Tag Archives: homemaking

Oven-Baked Fried Chicken: A Feast for July Fourth

Oven-Baked Fried Chicken | Faith and Composition

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. It evokes in me a wave of nostalgia and patriotism. I have sweet memories of family and friends gathered together, a sense of pride uniting the nation, sparklers dancing in the dusk, and a fireworks display in my parent’s backyard that brings the neighbors out onto their decks every.single.year. And then there’s the food … barbecue or fried chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, an abundance of watermelon, homemade ice cream, strawberry shortcake.

So to celebrate Independence Day and the general spirit of summer dining, I have a simple, yet delicious recipe for oven-baked fried chicken that is sure to be the star of your July-Fourth table. Pair this with a simple potato salad and oven-baked corn on the cob, fresh fruit and dessert, and you have a complete meal for the holiday and throughout the summer.

Oven-Baked Fried Chicken | Faith and Composition

Oven-Baked Fried Chicken
Serves 4
Please note that this isn’t so much an exact recipe, as it is an approximation of ingredients and a recommended cooking time. If you’d like your chicken spicy, add more cayenne pepper. Want to sweeten it? Drizzle on some honey before baking.

1 Whole chicken cut into pieces or a grilling pack that has legs and breast meat
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the flour with the salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder. Pour into a wide, shallow bowl, or a baking dish that will allow you room to dredge the chicken. Then mix the eggs and water. Coat the chicken pieces in the egg and water mixture, then dredge the chicken in the flour and spices until it is completely covered. Repeat with all the pieces. I usually do this ahead of time, then refrigerate the chicken until I’m ready to cook.

Pour oil into a saute pan, coating the bottom with about 1/4-inch of oil. (I usually use a combination of butter and olive oil.) Heat the oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot (you want the chicken to sizzle), carefully place the chicken pieces in the oil. Don’t crowd the chicken. I usually have to do this in three batches. Sear each piece for about 4 minutes or until the coating is brown, then flip and repeat until all sides are evenly browned.

Oven-Baked Fried Chicken | Faith and Composition

Place the browned chicken on a cooling rack nestled inside a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven for approximately 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and move to a platter.

Oven-Baked Fried Chicken | Faith and Composition
You can also place corn on the cob, still in its husk, directly on your oven racks to bake alongside your chicken. The corn steams inside the husk and peels with ease when done. It’s my now-favorite way to prepare corn-on-the-cob, and it makes the prep for this dinner a snap!

Enjoy! And have a Happy Fourth! I’ll be back with a few more Independence Day posts later this week. See you then!

P.S. To celebrate the Fourth, I’ll be sharing one patriotic-inspired image each day this week on Instagram. You can follow me here, if you don’t already. I’d love to have you join me! 

Also, if you weren’t the lucky winner of the Good Enough Mom giveaway, you can still snag a shirt from Charity’s shop. And she’s offering 10% off for F&C readers with code: faithandcomposition.

Faith and Composition

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All content on F&C is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted.


Succulents in a Coconut Half Shell

Succulents in a Coconut Half Shell | Faith and Composition

With spring in full swing and summer beckoning just around the corner, I find myself longing to infuse some fresh air into tired spaces. From a figurative standpoint, I’m trying to make a little room for some white space in my mind; trying to clear some anxious thoughts and replace them with the peace that passes understanding. And from a literal standpoint, I’m bringing a bit of green into our home.

I’ve always loved having living plants throughout our home, but admittedly, I can’t always keep them alive. Enter succulents. They’re rather fuss-free, so long as they’re planted in well-draining soil and are situated in a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. If you’re looking for some living greenery that is easy in the maintenance department yet big on visual appeal, succulents are the way to go. And for an interesting presentation that adds texture and contrast, plant your succulents in a coconut half shell. For tips on planting, click here.

Succulents in a Coconut Half Shell | Faith and CompositionA coconut half shell serves as a perfect vessel for succulents. It’s impermeable, and the size is ideal for nestling one small plant inside. When planting in a coconut half shell, use only the half that has the coconut eyes. Those eyes will rest on the bottom, anchoring the shell and allowing it to sit flat when atop a table or shelf.

Succulents in a Coconut Half Shell | Faith and Composition

How about you … how do you bring greenery into your home? In what creative containers have you potted succulents or other plants? 

