King’s Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders

Adapted from:  King’s Hawaiian Rolls

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

At my work baby shower, I had one of the most delicious ham and cheese sliders I have ever had!  My co-worker told me the secret was King’s Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls.  So once I got home, I got googling and found a recipe on their website that matched what I had just eaten that day.  These are nothing short of amazing and are so addicting…I challenge you to eat just one (it’s impossible).  The response I got from Nate when he tried these was a mouthful-mumble of  “These are good!”  They even reheat well in the toaster oven or wrapped in foil and placed in the oven.

And extra touch was using Organic Valley’s Baby Swiss Cheese and  Cultured Unsalted Butter.  While I’ve cooked with plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, I’ve never used organic cheese and butter before.  Honestly, the flavor of the cheese and butter alone, is stronger and fresher tasting.  And you could immediately taste the lack of chemicals being used in these organic products, which is a very good thing!  The only way to get better quality cheese and butter is to get it from the farmer themselves!  Stay-tuned, there will be an Organic Vally giveaway starting on Friday!

1 pack of King’s Hawaiian Original Sweet Dinner Rolls (12 pack)
1 lb deli ham, shaved/sliced (I just went to the lunch meat section!)
8 oz. block of swiss cheese, shredded
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 tablespoons dijon honey mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Melt butter over medium heat and saute the onions in the butter for 1-2 minutes.
-Then add the mustard, worcestershire, and poppy seeds. Simmer for for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft.
-Cut the entire pack of rolls in half, horizontally…keeping all the top and bottom halves separately in tact.
-Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray, place bottom half of rolls, and spoon 1/2 of the onion mixture over the rolls.
-Add a slice of ham and sprinkle swiss cheese over each roll. 
-Cover with the top half of rolls.
-Spread the remaining onion mixture and any extra cheese over the top.
-Bake covered for 15-20 minutes, and once finished, separate for serving.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Source:  All My Great Ideas Are Really From Pinterest

Nate accuses me of being a sauce hoarder.  I love sauce, so sue me!  He also pointed out that we had 2 half bottles of Franks Hot Wing Sauce in the fridge, and asked me to explain.  I told him I was already a step ahead of him and had a recipe I was making THAT night to use them both up.  See what I did there? Girls ARE smarter than boys.

So I went to Pinterest and found a quick recipe for buffalo chicken something, and came across this gem.  There is really nothing too it.  And you could do it with any favorite sauce, for all you other sauce hoarders.  You could make a large batch of the chicken to use for wraps, buffalo enchiladas, buffalo mac n cheese, etc.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Buffalo Chicken Wrap - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

3 lbs chicken breasts
1 12 oz bottle of wing sauce
1 packet of Ranch Dip Seasoning
tortillas (used whole grain tortillas for health factor)

Optional Ingredients:
shredded cheese
leafy greens
sour cream
ranch or blue cheese

Put the chicken in the crock pot and pour wing sauce over the top.  Sprinkle the ranch dip mix over the top.

Cook on high for 4 hours.  Open the crock pot and shred chicken with a fork.  Stir the shredded chicken around in the sauce and cook on low for at least another hour.

Then assemble your wraps how you please!

Don’t Feel Like Cooking Nachos

There has been over a week long stretch of cold, cloudy, and rainy days here.  At first this weather makes you want all the autumn goodies, and then after a week, you get to feeling down right lazy.  -AND- it was Monday, so all we wanted to do was go straight home and to bed, but we had to eat, and you’re crazy if you think we wanted to take a trip to the grocery store! The furthest I was going was to the pantry and back to the couch.  So nachos became a good idea and were extremely satisfying on this cold and rainy night.  Gourmet, I know.

1 a bag of tortilla chips
1 small can of chili (I prefer Texas Pete)
1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained (feel free to use fresh, this is what I had on hand!)
1 bunch of green onions, finely sliced
1-2 cups of shredded cheese (I used quesadilla cheese)
Optional toppings – salsa, sour cream, cilantro, hot sauce, guacamole, avocado, corn, lime juice, etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cover a baking sheet with foil, for easy clean up.  Spread out tortilla chips in an even layer.

