Pin #27: Tex Mex Sloppy Joe Quesadillas

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes from The Nifty Foodie.

Okay, it’s been a couple of weeks since I reviewed a pin. SLACKING, I know. For what it’s worth, I have been trying out pins; however, I’ve been fumbling through the ill-effects of our little guy’s 8 month infant sleep regression + aggressive teething schedule (seriously, 4 teeth in 2 weeks, plus working on another 2 now). All that has made me a little groggy and often incoherent.

But never fear! There’s light at the end of this little guy’s aversion to sleeping and the last two nights I’ve gotten 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep so I’m back at it! And what better way to start than with schlop, schlop, schloppy joes?

So a while back I pinned these Tex Mex Sloppy Joe Quesadillas. I like Tex Mex. I like Sloppy Joes. I like Quesadillas. That’s a win all around! And overall these were an easy, tasty meal.

However, when we whipped these up a few weeks ago, we didn’t properly read the directions from The Nifty Foodie. Had we done that, I bet they would’ve turned out as pretty as the ones in the picture. But we didn’t.  And they lived up to the SLOPPY part of the name. TIP: Unless you have a huge cooktop and an even bigger spatula for flipping, be sure to use taco-sized tortillas for this recipe. We used burrito sized tortillas and the flipping process turned into a sloppy joe mess.

The good news is, the sloppy mess didn’t deter me from devouring every tex-mex’y morsel. Or from making them again the next night. What can I say, I’m a glutton for sloppy joe madness.

Pinterest In Real Life: Tex Mex SLOPPY Joes

Pinterest In Real Life: Tex Mex SLOPPY Joes

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Pin #25: Crock Pot Indian Curry

Pinterest Crock Pot Indian Curry

Pinterest In Real Life: Crock Pot Indian Curry

Indian food… how I’d been craving you so!

Four years ago that statement would’ve never come from me. Ever. After trying Indian food time and time again, I resigned myself to the fact that I just didn’t like the stuff. All the cool kids raved about it, but I just couldn’t get on board. To me it just tasted like mush. Then one day a co-worker dragged me to a new restaurant that opened by our office… and I my tastebuds finally discovered what all the hubbub was about. Thus began my Great Indian Food Love Affair.

Fast forward to present day.  I no longer work at that office and it’s been over 8 months since I had the tasty curry delight. 8 MONTHS! And I’ve go a craving. An intense craving.

In my infinite wisdom I think, “Eh, how hard can it be to whip up a good curry?” I scour my Yummies board and find this pin for Crock Pot Indian Curry. The blogger who posted it wrote, “This is just as good, if not better, than the take-out coconut curry we order.” Must be good, right?

The smell of curry and cumin filled the house for hours. Dinnertime finally rolled around – I could hardly wait to take my first bite. Oh, the delicious anticipation!

I eagerly brought the first spoonful to my mouth and took a bite. But instead of taste bud fireworks, my reaction was something more like this. Oh, the bitter disappointment!

It’s not that this recipe was bad, per se, but it certainly wasn’t outstanding. I added in some fresh Thai basil and that helped things out, but it was missing that something special to round out the rich flavor. Instead it just went kind of flat.

Oh, Pinterest. You saucy minx, you. You got my hopes so high. So much for thinking I could master Indian cuisine from one pin. Lesson learned. Next time I’ll be ordering take out.

What about you? Have you found any great Curry recipes on Pinterest? I’d love to give them a try — share them in the comments!

Friday Originals: Zucchini & Squash Balsamic Pasta

Harvest time!

Harvest time!

Zucchini and squash harvests are rolling in from gardens all across the country right now and folks are scrambling to figure out new ways to use their veggie bonanza. I wish I could include ours in that roundup, but alas, we’re not getting much from our garden this year. Big bummer. 

But never fear! We have been the benefactors of bumper crops from my mother-in-law and so we had to figure out a way to use up a lot of zucchini and squash in a short time frame. That’s how I came up with this week’s original recipe: Zucchini & Squash Balsamic Pasta. This is a quick and easy recipe to cook up on a weeknight and the leftovers are delicious the next day. You can serve it hot or chilled.

There’s a good chance you’ve already got all these ingredients in your kitchen, so give it a go and let me know what you think!

