Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich

“Buffalo Style” seems to be a hot trend for recipes lately!  I’m finding a lot of recipes that make just about everything you can imagine Buffalo Style…casseroles, enchiladas, dip, sandwiches, you name it!  Which is okay with me because anything made Buffalo Style is sure to be a hit!!

I found the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on Pinterest, and prepared it pretty much according to the recipe with just a few slight changes.  This sandwich turned out AWESOME!!   This is a great week-night recipe; it’s quick, easy to make, and oh so tasty!!

When I make Buffalo Chicken Dip, I use mozzarella cheese.  I think the next time I make this sandwich I’ll add mozzarella in addition to the cheddar cheese.

Here’s the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches; this recipe made four large sandwiches.

Shredded chicken-I used 3 medium sized chicken breasts.

2 tablespoons Buffalo Wing Sauce-I like Texas Pete’s Buffalo Wing Sauce.  I use this instead of regular hot sauce because it’s a little thicker, but if you don’t have anything on hand regular hot sauce will work as well.

1/2 tablespoon blue cheese dressing

1/2 carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2 stalk of celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion; I didn’t measure this out, but I used about a handful.

Approximately 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature.  I may have used a little more than 1/2 cup total; just be sure you have enough to sprinkle cheese evenly on each sandwich.

8 peices of bread-I used sourdough, but any kind of bread you like will work.

1-2 tablespoons of butter, room temperature.

Cook the chicken completely; I just poached the chicken in boiling water for about 10 minutes or until it was cooked through.  Once it’s cool enough to handle (but not cold, you’ll want the chicken to be warm for the sandwiches), shred the chicken with 2 forks.

Mix together the shredded chicken, buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese dressing, carrots, celery and onion.

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place the chicken mix on one slice of bread (the side without the butter) and sprinkle cheese evenly on top of the chicken mixture (you really can’t go wrong with cheese, so put as much as you like. 🙂 )   Top with another slice of bread (butter on top), and grill in a heated skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the bread is grilled and toasty and the cheese has melted.

Enjoy!!!

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Thyme

I know, I know…it’s been awhile.  People have been asking me if I’m still working on my blog because it’s been so long since I posted a recipe.  Which is a real compliment in my opinion, because it means people are actually reading it!  So, I’m sorry I’ve been off my game as of late; it’s been a busy month.  But the good news is, I have a BUNCH of stuff to post!

This year we went back to our hometown of Sacramento to spend Thanksgiving.  It was nice spending time with family and friends we haven’t seen in awhile.  It was also nice to experience Fall again.  You see, here in the desert of Arizona, we don’t get much in the way of Fall weather.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that it’s 75 degrees in December; I’ve grown very accustomed to the beautiful Phoenix weather (well, most of it.  Summer is a different story).  But it was nice to see all the leaves changing color, and  to feel the cold  brisk fall air again.

Thanksgiving dinner was at my mother-in-law’s house, and it was definitely a feast!! Lots of good food, and of course, great company.  My mother in law and I found a recipe for mashed potatoes that we thought we would try out for Thanksgiving dinner.  We bought all the ingredients, then I realized as I was getting ready to prepare them on Thanksgiving day that the recipe was actually for au gratin potatoes-oops!! But not to worry, I improvised and came up with a pretty tasty mashed potato recipe!!

These mashed potatoes have horseradish in them…that’s right, horseradish.  I originally wanted to include that ingredient in the title, but I was afraid no one would try it!  I know horseradish can be scary, but trust me, it’s just a small amount and adds a lot of flavor!  I will also warn you that this probably isn’t the healthiest recipe, but you could substitute butter with chicken stock or extra milk/buttermilk.

This is a large recipe for a big party, so if you’re only making it for 2-4, you might want to halve the recipe, unless you want a lot of leftovers (and you just might!) Here’s what you’ll need for the mashed potatoes:

1 5 lb bag  potatoes.  We used russett potatoes because we had giant amounts of them for Thanksgiving, but I think these would be really good with Yukon Gold Potatoes.  That’s how I’m going to make them next time.

2 shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced (I think I might actually use 3 next time, but I like garlic)

8 tablespoons butter, plus 1 extra tablespoon to saute

1 cup buttermilk

2-3 tablespoons horseradish (start with 2, see how you like it, then add more if necessary)

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

Clean, peel and quarter the potatoes and boil in a large pot of water until the potatoes are fork tender. Add salt to the boiling water for extra flavor, if you’d like. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl or return to the boiling pot and keep the potatoes over the stove on low heat if you aren’t serving right away and want to keep them warm.

While the potatoes are boiling, melt one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and saute until the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic is fragrant.  Set aside.

Add the buttermilk, butter, sour cream, shallot/garlic mix and horseradish to the potatoes and mash all ingredients together using a potato masher.  I would suggest adding the liquid ingredients a little at a time as you mash the potatoes;  we thought the consistency was just right, but  people have different tastes when it comes to consistency so better to start with less and add more.  Once you’ve finished mashing the ingredients together, add the rosemary and thyme and stir into the potatoes with a large spoon.  Add salt and pepper to taste and lastly, add the parmesan cheese and stir into the potatoes until the cheese is melted.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Stay tuned for another Thanksgiving recipe!!

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with White Wine, Lemon and Rosemary

I wanted to make a roasted pork tenderloin this weekend.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to roast it with, so I sort of improvised and came up with a really tasty marinade for the tenderloin.  We have a lemon tree in our back yard that is starting to produce fruit, so I wanted to use lemon, and for me, lemon always goes great with fresh rosemary. I would have liked to make a pan sauce with the marinade, but I didn’t have all the ingredients and was too lazy too busy to go to the store, but it still tasted fantastic without the sauce.   This pork tenderloin would also go really well with Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic.

Everyone enjoyed the pork tenderloin..well, almost everyone.  Chef PickyKid didn’t enjoy it, but her friend did!  What can I say, she’s picky! 🙂

Here’s the recipe for Roasted Pork Tenderloin with White Wine, Lemon and Rosemary

1 Pork tenderloin

1/2 cup olive oil, plus about 2 tablespoons for searing the tenderloin and a little olive oil to rub on the pork tenderloin

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup white wine

Juice of one lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon onion powder

Fresh rosemary, about 2-3 sprigs

kosher salt and black pepper

Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, white wine, lemon,  garlic and onion powder.  Rub a little olive oil on both sides of the tenderloin and season with kosher salt and pepper.  Place the tenderloin in a large freezer bag with the marinade.  Remove the rosemary from 2-3 sprigs of rosemary and add them to the bag.  I just hold the rosemary sprig at the top and peel the rosemary from the stem with my fingers.  Marinate the pork for at least 3-4 hours in the refrigerator.    If you have time, it’s even better if you marinate overnight.

Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator about  a half hour before you’re ready to cook so it isn’t cold when you sear it.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot.  I like to see a little smoke from the oil so I know it’s really hot; this is the best way to sear the meat.  Add the tenderloin to the hot skillet.  Sear the tenderloin until it is browned on both sides.  This will take about 10 minutes (five on each side).

Transfer the tenderloin to a roasting pan and roast until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.  The time for this may vary depending on your oven, mine took about 30 minutes.

Italian Stuffed Shells

A friend of mine recently celebrated her birthday, so in honor of the occasion I hosted dinner at my house.  The guest of honor said she was in the mood for stuffed shells; I’ve never made stuffed shells before so I was excited to try something new.  I essentially used some of the same ingredients for making lasagna, but stuffed it into giant shells instead!

This was an easy recipe and great for serving a lot of people.  I actually doubled the recipe since I had a few guests.  I made the sauce and filling the night before, but I wouldn’t suggest preparing or stuffing the shells in advance because they may not hold together as well if they sit overnight. Since I made the sauce the night before, I reheated it on low heat to warm it up, and that’s when I added the ladleful of water from the pasta.

This recipe could easily be prepared vegetarian; just remove the meat from the recipe, and I think it would taste great!

This one was definitely a hit at the birthday bash and it will be a hit at your house as well!

 

Here’s the recipe for Italian Stuffed Shells:

1 package of large italian shells

2 cups of mozzarella cheese, divided

1 cup of parmesan cheese, divided

1 beef bullion cube

Cook the shells according to package directions, but add one cube of beef bullion to the boiling water before adding the shells to the pot.  Before draining the shells, reserve 1 ladleful of the water from the pot to use in your meat sauce.

Meat Sauce: 

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 pound ground beef or sirloin

1/2 pound italian sausage-I used mild sausage, but you could use hot if you want the sauce to be a little spicier.

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 14.5 ounce can of tomato sauce

About 2 tablespoons of tomato paste-I just used about 1/2 a small can of tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine-okay, I probably used more like 3/4 to 1 cup but feel free to use what you like.  🙂 I used Cabernet Sauvignon, but Syrah would also be good if you want more of the flavor of the wine in your sauce.

1 ladleful of water from cooking the large shells (see directions for cooking the shells)

1 Tablespoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano

About 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped-I just used a small handful.

Salt and Pepper, to taste.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and sausage and brown it, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.  When the meat is browned, add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is soft and tender.  Stir the diced tomatoes into the pot and cook until most of the liquid from the tomatoes is cooked out.  Stir in the tomato sauce and tomato paste.  Add the wine and a ladleful of water from the pasta to the pot and bring to a bubble.  Add the oregano, basil, salt and pepper and bring to a bubble.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.  If you can simmer it longer, that’s even better; the longer it simmers the better it will taste.

For the filling: 

1 16 oz container of ricotta cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 egg

About 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained-I just used about 1/2 of a small frozen container of spinach

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Salt and pepper, to taste-about 1/2 teaspoon of each

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Putting it all together:

Preheat the oven to 425

Stuff each shell with about 1 tablespoon of the filling and place it into a 9X13 baking dish filling side up.  One baking dish should be large enough for all of the shells.  Once all the shells have been stuffed and placed into the pan, pour the meat sauce over the top of the shells.  I poured it a ladleful at a time so I wouldn’t damage the shells.  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the shells with 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and return it to the oven.  Bake, uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey.  Allow the shells to cool for about 5 minutes before serving, and sprinkle with a little extra basil for garnish, if you’d like.

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

Due to the popularity of my last crock pot recipe for Italian Beef Sandwiches, I’ve decided to post another new slow cooker recipe I found, and to share a fantastic blog.  Crock Pot Girls is a blog dedicated ENTIRELY to slow cooker recipes!  And let me tell you, there’s some good ones!  I’m a big fan of slow cooker recipes, especially during the winter months.  There’s so many good things you can make in a slow cooker; stews, chili, soup, you name it.  Plus, it’s sooo easy to cook with a slow cooker!  Just throw the ingredients in, and when you come home after a long day of work…and as Chef PickyKid says, “VOILA! It’s ready!!’

This is a slightly modified recipe from Crock Pot Girls for Beef Stroganoff.  When I cook with a slow cooker, I like to brown the meat a little first; it just seems to add a little more texture.  I couldn’t find cream of onion soup as the original recipe called for, so I just used two cans of cream of mushroom soup and added a little onion powder.  I also used light cream cheese and sour cream so I could save on calories, and it tasted fantastic!

The original recipe calls for canned mushrooms, but my husband is not a big fan of mushrooms, so I didn’t use them (I know mushrooms are kind of a staple of beef stroganoff, but I didn’t want to watch him pick all the mushrooms out!).  If I were to make this for a non-mushroom hater, I would probably add a container of fresh cremini mushrooms to the recipe.

Here’s my recipe for Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff:

1-2 pounds beef for stew-I used top round steak that wasn’t already cut up because it’s much less expensive, but you could buy pre-cut stew meat to save on time.  You could also use london broil.

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt and Pepper

2 cans cream of mushroom soup-I used the low fat option.

1 cup beef stock or broth

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese-I used light cream cheese.

1 8 oz container sour cream-I also used light sour cream.

Egg noodles or rice, cooked according to package directions.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Season the beef with salt and pepper, and brown in the heated skillet for about 5 minutes on each side or until browned on each side.  If you’re using pre-cut meat, you’ll only need to brown for a few minutes-just until the meat begins to brown.

Remove the meat from the pan and allow to cool enough to handle and cut into bite sized chunks. Place the meat into a crock pot and add the soup, beef stock or broth, onion, garlic, and another 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Mix the ingredients together and cook in the crock pot on low for 8-10 hour or until the beef is tender.

Prepare egg noodles or rice according to package directions.  While the noodles or rice are cooking, add the cream cheese to the beef mixture and stir until it’s melted.  Add the sour cream and stir to combine.  Serve the beef stroganoff over the egg noodles or rice.

 

This isn’t the best picture in the world, but you get the idea.  Man, I really need one of those fancy cameras!! 🙂

Cheddar Bacon Ale Dip

As you may already know, football is a national pasttime in my house.  And along with a day filled with couch dwelling and football comes lots of tasty game day recipes.  I found this Cheddar Bacon Ale Dip recipe from another blog I’ve recently discovered… Dinner, Dishes and Desserts  . There’s a ton of tasty recipes!

This dip has three of my favorite ingredients-cheese, beer, and bacon!  You just can’t go wrong if any one of these ingredients are in a recipe, let alone all three!! The original recipe for this dip also uses homemade pretzel bites, which look amazing!  But unfortunately, I’m too lazy  too busy 🙂 to make them from scratch so I just used store bought pretzel bites.

I used a heavier ale for this recipe, and I think it had a little too much beer flavor.  I know, how is that possible, right?! But I think if I make it again I’ll use a lighter flavored ale or maybe a little less beer (3/4 of the bottle instead of the full bottle).

Here’s what you’ll need for Cheddar Bacon Ale Dip:

6 slices of bacon, diced

1 12 ounce bottle ale style beer

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

4 ounces cream cheese cut into squares.  I used light cream cheese in this recipe, although I don’t think it mattered much, since I already have cheese and bacon in the recipe.  🙂

2 cups of sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions: 

Heat a large pan over medium heat and cook the bacon until browned and crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate; leave a few tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan.

Add the flour to the bacon grease and whisk together for about 1 minute.  Whisk in the beer, and cook until it begins to thicken.  Whisk in the mustard and turn the heat to low.  Mix in the cream cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in the hot pepper sauce.  Add the cheddar cheese one handful at a time and stir until all the cheese is melted and the dip is hot.

Add a handful or two of bacon back to the dip and stir to combine.  Reserve a little of the bacon and sprinkle on top of the dip to use as garnish.  Serve warm with pretzel bites.  If you’re feeling ambitious, check out the homemade pretzel bites on Dinner, Dishes, and Dessert’s blog.

Enjoy!

Kath’s Meatloaf

As a kid, I was never much of a meatloaf fan.  My father likes meatloaf, so he made it a lot when I was growing up.  Looking back on it, it was a good recipe (maybe he could post it on our blog?!), but  I just really didn’t like meatloaf.  I mean, it’s a log of beef with ketchup on it; what’s to love, right?  Well, as I’ve gotten older I’ve developed a newfound appreciation of meatloaf.  It’s a great comfort food, and nothing goes better with a plate full of mashed potatoes than a huge hunk of meatloaf!

Recently, a friend of mine made her mom’s famous meatloaf for a dinner get together, and I loved it!  So when my husband requested meatloaf for dinner, I could think of no better meatloaf recipe than Kath’s Meatloaf.  It’s a classic meatloaf recipe that’s super easy to make.  I changed my version up just a little bit, but the original recipe is fantastic!  Enjoy!

Here’s what you’ll need for Kath’s Meatloaf: 

1 pound lean ground beef or sirloin

2 links italian sausage (I used mild, but you could use spicy sausage for a little extra kick)

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1/2 yellow onion, grated (I like to grate the onion so I get the flavor of onion without tasting large chunks)

1 egg

1 small can of tomato paste

Salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper)

3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs

2-3 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Hot pepper sauce, a few dashes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, combine ground beef or sirloin, italian sausage, garlic, onion, egg, tomato paste, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and a few dashes of hot pepper sauce (2-3).

Place meat in a bread loaf pan or form into a large loaf and place in a small 8X8 baking dish.  Spray the dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  Bake the meatloaf, uncovered for 50 minutes.

While the meatloaf is baking, in a small bowl mix together 2-3 tablespoons of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and a few more dashes of hot sauce.  Pour this mixture over the top of the meatloaf and return to the oven to bake for ten more minutes.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.  Serve with a big ol’ heap of mashed potatoes!!