Pretzel Chicken ::: Recipe Fail

IMG_3202Before I post on the blog, I do my fair share of research for each recipe to maximize my results.  I want to post delicious recipes that need no adjustments.  This recipe was no exception.  For a few days, I looked at different recipes, came up with my own twists, and thought I had myself a unique and easy chicken dish.  However, when we sat down for dinner (that smelled amazing) we were all a bit disappointed.

I started by making a honey mustard sauce to coat the chicken.  I used store-bought honey mustard which I think is mistake #1.  I combined honey mustard, white vinegar, touch of oil, and water together in a food processor.  I think poured this mixture over the chicken.


I let it sit for about 10 minutes then I used my two fingers to draw off as much of the sauce as possible.  Then the chicken breast was dunked into 4 cups of crushed pretzels and placed into a roasting pan.


I baked the chicken until it was done [well, two were done and Bryan’s was not and he never told me he was eating raw chicken!!! poor thing]

The presentation looked beautiful and like I said it smelled lovely too.  However, it just wasn’t what I expected.  Below, I have listed my pros and cons and my “next time changes”.  Do you have some advice for Not So Doughie?  Leave a comment on this post for me!  I really want this recipe to work out as it sounds amazing, right?

I am going to try to link-up with some other food bloggers to maybe start a “Recipe Fail Friday” where we post our failures and can suggest ways to make it better.

The honey mustard used in place of the egg made the chicken a bit too sweet.
The chicken came out dry.
The pretzel taste was too overpowering.

The pretzel coating actually stuck to the chicken.
It had a very nice crunch to it.

Use a flour and egg dredging process instead of the honey mustard sauce. [flour, egg, pretzel mixture].
Use a mixture of pretzels and panko bread crumbs instead of just pretzels.
Pulse the pretzels in the food processor to fine crumbs.
Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce.
Make my own honey mustard.

I was hesitant to post this failure because like I said, I want to show my readers great recipes to try.  However, I am only human and failure happens.  I look forward to your advice!

Are you a food blogger and have failures in the kitchen?  I am thinking about creating a “Recipe Failure Friday” Link-Up where we post pictures and a description of our failed recipes and others can post advice for improvement.  If you are interested in co-hosting a link-up like this with me, send me an email here.

Until next time,



Orange & Garlic Shrimp Saute

{gourmet weeknight}


I love cooking shrimp on weeknights because it only takes about 5 minutes.  This is a quick & delicious meal that will satisfy you & impress.  I was grabbing a salad for lunch at Whole Foods and saw large, beautiful shrimp on sale.  I didn’t even plan to make dinner that evening, but I couldn’t pass by these yummy shrimp.  I grabbed a box of 5 minute couscous to make along with the shrimp.

When I got home, I raided the fridge and cupboard to see what was on hand.  I had a whole bag of navel oranges that were about to go bad so I was decided to make an orange sauce to coat the shrimp.

I started preparation right away and dinner was ready about 10 minutes later.  First, I squeezed the oranges into a measuring cup & zested the fruit.

The shrimp was added to a saute pan and turned pink & yummy in less than 5 minutes.

I added the orange juice mixture to the same pan (quick clean up) and boiled it.  Once the butter was added, the sauce took on a beautiful sheen & the aroma was to die for.


The shrimp was tossed back into the sauce and voila.  Dinner was complete.

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I strongly suggest this recipe!  Bryan and I really enjoyed it.  The heartiness of the couscous sticks to your ribs, leaving you feeling satisfied.  The sauce has a creaminess to it without any cream which sticks nicely to the shrimp.  I personally love the pairing or citrus and garlic.  I can’t wait to make this again!

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You can click here for the recipe!


Tilapia with Cilantro Pesto

{delicious. healthy. quick.}


Fish is always a go-to choice in our house.  It is healthy, cooks quickly, and so versatile to prepare.  I needed a quick weeknight meal and was thinking about a parmesan crusted tilapia fillet with traditional pesto.  Since basil season has come to an end the price was a bit high for how much is needed to make a decent amount.  I decided to switch it up a bit and try a cilantro pesto.  Bryan made a cilantro sauce to go over linguine and shrimp one time.  This recipe was pretty similar except since it is not cooked.  If you are looking for something really flavorful, but quick this is a perfect meal.  The pesto can be served over any type of fish, chicken or like I said pasta.

tilapia with cilantro pesto


2 tilapia fillets
1 bushel of cilantro, remove all/most stems
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water + additional tablespoon a time if needed
salt and pepper
cherry tomatoes [for garnish]

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Season the fish with salt and pepper.  Then sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of parmesan.
3.  In a food processor, add the cilantro, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon, and olive oil.
4.  Process until combined and slowly drizzle in the water.  Process again.  Add more water if needed to make the consistency thick, but not too chunky or too watery.
5.  Place pesto in the fridge.
6.  Place the fish on a greased baking sheet and cook about 7-8 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillets.
7.  Immediately top with cilantro pesto when done and garnish with cherry tomatoes.

