Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pao de Queijo

Back in the day, my colleagues and I would go out for a holiday dinner at one of our local Brazilian Churrasco . You know the ones, where you sit down and the servers come out with delicious swords of beef, chicken, and pork? Lord we loved that place, and we often referred to it as a ‘meat faucet’. With that said, the servers would bring out these awesome cheese rolls, rice, and beans. The bread, the bread is all I have to say. I could have been happy just with the bread! If you never had these tender cheese rolls, well now is your chance. The ingredients are way too simple, and the real trick is to use tapioca flour.

I wish I would have made a double batch of these Pao de Queijo as once my kids got a hold of them, well they were pretty much gone in minutes.

Brazilian Cheese Bread - Pao de Queijo
Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pao de Queijo

Let’s get started.


  • 1 1/2 cup Tapioca flour
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • cooking spray
  • muffin tin
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Trust me, it does not get any better than these cheese breads. If you want, you could brush a bit of garlic butter, a gentle brush and enhance them even more.

Start by preheating your oven to 360 degrees.

Next, spray the inside of your muffin tin with cooking spray.

Toss the ingredients inside of a mixing bowl, folding, and mixing until you have a nice batter. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes. If you have a mixer, with bread attachment, feel free to use it, on low-medium speed.

Once you have a nice batter, fill each muffin tin up to about half way, maybe 2-3 tablespoons of the batter.

Place the tray in the oven, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is a nice light-golden brown. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.

Slip the Brazilian Cheese Bread out of the tins, place on a plate, grate with parmesan cheese (optional) and grab one really quickly, and watch them be gone in about 2 minutes.

Soft, warm, cheesey. Sounds like me in a couple of ways; at least the warm and cheesy part. Anyway, hunt for tapioca flour, and get this bread started. Next, figuring out where to find the meat sword!

Have a great weekend everyone, enjoy!

Read More

Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb

Onion bomb you ask? Yes, let me welcome you to an onion bomb. What the heck is it? Essentially an onion that is cored out, stuffed with a spiced ground meat, and well, you could stop there, or take it another step forward and wrap it in slices of bacon, and then smoke it. Yep, that’s an onion bomb, and one that is going to rock your world.

The onion bomb came out of the idea of stuffed peppers, a dish that I grew up eating.  I wanted to create something where maybe, just maybe, I could get my oldest to try. I knew he would devour the exterior bacon, and the interior meat, and my other would devour the onion, but maybe they would try the entire thing. I was correct on my assumptions, and no they did not eat everything together, but at least a dad tries, right?

Barbecue Bacon Onion Bomb Recipe
Barbecue Bacon Onion Bomb Recipe

You can do these on the grill, on your smoker, or in your oven. It’s up to you. I added them on the smoker for a bit of that great smoke flavor, but I’ll let you decide. Your overall goal is to have an internal temperature of 165.

Let’s get started.


  • 1 large white onion, cored
  • ~ 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Few dashes of Maggi (optional)
  • 4 slices of your favorite bacon
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce

Start by coring out most of the onion. You can do this carefully with a pairing knife, or if you have a jalapeno corer, use that as it works really well. Leave a couple of external layers in tact so it holds up well with the meat mixture.

Add the meat to a mixing bowl and add in the salt, pepper, Maggi, and Italian seasoning.

How to make an onion bomb.
How to make an onion bomb.

Mix well, and gently stuff into the onion. Wrap the slices of bacon around the onion, securing each piece with a toothpick. Place the onion on a baking sheet and place onto your smoker (or 325 oven or grill), and smoke for about 20 minutes. Once the smoke is cleared, cook over indirect heat until the bacon is crisp and your internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Brush on the barbecue sauce, and let it continue to cook until it is nice and sticky from the sauce. Brush with more sauce, then remove the toothpicks.

Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb
Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Onion Bomb

Using a serrated knife, slice it in half, or quarters, and get into it. I honestly have to save that when I served this, I left the room for only a couple of minutes, and sure enough it was almost completely devoured by my wife and kids.

