Bake Flowering Onion ;-)

Don’t want any copyright issues. This was delicious and easy to do. Again, I went to my go-to crispy coating – potato starch. The result was a sweet, creamy onion with a crispy spicy coating.

Baked Flowering Onion

  • 1 very large sweet onion (good time for Vidalias are in season right now)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  •  2 tsp paprika (the good kind)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of oregano & thyme
  • dash of cayenne
  • 2 eggs

baking dish(greased on the bottom), two deep bowls

Remove about 1/2 inch slice from the top of the onion and peel. Slice about 8 to 10 slices from top to bottom on the onion, making sure not to cut through the bottom end (root end).

Mix together all dry ingredients in bowl and set aside.

Beat eggs with a dash of water in another deep bowl.

Dip the onion in the eggs, making sure it is thoroughly coated. Then place in the dry ingredients and gently roll and use a spoon to help coat inside and out completely with potato starch. Remove to baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 45 – 60 minutes until the onion is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. If it begins to get too brown, reduce heat to 350 and gently tent foil over it until it’s completely cooked through. Remove foil and give it a minute or two uncovered to do a final crisp. Serve immediately with favorite dipping sauces (mayo, horseradish, southwestern buttermilk dressing, etc).



Friday Recipe Exchange: 4th of July Cookout Ideas

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Since the 4th of July is barreling toward us, I thought I should get some ideas together. This is absolutely my favorite holiday. Food, fireworks and friends, what could be better?  So let’s jump  right into the food portion of our festivities.

These are quick and easy ribs if you don’t want to do the smoke for the whole day style, the citrus glaze is the star of this recipe: Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze (recipe here).

Buttermilk Pie (click here) will get all the ooo’s and aaahhh’s, until the fireworks anyway. As pretty as it is tasty.

JeffreyW makes a Classic Orange/Lemon Shakeup (pictured above and recipe here)

And for a different take on cucumber salad, how about Minted Cucumbers, (recipe here).

Hopefully that will give you some ideas for your own July 4th celebration. What’s on your menu for this weekend and for the holiday? What are your favorite recipes for the celebration? We always have to leave room for the funnel cake at the fireworks. Hit the comments to share your recipes and what you like to do on the 4th.

Tonight’s featured recipe is one I made a few years ago on a whim, inspired by a recipe I didn’t follow for various reasons, and I get requests for it every July 4th now. Because it’s a kabob style, it’s a bit labor intensive, but you can prepare all of it the day before. If you want your chicken even drunker, you can soak it in the extra bourbon overnight.

Drunken Chicken 1

Grilled Bourbon Chicken Appetizers

12  servings

  • 1- 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  •  1/4 cup chopped Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  •  1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Bourbon whisky (how much you use and what you do with the leftover is between you and your bottle)
  • 8 oz pineapple chunks
  • 12 strips of sliced bacon (should be a pound)
  • 12 short wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before assembling and grilling*

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch x 2-inch cubes, you should have 36 pieces (you can soak in bourbon if you like)

Mix together Chipotle peppers, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and add enough whisky and pineapple juice to make a thick sauce. Cover chicken cubes on all side with sauce and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

To assemble: Start with a pineapple chunk, add one end of full bacon strip, add chicken cube, then wrap bacon around the top of the cube and skewer, add another cube of chicken, wrap bacon around the bottom of that piece of chicken, then skewer, add a third and repeat with the bacon strip, you’re creating a ribbon with the bacon. Finish with a pineapple chunk.

(And I wish I had a photo of that step for you, but we got so busy doing them, I forgot to get the camera out. When I make them this year, I’ll remember, promise. I barely got a finished picture, had to grab someone’s plate before they started munching).

Grill over medium high heat (if using coals, start over hot coals, then move away from direct heat for the remainder of cooking time), turning frequently. Cook until chicken is 160-165 degrees. Shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, don’t overcook or you’ll have dry, rubbery appetizers. Serve hot.

*please don’t forget this step or all you’ll have for appetizers is flaming skewers.

That’s it for this week. There won’t be a recipe exchange next week. And if you missed it, this week’s complete dinner menu and shop list is Pork Stir-fry and Tangy Lemon Pie (click here).  Have a safe and happy 4th! – TaMara



Thanksgiving How-Tos: From Appetizers to Turkey to Side Dishes to Desserts

In case you’re in danger of having toast for Thanksgiving, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a one-stop shop to everything Thanksgiving.  At this link you’ll find everything we’ve covered in the blog: Thanksgiving Recipes. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, type in an ingredient in the Search WDS box up top right and something will surely come up.

