Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Burgers

I think I am coming down with something. I just feel off. Have you ever had a day like that? It’s a beautiful day outside and all I can think about is crawling back into bed and hoping tomorrow comes feeling a bit better.

Instead I am watching the Olympics.

I love watching the Olympics. Particularly, I love watching swimming, diving, gymnastics and track and field. I cannot wrap my head around how these people do what they do.

What they do is incredible.

If you’re going to watch the Olympics this weekend, I have a great recipe for you. I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to watch the Olympics on an outside television while splashing around in your pool? I might actually do that. Though I may end up doing something completely different like returning a loaner vehicle to Pennsylvania. It could go either way.

Anyway, if you end up lounging around and want to grill something up take a look at these delicious Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Burgers. Oh yes, I went there! Take a look!

Nutritional Information:
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 hamburger + 1 bun
Calories: 340
Fat: 17.3 g
Carbohydrates: 19 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein+: 24 g
Points+: 9

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

4 ounce Fat Free Cream Cheese, room temperature

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 jalapeño, small dice

2 slices bacon, cooked extra crispy

1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeno, bacon and pepper together in a medium bowl until fully incorporated

Make 16 small round beef patties

Take about half to one  tablespoon of the mixture and put it in the middle of 8 of the hamburger patties

Top each of the stuffed patties with the other patty

Seal the edges completely so the mixture is secure and will not ooze out while grilling

Grill until the beef is fully cooked and the cheese is nice and melted

Grill a hamburger slider bun, top with some leftover popper mixture and ENJOY!

I love jalapeno popper anything, just take a look at these jalapeno poppers, this quiche, this jalapeno popper stuffed chicken or jalapeno popper dip. See what I mean? I’m in love with the flavors!

I hope you give these hamburgers a try this weekend. They will bring the heat but you can easily cool yourself off with this delicious lemonade!

xoxo Mel 

Stuffed Feta & Spinach Sliders

Have you all heard about the Pennsylvania State University {PSU} scandal? I guess you would have had to be living under a rock since November to miss it. I grew up in Central Pennsylvania; I was born and raised there. State College {home to PSU} is right down the street from me. Many of my friends were and still are die-hard Penn Staters.

I never was.

I do not know why I chose to rebel against PSU. I grew up obsessed with Notre Dame. When I was in department stores I would make a beeline toward the Notre Dame apparel; I mean, who doesn’t like a warm college sweatshirt in the fall? I had to navigate all around the PSU gear.

Though I have never been a fan of Penn State I never harbored any resentment or hate for the school. And while I never was attached to the school I do have some serious opinions and analysis of this scandal that has unfolded for the past 6 or 7 months.

I will not express those opinions on this section of my website because I think it may garner a response that will be ugly. However, I will say this: we must remember that innocent children were harmed, assaulted and victimized at the hands of an adult. As a society it is our duty to protect and nurture children. Those actions {and inactions} that led directly to the abuse should be punished. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the lawful thing to do. It’s the moral thing to do.

If anybody can say otherwise needs a reality check.

Now football season is officially on the path to game-day. I mean the Steelers reported to camp this week, right? One of the best things about the fall is all of the delicious tailgates associated with football. I have a FANTASTIC recipe for your first tailgate… OR for your next cookout. Take a look at these Stuffed Feta & Spinach Sliders!

Nutritional Information:
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 hamburger + 1 Slider Bun
Calories: 255
Fat: 10.1 g
Carbohydrates: 18.5 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 20.5 g
Points+: 6

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

½ cup feta

½ to 1 cup chopped spinach

1 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Make 16 small round beef patties

In a medium bowl mix together feta, spinach, lemon juice, salt and pepper

Take about half a tablespoon of the mixture and put it in the middle of 8 of the hamburger patties

Top each of the stuffed patties with the other patty

Seal the edges completely so the mixture is secure and will not ooze out while grilling

Grill until the beef is fully cooked and the cheese is nice and melted

Grill a hamburger slider bun, top with some extra spinach, tomato and mustard!

ENJOY!

