Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Texas Toothpicks with Buttermilk Ranch



Crispy jalapeno sticks are quickly fried in a tempura batter and served with a quick and easy homemade buttermilk ranch dressing for dipping. The perfect addition to your next tailgate party!

Though we live in Panther territory now, my husband is still a HUGE Cowboys fan! You can take the Texan out of Texas but you can't take their football team from them :) Obviously anything football related in our house gets themed to our home state so I chose to make a popular Texas appetizer as my tailgate recipe! 

Texas Toothpicks are simply tempura jalapeno sticks - inexpensive, easy to make, and addictive! Texans love ranch so of course it's best dipped in a creamy, cool buttermilk ranch dressing. This ranch takes just a few staple ingredients and about 5 minutes to make.

The toothpicks are crispy on the outside, with a soft jalapeno inside, and, since you remove the stems and seeds, very little heat. 

This is the perfect snack to share while cheering on America's Team! 

Psst - 1 pound of jalapenos is a LOT. Feel free to cut it down for a smaller crowd!


Texas Toothpicks with Buttermilk Ranch
For the toothpicks:
1 lb jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into long thin strips
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup cold beer
vegetable oil, for frying


For the ranch (best prepared 2+ hours in advance and refrigerated):
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayo (not Miracle Whip!)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1.5 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

To make the toothpicks, preheat the oil in a Dutch oven or deep pot until it reaches 365 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, and spices. Slowly pour in the beer and gently whisk together, being careful to not eliminate all the bubbles.

Once the oil is ready, dip each jalapeno strip in the batter until well coated and carefully place it in the oil. Fry several at a time, being careful to not overcrowd the pot.

Let fry until golden brown and crispy on all sides. It will not reach a deep brown color. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Salt, to taste, while hot. Continue with remaining strips.

To make the ranch dressing, whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. If too thick, add a touch of buttermilk to thin slightly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to help flavors meld. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.


Just in time for football season, I've joined a group of bloggers from all over the country to bring you 64 tailgating recipes for your next football party. Click on their links below to join in!


Note: This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans — and we want to share our love for our teams, the game and the food that brings us all together on game day.


64 recipes for the perfect football tailgate! Check out everything from appetizer recipes, entree recipes, cocktail recipes, dessert recipes, side dish recipes and more to cheer on your team! #foodiefootballfans

