Baby Bok Choy Tuna Rolls

I have looked for baby bok choy for so long…and I finally found them in a random little market in the middle of town that I rarely go to; I’m a die hard Publix fan. They know me by name there.

Anyway, I have a brand new respect for this particular market where I found my bok choy that plays so hard to get, and will continue to give it my business. They also have stuff I haven’t seen since I was a kid (frozen corn nugget thingies, rectangle shaped pizzas). You know…those things you hated to admit you loved?  Reminded me of school food.

Remember being back in elementary school? Getting all excited about your lunch tray – having those certain days that were special based on what the lunch ladies were serving up.

Let me give you a trip back in time to the Lunchabulous days:

1. Chicken Finger Day – You stuffed your chicken in your rolls and dipped them in mashed potatoes. If you didn’t do this, I’m sorry you missed out on such an important part of childhood.

2. Chili Day – served with those fantastic grilled cheeses that were so freakin’ greasy and hard as a rock on the outside but completely delicious at the same time.

and finally…

3. Pizza Day – Rectangular deliciousness.

Don’t try to act like you didn’t love those things.

So, let’s talk about these little babies that made me so excited. I thought about grilling them, which I will be doing later, but I had something cold in mind. I made tuna salad and rolled it up in bok choy leaves – and made a sweet, kinda spicy dipping sauce for them.

Baby Bok Choy Tuna Rolls

 

Ingredients

    • 1 can white tuna in water, drained
    • 3/4 cup mayo
    • 1/4 small onion, diced
    • 1/2 egg, boiled and chopped
    • 4 pickled jalapeno slices, diced
    • 4 dill pickle slices, diced
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 12 baby bok choy leaves, washed
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp apricot preserves
    • 1 dash Sriracha sauce
    • 1 tbsp hot water

 

Instructions

  1. Combine tuna through S&P in a mixing bowl, and stir the heck out of it. You want to break up all those tuna chunks.
  2. Put about 1 tablespoon of tuna salad into the fattest portion of the bok choy leaf.
  3. Roll up and secure with a toothpick.
  4. Whisk together soy sauce through water; serve with tuna rolls.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Number of servings: 4

You will love this tuna salad by the way. You won’t be able to stop licking the spoon.

Just sayin’.

These are like miniature tuna sandwiches wrapped up in crunchy bok choy – with a dipping sauce that gives it a sweet kick. SO. GOOD.

I know. They look like little cocoons.

You didn’t have to think that. Think about how delicious these will be when you make them.

And stop thinking about the movie Cocoon.

Kisses/Hugs/Kisses

~Dixie Chik~

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Take 5 Brownies

I need to share with y’all these brownies I made via Pinterest via Vittles And Bits.

I’m not a sweets kinda girl, but every now and then I need a bite of chocolate. (That would be usually during the time of the month nature gives you a nice little gift – the gift you want to shove up her ass).

A few months ago, a Take 5 Hershey Bar caught my eye and I just wanted to know what it was all about; so I got one and tried it. So unlike me.

Love.

Pure love.

That is, when I’m in a sweet kinda mood which isn’t very often….it’s usually jalapeno/hot sauce/very salty/hot/etc., you get the picture.  Nevertheless, these were fantastic.

So, the other day when I saw this recipe on Pinterest (of course, Jesus H.- where else can you find any of us foodies), so I got excited and made them.

As you know, I’m not a big baker. I just can’t stand that preciseness that comes along with it. I want to be able to throw this in there and that. And tweak….and make things different.

You can’t do that with baking. It’s just so damn rigid.

But.

These turned out just like Maggie said. Thanks, Maggie.

My kids send their appreciation. And adoration. And they want to come live with you.

Whoa – my kids need to shut their mouths.

Those sweet children, I mean.

Thanks Maggie.

Take Five Brownies

A Vittles and Bits Original Recipe

    • 1 box (family-sized for 9×13 pan) milk chocolate brownie mix
    • 1 C. crunchy peanut butter
    • 2/3 C. powdered sugar
    •  1 1/2 C. ‘snaps’ or waffle pretzels (approximate- you may need a few more or less)
    • 1 C. milk chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
    • 1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
    • 1/2 C. light brown sugar
    • 6 T. light corn syrup
    • 2 T. heavy cream
    • 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Bake milk chocolate brownies as directed on box in a 9×13 pan.  Allow to cool completely, then combine crunchy peanut butter with powdered sugar in a large bowl.  Beat until combined, then spread evenly over cooled brownies.

