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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Friends who are family

Everyone should be lucky enough to have friends they consider family.  If so, you know what I'm talking about - the ones who are there through thick and thin (a.k.a your "rocks")...who you can just be yourself with and not be judged...who actually LISTEN...who you appreciate more than anything (and vice versa) - you get my drift.

I'm eternally grateful to have been blessed with some of these people.  One of them came over last night to do what we do best - eat, drink and chill out :)  There were other items on the menu that ended up not making an appearance - maybe the wine (or even the laughter) took up too much room in our bellies, as usual.

Instead of a sit-down meal I went with apps and desserts for a more casual night.  We'll enjoy the quesadillas I had planned to make later today (plus leftovers of what you see here)...everything is football-friendly, so why not try some yourselves?  Goooo JETS!

Ina's Pan-Fried Onion Dip was awesome - especially if you're a ridiculous onion lover like me.  Doesn't look like much in the picture but believe me, it's GOOD.  It makes a good amount, too.

I wanted to try a baked buffalo wings recipe for future use - any way that I can make one of our favorite dishes healthier is always a bonus.  These didn't disappoint (see recipe below).  Once they were finished, I realized I probably didn't dry the wings off well enough after washing, because some of the coating didn't stick.  So, that didn't make for the best looking wings, but they definitely were some of the best tasting we've had.  The blue cheese dressing I made for dipping wasn't too shabby, either...and probably made up for the calories lost from baking the wings.  Hey, nobody's perfect ;)

And of course, the ever-popular spinach balls made an appearance (see my recipe below)...

...along with this delicious cake batter bark from a fellow food blogger from NJ, Stephanie.  To say I'm thrilled that we have leftovers of this is an understatement  :)

And finally, Chach's favorite (that's Jason, to those of you who don't know him) that I've been making him for 20+ years...key lime pie.  The "famous" recipe that I've been wowing him and many other friends with all this time can very easily be found on the back of Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice bottle.

And yes, I've made a "from scratch" version before...it doesn't compare.  Don't mess with this one.  Trust me.     See below for over 20 years of proof.

Baked Buffalo Wings
from Allrecipes

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 20 chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper sauce

  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Place flour, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt into a resealable plastic bag.  Shake to mix. 

  • Add the chicken wings, seal, and toss until well coated with flour mixture. Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk together the melted butter and hot sauce in a small bowl. Dip wings into butter mixture, and place back on baking sheet. Bake until chicken is no longer pink in the center, and crispy on the outside, about 45 minutes. Turn the wings over halfway during cooking so they cook evenly.

Spinach Balls
1 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained VERY WELL of all liquid (use a paper towel to press excess water out)
1/2 cup grated cheese (I use pecorino romano...parmesan is fine)
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs (if you use plain, add whatever seasonings you like)
1 onion, finely chopped
3 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Roll mixture into small balls and place on baking sheets lined with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.

These can easily be frozen and reheated.

WW Points+ for Spinach Balls = 4 (about 4 balls per serving)
WW Points+ for Baked Buffalo Wings = 4

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At January 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Hezzi-D said...

Your spinach balls look great. I love spinach and always am looking for new recipes. The baked wings sound good as well. My husband loves wings but I never make them because of the fat-these might be a good compromise!

At January 27, 2011 at 6:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmmm...that key lime pie looks delicious!! I have to make it! ;)

At November 13, 2011 at 8:28 PM , Blogger Savannah McQueen said...

I've never heard of spinach balls but my family loves spinach. i will give it a try.


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