Air Fryer Chicken Breasts

This weekend we decided to take a trip to Oceanside to see our daughter and son-in-law. On Saturday night, I decided to make some Air Fryer Chicken Breasts. Our daughter has an Air Fryer, bit has not quite figured it out yet. It’s a very simple recipe, I start by getting the Baked Potatoes ready – simply rub them with Olive Oil and sprinkle Salt and Pepper on them. Then I put them in a 425 degree oven for 50 minutes.

While they were cooking, I started the preparation on the Chicken Breasts. I first sliced them in half – in thickness – so that the will cook faster.then I prepared a mixture of Flour, Panko Bread Crumbs, a little bit of Cayenne, Salt, Black Pepper, Cumin, And Paprika. I brushed on a like coating of Olive Oil, and dredged the Chicken Breasts in the mixture – then out them – 2 at a time – in the Air Fryer for 10 minutes at 390 degrees for 19 minutes – flipping them after 6 minutes.

Then I made some Whole Kernel corn, Baked Beans, some Bread, and a garden salad. Everyone really enjoyed everything. The thing I like most about the Air Fryer is that the Chicken (or other kind of meat) comes out very tender, but yet, still juicy. The Baked Potatoes were cooked to perfection – very easy to slice, and to eat. This Bread that we got is called “Artisan” Bread – and it is AMAZING! And this come from a guy that is not crazy about Bread.

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Easter Dinner at the Liphart house – 2020

So, today – even with all of the restrictions due to the Coronavirus – I still cooked an Easter dinner – even though it was a bit different than normal. Since we don’t mind leftovers – it was still worth cooking plenty of meat. I cooked 2 Tri-Tips in my smoker, and made some BBQ Chicken, and some Pork Steaks.

That is the Tri-Tip – now for the Chicken – I marinated the Chicken overnight in beer, and my BBQ Sauce starts with a base of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce, then added some beer, and a little Chalula Hot Sauce. Then I baste the Chicken several times while cooking.

Then. I cooked some Pork Steaks – which I cut in half before I season and cook them. I put them in the smoker as well – with Apple Wood.

I also made some Baked Potatoes – with an Olive Oil rub, and some Salt and Pepper. Then I cooked them in the oven at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. They were cooked to perfection – with some butter and cheese – perfect!

Then we added some Whole Kernel Corn, Bush’s Baked Beans Garlic Bread, Salad – and some amazing desserts that my wife made. It was an absolutely amazing meal.

And, here is my final plate:

I neglected to take pictures of the 3 desserts that my wife made – but, they were amazing. And, here is the miracle in this – I only ate the one plateful – lol.

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Parmesan Crusted Chicken

The other day, I made some Parmesan crusted chicken. I started out with some boneless, skinless chicken breast. I grab them in plastic wrap and pounded them out until they were about 1/2 inch thick.

Then I took two small bowls, and in the first ball I put some ranch dressing and some shredded parmesan cheese. In the second bowl, I put some melted butter, more shredded parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and some panko bread crumbs.

Then I put the cast iron skillet on the stove on medium high heat, and put a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of it. Then I put the chicken breast in it, and fried it for a 2-3 minutes per side.

Then I removed the two scallops from the stove top. And I put a small coating of the first mixture of shredded mozzarella and ranch dressing. Then I put on some of the mozzarella cheese and panko breadcrumbs mix. And I topped it all off with some shredded mozzarella cheese.

Then I put it into the oven on the Broiler setting. I left it under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese was all melted and was beginning to crust over.

It turned out very well, the chicken was very tender, and very juicy. The best part of all, was the abundance of cheese in this dish. You cannot have too much cheese. We added to that some homemade mashed potatoes and gravy and some Schwan’s frozen whole kernel corn.

This was an amazing meal, that we will have again. Also, it is a very simple, and quick meal to prepare. It took longer to make me homemade mashed potatoes and gravy than it did to prepare and cook the Parmesan Crusted Chicken.

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Smoked Chicken Breast

I have really taken an interest in Smoking meat – but, had never Smoked any type of Chicken. So, I decided to give it a try. I started with some Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breasts, and I marinated them in beer (Budlight is my choice) and Zesty Italian Dressing.

Then I mixed up a spice mixture to sprinkle on it before cooking it – here is that mixture:

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Seasoning Salt
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp Paprika

Then I prepared my smoker – I had, earlier in the day, started my Apple Wood Chips soaking in water. Now, I started the charcoal and brought the smoker up to temp.

Once the temperature around up, I put the Chicken Breasts on the grill.

I let the Chicken warm up a bit, and after about 15 minutes, I start putting the Apple Wood Chips on the charcoal – and get the smoke rolling.

Then, for the next couple of hours, it is a delicate balance of keeping the temperature right, and continually adding small amounts of charcoal.

Then, for an added benefit – we started getting some Veggies ready. It was a mixture of several Veggies – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Zucchini, etc. I put some Olive Oil, Butter, Sea Salt, and Black Pepper – then wrapped up the foil tight – and put it in the Smoker. My granddaughter, Leana, helped me with this part.

