Wifey Shiksa Latkes

I’ll never forget the first time my now husband asked me to make him latkes for Hanukkah.

At that time I was still playing the “I can cook anything” card…and I was terrified to make him a traditional holiday dish that I’d never tried before.

Guess what? They are SO simple to make…especially when you cheat them – Wifey style.

He fell in love…and so will anyone you serve these to.

Wifey Shiksa Latkes

What You Need: 

  • a bag of frozen shredded hash browns- frozen veggie section of grocery store
  • an entire thing of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
  • apple sauce and or sour cream
  • a medium yellow onion- chopped- OR pre chopped onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 3/4 cups matzo meal- ethnic foods isle

What To Do: 

  • thaw the hash browns then squeeze the water out of them with your hands- a paper towel or cheese cloth.
  • heat a  skillet or pan with an inch of vegetable oil on medium until its hot- throw a shred of potato in the pot to see if it sizzles- if it does- its GO TIME.
  • mix the drained hash browns, onion, salt and pepper, eggs and matzo meal in a bowl- with your hands until they are combined and all mixed up together.
  • scoop out 3 inch (or about a half of a hamburger patty) balls of the mix and drop them into the hot oil using a slotted spoon- press down a little when you drop em in.
  • *Be sure to only do about 3 at a time and DO NOT crowd them*
  • after about 3 mins- flip them- they should be golden brown. Then flip again after another three mins until they are cooked evenly on both sides. If they need more time on either side- don’t be afraid to flip them a few more times. Remember though- they will continue to cook a bit when you go to blot them on paper towel so you want them golden- NOT brown at the end.
  • Blot with a paper towel to help with the extra grease…then serve with a little apple sauce and or sour cream and ENJOY!

Wanna Watch It? Here! 

Wifey Detox Shilli (Soup/Chili)

Hey Wifey’s! Are the holidays killing anyone else’s waistline or is it just mine??

The parties, cocktails, endless apps and obligations- kill me now, right?!?

Here’s the Wifey Tip of the week; enjoy the party food and when you’re not spreading holiday cheer- whip up this Detox Shili to eat and share.

WIfey Detox Shilli (Soup/Chili)

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What You Need:

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  • two cans of fire roasted tomatoes * in the canned veggie isle*
  • a can of corn or bag of fire roasted corn *same isle or the freezer section- I love Trader Joe’s fire roasted frozen corn*
  • a can of kidney beans
  • a can of black beans
  • a can of navy beans
  • a can of chick peas
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin or taco seasoning *in the seasoning or ethnic isle*
  • fresh rosemary, thyme and sage or dried- 1/4 tsp each
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • parmesan cheese- shredded
  • a large pot

What To Do:

  • put the 2 tsp olive oil in the large pot and heat on low
  • open all cans
  • dump all ingredients into the large pot and stir

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  • add cumin or taco seasoning packet, salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme and stir
  • add a dash of cheese, if you wish…serve, and eat with no regrets

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Cooking can be confusing-watch me make this here

Happy Gifting =’s Happy Wifey

Fra la la la laaaa!

Let’s be honest, finding the perfect gift is crazy stressful- especially if you wait till the last minute.

Before you reach for that pre-boxed generic gift (I mean think about it, would you EVER buy that in June!?)- check out some gifts that I think will bring a huge smile to any Wifey’s* face.

*reminder: Wifey is not literal, it’s a term for someone you really care about

HO HO WOAH!:

Kitchen I Pad Stand – $15.99. Alex got me one of these a while back, because I was getting food in his new laptop, and let me tell you – it’s a DREAM. Following recipes has never been so easy- or clean.

Customized Apron– $21.95. Add a photo of your pet or kids or an inside joke or something they always say while in the kitchen and this is a slam dunk.

Make Your Own Baby Food Kit– $69.99. Tired of hearing about how your family should be making your own baby food? This kit is an excuse-free way to start.

A Kick Ass Real Chefs Knife– $89.99. Every home Chef needs a real 8′ inch knife, and this one has been recommended to me several times by actual Chefs.

Sea Salt Sampler Kit– $32.00. Not only do these look pretty when set out in small salt cups, but they allow endless experimentation.