Faith and Composition

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All content on F&C is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted


Laundry and Grace

Laundry and Grace | Faith and CompositionIf you’ve been reading F&C for a while, you may have seen this. But since many of you are new to the blog, I wanted to share a reprint from the archives. This post originally appeared here on October 18, 2013. I hope it blesses you, dear friends!

It sits on the baby’s rocker in a tangled, wrinkled mess. That pile of clean laundry I pulled from the dryer three days ago, that pile of laundry I’ve yet to find the time or the strength to fold. Just one room over, the boy’s bed is stripped bare. A midnight potty accident necessitated the stripping of sheets and the cramming of textiles into the wash machine.

There’s a pile on our closet floor and a filled-to-the-brim hamper in the girls’ room. It never ends. This wearing of clothes, dirtying them with the stain of soil and the stench of sweat, then drenching them in water to be pulled out clean. The cycle repeats, on and on.

And that’s the thing about motherhood, it goes on and on. This feeding of mouths, this calming of fears, the spit-up stains, the late-night wakings, the dirty diapers and the potty training, the disciplining and the redirecting, the encouraging and the loving.

It’s hard, humbling, holy. And sometimes it feels like too much.

Where is the verse that says: “Thou art a mother to three kids five and under. I will endow thou with super powers.” It’s not in there … I’ve looked.

But then I look harder, and I see what is in there … a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things through the power of an all-mighty God. A regular girl who saved her nation, a fisherman who got out of a boat and walked on water, a tax collector who encountered a blinding light and the living God and brought the message of grace to the world. Ordinary people, indwelt by an extraordinary God.

That Jewish girl reminds that me I was brought here for such a time as this, and the fisherman proves the impossible is possible, and that tax collector encourages me to run the race with perseverance. And my God? He takes the soiled and the dirty, and He washes it clean with the blood of His son. And He steps into the magnificent and the mundane, and He whispers into the depths of my soul that His grace is sufficient for me.

The baby wakes in our bed, where I laid her for her nap, and I pick her up to find she’s soiled her diaper, and there’s poop on our sheets. Another stripping, another washing, another pile of tangled, wrinkled fresh-from-the-dryer sheets. Yes, it goes on and on, and there are times I feel like I’m failing, but with the right perspective, this laundry, this beautiful mess is all a reminder of the sufficiency of His grace.

Sufficiency for salvation, sufficiency for life, sufficiency for motherhood.

/ / /

Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Now available on Amazon

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All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share. Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

This Beautiful Community, a Free Printable, and a Giveaway Winner

This beautiful community, a free printable and a giveaway winner | Faith and Composition
For the winner of the Handmade Yoga giveaway, please scroll to the end of this post. 

I awoke this morning to a flood of new comments on When Mothering is Hard and No One Sees. Dear friends … I cannot begin to tell you how your words have touched me. So many of you are mothering with incredible courage and strength. How I wish that I could reply to each of you personally! If you have yet to read some of the comments, please take a moment to browse through the thoughts so many have left. There are inspiring, life-giving words in there! There are also comments that break my heart and cause me to send up a prayer; there are difficult circumstances, heartbreaking relationships, and yet God sees it all.

With that said, might I encourage you to do something? A beautiful community is developing around this post; and while I can’t reply to everyone individually, and it would be difficult for me to pray for each of you by name, I feel a conviction in my spirit that we are to use this community to support and encourage one another. So might you consider picking a few comments and praying for those people by name? Perhaps even leave an encouraging reply to spur them on? Let us shoulder one another’s burdens, encourage graciously, love courageously. Will you do it? Will you join me?

Free Printable, He is the God Who Sees | Faith and Composition
And because you have been so gracious and supportive to me and my little blog, I wanted to share something with you. Here is a free little printable to remind you that God sees. Print it on cardstock and hang it on your refrigerator, tape it to the mirror, frame it … put in a place that might be a visual reminder of the truth that He is El Roi, the God who sees! Click here for the 8×10 printable.

