Friday, June 29, 2012

Chipotle Lime Chicken Wings and just in case you didn’t know… I. AM. A. CANADIAN. CHICK.

Since this is the first long weekend of Summer 2012....I just had to slip in a quickie...   July 1st – Canada Day.  Happy Birthday Canada! Being a Canadian Chick myself… I will be celebrating like a true RED-n-WHITE fan…  Up at the cabin, surrounded by close friends, enjoying some of what our beautiful country has to offer.  Good Beer. Fresh Mountain Air. Camp Fires.  ….but even more important – Good Friends.  Ooo and food…  can’t forget Good FOOD.. (need to make sure there’s something in there to absorb all that Good CANADIAN beer)…. Haha.  I present – Chipotle Lime Chicken Wings… BAKED, not fried. Definitely got a bit of a kick… and I promise, though they may not be of the fried restaurant variety – these puppies go fantastic with those  Canadian Wobbly Pops.
Chipotle Lime Chicken Wings

These are great for those Summer Backyard Parties, perfect for game night…. okay any night really…. Adjust the amount of Chipotle Peppers to your taste… my spice tolerance is moderate at best…and I used a full can…mouth had a tingle.. but it was manageable…and friggin’ YUM
Chipotle Lime Chicken Wings
·         1 can of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
·         ½ cup water plus 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, mixed together
·         4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
·         ½ cup honey
·         1 Tsp sea salt
·         Package of uncooked /split chicken wings
- Put first 4 items in a blender
- Blend until peppers are fully pureed and sauce is smooth.  Taste – add sea salt to personal taste. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, place raw chicken wings, and pour sauce over wings, mixing until well coated.  Leave a little sauce on the side for a side dip for the cooked wings later.
- Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours.  (overnight works as well.. but be prepared..the flavours increase the longer they marinade… spicy!)
- While the wings are marinating, I cut up raw veggies to serve em’ with… YUM YUM.

- Preheat oven to 375F, lightly grease baking sheet, and lay wings on baking sheet – flat.  (I line mine with aluminum foil for easier clean up as well) Discard any leftover sauce from the bowl that had the raw chicken wings in.
- Bake at 375F turning wings over half way, for about 25-30mins, or until fully cooked to your liking.
- Serve with raw veggies and dip, along with the reserved Chipotle Lime Sauce for your wings…   YUM YUM

Whatever you get up to this weekend.. LONG WEEKEND if you’re in Canada… ENJOY!  For myself… I know I will be taking an moment to stop.. look around.. breathe…and be thankful for those around me.. Those that support me.  Stand by me. Love me.  As without you, I’d have nothing.
…in closing.. some now “famous “ words (and OH SO TRUE) by the fabulous people at Molson Canadian
Hey. I’m not a lumberjack, or a fur trader… and I don’t live in an igloo or eat blubber, or own a dogsled… and I don’t know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada, although I’m certain they’re really, really nice.
I have a Prime Minister, not a President. I speak English and French, NOT American. and I pronounce it ABOUT, NOT A BOOT.
Thank you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

mmmmmS'Mores Dessert PIZZA! Hello!

Ok ok, my name is NotjustaChick....and I'm addicted to made-from-scratch-ooey-gooey-doesn't-matter-if-savory OR sweet PIZZA.  There.  I admit it.  YEEEUP.  Addicted.  I blame my honey.  His love of pizza that has a crispy on the outside, soft "puffy" inside crust, loaded with toppings has lead me down this path. Well journey to perfect pizza has made its next pitstop - S'Mores Dessert Pizza.
It started off with an invite to dinner by one of my best girlfriends.  I love have dinner with them- she has two awesome - fun - kids.   Now, being as though I don't have any kids of my own (whoa...wait... does a dog and a honey count?!...ANYWAYS...) I like to try out new and fun recipes for when we're all together.  They liked helping me BBQ Pizza a while back.. they are kids...kid's like chocolate and marshmallows AND us "adults" are kids at heart ...who doesn't like s'mores round a campfire?! Who doesn't like PIZZA?! Well.. this chick.. LOVES them both - equally.  So why not combine them?! This dessert pizza is SWEET  with a side of lick-your-fingers-between-every-bite kind of fun messy to eat dessert. Ooey-gooey goodness placed on stop of a slightly salty/sweet pizza dough and toasted using the broiler of your regular oven!  Easy-Peasy, no campfire required...

