Saint Patrick’s Day Chicken and Waffles

Today my good friend and I were chatting while hungry (very dangerous). We were discussing the best food trucks in town. I told her about this barbecue truck I liked and she told me about a new chicken and waffle food truck she liked. She described the most heavenly chicken and red velvet walnut waffles. I was really hungry by the end of our conversation so I asked her where I could find this truck. She said the truck posted its whereabouts on instagram. I am so bad at technology and directions that I decided it was better to make my own at home. Definitely faster than looking for the truck. Instead of making red velvet, I thought it would be cool to make them green in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.

First I got my party wings and tossed them in a flour, salt and pepper ziplock bag. Next, I laid the wings on a lightly greased baking pan and sprayed them with some olive oil. I put the wings in the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. I turned them and let them cook another 20 minutes. I waited until they were brown and crispy.

While the wings were cooking, I made the waffles. I didn’t have a lot of green food coloring so I hoped what I had would be enough.

After the waffles were done, I pulled the wings out of the oven and put the two items together. They were perfect. My family loved the festive meal. My daughter thought we were doing a Seuss themed dinner and wanted green eggs to go with her waffles.

Waffle Ingredients:

• 2 cups flour

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

• 1 tbsp cocoa powder

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1 3/4 cups milk

• 1/3 cup butter melted

• 2 large eggs

• 2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

• 2 tbsp green food coloring

Waffle Directions:

1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, honey, food coloring and vinegar. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the milk mixture in. Wisk until barely smooth.

2. Heat your waffle iron according to the manufacturers instructions. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and then pour batter into the center of the waffle iron. Let it cook until crispy and GREEN.

Wings Ingredients:

• 1-2 lbs of chicken wings

• 1 cup flour

• salt and pepper

• olive oil cooking spray

Wings Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. After cleaning wings, dry them well with paper towels. Dryer wings are more crispy.

3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. When thoroughly mixed, add wings. Shake well.

4. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil just slightly.

5. Add wings to the pan and spray with olive oil cooking spray.

6. Bake for 25 minutes and turn.

7. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy and done.

Watch this quick video for more:

Pork Loin Tacos

Ok so I am posting my last leftover recipe for pork loins because (1) I used all my pork loin and (2) my family will disown me. I did have fun re-inventing pork loins for four days. Transforming leftovers is one of my favorite things to do. Depending on what I have in the fridge, tacos are my number one “go-to” dish to flip leftovers. In this case, I had left over pork loin, but I normally use whatever I have. I’ve also done this with leftover chicken and beef.

dinnerstrategies pork loin

I chop up my leftovers into small pieces, season them and sauté them in a skillet along with cooked onions and taco seasoning. I have actually made taco seasoning from scratch – but not this time. Just a couple of simple, fresh, and in some cases canned additions can give pork loins a whole new flavor. Usually the finished product in no way resembles the original dish.

I usually don’t have time, patience or tools to make my own taco shells so I use store bought. I found these amazing store-bought taco shells at a new Sprout Grocery store that opened in my neighborhood.  I will try to use these often because they taste amazing and authentic.

dinnerstratefiestortilla

I just lightly fried them on each side and served the tacos alongside some fresh salsa and corn, cheese, canned pineapples, sour cream and sliced avocado.

I must admit, pork loin is more exciting as tacos. And I can finally use my left over cilantro. My recipe card says 1 cup but I put as much in my food as possible. I am the biggest cilantro fan.

This meal takes about 20 minutes to prepare. I am always short on time, so anything I can do to get food on the table fast is a win-win for me. Try it and let me know how it worked out.

Click the links to see the original  pork loin crock pot meal I made a couple of days ago.  You can probably make some spanish rice to go with it.


taco receipe card


Watch this easy video for more. Happy cooking!

Continue reading “Pork Loin Tacos”

Pork Loin 2.0

This left over recipe is an easy way to re-enjoy all that extra pork loin still in the fridge.  I know the deal, it’s not as exciting as the first night but it is too much to throw away.  Well hopefully this post can change your perception of that old piece of pork.

I actually eat leftovers quite often and have learned a lot.  My #1 piece of advice is – NEVER, NEVER, NEVER – use a microwave to re-heat food.  It sucks the life right out of already lifeless leftovers.  If you put a day old pork roast in the microwave, good luck trying to chew it.  It will be like chewing rubber.

When I re-heat meat, I normally cook it on the stovetop in the juices it was originally cooked in.  If you don’t have original juices, the next best option is to cook it in either a stock (chicken or beef) or a wine/bouillon cube mixture (a bouillon cube add to cooking wine).  This usually re-energizes the flavor, moistens it, and makes it edible.

Best of all, this is the quickest thing you will probably make all week.  Let’s face it, we are all short on time, so this technique is definitely a winning dinner strategy that will allow you to spend more time at the table and less time in the kitchen.  Try it and let me know how it worked out.

Click the links to see the squash side dish and original  pork loin crock pot meal I made a couple of days ago.  You will definitely want to pair it with something special.


Recipe Card


Adobe Spark

Watch this easy video for more. Happy cooking!

Continue reading “Pork Loin 2.0”

Honey Maple Squash

This Honey Maple Butternut Squash is an easy way to enjoy butternut squash – steam roasted with honey, maple syrup and butter.  You can’t go wrong with this winning combination.

I hadn’t planned on cooking squash but I couldn’t resist after I saw the pics online. I did, however, have to make some changes.  I omitted the rosemary and nuts because I didn’t have either.

I made this dish on a weeknight, not knowing what to expect.  I had my pork loin in the crockpot so all I had to worry about was a side when I got home from work.  My husband thought I was crazy for trying to tackle squash on a weeknight.  I decided I had to prove him wrong.

After making the dish, I found out how wrong I was.  This was harder than I thought.  First, actually cutting the squash in half is a feat – squash has extremely hard skin.  I had to put some serious muscle into it.  Next, I had to de-seed, gut and peel it.  Again, the skin is hard so I really had to bear down.  My final under-estimation was the time it takes to cook squash in the stove – at least 45 minutes to an hour.

In the end, after tasting this dish, I would do it all over again but I would use a different strategy.  I would cut, de-seed, and peel the squash in the morning and put it in the fridge so I can baste it and pop it in the stove when I get home.  I would do this after putting my pork loin in the crock pot since I have more free time in the morning, before work.

If you strategize, you can make this amazingly sweet, sea-salty squash during the week.  It’s too perfect to save for the weekends.

See below for the squash side dish I made to go with my pork loin crock pot meal from yesterday.


Prep Time: 15 m

Cook Time: 1 hr


Ingredients:

  • small butternut squash
  • Cooking oil, for brushing
  • 1/4cupmaple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 tbspbutter
  • 1/2tspdried thyme leaves
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tbspmaple syrup

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the squash and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin to expose bright orange flesh. Place on prepared baking sheet, cut side down. Brush squash with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

3. Remove squash halves to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut slits 1/4-inch apart in the squash, cutting almost but not all the way through. *Tip: I used chopsticks to act as a guard to prevent cutting too far down.

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Use chopsticks as a guard

4. Return cut squash to the same baking sheet. Heat the 1/4 cup maple syrup and 2 Tbsp. butter in the microwave or a small saucepan until the butter is melted. Stir well to combine. Brush with maple/butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle dried thyme leaves over squash.  Pour 1/4 cup water in to bottom of pan, then return to 425 oven for 35 minutes.

5. Remove from oven.  Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over each half. Sprinkle with finishing salt.  Pair with a summer salad or pork loin.

Watch this easy video for more. Happy cooking!

Continue reading “Honey Maple Squash”