A year ago Steve and I left everything we loved in Las Vegas to try life somewhere new, somewhere we had dreamed about living for years – San Diego. This may not seem like a big deal considering it’s only a 4.5 hour drive from home but for us it was huge. We like to take our time making decisions, creating pros and cons lists for everything and talking through every detail until we’ve exhausted every outcome so you can imagine that accepting a job in another state and making the decision to pack up our girls and leave the desert and dust of Vegas for the surf and sand of San Diego in three weeks was enough to send both of us to an insane asylum. There was no time for lists. This was it. Pack up and go.
I won’t lie and say it was easy because it wasn’t. I had more than one crying fit and Steve wasn’t in much better shape. Leaving our family and friends and beloved restaurants was much easier said than done.
But we persevered and we’ve made a little place for ourselves in the hills of Encinitas. We’ve fallen head over heels in love with the weather, we’ve met a few friends and we both savor the misty gray mornings that greet us almost daily. Turns out that people like to visit San Diego so our guest room has had more action than it did in Vegas and with that comes lots of entertaining and exploring.
What we are most excited for is our new home. After a year of renting, we decided to put our roots down and buy a house. I know that there are quite a few of you out there that wish that this was a baby announcement so to make you all happy I’ll say that we birthed a home…a home that needs a lot of nurturing and work. Apparently the simple life that I spoke of earlier this year didn’t go so well with our lifestyle.
As you can see, the house is a diamond in the rough and it’s our new pet project. We’ve ripped out carpet and sub-floors, taken down walls, replaced 30-year-old appliances and cursed. A LOT. Steve even tried to kill me by jabbing me with a crow bar the other night! We are learning all about the nasty little habits of termites and I dream every night about my little urban farm complete with owls, bees and butterflies (chickens and pigmy goats will come later but I’m still working on Steve for that one). The best part is sitting on our deck, eating take-out food on paper plates and watching the sun set and thinking of the day when we get to build our dream kitchen…er home.
So it’s official. I now own more hoodies than I do tank tops, when I sit in traffic I’m thankful that I have the ocean to keep me company on my drive and soon enough I’ll know more about drywall and plumbing than any normal person should.
I guess I better get to the recipe part since this is a food blog after all…so here she is. Oven Fried Chicken Wings with Frank’s Hot Sauce, Ranch Dressing and Coke. I know, I know…what happened to our vegetarian, organic, veggie pushing Chassie? My answer to that is – we all have our guilty pleasures and this is one of mine. At least they are baked. Plus, they are perfect for a Sunday night watching football after a long day at your new home.
Sunday’s Best Oven Fried Chicken Wings
Prep Time: 5 minutes, Cook time 45 minutes
Serves 2 but an easily be doubled
8 Wings and Legs (I like them connected but it’s completely up to you)
1 cup of flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 heaping teaspoon of salt
pink of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/3 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
1/4 cup melted butter
Ranch dressing (we get ours from our favorite pizza joint)
- Heat oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with foil. Place a cooling rack on the baking sheet.
- Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Mix the flour, paprika, salt and cayenne in a bowl large enough to toss the wings in.
- Coat the wings in the flour mixture making sure that all the skin is covered with a thin coat of flour. Avoid excess flour. Place each wing on the cooling rack and then bake for 30 minutes. Flip the wings over and reduce the oven heat to 375º and cook for 15 minutes more.
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan and whisk in the hot sauce. When the wings are cooked, toss them in a bowl with the hot sauce.
- Serve with grilled corn, carrots and celery, your favorite ranch dressing and a coke in front of the TV with lots of napkins.