Tag Archives: cooking

The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl and I made wings. Everybody’s a winner.

24 Jan

This past weekend, the AFC championship was a big deal in Boston, and while Tom Brady admitted he sucked, my food choices definitely did not. Emotions were high on Sunday, especially in my house where the dude friend is a huge Pats fan. I decided the best way to try to keep everyone calm was to cook and I made lots of deliciousness. I started with the slow cooker chili that I love so much. It was a snowy weekend here and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to break out the crock pot.

I also tried out a new recipe: buffalo wings. Since I don’t have a deep frier (*sigh*), I poked around and found a recipe for baked wings. It’s linked here and pasted below.

The dude loved them (I’m guessing since he ate like eight of them in 15 minutes) and they’re also super yum reheated in the oven. If you like things mega hot, you could sprinkle some red pepper flakes on them after you’ve coated them in the hot sauce.


    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    20 chicken wings
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1/2 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s RedHot®)


  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Place the flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt into a resealable plastic bag, and shake to mix. Add the chicken wings, seal, and toss until well coated with the flour mixture. Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet, and place into the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Whisk together the melted butter and hot sauce in a small bowl. Dip the wings into the butter mixture, and place back on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and crispy on the outside, about 45 minutes. Turn the wings over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly.

My favorite part of the game time fare was dessert. I’d been craving cupcakes all weekend, so I grabbed a box of Betty Crocker, a can of frosting that sounded like it had the most chocolate/fudge/cocoamazingness in it, and made these little bites of heaven. I think I ate three …

They're round, but I think you get the point.

I posted this picture on Facebook and was promptly told to take it down, as my caption might have implied that I was nervous that the Patriots might not pull off the win. In the end, they did, though, and I feel confident that the food would have put a smile even on Billy Cundiff’s face … Poor Billy.

A Tale of Two Turkeys

27 Nov

Thanksgiving is a holiday completely based on a meal. A delicious meal where you get to over-indulge and have seconds and thirds and fourths and then even dessert. This is, obviously, my kind of holiday. I like it so much I celebrated it twice this year.

Our first celebration was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Alissa and I cooked for 12 of our most awesome friends, and I have to say, my second-ever attempt at turkey cooking turned out pretty well. It almost turned out to be pretty expensive too, but we were saved by a super nice dude at the best Stop and Shop in Boston. As we perused the turkey-filled freezers, Alissa and I set our sites on a nice, mostly thawed, 20-pounder. We were poking it, lifting it, patting it – doing pretty much everything we could have done except looking at the price. As we were about to throw our defeathered main event in the carriage, a Stop and Shop guy said hello to us and asked us if we were looking specifically for the brand of bird we were poking.

Alissa, delicious turkey carcass, me

“Uh … No?” I said. “I just want one that’s defrosted. We’re eating this bad boy tomorrow.”

“Oh no problem,” he said. “All these turkeys would be good to go by tomorrow, and the ones over there are on special for 89 cents a pound.”

That’s when I looked up and noticed that the turkey we were about to take home was $2.57 a pound. To all my cute little turkey-loving friends: I love you, but maybe not enough to serve you a $2.57 a pound turkey. Sorry.

The wonderful crew that made it to our Thanksgiving.

We shuffled over to the more affordable (and honestly, no less delicious) turkey, got some printed out thawing and cooking directions from our new awesome Stop and Shop friend, and then picked up tons of potatoes, stuffing and assorted deliciousness.

On Sunday morning, an accomplice and myself heisted some chairs and a table from our work, picked up some last minute items, and I was cooking like crazy by noon. It’s just over the past few years that I’ve taken up cooking whole birds and I’m pretty much starting to love all the butter that’s involved. I just shove as much of it as I can under the skin and then put even more on top and then baste and baste and baste. This was my first year using broth to make the stuffing instead of water, which I can tell you, was a sweet move. We went through two pans of stuffing – which pissed me off a tad since I wanted a bunch for leftovers …

Alissa recommended buttermilk for the mashed potatoes, which I think was a seriously good call. We whipped them up in the Kitchen Aid and had plenty of leftovers. We even got a few sweet pictures of the deliciousness in process.

We had a bunch of lovely people in our tiny apartment who all brought lovely food: yams, creamed spinach, cranberry, salad, green beans with almonds, carrots, corn, lemon pound cake, and all the seasonal (and nonseasonal) beers we could drink. We ate a ton, laughed a lot, and watched the Pats. All in all, a more than decent night.

Phil, the master of pound cake.

Actual Thanksgiving was a lot less work on my part. I cooked nearly nothing (except a cranberry sauce that my grandmother used to make when I was a kid) and ate more than was advisable. Family Thanksgiving is always at my Uncle Jack’s and we always have a big crowd. This year, Alissa and Maria joined us, which made less room on the couch for me, but I was mostly ok with it.

My biggest job on Actual Thanksgiving is not to let my Auntie Mal down in trivia. We have a yearly Trivial Pursuit game and Mal and I are undefeated, like, a million years in a row. Everyone else in the family tries to say that we just happen to get all the easy questions for pieces of the Trivial Pursuit pie, but, excuse me, family – a million years in a row we just happen to get all the easy questions? No. We’re just that awesome at trivia. Especially the 90s addition, which is our Trivial Pursuit of choice.

Last night we had my cousin John on our team, and while he was mostly good for stripper jokes and heckling the other teams, he helped us out with a few key questions. He knew that the title of the film that was sued by Hormel for a having a pig pirate named Spam was “Muppet Treasure Island.” Still think we get all the easy ones?

My Mac and Cheese is Kinda Famous

24 Nov

A few years ago, I discovered a macaroni and cheese recipe that has quickly become a fan favorite. People (including myself) just can’t seem to get enough of it. I’ve tailored the recipe a little bit to make it wicked spicy, and I think that’s what keeps bringing people back. I’ve made it for family events, holidays and birthdays, and even given it as a gift to some of my closest friends who seriously love it (Brittany Roberts, I’m looking at you).

I’ve noticed lately that this mac and cheese has become a unique little part of my life. I’ll make it as an excuse to have people over and an excuse to feel domestic. I guess it’s my first signature dish and I’ve tweaked the recipe enough to make it my own. I also refuse to give the recipe to anyone else, so if people want it, they have to keep coming over.

So while you can’t have the recipe, you can have two little clues: the spiciness and the crust are what make it pretty irresistible. I start the sauce off by making a roux (equal parts fat and flour – the fat I use is butter) and this is where the first bit of hotness gets thrown in. Add a little bit (or a lotta bit) of red pepper flakes to the roux for an awesome kick.

The second thing that really makes the mac is the crust. Panko bread crumbs are the way to go. They’re Japanese and they stay crispy forever. I melt butter – a lot of butter – and then add the crumbs to the pan of melted better, making sure that they all get nice and covered. I sprinkle the crumbs over the pan of mac and cheese and then bake it until the crust is golden.

I totally recommend mac and cheese if you’re looking to make a friend for life (Britt, looking at you again).