Pina Colada Bread Pudding {with Vanilla Rum Sauce}

My husband hates bread pudding.

Hate might actually be too mild of a word. Loathe might be a more accurate descriptor.

However, this is coming from an individual who thinks that chocolate cake is “too rich,” so I really don’t put too much stock in his opinion.

I, on the other hand, really enjoy bread pudding. To me, it’s really just a glammed up version of a french toast casserole.

Which means you can totally eat it for breakfast.

And, since I’m of the opinion that fruit automatically ups the health quotient of any dish, I deemed this dessert twice as healthy since it includes both raisins and pineapple.

But what sort of pushes it right over the edge is the vanilla rum sauce that you drizzle over the top, while everything is still nice and warm and gooey.

I may or may not have “taste-tested” some of the sauce straight from the sauce pan.

We were lucky there was any left to pour over the dessert.  It’s that good.

Pina Colada Bread Pudding

Pina Colada Bread Pudding

from Delicious Disney Desserts

Ingredients

    For the bread pudding:
  • 12 slices raisin bread
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut rum (optional)
  • For the vanilla rum sauce:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut rum (or 1 teaspoon rum extract)

Instructions

    For the bread pudding:
  1. Preheat broiler. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes, spread on a cookie sheet and broil until golden brown (watch them closely--they'll burn quickly!). Remove from broiler and reduce heat to 350.
  2. Combine toasted bread cubes and pineapple in a large bowl.
  3. Spread bread mixture into a 13x9 baking pan. Drizzle with melted butter.
  4. Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat--do not boil. Whisk in eggs, heavy cream, sugar, coconut milk, and rum. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour custard over bread mixture. Press bread down into the liquid with a fork until everything is well soaked.
  6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until pudding springs back in the center when pressed.
  7. For the rum sauce:
  8. Combine egg yolks, cornstarch, 2 tablespoons milk and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small mixing bowl, stirring until smooth.
  9. Combine 1 cup milk, remaining sugar and vanilla in a small pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
  10. Whisk egg yolk mixture into boilding milk.
  11. Immediately pour into a bowl in an ice bath so your sauce does not curdle. Add rum and whisk.
  12. To serve:
  13. While warm, cut pudding into 12 squares. Drizzle with rum sauce before serving.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/pina-colada-bread-pudding/

Happy Thursday!

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

Cucumber, Red Onion, Feta and Dill Salad

Let me tell you something about vacationing.

It’s not the time to even attempt dieting.  At least not for me.

Look, part of our vacation included a cruise, which meant we got to eat five-course meals every night.  Don’t think for one minute that I didn’t take advantage of that, including the fact that I could have two! {or three!} desserts if I wanted them.  I felt a little gluttonous choosing something from each course offering when the two other people at our table were hemming and hawing over whether to have a soup or a salad.

“Get them both!” I advised.  “Live it up, we’re on vacation!”

Also, the food is technically already figured into the price of the trip.  And, because the Tall Boy and Doodle don’t really eat enough to cover what the cruise line charged us, I decided it was necessary that I eat enough for all of us to get our money’s worth.

The problem with this is that by the time I got home, even my elastic pants were getting a little snug and the idea of eating another decadent dessert kind of made my stomach roll (don’t worry, I’ll be over that in another day or two).

So, to sort of even things out a bit, I decided a salad was in order.

 

Except I’m really not one for traditional salads.  Also, I require some type of protein, lots of cheese, and enough dressing to cover up the taste of the lettuce.  And when there’s no lettuce involved at all, so much the better.

If we’re being honest here, I’m not really even a vegetable fan.  I do try to eat them, and often do a better job of it in the summer months, when I can throw them on the grill.

But I love, love, LOVE this salad, which is quick and easy to throw together, travels well, and is crisp and cool for the hot summer.  Plus, I can eat a huge serving of it and still have calories saved to justify eating dessert.

It’s a win-win.

