Foodiemarvel

2017

standard December 31, 2016 Please Comment

I will get into my thoughts about 2017, but I first want to explain something about this platform. When I started this blog, I promised myself I would not demand a certain number of blogs per this or that. This was meant to be for pleasure only. As I began creating more and more blogs, I felt more pressure to produce regularly. That is against what I set out to do with it though. I would see other food blogs that were super successful churning them out left and right. I’m happy for them. That’s not why I started this though, or the end goal any longer. It’s not a business. It’s fun. It’s not under strict guidelines. It’s creativity.

So much has happened in 2016. Three big things? Our daughter started college. I quit my job. I applied for a show on Food Network and I’m in the running for it.

Our daughter is doing just fine and is thriving in college life. She is having a great time, and doing well.

I quit my job. It was time. No huge story and nothing major. Just was time. I will write more on that later.

I applied for Cooks VS Cons on Food Network, but I signed a confidentiality agreement, so I have no idea how much I’m allowed to say…. ūüôā I am waiting on the next stage in 2-3 weeks where I think I will find out if I will be chosen or not. I wish I could say more, but I can’t. I’m really excited though. Once I can, trust me, I will say more… but then I can’t really say a ton either.

Just wanted to check in the day before the 1st day of 2017. Everything is going really well. I will do more blogs, but again, not in a certain set amount. ūüôā Just as I see fit and feel inspired. No rhyme or reason.

I wish everyone an amazing 2017!!!

Top 5 Food Blogs I love learning from right now

standard August 22, 2016 Please Comment

The Top 5 Food Blogs I love learning from right now are incredible blogs. I have so much respect for each one. They are the same, yet they are very different. Each one has a special, unique flare for how their websites look, how they choose which items to create, and how they style their food and pics. They have years of experience under their belts. Hours upon hours of taking pics. I have been observing and taking notebooks of notes just trying to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to have a successful food blog, all while trying to bring out my natural style and flare just like I’m sure they discovered along the way as well.

When I first started my food blog, I looked at 3 or 4 “Top Food Blogs in the US” lists. These blogs were pretty much at the top of the list. I knew they didn’t get there by chance. So, I went to each page to look at their “About” page to see their stories. I also wanted to see how long they have had their blogs. Over and over again, I read a familiar, “I didn’t really do anything specific or special. I just posted about something I love and I was consistent …” Granted, when you look at their content, it’s pretty spectacular. So having really amazing content also had a lot to do with it.

The goal was to list the blogs with what I think makes them special and why they are at the top. I didn’t want to take pictures from their sites and post them because certain ones have different wishes about their content being posted on other sites. I want to respect that. Please visit their sites though, and leave a comment or drop a like or two! Here’s a simple picture of a pie I just made to satisfy your need to see a food pic. ūüôā First time I made chess pie and I have to say it is a pretty tasty dessert! Just snapped with my camera phone along with a pie slicer I got at a thrift store for .99 cents.

Top 5 Blogs I love learning from right now

The Top 5 Food Blogs I love learning from right now

  1. Pinch of Yum – This is a powerhouse couple where Lindsay takes the pics and Bjork is tech support. She was a 4th grade teacher before blogging full time and creating an amazing business a few amazing avenues of business. They not only create incredible content…they host food photography workshops at their studio and have started a site called Food Blogger Pro¬†(a website/group/forum dedicated to food bloggers).¬†As of now, the group is closed to new clients, but there is a waiting list. They also have an ebook you can download, as well as really great tips for growing food bloggers.
  2. Damn Delicious РI am drawn to this blog so much! I LOVE her pictures, her food choices, the way she displays her food, all of the above. I draw so much inspiration from her beautiful layouts and gorgeous photography. She started her blog in 2011, lives in California and she also has a new cookbook coming out SOON, so go out and grab a copy! **Bonus, and probably the best thing about this blog (just kidding) but not really is her freaking cute dog, Butters. I love to watch her Insta stories to see what Butters is up to today.
  3. What’s Gaby Cooking – Harry Potter and Margaritas. You get a sense really quickly what Gaby likes when you visit her “about” page. Harry Potter, Margaritas, Yoga Pants and excursions across Africa are just some. Not only would I love to just sample a lot of her dishes, but it sounds like she would be a blast to hang out with! I’m not sure how long her blog has been around, but she’s another California girl who probably has access to amazing fresh food year round. She has been featured on many television segments and has been featured in People, and Whole Foods.
  4. Joy The Baker – This one is simple. NOLA girl now. She moved from CA to New Orleans in 2014. Having grown up just 2 hours from there myself, I know how much culture inspires you down in the bayou. Spend a few days in New Orleans and you’ll see what I mean. She started her blog in 2008¬†and also has a couple of cookbooks under her belt. One of her most popular dishes? Her Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. I just love her pictures, love her creativity and her writing!
  5. The Pioneer Woman – ¬†I could not do this list without listing The Pioneer Woman. This is one of the first food blogs I remember reading when I started to venture into cooking on my own. The everyday cook. The everyday housewife and mom. Women and men who just want¬†to learn how to boil an egg possibly. I found her page helpful, not too fussy and straight to the point. It’s about her life and all of the food she has enjoyed cooking and being around since she was younger. One of the truest forms of “being authentic gains a following” I can think of.

