Did you know that I used to be a Hooter’s Girl? I served up Hot Wings and Beer.
Not really, I was a copy cat just for a day (many years and many less pounds ago). McGyver thought it would be a hoot (pun intended) to get me a Hooter’s girl outfit. So one day (when the kids were gone), I dressed up, made him Hot Wings and served him some beer (after a little taste test).
I didn’t have pockets and I needed my hands to, umm, serve the wings, so I had to improvise…
Hooter’s Hot Wings (Copy Cat)
4 – 5 lbs. chicken wings
1 cup flour
2 tsp. Johnny’s seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Oil for deep frying (peanut, canola, vegetable)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
Blue cheese or ranch dressing
Carrot and celery sticks
Cut wings (separate at the joints, freeze tips for making stock later) For an example and some tips see here. Mix flour and seasoning salt. Coat wings in seasoned flour. Place on a plate and cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Reserve the leftover flour for later.
In a large Dutch oven or deep fryer, heat oil to 375° F. In a small saucepan over low heat melt the butter and add the hot sauce. Keep warm. Deep fry the chicken, several pieces at time (amount depends on your size of fryer/pan—make sure there is enough of space between the wings so they don’t touch).
Fry until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Drain on a wire rack. Place the wings in a large bowl, pour sauce over them, cover and toss to coat wings. Remove with a slotted spoon or tongs. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing, carrot sticks and celery sticks.
McGyver said they were the best Hooter’s Hot Wings he has ever had (maybe it was the outfit?).
Would you believe it if I told you that I’m the only member of my family that likes football? It’s true; if I watch a game I watch it alone while everyone else goes about their business. Except for one time a year, Super Bowl time.
Mine: Brie and Apple
Suddenly on Super Bowl day I have a crowd in my living room with all eyes peeled on the TV. I suspect that the crowd has nothing to do with the Super Bowl, it has more to do with the Super Bowl food. Next to Thanksgiving, I believe that the Super Bowl is the second largest food consumption day in the United States.
His: Cheddar and Jalapeno
The food served for Super Bowl day is quite different than Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving consists mostly of traditional comfort food where as the Super Bowl is filled with a veritable feast of snack/junk foods. Like Thanksgiving, there are many things that I only make on Super Bowl day. Ever notice how some foods just go better with beer and football. By that I mean: fat laden, fried, cheesy, salty, spicy and pretty much anything that’s not good for you is served during the Super Bowl.
One of the easiest foods in the world to make has to be quesadillas, plus the variety of possibilities is endless. This year for the Super Bowl I am making His, Mine and Ours Quesadillas. His: cheddar and jalapeno (cheesy and spicy), Mine: Apple and Brie (sweet and creamy) and Ours: Bacon and Colby Jack (mixed cheese and everyone’s favorite-bacon).
His, Mine and Ours
His, Mine and Ours Quesadillas
3 Large (Burrito size) flour tortillas
2 oz. shredded sharp cheddar
Pickled jalapeno slices
2 oz. Colby jack cheese, shredded
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 oz. brie cheese, sliced
1/4 granny smith apple very thinly sliced
No stick spray
Heat a griddle (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Spray griddle with some no stick spray. Lay the tortilla on top. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on one half and lay jalapeno slices on top of the cheese. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the top of the cheese and jalapenos. Griddle until cheese starts to melt and the tortilla turns golden brown in spots. Flip quesadilla over and brown other side.
My secret tip: spray top of quesadilla with some no stick spray, lightly sprinkle with garlic salt then flip over and griddle 10-15 seconds more. Lightly spray the other side and sprinkle with garlic salt, flip and griddle for another 10-15 seconds more. The addition of the garlic salt on the outside gives it almost a roasted garlic flavor and the salt on the outside immediately tantalizes your taste buds.
Repeat the same method for the Cheese and Bacon Quesadilla and the Brie and Apple Quesadilla, except omit the garlic salt on the Brie and Green Apple Quesadillas. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole if desired.
Brie is, without a doubt, is my most favorite of all cheeses. It is today anyways. I am often like a Labrador retriever, whatever is good at the moment is my favorite thing. Walk time, it’s my favorite thing, dinner time, it’s my favorite thing, fetch, it’s my favorite thing, brie it’s my favorite thing. When it comes to cheese, sometimes I think I’m kin to a mouse, because it is my favorite thing. Add some bacon to it and I begin to swoon.
This appetizer has so many great elements to it, it’s crunchy, creamy, salty and sweet. A veritable party for your mouth. In addition, it has a short ingredient list and it is ever so easy to make. Unexpected guest? This appetizer is ready in less than 15 minutes. Although quick and easy, I guarantee that serving Brie, Bacon and Fig in a Fillo Cup will please anyone. Bonus, it is tasty at room temperature so you can make it ahead.
