Sous Chef Sunday: Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Bites

Who doesn’t remember eating these as a kid? They were always a huge treat for us. You could open the bag and just smell the mustardy, oniony addictive-ness. We’ve always got some sort of your basic pretzel on hand in the pantry. As a splurge purchase, I will occasionally buy a bag of our favorite seasoned pretzels. We are total total pretzel freaks, so I was delighted to find and try this recipe. I knew the sons & I had to give it a go ASAP. They were so excited about them,  they insisted on taking over and doing it themselves.

The result? These taste EXACTLY like the ones you know and love. And they’re perfect! Whip up your own from scratch batch whenever you get a craving. You will not be able to stop snackin’ on these lip-smacking hard pretzel bites.

Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Bites

4 Sons 'R' Us: Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Bites

recipe adapted from Table For Two

12-16 oz. sourdough hard pretzels (the pounder)
⅔ cup vegetable oil
4 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. yellow mustard
2 tsp. onion powder

4 Sons 'R' Us: Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Bites

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large baking sheet with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, honey, yellow mustard, and onion powder.
3. Smash the sourdough hard pretzels against your counter-top into bite-size pieces.
4. Pour the pretzels into the mixture and toss well to coat every piece.
5. Pour the pretzels onto the baking sheet and spread them out in an even layer.
6. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing/turning the pieces halfway through baking.
7. Remove from oven, let cool, then store in an airtight container.

Sous Chef Sunday: Chicken & Waffle Sliders

Mmm. Chicken, and waffles. Two seemingly unrelated things, but when put together make a food-gasmic combination. The sons, yet again, were skeptical. Four identical sets of little arched eye-brows as I got out just 3 ingredients. When, oh when, will they learn to trust me in the kitchen?! The sons followed the super simple recipe all by themselves, although with supervision since they were using the oven. The older sons can handle it, but Son # 4 gets so excited to be involved in the process, I worry he might forget hot things lead to burned fingers. Each son, in turn, took one tentative bite, and then proceeded to scarf them down. They looked like squirrels packing away food for winter. There was even a brief skirmish over the last two and who deserved them MOST. A chicken and waffle combo may have sounded weird to the more traditional tastes of the Sons, but they all agreed UNANIMOUSLY (might I point out this almost never happens!), that these little suckers are finger-lickin’ good.

Chicken & Waffle Sliders

4 Sons 'R' Us: Chicken & Waffle Sliders

frozen mini waffles, fully toasted
chicken tenders, cooked
{real} maple syrup
toothpicks

Directions

1. Slice your cooked chicken tenders in half. Break your toasted waffles apart.
2. Sandwich one piece of chicken between two cooked waffles. Secure with a toothpick.
3. When all the tenders have been ‘sandwiched’, drizzle them with maple syrup and serve warm.

Sous Chef Sunday: Lazy Cake Cookies

If Grandma’s cookies and your favorite brownie got together, this would be their love-child. And they’re glorious.

Moist and chewy, with the perfect amount of cookie taste. The sons love them because A.) they’re awesome and B.) because they almost always get a ‘yes’ if they ask to make them. I love them because A.) they’re freakin’ awesome and B.) because they’re so easy the kids don’t make a huge mess and I can finally eat a dessert I didn’t have to make myself. Everybody’s happy. Although, that could also be the after effects of the sugar high…Nah!

Never ones to be afraid of a little ‘flair’, the sons opted for pink/yellow Easter mini chips instead of the more traditional plain, ol’ chocolate. But, seriously, who doesn’t love a good cookie? Especially one with a little pizzazz.

Lazy Cake Cookies

4 Sons 'R' Us: Lazy Cake Cookies

Oh my. Pass the plate, please! *drool*

1 box yellow or white cake mix (you don’t have to stop there. Experiment!)
2 eggs, beaten
5 tbsp melted butter
2 cups chocolate chips or M&M’s

Directions

1. Mix together, put in a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 20 min! That’s it. Let them cool. Cut & serve!

