Mini Corn Dog Muffins

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The first time I made these guys was only a couple of months ago. We had just moved and we were hosting our new neighbors for dinner. I didn’t have much time before they were scheduled to come over, so I was glad I found this recipe that only needed 15 minutes for both prep and cook time.

Feel free to use your own cornbread recipe if you have one. I like the box for its convenience and speed. If you do have your own, please share in the comment section! I’d love to try it out.

You’ll need:
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  • Cornbread/muffin mix (and its needed ingredients)
  • 4 hot dogs

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2:
Prepare the cornbread mix as instructed. I first whisked the egg then added the milk to form the batter.fullsizerender_1fullsizerender_3fullsizerender_4

Step 3:
While the mixture is setting, cut each hot dog into 5 equal pieces. You should have 20 pieces in all.image1image2Step 4:
Spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray, then fill each cup with batter about 2/3 of the way.
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Step 5:
Insert one hot dog piece into the middle of each cup, pressing it down until the mixture surrounds it.image4

Step 6:
Bake for 10 minutes.
image5Remove them from the pan to cool. I suggest you eat them warm, but let’s be serious. These little guys are delicious at any temperature. You can serve them with ketchup, mustard, or nothing at all.
image6Eat up, buttercup, and gimme some oven lovin’.

Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Biscuits

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It’s a long title, but boy, OH BOY, is it worth it. If you have a Facebook account and do not follow “Tasty” then you are doing yourself a big disservice. They post some of the most delicious looking foods and recipes I’ve ever seen. I saw this post a few weeks ago and knew I had to try it. Though it’s not the same exact recipe (they added fresh parsley – yuck), it’s still scrumptious.

I’m also excited to share that I recently partnered with The Recipe Hunter. If you’re looking to see some of my featured recipes along with other chefs’ posts in one convenient location, just click on the link! Maybe you’ll see this recipe on there some day. Let’s get started.

You’ll need:
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  • 1 can of biscuits
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • About 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2:
Cut each biscuit into 4 equal pieces.
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Melt the butter (about 15-20 seconds in the microwave), then add the garlic powder and cheese.fullsizerender_2Step 4:
Fold the biscuit pieces in the butter mixture.
fullsizerender_4Step 5:
Spray a muffin tin and put 3 coated biscuit pieces in each cup. Note – your last cup will only have 2 pieces!
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Bake for 11-15 minutes. The amount of time will depend on the kind of biscuits you bought. Follow the directions they provide on the tube, or just watch and wait until the tops become fluffy and golden.
image3Try it out, visit the link above, and most importantly, gimme some oven lovin’.

Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

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If I could pick one thing to eat every single week, it would definitely be buffalo chicken. I’m not sure why, especially since I only got into spicy-ish food in the last couple of years. Yet, for some reason, it’s my go-to in most restaurant outings, and one of my favorite things to make at home.

Today’s recipe involves a slow cooker. I bought a cheap little thing a long time ago, and while it gets the job done, I can’t wait until we get the gem we added to our wedding registry. I’m not sure when my surprise bridal shower is, but I sure do hope it’s soon so we can get all of our new goodies!

As always, this recipe is very customizable. I only put chicken and cheese, but you can easily add more ingredients. You can also make them with any kind of tortilla you wish: flour, corn, wheat, multigrain, gluten free, etc.

You’ll need:
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  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 cup buffalo sauce (my favorite is Frank’s)
  • Shredded taco or Mexican blend cheese
  • Tortillas
  • Slow cooker

Step 1:
Slow cook your chicken with the sauce! Since my cheap little guy doesn’t have settings, I just put the chicken in and wait a while. If you have a regular cooker, set it for low and cook the chicken for about 3-4 hours (until it’s soft enough to shred with a fork).
Note – if you don’t have a slow cooker, you can just buy rotisserie chicken and shred that instead. Then put it in a bowl or bag and add the sauce to coat.
img_6614Step 2:
Shred the chicken and cook it for another 30 minutes in the sauce. This is where the chicken really soaks in the juice.
fullsizerender_1fullsizerender_3Step 3:
Here comes the assembly. Start with toasting one side of your tortilla for about 10-15 seconds on low-medium (mostly low) heat.
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Flip the tortilla to toast the other side. At this time, add your cheese. The amount is purely based on preference. I like an even proportion of cheese and chicken, whereas my fiancé likes less cheese. You decide. I usually put about 1/4 cup for mine.
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Add the chicken on one half of the tortilla. Again, as much or as little as you want. Flip the other half over to make a semi-circle.
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Toast both sides. I like the tortillas to be a tad bit crispy, so I make sure I press down and flip it around a couple of times until it starts browning. If you decide to do this, make sure to put your spatula on the open side and flip upward so the chicken doesn’t go flying out. Doing this may still cause some stragglers, but that’s okay.
image3image4Serve with your choice of dipping. I eat mine with a mixture of ranch and Frank’s red hot sauce. Bleu cheese, sour cream, and alone are also popular choices.
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I love making a big batch of chicken and eating it for several meals. Though I mostly make quesadillas, it also tastes good with mashed potatoes or rice. Try it! And gimme some oven lovin’.

Layered Dip

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One of my favorite recipes of all time is this layered dip. I make it the most in the fall during football season, since it’s a great addition to every tailgate. It’s very customizable; you can put on as many layers as you want. I usually make mine 7, though today’s recipe is only 5. I’ll share some additional suggestions as we go.

You’ll need:
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  • 1-1.5 lbs ground meat (you can use turkey, beef, chicken, etc).
  • 1 large bag of shredded taco or Mexican blend cheese (4 cups)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (about 2-3 tablespoons if you have a container like me)
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 jar of salsa

Step 1:
Cook your meat. Of course I chose ground turkey.
fullsizerender_1When the meat is mostly browned and just a bit pink, add in your taco seasoning and stir well.fullsizerender_4When the meat is just about ready, I like to top it off with some Frank’s hot sauce to add in some zing. This is completely optional.
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Step 2:
The rest of the steps are just assembling the layers. Start with spreading the beans in your bowl/tray/whatever you’re using to serve it.fullsizerender
Step 3:

Put a little less than half of the bag of cheese next (about 1.5 cups).fullsizerender-4
Step 4:

Layer the meat on top. Add some more hot sauce if you’re feeling wild.image2
Step 5:

Here’s where you can go crazy. Normally I add a thin layer of sour cream on top of the ground turkey, then a layer of guacamole before topping it with salsa. This time I left those two out and went straight in with the red sauce. I don’t like too much of it so I only used about half the jar. Feel free to add more if you’re a fan.
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Step 6:

No matter what you decide to layer on, finish the entire tray off with the remaining cheese.
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Step 7:
Broil until the cheese melts and serve warm. Feel free to add sliced jalapeños or black olives when it comes out of the oven. In all, it tastes really good with the traditional Tostitos chips, but you can eat it with anything (regular chips, bagel chips, etc). This time I tried it with Fritos scoops and liked it even more! During one of our tailgating experiences, we even topped burgers with this and created one yummy smorgasbord. The options are endless.image6
Enjoy! And gimme some oven lovin’.

Baked French Fries

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Back again with another “healthy” recipe. Hey, it’s not the best for you but it sure is better than some other methods of making these. If you saw yesterday’s post, you noticed that there were french fries sitting pleasantly next to the burgers. Today I will teach you how to make them!

One of the spices I love using on potatoes is old bay. I have met a lot of people who have never heard of this, so it must be a mid-atlantic thing. Either way it’s awesome and can be used on all sorts of foods. Do yourself a favor and get some.

You’ll need:
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  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Step 1: 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2:
Wash and peel the potatoes.
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Step 3:
Slice the potatoes into even slivers. I cut them between 1/4-1/2in each. Then flip them the other way and cut again into fries, about the same thickness. Note – the thinner you cut them, the shorter amount of time they will need to cook.
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Step 4:
Combine the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and coat the fries in this mixture. You can add more/fewer/different spices depending on your preference.
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Step 5:
Spread the fries onto a greased sheet. I added some extra old bay on about half for extra flavor. img_6547

Step 6: 
Bake for 40-45 minutes, flipping at least once halfway.

img_6562You can do as I do at times and eat them with something else.
img_6561Or you can do what I do at other times and eat them alone.
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Either way, indulge and gimme some oven lovin’.

Buttery Lemon Shrimp

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I have to start off this post with wishing my favorite brother in law a very happy birthday. I hope your 29th year is anything and everything you could possibly want. Here’s to many more birthday celebrations, you silly fadidi. 🙂

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Moving on, today’s recipe is a juicy cuisine that can be eaten alone or paired with some of your favorite dishes. This buttery lemon shrimp does not require many ingredients and will have your belly full in just minutes.

You’ll need:

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  • 1.5 lbs of cooked, frozen shrimp
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • seasoning of your choice (lemon zest, italian, etc)

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie tray with aluminum foil.

2. Cut your butter into pieces and spread on tray. Place in the oven for about 2-3 minutes, or until butter is melted.

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3. Slice your lemon into two. Peel one half, then slice both halves into 1/4in slices. I think peeling half ensures that your shrimp doesn’t become too bitter. It’s a good mix. Spread your slices over the butter that is on the tray.

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4. Place shrimp over the lemon slices in one layer.

5. Top with your seasoning. I used about 1tbsp of lemon zest seasoning. Use whatever and however much you like.

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6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

7. Using a spoon, mix the shrimp around in the tray to get them completely covered in the butter/lemon/seasoning mixture, then serve!

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As I said, you can eat alone or use as an add on. It’s great on top of pasta, rice, or salad. Get creative and gimme some oven lovin’.

Mushroom Onion Tart Shells

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If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I like small, bite size foods. Desserts, appetizers, meals, whatever. My family and friends make fun of me constantly for cutting my food into tiny pieces. Even mini options like grapes and m&ms get at least 3 bites each from me. I don’t know why I do this. I guess it makes me think I have more food. My brain is special.

Anyway, I’ve used these fillo shells a few times in past recipes. They’re just so cute and delicious and make appetizers super easy to create. Today’s filling is similar to this mushroom cream sauce, though there are a couple of differences. I think either mixture can be put into the shells to make something quick and easy for your next gathering.

You’ll need:

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  • 1 package of mini fillo shells, thawed
  • 1 can of mushroom pieces
  • 1 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • salt/pepper/spices for seasoning

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and space out your fillo shells.

2. Cut your onion into thin slices, about 1/4in. Then cut the rounds vertically so they create little pieces, again about 1/4in.

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3. In a skillet, combine olive oil and onions over medium-low heat (4 out of 10 setting on mine).

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4. Once the onions start browning, drain your mushroom can and add the pieces to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, or any other spices you enjoy. Cinnamon. MMMM.

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5. When the combination is soft and golden, remove from heat and transfer the filing into a bowl. Take a heaping tbsp of ricotta cheese and mix it in the bowl so everything is coated evenly.

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6. Fill the fillo shells with the filling. Bake for 6-8 minutes.

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Remove when the shells are golden and flaky.

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Feel free to sprinkle with additional cheese. I had feta crumbles that really created a great taste when combined with the other flavors. Other yummy options are grated Parmesan or Asiago.

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Gimme some oven lovin’.

Homemade Guacamole

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I could eat avocados every single day and be happy for the rest of my life. I like it in, on, and all around my food. Today I made my own homemade guacamole that is being devoured as I write this. Oops.

You’ll need:

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  • 2 medium avocados
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Steps:

1. In a medium bowl, smash avocados. You can either use the back of a fork or a potato masher if you have one. When it’s soft and mushy, add the lemon juice.

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2. Dice tomatoes into quarter inch pieces. Mix them into the guac.

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3. Add spices to the bowl. You can use more or less than the called for amount. You can also add any spices you enjoy or take away any that you dislike. In addition, you have the option of adding onions, garlic, jalapenos, and other ingredients that some enjoy in their guacamole. I like it plain which is why I didn’t include those but play around and incorporate whatever you desire.

4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour then serve.

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You can eat this alone or with chips, pretzels, carrots, crackers, celery sticks, sandwiches, salad, burgers, baked potatoes, rice, bacon, or quite frankly, ANYTHING.

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Gimme some oven lovin’.

Buffalo Chicken Ranch Cups

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Is it safe to say that one of the best food combinations ever created is buffalo chicken?  Why yes, I believe that is true. And while some may argue that bleu cheese is a good partner, I respectfully call those opinions dumb and reach for the ranch.

Today’s little appetizers are both delicious and filling. I’m not making any promises, but I would be greatly shocked if they lasted longer than it takes to make them (I know that’s not the case in my house). You’ll see.

You’ll need:

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  • 1 cup chopped chicken breast, cooked
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup American cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce (or another favorite of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing
  • Mini fillo shells

Steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Chop up your chicken into itty bitty pieces.

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3. Add the cheese, cream cheese, hot sauce, and ranch. Fold over the ingredients until everything is mixed completely and covered in each other. I like a little kick in my food, so I added an extra tbsp of Frank’s. Yum.

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4. Lay out your fillo shells on a baking sheet and fill each one with the chicken mixture.

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5. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 6-8 minutes, or until the fillo is slightly browned. If you want them to be crunchy, place the shells alone (without the filling) in the oven for 2-3 minutes before you complete step 4.

I still had about 1/4 of a cup of filling left over. I put it in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds and used it as a dip. You can eat it with crackers, pop chips, or anything else you desire.

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Quick, easy, and scrumptious. Sounds like my kind of meal.

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Gimme some oven lovin’.

Greek Week: Tiropites

This has to be one of my favorite Greek foods and lucky for you, they’re available at most Greek stores/restaurants. They are so full of flavor but still light and refreshing. While tiropites are usually served as appetizers, many choose them as a meal and get stuffed by their deliciousness alone.

I think we all know what a pita is but if you don’t know Greek then you wouldn’t know that tiro comes from the word for cheese. In short, a tiropita is a cheese pie. The recipe that I have provided is my version of the popular dish, which has some similarities as well as differences from the traditional version.

You’ll need:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (mine is Pepperidge Farm but there are many other kinds of brands)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of dried mint, crushed
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sugar
  • flour (to sprinkle for rolling out dough)

Steps:

1. Combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, feta cheese, mint, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium size bowl. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well blended. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with foil. This makes for an easy clean up when you’re done!

3. Roll out your puff pastry sheet. Sprinkle some flour on your working area and your rolling pin to make sure the sheet doesn’t stick. You want the dough to be fairly thin, so work on it for a little while.

4. Once you’ve completed the rolling, cut out squares that are about 3 in x 3 in. I was able to make 9 squares, but you may get more, depending on how big your pastry sheet is.

5. Take about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture and put it in the middle of each dough square. Once you’re done, fold over one corner to its diagonal side to create a triangle and pinch the edges together.

6. Using a fork, press the pinched edges to create a secure seal and fancy design. Carefully transfer each triangle to your cookie sheet. Tip — grease the sheet beforehand! I use butter spray but Pam or any other cooking spray will do just fine.

7. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush onto the triangles. This will give the tiropites a nice, crunchy texture.

8. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Some dough cooks faster while some ovens aren’t as powerful. Keep an eye out on them after the 15 minute mark. You want to take them out when they are gold and flaky.

That wasn’t so bad, was it? Let them cool off a bit then eat them right up! Gimme some oven lovin’ 🙂