S'Mores Pizza
 Pizza Dough

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt (I used Vanilla Sea Salt**...but any will do)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
S'mores Toppings
  • 1 jar of Marshmallow Fluff
  • 6-10 full size graham crackers
  • 2 regular size chocolate bars (I used Cadburry's Milk Chocolate with Toffee bits)
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmellows
  • 1/4 cup Caramel Sundae Topping (for drizzle)
- Put the warm water in your stand mixer bowl and sprinkle the surface with the yeast. Let stand for 2 minutes to soften, then whisk with a fork to blend. Let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the olive oil and salt.
- Using your dough hook, then begin adding the flour gradually, until fully incorporated. The dough will be very moist and sticky.
- The dough should be moist and a little tacky. Shape into a ball.  
- Generously oil  a bowl, place dough in bowl  and turn the dough to coat it in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm draft free place until doubled in size.  (mine took about an hour)
- Punch dough, cover, and let rise until doubled again.
- Preheat oven to 500F
- Generously oil a pizza pan, carefully shape out the dough onto the pan, cover and let stand for an additional 10 mins.

- Prick dough with fork several times to help avoid it puffing up in the middle
- Bake at 500F for about 20 mins, or until the crust is just starting to turn golden on the top and bottom
- Remove from Oven, and let cool slightly
- Spray a spatula or spool with cooking spray to assist with the spreading of the Marshmallow Fluff
- Spread Marshmallow fluff into a even layer ontop of the pizza crust.  This is your pizza "sauce"
- Chop the chocolate bars into small chunks, they do not need to be even sized...
- Spread the chocolate chunks on top of the "pizza sauce"

- Break the graham crackers into chunky pieces, and spread onto the pizza

- Next up - spread out the mini marshmellows on top of the other toppings....
- Turn the broiler on your oven to high. (550F) 

*note - I did not raise the oven rack to the top, I used the next one down from the top, in order to slow the "toasting" down a bit...give time for the chocolate to melt, crust to crisp up a bit more, before the marshmallows toasted too quick - make sure you watch carefully, as once the marshmallows start to turn golden, they brown up quick!*

- Place pizza on the second rack down from the top in the oven, and allow the marshmallows to "toast" - just like you would over a campfire

- Once Marshmallows are toasted golden, remove pizza from oven, and drizzle caramel topping over top of entire pizza
- Slice using a pizza cutter or large knife
We found this pizza to be extremely sweet (in a totally awesome...s'mores round the campfire way).. so start with smaller pizza slices, as these trully are a decadent dessert!  I must say... our dinner party of 3 adults... 2 kids... didn't have any trouble with this one though....
  As usually.. submitting this to this pizza dough is working phenomenally for me on all accounts!  Thinking next try will be a fruit based one.. you know.. like what you find at the Pizza Hut Buffet.. mmmmmm pizzahut.... 

**Also - note from above ingredient listings - Vanilla Sea Salt... I've mentioned their sea salts several times in several posts here... but honest to goodness...these are awesome. Sea to Sky Seasonings  I've now got 2 different "variety packs" of their salts, and man-o-man the flavour boost is incredible!  Edible Canada (another fav place) sells their salts...and you can order online - bonus! But it's seriously worth the trip down to Edible Canada's store and restaurant (Granville Island, BC) - you wont be disappointed!  (and no, I was not paid, endorsed...anything by these guys.. their stuff/food is just as addicting as PIZZA)

Have a great week!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BAKED (not fried!) Potato Chips...hey now, we all get cravings...don't we?

