Fiesta Fries

Tired of the same old tacos? Looking to give fries a new life? Then try these Fiesta Fries for dinner or at your next party.

A layout of beef, fries and toppings for Fiesta Fries.

With the holidays behind us, I was ready to just relax on this Mitten Movie Night and make something super easy. These Fiesta Fries were on the table in less than 20 minutes and took ALL THE STUFF I LOVE IN TACOS and loads it on top of crispy french fries.

What TV show pairs well with loaded french fries and beer?

I am on the third episode of Escape At Dannemora. If you are into compelling dramas that are based on actual events, then this show is for you.

Patricia Arquette’s character is really one of the most complex I’ve seen in a long time. You want to hate her. You want to feel sorry for her. I can see why she’s up for awards for this role.

What beer pairs well with Fiesta Fries?

The beer: Tiny Bomb American Pilsner from Wiseacre Brewing Co.

We purchased this while we were on our trip to Nashville in November. This beer was very similar to my favorite type of blonde ale just slightly less sweet. Gave me a serious summertime vibe even in the middle of winter.

Fiesta fries on a plate ready to eat.

Like most people, I’m sure either you asked for an Instant Pot or an Air Fryer for Christmas this year. I asked for the later and have to admit I am so happy I did! For this recipe, I used it to make my fries nice and crispy.

How do you make crispy french fries in the air fryer?

According to my air fryer users guide frozen french fries should be cooked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

I used this as a start but went 10 minutes at 400 degrees, taking out the basket and shaking, then cooking for another 10 minutes. They turned out perfect! (Fries go great with PB&J Burgers, Michigan Hot Dogs or Roast Beef Sandwiches)

French fries that have been made in an air fryer.

How to make Fiesta Fries:

Next, make the beef with green chili enchilada sauce for the topping on the fries.

Start by browning 1 pound of 80/20 beef with 1/4 cup green onions. Save the green ends for garnish. 

Once the beef is cooked all the way through add the green chili enchilada sauce. Heat through.

Ground beef and green chile enchilada sauce.

For toppings I made avocado ranch dressing, cheese, tomatoes, the rest of the green onions, and jalapenos. I then drizzled with taco sauce. It worked so well with the cooling effect of the avocado ranch.

Fiesta fries on a plate ready to eat.

The nice thing about these fries are they are PERFECT for parties, especially the Super Bowl coming up. Set everything up and let guests load them up as they like.

And here you are…..

Fiesta fries on a plate ready to eat.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Fiesta Fries
Fiesta Fries have green chili enchilada beef, avocado ranch dressing, and spicy taco sauce piled on top of crispy french fries.
Fiesta Fries | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Fiesta Fries | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Make the french fries according to package directions or made to air fryer specifications.
  2. Brown 1 pound of 80/20 beef with 1/4 cup green onions. Save the green ends for garnish.
  3. Once the beef is cooked all the way through add the green chili enchilada sauce. Heat through.
  4. Top with avocado ranch dressing, cheese, tomatoes, the rest of the green onions, and jalapenos. Drizzle with taco sauce. Enjoy!

Shrimp Spaghetti

Shrimp and pasta are covered with a creamy, spicy sauce that is big on flavor! Shrimp Spaghetti is easy enough for a weeknight dinner but an elegant enough for date night too.

Shrimp Pasta on a plate ready to eat.

My husband loves to visit a local Chinese buffet when we go out shopping. One of my favorite dishes on the buffet is a creamy dish they call ‘Shrimp Spaghetti’. So for this Mitten Movie Night, I decided this would be a great recipe to try and recreat at home.

The problem was though, I couldn’t quite pin down what type of sauce is used in this dish. It’s not alfredo sauce. The taste is sweet and creamy. After some research, the closest one I found was Bang Bang sauce.

Shrimp Pasta in a pan ready to eat.

While the pasta was spicier than what I get at the buffet it was still as good, if not better!

What movie pairs well with seafood and craft beer?

The big movie right now is Bird Box on Netflix.

Luckily I read the book before watching this movie. While it was good, the book is SO much better. It is also written by a Michigan author.

What beer pairs well with Shrimp Spaghetti?

The beer: HonkeyTonk Brewing Co. West Coast IPA

We picked this beer up along with a few others while we were in Nashville in November. I’m more of a New England IPA fan but my husband is a lover of all things IPA.

How to make Shrimp Spaghetti:

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Thaw the shrimp then remove and discard the tails.

Shrimp and green onions cooking in a pan.

In a pan add the butter, shrimp and half of the chopped green onions.

Sauté the shrimp until cooked through.

Sauce ingredients for Shrimp Pasta.

Next, mix the ingredients for the sauce.  It’s so simple – mayonnaise, sweet Thai chili sauce and paprika.

To the pan the shrimp is in, add the cooked spaghetti and the sauce. Stir to combine. The spaghetti will warm the sauce so no need to cook further.

Top with the reserved green onions.

Tips & Variations for Shrimp Spaghetti:

  • Want a less spicy dish? Swap out the sweet Thai chili sauce for sweet & sour sauce.
  • I use pre-cooked shrimp to save time. If using uncooked shrimp prepare and cook according to package directions.

And here you are…….

