Tag Archives: salt

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

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Serves: 6-8 | Total Time: 5 Minutes

I love winter in Wisconsin, even if it can drag on for what seems like half the year.

Well, if you judge a season by the weather, winter here IS half the year! If we get snow in October and it doesn’t melt until April, that is 6 months. There are years where the cold and ice can linger even longer…. so you gotta just make the best of it.

Like an excuse to have homemade hot chocolate. (Do we need an excuse?)

Having homemade instant hot cocoa powder in the house is a must when living in the Wisconsin countryside. Getting out to the store may not always be easy (those slippery roads, you know), nor may it be fun if the wind is blowing the single digit temps below zero. If it takes longer to warm up your car than it does to drive to the store… it’s probably better to stay home, right?

Around here, it isn’t just a question of “got milk?” We also ask, “got hot cocoa mix?” Even better is “got homemade hot cocoa mix in a jar?” Let’s face it, weird ingredients have no place our mugs, and preservatives are not needed for something made entirely of dry ingredients. (Imagine that!)

You can store this homemade instant cocoa mix in an airtight jar for weeks, or even months. If you don’t have chai tea latte powder on hand, you want to go and get some because that little addition makes all the difference for this recipe – it dials up the flavor from simply standard to oh, YEAH! (If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, it is easy enough to order online.) Plus, the flavor really goes well in my Hygge Hot Cocoa recipe (complete with a video with some of my own tips on how to hygge).

I made this short little video to show how easy it is to put together this hot cocoa mix. Are you inspired? You’ll be so happy to have it ready when that next snowstorm (or monsoon, ice storm, soaking rain, sub-zero polar vortex) strikes… just add hot water or milk and relax for a while. You can’t do much until the weather clears anyway… why not enjoy it for a spell?


Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Total Time: 5 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chai tea latte mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Add all 5 ingredients to a pint-sized glass jar. Put the lid on tightly and shake everything until well combined.

Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

2. To serve, add 4-5 tablespoons to a heat-proof mug. Add 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved and enjoy!

How To Make Hot Cocoa Mix

Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe
Homemade Hot Cocoa

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

You can never go wrong with homemade hot cocoa mix in a jar. When the next snowstorm hits, don't be snowed in without this favorite cold weather staple. Learning how to make homemade hot chocolate is easy and you will know exactly what is in it, too… (no weird chemicals!) This homemade instant cocoa mix recipe uses only 5 ingredients, takes only 5 minutes to put together, and it can be stored for weeks. When you are ready for a mug, just add hot milk to a few heaping tablespoons and stir.
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 6 Mugs
Calories 90 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chai tea latte mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Add all 5 ingredients to a pint-sized glass jar. Put the lid on tightly and shake everything until well combined.
  • To serve, add 4-5 tablespoons to a heat-proof mug. Add 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved and enjoy!
Keyword cocoa mix in a jar, dark hot chocolate mix recipe, homemade hot chocolate, homemade hot chocolate mix, homemade hot cocoa, homemade hot cocoa mix, homemade instant cocoa mix
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Mulled Sweet Popcorn with Ham Drippings

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Yield: 3 Cups | Total Time: 15 Minutes

Popcorn is one of those things that I like to think of as a culinary chameleon – it will take on pretty much any flavor. The problem that you may run into when experimenting with new popcorn recipes, however, is how to keep popcorn crispy.

I wanted to use leftover pork fat in this sweet popcorn recipe (hello soggy…. we’ll address that unwelcome visitor later) because you just can’t throw that kind of goodness away!

You might be thinking; pork fat healthy? Oh yeah! Cooking with pork fat is not only tasty, but it packs a lot of heath benefits, too. (You can read more about the health benefits of pork fat by going to BBC Future). So if you are looking for healthy snacks, then you’ll love this popcorn not only because pork fat rules, but also because this is the crispiest, crunchiest popcorn you may ever eat. (Time to leave now, Mr. Soggy.)