I hope you give these a try. They are delicious!

xoxo Mel 

Meatball Sliders

I ate real food on Saturday after a week of not being able to eat much; and, I went all out. Because Nick and I are building a house we need to watch every single penny we have. Therefore, we decided to cut the eating out fund almost immediately. Nick and I enjoy having a nice dinner out, but I usually get filled up on appetizers. I cannot help myself. I tell myself every time we go into a restaurant that I will bypass the appetizers and enjoy a real meal, but it never happens. Something catches my eye and before I know it I’ve ordered an appetizer or two or three. All of my food usually comes home in a container for Nick to eat the next day!

I wanted to have fun this weekend because I felt so much better and could actually eat, but, like I said, going out is not an option. Therefore, I made a few appetizers that I knew Nick and I would love. You saw the Reuben Eggrolls yesterday. Today I have something super delicious, too.

Take a look at these fabulous Meatball Sliders.

Oh. Drool.

I can hear it hitting the keyboard.

I’ll wait while you go get a napkin…

Okay, now let’s get down to business.

Nutritional Information:
Servings: 36 Meatball Sliders
Serving Size: 1 Meatball Slider, 1 Slider Bun, ¼ slice provolone cheese
Calories: 144.3
Fat: 5.3 g
Carbohydrates: 17.8 g
Fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 8.9 g
Points+: 4

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

Recipe Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 1 small onion, very small dice
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 16 ounces ground beef
  • Oil, for frying
  • Slider Buns
  • 9 slices provolone cheese, quartered
  • Marinara Sauce, recipe below

Directions:

  • Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl and blend
  • Stir in the cheese and breadcrumbs
  • Mix in the beef
  • Using about 1 heaping tablespoon of meat for each, shape the meat mixture into small meatballs. Place on a baking sheet
  • Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium – high heat
  • Working in several batches, add the meatballs and sauté until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pat off any excess oil.
  • Return all of the meatballs to the pan
  • Add the marinara sauce. Simmer over medium low heat until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend together, about 15 to 20 minutes
  • Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper 

Marinara Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 {14.5 ounce} cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 {14.5 ounce} can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  • In a large pot add all of the ingredients and allow to simmer over medium – low heat until everything is heated through. 

These little guys were so delicious. I have plans for the leftovers, so tune in. As a side note, I have never pan fried meatballs before. Usually I go through the same process but bake them. So I was a little nervous giving this a try, but if Giada De Laurantis and Caroline Manzo do it this way then it cannot be THAT bad. It was quite the experience; meaning, the first batch came out slightly over cooked. Yes, yes, I burned them or so I thought. Nick REALLY loved that there was an extra crunch on the outside but was soft on the inside. I decided to take a taste of one also. I totally agreed. So I "burned" the rest of them. No, do not worry. I didn't actually burned them, I just browned them a little more. They turned out especially delicious and looked perfect. 

I hope you give them a try!

Until Next Time,

Happy Experimenting!! 

Labor Day Recipe Round-up

Happy Sunday Foodies!! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend so far! Tomorrow is Labor Day and my hope is that you all have off and are able to enjoy some special time with your family and friends. Many of us celebrate Labor Day with a big end – of – summer picnic and festivities with our family and friends. I know that you’re probably in the midst of planning a fun picnic menu and I thought that I would help you in some way. So today I am giving you a Labor Day Recipe Roundup of some recipes that I think will pair well with your Labor Day picnic festivities!

Let's first start with some yummy breakfast ideas.

Cinnamon Bubble Buns

Hint of Dijon Egg McMuffin

Cinnamon & Sugar French Toast

And some Appetizers:

Mini Chicken Lasagna Cups

Fried Pickles

Now on to the Main Courses:

Smoked Ribs

Kicked up Blue Cheese Hamburger Sliders

Beef & Cheddar Roast Beef Sandwiches

Middle Eastern Style Chicken Pita Sandwiches

What's a picnic without some sides?

Corn on the Cob with Spicy Jalapeno Garlic Butter

Cucumber Salad

Cheesiest Broccoli & Rice Casserole

Grilled Romaine with Spicy Sausage & Blue Cheese - Balsamic Vinaigrette

And for some dessert?