Coffee Mug Warmer– $9.99. What?! Genius! Does your honey drink their joe while getting ready in the bathroom? Have them plug this in next to their hair dryer for a warm and happy Wifey.

Jonathan Adler Salt and Pepper Shakers– $48. My guess is that if your Wifey likes to cook, they also love to entertain. Choose the set that most reflects your love.

And remember- creativity is key. When they cook is there something they always say they wish they had or needed? Just because it’s not glamourous doesn’t mean they won’t love it.

Happy Gifting!

xoxo- The Wifey

Edamame Side Piece Potato Mash

Everyone needs a good side piece right? And dinner is no exception.

Here in Chicago it’s flipping freezing and all I want to do is dive face first into a pile of mac and cheese or mashed potatoes.

BUT- I’m going somewhere that requires a bikini for my birthday in two weeks and packing on extra winter lbs right now would be no bueno.

I try to eat 80% healthy and 20% “fun”…so coming up with healthy swaps is something I’ve been doing for a while.

Don’t worry- TheWifeyKitchen isn’t a health or diet blog- but I still like to throw in some low calorie recipes here and there. Cause hey- a Wifey’s gotta keep it tight , keep it right!

But back to that comfort food craving- after dreaming of mashed potatoes for at least an hour, I forced my brain to go to a healthier place and the Edamame Side Piece Potato Mash was born.

I used to be super afraid of words like “blender” and “food processor” and avoided recipes that used them…then I tried blender recipes and realized they were 10x easier. So don’t be scurrrred.

This mash is not only super duper healthy (the two V words *vegan and vegetarian* apply) it also is the perfect swap for fat filled mashed potatoes.

It makes a kick-ass side dish for dinner and looks a little fancy pants.

Per usual it’s simple. And cheap. Muah- let’s get wife’ed up!

Edamame Side Piece Potatoes, makes about 4 servings

it's so easy being green

it’s so easy being green

WHAT YOU NEED: 

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  • 1 cup of shelled edamame – you can use part of a frozen bag or fresh edamame that’s been shelled
  • 1/4 cup of pinto beans
  • 2 medium to small potatoes
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper

WHAT TO DO: 

  • fill two separate pots with water and heat till they boil
  • cut the potatoes in half, then quarters
quarters or whatever, just try to make them semi even

quarters or whatever, just try to make them semi even

  • put a cup of edamame in one pot and the potatoes in the other and stir them every few mins until you can stick a fork in the potatoes and they are soft and edamame is also soft
really captivating photo of s*&t boiling, I know

really captivating photo of s*&t boiling, I know

  • while those are enjoying their hot tub, layer your 1/4 cup pinto beans and  3 tbs olive oil in the blender…add salt and a dash of pepper.
  • drain the pots and continue to layer until every ingredient is in your blender
kinda looks like thanksgiving dinner in a blender, no?

kinda looks like thanksgiving dinner in a blender, no?

  • add more salt and a squeeze of lemon if you want
  • I used the puree button until things looked combined and whipped like this:

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  • serve immediately , I used an ice cream scoop to make it look a little cool. You could also use a plastic ziplock , cut a hole in one end and squeeze it on the plate like a real diva…I say go for it.

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Note- I added more salt at the end, but I really love my salt. You may not need to – OR you may want to add something else to yours…garlic? onion? Go on and get wild wifeys!

Note 2.0- My friend Lindsay requested I make a “grocery list” area so she can snap shot it on her phone, and pull it up easily at the grocery store. Your wifey wish is my command:

SHOPPING TIME!

  • BAG OF FROZEN EDAMAME- SHELLED OR FRESH SHELLED EDAMAME. FROZEN- FOUND IN FROZEN VEG SECTION, SOMETIMES IT CAN BE WITH ORGANIC FROZEN. FRESH- IN VEG ISLE- USUALLY WITH THE CUT UP AND PACKAGED PRODUCE
  • CAN OF PINTO BEANS- LOCATED IN THE ISLE WITH THE OTHER BEANS
  • 2 MEDIUM POTATOES- LOCATED IN THE VEG ISLE NEAR ONIONS AND POTATOES
  • OLIVE OIL- IN THE OIL/SPICES ISLE

Creamy Dreamy Skinny Wifey Soup

Not to be #basic- BUT OMG YOU GUYS I JUST LITERALLY MADE THE MOST AMAZING SOUP AND IT’S HEALTHY!!

