RSS Feed

Loaded Mashed Potato Bombs

Bombs. Just about anything with bomb in its name is bound to be a hit with the sons. Far be it for me to try and keep them healthy, and alive, with full use of their life AND limbs. I blame all the action movies their Dad and I have exposed them to, and the fact that the good guys always win and manage to get through everything unscathed.

Die Hard? They say Die Harder. Yippee Ki Yay Mother Heiffer. Ok, you can’t blame a mom for keeping some things PG ;) We’ve all got a favorite 007. ‘Bond. James Bond’ Great at killing off evil masterminds and at the art of escape. Greater at destroying every gadget Q ever gives him. Lethal Weapon, anyone? Unlike Murtagh, you can’t ever be too old for a classic action movie. Although, I think it’s safe to say that based on my reaction when toast pops out of the toaster, I will never look that cool walking away from an explosion.

And all this is one of our favorite things about the sons being home from school, whether it’s the weekend or summer vacation. We all get to pile up on the couch in an awkward pile of elbows, stinky feet, and chaotic disarray and ‘bond’ over the special affects and often over the top plots without having to worry about anywhere to be or bedtimes. Thank you Netflix!

And we all know that no Netflix marathon is complete without snacks. At least not around these parts. So what better pairing than these little dough balls that are bursting with flavor?

Loaded Mashed Potato Bombs

leftover mashed potatoes, about 1- 1 1/2 cups worth
1/8 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp chives
3 pieces of bacon, cooked crisp OR 2 tbsp bacon bits
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 3/4″ cubes of cheddar cheese OR Velveeta
1 roll of refrigerated biscuits, full size 10 pk
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Warm up the mashed potatoes.
2. In a medium to large bowl, add the potatoes, sour cream, garlic, chives, bacon, and cheese. Stir together until everything is evenly incorporated. Salt and pepper the mashed potatoes, to taste. Allow the potatoes to cool completely.
3. Wrap 1 1/2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes around each cube of cheese. Use a rolling pin to roll out each biscuit until it’s big enough to enclose the potato ball. Wrap the flattened biscuits around the potato balls, making sure to seal them completely so that the cheese stays in during baking.
4. Place the biscuits seam side down on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted.

recipe adapted from Spend With Pennies

Cheddar Ranch Bread

Everybody here goes absolutely ga-ga for the combination of bacon, ranch, and cheese. They really love our snack supper nights because they usually incorporate some combo of those flavors, like in our cheddar, bacon ranch pull apart bread. But this mama doesn’t always have time for all that, even though it is totally drool-worthy. So on those busy nights, I opt to forgo the frying of bacon and instead make a variation that’s a spin-off of those favorite flavors, and our good old fashioned garlic bread. This updated version makes a perfect addition to almost any of our favorite pasta dishes. Add in a salad and we’ve got a quick meal to make any hungry-body happy and dinner that’s ready in a snap.

Cheddar Ranch Bread

Cheddar Ranch Bread

 1 full-size loaf of Italian bread (sourdough would also work well)
½ c. butter (softened), or butter spread
2 tbsp. buttermilk Ranch seasoning mix
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
freshly chopped or dried dill, optional

Directions

1. Stir together spread and Ranch seasoning until smooth.
2. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the bread in half lengthwise, and spread the seasoned butter out evenly over both cut sides. Sprinkle the cheese over the buttered bread, and sprinkle a little fresh or dried dill over the top if desired.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are starting to brown. Serve immediately.

recipe adapted from The Weary Chef

Sous Chef Sunday: Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

After almost 5 years, we’ll probably only two where he’s paid attention, the youngest son has finally grasped the concept of birthdays. Yes, you have one once a year. He’s also gotten down not just the names of the  months of the year, but there order and that there’s not a random sequence to them. Yes, your birthday is in August. Yes that’s after June and July. So naturally for the past, oh 3/4’s of a year or so, ha know since the day after his birthday last year there’s been a count down to his next big day this August. He introduces himself to people with his name, quickly followed by the fact that he’s now 5 & 3/4.

