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Before I was old enough to get in nuclear fights with my brother and take everything he said super personally I wanted to be just like him. He taught me to draw real shapes and not just scribbles, to build with Legos, make car and siren noises, build major forts in the woods, and to put ketchup on everything. Don’t worry, we worked through our “I hate you” phase and now we’re best buddies. Back to the ketchup. Sam would put it on noodles, I would put it on noodles. Sam would put it on eggs, I would put it on eggs. The same went with rice, hotdogs, hamburgers, ham sandwiches, veggies, mashed potatoes, and meatloaf. Especially meatloaf. Meatloaf was the perfect vehicle for ketchup, especially since it’s baked with a ketchup hat! Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods that I want when I’m feeling really low or just like I need a little taste of home. This year right before I came down with pneumonia all I wanted was meatloaf delivered to my house. Apparently, that’s a weird request. Once I got over the pneumonia hump I made a massive meatloaf and pot of mashed potatoes and thoroughly enjoyed eating it 2 meals a day for several days. Leftovers are my favorite.

Ingredients:

1lb ground pork, veal, beef mixture (packaged as meatloaf or meatball mix at the store)
1lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
1-2 cups of chopped mushrooms (I like shiitake and cremini mushrooms)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1TBS Worcestershire sauce
4 hits of Tabasco
1C breadcrumbs
1 or 2 eggs
¼ cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

For the top:
½ cup ketchup
3 hits hot sauce
2 TBS bbq sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

Take the meat out of the fridge to come to room temp so you don’t freeze your hands off.

Brown the onions over medium high heat.

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When they’re soft and have brown edges add the mushrooms and cook until they give off their moisture.

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Add the rest of the veggies and cook until pretty.

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Add the garlic and cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about a minute. Put this veggie mixture in a bowl and into the fridge to cool off.

In a bowl layer meat, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt & pepper, and browned veggies. Use your hands to mix everything together until well combined. Transfer meat to a 9”x13” pan and shape into a nice even loaf.

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Whisk together the ketchup, hot sauce, and bbq sauce. Pour over the top of the loaf and use a spatula to evenly distribute the topping.

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Place loaf in oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. When you poke the loaf the juice that runs out that should be clear.

I like to serve with mashed potatoes and some kind of green vegetable.

BONUS POST: Meatloaf Sandwich

Layer warmed meatloaf and mashed potatoes on bread. Schmear bread with mayo, ketchup, and hot sauce. Assemble and nom!

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Have you ever realized that you lost an argument a month after it occurred? The other day I had turned to Rob and out of the blue firmly stated, “Our kids will eat what we eat. I’m not going to make two meals three times a day.” His eyebrows met his hairline and he said, “Good luck with that.” A spirited discussion ensued.

Growing up my husband was an extremely picky eater, so I’m told. Picky to the point that he now won’t eat PB&J sandwiches because it’s all he ate for several years straight. I honestly can’t remember if I was a good eater or not. I’ll have to have Mom chime in in the comments. He’s now pretty good about at least trying new foods and eating a couple bites of the veggies he doesn’t love, and I won’t go near a banana or the squishy innards of a raw tomato so I guess we can call this one a draw.

As I was chopping up the zucchini, kale, and mushrooms to add to my leftovers from last night I put down my knife and said out loud, “no wonder he laughed at me.” I’ve been preparing two versions of our meals the entire time we’ve lived together. He gets the meat and potatoes version, and I get the veggie-heavy version. He’s picky in that he doesn’t want to eat weird vegetables and I’m picky in that I don’t want to eat a one-dimensional meal and crave nutrients later. We also happen to own and support the eating habits of the pickiest cat ever. Whenever we have kids we’re going to have to just go with the flow, and if we add some members to the Picky-Eaters Club well then that’s just fine.

Side note: we’re not expecting, this was just on my mind so I decided to share.

Olive in her strictly chicken-flavored brand specific cat food coma.

Olive in her strictly chicken-flavored brand specific cat food coma.

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The women in my family have a hobby of making special cookies reserved for the men in our lives. All the men have different traditions when it comes to enjoying them. Papa keeps the chocolate chip walnut cookies in a jar in the pantry, and you MUST ask permission before sneaking one. So, technically speaking, you are not sneaking but prepare to be scolded if he sees un-authorized cookie crumbs in the corner of your mouth. His secondary spot is hidden in the freezer, so that “he doesn’t enjoy all of them all at once, of course!”

