Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pretty Easy Baked Chicken Wings

If you don't happen to be in an area experiencing chicken wing shortages this week, try this recipe on for size:

Start with 3-4 pounds of THAWED wings. This was a bag of all drumettes from my local Super Walmart. Yes, I do sometimes I go all out with gourmet food sources.

Add some garlic powder and hot sauce, and marinade overnight.
Then preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Put a few pats of butter in a large pan, and melt them in the oven:

Drain off the marinade.

In a one gallon ziplock bag, make a breading mixture of 2 cups Bisquick, paprika, fresh pepper, garlic salt, and onion salt. Then, add the drummettes about five at a time and SHAKE IT UP BABY!

Bake for about twenty minutes, then turn and bake for another fifteen-twenty:

If you like, toss the baked wings with buffallo sauce. But in all honesty, next time I would probably just increase the heat in the breading, instead DRIZZLE the wings with hot sauce. Either way, pretty tasty. Either way, pretty messy as well.

As is tradition, serve with celery, carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Peanut Butter Frosting

My grandmother had a birthday this week, and my grandmother adores peanut butter, so I decided to attempt a peanut butter frosting. "THIS IS SO GOOD" is one reaction I received from a coworker (I brought the extras into work), so I decided to share the recipe:

Prepare chocolate cake from a box, or cupcakes, or even just a spoon. Then make your frosting:

1 stick of butter, softened

1 cup of peanut butter (I like Jif)

2-3 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

~ 1/2 cup of milk

Use your mixer to blend the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Add the vanilla. Then add milk until the icing is somewhat spreadable. It will still be very thick. You could also roll it out like a fondant and lay thick slices over the cake.

I decorated mine with pink M&Ms and white Reeses Pieces. Decorate yours as you see fit.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pistachio Mexican Wedding Cookies / Russian Tea Cakes

I never got around to posting my cookie recipes before Christmas. But who says cookies are only for Christmas?

These are a twist on the Mexican Wedding Cake / Russian Tea Cakes. They are seasoned with orange and almond, and feature pistachios instead of walnuts. These are amazing!

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup shelled, unsalted roasted pistachios, minced

2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (or reconstitute dry - I get mine from Penzeys)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°F and lightly grease baking sheets.

Beat together butter and 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. (If you have a stand mixer, use it) Beat on medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add pistachios, orange zest, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract and continue mixing until ingredients are well incorporated. Add flour and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds (do not overmix).

Shape dough into tablespoon-size balls. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until bottoms begin to brown, about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheets, about 10 minutes.

Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Working with 5 or 6 at a time, place warm cookies in powdered sugar, turning gently to thickly coat (you should see very little of the cookie underneath). Let cool and recoat in powdered sugar if a thicker coat is desired. (I skipped the second coating) Repeat with remaining cookies.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Eagles Green: Spinach Artichoke Dip

1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
20 oz. bag spinach, thawed & drained
1 can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
2 C shredded hard cheese (perhaps half cheddar, half parmesan)
2 T tabasco
Crackers, Tostitos Scoops, Celery and/or pita chips for dipping

melt butter in saucepan, sautee onion until soft.
Add spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese, tabasco. Stir until blended and heated through. Pour into casserole dish, sprinkle w/ remaining shredded cheese. Bake at 350 about 10 minutes until cheese starts to brown.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eagles Green: Kale, sausage and chickpea soup

Note: Due to a spammer, comments have been turned off for this post, and will be moderated from now on. Sorry!

A hearty winter soup, with lots of healthy leafy greens - and in keeping with our green theme here in Philadelphia!

Start by chopping and sauteeing two large onions, then cooking in a bit of bacon grease or olive oil until translucent:

Dump them into the crockpot.

Peel and chop a one pound carrot:

Oh - you don't have a giant carrot? Then just use a few smaller ones. Add them to the crockpot too.

Brown about two pounds of italian sausage, casings removed. (Hot or sweet? depends - do you like bites of spicy heat in your soup?)

Open and drain two cans of chick peas. Throw them in too. This is the ultra fancy Walmart store brand. We're high fallutin that way.

Wash and rip up a whole bunch of kale. (I would say 8-10 cups of raw leaves) I seasoned with just a touch of salt while cooking. Sautee briefly in a pan, in oil or bacon grease, before adding to crockpot.

To this add 8 -10 cups of liquid - either chicken broth, stock, vegetable broth or just water with concentrated chicken bullion. If you heat the liquid in the microwave first it will save a good bit of time before the soup simmers in the crockpot.

Cook for at least three hours to allow the kale to fully soften and all the flavors to merge. Serve with bread and butter, or popcorn, or crackers, or just a spoon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Santa knows I love my kitchen toys...

Christmas and my birthday fall in the same week. This year my loved ones were very, very good to my favorite room (some of which came by way of Williams Sonoma gift cards):

A fondue pot, bought on clearance at Williams and Sonoma, with a gift card (it will probably be used for serving cheese fondue when having a cord running to the table isn't quite convenient):

I just ordered this one with my remaining gift card balance. The juices from carving the meat run into the bowl, so you can put it back into the gravy or pan sauce.
Ok, I'll admit I did NOT need this in any way. But just in case, I get a last minute call to be a contestant on Top Chef, I'll look prepared when they ask me to pack my knives and go at the end of the very first episode:

New cheese service:

a SHUN Santoku knife!!

A spider: (the slotted spoon on the left - good for lifting food from hot oil or boiling water):

Cookie scented candles - less calories than the real thing:

A small casserole dish with carrying case:

A marvelous new roasting pan:

A covered Le Creuset skillet - a steal - $99 at Williams Sonoma, purchased with gift cards!

Quesadilla maker:

A personalized still life - inspired by one of my soups!

A stress mat - for long periods on your feet stirring or chopping:

And two new cookbooks:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eagles Green: Pantry Raid Pea Soup

So after baking almost a thousand cookies, fighting a cold, attending Christmas parties, celebrating Christmas with services and family, enjoying trips to NYC and DC in between surprisingly busy work weeks, and trying to catch up on sleep ... I'm finally back!

In the spirit of the Philadelphia region right now, I offer green foods this week. This one fits the bill.

As I came back to my kitchen last week, wanting to make something frugal and at least somewhat healthy, this is what I scrounged up:

A few ham hocks from the freezer. Ham hocks are fairly inexpensive, and wonderful when you want that ham bone flavor in a soup, but don't happen to have a ham bone.

This LOVERLY looking bunch of vegetables. Note the green stuff growing out of the top of the onion. Onion are not dangerous when they have growths like this - just cut out the green parts on the top and on the inside. (on the other hand, I would never BUY one that looked like this ...)

So I chopped the onion, and carrot and celery and shallots and a bit of garlic, the split peas, and threw it in the crockpot along with the ham hocks and this:

a bit of flat champagne. Fill the rest of th way with water. Add salt and pepper, stir it all together, and then cook for about 8 hours on low. If necessary, add some more water and cook longer.

E - A - G -L - E - S!