Nacho Hot Dogs

Don’t knock us, but I will admit that as often as we have things on our meal rotation such as ‘Taco (whatever day), breakfast for dinner, roasted chicken, etc” there is one meal that probably makes it into the rotation once a month, and that is hot dog night. I love it. The dinner table however is pretty below average when it comes to loading up a hot dog and as a matter of fact, 99.9 percent of the table of eaters, excluding myself, only eats a plain hot dog. No big deal. I’m not to judge as there is something to be said about a plain weiner, or hot dog, especially if you are getting a quality weiner such as a product from Nueske’s.  For me however, well it’s a completely different experience. I love to try different things on mine, and as pure as I can get to just mustard, or a couple of peppers on top, there are often times when I’m craving something alongside that hot dog, and that’s when this little creation appeared; the nacho hot dog.

Nacho Hot Dogs
Nacho Hot Dogs

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite wieners or hot dogs, cooked to your liking (grilled or steamed)
  • Hot Dog Buns
  • 1/2 cup Chihuahua cheese, per serving
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, per serving
  • chopped onions, optional
  • 1/2 whole jalapeno, thinly sliced, seeds optional

That’s where I am standing on the nacho hot dog. Why only cheese and jalapeno? I’m a fan of the simple nacho as the starting ground. There is something about the combination of salty cheese and a spicy pepper that when done right, it is just hard to beat. Now sure… use this as your base. If you want beans, go for it. Tomatoes, onion, salsa… go for it. It’ up to you, but the simply smokiness from the wiener, along with the cheese and chilies really makes this a great bite.

How to make Nacho Hot Dogs
How to make Nacho Hot Dogs

Once your hot dogs are cooked, place them into a bun, top with the quesadilla cheese, then the cheddar, then lay in the jalapenos.

Place on a baking sheet and place into a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted and the bun is slightly toasted. Once removed, add some chopped onions to the top.

Dig in and enjoy!

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Baseball Park Style Candied Cashews

Unfortunately we were not able to get out to a ballgame this year. It is one of those things we love to do as a family. Everything from the tailgate, walking into the stadium, and enjoying the game (and more food). If there is one thing my wife loves it is the candied style nuts that they serve. The smell of them cooking is intoxicating, and they are as good to eat as they are to smell. It’s one of those things we typically buy together when we go. So with that being said, and a bit disappointed that we were not able to get to a game this year, I was not going to let that stop me from coming up with a batch of these baseball park style candied nuts for my wife and kids to enjoy.

Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe
Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of whole cashews
  • 1 whole egg white, beaten
  • 1 tsp ice cold water
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • cooking spray, or parchment paper

The trick to getting that candied effect on the nuts is the egg white. It adds just the awesome crunch and serves as the glue for the seasoning.

Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe
Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the egg white and water in a bowl until it is nice and frothy.

Add the nuts to the bowl, along with the spices, and mix very well.

Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe
Baseball Park Style Candied Nuts Recipe

Lay the nuts evenly on the baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until everything begins to caramelize and get nice and toasted. Once that is achieved, remove from the oven, and slide those nuts into a serving bowl. Let cool for about 5 minutes (if you can resist), and dig in.

You want to talk about not only a great ballpark snack, but these nuts are perfect this time of year, especially around the holidays! Hope you enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Tenzo Tea Matcha Smoothie

Tenzo Tea reached out a while back asking if I would be interested in trying their brand of matcha tea. To be honest, I’m not an avid tea drinker only having a mug or two a week but I was willing to try their blends of matcha tea. I was excited to say the least. My wife, who is an avid tea drinker, was also excited as matcha was not one of our go to tea choices. Tenzo Tea had sent over a variety of matcha teas to try including blueberry, raspberry, and traditional green. We tried all three and really fell in love with the raspberry and blueberry blends. I mean really fell in love with them and it was probably the best cup of tea I’ve had in some time, plus it has all of the benefits of matcha. When trying the green blend, I knew that one needed a bit of help, and so I decided to come up with a recipe using Tenzo Tea and decided a great fruit smoothie would be a nice way to incorporate the matcha tea.

