Goldfish Breaded Chicken Nuggets and Homemade Ketchup

can you spot the little chickadees? there are a few shaped
of little piggys too.. heh

I have just returned from a weekend in Nantucket.. it was my first time there and I fell in love with the gorgeous island. It was such an adorable place with the most interesting finds..oh and not to mention the unbelievably decadent fudge.. this little store (Aunt Leah's) was a fudge enthusiasts heaven.. fudge of all flavors, combinations, and it's famous.. nantucket "red" fudge. My favorite by far is the kosher salt laced fudge and the peanut butter with mini mnm's sprinkled on top YUMMM!! ahh! and for T the creamy oreo filling fudge...omgahh! I know! I need to go back already! My trip was far too short. I'll show you the other things that I picked up.. some of them were steals I tell ya! great deals.. seriously!

But lets get down to what this post is all about... So T has been complaining about the goods that I make..not that's it bad or anything..but the fact that a little pouch is forming in his gut.. So of course I had to change a few things up a little and believe me every little bit counts! For example..ground meat.. or lean ground meat.. 99.9% lean or.. 70 30..your supermarket will carry what you want or just ask the local butcher to grind up any meat you prefer. For my Chicken nuggets I wanted to choose only lean ground meats.. I chose a blend of 99.9% lean turkey mince and a 80 20 chicken mince. I was a little skeptical that if I chose only 100% lean minces T would probably be an unhappy boy.

This meal is easy, delicious, and ridiculously AMAZING... It's chock full of flavor, herbs, spices, and trust me honey... it's definitely not you're run of the mill frozen mickey d chicken mc nuggets. And on top of that..making your very own ketchup is super easy too! And it tastes a lot better than the generic corn syrup laden ketchups we're used to. Oh.. and it also gives you an excuse to learn how to can! It's the in thing now isn't it? ..can your own pickles, jams, jellies, ketchup...gosh the list is endless and the best thing is you can just keep it in your pantry and it'll be there if you ever run out!

First step to this is to have a few herbs and spices on hand.. The herbs can be oregano, thyme, or tarragon.. rosemary is a little too strong but you can add a pinch if you really want to. For mine I went with straight thyme (20 sprigs or so of it), then for the spices some granulated garlic, a little paprika, pepper, then a dash of whole grain honey mustard, about 1/3 cup of parmesan (grated) a pinch of sugar, salt, an egg, a squirt of lemon juice and to finish it off a splash of milk to keep it moist. I mixed it all by hand making sure all of the flavors combined and everything was evenly distributed together. I preheated the oven to 350 and whipped out a cookie sheet and placed a cooling rack on top of that. For easier cleanup I lined the cookie sheet with aluminum foil. You know.. I thought it'd be cool to mold my nuggets into shapes with my cookie cutters.. I did attempt to pull of some and somehow they managed to hold up better than I expected! haha! But really.. don't bother unless you really want to because they are cute.. but molding them into "nugget" shapes are just fine too. So while mixing this all up together I was wondering what I could bread them with.. I thought breadcrumbs were boring.. panko was ehh.. and what's not better than to utilize a bag of goldfish! We love goldfish in this household and we buy by the boxful... I mean the three big bags in a box from costco! Ohh yeah! I kid you not folks.. they are great to snack on.. and the puppies love em too! So goldfish it was.. to crush em? I laid out a sheet of wax paper on the board, sprinkled the fishies out and used a tupperware to crush it into smithereens! smithereens of different create the nice textures when it was done. So once that was done with I begin to make my nuggets come to life!

I poured a bit of evoo into a small bowl so I could coat my hands when I made my nuggets.. You don't wanna have sticky fingers! I took about a golf ball sized amount of mince and flattened it out to about 1/3 inch thick and just rolled it and dipped it around the crushed goldfish and once all was coated just plate it on the prepared rack! continue till there is no more space and let it cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Or until firm to the touch. These will be by far theee best chicken nuggets that will be quick and easy, great for snacks and good enough for your kids! And think about cooking with your children too! They'll love doing this.. We all love a baked chicken nugget (: juicy tender and packed full of flavor.

good enough for you, think?

oh goldfish.. crunchy..cheddary.. we do love you

picked this up at my local grocer.. I couldn't leave without getting it!

The ketchup that I made took a little more time. It was simple enough to prepare and the best part place it over a low heat and forget about it for about an hour. I coarsley chopped a whole vidalia onion and caramelized it on high-med heat with some evoo and a sprinkle of salt.. I really let it cook down slowly to get its sugars going and softening it up nicely. Once that was caramelized I basically started adding different spices..allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, mace, ginger a drizzling of molasses and honey, a tad bit of apple cider vinegar and a dash of pepper.. I allowed that to cook down and intensified its flavors by lowering the heat and letting it simmer just a tad allowing the flavors to meld together..about 10 minutes. Then I opened an 8 oz can of chopped tomatoes (juice and all) and half a can of tomato paste and mixed that all in.. Lowered the heat way down, placed a cover on top and kind left it to do its own thing! At the end I pureed it all with a hand blender till it was smooth. When it was to the consistency and taste I liked I had already prepared my canning process and pretty much poured it into the mason jar, released any air, capped it tight and lowered it into the hot boiling water for about 1-4 minutes.. and done! I had some leftover in the saucepan so I used that for T's lunch!

The recipes will be posted soon!

the home canning kit!

nice huh? once you get the hang of'll want to
can everything..


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