Savory

Sour Cream & Onion Cheesy Bacon Chive Dip

It's basketball season. If you're into watching basketball (or just attending basketball game parties for the food that comes with it), here's a dip that you can only get in the winner's circle. And if you're not? Well, the great thing about this dip is that it goes well with beer...so basically you can bring it to any kind of game-watching party if you want. Or just any party. Or just your Friday night hangout sesh while you watch Netflix alone....you decide.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped 
  • 3/4 cup chives, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 bag Kettle Brand sour cream and onion chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, sour cream and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. If you have clumps, use a whisk or mixer.

3. Add cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, half of your bacon, 1/2 cup of chives, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Spread the mixture in a skillet and top with remaining chives, bacon and crushed chips (amount is up to you)

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown. 

6. Serve with more sour cream & onion chips!

Pesto penne with green olives and veggies

   

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Have an Olive Day.

I'm going to be honest. I've never really been a fan of olives. My family never ate them while I was growing up and I've had bad experiences with low grade olives that I genuinely couldn't eat. However, I've always wanted to find a way to like them. Am I really a good food blogger if I can't accept and enjoy all tastes? In my harsh opinion: no. So I took to the kitchen to make a recipe with olives that I can enjoy along with my olive loving friends. 

I like dirty martinis with high quality green olives, so I figured I would really enjoy real Spanish olives imported all the way from Spain. The olives I use for this recipe are Jose André's "Have an Olive Day" olives, and they have a natural, fine taste. Jose's motto is to "discover a different taste with something as small as an olive," and that's what I did by adding them to this recipe.

Size: 2

INGREDIENTS:

  •  2 cups whole wheat penne, uncooked
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup Jose Andre's "Have An Olive Day" pitted Queen olives, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Chop all vegetables and garlic.

2. In a medium pot, bring salted water to a boil.

3. While the water boils, brown the garlic and olive oil in a large pan on medium heat for about 1 minute.

4. Add the broccoli and cook for about 5 minute, stirring occasionally.

5. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to instructions on box.

6. Add the tomatoes and spinach to the broccoli and lower heat to medium low until pasta is finished.

7. Once pasta is drained, add to veggie mixture and stir.

8. Mix feta, olives, pesto and olive oil into the pasta dish and serve immediately.

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Shrimp Stir Fry with Made In Cookware

My Asian food delivery addiction has become one of my biggest accomplishments, but it has also become one of my biggest downfalls. I went over my yearly bank statement and to my dismay, I realized that I’m shelling out way too much cash for MSG and oily rice noodles. So, I’ve decided that it’s the perfect time in my life to start saving money and make my own stir fry. I always used to get intimidated by making stir fry noodles because, to be honest, my pans sucked. I had old, completely sticky “non-stick” skillets and no proper sauté pans. Hitting the delivery button and losing $20 always seemed easier than dealing with the mess of cleaning these old pans. What do old pans have to do with stir fry you ask? Well, they don’t. But my new one does. All of my pan prayers have been answered with my new Made In Cookware sauté pan. This pan is the best investment I’ve ever made. It’s the cost of about 5 noodle deliveries, but it makes 5x more for a fraction of the delivery price.

It’s a large sauté pan and it comes with a lid, making it great for tons of other meals (think 3 chicken breasts at once or a large roast for your family...or yourself). It’s perfect for braising, shallow frying and sauteeing. Large surface area... straight walls... long handle...now I'm just talking dirty. Basically, if cooking pans had leagues, Made In Cookware would have the allstar roster everyone wants to be on. 

Okay, now stir fry time. I'm not going to give you a set recipe here because I think what makes stiry fry so fun is that its very much "to taste," AKA you just throw what you like in a pan and make it taste just the way you want. You truly just need a good pan and a set of taste buds to do stir fry. But here are the steps and the ingredients: 

Ingredients:

  • Chopped vegetables (of your choice)
  • Soba noodles (or you can use rice noodles or egg noodles)
  • Soy sauce (to taste)
  • Sesame oil (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Garlic (optional)
  • Shrimp (deveined, thawed or fresh)
  • 1 egg

Steps

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1. Sauté your vegetables in sesame oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

2.  Once your vegetables seem cooked, add your shrimp to the pan and sear for 3 minutes on each side.

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3. Add your noodles!

