Salmon Tacos with Avocado Ranch

These Salmon Tacos are not only easy to make, but they are also delicious! Top with a homemade avocado ranch dressing and pair with a craft beer for a great light dinner.

Salmon Tacos paired with craft beer and avocado ranch dressing

We are just getting back from a H-O-T end of school year vacation to Florida. Ugh. While it has been cooler here lately in Michigan, I will not complain about it after spending a week there.

When we got home it was finally feeling like summer so to celebrate I’m making salmon tacos with fresh tomatoes, creamy avocado ranch, and crispy tortillas. This meal was giving me ALL the warm weather feels.

Close up of a salmon fish tacos drizzled with homemade avocado ranch

What beer pairs well with Salmon Tacos?

The beer: Local’s Light from Short’s Brewing.

For this taco and craft beer pairing ‘light’ meets ‘light’. A subtle beer that’s perfect for a summer afternoon then transitions perfectly to enjoy with this seafood taco recipe.

What to watch while eating tacos?

Season 3 of Claws just started! If you aren’t watching this show, you are missing out. It also works well with this Mitten Movie Night because it’s set in Florida.

Three tacos on a plate with an avocado ranch dressing on the side

How to Make Salmon Tacos:

Start by preparing the salmon. Lay the salmon out and sprinkle with a mixture of chili pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika and cumin.

Salmon fillets on a cutting board sprinkled with seasoning

Next, cook the salmon in a frying pan with 2 tsp olive oil, skin side facing up. Fry for 3-5 minutes, then flip. Cook an addition 3-5 minutes.

Remove from pan and flake the salmon by using two forks.

How to make Avocado Ranch Dressing:

In a food processor add the skinned and pitted avocado, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, onion powder, white vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Pulse the ingredients adding a light stream of olive oil until you get the consistency that you like. I used about 2 tsp of olive oil as I like it to thicker.

We LOVE Tacos! How about you? Check out these other taco recipes!

Crisp the flour tortillas over an open flame if you wish. Serve with chopped tomatoes, red onions, and a side of re-fried beans and here you are….

Delicious Salmon Tacos with a side of refried beans and avocado ranch

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

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Print Recipe
Salmon Tacos
Salmon Tacos with Avocado Ranch are so easy to make they will be on your dinner list all summer long. Pairs well with a light lager beer and warm weather.
Salmon Tacos paired with craft beer and avocado ranch dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Salmon Tacos
Avocado Ranch Dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Salmon Tacos
Avocado Ranch Dressing
Salmon Tacos paired with craft beer and avocado ranch dressing
Instructions
Salmon Tacos
  1. Start by preparing the salmon. Lay the salmon out and sprinkle with a mixture of chili pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and cumin.
  2. Cook the salmon in a frying pan with 2 tsp olive oil. Fry for 3-5 minutes, then flip. Cook an addition 3-5 minutes.
  3. Remove from pan and flake the salmon by using two forks.
Avocado Ranch Dressing
  1. In a food processor add the skinned and pitted avocado, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, onion powder, white vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  2. Pulse the ingredients adding a light stream of olive oil until you get the consistency that you like.
  3. Crisp the flour tortillas over an open flame if you wish. Serve with chopped tomatoes, red onions, and a side of refried beans. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups are easy to make any night of the week. Chicken breasts are stuffed with savory cream cheese filling then baked with a crispy coating. Dinner is served!

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups | Bottom Left of the Mitten

This recipe can easily be updated by switching up the cream cheese filling ingredients too. Try some of these alternatives:

  • Basil & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Cajun Seasoning & Green Onions
  • Chopped Mushrooms & Steak Seasoning (this sounds weird but so good!)
  • Pimento & Cheddar (yes, more cheese)

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Two main ingredients, 45 minutes and dinner is on the table.  What could be easier? Nothing I tell you.

How to make Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups:

First off you need to flatten out your chicken breasts. Lay it down, cover in plastic wrap and then pound them until they are about 1/2″ thick. Thin enough so that you can fill and roll them up easily.

Take the block of cream cheese and put it in a bowl then add the herbs & spices.

Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Now it’s time to fill, roll & bread the chicken. Shake out 1/2 a box of Oven Fry Extra Crispy onto a plate.

Spoon a dollop of cream cheese on each chicken breast-this recipe covers just enough for 6 chicken breasts.

Roll each chicken breast and coat in the Oven Fry.

Place each roll up into a baking dish. Bake uncovered at 375 for 45 minutes.

Need more easy chicken breast recipes for dinner?

And here you are…….

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups | Bottom Left of the Mitten
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Instagram | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Originally published May of 2016. Updated photos & recipe February of 2019.

