Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing!
Hey, hey, it’s Friday. Not really, it’s Saturday. I forgot to hit publish yesterday when I wrote this post. Ha! Its been one of those weeks. Sorry peeps.
And it’s football season.
That doesn’t normally get me excited, but hey, if you want to go out and have a beer and eat some chicken wings during the game, i’m down!
What kind of wings do you like?
Personally, I’m a hot wings kinda girl. My husband on the other hand prefers mild (wuss) or garlic Parmesan wings. Sometimes I’ll get honey mustard, but if the restaurant refuses to split flavors, well they all have to be hot with a big side of blue cheese. I rarely deviate from the norm.
These wings are a far cry from my normal order of plain old hot wings. They’re so flavorful that they don’t require any kind of dipping sauce and you can make the marinade as hot or as mild as you want. Of course if you wanted to reserve a little marinade and reduce it down until it’s thick so you can coat the wings one last time once they’re done cooking, by all means go for it. You go Glen Coco!
Chinese Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs. Chicken wings
- 2/3 C Duck sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Sherry cooking wine
- 1 Tbsp. Soy sauce
- 2 tsp. Hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp. Sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
- 2 Large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh ginger, grated
- 1/4 C Cilantro, chopped
- Sriracha to taste. Start with 1/2 tsp. and work up depending on how hot you want it
- In a non-reactive bowl, whisk together the duck sauce, soy sauce, hoisin, and sherry. Whisk in the sesame oil and vegetable oil until it’s completely combined. Add the ginger, garlic, cilantro, and sriracha and mix well.
- Place chicken wings in a large gallon zip top bag and pour marinade over top. Make sure all wings are coated and covered. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 6-8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425º. Place tin foil on the bottom of a baking tray to catch any drips, place a small baking rack on the baking tray and lay your chicken wings on it. Bake for 30 minutes, flip wings over, and brush with leftover marinade from the zip top bag. Bake for 15 minutes more.
* Do not skip the step of placing tin foil on your baking tray. The marinade will drip onto the bottom of the pan and it will burn and you will have a big mess to clean up. Save yourself now! Alternatively, you can grill these wings.
There are only 10 days, including today, left in September.
Where did the time go!?
Last night I looked around and realized that it was already dark and it was only 8 p.m. and then I realized that in a few short months it would be pitch black by 5 p.m. and my life will be all turned upside down and what not. And just when I get used to it, it will be time to set the clocks forward and it will be light out until like 9 p.m. and I’ll think it’s way earlier than it really is and that I have all the time in the world when I most definitely do not! Does anyone else do this? Seriously, please tell me it’s not just me!
Since the days are getting shorter and the temperature is starting to drop I have been in the mood for good comfort food and long days baking fresh bread. I’m starting to go into hibernation mode and I’m really looking forward to winter for some reason. More so than usual. I know, most of you are probably mourning the loss of summer. It seems like everyone loves summer…everyone but me! So, sorry for your loss, but i’ll try and make it up to you with lots of good food that might make you actually kind of like this colder weather!
Lets start with this spinach and artichoke pasta recipe. It’s like eating a giant bowl of spinach and artichoke dip, where the dip is wrapped around noodles being all cute and cozy! I mean who doesn’t like hot spinach and artichoke dip? It’s super creamy and with all those greens, you can *almost* lie and convince yourself that you’re getting a full serving of veggies. Actually, you probably only get a full serving if you eat the entire bowl of dip…yep, see how easy that was?
Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
- 10 oz. Pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 14 oz. Can artichoke hearts, chopped
- 4 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 C Onion, diced
- 8 oz. Cream cheese
- 1/4 C Dry white wine
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. Flour
- 2 C Milk
- 1 C Parmesan, shredded
- 1 Pkg. 16 oz. Farfalle or bow tie pasta
- Boil pasta according to package instructions. Drain. Set aside.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and melt butter. Saute onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. Sprinkle with flour. Turn heat down to medium and add wine, stir for 1 minute. Add milk and simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken a bit. Add cream cheese and Parmesan and stir until completely combined. Add artichokes and spinach to sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add farfalle to sauce and toss well to combine. Serve immediately, with extra Parmesan for topping.
