Mustard Chicken Wings

Mustard Chicken Wings

Another great recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks! Good Cooking-the New Basics by Jill Dupleix. So far, everything I’ve made from this book has been fantastic!

I made this dish for the opening day of football season. I may not enjoy watching football but I enjoy watching other people enjoy it and enjoy eating my food. Do you sense the “joy” theme?

Mustard chicken wings, the Cracker Barrel Mac n’ Cheese, and Beatty’s Chocolate Cake…. and some beer…. good day for all!  What I loved about this was that they were real chicken wings… with real meat on them… not like a canary wing you get out of the frozen bag! The only thing I would do differently is probably follow the directions better.. or at least pay more attention before starting. I didn’t realize you needed to put them on a rack over the tray… so mine were not as crispy as I like them to be. I did put them under the broiler for a few and it helped.  They had lots of flavor and that was only having marinated them for a couple hours. Next time I’ll do it overnight!

Give them a try… you will like them and you probably have all the ingredients in your fridge now! So scoot!


Mustard Chicken Wings

From Good Cooking-the New Basics by Jill Dupleix

Serves 4


  • 8 chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 1 orange
  • 4 crisp baby radishes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ** I did not make the salad so can not comment on it. Items in green are for the salad.

How to pull it all together:

  • Trim the chicken wings and pat dry. Mix the honey, mustard, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper in a bowl, and toss the wings well until coated. Let marinate 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 400°. Place the wings on a rack set above a foil lined pan (to prevent the drips from burning) and bake until sticky and golden, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, trim the watercress, wash, and spin dry.  Peel the orange thickly, removing the white pith, and cut into sections.  Finely slice the radishes. Toss the watercress, orange, and radishes in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Serve the hot wings with the orange and watercress salad.  ** Again, I didn’t make the salad… salad doesn’t really mesh with beer and football you know? :o)

Beatty's Chocolate CakeCoffee or no Coffee?…. That is the question. 

Let me say that this cake was awesome. Moist, chocolatey, firm enough to hold the icing, and just really, really, yummy!

The only thing I would probably change about it was the icing.  It wasn’t sweet enough for me… it’s not that I’m opposed to the coffee flavoring in the chocolate icing, it just needed more sugar to please my palate. However, if you’re not into super sweet icing than you should have no complaints about this.

Try it… it’s worth the extra bit of effort rather than opening the box of Betty Crocker…. (although that Betty makes some pretty good cakes too! ) Enjoy!

 Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

From Barefoot Contessa at Home, by Ina Garten

Serves 8


  Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows  

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.  (I used the disposable ones, as I don’t have them for some reason! They worked out great… and I got to throw them out and not wash them!)
    • Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
    •  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
    •  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
    • With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
    •  Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
    • Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

    Chocolate Frosting:

    • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
    •  1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    •  1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
    • Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
    • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
    • Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.
    • Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
    • Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.  ( I didn’t have coffee powder, so I used 2 tsp of hot coffee instead. Maybe that is why it was to coffee flavored for me? I don’t know…)

    Many thanks to Mary of Passionate Perseverance for choosing this recipe! Please check us out at Barefoot Bloggers to see what we’re cooking!

    mac and cheeseSo, if you have not been fortunate enough to visit a Cracker Barrel before, you need to put it on your list of places to go.

    I don’t remember the first one I went to… but I know it was down south as there are no Cracker Barrels that I know of on Long Island… where I am…. so sad!

    You can shop for quirky, country things… buy those penny candy sticks… find those birthday cards with the almanac of what happened and what things cost the year you were born… and get some wicked good mac & cheese! (The chicken and dumplings are awesome too… FYI).

    The results came in from my testers and  this is the best mac and cheese recipe so far!  It even beat Ina’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese! GASP! I know! I know! But my fellow Barefoot Bloggers, it’s true… it’s true…. we all liked this one better than Ina’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

    Here is the recipe… I got it from another cookbook that my mother in law sent me… This one called More Super Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur. It’s got some great stuff in it… as you will see in posts to come. I made this as part of a football watching party…. since I don’t watch football I needed something to do… So I cooked! I made this with some honey mustard wings so keep your eyes open for the post on that one!


    Cracker Barrel Macaroni N’ Cheese

    From: More Super Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur

    Makes 4-6 side servings



    • 3/4 cup elbow macaroni
    • 3 tablespoons salted butter
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
    • 2 1/2 cups shredded Colby cheese

    How to pull it all together:

    • Pre-heat broiler to Hi
    • Cook pasta in 4 cups of boiling water for 8 minutes or until tender; drain off water
    • Melt butter in 10″ skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue whisking until bubbly. Add milk, salt, and black pepper and stir until the milk begins to bubble.
    • Add cheese, and then turn off the heat. Whisk sauce until cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
    • Stir in the macaroni, then set skillet under broker for 2-3 minutes, until several browned spots appear on the surface. Remove pan from the oven, let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Cheese will thicken as it rests.

