Nothing says “I love you” to my man more than a big plate of wings. Greg turned 39 on Friday and to celebrate I thought we could have some of his favorite foods! To make things extra special and extra hard <insert sarcasm>, I decided it would be nice to make the them myself. I landed on this recipe by The Pioneer Woman and got to work. Although I had never fried anything before, I thought it couldn’t be that difficult. I got out my big ol’ pan with the high sides, poured the vegetable oil in (about 2 inches deep) and turned up the heat. Here’s the part where I learned that you do not leave the stove. You do not allow any distractions. You stay put like your feet are in concrete and watch that oil because it will get too hot in the blink of an eye and you will literally BURN YOUR EYE!
Yes, that’s a nice blister on my eyelid and let me tell you something friends, it hurt! To add insult to injury, I not only had a burn on my eye, the oil went through my sock and I have 3 blisters on the top of my foot. You’re probably wondering (in addition to being super concerned about my well being) what my kitchen looked like after the vegetable oil pretty much exploded. Well, it was like oil-geddon up in there. So, the lesson here once again is this: Do not leave the stove, do not look away, keep your eyes on the prize or you will be sorry! Once I got the oil settled down and things cleaned up, I started frying the wings. This is what your pan should look like!
I went ahead and used the sauce recipe in the link above, but much to my surprise, and without knowing we were even having wings for dinner, my in-laws brought over Greg’s favorite wing sauce from Quaker Steak and Lube. They must have wing radar, sheesh! I divided the wings into three groups…hot for Greg, medium for the rest of the adults, and BBQ for the kids. These are the medium wings.
I was really struggling to figure out what to make for a side dish. I even went to the freezer section at the grocery store to look for appetizers, but nothing sounded good. I ended up making potato skins. Like the wings, this was my first attempt at potato skins. But, unlike the wings, it was pretty easy and straightforward.
Here’s my quick recipe: Scrub the potatoes, poke holes in them with a fork, season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle olive oil on them.
Bake at 425 degrees for 50 minutes or until fork comes out easily. After they’ve come out of the oven and cooled enough for you to touch them, slice in half longways and scoop out the inside. Leave about a 1/4 inch of potato in the skins.
Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bacon bits.
Put back in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. Top with sour cream and green onion and you’re done!
Even though I burned myself, I did learn how to fry something! And, the wings and potato skins were amazing. I had everyone pat me on the back as they cleared their plates.
We ended the night with birthday cake. Cheryl inspired me to try the chocolate chip cake that my mom used to make. Read more about her cake experience here. I used a regular boxed chocolate cake mix and poured the batter into a 9 x 12 metal pan. Before I put it in the oven, I sprinkled chocolate chips on the top (about 2/3 cup) and gently patted them into the batter. The good news is that it turned out great! No burnt chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan! IF you can be patient enough to make this cake ahead and let it sit for a day, the chocolate chips have a chance to solidify again and it makes the cake even better. It’s worth the wait, I promise!
The cake was truly a family affair. Quinne got to put the sprinkles on (quite liberally) and Grant used his woodworking dowel for Greg’s candle holder.