Ham & Cheese Sliders

These sliders. They’re one of the easiest things to put together, and also one of the most delicious – two things that usually don’t go hand in hand. I first made them for Andrew’s birthday party the year before last – the Dr. Seuss party. Everyone gobbled them up, and raved about them…so I knew I was onto something very good.

We’ve been making them since. Sometimes I make homemade dinner rolls, and sometimes I pick up a package of King’s Hawaiian rolls at the store and call it a night. Then it’s just a matter of assembling the deli ham and cheese on the buns, then drizzling them in this delicious sauce…that’s hard not to site there and eat with a spoon. Bake in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese, and voila! I usually pair with a simple side like potato salad or sweet potato fries for an easy meal.

For lunch, dinner, or even as a munchie for game day – these sliders are always a winner that is sure to please everyone! 

Easy Black Bean & Cheese Nacos

Well, things are well under way in the back to school front here at our house. Andrew started kindergarten this year, and is gone all day long – not returning home until 3 in the afternoon. Which, is a long day for a kindergartner if you ask me…it was just a half day when I went to school!

At any rate, my little man gets home and is hungry for a snack. And to buy myself some time to get dinner started, I’m always happy to oblige. I usually always have the ingredients for these quick and easy nachos on hand, and the boys always love them. Cheese is something our family can never get enough of – so I use two varieties in these nachos. A cheddar for that cheesy flavor, paired with a Monterey Jack for a nice cheesy gooeyness.  And with the addition of black beans and a good veggie-hearty salsa, it’s a choice you can feel good about. Calcium, protein – two things my little ones need plenty of!

Supporting local dairy farmers is something I’m passionate about. Whether it’s the little independent dairy in my small town, or by looking for the Real Seal logo on dairy products when I’m shopping at the supermarket – I know that I’m supporting American cows, and that makes me smile. I can’t help but love those California cow commercials, can you? Get, get on the floor…

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the good folks at Real Seal, and as always all thoughts are my own.

Bourbon & Brown Sugar Ribs

Ribs. Is there anything more appropriate for a Memorial Day BBQ? There are many schools of thought as far as rib preparation goes. Grilling vs baking. Dry Rub vs Sauce. I like to go all out, and do all of those things! A dry rub for a few hours, then baking in the oven til perfectly tender and ALMOST falling apart. Then a quick grill with a delicious basting BBQ sauce.

The sauce itself is magical. The folks at Musselman’s sent me a big jar of their apple butter to try out – and I used it as the base for the sauce. To be honest, I think the apple butter itself brushed on meats on the grill would be wonderful – it’s the perfect texture and consistency. But, I went ahead and added some other delicious things to it – like bourbon and brown sugar – and it knocked it out of the park!

They’ve offered to send one lucky reader a grilling package to kick-start your summer as well – featuring a jar of their delicious apple butter, a sauce mop, and some delicious recipes! Just leave a comment telling me what your plans are for Memorial Day weekend? My mother-in-law is in town visiting, so we plan on spending some quality family time together – and maybe a night out on the town dancing while Grandma babysits! Contest will run today through next Monday (5/27) at 11:59 PM EST.

Congrats to Shannon C! Her entry (#13) was the winner. I hope you had a wonderful hike on Memorial Day, and have fun firing up your grill this summer!

Disclaimer: I received a grilling package from Musselman’s for my review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Crab Rangoons

On the rare occasion that we visit a Chinese buffet, these little guys are probably my favorite item on the menu. They’re savory, while being slightly sweet – and dunked in a sweet chili sauce? Definitely an appetizer worth throwing the calorie count out the window for!

Then Karole, a friend in our book club, bought these to our monthly meeting. She assembled the wontons in advance, then fried them at the meeting. It was so much fun for all of us girls to be chatting, laughing, and munching in the kitchen together! The book for that month had been “The Joy Luck Club“, and we always have a great time planning our menus around the theme of the book. This one was no exception.

Now, let me broach the subject of the imitation crab (or “krab” as I like to call it). You guys know me…I’m fortunate enough to have some form of fresh, locally-caught seafood available to me at all times. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t touch krab with a 10-foot pole. However, I’ve tried this recipe with hand-picked blue crab before…as I’d assumed it would be better. But sadly, it wasn’t. The fresh crab was just too delicate – absorbed too much grease and fell apart. The krab holds together much better, and it’s what the Chinese restaurants  use – so I’ll go with it. I would like to try it with Opelios (snow crab) or Dungies, though. I think they’d be a happy medium between the two.