Spicy Mexican Cheese Dip by 2 Cookin Mamas
Salsa Verde by A Dish of Daily Life
Skillet Sausage Dip by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Sausage, Peppers + Onions Pigs in a Blanket by A Little Gathering
Grilled Jalapeno Poppers by A Mind Full Mom
Beer & Brats Bake by A Simpler Grace
Black Bottom Maple Pecan Pie Bars by An Oregon Cottage
Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings by And She Cooks
Blackberry BBQ Sticky Wings by Around My Family Table
Cheesy Pull Apart Garlic Bread by Beer Girl Cooks
Black Bean & Corn Salsa by Body Rebooted
Roasted Garlic BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe by Bread Booze Bacon
Smoky Jalapeno Poppers by Brunch-n-Bites
Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos by Bucket List Tummy
Deconstructed Smoked Chicken Chile Relleno by Cafe Terra
Chicken Spinach & Artichoke Dip French Bread by Cake 'n Knife
Cuban Sandwich Quesadillas by Casa de Crews
Grilled Asparagus Spears by Celebrating Family
Sweet and Salty Blueberry Popcorn by Club Narwhal
Buffalo Chicken Poppers by Coffee Love Travel
Sea Bass Skewers + Blackbeard Cocktails by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Buffalo Chicken Poppers by Dash of Herbs
Easy chicken roll ups with cream cheese and veggies by Family Food on the Table
Bottled Tailgate Cocktails by Feast + West
The Best Tex-Mex Arrachera Fajitas by Foodal
Loaded Guacamole by foodbyjonister
Cincinnati Nachos by Foodtastic Mom
Cajun Red Beans and Andouille Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms by For the Love of Food
Grilled Shrimp Pizza by Glisten and Grace
Mini Bell Pepper Nachos by Hello Little Home
Slow Cooker Sweet Spicy Meatballs by Honey & Birch
BBQ Chicken Wontons by Lauren's Kitchen
Loaded Tailgate Tots by Life's Ambrosia
Ricotta & Fig Bites by Living Well Kitchen
Tailgate Tacos by Lizzy is Dizzy
Nashville Hot Chicken Wings by Loaves & Dishes
Cincinnati Chili Dip by Love & Flour
{Slow Cooker} BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches by Love Bakes Good Cakes
Tailgate Bloody Marys by Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Sweet Korean Chicken Wings by Macheesmo
Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots by Me and My Pink Mixer
Beer Sangria by Mixplorology
Crab Pretzels by Mom's Messy Miracles
Hot Bacon Dip by Nik Snacks
Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar by Off the Eaten Path
Chowder Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers by Order in the Kitchen
Old Fashioned Sweet by Peanut Blossom
Baked Mac and Cheese Cups by Polka Dotted Blue Jay
Texas Toothpicks with Buttermilk Ranch by See Aimee Cook
Pretzel Turkey Meatballs (GF, DF, SF) by Shaws Simple Swaps
Hearty Vegetable Chili by Simple and Savory
Focaccia Pizza by Simplify, Live, Love
Sweet Potato Skins Stuffed with BBQ Ranch Pulled Pork by Sustaining the Powers
Bacon-Wrapped Cheeseburger Bites by The BakerMama
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad by The Creative Bite
German Potato Skins by The Crumby Cupcake
Old Bay Trail Mix by The Culinary Compass
Meat Lover's Pizza Bites by The Life Jolie
Raspberry Chipotle Black Bean Dip by The Mexitalian
Grilled Asian Chicken Wings & Shishito Peppers by The Secret Ingredient Is
Blackened Shrimp Tacos by The Speckled Palate
Honeydew Melon Refresher by Two Places at Once
Grilled Sauerkraut Stuffed Brats by West via Midwest
Sausage Apple and Sage Hand Pies by What A Girl Eats

Thursday, August 25, 2016

One Pot Mac and Cheese



This super creamy mac & cheese is cooked in just one pot - noodles and all! Who doesn't love a big bowl of mac & cheese?

Typically when I cook dinner, I look for the most efficient way of making a dish - without sacrificing any flavor. Not only do I just prefer to have less pots on the stove, but I also know my husband appreciates it when he does the dishes later that night. I know I can't be the only one so I was stoked to find a true one-pot recipe for macaroni and cheese.

I'm a huge mac & cheese person; I will happily order it at my favorite noodle place as my lunch and never miss the meat and veggies. But making it at home can be a drag, especially if I'm doing a baked version. The roux, the cheese sauce, the noodles, it all just seems to take a lot of effort after a long workday.

This version cooks completely on the stove and in one pot. Now, it does require some attention; you will have to stir constantly and it will thicken quite a bit once it begins to cool so it's not the best recipe to take to a potluck. A baked mac & cheese is perfect for that occasion ;) But if you're looking for a quick side dish, this is the mac & cheese for you. We LOVED it.

It's incredibly creamy and cheesy - two things that are important for a good mac & cheese!


One Pot Mac & Cheese
1 pound small pasta
~3 cups water
2-3 cups low fat milk
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Place the dry pasta in a colander and rinse under water. Let drain.

In a medium pot, combine the water and drained pasta. Place on medium heat and bring to a low simmer. Stir frequently!

Once simmering, add 2 cups of the milk and bring it back to a simmer then turn the heat to low immediately. Continuing stirring frequently to avoid the milk burning to the bottom of your pan. As you stir, add additional milk as needed to ensure the pasta does not dry out. Depending upon the pasta and milk you use, you may need to add quite a bit more milk to keep the pasta cooking. Cook about 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the milk mostly absorbed but not completely gone.

When the pasta is cooked, add the mustard powder, salt, and cheddar. Stir until evenly melted into the pasta. Add more milk, if needed, to loosen. Taste and adjust salt and add pepper.

Remove from heat and serve immediately. It will begin to thicken quickly once it starts to cool off.

