How to Make Mummy Halloweenies + 7 Facts about Halloween

Halloween is almost here!

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For me, Halloween means candy + Simpson’s Halloween Marathon

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Aside from all the sweets, I figure I should probably eat something that’s not covered in chocolate or caramel (blasphemy).  That’s when I decided I would try making Mummy Halloweenies.  A quick, easy recipe that only calls for 2 ingredients and very minimal effort? Count me in.

Check out my how to video below!

Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $
Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 package hot dogs
1 package Pilsbury Crescent Rolls

Fall of your chair easy right?!

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Hope you enjoyed the video!  Have a Happy Halloween!

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How to Make Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Gỏi cuốn)

Vietnamese Summer Rolls: easy, quick, delicious, AND HEALTHY!
I promise you won’t feel like you’re eating rabbit food!

hu

Now, I’ve grown up calling these things “spring rolls” or “Gỏi cuốn,”  but I’ve noticed that a lot of Vietnamese restaurants are now calling these “Summer Rolls.”  I’m not quite sure of the difference (neither is Wikipedia), but I do know that whatever you want to call them, they are delicious.  Which may be a little surprising because all of the ingredients are boiled with very little seasoning (simple salt and pepper)–however–having the perfect peanut dipping sauce is also key to this refreshing delicacy.  As you might know by now, I’m a fan of spicy, so I did add some heat to my peanut sauce, but as always, you can omit to your preference.200-1

This recipe can also be used as a fun way to have the whole family involved with dinner–just delegate your assembly line and you’ll have spring rolls in no time!

Anyway–enough blabbering and more cooking, right?
Watch me prep, cook, and serve my Vietnamese Spring Rolls/Summer Rolls/Gỏi Cuốn here:

Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $
Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 package rice paper
1 package rice noodles (also known as vermicelli)
~1.5-2 lbs pork tenderloin
~1 lb boiled shrimp
1 head of lettuce
Salt & Pepper to taste

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
Hoisin Sauce
Lime
Chunky Peanut Butter
Chili Sauce (also known as chili paste)
Sriracha (optional)
Easy, right??  Stay tuned/subscribe for my next video: VEGETARIAN SPRING ROLLS!

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The BEST Guacamole Recipe EVER! (Plus homemade, oven-baked tortilla chips AND tips on how to prevent your guacamole from turning brown!)

guac icon

Whether scooped up with an army of tortilla chips or generously added to tacos, nachos, burritos, sandwiches (did I miss anything?), there’s no denying that guacamole is awesome.  And boy do I have the most amazing guacamole recipe everrrrr.

One and Only Guacamole

After many kitchen trials and errors, I came up with the perfect, fail-proof guacamole recipe.  If you can’t tell by now, I’m also a fan of spice, so the recipe I’m sharing does have a little kick to it, but for those of you that aren’t too fond of heat, you can omit the added spice.  I’m also sharing my recipe for homemade, oven-baked, corn tortilla chips.  So incredibly easy, and on the healthier side because they are baked in the oven instead of deep fried.  I honestly think these chips taste better than any store bought tortilla chips.  And I don’t feel as guilty eating them (which is important, right?)  🙂

Watch me prep, cook, and serve my all-time best guacamole recipe AND homemade tortilla chips here:

Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $
Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
Guacamole:
2 Haas Avocados
1 Roma Tomato
1 Shallot
1 Lime
1/2 Jalapeno
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Tortilla Chips:
Corn Tortillas (4 corn tortillas makes about 32 chips)
Olive Oil
Salt (preferably sea salt..just because I think the big salt crystals look fancier)

Instructions:
Prep:
Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Lightly brush the corn tortillas with olive oil
  • Cut the tortillas into nice triangles
    • one corn tortilla should yield about 8 triangles
  • Place the tortilla slices onto a baking rack
    • highly recommend investing in a baking rack because this will allow the chips to evenly crisp up on each side without you having to flip them over halfway through cooking time
    • you can purchase the one I used here: http://amzn.to/1Lc5QYb
  • Sprinkle the chips with as much or as little sea salt you’d like

Guacamole:

  • Cut the avocados in half and scoop out into a mason jar
    • This recipe will usually fit into a pint-size mason jar
      • The reason why I’m using a mason jar: airtight jar = guacamole that stays green!  I don’t know why it took me so long to figure that one out lol.
  • Dice up the roma tomato
  • Dice up half of the jalapeno
  • Cut up the shallot
  • Add all of the above ingredients into the mason jar
  • Slice the lime in half and squeeze the lime juice into the jar
    • The acidity from the lime juice will also help to keep the guacamole green
  • Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the mix

“Cook”
Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips:

  • Place the tortilla chips into your pre-heated oven
  • Bake the tortilla chips for about 10-12 minutes
    • they’ll be ready when they turn a nice, crispy, gold color

Guacamole:

  • Mash all of the ingredients in the mason jar together

Eat

  • Chip+Dip+Eat

Oh man do I want some guacamole right now!!! Gah.

