I owe my marriage to the UFC. Yes, you read that right. My husband and I met one night after I was getting off of work and decided to join some of my co-workers for drinks at a small bar around the corner. My husband was already seated at the bar, which was the only one in the area showing the fight that night. I sat down next to him, we started chatting and now, five years later here we are.
The fights come on at 4am here because of the time difference, and at 4:01 I can find him, sitting on the couch with coffee
screaming quietly talking to the TV. After the last fight I got to thinking that it might be nice for him to have something to snack on while he watched. However, I know I’m not a morning person so getting out of bed at 3:30 in the morning to make him a “fight morning” snack just wasn’t going to happen.
I spent a few weeks mulling over what kind of snack I could make that would be reminiscent of game day food, but breakfasty* since he would be enjoying it with coffee; that could also be a “make ahead.” These breakfast taquitos are what I came up with. I’m pretty sure some fast food place or convenience store back in the States does something like this, but I’m not sure which ones. Either way, they were good when I baked them right after assembling them and they were equally good straight from the freezer into the oven on “fight morning.”
1 potato, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 can green chili’s, drained
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce
2 tablespoons butter, divided
4 rashers turkey bacon
2 cups cheese (you can do more or less, but we like a lot of cheese)
12 small flour tortillas
Salt/pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place turkey bacon on a tin foil lined baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain on paper towels. Chop into small pieces and set aside.
While the bacon cooks, make the potato hash. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Toss in potatoes, onion and chilis. Season with cumin and hot sauce. Brown the potatoes and onions and then toss in garlic. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until the potatoes are just fork tender, about 5 minutes. When the hash is done, remove from the pan and set aside.
Whisk the eggs (add a bit of water or milk, depending on how you like your scrambled eggs.) Melt the rest of the butter in the sauce pan over medium heat. Pour in eggs and scramble. Remove from heat when they reach your preferred doneness keeping in mind that the eggs will continue to cook when the taquitos bake (we prefer our eggs scrambled hard, aswith the local eggs, anything less makes us sick.)
To assemble the taquitos: Line a baking tray with foil and spray with cooking spray. Warm the tortillas in a microwave for 10 seconds to soften them. Keep a moist towel over them while you work. Place cheese, then hash, bacon and eggs along the center of the tortilla. Roll tortilla up and place seam side down on the baking sheet. Continue with the remaining tortillas and ingredients.
At this point, the taquitos can be baked or frozen*. If you are baking them, spray the tops with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a 400 degree oven until they are browned and crispy and the filling is warm, about 10 minutes. Serve with salsa
*If you are freezing them, cover the baking sheet and place into the freezer for 30 minutes or until the taquitos are firm. Then they can be placed in a storage bag or container. To bake, place them on a baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and salt the tops. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
*The first batch I baked right after assembling and didn’t use cooking spray or salt the tops and they didn’t brown as nicely. Then over the weekend I came across this on pintrest and saw that they used cooking spray and salt on top, so I tried it on game day and that was definitely better.
*Yes, breakfasty is a word….look it up 🙂 :
p.s. Hop on over to Make Ahead Meals for Busy Mom’s blog hop here to see my link or link up yourself!
Filed under: Dessert, Just for Fun, Snacks | Tags: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, marshmallows
When I was a kid, I used to love Dr. Seuss books and much to my delight, my children love them as well. I’m sure part of it is the fact that I’ve been reading One Fish Two Fish and Oh the Places You’ll Go, along with many others since they were babies; but none the less, I love that they love those stories. Naturally because it’s Christmas time, we’ve been reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I’ve read the story to them at least once a day, every day pretty much since Thanksgiving. We even downloaded the TV special on iTunes (the original, not the Jim Carey version.)
Some time ago I came across a Dr. Seuss inspired cookbook, aptly named, Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook and I decided to order it for
myself the kids for Christmas. After it arrived, I read it cover-to-cover (as I do with every new cookbook) so now that Christmas time is here, I knew the kids would have fun with the idea of making Cindy-Lou Who Christmas wreaths inspired from the cookbook. I kind of felt like the Grinch when I was making this. No, not because I was going to try to steal Christmas, but rather, like the part of the book that goes:
Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!
