Easy Marinated Mushrooms

These easy marinated mushrooms are some of the most addicting little bites I’ve ever made. Easy is right, too. They take no time at all to make. They are packed with flavor, a little sweet, a little heat and a bit of vinegar kick. I can guarantee that you will want to at least double the recipe because you won’t be able to stop eating them.
I used a mix of white button and cremini mushrooms, but you can use any mix of mushrooms you like. You do want to make sure you use mushrooms that are all about the same size or some will cook faster than others. You want them to all be cooked the same, not some soft and some not.

The marinade for these easy mushrooms is very good. I plan on using it for other dishes, including as a marinade for chicken.

Also try my garlic ricotta stuffed mushrooms and my easy marinated cheeses (delicious!).

Easy Marinated Mushrooms
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pound
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except for the parsley. Toss gently to combine.
  4. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 8 hours.
  5. Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley.
  6. Note: The mushrooms will keep up to 5 days but are best the first two days after they marinate.

Turtle Graham Bars

When people that have sworn off sweets and treats come back for thirds and fourths, you know you have a winner sweet snack on your hands. Anita and I made a big ole batch of turtle Graham bars for her co-workers. They disappeared in no time. And I can understand why because I was having serious control issues around them. Lightly bitter dark chocolate flavor (a favorite of mine), crunchy pecans and creamy buttery brown sugar, all over tasty Graham crackers. The sea salt topping is the crowning touch. Every bite is fantastic.
Be careful with the butter and brown sugar mixture when it comes time to pour it over the crackers. It’s hot sticky stuff that can burn if you splatter it onto yourself. Also, you want the bars to sit in the fridge long enough for the chocolate to set up really well so that they can be broken up easily.

Also try my Snicker’s cheesecake bars.

Turtle Graham Bars
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (14.4-ounce) box Graham crackers
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for topping
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Cover with a single layer of Graham crackers.
  3. Put butter, brown sugar, pecans and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Pour butter mixture over crackers. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Melt chocolate per manufacturer's instructions in a microwave or in a double boiler. Pour over crackers, then sprinkle with more salt.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, cut or break into bars, and serve.

BBQ Deviled Eggs

I’m always on the lookout for recipes that call for leftover pulled pork. I smoke a lot of pork, always making more than I need because I love it on more than just sandwiches. And boy oh boy, these BBQ deviled eggs are ‘da bomb’. They aren’t just hard boiled eggs topped with BBQ sauce-laden pork. Oh no. They bring it with a little vinegar kick, a little smoke and a little heat. Each bite is truly fantastic.
You can make this recipe using any leftover smoked meat, be it pork, chicken or beef. Make sure you chop or shred it small. You don’t want the meat to drown out the other flavors.

Normally I would pipe the mixture onto the tops of the boiled eggs but this mixture was a bit too thick to do that so I just spooned it on top. No harm in that. People aren’t going to spend a lot of time looking at these BBQ deviled eggs. They won’t last long enough for long stares.

Also try my jalapeno poppper and no-boil deviled eggs.

BBQ Deviled Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 halves
 
Ingredients
  • 6 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 drops liquid smoke
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded or finely chopped cooked pulled pork, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • Dill pickles, chopped
  • Smoked paprika, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Peel the eggs and cut in half.
  2. Remove the egg yolks to a bowl along with the mayonnaise, oil, hot sauce, vinegar, liquid smoke, salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the egg halves. Alternatively you can pipe the mixture onto the eggs, but you might need to add a bit more mayo and or oil to thin it enough to do so.
  4. Combine the pork and BBQ sauce and spoon over the tops of the eggs.
  5. Sprinkle a few chopped dill pickle pieces over each egg.
  6. Dust the eggs liberally with smoked paprika and serve.

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

Oh yes! Finally three of my favorite things in a single bite. The kick of jalapeno poppers. The creamy richness of deviled eggs. Crunchy smoky bacon. Easy to make, easy to eat and dangerously addicting. These aren’t your grandma’s deviled eggs (which are good, but hey, they need some spice!).
I could eat these all day long. In fact I’m making them again for this year’s Easter get-together. Several will disappear before they get to my sister-in-laws house so I will have to make plenty of extra. I will put up a little sign letting people know that they are spicy just in case. I don’t want to start a big family ruckus over someone accidentally eating these jalapeno popper deviled eggs and blaming me for not telling them that they have a little kick to them!

Also try my BBQ and no-boil deviled eggs.

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 6 slices thin bacon, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded, chopped, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 hard boiled eggs
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet until crunchy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Drain all but 1/2 tablespoon of the grease.
  3. Add one of the chopped jalapenos and the garlic. Saute until just starting to soften. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Cut eggs in half and scoop the yolks into a medium bowl.
  5. Add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon, vinegar, salt and cayenne. Mash together to combine. Add more mayonnaise if the mixture is too thick or dry.
  6. Stir in the half of the bacon and the sauteed jalapeno and garlic.
  7. Spoon or pipe the yolk mixture into the eggs.
  8. Garnish with the remaining bacon and the remaining chopped jalapeno and serve.

