Bacon Mushroom Mini Pies

A few weeks ago I posted my recipe for Mini Strawberry Pies. It has been my most succesful post since I started dadwhats4dinner.com. In the post I mentioned my inspiration, for the pie shells, was a technique I used to make Bacon Mushroom Mini Pies for our monthly gourmet dinner group. Our theme for the past year has been celebrity chefs. This month was Anne Burrell from The Food Network.  In her recipe she used mini muffin tins. I could not get this to work and used regular sized muffin tins with great results.

Bacon Mushroom Mini Pies

This is a fairly simple recipe and could be made ahead of time. Make the crusts and filling and assemble just before ready to serve. Reheat for a few minutes in a 350°F just before serving if desired.

I will be starting a monthly series on how to host your own monthly gourmet dinner group soon.

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Prep Time: 20 min.    Cook Time: 40 min.      Total Time: 1 hr.

Servings: 16-18

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Chorizo Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers plus Mini Nachos

We had some friends over Saturday evening for an impromptu happy hour. I was told by my friends to keep it simple. Not that easy for me to do. A few weeks ago I found this tube of Cacique chorizo at the grocery. www.dadwhats4dinner.com When I saw it I thought about making either stuffed jalapeno’s or mini sweet peppers. I had bought a bag of mini sweets earlier in the week, so that was the obvious choice. I have used mini sweets in many dishes. I usually grill the peppers. Not typically spicy but have a little heat when grilled. These were perfect for this dish. Bite size and not to hot. I added tomatiloes to the recipe. Here is some information about tomatiloes If you are unfamiliar.

Tomatillos are also called “tomate verde” in Mexico (which means green tomato) and are considered a staple in Mexican cooking. Tomatillo is a member of the nightshade family, related to tomatoes. It now grows everywhere in the Western Hemisphere and is common in Texas gardens. The fruit of the tomatillo is green and about the size of a large cherry tomato. The inside is white and meatier than a tomato. They grow to maturity inside of a husk. They can range in size from about an inch in diameter to the size of apricots. They are covered by a papery husk which may range from the pale green color of the fruit itself to a light grocery-bag brown. The husks are inedible and should be removed before use.Read more about tomatillos at Whats Cooking America

After stuffing the peppers I had some sausage mixture leftover so I decided to make mini nachos, using Tostitos® Scoops!®. I tried the organic scoops for the first time and liked the flavor. The adults loved the peppers and the kids and adults both loved the mini nachos. I also grilled some chicken wings, to go along with the peppers and mini nachos. Easy fun night. This is a very easy recipe that could be put together for a last-minute get together.. Please sign up to receive all of my new recipes by email at dadwhats4dinner.com

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Southern Pimento Cheese Sandwich

This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Masters Week!! Professional golf has four majors each year. The Masters, US Open, The Open (British) and the PGA Championship. The Masters is the only event played at the same venue every April. The other majors change courses each year. The Masters is played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Bobby Jones designed the course and created the event. The first Masters was held in 1934. (Read More)

I love watching the Masters because of the beauty and history of the course. I was lucky enough to attend Thursday and Friday rounds in 2013. This was a once in a lifetime, bucket list event. Thank you T. McCloy.

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Since Augusta National holds The Masters every year all of the facilities are permanent, unlike other major where concession, restrooms and grand stands are temporary structures.

This is also Augusta National’s tournament! Not the PGA’s or the USGA, it is a private event so therefore they control everything. The food at The Masters is legendary. Not because it is fancy, but on the other hand, it is simple good and inexpensive. This is not the norm for a major sporting event where a beer will set you back $10.00 and a hot dog $6.00. Furthermore when you attend The Masters you are on the grounds from early morning until late in the evening. You are a captive audience and would be willing to spend  much more than Augusta charges for the food. One of the legendary concessions is the pimento cheese sandwich. It is simply pimento cheese spread on white bread in a green sandwich bag for the exorbitant price of $1.50. Check out the rest of the prices.

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Pretzel Dogs

Okay I love homemade pretzels. I have been making this recipe for many friend and family gatherings over the last year. Friends don’t believe these are homemade. Let them be impressed, but don’t tell them how easy they are to make.

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I have been on a yeast kick lately and this recipe is another wonderful type of yeast bread. My recipe is for pretzel dogs, instead of plain pretzels. I do use the excess dough to make pretzel nuggets as an added treat. This makes a great appetizer for kids and adults or a fun dinner for a kid’s birthday party. It will make a great appetizer for Easter. They also freeze well and heat up easily in the microwave.

The dough recipe is from Alton Brown and is simply the best. I use it as a base for different pretzel treats. Very versatile.

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Rosemary Focaccia Bread

I have been experimenting with different yeast breads lately. Yeast is easier to work with than you think. Don’t be scared; if you have a stand mixer, with a dough hook, you are in business. This recipe lets the mixer do all the work, kneading the dough.

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This makes a very large loaf. I think I will try this again making 3 smaller loaves to get more of the yummy crunchy edges.