You get a great smokey flavor, along with the great barbecue sauce, and no lie, the interior, along with the sweetness of the onion really make this a great dish to serve. I wish I had made another one to be quiet honest with you. If you are looking for something unusual to make, give this one a try. To me it was a real winner. Hope you enjoy!

Read More

Indian Bhel Puri

Bhel puri. I know you are probably questioning, ‘what the heck is bhel puri?’. I don’t blame you, but that’s why I’m here; to expose you to another great ethnic snack dish known as bhel puri. It’s a mixture of all types of textures and flavors that when eaten is something really, truly awesome. This is basically an Indian snack made of puffed rice, along with tomatoes, chutneys, onions, some spices, and something called sev.

I was first curious about this when I visited a local Indian grocery outside of Milwaukee called Best Indian store, and that’s when I really began to explore more and more Indian cuisine. This is really easy to throw together, and the trick is to eat it pretty quickly as the chutneys will soften the puffed rice rather quickly. This is a savory snack and is just packed full of flavor and texture. A real winner.

Indian Bhel Puri Recipe
Indian Bhel Puri Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 2 cups of puffed rice
  • 1 tbsp mint chutney
  • 2 tbsp red chutney
  • 1 tbsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled, cubed and boiled until tender, cooled
  • 1 tomato, pulp removed and discarded, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup sev
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 papdis (like an Indian cracker)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

You can find all of these ingredients at your local Indian store, and the chutneys (which I will post later) can be made at home.

Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add the puffed rice, and gently toast for a few minutes, agitating along the way.

To a mixing bowl, add everything but the lemon juice. Gently stir, and mix, ensuring that the chutneys get mixed well, then sprinkle on the lemon juice. Now you are ready to serve.

How to make Indian Bhel Puri
How to make Indian Bhel Puri

I molded my mixture in a bowl and served. The textures, the flavors, and the experience made this all a perfect snack. My wife and I dug into this and really enjoyed it.

Indian Bhel Puri Recipe
Indian Bhel Puri Recipe

If you are looking for a great snack, and a great introduction into Indian snacks, give this one a shot. I know I’ll be making this throughout the year. Hope you enjoy!

Read More

Broccoli Cheese Bites

Often times I hear my wife say how much she loves broccoli and cheese soup. I do to for that matter, but in all honesty it is something that I have never made. I know how to make it, but again, something I have never made. I think that is in my very near future now that I mention it. I love cooking for my wife, it’s one of the things that probably drives me to cook on a daily basis, that and my kids. Have I mentioned how the kids are eating my out of my house? I often joke that I need to be raising a farmer’s plot full of vegetables, apple trees, and cattle and pigs. They are literally eating me out of my house. Regardless, back to the broccoli and cheese soup…

As I knew my wife loved that soup, I decided to come up with the flavors of that soup and come up with some finger food for some pregame football watching. What turned out as the broccoli and cheese cheddar bites, turned out to be something super yummy.

Broccoli and Cheese Bites Recipe
Broccoli and Cheese Bites Recipe

Let’s get started.


  • 8 oz Frozen Chopped Broccoli, thawed, and strained
  • 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Monterray Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste

Really simple ingredients make this finger food a real treat, plus it’s way too easy to make.

Start by adding everything to a mixing bowl, and with your hands, make sure everything is nicely incorporated. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let everything set up.

Next, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

How to make broccoli and cheese bites
How to make broccoli and cheese bites

Next, take the mixture out of the refrigerator, and with an ice cream scoop, make your scoops and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue scooping until everything is gone. I think this batch made about 16 bites.

Place into the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and serve.

Broccoli and Cheddar Bites
Broccoli and Cheddar Bites

Gosh these were so good. I probably ate three of them right away and had to walk away from them (then returned pretty quickly). My wife fell in love with them right away. Not only are these a perfect bite for a game day appetizer, but they are everything you would expect in a broccoli and cheese recipe, with just the right heat from that pepper jack cheese. Hope you enjoy!

Read More