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How to Make Crispy, Juicy Pan Fried Chicken Wings

chicken wings thumbnail

Ah.  The chicken wing.  A finger food favorite.

Thumbs Up Chicken Wing

Whether smothered in sauce, or served extra crispy, I’m always up for a good chicken wing.Ron Weasley Chicken

After years of being convinced that I could never make the perfect, crispy, chicken wing at home, I decided it was time to give it a try.  Well, really, I was forced in giving it a try when I couldn’t get a damn chicken wing anywhere during Superbowl XILX (go pats!).  It was like every single person in Boston pre-ordered their wings a year in advance and was doing the Superbowl right except for me.  Rough times man.  So, I ran over to the supermarket and managed to grab the two last packs of wings to get this party started.

While I LOVE a good, saucy chicken wing, I wanted to try something different (also just wanted to stay away from ladling my chicken wings in a sauce made of 80% butter–sorry Paula).  That’s when I decided I wanted to make a dry, spiced rubbed chicken wing.  Perfectly crispy on the outside and ridiculously juicy in the inside.

Bart Drooling

You can watch prep, cook, and serve my spice rubbed chicken wings here:

Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $
Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
2 lbs chicken wings (party wings separated at the joint)
1-2 tbsp Cumin
1-2 tbsp Chili Powder
1-2 tbsp Cayenne
1-2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

Prep

  • Place your chicken wings into a large mixing bowl
  • Sprinkle in the spices spices (you can add more or less depending on your love of heat)
    • 1-2 tbsp Cumin
    • 1-2 tbsp Chili Powder
    • 1-2 tbsp Cayenne
    • 1-2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
    • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Mix the chicken and the spices together to get an even coating on every wing

Cook

  • Bring a large-sized pan to medium heat on the stove (non-stick if you have it)
  • Add in about 1/2 a cup of canola oil
    • Give that about a minute or two to heat up
  • Add the chicken wings one by one (as to not overcrowd the pan, which causes the food to boil instead of fry!)
  • Let the chicken cook for about 5 minutes on each side
  • When the chicken has finished frying, place the wings on a baking rack to let the excess fat drip off
    • A lot of people tend to place freshly fried food on top of paper towels or paper bags to try to drain off excess fat, but what they’re really doing is just allowing the food to sit in its own fat and get soggy 😦 that’s why I prefer using a baking rack instead.

Eat

  • Once the chicken is done, serve with your desired dipping sauces
    • tip: these wings go great with guacamole!

What do you think?  Are you more of a sauce or dry rub person?  Let me know!  I’m working on a couple of sauce recipes as well that I’ll be sure to share with you guys soon! 🙂

Sriracha BBQ Pulled Pork: Slowcooker Recipe

sriracha bbq pulled pork

Do you like tacos?
Taco? Yes
Do you like juicy, tender, slow cooked meat that just falls apart with the slightest touch of your fork?
Oh Boy!

…do you like….sriracha?
sriracha

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the perrrrfect recipe for you.
I’ve made regular old barbeque pulled pork in my crockpot plenty of times, but this time, I decided to switch it up and add the mother of all hot sauces: sriracha.

i love you sriracha

 

And then. AND THEN.  I decided to put this on top of a taco.

say what

Talk about a match made in heaven.  But enough blabbering, let’s get down to the recipe.

Difficulty: SO EASY
Cost: $
Time: 4 hrs (keep in mind, this is a barely-touch crockpot recipe!)

