Sunday dinner we’re having
Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters, Buttered Rice, Green Bean Casserole, Rolls, Cream Gravy and Jell-O for dessert

Monday the leftover chicken will be starring Creamed Chicken served in buttered toast cases, a fresh green salad and cookies for dessert.

Tuesday I’m making Pan Fried Pork Chops, Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples, Mashed Potatoes and leftover cookies.

Wednesday is going to be Hamburgers with trimmings, chips and fresh watermelon for dessert.

Thursday we’ll be having Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, salad and Italian bread. I’m thinking ice cream will be a great end for this meal.

Friday is the first and we have errands to run almost all day. So we might eat out or just grab a pizza from Costco.

Saturday night, we’ll have my folks along with my two oldest daughters for dinner and staying through the holiday weekend. Sandwiches, pretzel nugget tray from Philly Pretzel Factory (I got a coupon for a free Large Rivet Tray with 3 dips to use), chips, fresh veggies and brownies round out this meal . Maybe I can convince Mom to make muffuletta sandwiches for us.


Lunches will be leftovers, canned pastas, sandwiches and the like.

Breakfasts is cereal with milk, French toast strips, muffins etc


Sometimes things including menus don’t quite as planned. That was us, on Monday night the littlest one announced that he wanted macaroni and hot dogs so we had that for dinner instead. We had company on Tuesday so we had a late lunch and instead of pork chops like I had planned, I whipped up a batch of fresh blueberry muffins. To which my oldest son, said “Hallelujah”. Ice cold pineapple rings and glasses of ice cold tea went great with the muffins.
I used to use the recipe on the Bisquick website but since we learned that our oldest son has a severe soy allergy, I can’t anymore. Instead I use the recipe from the 1947, The Boston Cooking School Cookbook better known as The Fanny Farmer book. I did tweak it a little for our family’s tastes.

Fannie Farmer’s Blueberry Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a muffin pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the flour over the blueberries and dredge. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg, milk and butter, stirring only enough to dampen the flour. Lightly fold in the blueberries. The batter will be a little lumpy. Spoon batter into muffin pans, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. 12 regular muffins.
Sometimes I add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to help add some extra flavor to the muffins.
Until next time…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

UPDATE! Hank the Cat Safely Returned to Owner

Orange Street News

April 15, 2016

By Hilde Kate Lysiak

Hank the Cat, who went missing on Orange Street last Friday night has been safely returned to its owner.

“I’m happy to say that Hank was returned home safe and sound this evening,” Johnathan, the owner told the Orange Street News. “He’s enjoyed a bath and is currently eating some of his favorite tuna!”

The $50 in reward money will be donated to a local animal shelter.


View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Menu Plan Monday January 25, 2016 Edition

The Snowpocalypse of 2016 thankfully missed our house. The kids got to enjoy three days off from school though. They played outside and went sledding with the little bit of snow we did get.  They had lots of fun and thoroughly enjoyed their mini vacation. They were off Monday too for Martin Luther King day so they only went one day this week. Not that they were complaining by any chance!
This week’s menu features great buys that I got from Aldi’s and Kroger’s. If you have never checked out Aldi’s do so. They have a whole line of gluten free products called LiveGFree which includes frozen foods like Blueberry Pancakes, Cheese Pizzas and even Chicken Nuggets and snacks like Double Chocolate Brownie Muffins. Another line they have is called Fit & Active which is their lower fat line. We personally like the Fit & Active® Lean Turkey Polska Kielbasa. It’s great sliced into spaghetti sauce for baked spaghetti casserole.
My big savings this week was a Cook’s ham at Kroger. The ham was an eleven pound ham for a little over eight dollars that was originally listed for $22.00. I’m cooking it right now and once it cools, I’ll divide it into meal sized portions to freeze. I have a FoodSaver® 4980 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System that I picked up from Costco before the holidays started. This has really saved our family time and money since I can buy food in bulk and divide it into portions for our family.

Menu Plan for January 25- January 31

Funeral Sandwiches (recipe courtesy of Clever Housewife,
Dutch Apple Pie w/ Whipped Cream (Aldi’s special – twenty five cents for the pie!)
Baked Pork Chops
Cheesy Julienne Potatoes
Mixed Vegetables
Salisbury Steaks
Steamed Rice
Green Beans
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Garlic Bread
 (Darling husband is cooking tonight. I’ll be out of town with Gabriel at an appointment.)
Hot Dogs
Macaroni and Cheese
Baked Beans
Roasted Chicken Thighs
Sweet Peas
Breakfasts: Cereal, French Toast, Mickey Waffles, Oatmeal etc
Lunches: Leftovers, Sandwiches, etc
I was looking for something pretty for this post and I came across this lovely painting. It’s called Midsummer’s Eve and was painted in 1908 by British painter Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914). Hughes worked mainly in watercolors and was part of the artistic movement called Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. With all the cold weather everyone has been having lately, I thought a picture of something warm would be great.
Until next time…

Leave a comment

Filed under breakfast, chicken, cooking, delicious, dinner, Dinner. Lunch. Menu Plan Monday, family, food, freezer, huband, january, kid friendly, kids, menu, menu plans, nutrious, recipes, savings, Spaghetti, storm, vegetables

The Moscow Ballet is Coming!!

Growing up it was a tradition for my mom to take my sister and I to the opening night performance of the Nutcracker at Christmas time. We would dress up and have dinner before hand. It was one the gifts that we looked forward to each year. This year thanks to the Moscow Ballet, you too can feel the magic of the Nutcracker.

The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker s coming to a city near you.  My Readers Can Save on Tickets Now with this exclusive offer from US Family Guide .

It’s the ultimate holiday tradition and creates memories for a lifetime. The production includes over 200 romantic costumes and 10′ tall playful animal puppets; shimmering colorful, backdrops splashed with 3-D effects; life-sized Matrushka (Nesting) Dolls and a puppet show for shadowing the Nutcracker Story at the opening Christmas Party. During the battle with Nutcracker Prince and the 3-headed Rat King, a golden cannon shoots roses! In the Magical Snow Forest an authentic Russian style Troika Sleigh, known as the fastest sleigh in the world, is escorted by Father Christmas (Ded Moroz) and Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) on their way to Act II. The Great Russian Nutcracker is known for its dedication to world peace with Act II named the “Land of Peace and Harmony.” The first scene of Act II features a stunning “Dove of Peace” with a 20′ wingspan and danced by 2 dancers each with one feathered wing. All ages feel the spirit of the season at Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! By using the code JOY to get the biggest discount of the season for your family.

Again remember by using the special promo code you can save on your tickets to this incredible event: JOY

Watch this video to see the sheer beauty of the Moscow Ballet in action Dove of Peace.

If you have ever been to the ballet comment and let us know what your experience was like.

Until next time…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized