Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

I almost want to say these are better than frying them…almost. But I don’t want to make this a controversial blog post ūüôÉ, so I will just say this, baking chicken wings is my go-to method for making wings. It’s simple, uses A LOT less oil, and while they’re baking, I can makes sides or clean up the kitchen or anything really, win-win! I’ve been baking them for years. The method is pretty fail proof, and they taste and look delicious. The only caveat is that they need to bake for nearly 1 hour (flipping them half way in between cooking time). But the time is worth it! They can stand up to any sauce you make or just eat them with a simple lemon pepper seasoning. I followed the method from watching Chef John’s Food Wishes Youtube Channel and there’s not much I needed to change. For my kids, I leave out the hot sauce ūüėĎ (the things we do for our kids, amirite?) but we always add the spice on the side!

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings (adapted from food wishes)
3 1/2 Lbs. Chicken wings (about 33-35 wings)
1 1/2  cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil
Combine oil, salt and pepper
Mix

Preheat oven 400‚ĄČ
Add to large spill proof bowl with lid or bag with flour (work in batches if necessary).
Cover the lid.
Toss to coat wings, shake off excess flour.
Line baking sheet. 
Spray sheet with non stick spray.
Place wings on top (do not crowd)
Spray top of wings with non stick spray.
Bake 30 min.
Turn over. 
Bake another 30 min.
Wings will be nicely browned and crispy!
Toss in your favorite sauce or seasonings and serve.

Spray the bottom of two baking trays so the wings do not stick. A convection setting on oven helps save on cooking time so you can bake two trays at once.
Close lid and shake, shake, shake!
Nice and coated. Make sure to shake off excess flour so your wings are light and crispy.

Spray the top of the wings, so they get nice and brown.
This is after 30 minutes, flip and bake another 30 minutes. They will be perfect!
After 1 hour, they are nicely browned and crispy! Trust the process.
Toss with your favorite seasonings or sauces.
Lemon Pepper, Korean Sweet and Spicy, and Buffalo Sauce

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash


My daughter isn’t in school yet so I have her watch some learning videos every so often just to get her started with learning to focus and retaining information. The other day she wanted to learn about the brain. I showed her a short 4 minute clip and at the end of clip they discussed ways to keep the brain healthy. I was also intrigue. All of the tips were obvious, exercise, eat healthy, work the brain…etc. But the eating healthy one, although is obvious, sometimes I overlook just how important it is to eat healthy and nourish the brain not just the body. So that day, I made the kids and me roasted butternut squash (a great brain food) as a side to our lunch.

I usually buy precut because because it’s just easier. The only thing is you have to use it fairly quick or they become slimy ūü§Ę in the fridge and end up being tossed. A 12 ounce bag would be enough for 2 adults, but in this case it was the perfect amount for my kids and me. Here is a quick and simple method to make perfectly roasted butternut squash that can be eaten as-is or added to a salad!

Some things to remember when roasting vegetables, water is not your friend. Do not crowd that pan or they will steam rather than brown. Another note is to make sure the veggies are dry. Lastly, season liberally with oil, salt and pepper. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables, oil keeps the vegetables moist, the salt and pepper intensifies the flavors and makes taking bites of the veggies after they come out of the oven irresistible!

With 12 ounce I only needed a small baking pan.
Seasoned and ready to go into the oven.
Delicious! I didn’t even need to turn them half way through the roasting process.

Roasted Butternut Squash
12 ounce peeled and cut butternut squash (about 2 inch pieces)
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (or to preference)
1/4 tsp pepper (or to preference)
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Trader Joes’s Onion Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400‚ĄČ
Add squash onto baking pan (spaced out)
Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and make sure they’re evenly coated.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until edges become brown and caramelized but not burnt.
Enjoy as-is or toss in a salad with cranberries, red onions and toast walnuts!

Turkey Meatloaf (I can not take a good photo of meatloaf…but it’s still yummy!)

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I never had meatloaf as a kid. It wasn’t something my parents’ made. My first vague memory of meatloaf was from the TV sitcom, Full House, and Stephanie Tanner has a pretend wedding to her friend, but he goes home shortly afterwards because his mom was making meatloaf, and Stephanie says something along the lines of, “I want to marry a guy who won’t leave me for his mom’s meatloaf.” So with that, I felt meatloaf must not be very appetizing. I mean…it IS called meatloaf and it is literally a loaf of meat.