You can watch me make prep, cook, and serve Sriracha BBQ Pulled Pork here:

Ingredients:
Pulled Pork:
2 lbs Pork Tenderloin
5 Cloves of Garlic
1 Jalapeño
1 Red Onion
1-2 tbsp Cumin
1-2 tbsp Chili Powder
1-2 tbsp Cayenne
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup Sriracha
Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Tacos:
Corn Tortillas
Sriracha BBQ Pulled Pork
Raw Broccoli Slaw dressed with Sour Cream
Sriracha Drizzle

Instructions:

Prep

  • Peel your garlic cloves
  • Slice the onion (into large rings)
    • Lay the onion slices at the bottom of your crockpot
  • Slice the jalapeno and add to the crockpot
  • Season the pork tenderloin with 1-2 tbsp Cumin, 1-2 tbsp Chili Powder, 1-2 tbsp Cayenne, and salt/pepper to taste.
    • (If you’re not big on spice, stick to using 1 tbsp of each spice)
  • Cut small slits into the pork tenderloin and stuff the slits with the garlic cloves
  • Lay the seasoned pork tenderloin on top of the onions and jalapenos in the crockpot

Cook

  • Plug the crockpot in
  • Set the cooking time to 4 hrs on high
    • If you have the time, you can set it to 8 hours on low to reach maximum flavor/tenderness

Eat

  • After the pork has finished cooking in the crockpot, add 1/4 cup of sriracha and a 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce
  • Take a pair of tongs or a fork and shred the pork
  • Assemble on top of corn tortillas
    • For crunch, add broccoli slaw (mixed with sour cream) on top of the taco.  Feel free to add an extra drizzle of sriracha to top it off!
    • Tip: you can buy packaged broccoli slaw at your local grocery store to save you time from cutting it up yourself
  • Enjoy!

SO EASY, right?  Switch up your standard Taco Tuesday and give these sriracha bbq pulled pork tacos a try.  You won’t regret it! Let me know in the comments what you think of this recipe! Olé! 🙂

taco cat
If you don’t already have a crock pot and are in the market for one, you can purchase the same one I have here: http://amzn.to/1KFomor  (SO WORTH THE INVESTMENT!)

 

Taking Brunch to the Next Level: Maple Bacon Bourbon Jam

A salty, sweet jam made with BACON as the main ingredient.

Bacon

Difficulty: Easy
Cost: $$
Time: 20 minutes (including prep)

Watch me prep, cook, and serve this jam in Episode 1 of Michelle’s Pop Up Kitchen: Maple Bacon Bourbon Jam

Ingredient List:

  • 1.5 – 2 lbs Bacon (I, of course, used 2 lbs)
  • 1 Sweet Onion (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Shallot
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Bourbon
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)

Instructions:

Prep

  • Dice the onion, shallot, and garlic into small pieces (keeping these ingredients separate)
  • Slice bacon into chunky, bite-size pieces
  • Bring a large-sized pan to medium heat on the stove (non-stick if you have it)

Cook

  • Once the pan has heated up, add the bite-sized bacon pieces to fry ’em up
  • When the bacon has finished cooking, remove the bacon from the pan, leaving about 1 of bacon fat in the pan
  • Place bacon on paper towels to drain excess fat
  • Return the pan to the stove with 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • Add the diced onion and shallot
  • Once the onions and shallot have begun to caramelize (have turned golden in color), add 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Add dash of salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • Mix the onions and shallots with the added spices
  • Add diced garlic garlic
  • Stand back from the stove and *slowly* add 1/2 cup bourbon
  • Add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Add 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • Add 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Stir to allow brown sugar to dissolve
  • Add fried bacon bits back to the pan
  • Fold in all of the ingredients
  • Turn stove on low to simmer (while simmering, the jam will begin to thicken up)

Eat

  • Once the jam has reached your desired (thick, gooey) consistency, turn the stove off and serve!

This is a great breakfast or brunch item that any bacon lover will enjoy.  As shown in the video, I simply served this jam on top a couple of toasted baguette slices.  BUT I bet this would also go really good on some flatbread with a little bit of shaved parmesan, topped with arugula.  mmmmmmm.

Hungry Homer

Definitely saving that idea for another recipe/video.

Thanks for reading!

Let me know in the comments what you think of this recipe or if you have any recipe requests you’d like me to share!

Gnomey

Don’t mind me while I take this time to celebrate my first real post. OH YEAHHHHH.
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Michelle’s Pop Up Kitchen – Ep. 1 – Maple Bacon Bourbon Jam

Maple Bacon Bourbon Jam – video coming soon!

Sharing a few photos before the official release–stay tuned! 🙂

Maple Bacon Bourbon Jam Maple Bacon Bourbon Jam on Toast

Behind the scenes:

Behind the Scenes: Maple Bacon Bourbon Jam