Shrimp Pasta on a plate with a pan of it in the background and a craft beer.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen

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Print Recipe
Shrimp Spaghetti
This sweet and spicy Shrimp Spaghetti is the perfect pasta night mix up! A creamy sauce coats the noodles with bursts of shrimp throughout.
Shrimp Spaghetti | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Shrimp Spaghetti | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Thaw the shrimp then remove and discard the tails.
  3. In a pan add the butter, shrimp and half of the chopped green onions.
  4. Sauté the shrimp until cooked through.
  5. Mix the ingredients for the sauce. It's so simple - mayonnaise, sweet Thai chili sauce and paprika.
  6. To the pan the shrimp is in, add the cooked spaghetti and the sauce. Stir to combine.
  7. Top with the reserved green onions. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Tips & Variations for Shrimp Spaghetti:

  • Want a less spicy dish? Swap out the sweet Thai chili sauce for sweet & sour sauce.
  • I use pre-cooked shrimp to save time. If using uncooked shrimp prepare and cook according to package directions.

Fried Cheese Curds

Fried cheese curds are a Midwest pub staple that can easily be made right at home. Little balls of cheese fried until crunchy. Dip them into marinara sauce or ranch and you have an appetizer or snack that fills that cheese void you’ve been looking for.  

Fried Cheese Curds on a pan ready to eat!

We are on to the first Mitten Movie Night of the holiday season.  The tree is up, stockings are hung and I have to admit that I am getting pretty jazzed about it. Along with the holidays, Christmas movie watching and football playoffs you should always have a great snack on hand for that extra binge-worthy, lazy on the couch kinds of days.  That’s where these Fried Cheese Curds come into play.

What movie pairs well with fried cheese and beer?

In the mood for a new Christmas movie?  Check out The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix.  Kurt Russell as St. Nick is pretty genius casting.  Super cute and perfect to watch with the family.

What beer pairs well with Fried Cheese Curds?

The beer: Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co., Sconnie Smash

We just spent a wonderful few days for our youngest’s birthday in Wisconsin Dells.  Yes, Wisconsin Dells can still be fun in the winter.

While the town was pretty dead and not many businesses were open, we stayed at Mt. Olympus which had an indoor waterpark.  After a day of play, we hit Moosejaw Pizza & Brewing Co. for some great food (I even remade my favorite there, Portobello Mushroom Burger), homemade pop for the kids and a cold glass of beer for the adults.

I went with the Sconnie Smash.  This beer was part of the Sconnie Beer line. It was so tart and flavorful, almost tasted like cherry pop.  Before heading home we picked up a few 6 packs at the local liquor store.

Fried Cheese Curds on a pan and one with a bite taken out of it. A craft beer and sauce off to the side.

For these cheese curds, I made them in the way of Culver’s.  Some recipes call for using a batter but I like the breading on Culver’s curds so it was an easy decision of what method I would use.

Here is a pro-tip for making cheese curds:  It takes time!  Don’t plan on having these hot and ready in 20 minutes.  You are looking more like 3 hours.

How to make Fried Cheese Curds:

Open the package of cheese curds and place them on a plate.  Let them ‘sweat’ for about half an hour.

Set up an assembly line of 1 plate flour, 1 bowl of whisked eggs, 1 plate of breadcrumbs mixed with salt and Italian seasoning.

First, roll a cheese curd into the flour.

Steps and ingredients for making Fried Cheese Curds.

Next, dip the cheese curd into the egg.

Roll the cheese curd into the breadcrumb mixture.

Place on a large cookie sheet with a wire rack.  Continue with the rest of the curds.

Put the cookie sheet with the cheese curds into the freezer and let sit for 30-60 minutes.

Cheese curds on a cookie sheet going into the freezer.

Set up a frying assembly line.

In a cast iron pan add the oil.  Bring to frying level.  On another cookie sheet add paper towels.

Add about 10 curds to the pan and fry for about 40 seconds, then flip.  Fry another 10 seconds.

Remove and add to the paper towel sheet to drain.

Cheese curds on a pan and a pan on the stove with oil in it ready to fry the cheese curds.

Work these fried cheese curds in batches.

Once they are all cooked serve immediately with rach or my favorite, marinara sauce.

Make fried cheese curds and these burger & hot dog recipes:

And here you are…..

Fried Cheese Curds on a pan with a craft beer and sauces off to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from CopyKat.com

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Fried Cheese Curds

These fried cheese curds are the perfect crunchy, cheesy treat you've been looking for! Breaded with a hint of Italian Seasoning then fried to crispy perfection. Serve with a side of sauce for dipping.

Fried Cheese Curds | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 90 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 90 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Fried Cheese Curds | Bottom Left of the Mitten


Instructions
  1. Open the package of cheese curds and place them on a plate. Let them 'sweat' for about half an hour.

  2. Set up an assembly line of 1 plate flour, 1 bowl of whisked eggs, 1 plate of breadcrumbs mixed with salt and Italian seasoning.

  3. First, roll a cheese curd into the flour.

  4. Next, dip the cheese curd into the egg.

  5. Roll the cheese curd into the breadcrumb mixture.

  6. Place on a large cookie sheet with a wire rack. Continue with the rest of the curds.

  7. Put the cookie sheet with the cheese curds into the freezer and let sit for 30-60 minutes.

  8. Set up a frying assembly line. In a cast iron pan add the oil. Bring to frying level. On another cookie sheet add paper towels.

