Southwestern Topped Potato Rounds with Black Beans & Corn

Southwestern Potato Rounds

Thick-sliced potatoes are topped with seasoned black beans, corn and tomatoes plus plenty of cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and sour cream. They might just be the best potatoes I ever made. That’s a serious claim coming from someone who thinks potatoes should be their very own food group.

The recipe starts by baking russet potato rounds in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper until fork tender alongside a few slices of bacon for crumbling over the top. … 

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Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

Second only to deep-frying, the best place for zucchini is inside fritters. I say this because if I hadn’t been dared to taste a piece of deep-fried zucchini a few years back, causing me to fall head over heels in love after hating it’s guts my entire life, I wouldn’t be sharing any zucchini recipes.

Fritters, cupcakes, fries, cornbread, etc. . .Nada.

That means I wouldn’t be eating as much zucchini as I possibly can stuff into my days. Sad.

August should officially be declared zucchini month in my neck of the woods when it sprouts out of every corner of the garden and is piled up to the rafters in any store you venture into. Good times. … 

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Beer Battered Fried Pickles with Pickle Dipping Sauce #FarmtoJar

This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Beer Battered Fried Pickles

Dill pickles are dipped in a light beer batter and fried until golden and crispy. There’s even more pickles in the dipping sauce filling every bite with salty, briny pickle flavor.

If you never had a fried pickle before then these might sound weird to you like they did to me but weird is totally delicious here! I solemnly pinky swear.

Once you have them you won’t soon forget them.

I made these with Farmer’s Garden® Kosher dill spears by Vlasic®. Farmer’s Garden pickles are made with the finest, specially selected ingredients – deliciously ripe cucumbers, whole garlic cloves, slices of red bell pepper, rounds of carrots and fresh herbs and spices all harvested at the peak of freshness…. 

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Mini Cheesy Popeye Puffs

Here I am with another ‘puff’ recipe!

Puffs, puffs and more puffs, bring on the puffs, I never get tired of them.

Mini Cheesy Popeye Puffs

When I was a kid my parents told me to eat my spinach so I could grow up to be like Popeye the Sailor Man.

Thank goodness I didn’t because I kind of like being a girl and I get sea sick.

Anywhoo, have you ever seen Popeye? He’s pretty rough and gnarly looking. He pops open Spinach cans with his teeth.

Not exactly what little girls aspire to be…. 

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Blender Brazilian Cheese Puffs

Blender Brazilian Cheese Puffs
Brazilian cheese puffs are delicious little biscuit-type treats, a cross between French Gougères and popovers. They bake up with crispy outsides and chewy centers, and are best eaten fresh from the oven while still warm.

You will need only seven ingredients to make them! One egg, oil, milk, tapioca flour, salt, Parmesan and cheddar cheese.

The batter is ridiculously easy to make – just add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until combined. The batter is thin and pourable and best baked in a mini muffin pan, a non-stick one so you can easily pop them right out and into your mouth…. 

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Jalapeño Popper & Corn Puff Pastry Swirls

Jalapeno Popper & Corn Swirls
There’s something about the combination of spicy-hot jalapeño peppers, cheddar cheese and cream cheese that I can’t get enough of. I don’t even care if jalapeño poppers are old news because according to me, they’re still the rage.

Of course I had to make a puff pastry version! “You love that stuff don’t you?” Mom asked when I tucked away yet another pack into the freezer. If I don’t have at least one handy then I get a little freaky…. 

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Homemade White Cheddar Cheez-Its

White Cheddar Cheez-it Crackers Easy-to-make homemade crackers that taste exactly like white cheddar cheez-its! Thin and crispy with salty, sharp cheddar dominating every bite. They don’t look like anything like real white cheddar cheez-its but looks don’t matter when they’re homemade. Trust me when I say they’re just like them, only better because you know what’s in them. Real ingredients you can easily pronounce. Not too long ago these were a staple in my life. It was normal for me to wake up and crack open a box of cheez-its for breakfast. Eww. All those chemicals and preservatives. I wonder if they even put real cheese in them. The thought makes me shudder now. The dough easily comes together using flour, instant yeast, a small amount of butter and oil plus a pinch each of salt, sugar and baking powder. There’s a down side and an up side. The down side is the dough has to be refrigerated overnight and the up side is that even though there’s yeast in the mix there’s no rising time involved. Just refrigerate overnight and let come up to room temperature the next day when you’re ready to bake them. Even though the dough is a little on the sticky side I found it easy to work with. For the best results use plenty of flour and roll the dough out really thin, almost paper-thin. Don’t forget to dock them! Poke them a few times with a toothpick or skewer to allow steam to escape otherwise they’ll puff up like balloons with hollow centers. Still good but not what we’re looking for. You only need a bit of cheese on each one to bring in the white cheddar flavor, if you overload them they won’t crisp up as easily and the cheese will melt right off in a molten puddle. Because the dough isn’t salted, a sprinkle of coarse salt and pepper on each one is important for making that cheesy flavor sing. Homemade White Cheddar Cheez-Its If you told me five years ago I’d be making my own crackers someday I would have scoffed at you. I didn’t even know it was possible to make crackers from scratch without an industrial machine. Duh. My culinary prowess has grown by leaps and bounds since then. Can you tell how excited I am to have this recipe! My life will never be the same. I have my beloved cheez-its back along with endless possibilities for flavors. This uses a basic soda/saltine cracker recipe that you can add your own flavor twist to. I did make two other versions but these were the standouts. There was a salt and pepper version and a parmesan and tuscan herb version. They didn’t stand a chance. I can’t say enough good things about them!