When making popcorn on the stove, be sure your oil is at the right temperature before you add the kernels. This will eliminate most of those burnt, un-popped kernels sitting at the bottom when all is said and done. Using the ‘three kernel test’ is how you will know the oil is ready for popping. (I’ve spelled it out in the stovetop popcorn recipe directions below.) 

Less is more when it comes to pork fat, and if you are tempted to add more than 1 tablespoon, you will be horribly disappointed with the result. That one little tablespoon will add just enough smokey-pork flavor to be noticeable, but not overwhelming (or soggy). Trust me on this part.

Last but not least, the sugar seasoning. If you add it to the popcorn and shake it up immediately after you take it off the heat, you’ll get that fantastic crunch factor that makes this recipe so exciting. Oh, and don’t forget to scrape up any bits that get stuck to the bottom of the pan and toss them into the popcorn, too. 

Yum. Yum. And YUM!


Mulled Sweet Popcorn with Ham Drippings

Total Time: 14 Minutes

Prep: 7 Minutes / Cook: 7 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup plain yellow popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon ham drippings or pork fat
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mulling spice powder, fine ground (or one mulled cider packet)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Add the vegetable oil and three kernels popcorn to a large pot or kettle with a tight fitting lid (preferably transparent) and turn on the heat to medium-high.

2 While the oil is heating, mix together the ham drippings and butter in a microwave safe mug. Melt for 45 seconds, stopping halfway through to swirl the ingredients together, set aside. Use a fork to thoroughly combine the brown sugar, mulling spices and salt in a separate ramekin, taking care to break up any sugar chunks. Set aside.

Mulled Cider Packets Sprinkled On Popcorn

3. When the first kernel in the pot pops, this means that your oil is at the right temperature to add the remaining kernels. (Doing it this way will nearly eliminate the problem of having un-popped or burnt kernels at the bottom of your pan.) Cover the popcorn (with a transparent lid, if you have one, so you can see what is going on in there!) When the kernels begin to pop, they will do so pretty quickly, so keep a close eye on them, shaking the pot every so often to evenly distribute the heat. When you only hear a pop every 5 seconds or so and you hear a whole lot of sizzling, immediately remove the pot from the heat.

Stovetop Popcorn Recipe

4. Drizzle the ham drippings and butter mixture over the hot popcorn as soon as you take it off the heat. Replace the lid and while holding it in place, shake the pot with the popcorn and fat until well coated. Immediately (and I mean, immediately – getting the seasoning into the hottest heat after the kernels are done popping is the only way that the sugars will caramelize) add the sugar seasoning, replace the lid and while holding it in place, shake everything vigorously for about 1 minute. The idea here is to evenly distribute the sugar and spice while caramelizing it into mini-chunks that coat the popcorn. Maximum crunch mission accomplished!

5. Serve hot. Crunch-crunch-YUM!

Homemade Popcorn
Learn How To Make The Crunchiest Popcorn
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Herbed Chèvre with Mushrooms in Phyllo Pouches

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Serves: 6 | Total Time: 50 Minutes

I first developed this recipe about 6 years ago. Mark and I were dating, and I wanted to treat him to one of my fancy appetizer recipes. He was kind enough to chop the mushrooms for me, and it did take quite a while. I was a beginner at working with phyllo dough as well, so that added even more time.

After a couple of hours, the phyllo appetizers were done.

I have come a long way since then!

To hasten up the chopping process, using the large holes on the grater attachment of a food processor shreds the mushrooms in a couple of minutes. As far as working with the phyllo dough… that just comes with practice. In time, you can get the process of preparing the phyllo cup appetizers down to just 10 minutes, but don’t rush this step if you are new to phyllo dough.

These mushroom and goat cheese appetizers are very filling, so if you serve them as an appetizer, two per person should be plenty. Mark and I sometimes have these as our entree – six of these phyllo dough appetizers makes a filling meal.

I like to serve these mushroom purses with a good red wine that has notes of cinnamon and clove over juicy berry flavors. My recommendation? Los Hermanos Manzanos Tempranillo – 2018.


Herbed Chèvre with Mushrooms in Phyllo Pouches

Total Time: 50 Minutes

Prep: 20 Minutes / Cook: 30 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
  • 4 cups finely chopped assorted mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 7 ounces phyllo dough
  • chopped fresh chives, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until lightly browned, one minute. Add the herbs and continue to heat, stirring constantly, for another minute. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms give up their juices and the pan dries out, about 10 more minutes.

2. While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the remaining stick of butter (8 tablespoons) in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the Chinese five spice. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.

3. When the mushrooms are finished cooking, remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the goat cheese and using a wooden spatula, break it up and mix it into the warm mushroom mixture until thoroughly combined and creamy. Set the mushroom mixture aside.

Phyllo Dough Appetizer With Mushrooms and Goat Cheese.

4. Prepare the phyllo dough by removing it from the package and laying it flat. Cover the dough sheets with a tea towel that has been dampened with water and wrung well. (Phyllo dough dries out fast and once dry, it cannot be worked with. Keeping the dough covered with the damp cloth will prevent it from drying out.) 

5. Very carefully peel away one sheet of phyllo dough and place it on a flat surface. Dip a pastry brush into the melted butter with the Chinese five spice, tap against the side of the pan to remove excess butter. With light, quick stokes, brush the melted butter onto the phyllo dough sheet. (The best way to do this without ripping or wrinkling the dough is to hold one side of the sheet down with your fingers while brushing it in a direction away from your fingers. If this is your first time working with phyllo dough, this may take some getting used to. Just take your time, you’ll get the hang of it!) You don’t need a lot of butter for this step, just enough to moisten the sheet. When the first sheet is completely brushed with butter, carefully remove a new sheet of phyllo dough and place it directly over the one just brushed. Repeat this process until you have four sheets stacked, but do not brush butter onto the fourth (top) sheet. 

6. Cut the stacked dough into four squares that measure about 3 by 4 inches. Repeat step four until you have 12 of the smaller squares. Place the squares into the cups of an un-greased muffin tin.

Mushroom Purses With Phyllo Dough

7. Fill each square with the mushroom mixture so that they are about half full. There should be about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons in each cup. Once all of the cups are full, lightly pinch the dough together to form a ‘purse’. Leave a small opening on the top for steam to escape. You don’t want to press the dough together too tightly, just enough to nearly cover the mushroom mixture but so that the dough is still somewhat loose.

8. Dip the pastry brush into the melted butter. Tap off the excess, then lightly dab the tops of the purses. It is ok if the dough layers separate a bit, in fact, you want this. This will create a lighter, flakier end result. You only want enough butter on the purses so that they brown while baking, you don’t need very much – too much and the dough will become soggy.

9. Drain the remaining melted butter through a stainer into a ramekin, discard the residue. Keep the butter warm by placing it on top of the oven as the mushroom purses bake.

10. Bake the purses for 15 minutes at 325 degrees F or until the tops are golden brown. When done, remove the pan from the oven and let the purses cool for a few minutes so that you can safely handle them. Carefully lift them from the muffin tin with a teaspoon and transfer them onto a serving platter. Be careful that you don’t break them! Sprinkle with sliced fresh chives and serve with the ramekin of the strained spiced butter.

Phyllo Dough Appetizer With Mushrooms and Goat Cheese.
Gourmet Mushroom Appetizer Ideas
Phyllo Appetizer Recipe

