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Fried Plantains

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Last weekend I headed to sunny Georgia to surprise my dear friend Kellie at the opening of her first show in her new city of residence, Atlanta. Kellie, an incredible painter, has shown her work in galleries all over the world, from New York to Germany. And in the years since we graduated from MICA I haven’t ever been able to attend one of her shows. But now, with her here in the South just a mere 6 hours drive due West, I had my chance!

plantains 5 I love surprising people but I’m horrible at keeping secrets which means I’m mostly just plain bad at surprises. So the fact that Kellie was so surprised and happy to see me when I walked into the gallery that she cried and fanned her face with her hands like a teary old lady is pure gold. And a testament to the sneakiness of Kellie’s boyfriend Corey, who kindly acted as my accomplice.

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The weekend, in its entirety, was perfect. Beyond the opening we enjoyed two days of beautiful in Atlanta- enjoying the warm Spring weather that felt like summer, walking around the botanical gardens, catching up. That’s the best thing about old friends, you just pick up where you left off, even if it’s been months or years since you’ve really spent time together.

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plantains 2 Kellie and her family are from Trinidad, and on Saturday Kellie threw a party for her friends and family with mountains of Trinidadian food, made locally at a place in Marietta. It was all delicious, especially the doubles, but I spent the majority of my time hovering over the tray of fried plantains. When fried, plantains, a starchier relative of the banana, are the quintessential summer treat. After eating basically my body weight in plantains at Kellie’s I immediately came home and fried some more for myself. I have no regrets.

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 Fried Plantains

4 over-ripe plantains

3 tbsp coconut oil

Honey or sour cream for dipping

Cut your plantains thinly, about 1/4″, and on the diagonal so the pieces are long and slanted. Melt coconut oil in the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crisp. Serve hot on their own or with honey or sour cream to dip.

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Honey Chipotle Wings

chipotle wings 3 There are many things I adore about my college roommate Charlotte, but her unabashed love for chicken wings is high on the list. Charlotte loves wings like I love pie. When we eat out with her it is a givein that we’ll be getting wings, and she’s spent a lot of time recently trying to convince her fiance Gordon that wings are just the perfect food for a fall wedding reception. I have Char to thank for my love of wings, and for the fact that I’ve been trying to perfect my wings recipe in the hopes that her other bridesmaids will agree to a wings themed bridal shower.

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This week I whipped up a batch of honey chipotle wings using Tabasco Chipotle Hot Sauce and local honeycomb, a combination that was sweet and had a low, simmering spice. The solution for those times when you’re tired of the old hat buffalo sauce, your palate doesn’t feel up to the five alarm sauce that needs to be served with a gallon of milk, and you’re in the mood for something a little on the sweet side. These wings will definitely be on the menu at Charlotte’s wingstravaganza.

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Later this month I’ll be heading to Avery Island, Louisiana, to visit the Tabasco headquarters, learn about the process of making their favorite hot sauces, and hopefully eat a lot of delicious food. As it were hot sauce makes up a significant portion of my diet, so I’m feeling pretty confident this may be one of my favorite trips this decade.

chipotle wings 4 This post is sponsored by Tabasco. The words, thoughts, and opinions are my own.

Honey Chipotle Hot Wings

12 chicken wings & drumsticks

2 sticks butter

2 bottles chipotle hot sauce

1 4-5″ honeycomb OR 1/4 cup honey

1 cup flour

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

2 eggs

Peanut oil to fry

blue cheese dressing:

3 tbsp mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

In a large and deep pot, heat enough oil to submerge wings. Oil temperature should be 375F.

In a saucepan melt butter, honeycomb, and hot sauce. Simmer until completely incorporated.

Mix together flour, panko, and spices in a medium size bowl. In another bowl whisk eggs.

Pat wings down and dip first in eggs, then in flour mixture. Drop in oil and fry 4-6 minutes each or until golden brown. Immediately dunk them in the sauce, soaking both sides evenly. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Repeat with remaining wings.

Mix together all ingredients for blue cheese dressing.

Serve wings hot with blue cheese dressing.

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Roasted Chestnuts

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Merry Christmas! We are in Durham with family and friends, soaking up our first real Carolina Christmas together. We’ve had a wonderful week and it’s only looking up. Tomorrow we’re throwing my sister Lauren a bridal shower, which I’m so excited about and I’m sure we’ll see plenty more people before we head home Sunday. it’s good to be home.

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This month I discovered that winter is an ideal time to buy patio furniture and I picked up a few plastic adirondack chairs and a fire pit. We celebrated our newly equipped backyard by roasting chestnuts over an open fire (15-20 minutes until they crack open. Cut an “x” on each one before it goes on the flame), which I thought was fitting for the season.

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