Tenzo Tea Smoothie
Tenzo Tea Smoothie

Tenzo tea has all of the benefits of match which includes focused energy, an antioxidant powerhouse, a way to a healthier heart, and a boost in metabolism. What’s not to love about that, and what a better way to start your morning!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients (makes 1 smoothie):

  • 2 tsp matcha tea
  • 4 oz hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana, cut up
  • 1 whole kale leaf, torn, optional
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite yogurt, optional

Add the matcha tea to the hot water and stir well. Once it cools down, prepare your smoothie.

My favorite smoothie is pretty much everything listed above, however make this to your liking, just don’t forget to use the Tenzo Tea!

Add all of the ingredients to your blender, or smoothie cup, and blend until smooth.

Tenzo Tea Smoothie Ingredients
Tenzo Tea Smoothie Ingredients

Pour and serve.

The result is not only a great smoothie, but one with the additional benefits of matcha tea! The tea itself does have a bit of a jolt as well which is even a better start to the morning, and yes beats that cup of coffee.

If you are looking for some really great matcha tea, and a great product from California, look up Tenzo Tea and give them your support. It’s awesome. Hope you enjoy!

Maple Glazed Spiced Nuts

It wasn’t too long ago where a lot of our family members gathered for yet another wonderful wedding. Don’t you just love weddings, and wedding weekends? I can’t say that it was all fun and dance for me in particular due to my recent circumstances, but what it was, was almost like a really great reunion of cousins, uncles, and grandparents that just brought joy and smiles to everyone’s faces. Love that stuff. During this time, our Canadian cousins decided to come bearing gifts, of which was this awesome Canadian maple syrup. My kids love syrup, as does my wife, and to be honest I don’t really use it all that often with the exception of when I may make some chicken and waffles. After some time, I decided to come up with a snack for one of the parties and see how it would go over. I like doing that, you know?

That’s when I decided I would make maple glazed spiced nuts, along with some fresh turmeric that my friends in Hawaii recently harvested from their yard and sent our way. I mean who doesn’t love turmeric and maple syrup, right? I was about to find out.

Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts Recipe
Maple Glazed Mixed Nuts Recipe

I came up with this recipe after thinking about some nuts my parents used to make during the holidays. They were sweet, and lightly salted, and that was the direction I was trying to head, but in a slightly more savory application.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups walnuts halves and pieces
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

During this time, get a large mixing bowl together and dump everything into the mixing bowl. Mix well to incorporate all of the nuts, sugars, and syrup together.

Get a large baking sheet out, and line it with parchment paper for easier cleanup.

Maple Glazed Nuts Ingredients
Maple Glazed Nuts Ingredients

Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes being careful not to burn. About half way through this time, stir them, carefully. The goal is to get that sugars to melt into the nuts, making small clusters of deliciousness.

After you have achieved this, remove them from the oven, slide them into a bowl from the parchment paper, and let them cool before digging in.

I brought a majority of these to the party, yet reserved some only to make an ice cream with them with my daughter a few days later. Was that good as well? You betcha!

 

Hibiscus Iced Tea

I love shopping at my local Mexican grocery store. I have said it before and I will always say it as to how much fun I have browsing the aisles. Granted I’m pretty much the only gringo roaming the aisles, but that is just ok by me. At my particular store, one of the end caps is loaded with dried chilies and an array of spices. There are things I have never heard of before, such as different dried flowers for cooking, but one recently grabbed my attention, and one that I knew. Hibiscus flowers.  These dark burgundy looking dried flowers were grabbing my attention, only to be brought home and turned into a refreshing tea, that I knew my wife and I would love.