Grilled Nectarines with Raspberry Sorbet

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

I hope you all have a fabulous day tomorrow with your family & friends!! I hope these recipes help inspire you & make your life just a bit easier!! Enjoy your long weekend, stay safe & I'll see you all very soon! :)

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Labor Day

Beef and Cheddar Roast Beef Sandwich

Good Thursday Morning! I have a mission today, which means I will be MIA until the mission is complete. I would tell you what I have going on, but it does not pertain to food and it would probably bore you all. I will tell you that it is very, very important and may mean wonderful things for my future. That is all. I have already decided that I will be treating myself to a Sonic Slush if I accomplish my mission today. That gives me even more incentive to work diligently toward my goal. It also means I have to make this post and get out of this house as soon as possible because I have a hard time concentrating in a place that is new and has television at my disposal. Oh and my dog is super cute so I cannot help but pay constant attention to him!

I do not know about any of you, but I love roast beef sandwiches from Arby’s. I have phases and sometimes I become so addicted to those sandwiches, which are piled high with amazingly sliced roast beef, that I want to eat them every single day. But I have never really considered making a roast beef sandwich until recently. A couple of weeks ago I noticed one of my foodie friends blogged about these amazing looking roast beef sandwiches that seemed super easy to make. I guess there are a few reasons I never attempted to make these on my own – first, I thought it would be very difficult to make, and, second, I have been worried that the flavors would not stand up to my scrutiny. Well, Brandie over at The Country Cook inspired me to disregard my fear of a foodie flop and make this amazing Beef and Cheddar Roast Beef Sandwich. I changed it up a little bit with the cheese - I personally love beef somothered in cheddar, so why not? Are you ready to see how easy it is to make these sandwiches?

Okay, here is what you will need:

  • 3 pound beef roast, beef round steak or brisket
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 1 packet au jus seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 15 ounces beef stock
  • Garlic powder
  • Cheese whiz
  • French rolls [or any sandwich rolls you like]

Directions:

  • Add the first six ingredients into your crock pot but, first, whisk together the onion soup mix, au jus seasoning and water until everything is fully incorporated. It makes it easier! Then pour it over the meat in the crock pot! 

  • Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours
  • Check periodically on it and add some garlic powder every few hours [not a bunch of it, just a sprinkle on the meat]
  • About an hour before you want to eat, take the beef out and allow to cool for a few minutes
  • Slice into thin strips of roast beef with a slicer

  • Return the beef to the au jus and allow the beef to marinate for another 30 to 60 minutes

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Halve the french rolls and add to a baking sheet
  • Bake for several minutes being careful not to burn the rolls
  • Melt the cheese [as much as you like]

  • Add the beef to the rolls and add enough cheese to make you happy
  • Serve with a baked potato and a small bowl of au jus for dipping!

This was the very first meal I made for my mom and my very first meal in the new digs!! I started teaching myself to cook less than a year ago when Nick and I moved thousands and thousands of miles away from our families and into adulthoods unknown! I needed to do something to stop our constant spending on restaurant food so I decided to teach myself how to cook. My mom has been able to chronicle my adventure through my blog, but now that we are much closer in proximity to each other I knew I had to cook for her. And I knew this was the recipe to use! It was a HUGE hit. I mean it! It was a HUGE hit! She wanted to take sandwiches home with her. That is one of the biggest compliments any cook can receive! Make sure the people you're serving like the beef and cheddar idea. I know my mom, so I assumed she was not going to go for the beef smothered in cheddar and had mustard as a back up. My momma loves mustard so I figured that would work for her. She put a little mustard on her sandwich and let me have a bite - beef with mustard? Um, yes you all should try that too!! It was tasty!!!

This meal is so simple and needs such little maintenance that it would be silly for you guys not to give it a try! I hope you all enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Happy Roast Beefin’! 

Sweet & Spicy Pork Sliders

Good Morning Everybody! This is the long anticipated post from a slight hiatus. It is a little overwhelming to come back into it all having had so much other stuff going on! However, it does feel natural. Before we left for our cross country journey I worked fervently to create dishes that I could blog about along our adventure to the East Coast, but somehow I managed not to post for several days.  However, between internet connections being weak and a fast paced, have to see everything this country offers, it became more and more difficult to blog each day. I want to thank you all for joining me and supporting me on this new pilgrimage! I hope to be up and consistent in the days to come!

