Monday, October 27, 2008

Turkey Sliders with Apple & Swiss

Every once in a while there is a Thursday night college football game that we all RACE home from work to watch, and this meal was perfect for one of those nights! The game started at 6pm and we were having 8 people over, so since I get off work at 5 and have a 30 minute drive, this needed to be something easy, yummy and that would count as dinner for everyone.
These Turkey Burgers combined with the mini-baked taters (coming soon) were perfect, and totally reasonable budget-wise!

Makes 8 Mini Burgers

Kings Hawaiian wheat buns
1 lb lean or extra lean ground turkey
1 Apple, cored and chopped
1/4 sweet white onion chopped
1/3 cups Bread crumbs
1 T. Worstecire sauce
pepper, salt, garlic powder to taste
Swiss cheese

In a medium bowl, using your hands, combine the turkey, apple, onion, bread crumbs, worstecire sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Form 8 small patties.
Grill over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes per side, flipping once or twice.
Add Swiss & turn off heat, put buns on the grill to toast close grill and let cheese melt & buns toast.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pillsbury Recipe Creations~ Taco Bites

As part of the PILLSBURY PACKAGE we received I had the good fortune of trying the NEW Pillsbury Recipe Creations, that is basically sheets of the Crescent Roll dough, but with out the triangle perforations.

This is a variation of one of my favorite recipes using the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Nate's mom's TACO RING, which if you've not tried it- put this on the menu ASAP because it rocks the heezie.

1 package Pillsbury Recipe Creations
about 1/2 a pound taco seasoned browned ground beef
refried beans
shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
hot sauce or salsa
chopped onion

Grease a mini muffin tin and pre heat the oven to 350.
Cut the Recipe Creations dough into squares and lightly press into the muffin tin. Add about 1 T of beans then 1 T of taco meat, then a pinch of onions, dollop of salsa or hot sauce, and top with shredded cheese.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until dough is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Super Sunday Jalapeno Poppers

Ok, I think you can tell I've got a big ole crush on appetizers. I think that's my official favorite thing to make, apps, tapas, snacks and bites, I love 'em. Cocktail munchies, foot ball nosh, it's all good in this hood~ and these are a perfect testament to the finest of snacky-tapasy-bites; breaded, fried jalapeno poppers! This is a combo of two recipes that I've had written down so long ago I'm not so sure where they came from...the bacon was a last minute addition since I still had some left from the previous week's CHEESY BACON DIP, and think these were fabulous, but would be awesome with out the bacon too!

makes about 50 poppers

12 med-large jalapeno peppers, with seeds and most of membrane removed, cut lengthwise in half, then cross-wise in half so each pepper makes 4 bite-sized bites.

1 8 oz brick of cream cheese softened to room temp
1/2 cup shredded jalapeno jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
black pepper
pinch of kosher salt
4-8 pieces of bacon, cooked, most grease removed, cooled, and chopped up.

Bread crumbs
Cayenne pepper* optional
hot sauce* optional...

*(only if you want these to be SPICY)

oil for frying

In a large bowl mix together all the "filling" ingredients. Using a butter knife (or your fingers, which is what I did) add about 1 Tablespoon of filling to the inside of each jalapeno 1/4. Fill a small bowl with bread crumbs and cayenne pepper (about 1/8 tsp). Put about 1/3 cup of flour in another small bowl, and in a 3rd bowl, pour about 1/3 cup milk, add a few dashes of hot sauce for spicy-factor!

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Take the stuffed jalapenos and dip them first in the milk, then the flour, then set on the cookie sheet. Let them "set" for about 7-10 minutes. Then give em another super quick dip in the milk, then coat with bread crumbs, place the bread-crumbed poppers back on the cookie sheet to chill out again for about 7 minutes. (I did not do this next step, but will next time after doing some searching online and reading more recipes like this one...)Repeat the milk & bread crumb step a second time to REALLY coat these puppies, meanwhile heating about 1-2 inches of frying oil in a large pot or pan (deep enough for the oil and so you don't get burned!)
Using a slotted spoon or one of those cool wire-basket-on-a-stick things that is made for stuff like this (that of course I do not have) gently lower the poppers into the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate or cookie sheet covered in paper towel to let cool and to sop up excess oil.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grown-Up-Pigs-In-A-Blanket (Pillsbury Recipe Creations)

It is football season again, and we headed down to the Coliseum on a cloudy drizzly Saturday determined to get in some pre-game tailgating, a few Saturdays ago. I am sure some of you living in other areas, outside of Southern California may not realize what the big deal about a little drizzle would be, but here people can get a little freaky over some mist. Thankfully, it turned out to be a great day- the air got a little damp in the third quarter, but it was all good.
I made these with the Pillsbury Recipe creations~ super, super easy and a great tailgating snack!