Presenting….a Kale, Potato, Cauliflower soup that’s ; virtually fat-free, vegan and super healthy. Oh and its really flipping good too and beyond easy to make.

it's 21 degrees but this will make you feel COZY

it’s 21 degrees outside today but this will make you feel super duper cozy

Giddy Up!

WHAT YOU NEED: 

  • a head of cauliflower- chopped roughly, stems thrown away
  • 2 large potatoes – chopped into chunks (see photo later for reference)
  • half a yellow onion chopped
  • two bunches of kale, with the leaves pulled off stems thrown away, then the leaves are massaged in olive oil to break them down
  • 3 or so cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 cups veggie stock
  • around 4 cups of water- or enough to cover the stuff in the pot
  • 4 stalks of celery diced
  • a lemon cut in half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a blender
  • a big pot

WHAT TO DO: 

  • heat the pot and dump in the 2tbs of olive oil, the onion and garlic.
this pot is about to make magic happen

this pot is about to make magic happen

*Here’s a quickie on how to chop an onion*

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cut the end off the onion but leave the other side in tact

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slice the onion in half- the long way

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BE CAREFUL as you place your non knife palm down on the top of the onion and use your knife to cut 3-4 sideways half moon cuts along the side of the onion

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now turn the onion and make cuts the other way across the top (from top to bottom), but don’t cut all the way to the very bottom so it holds together while you cut

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turn the onion to the side (like in step 1) and cut along the other cuts you just made- cutting right to left. This is how you dice an onion! * thanks Kendall Culinary for helping me learn!*

  •  Let the onion and garlic “sweat” or brown for 2 mins or so, then dump in the cut potatoes, cauliflower, celery, veggie stock and water.
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ignore the butter, I SWEAR I didn’t use it. This pic is to show you the size of the potato chunks

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I basically cut the celery down the stalk into pieces this size

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rough chopped cauliflower, potato and celery

  • Now it’s time for a massage…YES! For the kale- sorry- you need to book your own (you deserve it!). After you’ve pulled the leaf from the stem and put all the leaves in a bowl, douse them with olive oil and …well…massage them with clean hands until evenly coated and relaxed.
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I used two of these bad boys

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ooo lala see how much zexier this kale is after a good rubdown!?

  • Add the kale into the mix and stir. You can salt and pepper with every big stir.
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massage!?! we want a belly rub!

  • Once this pot is boiling, turn the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid.

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  • You’re going to have about 35 mins to do whatever you need to do; set the table, get the blender out, jump in the shower, stalk your crush on instagram- no judgement!
  • After about 35-40 mins your potatoes and cauliflower will be nice and soft- it’s time to get that blender ready.
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I’m an ugly ducking now, but watch me become the zexiest swan EVER in a hot second.

  • Transfer equal amounts of stuff and liquid to the blender but ONLY FILL IT 3/4 the way.
  • Squeeze the juice of one half of the lemon, add salt and pepper.
  • Now puree that stuff like the bad b#$ch you are until it looks even (takes about 30 seconds).
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what a transformation!

  • Now, pour that into a bowl and repeat with remaining soup.
  • Serve with bread, crackers or pizza- cause this stuff is GUILT free!!!

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All Week Long Lunch

This weekend I enrolled in Kendall Culinary School’s “boot camp” and I learned a ton of cool cooking stuff – BUT I got even more intel on what 20 Something’s are looking for when it comes to their daily habits.

NEWS FLASH: 20 Something’s make or break everything (notice I capitalized “something’s” cause they are everything)- so I borderline question-raped these poor three girls and dove in head first- asking questions about their dating life:

Where do singles go… what they like to look at on-line… and what they would actually watch/read when it comes to cooking?!?

According to my new bff’s* – they want recipes that will last all week- not rocket science – BUT they also want the stuff to taste good and be semi healthy…and cost efficient.

*BFF’s- I’m sure they were trying to shake the “old gurl” all day long- but that didn’t stop me trying to fit in. 

This post is dedicated to any lady or dude who’s so busy that making food seems like death- but spending $$ is even more brutal.

