Cheesy Spicy Ranch Corn Dog Muffins

I figured I’d take a break from Santorini things (let’s be honest, I just can’t quite handle the pictures reminding me of the fact that I don’t live there!) and give you an easy summer recipe.

Corn dogs, to me, are the essence of summers spent at baseball games, theme parks and beach boardwalks. Who doesn’t love that?

And who doesn’t love a corn dog?! Especially when it has cheese, ranch dressing and Sriracha!

Cheesy Spicy Ranch Corn Dog Muffins

*corn muffin recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Food; makes 6 muffins*

 

1/2  stick of butter

3/4 c. cornmeal

1/2 c. flour

3 tbsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. of baking soda

1/3. milk

1 egg

1/3 c. of low-fat ranch dressing

1/4 c. of salsa verde

3 tbsp. of dried parsley

1/4 c. of Sriracha

 

2 large (cut into 3 pieces each) or 3 medium (cut into 2 pieces each) hot dogs

3 slices of cheddar cheese, each cut in half

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease 6 muffins tins. In a large bowl, put your butter, then melt in the microwave. Whisk in the milk, eggs and seasonings (ranch, salsa,etc).Next stir in the dry ingredients, making sure not to over mix.

In each of your muffin tins, put about 2 tablespoons of batter. Next put in a piece of cheese, then a piece of hot dog and top it off with about 2 more tablespoons batter.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, just until lightly browned and the tops spring back when you touch them. Remove from the pan and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

*You can adjust the spiciness to fit your needs….we love Sriracha so we always add a little more*

Steak Dinner…With a Twist

Dave and I recently decided we should try to eat less gluten so we could attempt to be healthier and such.

To celebrate we made this meal.

Basically it says “Congratulations on giving up gluten! Have a heart attack instead!”

And yes, every bite was worth it!

Cocoa Rubbed Steak with Bacon Stout Gravy

Inspired by recipes from the Food Network Magazine, March 2012

For the Steak

1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 1/4 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

32 oz. steak (about 1 1/2 in. thick)

1 tbsp. butter

A dash of truffle oil (if you have it)

For the gravy

5 strips of thick cut bacon, cut into pieces

1 leek, sliced

1/2 c. sliced mushrooms

1 tbsp. flour

1/2 c. of a stout beer (I used a chocolate flavor;save the rest for a dessert a will be sharing soon)

3 c. chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1/2 c. heavy cream

Pepper

For the steak-Mix together the cocoa powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper & 2 teaspoons of salt.Rub on both sides of the steak and set aside.

For the gravy- In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat cook the bacon until crisp. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate. In the bacon fat, cook the leeks and mushrooms until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and then the beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves and continue cooking until the mixture has reduced by about one-quarter. Continue to cook until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Finally, stir in the cream, reserved bacon and a dash of pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

To cook the steak, heat a large cast iron pan on high for about 3 minutes. Add the butter (and truffle oil, if desired). Once the butter has melted place your steak in the pan and sear each side for about 8 minutes or until a dark crust has formed. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Along with the gravy, we also had peas and sweet potatoes mashed with a splash of OJ, a little butter and topped with blue cheese crumbles. We then indulged in a flour free but definitely not guilt free cake that I will be sharing with you soon :)

*Note- We tossed the leftover gravy and sliced steak with some pasta (gluten-free of course!) the next night and it was just as delicious!

 

Man Meals-Part 2

I have never met a man that doesn’t like pizza.
 If I did I would seriously question their manhood.

I HAVE met many men that don’t know how to make pizza though.
And I am about to change that.

Making your own pizza is so simple and so much more impressive than just picking up the phone and dialing a number. (This is how you get a lady fellas!!)

Don’t even worry that you won’t be able to make this dough. If you can stir and turn on an oven you are all set to whip this up.

Easiest Pizza Dough…EVER!
2 tsp. yeast (I use just use one packet)
2 tbsp. sugar
1 c. water
2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 1/2 c. flour
Mix water, yeast and sugar. The add oil, salt and flour. Pat into your pizza pan, making it as thin or as thick as you would like. Add your toppings. Then bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the edges are golden.
*Topping Options*
-Meats:Ham,salami,pepperoni,prosciutto,caper cola,sausage,bacon
-BBQ: BBQ sauce, caramelized onions,chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese
-Pesto,sun dried tomatoes,goat cheese,artichoke hearts,olives
-Pizza loaf: After your dough is rolled out and toppings are on, roll up,place in a bread pan and bake for 40 minutes
-Buffalo chicken: ranch or blue cheese dressing mixed with cream cheese, chicken mixed with buffalo sauce, caramelized onions, olives, bacon
-Greek: Olives, sun dried tomatoes, red peppers, onions,mushrooms, chicken, oregano,feta
-Reuben: Russian dressing in place of sauce, corned beef, chopped pickles,sauerkraut,Swiss cheese
-Prosciutto,fig,goat cheese, caramelized onions,pesto
 
-Pizza monkey bread: Make small balls of pizza, stuff each with a piece of pepperoni and a cube of cheese,layer in a dish and bake for about 10 minutes longer.
Don’t forget about dessert! Easy, easier (the ice-cream) and easiest!

Man Meals-Part 1

These recipes are so simple…even a man can do it :)

I know it’s hard to believe,but trust me on this one guys. If you can turn on the stove, you are golden.

For the first ‘Man Meals’ I chose things that are classics and that absolutely everyone will love (or at least everyone better!).

These recipes are ones I turn to whenever I am in need of a quick meal. Nothing can beat the ease, the taste or the basic list of ingredients.

Chicken Nuggets and Mac n’ Cheese remind me of being a kid, but somehow no matter how old I get these  dishes don’t get old.

Chicken Nuggets
From my Mom


1/2 c. bread crumbs (I prefer the Italian seasoned ones)
1 tbsp. Parmesan
1 tbsp. parsley or thyme, chopped (Ok to use dried)
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp. butter, melted
4 chicken breasts, cut into cubes

Combine first four ingredients. Take the chicken cubes and dip them first in the butter then the bread crumb mixture. Lay the cubes on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Mac ‘n Cheese
From Macaroni and Cheesecake

2 c. pasta
2 c. milk (I use fat free)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard (I prefer it w/o)

In a small saucepan, add pasta and milk.  Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, until pasta is soft, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil.
Turn heat off, add cheese, salt (and mustard if you’re using it) and stir to melt the cheese and combine. If not creamy enough, add milk a little at a time, and gently stir.
*This recipe can easily be doubled*