Spicy Baked Chicken Wings

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I forgot how easy it is to make chicken wings from scratch. When a craving hits, I usually beg for us to go to Buffalo Wild Wings, but on a budget and looking for a new recipe to try, I realized I actually knew how to make buffalo chicken wings from when I was a kid. Just hadn’t done it in a really long time.

My mom and I used to make them, but baked, never fried. No thick breaded chicken wings either. I promise, they’re good. And they’re way better for you at the end of the day, which means you can eat more without feeling guilty.

So I experimented. Made a quick buffalo sauce, then added some black pepper (for some more spice) and honey (to sweeten). Sweet and spicy, not bad for my first try. I might just get more creative next time. Anyone have any suggestions?

Gather
20-30 frozen chicken wings
3 tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a sauce pan, melt butter. Add hot sauce, honey, and black pepper. Cool for 8-10 minutes on medium-high heat until sauce has been bubbling and has started to thicken. Coat chicken evenly in sauce and place on a baking sheet.

Cook in oven for 35-40 minutes or until juices run clear. Turn over halfway and add more sauce to wings.

Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Pinterest Interests

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Oh, Pinterest. How you find more ways for me to waste time. If you haven’t noticed, it appears that Pinterest has added this “Explore Interests” section. It’s supposed to allow you to find items that are similar to your current tastes, which I’m guessing means it’s going though my pins and saying, “Well, it appears you really like food that adds fat to your hips, why don’t you pin something with more sugar, butter, and caramel? Yes, here are 20 more recipes for you. Oh yeah, and here’s a wedding dress for that wedding you’re not planning and a slew full of cats.”

Oh, why thank you, Pinterest. How wonderful.

So I spent some time exploring this new section, and to a complete stranger, I’m wondering if I look psychotic or not. My explore section includes some of the following topics: kitten, apple pie recipes, striped sweaters, ground turkey recipes, and fitness. Seems I’m all set to become a crazy cat lady who cooks a lot, but secretly hopes she’ll exercise and burn off those calories.

Apparently I must also pin a lot of wedding stuff, because other categories include “gold wedding rings,” “cream bridesmaid dresses” (which I don’t ever remember pinning any of those), “engagement photos,” and “silver wedding shoes.” Apparently I’m subconsciously planning something I’ve never really intended to explore.

Oh yeah, and Carrie Underwood found her way as a “topic” in the list. I have no idea.

Click the images to see my Pinterest boards.

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Snowboarding: Gunstock

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Yes, it was extremely cold at this weekend. No, I didn’t let that stop me from going snowboarding. Yes, this was the first time I was able to go this season.

You see, snowboarding is still technically something new to me. I only started a little less than 10 years ago. I spent my first three times bascially crying as I was told to climb the bunny hill and then attempt to stand up and slowly “falling leaf” my way down the hill.

I learned the beauty of a helmet, quickly, especially one that fits me. And when I was brought to the top of Killington for the first time with the instructions to get myself down, I was more than grateful that I had people who were exceptionally patient with me at the mountain that day.

I’m not one of those people who has a seasons pass. I don’t have enough time to get to any mountain enough to make it worth it. Which is probably why it was ok that we ended up at Gunstock on Saturday. It was closer than Loon, which is were I usually go, so if it was too cold and we had to leave, I didn’t feel like we had to travel that far to get home.

So we packed up – with more layers than you can imagine – and headed to Gunstock. I think Becky had four pairs of socks with her, and with a weather report telling us all week it had been almost zero, she wasn’t completely crazy for doing so.

Turns out, though, that it was much warmer than we expected. Still cold, though. I almost never wear anything that covers my mouth and if you look at the picture in this post, you’ll quickly see I was almost indistinguishable with my black felt warmer. Couldn’t tell me from a Yeti wearing a Smith helmet.

Pleasantly pleased though. We lost count of how many runs we got in, took the Panorama most of the time, sliding up the Tiger Triple at one point when we were too lazy to skate over after going down Tiger. Plus, even though the line grew and dwindled all day, we barely ran into any crowds on the trails.

So, who wants to go snowboarding? I’m itching to go again soon!

Twice Baked Bacon Cheddar Potatoes

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So my roommate came downstairs last night as I was cooking dinner, looked at me and said, “You know, you’ve been cooking with bacon a lot lately.”

I didn’t know how to respond, was this a bad thing?

“I’m sorry,” was my immediate response (although I really wasn’t).

He looked at me, shocked. “No, it smells better than that apple wax burner thing in the bathroom.”

Oh. So apparently bacon overrules apples in my house. Who knew?

