Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

The other day, He Who Must Be Fed brought home a surprise – a pound of honey from a local apiary.  He was all excited with his proffered gift.  “Look,” he said, as if I had never seen honey before. When he saw my puzzled expression, he added, “You can put it in your tea.”Honey

I was puzzled, because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with all that honey. I don’t cook a lot with it. (And I don’t put it in my tea.) I could only think of two recipes that require honey: lemon cookies and baklava pie.

Then, I remembered I had found a recipe a week or so ago for sticky honey garlic chicken wings.


I’ve made these twice now. Once with the first batch of honey my honey brought home. Then with another darker, richer batch from the same beekeeper who said the darker honey was a result of his bees nibbling red bamboo. That richer flavor made these wings even more delicious than before.

Heat your oven to 450°. Line a baking pan with foil then place a rack on top. This prevents your wings from cooking in their own juice and getting soggy. You want them crispy, after all.

Place the wings in a large bowl and toss them with 1½ teaspoon each of sesame oil and sea salt  and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Put them in the oven for 35-40 minutes until they’re beautifully golden brown.

About 10 minutes before the wings are done, make the glaze. Add all the ingredients into a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Boil rapidly for about 5 minutes or until the glaze is reduced to 1/3 cup. Remove from the heat.Boiling

Remove the wings from the oven, put them in a bowl and toss them with the glaze. Put them on a plate and sprinkle them with sesame seeds.

Be careful! You’re going to want to let them cool before you try and eat them. The hot honey is like lava. Trust me on this one. I have the burns on my fingers and tongue to prove it.




  • chicken wings
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

 For the glaze:

  • ⅓ cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 3 large garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes


Black and white cake

So, what are you giving your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? (You do know it’s tomorrow, right?)

Sure, you could buy a big box of chocolates or a huge bouquet of flowers. Maybe some aftershave or a big honkin’ piece of jewelry. But what says “I love you” more than making something with your own two hands?

He Who Must Be Fed is getting this black and white cake, a recipe I found in the Food Network Magazine.  I happen to know he’ll love it. (I know because I made it a couple of weeks ago. I don’t like to take chances with Valentine’s Day, my friends.)

The cake was moist and just chocolate-y enough without being overbearing. The frosting was light and creamy, but had rich undertones of white chocolate. I think it’s the best white frosting I’ve ever tasted.


For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for the pans
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the pans
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped, plus shaved chocolate for topping
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Shaved dark chocolate, for topping

Heat your oven to 325°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess. Combine the butter, milk and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a large bowl, add the cocoa powder and granulated sugar and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla into the cocoa mixture, then stir in the flour mixture in two additions until just combined (it’s OK if there are a few small lumps).Frosting

Divide the batter between the prepared pans; tap the pans against the counter to remove any air bubbles.BatterInPansBake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pans, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, put the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth, then let cool. Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the melted white chocolate until combined. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and fluffy; beat in the vanilla. (Your frosting may be too soft to spread – mine was – so chill it about 15 minutes.)


Frost your cake and add shaved white and dark chocolate. Then present it to your sweetie and be prepared for an onslaught of love in appreciation.



Happy Valentine’s Day.

Best Potato Soup Ever

Make. This. Soup.

I love soup, particularly when the weather here is hovering around 20 degrees (or lower) and I need something to warm my soul. I’ve shared several great soup recipes with you, from clam chowder to sausage and lentil.

But this one, my foodie friends, is awesome. I got this recipe  from my friend Patty, who loves to cook, so I knew it was going to be a winner. And it was. He Who Must Be Fed and I ate every last bit and were left wanting more.



  • 1 pound of bacon (you had me at bacon)
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minces
  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 to 4 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until done. Remove bacon from pan, and set aside.  Drain off all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease. Cook celery and onion in reserved bacon drippings (hmm bacon drippings) until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cubed potatoes, and toss to coat.PotatoesForSoup

Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Return bacon to the pan, and add enough chicken stock just to cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

RouxIn a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream and tarragon. Bring the cream mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir the cream mixture into the potato mixture. Puree the soup in batches and return to pan. Salt and pepper to your taste.

If you try this let me know if you loved it. I really want to know.



Full-recipe disclosure: If you access the original recipe, you’ll see it suggests pureeing only half of the mixture and returning that to your pot with the diced potatoes. As I mentioned, I pureed it all, and it had a lovely, smooth consistency. (Oh, and I didn’t add any cilantro. He Who Must Be Fed isn’t a fan.)

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know that January isn’t the best time to indulge in something deliciously decadent. So, if you’re one of those folks trying to refrain from excess in 2015, save this post for another time. However, if you’re one of my faithful foodie followers who says, “Bring it on,” then I have something wonderful for you.