In our archives you’ll find recipes for several different turkeys, all kinds of Thanksgiving side dishes, desserts and even appetizers. I also have hanging around in my personal files, complete Thanksgiving menus with instructions and shopping lists if you’re in a real panic. Just email me and we’ll see if I can help. Ditto if you have a questions about a recipe. If I don’t have an answer handy, I’m sure we can find one for you. Email or ask in the comments.

Okay, the race is on. Get that shopping list together, start thawing that turkey and get cooking!

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Photo by JeffreyW

EDIT: Just realized the tomatoes were omitted from the ingredient list. Corrected now.

What a week. The Colorado wildfires became personal again, as my office was smack in the middle of an evacuation zone. The authorities never had to make it mandatory and as I write this, that fire is well contained.  Add to that, one of the guys I work with was in a horrible motorcycle accident at the beginning of the week and that shook us all up. I was ready for the week to be over sometime around Tuesday night, so I’m grateful it’s Thursday and the weekend is within sprinting distance. Even happier that Independence Day is around the corner

Since I love July 4th, I have quite a few recipes that celebrate it with great picnic foods. All 21 of them can be found at this link.  There is quite a variety: fancy appetizers; cold salads; grilling ideas; fun desserts; and even cold drinks. There is also an entire post of potato salad recipes from Balloon-Juicers.

I really like tonight’s featured recipe. It was a huge hit last year at the July 4th picnic. I’m actually making it right now for a going away party, that’s how it became tonight’s recipe.

All right, now it’s your turn, what are your favorite foods on July 4th? Are you all-American with burgers and dogs or something more sophisticated? Share your favorites in the comments and we can all argue about it, good-naturedly of course.

Tonight’s featured recipe:

Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp limejuice

Mix together ingredients and set aside while macaroni cooks.

Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent)
  • 8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Just a note: There will be no recipe exchange next Thursday, we’ll pick up again on July 12th.

Super Bowl Sunday

It’s the big day and all I want is tomato soup (homemade naturally) and orange juice.  Still nursing this cold and the weather nicely cooperated – a big snow storm closed down everything on Friday so I could work at home.  Under a big comforter.  In sweats.

The sun is shining today, so I will probably try to get out a bit.  But no super bowl party for me.  If you still need recipes, we got a few right here:

Super Bowl Recipes 

I particularly like the Drunken Chicken skewers

Have fun.  Enjoy the game.  Go Patriots!

I’ll be watching Downton Abbey.    

Buttermilk Pie and Drunk Chicken Updates

I didn’t change much to the buttermilk pie (original recipe here).  I used a graham cracker crust because I prefer those with a custard pie and I added some lemon extract along with the lemon zest.  It was good, though I thought the texture wasn’t as light as I would have expected.  This might be because I beat the eggs longer than necessary.

I changed the Drunken Chicken appetizers quite a bit (original recipe here).

First, the recipe called for soaking the wooden skewers in bourbon – since we were grilling this sounded like a recipe for disaster.  I soaked them in water.  What to do with all that bourbon?  The only thing (well besides drinking it myself) was to soak the chicken in it.  I did a marinade of bourbon and Cajun spices overnight.  Then because after 2 different stores I was unable to find the small appetizer skewers, I had to use regular size ones.  Worked okay, but made it difficult to wrap the bacon around the chicken and pineapple.  I settled for bumping the bacon up against each end of the chicken pieces and putting 4 appetizers per skewer.  Then because I had Chipolte  peppers in adobo sauce instead of adobo chili powder, I ended up making a paste of that, brown sugar, cajun spice, a splash of pineapple juice and a bit more bourbon.  I brushed it on the skewers and slopped a bit more on while they were grilling.  They came out pretty good.  I think next time I would add a bit of pineapple juice to the bourbon marinade (or some brown sugar).

Fried Pickles and Other Treats

My Christmas tree came with its own ladybug (a real one, not those awful lady beetles swarming the country).  It is keeping me company by my computer now – not ideal for the bug, but it’s freezing out, so I can’t put it outside.

On to the appetizers.  A friend took me to dinner last night at a cute little pub with a Blues theme.  On the menu: fried pickles.  I’d never had them before, so had to order them.  They were wonderful.  Completely decadent, but who cares?!  Yummy.  They were rolled in a flaky batter that was light and crunchy, a perfect complement to the dill pickle spears.  Can’t believe I’d never had these wonders before.  The server also insisted we try the Fried Green Tomatoes, another treat I’d never tasted (I’m not big on appetizers, if you can’t tell).  These were also good, but I think the batter crust overwhelmed the thin tomato slices.  The pickles were by far the winner in last night’s appetizer category. 

I’ll have another quick recipe for you tonight.  Until then, the ladybug and I say have a great afternoon.