Harissa is a North African chili paste with garlic and spices which I recently tried after finding in the International Food aisle at my local grocers.  I was looking for a spicy alternative to barbeque sauce or something asian in flavor.  I walked away with the harissa since salsa is also one of my go-tos for chicken in the slow cooker.  Chicken breasts on sale at my local market and I had the makings of a new recipe.

Chicken breasts don’t always do well in the slow cooker since they are so lean and today’s chickens tend to be a bit anorexic if you ask me.  Yet I have found as long as I use enough liquid in the slow cooker (as opposed to my not using much if any when I do thighs) the breasts shred tastily.  I tasted the harissa and first thought was there is not much…or okay there is some heat and then dumped the whole jar on top of the seasoned chicken.  Turned out not as hot as I thought it might end up so if you like heat you can amp up the harissa or add hot sauce later.  The flavorings made it a new favorite and I found that I didn’t need to add hot sauce until I used the rest of the leftover chicken in a wrap – after all everyone knows chicken in any format goes best with sriracha-mayo and cilantro in a low carb wrap.

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (at least 1 pound)
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin, chili powder, cayenne, paprika
  • 1/4 tsp each garlic powder, onion salt, chives, dried green onion (or 1/2 tsp dried Trader Joe’s allium mix)
  • 1/4 tsp each turmeric, poultry seasoning
  • 1 6.7 jar Harissa paste
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  1. Season chicken breasts and bring to room temperature
  2. Add broth to slow cooker
  3. Place chicken in slow cooker
  4. Spread harissa on top of chicken
  5. Cook on high 2 hours or low 4 hours
  6. Shred chicken with 2 forks while still hot


7. Prepare rice and cook peas





  • of course add and swap favorite seasonings
  • use any chili sauce to achieve milder flavor
  • I find my slow cooker does better on low than high
  • try shredding chicken before turning slow cooker off; if chicken isn’t shredding as you would like cook for an additional 30 – 60 minutes
  • size of shreds or chunks are up to you
  • BTW I don’t know if I mentioned this before but season a cup or two of chicken broth to slow cook chicken breasts for shredding and you have a great base for any chicken dish especially tacos.


So I was reading ‘The Food Lab’ by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and had too many thoughts running through my head.  First of all I was trying to wrap my mind (and hands) around the size of the book and wondering where one would keep it as it is roughly 8×10″ and about 2″ thick never mind heavy.  I mean how does one wield an item this size and utilize it???

It does lay nice and flat and has colored sections to delineate discussions as well as pictures.  I found it to be a cross between a science book (hence Lab in the title), a folksy description of the author’s explorations, kitchen go-to guide, and cookbook.  I was excited about the premise of understanding the science behind cooking but I found the passages I read ended up stating the premise, wandering through an explanation and tailing off before the ending was resolved.  I enjoy reading cookbooks like a good novel but found few recipes that intrigued me; although I did only skip through the 916 after a few days of turning pages.  Now I make no claims to being a reviewer and I certainly am not denigrating the author.  I give Kenji kudos for the time, effort and love used in this tome.  I merely state my personal perception.  There is a wealth of knowledge stored in this book amongst everything I am sure just not in a user friendly package.

While I haven’t chosen a recipe from within I like to make note for fellow cookbook lovers of the pages I have traveled and thought to save you the trip OR encourage your plunge into the depths.  This is definitely a try this out from a library before you buy another coffee table book.



I was asked to provide finger food for a small – medium group of people that was 6 definites and 3 or 4 or 5 maybes.  WICKED WINGS was an easy do but I always like to provide a choice as well as an option for those who are not into spicy.  I thought of riblets slow cooked and finished over the grill for crusty bits but wasn’t into the whole cutting of individual ribs from a slab of spare ribs.  If you don’t mind the extra work and if you have a butcher that will cut a spare rib in half horizontally for you then use the seasonings below for that and you will have finger food with a handle.

So choice made and boneless baby back ribs on sale I placed my trusty cauldron on the counter (slow cooker) and began to brew my potion.  Blending the dry seasonings (to my taste) I set them aside for a moment and created my ‘sauce’.  The ribs were layered into the slow cooker with a dusting of dry seasonings and a dollop of sauce over each layer.  Lid on timer set and off I went.  When I released the steam from the slow cooker my mouth began to water and I was hard pressed not to pull off any tidbits.  The ribs were allowed to rest 30 minutes before I cut them into bite size bits.  Now I could taste test but only one small bite to sure they were cooked properly.  Desired results achieved I wrapped the bites well and refrigerated before cleaning the kitchen.

