Breakfast Queso Fundido

Breakfast Queso Fundido

While I was looking into queso fundido for my chorizo queso fundido I came across an idea that nearly floored me, a breakfast queso fundido! Yes, that's right, a hot melted cheese dip for breakfast! I hardly needed an excuse to make it! What makes this a breakfast queso fundido is that it is full of chorizo sausage and scrambled eggs which would make for a great breakfast all by themselves let alone in a hot melted cheese dip! In addition to the chorizo, scrambled eggs and cheese this queso fundido is filled out with some onions, garlic, tomato and a jalapeno for some extra heat! I have to admit that I was a little bit concerned about how scrambled eggs would work in a dip like this but they were a natural fit and they made for one amazingly tasty breakfast! This breakfast queso fundido would be the perfect way to start off the big game day right!

Let them have hot melted cheese dip for breakfast!

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Dip

Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Dip

I have really been into cauliflower lately and in particular I have been enjoying a lot of bowls of the roasted cauliflower and aged white cheddar soup which have been keeping me warm on these cold winter days. With the big game coming up I have had snacks on my mind a lot and one of my favourite snacks for for any kind of party has to be hot melted cheese dips like the spinach and artichoke dip. The other day while I was enjoying a bowl of the roasted cauliflower and aged white cheddar soup I was thinking about dips and I had a crazy idea, why not combine the two ideas and make a hot melted cheesy cauliflower dip? The recipe for the dip is pretty easy, you just need to roast the cauliflower, puree it, mix in the cheese and then bake it until the cheese is all melted, bubbling and golden brown. I have to say that this dip is another reason to love cauliflower!

Spinach and Artichoke Hummus

Spinach and Artichoke Hummus
I am really into serving hot cheesy dips at parties and the classic, hot spinach and artichoke dip, is one of my goto recipes and with good reason! But, what if you are craving for that hot spinach and artichoke dip but want something a little lighter? How about a spinach and artichoke hummus with all of the flavours of original with none of the regret? Hummus is nice and smooth and creamy and a great replacement for the cheese base of the original dip and it is much healthier to boot! I do like to add a touch of parmesan or asiago to pack in even more flavour and some umami kick but it is completely optional and it can easily be omitted for a vegan version. This spinach and artichoke hummus is a perfect option for your game day party if you are looking for something lighter or looking for something vegetarian or vegan without sacrificing anything in the way of flavour!

Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower

Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower
If you are a fan of buffalo chicken wings and you like cauliflower then you just have to try this buffalo roasted cauliflower! Roasted cauliflower has to be one of the most addictive healthy snacks around and it only gets better when coated in buffalo hot sauce! This spicy treat would be a perfect option for a lighter and healthier snack for your party for the big game! Not only does it taste great but it is as easy to make as roasting the cauliflower and tossing it in the buffalo hot sauce so you can be licking your fingers clean in as little as 30 minutes! Just like buffalo chicken wing, this buffalo roasted cauliflower goes great with a tangy blue cheese sauce for dipping and some crunchy celery sticks to help tame the heat!

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Loaded Baked Potato Dip
With the big game coming, I have been testing out some new recipes for the party and not surprisingly one of the first on my list is a cheese dip! I came across the recipe for this loaded baked potato dip on Brown Eyed Baker a while ago and I have been wanting to make it ever since! I mead what is not to like? This dip has all of the ingredients of a loaded baked potato including sour cream, cheese, bacon and green onions and I certainly could not pass up on a loaded baked potato! Of course the one thing that this dip is missing is the potato which is provided in the form of crispy chips for dipping and the combination of the dip and the potato chips is quite amazing! This dip is sure to be a star at my game day party!

