Cheetos Popcorn

Gone in 60 seconds. No, not the movie. This Cheetos popcorn snack. Like that, poof. Gone. Popcorn needed Cheetos. Cheetos needed popcorn. It’s a marriage made in heaven. Perfect for a big crowd, too. Just have some napkins on hand because there are going to be some orange fingers.
Cheetos Popcorn

There are a lot of ways to customize this snack. For your friends that like spicy foods I’d add a few good-sized pinches of cayenne pepper to the cheese powder mixture. And instead of ‘normal’ Cheetos I’d use the Flamin’ Hot flavored snacks.

You can substitute any popcorn you’d like, even pre-popped. Or microwaved. Even flavored will be fine, but you might have to cut back on the seasoned salt.

Cheetos Popcorn

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a popcorn maker and add the popping corn. Pop per package instructions.
  • Transfer popped corn to a large bowl. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and cheddar cheese powder. Stir gently to combine.
  • Fold in the Cheetos and serve.

Hot Dog Burnt Ends

If you’ve never made or tried burnt ends, I highly recommend them. As great as smoked brisket is, burnt ends are brisket candy. Highly addicting, they are a real treat. But hey, they do take time and brisket isn’t always the cheapest cut. So what to do if you want to feed a crowd of some meat candy without breaking the bank? Yep, you guessed it: hot dog burnt ends. Smoked hot dogs covered in a caramelized sauce, you’ll never eat those little sausage thingies again. Perfect for a party, these goodies will disappear in no time.
Hot Dog Burnt EndsThere’s absolutely nothing challenging about making these hot dog burnt ends. If you don’t have a smoker you can make the entire dish on a grill. You can even use a gas grill. If you do, I recommend you use a smoky BBQ sauce to add a little of that great I-made-these-on-a-smoker even-though-I-didn’t flavor.

Hot Dog Burnt Ends

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Author Inspired by a recipe from Hey Grill Hey

Ingredients

  • 2 8- count packages hot dogs no need to get the expensive stuff here
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons your favorite BBQ rub
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ Sauce

Instructions

  • Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use any wood you like, these turn out great whether they are smoked over fruit wood or a stronger wood such as mesquite.
  • Squeeze the mustard over the dogs then brush around all sides. (I found it easier to just spread the mustard with my hands).
  • Sprinkle the rub over all sides of the dogs. Transfer to your smoker and smoke for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, fire up your grill for medium heat cooking (or pre-heat your oven to 375 F).
  • Remove dogs and cut into thirds (about 1 1/2" pieces). Transfer to a disposable pan.
  • Combine the butter, brown sugar and BBQ sauce and pour over the hot dogs. Stir and place on your grill (or in the oven).
  • Cook dogs an addition 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the hot dogs have begun to caramelize.
  • Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

Parmesan Chicken Bites

Anita mentioned these Parmesan chicken bites the other day. I made them a long time ago and posted them on our old blog, Crossroads of America, and somehow had forgotten about them. That’s a shame because they’re really great. They aren’t nuggets like you might think. And they aren’t crunchy because they aren’t fried. They have a light coating, with a great herb-and-butter flavor. They are very addicting.
Parmesan Chicken BitesI continued the herb theme and served these Parmesan chicken bites with a cool Ranch dressing for dipping. A Dijon dipping sauce also works great, as does blue cheese. These little yummy morsels are a great alternative to deep-fried chicken nuggets.

Want ’em crunchy? Try my homemade chicken nuggets.

Parmesan Chicken Bites

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • Your favorite dipping sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  • Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, thyme and basil and spread out in a pie plate.
  • Working in batches, dip the chicken pieces into the melted butter and shake off the excess. Roll in the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Place chicken on foil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the thickest pieces are cooked.
  • Serve with your favorite chicken nugget dipping sauce.