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



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Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups

I first had this recipe at a restaurant. It was so delicious that I knew I had to recreate these Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups at home.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chicken

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chicken

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups | Bottom Left of the Mitten


Instructions
  1. Flatten out your chicken breasts. Lay the chicken down, cover in plastic wrap and then pound them until they are about 1/2" thick.

  2. Take 1/2 the block of cream cheese and put it in a bowl. Add the herbs & spices. Stir to combine all the ingredients.

  3. Spoon a dollop of cream cheese on each chicken breast.

  4. Shake out 1/2 a box of Oven Fry Extra Crispy onto a plate. Roll each chicken breast and coat in the Oven Fry.

  5. Place each roll up into a baking dish. Bake uncovered at 375 for 45 minutes.

The BEST Marinade for Smoking Meat

A smoker is a great way to have amazing BBQ right at home. This Marinade for Smoking Meat is easy and leave whatever meat you are smoking so tasty! 

Ingredients for the BEST Smoker Marinade.

A few years ago I got my husband a smoker for Christmas.  It ended up being a great purchase because we use it a lot!  Weekends are spent slowly smoking pork or beef for a great dinner and then we have plenty of leftovers to get us through the rest of the weekend.

This marinade is one that I’ve been using since we got the smoker.  A great marinade is a key to tender meat, so don’t miss this step.

How to make the BEST Marinade for Smoking Meat:

To a pan add the Coca-Cola, spices, apple cider vinegar then the molasses.

Over medium-high heat cook for 5 minutes, stirring as it cooks.

Turn off the heat and add the ice.  Let the marinade cool.

Ingredients and steps for the BEST Smoker Marinade.

In a dish add the meat then pour the marinade over it.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours, flipping the meat about halfway through.

Two pork roasts in a pan covered with plastic wrap.

Smoke meat as you like.

What ways are best to smoke meats?

  • Low and slow – My husband made this pork roast below by just letting it go low and slow over 9 hours.  It fell apart and had some amazing burnt ends on it.
  • Texas Crutch – This involves smoking the meat for a time then wrapping it with foil.  Check out this great article about it here.

Pork that has been smoked and shredded in a pan.

What should you serve with smoked meats?

The BEST Smoker Marinade |in a pan and two pork roasts in a pan next to it.

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
The BEST Marinade for Smoking Meat
This is the BEST Marinade for Smoking Meat! From pork to beef, this smoker marinade is so easy and leaves whatever meat you choose to smoke full of flavor.
The BEST Smoker Marinade | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
The BEST Smoker Marinade | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. To a pan add the Coca-Cola, spices, apple cider vinegar then the molasses.
  2. Over medium-high heat cook for 5 minutes, stirring as it cooks.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the ice. Let the marinade cool.
  4. In a dish add the meat then pour the marinade over it.
  5. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours, flipping the meat about halfway through.
  6. Smoke meat as you like. Enjoy!

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd

This is the time of year for tailgates and holiday parties, so having a Quick Recipe that will feed lots of people is a must! This Mac and Cheese for a Crowd has only a few ingredients and comes together easily.  Set it and forget it in the slow cooker so you can enjoy the party and not be stuck in the kitchen.

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten

I’ve been making this mac and cheese recipe for years.  It’s always my go-to when people are coming over.  The pasteurized cheese spread melts perfectly with the pasta to create this deliciously cheesy dish that goes with literally any main dish that you are servings – hot dogs, hamburgers or smoked meats.

Did you just say ‘pasteurized cheese spread’?

Yes, yes I did.  It still exists and it’s truly THE BEST way to make this mac and cheese. While I do not keep it in my fridge on a regular basis this recipe is one reason why you might want to keep it on hand.

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten

This recipe calls for only half the amount of pasteurized cheese spread.  I made this twice in a month for my son’s birthday and then a pool party so all I was out was 2 boxes of pasta and two cans of evaporated milk.  Total cost for this macaroni and cheese for 2 parties: Less than $11.00.  Double bonus: This mac and cheese for a crowd is very economical.

How to make Mac and Cheese for a Crowd: {VIDEO BELOW}

Cook the elbow pasta according to package directions and drain.

Add the drained pasta to a greased slow cooker.

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Cube 1/2 the package of pasteurized cheese spread.  Place on top of the pasta in the slow cooker.

Shake the evaporated milk then open and pour over the pasta and cheese.

In a small bowl add the garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and parsley flakes.  Stir to combine then pour over the pasta and cheese.

Stir to completely combine all the ingredients together.

Cover and set the slow cooker as follows:

Since the pasta will continue to cook in the slow cooker *do not* leave on high heat for very long.

  • Serving immediately – set the slow cooker to high for up to 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Eating within 30 minutes – set the slow cooker to low, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Waiting longer than an hour – set the slow cooker to keep warm, stirring every 20 minutes. 

