Baked or Fried Mozzarella Sticks

One of my favorite appetizers in the entire world, besides stuffed mushrooms, would have to be mozzarella cheese sticks. I absolutely LOVE anything with cheese. In fact, the more cheese, the better. I found a recipe a little while ago on Pinterest that had simple directions on how to make them. The recipe DID NOT WORK so please don’t try it. But just so you know which recipe it was, it pretty much said cut cheese sticks in half, dip them in milk and then in the bread crumbs and then bake them for 15 minutes. All that did for me was give me a baking sheet covered in melted cheese mixed with breadcrumbs. It was a huge disaster and a big mess to clean, not to mention the fact that I couldn’t even eat the stuff! It was such a waste. Well this time, I found a better recipe using an ingredient that made a little more sense for me to use, egg roll wraps. They turned out DELICIOUS. Even though they weren’t breaded, it was still a tasteful replacement. Here’s the recipe:

IMG_20130518_194102_390 IMG_20130518_194615_935 IMG_20130518_195249_494 IMG_20130518_195332_975 IMG_20130518_200055_462 IMG_20130518_200411_969 IMG_20130518_201745_229Ingredients:

  • 12 Wonton or Egg-Roll Wraps, at room temperature
  • 12 Mozzarella String Cheese
  • Marinara Sauce for Dipping
  • Small bowl with water, optional

Baked Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take one of your room-temperature wraps (less likely to break and ooze cheese all over if room-temp and slightly wet) and lay on flat surface in front of you, like a diamond.  Put cheese stick in middle, corner to corner (or slightly below).
  3. Take the bottom corner and fold it up over the cheese stick and stick to other side of wrap tightly.  You can add a few drops of the water here to make the wrap stick better.
  4. Carefully (here is the part where the wrap can break), fold over the right and left corners of the wrap onto the cheese stick to completely cover the cheese.
  5. Roll up the wrap.
  6. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.

“Fried” Directions:
Alternatively, you can make this on the stovetop.

  1. Wrap cheese as described above.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Working in batches, add in half of the cheese sticks.  Roll/stir sticks around for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, and remove from heat.

Serve with Marinara (seasoned with oregano/basil/garlic for more flavor) and Enjoy!

This recipe was borrowed from a fellow blogger who’s link is in the opening paragraph. I didn’t bake my cheese sticks, I fried them because I felt that frying them would cook the wrap on the inside better than if I would bake them.

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Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme Remixed

IMG_20130520_191047_713 IMG_20130520_192616_192 IMG_20130520_194415_804 IMG_20130520_194750_361 IMG_20130520_195028_480 IMG_20130520_194406_707 IMG_20130520_201811_002 IMG_20130520_201908_007As tasteful as fast food can be at times, I really REALLY dislike it for several reasons of which I don’t have too much time time to explain. But every now and then I do crave something, fast, fattening and cheap! I’m a huge fan of Mexican food so my first pick is always Taco Bell. They have a delicious menu item called the crunchwrap supreme and it is literally heaven in your mouth-seriously, it’s that good. Well I always prefer to learn how to make my own dishes from scratch so that I know what is actually being put into my food and make sure nothing is dropped on the floor and then put back on my sandwich/taco (I have witnessed this when I worked at Wendy’s, by a manager at that!). Anyways, I found the perfect recipe to make an exact replica of the delicious meal! I even added my own favorable ingredient to make it even more uniquely delicious. Here’s the recipe for you to try:
Ingredients:

  • Large Flour Tortillas burrito style
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • sour cream
  • guacamole (optional)
  • shredded cheese or nacho cheese
  • tortilla chips (you could use use a corn tortilla)
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • corn (optional)

Directions:

  1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, add the packet of taco seasoning and stir until mixed well. Cook for another minute or so. For those of you who would like to add corn, boil the corn for ten minutes, let cool, cut kernels off cob with knife, separate kernels using a fork and mix with your ground beef.
  2. Microwave the tortillas for a few seconds just to warm them up, it will make the wrapping easier.
  3. Take a tortilla, spread some sour cream in the center.Top with ground beef.
  4. Top with shredded cheese or a few scoops of nacho cheese.
  5. Next add a layer of tortilla chips or at this point you would add a small corn tortilla like a tostada size.
  6. Top with lettuce and tomato and then starting on the bottom, fold up the tortilla toward the center, continue all the way around until it is all folded over, it WON’T cover it completely.
  7. Carefully lift it up and set it fold side down on a non stick pan. Press with a spatula and cook until nice and brown, flip it over and cook the other side. It won’t take long at all.
  8. Serve with extra sour cream and guac if you rock! ;D

