With New Years Eve here already, my mind has shifted focus from turkey dinners to any and all things to do with scrumptious appetizers – more specifically – chicken wings.
Chicken wings make a great appetizer or dinner, are quite versatile, and can easily be whipped up in no time at all. You can serve them naked, dusted, or tossed in your favourite sauce. My favourite wings happen to be Baked Cajun Chicken Wings tossed in a Chili Heat Sauce and drizzled in a Creamy Gar Par Dressing.
The process of making these wings may seem daunting, but they really are quite easy to prepare when time may not necessarily be in your favour. Let's face it – being a Mom of three kids under five years-old – time is never in my favour!
BEST EVER BAKED CAJUN CHICKEN WINGS
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning (see recipe below)
2.5 lb chicken wings
Preheat oven to 425F.
Remove defrosted chicken wings from packet, and pat dry.
In a large Ziploc freezer bag, add seasoned bread crumbs and Cajun seasoning. Place chicken wings in the bag. Seal and shake until wings are evenly coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place chicken wings on lined baking sheet. Bake the wings for 25-30 minutes. Flip the wings halfway to ensure that they are cooked evenly.
Plate and dust the wings with more Cajun seasoning, if desired.
Alternatively, I like to lightly toss my Baked Cajun Chicken Wings in a Chili Heat Wing Sauce.
CHILI HEAT WING SAUCE
½ cup chili sauce
2 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp Cajun seasoning (see recipe below)
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a light simmer for 5 minutes until sauce thickens. Cool.
(Adapted from Deep South Dish)
HOMEMADE CAJUN SEASONING
2 ½ tsp Hungarian paprika
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 ¼ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an air tight container.
These wings wouldn’t be complete without a mouth-watering garlic parmesan dressing. What I love about Creamy Gar Par Dressing is that it pairs with just about anything. Veggies, onion rings, French fries… The options are endless. Personally, I prefer to drizzle a bit of Gar Par Dressing on my chicken wings to give them a little extra punch.
CREAMY GAR PAR DRESSING
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground thyme
¼ tsp ground oregano
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 425F. Place garlic cloves in foil packet, drizzled in olive oil. Bake 25 minutes.
In a small bowl, mash garlic and add in other ingredients. Mix well.
Serve immediately or store in fridge in an air-tight container.
(Adapted from Modern Christian Homemaker)
During my childhood, I spent every summer up north at my Great Grandma’s house. My Nannie always played a huge role in my life. She was my inspiration; the true definition of a role model, if you will.
My stays with her would be spent mostly in the kitchen or discovering all the hidden gems that her small country town had to offer. Each summer spent with her was a bonding experience like no other.
It came as no surprise on my wedding day in April 2007 when my Nannie passed down her handwritten collection of recipes she had compiled over the years. What had caught me off-guard was the scrapbook full of all the notes I had ever sent her, crafts I ever made with her, and many pictures from our times spent together that also came with the binder of handwritten recipes. It is safe to say many tears were shed at the time - happy ones.
My Nannie is no longer with us, and I continue on her legacy through her love of cooking.
The holidays were always my Nannie’s favourite time of year. She loved to host Christmas, and would never cease to amaze the whole family with the amazing feast and all the delectable treats that she would make. Her melt-in-your-mouth shortbread, marshmallow salad, apple pie, and butter tarts being the treats that would stir up the most fuss among family members. Everyone just had to get their hands on their share of the goodies.
I have been very hesitant to recreate a lot of these recipes, simply for the fact that I have worried that they will never be the same. In fact, I know they won’t be the same. However, I came out of my shell today when I took a stab at making my Nannie’s Melt in Your Mouth Shortbread, but with a very yummy twist.
Just picture this… Nutella Rum Glaze drizzled up a delectable whipped shortbread that just melts when it hits your tongue. Need I say more?
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup butter (unsalted)
½ cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
candied green and red cherries (quartered, approx. ¼ cup)
Nutella Rum Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
2 ½ tbsp Nutella
3 tsp 2% milk
1 tsp dark rum
In a large bowl, add flour, butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on high for several minutes until the ingredients are blend and have a whipped consistency.
Roll dough into a ball, place in bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes. During this time preheat your oven to 350F.
Line baking sheets with wax paper. Roll dough into small balls, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Top each shortbread ball with a piece of candied cherry.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until bottoms of the cookie are lightly golden brown. Be careful not to overcook the cookies.
Cool the cookies for approximately 30 minutes on a cooling rack.
In a small bowl, whisk together icing sugar, Nutella, milk and rum.
Drizzle each cookie with the Nutella rum glaze, and let set.
Whether you like it or not, it's time to accept that the cooler weather is here to stay for the next few months. Personally, there is nothing I would love more than to be able to escape and hibernate in the tropics until April. Too bad this dream can’t become a reality.
I've had to come to accept that.
The season of being able to enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa by the fire while watching the snow litter the ground from the comfort of our humble abode is here. We might as well make the most of it while it lasts. For me the cooler months – depicts all things – comfort, and who doesn’t love comfort?!? I know I surely do!
Comfort can come from something as simple as peanut butter and chocolate -two of my favourite things! Could you imagine if these two things were paired together in a steaming cup of hot chocolate? Yeah… Neither could I, until I tried it!
And? A little taste of heaven.
What’s more… I prepared it in the slow cooker making this the perfect recipe to serve up at a holiday party or on Christmas morning while you are busy enjoying family time and all this season has to offer.
6 cups (2% or skim) milk
1 ½ cups half & half
300 ml sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tbsp natural peanut butter
Add the fluids to the slow cooker and whisk.
Add the chocolate chips and peanut butter.
Set the slow cooker on low. Stir mixture every 30 minutes to blend the chocolate and peanut butter with the fluids as they begin to melt.
Cook for two hours or until the hot chocolate has reached your desired warmth.
Serve in mugs, and garnish with marshmallows.
Not a fan of peanut butter? Simply remove it from the recipe for a delectable slow cooker hot chocolate that is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
This recipe also pairs well with Homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream.
This is Nicole's first post on her new blog Handwritten Kitchen here at YummyMummyClub. Come back and see her often!