Cheese Stuffed Pretzels

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Cheese Stuffed Pretzels

Why are soft, salty homemade soft pretzels so dang good? Picture a golden chewy pretzel dotted with coarse grains of salt and…wait for it…stuffed with melty cheese! Bam!

Pretzels are going to take over the world. Or my blog. Probably both. We love our soft pretzels with cheese sauce, but I started thinking what if I put cheese on the inside? Nailed it! So good! For our sweet tooth people, we have our cinnamon roll pretzel bites that are heavenly and I just can’t stop thinking about variations of soft pretzels!

a photo of a golden baked soft pretzel topped with sprinkled course salt with cheese oozing out of the sides sitting on white parchment paper.

 

These cheese stuffed pretzels blow Annie’s in the mall out of the park. Dude, do not tell me you don’t secretly love those hot, salty, bready pieces of deliciousness dipped in oh, so very fake cheese. Gosh, I can taste it sitting here!!! Sometimes you just need one of those to get you through the shopping!

But these homemade pretzels are so much better! The outside is all chewy and salty and wonderful, and the inside is like pure squishy, soft flipping perfection, but then, oh my gosh, then you hit the cheese. It’s blasted wonderful! It’s so melty! And, and, it’s not fake cheese! It’s the real deal!!!! And when you tear a piece off, it like stretches with the bread like an awesome piece of pizza. HECK YES!

a photo of several golden baked soft pretzels that are stuffed with cheese and sprinkled with salt.Read more

The Little Things Newsletter #348 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! We had a crazy storm here this week and one of our biggest trees came down. Fortunately, no one and nothing else was harmed, just a brief power loss. Super fun times over here. So, my guys have spent today starting to break it down for firewood. The boys are learning all kinds of nifty new things this week.

ON THE BLOG this week: This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry is a skillet full of sautéed shrimp tossed in a spicy barbecue sauce with sweet chunks of pineapple and red peppers. This quick and easy meal earns two thumbs up from my whole family every time I make it.

Tender pieces of flank steak are simmered in their own juices creating a rich and super flavorful broth to create the Carne en su Jugo recipe (a.k.a. Meat in its Juices) that my family loves so much.

Would you believe that cauliflower can be air fried to crispy perfection with a simple package of frozen cauliflower? I’m here to tell you that this garlic paprika air fryer frozen cauliflower is absolutely delicious. All it takes is ten minutes and a few simple seasonings.

Sweet and slightly tangy, this creamy poppyseed dressing recipe has had a regular home in our refrigerator for several years now. Easy to make and adaptable as can be, this is the best poppy seed dressing I’ve ever tasted.

Cheesy, saucy, pizza quesadillas are as flavorful as you imagine they might be. They’re a messy, super fun, lightning-fast way to satisfy your next pizza craving.

Carrot Cake Pancakes topped with Maple Cream Cheese Syrup, just the name is enough to make me grin. This was a real breakfast treat.

Juicy fresh pears are topped with a generous cinnamon sugar crust to make this cinnamon spice pear cobbler. This unforgettable cobbler manages to be both buttery and flaky while never becoming soggy, even after a day or two in the refrigerator.

What I’m CRAVING: Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake is what chocolate lover’s dreams are made of, my friends. My friend Sue shared the recipe and it’s been in my thoughts all week. It’s definitely time for me to do some baking.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this tiny keychain jewelry holder. It’s very small, and clips to your keychain, bag, or water bottle for the gym. It easily holds a few rings and I love how secure i

Carne en su Jugo

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Tender pieces of flank steak are simmered in their own juices creating a rich and super flavorful broth to create the Carne en su Jugo recipe (a.k.a. Meat in its Juices) that my family loves so much.

Right at the end of the cooking time, pinto beans are stirred into the pot and then this deliciousness is scooped into bowls and topped with bacon, onion, cilantro and plenty of lime.

Carne en su Jugo - a.k.a. Meat in its Juices

Here we are almost to Valentine’s Day, also known as my 22nd wedding anniversary, and there is quite literally no better way to say “I love you” to my house full of boys than to hand them a fragrant bowl of Carne en su Jugo.

A bowl literally full of “meat in its juices?” That’s a guaranteed win around here.

Our friends Mel and Jon invited us over to their house for dinner a few weeks ago and Mel was awesome enough to make this for us. My kids went crazy over it.