Mom has a rather extensive collection of cookie tins and jars so when she bakes for dad you never really know where they’re hidden without going on a full-scale cookie hunt. During the holidays he has his own private stash of Rugelach, and during the off-season mom makes what I like to call “Pantry Cookies”. They started out as oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and over the years have morphed into including dried fruit and nuts or whatever happens to be in the pantry. Hence the name. Sometimes I make sense, you guys.

My version of Pantry Cookies include but are not limited to honey, oats, nuts, dried fruit, and whatever sugary morsels have been sitting around in the cupboard. I have a sneaky sweet tooth and I squirrel away all kinds of candy pieces and chocolate chips and sweet baking ingredients and these cookies are an excellent place to dump them all. I almost always hide a dozen cookies in the freezer from Rob because usually he eats all the cookies before I get more than one.

The base of this cookie is an oatmeal cookie recipe, but I’ve made a few changes over the years to make it just the way Rob likes it.

Ingredients:

14 TBS butter (1 stick plus 6 TBS), room temp
¾ Cup brown sugar, packed
¼ Cup white sugar
¼ Cup honey (I like unfiltered wildflower honey)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup all purpose flour
¾ Cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups of oats, quick oats are fine, old fashioned are too.
*1 Cup dried fruit (I prefer currants, dried cranberries and/or golden raisins)
*½ Cup chopped nuts (usually walnuts but this time I had sliced almonds)
*1 Cup assorted candy pieces (today I used chocolate chips, toffee bits, and butterscotch chips).

*when I make Pantry Cookies these last three components are loosely measured. I usually just dump them into the bowl until it looks like the right distribution. Sometimes I want more fruit, sometimes I want more nuts, sometimes I skip the candy bits, it all depends on what we have in the pantry. If you skip one add-in, add more of another or that amount in oats. This is a pretty forgiving cookie dough.

Ingredients & Grandma's Mixer

Ingredients & Grandma’s Mixer

-In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined and creamy. Add the honey and continue to beat on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated.

-Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla and continue to beat until well combined.

-In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients in with the butter and sugar mixture while mixing on low speed to avoid a flour facial. Once the dry ingredients are mostly combined go ahead and kick the mixer up a few notches to mix thoroughly.

-Add the oats and other add-ins and mix to combine. You may actually have to turn off the electric mixer and find a very, very sturdy spoon to finish the job. Once everything is evenly distributed cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a couple of hours so the butter can re-set and you can control the size and width of your cookies when they bake.

-Preheat the oven to 350.

-Use a tablespoon or a cookie scoop to make cookie dough balls of your desired size and place them on a cookie sheet. Press down on the dough balls so they don’t roll around and until they’re about the size you want. The butter is cold and won’t spread like crazy in the oven, so make them pretty close to what you want their final size to be on the baking sheet.

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-Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are light brown and the bottoms are golden, rotating baking sheet halfway through for even baking.

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-Remove from the oven, let cool for a minute or two on the baking sheet then remove them to cool completely on a cooling rack.

The total number of cookies made depends on the size you make. I like a variety of Alexa-sized cookies (little) and Rob-sized cookies (palm-sized) so we each can have what we want.

Enjoy, and get creative with it!

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It’s very rare that I decide to wing it with a bright idea and the end result tastes perfect, so this experiment is worth writing about. Granted, the final presentation can use some work but I’m no chef or food stylist so give me a pass on that one.

This whole idea came about when this Super Bowl morning I was kind of hung-over and wanted to make bacon and caramelized onion dip but I had cream cheese instead of sour cream, and a bag of jalapeños. The game plan: Make the dip with cream cheese and add brown sugar, stuff it into jalapeños, wrap those suckers in bacon and away we go. The idea to include brown sugar in this concoction comes from the girlfriend of a friend of ours who is southern, and makes her bacon with a brown sugar and cayenne glaze. Bacon + brown sugar + spice = GET IN MY BELLY. It’s really fantastic and I highly recommend it.