Cucumber, Red Onion, Feta and Dill Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • crumbled feta cheese, to taste
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sweetener and salt/pepper. Toss in the cucumbers, red onion and fresh dill.
  2. Cover and chill--at least 1 hour, to let the flavors intensify.
  3. Before serving, toss with crumbled feta cheese.
  4. If you want to be naughty--add in some crumbled bacon!
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/cucumber-red-onion-feta-and-dill-salad/

Have a great Wednesday!

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos,  I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream {for a special tea party}

A few weeks ago, my friend Dorothy posted the cauuuuutest tea party she’d hosted for her daughter (including a to-die-for white chocolate cheesecake dip).  I have to admit, I was a little bit envious that I didn’t have a little girl to host a tea party for.  I mean, let’s face it: as the mother of a four-year old boy, we don’t have many tea parties around my joint.

So, imagine my excitement when Donsuemor contacted me about hosting a tea party of my own!  You know what that means, right?  A total excuse to host a tea party for Doodle–whoot!  There’s no reason boys can’t attend tea parties, right?  Plus, what kid doesn’t love cookies?

For the tea party, Donsuemor sent me a variety of madeleines to serve, along with some Davidson’s Organic Tea.  I had visions of a cute little boy tea party, complete with mini quiche cups and fruit skewers, all worked out in my head.  Doodle and I would enjoy our “fine dining” at his Handy Manny table, with seats added for his current best pals: Super Mario and Mickey Mouse.

But when the time came, Doodle was a little more interested in heading out to the backyard with Daddy than he was in sipping tea with me.  “Sorry, mom,” he called back over his shoulder.  “Will you bring my cookies out on a plate?”

So instead, I snipped a few fresh hydrangea blooms from my bush, stuck them in a make-shift vase, and loaded up our madeleines on a plate–eating them on our outside patio rather than inside, as I’d planned.  And, once Doodle discovered  cookies were part of the deal, he wasn’t interested in eating anything else.

Donsuemor sent us four different madeleines to try: traditional, chocolate, chocolate-dipped, and lemon.  Doodle and I enjoyed ours on the outside patio, and he had the best time sampling each of the cookies.

I can’t deny it; I did, too.

I was actually very surprised at just how yummy these little cookies were.  Each cookie tasted like it was freshly baked; I’d sort of expected them to be a bit dry–but that wasn’t the case at all!  These were the perfect little cookies for our tea party on the fly!

Doodle said his favorite was the chocolate-dipped, while I was partial towards the chocolate.  But if we’re being honest, I finished all of the cookies left on his plate after he ran off to play with the Tall Boy, ’cause they were all pretty darn tasty.  It’s totally awesome that these cookies came individually wrapped–it makes it a little harder for me to swipe a cookie unnoticed this way.

And while Doodle isn’t into tea, the Tall Boy and I drink it frequently.  Although the Tall Boy typically prefers a “plain” tea, I’m in love with flavored tea.  For our party, I made Bing Cherry Almond, which tasted a.ma.zing.  Not only that, but my kitchen smelled fabulous during brewing, and the wonderful scent filled the room for the entire afternoon.

I initially made some warm tea to go along with the cookies.  However, since it’s already in the 90’s here, I brewed some additional tea and served it iced later in the afternoon.  Heaven!

Also, since it’s typically our tradition to make ice cream over Memorial Day weekend, I made homemade vanilla bean ice cream–which was perfect with the chocolate madeleines on the side.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream {for a special tea party}

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk and the and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk; add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and let infuse for one hour.
  2. To make the ice cream, place a 2-quart bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Pour the cream into the bowl.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk and gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks to temper, whisking constantly. Add the warmed milk and eggs back into the saucepan.
  4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custart thickens enough to coat the back of a spatula.
  5. Pour the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, and add the vanilla extract. Refrigerate; overnight is best.
  6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/vanilla-bean-ice-cream-for-a-special-tea-party/

For more information on Donsuemor, visit their website. Or, you can like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. To purchase their yummy madeleines and little cakes, you can shop online.

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos,  I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

Donsuemor provided me with the madeleines and the tea for my party.  However, all opinions expressed are my own, ’cause that’s how I roll.  True story.

