Thursday, March 31, 2011

Healthier Baked Buffalo Wings

I can't remember the last time I was this sick (fever, chills, sleeping until noon and the like), so I am going to keep this post short & sweet, actually, it's going to be a little more savory this time...

My dad told me I needed some "real food" on my blog.  Silly father, cheese puffs, brownies & cake are real food.  I mean, they may not be the healthiest thing ever, but they are real food!  Especially if you compare them to half of the things in the supermarket today - no artificial color, xanthan gum or Microcrystalline cellulose here!

So dad, here is some real food: Buffalo wings, adapted to be healthy.  They have protein, W sauce, hot sauce, love & deliciousness.  So I better not be getting a phone call later saying that I yet again didn't post real food.

As you probably guessed it, I made these for the Superbowl.  You'd also be correct if you guessed that I took this picture after I let all the vultures swoop in and take part in the wing feast.  I made somewhere in the ball park of 25 wings and 10 minutes later, these are all that were left.

For the actual cooking part, please make sure you have some jellyroll pans.  Aaron and his roommate somehow didn't own a single one and I had to jiffy-rig an aluminum foil covered oven rack in its place.  It worked, but not so well.  The chicken drippings dribbled all over the bottom of the oven, set off the fire alarm a few times (it's not good until the fire alarm goes off, am I right?) and had to crack every window in his apartment.  Even with all that drama, these turned out so well.  Aaron and his roommate made sure I talked them through the recipe and gave them a copy so they could make the wings again & again.

Best part, this was my first time ever making wings.  In the words of Charlie Sheen, WINNING!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


…And so begins my Elizabeth Taylor marathon.  As I write this post, I skillfully positioned my instant streaming Netflix window in the lower corner of my Macbook as to watch Ms. Taylor in "Cleopatra."  Some might say, "no no, start from the beginning," I say to hell with them.  I want to start off with something big & epic… and it also happened to pop up first on Netflix.  Regardless, RIP Elizabeth T.

It's also nice that such a fancy recipe corresponds to such an opulent movie.  But shhh, I'm going to let you in on a little secret… these cheese puffs, ahem Gougères, aren't hard to make at all.  While it certainly helps if you have a piping bag, you can easily use a sturdy ziplock.

You say you don't have fancy cheese?  Pish posh - I ran to Trader Joe's, stood scared in front of the cheese wall and asked an employee who looked mildly worldly his recommendations.  Gruyere?  Sounds good.  Good Parmesan?  Already got some in the fridge.  No excuses.

Even once I got to the party (yes, this is yet another Superbowl recipe) the comments wouldn't stop flowing in about how they couldn't believe I made from scratch cheese puffs or that they were a nice contrast to the usual Superbowl fare.  Even though football season is over (and might continue to be for a year plus), it is officially soccer season (Go Sounders!).  Why not make these for your next soccer, erm football (as this IS French food), party?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Soft Pretzel Bites

One batch makes a lot of bites!

Have you ever had "one of those weeks?"

I have been having one of those weeks time 5.  I found out I fractured my tailbone and have been utterly wiped out (unrelated to the buttock, I think).  However, there is a plus side to everything.  Now I get to carry around my own cushy pillow and no one can judge me.  Ohhh yeah.  After toting around my cushy pillow, I usually can sleep really well at night, a pretty big plus.  I also found out that I actually really love riding the bus, a big plus that's easy on me & the wallet.  There is nothing better than waking up during my commute to the Eastside by listening to some Stuff You Should Know and This American Life.  Maybe, just maybe, I might start blogging on the bus.  You hear that Ginger Cook followers?  I might have a regular blogging schedule!  Maybe this week hasn't been so bad?

But these pretzels can make any day better.

Small enough to pop in your mouth and no need to feel guilty when you eat 10 of them because you totally didn't eat a whole soft pretzel.  Nope, not at all… 

As I mentioned in the previous post, the next few posts will be food that I made for the Superbowl.  I would consider pretzels to be a quintessential football food (see my earlier argument) and people are usually impressed that soft pretzels can be made outside of a mall.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

So, Superbowl was how long ago?  A month?  Maybe a month and a half… oh, who really cares.  Better late than never, right?  I've proposed a lot of questions to in the first few sentences, but this is a fact, cookies are cookies and no matter what time of year it is and the only thing that changes is how they are decorated.

As I've already mentioned, the slew of food I made for the Superbowl will be the main focus of the next 6 or 7 posts.  Yes, I made a lot of food but what do you expect?  One of my favorite things to do is to cook for a large crowd and I think I even outdid myself this time.  There were 10 to 15 people crammed into a small Capitol Hill condo and we still had leftovers for the next week.

The reason these sugar cookies are the the typical color of your typical sugar cookies because I made them chocolate in an attempt to provide a decorating shortcut.  However, I realized that they were much darker than actual footballs and I still had to ice the whole thing.  Oh well, maybe it gave them a double dimension of awesomeness?  And yes, I did dye coconut green to make green for the pigskins to rest on.  I'm not an overachiever or ANYTHING... never.  Ever.

However, I thought the chocolate flavor of these was a litter blander than I would have hoped.  Maybe even a little flat.  Next time I make these, I think I am going to adjust the amount of cocoa powder and see if I can get the rick flavor I was striving for.


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