SEVEN LAYER DIP TACO CUPS

SEVEN LAYER DIP TACO CUPS Servings: 12

6 flour tortillas (8-10 inch)
1 14-ounce can re-fried beans
2 cups grated Cheddar Jack cheese
1 cup guacamole
1 cup salsa
¾ cup sour cream
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1 tomato, finely diced*

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Cut flour tortillas into large squares and then divide each into quarters, making 4 smaller equally sized square pieces, per flour tortilla.
  • Generously coat a standard-size muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Line each cup of prepared muffin tin with a tortilla sheet.
  • Spoon a tablespoon of re-fried beans into each sheet.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese over each sheet.
    Place another sheet of tortillas on top of the bean/cheese mixture and press so it flatten.
  • Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Spoon in a tablespoon of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa into each cup then top with green onions and tomato.
  • Enjoy!

NOTE: I sometimes skip the fresh tomato if I don’t have one and use a can of Rotel original tomatoes, drained WELL!

LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN WINGS (AIR FRYER)

Using the air fryer to make these chicken wings is, in my opinion, THE best way to prepare them. They are PERFECTLY seasoned, SUPER crisp, salty, peppery and garlicky ALL at the same time! They have crisp salty skins with a hint of garlic, lemon and pepper in EVERY bite. These are seasoned to perfection and cook so fast with no marinating required!

LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN WINGS (AIR FRYER) serves 4

1 pound chicken wing drummettes
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon Frank’s Original hot sauce
2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Hidden Valley ranch powder

  • Thoroughly pat dry chicken wings with paper towels and place in a mixing bowl.

  • Whisk together the hot sauce and avocado oil.
  • Toss to coat in oil and hot sauce mixture.
  • Sprinkle with garlic salt, lemon pepper and ranch seasoning.
  • Toss to evenly coat with seasoning.

  • Place on air frying basket, spacing evenly and air fry at 400˚ for 7 minutes per side, a total of 14 minutes, or until chicken wings are crisp and golden brown on the outside.
  • Serve with a side of your favorite ranch or bleu cheese dressing.  We use Bob’s Big Boy.

BLOODY MARY SHRIMP COCKTAIL

BLOODY MARY SHRIMP COCKTAIL adapted from Ree @ Pioneer Woman
1 cup jalapeno ketchup
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 teaspoon Bragg’s liquid aminos 
1/2 tablespoon vodka 
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced 
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper 
16 peeled, de-veined and cooked extra-large shrimp (about 1 pound), tails on
1/2 celery stalk, finely diced, plus 16 small celery stalks with leaves, for garnish (optional)

  • Mix together the ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, liquid aminos, vodka lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the sauce to 16 shot glasses, then top each with a shrimp and a sprinkle of diced celery.
  • Place a celery stalk with leaves into each glass.

CHARRED APRICOT RASPBERRY WHISKEY WINGS

CHARRED APRICOT RASPBERRY WHISKEY WINGS
3/4 cup QUALITY (Bonne Mamam) raspberry apricot preserves
3 tablespoons Seagrams 7
Juice of 2 FRESH limes
2 tablespoons BRAGG’s liquid aminos
1 tablespoon GO CHU CHANG
1 small 6 ounce can pineapple juice
2 1/2-3 pounds chicken wings and/or drumettes

  • Whisk together everything except the chicken in a LARGE bowl. Set aside 3/4 cup for later.
  • Add chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate 3-4 hours.

 

  • Heat grill to medium low.
  • Toss chicken once again before laying on grill in a single layer.
  • Grill 10 minutes.
  • Flip and grill 10-15 minutes more until cooked through.
  • Toss with reserved sauce before serving.

I LOVE to serve these with CARAMELIZED PINEAPPLE!

 

BAKED RICOTTA DIP

Compliments of Martha over at Seaside Simplicity I bring you her Baked Ricotta Dip. I have found A LOT of uses for the leftovers also. And yes, with just two of us there ARE leftovers. 

The first time I used the leftovers as a thin layer in my Ravioli Lasagna between the first layer of ravioli and the meat sauce.  Next time I will make a batch in a large flat baking dish that can be easily transferred to a thin layer in the lasagna.

The second time I added some leftover Cara Mia Artichoke Bruschetta from Star and 8 ounces of tomato sauce. I then served it over some simple pan seared chicken breast for a complete meal.