  9. Add about 10 curds to the pan and fry for about 40 seconds, then flip. Fry another 10 seconds.

  10. Remove and add to the paper towel sheet to drain.

  11. Work these fried cheese curds in batches.

  12. Once they are all cooked serve immediately with rach or my favorite, marinara sauce. Enjoy!

Pesto Fries

Want an out of this world french fry recipe for when you’re craving something salty and crunchy?  Pesto Fries are drizzled with a buttery pesto sauce then sprinkled with cheese.  The perfect snack or side to any main dish.

Pesto Fries on a plate ready to eat!

Who doesn’t love a big pile of hot, crispy french fries?  They are like a really great little black dress, they go with everything and can be dressed up with a few accessories.  The ‘accessories’ for these fries happen to be a delicious pesto sauce that is drizzled on then baked in.  Sprinkle with some cheese and you’ve got a great dish for this Mitten Movie Night.

This recipe is inspired by a hot dog food truck that we had dinner from at our local energy cooperative customer appreciation day.  I was sad that I didn’t get the name of it because if I had, I probably would be following it like a Grateful Dead groupie.

While waiting in line to order the smell coming out of the food truck was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Once I was up to the window I ordered a bacon-wrapped hot dog and for the side, pesto fries.  They came out piping hot and loaded with pesto, cheese and tasted even better than I expected.

I locked the flavors away in my mind and knew that like most wonderful things I eat, I had to come home and recreate this Pesto Fries recipe and pair it with some great craft beer.

What movie or TV show pairs well with fries and beer?

I’m sure you have probably heard of a little show that is sweeping the horror scene called, The Haunting of Hill House.  While Halloween is over this show will keep you in the creeps for a long time.  My recommendation when you start watching is to plan for a binge session because you will NOT be able to turn away.

What beer pairs well with Pesto Fries?

The beer: Sunspot Hefeweizen Ale from Greenbush Brewing Company. 

This beer was in a mixed 6 pack of Michigan beers that my husband picked up at one of his favorite beer store in Southwest Michigan.

Pesto Fries on a pan ready to eat!

What makes a Hefeweizen a great beer to pair food with?

This German beer is a drinkable beer that pairs well with nearly everything.  It’s light and drinkable and you can enjoy it while you fill up on delicious food, not the beer.

Better yet, Hefeweizen has a fruity, lemony appeal so it may lend as a little breath refresher for all the garlic on these Pesto Fries.

How to make Pesto Fries:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or to the temperature that is on the package of fries.

On a sheet place parchment paper.  Spread the whole bag of frozen french fries to the pan in a single layer.

Cook according to package directions, mine took about 30 minutes flipping halfway through.

Frozen fries ready to cook.

In the last 5 minutes of cooking, make the pesto sauce to go on top.

In a heatproof cup or glass measuring cup melt the butter.

To the melted butter add the minced garlic.

Ingredients and steps to make pesto sauce for pesto fries.

Add the prepared pesto sauce.

Finally, pour in the olive oil.  Stir to combine completely.

Take the french fries out the of the oven and pour the pesto sauce over the fries.  Put back into the oven for 5 minutes.

Take out and serve individually with parmesan-romano cheese sprinkled on it.

Looking for a dish to serve with Pesto Fries?

And here you are……

Pesto Fries on a plate ready to eat!

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Pesto Fries
Crispy fries smothered in a buttery pesto sauce, sprinkled with parmesan-romano cheese. Pesto Fries make a great snack or side for burgers and sandwiches.
Pesto Fries | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Pesto Fries | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or to the temperature that is on the package of fries.
  2. On a sheet place parchment paper. Spread the whole bag of frozen french fries to the pan in a single layer.
  3. Cook according to package directions, mine took about 30 minutes flipping halfway through.
  4. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, make the pesto sauce to go on top.
  5. In a heatproof cup or glass measuring cup melt the butter.
  6. To the melted butter add the minced garlic.
  7. Add the prepared pesto sauce.
  8. Finally, pour in the olive oil. Stir to combine completely.
  9. Take the french fries out the of the oven and pour the pesto sauce over the fries. Put back into the oven for 5 minutes.
  10. Take out and serve individually with parmesan-romano cheese sprinkled on it. Enjoy!

Hawaiian Pizza

This Hawaiian Pizza is the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Whip up a quick pizza crust and this Hawaiian pizza recipe comes together in a flash. The ultimate treat for pizza night!

Hawaiian Pizza sliced and ready to serve with a craft beer to the side

So long time, no see from me here in the bottom left of the mitten.  This is the first official Mitten Movie Night of fall because I haven’t celebrated one on the blog since the middle of July.  Like almost everyone the transition from summertime fun to school, sports, and general running around get you to here in October before you know it. So let’s get this movie night kicked off!

Tonight I am making a favorite, pizza.  HAWAIIAN PIZZA to be precise with lots of ham, red onion and THICK SLICES OF PINEAPPLE.  This combination of toppings are as intriguing as the type of beer I’m pairing it with.

What movie pairs well with pizza and beer?

