Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders

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I have a good story about how awkward I am.

And how I really embarrass my husband.

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Two weekends ago I planned on getting Autumn out of the house to give Price a break by swinging by the house to check on its progress and then go to the grocery store for a few things. She thought this idea was ridiculous so a quick meltdown later and he was in the car with us. We did the house stuff and then went to the grocery store, where things got interesting.

I typically get myself in trouble by climbing things in the grocery store… hello, short people problems. But this was just good old me talking.

You see, Publix has this thing where they offer to help you with your groceries to your car. Great for old people, not great for awkward people, like myself. So when the bagger offered that to us…

Bagger Chick: “I can help you with these to your car.”

Me: “That’s okay.”

Bagger: “You don’t have a cart…” (Price used a basket to carry the stuff in the store, it really wasn’t that much stuff, like 4 bags)

Me: “No, you see I hate the whole Publix thing with helping you to the car. It’s really weird.”

Bagger: “What?”

Me: “Well, then I need to make small talk with you as we walk to the car, and that is like the worst thing ever for me. I’d sooner die.”

Cashier: “You don’t have to talk to us. We like silence too.”

Me: “That’s just worse, walking in silence next to you while you push my cart to the car. That just looks weird.”

This whole time Price is staring at me with his mouth gaping wide as he pays. He was watching this whole thing, and I was the star of the show.

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So I mortified my husband, but entertained Amanda with my snaps recounting the whole thing in the car as he shook his head at me, saying “Why can’t you be normal!?!!?”

I am loads of fun to be married to.

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And for when you have those moments when you are saying something idiotic, foolish, embarrassing, just shove another one of these Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders in your mouth to shut up. Tastes better than your foot!

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Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders

Makes 12

Ingredients

For the sliders

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 3/4 Cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons minced green onion (about 2 green onions)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon or so of oil
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Cup hot sauce
  • 12 dinner rolls

For the blue cheese dressing

  • 4 ounces of blue cheese
  • 3/4 Cup sour cream
  • 3/4 Cup mayonnaise

Process

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, panko bread crumbs, green onion, onion powder, celery salt, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well. Let rest 5 minutes before rolling into 12 equally sized balls.
  2. In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat the oil until shimmering, just 30 seconds or so. Add the meatballs. Cook for 5-7 minutes, turning regularly to brown all the sides.
  3. Add the butter and cook for 2 minutes or so. Add the hot sauce and remove from the heat. Move the meatballs around to coat them all.
  4. To make the blue cheese dressing, crumble the cheese in a bowl. Add the sour cream and mayonnaise and mix well to combine.
  5. Assemble by slicing open the rolls, placing a meatball on each roll, adding some blue cheese dressing, and capping off with the roll’s top. Wallah!
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Homemade Monkey Bread

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Happy New Year!!!!

I have some exciting news, besides my pregnancy (more on that for another day!), I have picked out the theme for my weekly foodie posts… Monkey Bread Mondays!

I am going to be focusing this year’s challenge theme on sweet and savory monkey breads, cinnamon rolls, and pull apart breads. All that deliciousness right here, every Monday.

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There is just something so irresistible about taking fresh bread out of the oven. It’s totally all about that yeasty goodness smell. And when that fresh bread is loaded up with cinnamon, sugar, butter, chocolate, and nuts or cheese, herbs, and bacon things get pretty epic quickly.

So while I am making more than just monkey bread, I am calling it Monkey Bread Mondays. You’ll just have to deal. It’s like my Taco Tuesday series, I didn’t just make tacos, I filled you up with tacos, enchiladas, sauces, rice, beans, soup, drinks, and desserts.

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To kick things off, I made a classic Monkey Bread from scratch.

I have made plenty of Monkey Breads from the rolls you get from the can, and they are dang good, but I wanted to share with you a yeasty one. Things just need to get off on the right foot to kick off the year.

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The bread takes just takes about 15 minutes to prep before the dough gets to hang out for an hour (or even over night). Then it’s a quick roll out, cutting, coating in cinnamon and sugar, then then dumping a bunch of butter all over all of that. Butter is the best.

My tips and tricks for a delicious Monkey Bread:

Get the milk at the right temperature- this is what activates the yeast so you want to wake it up gently. Not too hot, not too cold.

Plenty of bench flour (flour on your work surface) makes rolling out the dough nice and easy. Using a pizza cutter or a bench scrapper to cut the pieces out makes the process quick too.

A nice large bundt pan or tube pan is key. But an angel food cake pan will allow the melted butter you pour over the mix just seep out.

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Serve the monkey bread warm from the oven and you will have everyone will be pulling piece after piece right out of it. It will disappear in no time.

That

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Hope you stay tuned for all the fun, loaded up, over the top, delicious breads coming to ya every Monday.

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Homemade Monkey Bread

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups warm milk (110F-115F, 2% or whole milk, no lower)
  • 1/3 Cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 Cup butter, melted

Process

  1. Proof the yeast in the milk until the yeast is fragrant and bubbly, this takes a few minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs together. Add the milk to the bowl and mix again.
  3. Add 4 Cups of flour to the bowl and mix well. Scrape down the bowl, and add the remaining flour. Mix well to combine all the ingredients, about 4-5 minutes
  4. Remove the dough to a well greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise for at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to assemble the monkey bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Butter a large Bundt pan or tube pan.
  7. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  8. Roll out the dough on a well-floured, clean, level work surface. The dough should be 1/2″ thick. Cut into 1″ x 1″ pieces.
  9. Roll the pieces into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place a layer of pieces into the buttered pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Repeat with another layer of pieces, then sprinkle with more sugar. Repeat until the pieces and sugar are gone.
  10. Pour the melted butter over the pieces. Run a knife around the sides and central tube of the pan to help the butter get around the pieces.
  11. Bake for 33-37 minutes, until the top the golden brown.
  12. Run a knife around the sides and center tube. Flip out onto a large serving dish. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Bye 2016! Hello 2017!

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A cocktail for him, a mocktail for me.
Enjoying date night to celebrate the end of the year, our 12th dating anniversary, and Baby H arriving in June! Cheers!!!

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Every year my husband and I review ‘The Best of’ at the end of the year.

We all know 2016 was a dumpster fire of a year, so I don’t need to dwell on the things that went badly to horrible wrong… celebrity deaths, US and international terrorist attacks, accidents and natural disasters, and Trump!

We focus on the things that brought us happiness from dinners out, vacations, funny moments, etc.

While enjoying a dinner out to celebrate our 12th dating anniversary (1/2 to be exact) we recapped the year that was 2016.

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We said good bye to Boston, home for 12+ years, where we met, where we graduated college together, where we bought a house, had Autumn, got our dogs, and made tons of memories.

Adding Brinkley to our family. Right before moving. Insanity but glad we didn’t think twice about getting our little derpy love muffin.

A great date night before leaving Boston at the Tip Tap Room where we had the best pork belly steamed buns. Dreamy.

The crazy awesomeness that was moving from Boston to the Tampa area. I flew with Autumn and our rabbit, Bunny, in mid Feb and Price drove down with the stinky dogs in mid March.

We sold our house. Above asking. A lot above asking.

Discovering how easy it is to get Taylor Ham at the grocery store here in Florida. It’s the little things in life.

Making wonderful friends down here. They have helped make this transition to the complete unknown a lot easier.

Celebrating our 1 year anniversary with a long weekend in Disney. It was a combined honeymoon and anniversary thing for us and it was so much fun. Except for a few queasy hours at Epcot. ha!

We started construction on our dream house.

Taking Autumn to Disney was an awesome day. She loved everything about it from meeting Ariel, riding dumbo, and suckering Price into a $$$ customized parasol with Cinderella’s castle on it. It was a long hot day but so worth every second of it.

We blew through the fall and right into winter with the warm weather, which I love.

Watching Autumn grow this past year has awesome too. She has such a fun personality and cracks us up, when not driving us crazy asking ‘why?’ 500x a day. Non stop talking and singing is only broken up when she is doing art projects. She is so fun!

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Now we have a lot to look forward to in 2017!

We can’t wait to move into our house and then welcome our second child there.

I can’t wait for all the big things and the small awesome things that make day to day so much fun.

 

 

 

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Taquitos

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How is it already time for my last Taco Tuesday post?!?!?

I had a hard time deciding on what I would make for this last taco inspired/related post. Should I make a taco recipe? An enchilada recipe? Burrito? Quesadilla? So many options!!!

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I did over 50 recipes in this series and I only just scratched the surface on the ones I had listed out when I was creating the list on what to make this year for the Taco Tuesday series. Writing out all those recipe ideas made me super hungry!

At least I still have the blog and plenty of inspiration to keep up with making taco, burrito, quesadilla, enchilada, margaritas, sides, desserts, and so much more to share with everyone.

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So I decided to end this year long adventure on making some taquitos since I had not shared a taquito recipe before. Plus, they are so good. They are great for snacking and for parties, so the timing it perfect with upcoming New Year Eve Parties and fun, tasty snacking during the upcoming play-offs.

Like tacos, there are a ton of different options for fillings. I have made a bunch in the past like buffalo chicken ones with a blue cheese dip, but I already had a buffalo chicken taco, so I didn’t want to be repetitive. I debated a few other fillings but ultimately decided on jalapeno popper chicken.

