A Few Favorites (Like the Best Chicken Tenders Ever)

We’ve covered some weighty topics in this space lately, mostly because that’s how life has felt around here and I see no point in trying to hide it.

That said, I’ve also been paying attention to little things that are bringing me joy along the way, and now seems like a good time to share some of them. This is kind of a departure from my regular blog fare, but just consider it an appetizer to the “what I learned this spring” post I’m planning for next week.

First, a recipe …

My girls love fried chicken tenders. Even Molly, who would likely be a vegetarian if we let her, orders them at restaurants that do not serve steamed rice or French toast sticks. I’ve occasionally tried to replicate chicken nuggets or tenders in the oven at home, but the results have never been very appetizing.

Until now, that is. A couple months ago, I stumbled across the perfect recipe on a food blog called RecipeTin Eats. I don’t normally read food blogs, but this one—written by a Japanese woman who lives in Australia—is delightful.

Her recipe is called “Truly Golden Crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders,” and that title pretty much covers everything there is to love about this dish. Apparently, the secret to producing oven-baked tenders that are not pale or soggy (yuck!) is toasting panko breadcrumbs in the oven before you coat the chicken pieces with them.

Sound too good to be true? Trust me—it’s not!

As an added bonus, Nagi (the food blogger) also demonstrates how to prepare the chicken without getting your fingers caked with batter and breadcrumbs. What’s not to love about that?

When peace looks like a peony bush …

I’m working on another blog post about what I’m learning as I observe my flowerbeds this spring. For now, though, I’ll just say that few things drain stress, relieve anxiety and calm my heart better than a slow stroll around my yard.

I’ve enjoyed taking pictures of new blooms and sharing them on Instagram, but mostly, I just like to look. And think. And listen to the birds chirp …

A CD our whole family loves …

This hardly ever happens. I mean, there’s probably a greater chance that I will make something for dinner that everyone truly raves about, and that’s pretty rare too.

But for some reason, Ellie Holcomb’s Red Sea Road CD strikes a pleasing chord with all four of us. Randy likes her indie-sounding voice. Molly’s favorite is track No. 4, a precious song that talks about how Jesus chose us, knows us and loves us forever.

Lilly’s musical tastes run more toward Broadway tunes and classical ballet soundtracks, but whenever “Living Water” comes on the kitchen CD player, she drops whatever it is she’s doing and does an ab workout—right there on the tile floor (ouch).

It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite tune from the CD. I love the one about using our “fighting words” to combat lies with God’s truth, and the one about God being my rescue and my recovery. But I supposed it’s the title song that has meant the most to me these last few months.

If you can’t see the way ahead and you need a good dose of hope, take a minute and listen to this.

An “As Seen on TV” item that really works …

When a product’s packaging is plastered with words like “revolutionary” and “No. 1 Best Seller,” I’m automatically skeptical. But when my current system for doing something isn’t working—well, I’m willing to take a second look.

That’s exactly what I did when I saw the TubShroom Strainer and Hair Catcher at Bed Bath & Beyond. This little gizmo is “guaranteed to catch every single hair, every single time you take a shower,” and I’m happy to report that it actually lives up to the hype.

Goodbye, little sombrero-looking drain cap thing that never really worked and was constantly getting knocked off the edge of the bathtub when it wasn’t being used. Hello, easy morning shower cleanup and clear drain pipes.

(Nobody paid me to write this, by the way. Just consider it a public service announcement from someone who knows how annoying it is to have to fish long hair out of your shower every day.)

Finally, a song I can’t get out of my heart …

When the most memorable thing about a concert has nothing to do with the music, it doesn’t mean it was a bad concert. Really, it’s not every night that the entire stage lighting, video and sound system fritzes out in the middle of a show at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, leaving the audience in the dark except for cell phone flashlights and one lone spotlight shining front and center on Chris Tomlin.

In 10 years, this scenario is probably what I’m going to remember most about the Worship Night in America concert that Randy and I attended in early April. But the musical highlight, at least for me, was a song that Phil Wickham performed before the lights went out.

“Messiah/You’re Beautiful” isn’t new, but it was new to me. And now, I can’t stop listening to it.

That’s my list of current favorites. What are you loving right now?

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, Chasing Community, #HeartEncourgementThursday and Grace & Truth.



32 Responses to A Few Favorites (Like the Best Chicken Tenders Ever)

  1. My husband and I went to see the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. It was great! We enjoyed it very much!
    Have you been to see it yet?

