Crispy Fried Chicken

Next to cheese fries and a few other amazing things, fried chicken is up there in my top 5 favorite foods. There is nothing better than that perfect crispy breading, and juicy meat, and you can’t forget all the delicious sides that go along. I found this Hot Honey at ALDI and I knew I had to have it with some fried chicken. I learned a life-changing trick from Meg’s Everyday Indulgence that makes sure the breading stays on the chicken while frying. I make this after pickle brining the chicken for 24 hours. You can always omit that or marinade with buttermilk. Serve this fried chicken up with your favorite sides, like mac & cheese, french fries, or a side salad.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Pickle juice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Smashed Garlic for Brine
  • 1 LB Chicken cut of choice, I used drumsticks, can use thighs or breast
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Hot Sauce
  • 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 2 TSP Pepper
  • 2 TSP Paprika
  • 1 TSBP Cayenne Pepper
  • Berryhill Hot Honey [can buy at ALDI]
  • Peanut or Vegetable Oil for fryer

Let’s Get Cooking

In a large bowl, place the pickle juice + garlic + 1 cup of water and add in the chicken. Cover with foil and place in the fridge to rest for 24 hours. Drain chicken from brine and pat dry when ready to use.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs + water + hot sauce and set aside.

On a large plate, whisk together flour + salt + pepper + paprika + cayenne.

Dredge the chicken in the flour, then egg wash, then flour again and place the chicken on the wire rack or baking pan and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meg ensures that this allows the breading to stick to the chicken and she is absolutely right!

Heat the frying oil to 350F and work in batches frying the chicken for about 15-18 minutes or until cooked through.

Drizzle over with hot honey when warm and enjoy.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Malted “Forever” Brownies

One of my best friends just took a job as the Director of Athlete Mental Wellness at Michigan State. We are all so freaking proud of her but going to miss her like crazy, so of course, there was a going away party involved. There is no better crowd-pleaser than brownies. It was finally time to break open Claire’s book for her ‘forever’ brownies as she claims that this is the only brownie recipe she will ever create. These brownies are extra chewy and you can add in the optional malted powder for a little extra dose of chocolate. You need an 8×8 in pan, Claire calls for preferably metal.

Ingredients

  • Butter for the pan
  • 1/4 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 5oz Semisweet Chocolate [64-68% Cacao]
  • 6 TBSP Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Neutral Oil, vegetable
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/2 TSP Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 TBSP Malted Milk Powder, optional
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 Cup Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped

Let’s Get Baking

Preheat the oven to 350F and line the pan with 2 sheets of foil, crossing one over the other and pressing into the corners. Lightly butter and set aside.

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into 1/4 cup boiling water until smooth.

Add in the semisweet chocolate + butter + oil into the large bowl with the cocoa mixture and set it over a medium saucepan filled with about 1in of simmering water, make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Warm the mixture, gently stirring occasionally until the butter and chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from heat and let it cool until lukewarm.

Whisk in the granulated and brown sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add in the whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla and whisk ‘vigorously’ until the mixture comes together and looks glossy and thick.

Add in the flour + malted milk powder [if using] + salt and whisk slowly until everything is combined. Add in the milk chocolate and fold in with a spatula. Scrap the batter into the prepared ban, spreading it into an even layer.

Bake the brownies until the surface is shiny and puffed, for about 25-30 minutes. [I had to bake for 35, it all depends on your oven].

Allow the brownies to cool for an hour before placing them into the fridge for another hour [allows for chewier texture]. Use the foil to lift out of the pan and cut into about 16 squares & enjoy.

Made with Love,

Hannah

“The Bear” Spaghetti Sauce

If you’re obsessed with anything food-related like me, then I am sure that you watched “The Bear” on FX. If you haven’t, go watch it ASAP. I freaking loved the show and when my dad told me that he made the pasta sauce from the final episode, I knew I had to make it for myself. My dad claims this sauce is ‘life-changing’, and he’s not kidding. I fact-checked my memory of my dad recalling the recipe using this Buzzfeed article

Ingredients

  • 1 28oz Can of San Marzano tomatoes, which can be whole peeled or already blended [I used blended so I didn’t have to mash my tomatoes]
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, cut in half, through the root
  • 1/2 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter
  • Large handful of Basil, stems & all
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, peeled & smashed
  • 1 TBSP Neutral Oil [vegetable/canola]

Let’s Get Cookin’

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 Cup oil + garlic + 1/2 TSP red pepper flakes + basil. Turn heat to MED-LOW and let come to a boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes/until basil is wilted. Remove from heat and let steep.

In a large pot, add the butter + TBSP neutral oil, and allow to melt. Slice the onion through the root and peel off the skins. Once the butter is melted and beginning to brown, add in the onion halves cut-side down. Allow to sear for 2-3 minutes – as they begin to turn golden brown.

Add in the can of tomatoes, slowly, into the butter and oil, BE CAREFUL OF SPLASHING. Crush up your tomatoes if you used whole tomatoes. Bring up to a boil and season with salt. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Once the infused oil has cooled, place in a blender and blend until the garlic and basil is chopped. Combine the oil into the tomato sauce and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Season with additional sauce if needed.

