Apple, Red Onion, & Cheddar Panini on Naan Bread

There’s nothing quite like the fresh air of the mountains, and living in Virginia we’re fortunate enough to be only a hop, skip, and a jump from the nearest range. A kind of peace comes over me and my heart is so full when I watch my boys be boys, especially the older they get. And our local (ish, it’s only 40 minutes away) orchard offers them every opportunity to embrace everything innately boyish about themselves.

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Running up and down mountain sides? Check.

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Climbing trees? Check. (bonus points for ones over looking or over hanging mountain sides)

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Eating fruit fresh picked from the vine? Check.

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Dad letting you carry and use a (very dull) pocket knife to cut your own fresh slices of fruit? Check.

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(and obviously extra, extra bonus points for the use of sharp objects)

apple picking 2015

Every year we have a blast, and I love being able to look back on our memories forever captured in photos, but ever year we come home starving, and that’s despite the fresh cider and fresh cider donuts we gorge on while there.

This year, I dug right into one of our several bushels and had a piping hot batch of grilled naan-witches ready to serve in no time. Meltty, tangy sharp cheddar, the bite of red onion, crispy, sweet apple slices, and a bit of sass from our favorite honey mustard made this the perfect grilled cheese sandwich to celebrate one of our favorite Fall traditions.

Apple, Red Onion, Cheddar Panini on Naan Bread

Apple, Red Onion, & Cheddar Panini on Naan Bread

2 pieces of naan or other bread (use four pieces if the slices are small, I had 2 large naan pieces)
1 Apple, cored and sliced
sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
your favorite honey mustard

Directions

  1. Place a layer of cheddar cheese slices on the bottom piece of naan. Layer on sliced apples, then the sliced red onion, and then top that with another layer of cheddar cheese.

2. Spread a layer of honey mustard on the inside of the top piece of naan and then place that on top of apple, onion and cheese, closing the sandwich.

3. Place the sandwich in the panini press until heated through, about 6 minutes. Cut the sandwich in half (if you’re using larger slices of naan) and serve.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis

I didn’t think my beloved grilled cheese from childhood could get any better, and then someone introduced me to paninis. My adult self has since upgraded with these scrumptious Chicken Cordon Bleu Paninis. They combine crispy, fried chicken cutlets, melted Swiss cheese, and sweet ham slices into a gourmet sandwich that’s a beauty to both behold and to savor.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini cut in half and displayed on a white serving platter with potato chips to show the crispy chicken cutlets, sliced ham, and melted Swiss

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‘Knock Your Socks Off’ Tailgate Burgers

Get ready for game day with the best ever grilled burger recipe, these ‘Knock Your Socks Off’ Tailgate Burgers. Trust me, they’re gonna completely bowl you over with how amazing they are- appetizer, lunch, dinner- they’ll be the main event wherever they’re served.

'Knock Your Socks Off' Tailgate Burgers

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California Dogs

Today we’ve got another recipe for another quintessential ‘kid’ favorite, the hot dog. Who else loved these things? Lunch or dinner, serve ’em up slapped on a good bun with a healthy bit of ketchup, and we were in heaven.

Bacon Wrapped California Dogs topped with creamy avocado & shredded monterrey jack cheese on a white plate

But as an adult, ketchup and mustard can get a little boring. No worries, the unexpected hot dog toppings in this rendition are certainly something to relish.

cooked Bacon Wrapped hot dogs on a metal cooling wrack

These California-inspired dogs have graduated right along with us, taking the treat from nostalgic kid-fair and graduating into full-blown adult territory.

three Bacon Wrapped hot dogs on fluffy buns on a white serving plate

Wrapped in bacon and then cooked to perfect hotdog/crisp bacon skin perfection, they’re then (best) served on your favorite bun, and topped with store-bought (or fresh) guacamole, with a hearty ‘sprinkle’ of your favorite shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Bacon Wrapped California Dogs shown topped with creamy green avocado on a white serving plate

Who said our childhood favorites couldn’t grow up too?

Bacon Wrapped California Dogs on a white serving plate

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

California Dogs

Servings: 8
Calories: 357kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 all-beef hot dogs
  • 8 Slices uncured bacon
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • guacamole homemade or store-bought, whichever you prefer
  • Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Wrap one slice of bacon around each hot dog and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. We put our hot dogs on our cooling racks, set on top of a baking sheet, to catch the grease, and have the, get crisp since they won’t be sitting in said bacon grease.
  • Place the cooked hot dog in a bun and top with guacamole and generous sprinkle of the shredded cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 819mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg

Macaroni & Cheese Egg Rolls With Ham or Bacon

If you think egg rolls are only to be found on Chinese take-out menus, or in the Asian section of the frozen food aisle, it’s time to think again.

