When I was a little girl, I lived in the south from the ages of 7 to 10. Oklahoma first, and then Arkansas, to be specific. We moved there when my mother remarried, and it took a whole twelve minutes for my younger sister and I to acclimate ourselves and adopt our delightful new accent. “Gram-mawww!” we’d say whenever our mother’s mother called from Washington state to hear our voices. We’d press in close and talk over each other in our frenzy to spill the latest news. “We miss yew! Daddy kilt us a deer! We went fishin’ an then jumped in the swimmin’ hole and saw us a water moccasin! And the girl across the crick had a bad, bad throat and the doctors tuck out her tawnsils! Tuck ’em raht out!”
There’d be a pause, and what sounded suspiciously like a stifled sob. Then Grandma would say, “And whose little girls are these?”
When our time in the south ended, and we had to say good-bye to lightning bugs and crawdads and lazy warm nights on the back porch sipping sweet tea and watching electric storms in a blackening sky, Grandma told me that every time she saw a Shake ‘n Bake commercial while we’d been gone (“It’s naht frahed … it’s Shake ‘n Bake, and we hayelped!” ) it would hurt her heart.
Tonight, while dipping and shaking and remembering, mine was the hurting heart. I miss yew, Grandma.
- 2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 TBSP paprika
- 1 TBSP granulated garlic
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
In a bowl, mix all ingredients. Set half aside. You may not use it all … better to set it aside and see if you need to add more as you go. You can always save the extra for another dinner. And just to give you a reference point, I cooked 12 boneless pork chops and still have almost half of this left. Put the other half in a large gallon Zip-Loc baggie.
In another container, pour about 1 cup of milk. Dip your pork or chicken pieces first in the milk …
… then in the baggie. When you have two or three pieces in the baggie, seal and shake to coat.
Place coated meat on an oiled baking sheet. Spray top with Pam or drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Bake @400 for 30-40 minutes, or until you can tell that the meat is done and the coating is crispy. You’ll know it when you see it.
Serve with something equally retro. I recommend Rice. A’ Roni. The San Franciscan treat.
And in other news …
The title implies there’s more than just Shake ‘n Bake. There’s also a shake!
This is one of my favorite middle-of-the-day pick-me-ups. You know how you start feeling between 2:00 and 3:00? Well, there’s just enough protein in this to deal with all that.
Today, knowing there would be pork-chop-imbibing later, I wanted to eat lightly. So for lunch, I had a slice of Zac’s leftover pizza this shake. JUST this shake.
There’s nothing to it. Choose your protein powder. Add peanut butter … or don’t. The only thing I wouldn’t negotiate away is the banana. You really need that banana.
The Fake Shake
(A.K.A. the drink that feels like a shake but has nothing bad in it)
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup nonfat milk
- 1 generous scoop of protein powder
- 1 TBSP peanut butter OR PB2 OR not
- 2 big scoops of ice
Pour the milk in your blender …
… and add the banana.
Add whatever protein powder you are favoring at the moment. My current favorite is this:
I discovered this protein powder last year when meeting with my friends, Bobby and Brenda, at 5:30 every morning to do the P90x workout together. We sweated through those intense videos and then rewarded ourselves with a protein shake made from this powder. Those were three of the most grueling days of my life … I really don’t want to talk about it.
Now, if you’re counting WW points plus, you’ll probably want to invest in something called PB2. It’s peanut butter in powdered form … miraculously missing the oil. I don’t know how they do it and I don’t much care. I’m just glad that 2 TBSP has only 1 WW PP.
I wish I could tell you where to get the PB2, but I order it from a woman I barely know. We meet in a back alley down by the docks at midnight, and she pulls my jar from the depths of her trench coat. No words are exchanged … just my $5 bill and this jar. She tells me I can stop any time I want. We’ll see.
Top it all off with two big scoops of ice and blend till the ice stops screaming.
Pour into a tall glass.
This makes two glasses, so now you have a decision to make: to share, or not to share. If you use PB2 and not regular peanut butter, the entire blender-full is only 4 WW Points Plus. So no one is going to bat an eye if you drink the whole batch yourself.
And it’s tempting to do so.