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4. Mix your noodles in with the cooked shrimp and vegetables. Add soy sauce and more sesame oil if you feel the need to grease it up. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.

5. Push the noodles to the side and crack an egg in the pan. Scramble the egg in the pan, then mix in with the noodles.

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Done! 

Maple Vinegar Jerk Chicken Sliders with Pineapple Salsa

This is my spin on jerk chicken....with maple vinegar. The Maple Guild is hosting a recipe contest and I of course had to make both sweet and savory recipes. This one is my aboslute favorite and I highly recommend serving it at parties or even just for yourself! If you're gluten free, nix the bun and enjoy with extra salsa.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs boneless chicken thigh meat 
  • Slider buns

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup maple vinegar  
  • 1/2 tablespoon molasses 
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons allspice 
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg 
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato, diced
  • Cilantro, to taste 
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper 

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients until combined. Add the chicken thigh meat and let it marinate for 8 hours.
  2. Place the chicken in a skillet on medium heat with the remaining marinade until thoroughly cooked through. 
  3. For the pineapple salsa, combine all the ingredients with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add chicken and salsa on a bun and serve!

Crunchy Sriracha Kettle Brand Chicken Wings

These Sriracha crunch wings are sweet, spicy and have enough kick to score a field goal. I decided to use my fave Kettle Brand chips to give this wing recipe some extra crunch and flavor. Make them for the Super Bowl or just to hang and watch Netflix…nobody’s judging you. Happy eating!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 lb. cut chicken wings
  • 7 cups Sriracha Kettle Brand chips, finely chopped with a food processor (or crushed by hand)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a bowl combine Sriracha, honey, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice and soy sauce. Whisk until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.

3. In a baking dish, coat the chicken wings with the marinade. Let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour, flipping them halfway through.

4. Use a food processor to grind the sriracha Kettle Brand chips until they reach a fine crumb.

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5. Coat each chicken wing with the chip crumbs on both sides and place on a rack.

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6. Bake for 20-25 minutes

7. Serve!

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Hawaiian BBQ Chip Pizza

Pizza is the perfect summertime dinner because it is amazingly simple and so freaking delicious. However, this Hawaiian BBQ flatbread is more than just your average pizza — it’s a sweet, savory, cheesy, smoky flatbread that will send you over the edge with summertime happiness. Hawaiian pizza is one of the most underrated (and sadly, unappreciated) gems of the pizza world, but I think it deserves some more recognition and maybe even a little bit of revamping. So I ended up fusing together my favorite pizza and my favorite summertime snack, Kettle Brand Hawaiian BBQ chips. Please welcome, with open arms, the Hawaiian BBQ chip pizza.

Ingredients:

  • 1 flatbread
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 cups Kettle Brand Hawaiian BBQ Chips
  • salt
  • pepper
  • mozzarella
  • tomato sauce
  • 1 ham steak, grilled
  • 3-5 pineapple slices, grilled

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a food processor or blender, crush the Hawaiian BBQ chips into crumbs.

3. Add the oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper to the potato chip mixture and combine.

4. Mix the potato chip mixture and the olive oil.

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5. Spread the olive oil mixture evenly onto the flatbread crust and bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.

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6. Spread tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pineapple, ham and more crushed chips.

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7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

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8. Serve!

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Mac n' Cheese Lobster Roll Balls

When I think of summer, I think of comfort BBQ foods and eating lobster rolls by the pool. So, of course, I decided to combine the best of both worlds with these mac n’ cheese lobster roll balls!

