Pizza-Stuffed Mushrooms

A great handheld snack for any occasion !

Ingredients

  • ½ pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed (we used hot Italian sausage)
  • ¾ cup chopped pepperoni slices, divided
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup pizza sauce
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Take a rimmed baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil.
  2. Take a large skillet out and set the heat to medium. Once the skillet’s hot, add in the Italian sausage, ½ cup of the pepperoni, and the minced onion, stirring now and then for 7 minutes or however long it takes for the sausage to be fully cooked and crumbly. Drain off the grease afterwards. Add the cream cheese and pizza sauce to the skillet, stirring until the cream cheese has melted and the mixture looks smooth. Take the skillet off the heat.
  3. Spoon the skillet mixture into the mushroom caps (keeping the filling even with the top of the mushroom or maybe a little over) and place it on the lined baking sheet. After filling the caps, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and what’s left of the pepperoni over the top and stick the sheet in the oven.
  4. Let the mushrooms cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese looks golden brown (20 minutes worked for us). Serve right away (we found if you let them cool down a little before eating them, they’re a lot more enjoyable).

If you eat them right after they’re done cooking, you’ll have the water from the mushroom come squirting out and it dilutes the flavors to the point of it just tasting “meh” but if you let the mushrooms cool down a little so the juice doesn’t come bursting out when you take a bite, that’s when you can really taste the flavors of the filling. Using hot Italian sausage adds just a little bit of heat that wouldn’t have been existent in the dish otherwise. The Italian sausage and pepperoni adds some texture to the dish, the cream cheese provides a creamy tanginess and the pizza sauce adds a little sweetness.

We got this recipe from a Cooking with Paula Deen magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote the Paula Deen magazine.

Take care everybody !

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Salami Snack

This is what we’re eating on New Year’s Eve !

Ingredients

  • 2 (4 oz. each) packages of genoa salami, cut in half
  • 1 (32 oz.) jar of whole pickled pepperoncini, sliced (we would’ve bought them pre-sliced to save ourselves some time but we could only find them whole)
  • 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened

Directions

  1. Take a halved slice of salami and spread a layer of cream cheese over one side. Lay a slice or two of pepperoncini on the cream cheese and tightly roll up the salami. Insert a toothpick into the middle of each one you make if you don’t want to eat these directly with your hands (the salami can get a little greasy). You can enjoy eating them right away but we like letting them chill before digging in.

This might sound like a weird combination but it is really delicious ! It’s a great snack to have at any party, not just on New Year’s Eve !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Whiskey-Mustard Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (80% lean)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (we used 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • ½ cup spicy mustard (we used French’s Spicy Brown)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup whiskey (we used Jack Daniels)
  • 3 cups beef broth (we used Swanson 100% Natural Beef Broth)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the following ingredients: the beef, pork, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup of the spicy mustard.
  2. Using your hands like we did (or a large spoon if you don’t want to get your hands dirty), mix the ingredients together until they’re fully combined.
  3. Using a teaspoon measuring spoon, form the meatballs, rolling the meatballs in your hands if you need to. We actually shaped our individual meatballs using a heaping teaspoon (possibly closer to 1 ½ teaspoons) but what truly matters is that your meatballs are all equally sized. Divide the meatballs as equally as you can into 3 batches. Stick the first batch in for 10 minutes so the meatballs have a chance to firm up. The original recipe said you could stick the meatballs in for 10-15 minutes but we tried sticking a batch in for 15 minutes one time and the meatballs came out like meat ice cubes !
  4. Take a large skillet out and pour the oil in, setting the heat to medium-high. Wait for the oil to get hot before adding the first batch of meatballs to the skillet. (Stick the second batch of meatballs in the freezer after you put the first batch in the skillet.) Our oil actually got hot quicker than we planned so our meatballs only had 5 minutes to be in the freezer before getting put in the skillet. The meatballs actually held their shape so if you’re in a rush, you only need to keep your meatballs in the freezer for 5-6 minutes. Once your meatballs are in the skillet though, allow them to cook for somewhere between 5 to 7 minutes (5 minutes worked for us), turning them as they’re cooking so you can ensure they’re getting cooked equally all over (a nice crust on the meatballs is a bonus to the stirring of the meatballs). After the 5-7 minutes has passed, scoop the meatballs out and put them on a plate afterwards. Wait for the oil to get hot again before adding the second batch into the skillet. Stick the third batch in the freezer afterwards. Cook the meatballs, take them out, wait for the oil to get hot again and add the last batch in, cooking it and adding it to the pile of cooked meatballs after its 5 minutes of cooking is over with.
  5. Now that all the meatballs are cooked and out of the skillet, drain the oil from the skillet (the recipe never says to drain but there was just so much oil in the skillet, it only felt right to drain it). Pour the whiskey and beef broth in (to play it safe, we took the skillet over to the sink when pouring the whiskey in). Wait for the mixture to come to a boil* and then allow it to reduce for 5 minutes or so, just long enough to get the mixture a little bit thicker.
  6. Pour the Worcestershire sauce and the other ¼ cup of spicy mustard into the skillet, stirring to combine as well as you can. This should take a couple of minutes to achieve.
  7. Pour the heavy cream into the skillet, stirring as you do so until everything looks blended together.
  8. Now take all those meatballs you cooked earlier and add them back into the skillet.
  9. Bring the heat down to a simmer and allow everything to cook for 5-7 minutes or however long it takes for the meatballs to get cooked through completely. Honestly our meatballs were fully cooked during step 4 so we just let the dish simmer for the minimum time.
  10. Serve right away !

*When the whiskey starts getting heated up, all of its wonderfully sweet aromas start blooming and it’s just awesome. There’s no mistaking that sweet whiskey aroma !

This recipe was initially made as an appetizer (each one is only 1 ¼ inch in diameter) and you could eat them that way, but we eat this as an actual meal because they’re too delicious to eat just as a snack ! The meatballs themselves have a nice crust on the outside but the meat is still soft and tender on the inside and the sauce, man that’s where the flavor’s really at ! The tanginess of the mustard really comes through but there’s just a little bit of sweetness from the whiskey and the heavy cream just makes the sauce have a silky consistency. The sauce is so delicious that you’ll want to consume it like a soup instead !

We got this recipe from a Ree Drummond cookbook.

We weren’t paid in any way to mention French’s, Jack Daniels, Swanson, or Ree Drummond.

Take care everybody !

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Pre-season football has started and my dad is happier than a pig in mud ! Here’s a salsa recipe we found that’s great to enjoy for any game or party.

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 (10-oz. each) cans Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (we used the original type)
  • ¼ cup chopped onion (we used ½ cup of Vidalia onions)
  • 1 jalapeño, quartered lengthwise and sliced thinly afterwards (we used a serrano)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (we used 2 large garlic cloves)
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt (we used kosher salt)
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ½ cup cilantro (or more to taste) (we just went with ½ cup)

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender (we used a food processor), add all the ingredients to it.
  2. Pulse the mixture until you get the consistency you want (we pulsed until it was as smooth as we could get it).
  3. Serve with chips (we liked eating the salsa with Tostitos Tortilla Hint of Lime Chips).

You can eat this right after you’re done making it but we find that the salsa is at its tastiest after it’s been left in the fridge overnight.

We got this recipe from a Ree Drummond cookbook.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Rotel, Tostitos, or Ree Drummond.