Baked (not deep fried) Pickles

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, March 2013


I love pickles. All pickles. Even mustard pickles. And chow chow. Or as chips. MMMM. Pickles.

So funny that my son hates them. In every single way, shape and form. Even picks them off his McD’s burgers (and right into my mouth!)

There is only one place around here that serves deep fried pickles (that I have found so far) and I feel they do a fairly poor job at them. They use pickle spears and both times I gave them a try the batter fell off them and all you are left with is a pickle. No fried bits. Pointless. If I wanted a pickle spear i’d have it at home. At home? YES!!! I will try to make fried pickles at home!

My first attempt was successful. As far as to say they were pickles and they were fried, however the recipe I chose had too much cornmeal and they were gritty. I won’t even bother to post the recipe and I have no pictures anyway. BUT the coating stayed on and they were sorta tasty. Then I read how many calories are in fried food so I went on the search for something less fattening. Because if you know me you know I need to save those calories for chocolate. And alcohol. And McDonalds. 😉

So I found this BAKED recipe on Pinterest. Today I tried it.


What you need:



3 Large Kosher Dill Wholes (I used PC mini dills as the HUGE jar was on sale for $1.99!)

3 Eggs

3 Tbsps Milk

1 cup Flour (All Purpose)

1/2 cup Bread Crumbs

1/4 cup Panko Crumbs

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese (Finely Shredded)


I wasn’t so sure of the cheese. I don’t think I have ever had cheese on a fried dill pickle before. But hey….who am I to argue (LMAO!)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Slice your Dills into “chips” about 1/4 inch in thickness.



3. Take 3 small mixing bowls and put the flour in 1, the eggs and milk in the second (and beat them together), and combine the bread crumbs, panko crumbs, and the shredded cheese in the third bowl.



4. Coat each pickle chip with flour, then the egg/milk mixture, and then the cheesy bread/panko crumb mixture, and place on to an oiled cookie sheet.



5. Bake @ 425 degrees for 7 – 10 minutes or until desired “crispiness” is reached.




I found they still weren’t crisp enough so I cranked the oven up to 500 for 2 more minutes.

I served them (to myself) with a side of Chipolte Mayo.




They were very tasty. But I still wished they were deep fried. 🙁


love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick

Loaded Potato Nachos

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Appetizers, Main Course, March 2013


These were delicious. Confusing. But delicious.

Kind of a cross between nachos and a loaded baked potato. For those times when you just can’t decide.

The original poster just called them Potato Nachos and used already baked Baked potatoes but I started from raw (and renamed them to be more accurate to taste). I was afraid they would not be cooked all the way through so I parboiled them for about 8 minutes until they were fork tender.



Then I pretty much followed the recipe.


What you’ll need:


Potatoes (sliced as thin as you can)


Chili Powder

Nacho/loaded BP toppings.


Yeah. Pretty simple.

I used chopped jalapenos,



chopped tomatoes, sliced onions (that I warmed in a frying pan until tender but not “cooked”)



Add your potatoes to a bowl and drizzle with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with cumin and chili powder (to your personal tastes. For 3 medium sized potatoes I used 1/2tsp of each)



Now here is where you grill your potatoes. Not a necessary step if you don’t have an indoor grill pan but it adds a nice smokiness to the potatoes that I really enjoyed. I don’t have pics of this part as my grill pan was so hot I didn’t have time to grab the camera.

Arrange your potato slices on a cookie sheet with tin foil (just as you would do with Nacho chips)



Start adding your toppings. I added cooked bacon, the onions and some cheddar cheese



Add your chopped veggies and more cheese.



Bake at 400 for 6-10 minutes or until the cheese melts.



Remember my potatoes were ALMOST cooked. If you start with raw and don’t parboil or grill them then I would suggest cooking at 350 for 20-25 minutes withOUT the cheese (until potatoes are tender) and then add your cheese and broil for a minute or 2.


Top with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or whatever your heart desires.




love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick






Don’t let the title fool ya!

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Desserts, March 2013

Hot Fudge Cream Cheese squares.

Yeah. I thought they’d be good too. What an expensive mistake THAT was.

I should have known as I was making them that they’d be as dry as a camels’ toes (or a popcorn fart, or a nuns gusset) Pardon me, those are pretty risque…dry as a bone, dry as toast…those are more suitable (but who ever said I was suitable??!) There was hardly ANY liquid added to it! No wonder I can barely choke them down. I type this as I sit here watching copious amounts of frozen Cool Whip melt and attempt to make this recipe edible.

I take full responsibility as this is 1 recipe I did not change at all. My brain is spinning trying to figure out how to save them. All suggestions are welcome. It’s so sad because they LOOK good and exactly like the original bloggers version. Too bad they are the consistency of chocolate chalk.


Anyway….here is the original link and recipe. If you figure out how to tweak it PLEASE message me and I’ll edit this post.