Day 2 of "Summer"...the sun is shining... the heat is...well... on the WET Coast... it's starting to warm up... dinners become lighter as days get longer.   I don't know about you, however I have a tendency to get cravings.  Like the ones that sneak up and attack you.  Making you think of nothing else.  For instance, deep fried pickles.  OR pasta OR coffee OR chocolate chip cookies OR chip nuts.. or....  well, you get the point.  Recently, I was craving Potato Chips, however, now that the sun IS shining, temperatures warming up.. I didn't think it appropriate to go out and eat an entire bag of salty potato chips. You know...excess calories...greasy hands...salt hangovers... For my special start of summer, end of week special... I thought I'd share with you a simple - relatively quick - recipe for homemade BAKED (not fried) Potato Chips.

Baked Potato Chips
 These are light, crispy and use minimum amount of olive oil... so really, how bad CAN they be?!  haha!  I lightly tossed the potato slices with BBQ Seasoning and Sea Salt, ended up just light the ones you'd buy at a fairground! Dipped them in a low-fat sour cream dip (using one of my many Epicure Selections Dips Seasonings) and POOF!  Craving Gone! ...and Look MA - NO Greasy Hands!! Woot Woot!! Paired it with some BBQ'd Beef Kabobs and Shrimps along with some raw veggies, perfect light weeknight meal for two!

Baked Potato Chips
  • 3 - 4 Russet Potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Seasoning for flavoured chips (I used BBQ Seasoning)
- Preheat oven to 350F
-Thinly slice potatoes - I used my Kitchen Aid Slicer attachment, a mandolin slicer would work.. or just a sharp knife and steady hands
 -If using the kitchen aid slicer attachment - I used the thinnest one, and a firm pressure while the potato was slicing in the machine... make sure the bow is underneath... I mean, not saying you'd forget...I mean.. really.. who would..... *coughcough*

- Slices should be as equally sliced as possible to ensure even baking
-Working in smaller batches, lay out a clean tea-towel and place potato slices on top dab them dry

- Place in a medium size bowl, toss with olive oil, sea salt and what ever seasonings you choose to lightly coat the potato slices
-Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (PAM) and lay out the slices so that they don't overlap.
- I had to use 2 cookies sheets, and just had them in the oven side by side, stitching and turning trays half way through cooking time.  (also sprinkled on a little more BBQ Seasoning once on pan to ensure a flavour burst
- Place in oven and bake for approx 20 - 25 mins, stirring around gently if need be to ensure even cooking.
- Potato Chips are done when they are golden and crispy!
 ....betcha can't eat just one!!

SO, on the upcoming first "Weekend of Summer 2012" , let's hope Mother Nature lets us enjoy a bit more of her sunshine.. get outside and play.  I don't know about you.. but us here on the West Coast.. are craving some vitamin D in its purest form... SUN!  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jack Daniel's Chipotle Slow Cooked Short Rib Tacos and a vacay out East

