Air Fried Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are one of my favorite things to add-on to my monthly Walden delivery. They provide 5 pounds of wings for a small amount of money and they are the easiest thing to make in the air fryer. I am now the proud owner of two air fryers and my larger one is my go-to for wings since it holds far more than my smaller one. Below is my recipe for frying the wings, as well as how I get the perfect BBQ sauce to toss them in.

  • Ingredients for wings:
  • 3-5 pounds chicken wings (based on the size of your air fryer and whether or not you want to cook in batches)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cajun Seasoning (optional but if you like a kick you need this)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder (NOT baking soda – that would taste horrific)
  • Olive oil spray
  1. Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F.
  2. Toss chicken wings in a large bowl with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning (if using), and baking powder. Baking powder is what makes air fried wings crispy. Trust me on this one.
  3. Spray basket of air fryer with olive oil spray and add wings to basket, spray wings with olive oil spray
  4. Fry at 380 for 10-13 minutes (all fryers run differently)
  5. Shake basket or toss with tongs, spray wings with olive oil again
  6. Fry at 380 for 8-12 minutes
  7. Shake or toss again and spray wings one more time
  8. Fry at 400 (you want to crank the heat for the last round of frying) for 5-7 minutes
  • Ingredients for BBQ Sauce:
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (I use a mix of the honey and hickory sauces, use as much or as little as you’ll like tossed on your wings) or Pioneer Woman BBQ Sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  1. In a medium-size sauce pan, bring the BBQ sauce, butter, and hot sauce mixed together to a boil
  2. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes
  3. Toss the wings with the BBQ sauce mixture in a large mixing bowl. The sauce will be hot, as will the wings, so use tongs to do this part
  4. Serve hot
Yum

Easiest recipe ever.

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Kreatopia (Greek Meat Pie)

Phyllo dough is one of those things that had always intimidated me. I had always heard it cracked easily, you had to keep it moist while working with it, don’t let it thaw too much, etc. But when I saw this recipe I knew I had to finally conquer my fear and buy a box of phyllo dough from the Greek supermarket and get to work. A damp dish towel is your best friend while working with phyllo. Keep the towel over the sheets while layering and your dough will be just fine.

  • Ingredients:
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 pound ground pork, 3/4 pound ground beef (you can also do all beef or all pork if you prefer)
  • Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dill, chopped
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I used cabernet)
  • 1/4 beef broth (you can also use chicken broth)
  • 3/4 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 pound box phyllo dough, thawed at room temp.
  1. In a pan over medium-low heat, warm up some olive oil
  2. Add in the onions and cook until soft and translucent
  3. Add in the ground meat (pork & beef, all pork, all beef, whatever you prefer!), break apart, and brown
  4. Once the meat is brown, add in the oregano, dill, pepper, salt, and tomato paste. Mix it all together
  5. Add in the red wine and reduce
  6. Add in the beef (or chicken) broth and reduce
  7. Once all the liquid has been reduced remove from heat and empty into a large mixing bowl
  8. Add in the feta and the egg – mix well
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Brush a 9×13 baking pan with some melted butter
  11. Unroll the phyllo sheets and lay them flat. Drape a damp dish towel over the sheets in-between use
  12. Cut the phyllo sheets to the size of your baking pan
  13. Take one sheet and lay it in the pan
  14. Brush with some melted butter (paying extra attention to the corners and edges) and lay down another sheet
  15. Repeat this six more times (you should have 8 sheets at the bottom)
  16. Pour the meat mixture over the phyllo in the pan and smooth out evenly
  17. Now repeat the steps where you laid down the sheets of phyllo. You should have 8 sheets left, use them all on the top of the meat mixture. Phyllo, butter, phyllo.
  18. When done, score the top and place it in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown
  19. Remove, cut, and serve hot!
Right before going into the oven
Fresh out of the oven
Sliced and ready to eat!

This was a much easier meal to make than I ever expected it to be. It also made good use of the ground meat I had from Walden Local Meat.

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Seared Scallops

As much as Walden Local Meat is known for their beef, chicken, and pork products, they also offer seafood as an add-on to your monthly share. I had been eyeing their seafood add-ons for the past couple of months and finally decided to throw in some scallops to my July share. I’m glad I did because not only were they generous with the portion size but the scallops were some of the freshest I’ve ever had.

  • Ingredients:
  • 20-24 scallops
  • 3 teaspoons butter
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. If your scallops are not already cleaned up and still have the muscle that wraps around them, remove that first using your thumb and index finger. Mine were already removed by the time I received them but you never know.
  2. Pat dry the scallops and season both sides with kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. Add the butter and oil to a cast iron pan on high heat. Once the butter is melted and everything starts bubbling, gently add the scallops making sure they do not touch one another, reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Sear the scallops on each side for about 2 minutes, or until they have a golden crust.
  5. Serve immediately.

