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
When I first looked at this recipe, I was hesitant. I’m not a pup anymore. Remember when you could eat a huge cinnamon roll donut as a kid and be just fine until lunch? Ya, me, too. Try that now and I feel heavy and sick to my stomach. Don’t even get me started on the feeling like a nap is imminent. These are the reasons I had to pause. But, I was making this ahead for Tahoe, so coupled with some eggs, if just might work. And I dare say, it did!
1 loaf French bread cut into 1/2″ cubes (challah is a great option here)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (such as Spice Island)
For streusel topping:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
Spray a 12-muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut bread into cubes and completely fill each well with bread. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Carefully pour mixture evenly over each muffin well, compressing the bread cubes to allow more liquid to be absorbed. Cover the tin with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 – 12 hours. (I refrigerated 2-3 hours and they were still amazing!)
Preheat oven to 350° and prepare streusel topping. In a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and butter. Use two forks or two knives to crumble mixture into coarse crumbs. Sprinkle mixture evenly on muffins.
Bake muffins 20 – 25 minutes, or until tops are golden. Let muffins cool about 5 minutes and serve warm. These are great made ahead and then popped in the toaster oven.
Serves: 12 muffins
Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
*Derived from The Pioneer Woman
Once again I was making my amazing Maple Salmon , this is a frequent dish in our house. The hubs and the kids love it. And I never tire of making such a tasty, healthy, supremely easy dish. I thought about making my Buttery Corn bread, too. But, quite frankly, I just didn’t feel like putting in the effort. Perused my baking recipes and nothing jumped out saying, “Make ME tonight! Make me!!” I guess I would just toast some slices of Pulgiese like usual. As I was in the refrigerator I discovered a can of crescent rolls that were quickly coming to the end of their shelf life. I grabbed it, but am not a big fan of canned crescent roll. I wonder what else I could come up with . . .
1 regular size can refrigerated crescent rolls
2 Tbs garlic olive oil (such as Garlic Gold)
3 tsp Rosemary (next time I’ll used crushed)
1/2 to 1 Cup shredded Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375°
Open can of crescent rolls, pinch seams together and roll flat, about the size of a small cookie sheet. Pour garlic olive oil into small bowl and with pastry brush, evenly brush dough with oil. Sprinkle with rosemary and then parmesan cheese. Roll into tight log and cut into 1″ thick slices.
Place flat on parchment lined cookie sheet and brush with remaining garlic olive oil. Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden.
Total time: 30 minutes
*Original Serves-4 Recipe
Now, this has quickly become my “go to” dessert. And I’ve made it in a few forms, bundt, loaf pan, and mini bundt. The mini bundt had disastrous results, by the way. Oh, it tasted fine. Quite good, actually. Just like it should. But not so pretty things happen when mini bundt pans are overfilled. And I have a tendency to overfill things: cupcake pans, cake pans, baking pans in general, frying pans, wine glasses (though I don’t truly believe that last one counts because I simply don’t believe it’s possible. Unless it is literally overflowing, and even then, if you can get to it quick enough, I think not). So it really should not have surprised me when I peered into the oven and saw my mini bundts about to plop onto the electric coil at the bottom of the oven, especially since as I was filling them I thought to myself, “this is definitely too much.” But there I was, wondering how I was going to get them out of the oven without making a complete mess and then later, how I was going to extract them from the mini bundt pan. Which I was never able to do. The whole family is now walking by and scooping out a bite on their way by. You know what, though? The loaf pan worked perfect!
1 (15.25 oz) white cake mix
1 (5.1 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tablet Mexican chocolate, ground (I used Ibarra Authentic Mexican Chocolate)
1 ½ cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Grease 10″ bundt pan or several loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat cake and pudding mixes, water, oil and eggs. Pour half the mixture into the bundt pan.
The Mexican chocolate disk is very hard, I double wrapped it in zip lock bags and beat it with a meat mallet. Add Mexican chocolate to remaining batter. Stir to combine and pour over white batter.
Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes and then invert over a cooling rack to cool completely. This final step is very important to wait as close to the 20 minutes as possible. In my excitement, I attempted to invert it too early and a big portion of the inside cracked.
Total time: 60 minutes
*Derived from Spoonful
-  Sweet Saturday: Russian Apple Bundt Cake (julzalicious.wordpress.com)
- Lean and lovin’ it: Early holiday gift yields sweet Christmas cake (dailyherald.com)
- 15 Beautiful Bundt Cakes!!! (katerinasgift.com)
It seems this Thanksgiving I was all about the puff pastry for the appetizers. Isn’t it weird how we get stuck on a certain ingredient or type of cooking? This Thanksgiving my focus seemed to be on puff pastry and bacon. More to come regarding the bacon 🙂
1 pkg (5.2 oz) garlic & herb spreadable cheese, softened (I used the little wedges by The Laughing Cow
1 Tbs finely chopped parsley
2 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
18 fresh jumbo shrimp (peeled & deveined)
1 sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
Heat oven to 400°F.
Stir cheese, parsley, and bacon in a medium bowl and set aside.
Unfold puff pastry sheet on lightly floured work surface. Cut puff pastry sheet crosswise into 18, ½” wide strips. Spoon at 2 teaspoons cheese mixture onto each strip. Wind 1 pastry shrimp around 1 shrimp, slightly overlapping the pastry. Repeat with remaining pastry strips and shrimp.
Bake 15 minutes or until pastries are golden brown.