Join my baking group!

Thank-you to Arthy of Cook With Arthy Sharma for picking these for our monthly Baking Partners challenge! I’ll be making them at least once a week. A double batch. White Cheddar Cheez-Its

Homemade White Cheddar Cheez-Its

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: about 3 dozen crackers, depending on size

 Homemade White Cheddar Cheez-Its

Easy-to-make homemade crackers that taste exactly like white cheddar cheez-its! Thin and crispy with salty, sharp white cheddar cheese dominating every bite.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (I like Saf )
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
For the topping:
about 4 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded from a block (not pre-shredded)(I like Cabot)
coarse salt
black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, yeast, salt, baking soda and sugar together.
  2. In a small saucepan bring the water, butter and oil to a simmer, stir to melt the butter. Remove from heat and let cool
  3. Add the vinegar to the water then pour it over the flour mixture and stir until combined. The dough will be soft and sticky.
  4. Grease a medium bowl and set the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day bring the dough to room temperature.
  6. Line 2 large baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Divide the dough in half and on a heavily floured work surface use a rolling pin to roll one out to about a 6 x 4 rectangle. Think of the rectangle in thirds - fold the left third over to the center then the right third over that. This will help make flaky layers.
  8. Turn the dough and roll it out until it is almost paper thin. Use a pizza cutter and ruler to cut into 3 or 4-inch squares. Use a bench knife or thin spatula to transfer them to the baking sheet.
  9. Poke each one all over with a toothpick about 5 - 6 times. Sprinkle each one with a little cheese, salt and pepper.
  10. Bake 10 - 14 minutes - until lightly golden. You can pull a cracker out to test - blow on it to cool - it should crunch when you bite into it.
  11. Repeat with the remaining dough until all the crackers are cooked. Let them cool completely and don't cover them tightly for a few hours - it will help them stay crunchy. I just laid a piece of parchment over mine to protect them. Then store in a tightly covered container up to 3 days.

Notes:

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/homemade-white-cheddar-cheez-its/

Easy White Cheddar Cheez-Its
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Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked Greek Meatballs

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, Greek yogurt, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

The delectable meatballs come together quickly in one bowl and bake up nicely on an olive oil greased baking sheet. They brown and take on a little crispiness with tender, flavorful insides that stay moist thanks to the Greek yogurt and onion. You can’t taste the Greek yogurt in the final product and you can substitute with sour cream or milk if you like. While they’re baking you can throw together the couscous, tiny orbs of pasta that cook in mere minutes.

The couscous is one of the easiest sides in existence to make using just one-bowl and ten minutes of time to prepare including prep. It’s made by combining finely chopped baby spinach, red onions and couscous in a bowl then pouring hot water over it. Cover the bowl and five, magic minutes later you can fluff it up, mix in a little Parmesan, give it a squirt of fresh lemon and a drizzle of olive oil for a side dish that’s ready to serve with just about anything. It’s good in a pinch and tastes like you went to more trouble than you really did.

Tzatziki is a cucumber sauce traditionally made with Greek yogurt. For a richer sauce I make mine with sour cream or sometimes a mix of both, plus dill, garlic and lemon. It’s cool, creamy, tangy, and a little sweet from the dill weed. You should make the sauce first so the flavors have a little time to marry.

You can serve these layered in bowls the way I did – and loved – or stuff them into pita pockets or wraps. You can just make the meatballs (or use the leftovers) and drop them into your favorite tomato sauce to serve with pasta. They would make great appetizers too! Stick a toothpick in them with the sauce on the side for dipping and you’re good to go.

They will disappear fast no matter how you chose to serve them.

Like all tasty things it’s hard to eat just one.

Greek Meatballs with Spinach Couscous

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Feta Meatballs with Spinach Couscous & Tzatziki

Baked meatballs loaded with feta cheese, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese with a no-cook couscous freckled with spinach, and a bright tzatziki sauce for serving.

INGREDIENTS:

tzatziki:
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced, remove the seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1 - 2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
a couple pinches each salt and pepper
meatballs:
olive oil, for greasing pan
2 eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, sour cream or milk
1 + 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
couple pinches of nutmeg or cinnamon
1 cup crumbled feta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides generously with olive oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and yogurt together. Add the remaining meatball and use a fork or your hands to combine. Form into balls one to one and a half inches wide. Place on baking sheet, close together but not touching. Bake 12 - 18 minutes until cooked in the middle. Break one open to check.
  4. Meanwhile make the couscous. The recipe is below this one.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Spinach Parmesan Couscous

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 + 1/2 cups couscous (like this )
1 + 3/4 cups boiling water.
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
a handful of pine nuts, sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make stacks of the spinach leaves and cut them into thin strips lengthwise then cut the strips across into tiny pieces.
  2. Add them to a heat safe large bowl with the onion and couscous.
  3. Pour in the boiling water, stir and cover tightly with a plate or a piece of aluminum foil. Let sit five minutes.
  4. After five minutes fluff up the couscous with a fork.
  5. Add the parmesan, lemon and oil and work it in with a fork until it's evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with nuts if desired.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/greek-meatballs-with-spinach-couscous-tzatziki/