Lemon Raspberry Bars

I’m finally getting back into the swing of things after a much needed vacation.

Actually, that’s not true.

While it is fabulous to be back home, I can’t deny the fact that I really, really enjoyed having someone else make (and turn down) my bed, cook all of my meals, and that I rolled over in bed every morning to a glorious view of the ocean.  We pretty much ate our way through the Caribbean (and by “we” I mean me), and I haven’t stopped harrassing my husband about booking another cruise since the moment we stepped on the ship.

Par.a.dise.

Also really nice?  The fact that our neighbors picked up our mail and watered all of our plants while we were gone.  Seriously, my potted plants and shrubs look better now than when they are left to my {very} black thumb.  So to say thank you, I made these {very easy} lemon raspberry bars.

Really.  Super, super easy.

Only four ingredients.

And feel free to change up the flavors of the cake mix and the jam!  I think chocolate cake mix and strawberry jam would be super yummy.  Or lemon cake mix and blueberry jam.  The possibilities are endless.  And, since it’s so easy, you might as well give all of them a try.  =)

 

Lemon Raspberry Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 18.25-ounce package lemon cake mix
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 12-ounce jar raspberry jam

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine cake mix and oats. Stir in melted butter until mixture is crumbly. Press approximately 3 cups of the mixture into a greased 13x9 pan.
  3. Spread jam over the crumb mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mixture. Pat gently to level.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/lemon-raspberry-bars/

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

Apple Cheese Danish {from The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen}

I’m officially home from vacation and back to real life. And because my real life usually equates to “real busy,” I asked my best gal-pal Chandra to post for me today while I continue to work on washing massive amounts of laundry, get back into the swing of t-ball practice, preschool graduation (seriously, is this necessary??), bake/decorate a wedding cake, and um, grocery shopping. ‘Cause it’s pretty impossible to have a food blog without food in the house.

Chandra used to be my next-door neighbor, until her husband’s job moved them to California.  Do you know how far it is from Wichita to California?  Quite a bit farther than walking across the lawn, I’ll tell you that.  Especially when you’ve been drinking some of Chandra’s chocolate martinis out on the patio (Chandra, will you go ahead and post that recipe already?  ‘Cause I really, really need want it.).  Fortunately for me, her hubby’s job recently moved them to Kansas City, just a mere three hours away.  Not as good as next door, but I’ll take it.

But seriously, Chandra is one of the best cooks and one of the best people I know.  When we first came home from the hospital with Doodle, Chandra brought us dinner nearly every night!  Plus, I learned everything I know about cake decorating from her.  I can’t tell you how much I miss having her next door, but fortunately for me, I can still check out her fabulous recipes over at her blog, The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen.  She makes totally awesome stuff like Wicked Chicken and Strawberry Love Cake and Pot Roast with Spring Vegetables.  So go check her out–she pretty much rocks!

Now, take it away, Chandra!

When my dear friend Ashley asked me to guest post on her blog I was all excited!! I have known Ashley for seven years. We are the closest of buds and spent just about everyday together until my husband’s job moved us away three years ago. She calls that the day Steve ruined her life. We still joke about it. Since moving away we still stay in daily contact, when my stupid job lets me that is, and we both share the same passions for food, family, and life.

If it were not for her I would have been lost in the quagmire of foodie blog land. She is my constant inspiration, teacher, and motivator when I get frustrated. See I have this problem…. I have the patience of a flea! She is a steadfast and constant in my turbulent life. As all of you know she has a GREAT blog and YUMMY recipes!!! So another reason I was excited to be a guest blogger was so that I could be among these delish little treats, like Coconut Banana Bread and Coconut Lime White Chocolate Cookies!! I don’t know if it is because the Tall Boy doesn’t like coconut, and that is why when I come to visit she goes crazy and bakes me these goodies, but I just ADORE them!!