Do note that at this point the bites are not crispy but would serve well over egg noodles, rice, mashed potatoes or nestled in your favorite bun topped with coleslaw.  The crispy came in the next day as they were reheated in an aluminum pan over a hot grill; although a 400 degree oven works as well.


  • 2-4 lb boneless baby back ribs or spareribs
  • 8 oz chili sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tsp white vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • 1-1 1/2 heaping tsp maple sugar (see note 5)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed (optional)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  1. blend all dry ingredients
  2. blend all wet ingredients using vinegar to rinse chili sauce container
  3. layer ribs on bottom of slow cooker
  4. dust with seasonings and dollop with sauce
  5. layer remaining ribs and repeat step 4
  6. cover and cook on low 6-7 hours
  7. remove ribs from slow cooker replacing lid and leaving slow cooker on
  8. let ribs sit 20-30 minutes before cutting into bite size pieces or slightly larger chunks
  9. taste rib to see if cooked completely if so turn off slow cooker if not return ribs to slow cooker for an additional 30 minutes on low
  10. place rib bites on foil lined pan and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until desired crispness
  11. ribs may be refrigerated and reheated in 400 degree oven 30 minutes or until desired crispness


  • all seasonings are to taste – add your favorites or remove those you don’t like
  • smoked paprika brings a slightly smoky flavor to the ribs – use sparingly unless you like heavy smoke
  • fennel seeds are used to season hot Italian sausage and adds a very slight kick
  • I had 3/4 bottle of chili sauce in my frig so I dolloped that over the ribs and then added the Worcestershire and white vinegar to the bottle then shook to get all the chili sauce out before dolloping that over the ribs
  • if you prefer more of a maple flavor use 1-2 tsp of maple syrup or if you prefer the sweetness of bottled sauces use 1 tsp of molasses
  • feel free to substitute your favorite bottle rib sauce here for an additional short cut
  • you can also cook in slow cooker for 1-2 additional hours if you want shredded pork
  • pork should always be shredded when hot for ease
  • dry dusted ribs may also be cooked in 250 degree oven for 3 hours on a pan heavily lined with foil – remove ribs from pan then drain  drippings into sauce blending well before placing ribs back on pan again lined with foil and baste with sauce then cook in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until desired doneness

rib bites capture


Not since last May when I posted RICE STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM have I seen portobellos this large and these are even larger.  The shape of these mushrooms immediately put me in mind of a giant clam shell and I just knew I needed to make a seafood stuffing for one of the upcoming meatless meals.  This stuffing blend makes the dish more filling than the rice ones and easily suffices for an entire meal.  Unless your mushrooms are smallish I wouldn’t plan on more than one per person for the meal especially if a side salad or veggie accompanies the dish.  As an appetizer cut with a sharp knife it will easily serve 4-6 people.

Since the mushroom easily filled a 6″ shallow bowl I cleaned it and brushed it with oil before broiling it for 5 minutes on each side.  This may be done before assembly but not more than 24 hours ahead of serving.  The seafood I sauteed in butter until just done as the bread crumbs toasted on a cookie sheet in the oven before mixing them and some seasonings together.  Placing the stuffed mushroom on an oiled baking sheet I reheated for 20 minutes then  enjoyed an excellent meal accompanied by a chilled glass of white wine.  I was stuffed and pleased with the outcome.

Since my portobello was so large there was more than enough stuffing to ‘stuff’ me (sorry about that).  When you choose your stuffing decide if you want equal or lesser parts of bread and seafood.  For me one quarter of bread is more than enough and I get more seafood flavor but you can choose to have mostly bread with seafood for flavoring.  The portobello makes a great pallet for flavors and a perfect base for stuffing.  Enjoy