Because I’m the king of bright ideas I decided to process the jalapeños and caramelize the onions at the same time. I don’t recommend this. I recommend making the filling in advance, then processing the jalapeños, and then assembling everything in a calm and organized manner, i.e. the opposite of what I did this morning. I spent the morning running between the stove and the prep area wearing one plastic glove and a frantic expression while wildly waving stirring utensils around. Did I mention that I was simultaneously making wing sauce? It was bonkers. Don’t be bonkers.

I’m going to list all the ingredients needed and then break the instructions up into sections including the ingredients needed for that step. Seems logical.

ALL INGREDIENTS:

2 medium onions sliced thin
1 TBS butter
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
8oz cream cheese at room temp
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 TBS brown sugar (or more if you want it)
1 lb japaleños
1 lb bacon
toothpicks (not for eating, for anchoring)
plastic gloves (if you’re like me and always seem to touch your eyes after touching hot peppers)

For the caramelized onions in the filling:
Melt together the butter, oil, 1 tsp brown sugar and ½ tsp salt.

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Add onions and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until very brown and soft, aka caramelized. Takes about 40 minutes, don’t turn your back.

browning nicely

browning nicely

That's what I call done, folks.

That’s what I call done, folks.

For the cream cheese filling:

Stir the caramelized onions in with the softened cream cheese until well combined.

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Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1TBS brown sugar and continue to combine until everything is evenly distributed and the cream cheese has turned a nice light brown color.

spice time

spice time

all mixed up

all mixed up

Set aside until needed.

Preheat the oven to 375 and while it warms process the jalapeños by cutting them in half and removing the seeds and ribs.

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I did a very sloppy job due to the running back and forth. I also forgot that presentation wise it’d be prettier to leave the stems on. Whatever they taste awesome (I tell myself that every time I realize I did something wrong). Evenly space the jalapeños on a foil lined baking sheet.

Fill each jalapeño half with the cream cheese filling.

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Wrap each jalapeño with bacon. I used 1/3 of a slice for the skinny jalapeños and ½ a slice for the bigger ones. Anchor the bacon with a toothpick.

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Bake the poppers for 20-25 minutes, and then finish under the broiler for however long it takes for the top to get crispy and gorgeous. Keep your eye on them, and be aware that your oven will probably fill your kitchen with smoke when you open the door. Ski goggles may be helpful. Serve hot or at room temperature. I prefer not having molten lava cream cheese burns so I opted for room temp.

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Side note from my mom: she wants me to acknowledge that one day I will turn 30 and I will become health conscious. My retort was: I’m also the one bringing a veggie tray to the Super Bowl party, so there. Bacon on my friends!

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Today on my day off I went to Costco (shocker) while hungry (rookie mistake) and ended up with a shrink -wrapped package of kosher pastrami the size of a canoe paddle. Since Costco is apparently a happening lunch spot and the line for hotdogs was wicked long I decided that a Reuben sandwich would be the next best thing. Yes, in my world a homemade Reuben is second to a foot-long hotdog.

Shockingly easy to make and the one of the two ways I’ve observed Rob willingly eat sauerkraut; this Reuben may become a staple in our household.

Ingredients:

Good rye bread, two slices per sandwich
Russian dressing
Pastrami
Sauerkraut
Swiss Cheese (I prefer Jarlsberg)

Put the bread in the oven while it heats to 350 so the bread toasts lightly and the moisture of the Russian dressing and sauerkraut won’t cause the bread to rip when assembled.

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On one slice of toasted bread smeared with Russian dressing, pile pastrami to height of your preference and warm in the oven.

Don't put the piece of bread without meat in the oven. I just forgot to take it out of the picture.

Don’t put the piece of bread without meat in the oven. I just forgot to take it out of the picture.

Add Sauerkraut and return to oven until warmed.

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Turn on the broiler and arrange the cheese on top of the hot sauerkraut and return to the oven 5-8 inches below the broiler until cheese melts and browns a little.

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Add a dollop of Russian dressing on top of the cheese and place the other toasted piece of bread on top. (For added richness, butter the toasted piece of bread and put it under the broiler until browned, then place on top of the sandwich)

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Serve with a pickle and make all your friends wish that they also had a day off in the middle of the week.