Thank you

The top 5 food blogs I love learning from right now have taught me a lot in these last few weeks. I want to get better. They push me to produce really amazing content. They also remind me to sit back and enjoy the journey day by day. I love seeing their lives, seeing what moves them and brings them such joy. I thank you for the beauty you have brought into the world!

–Jamie

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

gallery August 21, 2016 Leave a response

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine is one of our favorite dishes. It¬†gets made¬†at least once every 2 weeks and maybe even more than that when winter comes. I first saw it when a friend posted it from their social media page and it looked incredible. I always heard the name of the recipe, but never tried it. Intrigued, I watched the video (It was from Anne Burrell) and thought, “I can make this.” It is definitely a labor of love though. The recipe I use is a multi-step process, but if you love to cook and have the time, you will absolutely love it too! It is definitely based off her recipe, though I have changed it some over the years to suit my family’s taste.

Authentic Booo-yah!

I have been making this bolognese for about 3-4 years I would say. The real name is Ragu Bolognese where it really means “meat sauce,” originating from Bologna, Italy. Well, we had the opportunity to visit both Florence and Venice a couple of summers ago and I wasn’t about to let that chance go by without tasting true, authentic bolognese. Here I am (below) talking with the waiter about how I cook mine vs how they cook theirs. He was very impressed because I was pretty spot on. He said, (and I don’t do an Italian accent well, so you’ll have to improvise) “the only thing(a) you have(a) to do(a) is add(a) some chu-gah to yours!” So, I needed to add a little sugar, apparently. I was so jazzed though, because ours really did taste very similar. That was it. Solidified. My bolognese was authentic!

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

 Noodle! Choose your noodle!

You could absolutely use any type of pasta you wish. When I think of beef bolognese, I think of it as a super hearty sauce. Bolognese needs a big noodle. I like to pair it with a fettuccine or linguine. If I’m REALLY feeling crazy and wacky with hours upon hours to spend cooking, I’ll even make my own pasta and make extra wide noodles. You could always go with spaghetti, but I sometimes feel like spaghetti gets lost in this sauce. Please don’t tell me you like to pair it with some type of shell. I can’t. We can’t be friends. To me, the shells are saved for mac and cheese or chili mac night. Bolognese is special. Go on and give it the noodle it deserves.

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

I start my bolognese with fettuccine with a puree of carrots, celery, onion and garlic cloves. That, and a little olive oil in the food processor to make a pulp.

 

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

So, the color should resemble this:
Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

It did take me 2 times to get it though. Watching the video will really help if you’re unsure of how long to do something, or if you’re afraid you’ll burn it. That’s what helped me. Second, you might think you’re using way too much salt. I did too. It soaks up a ton of salt and it also will disappear when it’s met with Mr. Fettuccine. Use the salt. I guess if you’re REALLY worried, you can add as you go also. Cook this down for 10-15 minutes, scraping the bottom often. It will have a nutty smell –¬†will smell amazing and don’t be surprised if it’s half the volume it was before.

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

The next thing I would say is make the full amount because you can freeze it. Clint and one of my sons doesn’t care for pasta all that much, so they make rice to put theirs over.

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

So… without further ado! Here it is. Drumroll please….

