Atomic Buffalo Turds

Fiesta Bridal Shower ~ via The EGGLast month I went to one of my best friend’s engagement party in California. I was asked to bring an appetizer, but not just any appetizer. They requested the little smokies wrapped in bacon. I am not much of a meat lover so these sounded totally boring to me. I am, however, a heat lover, so when I saw the recipe for bacon wrapped little smokies laying on a bed of spicy cream cheese stuffed inside of a jalapeno, I thought those were much more up my alley. Plus it was a fiesta themed engagement party, since they will be getting married in Mexico next year, so I thought the jalapeno version tied in a little better with the whole vibe of the event. They ended up being very easy to make and everyone, except my grandmother, seemed to like them as well. The only drawback of this recipe is the name. Atomic Buffalo Turds. I was slightly embarrassed/sort of excited when I had to tell people what they were called. Some people laughed and others looked at me like I was crazy and very unladylike, which for the most part they were spot on. I am definitely not the most prim and proper of gals, but saying the word turd to my best friend’s future mother-in-law is something I don’t ever want to do again. I still can’t decide if the name is based on what they look like or because of what they do to you if you eat one. Either way I think these poor little guys could use a revisit to the naming factory.

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh Jalapenos (You can use bell pepper for heat haters)
  • 12 slices of bacon
  • 24 little smokies
  • 1 package of room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 cup of grated cheese (I used 4 cheese blend)
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 shallots minced (I did not have shallots so I used regular onion to taste)

Directions

Atomic Buffalo Turds ~ via The EGGStep 1. Cut jalapenos in half length wise and take out the seeds and membranes. If you do not mind spicy leave some of the membranes in, but remember that your cream cheese filling will have cayenne pepper in it which will  add a kick as well so be careful.

Step 2. Mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheese, minced shallots, and cayenne pepper. Be sure to mix evenly.

Atomic Buffalo Turds ~ via The EGGStep 3. Spoon mixture into the jalapeno.

Atomic Buffalo Turds ~ via The EGGStep 4. Place a little smokey on each jalapeno bed.

Step 5. Cut bacon slices in half and wrap the jalapeno and smokey in bacon half. (Somehow I missed photographing this step, but you get the idea.) you may want to use a toothpick if you are having a hard time keeping the bacon around the jalapeno, but I did not. My bacon stuck pretty well on its own.

Step 6. Bake ABTs for about an hour at a low temperature until bacon is nice and brown. I think I cooked mine at 250 degrees, but others say you can cook them at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes if you need them done quicker. I wanted my jalapeno to be very tender so I opted for low and slow, but next time I am going to try the higher temperature.

Step 7. Let sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Then stick them with toothpicks and serve.

Atomic Buffalo Turds ~ via The EGGI did not get a great picture of them when it was all said and done, because I was a little preoccupied with the party and the PHOTOBOOTH (see photos below).  All in all, I think they were a hit and so was the party, but next time I think I will jazz up the ABT’s cream cheese filling a little more. Maybe add some garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, or maybe some other herbs and minced veggies. I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.

Congrats Angela and Brock!

photo 4 (6)photo 4 (7)photo 5

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Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

This is absolutely hands down the best salad ever made in the history of all salads. On second thought, it may be neck and neck with my Spinach, Strawberry and Shaved Almonds Salad. When it comes to texture and flavor, it is definitely too close to call. However, this delowcious salad is a little more labor intensive than most, especially if you decide to make your own special ingredients. For example I like to roast my own beets and candy my own walnuts to really make this recipe special and stand out from all of the rest.

Ingredients

  • Mixed greens
  • Roasted beets
  • Goat Cheese
  • Candied Walnuts
  • Balsamic Dressing (I prefer a creamy balsamic)

Directions

After you have prepared your Roasted Beets and Candied Walnuts, mix all of the ingredients together for the perfect melody of flavors and textures. You can use dressing or chose to leave it out. It’s up to you. If the beets are juicy and tender enough they act as their own dressing. The crunch of the walnuts and the softness of the cheese mixed with the earthy taste of the beets and dynamic flavor of the mixed greens… It’s like a party in your mouth!

Homemade Candied Walnuts

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups raw walnuts (halved)
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 1. Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 5 minutes. Taste test your walnuts. If not quite toasted enough, toast for 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful not to burn.

Step 2. While walnuts cool on a cooling rack, pour sugar into a medium saucepan. Cook sugar on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon as soon as the sugar begins to melt. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber.

Step 3. Add the walnuts to the sugar, quickly stirring and coating each piece. (Sorry there are no pictures of this step. I had to move very quickly and my hands were a little preoccupied.)

Step 4. As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly. (You have less than a minute before the sugar hardens and forever joins the walnuts in one big mound of walnut. Don’t freak out. You are not going to get every piece of walnut separated. You just want to get them in a single layer and separated as much as possible. You can always break them by hand once the sugar has cooled.)

