Instant Oatmeal Granola

Do you have kids that are picky eaters, similar to the ones I have? Well, I have to admit that my kids are getting much better about making decisions when eating, as well as exploring newer options. For example, one kid is totally into raw, and cooked onions at this stage in his life. I’m down with that. Not too long ago my daughter was into exploring other breakfast options, and that’s when I saw a box of instant oatmeal in my pantry. Strawberries and cream to be precise. Let’s just say that was short lived, as after only a couple of packets, she had no interest. AT ALL. That left me with the rest of the box of packets just sitting there. That’s when the idea sparked. How about making instant oatmeal granola?

Instant Oatmeal Granola

At first I thought this may result in a less crunchy granola, and one that might be a bit dry and dusty, but that was simply not the case, and furthermore, my kids loved it!

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 5 packages of instant oatmeal, sifted (I used Strawberries and Cream)
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Next, add everything to a mixing bowl, with the exception of the powder that gets sifted from the instant oatmeal.

Mix well to incorporate the sugars, oil, and molasses.

Place this onto a lined baking sheet, spreading it evenly out on the sheet.

How to make instant oatmeal granola

Place the tray into the oven and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring about 20 minutes into baking. Cook until the granola is nice and crunchy, then remove and let it cool.

What was awesome about this instant oatmeal granola is that I was able to use up something that my kids probably would have let go to waste, and not only that, but those strawberries in the instant oatmeal really made this granola shine. No joke on that front either. And you know what, my daughter who no longer wanted to eat that oatmeal was shoving fistfuls of this stuff into her mouth as an after school snack!

So if you have packets of instant oatmeal left, give this a shot, just remember to do a quick sift, and you should be all good to go! Hope you enjoy!

Slow Roasted Beef Melt

Do you remember that song by Sir Mix a Lot? You know the one, ‘I like big butts and I cannot lie’? I’m totally with that, and when it comes to making pork butt, or beef rump, I’m all in. There is something about those pieces of meat, where you cook them low and slow, only to get a result of pull about, for tender meat that can go in so many different directions in terms of recipes. With that said, I’m on the ‘purge the freezer and purge the leftovers’ bandwagon lately. I’m tired of all of the price hikes for food lately, and I cannot wait to get our gardens started, but we are not there yet, so we purge.

My latest finding was a rump roast, and it was a great finding because I was craving some sort of Italian beef style sandwich. That’s when I decided to put this sucker in the slow cooker and come up with something the following day. That’s where the slow roasted beef melt came into play.

Slow Roasted Beef Melt

 

First, look at that cheese. I could have just been happy with that alone. But…

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb beef rump roast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 head of garlic, lightly smashed (papers removed)
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup black olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 serrano chili, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole bolillo roll, or small baguette, sliced lengthwise

Start by rubbing the salt and pepper all of the beef rump roast. Pour the beef stock into the slow cooker. Add the beef rump and surround that with the smashed garlic cloves.

Cover, and cook for 8-10 hours. I set mine up before I go to bed, so that I have it ready for lunch the following day.

Next, remove the beef from the slow cooker, and strain the stock, pouring it into a sauce pot.

Bring that sauce to a low simmer on the stove.

Slow roasted beef melt

Next, thinly slice the beef. Add a generous sandwich amount to the broth, and continue to simmer as you prepare your sandwich.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Butter each side of the sliced bread, and place into the oven to get a light golden brown, and have it harden just a bit, about 7 minutes.

Remove the bread from the oven, and cover each side with two slices of the provolone cheese. Top that with the serrano chilies and black olives. Return back to the oven for about 4 minutes until the cheese is nice and melted (my favorite part).

Next, remove the cheesy bread from the oven, and with some tongs or forks, add the beef to the top of the bread. Top with the other piece of bread, and lightly press down on it.

Ladle some of the beef stock into a small dipping bowl and dig in.

The great thing about this beef melt is that you get this super tender, garlicky beef, and then that sharpness from the cheese. That in itself is a winning sandwich, but then you get that brininess from the olives and the heat from those chilies. Then you dunk into the beef stock, and that just takes it to a whole new level.

So if you are looking to purge, and have some beef in the freezer, give this one a shot. It was a perfect way to use up my leftover olives and chilies from taco night as well. Hope you enjoy!

Tex-Mex Potato Skins

If you have been following my site for any time, you will know that my loaded potato skins are a big hit with many folks. It’s obvious in what user pin, and comment on. I mean who doesn’t love a great potato skin, right? I love them so much that they have their own category on my site, as well as their own website at http://www.bakedpotatoskins.com/ that’s how much I love them. Recently, I have been thinking of all of the great Tex-Mex I had while living in Dallas, Texas. There was a restaurant right down the street from my first job called Chuy’s. The place was dangerous. I say that because I probably ate there once a week, and the plates were loaded with great beans, rice, and things like enchiladas, burritos, and chimichangas. It was Tex-Mex heaven. With that said, I have been craving Tex-Mex food, and upon looking around my kitchen, I had some of the basic ingredients, but I was dying to use up the leftovers from the nacho night a couple of days ago. This is when the light sparked, and why I decided to come up with these Tex-Mex potato skins. They were heavenly.

Tex-Mex Potato Skins Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups refried beans, cooked
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup ground chuck, cooked
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeds removed, diced
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • sour cream, optional

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Poke the top of each potato with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Once cooked, remove from the baking sheet, and place on a plate to let cool for about 15 minutes.