I don’t even know or remember what made me want to try to make meatloaf, but one day I did, and after I took my first bite, I had a moment of introspection. Why did it have such a bad rap? It is pretty darn tasty and with a side of veggies and potatoes it was down right comforting! Over the years I’ve gone from ground beef to ground turkey meatloaf and I haven’t gone back to using beef since (at least for meatloaf). I’m actually not sure how mine would compare to others since I don’t order it out and never had it from anywhere, but I know I really like the one I make and my husband likes it also. So I will share my recipe with you and if you ever want to give turkey meatloaf a try…why don’t you give this recipe a chance? =)

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Turkey Meatloaf
1.5 Lbs. ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbs garlic
1 cup diced red bell pepper
¬ľ cup chopped mushrooms
1 celery chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs ketchup
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp paprika
Fresh chopped parsley

Tomato Sauce
8 ounce tomato sauce
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 Tbs Siracha sauce (or to taste)
Combine all ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a skillet over medium heat sauté onion, garlic, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and mushrooms until soft.
  3. Add salt, pepper, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and about 1 Tbs of ketchup.
  4. In large bowl bowl combine turkey 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, egg, breadcrumbs, spices, vegetables.
  5. Add to loaf pan and spread top with some of the tomato sauce (save some for extra sauce on the side).
  6. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour 15 min
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

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Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

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My sister in law came to visit with her family last weekend so I made them pancakes in the morning, buttermilk pancakes to be exact, and to me these are the end all be all for pancakes. ¬† I don’t usually have buttermilk on hand and I think most people don’t.¬† But when I want to make real good pancakes, I have to go all out and buy some.¬† The good news is it can stay in your fridge for about two weeks so that’s a decent amount of time to use it up.¬† This weekend I had some buttermilk left over still,¬† so today I wanted to make these pancakes again for my husband and me.¬† We both worked 6 days last week so today was our only full day off. I felt a good breakfast together was what we needed to relax and enjoy some time together.

The original recipe makes 12 pancakes, but I adapted it for two people (6 good size fluffy pancakes).¬† You can make them plain or add fruits and nuts to the batter.¬† I made them plain for my in-laws but for my husband and me I added frozen blueberries.¬† Either way they’re fluffly and¬† delightful to eat especially with some maple syrup… and for special occasions (or just because), some whip cream. ūüôā

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Buttermilk Pancakes (makes 6 pancakes)

1 cup flour
3 tbs sugar
1 ¬Ĺ tsp baking powder
¬ľ tsp baking soda
¬ľ tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup melted butter

1.  In a medium bowl sift together all the dry ingredients
2.  in another medium bowl mix the wet ingredients
3.  Add the dry to the wet and whisk just until combine. Do not over mix
4.  In a large skillet on medium heat, melt some butter.
5.  Add an even 1/3 cup of batter on the skillet to make a round pancake.
6.  If adding blueberries, drop a few blueberries on the cake.
7.  Cook until bubbles form on surface then flip over (about 4 minutes per side)

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Now that we’re refueled it’s time to go enjoy the rest of our day!
Hope you guys are enjoying your weekend as well. ūüôā

Caesar Dressing

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Easy as Sunday morning…
Such a relaxing Sunday day . Today’s high is 102. ¬†That means staying indoors, staying cool, and bumming around. ¬† Not that I’m complaining about having to stay in. ¬†It’s been more hectic than usual this week so it’s nice to just, sit. I wanted to make something special for dinner this¬†weekend. Actually I want to make something special for every weekend. ¬†For one, it is the weekend. ¬†And two, hubby had a weekend off. ¬†Two reasons to celebrate. ¬†So I¬†decided to have¬†Filet Mignon. ¬†Steak is always a special occasion food for us. ¬†This time,¬† I wanted to do something different than my usual mash potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms. ¬†Especially because of the heat, I wanted a side dish that was¬†refreshing, simple, and cooling…Caesar Salad!

When I first learned that anchovies were used in Caesar Salad, I really had no desire to make it myself.  I had rather let this delicious creamy dressing stay mysterious to me.  But over time resistance gave in to a sense of self accomplishment and I became interested in making Caesar dressing. So  I felt yesterday was as good a time as any to tackle this,Caesar dressing once and for all!

I looked up lots of recipes, some using egg yolks, some with a lot of mayonnaise,  and some with a little.  I decided to go with this recipe I found that got great reviews and changed it for a smaller serving size. The dressing was so tasty, lemony, and creamy.  And it tasted like Caesar dressing (!) but with a homemade fresh flavor.  I dare say the salad was better than the steak.  Here is my version of Caesar dressing. I eyeballed the measurements so this is my best recollection of what i used for each amount.

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Caesar Dressing (makes about 1 cup)
¬Ĺ cup mayonnaise
‚Öď cup grated Parmesan cheese
¬ľ ¬†cup milk
2 anchovy filets
3 garlic cloves (about 1 tbs garlic)
juice of small lemon (1 tbs lemon juice)
¬Ĺ tbs Dijon mustard
¬Ĺ tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch (about 1/4 tsp) of salt and pepper or to taste

  • Combine all ingredients in mini food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. That’s it!

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