Arrange pretzels over top of peanut butter in a single layer.  Sprinkle milk chocolate chips over top of pretzels and set aside.

Prepare caramel topping: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream.  Bring to a boil and stir, making sure all sugar is dissolved.  Stir 5-10 minutes more, until caramel is thick & bubbly (about 230 degrees on a candy thermometer).  Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and pour caramel evenly over brownies.  Run the tip of a knife or the back of a spoon over the top in swirl patterns to create a design.  Refrigerate pan for about 1 hour to set.  Then remove brownies by lifting foil, and cut into bars.

 

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Beef Potstickers

Almost every time I make a roast or large cut of beef for tacos or whatever, I typically have leftovers. We are pretty bad in this house to let the leftovers sit in the fridge, just to throw them out a few days later.

Leftover shredded beef, though, seems like such a waste. We go through all the effort of making it just to waste half of it. Think of all the starving people in China. And we waste! Shame on us. So, why not be creative? Put that beef to use!

But, let me tell you a story….ok, sorry – getting off track but stay with me here.

My husband will not touch leftovers to save his life. Ok, maybe lasagna or spaghetti every now and then. However, if I get them out for myself….well what do you know?? Someone wants some of those fantastic leftovers.

“Is there enough for me too?”  {sad eyes}  Funny how when somebody else has something it makes you want it too.

“Yes, of course, darlin’.”

Ok, fine… so I don’t call him darlin’ but I thought that was cute cause I’m southern and all.

He calls me “Lovely” or “Loveliness”. That’s my name.

Don’t wear it out.

Let’s move on to the recipe, shall we?

This is a variation of a regular around here. My husband absolutely loves chinese dumplings, so I try to make them as often as I can. And now that I’ve perfected my dipping sauce it’s an easy weeknight thing for us to throw together. However, for this particular recipe I tweaked my sauce a little because I’m using beef. I added some apricot preserves; I just feel like it needed a tiny sweet kiss.

An apricot-ish kiss.

Potstickers

1 lb shredded beef

1 tbsp garlic chili sauce

1/4 cup scallions

1 12 oz pkg wonton skins

Small bowl of water

1 tbsp canola oil

Sauce

2 tbsp apricot preserves

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Makato ginger dressing

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 squirt Srirachia (or more depending on your heat tolerance)

1 tbsp water

Mix the beef, chili sauce and scallions together in a large bowl.

To assemble the potstickers, dip your finger in the water and line the outer edges of a wonton skin. Put about a teaspoon of the beef filling in the center, and fold over to make a half moon shape. Press the edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining ingredients, keeping the potstickers covered with a damp cloth.

Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the potstickers. When the bottoms are golden brown, add 1/2 cup water and quickly cover. Simmer until all the water has absorbed (maybe 5-7 minutes or so), then uncover and reduce heat to medium low for another two minutes. Remove from heat.

There are a few ways to cook these, but I’ve found this is the easiest and I get the best results.

Before a dip…

After a dip…

If you’ve never made dumplings, just try it. You’ll get the hang of making them – they are really easy and so versatile. And extremely addictive.

xoxo

~Dixie Chik~

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Bacon and Date Grilled Cheese

Yes, you read it right. Date.

Date as in the big raisin looking thingy.

I put fresh dates on a grilled cheese. But not just any grilled cheese…..this is Gorgonzola and cream cheese. And BACON.

There’s something about Gorgonzola. You either really love it or you despise it.Wish I could talk my husband into liking those salty, sharp cheeses but he’s way too into Mozzarella to get it. Don’t pay any attention to him. But I love him dearly.

He just needs to learn how to love sharp, salty, crumbly cheeses – he needs to branch out from that creamy Mozzarella that he loves so much. There’s more to cheese life that than.

I have loved sharp cheeses my entire life. One of my favorites is Cracker Barrell Extra Sharp New York Aged Cheddar, but I don’t buy it a whole lot because I’m the only one in the family that will eat it. It’s very, very sharp and crumbles when you cut it. That’s the best.

Anyway…I was doing my daily (well, pretty much) trip to Publix, and they happen to have fresh Medjdool dates BYGO that day so I knew I had to grab a box.

Did I have a plan for these precious little things that were about to expire in a few days?

Hell no.

But what’s the fun of creating new food if you always have a plan? However, letting time slip by you and seeing what you bought is about to expire will light a fire under your ass.

So, I kept thinking about the bacon wrapped gorgonzola stuffed dates that I made a while back, which made me wonder…could I could deconstruct them into a dish?