  • 1-2 large portobello mushroom per person
  • 2-3 large sea scallops
  • 3-4 medium shrimp peeled
  • 1-2 pieces stale french, italian or sourdough bread toasted and cubed
  • unsalted butter for sauteing and tossing bread cubes
  • 1 tbsp fine chopped white onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped dried parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • pepper to taste
  • vegetable stock (optional)
  • oil for brushing sheet pan and mushroom
  1. move top rack in oven 6″ below broiler and preheat
  2. lightly oil 2 baking sheets
  3. clean mushrooms by cutting stem off and removing gills with spoon (scrape)
  4. wipe mushroom clean with damp paper towel
  5. lightly drizzle olive oil over mushroom and spread using a  paper towel on both sides
  6. place mushroom on baking sheet and broil 5 minutes on each side
  7. remove mushroom from broiler and lower heat to 400
  8. place bread on second oiled baking sheet and toast for 5-8 minutes watching that it doesn’t become too brown
  9. melt 1 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium until butter browns
  10. saute onion until translucent
  11. quarter scallops and quickly saute with onions for 3 minutes
  12. add bite size or smaller pieces of shrimp to scallop mixture and saute until pink.
  13. remove pan from heat add 1 tbsp butter and parsley tossing well to combine
  14. add toasted breadcrumbs and thyme and pepper to seafood mixture
  15. if breadcrumbs are too dry add another tbsp of butter or splash of vegetable stock and cream together
  16. stuff mushroom and place on first oiled baking sheet on medium rack on 400 degree oven
  17. bake 20 – 25 minutes (10-15 minutes if mushroom and stuffing are still warm)



  • the mushroom may be baked in a 40 degree oven until softened or grilled 10-15 minutes
  • stuffed mushroom should be grilled 10 – 15 minutes or 5- 10 minutes if mushroom and stuffing are still warm
  • if the mushroom oozed  juice onto baking sheet under broiler save juice to dress bread cubes and clean and re-oil baking sheet before baking stuffed mushroom
  • lightly crush the bread crumbs to make more bite size
  • boxed or bagged stuffing mix may be used – prepare according to package directions using vegetable stock to keep meatless
  • if you prefer use the rice mixture from the recipe listed above and add the seafood



I know it has been awhile since I cooked for you but you are not forgotten.  It has been a busy albeit non snowy winter just no time for thoughtful blogging.

I am finishing a book that has been in the works for years…meaning I started it at the turn of the century.  I have been attending classes two nights of week with respective homework assignments.  I have been exploring the usage of an Instant Pot – a Christmas gift from a great niece.  I continue to celebrate family events that sometimes take me away for days.  I don’t always remember to take photos to post when I do cook…



Be it known that soon another recipe will be posted here and on Facebook for your dining delight and please step away from those black jellybeans they’re for Easter.



Couldn’t leave you without a quick and easy dessert for Valentine Day.  I whipped this up  one day and then made the toppings the next day before serving as a treat for tea.  Sometimes you just need a treat on a rainy afternoon and tea is so cozy…or just enjoy with your favorite beverage.

I thought of matching this to the Pantry Pizza recipe by calling it Pantry Cake but that didn’t flow nor did it describe this yummy concoction.  This recipe was born from my memories of Mom’s spice cake with chocolate icing but I didn’t want the sweetness of the icing and I was making it from scratch as she did.  If you are not a chocolate fan or if you are a spice aficionado than please leave out the cocoa and definitely the chips.  I lightly pressed a spoon into the top of the cake when it came out of the oven to create a hollow for the topping but feel free to leave smooth and use Mom’s chocolate icing for another layer of chocolate goodness.  Hmm I should have done chocolate shavings for the topping as well.


  • one box spice cake mix
  • 1 -2 tbsp sifted cocoa powder (depending on depth of chocolate taste desired)
  • boiling water
  • 1-2 tbsp unsweetened dark chocolate chips (I use Ghiardelli bittersweet 60% cacao)
  • 2 lrg tbsp cream cheese, softened per 4 ramekins
  • 2 lrg tbsp sour cream, room temperature per 4 ramekins
  • 2 lrg tsp confectioners sugar per 4 ramekins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2.  Spray  4 – 4 oz ramekins, 2-8″cake pans or 1- 10″ bundt pan
  3. Prepare cake mix according to directions using boiling water to bloom* the cocoa for 2 minutes before adding  and then fold in chocolate chips
  4. Fill ramekins and refrigerate remaining batter then bake for 17-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean
  5. If using cake or bundt pans follow package for baking times
  6. Cool on wire rack
  7. combine cream cheese, sour cream and confectioners sugar mixing smooth
  8. dollop cheese mixture on top before serving and dust with cocoa powder or shaved chocolate