Herbed Chèvre with Mushrooms in Phyllo Pouches

Looking for fancy appetizer recipes? Impress your dinner guests with this phyllo dough appetizer recipe that includes mushrooms, goat cheese, and herbs. Make it in under an hour!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French, Gourmet
Servings 6 people
Calories 410 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter divided
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves
  • 4 cups finely chopped assorted mushrooms
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ tetaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 7 ounces phyllo dough
  • chopped fresh chives for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic until lightly browned, one minute. Add the herbs and continue to heat, stirring constantly, for another minute. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms give up their juices and the pan dries out, about 10 more minutes.
  • While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the remaining stick of butter (8 tablespoons) in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the Chinese five spice. Reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  • When the mushrooms are finished cooking, remove the skillet from the heat and allow to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the goat cheese and using a wooden spatula, break it up and mix it into the warm mushroom mixture until thoroughly combined and creamy. Set the mushroom mixture aside.
  • Prepare the phyllo dough by removing it from the package and laying it flat. Cover the dough sheets with a tea towel that has been dampened with water and wrung well. (Phyllo dough dries out fast and once dry, it cannot be worked with. Keeping the dough covered with the damp cloth will prevent it from drying out.) 
  • Very carefully peel away one sheet of phyllo dough and place it on a flat surface. Dip a pastry brush into the melted butter with the Chinese five spice, tap against the side of the pan to remove excess butter. With light, quick stokes, brush the melted butter onto the phyllo dough sheet. (The best way to do this without ripping or wrinkling the dough is to hold one side of the sheet down with your fingers while brushing it in a direction away from your fingers. If this is your first time working with phyllo dough, this may take some getting used to. Just take your time, you’ll get the hang of it!) You don’t need a lot of butter for this step, just enough to moisten the sheet. When the first sheet is completely brushed with butter, carefully remove a new sheet of phyllo dough and place it directly over the one just brushed. Repeat this process until you have four sheets stacked, but do not brush butter onto the fourth (top) sheet. 
  • Cut the stacked dough into four squares that measure about 3 by 4 inches. Repeat step four until you have 12 of the smaller squares. Place the squares into the cups of an un-greased muffin tin.
  • Fill each square with the mushroom mixture so that they are about half full. There should be about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons in each cup. Once all of the cups are full, lightly pinch the dough together to form a ‘purse’. Leave a small opening on the top for steam to escape. You don’t want to press the dough together too tightly, just enough to nearly cover the mushroom mixture but so that the dough is still somewhat loose.
  • Dip the pastry brush into the melted butter. Tap off the excess, then lightly dab the tops of the purses. It is ok if the dough layers separate a bit, in fact, you want this. This will create a lighter, flakier end result. You only want enough butter on the purses so that they brown while baking, you don’t need very much – too much and the dough will become soggy.
  • Drain the remaining melted butter through a stainer into a ramekin, discard the residue. Keep the butter warm by placing it on top of the oven as the mushroom purses bake.
  • Bake the purses for 15 minutes at 325 degrees F or until the tops are golden brown. When done, remove the pan from the oven and let the purses cool for a few minutes so that you can safely handle them. Carefully lift them from the muffin tin with a teaspoon and transfer them onto a serving platter. Be careful that you don’t break them! Sprinkle with sliced fresh chives and serve with the ramekin of the strained spiced butter.
Keyword date night dinner ideas, easy gourmet recipes, goat cheese recipes, how to cook phyllo dough, mushroom appetizers
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Keto Mozzarella Sticks with Almond Flour

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Yield: 24 Sticks | Total Time: 35 Minutes

Who doesn’t love a great appetizer course that includes deep fried mozzarella sticks? If you are on the keto diet, however, this may be hard to find at your local bar or restaurant.

With this recipe, you can bring America’s favorite appetizer home. It is easy enough to make, and you can make it ahead of time and keep a stash in the freezer for when the mozzarella stick craving strikes.

Learning how to make keto mozzarella sticks is fun. I feel like such a chef when I mess up my entire countertop making these! The kids will love to help you roll the sticks in the ‘breading’, too, so call them on into the kitchen!

The best part about this recipe is that it is completely keto. Each stick weighs in at less than 2 grams carbs, or 4% in the macros breakdown. 

The next time you throw a party at your house and you have guests coming that are on the keto diet, you can serve them these low carb mozzarella sticks. In fact, you can serve them to everyone. They are so tasty, you’ll never miss the carbs.


Keto Mozzarella Sticks with Almond Flour

Total Time: 35 Minutes

Prep: 25 Minutes / Cook: 10 Minutes (Does not include overnight freezing time.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup brown flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more
  • 24 pieces string cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • canola oil, for frying

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, mix together the first eight ingredients. Add a large spoon to the bowl for dispensing mixture into a shallow bowl (see step 5 below).