If you are all fans of Kitchen Meets Girl, and I know that you just must be, you will know that one of Ashley’s favorite parties to throw is a brunch. She has Christmas Eve Brunches, Mother’s Day Brunches, I have friends from out of town Brunches, oh and because it is Sunday and I want to eat Brunches….. Well maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. So when she asked me to do this guest post I knew I had to do an item that would be Ashley Brunch worthy. I think that this Danish fits the bill. It is easy, quick, and most of all delish!! I hope that you will enjoy this and maybe come over and check me out sometimes at The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen.

Apple Cheese Danish
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz light cream cheese
  • 2 apples sliced
  • ⅓ c sugar
  • 3 tbs water
  • sugar for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper is best
  2. roll the puff pastry out and cut in 3 vertical strips then cut strips in half giving you 6 squares
  3. in a mixing bowl combing egg, sugar and cream cheese
  4. blend until creamy
  5. spread cheese mixture on each square and layer the sliced apples
  6. turn up the corners of only 2 of the 4 sides
  7. dip pastry brush in water and glaze over dough and sprinkle the sugar on
  8. bake at 400 for 20 min

Orange Dreamsicle Bars {from The Domestic Rebel}

So guess what?  It’s my birthday today, and I’m spending the entirety of it traveling.  And not fun traveling, either, considering we’re getting off a cruise ship at 7:30 in the morning and won’t arrive back home until 10:40 pm (if we’re lucky).  But, the good news for you guys is that in my absence, I have the most super-awesome fantabulous guest post for you!  So score for you guys, and happy birthday to me!

Okay, so I “met” Hayley and few months ago and she’s been like my bloggy BFF ever since.  Yep, I said BFF like I’m still in high-school and I’m totally okay with that.  Considering that I’m now officially on the downhill slide to 40, I need to get up to speed with the “cool” lingo so Doodle doesn’t think I’m a totally outdated (old?) mom.  But I don’t know, maybe “BFF” isn’t really even “cool” lingo.  I need some help guys, stat.

Anyway, Hayley is one chickadee who needs no help with being cool–she makes the most amazing goodies over at her blog, The Domestic Rebel.  Seriously, when I was 21, I barely knew how to make macaroni and cheese, and she’s whipping up stuff like Almond Joy Blondie Bars and Ooey Gooey Snickerdoodle Bars and Cake Batter Monkey Bread Muffins.  Her stuff?  To.Die.For.  Go check her out already, would you?  And get ready to loosen your pants.

Howdy! I’m Hayley, aka The Domestic Rebel and I’m going to be Ashley for the day which is actually really cool because that means I have access to things like this Midori Colada and this Fig-Prosciutto Pizza I dream about nightly.

But seriously, I’m glad Ashley asked me over since I totally love her. Like, as much as I love sprinkles. Because Ashley is funny and sweet and totally rockin’ (as are her amazing recipes) and I figured her readers must be just as awesome as she is!

Plus, again, the access to the Midori.

If you don’t know me very well, you should know that generally, I loathe summertime.

In Sacramento, it gets disgustingly sweaty hot and I am ill-prepared for it every single time. Like, all my clothes are WAY too cute to get sweaty. And I really can’t stand the concept of smelling awful. I mean, it’s my top fear–right next to monkeys and Forever 21 going out of business. Scary stuff, man.

But one thing I do like about summertime is the food. Grilling, frosty drinks, ice cream treats–it’s all good in my book. The icier the beverage, charr-ier the chicken and the creamier the ice cream, the better. Obviously.

One of my summertime staples are 50/50 bars. You know, the orange and vanilla cream bars? They’re SO good. I grew up on the stuff, eagerly anticipating the perfect moment after lunch to snack on one before hopping in the pool. And as a kid, I may or may not have had like, an entire box’s worth in the span of an hour because kid calories don’t count.

So in preparation of summertime and in appreciation of summertime flavors, I made these super easy Orange Dreamsicle Bars. They keep better than ice cream (hello, no messy melting everywhere) and they even taste good cold! So like, I totally understand if you want to be BFFs with me now and all, and if you’re wondering, yes, I will share my bars with you.

(FYI, these calories don’t count either. Because I said so and I am the queen of everything). The end.