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

Our everyday birthday cake banter has really had us all craving just that. But that’s a ways away. So I figured who needs to wait and wait and wait all the way until their special day just for a taste of birthday cake? Not us, not anymore. Not when we can have cake batter monkey muffins anytime of the year. Not to mention, what morning isn’t just a wee bit brighter with a naughty little bit of cake for breakfast? Some days the sons can have their cake, and eat it too! We’ll just save the homemade butter cream frosting for the party part.

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins

Cake Batter Monkey Muffins 2 

1 can jumbo refrigerator biscuits, NOT flaky
1 cup funfetti cake mix dry, or yellow/vanilla cake mix with some sprinkles mixed in
3 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
Vanilla Frosting

Directions

1. Spray a muffin tin/cupcake pan generously with cooking spray.
2.  In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Transfer the melted butter to a small bowl and add the vanilla. Stir them together, and set it aside.
3. Add the cake mix and brown sugar to another small bowl, and stir them together until evenly incorporated.
4. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut each biscuit into four pieces.
5. Working with four pieces of dough at a time, dip them into the butter mixture, coating them completely. Using a fork or slotted spoon, remove them from the butter mixture (allowing any excess to drip off) and transfer them to the cake mix bowl. Coat each piece completely in the cake mixture. Place four coated pieces into each muffin tin, repeat the process until all eight tins are full.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden, and the centers appear set being careful NOT to overbake them!! Allow the cooked muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before running a butter knife carefully around the edges and removing them from the pan.
7. Place a dollop of frosting on the tops of the still-warm muffins and top with sprinkles.
8. These are best served warm, but can be reheated in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds and served within one day.

recipe adapted from Chef In Training

Copy Cat Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches

There’s just something about a chicken sandwich, specifically, a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich, that is just out of those world delicious. Especially in the realm of fast food. And who can blame them for the uber simple, streamlined menu. It’s hard to top perfection. And perfect the boneless, fried chicken breast they have. And for years we’ve craved that taste, paired with delicious dill pickles. And for years I’ve been angered, depressed, even sickened once by my failure to achieve anything close to it at home. Don’t get me wrong, I usually will find any reason to justify coughing up some extra cash for a pit stop at the nearest one, but sometimes this just isn’t possible. (Heeellllooo, Sundays at lunch time, every single time, when we pull in only to face palm after realizing, duh! they’re closed) And yet, the craving still demands to be satisfied. So what’s a gal to do???

 Copy Cat Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches

She keeps right on trying, dammit!! And lo and behold, we finally have a winner folks! I kid you not, the flavor is spot on. I was even able to feed everyone, at 1 sandwich a piece with only two breasts. Two! and yes you read that right. I can’t even get over these, that’s how good they were. The hubs, the sons, everyone has asked for them repeatedly. Anytime I ask what we should have for supper, this is there answer. The hubs liked it so much he had two, two, and then stared down my sandwich every.single. bite. I took the entire meal. He even told me to name my price! Oh the things I can get that man to do for a bite of this sandwich. (cue the witchy, evil laugh) But really, that honey do-list? Totally, nonchalantly pushing it across the table…

The secret? The marinade before the seasoned breading. It’s pickle juice. And no for all the pickle haters out there, it doesn’t leave the chicken tasting pickle-y. For added authenticity, serve these on buttered, toasted hamburger buns with two pickle slices each.