2. In a separate bowl, toss the string cheese with the 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Make sure they are completely coated!

3. In a third bowl, beat the eggs with a splash of heavy cream.

4. Fill a fourth (large) bowl with water and have a towel nearby. You will need this to clean your hands between coating each of the sticks of cheese. Trust me – you will appreciate having this nearby! Set a fifth bowl, a shallow one, next to the bowl with the flour mixture.

5. Spoon about a quarter cup of the dry mix into the shallow bowl. Roll one cheese stick in the seasoned dry mix. Quickly dunk it into the egg mixture, shake off the excess, then return it to the dry mix and roll it around until it is completely coated with the dry mix. Don’t forget to coat the ends! Set the stick on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining 23 sticks, adding more dry mix to the shallow bowl when needed. If the dry mix gets packed to the bottom of the bowl, break it up with a spoon. (It is important that you use the dry mix in small batches or it will get too moist and won’t adhere to the cheese.)

6. Freeze the mozzarella sticks overnight, then transfer them to a large ziplock bag until ready to use. 

7. To prepare the mozzarella sticks, add enough canola oil into a large pot so that it is 2 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium-high until it is very hot and just beginning to smoke. Don’t worry, once you add the frozen cheese sticks in, the oil will cool a bit. Drop the mozzarella sticks into the hot oil so that they are not crowding the pan, you may have to fry them in batches. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to very carefully remove them to a plate lined with paper towels.

8. Serve immediately with sugar-free Homemade Chunky Marinara Sauce.

Low Carb Keto Mozzarella Sticks
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Creamy Herb and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms

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Serves: 4 | Total Time: 50 Minutes

I just love these prosciutto stuffed mushrooms. They are so savory and creamy and to be honest, every time I make them, I just have them for my whole meal!

These stuffed mushrooms make a great appetizer, too. If you are hosting a party and want to lesson the workload in the kitchen the day of the event, remove the stems from the mushrooms a day in advance. You can also whip up the filling and keep it covered in the fridge overnight. Then the next day, all you need to do is stuff ’em and bake ’em!

I use button mushrooms because they are relatively easy to get, but feel free to use shiitake or portobello, whatever you prefer. If you do use a larger mushroom, add a few minutes of bake time to the recipe and keep checking them every couple of minutes. When the tops begin to brown, they are done!

Serve these at your next dinner party, and your keto-dieting friends will love you forever.


Creamy Herb and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms

Total Time: 50 Minutes

(Prep: 30 Minutes / Cook: 20 Minutes )

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. button mushrooms, stems and gills removed
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz. mascarpone, softened
  • 3 oz. prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, mascarpone, prosciutto, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined.

Cheesy Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms Appetizer

3. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until just melted. Add the shallot and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent but not browned, about 2 minutes.


4. Transfer the hot shallots from the skillet to the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and stir vigorously until smooth.


5. Spoon the cream cheese filling into the mushrooms. Arrange the filled mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that the stuffed side is facing up. Drizzle with olive oil.


6. Bake mushrooms for 18 minutes, or until the cream cheese mixture begins to brown. Cool for a minute or two before serving.

Stuffed Mushroom Appetizer Keto Recipe Idea
Stuffed Mushrooms Keto Recipe

Creamy Herb and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms

These keto stuffed mushrooms make a great appetizer, or have 'em as an entree. They're filled with prosciutto, herbs, and a savory blend of creamy cheeses – you'll never believe you're on a diet!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound button mushrooms stems and gills removed
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 ounces mascarpone softened
  • 3 ounces prosciutto finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, mascarpone, prosciutto, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined.
  • Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until just melted. Add the shallot and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent but not browned, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the hot shallots from the skillet to the bowl with the cream cheese mixture and stir vigorously until smooth.
  • Spoon the cream cheese filling into the mushrooms. Arrange the filled mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that the stuffed side is facing up. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake mushrooms for 18 minutes, or until the cream cheese mixture begins to brown. Cool for a minute or two before serving.
Keyword keto appetizer recipes, prosciutto stuffed mushrooms, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed mushrooms appetizer
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Easy Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning

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Yield: 2 Tablespoons | Total Time: 10 Minutes

When I was making my 30-Minute Amazing Cod Dinner, I decided at the last minute that I didn’t want to use the store-bought lemon-pepper seasoning that was sitting in the cabinet for the last – I don’t know….

