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Prepping For The Year

By Michelle McFarland

 

 

As summer comes to an end, moms everywhere have an extra pep in their step for they know that in the very near future their children will be returning to school and some semblance of normalcy will return to their home. However, with the start of school also comes a long list of must do’s such as back to school shopping, haircuts, doctor’s appointments, and establishing a morning routine.

 

In order for moms to keep their sanity and for their children to start their days off successfully it is absolutely necessary to establish a morning routine. Not only will it keep you, the parent, on track but establishing structure within their daily routine is what kids everywhere crave! And, it will set a positive tone for day.

 

Sit down and create a list of what needs to be accomplished each morning. Then depending on the age of your children you can include them on creating the schedule. This allows all parties to have ownership rather than feel as if they are being dictated too. Post your schedule or daily routine in a high traffic area where it will be readily visible. In making the routine known and visible all parties will be aware of what role each plays within the family. Thus, easing the transition from the lazy days of summer to everyday routine of what will surely be a successful school year.

As many of you know, I’m not just a blogger and television sensation :) I am also a teacher with 23 years of experience.  Last Monday morning,  I had to say goodbye to summer and return to the halls of my K-8 building where I am a 7th and 8th grade science teacher. Your eye probably started twitching and you possibly shed a tear for me just knowing I teach the “hormonally challenged”. Yes, there  is a special place for me in heaven. In an effort to go out with a bang, last Sunday Paige, Brooke, and I prepared some of our favorite summer dishes.

Fried Chicken, Bacon Deviled Eggs, and Roasted Corn With Old Bay….

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Not to toot my own horn, but I will toot on…I decided to try mixing some corn starch with my flour.

I am here to testify, this was FABULOUS.

Fried Chicken

Ingredients

- 2 lbs. fresh chicken wings

- 4 cups of all-purpose flour (divided)

- 3-4 beaten eggs

- 1/2 cup corn starch

- old bay seasoning

- vegetable oil for frying

- Ziploc bags (gallon size)

Directions

1. Rinse chicken and pat completely dry with paper towel. Remove all feathers and hairs. Season chicken with old bay seasoning.

2. In large heavy bottomed skillet, pre heat oil to 350 degrees.

3. Set up dredging station. The first bag two cups of flour, shallow dish with eggs, the second bag put two cups of flour and 1/2 cup of corn starch season with old bay.

4. Dredge chicken.  Flour, eggs, flour/starch mixture. Let chicken rest.

5. Fry chicken for 13-15 minutes.

6. Drain on paper towel. Season lightly with salt.

Bacon Deviled Eggs

photo (13)

Ingredients

- 8 hard-boiled eggs ( I love the store-bought version)

- 4 pieces of bacon

- 1/2 cup salad dressing

- 1/4-1/3 cups dill relish

- 2 tbsp. bacon grease

- paprika

Directions

1. Fry bacon until crisp. Reserve bacon grease.

2. Cut boiled eggs in half. Scoop out yolk into small bowl.

3.  Smash yolk with fork. Add salad dressing, dill relish, and bacon grease.

4. Take a large Ziploc and scoop in mixture. Clip the bottom corner of the bag. Pipe back into egg whites.

5. Top with bacon pieces.

6. Sprinkle with paprika

Remember……Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day!!

Getting Started

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Over the last year and I mean the entire year, I have been working on completing my website to go in conjunction with my blog. On the website, there will be different interactive links for my fans to use. One is the “Just For The Ladies”  This is where I will share tips on things for the ladies as well as feature some of my friends who special skill sets. Today I will feature one of my contributors. Shelly Mitchell-Hollingsworth was a teammate of mine at Penn State as well as a close friend. She was a Track and Field All-American at PSU who also attended the Olympic Trials. Over the years, Shelly has coached at the collegiate level and has focused on personal training. Needless to say, Shelly has been asked to be my fitness contributor.  Below you will find Shelly’s tips for this week.

