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…but luckily I’ve got a plan for next week!   I’ve had so little motivation to cook and plan for the last month, that I worried I’d lost my touch…but show me some red meat and the meal ideas start flowing like gangbusters!  I’ve been craving steak for about three weeks straight now, and was happy to have it twice while on vacation, but my steak craving has since expanding to anything and everything involving red meat.  Especially ribs.  More specifically, slow braised beef short ribs, in all their fatty delicious glory.  So, without further ado, here is the list of all my current pregnancy craving meals for the week:

1. Braised Beef Short Ribs with salad
2. Taco Salad (taco meat over greens with tomato/onion/bell pepper/avocado/sour cream) – Taco meat will also be used in omlettes
3. Wings (Adam’s non-beef request…I guess they’ll suffice as a meal)
4. Thai Grilled Beef Salad – Thin sliced rib eye steaks over seasoned cabbage salad (asian coleslaw-esque) with thai spices…if this one turns out well I’ll share it!
5. Roast Beef Wraps with Rosemary Mayonaise – Thin sliced roast beef wrapped in romaine leaves with rosemary mayonaise and red onion
6. Roasted Chicken (more specifically a large Capon – neutered rooster) with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli – Our first dinner with our friends coming in from Minneapolis next Saturday
7. Grilled Steak and Shrimp Kebabs with Assorted Grilled Vegetables – The second dinner with friends the following day

It’s quite the adventurous meal plan, and is quite possibly too much food for one week…I have a feeling I’ll be making 50-60% of these meals this week and the remainder the following week. It just feels nice to be inspired again!

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I’m going to be out of town for the better part of a week starting tomorrow, and realized that if I didn’t do a blitzkrieg of shopping and cooking today the husband would most likely be eating fast food for the next 8 days. Now, I know he is not helpless, on the contrary he can make any dish that I can provided he has good instructions to follow. I just don’t usually cook with a recipe start to finish, measure my spices exactly, or make things the exact same way twice, so hubby really only cooks when necessary.

Anywho, in trying to be a good wifey I made a meal plan for the week as usual, with things that could be made in advance and that would heat up well so that good, real food without unpronounceable ingredients would be within easy reach. One specific request from hubby was chicken wings. My go-to recipe for chicken wings is simple, easy to make more or less spicy, and most of all Delicious. Now before you start anything else, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees farenheit.

The sauce is ridiculously easy:

1 cup butter (the better the butter the better the sauce)
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons paprika (I used spanish paprika)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Lots of garlic, at least 3 tablespoons
Chili flakes to taste (I used 1 tablespoon for 5 pounds of wings)

1. Melt the butter
2. Press the garlic into the butter, then dump the rest of the spices in the butter and mix together

Now, one important step before you put the sauce on the wings is to pat them dry with  paper towels, as it will help the wings crisp up a bit more. Spread the wings onto a baking sheet (I like to put parchment paper down to keep the skin from sticking too much to the metal…I’ve tried it both ways, and I highly recommend the parchment!), then pour/spread the sauce over the wings.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, then flip the wings over, and bake 25 minutes more. Once you take them out of the oven transfer to a serving dish, and make sure to pour all of the lovely spicy butter left in the pan over the wings! They won’t be like your typical Buffalo Wild Wings (B-dubs if you please), or any other really saucy wing, but let’s face it…those are usually gross. Puny, dry wings with really messy sauce, that just leave you wanting a real meal. These are meaty, buttery, spicy wings that will definitely make it onto your must make list for football games, barbecues, baby showers, first dates…you know the usual times you’d need wings.

You can always make your own blue cheese or ranch dressing as well, but I think the sauce stands up on its own for these wings.

P.S. they heat up really well, so you’ll definitely want to make a big batch! Well, they’ll heat up really well if there are any leftovers that is. Enjoy!