Spicy Honeyed Chicken Wings

I tore this recipe out of a 2019 Fine Cooking magazine that I got from who knows where and who knows when, but I’ve had it on the refrigerator door for months just waiting to be made. The recipe calls for Bomba Calabrese hot sauce which I could not find anywhere local. However randomly in one of my Hello Fresh boxes were two packets of Calabrese hot sauce so obvi I had to finally make these wings.

This recipe was different than a lot of wing recipes I have seen, hence why I probably ripped out the page and saved it. The end result was really good, the anchovy paste gives it a depth of flavor that just hits differently but deliciously.

These wings twice cooked, once in the oven, finished on the grill and then drizzled with some of the remaining sauce.

INGREDIENTS

1/14 cups canned crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Italian hot sauce, such as Bomba Calabrese Hot Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

2 TBS white distilled vinegar

1 1/2 TBS anchovy paste

1 packed tsp. lemon zest

1 packed tsp. orange zest

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt

Pepper

3 lbs. Chicken wings

1/4 cup canola oil; more for the grill if needed.

DIRECTIONS

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a large heavy duty rimmed baking sheet in the oven until it’s hot, about 10 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, honey, hot sauce, olive oil, vinegar, anchovy paste, zests, thyme, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 cup water. Purée until smooth, about 1 minute. If not using right away, cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.

In a large bowl, toss the wings with the with the canola oil, 1 TBS salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and dump the wings onto the hot baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer with tongs. Return to oven and bake until the wings and oil begin to sizzle, 12 to 13 minutes.

Remove the wings from the oven, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with half of the sauce. Let stand 10 minutes.

Arrange the wings evenly on the hot grill. Grill until browned and charred in places, turning every 3 minutes for a total of 9 minutes.

As the wings finish cooking, transfer them to a large, clean bowl. Drizzle with some of the remaining sauce, and serve the sauce of the side.

This is 12

Twelve years ago I had a baby and that baby is now a tween.

Kaili, used to love milk, fruit, music and her mama….now she loves water, spicy chips, music and her mama! Some things never change.

She is in deep with BlackPink and a few other Kpop bands, so in true fashion she requested a BlackPink cake and Korean BBQ for her birthday dinner.

The cake was a red velvet and cream cheese frosting and a dark chocolate ganache drip on the top.

The whole family gathered at a popular Korean BBQ spot and it was a hot mess of a meal. Kaili has decided that she doesn’t need to go back and I am fully on board with that decision. Definitely don’t want to cook my own food with small utensils and noisy children, adding in that everyone wanted to eat something different was just chaos.

Even though it wasn’t a relaxing meal, it is always fun to have us all together. Lot’s of laughing and love!

Happy birthday my K bear, I can’t believe it’s been 12 years since we started this journey together. I love you!

Spanish Tortilla

The Spanish tortilla or Spanish omelet is an essential dish in Spain. I am sure if you’ve ever been out for tapas here or in Spain, then you’ve seen it on the menu.

My mom spent three months in Santander, Spain back in 1997 and when she came back she would make this for us, to rave reviews. It is delicious. It has been off my radar until I was watching either Top Chef or Ciao House where they were discussing the tortilla, I wasted no time texting my mom asking for her recipe. She didn’t have her original one anymore but she sent me a recipe that looked closest to what she remembered making.

I actually happened to have all the ingredients on hand..We’ll call that food fate.

I used this recipe.

In a nut shell…it’s easy to make and only calls for five ingredients, potatoes, eggs, onions, olive oil and salt.

Peel and thinly slice about a pound of potatoes ( I think I used four yellow potatoes), then do the same to one medium onion ( I used a sweet onion, which I think is better for this recipe). Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan until it’s hot and then add the potatoes and onion. Cook for about 20ish minutes, stirring and turning them until they are soft. Meanwhile whisk four eggs in a large bowl and add a good pinch of salt (I also added a few grinds of fresh pepper). Next you’re going to add the potatoes and onions and stir to incorporate them.

Reheat the same pan and add some more olive oil. Pour in the tortilla mixture and swirl the pan as you would an omelet. Cook 6 to 7 minutes until egg is set.

Take the tortilla out of the pan and put the cooked side on a plate. Flip the pan and place it on top of the tortilla as a lid. Flip the plate and pan together to flip the egg in the pan. Cook the other side for another 6 to 7 minutes.

You can eat it right away or wait and enjoy it at room temperature. It’s good any time of day and I like to add a few dashes of Tabasco to mine, Tabasco and eggs are meant to be.

I hope you try it, you wont be disappointed.

I’m the Problem, it’s Me.

The irony of my blogs name….Finding time to blog has become an art to say the least. It’s been 55 days since I last posted here, not that I’m counting. I will feel my guilt tug at me and consider sitting down to tell y’all about what we ate or how we are all getting older…. but then I start to feel more guilty and just don’t…I am sure there is a therapist reading this with BIG thoughts.

In reality, I am back in the classroom and just wrapped up DRDP (Desired Results Developmental Profile) to prepare for conferences.

And now that is done, and I am ready to catch you up. Even though it’s been some days since we last chatted, I do remember saying that I was going to make a few of Jet Tila’s recipes out of his cookbook….and I did.

Obviously it was delicious as we knew it would be.

Shawna turned the big 49 and we took ourselves to Vegas to celebrate. Casey and Aileen gifted us a stay at the Golden Nugget so that is just what we did. We LOVE Downtown Vegas. Sure the big hotels with the fancy shit and $25 buy-ins might look nice, but dammit it’s not worth it. (insert Ted Lasso’s voice) They are great for certain shows and concerts but I promise you, the fun and the food is just as good downtown. The end.

Fun story happened minutes after this picture was taken. We were sitting at a great table outside ready to watch a country (cover) band that we quite enjoy. A man approached our table and said “I’ll give you $300 for your table.” Shawna replied with a “fuck you.” I mean it’s Vegas you guys….Then he pulled out $300 and she said, “babe, grab your shit, we are moving!” And that is how I saw my first ever bubbly vending machine.

We took that money and ran….to a pool table and sipped some bubbly with someone who could have been Lil’ John, and didn’t do half bad on the Roulette table.

Oh, I almost forgot Dancing Chucky, you’re welcome.

We also saw the Padre’s play, they lost but the food and weather were winners.

The girls like to make TikTok videos…. but just for us (no they don’t have SM or post this shit..over my dead body.) Anyhow, they liked this one.

We spent Easter Sunday at SeaWorld, we have SoCal passes and can go back and back and back until Averi conquers a roller coaster, little scaredy cat…Definitely not my DNA.

The only plus is that she holds all our stuff while we ride the fun ones.

It’s a phase right?

I think that brings us up to April. I hope to see you guys sooner than 55 days…Cheers!

Snow Day

Winter is not my jam. Snow, cold, rain, wet, all of the above, I don’t love….you know? However, the girls are fond of the rain and especially the snow. So to get it out of their systems, we had a snow day.

We drove far enough East until we hit snow and we let them run free.

After some snow angels, little snowmen and a lot of exploring….

A couple of hours later, they had had enough.

Perfect little snowy escape.

I much prefer to sit in the sun with a book…cat sometimes included.

Oh and off topic, if you are looking for a new cookbook that you’ll want to cook your entire way through, this is it.

Another one that I am obsessed with right now is this.

The girls are on a Korean BBQ/Bulgogi/dumpling kick so this book has done the work for our weekly dinner plans.

I am making a few of Jet’s recipes this week, I will report back.

Crispy Baked Boursin with Hot Honey

Has this recipe been taunting you on social media like it has us? Hello food porn. Boursin, good…crispy, good. hot honey, gooood…all together, sensational!

Super simple to throw together, this would be perfect for a quick appetizer, or for dinner. We had it with sliced French baguette, some toasted with evoo and some not. It was delicious.

Hot honey can be found on shelves anywhere these days, because it’s so good… on everything. But for this I just heated up some honey and red chili flakes so I could control how spicy I wanted it and I wanted it HOT!

Ingredients

Boursin cheese (garlic and herb)

2 Tbs flour

1 egg, beaten

1 cup panko breadcrumbs (seasoned with salt and pepper)

salt and pepper

TO SERVE-

Hot honey

Bread or crackers of your choosing

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place the flour, the beaten egg and seasoned panko breadcrumbs into three separate bowls.

Coat the Boursin first in the flour, and make sure that the cheese is completely coated. Dust off any excess flour and then dip in the egg, once again ensuring it’s well coated. Finally coat in the panko breadcrumbs.

Place the crumbed cheese on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place in the preheated oven and allow to bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

While the cheese bakes, make your hot honey with honey and diced chilies, or honey and crushed red pepper or your favorite store bought hot honey. Whatever way you go, just heat it up in the microwave or a small sauce pan. Also, prepare your French bread for serving. Thinly slice the baguette and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until crisp and golden on both sides. 

Once the cheese has baked and looks golden brown, remove from the oven.

Serve on a plate, drizzle with the hot honey and toasted bread. Serve additional honey on the side because you will want more!

Enjoy!

Onto the Next

We woke up Tuesday morning to a Royal Caribbean ship docking right next to us in Puerto Vallarta.

Our plan for the day was to get to Los Muertos beach, eat lunch and lay in the sun.

We walked around until we found a place that had some open chairs on the sand and that place ended up being Burros Bar.

We ordered margaritas, I had a Cadillac and my babe got the mango, and apparently it was two for one.

For food we ordered the shrimp aguachile to share, a shrimp quesadilla and a shrimp burrito. Her burrito was the best and I really wish had ordered the snapper, food regrets are the worst.

After lunch we walked down to the beach and laid out for awhile.

After a couple of hours we found ourselves ready to head back to the ship where we could lay by the pool and the drinks were already paid for.

We stopped for some ice cream at one of the ports shops, dropped our stuff in our cabin and situated ourselves by the pool.

Before heading back to our room we watched the Royal Caribbean ship depart port.

After dinner we decided to watch a show called “Rock you Tonight” It was bad, if we were watching a high school performance then it would have been pretty good, but for cruise ship entertainment it was really not good. The entertainment in general was poor. I ended the night not feeling very hot so we went back to the room and said goodnight to Tuesday.

Wednesday was Mazatlan and sadly we were only there from 7:00 to 2:00. We got off the ship around 9:00, took a cab to a beach somewhere, and then we just walked until we found a man who offered us a couple of lounge chairs for a small fee.

As we were lounging in the sun wishing for a drink, a man with a menu appeared. He claimed that him and his mom were from Cabo and that they are making drinks in the alley. Shawna and I glanced at each other questionably and then said “ok, why not?”. My babe was braver than me and she ordered a very large mango margarita…..I ordered a Tecaté, playing it like a wuss. Her drink was really good and once again I had a drink regret because the nice man never came back, sigh.

We had an alarm set to make sure we allowed time for lunch.

We walked back down the beach until we hit Joe’s Oyster bar and popped in there.

Once again we ordered ceviche and shrimp tacos.

The shrimp in the tacos were fried, and they were SO DELICIOUS!

Our time was up so we went back to the ship and to the pool which was already crowded. We spent the afternoon swimming, drinking and meeting new people.

We took that night off, brought dinner down to our room and just watched a couple of movies. Oh, I forgot to mention the food at the buffet. It was set up by different stations, salad, pizza, entrees, desserts etc. But every day one side of the entree station had four or five Indian dishes, plus condiments such as chutney and raita. You guys, it was the best thing on the ship. Every dish, each day was phenomenal. Anyhow, that is what I had dinner that night.

And just like that it was Thursday which was our last day at sea. When we woke up we were rocking and rolling, we peeked out our window and this is what we saw….

Obviously, we wouldn’t be outside so we looked at the daily schedule of events to try and plan an inside day. Norwegian didn’t have as many fun ‘at sea’ activities as Holland America did. I am not sure if it was the actual games, the cruise staff or the guests, maybe all of the above, but it was all just blah.

We wandered around, popping into the bridge.

Played a little basketball in the arcade.

We watched a dance class from the safety of the back of the lounge while sipping Dirty Shirley’s.

Then we saw the sun really making an effort so we bundled up, grabbed our books and went to the pool deck.


But we couldn’t hang. The wind was ICE. So we took that as a sign to just go read in the room until dinner.
We had reservations at Le Bistro that evening.
I opened last years birthday gift to enjoy while getting ready.

It was DELICIOUS!

We both ordered the Escargot Bourguignonne, I got the Coq au Vin and my babe got the Duck de Canard. I guess I only took one photo and it was of the escargot, so voila!

The dinner was pretty good and after we headed to Bliss lounge to watch Karaoke and that was a lot more entertaining than the rock show, that’s for sure. The next day was our final day and we spent it in Ensenada.

Thai Chicken Curry (Gang Gai Khao Mun)

I made curry paste, from scratch. Gourmet as hell you guys! It took a few stores to find all of the ingredients for this recipe but between H Mart and Ranch 99, I was able to get it accomplished. This recipe for the curry paste makes more than you need for one batch, which was about six servings, so I threw what was leftover in the freezer for next time.

From what I read, this comforting Thai dish is a staple at street food stalls, house restaurants and is a popular take away dish. It seems that they serve the curry sauce over boiled chicken and steamed rice, opposed to simmering the chicken in the sauce. Since I am not a food stall, I made it Bon Appetit style.