I challenge you to take a rotisserie chicken and make it last Mon-Wed. (cause the weekends are meant for eatin’ and weekends start on thursday/thurs night, am I wrong?!).

Monday:

Cheesy  Enchiladas (with chicken)

Tuesday:

Cheater Chicken Noodle Soup

Wednesday:

Mamma Zink’s Chicken Pot Puff Pie

Thursday:

If you still have left over chicken- make chicken salad sandos (a little mayo, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a toasted bagel *in the toaster oven* with some cheddar cheese is beyond )- BOO YA GRANDMA.

Mamma Zink’s Chicken Pot Pastry Puffs

Last week I was trying to come up with dinner based on the random things we had in the house and all of a sudden it struck me- Puff Pastry Chicken!

Growing up I LOVED this dish and couldn’t wait to help my mom make it*.

*hid in my room and/or watched TV

But I did love to eat it and at the time it all seemed so complicated- until I called her and she gave me her confession- this is the easiest recipe ever!

It can be made with almost any frozen (or fresh) veggies you’re trying to get rid of, and you can health it up or make it like Mom did.

What You Need:

COST: around $15- and you can make this more than once or save and reheat leftovers

COST: around $15- and you can make this more than once or save and reheat leftovers

  • Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells – you can find them in the desert section of your grocer’s freezer, usually near the Cool Whip- 4 feed two
  • a rotisserie chicken from your grocer- you’ll use about a breast and a leg’s worth to feed two
  • a bag of frozen corn- 1 cup feeds two
  • a bag of frozen peas- 1 cup feeds two
  • a small jar of pimentos- use about 2 tbsp
  • about two tbsp diced white onion
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • a can of Cream of Chicken- use fat free if you wish OR a jar of chicken gravy

What To Do:

  • pre heat your oven to 425 degrees
  • put your 2 tbsp olive oil in a pot and turn heat to medium
  • add your 2 tbsp of onion to the oil and turn to low- let “brown”- aka, stir until they are tan- NOT burnt
  • once oven is heated- place 4 puff pastry shells on a non stick cooking sheet into the oven for 12-15 mins
they look so sad, but not for long!

they look so sad, but not for long!

  • add your cream of chicken soup (about a can), either 1/2 cup of milk or 1/4 cup water, frozen peas, frozen corn and pimento to the pot with the onions and stir to combine over medium heat. *if you’re using gravy instead- skip the water or milk and pour the jar in solo*

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I use a spatula to stir, a spoon also works

I use a spatula to stir, a spoon also works

  • pull with a fork about a breast and leg of chicken off your chicken and pull into chunks , add to pot with the rest of the magic and stir to combine. Test a pea or piece of corn- when they are thawed and warm, it’s ready.
  • add salt and pepper to taste
  • when your shells are JUST starting to puff and turn a little brown- pull them out. Use a fork to pull out the tops and raw middle and flip them so the cap is on the bottom and pop them back in the oven for about 5 mins or until they look toasted.
  • dump your “pot pie” mix into the shells and dump a little extra on the plate for dipping, serve and accept hugs/praise the Wifey’s Mom!
YUM- the messier the better- I promise.

YUM- the messier the better- I promise.

Watch the step by step (ooo baby) here!:

 

 

Dinner Date Night

There are dozens of restaurants I love in Chicago, but for some reason when date night rolls around- my mind draws a total blank when it comes to choosing a place.

This post is dedicated to *THAT* exact moment.

LOW KEY:

  • Doc B’s– it’s healthy, cozy and not two expensive.
  • 25 Degrees–  they have outdoor seating when it’s warm and delicious brunch, burgers and salads
  • Big Bowl– when we’re in the mood for a healthy stir fry
  • Taco Joint– quick, major taco selection and the best street corn I’ve ever tasted.
  • Beatrix– try the Straight A salad and potato salad deviled eggs. Great brunch too
  • Friends Sushi– unassuming sushi joint with no prevention and lots of rolls to choose from
  • El Barco– go when you are in the mood to eat- portions of Mexican and seafood are ginormous
  • Volare– the best vodka gnocchi in zee city

TRENDY:

