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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bloglovin' Blog Hop #106 + Giveaway

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It's Time For The Big Game With Coca-Cola Spicy Wings

By Meg Hodson

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. Seriously, who doesn't love Coke? #PrepareToParty #PreGiorno #ad #CollectiveBias

We are in the thick of football season. As I write this post, my husband is polishing off the recipe I created below as we watch a pretty intense playoff game on the cusp of the big game. As you may know from reading my blog, I love to create recipes and try new things. I suppose you could say I am unconventional: I like to try different ingredients, give typically unhealthy recipes a makeover, and make even the most unusual dishes kid-friendly.

Big Game Coke Coca Cola Spicy Wings Appetizer Super Bowl

I knew Wal-Mart had some perfect game day essentials and I was experimenting with Coke in my recipe, so I headed there. I picked up what I needed, including some DiGiorno® Pepperoni STUFFED CRUST® Pizza because honestly, who doesn't need pizza while watching the big game? Both products were super easy to find in their store.

Big Game Coke Coca Cola Spicy Wings Appetizer Super Bowl

Say hello to my Coca-Cola Spicy Wings! There are many reasons why this is the perfect big game appetizer to prepare. It couldn't be easier to fix (I used my crockpot). The ingredient list is simple and easy to gather. It's truly a win-win. 

Big Game Coke Coca Cola Spicy Wings Appetizer Super Bowl
Ingredients:

25 chicken wings (defrosted, if needed)
2 .5 liter bottles of Coke
1 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 cup honey
2 tbl. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
All-purpose flour of your choice


Big Game Coke Coca Cola Spicy Wings Appetizer Super Bowl

Turn your crock pot on high. Mix 1 1/2 bottles of the Coke (save a half bottle for later), 1 tablespoon of chili powder and the rest of the spices, the honey, and the balsamic vinegar. Whisk well until all ingredients are incorporated. Add the wings and cook on high for 3-4 hours or switch to low for 6 hours. 

Then, remove wings and transfer half of the broth to a small saucepan. Add the remaining Coke back to the crock pot. Add the wings back to the crock pot, too, and continue to cook for a half hour or so.

While the wings finish cooking, heat the broth over medium heat. Add the additional 1/2 tablespoon of chili powder and the 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Whisk well. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of flour and blend well. Continue this process until the sauce starts to thicken (be careful, it can happen quickly and you don't want to add too much flour, you want the sauce to be slightly thick). The sauce should have the consistency of a pourable salad dressing; you don't want it too thick, like barbecue sauce. 

Remove wings from crock pot, shaking off excess broth. Serve immediately and spoon the sauce you prepared over each wing. Keep plenty of napkins on hand! Extra sauce can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks. It makes a great marinade for chicken and other meats. Blend with ranch dressing for a yummy buffalo-style dip.

Big Game Coke Coca Cola Spicy Wings Appetizer Super Bowl

Big Game Coke Coca Cola Spicy Wings Appetizer Super Bowl

Yep, even the kids loved the spiciness of these wings. This turned out to be a perfect appetizer for the big game today along with the DiGiorno® Pepperoni STUFFED CRUST® Pizza that I cut into the shapes of footballs. 

Do you have parties and get togethers for the big game? What will you be fixing?


If you like what you're reading, I invite you to follow my blog.  Cheers!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why I Might Delete Minecraft

By Meg Hodson

My son, who is 8 years old, received an iPod Touch from us for Christmas. We felt he was ready to take on the responsibility of having a device like that. He has enjoyed games and educational apps on our phones and iPad. He uses the technology in school. It was time. 

I knew it was coming. Of course he would want to add some of his favorite games to his new iPod. But there was one game I was dreading being asked to add: Minecraft. And this opinion comes pretty much unfounded. I honestly know almost nothing about the game. The only thing I really knew is that kids were obsessed with it. 

I am not even sure he has played it that much. I think he might have played it a few times at birthday parties or play dates. Yet he wanted it bad. So, I decided we would give it a try (after I interviewed my 10 year about any potential "blood and guts" and read the app reviews carefully).

As with most new toys, he was on his iPod a lot of Christmas vacation; that was fine until we got back to the real world of school and schedules. His game of choice for the most part has been Minecraft. 

Here is the number one reason why I already can't stand this game: it is anti-social. Now, you might think I am crazy. Aren't all devices anti-social? Well, yes and no. When I am checking Twitter on my phone, it inevitably starts up a conversation between myself and my husband. When my children are playing Angry Birds, they get excited or shout things out. My son and I have been playing Draw Something and that has been great. Not only is their a built-in social factor, but we will chuckle about our terrible drawings when playing other people. 

This does not happen with Minecraft. I don't hear a sound come from my son. His head is drooped permanently in the down position, so much so that I am convinced he will complain of a sore neck later. He's like a little drone working, re-arranging, and doing whatever it is you do in Minecraft. Honestly, I think a smoke alarm could go off and he wouldn't hear it. 

So, obviously I am concerned. It's bordering on obsessive. And this is behavior from a kid who has to complete reading and homework before being able to play. I limit his time on devices so he certainly hasn't played for hours on end. But I think he would if he could.....and that is concerning. 

His birthday is coming up and he put Minecraft Legos on his birthday list. I find this very ironic.

I haven't made a final decision yet, but I am very close to deleting this game or at the very least, strictly limiting it's use by my son. 

Do your children play Minecraft? How do you feel about the game? Are they obsessed?



If you like what you're reading, I invite you to follow my blog.  Cheers!
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