Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Pulled Pork Stuffed Mushrooms Appetizers

All the amazing flavors of pulled pork stuffed inside a cheesy portabella mushroom!

Pulled pork is one of those things that one cannot make just enough of for a single dinner. I feel it’s impossible. Regardless of how you plan it, you’ll always have a bunch leftover which, if I can be candid, doesn’t suck. I puffy heart pulled pork! Well okay let me clarify that, I puffy heart AMAZING pulled pork.

Pulled pork for me is defined by 2 things:

  1. The type of pork used/how tender/how fatty it is; and
  2. The sauce. It’s all about that sauce.

I find the best pulled pork comes from the butt or shoulder. It has the most flavor and, when cooked, produces the best texture. Next is the sauce. I’m seriously all about the sauce. Every sauce has a purpose though I’ll be completely honest I still don’t get the whole Carolina sauce with all the vinegar. It’s not me. I don’t like a sweet sauce per se but I don’t want to drink vinegar. But hey I’m open to having my mind changed on this. I can only go by the sauces I had while I stayed in NC for work. Plus full disclosure I like a sauce that is thick and not watery. It’s me, not you.

So as I was saying I can’t just make enough pulled pork for a single dinner or even one that lasts 2 nights. It just impossible for me. Like when I made my Ultimate Pressure Cooker BBQ Coke Pulled Pork, I had enough for like 18 meals. Thus the is why I posted about BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos. I had pork in the freezer, pork in the fridge for sandwiches AND still had pork that I had no clue what to do with. But like I said, I was totally OK with that as I love pulled pork. Oh and for those that are wondering – yes you can totally use pulled chicken or beef in this recipe!

These are PERFECT for parties, cookouts and game nights!

Ziti Peperonata with Hot Sausage

The perfect trifecta of bell peppers, spicy hot Italian sausage, rich tomato sauce all over a bed of ziti and just a kiss of cheese.

This post is being sponsored by Redpack Tomatoes featuring their Tomato Puree, Crushed Tomatoes in puree and Tomato Paste. All opinions of these ABSOLUTELY AMAZING products are mine.

Oh My Goodness people, this dish! No for real, we need to talk! Here… grab yourself a fork and dig in while I yammer on about this recipe that you are going to IMMEDIATELY FALL IN LOVE WITH! How do I know this? Because it literally rendered Mr. Fantabulous speechless and in the middle of him telling me something as he took his first bite. True story! Folks, there have been very few times in our life together where that man is truly speechless to where he makes these almost animalistic, guttural groans/growls/moans that are inhuman when he eats. And to boot, he literally was mid-sentence telling me something really important as he shoved the very. first. bite into his mouth.

What happened after that… seriously I’m still smiling!

Whether you’re a professional chef, a home cook or someone who just wants to learn how to cook we all have one common trait. We seek praise and validation in the kitchen. We want to impress and for folks to appreciate the effort we put forth in the kitchen albeit making scrambled eggs to beef wellington. When you’re cooking for someone you want them to love it and more importantly, taste the effort and love you put into it.

Literally one bite is all you need to fall in love with this dish!

Game Day Pretzels – 3 ways!

This post is sponsored by SUPERPRETZEL® Soft Pretzels Products and SheKnows Media

It’s GAME ON! with these 3 winning Game Day Soft Pretzels recipes – Cheesy Crab Dip, Chunky Buffalo Chicken, and Pepperoni Pizza!  You’ll be the MVP of the day when you serve these!

This post is being sponsored by SUPERPRETZEL® Soft Pretzels featuring their Original 6ct box and their Softstix Cheddar Cheese Filled Soft Pretzel Sticks. All opinions of these ABSOLUTELY AMAZING DELICIOUS products are mine.

Growing up in Pittsburgh, football was a way of life. It was every part of your life as was going to work, grocery shopping, and church. Having 4 brothers that all played, my Friday nights were spent in the bleachers cheering them on as loud as I could. Saturdays I was outside with the youngest of my brothers holding the football tee for him for hours on end so he could practice that game-winning field goal. My family was so into football that my Dad literally built field goal posts in our one flat field. I can’t recall if that field was regulation size but my chubby little legs would tire when trying to run from one end to the other when my third brother ran drills and had scrimmages. And Sundays, well, they were meant for Mom’s homemade bread, watching football all day and eating “football foods” during the games. Oh, we still had a proper Sunday family dinner of say pot roast, mashed potatoes and the like but during the game, it was all about those football foods.