Step 5. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Notes: Candied Walnuts are great as a simple snack or can be used as an ice cream topping or even a salad topping. I love to use them in my Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad recipe. Be sure not to burn your nuts and to move very quickly for this recipe. Preparation is the key! Oh and don’t freak out…

“Fried” Pickles

fried-picklesSince For the Love of Cooking’s delowcious recipe, Baked Onion Rings, was such a hit, I thought I would search for similar waste friendly “fried” recipes to bring to you guys. I use the term “fried” loosely, because these pickles are actually broiled in the oven to make them a tad healthier than the fried version. Personally I have not tried them yet, because I have been a little busy preparing to leave the country. Right now I am in Cali dropping off BooBoo Kitty with my family, because they are going to watch her while I am off gallivanting around Asia. Looks like the EGG is going to become the EGG Roll for about 3 months. Possible 6 if we are lucky. I will definitely update you more in-depth with a Singapore dedicated post once I’ve got my life a little more figured out, but I am definitely feeling the EGG Roll idea. Genius!

Ingredients

  • 1 jar of pickle slices (we like large, thick slices of Claussen dill pickles)
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • Ranch dressing + hot sauce for dipping

Directions

  1. Turn oven broiler on high.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and flour. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Place panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Dunk each pickle slice into the egg mixture, than dredge it in the panko bread crumbs.
  4. Place coated pickles on a rack set above a baking sheet and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place pan in the middle rack of the oven. Broil for about 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve with Ranch dressing and a dash of hot sauce.

Notes: I am sure there are tons of “fried” recipes out there that we can convert to baking/broiling methods. Hmmmm Let me think…

Salsa Sisters

I love the Pioneer Woman. We always seem to be on the same page when it comes to our taste buds, and her very particular pallet for salsa is no different. She despises store-bought versions and loves a little spice and a lot of cilantro. I am telling you, we may have been separated at birth, except she is a little older than me. Whether we are separated sisters, soul sisters or just salsa sisters, she has made the perfect restaurant style/homemade salsa I have ever had, and it is so easy. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of steps (20 to be exact), but they are as simple as can be and take no time at all. [Read more…]

Bruschetta is Betta for One

I tend to not cook meals for myself. I just don’t see the point in it. It takes time and effort and makes a big ol’ mess just for little ol’ me. Totally not worth it in my opinion. I just assume make some Top Ramen or have a bowl of cereal instead. However, now that I am married I am trying to become a domestic goddess who can just whip something up at the drop of a hat no problem, even if it is just for me. I am pretty sure a domestic goddess would not be caught dead eating Top Ramen. So, today I thought I would be a big girl and cook myself a little lunch. I made myself a personal sized amount of delowcious bruschetta. I have to say, it was pretty tasty and pretty worth it too. Don’t worry I had more than 2 pieces. I used these 2 for the picture. I have another plate outside the frame with like 8 more pieces on it. Come on, I said personal size, not anorexic size. This was my domestic goddess process inspired by The Pioneer Woman, but downsized for a personal sized serving…

Ingredients

  • 1 container of Nature Sweet Cherubs Tomatoes (about a pint), halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 16 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ a baguette
  • 4 tablespoons of butter

Directions

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, removing before the garlic gets too brown (it can be golden.) Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Add tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine, then taste and add more basil if needed, and more salt if needed. (Be sure not to over salt.) Cover and refrigerate for an hour to allow flavors to marry. Don’t have the time? No worries. The flavors are delowcious just the way they are.

Cut the baguette into diagonal slices to allow for the most surface area possible. Melt half the butter in a large skillet and grill half the bread on both sides, making sure they’re nice and buttery. Cook till golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the other half of the butter and the other half of the bread.

To serve, give the tomato mixture a final stir, the spoon generously over the slices of bread. Serve on a big platter as a first course, appetizer or a nice little meal for yourself 😉

Notes: Want to make your bruschetta even betta? Add Nature’s Best Sunburts to the mix for a fun pop of yellow. Basically just use a mixture of the red, orange and yellow tomatoes. It will look gorgeous!!!

My 7-Eleven Layer Dip

This is my version of the seven layer dip. You have many different options when it comes to this recipe. To be exact, you have 11 different layers that you can jazz up and personalize with a little time and effort and really make it your own. You can also make it super simple with all store-bought ingredients, or you can pick and choose which layers you’ll use and which you’ll lose. Below I have listed my ingredients for both the store-bought and the homemade version.

Ingredients

  • 1 can refried beans (16 oz.)
  • 1 can chopped green chilies (4.5 oz.)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (8 oz.)
  • 1 container sour cream (16 oz.)
  • 1 lime, zested
  • McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 jar salsa (store-bought or homemade)
  • Chipotle Guacamole (or store-bought guacamole)
  • Pico de gallo (or store-bought, or even 1 large tomato, diced will do)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) sliced black olives
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • Cilantro
  • 1 pkg shredded Mexican cheese

Directions

Prepare Ingredients:

    • Make pico de gallo (or 1 large diced tomato).
    • Make guacamole (or don’t and use store-bought guac).
    • Mix sour cream with McCormick’s Taco Seasoning, lime zest and lime juice.
    • Heat olive oil and stir in beans and green chilies.
    • In the same pan, pour in drained black beans and cumin.