Related Articles: http://fullbelliesmakehappykids.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/homemade-crunchwrap-supreme/

Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Right before I delivered Natalia, Me & the baby daddy made these DELICIOUS Lasagna Roll Ups that I pinned on Pinterest. Actually let me correct myself: IIIIIII made them, Jacob watched ans taste tested lol. Well he did help me roll half of them up, but I did the rest (:
Also, I made enough to have plenty of left overs so I wouldn’t have to cook for a few nights in case Natalia decided to come.

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Here is the recipe that I followed, although it doesn’t include ground beef, I took initiative to add that in there for extra protein!

Creamy Bacon, Cheddar & Potato Soup Made from Scratch

IMG_20130316_160849This soup is the perfect recipe for lunch, dinner, for when
you’re sick or are just in the mood for comfort food.

2013-03-16_14-55-35_713 2013-03-16_15-31-22_760 2013-03-16_15-36-02_96 2013-03-16_15-31-28_296 2013-03-16_15-32-18_860 2013-03-16_15-37-55_810 2013-03-16_16-06-32_358Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 large russet potatoes (peeled & diced)
  • 8-10 slices cooked bacon
  • Cilantro
  • 1 tbsp salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • At least 2½ cups milk
  • 1 tbsp shredded cheese (for your bowl)
  • 1 tbsp sour cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of salted water. Cook peeled and diced potatoes for no more than 10 minutes. Make sure you can stick a fork all the way through but don’t cook longer than needed or your soup will be potato mush!
  2. Cook bacon and chop it up.
  3. In a large sauce pan, melt butter and flour on medium high heat. Make sure to stir consistently until flour and butter is well blended. When it starts to sizzle, pour in milk GRADUALLY (a little at a time) and stir until well mixed to make it thick (At this time you may want to reduce heat to medium-low). Add salt, parmesan cheese and cilantro. Stir until sauce thickens. You will be able to see it thicken by how it falls on the sides of the pot. When it is thick enough to your liking, add remaining ingredients. Let cool and serve with remaining shredded cheese and sour cream if you like.

Slow Cooked Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I’ve had this mean craving for chicken enchiladas lately, so I made some for dinner last night! I would go on and on about how freakin’ delicious it was, but I will leave you readers with the recipe so you can just try them yourself! ;D
NOTE: If you plan to make this for dinner, you have to prep the day before by taking the chicken out if it’s frozen so you can start cooking it when you wake up in the morning. Also, this recipe is enough to serve 3 people twice, or 6, depending on how much everyone will eat. It only makes 3 extra-large enchiladas that you can cut in half, which is what I did.
One more thing! You could just cook the chicken in the pan with the sauce, but I recommend putting it in the crock pot because it makes the chicken so tender, it falls right off the bone. This makes it easier to shred. (:

2013-03-14_15-47-01_927 2013-03-14_16-22-05_100 2013-03-14_16-33-53_462 2013-03-14_16-35-50_40 2013-03-14_17-48-15_739Ingredients:

  • 10” Flour Tortillas
  • Pack of 4 chicken breasts (Sorry, idk the weight just the package I bought. I recommend boneless&skinless, unless you want to spend extra time pulling that stuff off!)
  • 1 10oz. can Enchilada Sauce
  • Handful of Black Olives (optional)
  • 1½ cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used Mexican Blend)
  • 2 tbsp. Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp. Softened/Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Cilantro
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ Large Onion

