Kidlets say the darnedest things.
Last night I was at Mr.S.'s and we helped with some homework, watched a bit of TV and played a few games of chess with the kidlets (Kidlet #2 got a set from his grandpa for Xmas this year). At one point, Kidlet #2 had Pepper pup in a headlock and was trying to spend some quality time with him. Pepper was having none of it (as usual) and was squirming, wriggling and whining in a valiant effort to escape. Somehow he pulled a Doggie Houdini and broke free, ran into the other living room and then came over to hide in my lap. As he took off though, Kidlet #2 called out, "Waaaaait Pepper! I'm available!!" His 10-year old sincerity was touching but hilarious at the same time and we all burst into a fit of giggles.
About 15 minutes later during a cut-throat game of chess between Kidlet #1 and Mr.S., I suggested to Kidlet #2 that he "give some pointers to his dad so he could beat [Kidlet #1]." His reply was, "Nah...a smart chimp could beat [Kidlet #1]." When I advised him that it wasn't very nice to say such a thing, he countered with. "WHAT?!!? Do you know how many smart chimps there are out there?!!?"
Seriously, out of the mouth of babes. What can you do but laugh? And much like you can never predict what they'll say, you can never predict what they'll eat either. We've been lucky with Kidlet #1, he's an adventurous eater and will try anything once...and if the dish is spicy? Well, the spicier the better! I'm sure this kid could probably chow down on a ghost pepper without batting an eye. Now Kidlet #2 is more of a reluctant eater. He'll look with suspicion at anything new, "weird," or remotely resembling healthy. *Sigh.* But over the past 3.5 years that Mr.S. and I have been dating, I've found that I could usually get Kidlet #2 on board with dinner if I go with traditional recipes, comfort foods and pretty much anything with chicken breasts. So for dinner tonight we had roasted broccoli and cauliflower (the kidlets and Mr.S. LOVE the broccoli especially) and crispy ranch chicken. Most recipes I've ever seen for ranch chicken utilize mayo or butter but I like to try and keep it healthy so I use Greek yogurt. No one's the wiser and it's fat-free. Hallelujah! The chicken's also cooked in the oven--which eliminates the greasiness that you get when you fry it.
The kidlets loved the crispy ranch chicken and it looks like this dish will be making some repeat appearances in our dinner rotation.
Kidlet Friendly Crispy Ranch Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 oz. plain-flavored Fage Greek Yogurt
1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix
2 cups smashed corn flakes (I put mine in a Ziploc and run a rolling pin over it a few times)
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons bread crumbs
Olive oil spray (or in a mister)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack that can accomodate the 4 chicken breasts on it (this will keep the bottoms of the chicken breasts from getting soggy).
3. In a bowl, mix together your ranch mix, crushed corn flakes, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
4. Pat your chicken breasts dry, then coat all sides with the Greek yogurt (about an medium amount, don't go too skimpy or too thick).
5. Dredge your yogurt-covered chicken breasts through the dry ingredient mix and place them on the wire racks.
6. Spray the top with olive oil spray.
7. Place the sheet in the oven. Cook for approx. 25-35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast.
8. Remove from oven and serve warm.