Ingredients:

  • 8 toasted potato rolls

For mac n’ cheese:

  • 2 cups macaroni noodles, uncooked
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup fontina cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup potato bread crumbs

For the balls:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups potato roll bread crumbs
  • 5 cups canola oil
  • 1 lb. lobster meat
  • 2 teaspoons chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toast 8 potato rolls for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Set the toasted rolls aside to cool.
  2. Cook mac n’ cheese noodles in boiled water until al dente.
  3. In a sauce pan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add flour and mix until thoroughly combined to form your roux.
  4. Slowly pour whole milk into the roux mixture while stirring continuously. Keep stirring until it is creamy, then add all three cheese and mix to combine. If your cheese seems too dense, you can add a little more milk to loosen it up. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix until combined. Remove from the heat.
  5. Mix the cooked macaroni noodles into the cheese. Add potato roll bread crumbs and mix thoroughly until combined.
  6. Refrigerate the macaroni for 45 minutes, until cool.
  7. Once the mac n’ cheese is cool, remove it from the fridge and form 1/4 cup size balls.
  8. Freeze those balls for about 25-30 minutes.
  9. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk to form your egg wash.
  10. In a separate bowl, mix together the potato roll bread crumbs and flour as the bread coating.
  11. Dip each frozen mac n’ cheese ball in the egg wash, then coat it in the bread crumbs until fully covered. Repeat for all the balls.
  12. In a large sauce pan or fryer, let the canola oil sit over medium heat, then add the balls to fry until they are golden brown. Make sure they feel mushy and are not still frozen in the center. If you froze the balls for a longer period of time,  you could cook them on a lower heat setting for a longer period of time to ensure they don’t burn and still cook throughout.
  13. Once all the balls are fried, prepare your lobster filling. In a large bowl mix the lobster meat, chives and melted butter.
  14. Cut a hole in the center of each macaroni ball and fill it with lobster meat.
  15. Top with more melted butter.
  16. Serve!

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Balls

These crispy rice balls are so surprisingly easy to make and extremely versatile. Sushi rice used to intimidate me, but it’s quite simple to make – just a tad time consuming. Lucky for all of us, Beyonce’s new album just came out and that will help you pass the time while you wait for your rice to cool! Enjoy!

Note: This recipe is the same, regardless of what you decide to stuff with. The spicy mayo mix is the same whether you want to mix it with salmon or tuna. You can alter however you want.

Sushi rice recipe provided by Alton Brown on the Food Network.

Serves: 16-20 rice balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1/2 lb. sushi grade tuna, diced
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon wasabi
  • 1-2 tablespoons scallions, chopped (how many depends on your taste)
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Tempura flakes or Panko breadcrumbs (optional)

Method

  1. Place sushi rice in a colander and rice with cold water until the water running through appears to be clear.
  2. Transfer the sushi rice to a medium sauce pan and add 2 cups of cold water. Heat the rice until the water reaches a boil. Once the water is boiling, lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover the rice and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the rice from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, mix rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Microwave this mixture for 30 seconds and then stir.
  5. After the rice has sat for 10 minutes, pour it into a glass or wooden bowl and combine the rice with the vinegar mixture.
  6. Let the rice sit at room temperature until it cools.
  7. Once the rice has cooled, divide it into small sections and roll them into balls.
  8. Coat each ball with olive oil and sesame seeds.
  9. In a sauce pan or deep fryer, heat canola oil on medium heat and fry the rice balls until they are golden brown.
  10. Set the prepared crispy rice balls aside and prepare your spicy tuna mixture.
  11. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, sriracha, sesame oil and wasabi. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
  12. Add the diced tuna and chopped scallions to the mayonnaise mixture and mix until well blended.
  13. By now, your crispy rice balls should be cooled off. Scoop out the center of each crispy rice ball with a small spoon and fill with spicy tuna mixture. Top with a small avocado slice, more scallions and tempura flakes.
  14. Enjoy! ….OR mix it up with these cool versions:

Spicy salmon avocado crispy rice

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Southwestern Chicken Mac n' Cheese Casserole

This Southwestern chicken mac n’ cheese Cornflake casserole is the ultimate comfort food. Casseroles used to be a very foreign territory for me, but recently I’ve found myself getting super excited by the idea of eating a warm, cheesy casserole in bed while watching Netflix on a cold day. This is perfect for that. But probably better to share with a small family or a group of friends.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups chicken, cooked
  • 2 cups macaroni, cooked
  • 2 cups Mexican shredded cheese (or pepperjack)
  • 1 can cheddar cheese Campbell’s soup
  • ½ can cream of chicken Campbell’s soup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup corn
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¼ teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1 cup Cornflake crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded cheese for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the Cornflake crumbs and cup of shredded cheese. Mix until thoroughly blended.
  3. In a casserole dish, spread a layer of Cornflake crumbs. Pour the macaroni chicken mixture on top of the first layer of Cornflake crumbs and spread the rest evenly on top. Sprinkle the extra shredded cheese for garnish and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown.
  4. Let the casserole cool and eat!