Hibiscus Iced Tea Recipe
Hibiscus Iced Tea Recipe

If you are not familiar with hibiscus tea, don’t worry. This stuff is brewed all over the world, has a great taste, and is super easy to make.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz bag of dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 8-10 cups of water
  • Additional items could be lime, ginger, or allspice berries

Start by adding 5 cups of water, sugar, and cinnamon stick to a pot. Bring to a simmer, add in the dried hibiscus flowers, and let this steep for about 30 minutes.  If you want to explore with lime, ginger, or allspice berries, go ahead.

After 30 minutes. Strain the mixture, reserving the hibiscus concentrate. This is your base, so if you are wanting to use this right away, mix about equal parts of concentrate to cold water, served over ice. My batch was pretty much gone in one day due to everyone loving it so much.

Hibiscus Tea Recipe

This hibiscus iced tea is comparable to a blended cranberry juice flavor with that kick of cinnamon. Not only is it super refreshing to drink but it’s loaded with awesome health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, great for the liver, blood pressure, and it has anti-cancer properties, all of which my body probably needs.

If you are looking to impress some guests and help boost their immune system, why not give this hibiscus iced tea a try. It’s a winner! Hope you enjoy…

Homemade V8 Juice

I don’t know about you, but our vegetable garden is officially in full bloom. We are picking tomatoes, like big bowls of them, every day, along with cucumbers, beans, peppers, chilies, and broccoli, and I love every minute of it. It’s something I like doing after work, and at the end of the week I look at all of the bowls of tomatoes, peppers, and chilies, and think of things to make with them. So on a recent trip to our local farmer’s market, and while as was chatting it up with a couple of the local farmers, a lady approached them and asked to buy a huge basket of tomatoes. Of course I was going to ask this lady what she was going to do with all of those tomatoes, and her response was ‘I batch out large quantities of spicy v8 juice for bloody mary’s for football season’. As one of the farmer’s chimed in regards to the same process, I was intrigued to say the least.

So as I went back home, I decided to give my take on a v8 style juice, and man oh man was it ever good, and fresh to boot.

Homemade V8 Juice Recipe

    Homemade V8 Juice Recipe

This recipe, as it may not be the prettiest of juices, is not only easy to make, put it has just the right amount of spice (in my opinion) and you know that you put all of that fresh produce into it.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 lb of tomatoes (I used a variety from my garden)
  • 1 whole green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 whole red onion, quartered
  • 1 serrano chili, chopped (remove seeds if you do not want it too spicy)
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups of water, divided

To a medium sized saucepan, add 1 cup of water and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes, covered.

Remove the cover, add in the remaining cup of water, give a good stir, then remove from the heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes.

Homemade V8 Juice Recipe
Homemade V8 Juice Recipe

Add the mixture to a blender, and blend until you think everything is nicely pureed.

Next you will need to strain the mixture. I use a chinois but if you do not have that then try and use a fine-mesh sieve, and place in a large mason jar. Discard or compost the remaining solids.

Chill the juice in the refrigerator, and when you are ready to serve, pour over some ice or a virgin bloody mary, or add a bit of vodka if you are making a cocktail.

The result is really, really good. I typically have to add stuff to my v8 drink to make it a bit spicy, but this combination was perfect. So if you are looking to use up some of those vegetables from your garden, or better yet supporting your local farmers, then give this one a shot. It’s well worth it. Hope you enjoy!

Homemade V8 Juice
Author: 
Recipe type: Juice
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of tomatoes (I used a variety from my garden)
  • 1 whole green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ whole red onion, quartered
  • 1 serrano chili, chopped (remove seeds if you do not want it too spicy)
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • generous pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups of water, divided
Instructions
  1. To a medium sized saucepan, add 1 cup of water and all remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes, covered.
  2. Remove the cover, add in the remaining cup of water, give a good stir, then remove from the heat and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the mixture to a blender, and blend until you think everything is nicely pureed.
  4. Next you will need to strain the mixture. I use a chinois but if you do not have that then try and use a fine-mesh sieve, and place in a large mason jar. Discard or compost the remaining solids.
  5. Chill the juice in the refrigerator, and when you are ready to serve, pour over some ice or a virgin bloody mary, or add a bit of vodka if you are making a cocktail.
  6. The result is really, really good. I typically have to add stuff to my v8 drink to make it a bit spicy, but this combination was perfect.