Friday! Friday! Friday!
I am so thankful that it’s Friday. Its been a long week. I’m looking forward to a lazy weekend. I have a ton of tomatoes that are just begging to get canned! I also plan on making more of my Sun Gold Tomato Pesto this weekend and freezing it. I have been using it a lot lately! I also need to get out in my herb garden, everything needs to be trimmed. Anyone else have an over abundance of herbs that are going nuts in their garden? What are you doing with them?
So, how do you feel about quinoa? Love it? Hate it? Never had it?
I used to dislike it. I didn’t hate it, but I certainly didn’t love it. I tried a cheesy broccoli version years ago and it was just meh. I would rather eat rice or pasta.
There’s always a but.
Breakfast quinoa is delicious! It’s sweet, warm, and comforting. It reminds me a little bit of oatmeal, the way it really sticks to your ribs and satisfies you.
This stuff keeps me full for hours on end. I can eat a bowl of it at 7 a.m. and I won’t be hungry until 1 or 2 p.m.
That’s a very long time in my book!
I have been making this for a few weeks now and I keep a big bowl of it in the fridge, so I can just pull it out and warm it up each morning. Feel free to play around with the fruit, you don’t have to be boring like me and eat it with blueberries every single day.
Morning Blueberry Quinoa
- 1 C Blueberries
- 1-2 tsp. Honey
- 1/2 C Dry quinoa, rinsed
- 1/3 C Water
- 3/4 C Coconut milk, lite or full fat
- 1 tsp. Vanilla paste
- Dash of cinnamon
- Toss blueberries with 1 or 2 teaspoons of honey and lay on a baking sheet. Bake at 450º for 10 minutes.
- Combine quinoa, coconut milk, water, vanilla paste, and cinnamon in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir blueberries into cooked quinoa. Serve with additional coconut milk, toasted coconut, and slivered almonds.
Tell me, do you have any plans for your long weekend?
I don’t. I’m planning on a nice long lazy weekend, complete with naps!
Lets chat about these cookies. Please tell me that there is someone out there reading this that loves oatmeal cookies as much as I do.
The love I have for oatmeal cookies makes me feel like a 90 year old grandma. It’s ridiculous. Growing up every kid I knew loved chocolate chip cookies best, not me. Hand me an oatmeal raisin cookie and point me in the direction of the nearest senior citizens home. They get me!
Sugar cookies are a close contender, but even when i’m in a bakery and I look at everything in the case, the oatmeal raisin cookies make my heart skip a beat. Insert laughing/crying face emoji here.
The other night I wanted something sweet and I kept thinking about oatmeal raisin cookies, but it was late and I really didn’t feel like rolling it into a log and sticking it in the fridge for an hour. I wanted something fast and I wanted something immediately. I went down to the basement to peruse my makeshift pantry (aka food hoard), and I found a package of blueberry muffin mix stuffed waaaaay in the back. I dumped a bunch of stuff I had on hand into a bowl and crossed my fingers. Sometimes my lack of patience comes in handy. These cookies are like a cross between a blueberry muffin and an oatmeal cookie. Actually, they remind me of muffin tops, everyone loves muffin tops! Except the kind that spill over your way too tight jeans because you ate way too much the night before, nobody likes those.
Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 7oz. pkg Martha White blueberry cheesecake muffin mix
- 1/4 C Vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. Milk
- 1/2 C Quick cooking oats
- 1 Large egg
- 1/4 C Light brown sugar
- 1/2 C Fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir until completely combined.
- Drop batter by rounded tablespoons onto a greased sheet pan.
- Bake 15-18 minutes.
Say hello to your new best friend when it comes to condiments!
I’m also giving you a great way to use up those tomatoes in your garden that haven’t ripened yet. That’s going to happen more and more as the weather starts to turn cold. If you don’t have any green tomatoes, go buy some from the store, make sure you get extra so you can make some fried green ‘maters as well. Yum!