And lastly, the winner of the handcrafted yoga bag from Handmade Yoga (as chosen by Random.org) is … Dilcia W. Congratulations! Please e mail me at shalene(at)shaleneroberts(dot)com with your shipping info, and Handmade Yoga will get the bag shipped out to you! If you didn’t win, don’t despair, I have another fantastic giveaway coming your way soon from the oh-so-talented Emily Jeffords, so stay tuned!

Faith and Composition

To receive more encouraging posts like this, follow F&C on BlogLovin’ or enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” 

The Cure for Christmas {whether you’re a perfectionist or not}

The Cure for Christmas | Faith and Composition
The baby is sleeping, and the older two are resting when I pick up my phone to do a little browsing. Almost instantly I am overwhelmed by images of what-seem-to-be holiday perfection. Garland strewn across well-appointed mantles, Christmas cookies decorated with impeccable attention to detail, gifts wrapped with inventive materials, trees decked with enviable finery. I’m no stranger to all this; in fact I am drawn into the charm and whimsical beauty of it all.

The Cure for Christmas | Faith and CompositionThe Cure for Christmas | Faith and Composition

But then slowly, silently, I feel it. The pressure to create a perfect holiday wells up from the pit of my stomach and begins to tighten around my throat. The images can be overwhelming; the expectations stifling. I glance around my own house and see a half-finished handmade garland with pine needles littering the tabletop, remnants from lunch sitting on the counter, toys strewn about the living room, and opened boxes of Christmas decorations serving as a tripping hazard in the hall. I haven’t started my Christmas shopping, and I haven’t iced a single cookie. In those moments, stylized images and my own unrealistic expectations collide with my current reality, and suddenly the holidays can feel like a high-stakes performance punctuated by the bitter taste of disappointment.

Since when did excessive commercialism subvert the birth of God-made-man in a lowly stable? What covert factors have worked to replace the gift of salvation with soon-to-be forgotten gifts that reek of materialism? When did cookie exchanges, visits to Santa, an elf on a shelf, coiffed trees and hot chocolate bars take precedence over the incredible miracle of God bending low and sending His son to take on flesh so that He might die on a cross and ransom us from the death we all deserve?

What has happened that we would rack up credit card charges to contribute to the accumulation of things, yet we wrap a tight fist around our cash when impoverished need stares us in the face? Why do we trample people on Black Friday yet tread on tiptoes when we speak His name? What has happened to Christmas?

The Cure for Christmas | Faith and Composition

The older I get, the more my heart is burdened by this over-commercialization of the holiday. For the past couple years, as this time has rolled around, I find myself longing for a pared-down simplicity. Yes I appreciate the beauty in a well-appointed mantel, I delight at lights glittering on a tree, I breathe in the scent of fresh pine, and I relish in the joy of friends and family gathering together, but I long for less Santa, less pomp, less fuss and more of the baby in a manger.

The Cure for Christmas | Faith and Composition

Because the only cure for the disappointment caused by the intersection of high expectations and our daily reality is to focus on the intersection of grace and sin through the person of a baby born in a Bethlehem stable. So this year I’m trying to focus more on the heart of the matter and less on the materials. Yes, I have holiday-inspired posts coming your way, but they’re meaningless if this heart attitude isn’t the priority. We’re still doing a fun activity-focused advent calendar with the kids because I love to see their faces light up, but we’re also reading Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift at dinner. It’s a bit over the five-year-old’s head, and the three-year-old wiggles out of her chair and asks to be excused … but it’s God’s word penetrating our hearts and it’s a disciplined commitment to turn toward Christ in anxious expectation of a shining star and his manger arrival. 

The Cure for Christmas | Faith and Composition
If we get caught up in the striving to make CHRISTmas perfect, we’ll miss CHRIST. Because at its core, Christmas is really the antithesis of perfection. After all, a perfect world doesn’t need a Savior, a broken world does. Christmas is about God’s son taking on flesh to be born into a filthy stable. He was wrapped in dirty clothes and laid in an animal feed trough. The awaited Savior arrived in a package nobody expected, and salvation came to sinful people through a means no one could imagine. He is redemption for a broken world, grace for imperfect people. And that, my friends, is worth celebrating, today, tomorrow, on December 25 and for a lifetime.

What do you think? How are you keeping your focus on Christ during this season, dear friends?

I’m linking this post up with Emily Freeman’s Tuesday’s Unwrapped and with Casey Wiegand.