Spoon beans and chili over the tortilla chips.  Sprinkle tomatoes, green onions, and cheese over the top.

Baked in the oven uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Top with optional ingredients. Last night we added sour cream, more green onions, cilantro, and hot sauce.

Eat directly from cooking sheet or move to a plate.  

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

What is it about cloudy, cold, and rainy weekends that makes you want to lay around and veg-out?  The list of things I ate this weekend would include salt and vinegar chips, chips and salsa, ice cream, pretzels, baked potato with plenty of yummy toppings, and an apple just to make myself not feel like a failure.  So what did I cook for dinner? Uhh, nothing that could be considered dinner food!  A pie dish full of spinach and artichoke dip.  Thank goodness, Nate was in the snacking-mood too!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip - #TheNotSoDesperateChefWife

Spinach and Artichoke Dip - #TheNotSoDesperateChefWife

1 10 oz box of frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded 
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (Lowry’s)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less for desired kick)
1/2 a teaspoon garlic powder
More shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
– Optional – a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce

-preheat oven to 375 degrees

-add spinach and artichoke hearts to a medium-sized pot with just enough water to boil for 3-4 minutes.  You just want the veggies to be more tender and cook out some of the frozen/canned flavor.  Then drain in a colander.

-mix all of the ingredients and add to a baking dish

-sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top

-bake for 30-45 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and starting to brown

-Chow down!

**We mixed some of the dip with our baked potatoes.  Just imagine, a spinach and artichoke dip, double-stuffed potato! DEE-licious.
***Everything tastes better fresh.  Of course, artichoke hearts are definitely worth getting canned and the frozen spinach is a time-saver.  But if you’d like to saute fresh spinach, you want to end up with a cup of spinach.

Homemade Pimento Cheese

Thank goodness my sister-in-law is also an excellent cook.  She makes awesome…well…everything!  This is her very own recipe for pimento cheese that can be used for the classic pimento cheese sandwich, a kicked-up grilled cheese, on toast, as a dip, or whatever else you like it with.  If you like to make baked cheese bread, sub the mozzarella with this stuff.

1 wedge (about 1/3 lb) mild or medium hoop cheddar, shredded
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2  teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3-1/2 teaspoon Cajun mix, depending on what your taste is!
1 oz jarred pimentos

Mix together the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and mayo.  
Add pimentos and spices and stir until well mixed.  
Refrigerate for 1 hour.  (Don’t worry if it the spices seem to mild at first, the flavors will intensify in the fridge. If its too mild after an hour, add in some more spices and just mix again!)

Enchilada Cupcakes

Here’s a new one for you, enchilada cupcakes!  I’ve seen quite a few recipes using wonton wrappers and decided to give them a try.  We were in the mood for enchilada casserole and then I had the thought to stuff some wonton wrappers with enchilada ingredients.  To our surprise, they turned out!

The “cupcakes” were relatively easy to put together, and we should’ve known, anything cheesy is definitely going to be yummy.  Nate ate his with a fork and knife (with manners), and I just picked mine up with my fingers and ate it like a cupcake.  These would be great for party appetizers.  And if you are in a pinch and ALL of your kitchen utensils are in the dishwasher, just whip these suckers up!  I’m not one to judge about eating with your fingers. 

Enchilada Cupcakes
Enchilada Cupcakes

Enchilada Cupcakes

12 wonton wrappers
1 lb of ground beef, browned and drained
salt and pepper
1 bag of shredded cheese
1 10 oz can of enchilada sauce
1 cup plain yogurt (low fat)
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
juice of half a lime

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Brown the ground beef with salt and pepper.  Make sure to drain any extra grease before using.

Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray

Press 1 wonton wrapper to the bottom of each muffin tin.

Begin layering ingredients:
1 teaspoon cheese
1 tablespoon ground beef
2 teaspoons enchilada sauce
2 teaspoons cheese
1.5 teaspoons ground beef
1.5 teaspoons enchilada sauce
Top with shredded cheese
(I used spoons for the beef and sauce, but just used my fingers for the cheese.  So these are estimates on how much of each ingredient to use for each layer.  The main goal is for the last layer to be enchilada sauce.  Then top the sauce with cheese)

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the sides are brown.  (mine took 26 minutes!)

