Birthday Dinner

While it’s not my birthday, it’s Mr. Vitalian’s Birthday. I made him a nice dinner. I was aiming for a dinner made up of hash browns, broccoli cheddar casserole, and chicken fried chicken.

I botched the chicken fried chicken a bit. I’m not from the south, nor have I really had chicken fried chicken. First problem was I used boneless chicken thighs, so it’s a darker meat rather than white chicken breast like I’d prefer. Second, I breaded it early and should have used a second egg. The breading fell off when I fried it. I prefer to use little cuts of meat because the breading stays on, it cooks faster, and bite sized is cute.

Then I made a broccoli cheddar casserole. It asked me for mayonnaise, an entire cup of it, but I hate mayo. It has too much egg, it’s high in fat, and it’s icky. So I tried using Chobani plain yogurt. So I read that one cup of Chobani plain can replace one cup of mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, and a load of other things. It brings a tad bit of a sourness and I believe that mayo wouldn’t have. But I added a little bit of extra cheese to help that. I also added french onion pieces instead of smashed butter crackers. I would love a food processor to make crumbs but I don’t have one so any easy way to get around making my own crumbs, I’ll take it.

As for the Hash browns. I’m not really much of a breakfast person because I’m so picky. I don’t like eggs so a lot of breakfast foods are out. But so the slicing went okay. It was the cooking that got kind of weird. The hash browns didn’t stick together so well. I wanted them to like they were supposed to, but I turned them too early so they kind of broke apart. But it did have a nice brown tinge on them when I was done. It tasted good, a splash of salt and pepper and you’re good to go. Make sure to wash the potato cuts really well and dry them even better. I think that’s how the potatoes become crispy.

All in all, he said he liked the dinner. I wish it went better but alas, it is what it is.

In addition, the other day I made him a pineapple upside down cake. I’ve never had one or made one before, nor had he. So god knows if it’s right. It tasted good. The consistency of the cake was kind of mushy, but it was very moist and not overly sweet. I, of course, made my alterations, but it was still quite yummy.

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Chicken Fried Chicken


  • Buttermilk for Marinade
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, or to taste
  •  1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon paprika
  •  1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  •  1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 cup milk
  •  2 egg
  •  4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded thin
  •  Oil for frying, or as needed


Marinate Chicken in Marinade for at least 4 hours.

  1. In a shallow dish, mix together the garlic powder, pepper, salt, paprika, bread crumbs and flour.
  2. In a separate dish, whisk together the milk and egg.
  3. Heat the oil.
  4. Dredge chicken in the egg and milk, then dredge in the dry ingredients until evenly coated.
  5. Fry chicken in the hot oil for about 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove from the oil place on paper towel on plate.

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole


  • 3 Tablespoons butter Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages chopped frozen broccoli, thawed
    2 Small Crowns of fresh Broccoli
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup chicken
  • 1.5 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise  Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
  • 12 buttery round crackers, crushed fine 1/3 c. Crushed French Fried Onion pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion until golden.
  3. In a 2 quart casserole dish, mix together onion, broccoli, soup, cheese, mayonnaise, eggs, garlic salt, pepper, seasoned salt, and lemon juice. Sprinkle crushed crackers over top and dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  4. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until heated through and browned on top.

Hash Browns


  • 2 medium russet potatoes, shredded
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Rinse shredded potatoes until water is clear, then drain and squeeze dry. Place shreds in a bowl, and mix in the onion, flour and egg until evenly distributed.
  2. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is sizzling hot, place potatoes into the pan in a 1/2 inch thick layer. Cover the whole bottom of the pan, or make separate piles like pancakes. Cook until nicely browned on the bottom, then flip over and brown on the other side. It should take at least 5 minutes per side. If you are cooking them in one big piece, it can be cut into quarters for easier flipping.
  3. Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 2/3 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 1 Can or fresh pineapple slices


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Drain pineapple and reserve 1/2 cup of the juice.
  2. Melt butter in a 9 inch round pan. Arrange cherries and pineapple slices  in the pan . Sprinkle with brown sugar, and then pineapple. Cover with pineapple chunks to fill in the spaces.
  3. Cream together shortening and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat well. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add alternately with reserved pineapple syrup and pineapple chunks, beating after each addition.
  4. Spread batter in pan over pineapple. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes in the pan, then invert onto plate. Serve warm.


About akindafoodblog

I'm a picky foodie in training. I can't stop talking about food, so writing about it seems like a normal transition. There are so many foods I don't like, and that's a bit of a problem. I don't really know how to cook but I love to bake. So I'm on a culinary journey and I want to invite everyone to join me.
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