No Recipe - Just Dinner. - Penny Lane Blog at - 269496

Penny Lane

No Recipe - Just Dinner. 
Mar. 6, 2012 7:29 pm 
Updated: Mar. 22, 2012 9:38 am
The title says it all.  I have been cooking so many "new" faceless recipes that my kitchen has been a mess for way too long.  Things don't always flow like they should.  
Today - my kitchen is clean and it feels good.  

Twice a month I have 2 housekeepers come in to deep clean - they left and normally I would immediately start to work making "something" new.  

Not today.   Today, I just looked at my clean kitchen and moved back into my 'normal' mode.  I pulled some frozen chicken tenders from the freezer and put them in a freezer bag with some buttermilk and some seasoning.
About 4:30 I washed two baking potatoes, stuck them, sprayed them with cooking spray and put those two potatoes in the  400 degree oven for 45 - 60 minutes.  

At about the 40 minute mark... the chicken went into rice flour - and then back into the buttermilk and then into seasoned Panko crumbs.  Using paper plates. 

Onto a sprayed sheet pan lined with parchment and into the oven.  

Sorry no recipe, no measurements  - it just is they way it is...  different every time. 

Frozen corn into a sauce pan, ready to go.    
30 Minutes later ...


The dishes are done, the kitchen is clean and it is only 6:00 PM.  WHAT!!!!

No Baking Papa is wondering what is wrong....I am not photographing the food - the food is  'normal'.  ????  There isn't a huge mess.  

New recipes are great but just making "dinner" is so much easier!  

Tomorrow I might be ready to make a mess...for tonight all is well.  

