A Perfect Little Picnic (It’s A Date)

 

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Well, here we are again. Date night! You know, after 7 years together, it becomes easy to fall into the same old routine. So, I’ve been really enjoying all of the fun, creative date ideas we’ve been coming up with. It makes life a little unexpected and exciting, and the best part is that all of our dates don’t break the bank! If you have any fun date ideas for us, let me know in the comments below!

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So, for you this week, we have what I like to call a perfect little picnic. We packed our basket and headed for our favorite spot in the forest. It’s up on a big hill and overlooking the beautiful place we live in. It’s quiet, remote, but easy to get to. 

What was in our basket this time, you may ask? 

1) Fried Chicken and Cornbread Waffle Sandwiches with a Maple Dijon Sauce

2) Nutella Brownies

3) A Nice (Cheap) Bottle of Champagne. (Who says you need an important reason to have champagne? Every day is a celebration!)

And of course, Alex brought his new fancy guitar to serenade me with. 

Is it possible to fall in love over and over again?! 

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Cheers!!

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 Alright, now lets start off with the main event: Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich with a Maple Dijon Sauce. Now, I can’t quite recall what fueled me to come up with this delectable little sandwich, but boy am I ever glad I did! Crunchy, golden fried chicken. A perfectly blended sweet maple, spicy dijon sauce that I would drink out of the jar, and some fluffy, crispy waffles with nooks and crannies to sop it all up. And hey; its portable!

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Now, at first glance this may look like a lot of ingredients; but it’s really not, and it truly doesn’t take long to put together! Don’t let it scare you away! It’s sooooo worth it.

Fried Chicken and Cornbread Waffle Sandwich with Maple Dijon Sauce

Serves 2

What You’ll Need:

For the Chicken:

+ 1 pound boneless chicken breast, sliced thinly in half

+ 1 cup buttermilk

+ 1 cup flour

+ 1 teaspoon salt

+ 1/2 teaspoon pepper

+ 1 teaspoon paprika

+ 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

+ shortening for frying

For the Waffles:

+ 1 cup all purpose flour

+ 1/2 cup cornmeal

+ 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

+ pinch salt

+ 1 teaspoon sugar

+ 2 Tablespoons melted butter

+ 1- 1/2 cups milk

+ 1 egg

For the Maple Dijon Sauce:

+ 1/4 cup maple syrup

+ 1/4 cup dijon mustard

+ 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

+ pinch salt, dash pepper

+ 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

To make the Fried Chicken: Place the chicken breasts in buttermilk. Cover and allow to marinade for at least an hour. Remove and drain. (Set Buttermilk Aside)

TIP: Season your chicken with all of the spices BEFORE dipping it in flour. The flour will protect the spices from burning, so you’ll get all that amazing flavor in there and no yucky burnt taste. 

Season the chicken breasts with the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic. Dredge each chicken breast in flour. Dip back in the buttermilk. Dredge in flour again. Shake off any excess flour. 

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat with about 1/4 cup shortening. Once it reaches 325, it’s good to go. Place your chicken in the skillet. Fry for about 3-5 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden brown. Place on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet to drain excess grease. Set aside. 

For the Waffles: Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and butter. Add to your dry ingredients. Preheat a waffle iron. Place about 1/4 cup batter in the center of the waffle iron, and cook until golden. 

For the Maple Dijon Sauce: Whisk together all of the ingredients. Place in a mason jar and shake again before serving. 

Assemble the sandwiches with a little lettuce, and voila! 

P.S. To prevent your sammies from getting soggy, wait to drizzle the sauce on top until right before you eat them!

 

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Now, these brownies are probably my new favorite dessert. Nutella is an addiction, as I’m sure many of you know. These brownies are fudgy, gooey, rich, nutty, decadent, and only made of two ingredients! Yep- that’s right. Gluten Free, too! All you need is a jar of nutella and some eggs. Could it get any easier than that?! 

Two Ingredient Nutella Brownies

What You’ll Need:

+ 4 eggs

+ 1 cup Nutella

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. TIP: Spray the pan with nonstick spray first; it will keep the parchment paper down while you’re working. 

Beat the eggs in a mixer for about 6 minutes. They should double in volume and be fluffy and pale yellow. Heat up the nutella in the microwave so it’s a bit easier to work with; about 1 minute, stopping every 15 seconds to stir the nutella. You don’t want to burn this sacred stuff! 

With your mixer on slow speed, add the nutella a spoonful of a time, until it is all mixed into the eggs well. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes. 

Allow the brownies to cool in the pan completely before cutting. This will allow them to firm up and not fall apart when you try to cut them. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar, and serve with some fresh berries.

 

I hope this has inspired you to get out and have a fun little date this weekend. Whether it be with your significant other, family, or friends. There’s nothing better than a relaxing day with fun, laughs, and most importantly, good food!