If you've noticed I've been "quiet" for a couple of weeks... it wasn't because I've been slacking off... or getting fed up of this blogging "stuff", I've actually been out of town.. away... took 10 days off (wow) ... and went back to some of my "roots".  Ontario.  YUP... most people my age take off and go spend 2 weeks wasting away in Margartitaville, or something of tropical sorts... not us!! In my younger years my family moved around quite a bit, and over the years, I've remained close with some pretty fantastic people in different areas of the country.  One of my oldest friends, finally tied the knot, and I am truly blessed to have been there to help celebrate. We went out the week before (and are now known as the BC Squatters)..and just like "old times" I was able to catch up with friends I consider my family... seeing...late nights...and of course enjoy good food. (Hey a girl has to eat right?!)  The first dinner we were there... I made my now "famous" (ha ha) Pizza on the BBQ , that was followed by some of my old faithful appy recipe of spinach dip..hmmm.. I really should post that at some point eh?!... served at some point during the week...(the days got a lil' blurry) This post's inspiration came from seeing some of the new (well new to me anyways) restaurants who's menu's screamed out the latest food trends.  "The Works" has an extensive list of homemade unique burgers boasting what some would say crazy combinations... peanut butter and bacon burger anyone?? Then, there was a Wacky Wings that advertise over 100 different flavours of chicken wings! SO... after reading the menus...and watching the premiere of Season 3's Masterchef....I got a little inspired...and came up with these - Jack Daniel's Chipotle Slow Cooked Short Rib Tacos. (say THAT 10x fast!)
Jack Daniel's Chipotle Slow Cooked Short Rib Tacos...
YEEEUUUPP, with a slight kick to them thanks to the addition of ground Chipotle Pepper, these are juicy, of all are an easy peasy Slow Cooker meal. While out visiting in Ontario, we took just one day to pack in as much sight seeing as possible... and wow, what a fun...filling... day.   We loaded up the car (trunk too!) ha ha, and headed out to Niagara on the Lake, and did a tasting at Strewn Winery. LOVE!! Our suitcases were several bottles heavier if you know what I mean on the plane ride home!

If I wasn't so concerned on the weigh allowance for our bags on the way home... there would of been more coming on board our plane home.  HUGE fan of their Semi-Dry Riesling.  Light, crisp and refreshing, perfect for sipping on around a patio on a warm summer night..or in a hot tub while catching up with your best girlfriend (just sayin') xxoo  Then of course.. moving on the the Picard's Peanuts Store. I'm pretty sure my honey is still smiling from seeing the aisle's of chipnuts and samples available....
These bags are packed full of pure addicting creative snacks....  it's a peanut wrapped in chip layer.  You've heard of "chocolate covered peanuts"... well... these babies are covered in chips.  Coming in many flavours... these happen to be an addiction of my honey's.  You've got to try them.. however, don't say I didn't warn you.. when you too become addicted.  YUM YUM.  *thank goodness they don't weigh your carry on bag!!* 

We ended a fabulous day at Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse.... all you can eat... best of the best cut / cooked meats....  you pretty much have to roll out of there.... but it's worth it... 14 different kinds of meat, all coming straight to your table and carved right there on your plate.  A carnivore's dream come true!  (maybe another reason for my short rib posting?! ) On the way home...  a drive through the famous Niagara Falls Clifton Hill.... perfectly ending a fantastic day.
I guess looking back.. it's no wonder I came home to thinking about different flavour combo's for meat... and had the urge to get back into the kitchen and play.  These Short Rib Tacos were a perfect week night meal... most of the work being done in the slow cooker throughout the day.  For toppings I used a simple coleslaw tossed lightly in a sweet onion dressing, and spruced up some sour cream with chipotle seasoning, minced garlic and fresh lime juice...  sooo YUM.

Jack Daniel's Chipotle Slow Cooked Short Rib Tacos
  • 4 - 6 beef short ribs
  • 4 cloves minces fresh garlic
  • 1 cup Jack Daniel's BBQ sauce (love this sauce, but any bold BBQ sauce should work)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper seasoning (add more/less to spice level tolerance)
- Place short ribs in slow cooker
- Mix well the Jack Daniel's BBQ Sauce, water, garlic, chipotle peppers in small bowl
- Pour over short ribs, turning ribs to ensure they are fully coated.

- Cook on LOW for 8 - 10 hours until they are fall off the bone tender
- Carefully remove all bones and excess fat - discard.
- Using two forks, pull the meat, shredding it well. 
These are awesome served on a warmed flour tortilla, topped with a light coleslaw (I used a Sweet Onion Dressing), pinch of shredded cheddar cheese and some Chipotle Lime Sour Cream. (quick recipe below)
 Chipotle Lime Sour Cream:
- mix 1 cup sour cream with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle peppers and 1 minced fresh garlic clove. 
-Stir well and let sit for minimum 10 mins to develop flavour.
Don't forget extra napkins!!