Monday, December 8, 2014

Chopped Chicken Sliders with Tabasco Cheese Sauce {Delicious Party Food}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #SeasonedGreetings

For my family, this season has not been all about the holiday parties or get-togethers as usual - it's been a lot more about spending quality time together with our immediate family. Between his job, my job and homeschooling the kiddos it seems that everyday we are stretching what little time we have left to just "hang" together. It's important to us that our family connects all year long, but it is especially important during the holiday season. One of our favorite winter pastimes is snuggling up together to watch some of our favorite Christmas movies. This past weekend we go to do just that, get cuddled and cozied up with the kiddos to enjoy The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - one of our absolute favorites! I wanted to whip up some delicious party food for the occasion and decided to make these Chopped Chicken Sliders with Tabasco Sauce.

Although Tabasco has several favor varieties I opted to use their Green JalapeƱo Pepper Sauce due to it being milder than their Original Red Sauce.{plus it didn't hurt that our movie choice was The Grinch, who just happens to also be green!} Let me be clear - only the heat is milder , the sauce is still packing a FABULOUS punch of flavor. While my husband and I love hot hot sauces, my kiddos can only take so much heat - making Tabasco's Green Pepper Sauce the perfect choice for our movie-night dish. Of course I still had to pick up a bottle of Tabasco's Original Red Sauce and Chipotle Sauce for when I can pour hot sauce onto my own food {it's so versatile it goes on almost anything!} and not worry about the kiddos grabbing it.


Beside these three flavors Tabasco also has Buffalo Style Hot Sauce, Habanero Sauce, Garlic Pepper Sauce and Sweet & Spicy Sauce. So much goodness packed into 5oz. bottles!! Tabasco has a pretty nice user interface on their website, it's totally worth a peek to check out their products, recipes and seriously a whole bunch more. It's ok, you can go see for yourself and I'll wait right here. :)

You back? Ok, let's get to this recipe for Chopped Chicken Sliders with Tabasco Cheese Sauce. It's pretty basic and under 10 ingredients.


Plus it yields more Tabasco Cheese Sauce than will be needed for a dozen (or two) sliders - so use it as a dipping sauce, it went marvelous with french fries. Or maybe make some to pour on some baked potatoes. Or use it for a fondue and dip an array of goodies in it - from breads to veggies to apples. The cheese sauce would even be great for dipping tortilla chips. I love the kick of flavor that the Tabasco Green JalapeƱo Sauce added to the cheese sauce, not an overwhelming spiciness but instead the perfect flavor enhancement!


Chopped Chicken Sliders
(PRINTABLE RECIPE)
yields 12 sliders
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
½ chop chopped onion
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (I used grilled chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
Directions
1.Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in skillet. Add green bell peppers, cook until starting to get tender - 4-5 minutes. Add onions, cook until started to turn translucent - 2-3 minutes. Add chicken, salt and pepper and heat thoroughly. Remove from heat.
2.Slice rolls in half and add chicken mixture evenly.
3.Drizzle Tabasco Cheese Sauce over top of chicken mixture before adding top bun to rolls. Serve immediately.

Tabasco Green Pepper Cheese Sauce
(PRINTABLE RECIPE)
yields 2 cups
Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon chopped onion
2 cups warm milk
8 oz. Provolone cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
Directions
1.Over medium heat, melt butter. Mix in onions. Add flour, whisking continuously for a minute to create a roux.
2. With slotted spoon, remove onions. Stir in milk slowly while continuing to stir. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until mixture has thickened, stirring frequently.
3.Stir in cheese and Tabasco sauce. Remove from heat and serve immediately.


I'm sure Tabasco is pretty much available at most grocers, but just a quick heads up that it can be found at Walmart. "My" store had it near the BBQ Sauces. Happy shopping!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Enchiladas {plus a Cheese Lover's Giveaway!}

Today's post and giveaway are sponsored by Arla Dofino, whose naturally-made cheese helped to make these delectable Smoked Salmon Breakfast Enchiladas possible! #HavartiHolidays

We recently had some friends visit from out-of-town, for the Thanksgiving holiday, and were lucky enough to have them shacked up at our place. Although their schedules were full of holiday hustle and bustle with family, we were still able to enjoy a homemade breakfast together. I had bought a couple packages of Arla Dofino Dill Havarti to be accompanied by smoked salmon as part of a meat and cheese plate, but since breakfast was all we had time for - I decided to improvise. I'd been dying to make a batch of breakfast enchiladas and jumped on this opportunity to fulfill my desires.


