Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blaze's wings....our first cooking experience

How exciting are first dates!? Or first kisses or the first time you say 'I love you'?  Your answer should be SOOO EXCITING!! Ok, the all caps may have been a bit much.  But really, they are so wonderful, you rush to tell your girlfriends within at least 24 hours of them happening.  Well if you're a girl.  I'd like to think that guys could be reading this too, so perhaps you tell your guy friends. No clue.... I'm not a guy. Anyway, relationships are always full of firsts that are oh so wonderful. I could list all of my firsts with Blazer but he'd probably get embarrassed. And he's definitely going to be embarrassed I called him Blazer (love you, honey!). 

This weekend Blaze and  I had our first cooking experience together.  Usually the kitchen is my kingdom, but he was telling me his wing recipe and I opened the gates.  Ok, not that dramatic, but let's just say I may be totally am a bit of a control freak in the kitchen.  Apparently, stirring the sauce wasn't enough responsibility in his eyes, but he was the best sauce stirrer (is that a word?) a girl could ask for.

Now, these bad boys were pretty spicy.  I had to soak my lips in milk.  So if you want a little less heat, just buy a more mild hot sauce. The good news for me was that these we so spicy I had a distraction from the hot mess that the cowboys were that day.  I've been a fan since birth but they seriously are giving me heart failure....or may be it was the wings. You be the judge!

Blazin' Wings (nice play on his name huh?)
1- 24oz package wingettes (we used Perdue)
1 cup buffalo wing sauce (any kind you like)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp all purpose seasoning (we used Emeril's Original Essence)
2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups flour
3 cups milk

In a large ziploc bag combine wingettes, 1 tbsp essence, 1 tbsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tbsp black pepper. Shake until coated, pour in milk.  Let them marinate for 45minutes.  In a sauce pan combine buffalo sauce, butter, honey, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.  Heat on medium until butter and sugar have melted,reduce heat to low. 

In a bowl combine remaining essence and garlic powder with flour. Dredge wings and fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove wings from fry and drain. 

In a separate bowl (yes another one) pour half of the sauce over wings and shake.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place wings on baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes at 350. Baste with sauce and bake an additional 6 minutes.  When wings are done baste one last time with remaining sauce.

Serve with ranch and celery. Man food! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Almond Cupcakes and Cannoli Cream Icing

A few years ago, I almost lost my life over a cannoli.  Seriously!  I was at the Italian Festival in Wilmington Delaware and all I wanted was a chocolate chip cannoli.  I waited (and waited and waited) and FINALLY it was my turn. I ordered two chocolate chip cannoli's (because let's be honest one is never enough) and they gave them to me....stay with me here, this is where it takes a turn for the worst.  The person behind me, and next to me (on both sides) ordered a chocolate chip cannoli and the woman working the stand threw me under the bus...at a very high decimal. "SHE BOUGHT THE LAST ONE!" (insert pointed finger in my direction)  I might as well call her the department of transportation, she not only threw my under the bus, but under an etire fleet of busses full of angry and hungry Italians.

Deep Sniff.....

There's something beautiful about cannoli's....the marscapone, the almond flavoring, the perfect balance of sweet and savory.  So I started thinking about how I could satisfy my cannoli craving without having to fry the cookie and pipe in the the filling....and....DING! Cupcakes.

Delicious almond cupcakes with cannoli cream icing.  I can now move on from my traumatic Italian festival experience and have the first, and last cannoli, and no one will say a word!

Yummmmm......take a bite. You'll thank me later!

Almond Cupcakes: makes 12
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp almond extract

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together until light and fluffy.  Sift dry ingredients together. Measure half & half and vegetable oil.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and alternate with cream and oil. Mix until combined. Pour into lined cupcake tin.

Bake 20-22min at 350 degrees.

let them cool.....then frost them with this

Cannoli Cream Icing
8oz softened marscapone
1 block softened cream cheese
1 stick softened butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1-1 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Whip butter, marscarpone, and cream cheese together.  Add powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Using a spatula stir in almond extract and then chocolate chips.  I used an ice cream scoop to frost the cupcakes.  Yes, it was a lot of frosting. I have no shame.