Pizza Waffle

Pizza Waffle

This Pizza Waffle is the easiest, cheesiest most beautiful way to use your waffle iron.

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 can pizza dough
  • 1½ tablespoons oregano
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried basil
  • Marinara sauce (or pizza sauce), to taste
  • Grated mozzarella cheese, to taste
  • Butter or non-stick spray for waffle iron

Method

1. Heat your waffle iron to medium heat.

2. Open your pizza dough and unroll it onto a cutting board. Cut the dough into squares, big enough for your waffle maker.

3. Sprinkle dried basil and oregano onto the dough and press it so that it becomes meshed onto the surface.

4. Spread marinara sauce and add mozzarella cheese.

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5. Cover the sauce and cheese with the other square of dough and press the sides together so the sauce and cheese are sealed inside.

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6. Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray (or butter it) and place the pizza pocket onto the iron. Close the iron and cook for 2-4 minutes, until the waffle is golden brown. It is okay if some cheese and sauce spill out of the sides.

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Enjoy! 

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Fried Ricotta Alla Vodka Balls

What can be better than fried ricotta cheese stuffed with vodka sauce? I DO NOT KNOW. Maybe drunk pizza. But that’s about it…

Ingredients

Ricotta vodka Ball

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Vodka sauce, divided into ½ teaspoon portions

Coating

  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan

Method

  1. With a ½ teaspoon measurement spoon, scoop out 12-15 portions of Vodka sauce onto a paper plate. Freeze for at least 45 minutes, until hard, but still easy to cut. (Portion size varies depending on how big you make your balls. I would freeze 15 to be safe).
  2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the vodka sauce from the freezer and cut each portion in half, smoothing out any sharp edges that could form when the sauce expanded.
  4. Scoop out about half a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture and wrap 2-4 portions of the frozen vodka sauce with ricotta (or as much as you can fit to make it extra juicy). Roll the ricotta mixture into a ball around the frozen vodka sauce. Once the ball has formed, cup the ricotta ball with a paper towel. This will suck out some of the remaining water in the ricotta cheese. Repeat for all the balls then freeze them for 10-15 minutes, until semi-hard.
  5. In a bowl, combine 2 eggs and milk.
  6. In a separate bowl, make your coating by combining the bread crumbs, flour and parmesan.
  7. Pour vegetable oil in a sauce pan and heat on medium heat.
  8. Remove the ricotta balls from the freezer. Coat each one in egg wash, then coat with the bread crumb/flour mixture. Once the ball is fully coated, repeat and coat in egg wash again, then re-coat with bread crumbs for an extra layer.
  9. Coat each ball, in batches of five. Then fry and repeat with the next group of 5 until all the balls have been prepared.
  10. Fry each batch of five until golden brown, rotating frequently to ensure even frying.
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Pumpkin Rosemary Brown Butter Lasagna with Gruyere and Goat Cheese

Lately I've been going on an insane sugar recipe binge, so I decided to use one of the most popular sweet fall flavors for a more savory dish. I've always loved butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sauce, so I decided to do a different take on that with pumpkin instead. This is a pumpkin lasagna with goat cheese, gruyere, and rosemary, and it's baked in a brown butter for intense flavor. Yes.

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lasagna noodles, no boil
  • 2 can (1 ½ cup) pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • dash of salt, (anywhere from a pinch to ¼ teaspoon) to taste
  • dash of pepper, (anywhere from a pinch to ¼ teaspoon) to taste
  • 2 ½ cups gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz. chevre goat cheese
  • 2 sprigs (approx. 2 tablespoons) rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of butter

Optional:

Pine nuts

Method

1.   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin purée and half & half cream. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, salt, pepper and 2 cups of shredded Gruyere and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

3.     Lay the first layer of lasagna sheets in a baking dish and evenly spread pumpkin purée on top. Top the purée with goat cheese and about 1-2 teaspoons of finely chopped rosemary (how much is up to you). 