Start out with some purchased fillo cups and add cubed brie (without the rind)
Sprinkle some crumbled bacon on top of the brie and bake at 350°F for 5 to 8 minutes.
Top with a small dollop of fig preserve.
Have a party with your friends and your taste buds.
Brie, Bacon and Fig Fillo Cups
1 pkg. prebaked mini fillo shells (15)
4 oz. of brie, rind removed and cut into 1” cubes
2 to 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place shells on a cookie sheet and fill with each one with one piece of brie. Sprinkle bacon on top. Place in middle rack of the oven and cook for 5 – 8 minutes or until the brie melts. Remove from oven and add a small dollop of fig preserve (about 1/4 tsp.). Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Happy Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for? That question always looms on this day of thanks. If you were to ask random people, you would almost always get the same answers: my health, my family, my friends, my home, that I have a job, my pets, etc. We often take those things for granted and it is always great to take time to appreciate all the good things we have. Food bloggers are thankful for some other uniques things, I have some that I’d like to share if you will indulge me.
1. I am grateful for the readers of my blog (the both of you…).
2. I am grateful for comments that are given, it’s the comments that keep me going, elated even. I can’t wait to read every single one of them.
3. I am grateful for my sometimes editors and photographers McGyver and the Baby boy.
4. I am grateful for my guinea pigs who try out whatever wacky dish I make (family, friends and co-workers).
5. I am grateful for everyone who grew a garden and raised animals this year and gave me freebies galore (just finished off the last of my free onions).
6. I am grateful for my Nikon D5000, it changed the world of photography for me.
7. I am grateful that I live someplace that gives me access to the best beef in world and fresh chicken, eggs, turkeys and vegetables from the local Hutterite colonies.
8. I am grateful for the Foodbuzz community, I have learned much, been inspired and met so many other bloggers.
9. I am grateful for all the other food bloggers. We are of like mind, I have learned so much from all of you.
10. I am especially grateful for Leah at Leftovers4Lunch she has been my inspiration and coach (her mom needed a lot of coaching i.e. “how do I twitter?”).
Enough sentiments…or I’ll make myself cry.
Need a quick appetizer? This is perfect for last minute guests and perfect for football watching days. I made this for the last Superbowl and took the poor pictures (yes, almost a year ago). I only had a point and shoot camera and I didn’t know the beauty of natural light or about angles, rule of thirds, focal points, apetures, shutter speed, don’t use flash on food, etc. Sometimes it’s good to look back and see how far you’ve come. Regardless of the quality of the pictures these little meat bites are a crowd pleaser for sure. We call them Heart Attacks on a Stick because they are lil’ smokies wrapped in bacon. Nothing like meat wrapped meat secured with a stick to make them easier to eat, to help clog the arteries.
Here’s to the heart attack! I warn you, they are very addictive!
1 package Lil’ Smokies
1 package of center cut bacon
Start my cutting the bacon in half.
Lay one lil’ smokie in the middle of the bacon and wrap.
Secure with a toothpick.It looks so cute, all bundled up.
Place on a broiler pan or a cookie sheet with a cooling rack. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
(Notice I also didn’t pay attention to what was in the background of my pictures…would someone please come clear off my dining room table?)
Bake in a 400° oven until bacon is crisp. Serve immediately.
So simple, so deadly! I warn you again, they go fast, you may need to make a double batch!
McGyver was the official taste tester, after all who would know his dad’s recipe better? See we only had a list of the ingredients and not the quantity. McGyver had a general idea of what the recipe called for, and at one time in our married life I had actually got the exact recipe from Grandpa HoHo. But I put it somewhere safe and naturally I can’t find it now. Not wanting to call and ask for it again, (I didn’t want to appear as scattered brain as I am) I decided to keep making this dip until I got it right.
Good news, McGyver knew immediately what the difference was from right away after my first attempt. “More Shrimp and chop them up” he says, “the dip should have a slight pink color”. So I followed his words of wisdom and ba-da-boom-ba-da-bing, it turned into a beautiful thing.
Not sure if was really a good thing, because now I don’t have an excuse to make it every week….
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 green onions, minced finely
2 4oz cans tiny shrimp, rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice on med speed with a mixer.
Unless you are Grandpa HoHo, then mix it by hand.
You can mix it my hand even if you aren’t Grandpa HoHo if that’s how you like to do things.
Mix it till it’s smooth and creamy.
Mince up those green onions.
Rinse the little shrimp, rinse them really, really well. They are really, really salty little guys.
Add the shrimp and green onions to the cream cheese mixture.
Now I didn’t chop up my little geisha shrimp (isn’t that name so adorable?). I knew my mixer would take care of it for me!
Add salt and pepper. If you add salt, be very careful…those salty little shrimp were enough for me!
I served it this time with some celery…thought if I was going to make it every week I better serve it with something healthy.
How was I to know it would be perfect on the second try?