Source: adapted from Plain Chicken and White on Rice Couple

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Loose Meat Sandwiches (aka Maid-Rites)



An Iowa classic! Seasoned ground beef, topped with mustard and pickles, is served on a hamburger bun. This Midwest favorite is easily whipped up in 30 minutes (or less!).

Y'all... I must admit that one of my very favorite sitcoms is Roseanne. I've seen every episode a bajillion times and can't help but stop and watch it anytime it's on. Except the season after they win the lottery; it's a disgrace. If you're unfamiliar with Roseanne, a major plot-line is that Roseanne opens a loosemeat sandwich restaurant. Incidentally, the restaurant they based it off is located in Iowa - home of the loosemeat sandwich!

Though originally created at a restaurant in Sioux City, Iowa, Maid-Rite made them famous (and more readily available) which is why many people just called them "Maid-Rites" now.

Over the summer, I hosted two cooking camps for kids and each day we cooked from a different region. We made this on the Midwest day and they were a hit! They couldn't be easier, either ;) My kids not only loved making them, but they also loved eating them for lunch!

Serve them with a spoon so you can shovel in all that goodness that will fall right out of your bun!


Loose Meat Sandwiches
1 lb ground sirloin
1 tablespoon Crisco
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
water, to cover
pepper, to taste
hamburger buns, buttered and toasted
yellow mustard, for serving
dill pickle slices, for serving

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt the Crisco. Once melted, lightly salt the bottom of the pan. Add the beef and, using a wooden spoon, break up the meat until it's small crumbles. Add the chopped onion and cook, mixing it into the beef, until the onions are softened and the beef is browned.

Once it's browned, drain off any fat and return the skillet to the heat. Add the mustard, vinegar, sugar, and just enough water to barely cover the meat.

Cook, at a simmer, until the water is cooked out, about 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop the beef onto the toasted buns and then top with mustard and pickles. Serve with a spoon - you'll need it!

Source: slightly adapted from Food.com

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Kentucky Derby Pie


This pecan pie meets chocolate chip cookie pie is sinfully delicious and so easy to make. It's gooey, chocolately, sweet, and will quickly become a family favorite!

I realize that the original Derby Pie is made with walnuts (not pecans) and some bourbon but 1) I like pecans better and 2) this is so good, you won't miss the bourbon... but if you do, you can always throw some in. I'm not much of a baker but I couldn't believe how ridiculously easy this pie is. I included it in the children's cooking camp I hosted this summer and the kids easily threw several pies together with minimal supervision. So if 7 year olds can make it, I know anyone can!

Every single person who snagged a slice requested the recipe - it's that good! If you like pecan pie or chocolate chip cookies, you'll love this. It's like pecan pie and chocolate chip cookie pie got married and created this beautiful love child. You must try it!


Kentucky Derby Pie
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 frozen deep dish pie crust

Preheat the oven to 325.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar, mixing well. Allow butter to cool a minute or two and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add salt and flour, mixing well.

Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the deep dish pie crust and bake for 1 hour. Let cool for 1-2 hours before slicing.

Source: adapted from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Brown Sugar Salmon with Caramelized Pineapple Quinoa



Brown sugar and honey marinated salmon is baked and served on a bed of coconut milk quinoa and caramelized pineapples. This sweet, Asian inspired meal is quick and delicious!

Last week, I was at camp with my church kids on the beach - which is amazing in itself - but it also makes me crave all things seafood. Is there anything better than fresh seafood right on the coast? I didn't have any control over the camp food menu but the trip sure inspired me to stock my menu this week full of seafood - salmon included! I love salmon any way it's prepared but this may just be my new favorite way.

The marinade gives a sweet and teriyaki-like flavor to the salmon but that brown sugar glaze takes it over the top. And paired with quinoa? Sold! I don't eat much raw pineapple but I can throw down some cooked pineapple and it paired beautifully with quinoa.

Set this to marinade before you leave for work and you can whip up dinner in minutes when you get home. Just don't overcook the salmon!



Brown Sugar Salmon with Caramelized Pineapple Quinoa
For the salmon:
1 pound salmon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 of a whole pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks

For the quinoa:
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
lime juice, to taste
salt


In a large bowl, whisk together the marinade: brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, pineapple juice, dijon mustard, sesame oil, olive oil, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Place the salmon in a ziplock and pour the marinade over top. Seal and place in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours (at least 1 hour).

