Chicken in Orange Sauce and Poached Apple

This will be a short post because I currently have a four year old standing next to me and crying because I won’t give her a chocolate chip granola bar. She was originally crying because I put her in her room after we got back from the doctor’s office, where she decided to start screaming in the waiting room because I made her put a coat on for the whole 100 foot walk back to the car because it’s a wonderful 40 degrees outside. I know, I know, I’m the worst mother ever. I make her wear a coat so she won’t freeze and then I won’t give her a sweet whenever she wants one.

Oh, now she’s crying because I made her walk back to her room. The room that is filled with about 100 books and 1,000 toys. The least fun room in the entire house.

Just call CPS on me now.

This was our second Dutch meal. I had originally planned on making poffertjes, Dutch mini pancakes, but I didn’t have time to let the batter sit for an hour before cooking for I made this instead. This was so much better than we both expected! We didn’t have high expectations of it because it’s such a simple meal, literally chicken in orange sauce. Granted the sauce was a little fancier than something I would normally make since it consisted of orange peel, Cointreau, and orange juice but I didn’t think it would be all that special. And I know that sauce doesn’t sound exotic or anything but it’s fancy for me because anything with more than two ingredients is ooh la la territory for me.

I used chicken thighs instead of the breasts like the recipe called for and I think that contributed to the flavor. The extra fat along with all the butter in the sauce made this a lot richer than I think it would have been with just breasts. Even with all the orange ingredients, it didn’t have a strong citrus flavor. I mean, you could taste it but it was subtle and I loved that. I think the brown rice also helped mellow out the entire meal. The poached apple was super sweet but eaten alongside the rice, it wasn’t crazy.

Both girls also ate this meal so big win there! The baby ate the chicken by the fist full but, surprisingly, neither was fond of the apple. I think it was the texture because they’re both used to crunchy apples.

Speaking of, the four year old passed out in her room. And I’m now eating her granola bar. I won this round!



Daeji Kalbi, Gamja Saelleodeu, and Pajeon

This will be a short post and not because I didn’t love this meal but I’m a little grumpy right now. I went out for my afternoon run and I tripped and fell because the sidewalks in our neighborhood are atrocious. I was almost done with my run anyway and took it as a sign that the universe was telling me to go home BUT that’s not the point. Or points. There are two points.

1. Get it together City of Austin! Sidewalk repairs are the city’s business and if this is how they work, maybe they should just close up shop and put up an “Out of business” sign on their door because they are clearly not doing their job. Talking to neighbors it seems that the sidewalk repair department (I don’t know the real name but that’s what I’m calling it) is made up of five employees. FIVE people for all of Austin. Sidewalk repair department: I’m a stay at home mom and have a few free hours a week. Employ me. I’m pretty sure I can figure out how to pour concrete. Our property taxes went up by 10% this year and our limited district is proposing another increase in fees but for what? So people can trip and fall on their sidewalks or so people can have their strollers almost tip over (with children in the stroller!) every time they hit one of the cracked or the uneven spots?

2. Four cars passed me and not a single person slowed down and asked if I was okay. I fell in a school zone, they were already going 20 mph, would it have killed them to stop?! I mean, I just have a scraped knee and was less than half a mile from home but they didn’t know that! This is what people mean when they refer the Californication of Austin, no one cares about their neighbors anymore.

Rant over.

Maybe the memory of this meal will put me in a better mood. The ribs were super yum and not as spicy as they should have been, probably because I only used half a cup of gochujang instead of the full cup the recipe called for. The pajeon (scallion pancakes) were also delicious is not a little burned. I blame it on my cousin Robert. He was our dinner guest and I was too busy talking to him to pay attention to the pancakes. The gamja saelleodeu (potato salad) was hea-ven-ly! Not even joking. I consider myself a potato salad connoiseur and this was probably the best potato salad I’ve ever had. The apples, carrots, and corn added some crunch and just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the mayo. I loved it so much that it will now be my go to potato salad recipe. It changed my life, y’all.

Okay, talking about the potato salad lowered my blood pressure but I’m still shaking my fist at you, City of Austin.

Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce and Apple Pie

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before but I’m an only child. I mean, both of my parents each had two children in their first marriage but I wasn’t raised with them and I’m the only one my parents had together so I’m still technically an only child. People who are the only child get a bad rap. We’re often portrayed as spoiled, stubborn, and extremely opinionated. I’ll admit, I’m all those but I’m also generous, kind (being kind is different from being nice, fyi), and very self-aware. I feel like it all balances out to where I’m a semi-functioning contributing member of society.

In addition to having all those wonderful qualities, I have another that I am not proud of: I hate being wrong. Now many people hate being wrong but I feel like only children especially hate being wrong. I think part of it is we rarely had peers who would call us out on being wrong and we don’t know how to handle it. Parents telling you you’re wrong is one thing, that’s their job, but a peer doing it brings to light a whole other layer of reflection. And not just a peer but a sibling. From what I’ve observed, siblings tell each other they’re wrong all the time and they rarely get their feelings hurt or feel like their intellect is being questioned. Some of it is probably learning how to choose your battles but I think the biggest is knowing that even though that person just said you’re wrong, they still have to love you and you being wrong doesn’t change that.

Only children don’t get that. If someone told us we were wrong during our formative years, we had to prove that we weren’t. If we couldn’t, that would be a failure on not just our debating skills but maybe our knowledge of the subject (translation: we felt stupid). And you know who gets rejected? Stupid people. So we have a fear of being wrong because not only does it make us feel dumb but what if it leads to people not liking us? It’s already hard enough to find people that will play with you because they want to and not because they have to. WE HAVE TO KEEP THESE PEOPLE.

I bring all this up so you’ll understand how hard it is for me to admit that I was wrong about American cuisine being made up mostly of fried foods. It totally is.

Really Melissa? All that introspection to admit what we already knew?!

You know what else only children are? Dramatic.

After the heart attack inducing meal of chicken fried steak, mac n’ cheese, and fried okra, I decided to try something much healthier: fried buffalo wings in cheese sauce with an apple pie that required almost a pound of butter. I’m scheduling an artery cleaning for next week.

I got the idea to make this meal from my friend’s mother, who is from Buffalo, New York. I always forget the New York connection when I think of Buffalo wings. I actually forget about any connection with Buffalo wings when I’m eating them because I’m too busy shoving deliciousness into my mouth to think about anything else.

They weren’t difficult to make although I am currently nursing a minor grease burn on my arm from frying the wings. I made sure to pat them dry before putting them in the hot oil but those suckers still popped more than champagne bottles at a Sunday brunch. The floor and counter top around my stove was super slick and there is still a slight sheen to it.

I know my pic of the sauce looks like it’s just sour cream but I swear there are bigass chunks of blue cheese in there. I probably should have broken down the cheese a bit more but meh, still good.


The apple pie was to die for and I don’t like pies. I’m not big on desserts in general but pies especially make me want to gag. I think it’s the warm, squishy texture of the fruit. I love what the syrups do to the crusts but I don’t think anyone sells pie crusts that have been soaked in syrup. They should. I misjudged the amount of apples I’d need so it wasn’t as full as it should have been but that’s okay, the filling is my least favorite part of pies anyway. The crust was incredibly flaky and broke apart as soon as my fork touched it. It was fabulous!

As I was eating all this good food, I literally said to James “Fat American food is so good!” Fine, we don’t eat the healthiest food out there but we’re very happy and that counts for something. Happiness is a plate of fried food.

Recipe, Recipe