Orange Dreamsicle Bars

1 box white cake mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 tsp orange extract

1 cup white chocolate chips

Orange gel food coloring

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs and oil until blended. Remove about a cup of dough (a little less than half) and place it in another medium-sized bowl. To this medium bowl, add the orange extract and food coloring, stirring to combine until you’ve achieved a desired orange shade.

3. Alternate by dropping spoonfuls of the vanilla and the orange dough into the prepared pan–the drops don’t have to be perfect, we’re going for a pseudo-marbled effect here. Once all the dough is evenly pressed into the pan, press the white chocolate chips on top of the dough using a rubber spatula.

4. Bake until the center is set, about 15 minutes or so. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars. Store leftovers airtight for approx. 2 days at room temperature (or in the fridge, if preferred).

These bars make an excellent treat any time of year, but are perfectly reminiscent of summertime–and who doesn’t love vanilla and orange together?! (if you answer ‘you’, then I am sorry but this won’t work out).

Otherwise, nice to meet you, and I hope y’all stop by on my blog, The Domestic Rebel, sometime and say hi! I have cupcakes…

And thank you, Ashley, for featuring me today! Have a wonderful day, everyone!

xo, Hayley

Pineapple-Vanilla Agua Fresca

Happy Friday!

If everything has gone according to my plan, I should be sipping an umbrella drink as we speak.

Well, not if you’re reading this at 7 am, because I plan to still be snoozing.

I am on vacation after all.

But by 5 o’clock, I plan to have something fruity and cocktail-like in my hand.

And since I do like to share, I made you one, too.  This is actually a non-alcoholic beverage {super great for entertaining on a hot summer day}, but if you add in some coconut rum, I won’t tell.  In fact, I recommended it.  I sampled it that way {for blogging research} and it was great.

Pineapple Agua Fresca

from Mexican Made Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Put the pineapple, cold water, vanilla, and sugar in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Strain into a pitcher, pressing on the solids to extract all the liquid. Discard the solids. Serve over ice.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/pineapple-agua-fresca/

Have a wonderful, super, fabulous Friday!

Mother’s Day Brunch

Oh.  Hi there!

Guess what?  My two best guys and I are off vacationing in the land of fun and sun for the next week and a half!  This is pretty much our first real vacation since Doodle was born, so yeah, I’m pretty pumped–despite the fact that we had to get up at 3:30 this morning to make our 6:20 flight.  Ugh, as if air travel wasn’t torture enough, I’m also forced to get up about the time I’m normally hitting my REM sleep cycle.

I have some fun posts lined up for you while I’m gone…including some awesome guest posts next week that I’m beyond excited about.  And, since Mother’s Day is just around the corner, I have a round-up of some fun ideas for you here.  I usually have my mom over for dinner over Mother’s Day weekend, so I’m bummed I’ll miss that tradition this year.  Just so ya’ll know, I have the best mama ever, and I’m lucky to call her my best friend.

So mom–we’ll celebrate when I get home.  But don’t worry, I’ll toast to ya with a umbrella drink on the beach Sunday.  =) If you’re making your mom brunch, here are some yummy ideas:

1. Blueberry Muffins with Coconut-Lime Glaze

2. Pina-Colada Fruit Salad

3.  Banana Bread Pancakes with Nutella Maple Syrup

Or how about one (some) of these:

1. Spinach, Bacon, Mushroom and Gouda Quiche

2. Italian Breakfast Pizza

3. Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls

And while not technically brunch food, who would argue with pie or cookies?

1.  Coconut-Lime White Chocolate Cookies

2.  Peppermint Stuffed Double Chocolate Cookies

3.  Carrot Cake Cookies with Dulche de Leche Buttercream

4.  Coconut Caramel Pie in a Jar

 

Hope you all have a great rest of the week!

Ooey Gooey Mexican Grilled Cheese

 

I live with a 4-year old and a guy who eats grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast.

So, as you can imagine, we make a lot of grilled cheese around here.

What’s interesting is that as much as I like to cook and come up with fun, exciting twists to recipes, we typically just make plain ol’ grilled cheese–you know, with Velveeta cheese.  And if we really want to fancy it up, we add some lunch meat.

