I did a little research into the origins of Hot Chicken and I what I discovered was quite interesting. Nashville’s now-famous hot chicken dates back to the 1930s. According to local legend, an anguished woman was seeking revenge on her significant other for his wandering eye so she doused his chicken with cayenne pepper, hoping it would cause him to feel some of the pain and distress that she was experiencing. 🍗 Her plan backfired, it turned out, he loved the chicken so much that he decided to open a restaurant that featured that same fried chicken covered in sweet and spicy sauce. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack still stands today in downtown Nashville and is currently helmed by the original owner’s great-niece, André Prince Jeffries. 😂
I don't know this wife's name and I certainly don't agree with her strategy but I can relate to her use of food as a form of passive aggressive revenge. One time I served chili to my unsuspecting husband for 4 days in a row as an expression of my displeasure about a situation. 😅Cruel and unusual punishment by my standard but what I didn't count on was the fact that he just really loves chili and was happy to eat it day after day. (after day) 🙄
Admittedly, the use of repetitive meals as a way to take umbrage against a situation was not my best decision but I can't even imagine a level of aggravation that would drive someone to spice their significant other's food with the intention of causing intestinal distress. It sounds more like a movie plot than real life. I don't know if the legend about Nashville Hot Chicken is real but it certainly makes for a good story.
Traditionally, Nashville Hot Chicken is served with sliced white bread and pickles - Chick Fil A style. I've never had true Nashville Hot Chicken but based on everything that I've heard about it - I'm sure I would love it. I'm a fan of spicy as long as I'm informed ahead of time about what to expect.
Nashville Hot Chicken is a bucket list food but in the meantime, I decided to make my own version at home. Since I've never tasted the original, my homemade hot chicken is bound to be the best I've ever had. 😂 I opted for a less traditional Hot Chicken recipe. One that uses baked instead of fried chicken and the addition of honey to balance out the spiciness of the sauce. I'm not sure that Nashville Hot Chicken purists would approve of my version but it's got my stamp of approval.
Hot Honey Chicken
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons lime juice
3 scallions, sliced thin
Sprinkle with scallions and serve.
I recommend a nicely chilled glass of Chardonnay with this chicken. I'm fairly certain that you won't find wine at Prince's Hot Chicken Shack but it was a nice addition to this meal. If you're a beer drinker - by all means - open up a nice hoppy brew. Either way - enjoy!
Is there any more perfect food than macaroni and cheese? Hot, gooey, melted cheese blended in perfect harmony with your favorite pasta. If I had to describe macaroni and cheese, I would use words like consoling, warming, comforting, invigorating, restorative and heart-warming. (Also words that I've used to describe my husband, by the way.) 😳😬😂
A big dish of baked macaroni and cheese acted as a beautiful main dish for a lot of busy nights when my kids were little. It's a Davis family favorite for sure. It's also a great side dish for almost any main course. I can't even think of a chicken, beef or fish dinner that I wouldn't want to serve alongside a heaping helping of creamy macaroni and cheese.
There are a lot of different ways to make a great macaroni and cheese. You can make it on the stovetop, in the oven, in a crock pot or even with an instapot. I've seen recipes for macaroni and cheese with pumpkin, chorizo, cauliflower, lobster, eggs, bacon and pear. As if that didn't offer enough mac and cheese possibilities, there are endless cheese choices to make when it comes to creating a unique macaroni and cheese. Are you a blue cheese, gruyere, cheddar or a spicy jalapeno cheese fan?
Macaroni and cheese dishes are as unique as each and every family who eats it. As for my family - we love super cheesy and creamy, oven baked macaroni and cheese. I like to combine a couple of different cheeses to create more depth of flavor and a dash or two of hot sauce is my favorite way to "kick it up." 🤫
Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded American cheese
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups water
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Put pan under broiler until top is browned. Serve.
Disclaimer: You can't make this recipe just once. When you make this macaroni and cheese for you family - they WILL love it and you WILL have to make it over and over again. Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and everyone has their own favorite version. This one is mine. Enjoy!
There's a theme to our dinner menu this week and that theme is based on a spongy, purple and delicious vegetable. EGGPLANT!!! 🍆(Yes, I know that it's a fruit, but I feel better about eating ridiculous amounts of it when I label it a vegetable.) 😂
Our eggplant based menu happened by accident really. It all started when I spotted a basket of the absolute cutest mini eggplant at the farmers market that I couldn't resist. Needless to say, they came home with me. Then I found a giant eggplant at the grocery store that had my name all over it soooo... they found their way into my shopping cart too.