  • make sure to use cocoa powder not hot chocolate mix
  • only use 1 tbsp cocoa powder for a background hint of hmm
  • *blooming the cocoa allows the flavor to develop
  • add as few or as many chocolate chips as you like
  • if using chocolate icing only use 1 tbsp cocoa powder and eliminate the chocolate chips
  • for chocolate buttercream icing: melt 2 oz high quality dark chocolate in bowl over pan of simmering water (double boiler) and let cool to touch.  Cream 5 oz of softened butter in medium bowl gradually adding 6 oz confectioners sugar until smooth.  Fold in chocolate until completely incorporated thinning with 1-2 tbsp milk if needed.  Frosting may be refrigerated before for two days before icing the cake but will need to be beat smooth again.  Enough frosting for top of one cake pan, the bundt pan or all ramekins.
  • whipped cream dusted with cocoa works as well



Before you check out this wordiness and better than you can imagine quick and easy pizza pour yourself a glass of prosecco or your favorite clear liquid and toss in some


for your Valentine cocktail.

I had a bunch of blah blah about pizza and eating it in moderation when I realized this would make a great Valentine Day meal for you and yours or you and them or even just you.  So I eliminated the long winded-ness and will just say that I buy frozen Naan in the freezer section of TRADER JOE’S.  I heated the Naan according to package directions , topped it with a quick pizza sauce from tomato paste as well as the cheese and pepperoni and 8 minutes later I had my pizza.  Since then I have added pre-roasted peppers and onions from TRADER JOE’S freezer section and marinated Mediterranean vegetables from TRADER JOE’S shelves into my pizza pantry staples.

EXTRA CHEESY PEPPERONI (there really is pepperoni underneath the beautiful bubbly crustiness..


  • Naan
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato paste or favorite sauce per Naan
  • favorite italian seasonings
  • thin slice pepperoni, sausage or favorite meat
  • shredded mozzarella
  • grated parmesan cheese
  1. heat Naan frozen from package per directions
  2. thin 1 heaping tbsp tomato paste with hot water until spreadable but not too liquidy
  3. add a dash or two of oregano and desired seasonings such as dried spring onions or crush red pepper flakes to taste stirring well
  4. spread heated Naan with tomato paste ‘sauce’
  5. sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese to taste or lightly sprinkle with shredded mozzarella
  6. top with pepperoni or thinly sliced sausage or favorite meat
  7. liberally top with shredded mozzarella to taste
  8. heat in preheated 400 degree oven for 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and as brown as you prefer


  • pizza sauce is typically thin not soupy so it doesn’t drip off your pizza or not thick so that you don’t taste only the sauce but consistency is all up to you
  • leftover meat sauce thinly spread makes for great pizza as well
  • try the leftover sauce thinly spread and warmed for 3 minutes then topped by Caesar salad or your favorite salad
  • sliced sauteed vegetables, marinated vegetable and olives make great toppings as well
  • small pieces of seafood work as does leftover puttanesca sauce
  • your toppings are limited only by your taste and imagination although spread everything thin so you don’t overwhelm your ‘crust’
  • or leftover chicken thigh diced on plain Naan with a dusting of shredded mozzarella or cheddar and left over Caesar salad as shown below
  • IMG_2384
  • garnish with red pepper flakes and diced scallions or thinly sliced red onions
  • I am not affiliated with TRADER JOE’S I just like shopping there
  • Enjoy


Okay for all the newbies and not so newbies here is an easy way to start your new year in your kitchen.  This is for those who cook, those who take out and those who aren’t sure what to do.  Come on you know there is no football on TV today, let’s go.  Actually this is for that rainy day or for an excuse to stay in or whatever…

Pour yourself a beverage – coffee, tea, wine – something to enjoy as you read along.  We are going to kick the new year off with a cleanse.  No not one of those – I am not doing this to  start a new diet or fix what I did for the playoff season.  Nope talking about a physical cleanse of your cooking environment.  And yes I know it is not our calendar new year but this is Chinese New Year (even though they clean before they start celebrating).


Place a fresh garbage bag in the trash can and open that refrigerator.  Toss out all those little packets you got with your to-go meals and are saving for I don’t know what.  Pull out all those half used or more condiments in the refrigerator door shelves.  Come on toss those that are too gunky to open, those that are really empty and those you didn’t like.  While the condiments are on the counter wipe out the door shelves with white vinegar and a paper towel.  Okay now put the ones back that still have stuff in them or that you can’t live without.  Now make a list of what you really need to replace leaving out those odd condiments you bought for that unusual recipe that you really will never make again.  In my kitchen it is usually an item I bought for a curry or a Thai dish.  I really don’t like curries and I have yet to nail a Thai dish yet still I persevere.  While you are at this throw out all those salad dressings that you really should be making fresh.