 

Peach and Mint Soda

Peaches, and other stone fruits have been in abundance lately, and as I typically buy a handful of them during the week, only for my daughter to devour, I decided to buy some extras so that I could come up with a refreshing summer drink.  I typically buy an array of fresh fruit, placing them in a bowl on our kitchen counter to show my kids how many different fruits there are in hopes that they get curious and try them. This is pretty much only successful with my daughter. She eats everything from mangoes, star fruit, kiwi, different apples, and everything in between. I love that about her. So as my wife and daughter were playing an intense game of Stratego this past weekend, I decided to whip up a fresh peach and mint soda for them.

Peach and Mint Soda Recipe
Peach and Mint Soda Recipe

This drink is way too easy to make, and is really refreshing.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 peach, cut into segments
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint
  • Ginger Ale, or Seltzer water
  • Simple Syrup
  • 1 lime, optional

If you have not made simple syrup before, then add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a small pot. Place on medium heat, and cook until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, let it cool before using.

To a cocktail shaker, add in about 4 segments of the peach, along with about 6 mint leaves. Using a muddler, begin to lightly smash the peaches and mint together, releasing the juice and oil from both.

Peach and Mint Soda Recipe
Peach and Mint Soda Recipe

Next, add about 1 tablespoon (or more if you want it sweeter) of the simple syrup. Cover the cocktail shaker, and shake it like you mean it.

Take a couple of glasses, fill them with ice, and pour into the glasses. Top off with ginger ale, gently stir with a spoon, and serve.

The end result is a super refreshing drink that has a nice subtle taste of peaches, and mint with just the right sweetness. Hope you enjoy!

 

Homemade Strawberry Milk

Growing up, I loved strawberry milk. As most kids loved chocolate milk, I leaned more on the strawberry milk. Heck, I even loved Franken Berry cereal, only to be done with the actual cereal and be left with the strawberry milk. Genius. So as our local farmer’s market has been selling these amazing strawberries, I decided to pick up a bunch of them and make something with them before my daughter ate all of them. Yes, that happened. When I bought my first quart of them, and went to the store to pick up a couple of ingredients, I returned only to find two of them left. I was flabbergasted. That being said, I made to secure the next bunch of freshly picked strawberries and asked if my daughter would like to help making some homemade strawberry milk, something she loved as well. Who knew?

Homemade Strawberry Milk Recipe
Homemade Strawberry Milk Recipe

If you love store bought strawberry milk, you are going to love this one. Simple, easy, and delicious, plus you know what’s going into it.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound strawberries, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup of regular sugar
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 4 cups of milk

Start by adding everything to a blender, and blend until everything is nice and smooth. You do not want any strawberry chunks in your milk. If you do, more power to you, but I know my kids would not want anything to do with that. If you feel like straining your milk, feel free, to remove any small chunks of strawberries, but I have been using a Ninja blender, and that thing does amazing things to blend.

Once blended, store in a pitcher, chill in the refrigerator, until nice and cold, then serve.

For one, there is nothing like simple ingredients that make something so delicious, and two it is great to show your kids how things are made. This strawberry milk was perfect, and we pretty much had it done within a couple of days as it was that good. If you are looking for something simple and delicious, give this one a try. It’s awesome. Hope you enjoy!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions

Every time I visit my local Mexican grocery store, I tend to shop around after devouring some tacos. I get the staples which typically include limes, cilantro, garlic, chilies, avocados, and tortillas. I my often look at the other great produce and always look at the great large spring onions. These are not your typical green onions that you find in most markets. These are the ones where the bulb is about 5 times larger than a standard green onion. They are known as spring onions, and as they look much like a scallion, they have just a bit more of a bite. This is when I decided to pick up a bunch and head home.