Ingredients for the Kalaya Curry Paste

⅓ cup trimmed and thinly sliced lemongrass (from 2 large stalks)

⅓ cup thinly sliced shallot (from 1 large [1 1/2-ounce] shallot)

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper (about 1 1/2 ounces)

¼ cup peeled and thinly sliced fresh turmeric root (from 1/3 cup whole turmeric)

2 tablespoons paprika

1 ½ tablespoons black pepper

1 ½ tablespoons ground white pepper

1 tablespoon peeled and thinly sliced fresh galangal

½ tablespoon ground turmeric

8 garlic cloves

5 makrut lime leaves

3 to 4 fresh red Thai chiles

¾ cup water, divided

Directions:

Combine the lemongrass, shallot, crushed red pepper, sliced turmeric, paprika, black pepper, white pepper, galangal, ground turmeric, garlic, lime leaves, and Thai chiles in a food processor, and process until vegetables and herbs are very finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup water; process until mixture looks creamy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Scrape down sides of processor bowl, and stir mixture. With processor running, pour remaining 1/4 cup water through food chute, processing until mixture is smooth but slightly gritty and paste-like, about 2 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup Kalaya curry paste in a small bowl.

Store remaining paste in an airtight container in freezer.

Ingredients for Chicken Curry

2 tablespoons palm sugar

1 tablespoon shrimp paste

1 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut cream, divided

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8 thighs), cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces

1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk, well shaken and stirred

¼ cup fish sauce

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

3 makrut lime leaves, plus more for garnish

2 fresh green long hot peppers sliced (I used jalapeños) (about 1 cup)

Directions

Heat a medium-size heavy-bottomed pot or a Dutch oven over medium-low. Add palm sugar, shrimp paste, reserved 1/2 cup Kalaya curry paste, and half of the coconut cream (about 3/4 cup), and cook, stirring often, until curry sauce is fragrant and bubbly and palm sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in chicken pieces and coconut milk. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Gently boil, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chicken registers at least 165°F, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in fish sauce and salt. Stir in remaining half of coconut cream (about 3/4 cup). Remove pan from heat. Stir in basil and makrut lime leaves.

Garnish curry with jalapenos, basil and lime leaves.

Christmas

Hello strangers, happy new year! I hope everyone had a great one and isn’t sick or drowning in rain…or both.

I left you with the best snickerdoodle cookie recipe and then ghosted you for the holidays.

Christmas eve had us cookie decorating, baking and prepping for Christmas day feasting.

The kitchen was busy, we made an eggnog cake, the ‘can’t have Christmas without sherry cake’, and creme de menthe brownies.

I also made this farro salad with apple, parmesan and arugula. You guys, this salad really is the best.

The girls had to wait until 7:00 AM on Christmas morning, how terrible of us huh?

Once we were cozied up and had coffee in hand, we started the festivities.

Halfway through the carnage we broke for breaky. and then we continued with the mayhem.

Out of everything Kaili opened, I think this was her favorite, sigh.

Her relationship with spicy chips is on another level.

Later that morning the family came over….. and with a baby black lab in tow.

This is Pluto, isn’t he the cutest?

Casey and Aileen were puppy sitting for a friend, and I can say that Pluto gave us all dog fever, well everyone except Shawna, pfft.

We spent the day opening more gifts, eating, playing games and saying “no” to the girls asking for a dog every other minute.

My dad and Casey put together Averi’s new Rainbow High doll house.

We played Right Left Center and Kaili won.

It was a great Christmas spent with all my people!

Those five days between Christmas and New Years is big question mark. No one knows what day it is or what they are supposed to be doing, it’s like existing in confusion.

I took the girls to Coronado for an afternoon.

We had a delicious lunch, enjoyed a walk along the water, more puppy love and some swimming.

The weather was perfect until the sun went down, and then it was time to head home and warm the bones.

Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling

Snickerdoodle’s are not my favorite cookie, not even in my top five. So when I made this recipe, I did not think I would want them for breakfast, however paired with cream cheese frosting, they are suitable for any time of the day. With Christmas a short few days away, these are perfect to have out for little and big hands to grab.

I made these a few times, once from scratch and then I used a sugar cookie mix as a short cut and it’s just as good. Since time is minimal these next few days, get the mix and make it easy on yourself. But you do have to make the cream cheese frosting, that is a must.

INGREDIENTS

1 package of sugar cookie mix

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-4 cups powdered sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line backing sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the cookie dough according to the package directions. Using a 1/2-inch cookie scoop or spoon, scoop cookie dough and roll into balls. Roll the dough in the cinnamon-sugar and then place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Let cool completely.

While the cookies bake and cool, make the cream cheese frosting.

In a stand mixer or a bowl with a handheld mixer; beat cream cheese and butter until light and creamy. Add salt and then gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until smooth.

Once the cookies are cool, spread frosting on the bottom half of the cookies, top with remaining cookies and press gently together so the frosting spreads to the edges.

Store in an airtight container. They are good out of the fridge too!