Now sit down, take a deep breath and have another sip of your drink.  Time to plan your dinner or the week’s menus however you roll.  As the week progresses (or today if you are ambitious) I suggest ‘cleansing’ the pantry, the spice rack and your tea and coffee area.  Next shopping trip buy replacements for your favorites and maybe one new item to try.  Stock up slowly and gradually with items that you will use and not waste.

Really just start small and do a bit here and there; it doesn’t take much time and may be come a good habit.  You just don’t want to do it all at once because you will spend tons of money at the grocery store and come home with no food for the week as well as overly heavy bags.  Why is it when the baggers used plastic they gave you tons of bags and now that you bring in reusable totes they load them to straining and don’t use all you brought??  Okay never mind my shopping rant.

Now that you have accomplished today’s task enjoy your sparkling spacious refrigerator and go order Chinese food to celebrate the Year of the Pig or a pizza – you need some serious time to consider next Sunday’s menu options…


By the way I hope you are keeping a list of what’s in the freezer so that it doesn’t turn into a black hole…just saying



I started my day with an interesting breakfast.  I tried TRADER JOE’S GF bagels.  Now I am not allergic to gluten but my body is certainly intolerant of it.  While I am a big fan of TRADER JOE’S (TJ) I have to say these bagels are not a favorite.  They certainly have the proper consistency and aren’t bad if they are warmed in the oven but do not toast.  Fear not I saved the day with my hack topping.  Hack topping??  Yes I hear your questions folks.   TJ only had plain or blueberry GF bagels when I shopped.  So I scooped up some cream cheese and softened it before adding a handful of raisins and big splashes of cinnamon; let’s face it big splashes of cinnamon save most anything.  So I splodged (yes a word) the cream cheese all over the bagel half dusted liberally with cinnamon sipped coffee and mused over today’s post.  Some days this blog is exactly like my appetite – I know what I want to post (or eat) or I am not sure which recipe to chat about (or make).

Fear not I realized you needed an easy Super Bowl dessert and why not have it fall on the healthy side of things.  No one will notice especially if you don’t tell anyone what your chocolate ‘pudding’ is made of.  Serve this chocolate hummus with slices of apples, bananas or graham crackers for dipping or pick up some tartlets at the store and fill with the hummus and top with whipped cream (use that can for ease).  Hmm I wonder what pretzels or tortilla chips would be like dipped?  Ooh maybe you can find some strawberries…

This recipe was inspired by multiple blogs one of which named theirs 5 minute hummus.  Either my prep skills are slower or my high power blender works differently (most likely). I find to make this right it takes more like 15 minutes.  The timing is not what is critical here the pureeing of the mixture smoothly is.  A single batch will feed four increase your batches along with the number of dessert eating guests.

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or 1 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (from dried)
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 4 tbsp leveled unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 4-8 tbsp water (or more as needed)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)


  1. Drain and rinse canned beans in a strainer three times
  2. Combine beans,  and 4 tbsp water in food processor or high power blender
  3. Puree until smooth adding more water as necessary and scraping sides if needed
  4. Add 3 tbsp maple syrup, 3 tbsp cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, cayenne and puree until smooth about 30 – 60 seconds
  5. Taste the hummus and if necessary add the remaining maple syrup and cocoa powder 1 tsp at a time along with 1 tbsp of water (if needed) for desired texture
  6. Store in frig and stir before serving



  • add cocoa powder to taste but go easy adding extra as it may make hummus gritty
  • add additional water as needed
  • do not use hot chocolate mix as a substitute for cocoa powder
  • use real maple syrup not those found on the store shelves near the pancake mixes
  • the cayenne just accentuates the taste as does the salt it is not to make it spicy hot; unless of course you want it spicy hot
  • chocolate hummus keeps up to to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator
  • do you ever have trouble locking the top of your high power blender as I do – rinse the rim of the top in cold water and see if it helps
  • I have no connection with TRADER JOE’S other than I enjoy their products and the shopping experience…my fault about the bagels I should have asked to try one before I bought them


So the countdown to the Super Bowl has begun and it is time to choose your menu or assign tasks to your minions.  Here’s hoping your team is there and that the game is as exciting as the Championship games were AND that there will be outstanding officiating (just saying).  And for those of you annoyed by that team playing again here is your chance to bring your ‘A’ game to hosting the Super Bowl and being able to enjoy your guests.