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

Takes: 

3-4 Hours
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrot sticks
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1 1/2-2 lbs lbs ground chuck
  • 2 1/4 cups of red wine (I prefer to use a cab but you can use merlot also)
  • 10-12 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning (or a mixture of oregano and basil)
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups of water plus more during cooking
  • 1-2 boxes of fettuccine noodles
  • Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

Get a big dutch oven or thick pot on medium high or just a bit higher. Rough chop your carrots, celery, onion and garlic and put them in food processor with 1 Tbsp olive oil to make a pulp.

Put other Tbsp olive oil in pot and add veggie mix. Stir and scrape about every 2-3 minutes. This will be a game of stir and wait, stir and wait, stir and wait. It will appear darker, and it will also reduce about 1/2 in size when liquid evaporates. Remove when it’s a medium brown color and it’s been cooking for about 10-15 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.

Place ground chuck in pot, scraping up any veggie leftover bits. Again, sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of salt and leave it alone! Let it cook on the bottom before you stir it. Stir every 2-3 minutes, scraping up any bits.

Add veggies back to the meat mixture and add tomato paste. Stir it around and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring about halfway in between.

Add red wine a little at a time, stirring any bits at the bottom. Let simmer 4-5 minutes, stirring about halfway in between.

Add last tsp of salt, Italian seasoning, sugar, and water and let simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, taste it. Don’t worry if it tastes kind of salty to you. You will want it a little bit on the salty side. If you think it requires more salt, add it here. Add 1 cup of water, stir and wait 45 minutes. Again, a game of add water and let it cook out, add water and let it cook out. It takes about 2 to 3 times of adding water and cooking out for the flavors to fully develop.

Finally, cook noodles according to package directions and mix with sauce to serve. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Beef Bolognese with Fettuccine

 

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

standard August 20, 2016 Please Comment
Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas is just outside of Kansas City – about 15 miles south of KC. It’s in this cool, little shopping center near Leawood Town Center, where there are lots of restaurants and retail stores.

We are on a mini vacation this week from taking our daughter off to college at KU. My goal was to write at least 5 blogs, but I didn’t specify if I was going to make all of them myself, or if Clint and I were going to venture out and try a lot of different restaurants during that time. We found Red Door Woodfired Grill in Leawood Kansas a few weeks ago.

Without Wood, things just don’t taste the same

It was apparent from the start they pride themselves on smoking things with different kinds of wood. I am a huge fan of that. It’s so interesting how a different choice of wood can send any item over the top in flavor. Cherry does something different to chicken, than apple does to fish or ribs. It was evident they were wood smoke scientists! The sign hangs proudly over the bar area.

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

 

For the firs time, we went on a Monday night and knew instantly that we had found a great place. It was packed, it was loud, it was full of life. I think that night he got a burger, and I got the Chilean Sea Bass.  We also got the wings as an appetizer. I want to say the Royals were playing, so we were pretty enthralled in the game, but the nightlife was a close second. The wings were ah-mazing. The smoke flavor came through and they were so flavorful and messy. Just how you want your wings to be. The sea bass was incredible also. It was melt in your mouth delicious -as was his burger.

This time

The second time we went (a couple of days ago), we decided on calamari as the appetizer. I am a HUGE fan of calamari.

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

My favorite kind of calamari is on the kind of crunchy side, thinner and that perfect consistency of crunchy and a tiny bit chewy. Red Door Woodfired Grill’s calarmari¬†was¬†the only negative thing (and I mean minor) negative thing about both experiences. It was a little on the thick side for us. It was also very chewy. The two sauces that complimented the calamari were delicious. We just weren’t fans of how they serve their calamari. No big deal though.

Next came our entrees. Clint had the fish and chips and I had a reuben. Red Door Grill’s¬†reuben was one of the best reubens I have ever had. I have lived in New York, Florida, California, Colorado, Louisiana, Texas, and now Kansas. One of the best I have ever had. The beef was delicious, the bread amazing, and the ratio from dressing to meat to sour kraut was perfection. It was steaming hot, it was melty, it was amazing. Usually greasy diners corner the market on reubens and patty melts, but I would take this one over a diner any day. It was THAT GOOD.

Clint loved his fish and chips also. HUGE (as you can see) chunks of fish fried in a light, crispy, beer batter. The fish was delicate and juicy. So good!!

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

We really enjoyed our meals both times we were there and will be returning to Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas many more times. It’s a really cool, trendy spot where they take pride in putting out amazing quality ingredients, and delicious dishes. The artwork throughout is pretty cool, too!

Red Door Woodfired Grill Leawood Kansas

 

The Burger Stand at The Casbah Lawrence Kansas

standard August 19, 2016 Please Comment

The Burger Stand at The Casbah¬†in Lawrence Kansas popped up on one of those lists you see on social media as “the best this or that in the state” for burgers. It ¬†is just off Massachusetts street -where there are a ton of cute, trendy restaurants on both sides of the street. You could easily walk a mile and get every type of food you are craving. This part of Lawrence reminded¬†me so much of certain areas in Austin, Texas. It has a little bit of a hippy vibe to it. A lot of diverse types of foods you can choose from and a love for music and art throughout the streets.

The Burger Stand at the Casbah Lawrence Kansas

The Burger Stand at the Casbah Lawrence Kansas

Front Entrance to The Casbah

We just dropped our oldest, Kenzie off for her first year of college at KU….which I handled like a pro, I might add. We both read the article and it was a unanimous decision to go there.¬†The parking is a little iffy. One time we went down there and had an easy time finding a parking place (which are metered by the way). The next time, there wasn’t a place in sight for a mile. There is a parking lot almost behind the restaurant that is meter free, so if you can park there and walk behind the restaurant to the front, that’s probably your best bet.

The Menu

The Burger Stand at the Casbah Lawrence Kansas

The Burger Stand at the Casbah Lawrence Kansas

At first glance, there are 4 types of burgers, a chicken sandwich and a catfish Po-boy. There are also salads, and many sides. Hubby got the Smoke burger and I got the Kobe. We both shared the fries…which I’m glad we did, because as you can see they were huge. The burgers were delicious and fresh. The meat was tender and packed delicious flavors. I have to say I enjoyed Clint’s more than mine though. I love kobe. I also love pickled onions. I didn’t care for the combination of the pickled onion with the sauce they used. Just wasn’t my favorite. I loved Clint’s, however. We also LOVED the sauce bar. You can choose a sauce you can either dunk your fries in, or burger in. My fries took a dip in the roasted Parmesan aioli…. several times in fact…. so many times their little fingers were all pruned up.

The Burger Stand at the Casbah Lawrence Kansas

The Burger Stand at the Casbah Lawrence Kansas

A sauce bar

We definitely enjoyed our lunch there and would return when we visit Kenzie. I can also see how it is a huge draw to the college crowd. Someone was practicing or just playing around on the drums downstairs while we were there. Very good burgers and fries, good beer on tap and great atmosphere!

The Burger Stand at the Casbah Lawrence Kansas

A Jayhawk across from the parking lot at a business

Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts

gallery August 18, 2016 2 responses

Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts

My youngest son Bodee loves, and I mean LOVES pumpkin scones from a super popular coffee chain. I was almost going to make them, but decided to make my pumpkin spice baked donuts instead. They are every bit as pumpkin(y), but even more moist and fluffy than the scones are. Most people shy away from making donuts because it involves grease, frying and a neat little gadget that plops the donut batter into the oil in a perfect donut formation. These are super easy, take less than 30 minutes, and are baked!

Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts

I needed some carbs. Just yesterday, my oldest went off to college. I was really thinking about her a few days before when I wrote my weekly entry about her leaving the nest. It was really rough when I was coming up with the pictures for her senior party movie a few months ago, but I think I handled the actual move-in day pretty well. Today… we carbed out. First, we went to a local favorite, Taco Republic. AMAZE – btw. Then… we donutted. A lot.

These pumpkin spice baked donuts are so good and so simple to make. My one tip is that you don’t secure these in a plastic bag or cover them for too long. They really need to breathe and they need their own space. If you cover them for too long, they will become a little soggy. Don’t let that happen. You went to all this trouble to make these gorgeous pumpkin donuts – don’t treat them this way. Just kidding. Not about covering them though. Don’t do that. If you want to give them as a gift, put them in a cardboard box, then cover each one with wax paper or tissue paper. Deliver them before 2-4 hours for maximum flavor and texture.

