Well since we just talked about the secret to perfect Ham Fried Rice I figured we would move right along to our baked sesame chicken. And budgets. Because who wants to talk about money without something totally delicious to eat? This sesame chicken is one of the yummy dinners that we had up at Teton Springs, and it is a baked panko chicken versus the deep fried stuff, but you can totally skip the breading all together if you want it to be healthier. I love this stuff. I just stinking love it. And I love a good budget, shocked to hear myself say that, but it’s true and we are offering a giveaway to help you, so scroll to the bottom of the post!
Let’s just say that Cade and I have our roles a little mixed up in the financial area. Usually it’s the women who want to spend and the men that want to save, but in our house I’m the one that would rather be a total tightwad and Cade likes to spend a little. I have to tell you though, he’s not an over spender by any means. And budgets feel restricting and boring to him. He would rather pay the bills, save, and have fun without getting into trouble whereas I like to be held accountable, see what our expenses are, keep track of everything and try to do better.
When I was little my parents taught me that we avoid debt like the plague. Obviously buying a home was an exception, but otherwise they wanted me to know how to balance my checkbook, put money towards tithing, bills, savings and then a little play money. Once I got married I clearly wanted it to stay that way but it’s taken some time to show Cade that it really is freeing to have a budget and know how you’re spending money. Now he’s totally on board there are two things we have learned.
First, our church is all about being financially stable and debt free which all my life inspired me to try to live smart, and Dave Ramsey’s way of financial freedom goes along perfectly with it. We read Financial Peace University and looooove it, but everything from him is amazing. It inspired us to really reach for our financial goals and to be smart with our money and how to teach our children about money. This is not a sponsored post, I honestly believe that we all can benefit from living within our means and not lusting after an idea of the perfect life with “things”. If you’re looking to really feel peace about finances and prepare for a financially successful life I believe that this is where you should start.
Second, we switched from good ol’ excel spreadsheets to Mint. You can do Mint online or like we do we have an app (yeah, they’ve got an app for that). I created an account and my husband uses my information to log in from his phone so that we are always perfectly in sync. It’s so easy to add in all of your monthly expenses, add anything every time you buy or pay for something and automatically see exactly how your budget is doing and how much money you have. You’d be surprised how much less you spend in a month when you hold yourself accountable. I love that Windows has made it so easy to get on board with being financially stable. So I’m curious, would you be willing to try out budgeting and if you already do what things have made you successful at it?
Baked Sesame Chicken
- 4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless, cubed
- 1½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- canola oil for drizzling
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon chili paste, or 1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ¾ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- sesame seeds, toasted for garnish
- Green onions for garnish
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper and then dredge in the panko bread crumbs until they are evenly coated. Place on the baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.
- In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili paste, and pepper flakes and stir for a few seconds then quickly add the stock, soy sauce, honey, vinegar and brown sugar. Stir until it comes to a boil. In a small dish, whisk together the cornstarch and water, once the mixture is boiling, slowly add the cornstarch mixture, stirring until thickened. Often I turn it to a simmer while I check the chicken. Once thick, pour over chicken and top with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.