There wasn’t a drop left in the pot after dinner and on the way home, ALL of my guys asked when we could make it again.

Carne en su Jugo

Mel and Jon worked as missionaries in Guadalajara for several years and Carne en su Jugo is a local favorite in that region of Mexico.

Mel was kind enough to share her recipe with me and I made it immediately.

Carne en su Jugo - a.k.a. Meat in its Juices

I’ve tweaked it just a bit to match my family’s tastes: we like a little heat with our recipes, so I upped the serranos to 3. Feel free to only use 1 pepper if you’d like to avoid the heat.

That said, there might be little or no heat with three peppers. It really depends on how hot the available peppers are.

Also, because this is a HUGE favorite with my guys, I typically double the recipe when I make this.

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

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Sweet and slightly tangy, this creamy poppyseed dressing recipe has had a regular home in our refrigerator for several years now. Easy to make and adaptable as can be, this is the best poppy seed dressing I’ve ever tasted.

creamy poppyseed dressing in small jar next to salad

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

For years, I bought a store-bought poppy seed salad dressing faithfully. I was brand loyal and swore by a specific one, buying it on a regular basis.

A while back, I started making homemade versions of some of our favorite dressings and decided to see if I could duplicate a poppyseed salad dressing.

What are poppy seeds? They’re the small black seeds from poppy flowers that are often sprinkled onto or into breads and cakes. Poppyseeds are also the shining stars of this salad dressing. While often spelled as two words “poppy seeds,” technically it is one word.

My whole family agrees this is even better than the original bottled version; it has completely replaced the store bought stuff in our house.

This recipe for poppy seed dressing was inspired by this spinach salad with poppyseed dressing that Jenn at My Tiny Oven shared many years ago and the dressing has become a family favorite.

Making tangy-sweet creamy poppy seed dressing at home is as easy as can be. This recipe uses a base of mayonnaise and milk for its creamy base. White wine vinegar and a dash of dried mustard balance the sweetness from white sugar perfectly.

Of course, a couple of heaping spoonfuls of poppyseeds give the dressing its signature flavor and appearance. As easy as it is, there’s something extra fancy feeling about this Berry Pecan Salad when it’s drizzled with creamy poppyseed dressing.

Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients

  • mayo
  • milk
  • sugar
  • white wine vinegar
  • poppy seeds
  • dry mustard
  • kosher salt
poppy seed dressing in jar next to salad with berriesRead more

Pizza Quesadillas

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Cheesy, saucy, pizza quesadillas are as flavorful as you imagine they might be. They’re a messy, super fun, lightning-fast way to satisfy your next pizza craving.

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas on cutting board

Pizza Quesadilla

I am not sure there is a more craveable combination than pizza and quesadillas. Cheesy, buttery, crispy, salty I could go on and on. Sometimes these are a meal at our house. Other times just a snack or late-night kitchen raid.

That being said I like to think I have perfected my quesadilla-making and have a few secrets. First butter the tortilla, don’t just melt butter in the skillet. Fully cover both tortillas with butter on one side.

Second the layers. As you assemble the quesadilla you want two layers of cheese, one against each tortilla. Start with a buttered side-down tortilla then cheese, toppings another layer of cheese, and finally a tortilla, buttered side up. All that cheese on both sides will keep everything melted together.

When cutting up toppings for inside, like pepperoni cut them in half. Those little guys get HOT quickly in all that cheese and sauce.

Nothing will make you drop your quesadilla jump faster than when a bite pulls out a piece of hot pepperoni and it slaps your chin with hot cheese and sauce. Trust me, I have done it!

I cut my pepperoni in half and if I add other meats and vegetables I always make sure they are bite-sized. Don’t worry the melted cheese will hold it all in there.

Speaking of other toppings if it goes on a pizza you can tuck it into these quesadillas. I love adding a few olives and banana peppers to mine while the kids are all about all the meat.

How to Cut a Quesadilla

Cutting a hot quesadilla into manageable pieces is super simple with a pizza cutter or large knife. Just transfer the pizza quesadilla to a cutting board and run a wheel pizza cutter over it.

Or take your large chef’s knife and rock across it in one swift motion to cut it. Avoid sawing back and forth or it can shred and just becomes a mess.

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas in skilletRead more
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