1 package Pillsbury Recipe Creations
1 package fully cooked chicken apple sausage (should be at the regular grocery store or Trader Joes)
Herb'd goat cheese, at room temp
toothpicks (wooden)

Pre heat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil.
Chop the sausage into bite-sized bits. Roll out the recipe creations and cut into 4-5 strips long-ways, then cut across to make about 30 + little squares. Using a butter knife, add a bit of goat cheese to a piece of sausage and wrap the dough around it using the toothpick to hold it sealed in place.
place the wrapped sausages on the baking sheet and bake 25-25 minutes or until crescent dough is golden.
Cool and serve~

Tuesdays with Dorie ~ Pumpkin Muffins

Well, we now know Nate loves a muffin with raisins in it...and we know that because I went right ahead and left the raisins OUT of these puppies. I really do not like raisins. Now, I could have subbed crazins, or dried tart cherries or some other chopped up dried fruit like figs or something...and honestly when I set out to bake these I meant to put something like that in there, and nuts too, but I got distracted and was doing too many things at once (that's new) and totally spaced out on adding anything but the pumpkin and yummy spices.

Other than that, I pretty much stuck to to the recipe on this weeks TUESDAYS WITH DORIE, chosen by KELLY of SOUNDING MY BARBARIC GULP . I was excited to see the Pumpkin Muffins as this really kicked off the fall-baking around here... they smelled AMAZING while they baked! Check out this awesome recipe on Kelly's blog and the stunning variations of all the TWD bakers this week over on the blogroll.

I decided to share this recipe with a friend for her bridal shower...which was fun, the hostess requested each guest bring a recipe- so I brought this one and also brought the muffins. I baked them in my muffin tin, then after they cooled, I placed them in lil'foil muffin cups and set them in a new tin that was part of the shower gift & wrapped that with a bow! It was a fun idea that I will definitely repeat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie~Lenox Almond Biscotti

WOOOOHOOOO! I super-giant-puffy-heart BISCOTTI!! This makes a fabulous baked gift item, and it is something that you can get creative with in a zillion ways!

We are heading off to Napa for a long weekend - YAY!! - so this is a VERY short post, my apologies! Please head on over to theTUESDAYS WITH DORIE page and scope out everyone's beautiful Biscotti!
Gretchen of CANELA AND COMINO for an excellent choice this week! Have a great week everyone!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our Fabulous Ginger Wings

These are my go-to un-buffalo-wing. They are fabulous for football watching afternoons, tailgates and any kind of party, really. They are baked, not fried and could not be easier to make.

I made these for a tailgate before a USC game- I baked them in a disposable roasting pan, then transferred them to a cool clean roasting pan- covered in foil to transport to the game!

About 3-4 lbs Chicken Wings, cut in half~ tips cut off

Marinade/ Sauce~
1/2 C low sodium soy sauce
1/2 C water
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 C rice vinegar
3 T grated fresh ginger
3 T Garlic Chili Paste
3 T chopped green onion
2 T toasted sesame seeds

Place prepared wings in Ziploc bag and pour half of sauce into bag, reserve other 1/2(about 1 cup) Marinate 2 hours or more in the refrigerator.
Spray a foil lined roasting pan with non-stick spray. Lay wings in the pan pour the sauce from Ziploc into pan. Cook at 350 for 40 - 45 minutes on one side basting frequently, flip over and bake/ baste an additional 25 minutes. Turn off oven let sit 10 minutes. Boil remaining sauce 6-8 minutes on high and reduce heat to thicken… pour thickened sauce and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds & serve.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pillsbury Recipe Creations~ Prosciutto & Brie Bites

These were super easy, just a wee few ingredients~

1 container of Pillsbury Recipe Creations
1 triangle of Brie cheese
about 1/4 lb thin cut prosciutto

Grease a mini muffin tin and pre-heat the oven to 350.
Cut the Recipe Creations into 1 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch squares.
Cut the brie into little squares also, and wrap a bit of prosciutto around each piece of cheese.
Gently press the squares of recipe creations into the muffin tin, place a prosciutto wrapped brie into the center and bake about 20 minutes until the dough is golden brown. UBER EASY APPS! YAY!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday's With Dorie~Caramel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

While I do not have the beset photos of this delicious cake that I actually made back in April, I will say the only reason I didn't make it AGAIN to re-shoot, was because it was so delicious and we didn't have anyone coming over this weekend to help eat it, I knew I'd eat the whole's that good.

I was excited to see that Tammy ofWEE TREATS BY TAMMY chose Caramel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake for this weeks TUESDAYS WITH DORIE because I loved this recipe and had to make it this past spring, but was saving it to post when it was picked...

April and March are chock full of Birthdays in our lives! Mine is March 16, then my sister-in-law's is March 31st, then my mom's is April 2nd, and Nate's is April 10th!!
So this cake was made to celebrate all of our birthdays this year!

It starts out with a super rich chocolate brownie-like cake...

Then comes homemade caramel sauce!!

The first time I saw (a much better photo than mine) this cake was on Peabody's Blog when she made it and I had been dying to make it! It brings together so many of my favorite things!

