Crispy Oven-Baked Buffalo Wings

Crispy Oven-Baked Buffalo WingsThis is not the first time (and I can guarantee it won’t be the last time) I’ve proclaimed my love for all things spicy. I’ll order based on what’s spiciest… and if there isn’t anything spicy for me, well, I’ll order whatever will be the best vehicle for hot sauce. Seriously, I go through the stuff like water.

Lately, I’ve also been trying really hard not to order too much takeout, so I was so psyched when my hot-sauce-loving BFF suggested this recipe for buffalo wings. Crispy buffalo wings you don’t have to fry. Sign. Me. Up.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. When do recipes that promise baking yields the same result as frying really ever turn out the way you want them to? Basically never. But this one? Well, I’m here to tell you that I tried it for you. And this one works really well. And, best of all, it’s easy. (What isn’t easy is waiting the hour-plus for it to be ready. But, hey, you can’t have it all.)

Try it. (You can thank me later.)

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Easy Bolognese

Easy BologneseSome of the best classics take hours to simmer, relegating them to Sunday afternoons. But here’s a secret: You don’t need hours to make a delicious bolognese. You just need a handful of quality ingredients and the right pot.

You could just use ground beef, but I think the key to extra flavor is a trifecta of ground meat: pork, veal, and beef. And a nice, big pot to hold it all. I like cast iron, because they retain heat and look pretty (read: you don’t have to stuff it into some cabinet when you’re not using it!).

So, today I’m going to give you the recipe for my version of bolognese and a chance to win the cast iron pot I cook it in.

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How to Make the Perfect Pizza

How to Make the Perfect PizzaWho doesn’t love pizza? Cheese, carbs, sauce… did I mention cheeeese?! Sure, you could pick up the phone and dial your favorite local pizza place (just please… no Dominos or Papa Johns if you live in NYC), but it’s really not hard to make your own. You definitely don’t need a pizza oven. And you don’t even need to make your own dough. Just stock your kitchen with my favorite items below, pick up some dough at your local bakery or pizza place on your way home, and then get cooking (don’t forget the wine!).

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Classic Chili

Classic ChiliThanksgiving might be over, but it’s still eating season (yes, that’s a thing)… and this is the perfect dish to add to your list. Make it Sunday, then eat it all week. Last night, we had this over baked potatoes with cheese and sour cream. Tonight, I’ll be eating it over a toasted baguette while going crazy with the Cyber Monday sales. Then, tomorrow we’ll be having a big dollop of it stirred into mac and cheese. (You can see I’m really taking the time between holidays to diet a little bit!) You could also totally make this for a crowd and keep it warm in a crockpot at the tailgate. You know, if you’re not into eating the same thing all week long.

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Homemade Twix Bars

Homemade Twix BarsNow that the temperature has dropped so much (HELP!) and the holidays are here (YAY!), I’ve had an inexplicable urge to bake and cook, and then bake and cook some more. I always love to cook (did you know I went to culinary school? why, yes, I did), but I don’t really like to bake. You need all the patience for that and, well, that’s simply not my strong suit. I’d much rather change things up as I go and make my own creations. But the chilly weather has me craving all the goodies. So yesterday I made homemade Twix Bars.

It’s admittedly kind of a pain in the you know what. It’s a process… It’s a delicious process, but do this on a day when you have plenty of time. You don’t want to rush through this one. Also, the directions aren’t that great (IMO), so learn from my mistake. Don’t take the shortbread out of the baking pan when they say remove to a wire rack. Put that baking pan on the wire rack, but don’t take the shortbread out. It makes your caramel go sort of everywhere. I managed, but I would have had a gooier layer of caramel—and who doesn’t love a gooier layer of caramel?

Get the recipe here. There’s also a video to help you here.

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Mac and Cheese Soup

Mac and Cheese SoupI honestly had no idea what to call this, except delicious. It was adapted from this recipe, but she called it Chili. The way mine turned out… not exactly chili. Much more like soup. But if you Google Mac and Cheese Soup, it looks nothing like this. Neither does Cheeseburger Soup. But whatever. It’s delicious… there’s cheese, there’s elbow noodles, so I’m calling it Mac and Cheese Soup. All you need to know is that this is a super quick comforting meal that’s perfect for a Monday night.

 

 

 

 

 

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White Chicken Chili

White Chicken ChiliI hate the cold weather. Like really, really hate the cold weather. In my opinion, the only thing that makes it tolerable is that stuffing your face with delicious carbo-loaded foods becomes somehow more acceptable when the temperature drops. This weekend, I #netflixandchili’d hardcore with the first season of American Horror Story (so behind the times, I know) and a version of white chicken chili recommended by another spice-loving friend. It’s part soup, part chili, all delicious. Try it. You will love it.

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Thai Curry Noodle Bowls

Thai Noodle BowlsI love all the spices. Really, all of them. Give me a crazy-hot hot sauce. I will drown my meal in it. But I also really love those warm, slightly spicy, and super delicious Asian spices. Red curry? Check. Green curry? Yup, love that too. So it’s probably not much of a surprise that I do like to cook a lot of the spicier or tangier Southeast Asian dishes at home. And I think you should too.

If you’re like, nope, not happening… you have to buy too many unnecessary ingredients, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong—kinda. You do have to buy a few things: I recommend fish sauce, red curry paste, sesame oil, and chili garlic sauce. There are so many more favorites that come to mind (ponzu, miso paste), but those few will give you a good start. And they really aren’t that expensive or hard to find—you’ll find everything in the International aisle at your grocery store, but can order them online too. And there’s so much you can make—noodle bowls, pad thai, tom yum soup, sweet and sour beef skewers. I promise, you’ll use (and love the ingredients). Why don’t you start with this delicious Thai noodle bowl?

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Apple Crisp

Apple CrispWhen I was a kid, apple picking wasn’t as much of a thing. Like an absolute: you must go apple picking or else it’s not fall. (Unless maybe, mom and dad, you were holding out on us?) But since the rise of Instagram we all convince ourselves to drive an hour plus, brave crowds (but it’s ok because we’re in the country!), and dutifully go apple picking. Then you come home with literally 80 pounds of apples….and what does one make with 80 pounds of apples. Maybe a pie, some apple crisp, pork chops when you discover they can be savory too. But then, guess what? You still have 45 pounds of apples. So even though you’re trying to remember what self control is, you make more apple crisp. So here I am with a favor for those of you with an excess of apples: a recipe that uses 8 (yay!) of those apples. And forget everything I said about self control, because this is too good not to eat all day errday.

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Indoor Shrimp Boil

Shrimp BoilSo many people consider Labor Day the end of summer. I get it: the kids go back to school, the summer vacations end… but summer is not really over after Labor Day. The first day of fall isn’t actually until September 22—and I am going to soak up every last second of it I can get. I mean, it is 90 degrees and humid today. See…not pumpkin season.

But since I’m not heading to the beach this weekend, I’ll just have to bring the beach to me with this incredibly easy shrimp boil. In fact, you don’t even need to go outdoors to make it (but you should…eat this outdoors with a beer and pretend you’re at the beach).

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