What you’ll need (ALONG WITH MORE LIQUID!):



  • 1 (18.25 oz) package chocolate cake mix.
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp light cream ( I used 4 1/2)
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1  jar hot fudge sauce
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

3. In a large bowl combine cake mix, graham cracker crumbs and peanut butter.



4. In a small bowl whisk the egg and the cream together and add to the cake mix mixture.




5. Stir until combined. Set aside 3/4 cup mixture for topping.



6. Press remaining mixture into the bottom of prepared baking dish.



7. With your mixer, beat together cream cheese and hot fudge sauce until smooth.




8. Spread over the top of the crust.



9. Now evenly sprinkle your milk chips, toffee bits and remaining crumb mixture on top.




10. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

11. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator until ready to serve, at least 3 hours.



Store in the fridge but allow to come to room temperature before eating. Hmmm. Maybe this was my error. I dove in to the pan straight out of the refrigerator. Perhaps my own update later after this puppy comes to temp and the whipped cream adds more moisture. (ps- no real puppies were used in baking this dessert) 😉



Hope yours turns out better then mine did should you give this recipe a go. Again, the flavor is great…so very chocolatey…just needs moisture!! Excuse me while I go get the carton of milk to drink from directly. 🙂


love, peace and chicken grease,

-A Cooped Up Chick


EDIT: Ok. So the room temp thing really does make a difference….as did the cool whip. Sitting here NOW enjoying an uber chocolatey breakfast. And a HUGE glass of milk. 😉 Delicious.


Spaghetti with Garlic gravy and chicken something?

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Chicken Dishes, Main Course, March 2013


Look at me go!


So I was inspired to do some cooking and baking today so I figured I may as well keep on trucking and do some blogging. Hence this blog post. # 3 for today (so far). 😉


Plus tonights supper inspired me. It was amazing. Delish. Incredible. Now please don’t think I am bragging about my stupendous self…I did not create this dish. I simply found and followed a recipe. Um. Well. With a couple of tweaks. I can’t help myself. Seriously. Its a compulsion. And as we all know by now, I have issues. Don’t judge, we all have issues of some sort. And if you aren’t judging, thank you and c’mon….shake your meds with me. YAY!!!!

I digress. Supper was super, duper yummy in my tummy. And fairly simple. Not as easy as opening a can of Alphaghetti but easier then Peking Duck. Also let me tell you, this was THE best pasta dish I have had in years. Probably in the past 15 years. In my home or in a restaurant.

I found the recipe on Pinterest (suprise!) and the picture looked so tasty I knew I had to try it at some point (see original blog post here: When I posted a picture on Facebook of it someone asked what it was and all I could remember was spaghetti in garlic gravy…and that it had chicken in it. Hence the title. 🙂 Oh and yes, I know i’m annoying, posting pics on Facebook about what i’m eating. 3/4 of my ‘friends’ don’t care but the rest like to come here for recipes so…HI GUYS!!


You can cook this! It just takes a little planning and a few steps. And a zester.


What you will need:


500 grams spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)

1 pound chicken breast fillets (sliced into 1 inch chunks) I used less, only 2 breasts because it was just for me. And i’m cheap.


For the marinade:



1 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 fresh chopped)

1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped (or 2 fresh chopped)

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp coarse salt (not table salt…i used the grinder)

½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil (to sauté the marinated chicken)


Put all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the cubed chicken.



I then transfer it to a Ziploc bag and refrigerate it. If making this right away then marinate a minimum of 20 minutes. If you have the foresight, try to marinate 3-4 hrs. Its soooooooo good! The original blogger suggests overnight. If you leave it overnight you will take the baggie out of the fridge and think you already cooked the chicken. The acid in the lemon actually starts to cook the meat. If you leave it overnight the chicken will start to get mushy and I got a problem with certain textures. Mushy chicken is one of them.

Wow. The spices on the chicken make it match my counter. Its like food ‘Where’s Waldo?’



For the garlic gravy you will need:



1/4 cup butter (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE)

2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, finely minced (I cheated tonight because I thought I had fresh but didn’t so I used jarred)

2 Tbsps all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups chicken stock

1 Tbsp dried basil

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle on top finished dish)

½ cup grated parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on the finished dish)

a squeeze of lemon (about 1 1/2 tsps…the original recipe did not call for this but I felt it was sorely needed to cut some of the butter flavor. It needed acid)

2 cups whole cherry tomatoes ( I used grape tomatoes because they were the purpose for trying this recipe. I had these semi-wilted, sad looking grape tomatoes in my fridge and the darn things are so expensive by GOD I was using them)



Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside.



I found the chicken was uber juicy so once it was cooked through, I drained off the excess liquid and browned it a little. I then cut it into smaller pieces to spread it around. Even though it’s just me I don’t want all the meat in one bowlful and have none in the next.



I followed the original blogger to a T at this point:

“Place sauté pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.

–  Saute garlic until fragrant and soft.



–  Add the flour and cook for a minute.

–  Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.

–  Season with salt and pepper.”

It ended up looking like soup. Not nearly the thick “sauce” I had expected. It tasted delicious but looked a hot mess.



So I took another heaping tablespoon of flour and added it to some margarine I heated (about a tablespoon) on the stovetop.



Was a pretty loose roux but it should work.


After adding the roux it started to look better.