We also put some small Pork Chops on the smoker – seasoned with only Salt and Pepper. We also had some Salad, some Ranch Style Beans, Whole Kernal Corn, and Garlic Bread.

It was a good time for all, and the food was great. The Chicken Breasts came out some amazingly tender and juicy – and the flavors were amazing. One of the most important things that I have learned is that more spices isn’t necessarily better. This recipe is very simple – but, absolutely wonderful.

Here is the final result:

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#chicken #smokedchicken #smokedchickenbreast #applewoodsmokedmeat #applewoodsmokedchicken #roastedveggies #veggies #porkchops #smokedporkchops #applewoodsmokedporkchops #beermarinatedchicken #smoker #smokedmeat #smokedmeatisgreat #smokingmeatisfun #charcoal #cookingwithcharcoal #budlight #budlightbeer

Smoked Tri-Tip Sandwiches

I like Tri-Tip – especially when it is cooked properly. I buy my Tri-Tip in bulk, when on sale, season them, and wrap them individually. That way, I never have to pay $4.00/pound (or more) for Tri-Tip. So, with that being said – the other day I took 2 Tri-Tip out of the freezer and I smoked them using Apple Wood.

I use a rub made with Black Pepper, Salt, Onion Powder Garlic Powder, Ground Mustard, Ancho Chili Powder, Cummin, Cayenne Pepper, and Brown Sugar.

First, I get my charcoal hot, and get my Apple Wood Chips soaking in water. The reason I soak the wood chips in water is that makes them less likely to “burn” – they just “smoke.”

Now that the Tri-Tip is on the Smoker, I get out my Charcoal Chimney and start the next batch of Charcoal cooking.

I keep an eye on the Tri-Tip while it cooks, and try to maintain the temperature around 300 degrees. The Brown Sugar helps to get a nice char on the outside of the Tri-Tip as it carmelizes. Also, I cook the Tri-Tip a bit on the rare side – as you will see later.

As soon as I take the Tri-Tip off the Smoker, I cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest. Within an hour, I put the entire pan in the refrigerator to cool. The reason I do that is that is much easier to slice when it is cold. After it is cold, I brought out my electric meat slicer and sliced the Tri-Tip into thin slices (I did this off camera).

We have a Cast Aluminum “flat top” that I put onto the Gas Grill – and once it is hot, I start putting the strips of Tri-Tip onto the flat top. This finishes off the cooking process, plus it browns the meat at the same time – it definitely adds to the flavor.

Then I liberally apply butter to both halves of a French Roll, and put it on the griddle to get a nice “toast” on it. This, in my opinion, completes this sandwich.

Then the fun begins – assembling the sandwich. For me, it is pretty simple – some Cheese and some Creamy Chipotle Sauce that a friend of mine, Cliff Smith, made.

I started out eating one of these sandwiches, but had to make myself a second one – they are sooo good. This has definitely become one of my favorite ways to eat Tri-Tip. When it is sliced thin like this – it is so amazingly tender, and easy to chew and eat. We have all had Tri-Tip Sandwiches that were sliced thick – and it was more work to eat it than it was worth – not so with this sandwich.

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Chicken Mac and Cheese

I like to watch cooking shows to get ideas for things to cook. Among the show’s I like is Rachel Ray. A couple of weeks ago, she had an episode where they made a bunch of different dishes starting with a Rotisserie chicken. So, I thought that it might be good to add a Rotisserie Chicken to Mac and Cheese – and I was right.

So, I went to Food Maxx and picked up a Rotisserie Chicken, and deboned it (of course, I nibbled all the while, lol), and boiled water to cook 2 1/2 cups of Elbow Macaroni.

We picked up some fresh Corn on the Cob – I put it to boil in some salted water.

After the Macaroni was cooked and strained, I set it aside for now. Then, I started working on the sauce for the Mac and Cheese. I made this sauce based on the Bechemel Sauce I made for the Croque Madame Sandwich – starting by melting some butter (about 1/2 pound), then adding 3/4 cup of AP Flour – and stirring until brown and “clumpy.” Then I began to add the milk and the Velveeta Cheese – (2/3 of a brick). I let it simmer until the cheese was blended and incorporated into the mixture – adding milk until reaching the consistency that I wanted.

Then, I added the cooked Elbow Macaroni and the Rotisserie Chicken to the Cheese sauce and stirred until thoroughly mixed.

Now, it was time to eat, lol. We served the Chicken Mac and Cheese with the Corn on the Cob – which I finished with some Butter, Grated Parmesan Cheese ,and Cayenne Pepper.

This an amazingly delicious meal that is relatively simple to make. There are not many ingredients, and in the time it takes to boil the Corn on the Cob – you can make the rest of the meal.

The Chicken Mac and Cheese is super creamy and smooth – yet, incredibly cheesy. The flavor combination, with the addition of the Rotisserie Chicken and the super creamy sauce of the Mac and Cheese is as though is was always supposed to be together.

Then, with the Corn on the Cob – Bitter makes everything better – then add some Grated Parmesan Cheese, and some Cayenne Pepper – you have a sweet, yet with a nice bite, of Corn.