I found it on BuzzFeed, in an article titled, “19 cookies with a life-changing secret.” C’mon. How can you not check out an article with that headline?  I double-dog dare you.

Anyway, there I found this amazingly decadent, naughty recipe for Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. What, you say? Oreos inside chocolate chip cookies?!?! Yes, my fingers didn’t slip on the keys. A delicious cookie within a delicious cookie.


  •  2 sticks softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10-to-12-oz bag chocolate chips
  • 1 package Oreo Cookies, I used the regular kind (but imagine the possibilities if you tried other flavors)

Preheat your oven to 350°. Cream you butter and sugars until well combined and fluffy. Add your eggs and vanilla until well combined.

In a separate bowl sift the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.

You can use a cookie scoop, but I just used a generously filled tablespoon, to place dough both on the top and bottom of each Oreo. Seal the edges together by pressing and cupping in your hand until the Oreo is enclosed in the dough. OreoStuffedCookiesonTray

Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the cookies about two inches apart and bake for 11 to 15 minutes until the cookies are baked through. Let cool for five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Pour yourself a big glass of milk and enjoy. Let that triple-cookie goodness wash over you like a warm, sweet blanket of love. (Keep in mind that one of these cookies is really like three, just in case you don’t want to totally overdue it in 2015.)OreoCookieCropped


Cream Cheese Crescent Dessert

I love social media. Well, I love the bright side of social media. (We all know social media has a dark, very dark side.) Anyway, one of the bright aspects of social media is the sharing of recipes. (Such as this blog, for example.)

The other day on Facebook someone had posted a recipe for an unnamed creation that caught my attention because it featured some of my favorite things: Cream cheese. Butter. Crescent rolls. Sugar and cinnamon.

And the recipe delivered. It was easy. Delicious. Decadent. And it went from an idea to our mouths in just a bit more than 30 minutes.

Try it.


  • 1 can of Pillsbury crescent rolls (I used the seamless dough sheet, which was easier to use.)Crescents
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 cup butter, melted
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°. Unroll the crescent rolls (or seamless dough sheet) and cut in half. Spread half on the DoughandCreamCheesebottom of an 8×8 baking pan. Mix softened cream cheese, ½ cup sugar and vanilla. Spread over the dough. Top with the remaining half of dough and spread so it covers all of the cream cheese filling.

Melt your butter and pour over the top of the dough, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and slightly brown.BeforeOven

Drizzle with a little honey.

Let cool for at least five minutes so the cream cheese doesn’t ooze out when you cut them. I didn’t wait, and my cream cheese did a little oozing (but in a good way).



Bacon Hasselback Potatoes

Potatoes are big in our house. He Who Must Be Fed is the quintessential meat-and-potatoes guy, so I make them a lot. I’m always looking for new ways to make them so it doesn’t get boring. (After cooking for this man for 29 years, I gotta jazz it up sometimes, right? Sure don’t want him eating in another woman’s kitchen.)

I’ve been wanting to make these Bacon Hasselback Potatoes for some time but, for whatever reason, never got around to it. Until now.

These are delicious. Absolutely delicious. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to make these, you’re going to need some time. You won’t be able to make these on the fly. But, they’re worth the wait. Truly.


  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, each cut into 9 pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Lay the bacon pieces on a baking sheet and freeze until hard, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Using a sharp knife, make crosswise cuts in each potato, about 1/8 inch apart, stopping about 1/4 inch from the bottom.

RawPotatoesAdd the potatoes to the boiling water and cook 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and carefully transfer to a baking sheet; let cool slightly. Pat the potatoes dry, then insert 3 pieces of the frozen bacon into the cuts of each potato, spacing the bacon evenly and letting it poke out of the top. Melt 5 tablespoons butter and brush generously over the potatoes and in the cuts. Reserve any excess butter for basting. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Transfer the potatoes to the oven and bake until the outsides are browned and crisp, about 2 hours, basting halfway through with the reserved melted butter.

When the potatoes are almost done, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and mix with the scallions, parsley and garlic. Spoon over the potatoes and roast 5 more minutes. Transfer to a platter and season with salt and pepper.


Full-recipe disclosure: Since I was cooking for just the two of us, I made four potatoes, not 12. But, I used the same amount of everything else.  After all, you can’t have too much bacon.  :-)


Sweet Cashew Clusters

We’ve talked before about combining sweet and salty and how much we love, love, love it. Add this recipe for Sweet Cashew Clusters from the Food Network Magazine to your list of must makes.

The cashews are delightfully salty and mix so well with the sugary, buttery coating. You’ll love these.


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups salted cashews

Place sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat. You’ll want to occasionally swirl the pan – don’t stir the sugar – until it’s a dark amber color. It’ll take about 10 minutes.SugarForCashewsCookings

Remove from heat and stir in the butter and cashews.

