Thursday, February 11, 2016

Super Food

If you cook and work with food, you can get very specific ideas about it.  But I also think if you eat food you have very specific ideas about it.  We all eat, right?  It's that thing where you think and think about a meal - whether cooking it or eating it - and you have expectations. Is there anything worse than those expectations not being met?  It's so disappointing to work on a meal or eat a meal that you've been looking forward to, and have it be blah.  Or at least it is in my book.

Well, I'm happy to say, that was not the case with my Super Sunday.  I realize that is probably a trademarked name of the NFL for Super Bowl, but I co-opted it after all the cooking and food prep I did for my brunch and Mr. Helen's Super Bowl goodies.

I promised I would share recipes with you if things came out good and boy did they ever!  I mean every single thing was just simply delicious.  But before I begin, let me apologize right away for the lack of pictures of the brunch foods, as I was a bit distracted by these two adorable people:

A. is  just a year old - but about the size of a 9 month old and it's the cutest thing ever to see her walking. Mal is my friend Em's little guy and he's about 18 months and has started talking and repeating words.  We got him to say "Helen" and I have video proof lol!  So much fun to get baby time.  They were so well behaved and did really well sharing their toys and their snacks.

Anyway, the menu for the brunch was a french toast bake, a frittata, a salad, and at the last minute, instead of making a biscuit I wrapped asparagus with proscuitto.  We also had coffee, tea, water, mimosas (you see the top of the champagne glass up there in that photo?). 

Since I made the recipes exactly as they were published I'm just going to link you to them.

  • The Baked Blueberry Lemon French Toast was from Damn Delicious and was the ladies and Mal's favorite.  It is truly so easy and so yummy I will be making this for Mr. Helen and me some weekend when we are snowed in.  It's great because you can prep it the night before and bake it off in the morning.  I sent the leftovers home with the girls because they loved it so much.  
  • The Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Herb Frittata was from Williams-Sonoma Taste.  Again, super easy and really delicious.  Everyone started with a tiny piece then ended up going back for seconds!
For the Superbowl food, I started with crudite(good thing because Mr. Helen actually ate some and that was his veggies), chips and a couple kinds of dip, along with my homemade Pimento Cheese and bread.  Gah!  I am so proud of this cheese as I ended up making a recipe up myself after looking at a bunch of others and it tastes so good.  I'll probably never buy Pimento Cheese again.

I also made Buffalo and Thai Chili chicken wings.  So, chicken wings are not the healthiest thing, but we like them and have them occasionally.  My secret?  I put them on cookie sheets in the oven at bake them for 45 minutes to an hour at 425 degrees until they are nice and crispy before I toss them in the sauce.  I feel it's a bit healthier than frying because no matter how hot your fryer gets, the food will still absorb a bit of the oil.

Classic Buffalo Wings

Thai Chili Wings

These Thai Chili wings were so good and easy. First I marinated them overnight in a big plastic bag with:

2 T sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, pushed through a press
1/2 tsp. of fresh ginger, minced.

Bake at 425 for about an hour, then toss in sauce:

1/2 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (it's usually in the "International" aisle in your grocery store)
1 T sriracha

To go with these wings, I made a fabulous Cheesy Bacon Tater Tot Pie.

I got the recipe out of my Food Network magazine but click on that title and it will take you to it if you don't have the magazine. The only thing I did different was to cut the sriracha to 1 tablespoon, and I'm glad I did.  Mr. Helen said he couldn't believe it was tater tots and I know he liked it because he polished off the leftovers the next day after round 2 of snow shoveling.  I will be making this again no doubt.

So, all in all, a very successful Super Sunday!

And yes, we're being blasted by snow.  It snowed all day last Friday - we got about 8 inches.  Just as we'd had a bit of melting and the roads were clear, it snowed another 6 inches on Monday - my day off where I did our taxes instead of anything fun.  At least I didn't have the stress I had on Friday having to drive to work in it. Now we're in a deep freeze with below zero temperatures overnight... and I think our high on Sunday is going to be 14.  Mother Nature has mistaken Connecticut for North Dakota!

View from my kitchen window on Monday


  1. I had that yesterday. Made a new recipe that looked good on paper and it was just blah. But that happens sometimes when you try something new.

    Girl, I wish I had been to your super bowl party. Not because of the game but boy oh boy, all the food looks so good and delicious!

    And I'm sorry for all the snow. You never get a break with a snowless winter it seems. Hope it's gone soon.

    1. I just drove to work in snow. Started this morning right after my run and there was an inch on the ground, the roads not treated when I left home. Boo!

  2. I don't think any cooking disaster of mine will ever rival the gray crockpot chicken episode of 1998, but boy was it ever disgusting and my kids got to see mom get really mad over a dinner that came out so awful. Fun times! ;)

    Your food looks great, even though I have to confess that after all this time of living in "the south" (what I think Texas is, anyway, compared to California), I still haven't developed a taste for pimiento cheese. But I'm going to make that French toast bake one of these days, for sure!

    1. Make the bake! You can even cut that recipe to make a smaller pan very easily. Yeah, Pimento Cheese is definitely something that you either like or you don't. I could eat it by the spoonful so you can imagine the talks I have had with myself this week lol!

  3. Yum yum yum!! I have bookmarked the french toast recipe. Checked it out, and made with Hawaiian bread? Oh my! And I don't even eat wings, but the thai chili wings are tempting me. And the tater tot bake? Another must try! Now I'll have to invite people over so I'll have a chance to make these things!!

    1. Funny Debby, I thought of you (and your mom) when I tasted the French Toast Bake because of the lemon. I think you'll love it. I'd bet you could use that Thai Sauce on regular chicken. I'd just use whatever pieces you like, marinate it the same way, then throw the sauce on it.

  4. That all looks so amazing! My dad would be all over that tater tot bake -- and probably not share it LOL!

    I am the same way about food. Especially when you go to a restaurant and the food wasn't what you expected. I'll say this to you because I bet you get it, but when we go to New Orleans, we sometimes agonize over where to eat because you only have so many meals there and you don't want to waste one of them! :D

    1. Yes on all the restaurant stuff. That's exactly what happens to us when we are in Grand Case, St. Martin - too many good choices!

      You should make that Tater Tot Pie for your dad.

  5. I like to think of pimento cheese as a food group all on it's own. My Aunt Martha makes an amazing one and a local store opened up near us that made a pimento cheese even better than hers! And it was only $2.99 a pound - Hannah and I were in heaven!

    Until we went a few weeks later and they jacked the price up to $7.99 - I guess their store prices were low when they first opened. We couldn't justify spending that kind of money!

    So glad everything turned out!!