Spicy Chinese Chicken Wings

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WARNING:  THIS RECIPE IS VERY SPICY!

These chicken wings are perfect if you are someone who loves spice. Even if you’re not, don’t let that stop you. While they have a kick, they offer a sweet savory flavor at the same time.  Trust me,  you won’t believe the amount of flavors you will taste once you try these.

Based off of the many times my fiancé said these wings were good, I would say this recipe in his top 5 favorite meals that I have ever made.

Spicy Chinese Chicken Wings

Serves 3-5

What You Need:

  • Freezer Bags
  • Tin Foil
  • Cooling Rack
  • Baking Sheet
  • 2 Pounds of Chicken Wings  ( I had a bag of 17 so I used them all)
  • 3 Table Spoons of Baking Powder (This helps make the wings crispy, don’t worry you won’t taste it)

Marinade:

  • 1/4 Cup of Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Table Spoons Lime Juice or 1 Lime
  • 1 Table Spoon of Chinese 5 Spice Powder       IMG_8336.JPG
  • 1 Teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Cha! Asian Hot Chili Sauce          IMG_8339.JPG

Sauce:

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha Cha! Asian Hot Chili Sauce

 

Instructions: 

  1. Combine ingredients for marinade in a freezer bag. Add Chicken  to the bag, seal, and shake.  Place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours. – I left mine in over night.
  2. Preheat oven to 400*, line the baking sheet with foil and place the cooling rack on top. Lightly grease the cooling rack with cooking spray.
  3. Drain the marinade from chicken and pat the chicken dry. Once the chicken is dry, pour the baking powder into a new freezer bag. Place chicken in the bag, seal and shake. Make sure they are evenly coated.
  4. Place wings on rack and bake in oven for 40 minutes.
  5. Begin your sauce when your wings have been baking for 35 minutes. Combine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and water in a skillet.
  6. Once the wings are done, turn the broil on for 5 minutes.  Watch the wings to ensure they do not burn. You may have to let them broil a few minutes longer. Flip over and broil the other side for a few minutes until they are crispy.
  7. Let sauce simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until it becomes sticky. Be careful because the sauce will thicken very quickly so you will want to avoid burning it. Add Sriracha Cha! You may add more or less to fit your taste.
  8. Place wings in a bowl and pour in sauce.  Use a spoon or spatula to coat your wings evenly with the sauce and enjoy!

Pictures for Reference:

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The wings when I first put them in.

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After they were broiled, they look darker in this picture. I was a bit nervous and pulled them out early but definitely could have kept them in a few minutes longer.

Dumpster Couch

Okay, so the title isn’t appealing but check out these couches (below) we happened to find in the dumpster while moving out of our apartment.  

   

Prior to finding the couches,  I saw a pin on Pinterest where someone painted their couch opposed to reupholstering it so I knew what I was doing as soon as I found these.  

I looked through several different blogs and found multiple methods so I decided to give it a try.

To do this you need paint ( I used paint for the interior of a home) and a fabric medium. 

We went to Lowes and got our paint. I think it was called “Caribbean Breeze” or something along those lines.  Then off to Hobby Lobby for the fabric medium. 

Now I’m not sure if this was just a popular craft at the time or what but Hobby Lobby was completely out. Then I went to Jo Ann’s and they only had two bottles in stock.  So I got the two bottles and decided to order the rest on Amazon. 

I used this Martha Stewart  Fabric Medium.  

I should also mention this is a time consuming process. Unless you have a big empty room this is a warm/nice weather project. 

How to paint a couch: 

  1. Make sure the fabric on the couch is clean. 
  2. Use a spray bottle or hose to dampen the fabric of the couch. 
  3. Mix your paint medium and paint. I did a 3:4 ratio using a cup to measure. – 3 cups of medium for 4 cups of paint. 
  4. Now paint the fabric. Use as little paint as possible and try to go with the grain of the fabric. 
  5. Our couches took 3 coats of paint before I was happy with the color.Make sure you let each coat dry completely before you start the next. 

And you’re done! As I said, it takes a long time. That’s because you have to wait so long for it to dry. 

I worked on them about a week total, maybe a little longer. 

Here are a few pics from the process. 

   
 
I still need to make the trim black but check out this before and after. 

  

We’re going to use the small one as the seat for our photobooth at our wedding and the larger for a lounge area. 

Yay for free wedding finds 👍🏼 They also happen to work perfectly in our living room too. 

A lot of people ask me if the couch is hard from the paint. The answer is yes but don’t let that stop you.  It’s not super hard to where it’s uncomfortable , it just feels stiff. Within less than a month they softened up a ton so the more you use them the more comfy, just like every other couch 😉

Crispy Cheddar Chicken & Green Beans 

img_8236First of all, I did not create this chicken recipe.  I changed  some of the amounts of ingredients used because we had more chicken that needed cooked and I used some of the  ingredients elsewhere in this meal.