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The recipe calls for a large amount of oil but it needs it to get the crunchy edges.

Goes great with my Lasagna or a hearty Bolognese sauce. The bread also freezes well.

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Blogger note…. I’ve made this recipe many times with great results. I was ready to post last week but couldn’t find my finished product pictures. Not fun, but it happens. So of course I had to make another batch last Friday. My neighbor “Amber” loves this bread, but I think she is going to kill me if I keep making it and giving her samples. She says I am trying to make her fat. No chance she is very thin. Now she can make Focaccia bread herself and stop blaming me. I will send her a sample of one of my new creation’s soon.”

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CRAB DEVILED EGGS RECIPE

Crab Deviled Eggs

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Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting with a crab salad recipe using imitation crab meat. I usually made this on Friday because typically that is my day off from cooking and crab salad really isn’t cooking.

I really wasn’t planning on blogging the recipe but the family loved it, especially when I added hard-boiled eggs to the recipe. My family loves egg salad and the combination of the two tasted awesome.

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I was trying to decide on what I was going to post for my Easter menu when I realized this new crab/egg salad recipe would make a great filling for deviled eggs. My family loves deviled eggs but we usually only have them on holidays.

I try to lighten the recipe using low-fat mayo. You can use real crab if you want, but the imitation crab works fine for this type of dish and is definitely more economical.

Great as salad if you do not want to stuff the eggs. Serve over lettuce or with crackers.

I hope you enjoy and have a Happy Easter!!

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Bruschetta al Pomodoro

TwoYoungLadies

“Day-old bread, month-old oil, and year-old wine”–Italian Proverb

This saying applies to today’s recipe, Bruschetta. Bruschetta, itself, is originally just toasted bread, olive oil and garlic.  It gained in popularity in the different regions of Italy, where they each made their own version.

The most popular version includes the proud colors of the Italian flag. Green = Basil, white =  garlic, red = tomatoes.  This is referred to as bruschetta al pomodoro.

Ours isn’t quite traditional, but it certainly has the flavors of it. We like a more saucy bruschetta, so the bread can absorb some of the Italian flag goodness aka basil, garlic, and tomatoes.

How beautiful is our little basil plant.


What you need:

  • cutting board
  • knife
  • garbage bowl

Ingredients:

  • 5 roma tomatoes
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (12 oz)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 baguette…

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Mexican Chipotle Layered Bake

www.dadwhats4dinner.comWe were very busy, a few weekends ago, with different functions. We had our monthly Dinner Group at our house on Saturday. It was The Pioneer Woman theme night. I will explain this and my menu in another post. I cooked all day Saturday and had a fabulous dinner. Usually on Sunday I cook a meal or two for the blog and also take various meats out of the freezer so I can plan my meals for the week. But by this Sunday afternoon I was beat. I didn’t feel like cooking a big meal. I had yummy leftovers from the night before for lunch and I was full. But the pesky kids always want to eat.

I had a pound of ground beef in the freezer and decided to make taco meat for the kids. Then my mind does what it usually does and I make the ordinary, extraordinary, using just ingredients I have in the house. I made a Mexican Chipotle Layered Bake with minimal effort. I used Herdez Chilpotle Salsa for a smokey taste, but any salsa will do. This dish could also be used as an appetizer party dip if you want. The kids placed the mixture on soft tacos and they loved it. Simple, good and quick!

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“Reuben Meatballs” St. Patrick’s Day Appetizer

St. Patrick’s Day Appetizer “Reuben Meatballs” 

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Reuben Meatballs with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

I came up with a twist on traditional corned beef and cabbage last week while trying to sleep. My wife was not too happy when I woke her, up after she just fell asleep, to tell her about it.  I have to learn to type my thoughts into my Ipad in these waking moments.  Luckily she loved the final product.

I tried this dish out with our card group. I typically use this event to try out new recipes. This new appetizer didn’t last past the first 30 minutes. I will take this as a good sign.

I have made this recipe many times and cooked the meatballs two different ways: baked and sautéed. Both worked equally well, but I prefer baking them in mini muffins pans or on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Turn after 10 minutes to give meatballs a crispy coating, with less fat.  You can saute for extra crispness if you would like.

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Baked Mini Cajun Crab Cakes

In Honor of National Crab Day here is my recipe for Baked Mini Cajun Crab Cakes

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A few weeks ago, I purchased a container of lump crab meat for another dish I was making but never got around to using it. Last weekend my son was bugging me to make something with the crab. He loves crab and would have been happy to eat it out of the container. Instead, I decided to make my healthier version of crab cakes. These are baked not pan fried. I also used a low fat mayo. This is a great easy appetizer or could be converted into a main dish. I personally like the mini version better. Serve these with my homemade Remoulade Sauce recipe or as my wife says to me sometimes; keep it simple with a Remoulade purchased from the store. Nah I’d rather make it myself!

Ingredients:

1 egg beaten

1/3 cup low fat milk

1/3 cup low fat mayo

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon…

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