Ben and I are so excited about the start of the Olympics that we threw an opening ceremony party for ourselves tonight. I considered making something Korean in honor of the host country but then reconsidered when I realized that I have very limited knowledge of Korean cooking. (Note to self: Learn how to cook Korean food.) I made chicken wings instead. ;)
I'm digging this healthier version of the traditional fried chicken wing. These cornflake crusted baked wings are just and juicy and delicious as their fried counterparts without all the extra grease. The simple dipping sauce is a great compliment to the wings and also doubles as a yummy vegetable dip.
Salt and Vinegar Chicken Wings
1 pound chicken wings
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon malt vinegar
1 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes
2 Tablespoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
Sprinkle chicken with salt. Serve with dipping sauce.
Let the 2018 Winter Olympics begin. What's your favorite winter Olympic sport to watch? I like them all but I'm super excited to watch the bobsledding. I'm pretty sure if I hadn't decided to become a chef, I could have been and Olympic bobsledder. Never mind the fact that I don't like cold weather or anything fast. Guess I'll stick to cheffing - for now.
I am totally jumping on the spaghetti squash bandwagon. I am such a big fan of those little yellow gourds that I toss one into my cart almost every time I see them at the grocery store.
I have to admit that I wasn't an instant fan. The first few times that I tried to make spaghetti squash I pretended it was spaghetti, covered it in marinara sauce and needless to say, I was less than impressed. My brain was telling me that I was eating squash but I wanted it to have the same texture and consistency as pasta. My conflicting feelings led to a less than satisfying spaghetti squash experience.
Once I finally convinced my brain that it was acceptable for spaghetti squash to resemble pasta but be completely different in taste and texture, I was on board. Now some of my very favorite dinners are based on Spaghetti Squash. If you're a fellow spaghetti squash fan, you have to check out my Spaghetti Squash Lasagna and Southwest Spaghetti Squash recipes. You will also love this Spaghetti Squash Scampi recipe. It's super easy - and delicious.
I've made so much spaghetti squash that I've finally started to perfect my squash roasting techniques. For one thing, I've learned recently that if I cut it into rings before roasting instead of slicing it in half, I end up with longer, more appealing "spaghetti" strands. Check out this recipe for details on that.
Spaghetti Squash Scampi
1 spaghetti squash
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 Tablespoons oil
1/4 crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces shrimp, peeled
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Carefully scrape out squash strands.
Add spinach and toss until wilted. Add squash and sprinkle with salt.
Serve with Naan bread.
Dial up the heat by adding more red pepper flakes to your scampi. Ben and I ate an entire squash for dinner and normally we only eat about a quarter of the squash a piece. I guess that's a sign that this recipe is a keeper. Hope you enjoy!
I like yogurt but I'm far from being a yogurt purist. I feel compelled to point out the fact that I prefer the full of sugar - tastes like dessert - kind of yogurt. (Have you tried the Chobani Key Lime Pie yogurt? Ridiculous) As if the added sugar wasn't bad enough, I also like to load up my yogurt with all sorts of extra deliciousness: fruit, granola, almonds and chocolate. It's not that I wouldn't love to be a plain, non-fat yogurt eating kind of girl but if I'm being honest with myself, I pretty much eat yogurt for the sugar.
I've tried in the past to wean myself from my go-to dessert like yogurt to sugar-free plain yogurt but it was unsuccessful. (No big surprise there.) So since I can't quit my sweet yogurt habit, I'll concentrate on reducing the amount of sugar that I add to it. A Toasted Muesli is a great swap for an ultra sweet granola. As an added bonus, when I add it to my already sweet yogurt - I hardly notice that it doesn't have any added sugar. Throw in a few fresh blueberries and suddenly it's a parfait.
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup barley
1 cup rye flakes
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
pinch of sea salt
Spread the oats, barley flakes, rye flakes, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, almonds and pistachios on a baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 325.
Add fruit and salt. Stir to combine.
Store muesli in a cool, dry place and in a container with a tight fitting lid.
Add a couple of spoonfuls of muesli to your favorite yogurt and enjoy.
This muesli is completely customizable. Substitute your favorite nuts and fruits and create your own unique combination of ingredients.
I LOVE roasted vegetables. I love how easy they are to make and how the roasting process brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetable.
If you follow these three simple rules, you can roast almost any vegetable.
1. Cut vegetables into evenly sized pieces so that they roast evenly and bake similar vegetables together. (peppers with peppers, broccoli with broccoli, etc.)
2. Toss vegetables with a mild olive oil and a generous amount of salt.
3. Adjust oven temperature to the vegetable that you're roasting but as a general rule, 425 is an average roasting temperature.
Those are the roasting basics. You can experiment with herbs and seasonings after the roasting process if you like. Don't be afraid of roasted vegetables - as long as you keep and eye on the oven so they don't get over-roasted - it's hard to ruin them.
Roasted Winter Vegetables
2-3 pounds fall vegetables (carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips)
1 red onion, sliced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Cut vegetables into similarly sized cubes.
Place on greased, foil lined baking sheet along with red onion.
Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper.
Roast 30 minutes at 425. Stir occasionally.
Did you know that virtually any vegetable can be roasted? Root vegetable are the most obvious choice for roasting: sweet potatoes, parsnips, squash, carrots but I've also been known to roast cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and eggplant. I have yet to find a vegetable that isn't roast-able.
Roasted vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to almost any meat, chicken or fish dish. They're easy to make and they add a lot of beautiful color to an otherwise bland looking plate.
New York City and Chicago are the pizza capitols of this country - and I was fortunate enough to grow up smack dab in the middle of them. There is no doubt that the city of Cleveland benefitted from and was influenced by pizza makers in both cities. In my humble opinion, Cleveland boasts some pretty fantastic pizza.
Despite all of the incredible pizzerias, my favorite pizza to eat when I was growing up was my mom's homemade pizza. My mom was by far the best pizza maker in town. She always baked her pizza on a rectangle cookie sheet and cut it into slices with kitchen scissors. (The true Italian way. LOL)
I will never be able to make pizza like my mom, but I do like to carry on the tradition of making homemade pizza for my family. We all like homemade pizza night. Everyone gets involved in the process: rolling dough, slicing toppings, sprinkling cheese, spreading sauce. Most of the time we end up with a half and half pizza.
I created this pizza to be just a little bit healthier than my usual thin crust pizza. A little parsley, whole wheat flour and tomato juice really pumps up the flavor of the crust. I loved the added nutrients in the dough but more importantly, we all loved the flavor of this pizza so much that the three of us ate the entire pie for dinner.
Veggie Pizza with Herbed Tomato Crust
1/2 cup whole wheat flour Toppings
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley 8 ounce can pizza sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon active dry yeast 1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 teaspoon pepper crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups flour
Arrange toppings over sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 25-30 minutes at 400. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
My mom still makes homemade pizza for us when we go to her house for a visit. She is STILL the best pizza maker in town. My pizza will never compare to hers so I don't even try to make her version. This is a pretty tasty homemade pizza though - you really need to give it a try.
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