Let sit for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges.  Use a knife or a fork to remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin.

Top with sour cream, salsa, cilantro, any of your favorite toppings.

Yogurt Mixture:
Just mix 1 cup of plain (low fat) yogurt, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.  This is a GREAT alternative to sour cream.  And even when using sour cream, I like to mix the cilantro right into it.  

*You could use any ground meat for this recipe.  Or even shredded!

Edamole Dip

All dips have a special place in my heart…and my belly for that matter.  One of my favorites is guacamole, it’s green, fresh, healthy, and quick to whip up (perfect for a party!).  Guacamole also goes great with tacos, quesadillas, sandwiches, wraps, salada, etc.  

But, avocados can be expensive and it is sometimes difficult to find a good one.  Then you prepare your dip and look forward to leftovers the next day, you open your fridge to a brown gross mess.  What the heck?  An alternative, EDAMAME!  AKA soy beans.  They are just as healthy, green, and fresh tasting.  You can always find them in your frozen vegetable section and don’t turn brown…well eventually everything turns brown, but you know where I’m getting at!  You are also more likely to find the little ‘mamies on sale than the avocados.  The batch I made today uses 1 cup avocado and 1 cup shelled edamame.  Next time, I think I’ll try just 2 cups of edamame.

Edamole Dip

Edamole Dip
If you do not own a mini food processor, no problem.  You can use a regular one if you are making a larger batch and the back of a fork would suffice.  However, I think it is important to tell you how much we LOVE our mini food processor!  Honestly, we’ve used this baby 100 times more than our large processor.  They are perfect for dips (duh), marinades, chopping onions on the fly, salad dressings.  Regular processors are so heavy and clunky, and really kind of awkward.  The mini version is so easy to get out, store, and move around.  Anyway, enough kissing up to the mini food processor, here is our lovely bundle of joy:

1 cup avocado, diced
1 cup shelled, edamame
1 cup tomatoes, finely diced
1 cup red onion, finely diced (use less if you don’t care for onion!)
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 huge handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper

-Cook the edamame according to package directions.
-Add the avocado, edamame, lime juice, and a pinch of salt & pepper to a small food processor, pulse until combined and a desirable consistency.

Here is mine:

Edamole Dip

-Scoop mixture into a container.  Add the tomato, onions, jalapeno, and cilantro to the container.  Stir to combine the rest of the ingredients.  Taste and season if needed.

-Scoop the guacamole into an air tight container/tupperware
-Rip a sheet of plastic wrap and push it down over top of the dip.  The plastic wrap should be touching the guacamole.
-Smooth the loose plastic rap around the edges of the container.  You are creating a sealed environment for the dip!
-Cover the container with the lid as usual

Edamole Dip
Edamole Dip

Pepperoni Chips

Pepperoni pizzas are delicious, we all know this.  In my opinion, the best pepperonis are the ones that have crispy edges.  So when my sister passed this recipe along to me, I knew it was going to be good!

Besides being yummy, addicting, and quick to make, these little chips are healthy!  You can use regular pepperonis if you’d like, but the turkey pepperonis are leaner and you can’t taste a difference!  My sister originally tried this recipe because she is on a gluten-free diet, so anti-glutener’s, this one is for you!

Pepperoni Chips

Pepperoni Chips

1 pack of turkey pepperonis (can be found in the deli section with the “fancy” lunch meats)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cover a baking sheet in foil (for easy clean up).  Then place the pepperonis on the sheet in rows.  It doesn’t matter how close together they are, just as long as they are not touching.

Bake in the oven for 8 minutes.  Remove, and dab each pepperoni with a paper towel.  This removes some of the grease/oils.