When spreading the batter into your baking dish it’s OK if it doesn’t want to stretch out to fill the entire pan. Just make sure it’s as good as it will get and it will rise and fill as it bakes. To prevent the very sticky batter from sticking to your spatula and to make it easier, lightly grease the spatula before spreading.

Sous Chef Sunday: Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

These little grilled cheese ‘sticks’ are easy, delicious, and dippable. For all of you fellow double-dip offenders, you know exactly what I mean when I say, it’s ten times better if it’s dippable. Son # 3 dubbed these his favorite ‘eggrolls’. All the sons thoroughly enjoyed dunking them in their bowls of creamy tomato soup.These were so much more convenient than our old grilled cheese sandwich.   Son made, son tested, and son approved.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups

6 slices of your favorite sandwich bread, any kind will do
6 slices of American or Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter
tomato soup

Directions

1. Lay out pieces of sandwich bread on a flat surface. Use a rolling pin to flatten. Then, if you’re anti-crusts, use a knife to cut the crusts off of each piece of flattened bread.
2. Place a slice of cheese on top of each slice of bread, then roll up tightly to form a grilled cheese
3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat until melted. Place the grilled cheese rolls (about 3 at a time) seam-side down in the skillet, and cook on all sides until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. You can press the rolls down with a spatula to be sure that they do not unfold while cooking.
4. Remove and repeat with the remaining sandwiches, adding more melted butter if necessary. Serve immediately while the cheese is still warm and gooey with extra delicious dipping sauce tomato soup.

Sous Chef Sunday: Cheesy Garlic Sticks

We’re a family who loves good food and I want my sons to not only know their way around a kitchen and a recipe when they are grown, but to be at home in the kitchen. The sons are my biggest fans & biggest supporters with everything I do so, naturally, I’m really excited to be including them in this adventure. So, without further adieu…

This week we’re introducing Sous Chef Sundays! 2-3 Sundays a month we will be bringing you kid friendly recipes that one or more of my own 4 sous chefs have helped me create & prepare. Tried and true dishes that we’ve made sure are appropriate for getting your own kids in the kitchen and involved.

This week we’re introducing you to Cheesy Garlic Sticks. The sons love these! They know it’s going to be a great day if they see pizza dough thawing before they leave for school and ‘pizza’ isn’t on the dinner menu. That’s guaranteed to mean these oh-so-yummy breadsticks will be waiting for them when they walk in the door after school. These come out piping hot with that perfect amount of stretchy, melted mozzarella. Son # 4 (4) enjoyed using a rolling pix to stretch the dough out (by himself) into the pan and sprinkling cheese everywhere. And I do mean everywhere, but it was kind of freeing to just go with it and see his little face lit up with joy. I also reminded myself I could fix it to my satisfaction before we actually put it in the oven.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cheesy Garlic Sticks

Son # 4 insisted I ‘hold on’ when it was time to start on this recipe. I patiently waited as he climbed up on his step stool and grabbed a white paper lunch bag. He then ran into his room. This is how he came back into the kitchen. Ready to rock!

4 Sons 'R' Us4 Sons 'R' Us

The little ‘chef’ had even found his own photo prop! All cuteness aside, let’s dig into this Sunday’s recipe.

Cheesy Garlic Sticks

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cheesy Garlic Sticks

recipe adapted from Jam Hands

1 can of refrigerated pizza dough, or one loaf of homemade pizza dough
olive oil for brushing the dough
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded provolone, optional
1 tbsp minced garlic
1-2 tsp Italian Seasoning

Directions

1. Roll out pizza dough on a baking pan.  Brush dough lightly all over with olive oil.
2. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and provolone, if using, all over the dough.  Use your fingers and sprinkle minced garlic all over the dough.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the top, as desired.
3. Bake at 425 for 12-18 minutes.
4. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting. Use a pizza cutter to cut into breadstick-sized strips. Serve with marinara sauce, if desired.