Sunday, August 28, 2011

Honey Sriracha Glazed Buffalo Wings

I'm usually up on the 'hot and popular foods' but apparently Sriracha slipped past my radar undetected...that is until last weekend. We were moving my middle child up to University of Florida for his sophomore year and went to his awesome Cuban restaurant, where we had the best Cuban sandwiches. On the tables they had bottles of Sriracha sauce, I'd never tried it so I cautiously dipped a corner of my sandwich into it and BAM, I was in love! This peppery hot sauce was so spicy and delicious! Of course I had to go home and buy a bottle, and then I did some research and found this cookbook, yummm. Bon Appetite has named this the "Ingredient of the Year", so we all better take notice and start consuming it in massive quantities! I found it in the ethnic section of my grocery store for under $4 a bottle.

My family absolutely loves hot wings and so I'm so happy to have another dressing to add to our long list of favorites. I like to buy my wings from Sam's Club or Costco, they are good quality and are pretty good sized.

4 lbs Chicken Wings
2/3 c Sriracha
1/2 c Honey
2 tsp Kosher Salt
Juice of One Lime
Blue Cheese Salad Dressing
Carrots and Celery Sticks

Heat your oil to 350, I prefer Peanut Oil but you can use Vegetable Oil if you'd like.  I use a Fry Daddy type of fryer, but we also use a turkey fryer when we do larger amounts of wings. A good quality cast iron pan or other heavy duty pan can be used. Fill the oil no more than halfway up the side of pan. Fry the wings in batches for 10-12 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Drain wings on a paper towel covered plate. You can also place wings on a foil lined cookie sheet and keep in a 200 degree oven as other wings are frying.
I love my deep fryer!

While the wings are frying, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the Sriracha, honey, salt and lime juice, stirring to combine. Keep warm over low heat. Place cooked wings in a large mixing bowl and toss with the Sriracha mixture. Serve with blue cheese dressing, carrots sticks and celery.
Add honey to sriracha
Add line juice and salt also, mix
Bought this yummy honey in North Carolina
Check out my awesome new stove
Pour sauce over wings and


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Harvard Beets

While on vacation we bought some beets at a local orchard and I was so anxious to get home and cook with them. My family loves beets and let me tell you, there is a HUGE difference between store bought canned beets and fresh ones. This recipe is super easy and I in my excitement forgot to take pictures, so you are going to have to forgive me on this one, and try this recipe. The flavor of the beets has just the right mixture of sweet and tangy, so good!

3 c Fresh Beets, cooked, peeled and sliced
1/2 c Vinegar
1/2 c Water
1/2 c Drained Beet Liquid
1 TBSP Cornstarch
1 tsp Sugar
Dash Ground Cloves
Dash Salt
1 TBSP Butter

In a large pot bring water and beets to a boil, boil for at least 20 minutes or until beets are fork tender. Remove from stove and place beets in a bowl full of ice water. Once they are cool enough you can peel them with a vegetable peeler. Slice beets and place into baking dish.

In a small sauce pan heat vinegar, water and beet juice, cornstarch, sugar, cloves and salt. Stir until thickened. Add beets and butter and reheat. Makes 6-8 servings
Peel the boiled beets
Pink dyed hands

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chocolate Cake

You know how sometimes it feels like everything is crashing down around you and you need some kind of escape? Well I've got the solution for you...this cake recipe! What a gorgeous chocolately concoction this is. I mean what could snap you out of a bad mood better than a huge chunk of chocolate love, washed down with an icy Diet Dr Pepper?? 
I didn't think this day could get worse, but of course when you think that..... the worst happens. After doing a crumb coat on my gorgeous cake I was attempting to place it in the refrigerator when I realized a little too late that the shelf wasn't cleared off enough. I attempted to shut the fridge door and I could see the cake tipping, I tried to catch it.....
but it didn't happen.....

The next day I was able to see the humor in it all and take this picture :)

So don't judge me, I scraped the cake off the bottom of my fridge, placed it back on the stand, re frosted the broken and ugly pieces and stuck it back in the fridge. We'll see if I can "cover" my mistakes later when I do a top coat of frosting. Good thing I made this cake for me and no one else....well maybe I'll share with my daughter.

1 3/4 cups boiling water
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
10 oz (2 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar, I only had light
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with circles of wax paper or baking parchment.
Pour the boiling water over the chocolate chips. Add cocoa and stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool. Cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and half of the chocolate mixture. Beat on low to combine, then on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat on low until mixed.

Pour batter into pans and bake 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out completely clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes; remove from pans. Wrap in double layers of plastic wrap while still warm and freeze. 

Frosting Ingredients 
1 1/4 cups plus 2 T. butter, softened
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup plus 2 T. Milk

When cake is frozen solid, frost between the two layers and spread a thin layer over the whole cake. Freeze again for about 20 minutes. Frost again. 