Oh, guess what else this is good as? A burger mix in! Just mix a few tablespoons in with your ground beef and mix well with your hands. It lends a sweetness and a little smoky bacon flavor to burgers, it’s my new go to on burger night!
Green Tomato Bacon Jam
- 4 C Green tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 1/4 C Sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 1 C Sugar, white or brown, I used white
- 3 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
- Dash of Sriracha
- 12 Slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
- Combine tomatoes and onions in a large food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is nicely chopped and combined. You can keep this as chunky or smooth as you like it, it’s up to you. I prefer it to be a little smoother.
- Pour tomato/onion mixture into a large pot. Add sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add bacon. Cook until thickened, stirring periodically. It will take about 1 to 1.5 hours. Allow to cool and transfer to jars. Store in refrigerator.
There is so much yes going on in this photo!
This is truly summer in a bowl.
Tomatoes are at their peak right now. My husband went to the Amish auction this past week and brought home the most beautiful little tomatoes ever. Two pints of Sun Gold tomatoes and 3 pints of deep red/maroon tomatoes that I have never seen. Both types were unbelievably sweet. The first thing I did was make a BLT for lunch, but I wanted to do something different with these tomatoes. I thought long and hard before settling on the idea of making a tomato pesto with the Sun Gold variety.
Boy am I glad I did.
Wow! This pesto has such a bright flavor. It’s sweet, but the garlic helps cut the sweetness just a little. I can honestly say that I have never had anything quite like it. I was going to save my other pint of Sun Gold’s for something else, but after tasting this pesto I decided to make another batch. If you like traditional pesto, you will love this. If you’re a pesto hater, I urge you to give this one a try, it might just turn you into a believer.
You can freeze this pesto. Either in cubes like my Parsley Walnut Pesto or in a zip top baggie.
This pesto is fantastic on pizza, pasta, or served as bruschetta.
Sun Gold Tomato Pesto
- 2 C Sun Gold tomatoes
- 1/2 C Pine nuts
- 1/2 C Basil, packed tight
- 1 or 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 C Olive oil
- 1/2 C Parmesan
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend on high until smooth and everything is completely combined. Feel free to taste and add more Parmesan and garlic if you would like. Serve over pasta, use as a pizza sauce, spoon onto toasted bread.
Check out these little balls of love!
Let me formally introduce you.
This is Gnudi. Pronounced “nudey”. Let the jokes roll. In fact, spell check keeps trying to change it to “nudity”.
Have you ever had gnudi? Have you ever heard of it?
Gnudi are Gnocchi’s ricotta cousin. They’re like soft little ricotta dumplings. They are also ten times easier to make from scratch compared to gnocchi.
I can pretty much guarantee that most of the people you know have never made gnudi or heard of it. You will be the coolest person ever if you serve this to people and tell them you made it from scratch. Just don’t tell them how simple it is.
Ok, so you’re going to combine the ingredients and stir it until you have a sticky dough. Then you roll the dough into balls and roll through flour. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes to firm the balls up. Then you will boil them until they pop up out of the water. You can then eat them with any sauce or a flavored butter. You can also take it one step further and fry them after boiling…which is what I did. Simple, right?
After you boil the gnudi, taste them and decide whether you like them as is. Honestly, I was quite content just boiling them, but my husband preferred them fried. And I must admit, the fried gnudi looked much more appealing in photo’s.
The taste and texture of these are amazing. When you boil them, the outside is kind of like gnocchi in texture, but then you cut the ball in half with your fork and the inside is soft and gooey cheese. It’s like eating the inside of ravioli. If you fry your gnudi it will have a crispy crust on the outside and it will be nice and soft on the inside
- 2 C Ricotta
- 1/2 C Parmesan
- 1/2 C Flour, plus more for rolling
- Scant 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 Egg yolks
- Pinch of nutmeg
- In a large bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, flour, salt, egg yolks, and nutmeg. Stir until well combined.
- Pour flour on to a plate and begin rolling balls of ricotta mixture. After each ball is formed, roll through flour, and place on a plate. Once all of the dough has been rolled, place your plate of gnudi in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Carefully drop gnudi into pot, a few at a time. You will have to cook these in batches. The gnudi will sink and pop up to the surface when they are cooked. Carefully scoop them out of the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander. Repeat until all gnudi are cooked.