Copy Cat Chick-Fil-A Sandwiches

Copy Cat Chick-Fil-A sandwiches 2

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (we get 3 patties er breast)
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
tiny dash of cayenne
Oil for frying (about a cup), if you’re going for authenticity use peanut oil, I usually just us vegetable oil and they still taste phenomenal
Buns (buttered and toasted)
dill pickle slices/ ‘chips’

Directions

1. Wrap the chicken loosely between plastic wrap and pound gently with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until it’s only about ½ inch thick all around.
2. Cut the breast into two, or three, pieces, as evenly as possible.
3. Marinate the chicken in pickle juice for at least 30 minutes, and up to one hour.
4. Beat the egg with the milk in a bowl.
5. Combine the flour, sugar, and spices in another bowl.
6. Dip the chicken pieces each into the egg on both sides, then coat in flour on both sides.
7. Heat the oil in a skillet (1/2 inch deep) to about 345-350 degrees.
8. Fry each cutlet for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on the outside and cooked through.
9. Remove from the skillet onto paper towels. Blot to remove any excess oil, and serve on toasted buns with pickle slices.

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches

How often does it happen that you can just throw a few things together and have someone else do all the work for you? Who am I kidding? That never happens in the real world. Except in the kitchen it totally can. With your crockpot. And it’s glorious!

Let your crockpot take over and do the all day work of slow simmering a beef chuck roast in beef broth, onion soup, and red wine. Talk about some tasty ‘broth’! Your house is gonna smell oh-so yummy. It’s gonna have mouth’s watering with one whiff, and you may or may not have a neighbor stop by, being drawn in by the scent and all. Good thing this meal makes plenty :)

 Crockpot French Dip

Your favorite rolls, toasted and then topped with sliced provolone before being piled high with tender roast beef, dipped in au jus gravy before a bite that’s pure bliss. I seriously suggest making sure you’ve got individual serving bowls for the au jus though. Thankfully, I have enough ramekins for everybody to have their own personal bowl of au jus gravy. Because dip it, dip it, dip it. It’s a must. For every bite. Double dip, shmouble dip. Just make sure you have plenty of napkins handy.

Crockpot French Dip

Crockpot French Dip

beef chuck roast, about 3 1/2 lbs
16 oz beef broth, or about 1 1/2 cans
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed French onion soup
6 oz red wine
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 French rolls, or other sandwich rolls of your choosing
8-12 slices provolone cheese

Directions

1. Trim any excess fat off of the roast, and liberally season the meat with salt and pepper.
2. Pour the broth, soup, wine, and garlic powder into the crock pot before sitting the roast in the crock pot in the liquid.
3. Cook the roast on low for 6-8 hours, until it’s falling apart tender.
4. Carefully remove the cooked beef from the crock pot to a plate or other serving platter. Loosely cover it with aluminum foil and allow it to ‘rest’ for about 15 minutes.
5. Roughly ‘slice’ the beef or use two forks to shred the meat, then return the beef to the crock pot and let it finish cooking on low for another 30 minutes.
6. Lightly toast the rolls, and distribute the cheese between the rolls. I like to use two slices per sandwich. Top with cooked beef. Spoon the au jus gravy* into ramekins or other small bowls, and serve everything nice and warm.

* If you’re worried about excess fat in your au jus gravy, just transfer the broth from the crock pot into a large measuring cup or bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes, or until the fat separates. Skim the fat off the top, and then pour it into individual serving dishes.

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark

I’m always on the look out for a good snack recipe that both the kids and I can enjoy. I also always love it if I can mess with their little brains and change their preconceived ideas about things. Wondering what I mean? A couple months ago if I’d told them that there’d be a healthy frozen yogurt snack they’d love. They’d have laughed at me. Laughed, I tell ya!! Did it help that I sweetened the yogurt pot a bit? Probably, but what bowl of yogurt doesn’t beg to have some fresh strawberries, coconut, and or a few chocolate chips stirred in? It seemed like a no brainer here.

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark 2

When you need that little pick me up, but don’t want to over-indulge this is the perfect go-to treat. It’s super simple, and guilt free. That and you can claim you’re giving your kids ice cream, with them none the wiser, without all the additional sugar. Do your eaters prefer different add ins? Not a problem. Get creative. Get fancy. Get it in their little bellies. And yours :) Nuts are a great option, or other fruits. We’ve even added a couple handfuls of their favorite cereals for a fun, fast, and refreshing breakfast. Don’t you just love a recipe with so many possibilities?