I found the recipe on Pinterest at this link. Feel free to use her blog for a more detailed version of the recipe.

I forgot to take pictures for mine until half way through the process 😑. – I am new to this.

This is a VERY easy recipe and ended up being one of Marks favorites.
As you can see, I paired the Crispy Cheddar Chicken with some French style green beans (I’ll provide you that recipe too), mashed potatoes, biscuits and the exquisite Velveeta shells and cheese.
Crispy Cheddar Chicken 

Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 sleeves Ritz Crackers
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar (or whatever you prefer. I encourage you to get creative here. You can’t go wrong with cheese)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Sauce:

  • 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter

You will need cooking spray, tinfoil and a 9×13 inch glass baking pan.

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 400.

2.Crush your crackers!I did it by hand but if you’re lucky enough to have a food processor then that’s the way to go.

3.Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

4. Pour milk, crackers and shredded cheddar each into individual bowls. Add some salt and pepper to your crushed crackers for more flavor.

5 . Cut your chicken breast into 3 even sized pieces.

6. Now you need to coat your chicken. First dip the chicken in the Milk. Next you will need to put the chicken in the shredded cheese.  The cheese probably won’t stick. Don’t worry. Just try to press the cheese into the chicken. Next you need to dunk the chicken into the bowl of crackers. The crackers should stick much better to the chicken.

– by the end your cracker bowl will be filled with cheese. Don’t worry. Once it’s in the oven it melts to the chicken and all is good.

7. Place the chicken in the baking pan and sprinkle on the dried parsley.  Cover with foil and put into the oven for 35 minutes.

8. Remove the foil and return to baking for 10 minutes or until the edges of chicken are golden brown.

9. Place sour cream, soup and butter into a small sauce pan and stir over medium heat until sauces is hot.

10.Take the chicken out of the oven and pour sauce over before serving.

And enjoy!

Here is a picture of what it looked like before I put it in the oven.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t look completely covered. I promise it will turn out delicious.

This is also a good make ahead recipe for busy lifestyles. Just wrap the chicken up once it’s coated and put it into the freezer. Take it out, cover with foil and bake when you’re ready.

Now for green beans. I know a lot of people don’t like green beans. Have you ever tried them in chicken broth?

I still remember the first time I did. I was at my aunt and uncles house and I couldn’t stop eating them. I was literally slurping them off my plate. I remember them looking at me like…what is this girl? Lol. I was anti green bean until that evening.

So I don’t always use canned or box sides but I did this time since I’m still recovering.

French Style Green Beans

Total time:  10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can French style green beans
  • 1 chicken boullion cube
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

1. Pour can of green beans into medium sauce pan.

2. Place pan on oven over medium heat.

3. Drop in your boullion cube.

4. Stir every few minutes. Your just trying to make sure the beans heat up and the boullion dose ingrates.

5. Add about a teaspoon of both salt and pepper.

6. The step that made them the best. Take a spoonful of the sauce from the chicken recipe above and stir into beans.

7. Serve.

I hope you love them.
Please let me know what you think and if you made any changes to these recipes that you enjoyed.

Until next time, I promise to get better at this picture thing.

SpiceVoxBox Review

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Have any of you heard of Influenster? I recently joined in September and have enjoyed every minute so far. This is a website that uses your interests and likes to send you products that you may enjoy.

Once you receive the products you leave reviews and share them on various platforms of social media.  I know its annoying to see people trying to sell things on your newsfeed but I view this a little differently. I’m not really trying to get you to buy anything. I am letting you know what I think is a good product and what isn’t. You never know if you’ve been looking for something similar to what I’ve been trying.

Its worth taking a look.

So for my first post on my products page I want to talk about the #SpiceVoxBox I received. First of all, as I mentioned, I JUST signed up. Within weeks I had a box at my door. Once I opened it  I saw the following products:

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  • Good Health – Veggie Stix
    • These were so delicious! As a girl with a serious potato chip addiction, these are the perfect solution. My anti-veggie fiancé loves them too.
  • Sinful Shine – Gel Tech Nail Polish
    • I loved this polish. The color was awesome and it was easy to apply.
  • Foot Petals –  Give ‘Em The Boot Inserts
    • These are a must have. Especially for winter. One problem with a lot of winter boots is that they aren’t water proof. Put these inserts in your rain boots and your problem is solved!
  • Not Your Mothers – Whip It Up
    • I recommend all Not Your Mothers products. They last long and do exactly what they are meant for. This mousse was so lightweight and smelled great.
  • Soap Box – Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner
    • I really like that this company gives back. There is a code on each bottle that you can enter to help out those in need. My bottles helped provide clean water to kids in Thailand which was extra awesome because we are planning to visit there next year!
  • Boots Botanics – Moisturizing Cream
    • This product changed my life. Since were getting into winter my skin has been drying out. I used this on my face and it solved my problems. No breakouts either!
  • Yogi -Sweet Tangerine & Vanilla Spice Tea
    • I am a tea drinker but not much for flavors. I tried the sweet tangerine. I was worried it was going to be too overpowering but the orange was actually a nice touch. I don’t know that I liked it enough to buy it again but for those of you who enjoy citrus teas this is a good one to try.

