Chick-Fil-A chicken at home!

A few years ago, I tried to find a Chick-Fil-A recipe online so I could recreate their amazing chicken at home.  As with most recipes online, there is some tweaking that needs done.  I think I have finally mastered the recipe and here it is for you to try!

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • dill pickle juice
  • 2 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • Peanut Oil for frying

First, you are going to need dill pickle juice.  I wish you could buy this in a store, but you can’t.  If you don’t like dill pickles, you can dump the pickles and keep the juice.
I use about 3 pounds of chicken breasts.  I usually only make this when chicken breasts are BOGO!

Take each chicken breast and cut it into chunks, strips, etc.  I prefer strips because it cooks quicker.

Then, take each strip of chicken and place it in a container with pickle juice. Make sure the chicken is covered with pickle juice.  Put the cover on the container and place it in the refrigerator.  Let the chicken marinate overnight.

  
The next day, you will see that the chicken is pickled.

Take the chicken out of the container and press it until semi-dry on a plate using napkins.

Beat the egg and milk in a bowl.

Combine dry ingredients in another bowl.  
  

Dip chicken strips into egg mixture, coating both sides, then coat in dry mixture.  Then place chicken into pan of hot oil.  You will want enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  I have to add oil after I cook two or three pans of chicken strips.

Cook each strip about 4 minutes on each side.

If you want to make a spicy chicken, add a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce to the marinade, and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.

Enjoy!

Car audio repair! Yes, you can do it!

I love listening to Sirius in my car. You don’t realize how many commercials are on regular radio until you can step away from it. Although I can set up my Sirius account directly to my car, I love using my car dock. To listen using the car dock, I have to either tune my car to the same radio station as my Sirius – or – I can use my cassette player. I can also use my cassette player to listen to the music on my phone. So to me, using a cassette player is a no brainer.

My cassette player stopped working about a year after I bought the car. I decided I would try to fix it myself! I bought a replacement cassette player on eBay for $35.

Materials:

Replacement cassette player for car

Screwdriver (flat head and Phillips)

Average Mama Scale: 9 (I needed YouTube help)

I won’t list every step I did, as this would be different for every vehicle. I just wanted to show the other Average Mamas that you can do this!

Here is my setup:


I twisted the gear shift to remove it.

I then popped off the case around the gear shift.

I removed the seat controls.

I popped off the wood trim.

  

I unscrewed and removed the old cassette player.

I screwed in the new cassette player and tested it. It worked!

Then I put everything back the way in the way I removed it.

Update:

A few weeks after replacing the cassette player, my “tape” was acting up again. The cassette kept going on auto reverse, and thus, I couldn’t listen to anything. Looking online, I found a person who recommended that you take the cassette apart and remove the three connecting gears. I felt I might as well try this! If it didn’t work, I would buy a new cassette.

Cassette

This picture is from the comments section on Amazon.  I removed the three gears that you see in the boxes.

I was able to fix my car stereo for $35. I did use a YouTube video to support me, but I did the work myself! If I can do it, anyone can!

Valentine’s Day Project

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Materials:

  • Gift tags printed from Design Mom blog
  • Small bakery bags
  • Valentine stickers
  • ribbon

Average Mama Scale: 1

I wanted to try to plan ahead this year for Valentine’s Day.  I have certainly been caught running to Target the night before my child’s Valentine’s Day party!  It’s awful to pick through the leftover Valentine’s knowing full well that I won’t be able to get the characters or design my kids want.

Looking online, I found an idea on the Design Mom blog.  I really liked the idea, but wanted to tweak it a bit.  I also like the idea of doing a project with my kids rather than buying pre-made Valentine’s.

First, I used the Design Mom printable and printed tags on different colored card stock.  After cutting out the tags, we used a heart hole punch that my neighbor found at the craft store.

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I also went to the craft store and picked up small bakery bags, ribbon and heart stickers.

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Then, the kids used the heart punch to cut out holes in the bakery bags.  We decided to put the holes about halfway down the bags.  It will still leave plenty of room for the donut holes!

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Then, we lined up the heart hole in the tags with the heart hole in the bags.  We used the ribbon (cut about 1 ft long) to tie the tag to the bag.

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With four kids working, it became busy!

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After the tags were added, we tried one with two donut holes.

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Just fold down the top, add a heart sticker, and you are done!

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Since it is too early to actually keep donuts in the bag, we had to eat those! 🙂  I found it was easiest to break this project into parts.  If you have the time, have the kids put holes in the tags one day, holes in the bags the next day, etc.  I will update with more pictures as we get closer to Valentine’s Day!

Skincare Routine

I finally figured out a skincare routine!  It only took until my mid-thirties…

I had been reading a lot about different types of skin and routines for each skin type.  I have no idea what skin type I have.  No. Idea.  Sometimes my skin is dry; sometimes it is oily; sometimes it is both.