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Using chicken as a filling as so easy to do as you can quickly roast up chicken breasts, shred rotisserie chicken or even use a good quality canned chicken. And jalapeno poppers are the best football snack food, besides nachos. But you get the point.

So toss together the chicken, minced jalapenos, cream cheese, shredded cheese, and a bit of salsa for the filling. I did the whole shredding and mixing in my stand mixer to make the process really quick and easy.

I made these with both corn and flour tortillas but my preference is to use flour tortillas. The corn ones are a wee bit harder to use since they are more delicate. They can work if you warm them prior to filling and rolling, but there are times that I am all about convenience so the flour tortillas work well then.

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Be sure to make a double batch for your next party as these Jalapeno Popper Chicken Taquitos will be gone in no time!

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Taquitos 

Makes 20 taquitos

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
  • 1 Tablepsoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-4 jalapenos, minced (depending on preference and size, heat from the peppers)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 Cup salsa verde
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 20 flour tortillas, fajita size/6″

Proces

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Let the chicken cool prior to shredding.
  4. Combine the minced jalapenos, cream cheese, shredded cheese, and salsa verde. Mix well.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Lay out all the tortillas and evenly divide the filling among the tortillas. Create a log of the filling in the center of the tortilla. Roll the tortillas to close.*
  7. Arrange the filled tortillas on a baking sheet. Coat the top of the tortillas with a bit of oil.
  8. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the filling is hot and melty.
  9. Enjoy with some salsa and guacamole.

* You can freeze them at this point. Freeze them in an air-tight container or bag. When baking, cook for 25 minutes. Watch to avoid burning, if they are getting too brown, cover with some foil.

 

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Apricot and Sausage Stuffing

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Christmas is almost here!!!!!!!!

I don’t love Christmas. I just don’t. But now that we have Autumn, I am trying not to be so sucky at it and enjoy it.

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I just finished Christmas shopping but now I need to wrap things tonight, so I didn’t exactly wait until the last minute. Only sorta.

Tomorrow’s project is to find a Chinese food place that is open around us. My local spot is closed. I know, what the what? They had a sign ‘Closed on Christmas’ up that I noticed when I went to pick up our typical order (Me- Shrimp Egg Foo Young, Crab Rangoon; Price- General Tao’s combo meal, Pan Fried Dumplings; Autumn- Wonton Soup < no, we don’t eat that all at once!).

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I cam back reporting this shocking news to Price and my Dad. Which then prompted the whole explanation that for the past few years it has just been Price and me for Christmas, so we have been getting Chinese. I think my Dad storta understood but I still horrified him. In all of this I questioned “But aren’t there any Jewish people around?!”, and my dad informed me that they mostly reside on the East coast of FL. Damn it! So wish me luck since I really don’t feel like cooking on Christmas.

Anyway, for those of you cooking on Christmas, I have a great last minute recipe for stuffing that will rock your world.

This stuffing uses 3 kinds of bread, sausage, and fried fruit. The variety of breads add so much flavor from your typical stuffings that just use white or whole wheat bread. The herby flavors from the sausage and the sweetness from the dried fruit works so well. I used apricots but I think cranberries or dried cherries, or a combination of sweet and tart dried fruits would be great as well.

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I purchased 3 boules of white, rye, and pumpernickel bread for the stuffing. I used 1/2 of each loaf so I had plenty left over for sandwiches. Besides sandwiches, I highly recommend making some homemade croutons. You just need to cut the bread up into 1/2″ cubes, coat in olive oil, season with garlic salt, onion powder, and pepper. Then you bake at 350 until crunchy, mix every 10-15 minutes. Adding some grated Parmesan at the end rocks too.

I hope that no matter how you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, or whatever, you enjoy it! xo

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Apricot and Sausage Stuffing

Makes 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 boule/loaf of white bread (1 pound)
  • 1 boule/loaf of rye (1 pound)
  • 1 boule/loaf of pumpernickel (1 pound)
  • 1 pound of pork sausage (I suggest Sage variety)
  • 3/4 Cup butter
  • 2 Cups diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons poultry seasoning (I used this kind)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces apricots, diced
  • 4 Cups warm chicken broth

Process

  1. Cut 1/2 of each loaf of bread into 1/2″ cubes. Lay out on cookie sheets to dry out for at least 12 hours.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage. Break it up into small pieces as it cooks. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Melt the butter, and combine the celery, onion, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, in the skillet. Cook on medium low until tender and translucent, approximately 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. In a very large bowl, combine the bread, cooked sausage and vegetables, diced apricots. In 1 Cup batches, add in the chicken broth, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add the stuffing to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and let sit for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with foil. Let cool a bit and enjoy.

 

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