Stuck in a weeknight rut_ new cookbooks offer solutions _ the wichita eagle

Monday was grocery store fried chicken. Crispy chicken fingers recipe fried Tuesday was pizza delivery. What goes good with chicken fingers Wednesday was leftover pizza.

Shake and bake chicken fingers While I cannot clearly remember what I served Thursday, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was peanut butter sandwiches — my fall-back position since it is my 5-year-old daughter’s favorite meal.

You could say I was in a cooking rut — if I was actually cooking. What to eat with chicken fingers And so, before I ordered takeout again, I dug into the latest crop of cookbooks trying to help home cooks like me get dinner on the table.

I soon found solace in Food52’s latest cookbook, “A New Way to Dinner.” One of my biggest challenges is that I cook the same meals (tacos, sausage, pasta) over and over again. Sides for chicken fingers I need to be inspired to try new recipes at the end of a busy work day and apparently I’m not alone.

Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser described in the introduction how she climbed out of her own “roasting everything” dinner rut: “What saved me were recipes — I turned the clock back two decades and started following people’s recipes again. Best fried chicken fingers recipe Recipes are a relief when you’re busy and not feeling inspired to create. Kids chicken fingers Follow directions and a destination is yours.”

▪ “100 Days of Real Food Fast & Fabulous,” by Lisa Leake. Crispy oven chicken fingers Leake is a Charlotte, N.C., food writer whose blog, 100 Days of Real Food, spawned a best-selling cookbook by the same name. How to make chicken fingers from scratch This is her follow-up with 100 quick and easy recipes. Recipe of chicken fingers This book is best for home cooks trying to eliminate processed foods from their diets. Recipe for homemade chicken fingers The first chapter lays out a glossary, primer and Leake’s “real-food rules” to help home cooks navigate the aisles of the grocery store with that in mind.

▪ “Dinner A.S.A.P.: 150 Recipes Made as Simple as Possible,” by editors of Cooking Light. Recipes using chicken fingers Fans of the magazine will appreciate the easy-to-follow tested recipes. How to make chicken fingers in oven Many of the recipes make use of the prepped ingredients and prepared foods now available in most grocery stores; think olive bar condiments becoming a pasta sauce or topping for roasted fish, refrigerated mashed potatoes being used to make shepherd’s pie, and salad bar items being used as a short cut for any number of dishes.

▪ “Fast to the Table: Freezer Cookbook,” by Becky Rosenthal. How to make crispy chicken fingers If you want to make better use of your freezer to help get dinner on the table, this book from a Salt Lake City blogger is a good place to start. How to deep fry chicken fingers Rosenthal offers recipes for a mix of homemade frozen ingredients that can be used to build a meal, and complete homemade meals that can be pulled from the freezer. Deep fried chicken fingers batter I cannot wait to have her frozen Thai peanut sauce stashed in my freezer.

▪ “Food 52: A New Way to Dinner,” by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. How to cook chicken fingers in oven The Food52 co-founders offer a cookbook designed to help busy people do the bulk of the cooking on the weekends for a week’s worth of meals. How to make breaded chicken fingers By season, Hesser and Stubbs each offer a weekly game plan with recipes, a shopping list and detailed instructions on how to pull it all off. Chicken with fingers They also chime in on each other’s recipes to offer variations.

Place apricot preserves, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, canola oil, chile paste, coriander and crushed red pepper in a blender or a food processor; process until smooth. Chicken fingers pictures Pour marinade into a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. How to bread chicken fingers Add chicken; seal bag and marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, turning bag occasionally. Homemade chicken fingers oven Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade.

Bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; boil 2 minutes. Chicken breast fingers Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes or until room temperature.

Thread chicken, apricots and red onions alternately onto 4 (10-inch) metal skewers. Homeade chicken fingers Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 12 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees, turning kebabs occasionally and brushing frequently with marinade after 6 minutes. How long to cook chicken fingers in oven Sprinkle with cilantro.