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.
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.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the shallot and garlic and saute until softened and starting to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Slowly stir in the spinach, stirring. Cook until wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
Stir in the cream cheese. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Stir in the mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
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.
Transfer mixture to a piping bag or icing tool and pipe into the center of each egg.
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…
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.