Pad Thai Soup

Pad Thai Soup
I am a totally addicted to Pad Thai, a super tasty stir-fried noodle dish, so when I came across the idea of a pad Thai soup on Domestic Fits I just had to make my own! At its base pad Thai contains rice, noodles that are stir-fried with an egg, meat commonly shrimp and/or chicken and bean sprouts and it is garnished with cilantro, peanuts, green onions and lime juice. Pad Thai gets it flavour from a tasty sauce that is made with tamarind, fish sauce, sugar and chilies creating an amazing balance of sour, salty, sweet and spicy! With these things in mind I started the soup off with chicken broth that I simmered with the shrimps shells to impart their flavour to it. I then added all of the ingredients from the pad Thai sauce, the tamarind, fish sauce, sugar and chilies, to form a tasty broth for the soup. Next up I added some shiitake mushrooms which are also good in pad Thai along with the noodles and bean sprouts to fill out the soup. That left the egg which is great in fried rice or fried noodle dishes like pad Thai and since I love the texture that an egg adds to egg drop soup I decided to add the egg in that fashion. With the soup done, all that was left was to garnish it with cilantro, peanuts, chilies, lime juice and optionally some fried shallots and enjoy it!

Easy Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings

Easy Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings
As I was going through my recipes for the Game Day Party Food roundup I noticed that I have a lot of buffalo chicken recipes, which is not too surprising given that I am totally addicted, but what I realized was that I did not have a recipe for the dish that inspired them all, buffalo chicken wings! (See below the recipe for all of my buffalo chicken recipes!) In fact, I had never cooked wings at home before and I did't really know why; it just never occurred to me to try. Upon realizing that, I knew that I would have to rectify the problem and that I would have to get to making some buffalo chicken wings!

25 Game Day Recipes

25 Decadent Game Day Party Recipes

The football playoffs are almost upon us and that means that it is time to start planning your snacking menu! Whether you are throwing party at home in front of the big screen or heading out to a tailgating party you are going to need some tasty snacks! With that in mind I have gathered some of my favourite football munchies recipes and they include everything from decadent dips to chicken wings, chilies, grilled meat, jalapeno poppers, potato skins and grilled cheese sandwiches! No matter which of these recipes you make, they are all sure to keep you satisfied while watching the big game!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

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It has been far too long since I last made a hot cheesy dip and I was getting cravings. With the long holiday weekend coming up it was the perfect time for a trial run of a new dip and I had just the idea, a buffalo chicken wing dip. The idea was to incorporate all of the flavours from your standard chicken wing pub fare into a hot cheesy dip. I started with your standard cheese dip ingredients including cream cheese and mayonnaise, though I cut back on the mayo by replacing a lot of it with sour cream. Next up was some chicken and hot sauce for the main flavours of the chicken wings followed by some blue cheese as wings are often served with a blue cheese dip. I finished the dip off with some cheddar cheese to give the dip a nice melted cheesy topping. The only decision left was what to serve with the dip for dipping and the obvious answer was the celery and carrot sticks that are commonly served with chicken wings. (Chips and crackers work as well!)

This buffalo chicken wing dip is so addictively good! Melted cheese along with chicken, hot sauce and the zing of the blue cheese is such an amazing combination of flavours! Even with the carrots and the celery sticks, this dip is not the healthiest snack around but it is ok to indulge every once in a while. It would probably be ok to go with light cream cheese and sour cream if you prefer.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup has to be the definition of comfort food, especially on a cold winter day and it is super easy to make at home from scratch! A flavourful homemade chicken broth or chicken stock is essential for a tasty chicken noodle soup and both are easy to make! Once you have your chicken broth or stock ready chicken noodle soup does not take too long to make where you are just cooking the vegetables followed by adding the broth or stock, chicken, seasoning and finally the noodles. At this point you have a pretty tasty chicken noodle soup but I like to add a few extras to make it even tastier! A while ago I figured out that you can enhance a chicken broth or stock by adding a parmesan rind while it simmers and why not do the same for chicken noodle soup? Since the chicken noodle soup is not simmering for a long time to bring the flavour out of the rind, I like to add some finely grated parmesan to the soup and let it melt in and disappear. I am a big fan of miso soup and I have found that miso works very well in a lot of soups including chicken noodle soup! Finally, I like to hit the chicken noodle soup with a splash of lemon brighten it up and add some freshness.

