Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce

For National Fried Chicken Day I made Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders and chicken tenders aren’t complete without a dipping sauce. My favorite dipping sauce for chicken is Chick-Fil-A sauce. I use it for the chicken tenders and the waffle fries and joke that I could drink it with a straw – it’s just that good. I pinned this Pinterest pin for a Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce recipe by Serene Herrera of House of Yumm a couple of years ago and this was the perfect time to make it.

Pintesting Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce

This is one of two recipes that I tested for National Fried Chicken Day. If you need a recipe for chicken tenders to dip in your sauce, I used this Pin for Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders by Mandy of South Your Mouth.

Click here to go to the Pan-Fried Chicken Tenders Pintesting post.

The Pintesting:

The ingredients are probably in your kitchen right now. No, that lemon isn’t floating in the air. I had forgotten to get it in the picture so I added a clip-art lemon.

Pintesting Chick-Fil-A Sauce

Simply mix everything together per the recipe’s instructions.

Pintesting Chick-Fil-A Sauce

Now serve it with whatever you like to dip.

Pintesting Chick-Fil-A Sauce

That’s it. The end. This makes enough sauce for a family of heavy dippers to enjoy without skimping.

Pintesting Chick-Fil-A Sauce

The Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce was great with the chicken tenders. The next day I shared the leftovers at lunch and everyone thought it was really the restaurant branded sauce. After doing a side-by-side taste comparison, I have to say that this is a very close Copycat that’s easy to whip for your family’s dipping pleasure.

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Results: 5 Pins

Pintesting Seal 5 Pins

Accuracy:  This Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce recipe is a convenient and easy way to get the fabulous flavor of my favorite dipping sauce at home. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Difficulty:  Measure, Mix, Done. This is about as easy as you can get. No chopping, prepping, cooking, chilling, or waiting. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Time:  This took 5 minutes to whip together. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Cost:  I had all of the ingredients that are common to most kitchens. Even if you had to purchase one, two, or all of them, the quantity needed would still make this home-made version less expensive than running down to your closest Chick-Fil-A and buying a combo. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Practicality:  I will be making this Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce to keep on hand in my house. It’s easy to double or triple as needed. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Baked Ratatouille

I have a confession to make – I love Disney movies. I remember going to the Disney summer film festivals each summer as a child. Every week there was a couple of shorts and then a feature-length movie. It was one of my favorite summer memories.My kids loved Disney when they were old enough to watch their first movie, Beauty and the Beast. It’s our all-time favorite, but there have been others that are near the top of the list; like Ratatouille. I think I fell in love with this one because of my love of cooking and my dream to visit France. So when I saw this pin for the BuzzFeed Goodful recipe of Baked Ratatouille, inspired by Marie at Feeling Foodish, it made me think of the way that the rat-chef, Remy, took the traditional vegetable stew and transformed it into haute cuisine.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but this little clip will let you see the dish that I’m referring to – and go watch the movie!

So in an attempt to recreate the dish that piqued my curiosity since it became a movie icon, here is the Pintesting of Baked Ratatouille.

The Pintesting:

There are three main steps to making this dish; the sauce, the veggies, and the herb seasoning.

1. The Sauce:

The sauce starts with fresh aromatics. I found it cheaper to get a potted basil plant at the grocery store than to buy a small packet of basil leaves in the herb section. Not only does the basil stay fresh longer, but it lasts longer and looks so pretty on my kitchen counter.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Sautee the onions and peppers in extra virgin olive oil.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

When they start to soften add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Minced garlic burns rather quickly, so I wait a bit before adding it.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Add the crushed tomatoes. By the way, this would be great over pasta.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Add the basil and take it off the heat.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

2. The Vegetables:

Now for the veggies. Try to find similarly sized vegetables. This is one of the first times I’ve ever cooked eggplant, and I should have chosen more wisely. You’ll find out why in a moment.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Slice the vegetables thinly. I used a mandoline (seen above) for the yellow squash and zucchini, but the eggplant was too wide and the tomatoes didn’t slice well so I used a knife on them.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille - Veggies

As you can see, the eggplant was MUCH larger than the rest of the veggies. Not one to give up, I knew there had to be a way to make this work.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

I used double everything other than the eggplant, and it seemed to fit well. Voilà!

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Layer the veggies in a pattern.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Continue this all the way around the pan making concentric rings. I ended up cutting the eggplant in order to make it fit in the center ring.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

3. The Herb Seasoning:

This calls for fresh herbs; thyme, basil, and parsley. The store didn’t have fresh parsley so I used dried.

NOTE:  When substituting dried herbs for fresh, remember that they are more potent when they’re dried. You usually need about 3 times the amount of fresh herbs as you would dried herbs. In this case, 2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley would be about 2 teaspoons of dried parsley.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Mix the herb seasoning. It smells incredible!

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Brush it on the arranged vegetables.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

See how pretty that looks!