I recommend I Think We’re Alone NowThis was a good movie (the end could have been a little more clear) but if you are a fan of apocalyptic genres then this one is for you.  Plus, Peter Dinklage is in it and I have a hard time passing on his movies. He’s is so good in everything from comedy to drama.

What beer pairs well with Hawaiian Pizza?

The beer: Spiteful Brewing, Working for the Weekend Double IPA.

I originally picked this up when we were visiting friends in Chicago.  The art on the can was amazing and my husband loves Double IPA’s, so I grabbed them up.

Closeup of Hawaiian Pizza that is sliced.

Are Double IPA’s hard to pair with food?

According to many of the websites that I frequent for food and beer pairings-yes.  The consensus is that it’s too heavy and ‘fights’ with the flavors in most foods.

While I am just starting to enjoy IPA’s my husband loves them.  After asking his opinion he disagreed and therefore I felt like I had a green light and he even gave me a suggestion of where to start, pizza.  Pizza goes with everything he said!  I am not disagreeing with that so off to the kitchen I went to make this simple Hawaiian Pizza that did indeed pair perfectly with this Double IPA from Spiteful Brewing.

How to make Hawaiian Pizza:

Forever with my trusty Jiffy pizza crust, I decided that a thick crust was my go-to.  For this pizza, I used 3 packages Jiffy pizza crust boxes plus 1-1/2 cup lukewarm water.  Add to a bowl and stir to combine until there are no chunks.

Steps on how to make a Hawaiian pizza.

Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using floured hands take the dough out of the bowl and spread the crust onto a 9-inch pie pan. Place the crust into the oven for 8-10 minutes.  Since the crust is a great way to make sure the middle is not raw.

Take out of the oven and cover with the pizza sauce.  Add the cheese, chopped ham, sliced red onions and whole slices of pineapple.  Place back into the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Slice into eight pieces.

Tips & Variations for Hawaiian Pizza:

  • Once the crust has risen make sure to have flour nearby.  Using flour on hands and on top of the crust ensures that the dough doesn’t get too sticky.
  • Don’t skip the pre-cooking of the crust. It’s important so that you don’t have a cooked top but a raw center.
  • Prefer smaller bites of pineapple? Use pineapple chunks instead of slices.

And here you are…….

A finished Hawaiian pizza with a craft beer and pizza cutter to the side of it.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Hawaiian Pizza
Get pizza night going with this easy Hawaiian pizza recipe. It's a great combination of salty from the ham and sweet from the pineapple.
Hawaiian Pizza | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Hawaiian Pizza | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Add 3 boxes of Jiffy pizza crust to a bowl with 1-1/2 cups of lukewarm water. Stir to combine until there are no chunks.
  2. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Using floured hands take the dough out of the bowl and spread the crust onto a 9-inch pie pan. Place the crust into the oven for 8-10 minutes. Since the crust is a great way to make sure the middle is not raw.
  5. Take out of the oven and cover with the pizza sauce. Add the cheese, chopped ham, sliced red onions and whole slices of pineapple. Place back into the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Slice into 8 pieces and enjoy!
Recipe Notes
  • Once the crust has risen to make sure to have flour nearby.  Using flour on hands and on top of the crust ensures that the dough doesn't get too sticky.
  • Don't skip the pre-cooking of the crust. It's important so that you don't have a cooked top but a raw center.

Roast Beef Sandwich

Say goodbye to boring pieces of bread with uninspiring meats on them!  This Roast Beef Sandwich has tender roast beef, bacon, onions and mushrooms loaded on top of a soft loaf of Italian bread.  Don’t forget the chunky blue cheese spread!

Roast Beef Sandwich layed out and ready to eat with toppings and a craft beer off to the side.

Well, it’s official. This Mitten Movie Night marks 1 month until….my birthday! In honor of the downward slide and creeping closer to the middle of 40, I figured I would treat myself to one of my favorite food groups-sandwiches.  There is nothing better than a BIG sandwich that you can sink your teeth into and just enjoy. The best thing about sandwiches is that almost anything goes and that goes for this roast beef sandwich that’s anything but average.

When I was thinking of what type of sandwich to make I decided to make it like a big sub sandwich.  Growing up, my mom would make sub sandwiches in the summer and it was always a special treat.  While I was at it I thought some bacon would be really good with this too.  Then finally, let’s slather a blue cheese sauce on it.

A roast beef sandwich.

What movie pairs well with a roast beef sandwich and beer?

For the movie recommendation, I HIGHLY suggest Father of the Year. Who doesn’t love Adam Sandler movies?  David Spade returns to a little bit of Joe Dirt character which made this movie too funny! So now on to the roast beef sandwich recipe.

What beer pairs well with a roast beef sandwich?

The beer: Pooltime Ale from Bell’s Brewing.

The beefy concoction will pair perfectly with this refreshing summer brew.  This beer is slightly tart from the cherries which make a perfect contrast to all the beef and tangy blue cheese in this.  I may even say that I hit this combination out of the park!

How to make this Roast Beef Sandwich:

First, start by cooking the bacon.  I like bacon very crisp so I cooked it for about 6 minutes then turn and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes.

Take the loaf of bread and cut it in half.  Spread with butter and place face down on a cookie sheet.