- If you are going to fry them, heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp. oil and gently pan fry gnudi, about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until each side is golden brown.
Did that sound convincing? Did it make me sound like a chipper morning person? Because I’m totally not.
Did you do anything exciting or fun this past weekend?
I’m happy to announce that Homegoods has started to put out their Halloween decor and I could not be more excited! I do have to say that I have been very well behaved, much to my husband’s delight! I have actually put things back on the shelf and told myself that if i’m not absolutely in love with it, I don’t really need it. I’m pretty proud of myself. My husband says that he’s proud, but he’s really just sighing a big sigh of relief. My Halloween addiction takes over the entire house and it gets bigger and bigger every year…it’s awesome!
Has anyone else been watching “I am Cait”? I’m pretty intrigued by it. I always did like Bruce, and I like her as Caitlyn. She seems like a good person with a big heart. I really wish that the Kardashian girls could just stay on their own dumb show though. I’m tired of seeing them make appearances on Caitlyn’s show, I feel like my brain cells are slowly dying whenever one of them opens their mouth. Last night I was irritated with Khloe during her sit down with Caitlyn. I have never liked Khloe, she seems like a nasty girl with a bad attitude about everything. Ugh. Whatever.
What about “The Astronaut Wives Club”? I am obsessed with that show. Gus’s death and funeral crushed me. Sooo sad. I know we’re getting close to the finale and I’m totally bummed out. Netflix has ruined my ability to wait for a new season to come out!
Ok, enough of my Monday morning rambling. Lets get down to these sandwiches. I made these for dinner a few weeks ago and they were fantastic. Totally hit the spot and they were easy peasy to prepare. For this sandwich you will need some good sturdy bread, like ciabatta. For the pesto mayo, you can prepare your own pesto or use store bought. And you can either fry your prosciutto or leave it alone. If you have never cooked prosciutto you might want to fry one piece just like you would bacon and taste it before you decide to do all of it that way. When it gets cooked it becomes extremely salty and the flavor and texture are very different. You have been warned.
Basically this is the fancy version of the egg and bacon sandwich we all know and love. But it’s just as simple to prepare.
Roma Egg Sandwich
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 C Mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Pesto
- 6 Slices prosciutto
- 4 Eggs
- 2 Mini/individual loaves ciabatta bread
- Parmesan, grated
- Salt to taste
- 2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 300º. Lightly brush the cut sides of bread with olive oil and lightly toast in oven. About 6-8 minutes.
- Mix mayonnaise with pesto and stir well to combine. Set aside.
- In a large skillet heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry prosciutto until crisp. About 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add tomato slices to pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides. About 4 minutes.
- Bring a large skillet of salted water to a simmer over medium heat; add vinegar. Crack eggs into small ramekins and gently slip the eggs into the water. Turn burner off and cover skillet with a lid, cook for about 4 minutes. Remove eggs using a slotted spoon.
- To assemble sandwiches; spread pesto mayo on each cut slice of bread, lay prosciutto down on bottom halves, top with tomato slices, then the eggs, sprinkle eggs with a little Parmesan, replace tops of bread to complete the sandwich.
*If you have never poached eggs, don’t be intimidated. It’s quite easy. There are plenty of tutorials and videos all over the internet.
Are you done with creamy pasta recipes yet?
I mean we’re friends, right? And if you’re one of the people who come back and read my ramblings twice a week, I’m just going to assume that you and I have very similar tastes and you totally get me. Soooo another pasta dish that is full of some type of creamy cheese and loads of Parmesan should make you giddy with excitement, right? Yep, you get me!
Oh, and there are tons of peas in there too. So obviously this is a healthy dish. Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.
Ok, but for real, the peas totally cut down on the rich cheese flavor and they add a refreshing flavor that really pairs well with the cheese and sausage.
Wanna know a secret?
I don’t even really like peas! I like sugar snap peas, but regular old peas as a side dish? No. Canned peas? Gross. Peas in chicken pot pie? Fine, but not too many. Peas don’t disgust me, unless they’re canned and in that case they are yucktastic in my book. But peas don’t excite me and I certainly don’t want to pass a big bowl of them around the dinner table. But in this dish I love them so much, they are sweet and bursting with flavor.
We have already gone over my quirks. We all know i’m a weirdo. Lets just add this to the books and move on, I’m sure there will be something else weird to divulge about myself next week!
Penne with Sausage, Mascarpone, and Sweet Peas
- 1 lb. Sweet Italian sausage, bulk/ground
- 1 pkg. Alexia frozen Parmesan peas
- 8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
- 3/4 C Chicken stock
- 1 1/4 C Heavy cream
- 1 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 C Sweet onion
- 1 pkg. Penne pasta
- 1 tsp. Olive oil
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook sausage until browned and no longer pink, about 10-12 minutes. Crumble sausage while cooking. Drain excess oil off and transfer sausage to a small bowl.
- In same dutch oven, heat 1 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat and add onion. Saute for 5-6 minutes. Add heavy cream and boil for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and continue boiling, stirring periodically, until sauce thickens, about 5-6 more minutes.
- Add sausage back to sauce, stir in mascarpone, and peas. Add noodles and Parmesan, and stir until combined. Serve immediately.
This is a game changer.
Creamy mac and cheese, loaded with sausage, baked and then topped with a runny fried egg!
Oh, and do you know what the crunchy topping is?
It’s not Panko.
Crushed, crunchy fried onions! Yesssss!
The last time I posted a mac and cheese recipe I said that it would be the first of many, and this mac doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface! The wheels are turning now. I have so many ideas planned out for some funky mac and cheese recipes.
But lets talk about this one. Breakfast mac. Seriously, let that sink in for a minute. My husband was a little weirded out by the egg. He put his on the side of his plate and just ate his macaroni. After a few minutes he asked how the egg was on top of the noodles. I told him it was delicious. I glanced over and saw him cautiously dip a few noodles into the yolk, then the look of satisfaction passed over his face, and I watched as he slid his egg right over by his noodles so he could eat them together. So if the egg on top weirds you out, you just go right ahead and put it on the side until you become more comfortable with the idea. And I promise you, after one bite of the macaroni with the egg, you will be a believer! You might even go make yourself a second egg like I did. The eggs are NOT optional with this dish. The onion crumbs are the other thing that are not optional. They add a great flavor to the macaroni and take it to a whole new level.
This mac and cheese is fantastic, your whole family will love it. Hubby and I have been eating the leftovers all weekend. I probably should have thrown the leftovers in the trash. I just knew they would be too addictive to stay away from! We’re going to have to roll ourselves out of the house today. But in all seriousness, make this asap. Life is too short to never experience breakfast mac!
Breakfast Mac and Cheese
- 3 C Whole milk
- 1 stick Unsalted butter
- 1/2 C Flour
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 3 C Extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 16 oz. Elbow noodles
- 1/2 C Fried onions, crushed
- 1 lb. Ground breakfast sausage
- Cook noodles according to package directions, until just a tad undercooked. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet over mdium-high heat, cook sausage until crumbled and no longer pink. Drain off any grease and set aside.
- Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Once melted add flour and whisk to combine until smooth. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk, about 1 cup at a time. Make sure you are whisking constantly and vigorously the entire time to avoid any lumps. Once all milk has been added, put back on the burner and whisk over medium heat until sauce thickens. Dip a spoon in, if it coats the spoon without running off the sauce is thick enough. Add salt and cheese. Whisk until well combined. If your sauce becomes too thick, add a little milk 1 tsp. at a time until it loosens a little bit.
- Add sausage to cheese sauce and stir well. Add noodles and stir until well coated.
- Pour macaroni into a 13×9 casserole dish and sprinkle with crushed fried onions. Feel free to add more crushed onions if you would like.
- Bake at 350º for 10-15 minutes or until sauce is thick and bubbly.
- Serve immediately with fried eggs on top.