Serves 18 (pieces)
Total time: 50 minutes
*Derived from Pepperidge Farm
- Bacon-and-Egg Breakfast Tarts (williams-sonoma.com)
- 5 Brie Appetizer Recipes For Thanksgiving (mademan.com)
- Recipe Roundup: Thanksgiving Appetizers (williams-sonoma.com)
I don’t know about everyone else, but I seem to be getting into the Holiday spirit in fits and stops. One minute I’m super excited and totally on top of things, and the next I’m yawning into my glass of wine and wishing someone could just wake me up when it’s all over. For this I blame all of the stores that completely by-passed my favorite holiday of the year (#Thanksgiving) and started decorating for Christmas on November 1st. It has left me feeling not quite bah humbug about the whole thing, but certainly ho-hum. So, to show my support for Thanksgiving, I’m going to be posting more of my recipes from that holiday. And the fact that they haven’t been posted before has absolutely nothing to do with laziness . . .
1 sheet Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, thawed
¼ cup pesto sauce (I used store-bought from the produce section)
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs thinly sliced basil leaves
Heat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle flour on work surface. Unfold pastry sheet on floured work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12″ square. Place the pastry sheet onto the baking sheet and prick thoroughly with a fork.
Spread pesto sauce on pastry to within ½” of pastry edge. Arrange tomato slices on pesto and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 12 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with basil.
Serves 6 as appetizers
Prep: 15 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes
*Courtesy Pepperidge Farm
- 5 Easy Winter Appetizers (mademan.com)
- Puff Pastry Recipe, Puff Pastry Tarts (potterybarnkids.com)
- Caramelized Onion and Apple Tarts with Gruyere and Thyme (williams-sonoma.com)
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s all about the food, family, and friends! You don’t have to worry about anyone’s favorite color, what size of jeans they wear, or if you have picked the right handbag. Nope, just come hang out and eat and drink! What is NOT to love about Thanksgiving. I know a lot of people are not thrilled with the amount of cooking. But if you love cooking, you ARE thrilled with the amount of cooking. I always have to force myself to not plan the menu before November 1st, and that is such a struggle. This year, however, I didn’t make it. I was in a slump while planning my daughter’s 5th birthday, which is on Halloween. We did a fairy theme. And the food I wanted to make seemed to grown-up to me. I didn’t want something total kid, either. I was really stuck. So, to get me unstuck, I planned the entire Thanksgiving menu over a glass (or two, ok maybe three) of wine. This was probably mid-October. One problem with that, by the time Thanksgiving actually rolled around, I felt so out of touch with it. It was an odd feeling for me, like I had lost my groove. I have promised myself that next year, I’ll be sure to sit on my hands the month of October!
1 pkg (17.3 oz) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup prepared ranch salad dressing (I used Bolthouse Farms, it’s made with Greek yogurt, making it a little healthier)
2 Tbs chopped fresh chives
Heat oven to 470°.
Unfold 1 pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12/2″ square. Cut into 36 (2″) squares. Prick pastry with a fork. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet, making a total of 72 squares. Place the squares on a baking sheet
Bake for 8 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Using the back of a small spoon, press down the centers of the hot pastries to make an indentation.
Spoon about 1/2 tsp each of cheese and bacon onto each indentation. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove the pastries from baking sheet and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Top with dressing and chives.
Serves 72 pieces
Prep time: 20 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes
*From Pepperidge Farm
- Turkey, Mushroom and Bacon Puff Pastry Pockets Recipe (lesleyguardia.wordpress.com)
- Sharing Thanksgiving Traditions (blarouche.wordpress.com)
- Crab & Shrimp Vol-au-Vents (bakingfanatic.wordpress.com)
Sometimes I wonder if my life resembles the chicken and the egg a little. Did my love for Mexican food come before my love for a Mexican? Or did my love for a Mexican enhance my love of Mexican food? As long as I can remember I’ve loved Mexican food. Hot, spicy Mexican food. Then I fell in love with a Mexican and found a whole new appreciation for Mexican food, and, well, all things Mexican in general. And that brings me to my Fat Taquitos. I’m always on the hunt for Mexican food recipes, and for new ways to make Mexican food. And one of the strongest Mexican food critics sits at my table! I had a feeling these were going to be good, but did feel a bit apprehensive as I set the plate down at lunch a few Saturdays ago. Would they pass muster? Would I be sent back to the drawing board? They passed muster! And I got a thumbs up from one of my little foodies!!
8 small (6″) corn tortillas
1½ cups shredded chicken
½ cup prepared salsa (I like to use the fresh salsa usually found in the produce section)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ tsp Morton & Bassett Mexican Blend seasoning
Sour cream and guacamole for dipping
In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the chicken and salsa. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
While chicken and salsa is in refrigerator, begin warming tortillas for use. In a small skillet heated to medium-warm add one tortilla at a time. You want to warm the tortilla and not cook it. When tortilla is warmed on both sides, set aside and keep warm. Continue with all tortillas
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375°. Remove chicken salsa mixture from refrigerator and drain any liquid. Add cheese and Mexican Blend seasoning. Combine well.
Take one tortilla and lightly brush what will be the outside with olive or canola oil. Lay on clean, dry surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling down the middle of the tortilla. Roll tightly and place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Add a sprinkling of kosher salt across the tops.
Bake 14-16 minutes, until crispy. You might need to pop on the broiler for a few minutes. Serve with enchilada sauce, salsa, sour cream, and / or guacamole!
Wine Pairing Suggestions:
Prep time: 20 minutes; Baking time: 16 minutes
*Derived from Hungry Girl
- Cheesy Chicken “Taquitos” (heavensentpeanutbutter.wordpress.com)
- Mexican Taquitos Pinned with Flap (beinggrand.com)
- Taquitos! (istyleit.wordpress.com)