Easy Homemade Chicken Broth

Chicken Broth
At the base of any great soup is a broth and although store bought broth is convenient, a homemade broth will have more flavour and it is super easy to make! Chicken broth is probably going to be your work horse broth and it is a simple to make as simmering a chicken along with some vegetables, herbs and spices. Homemade chicken broth really only requires about 5 minutes of effort to throw everything into the pot and then 5 minutes to collect the meat from the chicken at the end so there is no excuse not to make your own!

One of the things that I like about making chicken broth is the reduction in waste! Instead of throwing out those celery or carrot ends, toss them into the freezer until the next time that you make broth. I always seem to have leftovers when I buy fresh herbs and instead of throwing them out I now save them for the next time that I make broth! After the broth has been made you have a chicken carcass that can be saved to make chicken stock getting even more use from your chicken!

Another great benefit of making your own chicken broth is that you control exactly what goes into it so there is no worrying about salt content or unpronounceable ingredients.

Sweet Chili Chicken Salad

Sweet Chili Chicken Salad
Armed with my shiny new sweet chili dressing it was time to use it and it only seemed natural to use it in a chicken salad since the idea came when I was enjoying a chicken satay salad in spicy peanut dressing. I decided to go with a lettuce base for this salad and then I filled it out with some ingredients that I commonly use in Thai style dishes including bean sprouts, carrots, red peppers and cucumbers. Next up is the chicken and to make things easy I used shredded chicken so you can use any leftover chicken that you may have. The salad is then garnished with chopped peanuts, sliced chilies and some fresh herbs including one or more of the following: cilantro, mint and Thai basil. I have to say that the resulting salad has to one of the best that I have had in a while! It is so fresh, juicy, crunchy and full of flavour provided by the amazing sweet chili dressing! One thing that I noticed is that the dressing clings to the chicken nicely ensuring that the chicken in nice and moist and very tasty!

Thai Sweet Chili Dressing

Thai Sweet Chili Dressing

I am a big fan of Thai cuisine which is full of amazing flavours and dishes and two things that I am more than a little obsessed with are the spicy peanut sauce, typically used as a dipping sauce for satay, and sweet chili sauce. Having experimented with using them in many different ways I have noticed that very often where one works, the other also works! The other day I made my chicken satay salad with spicy peanut dressing and that reminded me that I had been wanting to try a sweet chili sauce dressing and that it was finally time to make it! For the recipe I started with the sweet chili sauce which is a little thick for a salad dressing so I added some coconut milk which is a common Thai ingredient and it worked well in the spicy peanut dressing. Another thing that I like about Thai cuisine is that the recipes commonly try to balance the sweet, spicy, salty and sour flavour elements and so it only seemed natural to do so in the dressing so the next ingredients were fish sauce for saltiness and lime juice for sourness. The last aspect of the dressing, a bit of peanut butter, came from a sticky chicken wing recipe on how sweet it is and you can't go wrong adding peanuts to a Thai inspired recipe. The final result is pretty amazing and I cannot wait to try it out on something!

Baked Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Cakes with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Cakes with Creamy Avocado Sauce
Ever since I discovered quinoa cakes I have been dreaming up different flavour combinations for them! A quinoa cake or fritter is pretty much what it sounds like, a mixture of quinoa with a binder such as an egg and breadcrumbs that is formed into cakes or patties and then fried until crispy. One of the great things about cakes like this is that in addition to the main ingredient you can add pretty much whatever you want for flavour! I am a big fan of the spicy and smoky chipotle, sweet potato and creamy black bean combo and I am more than a little surprised that it took me this long to throw them into some quinoa cakes!