Start Layering:

    1. Layer bean mix into 7″ x 11″ serving dish
    2. Layer nacho cheese
    3. Layer black beans
    4. Layer guacamole (homemade or store-bought)
    5. Layer salsa (homemade or store-bought)
    6. Layer sour cream
    7. Layer shredded cheese
    8. Layer tomato (or pico de gallo)
    9. Layer green onion
    10. Layer black olives
    11. Layer cilantro

Notes: I tend to leave out the black bean layer and sometimes I add 2 cans of refried beans if I want a little extra bean thickness. It’s up to you. Play with it and make it your own. Also, don’t forget to serve dip with a sturdy chip. The last thing you want is failed broken soggy chips left in the dip bowl. 

Guilt-Free Spinach Artichoke Dip

I am soooooo excited the third season of  Bethenny Ever After, starts tonight. I love her. She is my idol. I know what you are thinking, but get over it! I love her… Now lets move on and get to the important portion of this post… The eats. In honor of Bethenny’s season premier, I thought I would post one of her healthy, yet still delowcious meals. Well really it is supposed to be an appetizer, but I could definitely eat spinach artichoke dip for dinner. Couldn’t you? Now you don’t have to feel guilty for doing it. Want to make it a skinny day all around? Check out Bethenny’s Skinny Girl Margarita recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (about 9 ounces) frozen artichokes, defrosted and drained
  • 1 package (about 9 ounces) frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat or soy cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons nondairy or low-fat mayonnaise
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce

Directions

Don’t worry about exact amounts for this recipe. If you can only find artichokes or spinach in slightly smaller or larger amounts, that’s fine. In this recipe, frozen is actually better than fresh because the softer texture works better for dip, so take the easy way.

Defrost the vegetables in the refrigerator overnight, then drain them a colander in the sink or over a bowl. You can drain them together in the same colander because they’ll get mixed together anyway, and that makes fewer things to wash. After they are drained, press on them with paper towels to get rid of any extra moisture that would dilute the dip’s flavor.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine all the ingredients except 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese into a large bowl or into a food processor. Blend or pulse until mostly smooth but leave some artichoke chunks for texture.

Pour the mixture into an oven-proof dish or casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through and just starting to bubble.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot or warm with thin slices of baguette, raw vegetables, baked tortilla chips, or crackers.

Notes: Want to try Bethenny’s Skinny Girl Margaritas? CLICK HERE to get the recipe!

Baked Onion Rings

Do these make your mouth water, or is it just me? I found these on For the Love of Cooking (one of my fave recipe blogs) and pinned it on my pinterest. People seemed to love it and started pinning like crazy, so I wanted to share Pam’s recipe with you guys too. Hope you love them as much as I do! Not only delowcious, but much healthier than your standard fried onion rings, so you can eat twice as many and not feel guilty. At least that is my thought process.

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet yellow onions, sliced into thick rings
  • ½ cup of flour
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 ½ cups of Italian seasoned panko crumbs
  • Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat coated with cooking spray.

Slice the onion into thick rings then separate them. Pour the flour into a bowl then season it with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper then mix well. Mix the egg and milk in a bowl until well combined. Pour the panko crumbs into another bowl. Dredge the onions first in the flour, then in the egg mixture, and finally in the panko crumbs until fully coated. Place each coated ring on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rings. Spray the rings with cooking spray then place into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes then flip the rings over carefully with tongs. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Enjoy.

Bruschetta

BruschettaI am an Italiano. Okay, I am like a quarter Italian, but since I married a fellow ¼ Italiano, I like to think of myself as now half Italian. I know it doesn’t really work that way, but in my world it does, so leave me alone. Italian or not, I love Italian food. I am a pasta fanatic, and I could live off bread alone. Bruschetta is probably my favorite meal of all time. Yep, that’s right, I called bruschetta a meal, because in my house it is. I found this super simple version on The Pioneer Woman and it looks fantastic!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 pint yellow grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 16 whole basil leaves (chiffonade)
  • salt and pepper to taste (don’t oversalt!)
  • 1 whole baguette
  • 8 tablespoons butter

Directions

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, removing before the garlic gets too brown (it can be golden.) Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Add tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine, then taste and add more basil if needed, and more salt if needed (don’t oversalt, though!) Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two if you have the time.

Cut the baguette into diagonal slices to allow for the most surface area possible. Melt half the butter in a large skillet and grill half the bread on both sides, making sure they’re nice and buttery. Cook till golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the other half of the butter and the other half of the bread.

To serve, give the tomato mixture a final stir, the spoon generously over the slices of bread. Serve on a big platter as a first course or appetizer.

  • Source: The Pioneer Woman
  • Prep Time: 10min
  • Cook Time: 20min
  • Total Time: 30min
  • Recipe Yields: 12 servings (or one hungry Italian… maybe 2)