Patio tailgating is in the cards for me as long as it is not too wet for the electronics which makes wings a great go to since they reheat well on the grill (and even in the oven) while more fancy or dippy items can wait for halftime when we move indoors.  Yes it is so even in the cold and wind.  TVs on the patio and up and down inside will accommodate all preferences.

Most of the males I know prefer spicy over any other kind of wings while the ladies typically take theirs a bit lower on the Scoville range or sweeter.  Then there are the littles who insist on Daddy food as well and are not yet ready for their taste buds to be scorched.  So I set out to make a nice spicy wing that wasn’t covered in the bottle sauce (it has a nice kick but is too salty for me).

I tried a dry rub to marinate some (most) of the wings following the example of brother-in-law #2’s recent party batch.  His wings are always top of the charts hot and for me hard to enjoy but this batch he had marinated in the seasonings for multiple days bringing the spicy to the inside and not hovering only on the outside.  I was actually able to enjoy a few wings although I panted in between bites.  Not wanting that much of a kick I only ‘marinated’ mine for a few hours and finished them with melted butter.  For the ladies and less asbestos tongued guys I did a Maple Bacon batch that had heat without the sauciness or tongue panting and for those who like the sauciness I did a spicy dip and then I did another cool dip.

Oh by the way the only thing you need to do ahead of time is make some bacon so you can pour off the grease (after it cools).  This can be as simple as making bacon for breakfast or lunch as you prep the wings for later.  Bacon grease is one of those things that you should get in the habit of saving for uses such as these wings.  Bacon grease is said to last up to one year in the frig.  I use small mason jars since I don’t eat that much bacon and also so that I don’t keep a batch too long in the frig.  Of course if it looks or smells funky toss it otherwise use to add bacon flavor to a slow cooker meal or for cooking your eggs.

Try these wings for your Super Bowl celebrations or add a technique or additional spice to your own signature wings.  Meanwhile I am experimenting with a sweet and spicy wing…yum.



  • per 6 wings or 1 – 1 1/4 lb wings
  • 2 tbsp bacon fat
  • 1-2 tbsp cayenne
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp maple sugar  or 1 – 2 tbsp maple syrup (the real stuff please)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp dry mustard
  1. preheat oven to 375
  2. line baking sheet or pan with parchment paper (helps to prevent sticking)
  3. dry wings with paper towel
  4. blend cayenne, pepper, maple sugar and mustard well (do not add syrup if using)
  5. place spices in large bowl or plastic bag and add wings tossing well to season
  6. place wings in pan (if using syrup drizzle over wings)
  7. bake wings 50 – 55 minutes turning halfway during cooking
  8. remove wings from oven and add bacon fat to hot pan tossing wings as the fat melts
  9. ENJOY




  • per  4 1/2 – 5 lbs approx 24- 27 wings
  • 2-3 tbsp cayenne
  • 1-2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard (add 2 tbsp for extra heat)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning or thyme
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp butter per 6 wings
  1. Line baking sheets or pans with parchment paper
  2. Pat wings dry
  3. Blend spices in large bowl or plastic bag well
  4. Add wings and toss to coat
  5.  Let wings sit in cool spot for 2-3 hours or refrigerate to marinate longer
  6. Preheat oven to 375
  7. Arrange wings in pans without crowding
  8. Season well with salt and pepper
  9. Bake 50 – 55 minutes turning halfway during cooking
  10. Remove pans from oven and add butter to hot pan swirling to melt and toss wings in juices
  11. ENJOY


blend equal parts chili sauce and sriracha (or favorite hot sauce) with 4 tbsp melted butter and a dash of cayenne, Worcestershire with a pinch of dry mustard for spicy dip

blend equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream with a dash of fresh ground black pepper and 1 tsp of dill with 1-2 tsp blue cheese crumbles for cooling dip

Feel free to substitute your favorite hot sauce or ranch or blue cheese dressing here


  • dry mustard will bring heat but not a mustard-y flavor use sparingly if you don’t like heat
  • do taste your spice blends to check your heat levels BEFORE adding the wings it should be almost too much for it to be just right after the wings cook – if it is too much don’t use all the seasonings on the wings and you will cut back on the heat
  • maple sugar imparts a sweetness not a sugary-ness
  • if you buy whole wings and cut your own parts do save the tips as they make a great chicken broth just toss them in the freezer and save for when you have time to watch simmering on the stove top or use them in your slow cooker with carrots, onion, and celery pieces