BAKED RICOTTA DIP
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Pour into a 8″ greased baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with additional Italian seasoning and bake about 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
  • Serve with Crostini or sourdough chunks.
VARIATIONS
  • If you don’t like garlic, it can be completely omitted or decreased in amount and you’ll still have a delicious warm cheesy dip.
  • If you love a good strong garlic flavor like we do, mix an additional 4-6 cloves of minced garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil and pour over the top for the last 10 minutes of baking time.
  • For a slightly sweet version, omit garlic and Italian seasonings and add a tablespoon of a good QUALITY honey, with additional honey to drizzle on top, great for brunch!
CROSTINI
  • Cut French bread in 1/2 inch thick slices.
  • Brush both sides with olive or avocado oil.
  • Sprinkle with Italian seasoning (optional).
  • Bake at 400° for 3 minutes, flip and bake an additional 2-3 minutes. 

NOTES:

I didn’t have any crostini, but did have some good sourdough bread that was beginning to stale so used that and it was great!

HAM & CHEESE PULL APARTS

ACTIVE PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 25 minutes
TOTAL START TO FINISH TIME: 45 minutes
SERVES: 4
WHY I’LL MAKE IT AGAIN: It’s the perfect tailgating food!

HAM & CHEESE PULL APARTS
4 sourdough rolls or 1 LARGE Italian or sourdough bread loaf
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1 + 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese or Monterey Jack or Baby Swiss
1 1/2-2 cups SMALL diced country ham or bits of deli ham
2 green onions, minced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cover a baking sheet with foil.
  • Place rolls foil.
  • Slice rolls in a cross hatch pattern. Be sure NOT to slice all the way through.
  • Drizzle the butter into all the crevices.
  • Stuff the crevices with 1 cup of the shredded cheese and minced ham pieces.
  • Top with minced green onions.
  • Wrap loosely with a large piece of foil on top.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is golden.

JEZEBEL SAUCE

I found this recipe in an old cookbook and it sounded ODD and I have NO idea where the name came from, but just awesome enough to try.  It made just a couple changes, but it really makes an awesome appetizer.  The recipe apparently has a convoluted history of unknown origin… Billie’s friend Nancy too the recipe to a garden club Christmas Party.  She had gotten the recipe from her brother-in-law’s niece…

JEZEBEL SAUCE
18 ounce jar SMUCKER’S pineapple preserves
18 ounce jar SMUCKER’S apple butter or jelly
3.75 ounce jar Inglehoffer (German) horseradish
1 tablespoon Coleman’s dry mustard
1 teaspoon FRESH ground pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 box wheat thins

  • In a medium size bowl stir together the pineapple preserves, apple butter or jelly, mustard, horseradish and pepper.
  • Chill at least 2 hours.
  • Place cream cheese on a platter and pour sauce over top.
  • Serve with crackers.

IRISH TACOS for ST. PADDY’S DAY

I was recently chatting with a bartender friend of mine and it occurred to us that not only did Cinco de Mayo fall on Taco Tuesday this year, something this bar is well known for in the area, but so does St. Patrick’s Day. We were throwing about ideas for Corned Beef Tacos, but it just didn’t feel right. So, I started playing around to come up with a taco recipe for St. Patrick’s Day and we have a winner!!

IRISH TACOS

RUB
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 tablespoon FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper

  • Combine all the seasonings until well blended.
  • Rub pork shoulder ALL over and set aside 5-10 minutes while you heat the oil.

PORK
2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 pound pork shoulder
1 onion, sliced thin
2 Guiness 12 ounce beers *
6 cloves garlic, minced

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Heat oil over medium high heat.
  • Sear Pork on ALL sides.
  • Add onion pieces.
  • Add garlic.
  • Add Guinness.
  • Cover and move to oven for 3 1/2-4 hours.
  • Shred meat from bone and discard bone.
  • Return meat to juice.

SALSA VERDE CREMA
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa verde
handful chopped cilantro
1 lime juiced\
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper

  • Pulse all the ingredients together to desired color and consistency. The more you blend the lighter the color will become.

ASSEMBLY
Tortillas (regular or spinach) (hot oil dipped or soft)
shredded cabbage or coleslaw
chopped cilantro
Queso Fresca

  • Spread a layer of cream over the tortilla.
  • Top with a forkful of shredded pork.
  • Top with a forkful of slaw or cabbage.
  • Add a dollop more of cream.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro.

NOTE: I am not fond of beer so I also have a version where the beer is substituted with ginger ale. Canada Dry has a new version that is paired with Orangeade that makes this dish out of this world!!

BBQ “ICE CUBE TRAY” BACON BALLS

I found this recipe on Facebook and decided to give it a try for our special Superbowl goodies this year. I try and find “unusual” recipes to try each year for the BIG game. Recipes on Facebook and Pinterest can really be a hit or miss situation.  I’d say we probably have a 75% success rate 😀  But, these were fantastic!

BBQ “ICE CUBE TRAY” BACON BALLS
10-12 thin sliced bacon strips
1 pound hamburger
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley
1 egg
1/2 onion, FINELY chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Favorite BBQ sauce

  • LIGHTLY spray ice cube tray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Overlap bacon slices across an ice cube tray.
  • Gently push bacon into the ice cube holes.
  • Mix together hamburger, egg, parsley, bread crumbs and seasonings until well blended.
  • Divide meat into equal portions and press into ice cube tray.
  • Fold bacon slices over top of meat mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Turn ice cube tray over onto a baking sheet and gently lift ice cube tray off.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Remove tray from oven and generously brush with BBQ sauce.
  • Bake 10 minutes more.
  • Remove from oven and cut apart into individual “cubes.
  • Insert toothpicks and serve.

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS
3-4 pounds chicken wings
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick oil.
  • Toss flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and garlic powder in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Place chicken pieces in the bag, tossing to coat.
  • Shake off excess and place on baking pan in a single layer.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Dip each wing in the sauce and return to pan on its opposite side.
  • Bake another 25 minutes until cooked through.
  • Dip in sauce a second time as you plate them.

GLAZE
2/3 cup PURE maple syrup
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, minced (optional) for garnish

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over a medium heat,
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, 5-7 minutes until thickened.
  • Garnish if desired and serve.

HONEY BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS

HONEY BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS
2 cups buttermilk
3 pounds chicken wings
3/4 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
1/3 cup QUALITY honey
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon celery flakes
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Place chicken wings in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Pour buttermilk over chicken pieces, turning to coat. Let sit 30 minutes.
  • Drain chicken and discard buttermilk.
  • Place chicken pieces back in the bag.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick oil.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the hot sauce, melted butter, tomato paste, garlic powder, celery flakes and sea salt.
  • Add 1/3 of sauce to the bag, tossing to coat chicken.
  • Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer on the baking tray.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes, basting with remaining sauce and turning every 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through .
  • Serve with Bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Home made “BLEU” CHEESE DRESSING
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup large curd cottage cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces Bleu cheese crumbles (sometimes I use Gorgonzola for a bit of change or when I accidentally pick up the wrong container at the grocery store and we like it just as well)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until it’s well mixed.
  • Chill for 24-48 hours before serving.

BACON WRAPPED TENDERLOIN TIPS

These will make a HUGE hit at your next party!  They are the perfect guy food too making them perfect for backyard get togethers or tailgating parties!

BACON WRAPPED TENDERLOIN TIPS
1 pound beef Tenderloin Tips
Precooked Bacon
1/4 cup avocado oil
Thin slices of Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon Zero to Hero Sweet BBQ rub
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze, reduced slightly
2 tablespoons minced chives

  • Preheat a cast iron skillet on high.
  • Blot dry the Tenderloin Tips.
  • Trim the pieces so they are about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inches wide.
  • Season the meat with the BBQ rub.
  • Add the oil to the cast iron skillet and heat briefly.
  • Add the seasoned tips the skillet and cook for 1 minute while stirring JUST long enough the sear the sides but keep the center raw.
  • Quickly remove the meat from the skillet and cool in fridge.
  • Lay a piece of cheese on each beef tip.
  • Wrap seared tips with bacon and hold them together with a tooth pick.
  • Stand the wrapped tips up on a sheet pan so that the bacon is on its side leaving some space in between.
  • Cover pan with plastic film and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Bake 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate.
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar glaze and sprinkle with minced chives before serving.