It's Eggplantpalooza Week! I'm making eggplant parmigiana pizza, eggplant pecorino, eggplant meatballs and Pasta alla Norma. Pasta Norma is the kiss of Sicilian summer. It’s a composition that sings of seasonality, when tomatoes and eggplant are at their peak and my garden is overrun with fresh basil.
I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with this delicious pasta dish flavored with eggplant. I used to order it on a regular basis at a local Italian restaurant that we visited frequently. Their pasta Norma was beyond delicious. Rich tomato sauce loaded with golden eggplant blanketing perfectly cooked tubes of pasta and topped with a pile of freshly grated Italian cheese. I was devastated on the day that I found out that the establishment that made the Pasta Norma that I adored so much, was closing. 😢
With all this beautiful eggplant in the house, there was really no excuse for me not to make my own version of Pasta Norma this week. After all, there's really nothing bad that can happen when you combine fresh eggplant, tomato sauce and cheese.
Pasta Alla Norma
5-6 mini eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, mined
2 anchovy fillets, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 pound penne
6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces parmesan cheese
Sprinkle with parmesan before serving.
What other eggplant recipes do you have that I need to know about? Send me your recipes. I like everything from warm eggplant dips to grilled eggplant in my salad. If you've got a great recipe that you want to share - I'd love to see it.
I feel like I get the side eye every time I go through the grocery store check out line with 20 pounds of butter and 10 dozen eggs in my cart. Doesn't everybody buy 60 pounds of sugar at a time? Does anyone else feel judgement in the grocery store check out line?
At some point during the check out process, typically after they've scanned my 10th bottle of vanilla, the cashier inevitably asks the question: "Doing some baking?" If you know me, you know how hard it is for me not to come back with a sarcastic comment. 😂 I've learned to just smile politely, answer with a resounding "yes" and hand them my debit card.
My brain tells me that I really shouldn't be concerned about what the Kroger cashier thinks about my shopping habits but I can't help but feel the weight of their stare after they scan an amount of powdered sugar that boarders on hoarding. I've actually been guilty of tossing random vegetables into my cart just to save face in the checkout line. Somehow I've convinced myself that the presence of a bag of mini carrots somehow counteracts the ridiculous amounts of sugar and fat that are in my cart.
I recognize that tossing miscellaneous vegetables into my cart is somewhat absurd but it's absolutely true but whatever it takes to save face in the checkout line. 😂 I do occasionally end up excess vegetables and I like to think of it as a cooking show challenge. What can I make with my guilt-driven vegetable purchase? Believe it or not, I've actually been able to come up with some pretty interesting veggie side dishes.
If you are a fan of mushrooms (or if you happen to throw some into your grocery cart as a distraction) you need to try this Madeira Roasted Mushroom recipe. It's super simple but it is amazing. I think that you will agree that it's the perfect compliment to a juicy steak or a batch of grilled chicken.
Madeira Roasted Mushrooms
1 pound mixed mushrooms cut into 1" pieces
2 cups thickly sliced shallots
2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup Madeira wine
I've never really thought of mushrooms as a side dish but I've got to say - they are a tasty compliment to a LOT of our summer meals. I haven't been able to convince EVERYONE in my house to eat them but I'm not giving up the fight. 😅
Every holiday comes with its own foods unique to that day. It's hard to imagine celebrating Thanksgiving without turkey and pumpkin pie? Easter without ham, Halloween without candy, Valentine's Day without chocolate, Christmas without cookies or Cinco De Mayo without tacos and margaritas? 🌮
Those holidays have really obvious food pairings, but others seem like they're more open for interpretation. Take the 4th of July, for example. There are those who celebrate America's birthday with burgers and hot dogs.🍔🌭 Others find it fitting to honor the day with apple pie and ice cream. 🥧🍨 This inquiring mind wants to know - what do you eat on the 4th of July?
4th of July celebrations are undoubtedly going to look different this year because we're all being cautious about the Covid 19 virus. Even though large gatherings and in some cases, even the fireworks, have been cancelled, it seems to me that people are still planning to host or attend small, more intimate, celebrations to commemorate the day. 🎆
Whether you're planning to cook hamburgers in the backyard for your family or packing a picnic to eat in the car while you watch fireworks from the safety of your vehicle, I've got the perfect side dish for you. Panzanella! It's time to move beyond traditional potato salad and branch out to something new and different.
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, cut in half
salt and pepper
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
8 cups crusty white bread, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
Transfer to a serving dish. Season with salt, pepper and some of the reserved vinegar. Top with cheese and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Panzanella is traditionally a salad that is made when you have leftover bread and extra tomatoes. I don't like to wait for my ingredients to become leftovers though. I got fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and crusty Italian bread from the grocery store. I added some fresh basil from my garden and voila - the perfect Panzanella.
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