Recipes

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

This is one of those simple recipes that I make regularly at our house and I’m finally getting around to sharing with you all. Whether you’re a kid or an adult it’s hard to beat a satisfying quick meal of crunchy chicken nuggets!

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Although grocery stores are loaded with plenty of chicken nugget options, it’s super easy to make a batch of homemade chicken nuggets to stash in your freezer for quick lunches and weeknight dinners. Baking them ourselves is also healthier and cleaner eating since we’re using just four ingredients (if you don’t count the seasonings).

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

These little baked nuggets are crunchy, tender and ready for dipping into ketchup, honey mustard or whatever your preferred chicken nugget dipping sauce is! Now I’m sure most of you are curious about the crispiness and the freezing aspect so let’s dive right in.

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Are the chicken nuggets crispy?

Yes! So, so crispy! The nuggets get cooked on a wire cooling rack set on a baking sheet. The reason we do this is that, much like an air fryer, it allows the heat from the oven to circulate all around the chicken nuggets. This ensures the whole nugget is crispy. The nuggets are also crispy from the whole wheat panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are bigger, flakier and airier than regular breadcrumbs, giving the coating a great crunch. I like using whole wheat panko breadcrumbs for the chicken nuggets because they’re a little healthier and because they have a nice golden color to them. If you use regular panko breadcrumbs the chicken nuggets will still taste just as good, but they will be very pale.

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

How do you freeze and reheat the chicken nuggets?

You can either freeze the chicken nuggets raw or cooked. I prefer to freeze them cooked to drastically cut down on reheating time since I make these for us to have as a quick meal. If you want to freeze the cooked chicken nuggets, let them cool completely then put in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. When you’re ready to reheat the cooked nuggets, bake in a 400 degree F oven until warm, about 10 minutes. No need to do the whole cooling rack/baking sheet thing for reheating; simply reheat on a baking sheet. Or, since they’re already cooked you could reheat them in the microwave for a super quick meal, but they will lose a lot of their crispiness. If you want to the freeze the nuggets raw, place the breaded nuggets on a parchment lined baking sheet then freeze until solid. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. To bake them raw from frozen, follow the same baking instructions, but you will have to add cook time to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F since you’re baking them from frozen.

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & MochaFreezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder for seasoning
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Set up your breading station. In one shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place the panko in a second shallow bowl. In a third shallow bowl, add the flour then season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Bread the chicken nuggets. First, coat completely in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Then coat completely in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off. Finally, coat completely in the panko mixture then place on the prepared wire rack. Repeat for the remaining chicken nuggets. I usually do about 6 pieces at a time. Bake the chicken nuggets for 20 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  4. If freezing, let the nuggets cool completely. Then store in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. When ready to eat, bake on 400 degrees F until warm, about 10 minutes.

 

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Halloween is over, which means I guesssss it’s okay to start planning for the holidays. I hate when Thanksgiving and Christmas prep creeps before Halloween because it feels like everyone’s trying to rush through October. Here in New England, November and December weather is kind of crummy so I don’t know what the rush is!

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

However, once October is done, I’m perfectly fine with gearing up for the holidays because they’re fun, bright spots during these next dreary couple of months. Matt and I are taking the holiday season one day at a time since it’s right when our little one will be arriving, but just because I’m not planning my own meals doesn’t mean I can’t help you all plan yours!

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Whenever I’m hosting a big meal, some sort of bread, roll or biscuit situation is a necessity. The easiest solution for this also happens to be the most delicious so there’s really no going wrong here. What I’m talking about is this Olive Oil Rosemary Bread that I make in my bread maker. Now before you start asking all kinds of questions, I’ll get right to the point: this recipe is for use in a bread maker, specifically the Breville Custom Loaf bread maker. I am not well versed in bread making so although I would assume you could use this recipe to proof, rise, knead and bake your own loaf without a bread maker, and I would assume you could use this same recipe in a different type of bread maker, I’ve never tried it so I really can’t say with any sort of certainty.

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

What I can say is that when I follow this recipe, which involves dumping a small list of ingredients in a set order into my bread maker, and pull out a loaf of this crusty, soft and melt-in-your mouth Olive Oil Rosemary Bread it becomes the star of the meal every single time. Dip some into a little olive oil sprinkled with some seasoning salt and you will be in absolute carb-heaven. If you are looking to invest a bread maker, I highly recommend the Breville Custom Loaf bread maker, which I’ve been using for the last four years. Even if it’s only to make this bread over and over again – worth it!

