Friday, January 31, 2014

Baked Lemon Pepper Wings

It's probably been at least 10 years since the first all-wing restaurant opened in our city.  We had places that served wings among other items, but we didn't have a place that served wings, and wings only.  So when they opened Spencer, myself, his brother and then girlfriend (now wife) were beyond excited.  Before going our first time we did our research; we looked them up, read about them and studied the menu thoroughly.  We didn't want to be overwhelmed our first time there.

We enjoyed the wings so much, that we made it a weekly thing.  At least one evening every week we would all meet there; we'd order our wings (a variety so everyone could have a bite of this flavor and that flavor), get our fries, dips and drinks and scarf them down.  That was a ritual until his brother and sister-in-law moved out of town.  We still have our wing nights but they typically consist of either picking them up and bringing them home, or just making them at home.  But even though things have changed, Spencer's love for one flavor in particular hasn't.  He is obsessed with lemon pepper wings.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sticky Honey Soy Baked Wings

Okay folks, we are on the downward stretch to Super Bowl Sunday.  The date is set, teams are picked, commercials are scheduled, Bruno Mars is getting ready to perform the half time (yay!) and the menus are being finalized!  No matter what team you're rooting for, one thing can be agreed upon by both Broncos and Seahawks fans; food is a must for the big day.  Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest food consumption day of the year?  So, needless to say, food plays a huge role on the big game day.

What food is a must at your game day spread?  Pig in a blanket, nachos, salsa, guacamole, chili, wings?  There are tons of foods to choose from; the hard part is narrowing down the options and finalizing the menu.  To me, wings are one of those things that go hand in hand with football.  They are a staple to any game day celebration.

Monday, January 27, 2014

SRC: Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Cookies

The Secret Recipe Club took the month of December off in order to allow everyone to enjoy the Christmas season and time with family and friends.  As much as I needed that down time I must say, I couldn't wait for reveal day to come.  I received my January assignment in November, so I've been checking out page after page of delicious recipes over at The Spiffy Cookie.  Do you know how many times one can change their mind in a month?  A lot!
Erin is the genius behind The Spiffy Cookie.  She just recently completed her PhD in microbiology, so along with being spiffy, she's also one smart cookie!  When she's not hard at it in the books or labs, she's busy in the kitchen.  Food is her love, passion and outlet.  And like me, her favorite foods are baked goods!  I've been in love with Erin's blog for quite some time now, so when I found out I had it for this month's exchange I was beyond ecstatic.  Now came the hard part; trying to determine exactly what to make to share with you all.  Meyer lemon curd cupcakes, peanut butter cup oatmeal cookies, Nutella chunk cookies, german chocolate brownies, strawberry-banana colada smoothie, and the list goes on and on...those are just a tiny glimpse into what she's got on her blog and this doesn't even begin to cover the savory and main dishes.  I'm telling you folks, she's got it all which made my decision quite difficult.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Deep Dish S'mores Cookies for 2

When I think of a decadent dessert, one of the first things that crosses my mind is chocolate.  There's just something about chocolate anything that screams rich, delicious and pure decadence.  Basic cookies, however, typically don't fit the bill when I think of a show stopping dessert.  But, what about deep dish cookies?  We're not talking a cookie that's scooped onto a baking sheet and baked.  No way.  We're talking about a cookie so massive that it needs a container to control it.
Now, a cookie that is served in it's own, personal vessel.  Yes, that's a show stopper.  A cookie that is so massive that it dawns the name "deep dish".  Deep dish, a title that was once only associated with pizza or maybe a pie has now crossed over to the cookie world.  A deep dish s'mores cookie...for 2.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creamy Clam Chowder

Before I go any further, I have a confession.  I've never had clam chowder.  I've never had the canned stuff, a bowl from a restaurant, or any at a friends house.  I'm not really sure why I haven't had any before now.  Now Spencer, on the other hand, LOVES clam chowder.  He is, however, picky when it comes to the chowder.  He'll taste it at restaurants, if available, but he's kind of a snob when it comes to clam chowder.
So, the other day when I asked if he'd like me to make clam chowder for supper his eyes lit up like a kid in a candy store. I instantly had my answer, so then it was a matter of finding a recipe that would be good enough for this chowder snob.  We looked a several different recipes before we came across "the one".  And with one glance of the ingredients he was sold.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Salmon Salad with Candied Pecans

When it comes to salads, what kind of person are you?  Are you the type that would be content with a hefty pile of leafy greens, piled with cheese, eggs, fruit and or various other veggies?  OR, are you the type that has to have meat, in some form or fashion somewhere on the plate?
I would fall in the first group.  Place a big ol' salad full of fruits and veggies in front of me and I am one happy girl.  Now, Spencer, on the other hand has to have meat with his salad.  No, it's not a mind thing, believe it or not, it's a matter of needing the food to stay with him longer than 2-3 hours.  Although, a few years ago, it would have been a matter of being a mind thing because in his head a meal wasn't complete unless there was meat on the plate.  He's grown out of that thought process but still needs a hearty meal.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Single Serve Chocolate Chip Cookie

Okay, so have you ever found yourself in dyer need of a cookie but there's not one to be found.  Or, you really don't need to bake an entire batch...because let's face it, you'll sit around and eat every single one in one sitting?  (or maybe that's just me, but no one's judging here) Or you've created incredibly picky cookie connoisseurs who will only eat cookies warm, straight from the oven?  Because, yeah, I've done that at my house.

