Sticky Sesame Wings

I always know a recipe is good when Ron requests that I make it again as soon as we’re done eating… and I know it’s especially awesome when he requests I make it for his birthday dinner! This recipe from Smitten Kitchen is one of those awesome recipes. In my book Deb over at Smitten Kitchen can do no wrong… I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that she’s writing a new cookbook! This dish is so simple, pretty much foolproof, and perfect for a weeknight dinner, or birthday feast!

20140725-200537-72337984.jpg

Sticky Sesame Wings

Serves 4 (in theory……)

Ingredients:

3 lbs chicken wings (I used the small party wings from Whole Foods- in my opinion they are the perfect size)
1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp honey (more or less to taste)
1 tsp sesame oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of sriracha
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 scallion, finely chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with baking foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray or oil.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, salt, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, sesame oil, and cayenne or sriracha. Add the wings, and mix until well covered with sauce. Place in a single layer on the baking sheet, and pour any sauce that remains in the bowl on top.

3. Bake for about 35 minutes, turning once.

4. When cooked through, toss with the toasted sesame seeds and scallions.

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Advertisements

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Chipotle-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

My boyfriend and I have an annual Halloween tradition in which we eat lots of junk and watch horror movies all night on Halloween. It’s one of the days I allow myself to indulge (okay-one of many). This year we decided to watch Cabin in the Woods (my favorite movie from last year), The Ruins, and The Exorcist (because you need a great classic horror film in the mix!). Other movies that have made appearances in the past: Halloween (of course), Trick ‘R Treat and Hocus Pocus (maybe one of the greatest movies known to man!). Our menu always includes our favorite nachos along with some other goodies. This year we went with pizza, mozzarella sticks, and these fabulous bacon-wrapped potato bites. They were super tasty and very easy to make- the hardest part was assembling them- which really wasn’t hard at all, just took a little time, but they are definitely worth it!

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Chipotle-Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Makes about 36 potato bites

Ingredients:

1 lb small red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 1/2 tsp salt, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb thick-cut bacon, cut into thirds

1/2 cup sour cream

1-2 tsp adobo sauce (more if desired)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil, and place a wire rack on top (this will help the bites cook evenly and the bacon crisp without the need to flip during cooking).

2. Place potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, add 2 tsp salt and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, and once boiling cook for 3-4 minutes until potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork, but not totally cooked- you don’t want them super soft or falling apart- they will finish cooking in the oven.

3. Meanwhile, as the potatoes are cooking, mix together the olive oil, remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, a pinch of pepper, and rosemary in a medium bowl. When the potatoes are cooked, drain and add them to the bowl and toss.

4. Wrap the bites in the bacon strips (cut into thirds), and secure with a toothpick. Place on rack on baking sheet. If you need to you can use 2 baking sheets, as you don’t want to crowd the bites. Cook for 30-40 minutes until bacon in cooked though and crispy.

5. While the bites are cooking, stir together the sour cream and adobo sauce, adding more or less to achieve your desired spice level. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can double the sauce if you’d like, but I found this to be more than enough.

6. Serve the bites with the dipping sauce!

Source: The Kitchn via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

 

Crab Cakes

Hello everyone! Long time no see!!!! I’m so happy to be back, and I’m really hoping to be back on here regularly from now on. I have many excuses for my absense… sickness, bridal shower planning… but I really do miss this space here. I have been cooking of course- despite how busy I’ve been I would never be able to stay away from my kitchen (except during my horrible flu/cold that I had). I still haven’t finished sharing my vacation recipes. Shame on me!!! This was probably the best thing i cooked on vacation. Blue crabs are in abundance down in the Chincoteague area, and while we didn’t catch our own this year, we did buy a bunch of local crabs. The first night we just ate them as is- steamed, and then we made crab cakes and a crab frittata with the leftovers. I love that we had an abundance of crab… this is the only place I’ve ever been able to say that. At first I was going to just make veggie-filled crab cakes. My aunt Annmarie and I made the best crab and veggie cakes one year when we were vacationing on Cape Cod, and these were my attempt to make something similar. I REALLY need to get that recipe! My dad however, likes the simple crab-only crab cakes. So I decided to make both…. and then I threw some jalapenos and Old Bay into a few too. I have to say my favorite were the veggie-filled crab cakes with the inclusion of the jalapeno and Old Bay seasoning. So much flavor!!!!

Simple Crab Cakes

Makes about 8-10 small crab cakes

Ingredients:

1 lb lump crab

1/2 cup cracker crumbs (I used Trader Joe’s Mulitgrain crackers- you could use those, ritz, or a similar type of crackers)

1 egg

2-4 Tbsp Mayonnaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 Jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced (optional)

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (optional)

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp canola oil, more if needed (or other higher heat oil)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise(start with the smaller amount) and Dijon. Add the crab meat, cracker crumbs, jalapeno and Old Bay (if using) and season with salt and pepper, and gently mix together.

2. Carefully form your crab cakes. If they are having a hard time staying together you can add more mayo as needed. It helps if you wet your hands slightly. Place on a plate, and refrigerate for at least half an hour (this will help them firm up).

3. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of canola oil. When hot, add your crab cakes, making sure not to crowd the pan. You will have to fry them in 2 or 3 batches. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, until browned. Add additional oil to pan as needed between batches.

Source: Original recipe, but inspired by many recipes around the web

Vegetable Filled Crab Cakes

Makes about 10-12 small crab cakes

Ingredients:

1/4 red pepper, finely diced

1/4 green pepper, finely diced

1/4 summer squash, grated

1/4 red onion, finely diced)

1 Tbsp olive oil or butter

1 lb lump crab meat

1/2 cup cracker crumbs, crushed (I used Trader Joe’s Mulitgrain crackers- you could use those, ritz, or a similar type of crackers)

1 egg

2-4 Tbsp Mayonnaise

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 Jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced (optional)

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (optional)

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp canola oil, more if needed (or other higher heat oil)

Directions:

1. Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil or butter. When hot, add the bell peppers, summer squash and red onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and saute until softened, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise(start with the smaller amount) and Dijon. Add the crab meat, cracker crumbs, jalapeno and Old Bay (if using), sauteed vegetables and season with salt and pepper, and gently mix together.

3. Carefully form your crab cakes. If they are having a hard time staying together you can add more mayo as needed. It helps if you wet your hands slightly. Place on a plate, and refrigerate for at least half an hour (this will help them firm up).

4. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of canola oil. When hot, add your crab cakes, making sure not to crowd the pan. You will have to fry them in 2 or 3 batches. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, until browned. Add additional oil to pan as needed between batches.

Source: Original recipe, but inspired by many recipes around the web, and my Aunt Annmarie’s Crab Cakes

Rainbow Tomato Crostini

Hello friends! I’m sorry I’ve been a bit MIA lately! I had every intention of getting some posts up this weekend, including a Super Saturday post, but unfortunately I was infected with a terrible summer cold and was down for the count most of the weekend. I totally blame my boyfriend for getting me sick!!! I’m on the mend now, not 100% but waaaaaaay better than yesterday when it hurt to even get up off the couch. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to get back to posting more often. I have to finish sharing my recipes from vacation, and some things I’ve made since I’ve been back! Also- if you look on the right side of this page I decided to add a new feature- my weekly menu! If you need some inspiration, or if you are like me and just like to see what other people are eating, now you can! I’ll link to those recipes that are available online so you can check them out if you want! I’ll also include what I’m having for lunch as well, if you need some lunchbox inspiration.

So this was a super-simple appetizer that I made on vacation, inspired by the cover of the July/August issue of Martha Stewart Living. She calls for grilling the bread, which would be awesome, and also for a loaf of rustic ciabatta bread. Because I was on vacation, and was limited in what the local grocery store carried, I used smaller ciabatta breadsticks. They worked out wonderfully, but feel free to use what you have, whether it be the breadsticks, a loaf of ciabatta, or even baguette slices.

Rainbow Tomato Crostini

Rainbow Tomato Crostini

Ingredients:

3 ciabatta breadsticks, halved lengthwise (or a regular ciabatta loaf if you’d like)

1-2 cloves of garlic, cut in half

Multicolored tomatoes (I used 1 large red, 1 large yellow, and a medium-sized green), thinly sliced

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place breadstick halves on a baking sheet, and brush with olive oil. Bake about 5-10 minutes until lightly crispy.

2. When toasted, remove from oven, let cool slightly, and then rub with a garlic clove.

3. Layer on your tomatoes, arranging by color. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Carefully cut into smaller wedges, and serve.
Source: adapted from Martha Stewart Living, July/August 2013

BBQ Chicken Meatball Sliders

BBQ Chicken Meatball Sliders

A couple weeks ago my best friend and I got together for a little horror movie watching and cooking (a couple of our favorite activities). We made a few treats for the horror-themed blog we write together, check it out here! We decided to watch Friday the 13th, and made a few delicious recipes to go along with the movie. While perusing recipe ideas for our dinner and a movie night, I came across these BBQ chicken meatball sliders and while we ultimately decided on making some awesome chicken parm sliders instead, I still wanted to try out this recipe, especially since we had just been gifted some Texas barbecue sauce and smoked cheddar cheese by Ron’s grandparents. These sliders turned out wonderfully! The smokiness of the barbecue sauce was especially good with the smoked cheddar cheese. They were great for a dinner, but would be an awesome appetizer to serve as well. Wouldn’t a make-your-own slider bar be a fun idea for a party? After making a couple recipes for these little sandwiches, I’ve gotta say I’m hooked.

BBQ Chicken Meatball Sliders

BBQ Chicken Meatball Sliders

Makes about 16 meatballs

Ingredients:

1 lb ground chicken

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 large egg

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp chili powder or chipotle chile powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 small onion, minced

1/4 cup vegetable oil

To assemble:

Slider rolls, toasted

Shredded cabbage or lettuce

Grated cheese (I used smoked cheddar)

Tomato slices (optional)

Pickles (optional)

Directions:

1. Mix together the ground chicken, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper in a large bowl, until combined.