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Have you ever had that awkward moment when you realize you spent money on veggies that sat in the fridge for a week while you ate takeout and they’re now kinda wrinkley and sad? Yep, that was me today. Luckily Mom taught me that when you have stuff, you can always make more stuff out of it. This is how some of the most delicious and random casserole and stir fry recipes of my childhood came to be. Today I had leftover rice so I made Robert some fried rice. I grabbed a bacon bundle from the freezer, chopped up those veggies (omitting any questionable bits, of course), whisked together a soy based sauce, threw it all in a pan and watched Rob willingly eat broccoli.

Side Note: Rob hates broccoli. Hates it. It’s the one vegetable that we constantly fight over. I’ve gotten him to eat mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, beets, roasted carrots, butternut squash, jicama, cauliflower, and a plethora of other weird things but he’s previously never gone near broccoli. I say previously because I just watched him eat a plate of it. I may have loaded his serving of rice with extra broccoli as a social experiment. Findings: If you put bacon in it he will eat it.

Ingredients:
Bacon bundle (4 slices of bacon cut into lardons and then frozen in a bundle until you need to use them for something)
Veggies, chopped – I used red and yellow pepper, shallot, shiitake mushrooms, a jalapeno, and broccoli but whatever you have will do.
TBS olive oil
Leftover (or fresh) white or brown rice, about a cup.
1 egg, beaten

For the Sauce:
Soy sauce, about 1/4C
Several dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp red curry paste (I had it in my fridge, it’s not necessary but it adds a nice little zing)

Cook the bacon bundle over medium heat until crispy. Drain fat and add onions and 1TBS olive oil. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies and cook for about a minute or two more.

Everybody into the pool.

Everybody into the pool.

Add the rice, and spoonfuls of the sauce until there’s a light coating. Make a well in the middle of the pan and add the egg.

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Let the egg set then stir in to the rest of the dish. OR if you’re impatient like me you can stir it in prematurely and the egg will get all over everything. Either way it tastes awesome.

Enjoy! And now for some ingredient glamour shots:

Bacon Bundle: Always a good decision

Bacon Bundle: Always a good decision


Shiitake Cap

Shiitake Cap


Red & yellow peppers

Red & yellow peppers


The dread pirate broccoli

The dread pirate broccoli


Red curry paste

Red curry paste

I just made myself hungry again. Good thing there are leftovers!

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If you’re freezing cold, have five hours to spare, a dutch oven, and love onions then this recipe is for you. This is one of Rob’s absolute favorite things in the world, and I usually make it (mess it up) once a year. Last year I burnt it so badly I had to add about a cup of sugar to it to even it out. He was sweet (no pun intended) and said he couldn’t even tell I’d royally messed it up. This year the stars must’ve been aligned or something because onions were on sale, it was like 5 degrees or something ridiculous on my day off, and I had motivation. This year it went smoothly, I only almost burnt 6lbs of onions once, and Rob skipped straight over the “mmm” of approval to, “is there more?”

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Ingredients:

5 – 6lbs of onions, halved then sliced into about ¼” slices (using the lines on the onions as guides. Go with them, not against them. If you go against them you’ll have stringy onions).
5 TBS butter cut into 3 pieces
Salt & pepper
1 Cup water plus extra for deglazing
2/3 C dry sherry
4-5 C chicken broth
2 C beef broth (I use better than boullion and hot water)
6 sprigs of fresh thyme tied together
1 bay leaf
Optional:
Croutons – as many as the number of people you’re serving
Gruyere cheese for the top shredded or sliced, whatever.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and put the rack in the lower middle position. Spray your dutch oven with cooking spray and add all the onions, butter, and 2tsp of salt.

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Put the cover on and cook the onions in the oven for one hour.

onions after 1 hour of cooking in the oven at 400

onions after 1 hour of cooking in the oven at 400

Remove from the oven, stir the onions, and return to the oven with the lid slightly askew for another 1hour 45 minutes. After an hour take the onions out and stir them and scrape the sides of the pot.

onions after an additional hour in the oven, lid askew

onions after an additional hour in the oven, lid askew

onions after the final 45 minutes in the oven, lid askew

onions after the final 45 minutes in the oven, lid askew

Remove the onions from the oven and put them on the stove over medium high heat. Cook them and stir FREQUENTLY scraping the sides and bottom until the liquid evaporates and onions brown. (can take 15-20 minutes). If you feel like this is happening too fast turn the heat down to medium.