Anyway, the reason I was cooking with bacon again was because we wanted twice baked potatoes for dinner. And to be honest, I only really knew what they were from the frozen food aisle and had a faint notion on how to do it. So with a working theory, I whipped up what turned out to be an amazing side dish – with some casualities along the way.

Turns out scooping out the insides of microwaved potatoes is a bit harder than I expected. After the fourth attempt, I was making mini canoes instead of ripping apart the skin and losing what was meant to be the “bowl” for the remixed insides.

Basically, a twice-baked potato starts with a regular spud. Microwave it until it’s soft, then cut it in half and scoop out the insides, leaving enough of it left to serve as a bowl.

Mix the insides with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, black pepper, garlic powder, and a splash of milk. You basically have mashed potatoes. Spoon it back into the potato skins – it’s ok if you spill over – and cover with a sprinkling of cheese. Put in the oven to bake and voila! Twice baked potatoes.

Gather:
3 Russet Potatoes
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
4 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon
3 tablespoons of milk
5 tablespoons of margarine
Black pepper
Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350. Microwave potatoes until soft, about 8-15 minutes. Cut in half. Scoop insides of potato out, creating a “bowl” and placing potato insides into a large mixing bowl with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and bacon. Set “potato bowls” in a glass baking dish.

Stir bacon/cheddar/potato with margarine, milk, and black pepper and garlic powder to taste. Once mixed, scoop back into potato “bowls” and sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and top is slightly crisp.

Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

I feel like Ariel

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Oh boy! I went through with it. I finally went to a professional and dyed my hair red. I have never, in all my 27 years on this planet ever had my hair professionally dyed. I’m so glad I did though! There is no way I could have gotten this out of a box, and believe me, I’ve tried. My hair is quite finicky.

In the past, my hair has been black, streaked with blue, accidental purple, orange, and even blonde once. (Yes, Mom, I will NEVER forget our trip to Hawaii when we thought a box of Platinum Blonde hair dye was a good idea.) So when I decided about 8 months ago (yes, it took me that long) to dye my hair red, I started at Pinterest. And it turns out, that almost every pin I picked had red hair – sometimes fire engine red, sometimes a light pink, often a burgundy. Always a shade of red.

And when I got a gift card for Christmas to see my friend Alyssa at InsideOut Studio in Dover, it just had to happen. So I started with a plan of not backing down and getting a light shade and pointed to the brightest non-orange red on the color map at the salon, a shade called Ruby. My only limitation: Don’t make me look like Ronald McDonald.

So Alyssa and I started with this:

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And by the time she was ready to wash out all the color, she looked like she had killed something in the sink (see below). Also, bless her soul, she has pink hands for a few days because of me.

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But the result was way better than I expected. I feel like a mermaid (in a good way) and kinda a rebel all at the same time. Ready to conquer the world, because in two days, I’m turning a year older! New hair, new year, new me! Crazy in love with the red. Thank you, Alyssa!

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Hair by Insideout Studio owner Alyssa Vachon: Facebook or Website

New Hair Time

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I love snow! Snowball fights, snowflakes falling, snow covered houses. I just don’t like driving in it. Snow means hot cocoas and evenings around the fireplace, not car crashes. So I’m thrilled the snow is back.

And I really love this photo, which Andy (Perfect Perceptions) took of me the other day before he proceeded to throw a snowball at me. All in good fun.

You’ll notice my hair is brown, which I’m hoping to change soon. I’ve hit one of those moments where it seems like I need a big change and my hair is easy enough to meddle with that I won’t freak out. Problem is, what color should I dye it? Red? Black-blue? Just go simple highlights? Help me out guys, I’m doing it tomorrow afternoon!

Watch Challenge Part II

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I’m starting to like this Watch Challenge I started. Not only does it mean I get a new accessory for my wrist every few weeks, I can also say I’ve checked my phone less frequently.

The funny thing is, I realized once I started using a wristwatch, that I can’t remember the last time I saw or used an analog clock. Everything is digital; the TV router, my phone clock, computer clock, everything. It’s all digital. Even my stove clock is digital.

It’s amazing how some things we just lose and no one ever talks about it. It’s a big, “Oh Well” in the digital world.

So about my new wrist candy: This little beauty caught my eye on eBay, all for $6, including shipping. Not bad, and it makes me think of the four months I spent in France studying in Grenoble. I’ve been to Paris twice, and I have to say, as much as I’ve complained about it as a busy city where I can speak English, I want to go back. Some day…

The only issue with the watch is that my wrist is so tiny that I have to make another hole in the wrist band to make it fit. Could be worse.

Any suggestions on what watch or where to look for my next timepiece??