So let’s get down to the good stuff – food. Wondering what I have to offer you today? Well, I will tell you that is it sweet with a kick and would make an awesome dinner tonight or any night. Are you ready for it? I’ve got Sweet & Spicy Pork Sliders! We loved the Spicy Hot Chicken Sliders that I could not pass up an opportunity to try it again with pork! They turned out wonderful! I did not make biscuits this time, but the pulled pork would be amazing on biscuits! In the midst of packing up our lives, I did not have the patience to bake biscuits [though the biscuits are a cinch to make!].

These Pork Sliders were so easy to make, especially because I put all of the ingredients in the crock pot and let it cook on low for several hours!

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 boneless pork chops
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 bottle mild hot sauce
  • ½ bottle hot, hot sauce
  • ½ to 1 cup brown sugar [remember these are spicy & SWEET]
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Package of mini buns

Directions:

  • Are you ready for these complicated directions? Hold on tight because here it comes!
  • Add the oil to coat the bottom of the crock pot
  • Turn the crock pot on high
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the crock pot, cover with the lid and let cook for several hours, until the pork is completely cooked
  • If you are cooking the ingredients on high, cook for 4 or 5 hours or on low for 6 or 8 hours!
  • When the pork is completely cooked, remove the chops to a plate and allow to cool for several minutes

  • Take a fork and shred the chops into small pieces. Return the pulled pork to the crock pot for an additional 15 minutes so the meat can soak up all of the spicy, sweet flavors

  • Add meat to your rolls or biscuits and eat away!

These little guys are so easy and packed full of AWESOME flavor! I wanted to go for a sweeter flavor rather than a spicy heat that I had for the buffalo chicken sliders! If you want more of a heat, then cut back on the brown sugar and if you want a sweeter taste just add more brown sugar and cut back on the hot sauce! I hope you all give these a try!

Until Next Time,

Happy Creating!

Kicked up Blue Cheese Hamburger Sliders

Last night I wanted to make sliders again. I loved the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sliders I made a couple of weeks ago and it took a lot for me not to make them again. I wanted to have something to blog about, so I had to make a new dish. So what to do, what to do? I grappled with that for part of the morning yesterday and then it hit me, why not go with a traditional hamburger slider with a twist? So, today I bring to you all these yummy Kicked Up Blue Cheese Hamburger Sliders.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of regular sized hamburgers. There is just something about eating a huge hamburger that freaks me out a little bit, but a baby hamburger? That seems like the perfect amount! I should tell you that when I was younger I decided that I did not like meat and I stopped eating most of it for a year or two. I mean, I would eat chicken or turkey but I stayed away from red meat. I don’t know why I decided to do that – so if you ask, I won’t have an answer. I decided I wanted to eat meat again in the middle of one summer. I would not advice eating a big, juicy hamburger from the grill when you’re reintroducing your body to meat. I was sick for two days. I think that has had a long term effect on me; meaning, it turned me off of burgers. Shameful, I know. But while everybody is eating the burgers, I’m sitting around stuffing myself full of macaroni and cheese. Oh yes, the infamous macaroni & cheese has been mentioned yet again today! I. LOVE. IT!

Let’s get down to the meal. It is actually pretty simple

 

  • 10 ounces lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Dash onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 to 2 ½ ounces Blue Cheese
  • 4 - 6 mini french rolls, halved and toasted

 

Directions:

 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Season beef with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, sugar, garlic and onion powder and a tablespoon  or two of oil, and the blue cheese [especially if you are using very lean ground beef, like I did]
  • Mix thoroughly; making sure everything is incorporated evenly. Form 4 or 6 equal sized patties
  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium – high heat
  • Add beef patties and cook until the meat is cooked to your liking – a few minutes per side, usually

 

 

 

  • In the meantime, lightly grease a baking sheet and place your sliced buns on it. Toast in the oven for several minutes. [Don’t overcook!!]
  • Once your patties are cooked, sprinkle a few pieces of blue cheese to the top. And then assemble your mini hamburger slider using whatever you like.

 

I used pickles, bacon and some greens. They turned out wonderfully. If you want to add banana peppers they would totally give this sandwich a great flavor! In reality, you can add whatever you like to these little guys. Make YOUR perfect hamburger!

I hope you all enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Happy Cooking!