Pour onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and separate into clusters with two forks. Let harden. Enjoy the salty-sweet goodness.


Chocolate Pecan Pie Chex Mix

Happy 2015! (I’m still trying to figure out where 2014 went; it’s still kind of a blur. No, I didn’t spend most of the year in a drunken stupor.)

I know with the holidays now past, you may not be thinking about snacks. But I bet at some point soon, you’re going to be thinking about snacks. I’m thinking about them right now.  :-)

If/when snacks pop into your head, here’s one for you to try: Chocolate Pecan Pie Chex Mix.

It’s a sweet kick to traditional Chex Mix that I think you’ll like.


  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the Corn Chex, Rice Chex and pecans. Set aside. In a small microwave-safe dish, combine the butter, molasses and brown sugar. Microwave for 1 minute, or until the butter is melted. Stir. Add the vanilla, sea salt, and cloves and stir together.

PouringSauceonChexMixPour the butter mixture over the cereal and use a large spatula to carefully stir it all together until all of the cereal is coated. Microwave the mix for 6 minutes, stopping it to stir every minute. (This is really important. I’ll explain later.)

When it’s done cooking, sprinkle the chocolate chips into the warm Chex Mix and give it two quick stirs. You don’t want to completely stir the chocolate around, just disperse it so it will melt and create clusters within the Chex Mix.

Place the mixture into the fridge for 20 minutes to set the chocolate completely.

Full-recipe disclosure: Keep in mind that different microwaves have different power levels. When I was making this, I noticed that a few of my squares were getting pretty dark after four minutes. So, you may not need to microwave your mix for the full six minutes. You’ll avoid burnt Chex if you stop and stir after each minute.ChexMixDone

Peanut Butter/Chocolate Bark

It’s beginning to get so very hectic, so much stuff to make …” sung to the melody of “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas.”

It’s nearly crunch time, and if you’re scrambling to get all of it done — particularly all the making and baking — remember you can make something wonderful that isn’t necessarily time consuming or hard.

Like this peanut butter/chocolate bark. I tried it out a week or so ago and gave it to He Who Must Be Fed who agreed to test it out. He took one piece, then another, then another, then another, then put the lid back on the container and begged me to put it back in the kitchen and out of his reach.

I didn’t have to ask him if he liked it. I didn’t have to.

It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s delicious. And it’s bound to make someone you love happy.


  • 8 oz. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
  • 1 10 oz. package of peanut butter chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped

BarkIngredientsCover cookie sheet or tray with wax paper.

Place your peanut butter chips with the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium for about a minute and stir. If the chips aren’t completely melted, wave for another 15 seconds and stir again until smooth.

Add the peanuts, and spread onto the wax paper-lined cookie sheet.

Place your chocolate chips in another medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium for about a minute, then stir. If the chips aren’t completely melted, wave for another 15 seconds and stir again until smooth.

Drop spoonfuls of the melted chocolate onto the peanut butter. Then, using a knife, swirl for a marbled effect. Gently tap the tray on your countertop to even out the thickness of the mixture.BarkSpreadOut

Refrigerate for about an hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in a cool, dry place, away from He Who Must Be Fed. J

If you need to roast your peanuts – I didn’t realize I bought raw peanuts – heat your oven to 350°. Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until light brown.



Peppermint Patty Brownies

Sometimes I use my friends as guinea pigs. Don’t tell them that, OK? I was having a holiday lunch with my friends Anne and Sandy, and I wanted to make them something I hadn’t made before. I saw this recipe for Peppermint Patty Brownies and thought they sounded just perfect. But, I had never made them before. Should I experiment on my friends? (It’s a rhetorical question, faithful food readers. :-) )

I made them, and they looked really awesome. But, did my friends like them? You betcha. Just ask them.


For the brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup chocolate chips

For the peppermint layer

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
peppermint sugar sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan with butter or nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract, whisking until combined and almost smooth. Whisk in each egg one at a time, stirring until a smooth batter forms. (C’mon, work those biceps.) Add in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, stirring until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter in the 8×8 baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Remove and let cool.

While brownies are cooling, add powdered sugar, butter, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and peppermint extracts to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Pour over brownies and spread in an even layer with a spoon or spatula. Place in the refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.

This recipe called for ganache to drizzle over top. However, I realized I didn’t buy any heavy cream at the store the week before because it was $4.38 a pint. I could have bought a gallon of milk for that price. (I know, it was probably mismarked, but I was in too much of a hurry to ask someone.) So, I had to think of something else to do.

Ever the food fixer, I melted a half cup of chocolate chips and drizzled that over the top then added  some peppermint sugar sprinkles to make them look pretty and super-festive.