The humble saltine, also known as a soda cracker, isn’t considered a fancy food. It’s used mostly crumbled up in soup, chili, topped on casseroles and once in awhile it gets slathered with peanut butter or topped with a slice of cheese. If your tummy is upset the doctor recommends some soda crackers to fend off nausea. Other then that there just doesn’t seem to be many other uses for the basic saltine.
It was invented in 1876 in St. Joseph, Missouri. I’ve stayed there and never knew it was the birthplace of the soda cracker, guess it just doesn’t seem like something to advertise in the tourist guides. The saltines position is so low in the cracker department that it finds it’s home on the bottom shelf of every grocery store I’ve been in. They are also cheap! I mean they really are a deal, I got a box of 4 sleeves (store brand) for 98¢.
When my Lulu at work threw a sandwich baggie full of these on my desk and said you gotta try these, I was really excited. I was also starving at the moment so they seemed like a God send. I tasted one; crispy, salty (a familiar taste for a saltine) but moister, and more flavorful and spicy. They were so good that my hand kept finding it’s way into the bag and one by one they were starting to disappear. Fortunately Lulu came in and snatched her bag back, she evidently wanted me to try them, not devour them all….
Pure simple unadulterated guacamole. I’ve read many guacamole recipes that call for a variety of ingredients such as garlic, tomato, onion and jalapenos. But the truth is, I love, love, love avocados. So much so that I don’t want to have my guacamole covered up by any flavors. Just salt to enhance the flavor and some lime juice to retard browning and also to enhance the avocados natural creamy green goodness. This is as simple as it gets, only 3 ingredients, and a celebration of the avocado.
1/2 tsp of salt plus more to taste
Juice from 1/2 lime
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit. Slice lenghtwise and crosswise to make small cubes. Using a spoon, scoop out the green goddess into a bowl.
Mash with a fork till desired consistency (I like mine slightly chunky).
Add the salt.
Juice the lime.
I’ve had my stepsons staying with me, and like good boys they’ve helped with the kitchen duties.
Who am I kidding, they were forced to do dishes….house rules.
Anyways, they didn’t know where I put things so instead of asking (cuz that would make sense) they put things away to wherever seemed appropriate at the time.
For the life of me, I could not find my juicer.
So I enlisted Thing 2 to juice my lime with a fork.
Mix together and serve immediately.
If you can’t serve immediately put one of the pits in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and it will help prevent browning.
Can’t deny it, can you believe it also makes things healthier?
Okay, maybe not bacon itself. But use bacon and grill instead of breading and deep frying, suddenly really unhealthy turns into not so unhealthy.
Jalapeno peppers area vegetable and cream cheese is lower in fat then regular hard cheese.
What I’m getting at is Jalapeno Poppers, a favorite snack/appetizer doesn’t have to be all bad.
6-8 oz Cream Cheese
4-8 slices of bacon
Thats it! the variance in the amount of cheese and bacon is based on the fact that not jalapenos are created the same size. I used anywhere from 1/2 oz to 3/4 oz cream cheese and 1/2 to 3/4 slice bacon.
Make a lengthwise split down the jalapeno (I used gloves to handle mine because I invariably touch my eye, etc. and it burrrrns).
Clean the seeds and membranes from the inside of the pepper.
Hold the pepper between your fingers lengthwise and squeeze slightly.
This will cause the pepper to pop open like the old football shaped coin purses your grandma used to use.
I used a spoon handle to clean out the seeds and membranes.
Once cleaned stuff it full of cream cheese.
Use the same “football change purse squeeze” technique to open the jalapeno and stuff it.
Once stuffed, wrap each jalapeno with bacon and use a toothpick to secure.
Cook over a medium hot grill.
Cook until desired doneness. Generally speaking most people like their bacon crispy. Unless you have my boys, they like theirs ‘al dente’.
Is there such a thing as ‘al dente’ bacon?
Regardless, they like theirs slightly on the chewy side.
Whether you like your bacon crispy or ‘al dente’ I guarantee that you’ll love these jalapeno poppers!
It just seems like the nicer the weather gets, the busier we get. Especially here in Montana where the nice season is short. You want to take advantage of every nice day you possibly can. For example today McGyver cleaned out the garage, Ryan mowed the lawn and I cleaned house. Well, that’s not exactly how one pictures spending a beautiful spring day, but we have Scouts tonight and we have our daughter’s wedding in Las Vegas next weekend, so we needed to get the dirty (now clean) deeds done.
Before this fabulous salsa, Baby Boy swore he didn’t like salsa. He just doesn’t like anything spicy (sometimes you have to wonder, are you really my brood?). Being a good sport and all, BB decided to sample it. Umm, can we say it was gone before I knew it?
I really enjoy pico de gallo, but it is really only good when you have in season tomatoes. This is my winter solution. You can certainly increase the heat if you don’t have a Baby Boy to please.