Once ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Use tongs to remove the salmon from the marinade and place it skin side down on the pan. Scatter the pineapple chunks around the salmon. Brush leftover marinade over top of both salmon and pineapple and sprinkle a little brown sugar for extra caramelization. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily. Flip the oven to broil and broil a minute or two for additional caramelization on top.

While the salmon bakes, prepare the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and coconut milk to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add quinoa, and cover. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add red onion and cilantro. When pineapple is finished cooking, add it to the quinoa along with salt and lime juice to taste.

Serve salmon alongside quinoa, drizzling with extra honey is desired.

Source: slightly adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Chicken Meatloaf with Zucchini and Dill


A flavorful - and healthy - twist on the traditional meatloaf! Lean ground chicken is combined with lots of shredded zucchini, garlic, lemon, and fresh chopped dill. A great way to use summer produce!

I'm always jealous of those of you with amazing gardens! Every few years, I get a bee in my bonnet, buy pots, plants, and give it the old college try... for about a week. Then I forget to water them (a must in the south!) and they are quickly tossed in the trash.

For those of you blessed with a green thumb (and a memory to water your plants!) that might be frantically looking for ways to use up zucchini, this is another great recipe to try! Similar to a zucchini brownie, you grate the zucchini and it keeps your food moist and delicious. And no one likes a dry meatloaf (or brownie!).

Meatloaf and mashed potatoes are one of my favorite cold weather dishes and this light, veggie stuffed chicken version is perfect for the hot weather! I served this alongside potato salad and cowboy beans (pictured). So good!

Psst - you can totally throw in other fresh herbs if you 1) aren't a dill fan or 2) have others on hand.


Chicken Meatloaf with Zucchini & Dill
2 medium zucchini
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 lb ground chicken (92% lean)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

Grate zucchini then place it in a clean towel and squeeze dry. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated zucchini, dill, minced garlic, lemon zest, ground chicken, and salt and pepper. Gently mix together, being careful to not overwork the meat, and form into a 4x8 inch loaf. Place on a baking sheet and bake for around 45 minutes or until the temp reaches 160 degrees.

Let rest 5 minutes then slice and serve.

Source: adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Green Pea Dog Treats



These easy, 4 ingredient dog treats will make your dog jump for joy! Not only will they love them, but they are cheaper and healthier than anything store bought!

Y'all! I've been so busy lately and away from home so I haven't gotten a recipe posted in a couple of weeks :( This week is the second of the summer children's cooking camps I host so look for a slew of recipes born out of that soon. We've been making 4-5 recipes a day! I hope to get back into the swing of things soon :)

Now while cooking for our family is what I spend most of my time in the kitchen doing, I do love to whip up dog treats occasionally. We have 3 dogs that are spoiled rotten so it's fun to switch things up and give them a fun treat. Since I don't like green peas, they had never really eaten them so I wasn't sure how these would go over. I do know they are NOT fans of green beans but love most other (safe) veggies.

Thankfully, they were a huge hit! Course I made them post for pics first ;) Winston sat so patiently for his picture but you can tell how focused he is. He found it worth the wait; he usually rolls his eyes when I ask him to do tricks but he performed his entire repertoire just to get his paws on a few more of these!


This would be the perfect recipe for young kids to help with - it's simple and just 4 ingredients! 

 
Green Pea Dog Treats
1 (10 ounce) steam-in-the-bag frozen sweet peas, steamed and cooled slightly
1 cup flour
1 egg
2 cups breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly spray a baking sheet and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse half of the steamed peas until smooth.


In a medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining peas, egg, flour, and pureed peas. Gently combine. Add the breadcrumbs to a small mixing bowl. Roll the pea mixture into 1 inch balls and coat evenly with breadcrumbs. Lay on the prepared baking sheet and lightly spray tops with cooking spray.

Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 40 minutes. Let cool before serving and refrigerate leftovers.

Source: inspired by Rachael Ray Magazine recipe


See Aimee Cook

Designed by:

Munchkin Land Designs Elements by Amy Teets
 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2012 • All Rights Reserved