If you’re an egg roll purist who firmly believes this American-iced version of the traditional spring roll should only be hiding a blend of pork, cabbage, maybe a few other veggies, and a bevy of seasoning that’s cool, we have the perfect easy egg roll recipe for you.

cut open fried mac and cheese egg rolls showing a cheesy pasta center studded with ham on a brown cutting board

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Grilled Tandoori Chicken Burgers

What do you do when one of your readers asks about a specific genre of recipes? You try to accommodate, right? Any good blogger should. At the same time, when a new follower inquired as to what specific diabetic friendly recipes I offered, I was a bit embarrassed to not be able to offer any immediate suggestions. Which was even more upsetting when I consider how this has plagued my own family, more specifically, my grandmother who alongside my mom pretty much raised me in the kitchen.

Grilled Chicken Tandoori Burgers 3

Starting today, I will make an effort to provide more diabetic friendly recipes and add a specific tag for recipes more inclined to those who struggle with still wanting to eat well, but not sacrifice flavor. Grandma was one of those women. She lived food. She loved it. And each ounce of love was like a tangible thing we could taste, cooked into every bite of her meal. But as any diabetic knows, you’ve got to watch your sugar, and often that may mean sacrificing those oh-so-glorious carbs, which often break down into nothing more than simple sugars we don’t actually need.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Burgers

Unleavened naan bread is a much more diabetic friendly option than traditional burger buns. The burgers are made from ground chicken, a much leaner meat than ground beef, with an amazing array of different spices that while seeming so different, bring their A (+) game. These ‘tandoori’ style burgers are topped with fresh veggies, and finished off with a healthy mint yogurt sauce in lieu of the traditional mayo.

So much tastier. So much yum in each bite. Calories and sugars reduced, yet every ounce of flavor is easily tripled.

Grilled Tandoori Chicken Burgers

Grilled Chicken Tandoori Burgers 4

1 1/2 lbs ground chicken breast
4 green onions, sliced thinly
3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp  lemon juice
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Naan bread
cucumber, thinly sliced
cilantro leaves
red onion, thinly sliced

Mint Yogurt Sauce

1 heaping cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Put the chicken, green onions, and all of the spices in a bowl and mix well. Form into 4 patties.
2. Mix the yogurt sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Cook the Tandoori Chicken Burgers on a preheated grill over medium-medium high heat, roughly 3 minutes per side. Throw the Naan bread on the grill during the last few minutes, flipping once, to warm through.
4. Top the cooked burgers with a few sliced cucumbers, red onion, and a generous handful of cilantro.
5. Either add a healthy dollop of yogurt sauce to the top or spread it onto the insides of the naan bread.

Mexican Street Fries with Salsa Ketchup

Today we’ve got another recipe with South of The Border flavors, but today’s isn’t quite as ‘authentic’ as our Papusas with Salsa Roja from last week.

 Mexican Street Fries & Salsa Ketchup 2

We love a good fry recipe. The crispier the better! And while I often use store bought frozen fries, I always keep a bag or two of a variety of potatoes on hand for those times when I’m craving a little something down-home and starchy, and I’ve got the time not only to make it from scratch, but also to do a little bit more.

These Mexican street fries fit the bill perfectly. Sliced thin, so they are extra crispy, and seasoned to fiesta-flavored perfection they’re the perfect embodiment of technique and flavor working hand in hand. Pair them with the salsa ketchup, for the perfect bit of heat and sweet.

One bite, and you might just find yourself saying, ‘ole’!

Mexican Street Fries with Salsa Ketchup

Mexican Street Fries & Salsa Ketchup

2 medium russet potatoes, roughly 1 lb
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle chili pepper, or sub a dash of cayenne

Salsa Ketchup

3 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp salsa
hot sauce, to taste (optional)

mayonnaise (optional)

Directions

1.Cut the potatoes into thin fries, no wider than 1/4 inch.
2. Add all of the ingredients except the cut fries to a large bowl and stir together until evenly incorporated. Add the fries and gently toss until they’re evenly coated.
3. Spread  the seasoned potatoes out evenly over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Toss and stir the fries, making sure to keep them in a single layer, and return them to the oven to bake for an additional 10 minutes. If you like crispier fries, then place them under the broiler at this point, just until they’re sufficiently golden and crispy.
4. To make the ketchup, stir the ketchup and salsa together in a small bowl. Taste it, you can leave it as is or add more salsa for more of that ‘salsa’ flavor, or add more ketchup for more of a ‘ketchup’ taste. Add in the hot sauce, to taste. You can also add mayonnaise for a creamy version, a salsa ketchup fry sauce of sorts.

recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls with a Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce

Why order take-out, when you can make your own perfectly crisped egg rolls right at home and serve them with a yummy side of sauce? Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls with a Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce are even better than take out. They’re downright gourmet.

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls with a Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce

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