Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: cheddar cheese

BBQ Jalapeno Poppers

As you can see, it’s been a long time since my last post.  Summer was a crazy whirlwind that just flew by for me and now we are almost at the end of September!  Life just got in the way of my postings here.  Thank you to all of you who emailed me to ask if everything was okay.  I’m back to share some delicious recipes with you.

I’ll start by sharing one I know many of you have tried.  If you haven’t tried them, you must!  I’ve seen a number of recipes for these online and I actually have a traditional version of these Jalapeno Poppers I normally make.  The ones that you deep fry.  They are to die for as well, but I’ll share those with you on another day. 

This version I used was from Ree Drummond’s book The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  I looked at them so many times and finally this summer I made them for the first time.  Ree is not lying when she tells you how addictive these things are.  I’ve made them several times since, and most recently to use up all the peppers I had overflowing my plants in the garden. 

BBQ JALAPENO POPPERS

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

  • 18 Fresh Jalapenos
  • 1 – 8 oz. Package Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese ( I grated mine finely and probably used about 3/4 cup)
  • Green Onion, sliced (I omitted this)
  • 18 Slices Thin Bacon, cut into halves
  • Bottled Barbecue Sauce
  • 36 Toothpicks
  • **Rubber Gloves for working with peppers

**The reason I put those two ** next to “wearing gloves while working with the peppers” is because I’ve seen many people suggest this when working with hot peppers.  I have never had a problem using bare hands when cutting up hot peppers.  However, I’m probably just not sensitive to them as some people are, so if you aren’t sure or if you know you are sensitive to them, take the advice and use the rubber gloves.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  (Ree’s recipe suggests 275 degrees, but I found that to not work for me.)

Wash and dry the peppers and cut into halves.  I cut off the stems as well, but you can leave them on.

With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and membrane from each pepper and throw away.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and the green onions if you are using them.

Fill each pepper half with the cheese mixture and set to the side.

Take a piece of bacon and wrap it around each pepper.  Secure with a toothpick.

Brush each pepper with some barbecue sauce.

I place these on a baking rack and cover the sheet pan the baking rack sits in with aluminum foil.  This way when the bacon fat drips you won’t be scrubbing it off the bottom pan.  Just throw away the foil and your job is done.

Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes. 

Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and serve. 

I promise you that Ree is right.  There is no way you can stop eating these things!

Enjoy!

 

Taco Pizza

My children love taco night.  When I say “taco” I mean the ones you buy in the box that have crispy and soft taco shells, a taco seasoning packet and some taco sauce.  They don’t want adventurous fish or chicken taco’s.  And that’s okay, because I can enjoy that ground meat mixture in a corn shell taco just as much as an elaborate one.

I ended up with leftover taco meat and toppings and decided to switch it up and throw it on top of some pizza dough.  It made my children happy not once but twice this week when dinner was served. 

It also made my life a little easier knowing dinner would be quick and easy to throw together.

You don’t need to have leftovers from taco night to make this, you can just follow the basic recipe below and make the pizza by itself.  Yum!

 

TACO PIZZA:

  • Fresh Pizza Dough (either homemade or purchased) *please do not use the one in the can in the refrigerated section.  Many grocery stores now sell fresh pizza dough if you don’t want to make your own.
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey or beef, browned and drained
  • 1 Packet of Taco Seasoning (follow packet directions for adding to the beef or turkey mixture)
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Freshly Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Taco Sauce (I buy the bottle in the taco section of your grocery store)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a skillet, begin browning your meat.  Drain of all fat, add the taco seasoning packet and the amount of water instructed on the packet. Stir together, remove from the heat and set to the side.

Add a little olive oil to a sheet pan and some to the outside of the pizza dough.  Work your dough into a rectangular shape on the baking sheet.  If you use a pizza stone, which is an even better choice), work the dough out to fit the size stone you are using.  I used a standard size sheet pan and worked my dough to fit the size of the pan.

Using a slotted spoon, cover the top of the pizza dough with the ground meat mixture.  Top that with the cheddar cheese.

Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the bottom is nice and crusty.  If the top of the pizza dough is not browned enough, move it to the top rack and place it under the broiler for a minute or two to make it the color/crispness you are looking for.  Be sure to watch it closely since it takes only seconds to burn!

While the pizza is baking dice up your tomatoes and shred some lettuce. 

As soon as the pizza is done, remove the oven and place on a cutting board.  Top with the tomatoes, lettuce and sprinkle with over some taco sauce, using just enough so that it doesn’t make it too soggy.  You don’t want it dripping in the sauce!

Add whatever other toppings you like such as sliced black olives, diced onion, avocado, cilantro, or sour cream.

Enjoy!

Broccoli, Chicken & Cheese Braid

If you have ever been to a Pampered Chef party you have probably eaten this simple but delicious dish.  The first time I ever had it was at my sister in law’s house one Christmas a few year’s back.  Not long after that I attended a Pampered Chef party my friend had and enjoyed it once again. 

If you have never tried it than you must.  It’s great as an appetizer or as a meal in itself.  Not to mention, it’s an easy way to get broccoli into your children without them complaining.   Even my husband who hates broccoli will eat this and not complain.

And don’t let the presentation intimidate you.  I’m far from artistic and even I can throw this together in a matter of minutes and have it look pretty.

Begin by mixing up all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Set this to the side.  On a large cookie sheet, or better yet, a baking stone, unroll the first package of crescent rolls.  Placing them with the widest part across the top of the cookie sheet. 

Open the second roll of crescent rolls and roll them out the same way, placing them directly under the first roll and pinching the seams together.  Roll out with a rolling-pin until all seams are sealed together and you have a large rectangle.  You can use your hands to shape this out better once you have rolled it together.

Using a sharp paring knife, begin slicing 1 1/2″ – 2″ wide by 3″ long strips down each side of the dough giving you 8 slits on each side.  This should leave you approximately 6″ of solid space down the center of the dough.  Place your filling in this center spot and shape into a rectangle.

Now begin your braiding from the top down.  At the very top you should have a small piece of dough in the center.  Take this and fold it up to the top of the filling.  Then take a strip from the left and cross it over to the right.  Take the strip on the right, and cross it over to the left, overlapping the first strip.

Continue this pattern until you have reached the bottom and have crossed all your side strips of dough over one another.

Once you reach the bottom, fold the bottom flap of dough up to the top and press together to form a seam.

When done, your loaf should look like this.  Or something like it anyway.

Beat 1 egg and brush along entire surface and sides of the dough.  Place in the oven and bake until golden brown.

BROCCOLI, CHICKEN & CHEESE BRAID:

Recipe from Pampered Chef

  • 2 Cups Cooked Chicken, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Fresh Broccoli, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Bell Pepper (I just used 1 small red pepper)
  • 1 Garlic Clove Pressed (I used 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dried Dill (they call for 2 tsp. of their own dill mix but it tastes just as good using just dried dill)
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • (2) 8 oz. Packages of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 Whole Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. Slivered Almonds (*optional I did not use them)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.. Chop chicken, broccoli and bell pepper and add to a large mixing bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients, except for the egg and the almonds.  Mix together well.

Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12″ x 15″ rectangle baking stone or cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using roller, roll dough to seal perforations. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3 inches deep using a paring knife.. Spread filling evenly over middle of dough. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip on turn.  Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid. Brush egg over dough using pastry brush. Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Using a thin spatula, gently run it along the bottom of the loaf on the pan to loosen.  Place on a cutting board.  Allow to rest for another 5 minutes.  Slice into pieces using a serrated knife. 

Enjoy!

 

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

This is one of those simple meals I throw together for a night when I know I’m not going to have time to cook.  Tuesday is the day of the week this works best for me since it’s always a busy day at our house. 

You can just as easily make this on the stove, but I like the ease of the slow cooker for this because I start it early in the day and don’t need to stir or do another thing to it.  Dinner is ready and I can just serve it up.  It’s also a favorite in our house since all of my children love taco anything.  Well, everyone except my daughter.  She will eat tacos and nachos but won’t eat this soup. 

