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2.28.2013

Oven Baked Sriracha and Beer BBQ Chicken Wings and Pasta Salad for Tom

I don't have a lot of friends I have stayed close with over the years. Since getting married and having kids the few close friends I did have have grown distant. We all have our busy lives and it is hard to make time for drinks or a coffee date when you have kids and jobs to schedule around.

My childhood best friend Halley and I
Though we may not talk every day like we used to, or see each other more than once a year.... I know my childhood best friend Halley is always there. Halley and I met in 1995 when she moved to my hometown. Through  middle school and part of high school Halley and I were inseparable. Sleep overs, trips to Boston, concerts, amusement parks, road trips to the Midwest, the first time I had an adult beverage and cried on her kitchen floor because I was a drunken idiot, beach days, late nights in the "cabin", all fun times.


So many of those memories include her dad Tom. I spent a lot of weekends at his house with Halley. I always thought he was the "cool" dad who let us eat junk food, brought us on trips to Boston, talked to us about music, brought us to a concert or two. I think I always liked him because he talked to us like friends or equals. He wasn't the kind of parent that was always harping at us and I think he genuinely enjoyed the company if his kids and their friends. 

When Halley called me on Tuesday afternoon to tell me her dad died. I was heart broken for her, for her sister Kelly and for him.

When I found out what the cause of death was it hit me kind of hard. He died of a brain aneurysm. When I was 16 my dad suffered from a brain aneurysm. For a bit there, we all thought he was gone. Luckily for him and for us they were able to preform a brain surgery to clamp the bleeding. My dad is one of the few lucky ones. Though he did not walk away completely "normal" afterwards. He will be disabled the rest of his life but at least he is here with us still.

Halley, Me and our friend Chantal at Six Flags on my 16th Birthday... Tom took the picture.
The summer my dad had his aneurysm, things in my family were a mess. My mom was taking care of my dad and working a full time job. My brother and I were bratty teenagers, and my younger sister a complete monster (sorry James... you were). Being home was not fun.  That summer Halley planned a trip to celebrate my 16th birthday, her dad being our chaperone for the weekend... they took me to Six Flags New England. It was so much fun. I think that was one of the last times I spent much time with her dad as a kid. Years later the summer I got married.... he took Halley and I out to eat a little Mexican place near his home. We ate and had a beer.... and I remember thinking... how cool... we are old enough to be sitting down  having a beer with Tom.
 

Because I love food so much a lot of my memories revolve around them. I connect food to almost every person in my life and every event. I turned to the foods that remind me of Halley's dad. When were kids he always made BBQ Chicken and Pasta Salad. To this day... two of my favorite foods and I always always think of Tom when I'm making it.

Halley and Tom at Halley's wedding in 2012

For my pasta salad recipe inspired by Tom you can check out this later post for Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad. His was very similar to this, he used a bottle of Italian dressing, some oil and vinegar, broccoli, tri colored pasta. I added some more "kitchen sink" items to this salad. But you get the idea....



Because I did not know what kind of sauce Tom used for his chicken I decided to make my own.... I'm sure he'd  be down with my changes... there's beer in there. I know he'd give me a high five for that ;)



Oven Baked Sriracha and Beer BBQ Chicken Wings
Chicken recipe is inspired by Tom Byers BBQ Chicken, recipe for the sauce from The Beeroness 

1.5-2 lbs chicken wings
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce (recipe for Stout and Sriracha BBQ sauce)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Place chicken in one layer on 1-2 baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.

Remove from oven.  Increase temp to 400

Brush each wing liberally with sauce, pour any remaining over the top of the wings. Return to oven for 15 minutes.


Cheers Tom.


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18 comments:

  1. What an incredibly special and touching post, Carrie. It is a beautiful tribute to your friendship and a very special dad. Thanks for the awesome looking recipe too. I can hardly wait to try it!

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    1. I hope you try it! Jackie's BBQ sauce is a winner and my new favorite.

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  2. Carrie, I'm so sorry for your loss. Tom sounds like an amazing father and friend. He would be proud of the two dishes you made to honor him. They look delicious!

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    1. Thanks Jennie that's so sweet of you to say.

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  3. So sorry to hear about Tom and your dad. Brain aneurysms are so scary and awful; no one should have to go through that personally, or be on the end where you're watching someone you love suffer with one. I'm so sorry you had to suffer not once with your dad, but twice with Tom, too. He sounds like an awesome guy, especially if he was into sriracha wings and pasta salad-- YUM. I'm sure he'd be so proud of these gorgeous and tasty dishes, Carrie!! xo.

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    1. You are so sweet. Aneyrysms are so scary.... you can go your whole life not know it's there and bam... it ruptures. We have had several people in our family with them. So it's something I always worry about.

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  4. So sorry for your loss Carrie, I'll be thinking of you and your family. What a wonderful way to honor him - sounds like a very special man!

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  5. My heart goes out to you and Halley. My Dad died when I was a kid, and It hurts my heart to hear about it happening to others. Wouldn't our world be an amazing place if all the Dad's were like Tom?
    (p.s. I love that you made my BBQ sauce)

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that Jackie. And thank you so much for your kind words. It's an awful thing. I came so close to loosing mine when I was 16. I am so thankful he is still here.

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  6. Carrie, I'm so sorry for your and Halley's loss. What a wonderful, special man. Tears were stinging in my eyes and my throat closed a bit reading your beautiful words and looking at all the photos. I love this tribute to him and the wings and potato salad are rocking.

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    1. Oops, I meant pasta. I have potatoes on the brain!

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  7. Carrie that was a beautiful write up you had with this post. The story flowed so well and i got lost in the story reading it...(ella went from dressed to undressed and changed the tv channel and i was so focused i didnt even notice. Having lost my dad suddenly theres something that connects me to the way of thinking that anyone can go at anytime. You were blessed to have such a cool friend and male role model growing up...now you can take your experience with Tom growing up and treat your children and childrens friends the same way, pass on the acceptance of one other, not judgement of one another..... : )

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  8. I saw this on Pinterest and the flavor combo sounded amazing. Made it today and have to say it was a huge winner. We all sat there with that sauce smeared across our face in pure delight. I can't wait to make it again. Thanks for a fantastic recipe.

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  9. Who knew I would get so attached to a recipe posting. What a sadly sweet story though. Life sure has its ways of tossing twists in and this all was one of those examples. Wish I could hug you all and those fathers for sure.

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  10. I have a question if I want to use 4 pounds of wings should I double the sauce or is the recipe generous enough to where I won't have to double?

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  11. I love the BBQ Sauce I usually make a bourbon sauce but wanted to try something different. I really believe this will be my go to BBQ sauce. Everyone loved it I didn't make it with wings though I had some leg quarters was on sale at the store and used it on that...WONDERFUL :-)

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