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4.   Put more lasagna noodle sheets on top and repeat with another 2-3 layers (depending on how many noodles makes up a layer). To put it in simple terms:

LASAGNA = noodle sheets + pumpkin goat cheese rosemary combo + noodle layer + pumpkin goat cheese rosemary combo + noodle layer + pumpkin goat cheese rosemary combo

If you have enough for one more layer, feel free to do it!

5.     Sprinkle the final layer with ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese and some extra rosemary.  If you’re feeling ambitious and want a nutty fall flavor, add some pine nuts! I didn’t, but kind of wish I did.

6.     Before placing the lasagna in the oven, create a brown butter sauce for the lasagna to bake in. Melt a stick of butter on medium heat, stirring occasionally until it browns. Pour the freshly hot brown butter onto the lasagna, so that it bakes in the sauce.

7.     Bake for 35-40 minutes.

 

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Spaghetti Bun Meatball Mozzarella Sliders

This is what happens when you're tired of the ramen burger and you want to invent something else with pasta buns. 

SERVES: 10 SLIDERS

Ingredients

For the spaghetti buns:

  • ½ lb spaghetti
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

For the mozzarella meatballs:

  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons marinara sauce 
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic & herb seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • mozzarella cheese (I used Ciliegine balls but you can also use slices of a fresh mozzarella log) 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Boil the pasta until it is a bit softer than al dente. Drain the spaghetti, put the noodles into a bowl and refrigerate them for 20 minutes. Prepare the meatballs while they cool.

3. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, marinara sauce, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, dried basil, garlic & herb seasoning, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

4. Separate the ground beef mixture into 10 equal parts. Roll each piece into a ball, flatten it and place a piece of mozzarella cheese in the center. I used Ciliegine mozzarella balls, but you can also use fresh mozzarella slices or even shredded as long as you wrap it thoroughly in the meat (I recommend fresh mozzarella, though). Repeat for all of the meatballs and set them aside.

5. Take the pasta out of the refrigerator and mix all of the ingredients. Use your hands for the best results. Once the pasta mixture is blended thoroughly, use a cup or another circle-shaped item to form the buns. Place each one on a pan, sprinkle extra Parmesan cheese on top and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

6. Put the meatballs and the spaghetti buns in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip the spaghetti buns halfway through so they cook evenly. The buns should look like this photo below. Cook longer if your meatballs seem too tender or if the buns don’t firm up enough. (It really depends on the size of the buns and the meatballs, but 15 minutes should generaly work.)

7. Take the spaghetti buns and meatballs out of the oven and smack them together with a dollop of marinara sauce.

Eat. Have a great day. Enjoy life. Xoxo.

CHEEZ-IT Crusted Grilled Cheese Dippers

Grilled cheese sandwiches are probably one of the most reliable foods out there besides pizza, mac 'n cheese, and just naked cheese itself. But sometimes, it's fun to spice up the classic foods that always get just through the hard times. Try these Cheez-It crusted grilled cheese dippers if you're feeling extra naughty. Because they are dippers, they are great to share if you want everyone else to be naughty with you.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Cheez-It crackers, crushed
  • 2 tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 pieces of bread (I used potato)
  • 3-4 pieces of sliced cheese (I used American but cheddar and Colby jack are also recommended)
  • Ketchup

Method

1. Mix the crushed Cheez-It crackers and cheddar cheese in a bowl. 

2. Coat both sides of each slice of bread in melted butter. Melt more butter on a skillet on medium heat.

3. Spread the cheddar Cheez-It mixture on both sides of bread and place onto the skillet. (Some of it may fall off but you can put it back on so it cooks and melts onto the bread).