Cheese Straws

My first attempt at making these cheese straws was a learning experience. If the dough mixture is too thick it’s a nightmare to get through a cookie press. If the dough mixture is too thin the straw will flatten out as they bake and you’ll end up with a pan full of sadness. But, I did finally get it just right and oh, man, are these cheese straws more than just a little addicting! Crunchy and packed with cheese flavor you can’t eat just one handful.

I dusted the baked cheese straws with cayenne and smoked paprika, but you could try other flavors too. Italian seasoning for example, for a more savory approach. Or perhaps a little Ranch dressing mix.

I think you could also try other cheeses, specially something like a Monterey Jack or Swiss.

Cheese Straws
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16-20 sticks
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter plus 1-3 more tablespoons, softened
  • 2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Place 1/2 cup of the butter in a mixer with the paddle attached.
  4. Add 1 cup of the cheese and mix for 5-7 minutes until smooth, scraping down the sides as it goes.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cayenne, smoked paprika, black pepper and garlic powder.
  6. With the mixer still running, slowly add the flour mixture.
  7. Add the remaining cheese.
  8. Test the consistency of the batter. If it is really thick it might not go thru your cookie press or dessert decorator. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of the softened butter and mix. Continue until just thin enough to press but not thin and runny.
  9. Spoon mixture into your cookie press with a large star tip on the end.
  10. Pipe out onto the parchment paper.
  11. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and dust with cayenne and smoked paprika, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Baked Seasoned Ritz Crackers

I like making little treats for Anita to take to work and share with her co-workers. This time I decided to skip the sweets and send along some great savory baked seasoned Ritz crackers. Nothing fancy, but wonderfully tasty. Great on their own or with a creamy smooth dip or even better, slathered with goat’s cheese!
You could substitute something other than Ritz crackers for this snack, but I’d lean towards something buttery if you do. You want to keep that savory creamy theme going. And make sure you keep an eye on them as they bake. They can quickly turn from golden brown to … very very golden brown!

Also try my bagel-seasoned saltines.

Baked Seasoned Ritz Crackers
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Ritz crackers
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Place the crackers into a large bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan melt the butter. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Drizzle the butter mixture over the crackers, Toss gently to coat.
  6. Transfer the crackers to the baking sheets. Spread them out so they bake evenly.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove and let cool before serving.

Cheddar Pretzel Bites

The reason I made such a big batch of these cheddar pretzel bites isn’t because I needed a huge amount for a family get-together. Sure, I needed some, but not a ton. Nope, I made a big batch because I wanted more for myself. Sorry, but it’s true. I was being selfish, but for a good reason. I love them. Crunchy, a bit buttery, and definitely cheesy.
You don’t have to use pretzels to make these cheddar bites. If you prefer, any cracker will do, specially oyster crackers or saltines. Just don’t substitute something that is strongly flavored and might not go well with the cheddar. That would make for a bowl of sadness.

Also check out my balsamic, pizza,and spicy garlic ranch pretzel bites! They are all out of this world good too!

Cheddar Pretzel Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 pound
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 F.
  2. Place pretzel bites in large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the oil and cheddar seasoning.
  4. Pour the oil mixture over the pretzels and toss to coat well.
  5. Pour pretzels bites out onto a large baking pan and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake for 1 hour, tossing every 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool slightly before serving.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Bugles

On Sundays I often find myself wanting to make a little something, a little treat or snack, for Anita to take into work the next day and share with her co-workers. I try and mix it up but I usually end up making something sweet like these chocolate-dipped peanut butter Bugles. Yep, they’re just as good as you’re thinking. Bugles piped full of creamy peanut butter, then dipped in melted chocolate. After a little time passes for the chocolate to harden they’re ready to devour. Ok, sure, some didn’t quit finish setting up before I ate them. That’s going to happen.
There’s two tricks to getting chocolate-dipped peanut butter Bugles just right. First, you have to dig through the bag and find all the treats with big openings. I actually bought two bags to make sure I got enough of them. Fear not, because I’ll use the less-than-pretty ones to make both Sriracha Bugles and Ragin’ Cajun Cheddar Bugles.

The second thing to keep in mind is that you need to thin the peanut butter down enough to be able to pipe it. But, you don’t want it so thin that it just runs right out of the ole Bugles, you know? It’s easy enough to fix if you get the mix too thin – just add more peanut butter. And of course if it’s too thick add a bit (a bit!) more water.

Also try my turtle graham bars.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Bugles
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (7 1/2 ounce) bag Bugles
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Water
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
Instructions
  1. Line two large baking sheets with wax paper.
  2. Sort thru the bag of Bugles and remove those with wide openings at the end. Munch on the rest!
  3. Place peanut butter, sugar and 2 teaspoons of water into a mixer. Beat until smooth. You might have to add a bit more water. You want it thin enough to be able to pipe but not so thin that it's runny.
  4. Melt chocolate chips per package instructions.
  5. Transfer peanut butter mixture to a piping bag or icing dispenser.
  6. Pipe peanut butter into the Bugles then drip into the chocolate. Place onto the wax paper-lined baking sheets.
  7. Let chocolate set up completely before serving. You can place them in the fridge to hurry them along.
  8. Store in an air-tight container.