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Croque Madame Sandwich

About 6 months ago, I saw a sandwich on tv that look very good – and intriguing – so, yesterday I decided to give it a try. It is a classic French sandwich, called a Croque Madame. The Croque Madame starts out with Sourdough Bread, Ham, Gruyere Cheese, covered with a Bechemel Sauce, and topped with a Sunnyside Up Egg. There is also a sandwich called a Croque Monsieur – with the only difference being that a Croque Madame has a Sunnyside Up Egg on top of it. The significance of the Sunnyside Up Egg is the fact that some women wear fancy hats – which is what the egg represents.To start with, I made the Bechemel Sauce – which to me, looks like a fancy gravy – but tastes like a cheese sauce. I put 1/2 pound of Butter in a sauce pan and melted it. Once the Butter was melted, I added 3/4 cup of AP Flour and wisked until it had turned brown and had clumped up. Then I added half an onion, some Salt, Peppercorns, and a Bay Leaf, and added milk and wisked until smooth. I then added the Nutmeg. I let it simmer until the starch had cooked out (or until it no longer tasted like flour) – about 12 minutes.Then I started to build the sandwich. I applied a liberal amount of Butter on one side of each of the pieces of Sourdough bread, then added 3 slices of Deli Ham, then some Shredded Gruyere Cheese, then the other slice of bread. I put it on the griddle at a Medium -High heat, and cooked until golden brown. Then, I strained the Bechemel Sauce, and covered the sandwiches with it.Then I put it in the oven on the Broiler setting until it started to Crisp over, then I removed it from the oven.Then I cooked the Sunnyside Up Egg, and layed it on top of the sandwich. Now, it is time to give it a whirl.

This is an amazing sandwich – well worth the time and effort. You definitely are not going to pick this sandwich up and eat it – it is a knife and fork sandwich, lol.

It was a lot to eat – I probably should have only eaten half of it – but, I couldn’t resist – I ate the whole thing, lol. This is a sandwich that is definitely worth making again. As you bite into it, you get the nuttiness of the Gruyere Cheese, the crispness of the Sourdough Bread – along with the “cheesy” taste of the Bechemel Sauce (even though there is no Cheese in it).

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Stained Concrete Bench

My Sister-in-law gave us this little concrete bench a few years ago, and my wife wanted to stain it. So, that was my project yesterday. Here are some before pictures and videos.

She picked out a “Golden Oak” stain – so I applied it with a brush. The seat portion of the bench seemed to the stain better – presumably due to the fact that it is a “horizontal” surface that takes more abuse from the elements than “vertical” surfaces.

In theses pictures, the seat portion looks much darker – partly because it is in the shade and the pedestals are in the sun. When I put it back in place, it looked pretty good. Here is the final picture and video.

Overall, I like the way it turned out. It definitely looks better than before.

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A Poem I wrote in 1983

This post is a little different – we are getting ready to move in about a month and a half – and I was going through some stuff in the garage – and I came across a booklet with my poems in it. I especially like this one – let me know what you think.

“’If’ For Boys”

If you can respect yourself as well as others
Be kind as well as strong when necessary
Treat all acquaintances as sister of brother
And help those whose burdens are too large to carry.

If you can dream dreams, with the willingness to pay
Whatever consequences or prices are involved
Or give your best, whether at work or play
And strive to have all troubles resolved.

If you can stand tall, although defeated
And maintain composure when victorious
Or accept criticism without becoming heated;
Knowing when to laugh and when to be serious.

If you are able to treat those you hate
With the same respect and understanding
You give to those you love, or when with your mate
Be not too giving, nor too demanding.

If you can balance weakness with strength
Never giving up, but instead compromising
Or take up the slack in the proper length
And live your life without stereotyping.

If you have the ability to admit you’re wrong;
Not to mention your many inabilities
And keep in mind, you cannot always be strong
Because being a man requires great sensitivity.

If you can be honest with all those that surround you;
And pay no mind to untruths that may affect your mood.
You’ll be a man… And all those around you
Will be the richer for your manhood!!!

Written by Matthew Liphart
November 3, 1983

Let me know what you think, and if you want to see more of them.

Kristy’s Family Restaurant

Yesterday, my granddaughter, Leana, and I went to Ridgecrest – and we stopped at a local restaurant called Kristy’s Family Restaurant. It was a nice place. The portions were substantial (neither of us completely finished our Fries), the food was good, and the service was good, as well.

We started with some Buffalo Wings – which were amazing. They were not super hot – but incredibly tasty.

Then, for the main course, Leana had an Avocado Jack Burger, and I had a Mushroom Swiss Burger. Leana’s Burger had a bunch of Avocado on top of the patty – and Jack Cheese.

My Mushroom Swiss Burger was pretty self explanatory – some Sautéed Mushrooms, with Swiss Cheese – and it was cooked to perfection. The buns were very soft – and had a good flavor to them. The French Fries had a nice “crunch” to them, and not over-cooked.

It was a nice experience – a nice, local restaurant – with good food and service. If in Ridgecrest, I would highly recommend Kristy’s Family Restaurant.

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