5 years?

No, that wasn’t going to cut it!

My first thought when trying to come up with an easy homemade lemon pepper seasoning recipe was to make something that could be preserved. (You know, so we don’t have to resort to lemon pepper chicken, lemon pepper wings, lemon pepper salmon, lemon pepper shrimp, hot lemon pepper wings – you get the idea – for the next week straight!)

Salt has been used for centuries to keep meats and fish from going bad. This is still the case in many Scandinavian countries, where some of the healthiest people in the world reside today. Since most lemon pepper recipes have salt in them anyway, I thought… why not use it as the preservative along with a little stove-top action? You may be wondering about the stove-top part, well, that is  to dry things out enough so there is no chance for mold or mildew to form on the lemon zest while it waits for you to get into the mood to make your next favorite lemon pepper recipe.

I whipped up this homemade lemon pepper seasoning in – literally – 10 minutes; a great thing when what you really want to focus on is making a healthy lemon pepper chicken dinner for your busy family. 

Heating the lemon zest in a small cast iron skillet dries out any moisture, which also keeps the seasoning from sticking together. Just another reason that this is an important step you don’t want to skip!

You can add as much or as little of the salt and pepper as you like, but I like mine a little salty because I think it really brings out the depth of the lemon flavor. You want this to be bright – but not too bright – because it is a seasoning, after all.

So go ahead and make your favorite lemon pepper recipe with peace of mind. With this easy recipe, you won’t have to resort to grabbing the store-bought stuff for the sake of saving time ever again!


Easy Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Total Time: 10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Zest two medium-sized lemons (about 2 tablespoons zest). Be careful not to get the white pith under the yellow skin as it tends to be bitter.

2. Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium-high. Toss the zest into the skillet and heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to prevent the zest from burning. You’ll know when it’s done when the texture is like that of shredded coconut. There should be little to no moisture.

3. Transfer the zest to a spice mill and pulse several times until it is finely ground into a powder. Add the salt and pepper and pulse a few more times to mix throughout.

4. Store any unused zest in an small, airtight glass jar and refrigerate for up to a month.

Easy Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Easy Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Christy Boston’s Kitchen
Avoid ingredients you can't pronounce – make your own lemon-pepper seasoning at home. It's easy, fast, and requires only lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Total Time 10 mins
Course Condiments
Servings 2 Tablespoons
Calories 5 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Zest two medium-sized lemons (about 2 tablespoons zest). Be careful not to get the white pith under the yellow skin as it tends to be bitter.
  • Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium-high. Toss the zest into the skillet and heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to prevent the zest from burning. You'll know when it's done when the texture is like that of shredded coconut. There should be little to no moisture.
  • Transfer the zest to a spice mill and pulse several times until it is finely ground into a powder. Add the salt and pepper and pulse a few more times to mix throughout.
  • Store any unused zest in an small, airtight glass jar and refrigerate for up to a month.
Keyword easy recipes, homemade lemon pepper seasoning, homemade seasonings, how to make lemon pepper, lemon pepper, lemon pepper flavor, lemon pepper recipe, lemon pepper seasoning
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Five Alarm Hot Pepper Sauce

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Makes: 1 Small Jar | Total Time: 40 Minutes

I have always loved hot and spicy salsas and sauces!

When I need a change of pace from the traditional tomato salsa, this is what I like to have on hand in the fridge.

Not only is this salsa roja great for dipping, but it can be smeared on a sandwich, too… just add avocado and some fresh cilantro sprigs on top of the meat and you will be instantly transported south of the border.