And here you are……

Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten

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

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




Print Recipe
Mac and Cheese for a Crowd
This recipe for Mac and Cheese for a Crowd is a cheesy dish that's ready to party! Easy comfort food that has just a few ingredients but is so satisfying.
Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | 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
Mac and Cheese for a Crowd | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. Cook the elbow pasta according to package directions and drain.
  2. Add the drained pasta to a greased slow cooker.
  3. Cube 1/2 the package of pasteurized cheese spread. Place on top of the pasta in the slow cooker.
  4. Shake the evaporated milk then open and pour over the pasta and cheese.
  5. In a small bowl add the garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and parsley flakes. Stir to combine then pour over the pasta and cheese.
  6. Stir to completely combine all the ingredients together.
  7. Cover and set according to timing below. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Cover and set the slow cooker as follows:

Since the pasta will continue to cook int he slow cooker *do not* leave on high heat for very long.

  • Serving immediately - set the slow cooker to high for up to 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Eating within 30 minutes - set the slow cooker to low, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Waiting longer than an hour - set the slow cooker to warm, storring every 20 minutes. 

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

A creamy homemade cheese sauce coats noodles and makes the perfect bed for pulled pork.  Drizzle this Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese with BBQ sauce then top with spicy jalapenos and pickled red onions. 

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese on a plate with some BBQ sauce off to the side.

Welcome to the first Mitten Movie Night of Spring! We are ready to settle in and start enjoying the warmer weather.  Today I am sharing a recipe that is inspired by a wonderful meal that we had while on our Spring Break trip to Florida, pulled pork mac and cheese.

A little more on the backstory of where this recipe originated from.  This year was the first year that we actually ventured out of Michigan for Spring Break. The Winter has been long and we were all in need of some serious Sunshine.  So we headed down to a place that I grew up going to as a kid – Venice, Florida. Right on the Gulf of Mexico we couldn’t have asked for a better place to get away from it all….well expect for the traffic with everyone else having the same idea…but I digress and do not want to complain because this was easily one of my favorite vacations we’ve ever had.  I mean look at this picture of the boys heading down to the beach.  A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Spring Break 2018 Venice Florida.

While we were in Florida we visited my friend and her family who hosted us for Easter.  Visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter & Hope.  Then enjoyed lots of time at the pool, the beach and eating really good food.  On the suggestion of one of the residents at the condo we headed over to Darrell’s BBQ. It was a treat because anyone with kids and driving 24 hours to get to a location knows it means lots of fast food and we were ready for a sit down meal.  The husband had the pulled pork platter, Big A had a burger and Little A and I shared a big bowl of pulled pork mac and cheese with piles of pork and sweet BBQ sauce.  It was so good and one that I kept note of so I could make it as soon as we got home.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese on a plate ready to eat.

What beer pairs well with Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese?

The beer: Hopsoulution Double IPA from Bell’s.

Even though most of this post talks about Florida, I am a Michigan girl and happy to be home because we do have some of the best craft beer in the country.  Wouldn’t you know we came back just in time for the release of Hopsoulution Double IPA.

How to make Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese:

Let’s start with the pulled pork.  For this pulled pork mac and cheese recipe, I made the pork in the slow cooker.  You can easily smoke the meat if you like but I ran short on time and really didn’t feel like pulling out the smoker so the slow cooker worked just as good.

Mix the beef broth and seasonings in the bottom of the crock pot and add the pork. Set for 6-8 hours on low and the pork is ready to be taken out and pulled.

About 20 minutes before the pork is ready to come out start the macaroni and cheese. Boil the pasta according to package directions.  Once it is done remove from the pan, drain and set aside in another bowl.

To the pot you cooked the pasta add the butter and over medium heat melt the butter.  Once it has melted stir the flour into the butter until it is slightly smooth (you may see some lumps) then add the milk.  Stir until combines and you have a nice sauce appearance.

Now add the nutmeg, pepper, garlic powder then finally add the 3 different cheeses.  Make sure you stir the whole time.  See how awesome this sauce comes out. The ‘pull’ of the cheese.  Thick enough to coat all the noodles.  Another word for it is ‘cheesetastic’.

Cheese sauce in a pan.

Add the noodles to the pot and stir to get all the sauce all over the noodles.  Now set out a plate and add the mac and cheese.

Heap some pulled pork on there.  Drizzle with BBQ sauce (I recommend my Best BBQ Sauce).  Finish off this pulled pork mac and cheese with pickled red onions and jalapenos.

And here you are….

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese on a plate with some BBQ 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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*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.


