Back in 2009, I was introduced to edamame at an Army conference I had gone to. I was with a group of other Army spouses and we were hanging out after working all day and having dinner. The hotel had a couple options for dinner and the one was sushi. The one spouse explained how she hated sushi but her husband loved it but she discovered edamame and that is what she eats when her husband needs a sushi fix and she proceeded to order some. As someone who is anti-sushi myself and generally avoids it I was intrigued by these bean looking things but soon fell in love with them. I immediately knew I needed to buy some and make them for my family when I got home.
It’s Friday and around our house that means it is Family Fun Night! Typically on Family Fun Night my family eats pizza and watches movies. For food i’m left to fend for myself. Sometimes though I skip the pizza and make other snack foods instead. With Allrecipes this month we worked with Hormel Chili and I discovered their Chili Nachos.
Today I am taking it back to one of my oldest son’s favorite things, Nascar. Shorty has been a Nascar fan for pretty much his entire life. We don’t really know how or when it started but his favorite drive has been Dale Earnhardt Jr since before he was 5 and well, he is 16 now! Over the years we have even been able to go to a few races which all 4 of my kids love but races aren’t cheap especially when you are a family of 6. So we spend Sunday’s watching races. The Nascar season begins in February with the Daytona 500 and this year I created a race day menu on Allrecipes of some of our favorite Nascar Race Day Snacks. They are all perfect small bites that are perfect for race day!
Back a few months ago I was asked by Allrecipes to create a kid friendly recipe with Uncle Ben’s Rice. I was honestly stumped. I had no clue what to make at all. We eat rice all the time, it is a huge part of my gluten free life but we keep it simple. The majority of the time we eat it plain with just a bit of butter, other times as mexican rice of fried rice. We really get adventurous. Then the lightbulb went off in my head, I could come up with something for our family fun night and after that Cheesy BBQ Rices Bites were born.
Every Friday night we have a family fun night. We started the tradition well over 5 years ago. We eat pizza and/or snack foods and get a redbox movie. My days of having pizza are pretty much over and I typically have to come up with something gluten free for myself. The majority of the time my kids end up asking for some of whatever I have and since i’m a nice mom I share. I remembered seeing quinoa bites on Pinterest in the past and I knew of the larger and fried Arancini (rice balls) but I had never seen a recipe for any type of smaller bite size rice snack. So I started experimenting and I came up with Cheesy BBQ Rice Bites and my kids keep asking for me to make them!
The cast of characters for this recipe couldn’t be simpler. Rice, BBQ in sauce, black beans, cheese and to help hold it together an egg. Five simple ingredients! Your BBQ can be homemade or premade. If you have leftover pork roast shred it up and add your favorite BBQ sauce. Chicken can be used in place of pork too. For the rice you can use leftover rice or an Uncle Ben’s Rice Pouch. I’m telling you this recipe is quick and easy! After you mix all your ingredients together, scoop into a min muffin pan and bake 20 minutes. Then cool and enjoy. Make them for your family! They will thank you!
Does your family do a family fun night? What kinds of things do you do?
A couple weeks ago I woke up way too early in the morning to set off on an adventure to New York City for some Allrecipes and foodie fun. I met up with my friend Stella from Stella Reynoso in Charlotte and we flew to Newark and took the train into the city. We navigated the Subway system and found our way to our hotel. From there we went to lunch at Butter, Alex Guarnaschelli’s restaurant and I ate the best Cesar salad I have ever had. It was beautiful! I think I must have looked like Emma Stone in in Easy A biting into the steak.
It was seriously that good. I haven’t had steak that good since we left Texas. After our late lunch we hung out at our hotel room until it was time to go to our first Allrecipes event. We were headed to Salvation Taco for an Allrecipes Allstars cocktail party. Chips and guacamole were set out around the room and we were offered drinks almost as soon as we walked into the room. Let me tell you, those margaritas were good and strong and the chili lime salt rim was a great extra touch! I would have loved to have a second glass but as soon as I would get one I would set it down and someone would snatch it. We had fun in the photo booth and chit chatting getting to know each other outside of the computer.
During the party appetizers were offered and they were great. The servers were awesome and made sure I didn’t touch anything with gluten. One of my favorite things were the chorizo taquitos. After eating my first one I pulled out my phone and opened up the notes…I needed to recreate those taquitos and here a few weeks later I finally have.
