As it turned out, I did reshuffle the recipes and I got two meals done! Tonight was going to be a late one, but here I am with two sets of sliders done. It’s 9:30 pm and there is no way I’m going to get started on the next one. Making the Sweet & Spicy Chicken Thighs slowed me down, but man, oh man was it worth it! Also, it gave me the chance to realize that I seemed to have gravitated towards sliders. Sliders, though, are a perfect bite when we’re back from hiking, biking, going to the beach, and just generally exploring. They won’t make a big mess, yet will be tasty and filling. I feel a win-win and my long lost cooking groove back!
I can see this one being served at many different types of gatherings, from summer family picnics, to that annual Halloween party (adults only!). Where would you serve these? ¡Salud!
24 slider rolls
24 slices Havarti cheese
24 slices honey ham
For the Sauce:
1½ Tbs yellow mustard
8 Tbs melted butter
¼ onion powder
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Split rolls in half crosswise to make 2 halves. Spread the insides lightly with mayonnaise. Top with ham, bacon and cheese. Finally, top with the other half of the cut rolls.
In small bowl, mix all Sauce ingredient, whisking to combine. Brush sauce on top of rolls. Bake until rolls have browned, about 10-20 minutes.
Serves: 12 at 2 rolls per person
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes
*Derived from An Expat Cooks
Sunday was a day of menu planning and then a trip to Safeway so I could begin meal prep on Monday. Shout out to my daughter D! If it wasn’t for her help, I’d probably STILL be at the store! And she mad me laugh the entire time. Love you, D! Monday was another warm day in a series of warm days. Once I finished worked and headed off to get my kids, the mental mapping of how the evening was going to go had begun. I had organized the recipes by length of time and then divided them up into stacks that I felt I would get the most done, i.e., as one recipe (that takes the most time) cooks, I can prepare the second longest recipe and hopefully start the dishes. Then, as the second recipe is in the oven, I can prepare recipe number three, and work on the dishes. As I pulled into the driveway, I had visions of gathering the ingredients. Unlocking the front door and making my way into the kitchen, I began pulling everything together. Cheese – ; Hawaiian Rolls – ; Butter – ; Bacon … Bacon … Hmm, bacon … Quick dash down the stairs and to the freezer in the garage. Bacon? Rummage … Rummage… No bacon. How can that be?? I know I had four packages on the list. Mad dash through the laundry room, family, room, and back up the stairs to the kitchen. Throw open refrigerator doors … Rummage… Bacon?? Toss… Bacon??? Rummage, rummage, rummage…No bacon! Did it get left behind at the store? In the car (oh, please no, it’s been too hot)? Could it be in… No. Now I remember, I needed to stop at a different store that carries the low sodium bacon. By the time I was done at Safeway I was too hot, tired, and just done. There was no way I was going to stop at another store. Oh boy, this is not starting well.
I would love for you to tell me what you would do different, add, or change to this recipe! ¡Salud!
1 package Hawaiian rolls
8 slices Havarti cheese
8 turkey deli meat slices
4 slices cooked bacon, cut in half
2 Tbs melted butter
¼ tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Cut rolls in half crosswise to make 2 halves. Place one half of rolls into baking and pan and put slices of cheese to cover complete half. Then top with turkey, bacon, and another piece of cheese. Finally, top with the other half of the cut rolls.
In small bowl, mix melted butter and garlic powder; brush on top of rolls. Bake until rolls have browned, about 10-20 minutes.
Serves: 8 at 2 rolls per person
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes
*Derived from Pillsbury
My house smells like garlic bread right now, at 8:30 pm. Rich, buttery garlic bread. But it’s not. What I’m smelling are these amazing sliders. I haven’t even tried them yet, though I’ve been tempted. The cheese is oozing from within, dripping down the side. Yet another reason to be excited for Tahoe! Just like my Chicken Enchiladas – Tahoe Meal Prep #1, I used prepackaged, shredded rotisserie chicken. This is an incredible time saver that I will use again and again.
