Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Easy Pepperoni Rolls)

Hello again food lovers and welcome to another edition of Free Recipe Wednesday. Today's recipe I found shared on Facebook a few weeks ago and it looks so delicious and so simple. I really wanted to try them before I posted the recipe so I could really tell everyone first hand how good they are but unfortunately I haven't had the chance to make them yet. I'm sure they are absolutely wonderful though. How can you go wrong with pepperoni, cheese, and carbs? That's basically pizza right there and since Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza per day (about 350 slices per second!), I think it's safe to say that you're really going to like this one. So without further ado, let's get on with the recipe. As always, feel free to post comments with opinions and variations.

Easy Pepperoni Rolls

  • 3 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (10 biscuits per can)
  • 56 Pepperoni Slices
  • 1 Block of Cheese (Your favorite kind)
  • 1 Egg; beaten
  • Parmesan
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1 jar Pizza Sauce

1. Cut the block of cheese into at least 28 squares (approx 1" x 1 1/2" square).
2. Flatten biscuits out; place a pepperoni slice, then cheese, then another pepperoni slice on top.
3. Wrap the edges of the biscuit up around the pepperoni and cheese to form a nice little bun like you see in the picture. 
4. Place the rolls in a greased 9×13 casserole dish, seam side down.

5. Brush tops with beaten egg.
6. Sprinkle on Parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
7. Bake at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
8. Serve the rolls with warm pizza sauce for dipping.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Restaurant Review! (HuHot Mongolian Grill - Springfield, MO)

Hello again friends.  Last night was my birthday and since I'm registered with many restaurant birthday clubs, I receive lots of free meals, buy one get one deals, etc via email on my birthday.  One of those places, and one of my favorite places to eat, is HuHot Mongolian Grill ( So last night I decided I would take some pictures and do a Restaurant Review today.  Now for those of you not familiar with a Mongolian Grill, I will briefly explain the concept. In the simplest of forms, you pick out the food you want to eat, in raw form, the sauce you want and you hand the plate or bowl of food to a guy that then cooks it on a grill in front of you.  It's quite similar to Hibachi, where the food is cooked at your table, but with Mongolian Grill there's not a grill at each table.

Most of the time a Mongolian Grill is included in Chinese buffets and offers a limited selection of proteins, veggies, and sauces to choose from.  However, at HuHot, the Mongolian Grill is pretty much all they do so it's just amazing.  Imagine a huge buffet line of nothing but raw meats (beef, chicken, pork, sausage, seafood, etc), noodles, a large variety of uncooked vegetables (things like broccoli, water chestnuts, onions, etc), and 12 signature sauces. Now imagine a giant round grill with anywhere from 2 to 4 cooks walking around it grilling as many as 9 plates of food at a time (or just see the pictures to the right, click to enlarge - sorry, I didn't take any of the food line).

The selection of food is enormous so you can have a different plate of food every time you go back for more.  Also, there are 12 signature sauces (plus seasonal sauces and things like garlic oil and garlic broth) to choose from which in my opinion is really what makes the food so good.  You add 5-6 ladles of sauce to your plate of food so you can mix sauces and come up with delicious combinations. I've included the sauces section from their menu to the right so you can look for yourself.  Click the picture to enlarge it.  The sauces are heat rated using little flames to tell you how spicy they are and they range from no flames all the way to 5 flames.  Right now, however, they have a seasonal sauce called Khan's Revenge that is rated at 7 flames and it's well deserving of those 7 flames.

The plate of food in the picture to the right is the last plate of food I had last night (I was pretty full already which is why there's not much on the plate). On the plate there's beef, sausage, yakisoba noodles, onions, broccoli, and pineapple.  My favorite sauce is the Mean Bean Garlic Sauce (2 flames) and typically I will use 4 ladles of Mean Bean Garlic Sauce and 2 ladles of Garlic Oil. With this last plate, however, I went with 3 ladles of Mean Bean Garlic Sauce, 1 ladle of the 7 flame Khan's Revenge, and 1 ladle of Garlic Oil.  My usual combination of sauces makes the dish nice and spicy but not too spicy.  This newest combination set my mouth on fire... and that was just with 1 ladle of Khan's Revenge.  I can't imagine someone using 4-6 ladles of nothing but Khan's Revenge .... but I'm sure someone has.