With the big game coming up, folks are already planning their festivities. If they aren’t lucky enough to score a ticket, they are settling for the next best thing – where to watch the game. Some may visit a sports bar while others may host a party at their house. But the one thing that is consistent regardless of where you watch it is the food. You want delicious, easy and something that you only need to use one hand to eat. I mean nothing is better than holding something yummy in your one hand while your other hand is in the air waving like a lunatic cheering on your team. Wait, sorry, I was talking about myself there. LOL

While I can’t help you get a ticket to the big game, I can help you make some seriously awesome dishes for it!  Now anybody can serve plain ol’ buffalo chicken dip, a bowl of pretzels and delivery pizza. Pfft – that’s so 1990!  You’re in an age where people are foodies. They want, and expect, unique, delicious and easy. That’s where these recipes  – thanks to the folks from SUPERPRETZEL® and I – come in!


So, who doesn’t love a hot, salted soft pretzel? I know this girl does and we won’t even discuss Mr. Fantabulous’ obsession with them. I always, ALWAYS have to have at least one box of these pretzels on hand. They do all the work for me so all I have to do is just heat and eat!  And the fact is, if you wanted, you could microwave them and have them even faster. BONUS!  These are found in your local grocery freezer section. Plus, check it out!  Head on over to their website and look for a special Coupon Promotion!  You can save .50 cents on a box of SUPERPRETZEL Original 6 ct! Download the coupon here (desktop only).
Stock up today on these pretzels and get ready for the game!

BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos

We’re talking Nacho Awesomeness here people! Crispy Chips, BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos, Caramelized onions, Cheesy Cheese and a Lip-Smackin’ BBQ Sauce!  Get your Deliciousness on!

Am I the only one that when I hear the word “Nacho” I immediately start to sing “Nacho, nacho man. I want to be a nacho man” either in my head or out loud. I’d say out loud with a caveat of if I’m in public or not but let’s be real, that’s not going to stop me. Life is too short to worry about what other people say or if they roll their eyes. I can actually sing and hey, if my little nacho song (with interpretive chair dance) makes someone giggle or smile, so be it. Why be boring, right?

And boring is something these nachos DEFINITELY aren’t!  I mean don’t get me wrong, I love me some stadium nachos with that bright orange cheese sauce that gets everywhere and takes every ladylike mannerism your Mama taught out and throws it out the window. Please, there is just no dainty way to eat nachos. And so help me God you break out a fork and knife with nachos you just need put in the corner and forced to watch paint dry. I mean c’mon. Nachos are a finger food.

And yes… I actually was out once, at a bar with a girlfriend who literally asked for a fork and knife because she “didn’t want to get her hands her nails dirty since she got them done earlier that day.” Yes for real. I literally sat there for a minute, dumbfounded as both the bartender and I looked at her, mouth agape. I then looked down at my food, looked up at the bartender, got up, grabbed my food and drink and literally moved to the other side of the bar. The bartender met me in my new seat and said, “Please tell me she’s kidding.” I just sat there and said, “Sadly no.” She just sat there said “What???” Me being me just replied, “I don’t know you.” What was even funnier is the bartender handed her chopsticks and said they were all out of clean silverware. I literally spit my drink out when I heard him and saw him hand it to her. That man got one fat tip needless to say.

Some of the best nachos you’ll ever eat!

One Minute Pressure Cooker Quinoa – Perfect Every Single Time!

Got a minute? If so then you have perfectly fluffy, ridiculously easy, and absolutely delicious quinoa thanks to the pressure cooker!

Oh people I so love my pressure cooker!  So okay making quinoa isn’t hard as I showed you in  my conventional stove top method. But where the difference lies is I truly believe you get a better consistency in the pressure cooker plus it’s more condensed with flavor. Like any quinoa you need to rinse it due to the naturally produced chemical saponin. Look for an upcoming post on the specifics of why you need to rinse it but trust me, you really should.  And with me, when I make mine I never use water. That’s just nasty. I’m sorry but the flavor comes from the stock that you use. I adapt my stock based off of what I’m pairing it with. Any stock really works.

Just 3 simple ingredients – quinoa, stock and a pinch of salt is all you need to make the best quinoa.

In creating this recipe I actually tested it on 2 different pressure cookers – the ever popular Instant Pot and my stove-top one. They both came out with the same results so if you don’t have the electric instant pot, don’t worry. Next you’ll notice on the recipe I do NOT use the ‘Rice’ function. I found that hitting the “Pressure Cook” or ‘Manual” button and setting the pressure/time was easier.

Quinoa is so packed with vitamins and nutrients, you should really incorporate it into your diet!

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