Zucchini & Squash Balsamic Pasta Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Squash
  • 1/2 Red Pepper
  • 10 oz. Pasta, penne or corkscrew
  • 1 Cup Shredded Chicken, cooked (omit for a vegetarian dish)
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil, (1 tablespoon reserved)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 – 2 Sprigs Fresh Basil, shredded
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice zucchini, squash and red pepper into halves. Coat veggies with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a pre-heated grill to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from grill and cut into 1/2″ cubes. Alternatively, you can slice the veggies into 1/2″ cubes and sauté on the stove top for about 5 minutes, until veggies become tender.   
  2. While veggies are cooking, fill a large pot 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to box instructions.
  3. Drain pasta and place in serving bowl. Stir in cooked veggies, chicken and cheese, let the cheese melt from the heat of the pasta. Add in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil and oregano and give it a good stir. Season with salt & pepper. Mix until well combined.
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a chilled pasta dish.
Original Recipe: Zucchini & Squash Balsamic Pasta

Original Recipe: Zucchini & Squash Balsamic Pasta

Friday Originals: Pulled Pork Nachos with Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce

Pulled Pork Nachos with Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce

A Nacho Lover’s Dream: Pulled Pork Nachos with Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce

A month or so ago, I came across Buzzfeed’s list of 28 Badass Burgers To Grill This Weekend and passed it along to the hubs. He was immediately enamored of the concept of the Sriracha Stout BBQ Burger, so we cooked it up and it was amazing. Since then, we’ve made a few more batches of the Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce because I simply CANNOT get enough.

So when our 4th of July party rolled around, naturally we wanted to figure out a way to use our new favorite BBQ sauce. Over a beer and some chips, we came up with our new favorite nacho recipe: Pulled Pork Nachos with Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce. In addition to the amazing bbq sauce, in this recipe we’ve tipped our hats to our Southern surroundings and included the staple of every BBQ sandwich south of the Mason Dixon line: a crispy and tangy cole slaw topping.

If you have nacho lovers in your household, stock up on Sriracha and Stout because you’ll be making this on a weekly basis.

Pulled Pork Nachos with Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce Ingredients from The Beeroness

  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2/3 cup Ketchup
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 cup Stout Beer
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili Garlic Sauce (optional)

Directions

  1. In a pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sautee the garlic about 30 seconds. Mix in the remaining ingredients until well combined. Allow to cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Nacho Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 Cups Pulled Pork (already cooked)
  • 1 Cup Queso Quesadilla shredded cheese (or your cheese of choice, Gouda would be amazing)
  • 3/4 Cup Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Cole Slaw (try this Healthy Cole Slaw recipe or store bought is fine, too)
  • Tortilla Chips (we love Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, but use your favorite)

Directions

  1. Turn oven on to “broil” setting.
  2. Pile your desired amount of tortilla chips on an oven safe dish – use a layer of parchment paper to help with easy clean up.
  3. Drizzle about half of the Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce directly on to the chips. Pile the pulled pork on top of the chips and cover pork and chips with cheese. Drizzle the remaining BBQ sauce over the entire dish.
  4. Place in oven for 3 – 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and chips are warmed. Remove from oven.
  5. Top the plate of nachos with a hefty serving of cole slaw.
  6. Serve immediately and sit back and enjoy the praise from your happy nacho lovers.
Friday Originals: Pulled Pork Nachos with Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce

Friday Originals: Pulled Pork Nachos with Sriracha Stout BBQ Sauce

Friday Originals: Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies

Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies - Original Recipe

Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies – Original Recipe

In a former life, a dear friend and I started up a cookie company. Our goal was to make traditional cookies, but with a unique twist. Over a couple of margaritas, we toyed around with the classics and came up with the idea of the Peanut Butter & Honey Cookie.

The secret to this cookie’s deliciousness occurs in the last few minutes of baking. With 2 – 3 minutes remaining, I take the peanut butter cookies out of the oven and quickly drizzle honey over each cookie then pop them back into the oven for the last few minutes. This allows the honey to bake into the cookie, but still maintain a prominent flavor.

I highly recommend using organic peanut butter in this recipe.  Non-organic peanut butters are full of oils that will affect the final texture of the cookies, they’ll become runny and thin shaped. Give this recipe a whirl and let me know what you think!

Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies

Prep Time: 15 min. + 20 min. to chill | Cook Time: 11 min. | Yield: 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 C. Flour (any variation of flour will work – I like 1/2 C. white + 3/4 C. whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 C. Butter, unsalted, softened to room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1 C. Organic Peanut Butter, crunchy or creamy
  • 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 C. White Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour through salt). Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter until very smooth. Slowly mix in brown and white sugars. Add in egg and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
  3. With the mixer on the low setting, slowly add in flour mixture. Scrape sides as needed to incorporate all ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are just combined.
  4. Cover dough and place in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. This will help the cookies hold their shape once in the oven.
  5. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet (optional, but helps with cleanup). Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on to cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten dough to make an even surface of the cookies. Make cross-hatch marks on cookies with fork (optional, but people go ga-ga over this old-fashioned touch).
  7. Pop cookies into oven for 7 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and quickly drizzle honey in center of each cookie. Try to keep the honey away from the edges, so they don’t become runny.
  9. Place cookies back in oven for two minutes. Remove from oven when the sides of the cookies are just becoming stiff. The center will still be soft.
  10. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes or until the pan has cooled. This will let the cookies finish baking without getting crunchy. Once cooled, remove cookies from pan and place on cooling wire rack for 20 minutes or so.
  11. Grab a glass of milk, a napkin and gobble up all the Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies you can handle!