I’ve always wanted to be the fancy-pants mom who makes gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches for her family.  The only problem is that my family really isn’t “gourmet” and probably wouldn’t come within a 10-foot radius of an arugala asiago grilled cheese.  And since I’m too lazy to make a fancy sandwich for me and a second (boring) sandwich for them, we all just usually end up eating the same thing.

Not anymore.

Guys, a whole new world has been opened for me on grilled cheese sandwiches, and I’m determined to try them all.

But apparently, I’m still in Cinco de Mayo mode, because I started out my foray into “fancy” grilled cheese by choosing a Mexican version.  Here’s my cast of characters:

 

Holy cow guys, these were so yummy.  The Tall Boy even went back and fixed a second sandwich!  He and Doodle decided on the name for this one: Ooey Gooey Grilled Mexican Cheese.  Yep, this might just be a new household favorite!  I found the recipe over at Grilled Cheese Social - which has to be about the most amazing grilled cheese site I’ve ever seen.

Now, we like things spicy around our place, so I used fresh, sliced jalepeños and left the seeds in.  But if you’re not into that kind of thing, just use pickled jalepeños for a bit of the flavor, but a little less heat.

Ooey Gooey Mexican Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of thick bread (we used an Italian loaf)
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Mexican melting cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted corn
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup grilled shredded chicken
  • 4 to 5 jalepeno slices
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 tablespoon tablespoon of cumin butter (combine softened butter, a pinch of garlic salt, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon chile powder)

Instructions

  1. Smear some of the cumin butter on a slice of bread and place, butter side down, on your warm griddle.
  2. Working quickly, pile on some shredded cheese, corn, chicken, jalepenos, and more cheese.
  3. Top with another slice of buttered bread.
  4. Grill, 3-5 minutes per side, or until lightly golden.
  5. Before serving, squeeze a lime wedge on top.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/ooey-gooey-mexican-grilled-cheese/

I’m linking up over at Mom’s Crazy Cooking Challenge today, and if you haven’t checked out Tina’s site, you should. She’s got some great stuff over there.

Photobucket

Check out my previous Challenge entries:

Blueberry Muffins with Coconut-Lime Glaze
Spicy Bolognese
Dark Chocolate Cake with Hot Chocolate Buttercream
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Eggnog Fudge
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

And be sure to check out all of the other great recipes from this month’s participants!

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

 

Cinco de Mayo Round-Up

Yippee! It’s practically my favorite day of the year: Cinco de Mayo–the one day of the year when drinking margaritas and eating massive amounts of salsa and cheese dip is not only acceptable, but encouraged! If you need some last minute ideas, I’ve got a few for you:

Let’s start with a few dips, shall we? Actually, most people call these dips, but I usually eat enough of these to actually make them my main course. I have a slight tortilla chip addiction:

 

1.  {Cilantro-Lime} Mexi-Corn Dip

2.  {Super Easy} Homemade Salsa

 

While I’m still snacking on the chips and salsa, most people are ready to move on to the main course:

 

1.  Smothered Burritos–one of my personal favorites, and super simple to make.  Lots of meat, cheese, sour cream–what’s not to like??

2.  Chicken Chimichangas–though my pictures don’t do these justice, trust me, these are good.  Like really, really good.  Plus, they’re baked, not fried, so they’re on the healthy end of the Mexican food spectrum.  This way, you can eat more chips.

3.  Citrus Shrimp Tacos with Southwest Cream Sauce–more lousy pictures, but a really light, healthy meal.

4.  Taco Pizza–two of my favorites, wrapped up in one!

While you’re at it, why not make your own flour tortillas?  Seriously, you’ll never go back to the store-bought ones again.  Promise.

And, what’s a Cinco de Mayo celebration without a margarita (or two):

What about a (1) strawberry orange margarita or a (2) key lime pie margarita?

And my new personal favorite, a chocolate margarita.

Of course, no meal in my house is complete without dessert! Who says empanadas have to be savory? Try these caramel pineapple empanadas:

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend! Let’s eat, drink, and enjoy!