Catalina Wings

Catalina Wings

A long, long time ago I used to make wings similar to these piquant Catalina Wings.  I was in college and had a summer job cooking at a golf and country club.  The food was basic fair, nothing too over the top, catering to the golfing crowd, small banquets and business meetings. It was a fun job, good people to work with and a happy crowd, because they’re golfing of course.  It wasn’t unusual for the dining room to be filled with thirsty golfers looking for a mid afternoon snack and beverage.

Like many places of the time, we offered hot wings, but not everyone liked there wings “hot”. So to please the masses we mixed the hot sauce with Catalina Dressing to lighten some of the heat.  The ratio of dressing to hot sauce was adapted to make the wings mild, medium or hot.  We didn’t have a formula, it was always eye balled, so I doubt anyone ever got the same plate of wings twice.  It’s the memory of this job and the tossing of bowl after bowl of chicken wings that Catalina Wings are derived.  Not new in concept but these Catalina Wings are made with fresh Catalina dressing, making them zesty and sticky.  You’ll love them! 

Recipe source for Catalina Wings:  Compelled To Cook

Catalina Wings
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
30 wings 20 minutes
Cook Time
16-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
30 wings 20 minutes
Cook Time
16-18 minutes
Catalina Wings
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
30 wings 20 minutes
Cook Time
16-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
30 wings 20 minutes
Cook Time
16-18 minutes
Ingredients
Dressing
Wings
Servings: wings
Instructions
Dressing
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Makes about 1 cup of dressing. Refrigerate extra dressing for up to 1 week.
Wings
  1. In a large heavy duty pot fitted with a clip on thermometer, heat a minimum of 3" of canola oil to 350℉ 375℉. (oil will cool when wings are added)
  2. Pat chicken wings dry with a paper towel. Add half the wings to the hot oil, dropping them in one by one. Cook for 5-6 minutes, depending on size, until no longer pink. Remove with a slotted scoop to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining wings.
  3. Preheat broiler and line a large baking tray with foil. In a large bowl stir together Catalina Dressing and Franks Red Hot sauce. Add wings and toss to evenly coat.
  4. Arrange wings in a single layer on baking tray and broil 8" from broiler for about 2 minutes per side. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Wings can be made hotter if desired by decreasing the amount of dressing and increasing hot sauce to your preference.

Parsnip Spice Muffins

Parsnip Spice Muffins

Give your carrot muffins a makeover with these wonderfully spiced and tender Parsnip Spice Muffins. Just like carrots, parsnips cook down to provide moisture, flavour and sweetness to baked goods. Already having a sweet note, parsnips readily take on an array of spices such as cloves, ginger and cinnamon. So get ready to fill your kitchen with the scent of baked goods and glorious spices with these gorgeous muffins.

Inspired by Bon Appetit’s Parsnip Spice Cake, I chose to lighten up the batter with applesauce and use less oil, sugar and eggs to create a relatively healthy muffin. Tender and moist with a spicy aroma and flavour. They’re particularly good with a drizzle of sweetened cream cheese for a little sweet treat, but eaten plain with a cup of tea is also a pleasure.

Parsnip Spice Muffins
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 20 minutes
Cook Time
25-28 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 20 minutes
Cook Time
25-28 minutes
Parsnip Spice Muffins
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 20 minutes
Cook Time
25-28 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 20 minutes
Cook Time
25-28 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: muffins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line 12 muffin tins with parchment or muffin liners. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating after each. Whisk in applesauce, milk and vanilla to combine. Whisk in flour mixture and parsnips until just combined. Stir in pecans.
  3. Divide batter equally between prepared muffin tins using a generous 1/4 cup of batter each. Bake in preheated oven for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. In a small bowl stir together cream cheese, icing sugar, milk and vanilla to form a smooth texture. Drizzle or spread onto cooled muffins.

Buttermilk Ranch Onion Rings

Buttermilk Ranch Onion Rings

Buttermilk Ranch Onion Rings are made with fresh onions and are super crunchy and addictive. The delicious buttermilk batter is made with fresh herbs, onion and garlic powder so there’s no dipping sauce required. There’s just enough batter to cover and coat the onion well, but thin enough to yield a good batter to onion ratio.  No one likes too much fried doughy batter on anything….right?  They’re a great side to your burger or piled high and shared with your pals on game day.  However you choose to enjoy them, you’ll want to go back to the plate for more.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Buttermilk Ranch Onion Rings:  Compelled To Cook

 

Buttermilk Ranch Onion Rings
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Buttermilk Ranch Onion Rings
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Flour Dredge
Onion Rings
Servings: People
Instructions
Flour Dredge
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Onion Rings
  1. Cut ends off onion and peel, leaving onion whole. Cut onion into generous 1/4" slices. In a large bowl toss onions with a few drops of water to moisten. Sprinkle flour dredge over onion slices and toss to coat. Set aside.
  2. Preheat a deep fryer to 350℉ or at least 3" of canola oil in a large pot or dutch oven to 350℉ using a thermometer hooked to the edge of the pot.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, herbs, salt, baking powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Whisk in buttermilk, melted butter and worcestershire sauce until smooth.
  4. When oil is hot, scoop out 4-6 onion rings and dunk in batter to completely coat. Shake off excess batter and place onion rings in oil one at a time. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove with tongs or a slotted spatula to a paper towel lined plate. Keep warm in a low oven while frying remaining onion rings.
Recipe Notes

Batter will thicken slightly if left to sit.  Thin with extra buttermilk if necessary.

Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook

Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters

Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters

Yes, It’s back to school and my latest Costco coconut cluster obsession makes a debut as a back to school snack or yogurt topping. I’m not sure how long they’ve actually been sold at Costco, I’ve only purchased them in the last couple months. Being a coconut lover, I was in heaven either snacking straight out of the bag or crumpling them on coconut yogurt. So tasty, addicting, crunchy and sweet, I just had to make my own. Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters are my version, which happens to be very similar but with the addition of almonds. All it really takes is a large bowl, a few great ingredients and 25 minutes for these amazing clusters.

I admit I can be a Costco junkie! My last obsession found at Costco was tomatillo salsa, and I practically drowned myself in it before making my own version with grilled vegetables Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip But now that I’ve conquered both I look forward to my next great Costco find that I can make at home. So whether you’re just trying to fill the lunch bags or love a good smoothie or yogurt topping, you’ll want to bake a batch of Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters to have on hand without having to run out to Costco. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters: Compelled To Cook

 

Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
32 clusters 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
32 clusters 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Seed and Almond Coconut Clusters
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
32 clusters 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
32 clusters 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: clusters
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325℉ and line baking sheets with parchment. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl, drizzle with corn syrup and toss gently to fully combine. Drop approximately 2 tbsp of mixture onto lined baking sheets and with slightly damp fingers form into low clusters. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before removing.
  2. Store clusters in an airtight container for several days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Recipe Notes

I've tried honey, agave and corn syrup in this recipe.  I found that the corn syrup resulted in a crispier cluster that held up better when frozen and the honey and agave result in a slightly softer cluster that tends to break apart more easily.  All are good options depending on your sugar preference.

Maple Date and Nut Snack Bites

Maple Date and Nut Snack Bites

Maple Date and Nut Snack Bites make a nutritious snack that’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup and dates. Packed with nuts, almond butter and hemp seeds they’re a great source of protein, omega 3 fats and essential minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and iron. Easy to mix together and pack in your lunch or stuff in your back pack or purse to give you a healthy energy boost throughout your day or satisfy your sweet tooth.  A great change from that ordinary granola bar.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Maple Date and Nut Snack Bites:  Compelled To Cook

 

Maple Date and Nut Snack Bites
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
36 bites 30 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
36 bites 30 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes
Maple Date and Nut Snack Bites
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
36 bites 30 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
36 bites 30 minutes
Passive Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: bites
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except white chocolate in a food processor bowl. Pulse until combined to a fine meal. Form mixture into approximate 1 ounce balls and place onto a large parchment lined tray.
  2. Melt white chocolate over a double boiler or microwave at 30 second intervals and stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over snack bites. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Will keep refrigerated for several days in a sealed container or can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I usually opt to freeze and remove snack bites as needed.

Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip

Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip

My latest obsession is tomatillo salsa or variations of. Why? Because it’s fresh and spicy like salsa, but because of the avocados there’s just a hint of creaminess. Count in the fresh garlic and cilantro and you couldn’t find a better match for your favourite tortilla chip. Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip brings all the fresh spiciness that you’d expect but with a little smoky char flavour. It adds just a bit earthy bitterness that balances with all the acidity and creaminess from the avocado. It’s a fantastic pairing with my Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp

While it’s pretty easy to throw all the ingredients into a food processor and call it a day, you won’t regret taking that extra step to the grill the veggies for this. It keeps several days in the refrigerator and freezes well too. So make up a batch and use it for a dip, topping for tacos or sauce for enchiladas. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip:  Compelled To Cook

 

Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 cups 15 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to medium. Peel onion and cut into 1" thick slices. Cut lime in half. In a large bowl combine, tomatillos, jalapeños, lime halves and onion slices. Drizzle with oil to coat lightly.
  2. Grill vegetables until starting to char and blister, turning occasionally to slightly char evenly, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor add grilled tomatillos, onion, avocado, cilantro and garlic. Cut stem from jalapeños and cut in half, scoop out seeds and add flesh to processor. Juice grilled lime and add to processor. Pulse until combined but still a little chunky. Season with salt and garnish with additional cilantro and chopped red onion. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or chill until ready to use.
Recipe Notes

The purpose of grilling is to impart a slightly smoky charred flavour.  You only need to char the vegetables a little here to get the flavour.  Too much char will lead to bitterness.