Spicy Hot Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Good Morning bloggie friends! I hope your Friday goes fast and your weekend goes slooooow. I would like to announce that I did show some restraint yesterday and did not make another batch of fried pickles. I say restraint, but I was pretty busy in the kitchen most of the afternoon, so it could very well be because I was too busy to go through the fried pickle process. I’ll just take all of the credit for having self-control and call it a day.

Like I mentioned, I was a busy kitchen bee yesterday. I did not know what I wanted to make for dinner so I made goodies for Nick and his friends instead. I hoped that during that process some divine recipe creation would hit me and I would be able to get down to business on dinner. Well, something great did come to mind and it turned into an amazing meal. I do have a slight disclaimer though: Make this meal my way and you MAY breathe FIRE. Okay, now that I’ve given you fair warning I think it’s time to tell you what I created.

Last night I made Spicy Hot Buffalo Chicken Sliders. Now, I know not everybody likes to breathe fire, so I do have a solution. In fact, I will admit that I went a little overboard on the spiciness, but the sauce did have a pretty amazing taste. I’ll give you the solution in the ingredients and directions so do not worry! I also got to thinking about the small little slider buns that we so frequently see these small sandwiches on. Personally I did not want to buy small buns, but I could not just have shredded chicken on a plate and call it a slider either. In a stroke of genius, I decided to make Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits as the buns. Awesome, huh? Yes, I thought so myself.

Let’s just get down to it. Here are the ingredients you will need for the chicken sliders:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 12 ounces spicy hot buffalo wing sauce  -- here is the solution to toning the spice down: use ½ cup of the spicy stuff OR get a milder sauce and use as much as you want. It’s pretty easy – do not worry!
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 celery rib
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Essence

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium – high heat
  • Add chicken and a few dashes of spicy buffalo sauce to coat each chicken breast, pepper and Essence
  • Cook over medium heat until chicken is fully cooked

  • Remove from heat and allow the chicken to cool, and then shred the chicken
  • Return shredded chicken to skillet; add a few more dashes of spicy buffalo sauce to coat and 2 or 3 tablespoons brown sugar and cook for an additional 3 minutes
  • In the meantime, add the remainder of the spicy buffalo sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar and pepper to a crock pot over high heat
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet and add the chicken to the crock pot. Let simmer in crock pot for 2 hours
  • After the 2 hours and when your biscuits are baked, reduce to slow heat and add the crumbled blue cheese

  • Then create the slider and serve with celery slices

Now here is what you will need for the Buttermilk Biscuits:

Recipe Inspired By: Alton Brown

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar
  • Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs
  • Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk

  • Stir just until the dough comes together – you want a very sticky dough
  • Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 6 or 8 times
  • Press into 1 inch thick round and cut out biscuits with a 2 inch cutter
  • Place biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet so they are just touching

  • Reform scrap dough and work as little as possible and continue cutting
  • Bake until biscuits are tall and lightly golden on the top, about 15 minutes

Once your chicken is cooked and you’ve added the blue cheese, it is pretty easy to put these sliders together. All you have to do is cut a biscuit, add some chicken mixture and eat away! I LOVED this meal, especially with the biscuits. The biscuits turned out perfectly and gave the meal an added appeal. Plus the biscuits pair well with the sauce and soak all of the extra juices up. Even thinking about our dinner makes my mouth water. If you make it like I did and use the entire bottle of hot sauce, make sure you have a couple of tall glasses of water with you. You will most definitely need them!

Now this meal would probably be filling on its own, but I whipped together some potato wedges. They are super easy to make. The oven is already preheated to 450 degrees, so keep it there. Slice a couple of Idaho potatoes into wedges, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 30 to 35 minutes. If you time it like I did, everything will come together at the same time! We dipped the potato wedges in the extra sauce and it was powerful!

I hope you all give this a try; it really is not that hard. In fact if you want an expedited version of this meal, just take a look below. You can whip this together in about 30 to 35 minutes!

Happy Friday Everybody

Until Next Time,

Happy Cooking!

 

Quick Version: Eliminating the crock pot - you do not necessarily have to cook it in the crock pot for 2 hours. You can easily just eliminate the chicken broth, smother the chicken in the sauce over the stove [once cooked] and add the blue cheese and VOILA you’ve got a meal in about 30 minutes