Crispy + Sweet + Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings

December 24, 2013

I have to warn you guys again with this recipe. You WILL be addicted to these wings and will crave them for every single possible occasion where you would want to make wings.  Football Sunday, New Year's Eve, birthday parties, girl's night, game night, etc. Or even just as a weeknight dinner superstar... which is how we usually enjoy them.  I cannot take the credit for these, this one is all Cory.  He created this recipe one weekend a few years ago and we have been hooked ever since.  The kids now request these way too much and he obliges.. way too much. LOL!
These things are dangerous.  I could eat an embarrassing amount of these babies.  They are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. And they have nice and sticky coating, with so much flavor! My mouth is literally watering typing this. LOL.
Please note that the measurements below are as close as I could try and figure out.  He measured nothing and was moving so fast! But I think this is pretty accurate.  Ok, enough rambling and on to the recipe.
1 Bag of Frozen Chicken "Wing Dings" or "Party Wings", Thawed
1.5 Pint Peanut Oil {or whatever oil you use for frying}
1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon West African Chili Powder {or cayenne}
1 Cup Self-Rising Flour
1 Jar of Your Favorite BBQ Sauce
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.

{Heat your oil over medium heat in a large pot or deep fryer to 350 degrees.}

{Start with your thawed chicken wings.  Cory thaws his wings in cold salt-water in the fridge {he uses a few tablespoons of sea salt to about 8-10 cups of water}. This step is completely optional. Your usual method of thawing will be just fine.}

{Once the wings are thawed, dry them really well and add them to a large bowl.  If you choose to thaw them in salt water, be sure to rinse them really well, then dry.}

{In the bowl, season the chicken with your spices {except for the red pepper flakes}.  Let the seasoned chicken marinate in the fridge for at LEAST an hour.  You could skip the marinating and they will come out just as good, but this step will give you well flavored and really seasoned wings.}

{Sprinkle the flour on your marinated and seasoned wings. The key to the recipe is using self-rising flour.  It gives the wings a thick, crunchy and almost puffy exterior.}

{Toss and coat the wings in the flour.}

{Fry the wings in your hot oil {in batches, if needed} until golden brown.}

{Be sure to cover the pot while they fry.}

{While the chicken cooks, get started on your BBQ sauce.  To a small saucepot, add a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce.  We use Sweet Baby Ray's.}

{To the BBQ sauce, add in the brown sugar...}

{The red pepper flakes...}

{And the hot sauce.  Let this simmer over a really low flame until the chicken is done.}


{When the chicken wings are golden brown, drain them on paper towel and keep them warm on the stove while you continue to fry, if you had to cook them in batches.}

{Your sauce will have thickened a bit...remove from the heat.}

{Add your fried wings to a large bowl. YUM! they are perfect at this very moment and can be enjoyed without saucing them, if you'd like.  Or you could coat them with a hot-wing sauce, made by simmering butter and hot sauce in a pot before pouring over the fried wings.  Gosh! Again, my mouth is watering. LOL! :)}

{Pour the BBQ sauce over the fried wings.}



{& toss! Coat the wings really well in the sauce. Be sure that every wing gets an even coating.}

{Place in one layer on a baking sheet.}

{Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce gets nice and sticky on the wings. Doesn't take long at all!}

{Serve them up and enjoy!}
You could serve with blue cheese dressing, if you'd like but we eat'em as is!  They are INSANELY good. I hope you give these a try, you will love them!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥

Polka Dots + Fur

December 19, 2013

{Black Pants ~ NY&Co / Polkadot Sweater ~ H&M / Black Leather Boots ~ Franco Sarto / Black Jacket w/ Faux Leather Sleeves ~ Target / Jumbo Mongolian Fur Snood ~ Vintage via Etsy}
Oh, hi! Remember me? It's been soooo long since I posted an outfit here on the blog.  Mostly because I despise the winter and cold temperatures and the mere realization that it is freezing out quickly ruins my mood whenever I decide to go out and snap outfit pics. I decided to basically get over myself and take pics last night because I do love documenting what I wore, for my own future reference, if anything.  I think it's important to be inspired by ourselves, embracing who we are, learning and growing on the way. 
I was looking back on old outfit posts from 2010 and realized that a lot of the pieces I wore are still in heavy rotation 3, almost 4 years later.  I almost grew irritated by that but then realized that I should be thankful that I am still content and confident in wearing those same items.  Sure I mix in newness here and there, but I have grown in accepting that it's ok to not run and buy the next new thing or feel the pressure of always having new items to wear.  That is pure growth on my part and that makes me very happy.
I am pretty smitten with obnoxious fur {or faux} items this winter.  Especially with a bright lip. I was complaining about the winter {as usual, lol} on Instagram and Eboni reminded me that the wintertime is pretty GLAM, and she is so right.  Fur, leather, luxe.... I am all about those things lately so the winter is good for something. :)
xoxo, thanks for reading!  ♥


Parmesan and Panko Crusted Tilapia Fillets

December 17, 2013

This method of preparing tilapia will forever be my favorite.  I of course love to season up and pan sear fish {especially tilapia} but there is something about having fried fish that is comforting to me.  I know frying foods should be eaten sparingly, but I don't think this one isn't too bad to eat since it's "pan fried" instead of deep fried.  I also use a mixture of olive oil, which is a health fat, and butter.  The butter can be omitted for a healthier version, but I love the butter flavor that the crust gets when it's used. I am warning you - this fish is ADDICTING.  Once you make it, that's it. You'll be hooked! LOL! You could use any other type of fish for this recipe as well.  Flounder, catfish, whiting, trout, etc.

The side selections are also endless, of course.  My favorite is to have fried fish, coleslaw and cornbread. YUM! :) 

4-6 Pieces of Fresh or Frozen + Thawed Tilapia Fillets
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
1 Cup Flour
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Half and Half
Salt and Pepper to Taste

{In a shallow dish, mix your panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, dried parsley, salt and pepper.}
{Rinse your tilapia and pat it dry.  Lightly season on both sides with salt and pepper.}
In another shallow dish, add your flour and lightly season with salt and pepper.}
{In a large bowl, add your half and half, and lightly season with salt and pepper.  It's important to season {not over season!} every layer of ingredients.  This will give you perfectly flavorful pieces of fish.}
{Now it's time to start dredging.  First, coat the seasoned fish with the seasoned half and half.}
{Next dip the fish coated in half and half in the seasoned flour.  Evenly coat both sides.}
{Dip the flour coated fish back into the half and half.}
{Now, coat the wet fish with the breadcrumb mixture.}
{Be sure to firmly pat the fish into the breadcrumb mixture so that every inch gets a nice thick layer of the breadcrumbs.}
{In a large skillet {I used cast iron} heat your oil and butter over medium low heat.  It is important to not have your temperature up too high as your breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese will surely burn before the fish is done.  Low and slow is how you want to cook this fish. :)}
{Once your fish starts to get golden brown, carefully flip it.}
{Pan fry over medium low heat for about 4-6 minutes per side.  It doesn't take long at all. }
{Once done, dust them with a verrrrrry light sprinkle of sea salt as they drain on paper towels.  Keep your fillets warm in a 200 degree oven while the others cook / you prep your sides.}
I made one of my favorite 5-minute side dishes to go along with it.  It's so delicious and easy!
{In a skillet over medium heat, place some frozen broccoli florets and a few tablespoons of water.  Cover and let this steam for about 2 minutes until tender.}

{When the broccoli is tender, drain any remaining water and add in some store bought teriyaki sauce.  I love this Mikee brand!}
{Let this heat through over medium heat for a minute or two.  The sauce will thicken a bit.  Mix the broccoli well and coat each piece with teriyaki sauce.}
{Serve and Enjoy!  The mix of textures in the meal was phenomenal.  You had the crispy crunchiness of the fish with the flavorful and perfectly firm-but-soft broccoli.  It was delicious!  I chose to forego a starch this time since the fish was fried, otherwise, some fluffy jasmine rice would have been the perfect companion!}
Do you normally do fish, greens and black eyed peas for New Year's Eve / New Year? My mom fries fish every year, since it's one of the seven lucky foods for a new year {well, WHOLE fish is, lol!}. It's a tradition I look forward to every year. This fish would be perfect for that occasion!
xoxo, thanks for reading! ♥