Super Bowl weekend is finally upon us, which can only mean one thing – GAME DAY SNACKS!!! Oh, and football. And I guess some people really dig the commercials … and the half-time show … and the endless supply of cheap American beer. But seriously, it’s not about that. Any of that. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD.
Well, it is in our house anyway. While my husband and I are pretty ambivalent about who wins and who loses, we’re definitely excited about stuffing ourselves silly from opening kick-off to final whistle with these yummy homemade chicken wings. Bathed in a palate-pleasing mixture of soy sauce, honey, ginger and (lots and lots of) garlic, these baked wings can be thrown together by even the most novice chef in less than 30 minutes – with no frying or messy clean-up!
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled + finely minced
3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
3 lbs raw chicken wings (or drumettes)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit (215° Celsius) with baking rack on the upper third of the oven. Line a roasting pan or thick baking sheet with foil. Rub some canola or olive oil over the foil to keep the wings from sticking.
In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic and Sriracha hot sauce. Add wings and toss to coat thoroughly. Arrange skin-side down on prepared roasting pan or baking sheet, taking care not to crowd the wings.
Roast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and – using tongs – flip wings over so they are skin-side up. Return to oven and bake for 10 additional minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.
“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” -Rumi
This statement hit me like a ton of bricks – in a good way! – when I heard it yesterday. This move from California to Germany has really tested my ability to ‘go with the flow’ – to let things fall into place without excessive hand-wringing, all-consuming worry, and internal meltdown on the scale of Fukushima. Where will we live? What will we do until our car arrives? How will I pay my student loans if we don’t have a second income? I can’t understand what anyone is saying!!!
Long story short, I need to chill the f___ out. I need to stop worrying. I need to stop dreading that every situation – finding a home, buying a car, getting a job, learning the language – is going to be difficult. I need to stop assuming that things won’t “work out”; that there will be nothing but hiccups, roadblocks, and doors slammed in our faces. I need to be strong enough and prepared enough to deal with the occasional challenge or disappointment – because there will be some, inevitably – but not ruminate about their eventuality. I need to take a deep breath, keep my chin up, and smile. I need to be positive, hopeful, and determined. I need to remember that I am extraordinarily blessed – with wonderful friends, the most loving family (furbabies included!), and a wealth of amazing experiences. Life truly is rigged in my favor. I need to start living it that way!
So, back to food. I was surprised and delighted to find a small kitchenette in our temporary accommodation here. It has just about everything I need to continue cooking and baking for our family until all of my pots, pans, and gadgets show up with our household goods in November. #rigged! The preparation space is a bit on the wee side, so I’m trying to keep our meals simple and healthy; this dish fit the bill on both counts!
The original recipe – from Food.com – listed the garlic as “optional”. Optional?! In my world view, garlic is never optional, and should be doubled whenever possible. I even swapped out Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for the garlic and herb variety. Sure, I’ll have raucous breath for a few days, but I’ve shared the wealth with my husband and so far we’re canceling each other out. That’s how it works … right?
This dish is easy to prepare and takes less than 30 minutes start to finish. My husband – who visibly cringed when I said “we’re having something vegetarian tonight” – gobbled up two of these as soon as they were cool enough to eat. So did I, despite never having been much of a tomato fan. Give them a try – you won’t regret it!
Slice the tops off the tomatoes and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes with a teaspoon, being careful not to cut through to the base or sides. Chop the pulp and keep the seeds, but discard the hard, central cores.
Place the pulp and seeds in a medium bowl. Add the parsley, garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, and pepper and mix gently to combine.
Place the hollowed tomatoes in a buttered casserole dish, and fill with the bread crumb mixture.
Drizzle the top of the tomatoes with olive oil. Bake until the tops are browned, approximately 20 minutes.
For those of my readers that don’t know, my husband and I recently moved from San Diego to the Rheinland-Pfalz region of Germany. We are so excited to be back in this area – a place we also lived from 2010-2012 – and look forward to eating and traveling our way across Europe once again. The only downside of the move is that our household goods – including nearly all of my kitchen gadgets and supplies – are on a boat moving verrrrrry slowly in this direction. Until they arrive in mid-November, most of my posts will feature recipes once included on an old blog of mine. Oldies, but also hopefully goodies!
The last recipe I made before leaving California was this loaf of Rosemary Garlic Focaccia. While cleaning out our fridge for the move, I was determined not to throw away a large bundle of rosemary that a friend had generously offered as a gift from her garden. There are few savory flavor combinations I enjoy quite as much as garlic and rosemary (or garlic and any fresh herb, for that matter!), so this bread was an easy pick. With six cloves of garlic, it packs quite the punch; while that’s right up my alley, you can use less if garlic isn’t really your thing (or you need to speak within six feet of someone in the next 48 hours). As homemade breads go, this is relatively easy – and it soaks up pasta sauce like a dream!
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water. Let stand 10 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Combine flour and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Strip and chop leaves from 5 of the rosemary branches and stir into flour with chopped garlic. Add yeast mixture and 1 ¼ cups water and stir until dough becomes too stiff to continue.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Shape dough into a ball, transfer to a large oiled bowl, and cover with a damp cloth. Allow dough to rise in a warm spot for 2 hours.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Knead dough down and press with oiled hands into baking sheet. Cover with a damn cloth and set aside for one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Remove cloth from dough and dimple dough with your fingertips, then brush with oil and water emulsion. Arrange small sprigs of rosemary from remaining 3 branches over dough and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Well, it finally happened. My co-workers banded together and placed a moratorium on my baked goods for at least 2 weeks. Bollocks! I have so many delicious recipes I was hoping to try this month, but suppose it wouldn’t hurt to make something healthy for a change.
This shouldn’t be too hard … right? Right?!
Luckily, my local farmer’s market was brimming with seasonal fruits and veggies this week, and it was easy to be inspired. I’ve always loved asparagus but have never been particularly imaginative when preparing it. When I spotted this recipe on myrecipes.com, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to try it. Ohemgee! I scarfed down the entire recipe – which apparently makes 4 servings?! – in one sitting. It’s sooo flavorful – especially if you double the garlic like I did. Seriously, double the whole freaking recipe. On second thought, triple it. It’s that good!
ASPARAGUS WITH BALSAMIC TOMATOES AND GOAT CHEESE
Yields: 4 servings
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.