  • Purple Pig– hands down my favorite restaurant in Chicago- they don’t take resos so put your name in and shop around for a bit
  • Hub51– sure you might run into people you’re not interested in socializing with- but the food makes up for it.
  • The bar at Shaw’s– way less stuffy than the restaurant side and they always have oyster specials around happy hour time.
  • The Bristol- dressed up food without having to dress up
  • GT Fish– when you’re in the mood to put on heels but not get too fancy
  • The bar at Hugo’s– give me their crab cake, a baked potato, dirty martini and the game and I’m happy

LET’s CELEBRATE (and drop some $)

  • Kai Zan– I’m not sure if it’s cause Alex and I had our first dinner date there, or because every time we go back it’s perfection- but I’m a huge fan. Plus- it’s BYOB!
  • Bavette’s– good luck trying to get a reso, we like to go early and snag a walk in. I love this place because it’s big food and service in a sexy laid back atmosphere.
  • El Ideas– never the same and always memorable.
  • Joe’s , Mastero’s and Cut- there’s just something about a steak house

And there you go. There are several other places we love and go to often, but these are at the top of my list right now.

Pimento Party Till Noon Cheese

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If you’re anything like me- then you love the holidays – BUT hosting or coming up with the perfect app to bring to parties can be super stressful, no?

Well, I don’t claim to be Giadia 2.0-  BUT – this Wifey Pimento Cheese Dip is both a party vixen and brunch bombshell all rolled into one.

Bring/Serve the dip and take your Grilled Cheese Sando to the next level by stuffing bread with the WPCD the next day. Either way- everyone wins.

AND if you care- my recipe is a healthier version…so you can indulge guilt free.

What You Need:

For The Pimento Cheese Dip-

  • 2 cups light cheddar or mixed light cheese blend
  • 4 oz light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup light mayo
  • 1/2 a small jar of pimentos – diced- with liquid
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce of choice
  • salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

What To Do:

  • mix all the above together until it’s a big bowl of awesome
  • serve with: celery, corn chips, chips or crackers

The Day After:

  • warm butter in a pan
  • place two slices of bread and coat
  • take a scoop of Wifey Pimento Cheese and put it in the middle of a slice
  • cover with the other slice
  • flip back and forth until each side is browned
  • enjoy and make more

NEED MORE HELP ? CHECK OUT THE STEP BY STEP VIDEO:

 

Mac Daddy Mac and Cheese

There are literally a zillion ways to make mac and cheese and everyone has their own technique and recipe.

If you haven’t noticed- I like to do things that are fast and easy and this Mac Daddy doesn’t get any more basic- without losing any flavor.

Now, I  prefer to use a slow cooker or croc pot because that literally takes no effort- BUT not everyone has those appliances so today I’m sharing a ONE POT recipe. Guys, it’s so easy that it’s almost ridiculous. You will never use a box again- for reals.

I love how the greek yogurt and goat cheese give it a little kick, yet this recipe is still mild enough that your kids and picky friends will love it too.

The way I made it omits a lot of the decadent noise that can make this comfort food so fatty, so you can inhale this (almost) guilt free. HOWEVER- if you don’t care about calories- rock on and add 1/2 cup milk and 2 tbs of butter when you add the goat cheese and greek yogurt.

What You Need:

  • a box of macaroni  – penne and elbow are my favs
  • 3 laughing cow triangles- I used the swiss flavor this time
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella
  • 4 tbs greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs goat cheese
  • a dash of: salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika
  • a big spoon for mixing
  • a pot and a lid to strain with

What To Do: 

  • add salt to water and boil
  • add entire box to pot and stir about every min for 6 mins- you want this a tad al dente
  • drain most of the water out- leave about 1/2 cup in there for the mixing
  • add goat cheese and greek yogurt and stir immediately- till the pasta is coated (this is when you’d add the butter and milk if you’re using it)
  • add the cheddar and mozzarella and mix
  • cover with a lid and turn your burner on low heat, wait a min or so and stir again, let it sit and so on until everything is melty magic
  • dash salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprkia- then mix well . dash again with salt, pepper and paprika- DO NOT ADD MORE GARLIC SALT. I did the first time and had to do major damage control- if you do this then add more cheese and 1/2 cup of milk- stir till evenly coated
  • serve and watch them die with happiness

MAKE THE MAC DADDY LIKE THE WIFEY: