Homemade Pizza Rolls

Back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper I was lucky enough to live right next to my school. That meant that some days I could run home and grab a quick lunch (while watching The Gong Show, but that’s a whole other story). Now, mom usually made me a sandwich or maybe heated some soup, but on rare occasions she’d heat up frozen pizza rolls (at my request… or begging!). I could devour them no matter how many she made. And no matter how much they burned the top of my mouth (who waits for them to cool off?).

Well, here I am a few years later. And I still love pizza rolls. But now I make them at home. A little pizza sauce, some baby pepperoni, cheese and a little heat, all wrapped in a wonton wrapper. In no time I’m burning the roof of my mouth again, enjoying the snacks and memories from years ago.
These homemade pizza rolls are great for parties. You can make them ahead of time and freeze them. Bake just before your guests arrive. You can also make all sorts of variations on them, using your favorite pizza toppings. Just don’t use anything too wet, such as canned mushrooms, without first patting it dry. Otherwise the wrappers might get too soggy and they’ll pop while baking.

Also try my pizza pretzel nuggets.

Homemade Pizza Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: About 40 rolls
 
Note: You can make these ahead and freeze them. Just pop them in a 425 F oven for 15-20 minutes when ready to heat and eat.
Ingredients
  • 1 (5 ounce) package mini pepperoni (you can also substitute 1/3 pound cooked Italian sausage, ground fine after cooking and cooling slightly)
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces pizza sauce (plus more for dipping, if desired)
  • Red pepper flake, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine the pepperoni, cheese, sauce, and red pepper flake in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and water.
  4. Working in batches, lay the wonton wrappers out on a flat surface in the shape of a diamond, with one point pointing towards you.
  5. Lightly brush the edges of the wrapper with the egg wash.
  6. Spoon about a tablespoon of the sauce mixture into the center of the wonton.
  7. Grab the topmost (furthest away from you) point of the diamond and fold over the sauce mixture. Press down around the edges to seal.
  8. Fold in the left and right sides and press down on the edges to seal.
  9. Finally, fold over the bottom side (the point pointing towards you) and then press lightly around the edges to seal. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with foil or use a silpat.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Serve hot with warmed additional pizza sauce for dipping if desired.

Creamed Spinach Deviled Eggs

These creamed spinach deviled eggs were definitely the star of the show when we made them for our Thanksgiving dinner. They looked elegant and they tasted fancy. And yes, I admit, several of them never made it to the platter thanks to some ‘quality control’ by myself and Anita. Hey, you have to make sure they pass the muster (and boy do they)!
You can use frozen spinach if you cannot find fresh. Just make sure that it is completely thawed and drained very well. We spinach will make the filling far too thin.

If you’re taking the creamed spinach deviled eggs to a get-together you can pipe them before leaving. They seem to travel pretty well. I would wait until you get to your destination before adding the crumbled feta.

Also try my jalapeno popper deviled eggs.

Creamed Spinach Deviled Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 halves
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled
  • Crumbled feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until softened and starting to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Slowly stir in the spinach, stirring. Cook until wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
  5. Stir in the cream cheese. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
  7. Slice the eggs in half. Transfer the egg yolks to the spinach mixture and stir until smooth. You might have to add a bit more mayonnaise. You want the mixture to be just thin enough to pipe thru a piping bag or icing tool.
  8. Transfer mixture to a piping bag or icing tool and pipe into the center of each egg.
  9. Serve topped with the crumbled feta.

Five-Alarm Buffalo Wings

I love savory chicken wings. I love sweet chicken wings. And I love wings that are a bit spicy. For me that usually means not super spicy. Well, I made an exception to that rule with these Five-Alarm Buffalo wings. I’m not sure what possessed me to do it, but I woke up one morning and decided I was going to make the hottest wings I could stand so I did. And you know what? I was totally surprised by just how much I loved them!
If you want to tame back the heat on these five-alarm Buffalo wings just cut back on the habanero hot sauce. I went full-bore. Yeah, they were spicy and my eyes may have watered a bit but they were TASTY! Usually my argument against things super hot is that the spiciness hides the flavors. Not so on these wings. I’d make them again. And I’d have plenty of Ranch dressing around for dipping…

Also try my kicked-up Fire-Eater Habanero wings. For a little mellower but still crazy-good wing, try my Buffalo Supreme wings.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Five-Alarm Buffalo Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Note: I like my Buffalo wings saucy, you might end up with leftover sauce. That's not a bad thing.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Five-Alarm Buffalo sauce
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo wing hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup habanero hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  4. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  5. Toss wings with sauce before serving.
For the sauce
  1. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat. Keep warm until ready to use.

Copycat Popeyes Popcorn Chicken

It’s a treat when I get to fire up my deep fryer. And because I’m a sucker for being influenced by cheesy ads on TV for fast food joints, I had to make a copycat of the popcorn chicken you can get at Popeyes. I couldn’t help myself. I was weak. Crunchy, spicy and addicting, I gobbled them up just like Annie (the lady on the Popeyes commercials) said I would.
I figured I needed a few dipping sauces for my copycat Popeyes popcorn chicken. I decided to pick up a few bottles of Sweet Baby Ray’s dipping sauces at the store. SBR makes great BBQ sauces (perfect as-is or as a base for your own creation), so I was pretty darn sure that their dipping sauces would be great too. And they were. Between the popcorn chicken and the dipping sauces and a few fries, it was a happy deep-frying kind of day!

Also try my chipotle popcorn chicken bites. Chicken with a kick!

Copycat Popeyes Popcorn Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into small pieces.
  2. Heat 3" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  3. Combine flour, salt, white and cayenne pepper and paprika in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
  4. Whisk together the eggs in a separate shallow bowl or pie plate.
  5. Working in batches, dip chicken pieces into the egg.
  6. Shake off excess and transfer to the flour mixture, coating well.
  7. Shake off excess and place into the hot oil.
  8. Fry 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack or paper towel-lines plate.
  9. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

Slow-Cooker Bourbon Cocktail Sausages

I wasn’t going to post these slow-cooker bourbon cocktail sausages when I first started making them because I thought, well, like the world needs to see yet another cocktail sausage recipe. But after making them, and watching them disappear in no time at a family get-together, I decided I just had to share. They’re very, very simple, yet very, very delicious. I actually left out the bourbon and was still left with a (just slightly) spicy sauce that was wonderful with the smoked sausage slices.
I sliced smoked sausage for these slow cooker bourbon cocktail sausages, but I think you could just as easily add Lit’l Smokies cocktail links. Just make sure you let everything get happy in the slow cooker for the full 3 hours. The sauce will flavor the sausages over time, so give them time.

Also try my sweet-and-sassy slow cooker appetizer meatballs.

Slow-Cooker Bourbon Cocktail Sausages
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut diagonally into 1/2" slices
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup bourbon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated white onion
  • Red pepper flake or hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain well.
  2. Combine the chili sauce, bourbon, brown sugar, onion and red pepper flake or hot sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  3. Add the sausage and stir.
  4. Cook on low for 3 hours.

Maple Cranberry Sauce

I’m not usually a cranberry sauce-kind-of-guy, so I have no prior experience making it from scratch. But when I came across this recipe for maple cranberry sauce it sounded good (even to me) so I hopped right in and made a double batch for Thanksgiving. It was a big hit. I also discovered that cooking fresh cranberries can be fun. They go ‘pop’ as they cook. Cool!
Use real maple syrup in this maple cranberry sauce. Only the real stuff. And as I note, I could not find fresh oranges. Substituting bottled came out just fine. Add about 1/4 cup, taste, and see if you want to add more. I used no-pulp orange juice. The sauce came out fantastic!

This sauce goes best with a turkey roasted on the Char-Broil Big Easy.

Maple Cranberry Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Juice and zest of one fresh orange (Note: I could not find fresh oranges so I substituted just over 1/4 cup of bottled no-pulp orange juice)
Instructions
  1. Transfer all ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir and let the mixture simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened and all of the cranberries have burst. Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.

Slow Cooker White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Candy

I don’t know why I never thought of melting chocolate in a slow cooker. I’ve always been somewhat challenged at melting chocolate, be it in the microwave or in a double boiler. The slow cooker made it as easy as it could be, turning out the perfectly creamy smooth chocolate for these white chocolate peppermint pretzel candies. Nice and crunchy and packed with peppermint flavor, these were an instant holiday success in our household (and at Anita’s office!).
I found the chocolate mixture to be very easy to work with. Unlike some of my other attempts at making chocolate candies, I didn’t have to rush to get the mix onto the baking sheets before it began to set. I had plenty of time to do it right. I figure that the shortening had a lot to do with that, but so did the low-and-slow melting of the chocolate in the slow cooker. I plan on using this same approach with any future chocolate goodies that I make.

Also try my chocolate-dipped peanut butter Bugles.

Slow Cooker White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Candy
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons butter flavored shortening
  • 26 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 (15 ounce) bag pretzel twists, crushed
  • 1/2 cup peppermint candies, finely crushed, plus more for topping
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place the shortening into your slow cooker set to low.
  2. Add the white chocolate chips. Cover and let melt at least 20 minutes, until creamy smooth, stirring often. Meanwhile, line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Stir in the peppermint extract.
  4. Slowly stir in the pretzel pieces and 1/2 cup of the crushed candies. Make sure they are all well combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture out onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed peppermint candies. Let sit at least 30 minutes until firm.
  6. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips per the package instructions. Drizzle or pipe over the pretzel candies. Let cool before serving or packaging.

Legend Larry’s Bacon BBQ Wings

Legend Larry’s Bacon BBQ wing sauce is not the first bottle of sauce I’ve tried from Legend Larry’s. And it won’t be the last, either. Every flavor is just spot-on fantastic. Some are mild, some are hot and some are very hot. Bacon BBQ is somewhere in the middle the heat scale, combining a great smoky BBQ sauce with bacon deliciousness. No doubt it’d be fantastic on pulled pork or ribs, too, but for me, it’s a winner-winner on wings.
I’m a wing addict. I often find myself just staring at the pics of the wings I’ve made. Wings tossed in Legend Larry’s Bacon BBQ sauce are a good example. Just look at that up there. Each and every bite nothing but delicious. That’s why I love wings so much.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Legend Larry's Bacon BBQ Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Legend Larry's Bacon BBQ wing sauce, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  5. Toss wings with sauce before serving.