Growing up there was always one thing I looked forward to – BIRTHDAY PARTIES! Candles on the cake, games galore, party favours, or as we liked to call them “loot bags”. But as we age, the classic birthday party rituals slowly start shifting focus to booze. Personally I’d rather go back for seconds possibly even thirds of my birthday cake vs fill up precious stomach real estate with alcohol, but to each their own. Parents on the other hand, the ones in charge of organizing, chaperoning and hosting are probably in desperate need of a little liquid treat.
One year for a celebration of mine, my mother ran around like a chicken with her head cut off. She made a cake from scratch, strung up decorations, blew up the balloons (with her own breath!) and stuffed the loot bags. PLUS cleaned the house from top to bottom. The finishing touches that morning would be that she would dress my sister and I into our frilly dresses all while timing it perfectly to open the front door with a giant COME ON IN grin. Only our puppy at the time had another idea in mind.
So let’s rewind to the part where my mom was making the cake. Not sure why but she chose blue icing that year. In the 80’s the food dye for decorating sweets came in these little soft squishy plastic vials, and like most mothers will relate, amongst all of the chaos and party prep, she lost track of said squishy vial (doorbell is about to ring, guests are about to arrive) until she realizes that our puppy was now using this blue filled tube as a chew toy.
Insert life lesson here: When a puppy gets something that it shouldn’t have in its mouth – do not run towards it, because in puppy language this means “WANNA PLAY WITH ME!!!”. So he takes off leaving a trail of blue behind him, and to add insult to injury don’t my sister and I come running down the stairs just in time for our blue poodle to jump up and give us each a blue paw stamp of approval. You just can’t make this up!
Ding Dong! Guests are here, right on time!
So today being my birthday I want to thank my mom for all of the amazing birthday parties over the years. Rented Limos, Mini Putt, Movie nights, Bowling bonanza, the list goes on and on. You did all of the work all on your own, and made sure that I knew that on this day I was the most important thing in your life. I love you to the moon and back and in case I don’t say it enough… you are the BEST mom a girl could ask for.
Breaded Baked Chicken Fingers (this one goes out to my mom, crispy is one of her favourite words)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. of mayonnaise (yes even I eat mayonnaise on occasion)
2 tbsp. of grainy mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
4 pieces of GF bread (queen street bakery is my jam but any bread will do)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425
First up, bread crumbs; toast your bread and then allow it to cool before whizzing it up in your food processor. Up to you how fine of a crumb you want, just keep in mind that the bigger the crumb the less likely it is to stick to the chicken.
Next mix up your mayo and mustard on a plate and just lightly coat your chicken. Don’t feel like you need slop it on, there will be some left over, light coating; this is not a dipping sauce. Once coated cover the chicken with breadcrumbs and don’t stress if some fall off or they all don’t stick, you can always pile a little extra on top before you bake it, and you can cut your chicken into strips (keep in mind it will cook faster) or just bread the whole breast like I did.
Pop your breaded chicken into the oven on a rack and bake for about 20-25 minutes depending how thick your chicken breasts are I just cut into the thickest part to make sure it’s fully cooked. The rack allows the bottom of the chicken to crisp up rather than putting it right onto the pan.
This is a great addition to a Caesar salad (chicken and a crouton all in one) or even used as a main with some sautéed Brussels and roasted beets. Your plate is your canvas, so go nuts and be sure to share your favourite sides.
Pub style grub that doesn’t go straight to your ass, now that is a meal worth blogging about.