Our Favorite Chicken Wings

The big game is approaching. So while I actually have no idea who is playing or where the Super Bowl is taking place, I think I’ve got your back in the food department. And that’s worth something, right?

These wings are replayed around here again and again. I always keep a container of the dry rub to have on hand so getting these in the oven is such a cinch.

They are sweet, smokey and have the perfect crisp crust…Every one of us goes into devour mode when they hit the table. Throw them in a serving dish with bleu cheese dressing and fresh cut veggies and you can call one perfect meal!

Our Favorite Chicken Wings

Ingredients

1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar or Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika

2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

2 Teaspoons Onion Powder

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

3-4 Pounds Chicken Wing Sections

3 Tablespoons Peanut Oil or other high heat cooking oil

Bleu Cheese Dressing, for serving-recipe here

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 and line two baking sheets with foil. Place a baking rack inside of each baking sheet and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the sugar, paprika, garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper. Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on the spice rub and toss the wings well to ensure they are evenly coated.

Lay wings in a single layer on top of each baking rack. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and skin is deep golden brown, nearly charred, flipping halfway in between cooking. Serve with bleu cheese dressing, if desired.

Honey Sriracha Chicken Bowls

Well if there’s anything that can brighten up these gray days here in Minnesota, these bowls would be it!

They have the whole shebang..savory-sweet-spicy-tangy-creamy-crisp-crunchy yum!!! A definite repeat offender around here!

Honey Sriracha Chicken Bowls

Adapted from this recipe

Note: for less heat, use 1 Tablespoon Sriracha. For more, use 2. 1 Tablespoon was mild enough for my kiddos to eat…2 would be perfect for my husband and I. Also, you can grill the chicken using the exact same method..but the broiler works great in the winter months.

Ingredients

For the Slaw

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt

Pinch of Black Pepper

12 Cups Packaged Slaw Mix

For the Chicken

3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

1-2 Tablespoons Sriracha, see note

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

Diced Avocado, for topping

Sunflower Seeds, for topping

Cilantro, for garnish

Directions

For the Slaw

Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add slaw mix and stir to coat well. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

For the Chicken

Preheat broiler. In a small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, Sriracha, honey and Dijon. Set aside.

Cut the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and smoked paprika; toss well to coat. Thread the chicken on skewers and place the skewers on a broiler safe baking sheet. Brush both sides of the skewers with a generous coating of the Sriracha sauce. Place in the oven and broil for five minutes. Brush both sides with more sauce and flip the skewers over and broil for an additional five minutes or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through; basting with more sauce as needed. Remove the chicken from the skewers and place back in the pan, tossing the chicken in the cooking juices/sauce.

To assemble:

Divide slaw among bowls and top with chicken, avocado, sunflower seeds and cilantro. Serves 4-6

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Friends! Happy holidays! How are things?

It’s the season of madness in our home..we’ve got 4/5 birthdays over the holiday season so things have been pretty nutso around here. We are also going through a small home renovation…so add being displaced from our home for a short time…and living in our basement with three small kids for a while..and well, things have felt a tad chaotic. I’m really just not the best at feeling good about unsettledness. But I am SO grateful for the fun changes we are making to our home…and the light is totally being seen at the end of the tunnel! Trying my best to stay present to my family throughout all of the hustle and bustle..so I apologize for my lack of blogging.

So basically, with all of the crazy has come way too much eating out for my liking. I mean my kids no longer want macaroni and cheese because they’ve had too much. That’s certainly a sign that we are ALL extremely excited to get back to our kitchen and home cooked meals!

On the nights that the mess has allowed me to use the kitchen, these potatoes have made a frequent appearance. There’s hardly any prep and I always have the ingredients in my pantry. They are something I can always count on my whole family gobbling up..and they make the perfect side for basically any protein. A great addition to the weekly meal rotations!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 Pounds Russet Potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch pieces

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Dried Dillweed

1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 and place cut potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle oil on top and sprinkle the rest of the ingredients all over; toss well to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown, stirring twice in between cooking. Serves 4 as a side.

Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce

Look, you guys

It’s here. My most favorite, beautiful, scenic time of year. I told the kids it was supposed to snow this week so we had to ask Alexa when the first technical day of winter is. Do you want to know what she said? December 21st. Yet we have snow in the forecast for today, November 6. You try explaining all of this to a 4 year old. Why oh why can’t crispy, cool autumn fulfill its assigned 3 full months?! Winter is so dang greedy and aggressive around here🙄

But we certainly won’t stop celebrating autumn in this house until that far away day in December…and this yummy Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce will certainly be a constant in our fridge. I’m addicted. My kids could take down an entire batch in one sitting. I even got a “I want to eat this every day of my life!” from Jude. Winning.

It’s both tart and sweet with the perfect amount of warm cinnamon running through it. Incredibly slurpable by itself with a spoon, but my kids also love it for breakfast on top of plain Greek yogurt. A happy happy happy autumn, indeed, even if it does snow today!

Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

7 Medium Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored and quartered

4 Medium Ripe Pears, cored and quartered

Zest and Juice of 2 Navel Oranges

Zest of 1 and Juice of 2 Lemons

3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into four pieces

1 1/4 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Place all ingredients in a oven safe pot or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, let cool just slightly, place in a blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency.

Walnut Crusted Chicken Autumn Salad

Truth: I have no idea where this salad came from. I was in kitchen madness mode…one thing led to another with no plans in sight and this salad is what we ended up with. And I must note, it was a wonderful WONDERFUL ending.

The chicken has just the perfect crunch and flavor…and paired with roasted beets, sweet pears, tangy goat cheese and a mustard-balsamic vinaigrette…I’m basically just salivating at the mere thought of it!

It’s a lovely switch up to boring old chicken salads and I think our future will see much much more of this crusted chicken..so num!

Walnut Crusted Chicken Autumn Salad

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

3 Teaspoons Pure Maple Syrup

3 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Pepper

For the Salad

1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided

1 Pound Beets

1 Cup Walnuts

2 Tablespoons Corn Starch

1 Egg + 2 Tablespoons Water

1 Pound Chicken Breast Tenderloins, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons Butter

7 Ounces Arugula

1 Ripe Pear, diced

1 Avocado, diced

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa, optional

1/2 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

Directions

For the Vinaigrette

Place all ingredients in a glass jar, cover with a lid and shake well to combine. Alternatively, whisk together in a small bowl. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 4 days, bringing it back to room temp before serving.

For the Salad

Preheat oven to 400. Season beets with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon olive oil; toss to coat. Wrap each beet tightly in foil and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until beets are tender. Remove from foil, let cool slightly and rub the peel off with your fingers (wrapping them in foil will help the peel slide right off). Dice peeled beets and set aside.

Add the walnuts and corn starch to the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 10-15 times or until walnuts are chopped fine. Place the mixture on a large plate.

Mix the egg and water together in a large bowl.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the seasoned chicken to the egg mixtures and toss to coat well. One by one, dredge the egg-coated chicken in the walnut mixture and place in the prepared pan. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes, or until crust in nicely browned, flip and then repeat on the other side. Remove from pan once cooked through.

Add the arugula, beets, pears, avocado, quinoa and goat cheese to a large bowl. Drizzle on half of the vinaigrette and gently toss to coat, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among serving plates and top with a piece of crusted chicken. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette on top, as desired. Serves 4

Warm Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad

Well friends, it’s back-to-school day over here! One down, one to go next week and as wonderful and adventurous as our summer was together I think we are all ready for some structure and space…getting back into the swing of schedules is feeling so good already!

Our summer break dinners seemed to be so loosey goosey this year. Most nights, dinner ended up being a game time decision based on how late our day ran. Even if I meal planned for one thing, chances are we’d end up squeezing in one more afternoon activity which made me change the plan for lack of time. So needless to say, this mama is so excited to be back on a schedule of meal plans!

This Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad is just one of those dishes that will fit so nicely into our weekday dinner plans. It’s super fast and can easily be prepared in under 30 minutes…and if you make the vinaigrette ahead of time you’re looking at 20 minutes or less…can’t complain about that!

It’s the perfect summer to fall transitional dish because it uses all of the wonderful tomatoes available right now, yet it’s got a small bit of a comfort factor while still being light. And it tastes super yum too…an awesome way to switch up how you serve salmon!

To all of you parents sending those kiddos off to school as of recent, I wish you a smooth transition and a wonderful, fun-filled year for both you and the kids. And for you teachers…you are EVERYTHING. Thank you for being such a bright light in our kiddos lives…you are shaping the future, truly!

Xo

Warm Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 Garlic Clove, grated or pressed

2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Salmon/Salad

1 1/2 Cups Orzo

4 (4-6oz) Skinless Salmon Filets, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Cups Baby Spinach

2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts, optional

2 Tablespoons Chopped Basil

Directions

For the Vinaigrette

Place all ingredients in a small jar, cover with a lid and shake until well combined. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For the Salmon/Salad

Cook Orzo according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Preheat grill over medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil over salmon and gently rub to ensure the are well coated, adding more oil as necessary. Place Salmon on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Flip and finish cooking until the fish is opaque and cooked thru, about 3 more minutes. Remove salmon to a plate and set aside.

Add the spinach, tomatoes, feta and pine nuts to the Orzo. Drizzle on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Flake the salmon with a fork, divide Orzo Salad among dishes and top with salmon and basil. Serves 4.

Baby Food: Savory Lentil and Veggie Purée 


Ok mamas, papas and caregivers…can we talk baby food super briefly?

Man am I learning that sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go the store bought food route which I’m totally ok with..I love all of the healthful options they make these days and it’s so convenient. But here’s my beef…why do these companies feel the need to make everything taste sweet?! Even if those jars have spinach, green beans or peas in them they often times still wind up putting pears or apples in the bulk of the ingredients. I love that my baby is getting veggies “snuck in” to these varieties because of the nutrients. But I also want him to taste savory…and learn how delicious veggies can be in savory form. Continue reading