Ingredients for Cake
I traced circles on parchment paper to place on bottom of cake pans
Semi sweet chocolate in boiling water
Gorgeous batter, reminds me of chocolate pudding
Out of the oven
Frosting Ingredients
If you look at it from the top you can't see how slanted it is :)


Source: A Bountiful Kitchen

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Caramel Apple Pie

Today is my sweet neighbors birthday, she is a like a second mother to my daughter so I had to do something big for her.  Paige's favorite dessert is apple pie and since I just brought home BAGS of apples from NC I decided to make one for her. One major problem with this thinking was my stove top cracked last night and I'm now oven-less. I didn't think she'd mind baking her own birthday pie so I took it over ready to pop into the oven. She took one look at it and burst into tears (she'd had a rough day), sometimes birthdays are like that. This is what baking is to me, bringing love and joy into other peoples lives. Happy birthday dear friend.

Sorry for not having an "after" pic, my oven is broken!

2 Deep dish pie crusts (I like Marie Calendars)
5 large Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 c Sugar
1 TBSP Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Caramel Sauce (found where ice cream toppings are)
3 TBSP Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Peel, core and slice apples and place in large bowl. In small bowl combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix together and add to apple slices, mix. Pour apple mixture into pie crust. Pour 1/4 jar of caramel sauce over the top of the apple slices. Next roll out remaining pie dough onto work surface, I used a small heart shaped cookie cutter and cut out numerous hearts and placed them on top of pie. Whip an egg white and brush on top of crust hearts, sprinkle with 3 TBSP sugar mixed with 1 tsp Cinnamon. Loosely wrap aluminum foil around pie and bake for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet,  remove foil and continue to bake for another 20. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting.
I have one of these fancy apple peeler-corer-slicer machines
I love it!
Yummy caramel! 
Pour the caramel all over the top of the apples

Monday, August 15, 2011

Southern Peach Cobbler

While on vacation in North Carolina we went to a U-pick orchard and picked peaches. Let me tell you these were the best tasting peaches I've ever had, the only problem with them was they weren't ripe yet. We had to let them sit on the counter for 4 days before being able to use them, my kids were going crazy. Finally the peaches were ready and we were able to enjoy fresh peach cobbler while sitting in our rented cabin in the woods, perfect! What a simple and easy recipe to make.

8 fresh Peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/4 c White Sugar
1/2 c Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Cornstarch

Topping Ingredients
1 c Flour
1/4 c White Sugar
1/4 c Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
6 TBSP Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/4 C Boiling Water

Mix Together 
3 TBSP White Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

To get peaches ready to be peeled you first need to quickly boil them. Start with a large pot of boiling water, carefully place peaches into boiling water and let sit for about a minute. Next place them in a bowl full of ice water. Let them sit until cool and the skins will peel much easier.

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, combine peaches, white sugar, brown sugar. cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined. 
(I didn't use full 1/4 c water)

Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes. 

Hand picked North Carolina peaches, doesn't get any better
than this!
Peaches, boiling water and ice bath

Place peaches carefully in water
Let boil for 1 minute
Place in ice bath until ready to use
Fresh handpicked peaches are the best!
Use a paring knife to remove skin
Slice and set aside
Mix together ingredients to mix with peaches
Pour over peaches and mix together, add to a 2 quart dish and bake for 10 minutes
Mix flour, sugar and butter mixture to make the 'crust'
Once you add boiling water it turns into more of a recognizable topping :)
Drop by spoonfuls over partially cooked peaches
Add cinnamon/sugar mixture to top and return to oven

The smell as it bakes is so aromatic, reminds me of Sunday nights
from my childhood
Serve while hot with Vanilla Ice Cream


Sunday, August 14, 2011

S'more Brownies

We recently spent a glorious week in a cabin in North Carolina, while there I made some awesomely chocolaty brownies. They are super simple to make and were perfect for a mountain vacation. I forgot to take pictures in the beginning, so you're on your own for a bit :)

1 box Family Sized Brownie Mix
1 Sleeve Graham Crackers
1/2 c Melted Butter
1 c Chocolate Chips
1 Pkg Flat Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan. Crush graham crackers into crumbs and add in melted butter. Add this to the bottom of the 9x13 pan, spread it out to make the crust. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and then pour over graham crust, this can be a little tricky but be patient. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven. Place flat marshmallows on top of semi baked brownies making sure to cover the entire surface, next sprinkle chocolate chips on top of marshmallows and then return to oven. Continue baking for another 20 minutes. If you want marshmallows to have a darker look to them place them under the broiler of your oven for a few minutes.
 Take out of oven and let cool. We dug into these before they cooled down and while they were delicious they were pretty messy. I personally thought they tasted great for breakfast the next morning.

Going into the oven
After baking for 10 minutes remove from oven 
Place marshmallows on top of partially baked brownies
Sprinkle chocolate chips over top
Ready to go back into the oven