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  • Southwest Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing with Avocado

    How to make Southwest Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing with Avocado

    Yield: 6 servings

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes


    For the jalapeno cornbread:

    2 large eggs
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

    For the stuffing:

    1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo (casings removed)
    1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
    1 celery stalk, finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, preferably fire-roasted
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

    For the topping:

    2 fresh Avocados from Mexico, peeled, diced, and divided
    1/4 cup sour cream


    Make the cornbread:

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl beat the eggs then whisk in the buttermilk.

    In a large bowl whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the melted butter and jalapeno peppers.

    Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake until the top is golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan, about 25 minutes. Cool the corn bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning the bread out onto the rack to cool completely. Dice into medium cubes. If time permits, let the diced corn bread sit out for up to a day before making the stuffing.

    Make the stuffing:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a clean 8 by 8-inch baking pan or similarly shaped 2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

    Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the chorizo. Cook, breaking it up, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned and are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the corn kernels and cilantro and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    In a large bowl toss the diced cornbread with the egg and chicken stock. Add the chorizo mixture and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Make ahead: Stuffing can be assembled without the stock and egg 4 hours ahead and kept, loosely covered, at room temperature. Toss in the egg and stock just before baking.

    Bake until heated through and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

    Make the topping:

    Just before the stuffing is done baking, puree 1 diced avocado with the sour cream with a blender, food processor, or immersion blender until very smooth.

    Drizzle the avocado sour cream mixture all over the baked stuffing. Top with the remaining diced avocado and serve immediately.

  • Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

    How to make Cheesy Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

    Yield: 6 to 8 servings

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 45 minutes


    4 strips bacon, diced
    1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons flour
    1 cup whole milk
    2 tablespoons sour cream
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    2 (16 ounce) packages frozen cut green beans, thawed
    1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    1 cup French’s French Fried onions


    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the bacon. Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon is beginning to crisp. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Remove the mixture to a paper towel-lined plate.

    Sprinkle the flour over the bacon drippings and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk then add the sour cream and bacon mixture. Stir until the mixture has thickened to gravy consistency. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste.

    In a large bowl combine the bacon mixture with the green beans, tossing to coat. Spread evenly among a greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan. At this point you can cover and refrigerate the unbaked, untopped casserole for up to 2 days. Top with shredded cheese and fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Adapted from Stepable

  • Video: Layered Zucchini Parmesan

    How to make Video: Layered Zucchini Parmesan

    Yield: 2 to 4 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour


    • 3 large zucchini, sliced into 1/3-inch coins
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
    • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • 1 cup marinara sauce, homemade or bottled
    • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


    1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
    2. Blot the zucchini coins with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place the zucchini in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil, turning to coat each piece. In a separate bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.
    3. Dip each zucchini coin into the Parmesan mixture, turning to coat and pressing the breading slightly to ensure it sticks. Place breaded zucchini coins in one even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned and crisp.
    4. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. Coat the bottom of a small baking dish with the marinara sauce. Layer one third of the crisp zucchini coins over marinara, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle zucchini layer with mozzarella. Repeat the layers 3 times (or until the zucchini is gone, depending on the size of your baking dish) ending with a sprinkling of cheese.
    5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

  • 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

  • Easy Grain Cooking Guide
  • Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread

    How to make Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread

    Yield: 4 servings

    Though I find most ciabatta loaves to be quite large, feel free to use an entire loaf for this recipe.


    1/2 loaf ciabatta bread
    1 (3.5 ounce) package Private Selection Roasted Garlic & Herb Finishing Butter
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Slice the ciabatta bread in half horizontally and spread the butter over the halves. Sprinkle with the parsley, spreading into the butter. Place on a broiler-safe baking sheet, buttered-side up. Bake for 10 minutes.

    Remove from pan and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Adjust oven rack to the highest position and heat the broiler on high. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Watch carefully.

    Remove from oven and let cool for several minutes before slicing. Serve.

  • Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

    How to make Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

    Yield: 12 breadsticks

    When it comes to bread baking weighing your flour will always ensure the best and most consistent results. If you like to bake consider investing in a kitchen scale if you don’t already have one, it makes a big difference!


    For the dough:
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
    1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1 3/4 teaspoons salt
    16 ounces (about 3 1/3 to 3 1/2 cups) bread flour

    For the topping:
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


    In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and butter. Add in the salt. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and begin to gradually add the flour on low speed. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for about 7 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.

    Remove the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Divide the dough into 12 (2 ounce) portions. Roll each piece of dough into a 7-inch log. Place the dough logs on nonstick baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Combine the salt and garlic powder and sprinkle evenly over breadsticks. Serve warm.

  • Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Potato Casserole

    How to make Crowd-Pleasing Sweet Potato Casserole

    Yield: 10 to 12 servings


    For the casserole:
    4 large sweet potatoes
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    For the toppings:
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped (or more, depending on preference)
    1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows


    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and place on a foil or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until they are tender on the inside, about 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Let the potatoes cool slightly then slice open and scoop the flesh into a large bowl, discarding the skins. Mash with a potato masher, being careful not to over-mash. Add the milk, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg and stir until just combined.

    In a small bowl combine the flour and butter, cutting the butter into the flour with the back of a fork. Add the brown sugar and pecans and stir until combined.

    Spread the potato mixture into a 13 by 9-inch or similarly sized baking dish. Sprinkle the pecan mixture in diagonal rows over the sweet potatoes, leaving a 1 1/2-inch gap between rows. Bake at 350°F oven until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and gently place the marshmallows between the rows of the pecan mixture. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the marshmallows are just golden brown. Serve.

    Adapted from an older post

  • Ultimate Dinner Rolls

    How to make Ultimate Dinner Rolls

    Yield: 15 rolls


    1/4 cup lukewarm water
    1 cup warm milk (100 – 110°F)
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
    2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
    2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
    4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) bread flour


    Combine the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter, eggs, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 2 cups of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a rough, shaggy mass. Attach the dough hook to the mixer, turn to medium-low speed, and gradually add the remaining flour, kneading until a mass of dough begins to forms. Continue kneading on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes until a soft, smooth ball of dough is formed. The dough should feel elastic and slightly tacky to the touch.

    Lightly spray a large clean bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature or until the dough is big, puffy, and about doubled in size.

    Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Gently deflate the dough. Use a bench scraper, knife, or pizza wheel to divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes, or until about doubled in size.

    Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Store leftovers in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

    Recipe by Tessa of Handle the Heat

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