Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mini Chicken & Waffles

These mini chicken and waffles were an absolute hit at our annual holiday party last night (the iPhone pics don't really do them justice)... The chicken was crunchy and flavorful, and the waffles were buttery and delicious.

The recipe comes from one of my favorite lifestyle websites, PureWow. They send their newsletters weekly, and they're filled with fun tips for everything from cooking and fashion, to home and travel. Sign up. You won't regret it!

The full recipe for the chicken and waffles can be found here... We used the PureWow recipe for the chicken, but actually went with a different recipe for the waffles. This recipe from Taste of Home for Belgian waffles is our house favorite (a-m-a-z-i-n-g), and I couldn't bring myself to try a different one.

The yummy vehicle for the chicken

Deep-fried goodness

Since we didn't want to deep fry during the party (who wants oil all over their outfit? not this girl.), we made the chicken and waffles ahead of time, and then toasted them in the oven a bit before everyone arrived so they were warm. Just be sure to put the chicken and waffles on a cooling rack and allow them to completely come to room temperature before setting aside... otherwise it'll all get soggy!

Serve with a side of syrup and you got yourself some fancy schmancy finger food!

Here's the recipe for both, enjoy!

2014 group shot!

Mini Chicken and Waffles
via PureWow &

Makes about 24 pieces

For the chicken
Canola or peanut oil for frying
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbs cornstarch
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tbs dried Italian herb seasoning
2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces

For the waffles
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder 
2 eggs, separated 
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Syrup for serving


  1. In a deep, medium-size pot, heat about 3 inches of oil over medium heat until it reads 350°F on a thermometer
  2. While the oil heats, make the waffles. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add milk, butter and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown. Let the waffles cool slightly, then cut them into bite-size (about 1-inch) squares and place them in a 250°F oven to keep warm.
  3. Make the fried chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, cayenne pepper, Italian herb seasoning, salt and black pepper to combine. Pour the buttermilk into a shallow, medium-size bowl.
  4. Toss the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to coat. Working in batches, dip the floured chicken into the buttermilk, then return it to the flour and toss to coat.
  5. Working in batches, add the breaded chicken to the hot frying oil. Don’t overfill the pot with chicken, as it will bring down the temperature of the oil. Fry until the chicken is golden brown and floats on the surface of the oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed if the chicken is browning too quickly.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oil and drain on several layers of absorbent paper towels. Let cool slightly, then place a piece of chicken on top of a waffle square and secure with a toothpick. Serve immediately with syrup on the side.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Adventures with Annie Sloan

Soooooo I have a new DIY obsession... My wonderfully creative mother introduced me to a line of chalk furniture paint by Annie Sloan.

You see, it all began when my hubby and I had a spot in our apartment that desperately needed some sort of sitting set-up. We happened to stumble upon these horrible-looking chairs (they literally had gold pumpkins painted on them) and figured what the heck, let's see if we can fix 'em up.

Here's the before shot:

Horrifying, right? 

So we took them to my parents house because I figured my mom would be able to help us work some magic. She's painted a whole host of furniture pieces with Annie Sloan's paint (it's become a slight addiction... I can now understand why) and has become quite the expert. 

We picked a soft, neutral color called 'Old Ochre' which we painted the chairs with first. Since they were black originally, it took three coats to completely cover the existing finish. 

The Old Ochre color swatch

Now here's the fun part... Annie Sloan has waxes that you can use to spice up your project. There are endless options as to what you can do with the wax, and it comes in a couple different colors. The most basic is the clear wax which gives the chalky paint a soft, but shiny finish. I chose the more non-conventional option, the dark wax, which makes your piece look a little more aged and adds some fun texture.

Here's a basic video tutorial that shows the technique: 

In the video, they're a little more aggressive with the dark wax... I chose to use less because I didn't want it to look too antique-y.

Here's the finished product! If you look closely you can see the streaks of dark wax on the seat and in the crevices of the wood. 

If you're going to take on a project like this, I also suggest investing in some of Annie Sloan's brushes. They make a huge difference. 

And here are the chairs all set up in our new space:

Tada... I just love it! I have a feeling there will be many more furniture painting projects in our future.

To find a store that sells Annie Sloan paint near you, click here

Happy crafting!