Head on over to the TUESDAYS WITH DORIE site to learn more about Tammy and visit all the beautiful TWD Cakes!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cheesy Bacon Artichoke Party Dip

College football season is officially underway and I am sure by the time I get this posted the NFL season will be in full swing as well. We love football, weather at the Coliseum enjoying our fifth season of USC season tickets, or watching the NFL with friends all Sunday long. I especially love football because it's one of those things that is all about eating, yelling and togetherness!!
We made our way over to a friends house to watch the first USC game of the season at the end of August and I brought this dip (last time I brought the CRACK DIP, and this went just as fast and was very, very yummy.)

I did also make a super simple salad (with cucumber, tomato and loads of avocado so I wasn't just bringing something totally awful health wise).

This was for a group of 8-10
Cheesy Bacon Artichoke Dip~
2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature.
1/2 cup mayo
1 1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4-5 finely chopped green onions
10 pieces of bacon
1 6.5 ounce jar of artichoke hearts, drained chopped (use a few paper towels to really press/ remove the moisture/oil)
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
black pepper, to taste
a pinch of cayenne pepper
Ritz Crackers (buy a WHOLE box- you're gonna use them!)

Spread a piece of foil over a cookie sheet, place the bacon on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until crisp but not burnt...remove cooked bacon to a plate covered in paper towel and cover with more paper towel to remove as much grease as possible- let cool then crumble/ chop into bits for use in the dip.

Using a hand mixer blend the cream cheese and mayo until smooth. Add the shredded cheeses, onions, bacon, artichoke, garlic, cayenne and pepper. Stir all with a spatula or the hand mixer until well combined. Spread in a corning wear or other baking/serving dish and top generously with crushed Ritz crackers.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
(this can also be made a day before, put the mix in baking dish, DO NOT top with crackers, cover and refrigerate) Top with crackers before baking and add about 15-20 additional minutes to baking time.

Serve with crackers and sourdough bread

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pillsbury Pizza Crust Pizza Bites

We were both on a sugar high after a big morning of cinnamon rolls (which oddly turned out to be my FAVORITE experiment so you'll see that LAST...)so we went for the pizza dough...I am super appreciative to receive these products to play around with and create some new ideas and with out turning the next few posts into a long commercial, I am just going to give my review/opinion once (and it's can just be applied to ALL my Pillsbury posts.) While about 90% of the recipes you'll find on this blog are "made from scratch", I very much appreciate yummy time-savers to be used in a pinch. I am fully aware it's not the same as homemade, and that is because it's EASIER and saves a GRIP of time. Nate was not head over heels about the way the dough tasted because we usually make our own and this was a little different... but I feel like for the awesome results you get (especially the calzone) it's a good dough that can save you a TON of time and help to create fabulous, inventive, delicious goodness. We were pleasantly surprised that we really liked the crescent rolls, because we both do not like cinnamon rolls. Our only complaint there was that we ate too many and I don't know if I'll ever look at another cinnamon roll as long as I live. It was full-blown pre-noon sugar shock. The Recipe Creations were fabulous and a little more familiar than the other two...I've worked with the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls many times, and this was something I will totally buy in the store! I made a few different apps with it, but have some dinner ideas I still want to try with this stuff! We both work between 40-60 hours a week and LOVE to entertain, so I will say that I would purchase and use these products (the recipe creations mostly), they really give you more time to relax and enjoy eachother's company vs. having to prep a dough for something for hours....ok, so that's my opinion and now, onward to the FOOD!!

This was fun to work with because it rolls out into a square and is pretty easy cut, reshape and get creative! It has a buttery flavor and these little snacky bites were not really Nate's fave. I thought they were all right, but in the nature of good experimenting, I think I know what I'd change (noted in ITALICS)next time to improve these a bit. The other recipe we attempted with these were some GIANT calzones that Nate created that are out of this world, but more on that later...

NEW! Pillsbury Pizza Crust (1 tube makes about 12-15 pizza bites)

1 container marinara sauce (from the refrigerator section), or about 1 cup of home made sauce if you have it.
Shredded Mozzarella
Shredded Parmesan cheese

(mix the following together in a bowl)
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup garlic pesto
about 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tsp crushed chili pepper flakes
2 T shredded Parmesan
(keep extra shredded Parmesan on the side for topping)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 & grease a mini muffin tin.
Roll the dough out onto a flour or wax paper covered surface. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inch squares.
For Pepperoni Poppers~
Place the dough into the muffin cups and press down very lightly. Spoon in about 1 T marinara sauce, add a big pinch of Parmesan cheese, top with a pepperoni and top generously with shredded Parmesan. Bake 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

For Pesto Poppers-
Place dough into the muffin cups and press down very lightly. Spoon in about 2 T of the pesto cheese mix and top with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Bake 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

If the squares are big enough and you want to fold the outside corners inward- or pinch them closed to make little pockets, that is cool too!