Move! Get Out the Way!

Yowsa!  I have a GREAT Party of One recipe for ya tonight, but first, a recap of the day.

Work is literally sucking the life out of me.  I feel so drained at the end of every day due to the general stress of the job and some other circumstances that are just making things extra tough right now.  At the end of the day today, I was feeling a little sorry for myself.  I walked around my classroom picking up discarded books and forgotten papers, feeling generally dejected about the day.  And then, something just kind of clicked inside of me.  Hey! it said.  This is not your life, this is your job.  Get out of here and live your life! And so I did.  I have no idea where it came from, but I’m sure glad it was there!

Off I went for a not-so-quick 10K training run.  It was pleasant enough out this afternoon–mid 50s and breezy with lots of sunshine, but I was a slowpoke.  I keep track of my time as sort of an afterthought, so I didn’t worry too much about the snail’s pace I kept today.  I ran, I enjoyed it, I felt good.  I’ll take it.

Then, I caught up with my friend Jamie on the phone as I drove to a soccer scrimmage for my school’s team.  Sadly, I missed most of the scrimmage, but my friend Adam was there and invited me over to see his new little boy, Camden!  Of course I had to say yes! 😀  Camden is about 6 weeks old and such a little man!  He looks just like his daddy.  Cute as he can be and such a good baby!  It was fun to catch up with Adam’s wife and finally see the little guy in person.

Ok ok . . . you’ve been patient enough while I rattled on about my day.  Now, we dine!  I realize that Cajun fare is more appropriate for Fat Tuesday, but I was feelin’ a little Mexican this evening.  I had the idea for this meal while I was on the treadmill Saturday morning watching Food Network (come on, you know you do it, too!), and I have been excited to make it ever since.  Without further ado . . .

Tortilla Crusted Chicken Fingers

For one 🙂

You need:

1/3-1/2 package chicken fingers (about 4 pieces)

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 T. lemon juice)

2 T. barbecue sauce

1/4-1/3 cup crushed tortilla chips

1 T. whole wheat (or all purpose) flour

1/2 tsp. each garlic powder, onion powder, cumin

cooking spray

Salsa and barbecue sauce for dipping

How to:

Combine the milk and barbecue sauce in a medium bowl.  Soak your chicken fingers in the milk mixture for at least 2 hours.  (I soaked mine all day while I was at work or you could get them ready the night before, too.)

{no pic because raw chicken is icky and not photogenic!}

Preheat your oven to 450*.  Put the tortilla chips, flour, garlic and onion powders, and cumin plus about 1/4 tsp. salt into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until finely ground.  If you don’t have a food processor, you could just crush up the chips really fine and mix in the flour and seasonings.

Transfer the crumbs into a shallow dish and set up your assembly line!  (There I go, getting excited about my work station again!)

Dip each piece of chicken into the crumb mixture, pressing to coat evenly.  Transfer them onto a cookie sheet lined with a cooling rack.  Make sure that sucker’s loaded with nonstick spray!

This very smart idea brought to you by Jessica and Courtney.  This is the key to crunchy healthified chicken fingers, my friends!

Spray the top of each finger with a good coating of nonstick spray to get them to brown up for you.  Pop ’em into a preheated 450* oven.

I'll see YOU later!

Set your timer for 12 minutes, and go shower.  OK, you don’t have to shower, but that’s what I did.  You can clean up the kitchen or check your email or whatever it is that takes you about 12 minutes.

After your 12 minutes have passed, flip the fingers with tongs and spray the other side with nonstick spray.  I also sprinkled mine with a little salt.  Back into the oven for another 12 minutes!

I used this 12 minutes to whip up the easiest side dish ever!  Bonus Party of One recipe embedded here!

Refried Black Beans!

1/2 can black beans rinsed and drained

1/4 onion, finely diced

1/2 T. garlic, finely chopped

1/4-1/2 tsp. cumin

olive oil

2 T. fresh salsa

Dice up your onion and cook it in the olive oil over medium heat with a little S&P until softened–about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cumin and cook an additional 30 seconds.  Add in the black beans and smash everything together with a potato masher, like so:

When they are all smooshed up, add in the salsa and mix it all together.  Done!

You even have time to whip up a little dipping sauce for those fingers!  Combine equal parts barbecue sauce and salsa.

I like to say "salsa!"


Please forgive the Seinfeld reference.  Couldn’t resist.

Alrighty then.  Grab those chicken fingers ‘cuz those bad boys are good to go!


All together now!

That looks like a mighty fine dinner to me, if I do say so myself!

Hello crunchy baked chicken fingers!

And greetings to you, delicious refried black beans!


I am quite happy with the way this turned out!  The chicken fingers had a great crunchy coating, and I could actually taste the barbecue sauce from the marinade.  The beans were the perfect accompaniment–make sure you add in the fresh salsa!  It gives them some extra moisture and takes the flavor over the top!  Hope you try this!  It was a good one!


Today, I realized that I have been pretty hard on myself in the last week or two.  If I’m being totally honest, I’ve been pretty hard on myself my whole life, but that is a discussion for another day!  I’ve been beating myself up for having off days–bad workouts, eating too much dessert, not feeling happy and bubbly all the time.  Fortunately, I also realized today that I am the only one beating myself up for this stuff.  I need to get the heck out of my own way and just let life come.  Yes, I can make decisions about how I react to things, but I don’t need to be super hard on myself every time I have an off moment.  So I have decided to tell myself to

That should suffice.

Do you ever get in your own way???


One thought on “Move! Get Out the Way!

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