So, if you find yourself shaking your head in agreement, or you just need one little cookie to get you through then I have something amazing for you!  A single serve cookie.  That's right; one cookie.  No need to sit in the kitchen scooping one ball of dough after another.  This, my friends, is simply a matter of mixing a few ingredients and baking it up.
And let me tell you, this isn't just any cookie or a cookie that is for the faint of heart.  This is a hefty cookie for the most avid of cookie lovers.  Thick, chewy, gooey and full of chocolate chips.  This puts your average cookies to shame; this is the type of cookie you want to indulge in when you're sitting up by yourself watching re-runs of friends at 1:00 in the morning.  Or, well anytime you need that cookie fix.
So the next time you find yourself in need of an indulgent treat; forgo the pint of ice cream in your freezer, the candy bar sitting in your candy jar, or the 2 pound bag of M&M's that's taunting you and make one of these delicious cookies and treat yourself.  After all, you deserve it!

Single Serve Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/8 Tsp vanilla
1/8 Tsp salt
4 Tbsp flour
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
2-4 Tbsp chocolate chips, depending on taste


Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat and set aside.

Place butter in a medium microwave safe bowl.  Place in microwave and heat for 30-45 seconds, until completely melted.  Add both sugars and vanilla and whisk vigorously for about 45 seconds, until sugars are dissolved.  Add the salt, flour and cornstarch and whisk until combined.  Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.  

Form the cookie into a round, disk shape and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 15-18 minutes; depending on how gooey you like the center.  Remove and enjoy with a tall glass of mil!

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

The slow cooker is one of my best friends in the kitchen.  It takes my food, cooks it for me and has it ready for me when I walk through the door after a long day of work.  Isn't that a good friend?  Taking care of me during the week isn't the only thing my slow cooker does, it also allows me to have those lazy days curled up on the couch or spending valuable time playing cars, painting or chasing my little man.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Golden Broccoli Gratin

I am a veggie girl through and through.  I like veggies in all forms; raw, dipped in ranch, roasted, baked, steamed, sautéed, you name it I like it.  But, I think everyone agrees that the best way to enjoy any vegetable is doused in a creamy bubbly sauce and topped with gobs of melted cheese.
Vegetables have forever gotten the short end of the stick.  You never hear someone tell their kids; before you leave the table you have to finish your steak, or pizza, or hamburger.  Those are always the first things to go.  But the infamous words that kids for generations loathe are "you have to finish your vegetables before you _____".  Well all that comes to a holt when you serve your family a side that is swimming in warm bubbly cream and gooey cheese.  Add cheese to your vegetables and you've instantly transformed your basic meal into a meal that is pure decadence. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Lightened Up Fudgy Brownies

Brownies are hands down one of my all-time favorite desserts.  But, when it comes to brownies I'm picky.  I want a gooey, fudgy brownie that is packed full of that chocolate goodness.  Give me a good ol' classic brownie and I'll be a happy camper.  Don't worry about adding powdered sugar, frosting or even ice cream.  The perfect fudgy brownie is all I need.  
I could literally sit down with a fork and eat an entire pan.  But, I practice restraint not only because I would end up with a huge stomach ache but also because brownies, and desserts in general, are not the most healthy option to gorge in.  So, what if I were to tell you that I have the perfect indulgent, fudgy brownie recipe that was a little lighter than your traditional brownie but still just as good?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese-Lightened Up

When I think of comfort food one of the first things that comes to mind is macaroni and cheese.  Starchy pasta coated is mounds of ooey gooey cheese.  I mean, that just screams comfort food.  Don't you agree?

The love for macaroni and cheese, no doubt, starts at a young age.  Most of the time young ones are introduced to this cheesy pasta that comes straight out of the blue box.  Simply boil the noodles then add the powdered cheese right out of the packet and you've got an easy and satisfying dish that kiddos will gobble up.  Easy and convenient is a must for busy mom's and families. 
One thing that doesn't come to mind when you think of comfort food and even hear the words macaroni and cheese is healthy or light.  So when parents are trying to give their kids healthier or lighter meals, more times than not macaroni and cheese isn't an option that comes to mind.

Well, today is the day that all that changes.  I've taken on the comfort food that is macaroni and cheese and given it a lighter twist.  One that will leave parents satisfied and feeling better about serving to their kids.  But also one that won't leave kids wondering where all the good stuff is.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lighter French Toast

Breakfast food is a weakness in our house.  I honestly think Spencer could eat it three times a day, everyday and never every get tired of it.  In my efforts to keep everyone happy, I try my best to make a hearty breakfast on Saturday mornings full of bacon, eggs, possibly waffles, or maybe some biscuits and gravy.  Along with Saturdays, I try to plan a night during the week to have breakfast foods to ensure we get our fix!
While I think Spencer would be perfectly content with the standard bacon, eggs and biscuits, I enjoy trying different things and changing things up.  So I throw in some biscuits and gravy, French toast, waffles, cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins and a variety of other things.
French toast is one of those things that I love to make when I like to switch things up it's so simple to assemble and doesn't require using every dish in the kitchen.  It's also a recipe I like to make when I want something easy that can be assembled ahead of time.  This particular recipe is an overnight French toast which means all the work is done ahead of time and all I have to do is pop it in the oven the next morning.
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