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Bake it covered for 40 minutes in a 375-degree pre-heated oven. Remove the cover and bake another 20 minutes.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Give it just a minute to cool and then dig in. We had eaten lunch not too long beforehand, so this was a separate vegetable course. It smelled and tasted so good that I had two small “just-to-taste” servings while my HH had three.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

We ate the leftovers the next day with some oven-baked fish – so delicious! The flavors have longer to get to know each other and play more nicely together; similarly to how lasagna or chili tastes better the next day.

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

Fin (The End):

The number of vegetables called for in the recipe was nearly double of what would fit into the pan. We didn’t complain since most of the prep work was done and I just made another batch. If eating veggies the same way too many days in a row sounds boring, I found some ways to do a ratatouille makeover. Check here and here for inspiration.

A French foodie friend told me that the ratatouille on the movie is not really ratatouille, which is a simple vegetable stew. So I searched for the Ratatouille version of ratatouille and found that it’s actually called Confit Byaldi. In the image below, the Disney Pixar version of the dish is shown at the top with a real version shown beneath (one being mine).

Pintesting Baked Ratatouille

I want to leave you with some inspiration; a quote from the illustrious Chef Gusteau, “Anyone can cook but only the fearless can be great.” Be fearless. Be Great. Try this recipe.

Anyone Can Cook

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Results:  4.0 Pins

Pintesting Seal 4 Pins

Accuracy:  The dish turned out looking like the recipe picture and tasted delicious, but the number of vegetables was nearly double of what the pan could hold and that’s a lot of extra veggies. Also, the recipe didn’t specify the kind of eggplant to use in order to get similar-sized slices for uniformity. For these reasons, I’m giving this 4 Pins.

Pintesting Rating - 4 Pins

Difficulty:  This recipe requires a lot of prep work for all three parts. If you don’t have a mandoline and need to slice all of the vegetables with a knife, it will take a bit of time, too. You will use the chop, slice, and chiffonade knife techniques; not hard, but not easy enough for kids. 4 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 4 Pins

Time:  There are about 15 minutes of prep work to get all the veggies done, plus about 15 minutes to cook the sauce and an hour of baking time. That’s an hour and a half. Don’t get me wrong – it’s absolutely worth the time and you can make extra to freeze or you can get it layered early in the day and cook it for supper, but it’s not going to be a 30-minute meal.  3 Pins

Rated 3 Pins

Cost:  If you have a garden and need to use up a bumper crop of vegetables, then this is a cheap dish to make. However, if you need to hit the grocery store for everything it could get costly depending on what’s in season and on sale. Since produce prices fluctuate substantially by regions and seasons, I’m not going to give a specific price, but I will give this 4 Pins.

Pintesting Rating - 4 Pins

Practicality:  If you have or know kids (little or big ones) who don’t care for vegetables, this might be one way to get them to eat them. First, it’s delicious. Second, it’s from a movie. Let the Disney magic work in your favor here. That the flavor is even better if you have leftovers is a big plus. I also love that leftovers can be transformed into everything from quiche, omelets, sauces, quesadillas, soups, and so much more. 5 Pins

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Pintesting the Best of Italy with Pizza

October is NATIONAL PIZZA MONTH! Did you know this? I didn’t until the month was nearly over. Pintesting Monini Mutti Pizza I’ve wanted to do a pizza recipe post for quite some time but with so many unique kinds of pizza, I wasn’t sure which would be the best one to start with. There’s the Neapolitan style Margherita, the large thin crust New York style, the deep-dish Chicago style, the thick crusted square shaped Sicilian style, grilled pizza, French bread pizza, regional tomato pies, and so many variations of crusts, sauces, and topping… it’s a bit overwhelming. But then I thought about what Italian pizza from Naples would be like. While at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show, I was introduced to Italy’s favorite tomato company, Mutti, and their sister olive oil company, Monini. After tasting them I know why they’re the best of Italy. And now they’re coming to America so that you can cook with the best Italian ingredients, too!

2016 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Mutti Exhibit

Below are a few of the appetizers and even a dessert that was made using the Monini and Mutti products.

2016 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Mutti Collage

I was given some wonderful products to try at home including a ready-made pizza sauce and a squeeze bottle of olive oil that’s not supposed to drip. Let’s see what Italy’s favorites taste like on a pizza.

The Pintesting:

In our house, we normally make our own pizza dough, but on this busy weeknight I picked up a pack of pre-made crusts and our toppings will be cheese, sausage, and pepperoni.

Pintesting Monini & Mutti Pizza

I brushed the dough with the Monini olive oil in their new squeeze bottle. This is SO MUCH BETTER than having the olive oil drip onto the counter or down the side of the bottle. No Leaks! No Drips!

To really boost the flavor, I cut a garlic clove in half and then rubbed it on the oiled dough. If you love garlic but have trouble with heartburn, this is a great way to get that great taste and be gentle on your stomach.

Pintesting Monini & Mutti Pizza

To get real authentic Italian pizza flavor you need a real authentic Italian pizza sauce.

Pintesting Monini & Mutti Pizza

Cheese Please!

