Cheesy Pepperoni Roll-Ups

I have become addicted to Pinterest in the last six months. It happened somewhere between wanting to make inspiration boards for clothes and needing ideas for the dorm room. Nonetheless, I am addicted. I was sucked in like a bunch of other people, and now I spend as much time (if not more) on Pinterest than Facebook and Twitter… Which is saying something.

This Pinterest addictions isn’t good because I have about 8 different food boards on my personal account, and even more on the account for the blog (while I’m talking about it, go check it out here!); which leads me to constantly thinking about food. But If I want to take this whole blogging thing to the next level, I need to commit more time and effort to thinking about dishes to try. So that’s my excuse for a Pinterest addiction.

I really am finding good recipes from Pinterest, and sometimes there are recipe trends, and sometimes I’ll hop on board with the trends. But sometimes I’ll adapt two or three versions of the trend recipes and make my own.

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Such is the case with the “Garlic Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups with Herbs and Parmesan and Sometimes Other Things too.” If you have browsed Pinterest at all during the last month you probably saw one of these recipes. I did too! And so here I am posting about how I made my version, and why it’s the best of all of the variations on the web.

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What you need:

1 tube of crescent rolls

4 mozzarella cheese sticks halved (we like Italia brand, it’s mozzarella string cheese but tastes like real mozzarella)

1 package of pepperoni

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

parmesan to taste

oregano to taste

To start, open the tube of crescent rolls carefully (but really, don’t hurt yourself). Separate the eight, and lay them them out facing the same direction.

Place the halved cheese sticks at the wide end of each crescent roll.

Lay a layer of pepperoni on each crescent, leaving an inch and a half at the narrow end of each. This will take about five or six pieces of pepperoni for each roll-up, depending on the size of the pepperoni.

Roll the crescents up, starting at the side with the cheese, and making sure at the narrow side to seal the ends.

Put the roll-ups on a baking sheet, don’t worry about greasing it.

Met the butter in the microwave, add the garlic and a sprinkle of oregano. Top each roll-up with this delicious mixture. Sprinkle each with grated parmesan.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a couple of minutes and serve with pizza sauce or ranch or whatever your heart desires.

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These are so easy to make, I’m going to have to keep them in mind once I’m back at school. I normally have string cheese in my fridge, and crescent rolls are easy to buy at any grocery store. They aren’t microwavable, but they can be done in the community kitchen in a dorm rather easily.

Bruschetta

When the time comes to admit that eat way too many carbs, you can be sad, but that time is not today. I don’t mean to make light of the situation that you may encounter with the negatives of high glycemic index foods, but it’s okay to eat bread once in a while.

This is the best way to do it other than eating it straight off the loaf._MG_7246

Bruschetta is the bomb. There are a bunch of different views on what’s the “right way” of making it, but my opinion is that the right way is the way that makes you happy and you are comfortable with. Some like garlic, some don’t (if that’s your stance, I’m sorry but your opinion is wrong), some think that you should have some balsamic reduction with it, and some people think that you should construct it before you serve it while others believe that you should let those that are eating it pile the tomatoes at their own discretion. If you want to see just how different people do things, google bruschetta and see all the variations, from Alton Brown to Ree Drummond and many others in between.

Personally I just like bread and garlic but if there are tomatoes, basil, or balsamic on there too, I’m just that much more excited. So here’s how it went down on Wednesday. (By the way, it was really nice outside and I was able to get some good pictures with natural light because of this, too bad that it went downhill from there, I mean there’s snow around the state!)

To start, I minced up some fresh garlic and threw it in a bowl. Then I diced up some pretty little roma tomatoes, and threw them into the bowl as well. I ground some black pepper (not too much) straight in there too and sprinkled some grated parmesan to give it a little something special. Then I mixed it all together and let it sit while I toasted up some bread. However you toast bread, do it that way, in the oven, in a buttered skillet, under the broiler, in your toaster oven, on the grill, WHATEVER! I did it in the oven at 375 and kept my eyes on it to ensure that burning did not happen.

Once the bread is toasted to your liking, let it cool for a few moments and then get ready to top.

Since I did not have any basil in the tomatoes, I used pesto and got basil flavor there. If you are familiar with making pesto you can use your own, if not, you can but a jar from the grocery store and use that. We haven’t made pesto (I promise that I will, also humus because humus is beautiful) so we use stuff from a jar.

Spread some of the pesto onto each piece of bread then top it with the tomatoes and stuff. Serve to hungry parents, children, or even friends. They’ll like it, I promise._MG_7241

One thing to be mindful of though, is that the garlic that ends up in the tomato mixture is raw, so make sure that it’s cut small enough or if you are really scared of the garlic monster, saute it just a bit before you put it in with the tomatoes (obviously you should let it cool so that you don’t end up cooking the tomatoes too). Another option would be to roast some garlic and mush it up and mix that into the tomatoes, it will give it a nice sweet flavor, but it would still be fantastic.

I really want to eat more of it right now, but school is in the way of that.

Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread

Nothing better than a boatload of cheese on a garlicky hunk of bread for watching the big game, right?  RIGHT! It turned out looking like a football, too, so that’s pretty funny (if I may say so myself)._MG_6898 We were looking for things to make, that were pretty unhealthy and good food to eat while watching others burn calories and we found this recipe. I became excited about it quickly and once all the ingredients were assembled I had a hard time waiting to start. You will need several green onions, a couple cloves of garlic, some butter, some cheese (shredded or off the block), and the  loaf, of course._MG_6872

To start, chop op the green onion and mince the garlic. Set aside and take the time now to preheat the oven to 400._MG_6887

Now cut the bread into a grid system, they don’t have to be perfect squares, but they should be pieces that are easy to handle in one or two bites. Probably about half an inch thick should be good._MG_6890

Now melt that butter (about a quarter cup) and mix the onions and garlic into it._MG_6892

And pout this delicious mixture between the slices of the bread, evenly distributing it, making sure that you don’t leave too many hunks in one section, you should push them down into it farther, like a deep pit of flavor._MG_6893

You’ll wrap this baby up in that foil it’s sitting on and pop it into the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Once that time is passed, pop it out and get ready to stuff it with cheese._MG_6888_MG_6894

Now pop it back into the oven, uncovered, for about twenty minutes, enough to melt the cheese and crisp up whatever bread is still exposed._MG_6899

It should look supper yummy and smell fantastic. It will be gooey and pull apart all stringy-like.

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It will be hard to control yourself, but that’s okay, Lent is around the corner, you have time to heal.

I used a sourdough loaf for it, and those flavors turned out pretty good. You can use Italian or whatever and some other cheeses than cheddar and jack. Also, you can do peppers and spices in place of the onion and garlic, and turn it into some sort of taco pull-apart bread. The idea is actually pretty versatile.

I hope you enjoy it, it’s pretty simple, pretty yummy, and pretty cute. Enjoy (in moderation).

Potato Glory

Since Christmas I feel like I have been in a little less motivated about trying new things. I mean, it’s just not happening.

I ended up with a brand-spanking-new cast iron skillet for my birthday, so I’m trying to use that for stuff, so that’s exciting and I made some yummy corn bread, but it’s not that special or different. I have found a way to incorporate it into these babies, though.

Obviously bacon is a gift from God (well, so is everything else, but this gift is a special one), and goes well with most everything, especially potatoes. So arm yourself with some crumbled bacon, no bacon bits, but the real stuff._MG_6842

Along with the classic, we’ll get a little grown-up, progressive, adventurous or whatever you want to call it. We’re making some potato skins with sweet potatoes!!

Arm yourself with as many potatoes as you would like, each potato will make two skins (come on kids, you can do simple math). Wash and trim them (take out the eyes and other weird stuff that’s kind of creepy looking) and dry them. Next, you’ll want to rub the outside of each one with some canola or olive oil (either works) and salt the white potatoes with sea salt. Place them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven at 375 and let them bake for an hour, the skins should get crispy and the insides should get tender.IMG_6833

Once they are done, you can let them cool and slice them in half._MG_6848_MG_6849Scoop out the innards and let them cool the rest of the way.Then you can brush the inside with oil and pop them back in the oven for a little bit longer, they will get even more crispy, about 20 minutes. (Your sweet potatoes will bee a little weak, and may collapse.)_MG_6851

Pull them out and let them cool just a little bit, then you can top them. For the sweet potatoes you can do some brown sugar, cinnamon  chopped pecans, _MG_6854and marshmallows!!_MG_6847

For the white potatoes  top them with some cheddar cheese,_MG_6850 and some bacon. Then throw all of the potato skins under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the marshmallows get some nice color.

_MG_6855_MG_6863_MG_6864_MG_6859Serve the white potatoes with some sour cream and enjoy yourself.

This is a good party food, for maybe football or basketball watching. IF you have the time before hand to prep everything, people will love them.

Party Foods

I have a birthday tomorrow, so I had two of my friends come over last night and we  ate some food that I made and watched the Princess Bride (oh what a good movie, sword fighting and love all in one, nothing better). I made a ton of food for only three people, but I liked how must of it turned out so I’m okay with the leftovers. I’m going to sort of gloss over everything because I didn’t take a ton of picture, I was just trying to get everything cooked on time.

To “start” I made these really cute spinach balls. I cut this recipe in half, and I substituted feta for parm, because I love feta with spinach. I used a cookie scoop to get them all about the same size, then I used my hands to get them into a ball.

I also had my first run-in with frozen spinach, it was weird to defrost it, and it smelled bad until I stopped heating it, but it worked well because it was already chopped and stuff. I really really like these. I don’t know that everyone that had them liked them, but it wasn’t an issue about them being bad, it was because they didn’t like spinach or onion (it happens, we are entitled to our flavor preferences)._MG_6827

I also made pretzels for the first time ever!

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They turned out pretty well. I followed this recipe, but I did kind of burn the bottoms, so next time (oh yes, there will be a next time) I’ll be more careful or something.

I did a couple sizes, and even did some braids. I’m thinking about going into the German Bakery System (please tell me that this exists) once I graduate.

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To go with these guys, I made some “beer” cheese. I followed this recipe, but used ginger ale instead of beer, I should have done ginger beer or something that was less sweet. I will be surely finding a different beer cheese recipe for when I make the pretzels again, but next time I’m also going to be investing in some good mustard research.

That’s the stuff that I’m really proud of, or excited about or whatnot. I also tried to do the corn dog bites that keep showing up on Pintrest and Facebook  But they stuck in the pan, so they weren’t pretty. I swear, I greased the pan, but whatever. They still tasted good, but that happens even if things are ugly.

I also made strawberry cupcakes. They were box mix, and I used the store-bought frosting. I was lazy, but they were delicious  I did both chocolate and strawberry. Oh man, I have to retain my self from going and eating on now.

That was about it. The movie was good, the friends were good, and the food was most defiantly good. Enjoy your week, eat some good food, try something new.

Spam Fries

Go have a V8 or something, then come back. Just reading his will cause health problems for you. I have been into trying things with Spam after I ended up with a couple cans from a holiday party. I don’t know why they thought it would be awesome to bring Spam as a gift, all of the others were better, even the reindeer that pooped out jelly beans would have been better (probably because I love me some jelly beans).

Despite the Spam being forced upon me, I thought it would be a good chance to try something really strange for a blog post. This is crazy, that much is true, but it’s also a whole lot of fun. So just deal, and then try it out yourself.

Last weekend, I played around a little bit, and came up with this. I should remind you that these aren’t really snacks, and should be hardly enjoyed.

I used half a block of Spam, so if you do this, you’ll have twice as much I did.

To start, you need to heat up a small pan to medium/ medium low heat. Then you want to trim the edges of your Spam block, it’s rounded like the can, so slicing the edges will help to make the fries relatively similar in size and shape. UNIFORMITY RULES!_MG_6761

Next you need to cut your meat block into several quarter inch thick slices. After you do that, you can stack them back together and it doesn’t even look like you cut them._MG_6764_MG_6765

Stack the slices, and slice them into quarter inch thick sticks. You can keep the “fries” the length of the can, or you can cut them in half here if that floats you boat.Spam_Sticks

Now you toss the fries in the pan, no need for any oil or anything._MG_6776

Let them get nice and crispy on the side that’s down before you turn them. You will just have to watch them because I forgot to try to time it.

Once each side has gotten crispy, you can pull them out and put them on a plate lined with a paper towel._MG_6782

If you want to eat them, you can mix up some Sriracha mayo and use that for dipping. Or anything else that would go well with the saltiest thing you have eaten all year, like honey mustard (mix some up, don’t buy it, I’m sure you have honey and mustard). I also tried another dip, but it was gross, I can’t even tell you about it._MG_6786

Don’t eat these, unless you really need a boatload of salt. Even then, just drink salt water, it would be easier to swallow. I’m not kidding you, I son’t enjoy Spam in this fashion, it’s probably better in something, rather than on its own. I can almost garuntee that you will see more Spam in the future, I have another whole can I haven’t touched yet…