Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Super Bowlness Wings™

        First of all, I hope you're wearing socks while reading this, because they are about to get knocked off.  And, if you're not wearing socks, well, I don't know what will happen... so please go get some socks... I'll wait...

        Alright, are you wearing socks now?  Great, we can begin!

        Before I divulge my deepest darkest secret recipe (it's more coveted than Bush's Baked Beans - atleast I like to pretend that it is, and I didn't tell my dog how it's done, so I'm pretty well protected there...)  I have a question.  What color are your socks?  Just joking!!  It's actually a much more personal, and you don't have to answer outloud, you can keep it to yourself.  Think back in your life, to how many times you've ordered wings.  Coulda' been Buffalo, BBQ, Honey-BBQ,  Spicy, Sweet & Spicy, Buffalo Ranch, Sweet & Sour, Chipotle, Cajun, Honey Garlic, Teriyaki, Thai Chili, Mild, Medium, Hot, Firey Pits of Hell, OMGWTFBBQ, or any other flavor one could possibly conceive... Now think of how much you've probably spent in your lifetime on all of those wings!  The average wing (in dirty jerzee, atleast) will run you anywhere from as much as $1.19 each to as little as $.25 each.  Typically the more you order the lower the price goes.  $5.99 for 5 wings, and $15.99 for 30 at my local pizza joint.  $.25 is usually only seen during a special such as 'Happy Hour' at your local watering hole, and even then that's abnormally low.

        Considering the economy we are in, I don't know about you, but I can't justify selling a kidney to support my latest appetizer addiction.  I've been craving wings HARDCORE lately, and no I'm not pregnant =)  I am, however, breastfeeding, which I have read can lead to intense cravings as well!  Anyhow, enough bunny trails, onto the good stuff.  They say (who are they by the way? let me know if you find out...)  that necessity is the mother of invention, and boy oh boy is that true!  I NEEDED some wings for the Super Bowl.  (Note:  I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and the food.  We planned to order some pizza & wings for the big game, but after looking at the "sales" flyers we were slightly disappointed, realizing that we wouldn't be able to remortgage our house in time to purchase everything our hearts (ie: stomachs) desired.  This is where the light bulb came on.  This is where greatness is born.  THIS is where miracles happen, my friends.  Yes, it's that serious.

        OK, so after doing a brief internet search (3hours17minutes worth roughly) I came to several conclusions.
  1. Google is stalking me and my purchases, and likes to rub my Amazon Wish List in my face on nearly every banner of every webpage I visit.
  2. My nursling likes to pop off every 15 seconds and check to see what I'm doing online.
  3. This is the only one that pertains to this topic so pay attention.  None of these recipes would do!
        Now, as many of you know, I like to re-purpose things, and this includes recipes!  I don't really consider it stealing because I find several recipes that I love, and combine the best of all of their delicious world's, and then I add my own spin, and Voila!  It's mine! =)  In this instance, my mother-in-law and I created this delicious recipe together!

        I'd like to introduce you to my Super Bowlness Wings™.  This is obviously a play on words, a clever one that I totally created myself, and I like to pretend that I trademarked it by putting a ™ after the name, however I didn't shell out the cash for that, so I'll just hope no one steals my thunder until I can afford the actual ™.  Also, I just want you to know that they can be made Bone-In or Bone-Out.  The only difference is the bone.  Honestly.  How beautiful is that?

        Now that you're salivating, your stomach is growling, and you're just about ready to lick your screen, I will give you what you came here for.

Not quite as saucy as the final product should look.... I think this was near the end of the batch!

  • 40 chicken wings (frozen & defrosted or fresh) OR chicken breast cut into 'wing' size
  • 8-10 cups of vegetable oil in a deep fryer
  • 2 cups of flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 cup of red-wine vinegar
  • 1 chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce) and 2 tablespoons of the sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 stick of butter, chopped in eigths
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of filtered, cold water
  1. Heat up your oil in the deep fryer now, so it's nice n hot when you are ready!
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper, & garlic powder in a large bowl.  Add wings, toss around until coated well.  After that, you can either leave them in the bowl, or transfer to a cookie sheet/plate until ready to fry - and place them in the fridge to chill a bit while you do the next step!
  3. Add chipotle pepper & adobo sauce to a blender until smooth puree.
  4. Mix red-wine vinegar, adobo puree, chili powder, & sugars to a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 30 seconds.
  5. Add honey mustard, honey, and butter.  Stir until melted.
  6. Mix together cold water & cornstarch.  Mix into sauce w/ a whisk just until mixture thickens a bit.
  7. Set sauce aside.
  8. Bring out your wings.  Fry about 5-6 at a time, for anywhere from 3-5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.  Remove to brown paper bag, paper towels, or a rack to drain.
  9. At this point you can douse the wings in the sauce a little at a time, as you finish frying them, or you can wait until they're all fried.  They stay hot for quite awhile =)
  10. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Back to basics

