Bacon Cheddar Jalapeño Corn Dogs

I’ve been wanting to make corn dogs for the blog since for as long as I can remember. In fact, I’m like 99% sure that I wanted corn dogs to be my very first recipe/post. I said, “Jonathan, you should totally make corn dogs as the first ever recipe/post on this new blog you want to start!” Unfortunately, as life would have it, it didn’t work out that way, and I ended up making a cinnamon swirl loaf instead. I wasn’t upset or anything, I happen to love cinnamon and bread is sort of my weakness, so there were no complaints here. I kept telling myself that corn dogs would be the next post, and then the next post and the next. Each post came and went, and as you know, corn dogs always got cut. So flash forward to me now, about two and a half years later (or is it three already? I really can’t remember at the moment) and corn dogs are still no where to be found. Until now of course.

Whenever I wrote it into the schedule of upcoming posts, something would always come up, be it a holiday or special day, where corn dogs just didn’t seem to fit. Now I know what you must be thinking, “Corn dogs always fit, Jonathan. Always and forever.” You’re right they do. That’s where I dropped the ball. I wasn’t thinking straight. I didn’t realize that by continuing to push corn dogs down the long list of upcoming posts I would be depriving not only me, but you as well. Corn dogs are delicious and I’m happy I finally got around to fulfilling my deep fried, corn battered hot dog dreams (with a few jazzed up ingredients of course). It’s hard for me to do simple on here. Don’t get me wrong, I love simple recipes. It’s just that I think you all deserve better than that. Plus, how can you possibly tell me that bacon and cheese and jalapeños don’t make everything better. They really do. 

Sure it’s summer and I should be making lighter dishes and sharing healthy recipes that don’t require too much time in a hot kitchen. Sure, I should be doing that, but somehow my brain isn’t getting the memo. Somehow, I keep craving rich comforting foods, loaded with cheese and bacon and butter. I’ll get around to that “healthy” cooking and eating at some point. Right now, just let’s enjoy the moment. This moment being hot dogs on a stick, coated in a corn, bacon, cheddar cheese and jalapeño batter, and deep fried until crunchy and golden brown. Did I mention there’s a sweet and spicy honey mustard dipping sauce involved?  

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Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches

Before we can dive, mouth first, into this post we need to discuss one important topic. It’s more so answering a critical question, really. It happens to be the biggest question ever asked in the food world. The answer to which is the most vital piece of information that can ever be granted. You might be wondering what the question is. I’ll tell you that it’s a question I’m most often asked. Perhaps you’ve been asked it too. You’d be surprised how may people inquire about such a topic. Pancakes, waffles or french toast? My answer is always waffles. Waffles to the very end of my existence. Waffles for life. Waffles, always and forever. Waffles for the win. And not just because this happens to be a waffle post, no, but because crispy on the outside, moist on the inside waffles are to die for. Although not on pancake days. Tall stacks of warm flapjacks with butter and maple syrup, perhaps with a few chocolate chips thrown into the batter? Definitely pancakes. Pancakes to the very end of my existence. Pancakes for life. Pancakes, always and forever. Pancakes for the win. Yet french toast, however, is kind of the best thing on the planet, isn’t it? Challah or brioche french toast with a dusting of powdered sugar, perhaps even stuffed with cream cheese and berries? Most definitely french toast, hands down one hundred percent. French toast to the very end of my existence. French toast for life. French toast, always and forever. French toast for the win. Do you see my dilemma? I can never get anywhere with this.

Over the weekend I was housesitting/cat sitting for a friend. It was a nice get-away for me, as said friend lives by the beach. Now I know what you must be thinking, “But Jonathan, you hate the beach!” If you weren’t thinking it before, you’re thinking it now. And you’re right, I’m not a beach person—I’m not much of a sun person really—but I am a cooler weather person. So I’m all for houses by the beach and gloomy overcast days. I decided to get some work done—in between constantly taking pictures of her cat and getting on his nerves with hugs and kisses of course—while I was over there. I always think it’s fun to cook in someone else’s kitchen. You get thrown out of your comfort zone, out of your element. It’s sort of weird preparing for a post in a space I’m not familiar with, especially since my friend also bakes and cooks and shoots and writes. It’s like walking around in someone else’s shoes for a day, ones that take you a while to get used to. However, I did manage and I actually had a lot of fun shooting somewhere different. Somewhere that wasn’t my own house for a change. I’m sure Miller, my college studio lighting teacher would be oh so proud of me for that, so this post is for him for forcing me out of my comfort zone (it only took me a year to do it). In the end I love how the pictures turned out, but lets be honest, shooting with the cutest cat in the world, certainly helped. He’s a hoot, constantly sneaking up trying to get food, thinking he can’t be seen. Oh I can see you Jules Stevens, I can see you and you’re adorable. I guess when it comes to fried chicken and waffles none of us can keep away.

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Cheddar-Dill Scones

Under the covers, you sleep. In a warm bed, cozy as can be, you dream about all the things that do not seem possible when you are awake. Not only are these situations and abilities attainable but they happen with such ease and precision that it seems unnatural. In sleep, you are transported to magical places. With each dream, such fantasies and tales come to life. They spiral out of control and shoot up straight to the sky. The unpredictable takes place and you somehow forget about all your troubles and fears. There is no place or room for nightmares in your dreams. Luscious lands, abundant with riches and love are all around  you. In dreams, you are never without. Food is piled high, like something right out of Willy Wonka. Oh how you dream about obtaining a golden ticket of your own and eating your way through chocolate rivers and edible hills and valleys. All the while short orange people with green hair are dancing around you as you devour everything and anything in sight. Food, food, food galore. Bubble gum that tastes like all the meals you love so much. Plants and trees that are not only edible, but deliciously delectable.

Suddenly, you begin to hear something. You cease from drinking the chocolate river. Put down the candy flowers and leaves, and stop to listen. You can’t quite make out what this peculiar sound is. The noise is somewhere far off in the distance, muffled and yet you cannot shake the feeling that you’ve heard it before. This particular sound has stopped you in your tracks and cemented your feet to the ground, rendering you immobile. Try as you might you cannot move. All of a sudden your body feels like it’s being pulled upward, stretching, and vacuuming you through a portal. Everything around you, the chocolate river, the candy plants, trees, leaves, and dancing oompa lumpas are just a blurred spiral, now. A vision that once was, but no longer there, just blurred streaks of color. As everything is moving rapidly, the sound is getting closer. Louder and louder, you make it out to be an annoying buzzing sound. But what in the world can it be? BUZZ. BUZZ. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZ. BUZZZZZZZZZZZ. You start screaming, tossing and turning, using all of your body strength to stay with Charlie and his new factory.

Your eyes open, to the bright light that is filling your entire room. You start to familiarize yourself with all your belongings. You’re entangled in your soft and warm bedding. You realize that you’ve been laying down, head on a pillow, and it all starts to make sense; you’re awakening from a deep slumber. Angry at the alarm clock for waking you up from such a lovely dream, you hit it with an unnecessary force to make the noise stop. Silence. You’d like nothing more but to stay in bed, snug as a bug in a rug dreaming about tasty landscapes and chocolate rivers, but alas you must get up. You begin to think about how in the world you’ll get through the  day when all of a sudden your nose catches something distinctive and enticing. The smell of baking bread. You jump to your feet, and run out of the room like a bat out of hell. Stumbling and tumbling, you make your way to the staircase and take two at a time to get to the bottom. Your nose follows the wafting smell and places the source at the kitchen. You enter the kitchen, enthusiastically and lively, and make a B-line for the oven. Your heart starts to jump for joy as you realize that cheddar-dill scones are baking away, and what’s more, they are just about done. Glancing at the timer, you see that one minute is left, so you reach for a plate and a fork. 5-4-3-2-1-ding. With oven-mitted hands you carefully remove your newly discovered treasure, plate yourself two and go off into the sweet oblivion that is just-baked morning scones. Somehow your day has started off on the right foot. Yup, it doesn’t get any better than that.

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“The Snack That Smiles Back”

Occasionally, I like to challenge myself into making store bought packaged foods, at home. Why? You might ask. Because not only is it fun to recreate classic products at home, but it is a whole-of-a-lot healthier making it yourself, than buying it from the store. You see, the ones at the market are filled with tons of salt, preservatives, additives, artificial flavorings, tons of words you can’t even pronounce like, maltodextrinalkinadeformuladesodiumglutamine……..Who wants to ingest that? I know I don’t. Take my word for it, you don’t want to either.

Anyhow, this time I actually wanted to repay a dear friend for helping me out at school with all my constant photo-lab questions. She managed to survive all my freak outs, inquiries, and  indecisiveness that came along with my first project this semester. Without her I would’ve been lost. So to show my immense gratitude I decided to, much like I often do, make her something tasty. That is one thing you’ll quickly learn about me; I love repaying/giving people homemade baked goodies or even food. You’ll be surprised just how people react to such a gesture. Try it. At least once in your life. I always say that it isn’t about the gift itself. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a present, just make them something from the heart. Whether it’s a card, craft, or yummy treat, the recipient will enjoy it so much more.  Well, said friend, has a fascination, I would call it a strange addiction, to all things fish. In fact, I actually met her in one of my classes where she made a fish project, with dangling fish. It was really cool. So since her favorite snacks are Cheddar Goldfish, you know, the ones we all enjoyed as children…I still do, I decided that I would make her some. Better ones. Tastier ones. Healthier ones. Gourmet ones. Okay, you guys get the point. I made her some.

I scoured and scoured the internet for a great recipe, and didn’t have to look far because I found the best one at Tasty Kitchen. Need I say more? I always find amazing recipes there, and this one was no different. And best of all it is ridiculously simple. Only five ingredients. I should call it a 5 Ingredient Fix recipe, because Claire Robinson would be proud about this one.

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