The key to this recipe is the chorizo. You want good chorizo. I’ve told people a million times over quality will always win. This rule goes for so many things in life too, not just food. Yes you can buy cheaper ingredients when it comes to cooking but the quality of your food will be affected! Just buy the good stuff! Then make these chorizo and cheese taquitos. If your family is anything like mine they will devour them.
Want to see more from my adventures in New York City? Check out my Instagram for my pics from the trip!
5.0 from 2 reviews
Easy Chorizo and Cheese Taquitos with Cilantro Lime Sour Cream
Spray frying pan with cooking spray and cook chorizo until done. Be sure to crumble into small pieces. When done drain grease well (I used a colander)
In a bowl mix together 1 cup of Chihuahua Cheese (or Monterey Jack) and cooked chorizo. Combine well breaking up any large chunks of chorizo.
Place corn tortillas on a plate with the tortillas covered with a damp paper towel.Warm corn tortillas in a microwave for 30 seconds to one minute.
Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons filling on the side of each tortilla. Lightly dampen other side of tortilla with water with your fingers. Roll tortilla tightly around the filling and place, seam-side down, on a baking sheet. You can hold in place with a tooth pick if needed.
Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned and crispy, about 15-20 minutes.
Cilantro Lime Sour Cream
In a small bowl combine sour cream, chopped cilantro,the juice of half a lime and a dash of sea salt. Stir well and serve..
Many years ago my husband introduced me to Spinach Artichoke Dip and I must say I loved it. I am a huge lover of spinach anyways so this appetizer was something right up my alley. We were young and newly married, we just didn’t have a ton of money for going out to eat that often. So, I created my own recipe so we could have Spinach Dip whenever we wanted and if I do say so myself it is even better than what you can buy. I have made the recipe more times than I remember for various get togethers and it always received rave reviews. It is perfect for the big game, Nascar race, family fun night or whenever you need an awesome appetizer.
In my recipe I do use a huge shortcut, jar alfredo sauce. While many recipes use mayonnaise, i’m just not the biggest fan of mayo so I had to figure out something else to use. Alfredo sauce was the first thing I thought of. I remember way back when it came out buying it because I thought it was easier to dump a jar of sauce instead of making my own. I don’t buy the stuff now except to make this dip. It is the perfect base. Many brands of the jarred alfredo sauce are also gluten free also which is a huge plus in this recipe. When you go to a restaurant the majority of the time their Spinach Dip is not gluten free. The same when you go to the grocery store and pick some up out of the freezer case. Being gluten free it’s the small thing like this that make me happy. I get my spinach dip and I can eat it too.
The recipe is also super easy to make. It can be made in minutes and served instantly or made in advance and then reheated in the oven. Try for yourself! I am sure you will fall in love with this Spinach Dip!
If you have read my blog for any amount of time you will discover one of my favorite brands to work with as an Allrecipes Allstar Ambassador is Johnsonville Sausage. Johnsonville is AWESOME and i’m not just saying that because they have given me some lovely swag over the last few years or how awesome they are on social media. It is because they have a great product. I am complete sausage buying snob and only buy Johnsonville so I have to say I was excited to work with them again!
I decided to make one of our favorite things with Johnsonville, sausage balls! Yes, I have my own recipe for sausage balls but since becoming gluten free I haven’t made them. Sausage balls typically have some sort of flour or biscuit mix in them and I just hadn’t experimented with making them gluten free yet. There is no better time than the present especially with the holiday’s coming up. After all sausage balls are a perfect appetizer for the holidays.
Some notes about the recipe-
I typically do not buy Bisquick, in fact I have never had a box of regular bisquick in my house so I bought my first box to make this recipe. I wasn’t sure how the gluten free baking mix would work in this recipe but to my delight you could not even tell the difference. While i’m not a Bisquick convert I will say their gluten free version worked very well in this recipe.
The original recipe calls for onions and mushrooms. While i’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, I will eat them. My kids on the other hand will not. Then my oldest has onion radar. I swapped these ingredients out for spinach. I used between 1/2 to 1 cup. Yes, my kids have no issues with spinach they actually love spinach.
A big question when it came to preparing these were to cook or not to cook the sausage beforehand. The recipe calls for cooking the sausage, allowing it to cool and then mixing in the other ingredients and baking again. If you are lazy like me you can just mix the uncooked sausage with the other ingredients and bake. The recipe turns out perfectly.
Lastly, the type of sausage you use does not matter. The mild sausage works just as well as the hot. It is a preference of taste and in my case laziness won again. I could not find ground hot italian sausage so I used mild. I just didn’t feel like uncasing the sausage.