Serve with your favorite pasta, and don’t forget to reserve some of that pasta water to use when you are combining the sauce & pasta.

Made with Love,

Hannah

P.S don’t forget the garlic bread + meatballs + a good glass of wine.

Pasta Bolognese

There’s nothing more magical than homemade sauce and pasta. I got a pasta maker for Christmas and I have loved using it. There’s something about knowing all the ingredients that go into your meal. The pasta recipe is from Love & Lemons the Bolognese comes from Pasta Evangelist, I tweaked it a little as I found it worked better for me personally.

Ingredients

HOMEMADE PASTA:

  • 1 Cup Semolina Flour
  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour [if no semolina just do 2 cups APF]
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 TSP Sea Salt
  • 1/2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

BOLOGNESE SAUCE

  • 2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 Large Carrot, diced
  • 1-2 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 300g Ground Beef [about 1lb]
  • 2 1/2 TBSP Red Wine
  • 1 14oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Pasta Water
  • Salt & Pepper

Let’s Get Cooking

You’re going to start by making the homemade pasta first. I made the dough in the mixer, I found that it came out a lot smoother than doing it by hand. You can still do it by hand if you prefer of course.

Combine eggs + oil + salt + flour into the mixer and mix on low until combined into a shaggy ball. Flour the counter and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes. If it’s sticky, add flour while kneading. It should turn into a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temp for about 30 minutes.

Using a pasta maker, or rolling pin, roll out your pasta into thin sheets and cut based on your preferred pasta shape.

Onto the bolognese.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, add in the onions until soft. Add in the crushed garlic and cook until fragrant, turn down the heat to MED-LOW so you do not burn the garlic. Add in celery + carrots until soft.

Add in the ground beef, making sure to break it up with a wooden spoon. Make sure there is no pink left in the meat.

Add in the red wine + diced tomatoes + tomato sauce + salt + pepper. Cover and simmer on MED-LOW for about 40 minutes.

In a separate pot, bring salted water to boil. Cook your homemade pasta for about 3-4 minutes, the noodles will begin to float up to the top. Add in the reserved pasta water to your bolognese. Drain the noodles after cooking but do not rinse. Immediately add to the bolognese sauce. Let cook together for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve in a bowl topped with parmesan cheese.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Tuna Poke Bowl

Poke bowls have been my recent food obsession, mostly because I can have a heaping helping of kimchi with it. Poke, which means to cut, is a native Hawaiian dish. You can make it with a variety of different fishes, vegetables, and fats. This has been a favorite lunch/dinner of mine that is easy to throw together. You can get sushi-grade tuna from your local fish monger or you can get frozen tuna and thaw it in a bowl of water in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Sushi Rice/ whatever rice you have
  • 1 piece Frozen/Fresh Tuna, cut into bite sized pieces. I’ve also used canned tuna and salmon
  • 2 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 TSP Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Avocado, diced
  • Cucumber, diced
  • 1 TBSP Cream Cheese (I like it for that extra tang)
  • 1/4 Cup Kimchi, I like Cleveland Kitchen’s
  • Nori sheets, to eat with
  • Kewpie Mayo
  • Hot Sauce

Let’s Get Cooking

If you’re making your rice for the first time cook per package instructions and then add in your rice wine vinegar. Mix thoroughly.

Begin prepping all your ingredients until they are in bite sized pieces. You can add any other veggies you want that, like my Asian-inspired zucchini.

Place the tuna in a bowl with soy sauce and some ground ginger, let marinate while you get the bowl ready.

Grab a bowl and fill with your rice, if you want drizzle with some kewpie mayo, hot sauce & soy sauce, mix well.

Top the rice with your veggies, kimchi, avocado, cream cheese, nori, and finally your tuna.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Chic-Fil-A Mac & Cheese

Chil-Fil-A makes some of the best mac and cheese ever. However, you can’t go to chic-fil-a every day just to get this mac & cheese, well you can but that’s not very healthy, no offense. So instead of spending all your money by going to chic-fil-a every day, you can make it at home! Thanks to Hot Rods Recipes, I got an idea of exactly how I can make this at home. I made some slight changes because I feel that more Colby jack should be added into the melty cheese rather than just on top.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Macaroni, or noodle of your choicee
  • 1 1/4 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBSP Romano Cheese
  • 4 oz Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • Salt + Pepper

Let’s Get Cooking

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the macaroni per package instructions. Drain the pasta, but do not rinse.

In a large pot over MED heat, add heavy cream + parmesan cheese + Velveeta + romano + half of the shredded Colby jack. Keep an eye on it to not let it burn. Stir occasionally until melted.

Once melted, pour the cooked noodles into the pot of cheese and stir to combine well. Pour the noodle/cheese mixture into a baking dish. Top the mac & cheese with the remaining shredded Colby cheese.