Put into a preheated 350-degree oven and let it toast up for about 5-8 minutes.

Steps and ingredients of how to make a Roast Beef Sandwich.

Once the bacon is done remove it from the pan and put on a plate with paper towels to allow it to drain.  Remove all the grease in the pan from the bacon reserving about 1-2 tsp.

Add 1 Tbs of butter to that (this is not very diet friendly if you can’t tell) then add the sliced mushrooms and onions.

Let those cook down for about 5 minutes.  Then add the roast beef.

While those cook flip the bread over and spread the cheese equally on each side.  Put back into the oven and let the cheese melt, around 5 minutes.

Make the sauce by mixing the blue cheese, mayonnaise and horseradish sauce together.

Crumble the bacon and add to the cooked roast beef.  Take the bread out of the oven then pile it high onto one side of the bread then top off with the other.

Cut into 6 pieces then serve.  Let others add lettuce, tomatoes, and the blue cheese mixture as they like.

And here you are…..

Roast Beef Sandwich layed out and ready to eat with toppings and a craft beer off to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Roast Beef Sandwich
This is not your average Roast Beef Sandwich. It's a big, bold sandwich filled with roast beef, mushrooms, onions, and bacon. Slather with a blue cheese spread for the ultimate in sandwiches.
Roast Beef Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Roast Beef Sandwich | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the bacon. Cook for about 6 minutes then turn and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes.
  2. Take the loaf of bread and cut it in half. Spread with butter and place face down on a cookie sheet. Put into a preheated 350-degree oven and let it toast up for about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Once the bacon is done remove it from the pan and put on a plate with paper towels to allow it to drain. Remove all the grease in the pan from the bacon reserving about 1-2 tsp.
  4. Add 1 Tbs of butter to that then add the sliced mushrooms and onions. Let those cook down for about 5 minutes. Then add the roast beef.
  5. While those cook flip the bread over and spread the cheese equally on each side. Put back into the oven and let the cheese melt, around 5 minutes.
  6. Now make the sauce which is just mixing the blue cheese, mayonnaise and horseradish sauce together.
  7. Crumble the bacon and add to the cooked roast beef.
  8. Take the bread out of the oven then pile it high onto one side of the bread then top off with the other. Cut into 6 pieces then serve. Let others add lettuce, tomatoes, and the blue cheese mixture as they like. Enjoy!

My Dad’s Chicken & Rice

My Dad’s Chicken & Rice is a chicken and rice recipe that you will want to have in your back pocket for busy nights.  Fancy mixed vegetables, crispy chicken, mushrooms and crunchy water chestnuts make this a delicious dinner that’s ready in under 30 minutes!

My Dads Chicken and Rice in a bowl with a craft beer off to the side.

I’m serious when I say that I have been eating this meal most of my life. It’s a recipe that my dad invented, thus the name ‘My Dad’s Chicken & Rice’. He cooked it for us growing up and when I was old enough he gave the recipe to me and I’ve been making it myself for about 20 years now.

My dad is a great cook! He makes the most unbelievable grilled chicken. My mouth is watering a little right now as I’m thinking about it. I want to think that he got his skills from my grandmother. On Sunday’s growing up, we would have big dinners of lamb, creamed spinach, and croissants.

Dessert was almost always chocolate pudding with whipped cream. I loved those Sunday’s and I try and keep the tradition alive in our house.  Sunday’s here usually start with Swedish Pancakes and end with a big comforting meal like Crock Pot Ranch Pork Roast.

My Dads Chicken and Rice in a bowl with a craft beer off to the side.

For quick weeknight dinners though, I look to this chicken and rice recipe.  It’s full of chicken, meaty mushrooms, and crunchy water chestnuts.  Perfect when you want a one-dish meal that goes from stove to table with little cleanup.

How to make My Dad’s Chicken & Rice:

First, take the chicken and cut into cubes.  On a plate, put the flour, garlic powder, and pepper.  Dredge the chicken in the mixture coating all pieces.

Chicken covered with flour on a plate.

In the bottom of a large pan, I use a covered stockpot, heat about 1 tbs. of oil in the bottom of a pan.

Add the chicken to the pan and cook until all the chicken is nice and crispy around 10 minutes.  Stirring occasionally to make sure all parts are browned.  *Look at that! Again, this is what makes this dish amazing.*

Cooked chicken on a plate.
Once the chicken has cooked take it out of the pan and set aside.  In the same pan add butter and let it melt.  Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped onion.  Cook until the mushrooms start to shrink and the onions are browned.

To the pan add the chicken back in.  Now add the wet ingredients: chicken broth, fancy mixed vegetables (do not drain liquid), water chestnuts (do not drain liquid), and soy sauce.

Finally to the pot add the rice and stir it all together.  Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes check to see if you need to add any additional chicken stock so that the rice doesn’t dry out and stir so the rice doesn’t stick to the pan.

If there’s still plenty of liquid allow to cook another 5-8 minutes covered.

Taste to make sure that the rice has cooked thoroughly and then add salt, pepper, and more soy sauce to your taste. I always end up adding more but please add at your discretion.  Top with some crunchy noodles.

