I absolutely love spicy food, and when I was younger my mom used to make buffalo chicken wings for me. The other weekend I decided to try my own version of the fiery tidbits; I must say, they came out quite spectacular. Here’s the recipe!
AJ’s Buffalo Chicken Wings
2lbs of party wings and drumettes
6oz. Frank’s Red Hot Hot Sauce
2Tbsp of Tabasco Sauce
1 stick of butter
1. Arrange your chicken pieces in a flat layer on a baking sheet.
2. Season chicken according to personal taste.
3. Place seasoned chicken under broiler. Let cook on high heat for 10 minutes. Reduce to low heat and cook for additional 20-25 minutes (make sure chicken juices run clear and meat is thoroughly cooked). Return to high heat for last 5 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from broiler and set aside.
5. In microwavable safe bowl, combine Red Hot sauce, Tabasco sauce, and butter. Warm in microwave for 1 minute on medium-high heat. Stir to thoroughly incorporate butter and sauces.
6. Take a couple of cooked chicken pieces and submerge in sauce for several minutes. Remove from sauce and place on serving dish. Repeat until all chicken has been coated with sauce. Pour remaining amount of sauce on top of chicken.
7. Serve chicken with chopped celery sticks, blue cheese, ranch dressing, and plenty of napkins!
Today was the first day back to school for many kids in my area, and I’m sure other areas across the country will soon be following suit.
When sending kids off to school for the day, it’s important to start their day off with a nice healthy breakfast. We all know time can get away from us, especially first thing in the morning, but even a quick breakfast is better than no breakfast. Things you can give your kids include fresh fruit, or even pre-made fruit cups are an option. Yogurt cups were always my favorite. Instant oatmeal can be served in a to-go cup or thermos. Breakfast burritos don’t take long to make either; simply toss a tortilla and microwavable sausages in the microwave, and while they’re cooking, you can scramble a quick egg. Wrap it all together with a little shredded cheese and maybe even a dollop of salsa, and send the kids on their way.
Most schools have lunch programs, but we all know how cafeteria food can be. Packed lunches have come a long way. Try sending your kid to school with a cold noodle salad. What kid doesn’t love to slurp noodles into their mouth? Chopped fruit and veggies with a small cup of dip or salad dressing alongside a turkey sandwich is a nice healthy food option. Ham and cheese roll-ups are a lot of fun to make and eat; you can even have the kids make their own the night before.
An after-school snack was always an exciting thing to come home to for me, and a nice break between the classroom setting and hitting the books for a few hours with homework. As always, you can’t go wrong with fruits and veggies. Crackers and cheese are always tasty, and chips and salsa work too.
I came across this funny little blog the other day affectionately called Cake Wrecks. It focuses on creative cake design ideas that are more often than not less than successful.
Things from two giant olive shaped cakes for a busty blonde bombshell; messages to bakers literally translated onto cakes in icing, life-sized molds of brides-to-be, baby bottoms, crusty moldy feet, and numerous spelling errors.
There’s not much to say about fresh made lemonade other than… aaaahhhh! Please enjoy this quick “How-To” clip, and I’m sure you’ll be heading to the kitchen to make yourself a nice refreshing glass before you know it.
In the last few weeks, and the majority of the summer to be exact, I’ve been on “vacation” a lot making it difficult to maintain healthy eating habits. Since I love food, healthy or decadent, I’ve come up with a compromise for myself. In fact, this compromise is based on a tip given to me by my personal trainer. She says if you have a craving for less than healthy food, acknowledge and take control of it. Otherwise if you ignore it, the next time you have another craving, you’re more likely to indulge in an even less healthy food option and probably more of it.
While on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays I indulge myself in good (as in tasty) celebratory or local cuisine; during the week, I take a more responsible path to my eating. I only eat food I prepare, and I’m very conscious of my portions. My daily menu Mondays thru Thursdays usually include protein shakes, fruits, eggs, green salads, protein or cereal bars, veggies, and grilled chicken or seafood. I also only drink water during the week to counteract my sweet tea addiction on the weekends.
I figure with this healthy balance of indulgence on the weekends, and healthy eating and vigorous exercise during the week, I’ll be able to have memories of a great summer, instead of just 20 extra mid-section pounds to show for it.
Another busy weekend for AJ. A great friend of mine from Salem College, Cincia, is getting married in just a few weeks. This past weekend, her sisters threw her a Bachelorette Party and Bridal Shower in her hometown of New Orleans. It was my first time in the Big Easy, and I had a wonderful time.
I toured the area, including the famous French Quarter and Bourbon Street. I had the pleasure of eating an authentic Shrimp and Crab Po’ Boy. Po’ Boys are sandwiches native to New Orleans. They come on a burger bun or sandwich roll and are stuffed with mounds of delicious seafood or chicken. I also learned that most people get their Po’ Boys “dressed” which means it automatically comes with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. It was very tasty and reminds me of a Bayou version of a Wawa hoagie from New Jersey, or genuine Philly Cheesesteak from South Street. I love local fare.
On Sunday, I got my first official taste of Louisiana home cooking. Cincia’s mom is an absolute master in the kitchen. For dinner we had fried chicken, cornbread, stuffed peppers, BBQ ribs, and a huge pot of “to-die-for” gumbo. I must have gotten up from the table at least 3 times to refill my plate. Her mom makes stuffed peppers with crabmeat, veggies, and stuffing. The gumbo had too many ingredients to name, but just to mention a few; fresh crabmeat in and out of the shell, shrimp, spicy sausage, and chicken (yes, that’s only a few).
Thanks to Cincia and her family, I had a wonderful time in New Orleans, and so did my stomach. I can’t wait to go back!
I can’t remember the first time I had Zucchini Bread, but I can tell you I absolutely love it. It’s such a nice surprise to bite into a moist slice of a fresh zucchini loaf, and relish in the delightfully sweet flavor of bread made with a vegetable.
Well today is the day to enjoy a delicious piece of Zucchini Bread. It just happens to be National Zucchini Day.
Check out this great clip of a tasty recipe for Zucchini Bread:
This past weekend, I spent some quality time with my mother and several of her dear friends. One friend, Ms. Carol who has know me since I was a baby, had just recently returned from a family vacation in Hawaii and was gracious enough to share one of her pineapples fresh picked from the Dole Plantation.
Carol also shared a few tidbits of information about the pineapple, and expertly displayed her new found pineapple cutting skills.
To cut a pineapple, you first remove the crown (the pretty leaves at the top). Then sit the fruit on its base and cut it into quarters lengthwise from top to bottom. Take each quarter and remove the meat of the pineapple by laying your knife flat and slicing all the way through just above the skin. From there take each skinned quarter, and slice however you’d like.
The pineapple was absolutely delicious. It was sweet, tender, and juicy.
According to her Hawaiian tour guide, Carol says consumers are supposed to check the bottom of the pineapple near the core area; if it is white and tender, there’s a good chance you’ve got a good fruit. However, if it is brown and firm, the pineapple may be dry inside. Other than that, there are no other real external signs of freshness. She says pineapples are usually ripe once they are picked from the plantation, so there is no need to let them sit and ripen at your home. In fact, the longer it sits, the less likely you’ll be able to take advantage of the tender juicy fruit inside. She also says that she learned that those special tools that core pineapples simply get rid of the most nutritious part of the fruit.
August is National Peach Month. Here’s a great video of a very charming lady and her son, making a Peach Pie. Her Northern accent is to die for, the recipe is quick and easy, and the music isn’t bad either; I just love this video!
Try making your own Peach Pie, and any other peach delicacies you can think of during this lovely National Peach Month!
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