Print Recipe
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese has creamy homemade sauce and is topped with tender pulled pork and sweet BBQ sauce. The perfect meal for when you're looking for cheesy decadence.
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Pulled Pork
Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Pulled Pork
Mac and Cheese
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Pulled Pork
  1. To a slow cooker add beef broth, onion powder, minced garlic and seasonings then set for 6-8 hours on low and the pork is ready to be taken out and pulled.
Mac and Cheese
  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Once it is done remove from the pan, drain and set aside in another bowl.
  2. To the pot you cooked the pasta add the butter and over medium heat melt the butter. Once it has melted stir the flour into the butter until it is slightly smooth (you may see some lumps) then add the milk. Stir until combines and you have a nice sauce appearance.
  3. Add the nutmeg, pepper, garlic powder then finally add the 3 different cheese. Make sure you stir the whole time.
  4. Add the noodles to the pot and stir to get all the sauce all over the noodles.
  5. To plate: Add the mac and cheese. Heap some pulled pork on there. Drizzle with BBQ sauce. Finish off with pickled red onions and jalapenos. Enjoy!

Loaded Cheese Fries

It has been a long week for a Michigander!  We’ve had 3, yes I said 3, snow days this week.   So to reminisce on the days of Summer for this Mitten Movie Night we fired up the smoker, a thing we do often when it’s warmer, to slow cook a bottom round roast.  It was the perfect addition to put on top of some Loaded Cheese Fries!

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten
For the beer we’re enjoying some Devil Dancer from Founders.  The movie, Lights Out.  I had wanted to see this in the theaters so bad because I LOVE scary movies but alas we just didn’t have time to go.  This is precisely why I love Mitten Movie Night because it gives me a chance to make great meals like a Pepper Steak Pizza or even special treats for the kids like these Peanut Butter Candy Bar Blossoms and catch up on a movie we’ve been waiting to see. Thank you Netflix! So now on to the recipe.

Loaded Cheese Fries | Bottom Left of the Mitten

A key that I’ve found to smoking meat is ‘prior preparation’.  The night before take the meat and put it into a great brine and make sure to give it at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.  We use a brine of Coca-Cola, garlic & onion powders, kosher salt, molasses and apple cider vinegar.  Before putting the meat into the smoker pat it dry then generously cover with a dry rub like this Bayou Black from Legion of Spice.  I also used their Jerk seasoning to make these amazing Jerk Chicken Sandwiches which has been my most popular recipe on the blog to date.  Follow your smokers user directions for cooking time but it generally is 1 Hour per 1 Pound of meat.  This roast took an 2-1/2 hours.  Turn off heat.  Take out the roast and cover with tinfoil and return to smoker to rest for 20 minutes.

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

About a half hour before the meat is done prepare the bagged fries according to package directions.  I grabbed a bag of Alexia Organics Fries from the grocery store.  Now let me tell you-I’ve used other types of frozen fries before and never liked the way they came out.  Usually soggy and never crispy.  These however were phenomenal and not to mention easier than making my own.  For the toppings chop up some tomatoes and jalapenos. Sautee an onion in some butter.  Get some parsley for added flair.  Whip up a quick cheese sauce by creating a roux with butter and milk then add cheese.

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

The smoked roast came out perfect.  Juicy and moist with a slight crust on it from the rub.  It came out medium/rare with the cooking method I mentioned above but as always with meat cook to your preference and follow food safety guidelines.  Now time to assemble!

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Start with a french fry base, add sweet onions, tomatoes and jalapenos, the meat that has been cut into strips then finally smother in cheese sauce.  Garnish with parsley and here you are…..

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

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

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

Loaded Cheese Fries with Smoked Bottom Round Roast | Bottom Left of the Mitten #loadedfries #smokedmeat

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Loaded Cheese Fries
Crisp french fries loaded with all the goodies like tomatoes, jalapenos, smoked beef and a smooth and creamy cheese sauce. Perfect for sharing...if you want!
Loaded Cheese Fries| Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Beef
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Brine/Rub
Cheese Sauce
French Fries & Topping
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Beef
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Brine/Rub
Cheese Sauce
French Fries & Topping
Loaded Cheese Fries| Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Brine/Rub
  1. On the stove top heat up all the ingredients in a small pan. Let come to a boil then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Once cooled put in a baking dish with the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  3. Before putting the meat into the smoker pat it dry then generously cover with a dry rub. Follow your smokers user directions for cooking time but it generally is 1 Hour per 1 Pound of meat. This roast took an 2-1/2 hours. Turn off the smoker. Take out and cover with tinfoil and return to smoker to rest another 20 minutes.
Cheese Sauce
  1. Melt butter in a small pan. Gradually add flour. Then gradually add milk. Once it's all combined add cheese to mixture. Stir until melted. Use to top the french fries.
French Fries & Topping
  1. Prepare bagged fries to package directions.
  2. For the toppings chop up some tomatoes and jalapenos. Sautee an onion in some butter.
  3. Assemble by starting with a french fry base, add sweet onions, tomatoes and jalapenos, the meat that has been cut into strips then finally smother in cheese sauce. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

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