Tips for making My Dad’s Chicken & Rice:

  • The key to really good chicken and rice is making sure the chicken in really crispy.  In order to do that it means cooking the chicken separate from the mushrooms and onions.

And here you are……

My Dads Chicken and Rice in a bowl with a craft beer and a pot of Chicken and Rice off to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Originally published March of 2016. Updated photos & recipe July of 2018.

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Print Recipe
My Dad's Chicken & Rice
This is 'my Dad's' Chicken & Rice recipe. A hearty meal of chicken, fancy mixed vegetables, and instant rice that cooks up in under 30 minutes.
My Dads Chicken and Rice | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
My Dads Chicken and Rice | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Take the chicken and cut into cubes. On a plate, put the flour, garlic powder, and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the mixture coating all pieces.
  2. In the bottom of a large pan, I use a covered stock pot, heat about 1 tbs. of oil in the bottom of a pan. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until all the chicken is nice and crispy, around 10 minutes. Stiring occasially to make sure all parts are browned. Once the chicken has cooked take it out of the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan add butter and let it melt. Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped onion. Cook until the mushrooms start to shrink and the onions are browned.
  4. To the pan add the chicken back in. Now add the wet ingredients: chicken broth, fancy mixed vegetables (do not drain liquid), water chestnuts (do not dain liquid), and soy sauce. Finally to the pot add the rice and stir it all together.
  5. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes check to see if you need to add any additional chicken stock so that the rice doesn't dry out. If there's still plenty of liquid allow to cook another 5-8 minutes covered.
  6. Taste to make sure that the rice has cooked thoroughly and then add salt, pepper and more soy sauce to your taste. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Tips for making My Dad's Chicken & Rice:

  • The key to really good chicken and rice is making sure the chicken in really crispy.  In order to do that it means cooking the chicken separate from the mushrooms and onions.

Dry Rub Chicken Wings

This chicken wing recipe will make sure you don’t miss saucy wings at all.  Dry Rub Chicken Wings are rubbed with a smoky and sweet coating then baked to a crispy perfection. 

Dry Rub Chicken Wings in a basket with blue cheese dressing and a craft beer to the side.

Kicking off Father’s Day weekend with Mitten Movie Night! I thought I would make my husband a special dish just for him.

When I was thinking about what to make my husband this weekend I remembered some really great wings that we had in Florida.  While there we stayed in a condo so we hit the local Costco and grabbed some already made up dishes from the deli area.  That is where we got the chicken wings and they were fabulous.  We heated them up in the oven and paired with a giant salad.

When we got home sadly our local Costco did not have them.  So light bulb moment, I will make my own dry rub chicken wings at home!

Dry Rub Chicken Wings in a basket with blue cheese dressing on the side.

Full disclosure, I have never made wings before.  If you read my post about Wing Sauce Sliders you would know why and how I just finally came around to buffalo sauce.  I was willing to give it a try though you know since I kind of like the guy who has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years.

So off to the internet I went to check out how some of my favorite bloggers make dry rub chicken wings.  Then since I don’t have a grill, how to bake chicken wings.

How to make Dry Rub Chicken Wings:

For the rub, I visited Bewitchin’ Kitchen and followed the recipe for Sweet n’ Smoky Rib Rub.

It had all the spices I thought were in the rub I was basing these on. It turned out great and I didn’t need to go out and buy any fancy ingredients. I had all of them in my spice cabinet.

Next, I headed over to The Chunky Chef’s site and followed the directions for baked chicken wings from her Epic Dry-Rubbed Chicken Wings recipe.

To a large bowl, I added the wings then drizzled them with 2 Tbs oil.

Sprinkle them with 3/4 of the rub but saved some for after the chicken bakes to add some extra flavor.

Then rubbed all the wings with that good flavor.

Ingredients and steps of how to make Dry Rub Chicken Wings.

On a prepared cookie sheet I put down tinfoil and a baking rack.

Layer the wings out then put into a preheated 400-degree oven for 45 minutes.  Be prepared because if you make these the house will smell downright amazing!

Cooked dry rub chicken wings with butter and dry rub seasoning to the side.

Once the chicken was done I decided to use a part of The Suburban Soapbox’s Grilled Old Bay Chicken Wings recipe.

At the end of the recipe, it called for melting 4 Tbs of butter.  Pour it over the chicken.

Add the spice that was left over to it the bowl.  Toss to coat the chicken with the butter and spices.

Make a bowl of blue cheese dressing to dip them into and a side of crunchy carrots.

What beer pairs well with Dry Rub Chicken Wings?

The beer: Greenbush Brewing, Star Chicken Shotgun.

These sweet and smoky dry rub chicken wings pair great with my hubbies favorite style of beer, an IPA.

Poultry and IPA’s work well together but add the spice of the rub and crispy skin and you have a perfect combination.

And here you are……..