Once your potatoes are cooled, use a sharp bread knife and you will cut lengthwise.  With a small spoon, being careful, scoop out about 70 percent of the potato, as you still want some potato in your boat.

To a skillet, add in the cooked ground beef, the enchilada sauce, and the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until the sauce comes to a slow boil and the onion softens.

How to make Tex-Mex Potato Skins

Next, melt your butter in the microwave. Get your broiler heated to high. Brush the butter on the inside and outside of each potato skin and place them back onto the baking sheet. Season the inside of each skin with salt and pepper.

Place them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes until the insides get a bit crispy from the melted butter. Remove, then fill each potato skin with a layer of refried beans. Top the beans with the meat mixture and then top each one with cheese.

Place these back into the oven, and cook until the cheese is nice and melted.

Remove, and top with the diced tomatoes, jalapeno, avocado, and cilantro. Top each with a dollop of sour cream, and then go to town.

Now did these Tex-Mex potato skins satisfy my craving for Tex-Mex food? Absolutely. They were awesome, and what’s not to love when you get everything you love in a couple of bites! Not only that, but I was able to use my leftovers, which I am a total fan of transforming those into something playful.

Tex-Mex Potato Skins Recipe

If you ever get that craving like I did, give these a shot and let me know what you think. Did I mention these are totally worth making for any game day event?

Tex-Mex Potato Skins
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 1½ cups refried beans, cooked
  • ½ cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup ground chuck, cooked
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeds removed, diced
  • ½ tomato, diced
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • sour cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Poke the top of each potato with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Once cooked, remove from the baking sheet, and place on a plate to let cool for about 15 minutes.
  2. Once your potatoes are cooled, use a sharp bread knife and you will cut lengthwise. With a small spoon, being careful, scoop out about 70 percent of the potato, as you still want some potato in your boat.
  3. To a skillet, add in the cooked ground beef, the enchilada sauce, and the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until the sauce comes to a slow boil and the onion softens.
  4. Next, melt your butter in the microwave. Get your broiler heated to high. Brush the butter on the inside and outside of each potato skin and place them back onto the baking sheet. Season the inside of each skin with salt and pepper.
  5. Place them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes until the insides get a bit crispy from the melted butter. Remove, then fill each potato skin with a layer of refried beans. Top the beans with the meat mixture and then top each one with cheese.
  6. Place these back into the oven, and cook until the cheese is nice and melted.
  7. Remove, and top with the diced tomatoes, jalapeno, avocado, and cilantro. Top each with a dollop of sour cream, and then go to town.

 

Mexican Style Popcorn

There were a couple of things that I started out cooking when I was in middle school, if not sooner than that. One of them was sunny side up eggs, and the other was stove top popcorn. I honestly thought I was a popcorn ninja, making delicious salty and butter popcorn for family members. It was almost a nightly ritual, and now I can see why my kids love making it now as well, in particular my oldest. It was one of the first things I taught him as well. How to manage heat, hot oil, and how to salt and butter popcorn. Now granted he uses an air popper from time to time, but he really loves making stove top popcorn. With that said, I wanted to see if my oldest, or even my other family members would partake in another spin on popcorn, and that was a Mexican style popcorn.

Mexican Style Popcorn Reciep

I always tinker with different seasonings when I make popcorn, and a simple seasoned salt, or couple dashes of grated parmesan and Italian seasoning are some of my favorite, but this time I wanted to put some fresh herbs in it and enhance the popcorn with simple Mexican ingredients.

To say the least, I made a big batch, and who would have thought that my kids would have devoured it? It was that good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of your favorite popcorn kernels (I use a blend)
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lime, zest only
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Start by heating a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the oil, and a few of the popcorn seeds.

Cover, and shake a few times. Once the kernels pop, add the remaining popcorn kernels, cover, and continue to shake the covered pot until all of the kernels have popped.

How to make Mexican style popcorn

Add the lime zest to a large bowl. Uncover, and pour the popcorn into a large bowl.

Pour in the melted butter, salt, and give it a good toss. Toss a few more times until all of the popcorn is nicely coated with butter and salt.

Next add in the cotija cheese and chopped cilantro. Toss a couple of more times, then taste and season accordingly.

What really makes this popcorn standout is the lime zest, and the cotija cheese. If you have never had cotija cheese, think of it like parmesan cheese, or even a feta cheese. The fresh cilantro also freshens this popcorn. It’s a good one, so if you are looking to update a batch of popcorn, give this Mexican style popcorn a try. Hope you enjoy!

Mexican Style Popcorn
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of your favorite popcorn kernels (I use a blend)
  • ¼ cup of canola oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lime, zest only
  • ¼ cup cotija cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the oil, and a few of the popcorn seeds.
  2. Cover, and shake a few times. Once the kernels pop, add the remaining popcorn kernels, cover, and continue to shake the covered pot until all of the kernels have popped.
  3. Add the lime zest to a large bowl. Uncover, and pour the popcorn into a large bowl.
  4. Pour in the melted butter, salt, and give it a good toss. Toss a few more times until all of the popcorn is nicely coated with butter and salt.
  5. Next add in the cotija cheese and chopped cilantro. Toss a couple of more times, then taste and season accordingly.