Spice is so nice

They are so yummy. They are pillowy. The pumpkin is J U S T enough where you can taste the pumpkin and spice, but it’s not overpowering. You can also substitute more cinnamon in if you would like. I happen to like pumpkin pie spice, but I don’t want it to be overkill. This is why I use a little nutmeg and a little cinnamon instead of straight pumpkin spice. Play with the flavors and see which combination you prefer! You could also make a sugar cinnamon glaze to pour on top instead of the cinnamon sugar. Both would be just as good on the pumpkin spice donuts.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts

Takes: 

30 Minutes
Serves: 12-18

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray non-stick spray on donut pans. (If you only have one, it’s ok. Just cook one, then cook the 2nd when cooled)

Beat the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, salt, baking powder, and seasonings together until well combined. Mix in the flour until JUST combined.

Spoon in the batter into the donut pan until almost covering the middle section. (a little over 3/4 full if possible). Cook for 15-18 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean.

Dust with cinnamon sugar mixture. (1 tsp cinnamon to 3 Tbsp sugar) ratio. Place in bowl and cover donut completely. Set on plate. Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts

Weekly Update No 2 Kenzie

standard August 15, 2016 4 responses
Weekly Update No 2 Kenzie

Weekly Update No 2 Kenzie

This one is going to be a rough one. Our oldest and first born is off to college. We move her out of our home, and into her dorm in just 2 days. This was Kenzie.

Our big blue eyed, sweet, chunky monkey. Ever so curious and always catching on to things at lightening speed.

Weekly Update No 2 Kenzie

You hear that mothers and daughters can have complicated relationships, sweet relationship, strained relationships – all of the above. Kenzie was (and is) the most amazing child to raise. If we said, “No, that will burn you. Don’t touch.” She wouldn’t touch. If you said, “Hmmm, they don’t seem like they are good friends to keep. Let’s evaluate what the relationships really are and if they are all positive.” She would end friendships that were not good for her, or were not a positive influence in her life.

Weekly Update No 2 Kenzie

Her teen years were pretty much a breeze as well. We rarely had to have serious discussions with her. We rarely had to deal with slamming doors, rolling eyes or horrible Twilight, Kristen Stewart(ish) angst. There was an occasional “come to Jesus” meeting where we had to get some things back in line. Those were rare and it was often taken care of in one talk.

Weekly Update No 2 Kenzie

Moving three times in a matter of a few years (and having to move out of state for her senior year) was probably the biggest challenge she has had to face. It was extremely hard having to make those decisions and put her in those positions, but when I look back, I think that has been a time in her life where she has pushed herself the most. I think she has grown the most from it too.

It hasn’t hit me yet, I don’t think. I get a little teary eyed every now and then when I think, “This is it. No more her running down the stairs to see what smells so good.” That’s when it hits. Kenzie¬†will just be 30 minutes away, but it’s still going to be hard. Come Wednesday, I will need some extra tissues on hand. I know it will hit me when I look back and see those big, blue, wide eyes looking at me from her dorm room as her dad and I leave her. It’s like daycare only we aren’t going back to pick her up.

We couldn’t be more proud. Still going to be gut wrenching, but we couldn’t be more proud. We love you to the moon and back McFrench. Now I need to stop writing because my eyes are about to pour buckets right now.

xoxo – Mommy and Daddy

Weekly Update No 2 Kenzie

Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

standard August 14, 2016 Please Comment

Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

There are a few must haves when we get ready to throw a game day party, or if someone asks me to bring something to theirs.¬†Game day spinach and artichoke dip, Game Day Buffalo Wings, or Game Day Jalape√Īo Popper Bombers¬†are in the top 3 for sure. My oldest son, Andrew would eat this right out of the bowl if we let him. Actually, he does do this. All the time. Now that I think about it. Ok, well, he gets almost straight A’s, so we have to pick our battles here.

For my artichoke dip, If I have the time, I plan ahead and make buttery garlic baguettes to go along with it. If not, the standard tortilla chips or pita chips are just as good. I remember one restaurant serving just plain french bread with it. Chips is the easy go-to though. Hands down.

Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Everyone shares the stage

It’s so creamy and every ingredient is tasted and accounted for. You don’t get an overwhelming amount of cream cheese, or spinach flavor, or artichoke flavor like with some spinach and artichoke dips at some restaurants …. you get a little bit of everything in each bite. I am so disappointed when I order spinach and artichoke dip thinking it’s going to be amazing, only to be let down when it has a heavy taste of mayonnaise and no flavors. I also don’t like it if all I taste is spinach. I want all of the players to have a part. The perfect combination.

The only advice I have for this recipe, is that once you have it all mixed together in a bowl, TASTE it. Take a chip or use a fork and just taste it. If it’s super bland, then ADD salt, garlic salt, or parmesan cheese. If it’s not creamy enough, add a little more mayo or milk. This is the time to adjust.

Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Takes: 

45 Minutes
Serves: 8-10 People

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz block of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 10 or 12 oz box of chopped frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1/4 cup Italian blended cheeses plus more for sprinkling on top (sold in 1 bag mixed)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (taste after mixing – add more if necessary)
  • 1/2 black pepper
  • 1/4 of each: salt and garlic salt
  • 1 Tbsp of milk

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375.

Take spinach out of container and place in a strainer or colander. Squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as you can. It will seem like the volume has gone to nothing. It’s ok. This is normal.

Chop up your artichoke hearts into bits and pieces. Some brands of artichokes are much stronger. If you find one you know is stronger, just omit 2-3 of the hearts when combining everything.

Add cream cheese to bowl and add all other ingredients. I make sure my hands are washed if I use my hands. Mix well with a spoon or hands until everything is combined. TASTE. This is where you can adapt the flavors.

Place in baking dish or casserole dish and top with approximately 1/4 Italian cheese blend. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve your game day spinach and artichoke dip with toasted, buttered baguette, pita chips, or chips. Enjoy!

Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip

 

Game Day Jalape√Īo Popper Bombers

standard August 14, 2016 Please Comment

Game Day Jalape√Īo Popper Bombers

A variation of just regular jalape√Īo poppers is my Game Day Jalape√Īo Popper Bombers with Smokies. I attended a football party one year where they combined sausage into the mixture and it was so good. It just sent it over the top with the creaminess of the cheese, then the heat from the pepper, the savoriness of the lil smoky, then you got the crunch of the bacon in the end. Serve these jalape√Īo poppers, or my Game Day Buffalo Wings or Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Serve all 3 and you’re guaranteed to please any game day crowd. They are always a hit and they are always gone within the first hour.

Game Day Jalapeno Popper Bombers

I know a common complaint I see is the bacon doesn’t get cooked all the way when the jalape√Īo poppers are cooked in the oven. One way to help this is to pre-bake or pre-cook your bacon just for a few minutes. If you slap them in the microwave for¬†about 1 min 20 seconds, it helps them with the cooking process later in the oven. Don’t cook them though. If you cook them too much, you won’t be able to maneuver them around the poppers.

To remove the Pods of Hell or not to

Another thing (and this is a huge, executive decision that can be life saving) is how hot you want your jalape√Īos poppers to end up. Being from Southwest Louisiana, I do like my food a bit on the spicy side. If you prefer not to use 10 tissues to wipe your nose and sweat from your brow, you can opt to remove the seeds completely from the jalape√Īo….but even then sometimes the pepper will be hot. Just depends on the peppers you find. I would also advise wearing gloves through the whole removing of the pods of hell¬†(seeds) from the jalape√Īos process. Trust me.¬†Tried telling our youngest son who is 14 this. Yep. He learned the hard way. He later was seen with an ice pack on his lips. Tried to tell ya, son. Tried to tell ya.

Game Day Jalape√Īo Popper Bombers

Takes: 45 Minutes to an Hour
Serves: 8-10 People

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Jalape√Īos
  • 12 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 8-12¬†slices of bacon (depending on how much bacon you like)
  • 6-12 lil smokies (I cut them in half length wise and if a jalape√Īo is really long, I use two)
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle seasoning or 1/4 chili powder and 1/4 paprika
  • 2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs

Instructions

Place oven to 375.

Slice all jalape√Īos in half length wise. Be careful to not touch seeds too much, or wear gloves. Remove as many seeds as the heat you wish to achieve. (the less = more heat) Place them on a sprayed sheet pan, or lined with parchment paper.