  2. Sounds like a lot of good mixed in with the hard. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lois, I love your favorites. And your peonies?! BEAUTIFUL!!! I admit, I don’t have time to listen to the music right now, but I’m coming back later to have a listen to Ellie Holcomb and the Phil Whickam song you posted. This post makes me happy. 🙂

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I’m glad I was able to provide a bit of happiness in the midst of your busy week, Jeanne! Hope this end-of-school seasons is going smoothly for you and your boys. Hugs, friend!

  4. Lisa notes says:

    I’ll be going next to look up the chicken recipe. 🙂 You make it sound so appealing! I don’t have any of Ellie’s CD,s but I like any song of hers that I’ve listened to. Listening to this one now. Thanks for sharing all these goodies, Lois!

  5. sandy says:

    mmmm that chicken does sound good. I needed a new recipe so I will check it out!

  6. Brenda says:

    I’ve been enjoying your flowers on instagram. 🙂 I’ve taken some pics of mine lately too, but haven’t taken the opportunity to post them yet. The earth is so rich with spring beauty, I can’t even imagine what heaven is like. — Thanks for sharing that tip about toasting the breadcrumbs. Will have to try that. ((hug))

  7. I’m with your family on the Ellie Holcomb issue — and I do love this post full of light and love!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thanks, Michele! “Red Sea Road” may end up being one of those CDs I actually wear out … and that’s only happened with one other in my life, I think (it was the “Life is Beautiful” soundtrack).

  8. Those chicken tenders look delicious! A must try for my husband who loves them 🙂 Thanks for sharing some of these tidbits of joy in your life. I always love hearing the songs that bring encouragement to others 🙂

    • Lois Flowers says:

      So do I, Nicole. Even if the song someone else loves isn’t my favorite, it still can be a good window on their heart and soul, don’t you think? (Hope you like the tenders!)

  9. Linda Stoll says:

    Sometimes we’ve got to share the heavy stuff and others it’s all about what’s fun in our lives.

    This is one of the many reasons I love blogging, Lois! It’s like being designer / editor / writer / photographer all in one … and on your own schedule, too!

    Thanks for sharing life’s joys and pondering life’s difficulties with us. I am so grateful our paths continue to interweave each week …

  10. What a great light-hearted post. I’d not heard that song by Ellie Holcomb yet. Thank you for sharing it. Happy to stop by from the #RaRalinkup.

  11. Trudy says:

    I’m so glad you’re finding things that give you joy, Lois. Your peonies look so beautiful! Those chicken tenders look yummy. Now adding that to your homemade bread, it must be so delicious. 🙂 “The Red Sea” and “Messiah/You’re Beautiful” bring tears to my eyes. I haven’t heard of either of them. Thank you for encouraging my heart today! Love and hugs!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I had a feeling you would like the songs, Trudy. It’s funny … I have several other peony bushes, but the magenta one is in the picture is really the only one that stood out this year. Which I guess makes it even more special, huh? I’m glad you were encouraged by reading my little collection of tidbits this week … love and hugs back to you!

  12. Lesley says:

    This is a great list, Lois. I haven’t heard that Phil Wickham song in a while and I enjoyed listening to it again. I also love Ellie Holcomb’s album. Fighting Words is the song that has been going round in my head for the last few weeks, but I enjoy all of the songs.

  13. You’ve just given me a whole lot to do, Lois! In a good way : ) Will be listening to the album and Phil Wickham song today and trying the recipe soon- I love chicken tenders but don’t like frying them!!! Thanks for sharing all this, Lois!

  14. Hi Lois,
    Even though you have other lovely things in this post the one that caught my attention was the hair-catcher! My over-abundant Italian hair 🙂 needs this! If you say it works, I’m excited to give it a try!

    And the peonies — my favorite flower! My mother always had a little garden of them as I was growing up but it’s too hot for them here in Florida. I so miss them!

    I want to listen to the music, too, it sounds inspiring and I love it that your girls loved the chicken tenders you tried! xo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I know what you mean about the “over-abundant Italian hair,” Valerie! I have the same, um, issue. 🙂 I actually thought twice about including the TubShroom in this because I didn’t want to sound like a QVC pitchwoman, then I figured, why not? I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, my friend!

  15. Hello, from a fellow blogger who linked to Purposeful Faith today. You are correct about calming anxiety by walking in the garden. God created all these beautiful flowers and creatures for us to enjoy. It makes me hum, “And He walks with me and He talks with me.”

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Erin, maybe it won’t surprise you to know that the sheet music for “In the Garden” is framed and hanging right next to my back door? It’s one of my favorites, for sure. 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by this week!

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