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  • Loaded Leftover Mashed Potato Balls

    How to make Loaded Leftover Mashed Potato Balls

    Yield: about 24 balls

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    You may need to adjust the ingredients depending on the consistency of your leftover mashed potatoes. If the mixture looks too dry and isn’t holding together, add one more egg. If it looks too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it comes together.


    3 cups chilled leftover mashed potatoes
    2 tablespoons chopped green onions
    2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    4 strips crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled into 1/2-inch pieces (you can also use cubes of leftover ham!)
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten and divided
    3 tablespoons flour
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
    Salt, for sprinkling
    Sour cream, for serving


    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    In a large bowl, stir together the mashed potatoes, green onion, cheese, bacon, 1 egg, flour, pepper, and garlic powder until combined.

    Roll into balls roughly 1 1/2-inches in size. Place the beaten egg in a shallow pan. Place the panko in a shallow pan. Dip each potato ball in the egg then cover completely in bread crumbs. Place on a greased baking sheet and spray briefly with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.

    Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until crisp on the outside. It may not brown very much but will still get crispy.

    Serve alongside sour cream garnished with additional chopped green onions.

  • How to make Empanadas

    Yield: about 20 empanadas

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours


    For the dough:

    1 cup water
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
    2 teaspoons fine salt
    Pinch paprika
    2 3/4 cups (12.4 ounces) flour

    For the beef filling:

    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 small yellow onion, peeled and minced
    1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 pound ground beef (85-90% lean)
    Kosher salt, to taste
    1 small russet potato, peeled, finely diced, and boiled
    3 scallions, trimmed and chopped (optional)
    1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (optional)


    For the dough:

    Heat the water and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Add in the salt, paprika, and flour. Remove from heat and stir with a wooden spoon until a wet and oily dough comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    For the filling:

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, bell peppers, paprika, red pepper flakes, white pepper, and cumin until onions are soft. Add the beef, season to taste with salt, and cook until the beef is browned. Drain off the fat. Add in the potatoes and scallions, if using.

    Preheat the oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

    On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out 5-inch circles. Roll each circle slightly to further flatten before placing about 2 tablespoons of filling on each circle. Sprinkle lightly with cheese, if using. Fold over the dough and press the edges firmly to seal. Crimp with the back of a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

  • Mini Calzones

    How to make Mini Calzones

    Yield: 8 calzones

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes


    1 (16 ounce) ball pizza dough, homemade or store bought
    6 ounces (about 6 slices) provolone, cut into small squares
    3 ounces salami, cut into small squares
    2/3 cup ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk
    ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    Ground black pepper, to taste
    1 large egg
    Marinara sauce, warmed, for serving


    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    For the dough:

    Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let stand while you make the filling.

    For the filling:

    In a medium bowl combine the provolone, salami, ricotta, Italian seasoning, pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste until combined.

    To assemble:

    In a small bowl beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water.

    Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, press the ball into a flat disk then use a rolling pin to roll it into a 6-inch round with an 1/8-inch thickness. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture on one half of the round then fold over to form a half moon shape, pressing the edge to seal. Crimp the edge with a fork and place back on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash before repeating with the remaining dough.

    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve alongside warm marinara sauce for dipping.

    To make ahead:

    Allow the baked calzones to cool completely then tightly wrap each individually in plastic wrap. Transfer to a plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. To bake from frozen, place on a baking sheet in a 400°F for about 30 minutes, or until heated through.

  • Honey Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings

    How to make Honey Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings

    Yield: 4 main servings

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Chicken wing sizes vary greatly so you may need to decrease or increase the cooking time depending on the size of your wings.


    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup honey
    2 teaspoons Sriracha
    1/2 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
    3 to 4 pounds chicken wing pieces
    1 1/2 cups Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste & Glaze, or additional Marinade & Sauce
    Sesame seeds, for garnish


    In a small bowl combine the garlic, honey, Sriracha, and Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce. Pour over the chicken wings and place in a sealable container. Marinate in the fridge for 4 hours, or overnight.

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place the wings in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, discarding excess marinade. Bake until cooked through, about 50 minutes, turning the wings halfway through.

    Remove the wings to a large bowl and pour the Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste & Glaze over. Toss and place on a serving platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

  • Sangria Shrimp Skewers

    How to make Sangria Shrimp Skewers

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 16 minutes


    1 cup red wine
    1 orange, zested and juiced
    1 lime, zested and juiced
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 pounds extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on


    In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the wine, orange zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, cayenne pepper, and honey. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid by half, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water until dissolved. Whisk into the wine mixture then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool.

    Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat.

    Thread the shrimp evenly among grilling skewers. If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak in water for at least 1 hour before grilling. Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Brush the shrimp all over with the sangria glaze, reserving the remaining glaze. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until the shrimp are firm and opaque in the center. Brush with additional glaze before serving.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Garlic Bread

    How to make Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Garlic Bread

    Yield: about 10 servings

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    I like to make caramelized onions in the slow cooker: place 4 to 5 large onions, sliced, in a slow cooker with 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook on LOW for 10 hours. Refrigerate or freeze the onions.


    1 (16 ounce) French baguette, halved lengthwise

    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    4 cloves garlic, peeled

    1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

    8 ounces fresh goat cheese

    1 cup caramelized onion

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the butter, garlic, parsley, cheese, and onion until mostly smooth. Spread the butter mixture evenly over each half of bread. Place on a large baking sheet and baking for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes before slicing and serving.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • Soft Pretzel Bites

    How to make Soft Pretzel Bites

    Yield: about 7 dozen bites

    Prep Time: 25 min

    Cook: 1 hour 55 min


    For the pretzels:
    1 1/2 cups warm water
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast
    3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
    2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    4 1/2 to 5 cups (562.5 to 625 grams) all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup baking soda
    1 whole egg
    Coarse sea salt

    Cinnamon Sugar:
    2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melte
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

    For the cheese sauce:
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 cup whole milk
    8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


    For the pretzels:
    Combine the water, honey, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the dough hook and add the salt then gradually add the flour on low speed. Knead on medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough appears very wet and sticky, add up to a 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Make ahead: the pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen in an airtight container for three months. Thaw frozen dough in the fridge overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time for the pretzels to puff up before dipping and baking.

    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

    Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope 22 inches long. Cut the rope into 1 to 2-inch pieces to make bites. Cover the dough while bringing 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large shallow pot. Gradually add the baking soda.

    Boil the pretzel bites in the baking soda water in batches of 15, for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the bites aren’t touching.

    In a small bowl beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of the bites with the egg wash. If making savory bites, sprinkle generously with the sea salt. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Make ahead: allow bites to cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat from frozen in a 250°F oven until warmed.

    If making sweet bites with cinnamon sugar, brush all over with the melted butter before sprinkling with cinnamon sugar. Toss to coat. If making savory bites, let cool for 5 minutes before serving with the cheese sauce.

    For the cheese sauce:
    While making the pretzels, begin the cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for one minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

  • Ultimate Guacamole

    How to make Ultimate Guacamole

    Yield: 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes


    4 strips bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
    1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
    3 Hass avocados
    1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Tortilla chips, for serving


    Cut each avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh out into a medium bowl. Mash with a fork until desired consistency. Add in half the bacon and half the goat cheese, reserving the rest for garnish. Add in the chives, cilantro, jalapeno, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the remaining bacon and goat cheese. Serve immediately with chips.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • Skinny Feta Dip

    How to make Skinny Feta Dip

    Yield: 2 1/2 cups

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes


    1 cup 1% lowfat cottage cheese
    1/4 cup boiling water
    1 cup lowfat sour cream
    1 cup feta cheese (4 ounces)
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 garlic clove, peeled
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


    In the work bowl of a food processor, process the cottage cheese and water for 30 seconds, until smooth. Add the sour cream, feta, oil, lemon juice, garlic clove, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and process for 30 seconds, until combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the parsley. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, so the flavors can blend together. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary before serving. The dip can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Season with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste before serving.

    From The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

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