Even though these Smoked Salmon Breakfast Enchiladas are not the run-of-the-mill breakfast enchiladas, they are sure to please. Our guests were delightfully impressed by the use of smoked salmon in a breakfast dish, especially after being fed turkey and ham at various family members house over the weekend. Although it wasn't the night of cocktails and finger foods that we originally had planned, it was still an amazing time spent together.  It's certainly true that the holidays are all about spending time together!! Over breakfast, we were able to catch up with each other and re-charge our holiday energy over a refreshingly different meal.


I must give a major shout-out to Arla Dofino's Havarti cheeses. Their cheeses are free of added hormones and preservatives, and crafted with quality, natural ingredients in an environmentally friendly way. Arla Dofino is hands-down one of my favorite cheese brands! They also produce Gouda, Fontina, Muenster and Edam cheeses but their Havarti varieties have my heart. In addition to the Dill variety, Arla Dofino also makes Creamy Havarti, Havarti with Caraway, Havarti with Jalapeno and Hickory Smoked Havarti. I am in love with these savory selections!

The Dill Havarti was the perfect cheese to use for the Smoked Salmon Breakfast Enchiladas, in fact our guests requested the name of the brand so they could buy some when they got back home. If you would like to try Arla Dofino cheeses for yourself, you can cop a $1 off coupon on their site. Arla Dofino cheeses can be found in the deli section (not the dairy section) of most grocery stores. There is a super easy store locater found on the Arla website.


Smoked Salmon Breakfast Enchiladas
{PRINTABLE RECIPE}
yields 6 enchiladas
Ingredients
3 small potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup white onion, minced
5 large eggs, scrambled
8oz. smoked salmon, sliced
8oz. Arla Dofino Dill Havarti, shredded
6 fajita flour tortillas
salt and pepper to season
Directions
1. In large skillet, heat olive oil and butter to medium-high heat. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Stir potatoes so seasonings are evenly distributed. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook for 5-6 minutes, or until starting to brown. Stir potatoes again, cover and let cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in onions, let cook uncovered until onions start to soften - about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool.
2. Heat oven to 375.
3. Divide fried potatoes, eggs, salmon (use as much or little as you like, this really depends on taste preference) and 1 cup of the cheese over the 6 tortillas. Roll tortillas up, 1 at a time, and place next to each other in casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cup of the Arla Dofino Havarti Dill over the top of the rolled enchiladas. Cover with aluminum foil.
4. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove foil and broil until edges of tortillas are browned.
5. Enjoy!!



Arla Dofino is offering one (1) Hungry Harps reader a prize pack valued over $60! The prize pack includes:

- Crate & Barrel mixing bowl
- Anthropologie whisk
- Crate & Barrel cheese grater
- A coupon for one free Arla Dofino product
- Set of Arla Dofino recipe cards


To enter...
1. Visit the Happy Havarti Holidays Breakfast Prize Pack Giveaway Pinterest Landing Page and follow the brand
2. Go to the Happy Havarti Holidays board and select their favorite breakfast recipe
3. Copy the recipe link and paste it in the comments section telling me why you picked it.

Giveaway ends December 15, 2014 at 8am PST. US residents only. Must be 18 years old to enter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mimi's Cafe 'Honey Bran Muffins' {Copycat Recipe}


Have you ever tried the Honey Bran Muffins at Mimi's Cafe?

OMG is all I can say, and I never say OMG.

They are ooey, gooey and full of Bran goodness - totally leaving you wanting to devour enjoy a few more. I discovered a copycat recipe for Mimi's Cafe Honey Bran Muffins and couldn't help but sharing it. This is like a PSA y'all - a Muffin PSA.