Fold into scrambled eggs, serve in ramekins alongside meats, or use this hot sauce anywhere you need to spice things up a bit.


Five Alarm Hot Pepper Sauce

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Prep: 5 Minutes / Cook: 20 Minutes / Inactive: 15 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 13 dried morita chiles
  • 5 dried chiles d’arbol
  • small white onion, sliced
  • garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium. Add all chiles to the skillet and cook them for about 2 minutes, turnnig often. They will become fragrant and glossy. Remove chiles from the heat as soon as they begin to toast so that they don’t burn.

2. Add enough water to the saucepan to cover the chiles. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add onion and garlic and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the chiles are tender. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes.

3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the solids from the saucepan to a food processor. Save the cooking liquid left in the saucepan.

4. Pulse the pepper mixture in the food processor until well blended, about 10 seconds. Slowly add some of the cooking liquid to the peppers and pulse until a coarse paste forms. Add salt and pepper and process for another 15 seconds, or until the mixture becomes smooth (except for the seeds). Serve at room temperature; extra sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce
Homemade Hot Pepper Sauce

Five Alarm Hot Pepper Sauce

Turn up the heat with this homemade pepper salsa! Serve alongside meats, smear on sandwiches, or use as a dipping sauce for roast veggies.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Inactive 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Condiments
Servings 1 Small Jar

Ingredients
  

  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 13 dried morita chiles
  • 5 dried chiles d'arbol
  • 1 small white onion sliced
  • 1 ½ unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium. Add all chiles to the skillet and cook them for about 2 minutes, turnnig often. They will become fragrant and glossy. Remove chiles from the heat as soon as they begin to toast so that they don't burn.
  • Add enough water to the saucepan to cover the chiles. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add onion and garlic and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the chiles are tender. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon, transfer the solids from the saucepan to a food processor. Save the cooking liquid left in the saucepan.
  • Pulse the pepper mixture in the food processor until well blended, about 10 seconds. Slowly add some of the cooking liquid to the peppers and pulse until a coarse paste forms. Add salt and pepper and process for another 15 seconds, or until the mixture becomes smooth (except for the seeds). Serve at room temperature; extra sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Keyword 5 alarm hot pepper sauce, hot pepper salsa, hot pepper sauce recipes
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Mark’s Seasoning Mix

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Makes: 3 Tablespoons | Total Time: 5 Minutes

This past Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I had a BBQ at our new house.

We invited about 12 people, so to keep the stress level down and also so we could chum with our friends on the patio instead of slaving away over the grill, we cooked everything ahead of time.

Now you are probably wondering how we kept the burgers from drying out while we waited for our guests to arrive. It is simple, really. Throw them in the slow cooker and douse them with a mix of onion broth and beef au jus! (This little trick I learned from a dear friend who has since gone to be with the Lord).

But, that isn’t all… the real key to infusing flavor into the meat is to season the burgers and let them sit for an hour or so before they hit the grill.

My wonderful husband Mark came up with the recipe for this seasoning, and it was a real hit!

Mark’s recipe can be used for more than just burgers, too. Try it with Easy Chorizo or in scrambled eggs. The possibilities are endless!


Mark’s Seasoning Mix

Total Time: 5 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients in an empty, small spice container. If you do not have a spice container with a shaker lid on hand, a small ziplock bag works well, too! 

Best Seasoning Mix For BBQ

Homemade Seasoning Mix
Mark's Signature Seasoning Mix

Mark’s Seasoning Mix

Season your burgers with Mark's signature mix before grilling and give your BBQ an extra edge that will leave an impression on your guests.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Condiments, Seasonings
Cuisine American
Servings 3 Tablespoons
Calories 35 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in an empty, small spice container. If you do not have a spice container with a shaker lid on hand, a small ziplock bag works well, too!
Keyword best seasoning for meat, burger seasoning recipes, homemade bbq seasoning mix, homemade seasonings, how to season meat, meat seasoning blends, seasoning mix for bbq
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Made this recipe? Let me know how it went!