Dry Rub Chicken Wings in a basket with blue cheese dressing and a craft beer to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Dry Rub Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are coated with a sweet and smoky dry rub then baked to crispy perfection. Serve with a side of blue cheese for a great appetizer or meal.
Dry Rub Chicken Wings | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Dry Rub Chicken Wings | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Mix together the paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, peppers, coarse kosher salt, dry mustard, chili powder, cayenne powder and cumin in a small bowl.
  2. To a large bowl, I added the wings then drizzled them with 2 Tbs oil. Sprinkled them with 3/4 of the rub but saved some for after the chicken bakes to add some extra flavor. Then rubbed all the wings with that good flavor.
  3. On a prepared cookie sheet I put down tinfoil and a baking rack. Lay the wings out then put into a preheated 400 deree oven for 45 minutes.
  4. When chicken is done melt 4 Tbs of butter and add the remining rub to it.
  5. Toss chicken in butter mixture. Serve with blue cheese dressing on the side. Enjoy!

Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons

Coconut shrimp meets with a cream cheese wonton. Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons are the best of both worlds. All wrapped together in a crunchy shell then sprinkled with powdered sugar.  So sweet!

Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons on a plate with a side of sweet and sour sauce.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Let’s start this Mitten Movie Night with a classic appetizer mashup.  Do you love coconut shrimp?  How about sweet and creamy wontons?  Why don’t we just combine them?  Of course we can.  So now let’s sit back and start the holiday with a sweet beer and an even sweeter treat with these baked coconut shrimp wontons.

Have you ever went out to dinner and instead of ordering a meal you just order an appetizer….for yourself?  I do because I can’t resist a good artichoke dip with crispy bread.  A local restaurant here has the best potato skins with ranch that again I will order and just eat as my meal.  This recipe came to me after I made these Sweet Cream Cheese Wontons from The Cozy Cook.  They were so good so how could I make these appetizers into a meal?  Add shrimp?  Sure! I was just waiting for the right beer to pair them with…..and it all came together last weekend.

What beer pairs well with Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons?

The beer: Palisades Pineapple from Golden Road Brewing.

My husband, the kids and I went up to Flint, Michigan for our nephews graduation party.  With our in-laws we made a weekend out of it and got a hotel so the kids could swim and not worry about driving 6 hours round trip in one day.  It was a great get away and of course while away why not treat ourselves?  We stopped at the Kroger to pick up some beer. Wow!  What a wonderful selection they had.  After picking up then putting down a bunch of choices because it was hard to choose, I went with this Palisades Pineapple from Golden Road Brewing.

While it’s not a Michigan Craft Beer I have been on a fruit beer kick so, why not?  This beer ended up being one of my favorites this year.  Light, drinkable, fruity with pineapple and apricots but not overwhelming.

What movie pairs well with wontons and beer?

Finally, I have to perfect beer for Mitten Movie Night to pair with these wontons.  Now to pair a great beer with a great movie?  Since this beer was made in LA we’re watching Pulp Fiction.

Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons on a plate with a side of sweet and sour sauce and a craft beer off to the side.

While the ingredients for this recipe are pretty basic the assembly can make them a little tedious to make.  Worth it but just a little *warning*.

How to make Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons:

For the shrimp, I use already cooked salad shrimp.  I always have a bag in the freezer and you can easily take out how much you need and thaw in some hot water and it’s ready.  For this you need 2 cups.

On the stove top in a pan heat up 1/2 Tbs olive oil and add the thawed shrimp and sautee until brown around 2 minutes.  Add 1 minced garlic cloves and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Once cooked through the meat needs to be minced.  You can either do this by chopping it into small pieces with a knife or you can do like I did for this Shrimp Cannelloni and bring out the small food processor.

Next, set the shrimp aside to cool then preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

To another bowl add softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and the coconut.  In a smaller dish crack one egg and whisk it to combine.  Once the shrimp has cooled add it to the cream cheese and coconut mixture.

To this I added a ‘splash’ of sesame oil.  While I love the taste it can be overwhelming so proceed with caution or leave this off the recipe if you think you or your guests might not like it.

Lastly, is filling these baked coconut shrimp wontons.  This is the step I warned you about taking some time.  Place a small dollop in the middle of a wonton wrapper.  Take your finger and dip it into the egg then rub all the edges with it.

To create the little pillows of goodness pinch the 4 corners with your index and middle finger on top then thumbs on the bottom and pull together making an ‘X’.  A wobbly ‘X’ at best but sometimes flavor makes up for the presentation.

Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons on a pan about to be covered with egg wash.

You won’t use all the egg for this so to the bowl add a splash of water then brush the egg wash onto the top of each wonton.

Pop these baked coconut shrimp wontons into the preheated oven for 12 minutes.

Sprinkle on some additional powdered sugar and serve with a side of sweet and sour sauce.

And here you are….

Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons on a plate with a side of sweet and sour sauce and a craft beer off to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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Print Recipe
Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons
These Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons have a creamy filling of shrimp and coconut is wrapped and then baked to crispy perfection in the oven.
Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings
servings
Baked Coconut Shrimp Wontons | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Thaw 2 cups of frozen, cooked shrimp. On the stove top in a pan heat up 1/2 Tbs olive oil and add the thawed shrimp and sautee until brown around 2 minutes. Add 1 minced garlic cloves and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Mince the shrimp by hand or food processor. Set the shrimp aside to cool
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  4. To another bowl add softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and the coconut. In a smaller dish crack one egg and whisk it to combine. Once the shrimp has cooled add it to the cream cheese and coconut mixture. To this I added a 'splash' of sesame oil.
  5. Place a small dollop in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Take your finger and dip it into the egg then rub all the edges with it. To create the little pillows of goodness pinch the 4 corners with your index and middle finger on top then thumbs on the bottom and pull together making an 'X'.
  6. To the egg bowl add a splash of water then brush the egg wash onto the top of each wonton. Pop these into the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle on some additional powdered sugar and serve with a side of sweet and sour sauce. Enjoy!