Great part about these muffins is that they are not only good for your tastebuds - they are also packed with healthiness. Like 3 cups of Figs and 1 cup of Bran - so much goodness that it makes it hard to tell the kiddos they can only have one while I'm enjoying my 2nd. ;)


I'm totally not exaggerating when I tell you that our boys, ages almost 4 and almost 6, chose these Honey Bran Muffins over Halloween Candy last night. I'm sure they would of preferred me to not stare at them while they were eating, but I couldn't help and relish in the fact my boys were packing in figs and bran like it was candy. Awesome stuff right there!!


Mimi's Cafe 'Honey Bran Muffins' {Copycat Recipe}
(PRINTABLE RECIPE)
yields 24 muffins
Ingredients
Honey Glaze
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
5 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons boiling water
Bran Muffins
3 cups figs, raisins, dates or prunes pureed in food processor. Measure before processing. Soaking fruit in water will make the processing easier, however it is not necessary.
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup wheat bran
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Directions
1.Preheat oven to 375.
Honey Glaze
2.Cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy.
3.Beat in honey and water.
4.Using a brush, coat bottom and sides of muffin tins.
Bran Muffins
5.Sift flour, baking soda and salt together.
6.Mix fruit, honey and oil until smooth.
7.Beat in eggs, then buttermilk and bran.
8.Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
9.Fill tins ¾ full.
10.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
11.Cool for 2 minutes then invert on rack to cool completely.
adapted from Food.com

Monday, September 22, 2014

French Onion Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach


These may look like any ol' stuffed shells - but these little gems have a secret ingredient that packs a whole lot of flavor. I'll blame it on my recent craving for Onion Dip and that solo packet of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix that has been staring me dead in the face every time I open the pantry. That little blue box has been begging me to put it in everything, but I've been patient and waiting for the perfect time. This was it folks, this was it.

I can totally admit that I was a touch weary of adding onion-y goodness to these stuffed shells. I mean, onion goes great with sausage and great with spinach - but tomato pasta sauce? This was one of those dishes that had me second guessing myself up until the point I was standing in the kitchen devouring my first Cheesy French Onion Stuffed Shell with Sausage and Spinach.


I mixed the Onion Soup in with all the other tasty ingredients I'd normally put in stuffed shells, but this time I let the mixture sit for a little to allow the flavors to marinade together.


Then I crammed the shells full of the onion-y, cheesy goodness. Crammed.


Poured some sauce on top and sprinkled some cheese, then baked them for about 35-40 minutes. Let me tell you, if you make these your kitchen is going to smell amazing. Don't open a window or the neighbors are going to come knocking and asking what it is your cooking.


On second thought, this recipe makes 30 shells - open the window and invite them over!!

Onion Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach
makes approximately 30 stuffed jumbo shells
(PRINTABLE RECIPE)
Ingredients
1¼ cup Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled into smaller pieces.
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
15oz. ricotta cheese
5oz. frozen chopped spinach, derosted and squeezed dry
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Lipton Onion soup mix
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
30 jumbo shells, cooked according to package
1 jar pasta sauce {I used Newman’s Own Mushroom Marinara}
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350.
2. Mix together first 8 ingredients. {italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, onion soup mix, italian seasoning and black pepper}
3. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
4. Stuff each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture. Place in baking dish. {I filled up my dish with as many as possible to try and help keep all the shells upright.}
5. Carefully pour more pasta sauce over the top of pasta shells (I didn't measure the amount I used, just eyeballed it.) and sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.
6. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Devour and enjoy!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Butterfinger Granola Bars and Packing Lunches with Nestle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #MyGoodLife

I can't believe that the time is here for me to start packing school lunches for my kiddos! Although we do homeschool and I don't necessarily need to pack them a lunch, it is something that they like me to do for them - so I do it. (I'm a sucker...) They absolutely love the thrill of opening up their lunch boxes and being surprised with what was packed for the day - and I love being able to watch the delight in their eyes when they do so. I don't get fancy with their lunches and I don't have a drawer-full of gadgets to make their lunches appear like something off of Pinterest. I am SO not that mom. (No offense, I just don't have time for it.) I am all about keeping it simple but still making it awesome.