This quinoa cake recipe is pretty simple and in addition to the sweet potato, black beans, quinoa and chipotle chili powder I added some cumin, garlic, green onions and cilantro for flavour and freshness. I decided to go with raw, grated sweet potatoes, though am sure that a recipe with mashed would work as well. One problem that I did have with the recipe was that with a full can of black beans it ended up making more than the 4 servings that I normally like to target, but extra leftover quinoa cakes are certainly a lot better than leftover black beans! In keeping with the eating healthier mantra I decided to bake the quinoa cakes rather than frying them and it worked out well! The baked quinoa cakes did not have as crispy of an outside but this insides were so light, moist and fluffy and good! I will definitely be baking quinoa fritters again tin the future!

While I was contemplating the recipe I remembered that cool and creamy avocado goes amazingly well with the chipotle, sweet potato and black bean combo and I immediately knew that me favourite creamy avocado sauce would be the perfect topping for the cakes! I served the chipotle sweet potato and black bean quinoa cakes with creamy avocado sauce on a bed of sauteed swiss chard and it made for a fabulous light, healthy and tasty meal! I do have one confession, I could not stop there and I just had to top everything off with...

Pasta e Fagioli Soup (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)

Pasta e Fagioli Soup (Italian Bean and Pasta Soup)
I have totally been into soups lately making one or two soups per week and this only seems appropriate with the chilly weather that we have been having! With the release of my new eCookbook, Tasty Soups, I could not resist teasing you with sharing one of the new soups with you! This pasta e fagioli (aka pasta fazool) is an Italian pasta and bean soup that is so full of flavour and hearty enough to get you through even the coldest days. There are many different versions of this soup and although many are meatless I like to bulk mine out a little and add flavour with the addition of Italian sausage. When I make a soup I am always looking for ways to add more flavour and one good trick that I learned a while ago is that adding parmesan (aka parmigiano reggiano) rinds to a soup like this or even when making chicken stock adds umami flavour! This soup is pretty straight forward to make but it does take some so it can be a good idea to double the recipe to ensure leftover for quick lunches during the week and besides this is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day!

Tasty Soups eCookbook

Tasty Soups eCookbook

I am pleased to announce the release my next eBook cookbook: Tasty Soups!

Soup season is here and to help ensure that you do not run out of soup this winter I have created the Tasty Soups eBook cookbook! This new cookbook is filled with 25 of the tastiest soup recipes to come out of my closet sized kitchen all with full colour photos. Some of the recipes are favourites that have appeared on Closet Cooking before and others are completely new. Each of the 25 soups are addictively good and they are sure to get you through the cold winter days with a smile on your face!

Get the Tasty Soups eCookbook Now!

KindleiBooksnookPDFSoftcover
KindleiBooksnookPDFSoftcover

Spicy Peanut Chicken Tacos

Spicy Peanut Chicken Tacos
I am kind of obsessed with tacos and I am always experimenting with different ingredients in them so when I made the slow cooker shredded spicy peanut chicken for the spicy peanut chicken rice bowls I naturally though about using it in tacos. One of the great things about tacos is how flexible they are! At their base they are of course tortillas filled with things and I sometimes like to think of them as having a main ingredient such as a meat with one or more accompanying ingredients that are there complement and contrast the main filling. Up next is a salsa or a sauce and finally some herbs and maybe a splash of lime juice to finish things off. With the meat having already been chosen for these tacos as the slow cooker shredded spicy peanut chicken and the 'salsa' as the spicy peanut sauce that left the other accompanying ingredients. I was sure that creamy avocados would go perfectly with the spicy peanut sauce and chicken and that some sweet and tangy onions would complement them all nicely. These tacos would not be complete with some Thai inspired herbs including cilantro, basil and mint and a garnish of chopped peanuts and some extra heat from some birds eye chili were a must.

