As I rolled out of bed around 5:15 this morning, unable to sleep with an upset feeling in my stomach, I hoped that I had unknowingly awoke from a bad dream. Did my Hawkeyes really lose during the first round of the Big 10 Tournament last night? Have they really lost 6 out of their last 7 games? Unfortunately, I had to remind myself that this all had happened.
After starting the season on a roll, and looking like we would be a lock for a 2 or 3 seed in the conference tournament just a month ago, this reality is a little tough for an avid Hawkeye basketball fan like me to deal with. I’m still hopeful that we’ll make the Big Dance…Joe Lunardi still has us in…and that we’ll come out playing like the team we were a month ago. Until then, I’ll drown my sorrows by taking out my aggressions on my stove and oven. Food cures everything 🙂
Fortunately, yesterday wasn’t entirely devastating. As many of you know, Mike is a huge Iowa State Basketball fan and, after following them faithfully along with him for the past several years, I feel like I know the players and coaching staff just as well as my Hawkeyes. This years team is a unique blend of talent and comradeship. They look out for each other and the way they play together as a team appears to be unmatched in most any other team I watch. Not to mention Fred Hoiberg is their coach…how can you not like The Mayor??? 🙂
The Cyclones had a bye during the first round games on Wednesday and played Kansas State yesterday, pulling off a win and heading into the semifinals against Kansas tonight at 6pm. I’m already getting excited for the game! I’m hoping they take down Kansas and make me forget that I should have been tuning in to watch Iowa vs Michigan State right after.
Yesterday’s game was an 11:30 game so we were ready to go early. T.J. even sported his best Cyclone gear, along with his John Deere hat :), which made his daddy proud!
Of course, since it was a game that was being played over the lunch hour, I wanted to make something to munch on during the game. It had to be something that was easy to put together that could be popped in the oven during the first half so I could serve it up during halftime and not miss any of the game. I hadn’t gone to the grocery store so I would have to use what we already had to throw something together before the game started that I could keep in the refrigerator until it was time to put it in the oven. I wanted minimal work during the game. Cheesy Ranch Chicken Bites were what I came up with and they were perfect.
It was a thrilling first half and by the time halftime rolled around, we were all ready to eat. Our 14-year-old nephew, Matthew, came down to watch the game with us. As you can see in the picture, T.J. was very into the game…not 🙂 He usually watches a minute, then runs and plays with something, then comes back and watches a little more. I can’t wait for the day he is able to watch and appreciate every play, although I’m not ready for him to grow up anymore…its already going too fast 😦
Needless to say, we had a variety of ages at our house and the chicken bites were a hit with everyone. These are perfect for a game time munchie, appetizer, or a meal for kids of all ages! Hope you give them a try!
Here is what you’ll need on your grocery list:
**This recipe makes enough to serve 4 people**
8 (3 oz) Chicken Tenderloins
1/2 cup Three Cheese Egg Beaters
1 tbsp Ranch Seasoning Mix
2 cups Corn Flakes
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cut each tenderloin into 3-4 bite size pieces.
In a small mixing bowl, combine egg beaters, ranch seasoning, and pepper to taste. Here is a picture of the Three Cheese Egg Beaters I used. They are so good!
Pour Corn Flakes into a ziplock bag and crush into small crumbs. I just used my fingers to do this. They break up very easily. Pour into a separate bowl and add cheese. Stir to combine.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Take each chicken bite and dip in egg mixture, making sure all sides are coated well. Then dredge each bite in Corn Flake mixture, again making sure each side is covered well. Place on baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Serve and Enjoy!
I’m hoping the next time I write a post that includes the Hawkeyes, I’m talking about a win in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Until then, I’ll be cheering on the Cyclones along with Mike. I’m already thinking about our menu for the game tonight. Since we are Catholic and its a Friday during Lent, I’m thinking Bean Nachos. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it 🙂
Until next time…