Mar. 6, 2012 7:37 pm
Works for me! More often than not, I create the meal as I go along. Maybe use a recipe as inspiration. But just " cook dinner".
Mar. 6, 2012 8:21 pm
Peggy - that is how I learned to cook - how I taught my girls to cook. I love new flavors but some times I just need to cook.
Mar. 7, 2012 4:02 am
Baking Nana, thanks for sharing just a normal day in Nana's Kitchen. I like creating and cooking-I just don't like to clean up the mess. Sigh, but it has to be done. When I cook it gets really messy. My husband is just the opposite. He cleans as he goes. Not me. Now, if I just wiggle my nose and make the kitchen messes go away. LOL!
Mar. 7, 2012 5:13 am
Hi Lela, thanks for dropping in. I do clean as I go - in fact it seems I am always doing dishes. :( There are many things that are just easier for me to make without having to follow a recipe.
Mar. 7, 2012 6:54 am
You deserve a break now and then, especially after last months episode. I also have a cleaning lady that does a thorough cleaning once a week. The dog and I scatter on Thursday during the cleaning (dog hates vacuums). The good thing about her is that I get to sleep with her (DW of course).
Mar. 7, 2012 8:29 am
Good morning bd.weld. Sounds like you have the perfect arrangement going with that housekeeper. :) I don't know about you but sometimes I just don't want to 'think' while cooking - I just want something easy. A 'no brainer' dinner. BTW - are you sure it's your dog that doesn't like vacuums, or is it you? ;)
Mar. 7, 2012 8:53 am could be me but it sounds better if I blame it on the dog. I usually do yard work on Thursdays. Thursday is a no cook day.
Mar. 7, 2012 9:32 am
Still sounds like a fantastic meal!
Mar. 7, 2012 9:50 am
I'll tell you what, Paula, it was pretty tasty. Better than a lot of the recipes I have made and so darned easy. Maybe that is why it tasted so good. :)
Mar. 7, 2012 12:51 pm
lol! DH often asks "Can I take serve myself or do you need a picture?" if he walks in the kitchen and I don't already have the camera in my hands! I agree, dinner is quicker and easier when you just "make dinner" but the recipe 'game' is just so much fun!
Mar. 7, 2012 1:27 pm
Hi Lissa - the recipe 'game' is great and I am back at it today. Yesterday I just ran out of gas. Sometimes though it is just nice to just cook.
Mar. 7, 2012 2:15 pm
LOLOL! I know what you mean :) Well, except for the deep cleaning that has to wait till Spring gardening is done.
Mar. 7, 2012 3:18 pm
Oh Cat - When I cook the garden is neglected when I garden the house gets neglected. There isn't much of a happy balance in this area of my life. Seems I am an 'All or Nothing' person.
Mar. 7, 2012 3:21 pm
Oh and bd.weld - I would rather be in the garden doing yard work than cleaning and got the better end of that deal too! :)
Mar. 8, 2012 6:49 am
Well, you had me believing you are the super chef that is always creating and baking! That's ok, though- I'll let you remain on that pedestal I put you on! ;) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Mar. 8, 2012 7:33 am
Thank you Mike! You're a gem. :)
Mar. 8, 2012 9:50 am
Many of my dinners include veggies from a steam-in microwave bag. I often put so much into the main dish and no effort into the rest. And here chicken nuggets come from a bag and are called "gourmet meal" but I will try some tenders using your "recipe."
Mar. 8, 2012 9:43 pm
I agree with Mike, you are and always will be on that pedestal! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes! Happy Birthday!!!
Mar. 9, 2012 4:50 am
Good morning Allie. Those steam in the microwave bags are handy, for sure. Try this breading the rice flour and panko crumbs make for a really nice crispy crust.
Mar. 9, 2012 4:52 am
Well, thank you wannabefarmer. I had a great birthday. I will always be on the look out for other great recipes.
Mar. 9, 2012 6:51 am
Oh, I hear you, Baking Nana. I do that, too, sometimes, and it's a refreshing change from a pile of dishes and pans that I tend to create when I make something more involved. I like to always have chicken tenders in my freezer for just such a meal. I do use panko sometimes, but I have not tried rice flour. I'll have to give that a try. I usually grind whole grain crackers, season the mixture, and dip my chicken tenders in a mixture of buttermilk, egg, and hot sauce and then dredge in the crumbs. It's my go-to easy entree when I really don't feel like creating. : )
Mar. 9, 2012 9:07 am
Hi wiseetp. I am glad you stopped in. I am a total fan of buttermilk! I read a very inspirational story yesterday that I wanted to share with you. I will go get the link - I hope you stop back by to see it.
Mar. 9, 2012 9:08 am
Mar. 9, 2012 9:09 am
This is LB's success story. He is a member here on AR. I hope you find it inspiring too.
Mar. 9, 2012 11:13 am
Thank you, Baking Nana. I did go check it out. And it is indeed inspiring. I intend to be doing one of those kinds of blogs myself within a couple of years! Thank you again for thinking of me.
Mar. 9, 2012 11:50 am
I am so glad you stopped back in. You go get 'em!
Mar. 9, 2012 2:35 pm
Happy Bithday to one hot Baking Nana! I hope your day was happy one, shared with all of your family and friends! I'm sorry that I couldn't join the fun though. I hit the ground running yesterday and didn't stop until about 7:30pm last night. I thought of you often, Penny, and I'd love to read your well wishes from our friends on the Buzz. I'm not sure how to do that. Just keep searching backwards? Love your method for the Crispy Crunch Chicken Fingers. Did you season the rice flour or Panko crumbs? Can this method be used for fish fillets? I love you Penny! I hope to do a "field trip" with you and some of our SoCal friends before Vegas! xoxoxox's from Cathy Myers!
Mar. 9, 2012 3:22 pm
Hi Cathy. Thank you so much. I had a great day. I will get the link from my AR friends. As for the chicken yes I season both the flour and the panko and yes I use this same method for fish, including the buttermilk. I can't wait to see you again.
Mar. 9, 2012 3:26 pm
Mar. 10, 2012 9:23 am
looks like I missed your Birthday wishes, hope it was a good one. I also have been just cookin lately. No AR, no cook books. Family is happy to see some old TNT's resurfacing and I feel a little more inspired to try some oldie but goodies
Mar. 10, 2012 9:24 am
Happy Birthday !!! (belated)
Mar. 10, 2012 3:47 pm
RNG - thank you for the good wishes - it was a quiet and very nice day. NB Papa gets a bit tired of being the guinea pig - the oldies but goodies are just comfort food - they can't be beat. Along the way however I have picked up a few that have become "signature" dishes, this is a good thing. :)
Mar. 10, 2012 3:48 pm
Thank you Coot!
Mar. 11, 2012 12:22 am
Happy late Birthday, Baking Nana!! I did something similar tonite! Love to read the Buzz :)
Mar. 11, 2012 8:49 am
I'm with you, Nana! I love to cook, but there is nothing like throwing something together that is fast, cozy, tasted good & just works together. Protien, Veg, maybe some crecent rolls in the oven. Heck, one of my favorite dinners is pigs in a blanket. 2 steps & 20 minutes from assenbly to "dinner's ready!" :)
Mar. 11, 2012 11:09 am
Hi Preshie - thank for stopping in. Isn't the Buzzz great. I am always learning something new there and some of the threads are hilarious!
Mar. 11, 2012 11:17 am
Katherine - There something be to said for those simple dinners. Personally I like those old standbys.
J. Dub 
Mar. 12, 2012 12:12 pm
That's the most wonderful thing about cooking. Simple, easy to make baked chicken and potatoes can be comforting. Homemade or out of the box brownies can bring a smile to a face. A new recipe can be exciting to try. Cooking doesn't have to always be fancy or elaborate to bring you joy.
Mar. 15, 2012 7:58 pm
What a wonderful site.I also have 2 freezers and each Fall go through each, making jams, jellys,etc. If I have lots of meats I can them and use them all summer while camping(no need of refridgeration)(I also cook wiothout recipes, think it comes from cooking so long that you just know what goes with what. Happy cokking to you!
Mar. 15, 2012 8:00 pm
Need to watch what I'm typing! Sory for typos!
Mar. 22, 2012 9:38 am
Happy late birthday to you. I guess I missed it yesterday.Most of my cooking is just like you described.I work full time and when we all get home in the evening no one is in the mood for me taking a long time for dinner . They are all hungry when they walk in the door. Last night it was already cooked ribs in bbq sauce from Costco. Mashed potatoes, canned green beans and rolls also from costco. My husband even said he enjoyed it. He neer comments on any meal whether it be good or bad?
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Baking Nana

Living In
Corona, California, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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