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Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

{a lucky pot}

When I started my job in the pharmacy I really liked how we had potlucks often to celebrate holidays, birthdays and achievements.  However, 1 & 1/2 years later I am starting to get a bit over them.  We seem to have them quite often and it can start to hurt my wallet.  I know I don’t HAVE to, but I always bring something delicious to share with my coworkers.  This was our second potluck in about a month and I was pretty creative for the last one {check out my Chicken & Waffle Bites Recipe}.  I wasn’t really in the mood to come up with an idea, get ingredients and make it after a long day at work and an intense workout class at Nth Degree.

Well, my idea of grabbing cheese and crackers for the potluck didn’t last long.  My coworker came to my desk and said “Sara, what are you making? I can’t wait because everything you make is so good and healthy too.”  Oftentimes, our potlucks are way doughie so I try to bring something not so doughie to fill my plate.  I told her I wasn’t feeling up for cooking and was going to just be like most of my coworkers and grab something at the store.  She said she would be willing to come up with an idea with me that we each could contribute to the dish.  I first thought a dip or maybe some snacks with a theme, but she suggested something more “food”.  I looked through a few of my blogspiration ideas and decided to go with a lettuce wrap.

It started with the idea to copy PF Changs Asian lettuce wraps then a taco lettuce wrap and finally I settled on a Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wrap.  Nicole offered to bring the toppings (blue cheese, Ranch dressing, tomatoes, onions).  I was in charge of making the tasty chicken and lettuce.  I have made shredded buffalo chicken sandwiches for my family before and they always seemed to come out dry and one-dimensional.  I guess I hadn’t figured out the ideal way to cook the chicken yet.  Until now.  These wraps were delicious!  My coworkers (once again) enjoyed my dish and I told Bryan to expect these for dinner sometime soon.  The chicken was so juicy, the flavor perfectly spicy, and the wrap is pretty healthy (and cheap too!).

So here I am once again, not upset I went through the “hassle” of making something to bring to the potluck.  I know I complained (to my coworker about bringing something and the beginning of this post), but in the end I love cooking and the greatest joy of it is seeing people gobble it up.  I received several compliments on the wraps and I really appreciate all the kind words from my coworkers about my food.  When the next potluck rolls around I hope to remember this post and the feeling I get when people get all excited about what Sara is bringing to the potluck.  My lesson:  count my blessings.  I am so happy to know how to cook and cook pretty well :)  I plan to continue to make my dishes for potlucks simply out of happiness.


{Click here for the recipe}


Pepper Crusted Sirloin with Cabernet Mushroom Sauce

{weeknight fancy}

Similar to healthy, fancy is also easily obtained.  Sometimes I crave a juicy medium rare steak, but a $30+ filet mignon dinner isn’t in my weekly budget.  So I wait and wait and wait until I see any type of tender beef on sale at the market.  I was planning on making a spicy sausage and spinach pasta bake, but at Hollywood Market the boneless sirloin was on sale.  I swiped a nice piece and changed my mind on dinner.  Instead of Italian, it was fancy steak for dinner.  I knew my family would be pleased with the change in plans as steak is always a pleaser.  I wanted to pair the steak with a robust sauce as the sides that night were light steamed broccoli.  The game plan:  Cabernet Mushroom sauce.  This sauce is so simple to make and *in my opinion* are restaurant worthy.  Since it was too late to marinate the steak, I decided to go with a pepper crusted flavor – easy just crush up some peppercorns on hand.  I had a medley of red, white, green, and black peppercorns so I used that to crust it.  I had a helper to assist in fancy dinner night.  Although people say to avoid red meat to be healthy – I strongly disagree.  It is something to eat in moderation and to eat lean.  The boneless sirloin had enough marbling for a tender slice and did not have any fat.  The beef gave my family a nice large helping of iron and protein.  If you are looking to please someone with a meal, entertain guests, or simply are just craving steak, this is your recipe.  It is easy, quick, and very elegant.

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{Click here for the recipe}


Pineapple Teriyaki Burger

{the sweet & salty burger}

A few months ago I made these burgers from SkinnyTaste’s recipe (recipe found here).  We had grilled them and also the pineapple, which gave them the added flavor of the grill.  The other night Bryan suggested having them again and this time I adapted a few things from the original recipe.  We were out of propane so we used the grill pan to cook the burgers.  They still turned out great, but I definitely recommend a grill.  The sweet pineapple and salty soy sauce complement each other perfectly in the sauce.  The recipe is simple, quick and perfect for a weeknight meal.  Enjoy.

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{Click here for the recipe}