SO I added the chicken



And the cooked noodles



I also decided at this point it needed onions. Everything I cook has onions. I love onions.

Since the original recipe didn’t have onions I went for a mild one. Green onions. I always have green onions (did you know you can grown them on your window sill in a glass of water? Seriously.)



But it was still a little more saucy then I like (and this was even after taking out THIS much sauce for reheating purposes)



so I added more cooked noodles and the chopped grape tomatoes and the green onions.



This. Was. Amazing.

I’m going for seconds. Now.



I hope you enjoy.

love, peace & chicken grease,

– A Cooped Up Chick





EDIT: Ok. So now that i’ve had my second plate I will tell you WHY I like this recipe so much. By adding the noodles INTO the saute pan it TOTALLY coats each and every strand of Spaghettini so that even if you have a mouthful of ONLY noodles it still has oodles of flavor. Garlicky, buttery, lemony goodness. Go make this. Now. Or as soon as you can.


Monterey Chicken

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Chicken Dishes, Main Course, March 2013


OOOOH! Another yummy recipe I got from Pinterest!! ( you can find the original blog post here:


I am telling you….Pinterest makes you fat. IF you try all the amazing, recipes one can find there (this is my goal!). If you only pin them, or watch me make and eat all of them, then you will stay the lovely, skinny beeyotches that you are. Joking. Let me weed out the crappy ones for you and only try the ones I post here. Become my minions, my followers (PS- GREAT tv show btw).

I ended up trying this recipe because I had all the ingredients. No really! ALL of them!! Ok, wait. No. I had all but the colby cheese and I used different ones instead. Dammit. Thought I may have actually made it through a whole recipe without making an amendment. Nope, typical Erin.


What you will need:


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 pkgs of chicken tenders)
1/4 c. bar-b-que sauce ( I used 4 Tbsps Sweet Baby Rays)
1/4 c. real bacon bits (4 strips of bacon cooked in the microwave then cut up with scissors 😉 )
1 c. colby and jack cheese, shredded (yeah, I used a mix of Jack, Mozza and Parmesan cheese…about 1/2 cup)
1 14 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, drained (canned with green chilies added, can only get these in the States. But you could used diced tomatoes and add your own jalapenos)
sliced green onions


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Pound out chicken breasts to flatten. Season with pepper (or in my case…just season with pepper).

Grill chicken until no long pink (I used my stopetop grill pan I got at Mardens for $3.99)



Place on baking sheet covered with foil and brush each chicken breast with BBQ sauce



Top with tomatoes



Add the cheese, green onions and bacon bits.



Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes)



I like mine served with a dollop of fat free sour cream.




My hoover (read : son) said these would be delish in a sandwich (I think on a toasted roll with garlic butter and more cheese, or in a pita or rolled up in a tortilla!!! Oh yeah!)

The Rotel tomatoes are quite spicy. I think next time (I have 2 cans left from my last excursion to Calais, ME) I will mix with fresh diced tomatoes.

Oh and I forgot to mention…on the original blog she marinated the chicken in 1/4 c. olive oil, 2 T. soy sauce, 2 tsp. McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning before cooking it. I didn’t think i’d like the mix of oil and soy sauce so I marinated MY chicken for 2 hours in Italian salad dressing. 😉


Oh Pinterest, you may just be the death of me. 😉


I hope you enjoy!

love, peace & chicken grease,

– A Cooped Up Chick

Banana Fanna Fo Fanna (muffins)

Author: Cooped Up Chick  //  Category: Desserts, March 2013


What do you do when you have 4 wAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAy too brown bananas on your counter…and after you have already attempted to throw them in the freezer and you are attacked viciously by 18 OTHER brown bananas trying to make their escape?

You either throw them in the garbage (BLASPHEMY!) or you make something with them.

A few weeks ago this was my predicament. I usually go to my Go-To, Nanny J’s banana bread recipe. But it’s dense. Not dense like stupid but dense like THICK. I wanted something less bready.

I googled Banana muffin recipe and was bombarded with more choices then there are perverted men on Plenty-of-Fish (NOT that I troll dating sites….anymore.) Anyhoo….the point is, there were lots!

I picked the first option with the highest rating and set to baking. Well, needless to say they were a success. Well I ASSUME they were a success since my 17 yr old hoover (READ: son) ate them all within a couple of days. SO I made them again today (and this time took pictures of the end result!!)


What you will need:


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup butter, melted


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tin with paper liners.

In one bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (TRICK: put everything in a bowl and whisk…you won’t need to sift)

In a separate bowl mix mashed bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter.

Fold in the flour mixture to the banana mixture.

Spoon into liners.

Bake 25-30 minutes until muffins spring back to the touch and a toothpick in center comes out clean.


Fresh out of the oven


Cooling next to French Vanilla cupcakes



Totally loved these little muffins. Had the same flavor as the banana bread but so soft and light and fluffy.


A little dollop of margarine (shut up Jenn…I KNOW its plastic!) and right into my belly!



Hope you enjoy. Experiment a little…add chocolate chips or blueberries!

love, peace and chicken grease,

– A Cooped Up Chick