You can find out more about routines for different types of skin here.

What I finally realized is that having a routine is very important.  Your skin takes a while to adapt to changes, so being inconsistent will prohibit your skin from finding normalcy.  I wanted to share my simple, basic routine for those who might be as frustrated with their skin as I was.

*DISCLAIMER* I am not a doctor.  As with anything you read on the Internet, YMMV.  If this doesn’t work for you, sorry!!!  I am just trying to help!

My routine:

AM:

  1. Wash face with warm water.
  2. Apply an AM face moisturizer with SPF (even in the winter!).  I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion.

PM:

  1. Wash face with super gentle cleanser.  I use Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser.
  2. Wait for your face to dry (~ 5 minutes).
  3. Wipe down entire face with Stridex in the red box.  I was worried that the Stridex would dry out my skin, but it doesn’t.  I buy mine at CVS where they are 2 for $6 and often have a coupon on the flap when you open them up.
  4. Wait for your face to dry (~ 5 minutes).
  5. Apply a gentle, but heavy, moisturizer.  I use the generic version of CeraVe in the tub.  I have found the CVS version of this works well!
  6. If your skin is really dry, you can apply petroleum jelly on top before bed – yes you read that correctly!

If you do this every day, within about 6 weeks, you should see some positive changes!  As with anything, if you see negative changes – STOP!  You have to allow some times for each step in the evening.  I have so many little things to do in the evening that I mix my face routine right in!

I was sick of being in my 30s and still having acne problems.  It is ridiculous!  I hope this helps you!!!

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Gifts for the kids who have everything. The gift of time!

A few years ago, my husband Micah and I were talking about alternatives to buying the kids Christmas gifts. We weren’t suggesting that we would not buy them any gifts, rather we were trying to think outside the box. We were also thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. And for us, one New Year’s resolution we started that year has stuck ever since: instead of spending our money on our kids, we spend our time.

If you asked my children if they have everything they want, they would probably say no. I’m sure there’s some toy, book, game, etc., that they have seen since Christmas that they want. In an average day, my kids don’t ask me to go out and buy them things. My daughter commonly asks me if we can bake, sew, build, or work on some project together. My son commonly asks my husband if he can throw football or baseball, or can they watch a game together. Children really want us to spend time with them.

So last Christmas, we decided that we would put little envelopes in the tree and in their stockings, with the gift of time. Those little envelopes were so popular that our children asked us this year if we can do it again. And now I know that I will be doing these types of gifts for all occasions!

Each envelope is like a gift certificate. And each child can cash these gift certificates in whenever they’d like. Some of the things that we have written down are:

-being able to pick out where we go out for dinner
-being able to pick the movie we go see
-being able to stay up past bedtime (we do different increments of time for this one and we say that this is not valid on a school night!)
-being able to play outside after you were told to come in (not valid if we have plans)

You can see that the options are endless! And our children love the control that they get for making decisions for the family or getting to stay up or stay outside a little later than they originally planned.

Gifts like these could be given not just a Christmas, but at birthdays, and other special events. What are some ideas you have for the gift of time?

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The Family Clothesline

It seems like this time of year is the perfect time to discuss organization.  Keeping organized is something I struggle with.  I always feel like I am one step behind when it comes to decluttering.  Thinking of the areas of my home that need organized – the kid’s rooms, garage, basement – UGH!!!  It is certainly overwhelming.

It feels like I need a whole weekend to devote to organizing just one of those rooms.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t often have a weekend to give.

If you have an hour to devote to organization, you can try one of the things I’ve done to help keep my family organized: The Family Clothesline.  I took a curtain wire and hung it up along the available wall in my kitchen.  I use this clothesline to hang my family’s upcoming papers that I don’t want to lose or misplace – permission slips, schedules, etc.

Materials:

  • Curtain Wire
  • Curtain Clips
  • Materials you would need to hang curtain rod (drill, laser level, stud finder, etc.)

Average Mama Scale: 2 

Time Spent: less than an hour (depending on how long it takes you to get the curtain wire hung)

Procedure:

1.  Pick up curtain wire for the length of the wall space you want.

Curtain wire:

curtain wire

2.  Follow the instructions for hanging the curtain wire.  It should be similar to hanging a curtain rod.

3.  Hang your curtain clips on the line.  We put 6 clips on the left (for our daughter) and 6 clips on the right (for our son).

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4.  Hang your stuff!

We use this clothesline for permission slips, school and team calendars, artwork from the kids, and anything else that needs attention.  We have found that sometimes there are more things on one child’s side than the other – and we have to “borrow” curtain clips from the other side.  We have also found that we can usually fit all the current items using 12 clips.

*~*Some of my clips hold more than 1 item!!*~*  Smart, right?!?!

This clothesline might still look like it is cluttered, but it is easy to find all the papers you need. Now, when the kids bring home papers from school, I clip them to the clothesline so they don’t get lost!

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