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Spicy Panko Breaded Chicken Tacos

Whew, now that title’s a mouthful isn’t it?  I bought flour taco shells not knowing what I was going to do with them.  Luckily I had all of these ingredients on hand and thought they’d make yummy tacos.  And they did!

The breading is really great and sure does add some kick.  They definitely are spicy so I drizzled ranch dressing on my tacos to bring down the heat a little.

spicy panko chicken tacos

Spicy Panko Breaded Chicken Tacos

from Southern Spice Gourmet


4 – 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 cup panko crumbs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
flour tortilla shells
ranch dressing
shredded cheddar cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 400°

2.  Cut chicken breasts into strips about 1 – 2 inches thick.  Mix the milk and hot sauce together in a shallow dish.  Add chicken strips and let sit for 10 minutes.

3.  In another shallow bowl, mix together the panko and all of the spices.

4.  Transfer the chicken from the milk mixture into the panko crumbs mix.  Coat chicken strips evenly and transfer to baking dish or sheet. (I used a cookie sheet with my silpat on top)

spicy panko breaded chicken

5.  Bake the chicken for 20 – 25 minutes turning halfway through.

6.  Serve chicken in flour tortilla shells and top with shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. (optional)  I topped my tacos with ranch dressing to tone down the spice perfectly.

Top 20 Unique Cupcake Recipes of 2010

20 unique cupcake recipesI think cupcakes are so much more fun to make than regular old cakes.  You can make them so pretty and individually unique.  And you can get some great inspiration from the following 20 unique cupcake recipes listed below.

I found some really awesome cupcake recipes to try.  The cupcake recipes I listed here are very unique and deserve to shine in the spotlight.  I don’t know about you but I really don’t know which one to try first!

After you check out this list of unique cupcakes, let me know if any strike your fancy.  I bought Oreos yesterday and I’m thinking I’ll try the Oreo cupcakes later this week, that is unless hubby finds them stashed away!

cherry coke cupcakesChocolate Cherry Coke Cupcakes – Besides Coke added into the batter, there’s a nice Coke glaze on top and cherries in the middle.  They sound yummy!

Strawberry Lime Stuffed Cupcakes – These cupcakes offer up a delicious surprise in the middle of each one.  A whole strawberry!  What a cool idea!

caramel pecan cupcakesCaramel Pecan Cupcakes – These cupcakes have an unusual ingredient, mayonnaise!  And the caramel frosting sounds pretty good too!

pineapple cupcakesPineapple Cupcakes – A few simple ingredients and you have these delicious cupcakes.  With pineapple in the cake and frosting, these sound perfect for summer.

oreo cupcakesOreo Cupcakes – With a full Oreo cookie in the bottom of this cupcake and Oreo chunks in the batter, these cupcakes couldn’t get any better!

guiness cupcakesGuiness Cupcakes with Baileys Irish Creme Frosting – The name alone is intriguing but there’s also a ganache & whiskey filling in the middle.

lemon cupcakesLemon Cupcakes – With only lemon cake mix and lemon pudding mix needed, these cupcakes are super simple but look so refreshing for summer.

blueberry white chocolate cupcakesBlueberry White Chocolate Cupcakes – These sound delicious with fresh blueberries in the batter and white chocolate buttercream frosting on top.

nutella cupcakesNutella Filled Cupcakes – A chocolate lovers dream of a cupcake!  I’m drooling just looking at this sweet, ooey, gooey, yummy goodness!

olive oil sunshine cupcakesOlive Oil Sunshine Cupcakes – Yes, this is another lemon cupcake but with Amaretto in the batter and a lemon curd center.  Yum!

orange cupcakesOrange Cupcakes – These cupcakes sound really nice with a touch of orange extract and balanced out with a nice cream cheese frosting.

pomegranate cupcakesPomegranate Cupcakes – This is a very unique recipe that adds Pomegranate Molasses to a simple vanilla cake batter.  I’d love to try a nibble of these.

huckleberry raspberry marshmallow cupcakesHuckleberry Raspberry Marshmallow Cupcakes – You just have to see these beauties!  They look so delicious dripping in raspberry glaze with marshmallow tops, yum.

chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakeChocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes – A whole ball of chocolate chip cookie dough goes in the center of each of these cupcakes.  Cool idea!

coconut cupcakesCoconut Cupcakes With Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting – I love coconut and these cupcakes pack a double whammy of coconut flavor.