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken in a crock pot filled with the entire can of enchilada sauce, sautéed garlic, onion and cilantro. Cook on the low setting that says 8 hours. (It will not take an entire 8 hours to cook)
  2. About 6 hours later, take the chicken out leaving the juices in the crock-pot, and put your chicken in a large plate where you will have plenty of room to pull it apart using 2 forks. Before you start shredding, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  3. After your chicken is shredded, get a separate bowl and mix together the sour cream, cream cheese, and ½ cup of shredded cheese. I also added diced black olives but you can leave them out or replace them with jalapeños if you like your enchiladas spicy. Once mixed add your chicken.
  4. In a 10” by 12” baking dish, pour a ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce from the crock-pot, just enough to cover the bottom so your tortillas don’t burn.
  5. On a flour tortilla, fill it with a generous amount of your cheesy chicken mixture, roll it up, and place it flap side down into your baking dish. Repeat until mixture is finished.
  6. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce on top of your enchiladas. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cup of shredded cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from oven, let cool, and serve.
  7. You can add anything you like on top: sour cream, guacamole, pieces of cilantro for looks and zesty taste, tomatoes, chiles, more olives, whatever you like! Serve with a side of rice and beans to have the full authentic Mexican Enchilada dinner! My mom made her special made Brazilian style white rice that I stove-top steamed. I made homemade re-fried beans using a can of Goya black beans with a tbsp of butter and 2 tsp of flour to make it thick.

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BTW this is my own personal recipe that I made up using bits and pieces of other peoples recipe, souped it up to my liking! I hope you enjoy it. (:

Related Articles:
http://cookingandcraftingonabudget.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/chicken-enchiladas/ http://www.allthecooks.com/cream-cheese-chicken-enchiladas.html http://www.allthecooks.com/miles-of-cheesy-chicken-enchiladas-casserole.html

Meat, Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

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The Finished Product. (:

These Delicious Homemade Meat, Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Shells was what I had for dinner a couple nights ago, and let me just inform you that they were so good, I literally could have had an orgasm in my mouth. A little too dramatic, lol but seriously, they were THAT good. I got the recipe from a fellow blogger although their recipe used very little amounts of ingredients. I used about twice as much as their recipe had and I added ground beef for the extra protein. My mom mentioned that I might be an even better cook than she is! That’s one of the greatest compliments ever because my mom is the best cook ever in my opinion. Ever since I was a little girl she always made homemade dinners from scratch Brazilian style that always tasted like heaven. So for her to tell me I could be a better cook than her is unbelievable. I posted the picture of my finished meal on Facebook and it got pinned on Pinterest! That just tells me how amazing my food looks (thanks to Instagram). I will leave reference for the bloggers recipe if you would like to make it yourself! (:

Related Articles: http://lisaglauner.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/recipe-marks-spinach-cheese-stuffed-shells/

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Ingredients minus the ground meat and shredded cheese.

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Sauteed Onion & Garlic for the meat.

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Cooked Meat. Note: I did not use all of this meat in my dish. just a little over a quarter of it.

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Ricotta, Egg, Spinach and Meat Mixture.

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Cooking the shells.

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Lined the baking pan with half the sauce jar.

Macaroni & Cheese From Scratch

This is my all-time favorite dish in the entire word. I could eat this stuff any time of the day every day forever. It was love at first taste, and it has been ever since I was a tot. I got this recipe originally from my baby’s daddy’s aunt when I first tried it at one of their family get togethers for the Holidays. I LOVED her macaroni & cheese so much I went back for seconds. YES – in front of everybody! I had to get her recipe. So I did, and then I looked online at a few other homemade macaroni&cheese recipes to see how other people made it. I took a little of this recipe, a little of that one and through it together with the recipe I got from his aunt. So I guess you could call this my own recipe, but those are just my notes to you guys on where the idea originated from. For my dish I used twice the ingredients so I could make twice as much and have PLENTY of leftovers for lunch. This is one of those dishes that are great as leftovers for these days that I’m so big and pregnant, the last thing I want to do is stand in the kitchen making dinner every night.

IMG_20130208_190354Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package macaroni
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 qt. baking dish.
  2. Cook macaroni in salted boiling water as directed.
  3. Whisk eggs (first), then add milk and corn starch. Mix until well blended.
  4. Add butter and cheese to macaroni. Stir until well combined.
  5. Add milk mixture, gradually.
  6. Spoon into greased baking dish after everything is mixed well.
  7. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until milk is evaporated and top is golden brown.