Return to the oven to bake for another 16 minutes (I was told 8 minutes, but mine definitely took 16, and probably could’ve gone longer!).  When in doubt, I take one for the team and just stick my finger in the oven and touch one to see if they are done.  I do this when baking anything lol 🙂

Once they have shrunk in size and are visibly crispy, remove from the oven.  Dab each pepperoni with a paper towel, and enjoy!  They are great warm or at room temperature.

CAR-amelized Onion Dip

Is there a word that you mispronounce all the time…and you are fully aware of it?  For some reason, your mis-pronounciation sounds better to you, but to the rest of the world listening to you butcher the word you sound like a dufus?  For me, it is “caramelized.”  And no matter how many times I’ve told Nate I don’t care about how it is supposed to be said, every time I say it, he corrects me.  It really gets under his skin, and I actually find it hilarious!!  I pronounce caramelized CARE-amelized.  Nate says it is supposed to be CAR-amelized. Same difference!  Oh shoot, that phrase grinds his gears too!  

When we first started dating our senior year of high school, we got into some random conversation about hedge hogs.  Only I pronounced it and spelled it “Head Chog.”  I never thought anything of it until Nate said it slowly and I realized he was saying HEDGE HOG.  There is not a blond hair on this head, but for some reason I went through the first 18 years of my life saying “head chog” and no one noticed or corrected me!  But, head chog is still my preference.

Another one that comes to mind is a friend of mine growing up, instead of saying “freckles” she said “frackles!” Now that is just weird… 🙂  So I know I am not alone in word ridiculousness, what are your funny pronunciations???

Ok, sorry about getting side tracked on that random story, but after you read this recipe you’ll realize it wasn’t so random after all!  If you don’t like onions, please stop reading from this point on.  This dip is stuffed full of caramelized onions.  Once you’ve tried this, you’ll never buy the store bought french onion dip again!  And you can’t ignore that this recipe is basically fat-free…a healthier dip choice for all you Super Bowler’s!

Servings: 8-10
Weight Watcher Points Per Serving: 4-3

3 of the largest yellow/sweet onions, sliced thinly
8 oz fat-free cream cheese
8 oz fat-free or reduced fat sour cream
8 oz fat-free mayo
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

-In a large bowl mix the mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, and garlic powder together and set aside.  (The cream cheese will need to be room temperature to mix in, I pop mine in the microwave for about 15 seconds to help it out.  But do NOT microwave the metal wrapper!)

-In a large pot on medium heat, melt butter and olive oil.  

-Add all of the sliced onions, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar to the pot. Toss to coat the onions evenly.

-Cook the onions until they are nice and caramelized…mine took about 20 minutes (To caramelize, you cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they shrink down and turn a gold / caramel color.  Refer to my picture above)

-Remove the onions on to your cutting board and let cool for 20-30 minutes.  Then roughly chop the enormous pile of onions and add them to the cream cheese mixture.

-Stir the dip until the onions are fully incorporated into the mix.  Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or until ready to eat.

It maybe really hard for you to wait this 45 minutes, I suggest you lick the spoon.  If that doesn’t hold you over…grab another spoon, stir that dip some more, and lick that one too!

*This dip is great to make a day ahead, the flavors fully develop over night.
*Feel free to add other spices for a completely different flavor of dip.  Sometimes I add oregano, a bay leaf, celery seed, or onion powder.

K-Mo’s Pico De Gallo

I don’t think there is a simpler recipe to make than pico de gallo.  Yet everyone has their own way of making it.  It just goes to show that no matter what you are cooking or baking in the kitchen, the possibilities really are endless!  And the great thing about pico de gallo is it goes with almost everything.  You can spoon it on top of grilled chicken, a salad, fish, beef, beans, rice and if you are like me, just eat it by the spoonful.  You can dip chips, celery, bell peppers, crackers, whatever you want into it.  Now that I think about it, pico de gallo is quite promiscuous! Well, here is my version of pico de gallo.

WW Points Per Serving: 0!

4 roma tomatoes
1 small white or red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, chop as fine as possible
1 large handful of cilantro
juice of half a lime
a drizzle of olive oil
Sounds pretty normal so far huh? 
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and stir together.  Then dump the pico over whatever you wish or dip whatever you wish into the pico!