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark

Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark

Yogurt Bark:
1 3/4 – 2 cups Greek yogurt, plain or flavor of your choosing
2-3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp blueberries
1 tbsp raisins

Toppings:
5-6 fresh strawberries, washed & chopped
1 tbsp semi sweet chocolate chips
1-2 tsp shredded coconut

Directions

1. Mix the yogurt and honey together until well combined. Add the cranberries or blueberries and raisins, stir again to evenly incorporate everything.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and pour the yogurt mixture on top. Spread the mixture out evenly, to your desired thickness or thinness of the bark.
3. Sprinkle the strawberries, chocolate chips and the coconut on top of the yogurt and place the whole pan levelly in the freezer for about an hour or until the bark is completely frozen.
4. Remove the sheet pan from the freezer and use a sharp knife to break the bark into pieces. The bark can be stored in the freezer in zip-locking bags.

*Just a heads up, that when you first take the bark out of the freezer, you’ll notice a few ice chips on it. That’s why I recommend you wait a bit before enjoying, whether it’s as soon as it’s frozen or when removing a piece or peices from your stock. If you don’t wait a bit, you might find at first bite that the bark’s too cold and might think it a failed recipe. Let it melt just a bit, no more than 20 minutes or so, until the chill has subsided, but before it’s turned into a mess, and it’s delicious.

recipe adapted from My Fussy Eater

Sous Chef Sunday: Cuban Hot Dogs or Cubano Dogs

Ok, the sons are the sons, and Lord knows I love my boys, BUT in the past few months the lazy/put upon bug has bitten them in the butt. HARD. Yes, I expect you to help with dinner. Is it going to kill you? No. You’ve got no problem eating the 4 course meal, and you expect me to help with homework, run you around, and generally revolve my whole world around anything you deem fit. SO, if I need a little help with some prep work? You’d better pretend to be willing to lend a hand. That being said, their idea of a complicated recipe and mine are totally different. You ask them to dice or chop and onion, and just the thought has them crying crocodile tears. Big babies. That’s what those big fat science safety goggles are for! ;)

That being said, I try to pick my battles. So if it’s actually their turn to cook, or I delegate the job (yep, it happens) I try to keep their sometimes waning enthusiasm in mind. Things like Cuban hot dogs are perfect for these nights. Still relatively easy, but still technically a recipe. Little prep work, mostly just assembly. And pair it with a simple tossed salad? Or some steamed veggies? Dinner. Is. Done.

So for this Sous Chef Sunday were bringing you dogs. Hot dogs, but not just any hot dogs. CUBAN hot dogs. This may not be the prettiest picture we’ve ever taken, but man oh man don’t let that turn you away. This is one of our favorite ways to enjoy a hotdog! So good! It’s a flavor picnic packaged neatly in a little bun.

Cuban Hot Dogs/Cubano Dogs

Cuban Style Hotdogs

4 hot dogs, we prefer the all beef variety
8 thin slices of Swiss cheese
8 slices of deli ham
4 buns
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
prepared yellow mustard
4 dill pickle spears

Directions

1. Cook the hot dogs however you normally would.
2. Place the opened hot dogs buns on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and layer two pieces each of cheese and sliced ham over the inside of the bun. When the hotdogs are just about done cooking, put the buns in the oven and broil until they’re toasted and the cheese is melted. This step is optional. I prefer the toasty, melty cheese version, but the hungry sons usually skip it to get it on their plates faster :)
3. Place the cooked hot dogs in the buns and top each with a pickle, onions, and a drizzle of mustard.

recipe adapted from Sweet Treats & More

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 291 other followers

%d bloggers like this: