Friday, October 31, 2014

McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets

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Having a child has completely changed my schedule and life around. Usually I spend my days cooking and crafting, now I attend play groups, the library, spend a lot of time at the park and we recently started attending a Small Fries group that meets once a week at a local McDonald's. It's a great program (and not to mention a free activity that gets us out of the house), every week is a new theme the leader reads a book and she puts out fine motor skills activities and a craft.

Recently they had a great day planned around the chicken McDonald's serves. My son was excited to make a chicken, he’s been showing it to everyone when they come to our house. It’s so cute!

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So you are wondering what my stay at home life has to do with my post today right? Well they had a guest speaker recently with the theme of chicken. Specifically a rep from Tyson foods which provides all of the chicken products for McDonald’s. Kristen came in and she had a great video showing the production of their chicken nuggets and how they are made as well as answered any questions the parents had regarding their products. I thought it would be a great way to pass on some info in case you where wondering what’s in those tasty little nuggets. ere’s a list of things I learned:

*Tyson provides over 8,000 restaurants in the Central and Western parts of the United States with all of their chicken products? They’ve also handled the account for 31 years now, so your experience will always be the same no matter what location you visit.

*It takes 225 family farms and 3 dedicated facility's to handle the McDonald's quantity, 2 in Arkansas and 1 in Tennessee. Keystone Foods handles the poultry supplier in the Eastern side of the US.

*It takes each chicken 52 days from the day they hatch to reach the size needed before being processed. Each chicken is par-fried then frozen, shipped to the restaurant making them Farm-to-fork within 2 weeks cooked fresh at the restaurant location.

*What part of the chicken is used in the nuggets you ask? They start with white-meat chicken cut from the tenderloin, breast and rib, and grind it with a small amount of chicken skin for flavor and juiciness to help them keep their fun shape. Next, a marinade is added.

*For those worried about antibiotics….they are used for therapy reasons only for sick chickens and never passed through to the chicken meat you eat. Even if a chicken was given antibiotics, they would be separated and then once the antibiotics where totally out of their blood stream they would then be moved on to being processed. They also do not use any hormones and no chicken farmer should due to the fact that it’s against federal law in the 1970’s. For more info regarding antibiotics in chickens click HERE.

*Regarding genetically altered chickens, people forget that most things in life are genetically altered. We mix breeds of fruit and vegetables as well as our pets to get the best qualities. You even mix colors to get that cool effect for Easter egg dying. No additional chemicals etc are introduced to make a chicken grow larger, it’s basic science breeding 2 types of chickens produces a larger chicken. To see more on Genetically Modified Grain in the breading and Tyson click HERE.

*Here’s a fun fact for you did you know Tyson doesn’t just handle this one large chain of restaurants? They also provide to another famous brand, which I won’t mention (they mainly sell chicken) The process is slightly different and they use different seasonings.

*Ever wonder what those little nugget shapes are? They are a bell, boot, ball and bone.

Wanna know more about what’s in the chicken nuggets? Click HERE and HERE for details. You can also get info from the Tyson website if you want to further research. Click HERE.

So to sum it up I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions and once someone is passionate enough to try to ruin a company they will voice it on social media as much as possible. Bottom line is if you don't like it don't go and leave everyone else alone that wants to go. McDonald's is doing something right to be as large and successful as they are. Do some research before you complain too that really irritates me when people have no clue what they are even complaining about.

What else would you like to know? I can ask Tyson directly and get you an answer!

Disclaimer: Information was provided from Tyson Foods, and my own research. I was not required to write a positive review or any review at all. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Frankenmuffins

Frankenmuffins

 

We had so much fun at the party on Monday! A huge thank you to all of our playgroup friends that came.

 

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If you have a picky eater you’ll want to whip up a batch of these muffins. You honestly can’t taste the spinach at all it just makes an awesome color. My kid won’t eat veggies and he loved these, as well as several of the other kids who tested them out.  

 

Frankenmuffins

(Adapted from October 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine)

 

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1 cup each all-purpose and whole wheat flours

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon each baking soda

1/2 teaspoon each salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup milk

6 ounces (6 cups packed) fresh baby spinach

1 large banana

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and coat 16 muffin cups with cooking spray.