cinnamon roll cupcakesCinnamon Roll Cupcakes – Technically not cupcakes but so cute, I just had to share them with you.  I love this idea for a brunch or luncheon.

cider cupcakesCider Cupcakes With Marshmallow Frosting – Cupcakes perfect for fall with apple cider and pumpkin in the batter.  The sweet marshmallow icing probably lightens the spice.

grapefruit and chai cupcakesGrapefruit Cupcakes With Chai Icing – This unique combination sounds very interesting.  Topped with a nice chai and spice frosting.

snickerdoodle cupcakesSnickerdoodle Cupcakes – Love the cookies, wonder what they taste like as a cupcake.  Topped with a cinnamon frosting, these look like a tempting treat.

caramel macchiato cupcakesCaramel Macchiato Cupcakes – These coffee cupcakes sound amazing with brewed coffee and Kahlua in the batter as well as Kahlua in the creamy topping.

margarita cupcakesMargarita Cupcakes – This very interesting recipe calls for coconut flour in the batter and tequila’s added into the icing recipe too!

So now I’m curious. After looking at all of these unique and creative cupcake recipes, are you tempted to give any of them a try?

Brownie Bottom Chocolate Pudding Pie

I’ve mentioned before how found of chocolate my husband is.  So when I come across chocolate based desserts, I bookmark them for future testing.

I came across this unique chocolate pudding pie recipe on KraftRecipes.com.  At first the three layers caught my eye but what really intrigued me was the bottom layer.  Brownies!!  But that’s not all, chocolate pudding and cool whip make up the other two layers.

This pie is amazing.  It’s so rich and decadent and the brownie bottom is so moist.  A tiny piece of dessert is usually enough to satisfy me, but boy could I have done some real damage to this!  This is a definite recipe to make again.

brownie chocolate pudding pie

Brownie Bottom Chocolate Pudding Pie

from Kraft Recipes


4 squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
2-1/2 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed


1.  PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

2.  Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

3.  Add sugar, eggs and vanilla; mix until well blended. Stir in flour. Spread into greased 9-inch pie plate.

4.  BAKE 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cool completely on wire rack.

5.  POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes.

6.  Spread over pie. Top with whipped topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

brownie bottom pudding pie

Homemade Pizza Dough

I love, love, love pizza!  I could eat pizza all the time if it was up to me.  My husband gets so pizza’d out, that’s how often I want it.

So to get him to eat it more often, I bribe him by making pizzas with his favorite ingredients.  I’m not a big meat eater so I like mine just cheese of with green peppers or tomato slices.  He on the other hand wants meat.

So yesterday I tried out a new pizza dough recipe that worked out quite well.  The last dough recipe I was using just wasn’t right so I never shared it here.  This recipe is nice and easy and makes great tasting dough.

basic pizza dough

Basic Pizza Dough

from The Cooking Photographer


1 package active dry or fresh yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105º F to 115º F)
3 cups all-purpose flour (Use good quality all-purpose or a bread flour)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing


1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup of the warm water.

2. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes.

3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is lightly pulled.)

4. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

homemade pizza dough

Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork Sammies

bbq pulled porkI’m simply amazed at how good these darn pulled pork sandwiches turned out.  We’ve been buying all of our meat and chicken from Whole Foods lately.  I know it may sound absurd to some people, but I can tell the difference in their meats and poultry.  It’s so much more tender and cooks like a dream.

The pork in these sammies practically melted in our mouths.  It was so delicious!  I know we’ll have these again since they were practically effort free.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sammies

4 – 5lb Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt

1 & 1/2 – 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce

Dry Rub Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
2 Tsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Cumin

1.  Mix together all of the above dry rub ingredients.  Rub the mixture onto the entire piece of pork.  Cover and refrigerate the meat overnight.

seasoned pulled pork shoulder2.  Early morning: place pork into crockpot, add 1 cup of water.  Cover and cook on low setting for 7 – 10 hours.

3.  Remove pork from the crockpot and let cool until it can be easily handled.  Set aside 1 cup of the juices from the cooked pork, discard the remaining.  Shred cooked pork by hand or with forks, removing and discarding any fatty bits.  Return shredded pork to the crockpot.

shredded pulled pork for sammies

4.  Add 1 & 1/2 to 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce to the crockpot.  Add in the 1 cup of reserved juices and stir until mixed thoroughly.

bbq pulled pork sandwich

5.  Serve a heaping pile on soft sandwich buns.  Dig in & enjoy!!