2. Form meatballs, by rolling 1-2 tbsp of the chicken mixture into balls.

3. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is heated, add the meatballs and brown on all sides. This will take about 5 minutes total.

4. Remove the meatballs to a plate, and set aside.

5. With the skillet still on medium-high heat, add the onion, and saute a few minutes until translucent. Add the meatballs back to the pan, and then add the barbecue sauce. You can add about 1/2 cup water if the sauce is too thick.

6. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.

7. Assemble sliders by placing on a slider roll and adding toppings of your choice.

Source:chickenrecipebox.com

Ultimate Nachos

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I did, although I swear this weekend went by in the blink of an eye…. and isn’t the first day back to work after a long weekend the worst?!?! I felt like I was tired and just dragging all day long. Hopefully tomorrow my brain will be working better 🙂

I made these nachos for Cinco de Mayo this year. They are one of our favorite appetizers (and I will admit that we sometimes make a meal of them). I’ve made them for Super Bowl Sunday, and Ron has requested them for his birthday. They are my most favorite nacho recipe, and while they are pretty minimal, they are fantastic. The method of making them may seem a little fussy, but this guarantees even coverage of all the toppings on every chip. I love the spiciness of the jalapenos, but if you’d like to tone it down a bit you can remove the seeds and place a jalapeno on every other nacho instead of all of them. I really love loaded nachos too (and should really make some soon- maybe this recipe or this one), but I think this particular recipe will always be my favorite.

Ultimate Nachos

Ultimate Nachos

Ultimate Nachos

Ultimate Nachos

Makes about 6 servings (or less if you are like me!)

Ingredients:

80 tortilla chips

3-4 jalapenos, thinly sliced (you can remove the seeds if you’d like these milder)

4 1/2 ounces (about 1 cup) red onion, diced

6 oz (about 2 1/4 cups) cheddar cheese, finely grated

6 oz (about 2 1/4 cups) Monterey Jack cheese, finely grated (you can substitute Oaxaca cheese if you can find it)

2 Tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped

Optional for serving:

Salsa

Guacamole

Sour Cream

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and set one oven rack on the lowest setting, and the other on the highest.

2. Line a baking sheet with foil. Make 8 balls of tinfoil. Take 3 cooling racks, and spray them with nonstick cooking spray. Place one of the racks on the prepared baking sheet, and place a ball of aluminum foil in each corner (this will support the next cooling rack as you will be laying it on top of the aluminum foil balls.

3. Place 1/3 of the chips in a single layer on the cooling rack. Place a jalapeno slice on each chip. (Or every other chip to decrease spice level). Sprinkle 1/3 of the red onions over the chips,1/3 of the cheddar cheese, and 1/3 of the Monterey jack cheese. Place the second cooling rack on top of the aluminum foil balls, place the remaining balls in the corners, and repeat with the next third of the chips, jalapenos, and toppings. Lay the remaining cooling rack on top, and finish with the remaining chips and toppings.

4. Place in oven, and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle nachos evenly with oregano. Serve with desired condiments.

Source: Alton Brown

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Happy, happy weekend! My pansies are planted, my windows are open, and my mood is relaxed! Coffee is being drunk, movie watching is commencing, and meal planning will be happening in a bit. I also went to Target today and found a comforter set on sale for $50(!!!!), bought some colorful pens, a binder to organize blog stuff, some pet food, and a dog toy. I can never walk out of there without a hodgepodge of stuff.  So altogether, the weekend has started successfully. I love Saturdays!

Pansies

I tend to make new things all the time, and find it a rare thing when I make a recipe over and over again. This is one of those rare recipes. Who knew that homemade taquitos were so easy to make? These are baked rather than fried, so they are healthier than regular taquitos, and, unlike the store-bought ones, you know exactly what is in them, so that’s something to feel good about too! These would be great as an appetizer, but we like them so much, that we usually have them as a meal, alongside some rice and beans. Another awesome thing about this recipe… it freezes wonderfully. You can make a bunch, freeze whatever you aren’t eating that day, and have them for a quick and easy meal for some future night when things are super-busy!

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Makes about 12-16 taquitos

Ingredients:

3 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup salsa (homemade or store-bought)

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1-2 scallions, chopped

2 cup cooked, shredded chicken

1 cup shredded cheese (i.e. cheddar, monterey jack or pepper jack)

10-16 6-inch flour tortillas

Cooking spray

Kosher Salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, a silicone mat, or parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, scallions, shredded chicken, and cheese, until well combined.

3. Microwave tortillas about 20-30 seconds to make them easier to roll. To assemble taquitos, lay a tortilla flat on your surface, and place about 2-3 Tbsp of the filling down the middle. Roll up tightly, and place on prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.*

4. Spray the tops of the taquitos lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle on kosher salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Serve with sour cream, salsa and guacamole if desired.

*At this point you can freeze the unbaked taquitos- just place the baking sheet in the freezer and let chill for 30-60 minutes. Then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. When you want to cook them, just remove from freezer and bake frozen, adding a couple minutes onto the cook time. Do not thaw before baking.

Source: Annie‘s Eats (Originally from Our Best Bites)