 

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and cinnamon.

 

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In a blender, puree canola oil, milk, and fresh baby spinach until smooth, then blend in banana and vanilla.

 

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Fold the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients.

 

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Fill each prepared muffin well two-thirds full.

 

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Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Goodie Bags

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Today we are hosting the Halloween party for our playgroup and we are so excited. Well, probably more me than my son. He just loves to play, meanwhile I enjoy the planning part. I wanted to do a fun little goodie bag, but being they are toddlers you can’t just fill them with candy and send them on their merry way. Thank goodness for Pinterest I found a few things on there I could make and stick in there with some extra goodies.

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For the Jack-o-lanterns I just got little prepackaged fruit cups and using a black Sharpie marker I drew on the faces. The tip is to use a brand new sharpie to get a nice dark black otherwise it looks a little more washed out and doesn’t color on as good.

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For the applesauce mummies I took the pouches of applesauce and used the  white garland paper and some double sided tape. You only need two pieces one for the start and one for the end of the wrap. After they where wrapped I used some white glue and google eyes from the craft store to add some character. You could also take it one step further and using black paint pipe on a mouth, but I thought they where cute like this.

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To make the pumpkin bags I painted the clothes pins green and also made green handprints with my sons’ hand.

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I couldn’t find orange bags, being short on time, so I used brown then painted on a pumpkin shape.

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On Wednesday I’ll post some pictures from the party and a yummy treat to sneak in some veggies to the kiddos.

Friday, October 24, 2014

French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms

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Your guest will loves these stuffed mushrooms for the upcoming holiday season. They are easy prep ahead of time and bake as you need them. I love the idea of combining stuffed mushrooms with French onion soup flavors.

French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms

(Adapted from Pioneer Woman)

 

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2 Tablespoons Butter2 whole Large Onions, Halved And Sliced Thin

1/4 cup Beef Broth

7 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

Splash Of Red Or White Wine

1/2 cup Grated Gruyere Cheese (can Use Swiss)

Kosher Salt

24 whole White Or Crimini Mushrooms, Washed And Stems Removed

Minced Parsley

 

In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Splash in wine, broth, and Worcestershire. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until liquid is cooked down. Set aside.

 

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Throw in mushrooms and toss around for 2 minutes, just to start the cooking process. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt.

 

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Place mushroom caps face down in a baking dish. Heap cavity with sautéed mushrooms, then sprinkle Gruyere over the top.

 

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Bake at 10 minutes on 325 degrees. Turn on broiler and broil for a couple of minutes, until the top of the Gruyere starts to bubble and slightly turn brown.

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Sprinkle minced parsley over the top and serve.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

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I’m starting to like roasting chickens in a crockpot more than the oven. The chicken stays really moist and the juices don’t burn so you can save them to make a gravy or baste your chicken at the end. I forgot to add the rosemary (too much multi tasking) which it wasn’t the end of the world, but it would have made the flavor really nice with the lemon. Can’t wait to make more in the crockpot like this.

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

(Adapted from No. 2 Pencil)

 

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4 lemons

2-3 heads of garlic

1 whole chicken 4 to 5 pounds

Fresh rosemary, or any fresh herbs

All-purpose steak seasoning or salt and pepper

 

Cut garlic heads and lemons in half and lay in bottom of slow cooker. Cut the bottoms off the lemons so they lay flat.

 

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Add a sprig of rosemary, or any herbs. (I forgot to do this)

 

Remove insides from chicken, rinse chicken and pat dry. Season chicken well, inside and out, with all-purpose steak seasoning or salt and pepper. Lay chicken on top of garlic and lemon slices and stuff the chicken with a garlic head cut in half, and a lemon cut in quarters.

 

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Cover top of chicken with additional lemon slices and rosemary.

 

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Turn slow cooker to high, and cook for about 4 hours, or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.

 

Slow cooker cooking times vary.

 

Important: Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

 

When chicken has reached 165, turn off slow cooker and let chicken rest for about 15 minutes.

 

Remove from slow cooker, carve and serve.


Liquid from slow cooker can be strained and served over chicken.

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