Hicks House

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Baked Eggplant Fries

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

This is one of my favorite side dishes in the history of the universe. The first time I tried eggplant fries it was at a local pizza restaurant, they were fried not baked and I fell in love. It sparked a mission to find a way to make them at home, and at least somewhat healthier as we refuse to buy a deep fryer.

Ingredients

  • One medium to large eggplant (dependent on how many fries you are looking to end up with)
  • Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Eggs (We used the whole egg, you can substitute just egg whites if you are looking for a healthier alternative, however you may need extra eggs

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put your breadcrumbs in a bowl (we don’t measure this, just go by eye and add more if we run out). Crack and whip your eggs in another bowl or in a Tupperware. Use a third bowl or Tupperware for your olive oil – again we don’t measure but 2-3 tablespoons to start should be good.

Cut the top and bottom off your eggplant then cut in half. Turn each half so the cut side is facing up and then cut into cross sections creating your “fries”.

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House
Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House
Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

Then begin your breading process. Coat the fries lightly with olive oil. Eggplant tends to soak up oil very fast so just do a couple at a time – remember we are baking not frying. Coat in the egg followed by the breadcrumbs making sure to fully coat all sides. Transfer to a baking sheet and continue until you have breaded all of your fries.

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

Spray lightly with some more olive oil – this helps to get the outsides crispy.

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

Bake for 7-10 minutes, flip and cook an additional 7-10 minutes. Your fries will be sizzling and bubbly but the outsides will still seem soft. Now here is the trick to crispy fries – flip a second time switch your oven to broil and cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes. WATCH THEM CLOSELY! They will brown quickly, you want a nice browned look to them but if they look like they are starting to burn take them out.

Serve with your favorite protein and dig in!

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

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Chicken Broccoli & Cheese Pockets

I’ve had a couple special requests for this recipe, as it’s one of the go-to staples in our house and I rave about it all the time. You may remember the variation I posted utilizing Thanksgiving leftovers. Way back then I alluded to the fact that we generally make ours with chicken and broccoli, so after much ado here it is.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pockets | Hicks House

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Breast of Cooked Chicken (either cubed or shredded)
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened
  • 1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • One medium head of broccoli – diced (I only use the tops and toss the stems)
  • Ground Black Pepper – to your liking
  • One package of seamless crescent dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of your ingredients with the exception of the dough and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese in a bowl until well combined, ensuring a good coating of cream cheese over all of the ingredients.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pockets | Hicks House

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray or a light coating of olive oil. Prepare your dough. Lay in the center of your cookie sheet and gently press out towards the edges with your fingers to elongate and thin the dough. Make sure you do not make any holes, if you accidentally rip the dough squish back together.

Once you have achieved a decent size, cut into two pieces down the middle. Portion your filling into each of your two halves and top with remaining cheese.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pockets | Hicks House

Now fold it up like a Won-Ton – Ya know pinch all the edges together so the filling can’t squeak out. Ken and I each fold our own pockets, its always a competition as to whose is prettier and whose doesn’t crack open. Up to you whether you turn this into a cook-off or not – it may or may not make dinner prep more fun.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pockets | Hicks House

Then enjoy all the ooey gooey deliciousness that is the Pocket.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pocket | Hicks House

One of the best things about this recipe is the versatility. You can literally put any kind of meat or veggie in here and its a great way to use up leftovers. Some varieties we’ve tried include:

      • Steak, Pepper and Onion
      • Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese
      • Chicken, Olive and Feta

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!
Hicks House


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What a difference a year makes

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since my first post. Since the start of the blog we’ve gotten married, and officially moved into our home.

I wanted to take a moment to thank those that have followed along from the beginning and those that have recently started. I have tried to keep up a regular schedule and post at least once a week and with the exception of the week we were on our honeymoon pretty much succeeded. As I mentioned in this post I love filling all my friends, family and readers in on what’s going on in our little corner of the world, and I love how this has created a diary of sorts of all that we have accomplished in the past year (and will continue to accomplish going forward).

Recently I’ve also created a Facebook page for Hicks House as well as an Instagram account @hicks_house where I post sneak peaks of in the works projects that have yet to be blogged about. Please continue to follow along into year two over at Hicks House as we go into year two and continue to make our house our home!

The next chapter has us looking forward to such things as grass, finishing painting, decorating and making custom paintings, curtains and wood working projects and whatever else we think of as we live and grow in our home.

Hicks House

 


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Stuffed Acorn Squash

stuffed acorn squash

stuffed acorn squash

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not much of a cook. I’m an avid recipe searcher – but generally lack at the execution aspect. With the exception of a few things that I make (all things that involve the oven not the stove top) Ken is the main cook in our house since we prefer to eat non-burnt, non-raw inside food. However, last week my sister posted a photo of an acorn squash she had cooked and it just looked amazing. Then when I went to the grocery store over the weekend there they were right up front on display and on sale Acorn squash. I HAD to have one. So I bought it.

(Ken opens fridge)
Ken: What is this thing?
Me: It’s an acorn squash.
Ken: What do you do with it?
Me: I have no idea. Nicole posted a picture on Facebook and it looked really good so I got one.
Ken: Have you ever had it before?
Me: No. But I bet it’s awesome. (Text’s Nicole to see how she cooked it Answer “I googled it.” Crap now I have to google it. I have this weird looking squash thing and no idea how to even begin cooking it.)

So we looked up a bunch of recipes and most called for ingredients we didn’t have. Since I had not planned ahead and already gone to the store, this was no good so we decided to take a couple aspects of several different recipes and make our own. What’s the worst that could happen? If it totally sucks we could just order pizza right?

Most of the recipes called for baking it with butter and brown sugar and serving it as a side dish. (which is what my sister did) That seemed pretty good, however that seemed like way too much squash to have as a side for two people, and a lot of work for just a side dish so we decided to turn it into more of a meal.

BEST IDEA EVER I’m not even remotely exaggerating when I say that this was not only the best meal I’ve had at home in a long time, it’s also quite possibly the best meal I’ve had PERIOD in a long time. It captured all of the feelings of fall in a single meal.  It was so good I decided to post my first (and with my skills possibly my last) recipe.

So here’s what we did so you can create this masterpiece yourself:

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 65 minutes (it’s worth the wait I promise)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium to large acorn squash
  • 3 links pre-cooked italian style chicken sausage (you could use pork sausage as well just make sure you cook it)
  • 1 cup dry stuffing mix (we used turkey flavor because that’s what we had)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic (if you’re using jarred minced garlic this is 2 teaspoons)

Preheat oven to 400.  If using the pre cooked sausage links cut into 1/4 inch thick slices then quarter them. In a large bowl combine stuffing mix until most of the liquid is absorbed. (we had a little extra – no big deal) Add the sausage, garlic and onion and mix.

Cut the acorn squash lengthwise and clean out, deseed the cavity.  Place the two halves on a cookie sheet and press as much of the stuffing mixture into each cavity as you can fit allowing it to mound up on top.  Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the stuffing starts to brown on the top.  Remove from oven and tuck aluminum foil around the squash halves.  Return to oven and cook an additional 30-35 minutes until squash is fork tender.

Remove from oven and enjoy!

Mix stuffing & broth

Mix stuffing & broth

dice sausage

dice sausage

cut acorn squash in half lengthwise

cut acorn squash in half lengthwise

hollow out seeds

hollow out seeds

stuff it

stuff it

wrap in foil

wrap in foil

enjoy!

enjoy!