4. Flip the bread after 20 seconds and place the slices of cheese on one piece of bread.

5. Flip the other piece of bread on top of the cheese. Keep flipping the sandwich and adding any leftover cheddar Cheez-It mixture to the bread until the slices are cooked evenly and the cheese begins to melt. 

6. Once the sandwich is fully cooked, cut it into slices. Add a side of ketchup and dip!

Everything Bagel Crusted Chicken Breast Spicy Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

  • 2 tablespoons dried garlic flakes

  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes

  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • 1 chicken breast

  • 2 brioche buns

  • 4 o.z. cream cheese

  • hot sauce of your choice (to be mixed in with cream cheese and as sauce)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

  2. In a bowl, combine the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic flakes, dried onion flakes, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together.

  3. Cut the chicken breast in half and coat each half with olive oil.

  4. Dip the chicken breast into the dry mixture until it is fully coated in seasoning.

  5. Bake the chicken breasts for 20-25 minutes.

  6. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese with 2 teaspoons of your chosen hot sauce. Adjust the spiciness as you wish.

  7. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the brioche bun and add the chicken on top. Drizzle some more hot sauce and eat to your heart’s desire. (You may want to have a glass of milk or 5 glasses of ice water handy).

Southwestern Mac & Cheese Cornbread Cups

Corn Bread Biscuit Bowl

  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, cold, finely sliced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Cupcake tray, with cupcake liners 

Macaroni & cheese

  • 1  cup elbow macaroni
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½  tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½  tablespoons flouR
  • ½  cup milk
  • ¼  cup shredded pepperjack
  • ¼ cup Mexican 4 cheese blend

Breadcrumbs

  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • ¼ cup scooped cornbread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon sriracha

For the cornbread biscuit bowl:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar).
  3. Gradually mix in the butter, making sure it is cold and finely sliced. Use your fingers to press the butter into the dry mixture.
  4. Once the butter has been evenly spread with the cornbread mixture, begin to add milk to the mix.
  5. Knead the dough until the milk and butter have been completely mixed into dry ingredients.
  6. Pull out about 1-inch balls from the dough.
  7. Line a cupcake tray with cupcake liners
  8. Press the dough balls into the center of the cupcake liners and spread them out flat to fill the liners
  9. Place the tray into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden brown.
  10. Using a spoon, scoop out the center of each biscuit.
  11. Line the base of the bowls with shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend.
  12. Make the breadcrumbs and macaroni and cheese, following the instructions below. Mix the breadcrumbs with the noodles.
  13. Spoon the macaroni into the biscuit bowls.
  14. Top off the bowls with more cheese and Sriracha drizzle if you want some spice.
  15. Bake the bowls for 3 minutes to melt that cheeeeeeeeeeese.

For the macaroni & cheese:

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil and add the macaroni, cooking the noodles for roughly 10 minutes.
  2. Once the macaroni has cooked, add the butter, salt, flour, milk and cheese to the macaroni. If you like your macaroni extra cheesy, just add more cheese.

For the breadcrumbs:

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan.
  2. Take ¼ cup scooped cornbread biscuit crumbs, 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs and a teaspoon of sriracha and stir into the melted butter.
  3. Stir all the breadcrumbs into the Mac n cheese.

Take that macbowl to the face.

Pizza Cannolis

Pizza and cannolis. Two of my favorite things. Because I love both of them so much, I decided to make a savory pizza cannoli with a parmesan pizza crust shell! I must admit this is one of my favorite food hybrids yet. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1  teaspoon garlic & herb seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • ¾ cup ricotta
  • ¼ cup mozzarella
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • “Special cannoli apparatus”

Note: You are supposed to use a “Cannoli Dowel” to fry the dough in a cannoli shell shape, however we decided to make our own apparatus out of tin foil. Here are some options of how to make your own.

Method

FOR THE SHELLS:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, garlic and herb seasoning and Parmesan.

  2. In a separate bowl, melt the butter, and beat together with the egg and white wine vinegar.

  3. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until it starts to come together in a dough-like consistency.

  4. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough, keeping it as thin you can.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan for frying - we used about 2 cups.