When the bottom of the pot is coated with a dark crust, add a 1/4 C water and scrape like hell to deglaze. All that good brown stuff will coat the onions and deepen their flavor.

I forgot to take a picture before deglazing the pan.  this is after one deglazing cycle.

I forgot to take a picture before deglazing the pan. this is after one deglazing cycle.

Cook until the water evaporates and another dark crust has formed, and deglaze again. Do this 3 or 4 times total until the onions are wicked dark brown and you can’t take it anymore.

what brown crust? oh, that brown crust.

what brown crust? oh, that brown crust.

like I said, scrape like your life depends on it.

like I said, scrape like your life depends on it.

Cook’s Note: DO NOT WANDER AWAY ONCE YOU PUT THE ONIONS ON THE STOVE. THEY ARE YOUR BABY. DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON A BABY. (trust me, if you burn them after you’ve put in 3+ hours of work you’re going to cry.)

Add the sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until the sherry evaporates. The onions will get a little gummy looking. I highly suggest taking a full 5 minutes for this step so that the flavor of the onions with the sherry really develops.

I use this sherry because the guy at the liquor store told me to.  He hasn't steered me wrong yet.

I use this sherry because the guy at the liquor store told me to. He hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

gummy sherry onions. YUM.

gummy sherry onions. YUM.

Stir in the 2 cups of beef broth to loosen the mass of onions that has developed so that the liquid and onions are evenly combined.

half the liquid added, onions evenly dispersed.

half the liquid added, onions evenly dispersed.

Then add the chicken broth and stir some more. If you taste this and you feel like you got slapped in the face with meat broth, add the cup of water. Use the liquid to scrape any brown bits from the sides of the pot, and then add the herbs.

look I tied a cute little bow just for this picture

look I tied a cute little bow just for this picture

I used two tiny bay leaves instead of one big one because that's all I had.

I used two tiny bay leaves instead of one big one because that’s all I had.

Increase heat to high until the soup simmers, then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes discard the herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

FOR SERVING:

Arrange the croutons in oven safe dishes, ladle soup over the croutons, and arrange cheese on top. Put in the oven on broil (8 inches from broiler unit) and pull once the cheese has melted. This is optional. The soup is just as good without the frills. Also, supposedly you’re supposed to shred the cheese but I always seem to forget that step and just slice it.

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Now open the door or the windows because your kitchen is probably A THOUSAND DEGREES and you’re ready to fall over.

Happy husband can't believe I made him pose for a picture before allowing him to take a bite.

Happy husband can’t believe I made him pose for a picture before allowing him to take a bite.

We’re having a snow/frigid temperatures day:

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I also have writer’s block. Here’s a picture of my breakfast:

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Last night for dinner we had tacos, which is exciting because I ate them for dinner, second dinner, snack, and re-purposed them into breakfast burritos this morning. We like tacos in this house. To create this delicious snow day breakfast feast I just heated some leftover flour tortillas in the oven with cheese, scrambled an egg, then added taco filling (meat, beans, caramelized onions, and hot peppers), sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, a squeeze of lime, and hot sauce to taste.

I’ll admit, I added a lot of hotsauce. Why? BECAUSE IT’S NEW ENGLAND AND IT’S COLLLLLLDDDDDDDDDDDD!

I’m hoping to get back into writing more regularly but right now I’m going to continue working from home on this snow day before my coffee wears off, and maybe steal the cat’s spot in front of the heat vent. Game on.

she wont even notice if I pick her up and steal her spot

she wont even notice if I pick her up and steal her spot

Bonus mimosas-my-way recipe:

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Champagne of your choice
splash (and I mean splash, this picture has way too much) of OJ.
Slice a strawberry for pretty factor and there you go.

There are so many holiday themed half-formed entry ideas in my head that I’m going to go in a completely different direction and write about Costco. Here are a few of the reasons I love Costco so much.

1. Hotdogs are one of my favorite foods. They sell gigantic hotdogs for like $1.50 and the toppings are free.
2. New socks feel 1000x more awesome than old socks. Costco sells them in multi-packs, and it eliminates me having to find a matching pair to wash then wear.
3. Samples. Freeeee samples.
4. Huge extra salty rotiserrie chickens for less than $5
5. SUPER SIZE EVERYTHING!!!!!!
6. It’s something my dad and I bonded over when I was a moody asshole teenager and it’s still a special daddy daughter thing we do.