It was a wonderful, awful idea. We made these sugary wreaths at 9am (and they had each eaten one my 9:15 am.) Giving preschoolers that much sugar in the morning was an awful idea, but it was so wonderful to watch them get so excited about it.
There really is no recipe; I just followed the directions for crispy rice treats on the bag of marshmallows, except used corn flakes instead of rice crispy. I added a few drops of green food coloring (the book’s recipe doesn’t do that, but I thought it would make them more festive) used my mini doughnut pan to shape them, add a few craisins on top, and enjoy.
*I’ll be taking a break from blogging over the next few days to fully enjoy the holiday with my family. Peace and Love to you and yours and I’ll probably see you again before the New Year!
Before I started this blog, I knew that I wanted to post these pretzels. I first made them about a year ago after I received a copy of Food Network Magazine with a spread on soft pretzels. I knew “M” a lover of all things pepperoni would love the pepperoni pizza stuffed pretzels. I think I even made them just a few days after I received the magazine which is so not like me. I usually book mark recipes and then never come back to them. Anyway, “M” loved them. And I made them many times before we moved, I even brought them to parties and get togethers and they were always a hit.
I swore as soon as we moved into our villa that stuffed pretzels were top on my list of things to make. But, as frequently happens, life got busy and the thought of making the dough, stuffing the pretzels, and baking them off just seemed like more work than it was worth. Well I finally got around to making them, and now I’m thinking what the heck took me so long. I had previously used the recipe featured in the magazine by Guy Fieri, but I always thought the pretzels came out a bit tough. This time I decided to switch recipes and try Alton Brown’s method. Well, Alton, you have yet to steer me wrong! Making the dough took less time than I anticipated (not including the time to let it rise, but that was just enough time for me and the kids to build a train track around and under the dining room table.) And for some reason, I remembered stuffing the pretzels to be very tedious, but it went fairly quickly. I will be making more pretzels again soon. Now that I have a great go-to recipe (and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand) my head is buzzing with other ideas for stuffings/dips/etc for them!
Pepperoni Pizza Pretzels
*Adapted from Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 4
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup mini pepperonis
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water 2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds to garnish
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately about one hour or until it doubles in size (mine sat for about 2 hours…we were really into building our train tracks so I lost track of time.)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Once the dough has doubled, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface. I find it’s easiest to work with a quarter of the dough at a time. Roll dough into a long rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, slice dough into one inch rectangles. Divide the pepperoni and cheese evenly among each rectangle. Fold the rectangle over to enclose the filling, making sure to pinch the seams. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. Repeat with all of the remaining dough (keep the formed pretzels covered with a towel to prevent them from drying out. Bring the 10 cups of water and baking soda to a rolling boil. Once the water boils, place pretzels into the water (carefully!) for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheets. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Continue with the remaining pretzels. Bake for 11-14 minutes, or until the pretzels are golden brown.
Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.
This week was our turn to host our playschool group and the theme was birds. Everything centered around birds, the songs, the crafts, stories, the games, and of course, the snack. I served pretzels as the twigs birds use to make their nests, julienned carrots and cucumber to be the worms birds pull from the ground, and made granola bars with seeds, nuts, and fruit, like little birdies like to eat. Both the kiddies and mommies loved this crunchy snack. Oh, excuse me, all of the kiddies except for my own, of course!
I thought it would be easy to find a healthy recipe for granola bars, but it actually proved to be rather difficult. I was hoping for a chewy bar, as some of the children who attend school are younger and do not have a full set of teeth, but every recipe that promised a chewy bar was FULL of sugar and butter. I guess that’s what makes the bars chewy. So when I found Alton Brown’s recipe, I knew it would not be the chewy bar I had envisioned, but seemed to be the one I could easily modify to make it pretty healthy. Besides, I have yet to try a recipe from Alton that I haven’t loved. Also from my extensive internet search, I realized that what seemed to be most important when trying to make granola bars was the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. Too many dry ingredients seem to make hard, crumbly granola. While too much of the wet ingredients made bars that were too sticky and fall apart. These bars, while not chewy, stayed together without being rock hard. Even the younger ones of the group were able to enjoy this birdie snack!