No, too little ingredients.

With bacon in mind, I couldn’t stop thinking about a sandwich. I just purchased a bag of fresh mini buns a few days ago,  so I decided to to make some little baby sandwiches inspired by the stuffed dates. It’s a sweet bite at first from the date slices, but the Gorgonzola hits you with a sharp cheesy bite, then the bacon, and the salty/sweet combination comes together deliciously.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Bacon and Date Grilled Cheese

12 mini sandwich buns – I used Pepperidge Farm wheat mini buns

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

1 4 oz. package Gorgonzola cheese

1 lb. bacon, cooked

12 dates, pitted and sliced thin

Make the baby sammys. First, combine the cream cheese and Gorgonzola – make sure you mash it well to incorporate the crumbly Gorgonzola with the cream cheese to make a good mix.

Spread the cheese on both sides of the bread slices. Add the bacon, then date slices and top with the other half of the bun.

Add 1/2 stick of butter to a saute pan over medium-high heat until melted.

Grill sandwiches in the pan, carefully turning halfway until golden brown on both sides.

Remove from heat.

I have to say it…..

Get out the Fritos and cottage cheese.

If you don’t know me, that’s my favorite side to any sandwich. Just had to throw that in there.

These were absolutely amazing. The bite of the Gorgonzola that was toned a bit by the cream cheese… the sweetness from the dates and the fantasticness of bacon – it was a perfect combination for a great baby sandwich.

Have a great weekend!!

xoxo

~Dixie Chik~

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Salmon Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Spicy Mayo

A couple of months ago my husband and I went on a Caribbean cruise for our 7th anniversary. It was really our honeymoon, ’cause we never took one.

This was our third cruise; we took one last year and the year before with the kids on Disney. This time we went on Norwegian.

Let me just go ahead and tell you – if you haven’t cruised before you need to know this. Disney does all things perfect. It was such a mistake for us to go on Disney first, then another cruiseline.

We were one spoiled family for a week.

I’m not saying Norwegian was a bad experience. They just didn’t measure up….they skip the little things that make a difference and make you want to go back. Disney does those things. They really want you to be happy and to have a memorable experience; they cater to you.

I was literally escorted to the ladies’ room when I simply asked where it was. Escorted as in arm-in-arm.

And look, my son was spoon fed on our first night there.

Ridiculous? Maybe. Memorable and fun – yes.

See what I mean?

As far as Norwegian, probably the biggest area of disappointment for me was the food. Pretty much everything I had on the Disney cruise was fantastic, give or take a few things. I remember on our first Disney cruise having an asparagus soup that was so amazing I thought about it for months. They had the typical buffets, two restaurants with the same menu and a few that were different but you had to pay extra. I’m not paying an assload of money for a cruise just to pay extra to have some sushi.

Bottom line, Disney is magical. I teared up a little when we went to the farewell party on the top deck the last day. I’m not even joking.

*sigh*

Disney did not pay me for this, I promise.

One of the things I look forward to when I go on a beach/tropical vacation is fresh seafood. On our last cruise, I had a salmon croquette-type appetizer one night and for some reason I thought about it a few days ago, which led to another thought. What if I made a salmon burger?

So I mentioned this idea to my husband and sister when she was over last week and it immediately grossed them out. They said they almost threw up in their mouths a little when I said it. How dramatic… I personally think they just don’t want to admit what a great idea it was because they didn’t have it first. Don’t you?

Today I made this concoction with all the things in my head I thought would work. I had a feeling this would taste good. I was wrong.

It wasn’t good. It was amazing. I absolutely loved it.

Salmon Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Spicy Mayo

1 16 oz can salmon, with those little round bones removed (they are edible by the way, but they gross me out)

1 egg

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 tsp stone ground mustard

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp chives

Fresh pineapple slices

Mayo

Srirachia sauce

Fresh bagels, halved and toasted

Green leaf lettuce

Combine the salmon through chives in a mixing bowl, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Mix mayo with the Srirachia, using enough of both to your taste. If you put a little bit of the Srirachia, you’ll get a little kick without too much heat. It’s one of those things you have to test to know what you can handle.

This spicy mayo is so good.

Prepare grill and make burger size patties with the salmon mixture. Add both burgers and pineapple rings to the grill. Pineapple should be done after about 3 minutes each side – depending on your grill, the burgers about 5-6 minutes each side.

Spread the mayo on each side of the bagel; add the salmon burger, then lettuce and pineapple.

Your belly just asked you to make this.

xoxo

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