These ARE the Wings You’re Looking for

A long time ago in a Hot Wing Joint far, far away…after years of having hot wings covered in a greasy hot sauce that burned off every taste bud I had grown to love and then had the power to dye everything this weird orange that even Crayola didn’t want to name, I was finally introduced to the world of Dry Rub.  I cried that day.

just about ready

just about ready

Where had this beautiful world been all my life?  I must find more, I must recreate.

Challenge accepted.

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My Love for Kolaches Runs Deep

One of my most vivid memories is of Cuba, Kansas on a hot summer night jumping around, catching fireflies. Strange that a town less than half a square mile in its entirety, can manage to have such a big and important place in my heart. My Dad’s parents would spend their summers out in Cuba and Dad would bring all us kids out for some family time.  I think Grandma liked their winters in California a million times better than she enjoyed summers out in Kansas, but you would never hear her complain.  Grandpa was a Cuba man; he loved the slowness of the town. He always wore blue and white striped overalls and had such a strong presence about him, except when Grandma would give him the stink eye.  I got my linebacker shoulders from Grandpa and my stink eye skills from Grandma.

Every trip we always ended up doing 3 things. Hunting for lightning bugs, fighting off the chigger bugs and eating kolaches (pronounced ko-LAH-chee). Man, Cuba women sure did know how to make kolaches, I think it’s the strong Czech influence that just oozes the streets of Cuba. Kolaches remind me of a danish, visually.  But don’t let their appearance fool you & don’t you dare ever say the D word out loud, those ladies will bury you alive in their stink eyes.

Kolaches are sweet pillows from heaven that just beg to be served with a hot cup of coffee. My favorite is lemon or cream cheese but I hear that the traditional poppy, apricot or blueberry are delish.
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One of Darren’s favorites – Marinated Flank Steak

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads I know. I truly think they all RAISE THE BAR of that DAD GIG and I am amazed. Especially that husband of mine.  Don’t get me wrong,  I tried to convince Darren that they cancelled Father’s Day this year, but he didn’t fall for it (again).  The kids and I are going to be celebrating Darren today and one thing we ALWAYS include in a celebration is food, lots and lots of food.

 

We don’t eat very much red meat over here. Unless you count the ground beef we use for Taco Tuesday. Darren has 2 favorite red meat recipes, well…3 actually.  The first one is a Beef Wellington that I haven’t made in a million years. The second is a grilled steak with a gorgeous chimichurri sauce, I think Darren wept the first time he tried it. The third is a Marinated Flank Steak, today for Father’s Day we are making the Marinated Flank Steak.

 
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NOT Waldorf salad

I spent a few summers in Tulsa, Oklahoma with my Grandparents when I was a kid. I spent most of the time in the kitchen with my Nana. I learned how to make quite a few family dishes out there in good ‘ole Tulsa when I was 8…Tuna Casserole, Goulash, Apple Crisp, and what I was told was Waldorf Salad.

 
Turns out what I was told is Waldorf Salad is NOTHING like real Waldorf Salad.
Well, the apples and walnuts are the same, but other than that NOT EVEN CLOSE.

 
Lies

 
I think I cried the day I ordered a Waldorf Salad from a restaurant. There is a huge difference between a whip cream dressing and a mayonnaise dressing.

 
Huge difference. What the heck Nana?

 
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Ah Rumaki

One of my favorite treats was candied spiced apple rings. WAS.

 
I made the mistake of loading up on the stuff at a salad bar when I was little, only to be fooled that canned beets looked exactly the same as my beloved candied apple rings. So, there I sat with a plate full of beets and a mother advising that since ‘I just HAD to have it, then I just HAVE to eat it’

 
It may be a little dramatic to say this was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.

 
On that day I decided my darling candied spiced apple rings were nothing but traitors and I vowed never to be fooled by their beauty again.

 
I learned this same lesson when someone was serving rumaki. How was I supposed to know the traditional ingredients included chicken livers and dates?

 
What the what? Who does that?

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Can I Interest You in Some Potato Salad?

I’ve been having the darndest time trying to think of a recipe to post. I’ve been trying to do one a week and I let 2 weeks slide by without one mention of food. Me? Not mention food? Cray.

 
We haven’t been camping in what, 12 years? Wow, that seems so long. Well….. not really since I’m not really a fan of camping. It’s just not my thing. I may have wept tears of joy when the trip got cancelled due to there still being snow on the ground up there at 9,000 feet above sea level.

 
What was the first thing I did when I received the excellent horrible news? I started looking at Newport Beach vacays. But alas, 2 days notice over a holiday weekend does not leave me many choices and as much as I would LOVE to spend 8 thousand dollars on airfare, I decided the camping gods were just giving me a long weekend to play catch up. I’ll take it.

 
The camping peeps then sent out an invite for a BBQ for today. We happily accepted and said we would bring some potato salad.

 
Wait.

 
I’ve never made potato salad. I just HAD to say potato salad didn’t I? I couldn’t say margaritas or a Strawberry Rhubarb pie? What the heck Schroeder?

 
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When in doubt, add a Shallot

We don’t eat much fish and I’m sure the fish sticks we do eat totally don’t count as fish. But when my dad would come into town, or we would go visit him we would have at least one fish meal. I remember the first time I made him this dish he yelled his joyous ‘Hot Damn’ when he sat down and then proceeded to add salt to everything. I always asked why he salted his meal before he tasted it and he always responded with him being old and didn’t have any taste buds left. Ever since I was a kid, he always responded with the same thing. It’s funny that I kept asking. Maybe even funnier that he always had the same response.

 

Every time I make this dish I can hear my dad saying ‘hot damn’. I wish you could hear it, the world shined a bit brighter when dad said ‘hot damn’. Or maybe that was just me.

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Watch me dip, where’s the ba nay-nay

Growing up there were 2 ways I knew it was summer. One, mom would paint her toes red… and two, there would be dip. Yummy 1980’s dip. You could just see the calories oooozing out of it.

 
My parents loved to entertain and with friends over, that meant food….lots and lots of yummy food. I’d like to tell you that I didn’t plant my patootski in front of the dip for a good duration, but I’m pretty sure that would be a lie.

 
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World’s Best Post… aka The Cornbread Challenge

Every once in a while we do a food ‘challenge’. One of my favorites was trying to find the best cornbread. See, I worked at a restaurant back in High School and they had this amazing cornbread that I ate probably every day. You could (and still can) buy cans of the mix to make at home. It was never the same.

We love cornbread around here. It goes perfectly with soups, beans, chili, roasted chicken, bbq…heck, we couldn’t have our Thanksgiving stuffing without cornbread.

Ok, I’m going to tell you a little secret….I am always forgetting which recipe I like. Was it the one on the back of the box of cornmeal; was it the one in this cookbook, in this cookbook, the one I Pinned? Where did I stand on the one I picked up pre-made at the grocery store? Seriously, I’m a mess.

Ok, its decided. I’m going to figure out which one we like best.

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Tortellini Soup

Way back in our honeymoon days, Darren and I were making dinner & I tell him we only cook the noodles for 6 minutes since he likes the noodles to be al dente.

 
‘I do?’ He says. “Yes, yes you do.’ I remind him. “Why do I like them al dente?’ He asks.

 
‘Because that’s the way I make them’ I mention – very matter of fact-ly.

 
I heard that snort.

 
‘Ah yes, that’s right, that’s why.’

 
Smart man

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