    Note: I didn’t use a skillet as I doubled the recipe for 4 of us for a main meal. I made the sauce in a pot, then mixed the sauce and the macaroni in a baking dish. It worked out fine!


    daquiri 2Note to self:  Never let darling hubby go to the store by himself to buy mango… Good, got that down now.  Too bad it was too late for my poor daiquiris!!

    I had decided to make these as a little drinky poo for when we had some company over last weekend.  When we went grocery shopping the store didn’t have any mango!  What is that about?!?! So the next day, (a few hours before guests are expected) hubby runs to another store to get mango and a few other bits.  The mango was hard as a rock… completely unripe!  That didn’t stop me though!  I had an assignment to complete!  So, since the mango was not very juicy the drink came out very banana flavored as the banana was super ripe… and the lime… slurp! Tart and yummy!  All in all they were good and I have 2 more mangoes ripening to try again this weekend!  Also, a very special thank you to Veronica of Supermarket Serenade for choosing this recipe for the August selection.  If you haven’t checked out Barefoot Bloggers please do!

    Here is the recipe:

    Mango Banana Daiquiris

    Source: Back to Basics by Ina Garten

    Serves 4 (although mine made @ 6 as I used these glasses above)

    • 2 cups chopped ripe mango (1 to 2 mango, peeled and seeded)
    • 1 ripe banana, chopped
    • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (4 limes)
    • 1/4 cup sugar syrup*
    • 1 1/4 cups dark rum, such as Mount Gay (I didn’t have dark rum so I used Bacardi Puerto Rican Rum)
    • Mango slices, for serving
    • Place the mango, banana,  lime juice, sugar syrup, and rum in a blender and process until smooth.  Add 2 cups of ice and process again until smooth and thick.  Serve ice-cold in highball glasses with the mango slices. ( I embellished glass with papaya…. because it was ripe!)

    *To make simple syrup, heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  Chill.

    daquiri 1


    close up bruschetaKACHOW!!  That is what can be said about this…. take a look at the big tray I made… between 6 people it was gone… very quickly!

    So easy to make….and not a bank account killer either… really very reasonable! Which is good because this recipe was chosen as the first Barefoot on a Budget Challenge.  I made a ton of it and although I didn’t save the receipts (I’m bad I know!) it fed a lot of people for not a lot of $$.  This was the appetizer we did for our Memorial Day BBQ. It was so good… try it!

    pepper bruscheta


    Bruschetta with Sauteed Sweet Peppers and Creamy Gorgonzola

    Source: Ina Garten

    Serves: Makes 18 rounds


    • Good olive oil
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
    • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Baguette
    • 3 ounces creamy Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, at room temperature

    How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook until soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Stir in the capers and basil, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside. (I added some additional Italian Seasoning as I had a bit left that I wanted to get rid of)
    • Slice the baguette crosswise into 18 thin round slices. Brush the bread rounds lightly with olive oil on 1 side. Arrange them in rows, oil side up, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
    • Top each toast round with a teaspoonful of the pepper mixture. Place 2 small pieces of Gorgonzola on top.
    • Return the toast to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes and warm through. Serve immediately.

    100_1921Sigh…. BIG SIGH….. wow… I am so sad to say that this one was a big bummer! No one liked it at all really. Not sure why… I followed directions to the “T”…. maybe we’re just not fans of sun-dried tomato? I don’t know… it wasn’t so bad you would spit it out… but I certainly wouldn’t go back for seconds…. I’ll have to check and see what the other Barefooters said about this one….


    Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

    Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style

    Serves: 6-8


    • 1/2 lb fusilli pasta
    • kosher salt
    • olive oil
    • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium diced
    • 3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
    • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium diced
    • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

    For the dressing:

    • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, diced
    • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
    • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    • 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

    How to pull it all together:

    • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water with a splash of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
    • Boil for 12 minutes, or according to directions on the package
    • Drain well and allow to cool
    • Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun dried tomatoes.
    • For the dressing, combine sun dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.
    • Pour the dressing over the pasta , sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil and toss well

    100_1187I confess…. I’ve made these before.  I also confess… they are “outrageous”.  I also confess… they disappeared within a day.

    So I am very far behind in my blog posts.  I do apologize.  I am not managing my time wisely!  I made these brownies for a BBQ we had Memorial Day weekend.  I won’t go into big specifics on how delish these were…. more like fudge then a brownie… but this picture should say it all.  Sorry Kristen, but this is a funny picture! Also, notice the hand reaching in from the other side of the table….100_1183

    Here is the recipe:

    Outrageous Brownies 

    Source: Barefoot Contessa-Ina Garten

    Serves: Makes @ 20 large brownies


    • 1 pound unsalted butter
    • 1 pound plus 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
    • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    • 6 extra-large eggs
    • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder ( I only used a smidge, or I sometime leave it out. Gets us too wired!)
    • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
    • 2 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 ¼ cups flour, divided
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 cups diced walnut pieces  ( I left these out)

    How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
    • Melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
    • Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips with flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
    • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

    goats-cheese-tartHave you ever done something and been really, truely impressed with yourself?  That is how these tarts will make you feel!  They are so unbelievably easy to make, yet look like they were so involved that Julia Child would have struggled!
    Anyway, this was a March selection for Barefoot Bloggers, chosen by Anne of Anne Strawberry

    This is part of the line up I made for our last weekend in the U.K.  We had our friends down for the weekend from London and this was our starter.  Good thing they arrived early as we had  a rich, heavy menu and it was important to spread the food out so as not to pop by dinnertime!  Although the finished product looks so impressive and difficult to make, it couldn’t have been easier.  Give a woop woop for frozen puff pastry! WOOP WOOP!  Yup… that is the secret.  Frozen puff pastry… roll it out… put a bowl on it to make the circle…. run a butter knife lightly to make the border… prick it with a fork.. fill it with stuff… bake it… voila! Done!  Pat yourself on the back!