These would be fantastic to take on a picnic, tailgating, or that beautifully sunny day spent at the beach. There are so many ways to mix it up, too! Be sure to let me know how these BBQ sliders worked for you and anything you changed or would do different next time. ¡Salud!
2 ½ cups shredded roasted chicken
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce (my family loves Kinders® Organic Mild BBQ Sauce)
12 Hawaiian rolls
12 slices your favorite cheese (I used Havarti)
¼ cup butter
2 garlic cloves minced
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, add butter and garlic. Microwave until melted. Set aside. In a medium add shredded chicken, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and BBQ sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Cut slider buns in half. I’ve found this work bests when they’re cut all as one. This way they are all uniform in thickness. Place bottom half of slider buns in 9×13 dish. Layer half of the cheese on the buns, top with BBQ chicken mixture, then layer with the rest of the cheese. Top with other half of slider buns.
Brush tops of slider buns with melted garlic butter. Bake until cheese is melted and buns are a golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
Servings: 12 Sliders
Prep time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 15 minutes
*Derived from BestRecipeBox.com
Sometimes I wish I was from Boston so I could get away with saying Chowda. But, alas, I’m Cali, born and raised. Saying Chowder, thankfully, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it just as much! And we’re finally (FINALLY) getting into Fall. Which to me means hearty stews and soups, corn bread. Anything that makes you feel warm and cozy. Ok, basically, comfort food. Fall = Comfort Food. This one definitely fits that category.
2 Tbs olive oil (keep more on hand for drizzling)
1 16 oz pkg frozen sweet corn
3 small to medium Russet potatoes
4-6 slices of bacon, chopped (depends on your love of bacon, I used 8. Tells you a little something about me)
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbs butter (I use unsalted)
1 whole onion, diced (to save time, I buy the already diced onion in the produce section. Use about 1 cup)
1 tsp smoked paprika (add more for your desired flavor)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground curry
3 cloves garlic, minced (to save time, I use the preminced garlic. 1 tsp = about 1 clove garlic)
1 cup white wine (always be sure to use a wine you personally enjoy as that is the flavor your dish will have. You can always sub chicken broth)
2 cups chicken stock (I used low sodium)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I didn’t have heavy cream, so I subbed 1/2 cup whole milk. To get the thickness, though, I added 1/2 cup of sour cream. It worked perfectly!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro (ick) or parsley for garnish, if desired
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper (makes for easier clean-up) add the corn and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, turn corn with wooden spoon, and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes. The corn should be getting golden brown and starting to char a little. Remove and set aside until ready to add to the soup.
While corn roasts, peel and dice potatoes. Add to a medium pot of lightly salted water, bringing to a boil and then let simmer until fork tender. Drain in colander.
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven to medium. Add diced bacon and cook, rendering the fat. Once bacon is crisp, remove with slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. With the exception of about 2 tablespoons of fat, remove the rest. Add shrimp, stir to cook slightly. You want them a bit under cooked because you will be adding them to the hot chowder were they will continue to cook. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and add to the plate with bacon.
Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. When the butter begins to bubble, add the onions and slightly increase heat to medium-high. Cook onions until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add roasted corn. Stir in garlic, smoke paprika, and curry. When onions and corn are fully coated, add white wine to deglaze dutch oven. Scrape up any browned bits and simmer until liquid is reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed.
Slowly add chicken stock while stirring. Make sure the stock is completely incorporated with other ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add cream last. Adjust seasoning.