Now try these pop-able bites of yumminess for yourself and let me know how you like them!
5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Johnsonville Sausage Balls with Spinach
Adapted from a recipe by The Kitchen at Johnsonville Sausage
1 (16 ounce) package Johnsonville® All Natural Hot Ground Italian Sausage
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1¼ cups gluten free baking mix
½-1 cup chiffonade, fresh baby spinach
¼ cup milk
In a skillet, cook and crumble sausage over medium heat until no longer pink and lightly browned; drain. In a large bowl, combine sausage, cheese, gluten free baking mix, spinach and milk; mix well. 2. Shape mixture into approximately 36 walnut-size balls and place on a lightly greased, shallow baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with barbeque or chutney sauce.
Alternative cooking method-
Sausage can be combined uncooked with other ingredients, formed into balls and baked for 20 minutes if desired.
Years ago I was introduced to Buffalo Chicken Dip and I fell in love. It has to be probably my favorite dip. Whenever I bring it to get togethers those who have never tasted it’s deliciousness before fall in love. Buffalo Chicken Dip is very addictive. It is the perfect snack for most any get together from Super bowl weekend to anytime you are hanging out with friends.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
2lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (3 chicken breast) cooked and shredded
2 8oz packages cream cheese
3/4 cup hot sauce (such as Franks Red Hot or Texas Pete)
1 cup Ranch Dressing
2 cups colby-jack cheese, shredded and divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine shredded chicken, cream cheese, hot pepper sauce, 1 cup colby-jack cheese and ranch dressing in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
Transfer chicken mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with 1 cup colby-jack cheese.
Are you still trying to figure out what to make for the Big Game this weekend? Look no further! I have a bunch of great recipes right here for you that are awesome! How do I know that they are awesome? Easy! Myself and 7 other Allrecipes brand ambassadors teamed up with Allrecipes.com and RITZ to create the recipes. In addition to the 8 recipes the Allstar’s came up with 4 iconic New York restaurants came up with recipes also.
While I was born in the north, I was raised in the south. I have lived the majority of my life in the south. In the south we are really good at Barbecue. In the south Barbecue is an art and we fight over who has the best Barbecue around. Let, me clarify, we are not talking about cooking up some burgers on your grill. That is grilling. Each region has their own type of Barbecue, some regions it is all about Beef while others Pork. The sauce that is used varies from region to region. Carolina, Georgia, Texas we are all different. Ribs are included in this southern art. Ribs can be smoked, slow cooked on your grill, oven baked and even fried. Yes Fried! Another speciality of the south. Fried Chicken, Country Fried Steak, Hush Puppies…. have you been to a state fair in the south? If you have then you probably know of the love of fried foods in the south. So why not? Country Fried Ribs, this sounds good. Add to your ribs a zesty buttermilk ranch dressing for dipping. I think we have a match that may be made in heaven.
My family fell in love with these RITZ Country Fried Rib’s with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. These ribs are the perfect appetizer for game day or any time you are looking for an awesome appetizer to wow your friends. Add to the ribs a homemade Zesty Buttermilk Ranch Dressing that is quick and easy to make. This recipe is a winner and is waiting for you to make it!
RITZ Country Fried Ribs with Zesty Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Put a wire rack over a shallow baking pan and pour 1 cup of water into the pan. Season the ribs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the ribs on rack, meaty side up. Slide them into the oven and roast slowly. Check every hour or so for doneness. Roast until you can gently tear the meat between the bones, or they reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees F, about 2½ to 3 hours. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
When ribs are cooled, cut into individual ribs.
Pulse RITZ Crackers into crumbs in a food processor to make about 2 cups crumbs. Mix crumbs with granulated garlic, kosher salt and coarse black pepper.
Coat each rib in flour, dip in egg wash, and then coat with RITZ crumb mixture. Set aside.
Heat oil in deep 9-inch skillet to 350 degrees F. Place ribs meat side down into hot oil (ribs should be about ¾ covered). Fry in batches, being careful not to overcrowd pan as this will bring down the oil temperature.
Cook approximately 1½ to 2 minutes until ribs are crispy and golden brown. Remove ribs from pan; drain on paper towels.
While ribs are still hot, season with 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning. Serve with Zesty Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.
To make the Zesty Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, garlic, chives, grated cheese, and Cajun seasoning in a bowl. Pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate until needed.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of RITZ Crackers. I received a sample to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.