Turn the broiler on LOW and place in the mac + cheese. This is another time that it is vital that you keep an eye on this so it doesn’t get burnt. Broil until the cheese on top is bubbly and slightly beginning to brown.

Remove from the broiler and serve immeditately.

Made with Love,

Hannah

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Step-Mom, Cathy, makes the best chocolate chip cookies EVER. I remember learning that her secret ingredient was Captain Morgan and I thought somehow I would get drunk from eating all the cookie dough. The recipe is a simple one, it’s on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate chip bag [use whatever chocoloate chips you like just don’t use Nestle, Nestle steals resources from indigenous people]. Enjoy these chocolate chips with family and friends and don’t forget to thank Cathy for the secret ingredient. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened (2 Sticks)
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 3 TBSP Captain Morgan

Let’s Get Bakin’

Preheat the oven to 375F

Beat the butter + sugar + brown sugar + vanilla in a large bowl until it’s creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat well.

Add in the Captain Morgan. In a seperate bowl combine the salt + baking soda + flour. Slowly pour in the flour and mix until well blended.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Made with Love,

Hannah

‘Bleu by You’ Burger

Back with another Bob’s Burgers burger recipe. Who would have thought a cookbook based on a cartoon has some of the best burger recipes around, I WOULD HAVE. I would consider this burger fancy, I mean it involves a red wine reduction so pull out your fancy napkins and dive in.

Ingredients

  • 1 LB Thick-cut Bacon
  • 2 Small Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 3 TBSP Butter
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Red Wine, I like the Dark Horse red blend
  • 1 LB Ground Beef
  • 4 oz Bleu Cheese, diced
  • 1 Bunch Red Swiss Chard, stalks removed & leaves cut into thick ribbons
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 4 Buns

Let’s Get Cooking

Cook the bacon on the stove top or in the oven, until crispy

Saute the onions and garlic with 2 TBSP of butter over MED heat. Cook until the onions are translucent.

In the same pan, add in the tomatoes + wine and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it cook down for about 2 minutes, then lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally, and after about 5 minutes stir in the other TBSP of butter. Continue to simmer until the reduction thickens, enough to cover the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Pour through a straining into a bowl to remove the solids, set the red wine reduction aside.

Fold in the bleu cheese into the beef and gently form into 4 patties. Press a thumb gently into one side of the patty, creating a small indent. Season both sides with salt + pepper. The cheese may ooze a little so be careful flipping.

Saute the chard leaves with a bit of olive oil over MED heat. Add salt and stir continuously until wilted.

Toast the buns and then it’s time to build:

Bottom Bun – Burger – Bacon – Sautéed Chard – Red Wine Reduction – Top Bun

Serve with fries & enjoy!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Anthony Bourdain’s Saffron Risotto

I know I’ve said it before, risotto is all about patience. So if you don’t have patience, don’t make it; if you’re working on your patience maybe give it a try. There’s nothing daunting about risotto, it’s just time consuming. Anthony’s recipe focuses on simple ingredients to make excellent side dish, or for me, a main course.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Quarts Chicken Stock
  • Generous pinch of Saffron Threads
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Carnaroli Rice, or sushi rice, it’s all the same small grain
  • 1/2 Cups Dry White Wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir
  • 4 TBSP Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 Cup Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • Salt to taste

Let’s Get Cooking

Pour half the stock into small pot and add in the saffron threads. Bring to a low simmer over med-low heat.

In another medium pot, heat up the oil over med-low heat and add in the onion. Stir to coat the onions in the oil and cook until they are soft, but not browned, about 5 min. Stir in the rice and increase the heat to med-high heat. Cook about 3-4 min, until the rice smells toasty. Decrease the heat to med-low and add in the wine, stir until the wine is absorbed and the smell has cooked off.

One ladle at a time, add in the saffron infused stock, stirring the rice as it becomes absorbed. Once all the saffron stock has been added, heat the remaining stock in the same pot and use for the rice. Taste the rice for doneness, it should be tender and cooked through.

Beat in the butter and cheese into the hot rice mixture with a wooden spoon. Season with salt & enjoy!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Greek Pasta Salad

I think some of the best recipes come from scavenging in your fridge. I needed some lunches for the week but did not feel like going grocery shopping. I had a lot of different individual items so figured why not throw it into a pasta salad; that always ends up turning out well. Here is my little creation, I don’t know how greek it really is, but that’s the name I came up with.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Cherry/Grape Tomatos, quartered
  • 2 Cups Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Olives, halved, Kalamata or Green
  • 2 Cups Cooked Rotini
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
  • Salt + Pepper

Let’s Get Cooking

Cook the noodles per package instruction, make sure you cook it al dente.

Prep the rest of your ingredients.

Grab a large bowl and place spinach on the bottom, then pour the cook pasta over top, add in the olives + tomatoes + feta cheese + olive oil and toss. This allows the spinach to slightly cook due to the warm pasta.

Season with salt + pepper and enjoy!

Have for your weekly lunches or for a quick pasta side dish.

Made with Love,

Hannah