Sesame Tater Tots w/ Sriracha Cheese Sauce

Sometimes a meal comes along that inspires you to try new things. Foods that you would never think could pair well together. In Atlanta we have a food truck that is an American/ Asian fusion. One of my favorite dishes that they serve are super crispy salty fries with spicy sriracha nacho cheese.

Here is a picture from last summer when Patrick and I took his daughter to get some of those fries during food truck night.  I also want to point out this awesome action shot of that sriracha splattering out of Patrick’s burger.

Anyways back to the tots! I tossed these tater tots in some sesame oil and salt then pan fried them. I whipped up my own version of sriracha nacho cheeses then added fresh grated cheddar, sour cream, more sriracha, and fresh jalapeño.

Mmmm… I miss these.

The best part is they can be made in 30 minutes or less.

Are you hungry yet?

What you need:

Frozen tater tots

1/2 cup separated Sesame oil

1 fresh jalapeño, sliced with seeds removed

2 cups Grated cheddar

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 cup of flour

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup of sriracha plus more for drizzling

Sour cream

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In an oven safe saute pan pour 1/4 cup of sesame oil. Heat over medium high. Add half a bag of tater tots (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan).

Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Once the potatoes start to brown place them in the oven for 15 minutes.

In a sauce pan heat the remaining 1/4 cup of sesame oil over medium heat.

Add in flour and whisk quickly until the mixture thickens and begins to brown. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and sriracha. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle over the potatoes and top with remaining cheese, jalapeños, sour cream and sriracha.


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Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

grilled stuffed jalapenos

After a month of low carb meals I was running out of options. Our daily feast of chicken and broccoli was getting a little dull. I still wanted to keep the meal low carb, but I didn’t want to sacrifice flavor.

Then I started dreaming about this place in down town Atlanta that makes cream cheese, cheddar, smoked pork fried jalapeno bites. Instead of pork I subbed mushrooms and I grilled everything since I am trying not to eat fried. image2 (42)

These poppers will melt in your mouth. So full of cheesiness and I added some blackening seasoning to kick up the flavor.

When you prep your jalapenos I highly recommend removing all seeds and ribbing. I love my food spicy, but the blackening seasoning is already going to up the heat level.

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Grilled jalapenos stuffed with cheddar, cream cheese and mushrooms.
  • 6 medium jalapenos, halved and cleaned
  • 4 oz low fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup of low fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp blackening seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped bella mushrooms
  1. Preheat the grill (or the oven at 400)
  2. Mix together cream cheese and cheddar.
  3. Microwave for 30 seconds until the cream cheese is smooth.
  4. Add the mushrooms and seasoning.
  5. Mix then fill each jalapeno half.
  6. I made a foil packet and lined the jalapenos inside.
  7. This will help even out the heat and make sure the peppers are thoroughly cooked.
  8. Grill for 20 minutes checking to make sure they do not burn or roast for 15 minutes.

Perfect for a side or your next family BBQ!

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Coconut Shrimp and Citrus Dip

coconut shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

Shrimp are not necessary a Valentine’s Day staple, but in our home this is a dish that reminds us of our first Valentine’s Day together.

We wanted a fun place close by that served seafood so we decided on Bahama Breeze last V-day. We ordered the signature coconut shrimp appetizer while we were waiting on our table. Jumbo shrimp perfectly butterflied with a sweet crunch dipped into a sauce that always makes my mouth water.

If you have not been to a Bahama Breeze before – try and picture a Caribbean themed restaurant filled with wicker chairs and tropical drinks. Usually there is some sort of live band playing island music. The atmosphere is so light and fun it really is just a bonus that the food is pure heaven.

So the other night we were debating on what to eat at the grocery store when I spotted jumbo shrimp on sale. I dipped them in a sweet and salty coconut panko mix that is a spot on copy cat texture.  I was shocked when I researched the citrus sauce and saw Bahama Breeze has the recipe posted on their website! It truly is the perfect companion to these shrimp.

coconut shrimp

Here is the link to the Bahama Breeze Citrus Mustard Sauce if you want to try it out!