At first I was going to lube them up with some olive oil and salt, and toss them on the grill, but I figured my recent Mexican alambre had enough going on in terms of peppers, onions, and chilies, so I held off only to soak them in buttermilk and batter them the following day. These things were awesome, and now I know that I will be buying more of these spring onions!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions Recipe
Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions Recipe

Let’s get started:

  • 1 bunch of spring onions, tips and tails trimmed
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil

Start by adding the spring onions to a sealable bag. Pour in the buttermilk, seal, and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  Next, add the gochujang and mayonnaise to a small bowl, and use a fork to blend the two together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.

The following day, add the flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir. Take the spring onions, draining them from the buttermilk, and add them to the bowl.

Give a good toss to make sure the onions are well coated, then heat up a skillet on medium heat, adding in the oil.

How to make buttermilk fried spring onions
How to make buttermilk fried spring onions

Once the oil comes to temperature, about 350 degrees, gently add in a few spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes per side (if not fully submerged), until the batter is golden brown. Once golden, remove with some tongs and place on a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Repeat.

To your serving plate, take the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture, and with a spoon smear it onto the center of the serving plate.

Line up the fried spring onions on top of the sauce, and serve.

My wife, who was hesitant of the mayonnaise mixture, was swiping that spring onion, and biting into the perfectly cooked onion. The onion was nice and crispy on the exterior, while warm and cooked through (not limp) on the inside, and well, the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture just took it one step further.

The only downside to this recipe is that I did not make about 4 bunches of spring onions. Now I know! Hope you enjoy!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, tips and tails trimmed
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the spring onions to a sealable bag. Pour in the buttermilk, seal, and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Next, add the gochujang and mayonnaise to a small bowl, and use a fork to blend the two together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.
  2. The following day, add the flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir. Take the spring onions, draining them from the buttermilk, and add them to the bowl.
  3. Give a good toss to make sure the onions are well coated, then heat up a skillet on medium heat, adding in the oil.
  4. Once the oil comes to temperature, about 350 degrees, gently add in a few spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes per side (if not fully submerged), until the batter is golden brown. Once golden, remove with some tongs and place on a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Repeat.
  5. To your serving plate, take the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture, and with a spoon smear it onto the center of the serving plate.
  6. Line up the fried spring onions on top of the sauce, and serve.

 

Spicy Michelada

I will admit that I like a good bloody mary. It’s one of those drinks that I typically will only drink during the brunch time of the day, and in particular on a Sunday. I have no idea why, but I’m sure you could probably twist my arm and get me to drink one on a Saturday as well. My wife on the other hand is not a fan of a bloody mary, probably due to the tomato juice, but for me I love everything about it, even though I am not a huge fan of tomato juice. It’s the spice that I love! Now there is a simple twist to a bloody mary, and instead of using vodka as the booze of choice, you use a simple lager. It’s called the michelada, and it takes a strong first against a bloody mary.

Spicy Michelada Recipe
Spicy Michelada Recipe

The michelada is basically a tomato and beer mix that is loaded with an array of spices, and they say they a cure for a hangover. Who knows about that, but whatever the case the premix is the key, in my opinion, in making a great michelada.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp maggi sauce
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco
  • 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Tajin seasoning
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Few drops of habanero sauce
  • 5 oz tomato juice
  • 6 oz pilsner beer
  • ice cubes

You will want to make the premix the day, or night ahead to let all of the flavors form. Trust me, it’s a knock out mix of flavors.

Start by adding the maggi, Tabasco, Worchestershire, fish sauce, Tajin, lime juice, lemon juice, and habanero sauce to a small container. Stir well, cover, and place in the refrigerator over night.

How to make a michelada
How to make a michelada

The following day, fill a glass with ice cubes. If you want, you can rim the glass with Tajin seasoning. I prefer not to as there is so much flavor already in the premix.

Pour the premix into the glass, then the tomato juice. Give this a good stir, then top with the beer. Sip and enjoy. This premix is so robust it will possibly have you second guessing that bloody mary. Enjoy!