When dad and I would go to Costco it was like Christmas. Huge slabs of meat, packages of squashy sausages, pies, cookies, socks, movies, books, and if I was very good and pleasant during the trip I was allowed to get a treat. Usually, that meant a 4lb jar of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. We’d also buy my brother a giant bag of Jolly Ranchers. We’d meander up and down every single aisle because we didn’t want to miss the possibility that maybe we missed an absolutely essential item that we had no idea we needed until that second. This might sound materialistic and whatever but it was still time that I spent with my dad, just the two of us. That didn’t happen often. My dad worked incredibly hard to provide for our family and that meant that he worked in the office as well as at home. The 40 minute car ride to and from Coscto was when we’d chat a little, but mostly we listened to whatever Grateful Dead CD or playlist my dad had tuned up. When I was old enough to drive one of my most memorable trips was when on the way home (it was one of the times my dad let me drive and I was still learning) we got caught in a torrential monsoon from hell. My dad was very reassuring, calm, patient, and got me through that terrifying drive home. He didn’t offer to take over, but he gave me the tools to get us home safely. That’s the way my dad is.

To this day if my dad mentions that he’s going to Costco while I’m home visiting I go with him 100% of the time. Just last year I finally got my own Costco membership, and every time I go I think of my dad.

This isn’t one of my most well written or thoughtful pieces but I am recovering from pneumonia so pardon my lesser brain function. Bottom line, I’m definitely a daddy’s girl and a very loyal Costco customer. BJs and Sam’s Club just aren’t up to mustard. Is that a real saying? I don’t know. It is now.

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My husband and I have a deep and unsettling love for buffalo wings. Bad day? Buffalo wings. Hangover? Buffalo wings. Great day? Celebratory buffalo wings. It’s a problem. Not one of those problems that you’re really mad about, just a delicious mess maker of a problem that you’re kind of annoyed about because it depletes your bank account.

Rob is a purist and likes his standard buffalo hot flavor, while I’m obsessed with honey hot. Blue cheese offends him, and I would drink it through a straw if it were socially acceptable. We agree that celery and carrots are a must, especially now that I can eat them again, and in our opinion a good rule of thumb is if your eyelids aren’t sweating you’re doing it wrong.

I’ve attempted my own sauce on a couple of occasions and it’s never been anything to write home about. Today I had some new ideas and did a test on some homemade chicken tenders, and the result was Rob looking at me and saying, “If you put this sauce on wings I wouldn’t be mad.” Bag it, tag it, we have a winner.

Ingredients:

1C Franks Red Hot
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 – 4 TBS maple syrup (the real stuff. I use Grade B), or just omit this and use more honey.
Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce (Thanks Google, for the spelling help)
2 – 4 habanero peppers halved (seeds and ribs optional)
1 stick of butter
1 TBS honey
2 cloves of garlic, smashed but NOT chopped or diced
½ tsp Essence

in a bowl combine the Franks, vinegar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, and Essence.

I also put one of the halved peppers in here just for fun.

I also put one of the halved peppers in here just for fun.

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the smashed garlic, habaneros, and honey. I like to let the butter brown just a bit for deeper flavor. Letting everything melt together infuses the butter to be spicy and sweet with a very low and slow burn. It’s amazing and probably the best idea I’ve ever had. For more spice, add more habaneros as you’re going to take them out and discard them later.

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Once butter has melted and infused nicely, remove the smashed garlic. Leave the hot peppers in. Add the Franks mixture to the saucepan and let come to simmer over med-low heat, then simmer until slightly thickened. You’ll need to whisk this occasionally.

When you feel like the sauce has developed the flavor you want, remove the hot peppers and give a final whisk, then douse your wings, tenders, or use as a dipping sauce. I made homemade chicken tenders using the recipe on the Bisquick box.

HOME MADE.  Like a boss.

HOME MADE. Like a boss.

Rob and I will be having buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Tomorrow’s lunch will be salad with buffalo chicken topping. I MEAN REALLY. I just can’t get sick of it.

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