Coconut Shrimp and Citrus Dip
Recipe Type: Dinner, Seafood
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Crunchy coconut shrimp with a sweet citrus dip.
  • 1 pound Large Shrimp – vein and shells removed (20-25 count)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour divided
  • 2 cups of panko crumbs
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut sweetened
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • parsley for sprinkling
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 quart of canola oil for frying
  1. Preheat the oil to 350.
  2. Butterfly each shrimp by running your knife down the back of the shrimp 3/4 of the way though until each side begins to open up.
  3. Set up three bowls.
  4. One with one cup of flour.
  5. One with the 3 eggs beaten.
  6. And the last bowl with one cup of flour, 2 cups of panko, coconut and the salt, paprika, red pepper, and garlic powder.
  7. Dip each shrimp into the flour then the eggs then the panko mixture.
  8. Pat this mixture onto the shrimp. It should be a fairly thick layer.
  9. Fry for 3-4 minutes each.
  10. Do not crowd.
  11. Sprinkle shrimp with parsley and squeeze lemon over the top.

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Hopefully I have inspired you to make this yummy app for your valentine! (Or yourself! Nothing wrong with that!)

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Homemade Soft Pretzels With Cheddar Beer Dip

soft pretzel with cheddar beer dip

homemade pretzel

Who can say no to the buttery pretzel scent that is always lingering in the mall? Soft and fluffy drenched in butter. They have such a great consistency that is so difficult to replicate. Often times you find copycat recipes online that promise to deliver the same taste, but with wholesome ingredients. I always feel like I’ve been let down. Sure they come out nice, but it just isn’t the same as what I was craving.

This recipe IS the mall pretzel dupe! I would almost be as bold as to say they are better than the mall pretzels. I gave some to my dad and brother over the weekend. They were powerful enough to turn my dad (a non pretzel believer). He said the buttery dough had a sweetness that had him reaching for seconds and thirds!

Imagine all that soft pretzel goodness with a side of cheddar beer dip. I used a Sam Adams hoppy red brew. The bitter beer with the deep cheddar flavor was the perfect pair with my pretzel.

Homemade Soft Pretzels With Cheddar Beer Dip
Recipe Type: Breads, Appetizers
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 4 cups of AP flour (I used King Aurther)
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 2 cups of 2% milk warmed (not too hot to kill the yeast)
  • 2 packets of active yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick of melted butter separated (slightly cooled)
  • 1 egg plus 1 tsp water (egg wash)
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 cups of boiling water
  • 2 oz of shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup of beer (I used Hoppy Red, pumpkin beer would also be super yummy)
  • red pepper, paprika and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I used a bread machine, but you can use a mixer with bread paddle. Combine the flour, yeast, salt, 1/2 stick of butter, sugar and milk in the bread machine. ( If using a standing mixer then mix the milk, sugar and yeast first to active then add other ingredients) My bread machine will knead and rise the dough for 2 hours. You can also let the dough rise in a warm area, covered. The dough will double in size. Once the dough has risen, cut into 8 equal sections on a floured surface.
  3. Start to boil your water and baking soda. Roll each section into a long rope about 1 1/2 inches thick. I turn my dough into a U shape then tie into a standard pretzel. I made jumbo pretzels, but you can make smaller portions. Just remember whatever size you have once you finish rolling will double in the baking soda bath.
  4. Dip each pretzel into the boiling water and splash a little on the top of the pretzel. Do not let them boil for more then 30 seconds each. The longer the dough boils the chewier the dough will be. Place on a prepared pan and brush with egg wash.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes then brush each pretzel with melted butter then sprinkle with salt. Bake for remaining 10 minutes. ( The time will vary depending on the size of the pretzel. You are looking for golden brown) Let cool then enjoy!
  7. Melt butter in a sauce pan and add flour. Whisk continuously until the combination begins to brown. Add in the beer. The sauce will thicken very quickly. Just keep stirring. You can add more beer or even milk to thin out if needed. Add in the cheese and seasonings. Whisk until all the cheese is melted. Serve immediately!

soft pretzel with cheddar beer dip


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