My oldest (at 5 years old) son's #1 question to me when he eats food I've given him is, "Did you make this, Mom?" If I say no, he shrugs and says "HM" (disapproval much?? ha!) if I say yes he gets a huge smile and tells me I am such a good cook. (That's #MyGoodLife!!) Now if that isn't incentive for me to want to make EVERYTHING homemade, I don't know what would be! I think it really does make a difference to him, so I like to include something homemade in his lunches - one of our favorites (yeah, mine too...) is homemade granola bars. I recently made a batch of Butterfinger Granola Bars that turned out fabulous and did not disappoint in the lunch box department one bit!


Not only are these Butterfinger Granola Bars a Butterfinger-Lover's (Bart Simpson totally pops into mind!) dream, they are seriously a cinch to make.


Most of the ingredients for this recipe can be found in our pantry, the only ingredient I needed to put on the shopping list was Butterfinger bars. I ended up getting a small bag of Fun Size Butterfinger bars for this endeavor. The fun size candy bars also work great for a sweet surprise in your kiddo's lunch box if you don't have the time to make something homemade. (Hey, it happens to the best of us!!) This recipe only calls for 6 Fun Size Butterfinger bars - so you'll have plenty leftover to have on-hand for back-up. ;)


Oh, and just take a moment to think how cool your kids will think you are for making a Candy Bar Flavored Granola Bar. Coolest Mom on the block, handsdown.

Butterfinger Granola Bars
(PRINTABLE RECIPE)
Ingredients
⅔ cup light corn syrup
heaping ½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups quick-cook oats
2 cups crispy rice cereal
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped Butterfinger candy bars, divided (about 6 fun size bars)
Directions
1. Add corn syrup, peanut butter and brown sugar to larger microwave-safe bowl. On high, microwave for 1 min and 30 seconds. Stir to combine.
2. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract and quick-cook oats to corn syrup mixture and mix well.
3. Add rice cereal in two batches, pop back in the microwave for 30 seconds if needed.
4. Stir in mini chocolate chips and ¼ cup Butterfinger pieces.
5. In 9x9 parchment-lined square pan, press down granola bar mixture. I put another piece of parchment paper on top of granola mixture then use my fingers to get mixture somewhat evenly spread, then I use a spatula to really flatten it out.
6. Sprinkle top with remaining Butterfinger pieces. Press down into mixture using same technique as in step 5.
7. Let bars set in fridge for at least 3 hours, I usually let mine sit overnight.
8. Cut and serve! I wrap any unused bars in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator in a resealable plastic container. Either freeze or enjoy within 7 days!
recipe adapted from Averie Cooks


To make these granola bars lunch box friendly I just wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Then we store these in the fridge in a sealable plastic container. I've never had any last more than 4-5 days (due to the animal-like eating behavior at my house), but I imagine you wouldn't want to keep them for longer than a week due to the chocolate starting to break down. Freeze any bars that you don't plan on consuming in 4-5 days just to be safe! 


Here is an example of what my kiddos' lunches look like on any given day. Veggies, Fruit, Nut (or trail mix), Protein, Whole Grains, 100% Fruit Juice (I am in LOVE with Juicy Juice for their goodness and my kid's think the boxes are SO cute!) and of course something that is sweet and made with love! ♥ (and a napkin too, always with the hope it will be used!! haha)


I must give a huge shout out to Nestle for making my lunch packing days a little sweeter and helping to serve up smiles. With Juicy Juice boxes (6.75 oz) my kiddos can drink in the goodness of 100% juice and with 8 different flavors of juice offered I can keep my kids being surprised at lunchtime. Also, I will be the first to admit that sometimes a lunch gets put together with all store-bought items because there just isn't the time to whip up something homemade. For those moments I turn to Fun Size Butterfinger and Crunch candy bars - both are family favorites and it shows my kids I was thinking (sweetly) about them. :)


As you may already I know, I practically live at Walmart... So, that's where I ended up purchasing ALL of these lunch products. With Halloween around the corner, you may need to check seasonal aisles for the candy bars!


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