Pin #17: Bacon Wrapped Cinnamon Rolls

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls from The Quick Dish.

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls
from The Quick Dish.

Yup. You read that title right: Bacon. Wrapped. Cinnamon Rolls. One look at this Bacon Cinnamon Roll pin and I knew I had to give it a try. It looked way to easy and way to awesome to get lost in the abyss of my Yummies board. Look at that picture over there… How could I not give that a go?

Here are my thoughts:  Ummm… YUM. Yup, this oooey, gooey cinnamon roll paired with a good, long strip of bacon was delicious. Shocking, I know. However, there were a few things that could up the ante if you want to get serious about perfecting this cinnamon-bacon concept…

  1. Cream cheese, please. If you want to keep things simple, go with the tubes of refrigerated cinnamon roll. However, make sure you get the one with cream cheese frosting. To make it even more tasty, mix a little maple syrup or maple flavoring into the cream cheese frosting before drizzling it onto the baked cinnamon rolls.
  2. Thick & Smokey. I inadvertently discovered that the type of bacon really can make a difference for this dish. We made this with thick cut, applewood smoked bacon slices and the smoke flavor perfectly complemented the cinnamon and frosting. The thickness of the bacon made sure that it didn’t get lost between the thick layers of the cinnamon roll dough. Just be sure to fry up the bacon for only 2 – 3 minutes so it’s still pliable when you go to roll it in the dough.
  3. Go homemade. Don’t get me wrong, the refrigerated cinnamon rolls were delicious, but they weren’t over-the-top-amazing that I anticipated. I’m sure this is because the cinnamon rolls weren’t homemade. Next time we give this a go (and there will be a next time) I’ll try my hand at homemade rolls – maybe this recipe or maybe this maple pecan recipe – and include a maple-flavored frosting.

Give this one a go, but double the recipe… because everyone is gonna want seconds.

Pinterest in Real Life: Bacon-Wrapped Cinnamon Rolls

Pinterest in Real Life: Bacon-Wrapped Cinnamon Rolls

Friday Originals: Spicy Chicken & Edamame Noodles

Ready to get cookin': Spicy Chicken & Edamame Noodles

Ready to get cookin’: Spicy Chicken & Edamame Noodles

One of the things I like best about Pinterest is the inspiration that leads to the thought “Hey, I could do that.” Looking at all the pins tends to get my creatives juices flowing, so I’m starting a new series called “Friday Originals.” These are recipes or projects the I’ve come up with on my own and want to share with masses.

So here’s my first swing at an original recipe… and by original, I mean inspired by an assortment of other recipes. I came up with this when we had some of the Six Sisters’ Slow Cooker Asian Glazed Chicken leftover. That stuff is delicious. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough for a full meal of it. Trying to figure out what to do with it, I stumbled upon The Pioneer Woman’s Simple Sesame Noodle recipe. With these two ideas in mind, I ventured into the kitchen and cooked up some Spicy Chicken & Edamame Noodles.

Let me know what you think!

Spicy Chicken & Edamame Noodles

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Spicy Peanut Sauce
    • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
    • 1/2 tablespoon Garlic, minced (about 3 cloves)
    • 2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons Sesame Oil
    • 1 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil
    • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
    • 2 tablespoons Peanut Butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 1 cup Cooked Chicken, shredded (I recommend using this Asian Glazed Chicken recipe to prepare it, but any way will work)
  • 1 cup Edamame, shelled
  • 1 cup Carrots, sliced
  • 2 Scallions, sliced (use both green and white parts)
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 10 oz. Thin Spaghetti Noodles (or any noodles you have on hand)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for Spicy Peanut Sauce. Stir all ingredients together until sugar and peanut butter dissolve. Set aside and let meld together at least 20 – 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare noodles as directed. Toss in edamame and carrots during the last minute to soften them up slightly. Drain water and place noodles, edamame & carrots in serving bowl.
  3. Add chicken to the noodles and stir well. Coat noodle mixture with Spicy Peanut Sauce. Start with using only half of the sauce and adjust according to your taste preferences.
  4. Top with scallions, peanuts and cilantro. Serve warm.
Friday Originals: Spicy Chicken & Edamame Noodles

Friday Originals: Spicy Chicken & Edamame Noodles