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread
 
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, 80 degrees F
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
  • 2½ tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (see note)
  • 1 egg
  • Additional dried rosemary and coarse sea salt, optional
Directions
  1. Make sure the collapsible paddle is attached and in the upright position. Add ingredients to the bread machine, one at a time, in the order they’re listed in the recipe. Select “basic” setting, medium crust color and 1.5 lb size. Press start.
  2. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. When the dough is at the end of the final rise (right before the bake step), brush the top of the dough with the egg wash then sprinkle with additional dried rosemary and coarse sea salt (if using).
  3. When the bread is done, use oven mitts to carefully remove from the bread machine and place on a wire rack to cool. Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  4. To reheat to serve warm, wrap the loaf completely in aluminum foil and bake on a low oven temperature for 10-20 minutes until warm.
Notes
If using the “basic rapid” setting, use 2½ teaspoons of instant yeast instead. Also can be called quick-rise, rapid rise, or bread machine yeast).

Recipe from Breville.

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

Halloween is tomorrow! Yay! As I’ve mentioned on Lemon & Mocha numerous times before, I love Halloween! I have so many fun childhood memories of Halloween and I can’t wait to start making Halloween memories with our little guy on the way.

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

We went back and forth on whether we should put up Halloween decorations with me being just a couple weeks away from my due date, but ultimately I just couldn’t not put them up, even though I felt a little crazy for doing it. Do you decorate your house for Halloween?

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

I usually post a chocolatey treat for Halloween, but since Matt and I are up to our eyeballs with all the desserts I’ve been baking I busted out a cute savory treat instead.

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

Turkey sliders have been fashioned into silly Halloween monsters, complete with cucumber eyeballs and pickle tongues! As fun as these Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders are, they’re also so good! The turkey patties are juicy and packed with flavor because we’ve added a minced mixture of mushrooms, shallot and parsley to the ground turkey.

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

Throw in a little olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning and then they are grilled or pan-seared to perfection. Since they’re so tiny they cook really quickly; just about four minutes on each side. Top it all off with some melty cheese and fresh veggies for a delicious dinner the whole family will love. Just don’t forget to cut pointy teeth marks into your sliced cheese! Happy Halloween, everyone!

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

Looking for some more Halloween treat inspiration? I have a few recipes below to get you started:

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches

Halloween Witches' Cauldron Cupcakes

Halloween Witches’ Cauldron Cupcakes

Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies

Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms, stems removed, plus more for eyes
  • ½ shallot
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey, 90% lean
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 16 toothpicks
  • 4 slices deli cheddar or American cheese
  • 8 slider buns
  • 8 small pieces of romaine lettuce
  • 8 small slices of tomato
  • 4 pickle sandwich slices, cut in half
  • Ketchup
Directions
  1. Add the cremini mushrooms, shallot and parsley to a food processor. Process until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop by hand.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mushroom mixture, ground turkey, olive oil, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, being sure not to over-mix. Divide the mixture into 8 even portions and form into slider patties, roughly a little bigger than the size of your slider buns. Let patties set in the fridge, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. While the patties are in the fridge, prep your monster eyes and cheese teeth. Slice the English cucumber so you have 16 rounds. The slices can be thin, but not so thin that you’ll have difficulty securing them with a toothpick. Use extra cremini mushrooms to cut out little circles that will be the center of the eyes. Carve a little round out of the center of an English cucumber slice the size of one of your mushroom eye centers. Stick the mushroom center into the hole in the cucumber and stick a toothpick up through the cucumber and the mushroom piece securing it in place. Repeat for the remaining 15 eyes. For the cheese teeth, cut each slice of cheese in half then cut little teeth points at the edge of each slice. Repeat until you have 8 cheese teeth slices.
  4. Lightly spray a grill pan or nonstick sauté pan with olive oil cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the slider patties for 4 minutes on each side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from the heat and add a cheese teeth slice to each slider so that the teeth prongs overhang a little.
  5. To assemble a slider, place a piece of lettuce on the bottom slider bun. Top with a tomato slice then the cheese-topped patty. Lift up the cheese a little to tuck the pickle half underneath so it sticks out like a tongue. Top with some ketchup then the top slider bun. Stick two cucumber toothpick eyeballs into the top. Repeat for the remaining sliders.

