Tortilla Crusted Chicken

This is a recipe that I have done for over 15 years. It originated when I was making fried chicken and I did not have the breading that I wanted. The chips were actually left over from a weekend get together and I was about to throw them away. I decided to take a chance, crush them up and use them as the breading.
It is always a great party entrée, as I have used this for many catering events that I have done in the past. This is not a boring chicken dish.

Ingredients that you will need:
4 Chicken Breasts – I use boneless skinless chicken breast (but any type of chicken will work)
½ Bag of Tortilla Chips – Yellow or White Corn
1 Cup Flour
2 Eggs
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
1 Fresh Lime

Sour Cream
Fresh Pico de Gallo

How to:

Take the four chicken breasts and cut each one in half. Use a mallet (flat side) to slightly pound each piece. Do not flatten too much, but make chicken about ½ inch thick. By doing this, you ensure that the chicken will cook evenly throughout.
Lightly sprinkle each piece of chicken with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.
Put tortilla chips in a bag and crush.


This is fun and the kids love doing this. After everyone has had a turn crushing the chips in the bag, I take a rolling pen and give it one last rollover. This makes all the pieces the same size.


Prepare three bowls:
1. Flour – season with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder
2. Eggs – beat with wire whip until mixed
3. Crushed Tortilla Chips


Taking one piece of chicken at a time, dip chicken into the flour. Making sure to cover the chicken completely. Then dip both sides into the egg mixture. Finally, dip into the crushed tortilla chips covering the chicken completely. Repeat with each chicken piece.
Place chicken on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes.
Check the internal temperature of the biggest piece of chicken in the middle of the pan. Make sure it is above 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


While still on baking sheet, cut lime and squeeze one slice over each chicken breast.
Serve hot with (optional) sauce.
Top chicken with fresh Pico De Gallo
Combine salsa with sour cream – mix well (by hand) and place on top of chicken breast.

How to cook Spaghetti Squash – Tutorial

Have you even heard of Spaghetti Squash?  Most likely not.  But if you give it a try you may find it as versatile as I do.

Many of my friends have no idea what the yellow football shaped squash is… much less, how to prepare it for dinner.

It has a buttery taste that can be paired with many types of cuisines. It is very easy to prepare. Most of the time, I just cut it open scoop out the seeds and stick it in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. But, today I am cooking it with other vegetables in the oven.

This is the mysterious Spaghetti Squash. It can be found easily in every grocery store around.
With a chef’s knife, cut the squash in half. *This is the hardest part of preparation. Be careful, the shape is sometimes hard to handle and getting through the skin can be tiresome. The inside is hollow with seeds, so once the knife has punctured the skin it can be easily maneuvered to split into two halves.

Scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
Rub Extra Virgin Olive Oil all over the inside of each half of the Squash. Season with salt and pepper.
You can bake just like this, but I like to put extra vegetables in the squash for added flavor. And it looks pretty!
Bake at 375F for 20 -30 minutes.

Let cool.

Scrape inside of Squash with fork before serving.

The texture of this spaghetti looking squash is much they same as an over cooked noodle.  Sorry to all the al-dente eaters out there.  You can actually use the squash in place if noodles if you like or just use it as a fun vegetable.

I find this squash very useful in our gluten free diet adventures.  It has a rich buttery taste that pairs well with most foods.

Homemade Laundry Detergent – Really Simple to Make!

Coupon Contessa
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How to MAKE Homemade Laundry Detergent:

This recipe will make you 94 (one tablespoon) loads. (really! I counted them myself!)

If you plan on using Two table spoons per load, then you will get 47 loads from this recipe.

The best part about this! The price!!

Each tablespoon only costs 2 cents! Can you imagine the money we could have saved, IF we started using this laundry detergent years ago? It saddens me to even think about.

For this project you will need these items:

1 Large Bar Laundry Soap – 79 cents (found in the laundry detergent isle)

1 Box 20 Mule Team Borax – $2.99 per box (cost is 75 cents to use ¼ of the box)

1 -Box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – $2.29 per box (cost is 57 cents to use 1/4 of the box)

Food Processor OR Cheese Grater

Large mixing bowl

Measuring Cup


In the large mixing bowl, measure 3 cups of Super Washing Soda and 3 cups of Borax.

Grate the whole bar of soap into small pieces. This sounds hard, but the soap is very soft and easily grated.

Place into the mixing bowl and mix all ingredients well.

That is it! Now you have some very inexpensive laundry detergent to use.

Cost Breakdown:

Soap – 79 cents

Borax – used 75 cents worth

Super Washing Soda – used 57 cents worth

Total cost to make is $2.11 to make 94 loads (one tablespoon) worth of Laundry Detergent!

That is a little bit over 2 cents per load!!

This is a great activity for the whole family.