Spicy Peanut Chicken Rice Bowl

Spicy Peanut Chicken Rice Bowl
A while ago I made some sweet chili chicken rice bowls and they got me thinking that spicy peanut chicken rice bowls would also be really tasty! I wanted to keep things relatively simple so I braised the chicken in some of my favourite Thai spicy peanut sauce all day and shredded it before using it in the rice bowl along with the sauce that it was cooked in. The rest of the rice bowls consist of cooked rice, a fried egg, steamed spinach, fresh herbs and crispy fried shallots making for a light and tasty meal in a bowl that is just packed with flavour. If you have a rice cooker you can make things easier by setting it to have the rice cooked when the chicken is done and then all that is left is frying the eggs and steaming the spinach.

Tip: Make a double batch of the spicy peanut sauce and cook some extra chicken for use in some tasty spicy peanut chicken quesadillas

Skinny Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken Saltimbocca
With January here I have been thinking about ways to eat lighter but of course I am not willing to sacrifice anything in the way of flavour! When contemplating dishes that are full of flavour one of the first that comes to mind is saltimbocca, an Italian dish where meat is topped with sage and prosciutto, which is just packed full of flavour! Although saltimbocca is typically made with veal the chicken version is also really good and it is so simple to make that you can easily do it on a week night! This dish is as easy to make as cooking the chicken until both the sage and prosciutto is nice and crispy and then making a quick lemon pan sauce which adds even more flavour and capers are sometimes added to the sauce. If you are looking for a way to eat a bit lighter without sacrificing any flavour, this chicken saltimbocca is definitely a tasty way to go!

Note: Another version of saltimbocca, called saltimbocca alla Romana, is made by rolling the sage and prosciutto up in the meat but I like the simplicity and easy of just wrapping the chicken up with the prosciutto with the sage leaves underneath.

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal
With the cold winter days here it is always nice to start the morning off with a warm, healthy and hearty breakfast and it is even better if that breakfast is fully cooked and waiting for you when you get up! If you are a fan of oatmeal and if you have a slow cooker this is it is super easy to do where all you need to do is place all of the ingredients for your oatmeal into the slow cooker before going to bed at night. A bowl of oatmeal certainly does not need to be boring and since it is easy to add flavours you can keep things interesting and have a different bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every morning. I have done a lot of experimenting with different flavours of oatmeal and one of my favourites has to be this oatmeal themed after apple pie; and who doesn't want a warm bowl of apple pie for breakfast? At its base, this apple pie oatmeal consists of the steel cut oats, apples, brown sugar and cinnamon and from there you can add what you like. I enjoy the addition of raisins and walnuts and of course a spoonful of caramel sauce works perfectly to sweeten things up a bit!

Tip: Place everything in your slow cooker before you go to bed at night and set it to cook for 4 hours. After it is done cooking, it will go into keep warm mode and keep your oatmeal perfectly cooked until you wake up in the morning.

Tip: If your slow cooker cannot be programmed you can place the ingredients in a bowl that will fit in your slow cooker and fill your slow cooker with water until it goes half way up the bowl. This way you can cook it all night without the oatmeal burning on the sides.

The Best of Closet Cooking 2013 eCookbook

The Best of Closet Cooking 2013

Happy New Year!

With the new year here it is time for a new edition of The Best of Closet Cooking eCookbooks! The Best of Closet Cooking 2013 eCookbook contains all of the tastiest and most popular new recipes in 2012! As is the tradition, I will be giving this eCookbook away for free to everyone that is subscribed to the Closet Cooking email newsletter! If you are not already subscribed to the Closet Cooking email newsletter you can subscribe now and get it! The Best of Closet Cooking 2013 eCookbook will of course also be made available on your favourite readers including the Kindle, iBooks and Nook for your viewing pleasure! For those of you that prefer a physical copy you can order a softcover version from Lulu.com.




Enjoy!


The Best of Closet Cooking 2013

The Best of Closet Cooking 2013 Pinterest Pin Board