There are several different ways I make this and the options to change it up are unlimited.  I’ll give you the basic recipe I’ve followed for years, and one you can find almost anywhere, and then the options you can choose from to change it up.

SLOW COOKER TACO SOUP:

Serves 6 (with leftovers since it’s always better the next day!)

  • 2 lbs. Lean Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
  • 1 28 oz. Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 1 Can of Corn, drained
  • 1 Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Packet Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  • 1 Packet Goya Sazon (in the orange box) *optional
  • 1 1/2 cans Water (use the empty tomato can to measure) 
  • Top with some shredded cheddar, sour cream and broken up tortilla chips.

Preheat your slow cooker. 

On the stove, brown the ground beef or turkey along with the onion.  When done, drain with a slotted spoon and add to the slow cooker.

Then add all the other ingredients, stir well and cover.  Set to cook on high for 4 or 5 hours or low for 6 to 7 hours.  Once the soup begins to bubble in the slow cooker it’s done.

You can of course eat this just as is.  But it’s even better if you add some shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and a few crushed up tortilla chips.  Stir it all together and enjoy!

Option #2:

Replace the beef or turkey with leftover shredded chicken.  You can also throw in a can of green chiles if you want a little spice, or leave them out.

Option #3: 

Replace the same amount of regular petite cut tomatoes with Fire Roasted Tomatoes instead.  This adds a delicious smokey flavor to the soup.

Option #4:

Replace the 28 oz. can of tomatoes with 1 15 oz. can of Rotel and 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes.

There are probably a million on variations you could make to call this your own.  Start out with the basic recipe, which is good just as it is, and go from there.  Enjoy!

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Ranch Chicken

I’ve looked at Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Style Chicken for months, and finally decided it was time to try it.

Chicken breast, honey mustard marinade, bacon and cheddar cheese.  These are not bad things! 

This was quick and easy to throw together and my family enjoyed it.  I’ll give you the link here for the recipe that I followed, but the recipe I’m going to provide below are the changes I will use for next time.

Keep in mind, the modified recipe I’m providing is not the way I made this, but I can’t see that it would affect the outcome of the dish.  The reason I’m looking into modifying the original recipe is for the fat content. 

The marinade is fat-free.  But the way you make this and what you add to it is anything but fat-free.  There is no getting away from the bacon and cheddar cheese, but there is a way to alter the fat other than that.  The original recipe calls for browning the meat in a mixture of bacon grease and canola oil.  I couldn’t fathom the idea of adding more oil to a pan I had just fried bacon in, so I didn’t add the canola oil at all. 

But I think allowing the chicken to marinade then grilling them is a better option.  Still won’t make this meal exactly a waist slimming chicken breast, but it will get rid of some of that grease you are browning the chicken in.

I also modified the honey Dijon marinade.  The original recipe called for a half cup of honey and a half cup of Dijon mustard.  That’s how I prepared it, but next time I plan to cut the honey down to 1/4 cup.  And let me say, if you love honey Dijon, you will love this marinade.  I can see just using this marinade on the chicken alone and still having a delicious chicken breast sliced over a salad. Something I’m planning for the future.

Ranch Style Chicken:

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Serves: 6

  • 6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 Slices bacon, cut in half and fried crisp
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced

*Note:  I didn’t forget to list the salt.  I left it out and you won’t miss it.  Between the marinade, the cheese and the bacon, there is plenty of salt to flavor this dish.

Begin by pounding out each chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper.  Set to the side.

In a large bowl, combine the honey, mustard, pepper, paprika and lemon juice.  Stir well to combine.

Place the chicken in the bowl and make sure it’s evenly coated.  Cover and refrigerate.  I let this marinade for about 3 to 4 hours, but even overnight would be great.

Fry the bacon until crisp and set to the side.

Either brush on or spray down your grill with non stick grill spray or canola oil.  Heat grill to about 300.

Once the grill is heated, remove chicken from the marinade and place on the grill.  Discard the remaining marinade.

Grill chicken until completely done.   Turn off grill, top the chicken with 2 pieces of bacon and some cheddar cheese.  Close the top of the grill and allow the cheese to melt.

Serve immediately.

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