Fitness Contributor Shelly Mitchell-Hollingsworth

Shelly fitness

Fitness Tip #1:
5 KEYS TO WEIGHTLOSS:

  Limit sugar intake, Eat in moderation, Dont skip breakfast, Drink plenty water, 30 minutes of exercise daily.
If you follow these 5 keys you will be sure to lose weight.
For your fitness questions, concerns out comments please contact me Shelly atshelly4fitness@gmail.com.

Shelly’s Exercise Tip For The Week…

Now I’m not 100% that Shelly will cosign for this meal on a fitness tip. Half of it is a healthy choice. Having done my math, she will cosign for 50% of this dish.

Fried Pork Chops and Roasted Eggplant with Marinara Sauce

pork chop

Ingredients

Pork Chops

-4 to 6 Bone-in Pork Chops

- 2 cups of all purpose flour

- 2 packets of Sazon seasoning (look in your international section)

- 3 tbsp. of Adobo Seasoning Salt (also found in the international section)

- Olive Oil and Butter for frying :)

Directions

1. In large Ziploc bag, mix flour, Sazon, and seasoning salt.

2. Rinse and pat pork chops completely dry.

3. In large cast iron skillet or any heavy skillet, heat 1/2 cup of olive oil and 2-3 oz. of butter to medium.

4. Individually, put the pork chops into the flour mixture. Make sure they are completely coated. Place on a large

plate or baking sheet and allow to rest a few minutes before frying.

5. Fry 2 to 3 pork chops at a time. 4-5 minutes per side. Or until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.

6. Drain on a paper towel

Roasted Eggplant

Ingredients

- 2 small eggplants

- olive oil

- salt and pepper

- garlic powder

- Italian seasoning

- Parmesan Cheese

Directions

1. Thinly slice the eggplant.

2. Place slices on baking sheet. Brush olive oil.

3. Sprinkle each piece lightly with all seasonings.

4. Bake eggplant in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes

5. Serve with your favorite marinara

Remember….Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day!!

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If only I could have been in Canton, Ohio last weekend like my friend Tyoka Jackson. Ty was present for the induction of the 2014 Hall Of Fame honorees.  How jealous was I  to see my friend sitting behind Buddy Ryan (love his coaching style). Very cool.

 

Tyoka

 

Tyoka sitting right behind Buddy Ryan. Paige said “Mom there’s Mr. Ty.” We all started cheering like he was giving a speech :)

 

Exciting as that was, Ty isn’t my focus. Each year watching the acceptance speeches, is just an emotional roller coaster. Listening to the stories makes me feel very connected to the athletes. Hearing  the accounts of obstacles many individuals overcame is inspiring.  Michael Strahan presented my favorite speech this year.  Improbability means nothing, because absolutely anything is possible.  As he spoke of all the things that could have kept him down,  the audience was in the palm of his hand.  Strahan is charismatic, intelligent, engaging, and a fan favorite.  He has the makings of a motivational speaker. Joel Olsteen lookout.

 

Check Out Michael’s Speech….

 

To honor my favorite speaker this year, I think he would enjoy my Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad. He’s very lean and mean these days…

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad…

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Super simple and Super delicious…

Ingredients

-  2 Chicken Breasts

- olive oil

old bay seasoning

- Hot Sauce of your choice (I use crystal)

- butter

- romaine lettuce

- Vidalia onion

- shredded carrots

- celery sticks

- blue cheese crumbles

- ranch dressing

Directions

1. Cut chicken breasts into strips. Brush with olive oil Season with  old bay.

2. Melt 3 pats of butter in cast iron skillet or grill pan, grill chicken over a medium heart. About 3 minutes per side.

3. In a microwave save bowl, melt 1/4 cup butter. Mix with 1 cup of hot sauce.

4. When chicken is cook, toss in the hot sauce butter mixture. Put chicken back on grill for about 30 seconds per side to lock in hot sauce.

5. Top greens with grilled chicken.

Remember………Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day

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