Finally, add shrimp, bacon, and cilantro or parsley. Serve with a warm crusty bread.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Total time: 1 hour – 1:10 minutes
It’s been so long since my last post, and it’s not as if I stopped cooking. No, I’ve still been plugging away, cooking the majority of our dinners. And, I’ve been trying some wonderful recipes! My heart, however, just hasn’t been into blogging. Sometimes updating my blog, after everyone is quietly snuffling in their beds, can be difficult. Sometimes I just want to read. Sometimes I want to get lost in Pinterest. Sometimes I want to check in with my FB friends. Or play Hay Day. Sometimes that is the hard part of being a full-time wife and mom, as well as working outside the home full time. But, as winter sheds it’s coat (yes, we have a Cali version of winter) and spring dawns anew, we can all feel somewhat reborn. Throw aside what has been holding you down, sit outside and soak up the sun. Take a walk and marvel at what beauty springtime brings. Ride a bike and feel the warm breeze on your face. Ahhh, to start anew. It’s a wonderful thing!
What better way to pay homage to spring than wild caught salmon? Don’t get me wrong, I can eat salmon year-round. But there is something about salmon that speaks to warmer weather.
1 tsp packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 – 2 lbs skin-on salmon filet
Pepper to taste
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 recipe glaze (below)
3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300°. Combine brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a 12″ oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place salmon, flesh side down, in skillet and cook until well browned, about 1 minute. Using tongs, carefully flip salmon and cook on skin side for 1 minute.
Remove skillet from heat and evenly spoon glaze over salmon. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until fillets register 125° (for medium-rare) and are still translucent when cut into, about 7 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Total time: 30 minutes
*Derived from America’s Test Kitchen
Say good-bye to take out! This is a super delicious and extremely easy chicken recipe that you can count on being ready in less time than it takes to get take out. This was a hit with the fam (and you know if it’s not, it won’t show up here)! Even D, who I struggle to make lunches for because she doesn’t like sandwiches, said, “I want THIS for lunch tomorrow!” I’m seriously considering keeping it on hand for just that reason. ¡Buen Provecho!
3 tsp sesame oil
4 Tbs BBQ Sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1½ Tbs soy sauce (I always opt for the low sodium version)
1½ Tbs honey
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can use breast meat, too)
½ cup apricot jam
½ cup orange juice
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together sesame oil, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, and honey. Add chicken chunks, cover and marinade for at least 30 minutes but up to overnight.
Heat large pan to medium high. Remove chicken from marinade with tongs or a slotted spoon (don’t throw away the marinade) and brown.
Add the apricot jam and orange juice to the marinade. Add to chicken and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is done. Serve over warm steamed rice.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Prep time: 10 minutes Marinading & cooking time: 40 minutes
*Derived from Nora Rušev
I seem to be having a problem with life / work / blog balance lately. While I’m still cooking up a storm, it’s been tough to find the time to post about it. This, however, REQUIRED me to get it up as soon as possible! Not only did the entire family give it 3 very enthusiastic thumbs up, but 2 of my fab girl friends did, too! When the Mexican hubs is this excited about a dish, I know it’s not only a keeper, but should be a repeater, too. You see it served in the photo below with my baked tortilla chips. Oh, and It’s just as good the next day, and the next, for lunch! ¡Buen provecho!
1 lb lean ground beef (can easily sub chicken or turkey)
1 cup water
2 Tbs Tajin (go easy on Tajin, it quickly becomes too salty)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups sour cream, divided
1 tsp Mexican paprika
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbs cornmeal
10 flour tortillas, 6 inches (mine were much larger, so I cut them in half)
1 cup salsa (such as Herdez)
Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet heated to medium, cook beef until no longer pink, drain. Stir in water, Tajin, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream and Mexican paprika. Set aside. Sprinkle cornmeal into a greased 13×9″ baking dish.
Arrange five tortillas, overlapping, in the bottom of the prepared dish. Spread ½ cup salsa, add ½ of the meat mixture and ½ of each cheese. Repeat layers.
Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Corona (ok, admittedly not wine, but come on! This is all the flavors of Mexican food!)
Serves 8 (large servings)
Prep time: 25 – 30 minutes; Bake & standing time: 50 minutes
*Derived from Taste of Home