Sauté diced onion and garlic in a medium high heat pan for 5-7 minutes. Set aside and let cool for 10 mins.

Mix your cream cheese, cheddar cheese and seasoning in a bowl. Fold in your onion and garlic.

Cook bacon in the microwave for 1 min, 20 seconds. The idea is to pre-bake them a little where they cook thoroughly while in the oven on the poppers. It is easier if you use them almost right away rather than when they have time to stiffen up.

Take each pepper and put about a tsp to 2 tsp of cheese mixture. Sprinkle a little of the panko bread crumbs on top. Take a smoky sausage half and place in the middle of the cheese. Take bacon and wrap the jalape√Īo, securing the lil smoky. You can use toothpicks if need be. You can always remove them later.

Place in oven for 20 minutes or until done. Can also be served with a pepper jelly dipping sauce, or you could try putting a dab of the pepper jelly in the jalape√Īo pepper before you put your cream cheese mixture!

Game Day Jalapeno Popper Bombers

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Game Day Buffalo Wings

standard August 14, 2016 Please Comment
Game Day Buffalo Wings

Game Day Buffalo Wings

Game day buffalo wings are pretty easy to make and provide a punch of flavor for your tailgating party or during the big game. They don’t last long in my home that’s for sure. We usually have a few staples for game day. We have our Game Day Jalape√Īo Popper Bombers with Smokies, and our Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip that is super creamy, super dreamy and amazing to have on chips or on a buttered baguette. If you can’t pick a favorite between buffalo wings, jalape√Īo poppers or spinach and artichoke dip…then I want to know what it is you’re serving for your game days!

I personally like a dry rub on a wing, and then I like to dip it into ranch or blue cheese. Occasionally I will like a messy, gooey, stick to your fingers kind of wing. Usually when it’s a wet sauce kind of wing, I prefer one that has some heat plus sweet¬†like a honey chipotle like I made in a marinade for my Honey Chipotle Lime Shrimp. It’s the same flavor profile. It packs on the heat but also has a sweet note to it. On a very rare occasion, I like a buffalo wing if the sauce is more on the mild side.

Game Day Buffalo Wings

Do you like more vinegar or less vinegar?

My youngest son, Bodee would probably drink the buffalo sauce from the pan if I let him. He and hubs love a buffalo wing sauce. A STRONG buffalo sauce. The more vinegar the better, they say. I can tell if I won’t like it if before it reaches our table, my nose starts burning a little from the heat and vinegar combination…which is weird, because I love vinegar based things and hubs usually does not. When it comes to the wing sauce, I prefer one that’s not as vinegar(y).

Now, are you team ranch, or are you team blue cheese? That’s a tough one! I think it depends on who is providing both, but if I have an option for both, I’m going for both!

Game Day Buffalo WingsTakes: Hour to Marinade and 30 minutes to actual cooking time
Serves: 4-6 People

Ingredients:

  • 18 wings
  • Vegetable Oil for frying (about 2″ in the pot)
  • 1 Cup of Whole Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup of hot sauce (we use Louisiana Hot Sauce)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 garlic cloves minced and mashed
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp of each seasoning: black pepper, red pepper, garlic salt, paprika, and chili powder or chipotle seasoning if you have it

Instructions

Place flour and all seasoning in a plastic bag with zipper. Mix up. Take each wing and shake in bag. Place all wings when done on a dish and let refrigerate for at least an hour.

After an hour, bring oil to medium high heat (375) in a big pot. In another smaller pot, melt butter then add your minced garlic and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Turn off.

Cook your wings in oil for approximately 10-12 minutes or until done. Each wing size varies. It may take up to 15 minutes. Take one out, cut it open to be safe.

When wings are done, take them out and place them on a paper towel or dish towel. You will take each wing and dip them in the hot sauce mixture. Coat them. Set them aside on a dish for serving. If you want that baked on hot sauce look, you can stick them in a 400 degrees oven for 10 minutes at this point. I usually save a Tbsp of the sauce to pour on top after I’ve done this. Enjoy! (see the little garlic pieces sticking to the wings in the sauce?? YUM!!! Bits of gold, my friend. Bits of gold.)

Game Day Buffalo Wings

 

 

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