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These were so easy to make and fast, too! Definitely a recipe to keep handy for when we finally return to the office and the commute that comes along with it.

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Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Feta

I love one pan recipes. They’re simple, somewhat fast, and there’s less clean-up involved. This is also the first recipe in a while that I did not use meat supplied by Walden simply because my next delivery isn’t until this Friday (insert crying emoji here).

  • Ingredients:
  • 4-6 chicken thighs, skin-on bone-in
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • Harissa powder & harissa paste (you can make the paste from the powder by incorporating olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Dried oregano
  • 4 ounce block of feta
  • Crusty bread (for serving)
  1. Pat chicken thighs with paper towels, season with salt and harissa powder (this is VERY spicy so be careful) all over. Arrange chicken skin side down in a cold cast iron skillet. Set over medium heat and cook chicken undisturbed until skin is very deep golden brown and easily releases from the pan (20-25 minutes). Transfer chicken to a plate, skin side up.
  2. Combine tomatoes, harissa paste, vinegar, oregano, and salt (to taste) in the same skillet. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes burst and their juices begin to thicken (8-10 minutes).
  3. Nestle chicken thighs into tomatoes skin side up. Cook on medium-high for about 10 minutes then reduce the heat to medium, bring to a simmer, and cook until chicken is cooked through (20-25 minutes). Each skillet is different so keep an eye on the chicken to make sure it’s cooked and not burning. You may also flip the chicken skin side down halfway through cooking.
  4. Remove from heat and break the feta into large pieces scattered over the chicken. Some pieces will stay intact while others will melt into the sauce ever so slightly. Sprinkle additional oregano over the top.
  5. Serve with bread.

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Complete!

This was very delicious and I love how easy it is to customize to make it your own. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, be sure to watch how much harissa you use. I LOVE spice but even I know a little too much will ruin the entire recipe. It’s also very important to use a cast iron skillet (mine is over 70 years old!) since it seals in the flavor and heats evenly.

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Crock Pot Oxtail Stew

Ever since signing up for Walden Local Meat I have been cooking a lot more at home. Part of the reason I have been cooking more is also because I’ve been working from home since March. Regardless, Walden has given me the opportunity to purchase and cook different cuts of meat that I cannot necessarily find in the grocery store. For this month’s share I added oxtail and was overjoyed when it arrived. Side note: oxtail in your every day supermarket is mostly bone and fat, the ones from Walden have a good chunk of meat on them.

  • Ingredients:
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 pounds beef oxtail
  • 1.5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and and cut into chunks
  • Baby carrots cut in half (you can play with the amount of these)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oil in a cast iron pan. Cook oxtail for about 4 minutes on each side, until browned. Transfer oxtail to a Crock Pot (slow cooker).
  2. Add potatoes, carrots, onion, tomato sauce, beef broth, red wine, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and smoked paprika to Crock Pot.
  3. Cook on low for 7 hours.
  4. At the 7 hour mark, add the peas, some salt & pepper, and stir. Cook on low for 1 more hout.
  5. Season with more salt & pepper (as needed) and ladle into bowls.

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Right before putting the lid on and starting to cook.

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Meat, not just fat & bone.

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The stew itself was even delicious!

Super easy to make. Something a bit on the healthier side. Great on a day that isn’t too hot outside but you still want something along the lines of comfort food.

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Beer Bread

There’s a reason I made beer bread. That reason is I was recently given a Danish Dough Whisk which I really wanted to try (it’s awesome btw) and I really like beer and always have it on-hand at my house. The primary reason I made beer bread, however, is because I love science and a bread where you DON’T need self-rising flour OR yeast is right up my alley.

  • Ingredients:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional or sub with a cheese you prefer)
  • 1 12 oz. can beer (I used Blue Point’s Summer Ale but any beer will do), room temp.
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients and slowly pour in the beer of your choice.  The beer will foam but it’s pretty cool to watch as it attaches itself to the dry ingredients. Add your cheese or omit if you don’t want cheese at all.
  3. Use your dough whisk (or any utensil you typically use for dough) to combine all ingredients until the beer is no longer foamy and has been absorbed by the dry ingredients, forming a dough.
  4. Pour dough into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Pour melted butter over the top of the dough.
  6. Put dough in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  7. After 1 hour, remove from oven and take the dough out of the loaf pan immediately. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes prior to slicing.

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A beautiful bread!

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This was incredibly easy to make and very very delicious. There are so many variations you can make from different cheeses to herbs to plain ol’ black pepper. It’s even better the next day!

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Easy Peasy Cheesecake

When your significant other wants cheesecake, well, then you make them cheesecake. Or you do what I did and complain it’s too much work, it won’t taste right, blah blah blah and then you make it, anyway. As much as I love to bake, I had not made cheesecake in close to ten years but I’m glad I did. I used this recipe as a guide and it came out delicious! The one foolproof tip for great cheesecake? Use room temperature ingredients (yes, even your eggs need to be sitting out for at least 30 minutes prior to prep). 

  • Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted

 

  • Ingredients for Cheesecake Filling
  • 32 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cups sour cream
  • 1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temp., slightly beaten

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Prepare crust by combining graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and brown sugar, stirring well. Add melted butter and use a fork to to combine ingredients.
  3. Pour crumbs into a 9″ springform pan and press firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides, set aside.
  4. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, add cream cheese and stir until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add sugar and stir again until creamy (do NOT over mix!)
  6. Add sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well-combined.
  7. With mixer on low speed, gradually add in eggs (one at a time), mixing just until each egg is incorporated. Once all eggs have been added, use a rubber spatula to to scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure all ingredients are well-combined.
  8. Pour cheesecake batter into prepared springform pan. Place pan on top of a foil-lined baking sheet in case of leaks.
  9. Transfer to oven and bake for about 75 minutes.
  10. At 75 minutes the top and edges of the cake should be slightly puffed and jiggle like Jello if you shake the pan. If you press the top with a finger, it should spring back to the touch. Don’t over bake!
  11. Allow cheesecake to cool on the stove for at least 2 hours (or until it reaches room temperature). The stove is the warmest part besides the oven so the cake will cool off as the oven does the same, preventing cracks.
  12. Transfer to the fridge and let the cake chill overnight. Remove the sides of the springform pan prior to serving.

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Fresh out of the oven

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After chilling in the fridge overnight. One small crack but nothing major.

Super easy to make. No water bath required.

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Taco Casserole

Thanks to a delivery from Walden Local Meat, I had a pound of ground beef to use and was on the hunt for an easy enough recipe during a busy work week. Does anyone else feel like they’re working MORE while being forced to work from home or is it just me? Anyway, I found the following recipe here but decided to make a few small changes. Below is my take on this recipe.

  • Ingredients:
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (adjust based on how much heat you like)
  • Ground cumin, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 15 ounces tomato salsa (use whatever heat you like)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp or mild)
  • Lettuce and tomato (optional for garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with oil, set aside.
  2. Heat small amount of oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat until browned and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a plate then drain any fat from the skillet.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add more oil, and heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until softened. Return the beef to the skillet and stir in the beans. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for about two minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the salsa and 1 cup of the cheese. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese.
  5. Bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, about 20-25 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Optional: top with lettuce and tomato.

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Fresh out of the oven

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Garnished with lettuce and tomato, served over a fried tortilla

This was a good dish for when you need something you can prep during lunchtime and bake right before dinnertime.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

What’s a better thing to make than something hearty while we’re all quarantined and working from home? Also you’ve got to love a slow cooker during this time. Set it and forget it! Hop back on your Skype/Zoom calls while you wish smell-o-vision existed.

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs, cubed (halal stores have these pre-cubed)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 (.7 oz.) package dried Italian-style salad dressing mix
  • 1 (8 0z.) package cream cheese
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of potato soup
  • McCormick rotisserie seasoning, to taste
  • 1 bag medium-size egg noodles
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, place in slow cooker with butter and dressing mix. Mix together.
  2. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  3. Add to slow cooker cream cheese, soup, and rotisserie seasoning. Mix together.
  4. Cook on high for 30 minutes.
  5. Cook egg noodles according to instructions on bag.
  6. Serve stroganoff over egg noodles.

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So good and so filling!

This was incredibly easy to make. Perfect on a chilly rainy day or when you’re just craving something that hits the spot. Now can we please get out of quarantine?

 

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Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Who else is stuck working from home due to the Coronavirus? Most of us? Great! Yes, it becomes rather boring and if you’re like me you constantly need to be doing something – anything! Luckily my job allows me to work from home, however, when I’m in the office I’m typically running around. At home? Not so much. I decided to whip up the below recipe that I originally discovered in this month’s issue of Food Network Magazine. I have to say, it did the trick when it came to keeping me sane.

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 cups raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon each zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs
  1. Preheat over to 325 degrees F.
  2. Line 13×9 inch pan with foil, with foil extending over sides
  3. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and butter. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes
  4. Reserve 1/2 cup of raspberries and 1 teaspoon lemon zest for later use
  5. Beat cream cheese, lemon juice, remaining zest, and remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Gently fold in remaining raspberries and pour over crust
  6. Bake 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set (not completely). Cool completely
  7. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Top with reserved raspberries and lemon zest
  8. Slice and serve!

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Not the prettiest and they did crack while cooling in the fridge but still delicious!

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I had to show off my newest potholder which was a birthday gift.

These came out so good! Messy but good! I honestly don’t taste much of the lemon so if you’re looking for more of a citrus flavor,  I would use two lemons. These definitely have more of a raspberry taste to them.

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