Category Archives: Party Time

Super Slammin’ Super Bowl Buffalo Wings

As in most of America’s households, Super Bowl Sunday is a special occasion in my home.  It’s a day full of food, booze, good company, and patriotism.  Of course, for a foodie like me, it’s just a great reason to cook tasty food for people I care about.  As retro as it might seem, I really enjoy serving up some tasty snacks to my husband while he indulges in hours of sofa dwelling and shame-free machismo.  I never let the day pass without frying up a batch of classic buffalo wings.  I’m a total purist when it comes to wings, and I’ve used the same recipe that my mom gave me, five years ago, every year since.  The only alteration that I’ve made over the years is to the brand of hot sauce.  My mom always used Frank’s Red Hot, but over the years, I’ve discovered that my absolute favorite sauce is Texas Pete’s.  It packs a lot of burn with equal amounts vinegary tang and peppery goodness.  Here’s my recipe for Classic Buffalo Wings and Blue Cheese Dip.

Ingredients

Blue Cheese

Lowfat Buttermilk

Reduced Fat Sour Cream

Light Mayo

Fresh Lemon Juice

Chicken Wings and Drumettes

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

Canola Oil

Hot Sauce

Butter

Process

You want to start out by preparing your blue cheese sauce, so that it has a chance to sit, chill, and meld.  You can either purchase blue cheese crumbles or break up a block.  It’s cheaper in the block, so that’s what I usually do.

004Add mostly buttermilk and a couple tablespoons each of sour cream and mayo (adjust amounts to reach desired thickness).  Season with salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a dash of hot sauce.

005Stir well to thoroughy incoporate all ingredients.  Transfer to a serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.

006For the wings, heat about 3-4 inches of canola oil in a deep pot, on high.  While the oil heats, season the wings with salt and pepper.

008When the oil is very hot (use the shimmer test, again), using tongs, carefully add enough of the wings to fill the pot and allow to cook until a deep, dark golden brown.  We like them extra crispy, so I usually let them fry until they are a rich honey color and the meat is beginning to pull away from the bone.

010Turn occasionally until desired color is reached, then remove, and allow to drain on paper towels.  Repeat this process until all of your wings are cooked.  While they are cooking, in a saucepan, melt equal parts butter and hot sauce and stir to combine.  Place the cooked wings in a large bowl and pour the heated sauce over them.  Toss well to thoroughly coat each wing.

012Serve on a large platter with some fresh celery and carrot sticks and your homemade dipping sauce.

013Now, grab and ice cold beer and ENJOY!

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Filed under Chicken, Make Your Own Takeout, Party Time

Thanksgiving Part Two

For the first time in several years, I did not host Thanksgiving dinner. For DH and I, we’ve split the years that we’ve lived together between spending Thanksgiving with my brother and his partner and staying home and just cooking for the two of us.  But this year, my aunt, my mom’s older sister, invited us over and although I absolutely love cooking a big Thanksgiving meal, I simply could not refuse.  What can I say?  I love my family and could never pass up the opportunity to spend a holiday with them.

That being said, I just couldn’t help myself.  Thanksgiving is just not the same without sausage and apple stuffing and fresh cranberry sauce.  So in addition to the cake I made to bring to my aunt’s house (Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake:  see my polls tab), which was a big hit, I made a citrus and herb turkey breast, gravy from the drippings, and the aforementioned stuffing and sauce.  The intention was to eat the meal I cooked on Friday, but before we joined up with the family, I helped myself to a serving of stuffing and cranberry sauce, and after returning home, DH spooned up a serving for himself, announcing, “Thanksgiving’s not the same without your stuffing.”  So although we both had impromptu tasting sessions of Thanksgiving Part Two, we really enjoyed it on Friday.  Everything heated up beautifully, you would never had known it was cooked the day before.

The Menu

Citrus and Herb Turkey Breast

Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Fresh Cranbury Sauce with Orange Zest

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Note:  All of the above were prepared on Thursday.

002I think this was the best stuffing I’ve ever made.  I used in artisan sourdough boule and I think it made all the difference.

001Could food be any prettier?

003To complete the meal, on Friday I used reserved turkey drippings to make gravy scented with fresh sage and rosemary and served everything alongside some buttery black pepper corn.  We were in heaven!

005004We didn’t think to get a pic of dessert but, it was delicious, here is the Food Network photo.

Anyway, who says you can’t have two Thanksgivings!?!  It’s impossible not to ENJOY!

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Filed under Party Time, Sides

The Boss’ Fall Fete

A few weeks ago, Mark, one of my bosses, asked me to make him dinner for his birthday.  Of course, I agreed and shortly after began planning and testing out ideas.  Originally I was thinking steak or fish with risotto and some sort of green veggie.  I decided on butternut squash risotto and when my ideas for fish and steak didn’t work out, dh suggested that I make a roasted, glazed sausage dish that I’ve been making for years.  After pondering the idea for a few moments, the meal came together.  I would make the sausage and then to tie all the fall flavors together, I would garnish with some sauteed apples.

Dan, made his specialty, key lime pie.  Which was absolutely mouth-watering, as usual.

So for nearly a week, Dan, Doug (my other boss), and I kept the menu a secret from Mark, that is until the yummy smells were wafting from his kitchen.

working my magic in mark and doug's beautiful French inspired kitchen.

working my magic in mark and doug's beautiful French inspired kitchen.

Doug’s Tablescape

sparkling stemware

sparkling stemware

a dramatic centerpiece of black baccara roses, black berries, and glowing votives

a dramatic centerpiece of black baccara roses, black berries, and glowing votives

a table setting fit for a king

a table setting fit for a king

The Menu

First Course:

Baby Spinach Salad

baby spinach salad with apples, spiced pecans, goat cheese, and apple cider vinaigrette

baby spinach salad with apples, spiced pecans, goat cheese, and apple cider vinaigrette

Entree:

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Glazed Italian Sausage and Sauteed Apples

risotto made with covey run sauvignon blanc, parmesan cheese, and rosemary

risotto made with covey run sauvignon blanc, parmesan cheese, and rosemary

sausage glazed with apple butter and italian apricot preserves

sausage glazed with apple butter and italian apricot preserves

Dessert:

Key Lime Pie with Homemade Whipped Cream, Lemon Curd, and Chocolate Sauce

a light finish to a rich meal

a light finish to a rich meal

Between the food, the liquor, and they good company, we definitely enjoyed!

I couldn't tell you why I'm facing the camera but not actually looking at it.

I couldn't tell you why I'm facing the camera but not actually looking at it.

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Filed under Party Time