Cant wait to see whats next from @influenster!

Gooey Goodness. 

Ok so my first post isn’t going to be as much as a recipe as it is a suggestion.

We will classify it as a “quick bite”.

I just got over the flu and am too exhausted to blog the entire recipe of the meal we had tonight. So I’ll save that for later.
Now, everyone knows S’mores are delicious but have you tried them with Reese’s? If not you need to now.

S’mores are one of the foods I crave all year round. Luckily since I’m a grown up and I have a fondue set, I get to roast marshmallows on the stovetop at my leisure.

Yes. Forget the microwave.

You can achieve the perfect level of golden with this method.
See.

Also notice we used our Reese’s Trees 😍
Try it and in the mean time  I’ll be back with a  yummy cheesy chicken recipe for you.

The 3 Essentials

Once we had an idea of a general guest count and theme, it was time to set a date and pick a venue.

I know you aren’t supposed to choose a date before your venue. However, we originally planned to have our wedding on my grandparents property so I didn’t do it intentionally.

So while still planning my wedding at my grandparents, I chose the next necessary thing. A photographer.

Let me take a minute to point out that Wedding Wire, Thumbtack The Knot and Reddit have been my main resources throughout this planning process.

Everyone knows a photographer or two but I wanted my friends and family to be able to enjoy the wedding so I didn’t want to go that route.

My first suggestion. Make sure you like their style. Do you want soft, romantic images or bold bright and fun? If you don’t like their work, why bother?

Every photographer has their own style and prices vary  widely. Just be sure to see prior work and read reviews. I’ve heard stories of brides ending up with only 5 pictures from their big day, or even worse, none at all!

After a ton of research and price comparisons we ended up choosing Becka and Jonathan with ENV Photography

They are both awesome. I cannot recommend them enough! Becka and I have similar personalities when it comes to planning and preparation so it was awesome to talk to someone who understood what I wanted and even had more suggestions to take it further (and didn’t judge me for planning two years out like most people had been). We can’t wait to see them again on wedding day! 

2nd suggestion (tied for first) – Do NOT skimp on your photographer. Seriously. IF there is ONE thing you splurge on. This. The photos are what you have forever so make sure they are what YOU want. (Also, your  kids are going to love seeing them some day)

So as I began the planning process (looking into DJs, Tent Rentals, Food, Generators) I realized how much more effort and money it would cost to pull off what we wanted in such a remote location. If you have the time & money – I say go for it!

Back to the drawing board.  I started my venue search and emailed probably 15 – 20 venue. About half were available for the date we wanted.

THIS is something I want to point out. I had an almost 2 year long engagement and people kept telling me I was crazy. 50% of the venues I was interested were already booked when I asked.

You can make that decision for yourself but I say, it’s NEVER too early.

I would say we ended up visiting about 7 venues throughout Ohio  and it came down to two options:

Cheers Chalet  in Lancaster, OH – BEAUTIFUL!! I highly recommend if you have a smaller guest list than we do. There are so many possibilities for this venue and the owner is super cool.  Very throughout website too.

Hickory Lakes in Pickerington, OH – I’m not even going to link to their website because it hasn’t been updated since 2003 or something.

When we headed here, I told my fiancé I doubted we would choose it because I couldn’t really see much from their site and when we first pulled in I just saw the shelter and picnic tables.  – Wow was I wrong! They have a few different locations on the grounds. We chose the Oswego Lodge.  It can fit almost 400 comfortably and theres an option for indoor or outdoor by the lake. A great bonus for this venue is the indoor/outdoor fireplace!

Another tip – Don’t judge only by what’s online. There is so much information in a venue contract you’ll definitely want a copy before you are set on a venue.

Once you go meet with the owners or event coordinator you will find out a ton more information you’ll need to consider while planning such as:

  • Alcohol requirements (Allowed, Do they purchase, do you?)
  • List of Preferred vendors (Our venue allowed us to choose from a list of 7, Cheers required you to use them, this is something you MUST consider, especially when it comes to budget)
  • Equipment (Whats included, Where can you rent from?)
  •  A LOT MORE!!!!!!

Anyway, as I mentioned, we went with Hickory Lakes. They were about the same price wise, size was a bit of an issue but not huge. It ultimately came down to the fact that Hickory Lakes atmosphere fit the carnival theme.  I’ll have to get some pics the next time were in to show you guys.

That’s enough for now.  Date. Venue and Photographer. You’re 3 necessities to get going.