        When most people hear things like cloth diapering, homemade soaps, and home remedies replacing conventional medicine, they think back to stories maybe their parents or grandparents told... A simpler time, when you couldn't just hop in your gas-guzzling sports car and drive 30 feet to the nearest shop for pretty much anything, when men brought home the bacon and women stayed home and cooked said bacon, and when folks made decisions for their families based upon experience and knowledge rather than trusting what they said on TV.

        I've been tinkering in the "natural realm" for several months now, and while most consider many of these things 'alternative', it's actually quite the norm. Before we had 60+ brands of laundry detergent to choose from, an entire aisle devoted to curing your cough, and throw-away/disposable everything, our ancestors SOMEHOW managed to live. *perplexed* While it's true that while many of today's modern conveniences have made our lives simpler, more enjoyable, and given us more "free time", there is a double edged sword hidden amongst the lillies.

        Now, I'll unashamedly admit, I like to keep a small stock of "easy meals" on hand for nights when I'm just not feelin' it... Sometimes this is a freezer stock of homemade meals, but not always, however, you'll be hard-pressed to find me serving dinner from a box more than twice per month... Don't misunderstand and think that I'm trying to say that you're a horrible person if you feed your family convenience food more often than not, or whatever other conclusion that you might read between the lines and come to. I'm simply saying that when you know better, you do better. Rewind several years and you'd be talking to a major contributor of income for the local taco joint, Mcdonalds, and Hambooger Helper. Mainstream Media / TV / Magazines tell us that these "wholesome meals" will leave your family full, satisfied, and nutritionally complete. Catchy jingles, eccentric cartoon mascots, and phrases like "All Natural Ingredients", "Organic", & "Mom Approved!" make us feel all fuzzy in the cockles of our hearts while serving this food to our families - but the fact is, manufacturers pretty much have free reign when it comes to advertising/labeling. There are all sorts of loopholes to be jumped through, so we have to trust ourselves when making a purchase, not the Fat Cats trying to line their pockets.

        I'll be completely honest here and say that I don't see us ever becoming 100% natural or whatever phrase you would describe someone eating and doing all the right things to live said lifestyle - reason being, if we hold ourself to such unrealistic expectations (truly, does ANYONE actually "get there"?) we will become disappointed, discouraged, and more likely to give up. My plan is simple: Keep researching tirelessly, never give up or settle, use mommy superpowers (aka instinct/common sense) to uncover the truths, take it a day at a time (easy does it, small changes), and keep a blog of our experiences and findings for both personal use and to help others heading down the endless path of healthier, easier, frugaler (I made that up), and more basic living =)

        Besides the whole health aspect of living a simpler life, I actually enjoy this stuff!  It's funny because when my mom comes to visit, and she sees me cooking/baking/cleaning with baking soda & vinegar, she sometimes will remind me that I never took an interest in any of this "housewife stuff" as a young girl.  She tells me how I refused learning to cook with her, and she doesn't have to tell me how I was never one for helping with house chores - I remember that much!  I'm not sure what caused the change, and it wasn't motherhood because I had my first son at the ripe young age of 17...  Things never really happened for me until I was pregnant last year with my daughter (who is now 8 months old) and Nesting hit hard!  I just felt like I was possessed by the spirit of Betty Crocker in the kitchen, I heard the call of the laundry pile wooing me from down in the cellar before the basket was even full, my kitchen sink had to be shiny and dry unless it was currently in use, the cobwebs adorning our 8ft. ceiling - OK well I didn't go THAT far.... those are still there sometimes =)  But you get the point!  Anyway, I'm glad it happened, and I'm thankful that I was able to leave my job to be a Stay-at-home-mommy, because I now have the energy to make those dreams happen!

        If you have any questions or suggestions please don't hesitate to leave a comment, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible! I would say email me, but let's be real, I have over 3k emails and I rarely ever check them. Thanks =)