    Here is the recipe:

    Tomato & Goat Cheese Tarts

    Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

    Serves: 4 individual tarts


    • 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
    • Good olive oil
    • 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
    • 3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
    • 4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet) ( I used fresh goat cheese from the Broadstone Farmer’s Market and seasoned myself)
    • 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices ( I used a few grape tomatoes on each as the big tomatoes were nasty looking in the store)
    • 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves

    How to pull it all together:

    • Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
    • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    • Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
    • Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
    • Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.
    • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.raw-pastryuncooked-tartonion-filling






    So, I’m posting some belated Barefoot Bloggers recipes.  Why you ask? Well I have been very busy… you know… moving my family and all our possessions back home to the U.S. of A ! Hooray! So, now I am playing catch up.. in between unpacking, painting, entertaining a small child, cleaning, getting a new car, getting lawn and gutter quotes etc….

    The March Bonus Recipe Challenge was Brownie Pudding, chosen by Tia of Southern, Eh?  I made this as a dessert for our last weekend in the UK with our good friends.  The rest of that menus items will be coming… but I thought I would start with dessert.  This was very easy to make, and it tasted amazing!  It was so good that I had to post these pictures as it is a bit embarrassing what happened to the Brownie Pudding.

    Innocent Brownie Pudding, sitting on the counter: innocent-brownie-pudding                                                                                                                                                                                                              











    Defiled Brownie Pudding, sitting on the counter:  brownie-pudding-destruction2







     Notice the dragged finger marks in the Defiled Brownie pic?  Do you think they liked it?!?


    Here is the recipe:


    Brownie Pudding

    Source: Ina Garten, Back to Basics

    • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
    • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
    • 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
    • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

    How to pull it all together:

    • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.
    • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
    • When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise, if using, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
    • Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
    • Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.


    Awhile back, the Barefoot Bloggers made Ina’s Chicken Piccata.  Overall the reviews were positive, but for me it just didn’t taste like Chicken Piccata because it didn’t taste like the recipe I had been using forever.  So, I decided to make my Chicken Piccata to do the comparison…..and the winner is (in my house at least) my Chicken Piccata.  The reasons that I like this recipe better are that 1. It has capers… and I love me some capers! 2. It’s not dipped in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then fried in oil.  While that is yummy, I can usually feel my arteries clogging as I eat it. This version is sauteed and not breaded… therefore, not as heavy.  The recipe is from (drum roll please….)  The Joy of Cooking: All About Chicken.  Again, this book was a present from my mother in law when I first got married.  Maybe she wanted to make sure I didn’t starve her baby boy? :o) Any way, it’s a great book and I use it all the time. 

    Here is the recipe:

    Sauteed Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts Piccata

    Source: The Joy of Cooking: All About Chicken by Irma S. Rombauer/Marion Rombauer Becker/Ethan Becker                (I guess it was a family affair?)

    Serves 2-4 depending on how hungry you are!


    For the chicken:

    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (@ 1 1/2 lbs) (You can also use thin cut breasts, tastes better)
    • Salt & black pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

    For the sauce:

    • 2-3 tablespoons minced shallots or scallions
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 3-4 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice (use a real lemon, not from a jar/bottle/can etc)
    • 2 tablespoons nonpareil capers, drained
    • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

    How to pull it all together:

    • Rinse and pat the chicken breasts dry. Trim any fat etc.
    • Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper to taste (obviously don’t lick the raw chicken ha ha!)
    • Spread the flour on a plate and coat the chicken on both sides.  Shake off the excess flour.
    • Heat the butter  in a heavy 10-12″ skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant and nut-brown, then add the olive oil.
    • Swirl the butter and oil together, then add the chicken and cook @ 4 minutes each side.  Keep the pan as hot as possible without burning.
    • Keep the chicken warm in a 200° oven while you make the sauce.

    The sauce:

    • Remove all but @ 1 tablespoon of fat from the chicken skillet. 
    • Heat the scallions or shallots over medium heat and cook, stirring, until wilted @ 1 minute. 
    • Increase the heat to high and add the chicken stock.
    • Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to dissolve the brown bits. 
    • Add the lemon juice, and capers and boil until the mixture is reduced to @ 1/3 cup, @ 3-4 minutes. 
    • Add the accumulated chicken juices and reduce again.  Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter.
    • Pour over the chicken and serve immediately.

    Note: This cookbook has some great recipes, but it’s sometimes confusing how they write out the recipe.  Or, maybe it’s me.