Toad In The Hole

The classic English dish Toad In a Hole is made with sausage, a simple bread pudding, then topped with a mustard-onion gravy. This is a perfect meal when you are looking for something a little different.

A piece of sausage and bread pudding aka Toad In a Hole cut with gravy on it ready to eat!

Welcome to Mitten Movie Night the Royal Wedding Edition! I decided to make a classic English dish for this special occasion.

I hadn’t had Toad In The Hole before I knew that it was going to be something that I would love.  Meat, onions, carbs….GRAVY!!!  Of course, I had to add some Michigan appeal to this dish by using Beer Brats made with Founder’s Dirty Bastard Craft Beer.  We eat these a lot during the Summer and they worked great in this recipe.

What beer pairs well with sausages?

The beer: Soft Parade from Short’s Brewing.

While I did do some research about favorite beers of England I felt like I would rather share a Michigan beer that I felt was fitting not only with the meal but also the name, Soft Parade from Short’s Brewing.  This beer is full of fruit flavor: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Fruit beers pair so well with dishes that aren’t exactly complex in flavor and that’s why a simple sausage dish like this is perfectly contrasted with this beer. Plus the name gets you in the mood for the ‘procession’ that the Royal Wedding will have.

See how I did that?  Wink, wink….I know it was a weak analogy but like most things, I’m going with it!

A big bowl of mustard-onion gravy.

So after going through about a million recipes, I settled on this one from Cooking Channel TV for Toad in the Hole with Mustard-Onion Gravy.

How to make Toad In a Hole:

For the base, it’s just flour, salt, eggs, and milk.  To one bowl add the flour and salt.  In another bowl add the milk and eggs then whisk to combine.  Slowly add the milk and egg mixture to the flour whisking it together to make a batter.

Simple enough but then the trick seemed to be what you do with it once the ingredients are mixed together.  Half the recipes said to just keep it out on the counter for 10-30 minutes.  The other half said that you had to keep it in the refrigerator overnight or at least a few hours to set.  What I did was make the batter in the morning and put in the refrigerator until I was ready to make this about 6 hours later.

Flour in a bowl with eggs and milk off to the side.

The other part of this recipe that was in all of them was heating up the pan you are cooking the pudding and sausages in.  About an hour before you are ready to put this on the table take the batter out of the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Now put the pan you plan on baking this in into the oven.  I used a metal pan because I was worried about adding the cold batter to a hot pan would break it. 

Next, brown the sausages in a pan on the stove with 1 Tbs oil.  Brown all sides which take about 8 minutes but don’t worry about cooking all the way through.  Reserve any oil in the pan for the gravy.

Carefully take the pan out of the oven then add a small bit of oil to that pan.  You can spray or add the oil then spread with a paper towel but please use caution since the pan is extremely hot. Now add the batter and top with the sausages.

Return it to the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

For the gravy use the reserved oil you left from cooking the brats and add the thinly sliced onions.  Using very low heat cook them down slowly for about 10 minutes.  To the onions add the flour and stir to coat.  Now add the beef broth, mustard.  Continue cooking down until it thickens to a gravy consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Take out the Toad In The Hole from the oven.  Slice and serve topped with gravy.

And here you are……

 

Toad In a Hole in a pan with a craft beer and dish of mustard-onion gravy off to the side.

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

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*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.



Print Recipe
Toad In a Hole
I tried my hand at a classic English dish, Toad In The Hole. Savory sausage is baked on top of a simple bread 'pudding'. Top with an onion gravy and you have a meal fit for a King.
Toad In a Hole | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Toad In The Hole
Mustard-Onion Gravy
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Toad In The Hole
Mustard-Onion Gravy
Toad In a Hole | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Toad In The Hole
  1. To one bowl add the flour and salt. In another bowl add the milk and eggs then whisk to combine. Slowly add the milk and egg mixture to the flour whisking it together to make a batter.
  2. Keep batter on the counter for 10-30 minutes or keep in the refrigerator up to overnight if you like.
  3. Take the batter out of the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put just the pan you plan on baking this in into the oven.
  4. Next brown the sausages in a pan on the stove with 1 Tbs oil. Brown all sides which takes about 8 minutes but don't worry about cooking all the way through. Reserve any oil in the pan for the gravy.
  5. Carefully take the pan out of the oven then add a small bit of oil to that pan. You can spray or add the oil then spread with a paper towel but please use caution since the pan is extremely hot. Now add the batter and top with the sausages. Return it to the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
Mustard-Onion Gravy
  1. For the gravy use the reserved oil you left from cooking the brats and add the thinly sliced onions. Using very low heat cook them down slowly for about 10 minutes.
  2. To the onions add the flour and stir to coat. Now add the beef broth, mustard. Continue cooking down until it thickens to a gravy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Take out the Toad In The Hole from the oven. Slice and serve topped with gravy. Enjoy!

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