What’s for lunch/dinner???

Dear Readers, thank you for connecting with me. I have been sharing my recipes and cooking shortcuts with friends for years.  When they started asking me to share my recipes with them, because they just didn't know what to make for lunch or dinner or even a snack, this site was born.  Due to the fact that I spend so much time outside my home, I appreciate the need for easy meals and love sharing easy to make, family-friendly recipes to help other families answer that age old question of "What’s  for lunch/dinner!!!" my friends also like to make comments at the bottom of each page on this site under the recipes I have posted.  This is great feedback for me and for future readers of this site. I'm always looking for easy to make  recipes.  Especially when I'm going to a friend’s home and they say: , "Make something yours!"  That sounds easy enough but sometimes you want to make something new and different. Sometimes also I’m  having friends over  and then I rattle my brain  for an easy and interesting recipe to make.  I also find that many of these recipes make great snack recipes for a mid-afternoon snack or even just something to eat while relaxing at home.

Oven Crispy Chicken Wings

Baking wings yields crisp skin without the mess and constant tending of frying. I love chicken wings, but the last thing I want to do at home is get out a deep fryer. That’s why at home we are such big fans of this easy baked chicken wings recipe. My recipe makes chicken wings that are crispy and delicious. They are also perfect for serving when friends come over for a Saturday afternoon visit. There’s no hovering over hot oil. This simple recipe lets one prepare batches of wings with very little kitchen work...

To get started, I'm going to parboil the wings before tplacing them in the oven, which is the secret to crispy baked chicken wings. If one is not familiar with parboiling, all that it means is cooking the chicken wings in simmering water before baking in the oven.Boiling meat feels very strange, but I’ve done test batches comparing parboiling to straight baking, and parboiling is the way to go. It helps get rid of some of the excess fat, and the chicken wings will be crispier. After parboiling for 7 minutes, I drain the wings in a colander. Next set is to place the wings on paper towels and dry them well, giving each one a squeeze. It’s REALLY important to dry them with the towels because water and crispiness don’t go together. The wings are then baked in the oven at 230º C  for about 25 minutes or until you start to see golden brown bits on the bottom of the wings. Flip all the wings over, and straight away we can see that it has a caramelized texture, but most of them are still not tottaly crispy. Lets continue baking the wings for another 5-10 minutes, until much more of the skin has crisped. After removing them from the oven I springled the fantastic looking chicken wings with choped baby onion or coriander add just a thin line of extra virgen olive oil over them, this gives it a wonderful taste, trust me.

Homemade Pizza

What to do when your 6-year old nephew comes to visit? Make pizza, of course! Well, not of course, actually. I didn’t think of it until we exhausted playing different games that look easier than what they really are. But it did turn out to be a brilliant idea my nephew David loves pizza. I told him if he helped me make it and didn’t make too many faces I would put him on my website and he would be famous. That seemed to get his attention. He thought the dough was “slimy and gross” but he loved picking his own toppings, and the finished product was “awesome”.

Pizza dough is a yeasted dough which requires active dry yeast. Make sure the check the expiration date on the yeast package. You can use all purpose flour instead of the bread flour that is called for in the recipe, but bread flour is higher in gluten than all-purpose flour and will make a crispier crust for your pizza. I normaly follow the true basics for the dough: just water, yeast, flour, and salt. Using water-to-flour ratios, with adding some olive oil, with the type of flour all of which turned out to be delicious experiments, I assure you that when it comes to just your basic, dependable, everyday dough, this is it. My recipe here makes about 500 grams of dough and this will make one large pizza or two smaller ones. What is required:1 teaspoon active-dry yeast, 1 cup lukewarm water (not hot), 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Once the dough is made I let it rise for an hour or so, then let it chill in the fridge for a day or two. The slow, cool rising time helps to develop the flavors in the dough and gives the crust a better texture. Dissolve the yeast in the water: Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, and let stand until the yeast has dissolved. Stir in the flour and salt to form a shaggy dough: Add all of the flour and salt to the bowl with the water and yeast. Stir with a stiff spatula until you’ve formed a floury, shaggy dough. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes: kneading by hand against the counter, knead the dough until it forms a smooth, slightly tacky ball that springs back when you poke it, 5 to 8 minutes. If the dough sticks to the bowl or your hands like bubblegum, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it’s easier to work with; avoid adding too much flour if possible

 

When the time comes to actually bake the pizza, I always use a hot oven at least 240º C, Bake the pizza for 5 to 10 minutes: Slide the pizza into the oven on top of the baking stone or upside-down sheet pan. Bake until the cheese is melted, the crust golden, and you see a some charred bits on the top and edges. Baking time will vary depending on the heat of the oven and how thick or thin you rolled your pizza. I also keep the toppings basic. Having the oven hot, will cook the pizza quickly, giving it a beautiful golden crust that's super crispy on the outside but still chewy in the middle. The more toppings you add, the more it slows the cooking down, making the pizza limp and soggy, so try to limit the pizza enthusiasm to just a few scattered toppings and some good cheese. As you can see its not easy when David is one of the chefs, but we managed well.