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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Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

Here is a very simple, 5 ingredient, pork carnitas recipe for your crock pot. Prepare all ingredients in the morning, before you leave for work. (10 minutes) When you get home, shred the pork and keep warm in the crock pot with the sauce. until you are ready to eat. My kids love this, especially on practice nights.

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Carnitas, literally “little meats,” is a dish of Mexican cuisine originating from the state of Michoacán. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork in oil or preferably lard until tender. The process takes three or four hours and the result is very tender and juicy meat, which is then typically served with choppedcoriander leaves (cilantro) and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, and refried beans (frijoles refritos). Wikipedia.com

This recipe is can be used for many types of dishes  This will also be great for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday.

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I love my slow cooker. I usually use it twice a week. I plan on posting a new crock pot recipe each week. If you have a favorite recipe you would like converted to be cooked in the crock pot, let me know and I will give it a shot.

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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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I hope you have a Happy Easter and please sign up to get emails of my new recipes at www.dadwhats4dinner.com

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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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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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mini potato skins

Looks like a great appetizer to make for the weekend.

cooking from the heart

mini potato skins

my own recipe

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3 baking potatoes, sliced

3 tbsp olive oil (a little more based on how big your potatoes are)!

4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

2 sprigs green onions, chopped

salt and pepper

sour cream for serving

preheat oven to 400 degrees. put potato slices in a gallon size zip lock bag with oil, salt, and pepper. seal the bag and shake until all potatoes are covered with oil.  place on a greased baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes until potatoes are cooked (but not mushy)!  meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet up super crispy for crumbled topping.  when potatoes are done, remove from oven and sprinkle a little cheddar cheese on each slice.  place back in oven for 5 minutes for cheese to melt.  remove and garnish with bacon, green onions, and sour cream if desired!  this was the perfect…

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Tortilla Chip Day February 24, 2015 in the USA

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National Tortilla Chip Day is celebrated on February 24, 2015. A tortilla chip is a snack food made from corn tortillas, which are cut into wedges and then fried. Alternatively they may be discs pressed out of corn masa then fried or baked. Corn tortillas are made of corn, vegetable oil, salt and water.

Tortilla chips are the quintessential and often complimentary appetizer in Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants in the U.S. and elsewhere. Although first mass-produced in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, tortilla chips were always considered to be a Mexican food, known as tostados. Though usually made of yellow corn, they can also be made of white, blue, or red corn. Some manufacturers include many other ingredients including wheat, sugar, and MSG.

The triangle-shaped tortilla chip was popularized by Rebecca Webb Carranza as a way to make use of misshapen tortillas rejected from the automated tortilla manufacturing machine that she and her husband used at their Mexican delicatessen and tortilla factory in southwest Los Angeles. Carranza found that the discarded tortillas, cut into triangles and fried, were a popular snack. (With material from: Wikipedia and cutecalendar.com)

Follow me at dadwhats4dinner.com and check out my Mexican Black Bean Dip that would go great with tortilla chips. Fast and simple!!!

Mexican Black Bean Dip    dadwhats4dinner.com
Mexican Black Bean Dip dadwhats4dinner.com

Crock Pot Buffalo BBQ Chicken Sliders with Ranch Slaw

There are many versions of Buffalo Chicken Sliders on the internet. My version is made in the crock pot using bone-in chicken breasts, Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce and Honey Barbecue Sauce. I add the barbecue sauce because when I make wings my kids like a mix of buffalo and barbecue, instead of the heat of straight buffalo.

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My recipe is a little sweet with just the right amount of heat. If you want to spice it up, just splash more hot sauce on your individual sliders. This recipe would be perfect for a cold Saturday watching March Madness basketball with friends. The ranch slaw adds a nice tang to the slider. Easy to make and kid friendly.

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