Final verdict:
 As far as the food is concerned the selection is amazing and the taste is absolutely wonderful so I would recommend this place to anyone just based on that alone.  However, it's definitely not a budget friendly place if you're looking for somewhere cheap to eat.  That's not to say that it's not worth the price because it's worth every penny you spend but for 2 people, just the grill meal and a drink each will set you back $30 plus tax and tip.  It's certainly cheaper than most Japanese Hibachi restaurants but it's a bit more expensive than your standard Chinese Take-Out Restaurant.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Spinach and Artichoke Melts)

Welcome to another delicious edition of Free Recipe Wednesday. Today's recipe is something that I've been anxious to try but haven't had a chance to yet. When my wife and I go out to eat at a nice restaurant we almost always get the spinach and artichoke dip as an appetizer (if it's available) and at home I'm a huge fan of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. So of course when I saw this recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Melts, shared on a Facebook page, I immediately made a copy of it. Just the picture alone makes me hungry every time I see it. With that being said, lets get on to this delicious recipe. As always, post comments with opinions and variations if you come up with any.

Spinach and Artichoke Melts

  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon Flour
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 cup (about 5 ounces) Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed
  • 1 (6.7 ounce) jar Grilled Artichoke Hearts (or you can sub marinated artichokes), chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 1 Chicken Breast, grilled and sliced thin (optional)
  • 8 slices Thick Sourdough or Tuscan Bread
  • Butter, for spreading

1.  Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute or two, then pour in milk. Stir and cook one minute, if your paste gets too thick splash in more milk.
2.  Add cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted. Stir in the greek yogurt until smooth. Chop artichokes and spinach and add to the sauce. Stir to combine. Dip will be thick, just use some muscle and stir in those veggies!
3.  Heat a skillet (or griddle, etc) oven medium-low heat. Butter the outsides of every bread slice, then spread a good amount (any where from 1-3 tablespoons) of the spinach and artichoke dip on the inside (the non-buttered side) of each slice. If using, top one slice with the sliced grilled chicken. Top off with another slice of bread, buttered-side up. Cook until bread is golden and crisp and cheese is melted, then gently flip and do the same.
4.  Slice and serve.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole - Slow Cooker Style)

Welcome friends to another edition of Free Recipe Wednesday!  Today's recipe is something new that my wife and I tried this past week.  Now obviously Tater Tot Casserole isn't a new concept, I've been eating this since I was a kid.  However, as I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, I'm a huge fan of slow cookers so when I saw this recipe on Facebook I had to give it a try.  Before I get into the recipe let me just mention a few observations and things I will do differently when I make this again. First, forget about the tater tots keeping any sort of form when you're scooping this out of the crock pot. You might get a few that stay together but you basically end up with hash brown casserole when all is said and done. That being said, it's still super delicious.  Second, we felt there was too much potato in this and it didn't let the bacon and cheese shine.  Next time we're going to cut down the amount of tater tots by 1/3 or even 1/2 of what the recipe calls for.  The other option would be to increase the amount of cheese and/or bacon but the original recipe makes A LOT so I think it would be better to cut down the amount of something rather than increase it.  We're also considering making this with hamburger (mostly cooked through before adding to the crock pot) next time.  The chicken was good but I like modifying recipes and seeing what I can come up with.  On that note, let's get to the recipe.  As always leave me a comment with your opinions or modifications you came up with for this dish.

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole - Slow Cooker Style

  • 1 32oz Bag of Frozen Tater Tots
  • 1 3oz Bag of Bacon Pieces
  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, diced
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

1. Spray the bottom and sides of the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. 
2. Place half the bag of tater tots in the bottom of the slow cooker.
3. Add 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 of the bacon on top of the tots.
4. Add the cut up chicken pieces on top and season with salt & pepper.
5. Add another 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 of the bacon on top of the chicken. 
6. Add the remaining tater tots to the slow cooker.
7. Add the remaining cheese and bacon on top. 
8. Pour 3/4 cup of milk all over the top.
9. Cover; Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Be sure to check a piece of chicken to make sure it's thoroughly cooked (safe temp is 165 degrees).

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Apple Snickers Salad)

It's Wednesday again and that means it's time for another Free Recipe Wednesday! I hope everyone had a good Easter Sunday this past weekend and enjoyed as much delicious food as your stomach would allow.  We had a deep-fried turkey, ham, homemade sausage, deviled eggs, a large variety of salads (both veggie and pasta style), and several desserts so it's safe to say I was pretty stuffed when we left the relatives house.  Today's recipe, Apple Snickers Salad, is actually one of the desserts we had while we were at the in-laws on Sunday.  I feel like I had eaten this dessert salad once before somewhere but I still can't figure out where.  All I know for sure is that it's delicious and super easy to make so I wanted to feature it on my blog this week. I forgot to get the recipe from the person that made it before we left so I decided to Google it and found the recipe on the Taste of Home website.  I hope everyone enjoys this recipe and as always feel free to post comments below.

Apple Snickers Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups Cold 2% Milk
  • 1 pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 1 (8oz) container Whipped Topping, thawed
  • 4 Large Apples, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 4 Snickers Candy Bars, cut into bite-size pieces

1. In a large bowl whisk milk and pudding for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. 
2. Fold in whipped topping, then fold in apples and candy bars.
3. Refrigerate until serving.