Then we added the toppings. The HH worked at a pizza place many years ago, so he does this part. The sausage is raw when put on the top of the pizza, but it will cook through while the pizza is cooking.

Pintesting Monini & Mutti Pizza

Then we baked it per the crust instructions.

Pintesting Monini & Mutti Pizza

This is how it looked when it came out of the oven. The sausage is perfectly cooked. The cheese is all melted. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool enough to taste it, so I’ll get one more picture while I wait.

Pintesting Monini & Mutti Pizza

The Results:

So THIS is what pizza in Italy tastes like… Monini & Mutti made this pizza incredible. The no-drip squeeze bottle really worked; there was no olive oil anywhere it wasn’t supposed to be. The pizza sauce was very fresh and tasted like real tomatoes – not overprocessed or artificial. I can see why they are the favorites in Italy. The good news is that both of these products will soon be available at grocery stores across the U.S. so watch for them!

The Recipe:

Pizza

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 Pizzas (using the 2 mini crusts)

Pizza

Ingredients

  • Pizza crust of choice (I used Boboli Mini Original Pizza Crusts, but you can use home-made)
  • Monini Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic clove, cut in half
  • Mutti Pizza Sauce
  • 8-oz Mozzarella, shredded
  • Toppings of choice

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven per your crust instructions (450 degrees for the Boboli crust).
  2. Place crust(s) on a baking sheet.
  3. Brush 1-2 teaspoons of Monini Olive Oil on the crust to coat evenly.
  4. Rub the garlic clove all over the crust for great flavor.
  5. Spread the Mutti Pizza Sauce in an even layer on the crust.
  6. Top with shredded mozzarella and toppings.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Notes

Pizza is personal, so you can use whatever kind of crust and toppings you like to make it completely your own.

http://pintesting.com/pintesting-the-best-of-italy-with-pizza/

 

Mini German Pancakes

International Pancake Day is this week, February 12 to be exact. I really like all kinds of pancakes, from thin delicate crepes to fat and fluffy buttermilk. There are so many ways you can customize them; putting goodies in the batter, topping or stuffing them with more goodies, and then comes the sauces and/or whipped cream! And let’s not forget the whole idea of having cakes for breakfast. Yes, pancakes are fantastic! My first pin test is Mini German Pancakes from Laura of Real Mom Kitchen. Many years ago my best friend made German pancakes and they were delicious but seemed like a lot of trouble. When I saw this pin on Pinterest I knew I had to give them a try.

The Pintesting:

There are two components to this recipe, the Mini German Pancakes and the Triple Berry Topping.

Mini German Pancakes:

http://realmomkitchen.com/489/mini-german-pancakes/

The recipe had basic ingredients that I already had on hand – a definite plus! Since Laura had omitted the orange zest, I did, too.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The instructions were easy to follow. I put everything except the melted butter into the blender.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The mixture became smooth quickly.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

It was several minutes since I had melted the butter. It was cooled but still liquid, so I poured it in rather quickly rather than a slow drizzle.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I sprayed the muffin pans. For comparison sake, I used one metal pan and one stoneware pan.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I poured a scant 1/4 cup in each one, just like Laura did, and ended up with 15 pancakes.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I popped them into the pre-heated 400-degree oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Nothing was mentioned about using a convection oven, so I went with conventional baking instead.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

After 15 minutes, the pancakes in the metal pan were perfectly ready to come out of the oven…

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

…but the stoneware pan took an extra 5 minutes before they were done.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

It was worth the wait.

Triple Berry Topping:

Time for the Triple Berry Topping. (Note: the recipe is mentioned in the blog and in the recipe. The link in the blog works well, but the link in the recipe was broken. Just make sure to use the 1st link.) The recipe was similar to other fruit sauce recipes I’ve made before, which made me feel confident that it would perform well.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

The frozen berries and agave were brought to a boil.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

While that was heating I mixed the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Then added and cooked for just over a minute until thickened.

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I put two on a plate and topped with the triple berry topping and powdered sugar, as recommended. They disappeared – just evaporated before my eyes (rather, before my mouth).

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

Pintesting Mini German Pancakes

I brought the rest into work to share and made many friends that day. Since my husband wasn’t home, I made the recipe again so he could try them. That time I used a jumbo muffin pan. I really liked the results in that size pan. They were big enough that two was a perfect sized serving. He loved them and I know we’ll be making these again.

The Pintesting Results:

OVERALL RATING: 5 Pins

Pintesting Seal 5 Pins

 

Accuracy: The recipe for both the pancakes and the triple berry topping came out beautifully with delicious results.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

 Difficulty: The recipes were easy to make and didn’t require special equipment.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Time: The whole thing was made in 30-40 minutes – a reasonable time for a nice home-made breakfast.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Cost: Most of the ingredients were already in my kitchen and those that I didn’t have were easy to find at my local grocer. Nothing was over $7.00.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins

Practicality: This came together easily and makes a lovely breakfast or brunch.

Pintesting Rating - 5 Pins