The ingredients are easy to find and environmentally friendly. I can find them at my local grocery store, Walmart or Target. (prices vary from store to store) These ingredients can also make many, many more household cleaning items. So buying cleaning supplies will be a thing of the past and you will be saving lots and lots of your money!

Homemade T-Shirt Scarf !Recycle that old T-Shirt!

How to make a Homemade T-Shirt Scarf

Gather your t-shirt, scissors and your creativity.

1.  Infinity Scarf ** (See below)

2.  Fringe Scarf
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Cut the t-shirt under the arms and again at the bottom seam.
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Take the middle of the t-shirt and stretch it with your hands.  Widen your arms to stretch the shirt wide.  The ends will begin to roll a little.
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Cut 1 inch deep fringe on the top and the bottom of the shirt.  Make each cut about 1/3 inch apart.

Then cut the middle of the shirt.

Stretch again then tie a small piece of material to secure the two circles together.

Enjoy your custom made scarf.
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3.  Rope Scarf
Cut under arms and cut bottom seam off t-shirt.

Cut lengthwise strips to create rope like pieces.  Tie together with an additional piece of fabric from the t-shirt.

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4.  Ruffle Scarf

Cut under arms and at the bottom seam of the t-shirt.
Use a 9 inch plate to outline circles on the front of a t-shirt.
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Cut circles out of t-shirt (front and back together)
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You will have (at least) 8 circles.

Cut a spiral in each circle.
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Then run your hand down the length of the fabric to stretch each piece.

Do this several time on each.  This will create a “ruffle” look.

Tie all pieces together with an additional piece of t-shirt fabric.
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Enjoy your Ruffle Scarf!

Homemade Granola – Never Buy Store Bought Again!

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Recently our Eight Year old discovered yogurt parfaits.

Yogurt layered with granola and fruit.  Really yummy and quite good for you.

The bags of granola sold in the grocery store can range in price from $3 to $12.  (Really, I am not kidding)

I started reading the labels on every package and found that some had ingredients that I would not have thought to be found in granola.  Then, I started looking at the cost to make my own.

Not surprisingly, I was convinced that making my own would not only control all the ingredients but also save us money.

I could make one large batch of granola for the price of one 8 -10 ounce bag.

List of Ingredients:

6 Cups Old Fashioned Granola (Not Quick Oats)

1 Cup Honey

2 Large Eggs – Use Whites Only

1/2 Cup Melted (then Cooled) Coconut Oil

1 tbsp. Ground Cinnamon

1 1/2  tbsp. Vanilla

1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

1/4 Tsp. Salt

3 Cups Assorted Dried Fruit ( I used raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates and blueberries)

1 1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts (if desired)



Pre Heat Oven to 275*F

In a large bowl combine: Honey, Egg Whites, Coconut Oil, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Maple Syrup and Salt.

Reserve 1/2 cup of mixture in a medium sized bowl

Add 6 Cups Oats into the Honey Mixture and combine well

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Toss in Nuts if Desired

Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet ( I use parchment paper)

Bake for 30 minutes at 275 degrees F

In your medium sized bowl, add dried fruit to your reserved mixture

Combine well

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Remove granola from oven and add dried fruit to pan.

Mix carefully, Oats will be Hot.

After Oats and Fruit are combined

Spread mixture out evenly

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Bake for 40 minutes at 275*F

Let Cool then Enjoy!

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Keep in an airtight container.

Let me know what you add in your granola and If you like this recipe.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

This is one of my favorite homemade products.

It is so simple and inexpensive to make.

Items that you will need:
1 Cup Borax (estimated cost is 25 cents)
1 Cup Baking Soda (estimated cost 33 cents)
Large Mixing Bowl

Mix equal parts Borax and Baking Soda in a large mixing bowl.
Mix until well combined.

This recipe will yield 14 uses.
**Use TWO Tablespoons per load.

The cost to make this product is approximately 58 cents. Divide that by the number of uses (14) to get the cost per load/use.

4 cents per load! Yes, that is correct 4 cents per load.

Compare that to the dishwasher detergent that you are currently using and see the money that you will be saving your family in a year.


Comments about this Homemade Dishwashing Detergent:

Yvette C. said: “The dishwasher soap did a good job cleaning the dishes.”

Jennifer V. said: “The dishwash detergent worked great as well. I usually use Electra powerball cubes (also from Costco). I did not see any difference in dishes between the store bought and homemade. Would definitely use again.

Jeff said: “I can not tell the difference. The only difference is the money I spend at the store. This is a keeper.”

Calia L. said: “This is amazing. Thanks for teaching me how to hang on to my money.”


Thank you for trying something new. I realize that brand loyalty exists and that we all are creatures of habit. Please try these products for yourself and let me know what you think… and how much you have saved by using them.

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