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.

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!

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.

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!

Cravings Broccoli Salad with Cashew Dressing

She had me at cashew dressing.

This recipe is out of Chrissy Teigen’s 3rd cookbook, Cravings All Together and it’s a solid five stars. Instead of the traditional mayo dressing with bacon, which is obviously delicious, we make a dressing out of cashews to dress the broccoli. And the dressing is the star of the dish, it’s so good. It’s sort of like a satay peanut sauce but not… actually now that I think about it, I am going to make this dressing to dip chicken in.

It’s a little sweet, a tad spicy, crunchy, nutty and creamy an easy and delicious salad that almost hits all of the five flavor elements.

Plus it’s dairy and gluten free if that’s your thing.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

2 medium heads of broccoli, trimmed and separated into florets (about 6 cups)

Kosher salt

1 cup chopped salted roasted cashews

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 Tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon finely diced jalapeño pepper (preferably red, with seeds)

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1/4 cup thinly sliced

1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS

Place 1 1/4 cups of water in a 5 quart saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli, cover with a tight fitting lid, and steam until broccoli turns bright green but is still tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and then spread the broccoli in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate to cool. (Don’t place in an ice bath, that will create soggy broccoli) Season the broccoli with the salt.

While the broccoli is cooling, make the dressing. Combine 2/3 cup of the cashews with the 1/3 cup vinegar, sugar, jalapeńo, soy sauce and fish sauce in a blender until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute; add water by the dressing if it’s too thick.

Arrange the broccoli on a large plate or platter, then scatter the onions and cranberries on top. Drizzle 1/2 cup of the dressing over the broccoli, then scatter the remaining 1/3 cup cashews over the salad. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Finally…A Farro Recipe {Farro Salad}

Why have we been neglecting farro for so long? I have been using it a lot recently because we can’t get enough of it’s chewy texture and nutty flavor. This dish here though, is the best reason to cook some up.
I promise, you won’t be mad at it.

Farro Salad with Apple, Parmesan, Arugula & Fried Shallots

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup whole-grain farro

2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 bay leaf

1 Large shallot, very thinly sliced

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. dijon mustard

2 tsp. honey

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cup lightly packed arugula

1 apple, chopped

1/2 cup shaved fresh Parmesan

1/4 cup freshly chopped basil

1/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine farro, vegetable broth, salt, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender and no broth remains, about 30 minutes. When farro is cooked, transfer to a large glass bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, make the fried shallots: in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine oil and shallots. When the shallots begin to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove shallots from oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate and season with salt. Let oil cool.

Make the dressing: in a medium bowl, combine the cooled olive oil with vinegar, mustard, and honey and season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the salad: combine cooked farro, crispy shallots, arugula, apple, parmesan, basil, and pecans. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat.

*Recipe adapted from Delish 

The One and Only Crab Cake Recipe

Ironically, two days after I post about the only crab cake recipe one needs, I see this on Instagram.

So…. I figured it was a sign from the chef’s to post this. Honestly it’s so easy and delicious, you won’t look back.

*Recipe from Chef Andrew Zimmern

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 large egg, beaten

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked over

20 saltine crackers, finely crushed

1/4 cup canola oil

Lemon wedges, for serving 

Homemade remoulade/tarter sauce or your favorite store bought brand.Walmart Logo

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce until smooth.

In a medium bowl, lightly toss the crabmeat with the cracker crumbs. Gently fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Scoop the crab mixture into eight 1/3-cup mounds; lightly pack into 8 patties, about 1 1/2 inches thick. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat until deeply golden and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the crab cakes to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

  • These can be made ahead, formed or not, for up to a day.

Cowboy Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is truly addicting. When I read the ingredients for the dressing, I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. Creamy, tangy, sweet and as spicy as you’d like depending on if you’re feeding adults or children…or adult children.

The girls and I made this again at home. I went a bit heavier on the heat by also adding some cayenne pepper. I thought about adding some bacon, but honestly it’s good as vegetarian side dish.

We had it for dinner, it’s just as good as the first time.

The next day, I tore some arugula and added it to the pasta salad. I suggest trying this too!

Cowboy Pasta Salad

Ingredients

1 lb. bowtie pasta

Olive Oil

1/2 cup mayo

1/4 cup your favorite bbq sauce

1 tbs spicy brown mustard

1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

1-2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce

2 ears of fresh corn

2 cups cherry tomatoes

8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated

8 scallions, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Arugula, if you want.

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta per box instructions, drain in colander.

Put cooked pasta in a large bowl and drizzle with evoo, so the pasta doesn’t stick together, set aside.

Husk the corn and cut kernels off the cobs. Add corn to pasta.

Halve the tomatoes, add to pasta.

To make the sauce, whisk the mayo, bbq sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a medium bowl until combined. Add the sauce to the pasta, tomatoes and corn, toss to combine.

Finely chop the green onions, add to pasta. Top with the grated cheddar cheese.

Taste for salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Cooking with Kids

A few months before our trip to Greece I landed a gig to teach a summer cooking class to kids. The days, times and location worked out brilliantly with our schedules. I was given all of the recipes for the cooking session, then I went shopping for the ingredients on the Sunday before class or that Monday morning. There is a Pavilion’s right near the school, that was so handy! The company dropped off bins full of the cooking utensils and tools I should need beforehand, so all I had to do was unpack the groceries and prep for the class.The plan was to teach two separate sessions, three weeks each. The first session was a cooking class the second was a baking class.

My cooking group consisted of 3 boys and 3 girls, ages 6-11 and they were awesome!

Each day we made two dishes/recipes. I would get to the site early and prep all of the ingredients (mis en place), the cooking equipment we would be using, and presented it on a table for easy accessibility. I wrote on each recipe card who was going to do what. Little Billy (names have been changed) will cut onions, Rose will grate cheese and so on and so forth. That way I knew that everyone was participating throughout the entire class. After a quick demo of what we were going to make and asking them about some of the ingredients, we dove in. I didn’t do any of the cooking, they did it all. I guided them, I handled the hot oven, any boiling water and the washing of knives, but other than that, they did it all. And man, they kicked ass!

The first week we made.

Gumbo, flapjacks, carrot casserole, porridge bites, egg casserole, spinach mac n cheese, Spaghetti with meatballs, and omelettes.

They were pretty good eaters. I will say that by the second week, one girl was begging to stop using onions, HAHAHA! I feel like every recipe called for onions.

When we were done with both dishes of the day, we sat down and ate together. I would bring in juice mix and they would take turns making a pitcher of lemonade or fruit punch, yes, of course it was sugar free, not my first rodeo lunatics. Then, if we had any free time before the class ended, we would play heads up or trivia or maybe just draw Whatever they wanted to do as long as it wasn’t swinging from the rafters or playing chase, boys, I am looking at you.

The second week we made;

Mash and gravy, meatball stroganoff, brussels sprout and parmesan salad, hot dogs with a veggie chili, Naan personal pizzas, macaroni and cheese and a fruit salad.

This pasta recipe, you guys, was soooooo good. I know it doesn’t look great and honestly when I read the recipe I wasn’t sold. But it’s good, guilty pleasure BBQ side dish good.

I will share the recipe.

The final week we made said pasta salad, pizza pockets, veggie sushi rolls and eggs with pico de gallo.

It was a great first round of cooking.