  6. Cut the dough into long strips about 4 ½ inches in length by 7 inches.

  7. Slowly place the dough onto the cannoli apparatus, starting from one end.

  8. Once the dough has been rolled onto the apparatus, place the apparatus into the oil, continuously turning the cannoli while submersed in the oil so that it browns evenly on all sides.

  9. After about 40 seconds in the oil, or once the cannoli shell has turned a golden brown, remove the cannoli from the oil and apparatus and set aside to cool.

FOR THE FILLING:

  1. In a bowl, combine the ricotta and pizza sauce.

  2. Chop the mozzarella into 1-inch cubes.

  3. Using a small spoon, gently fill the cannoli shells with the filling and pieces of the mozzarella for some oozy #cheeseporn.

  4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 minutes to melt that filling!

  5. EAT.

Tequila Lime Guac-Shots

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Here are some tequila lime guacamole shots.

Ingredients

  • 2 Avocados

  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped

  • 1 Green Onion, small dice

  • 1 Tomato, small dice

  • 2 tsp Lime juice

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

  • 2-3tbsp Tequila (3 if you want more prominent Tequila taste)

  • 1 pinch Red pepper flakes

  • ½ tsp Cumin

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • ½ tsp Pepper

  • Tostitos Cups

Method

1) In a large bowl, scoop out 1 avocado from its skin and mash it with a fork. Dice the second avocado and mix it into the mashed avocado.

2) Add cilantro, green onions, and tomatoes. Mash lightly with a fork.

3) Mix in lime juice, olive oil, and tequila. Add small amounts of tequila, mixing to taste.

4) Add the all of the spices, adjusting to taste.

5) Scoop into Tostitos scoops cups.

Guac-shots!

Mini Burrata Vodka Pizzas

Vodka Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 15 o.z.. can Tomato Puree
  • ½ cup Vodka
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

1) In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the garlic and cook for 1 min. Add the pepper flakes and cook for another minute.

2) Add the tomatoes and bring to a slight boil. Reduce the heat to low and then add the vodka. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the vodka begins to cook off.

3)  Add the cream and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, the sauce should thicken. Add parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

4) Allow to cool while assembling the pizzas.

Pizza

Ingredients

  • Two 13.8-ounce cans premade pizza crust dough
  • 1 recipe Vodka Sauce
  • 1 ball Mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • Burrata (depends on the size, might need 2 balls), sliced thinly
  • 1 small bunch Basil

Method

1) Preheat oven to 400 F

2) Cut out 3-inch rounds from the pizza dough. 

3) To assemble each pizza, add a heaping spoonful of cooled sauce onto the pizza. Add mozzarella and burrata to coat the top of the sauce. Finish each pizza by placing 1 basil leaf in the middle. 

4) Bake mini pizzas for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

5) If you feel like it, make some penne pasta while your pizzas are cooking. Top the pizzas with penne if you want.

RECIPE ASSISTANCE: LAURA KATZ


Falafel Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Tabbouleh Tzatziki Sauce

Total time: 30 min

Serves: 2-3

Falafel Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breast, boneless skinless
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 1 cup Falafel Mix
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil

Tabouleh Tzatziki Sauce

  • ½ tsp dry Dill, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
  • ½ Cucumber, grated
  • 1 Tomato, small dice
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Method

1) Prepare the chicken fingers by cutting the chicken breasts into 2-inch cubes.

2) For the assembly arrange 3 bowls in a row. In the first bowl add the flour, chili powder and paprika. In the second bowl add the egg, salt and pepper and whisk until combined. In the third bowl add the falafel mix.

3) To bread the chicken pieces, dredge them in the flour first, then the egg, and lastly the falafel mix. Prepare all of the chicken pieces in this order.

4) When the chicken is breaded, heat a large skillet at medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil is hot add half of the chicken breasts.

5) Cook chicken breasts about 5 minutes per side. Add 2 more tbsp of oil and repeat with the remaining chicken.

6) Let the chicken cool and make sauce. 

7) To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

8) Serve chicken nuggets with tabouleh tzatziki sauce and pita if you're feeling like an over achiever. 

You can serve like this:

Or like this:

It really doesn't matter!

RECIPE ASSISTANCE: LAURA KATZ