 

Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad

Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

One thing I did not anticipate with my pregnancy was how tricky eating out was going to become. Yes, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat raw seafood or cold deli meat, but there were so many other food concerns I was not aware of! I’m sure the list now is different than it was many years ago, but as a fairly adventurous eater there are many foods I’m supposed to avoid. In addition to raw seafood and cold deli meat, there’s also unpasteurized cheeses, smoked fish, pate, fish high in mercury, raw eggs and under-cooked meat. I’m probably even forgetting some!

Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Ordering at a restaurant for the last eight months has involved more questions than I’ve ever asked a waiter. Oftentimes I’ll order something different than what I would like to just because it’s easier and won’t require a twenty questions game. One dish I love eating, but have run into some issues is Caesar salad. Although most restaurants these days don’t use raw egg in their homemade Caesar dressing, I’ve still run into a couple that do.

Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The good news is this recipe I have for you today involves no raw egg. In fact, it involves no egg at all! This Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad is a super tasty twist on a classic dish and is perfect because cauliflower is in peak season right now. Caramelized roasted cauliflower florets are tossed with crispy croutons, fresh parsley, toasted pine nuts and plenty of Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

However, the real winner here is the homemade Caesar dressing made with Greek yogurt. Just like with the homemade tarter sauce, the combination of ingredients in the dressing keeps it from tasting “yogurty” and instead it tastes just like the real deal, especially when tossed in the salad.

Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The only thing I might do differently next time I make this is to toss in some salad greens because I want to make a main dish out of this instead of just having it on the side since it’s so good! Enjoy, friends!

Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Roasted Cauliflower Caesar Salad
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons for the cauliflower
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup croutons
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet then drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss to coat then season with salt. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until browned and tender. Let cool.
  2. Make the dressing. Whisk together the yogurt, remaining ⅓ cup of olive oil, Parmesan, Worcestershire, dijon and lemon juice. Toss with the cauliflower, croutons, pine nuts and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 Recipe from July/August 2017 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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Peanut Butter S’mores Fudge

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Peanut. Butter. S’mores. Fudge. YES! This, my friends, is what fudge dreams are made of and you can be eating some giddy with delight in no time at all.

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve shared the World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge and the unreal S’mores Fudge, but it was time these two met for an insanely delicious mash-up. I came up with this combination last year when I decided to morph together Matt’s favorite fudge variation, the S’mores Fudge (which is also my favorite), with my second favorite fudge variation, the World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge. After one bite, and then a second, third, and fourth, etc. just to make sure, I was convinced that peanut butter and s’mores belong together.

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have never made a peanut butter and s’mores treat before, but this one fudge recipe has changed that forever so expect some additional future pb-s’mores combinations. In the meantime, let’s focus on this life-changing fudge recipe in front of us.

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

The base is the World’s Smoothest Chocolate Fudge with broken graham cracker pieces folded in. The second layer is the World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge with marshmallow fluff swirled in. Finally, it’s all topped off with some torched mini marshmallows. Yum!

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I wanted this to still be a normal sized batch of fudge so we’re dividing the can of sweetened condensed milk between the two flavors and essentially making two half portions to get one regular sized batch. I promise you everyone will go nuts over this Peanut Butter S’mores Fudge!

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’re looking for more fudge inspiration as we head into the weekend, below are all the Lemon & Mocha fudge posts. Enjoy!

World’s Smoothest Chocolate Fudge
Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
S’mores Fudge
Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge
World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge
Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge
Dirt Fudge
Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge

Peanut Butter S'mores Fudge
 
Yield: 64 pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ ounce unsweetened Baker’s baking chocolate
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, divided
  • ⅓ cup broken graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • ½ ounce Baker’s white baking chocolate
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • ⅓ cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and the Baker’s chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula until fully melted.
  4. Carefully stir in half of the can condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the ½ teaspoon of the vanilla extract and the broken graham crackers.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
  6. When the double boiler is cool enough to clean, wash and dry to use for the second layer. Melt the peanut butter and the Baker’s white baking chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Pour in the peanut butter chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula until fully melted.
  8. Carefully stir in the remaining half of the condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining ½ teaspoon of the vanilla extract and the marshmallow fluff.
  9. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pan on top of the chocolate layer and smooth the top with the spatula. Sprinkle the mini marshmallows over top and lightly press down. Toast mini marshmallows in a broiler or with a kitchen torch. You can do this before or after the fudge has set in the fridge. If using the broiler be sure to watch it carefully so the marshmallows don’t over-toast.
  10. Refrigerate until the fudge is set then cut into bite size pieces. Best eaten straight from the fridge.