Fran’s Fixings

This week I received my “Frosty Vox Box” from the Influenster Blogging Network.  For full disclosure, I received this for testing purposes from Influenster.  Now that the formalities are out of the way, on to the fixings!

This month, I’ve been working on Operation, “Empty Out the Deep Freezer” and it’s been going rather well.

Last week, I made Vegetable Beef Stew and Pan Seared Steaks.  I had more meals planned, but with holiday parties and sporting events, I ended up only making dinner two nights last week.

So on to this week.  I found some drumsticks in the freezer that I decided to thaw, but then I was thrown a curve-ball when Brandon said he wasn’t in the mood for BBQ chicken…. say what?  How can you not be in the mood for BBQ chicken???

But back to the recipe….

With BBQ out the window I set myself to the task of identifying another recipe to use for the chicken. Thankfully, dark meat is pretty forgiving, so I knew I had that working in my favor.

Then arrives the #FrostyVoxBox.

When I saw the bottle of McCormick Gourmet’s Thyme I knew I found my solution. I’m a big McCormick fan, so I partnered the Thyme with McCormick’s Lemon Pepper grinder and went to work! Here’s photographic evidence:



My “recipe” was pretty simple. I set the oven at 375°. I didn’t measure the seasoning (gasp). I believe in adding seasoning until it looks right…. AGAIN, chicken is pretty forgiving, so while this may not be the best method, it works. Just make sure you coat each side evenly. I used a vaporizer to apply olive oil to each side, covered my Pyrex dish with aluminum foil then baked the chicken for 30 minutes. Then I removed the foil and baked the chicken for an additional 30 minutes. I served the chicken alongside collards, stovetop stuffing and rice. Nothing fancy.

My final review. Thyme is on my side. YES it is. 🙂 I look forward to using it in more recipes.

Now go fix something! 🙂

The Day We Conquered Kale

Last week, I got a bag of Nature Green’s Kale Greens and said I was going to try to make Kale chips.

For some reason, I thought Kale would be really challenging to work with at home. I’m a southern girl, but I left the art of cooking collards and greens to my mother because she does it well!

With light trepidation, I went on Pinterest, got some inspiration, and got to fixing!

Fix-It Fran’s Kale Chips:
-1 bag, Nature Green, Kale Greens
-Sugar (3 Tbsp.)
-Garlic Powder (1/2 tsp.)
-Cayenne Powder (A pinch–optional)
-Mustard Powder (1/8 tsp.)
-Parmesan Cheese (6 Tbsp.)
-Olive Oil (I used an all natural spray–a light drizzle should be fine)

First Batch:
For the first batch, I set the oven to 325°F. Gathered my ingredients and tossed the kale in olive oil. I incorporated about half of the dry ingredients into the kale-olive oil mix and reserved the rest to sprinkle on afterward.

Next, I lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper and arranged the kale in an even layer. I read a few recipes that warned of overlapping leaves creating a “steaming” environment, but I didn’t have that problem. Just make sure your greens are as dry as possible before tossing them in oil.

The kale browned in under 10 minutes and I was rather pleased with the results. I sprinkled on more of my seasoning mix and still had some left over (the first batch only used a quarter of the bag).

Since the Kale came pre-cut, there were some tiny pieces that weren’t really “chip worthy.” However, those chips are PERFECT for a make-shift Gremolata

I thought I was done for the day, but then the Husboo requested more….

Mind you, this was a new “health nut” recipe, so I was happy to make another batch. 

Second Batch:
For the second batch, I set the oven to 315° and used the convection mode while repeating the steps I used for the first batch.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a convection oven, I just wanted to see if it would make a difference. I think it was easier to monitor the chips without them browning too quickly, but there was no drastic difference from the first batch.


The final batch


Chips from the first batch


Kale chips

As always, recipes go according to taste. If you’re not a garlic/cayenne pepper/parmesan fan, this may not be the recipe for you–but there’s hope!

Just substitute the ingredient you’d prefer. This is was my first attempt to write down one of my recipes. Hopefully it makes sense. Leave a comment below if you have any questions and I’ll respond ASAP.

You can also check out my Cooking with Kale Pinterest board for other ideas.

Until next time– Go fix something! 🙂

What’s in a Name?

Early Cooking

Cooking in the Campus Apartments at UNC-Chapel Hill.

As far as I can recall, “Fix-It With Fran” was born in 2008 (The timestamped photo supports that theory).

At some point during my grad school career, my office administrator started calling me “Fix-It Fran.”  Every time something happened in the office, particularly with plants, she jokingly said, “It’s time for Fix-It With Fran.”

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