Monday, July 16, 2018

Brunch Nachos

We've become absolutely nuts about nachos around here.  They are a great way to use up assorted leftovers and so quick to throw together.  Add to that the fact that everyone loves them, and it's a winning formula for dinner.

I couldn't wait to make these Brunch Nachos as a fun twist on the nachos and breakfast for dinner idea.  I wasn't exactly sure how the beans/corn/eggs combo would work, but it was a great combo.  I also found that guacamole really took these nachos up a notch or two.😄

I layered our chips with some Colby Jack cheese, then black beans, corn (frozen that was thawed), then the scrambled egg, and finally some mozzarella and sharp cheddar.  I ended up using three cheese varieties because of the bits and bobs left in various packages.  Use whatever you like, and for a little extra heat maybe Pepper Jack?  Once the nachos were finished warming, I added chopped green onion, and almost wished I'd added more.

These nachos would be fun for brunch, but are certainly perfect for breakfast for dinner or a fun snack.  Give them a try!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Burgers with Chip Sauce

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved "chip sauce".  Er, Prairie Farms French Onion Dip as translation.  It is without question the very best of French Onion dips.  I don't buy it often, because to buy it is to eat it, and to eat it is to eat all of it.

When I saw this recipe for Double Dipped Stuffed Burgers, I knew I had to try them, only with the Prairie Farms dip rather than the brand in the original post.  The fact that I couldn't find the dill pickle dip for the top wasn't even disappointing--we just put more onion dip on top! 

These burgers were just amazing, if a bit fragile.  Since the recipe didn't call for much in the way of seasoning, I was curious to see whether some was lacking.  The dip provided all the seasoning necessary.  In addition to the dip change, I also chose to use sharp cheddar cheese instead of American.  I love how it oozed throughout the burgers as they cooked, so that every bite had just the right amount of cheese in it.

I can't recommend these burgers strongly enough.  They were absolutely delicious, and sure to be on our menu again.  Especially, since it gives me a reason to buy more chip sauce. 😊

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Give Me S'More No Bake Recipes

One summer goal I had for our house, was for my kiddo to make dinner for us at least one time.  She has concerns about using anything heat related--oven, burner, griddle--but she soldiered through and made some beautiful grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

She wanted to make dessert, but didn't want to have to encounter a heat source, and so she went looking for No Bake recipes on Pinterest.  She came across this great Easy No Bake Smores Bars recipe, and it was perfect for a summer night, with no baking or heat of any kind.

The bars are really tasty.  I'd probably put them more at cookie dough bars rather than smores, but they are delicious nonetheless. On suggestion I recommend is using mini chocolate chips rather than regular.  The regular ones are just so hard when they are cold, that they detract from the texture of the bars.  It seems like mini chips or chopped milk chocolate would blend in a little better.

This was a great kid's recipe--appealing flavors, quick preparation, and flavors most of them love.  Would highly recommend!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Tres Bien

Are you a Kroger shopper?  I am, in large part due to the fact that they donate to my kiddo's school.  One other thing I really love about Kroger is their Friday Freebie.  It's a little game to see if I can remember to download and use these coupons each week.  Recently, the freebie was a loaf of Nature's Own Perfectly Crafted bread.  

The coupon was perfect timing for the French Toast on my menu.  And, since I was bridging different eating times, I decided to go the French toast casserole route.  I chose this recipe since it didn't require cutting up the bread into cubes.  That's not hard, but it is one more step.  I was also intrigued by the butter and brown sugar layer on the bottom.

Butter and brown sugar make everything better, and this casserole was no exception.  First, it smells amazing while it's baking.  You're going to have a hard time waiting 45 minutes.  Secondly, while the top layers of the casserole are pretty ordinary (good, but ordinary), the buttery goo at the bottom is amazing.  Just dynamite!  Finally, this recipe has all kinds of awesome customization possibilities based on whatever extra layer you add in the middle.  Imagine bananas, peaches, pecans, chocolate chips, and on and on.

This was an amazingly easy recipe that was super quick to throw together in the morning, and then just pop in the oven at bake time.  Whether you're doing breakfast for dinner like we did or Sunday morning brunch, it's a great option.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer Nights

It's the height of the summer season, and I'm planning for July with those hot su-huh-mer niiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-hites (please excuse the Grease reference).  There are lots of lighter items, and very little getting baked in the oven.  Somehow, it just seems wrong to deliberately turn on heat when it's hot enough outside.

This summer I'm trying to more deliberately include my kiddo in kitchen activities.  Mostly, I'm very content to do the cooking and clean up, and actually prefer having the space all to myself.  However, that's not what's best for her in the long run, so as opportunities come up, I'm trying to include her in meal preparation and clean up.  If I've got some dishes to wash, I ask her.  She helped me assemble pizzas a few weeks ago, and she's already great at picking up after herself at the table.  This month I asked her to find something she want to make, and make it for our dinner.  She is anxious about the whole thing, mostly getting burned, but willing to take on the challenge.  I can't wait to report how things go! 

How about you?  Is it difficult for you to share your kitchen space? How do you get your family involved?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Alfredo with a Twist

For those of you that love a good Alfredo sauce, but want a new twist, try this Creamy Chicken Taco Alfredo. 

The sauce basically follows the pattern of most Alfredos, but with the added bonus of the drippings from the seasoned chicken.  It makes for lovely color and flavor.  For the cheese, I used a combination of Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar because I already had them on hand.  If you want to kick things up a notch or two, use Pepper Jack.  For the tomatoes, I used Rotel (with lime and cilantro), since it was already in the pantry.

I thought this dish was pretty good.  My kiddo ate it all up (aside from the tomatoes), despite the fact that she was adjusting to braces, so I'll take that as a win. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Back from Camp Brownies

My kiddo has been gone to camp all week, so to welcome her back home I wanted to make something special she would love.

Enter these Cookies and Cream Brownies.  She loves cookies and cream anything, and brownies too.  Put them together, and it's basically her idea of heaven. 

This is a pretty straightforward recipe.  I double the ingredients and made a 9x13 pan because I felt like the 8x8 size would go too quickly.  I only purchased on package of Oreos, and didn't feel like it made the Cool Whip very chocolately, so I added about a half cup of mini chocolate chips to that mixture.  The mini chips blend in with the cookie pretty nicely, and add a nice chocolate crunch.

These brownies are super duper rich chocolate, and the Cool Whip is a nice balance for that.  They garnered rave reviews from my fam, including a big ole hug from my girl.  I think she was glad to be home, plus extra excited about the brownies. Highly recommend, especially if you are welcoming someone special home or just need a big hug.