Birdie Granola Bars
*Adapted from AltonBrown’s Granola Bars
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons applesauce
6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries (I used a tropical fruit blend with coconuts and also added some craisins to the mixture as well)
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, and applesauce in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cooling completely (at least 1-2 hours.) Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Filed under: Chicken, Main Course, Snacks | Tags: Baguette, Chicken, Curry powder
I picked up the latest copy of Food Network Magazine this weekend and of course, I bookmarked tons of recipes. One of their features was for different versions of a DIY hot pocket. I used to love those things as a kid; my favorite was pepperoni Pizza. I knew that this would be a great make-ahead meal. I tried it out once over the weekend with eggs, bacon, cheese, and pesto. It was great. I thought I’d redo my childhood favorite for an easy dinner, but the curried chicken pockets in the magazine were stuck in my head.
When I went to pick up another loaf of refrigerated French bread dough (which I easily found in only one trip, YAY!) I passed by the spice isle and the hot curry powder was just calling my name. So I decided, never mind to pizza hot pockets, I was going to give the curried chicken salad a try. My experience eating curries is limited and my experience cooking with it is nonexistent so I was very unsure of what to expect. I tried to follow FNM’s recipe, but when I mixed the chicken salad, I felt that it still lacked a strong curry flavor that I was expecting, so I added aLOTmore.
Overall, this was a great meal that came together very quickly. It was easy enough to make a head of time and just pop it in the oven when we got home. By the time the kids are finished washing their hands and sit down at the table, fresh, homemade Hot Pockets will await them!
Curried Chicken “Hot Pockets”
*adapted from Food Network Magazine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup miracle whip (or mayo or yogurt)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice
Flour for dusting
11 oz. tube refrigerated French bread
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, curry powder, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chicken.
Stir in the cilantro, spinach, miracle whip, lime juice to the chicken and let the mixture cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and brush a baking sheet lightly with oil. On a floured surface, roll out the bread dough to a 6×8 inch rectangle. Divide in fourths. Put one quarter of the filling inside the center of each rectangle. Fold over the two shorter sides, then the longer sides to enclose the filling. Pinch the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Place the packets seem side down on the baking sheet. Brush the bread with the beaten egg and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the pockets are golden brown.
Filed under: Snacks | Tags: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pepperoni, Pizza, Popcorn, tomato powder
Pepperoni pizza popcorn, pepperoni pizza popcorn, pepperoni pizza popcorn. Try saying that ten times fast!
For my husband’s birthday last weekend, he wanted nothing more than to lay around the house, watch movies as a family and play bored games. He also wanted to order pizza from a new spot nearby. I’d been eating lasagna and birthday cake, so I didn’t want to splurge on the fat and calories in a pepperoni pizza. However, I couldn’t let everyone else have all the fun, so I thought I’d try to recreate pizza in the form of popcorn.
I should preface this recipe with the fact that this was my first time making popcorn that didn’t involve a bag and a microwave. Yes, that’s right, I made popcorn on the stove and it was pretty easy (I only burnt half of the first batch!) I have to say that the methodology of this recipe may take some tweaking to get the pepperoni/cheese/spice mixture to stick to the popcorn better, but it really did taste like a pepperoni pizza and popcorn had a love child.
Before I made this, I did a Google search to see if this had been done before, and what method was used. The only results I got were seasoning popcorn with oregano for a “pizza flavor” but I wanted the full experience, the tomato, the cheese, and the spices. I found a recipe (or rather a method) for making tomato powder here but I’m sure such a thing could be found online or at a gourmet store. I used freshly grated parmesan cheese because I don’t like the powdered stuff (but if you do, it would probably work better here.)
I wrote the recipe as I made it, but I think if I would have tossed the hot popcorn with more melted butter and the topping immediately, it would have stuck better.
Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons tomato powder
1 tablespoon each, oregano and basil
1/4 cup mini pepperoni
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
To make the popcorn seasoning: Mix the tomato powder, spices, pepperoni, and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
To pop the popcorn: Place oil in a wide, heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. Heat on medium-high heat. Add one or two kernels of popcorn. When they pop, you know the oil is hot enough to add the rest of the kernels. Place the lid on immediately (unless you want popcorn all over your kitchen.) Pop for 3-5 minutes, or until the kernels pop only every 2-3 seconds. Remove from heat and toss with butter, then spice and cheese mixture. Serve immediately.