Recipes, Small Bites

Arancini -Risotto Balls

Risotto is one of my favorite things to make, which is why this is one of my favorite Sicilian appetizers. 

To make these Sicilian cheese-filled appetizers, you first have to make risotto, then use the risotto to make cheese-stuffed balls, then coat them with breadcrumbs and fry them. 

It’s definitely a labor of love but they are absolutely worth it. 

These are the perfect appetizer for the holidays or if you have left over risotto. 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE RISOTTO

¼ cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

½ medium yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

¾ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 

Salt and black pepper

1 cup arborio rice 

⅓ cup white wine 

2 cups chicken stock, warmed

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

FOR THE ARANCINI:

½ cup Mozzarella, shredded

½ cup Fontina cheese, shredded

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated  

Salt and black pepper

1 ½ quarts vegetable oil

1 cup tomato sauce (fresh or store-bought), warmed

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the risotto: 

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium. 

Add onion, garlic and Italian seasoning. 

Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice until coated, about 1 minute, then add wine. 

Cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Stir in 1/2 cup stock. Cook, stirring frequently, until stock is almost absorbed, about 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining stock, adding 1/2 cup at a time and stirring until absorbed before adding the next cup, about 15 minutes.

Once all the stock has been absorbed, the rice should be tender and creamy. 

Stir in the Parmesan, the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and seasoning. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Pour into a large bowl and let for at least 20 minutes. 

In the same bowl, mix in the mozzarella, fontina cheese. 

Cover tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 2 or 3 days.

Once the risotto is chilled, use a cookie scoop and gently roll each into a ball. Repeat with remaining risotto balls. (If you’re not planning to fry them right away, arrange them on a small baking sheet in a single layer, cover and refrigerate until cooking, up to 2 or 3 days in advance. If the risotto mixture isn’t cold, it can fall apart in the hot oil.)

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. (If you have a candy thermometer, now is a good time to use it: Heat the oil to about 350 degrees.)

Prepare the breading: 

Add the flour to a shallow bowl, then add the eggs to another shallow bowl and beat the eggs to combine. In a third bowl, combine the Panko, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.

Working with one arancini, roll it first in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg, then in the bread crumb mixture, taking care to coat it on all sides with each roll. Transfer to a clean baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining arancini.

Fry the arancini in batches, leaving at least one inch between each ball, until golden and crisp on the outside, about 5 minutes. (By the time the crust crisps, the cheese filling will melt.) 

Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining arancini. 

Spoon warmed tomato sauce onto small plates or into bowls and top with warm arancini, or set sauce in a bowl for dipping and arrange arancini on a serving platter. 

Sprinkle arancini with finely grated Parmesan.

Healthy, Recipes

KETO Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers

There’s something about the smell of stuffed peppers that gets me every time. It’s the best of simple ingredients–fresh beef, onions, tomatoes, cheese and seasonings that come together in their own little portable, edible bowls. 

In this recipe, I slashed the calories and carbs of traditional stuffed peppers by swapping white rice for cauliflower “rice.” 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head cauliflower, riced 
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms 
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage 
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning 
  • 1 ½ tsp. Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bell peppers, tops and cores removed
  • 1 cup. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsp. beef broth 

INSTRUCTIONS 

Preheat the oven to 400°

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add ground sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 6 minutes. Drain fat.

Place cooked meat aside. 

In the same skillet, cook onion and mushrooms  until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. 

Cut the cauliflower into large chunks and place in a food processor. 

Add to the skillet with other veggies and sauté for 5-8 minutes. 

Return sausage to skillet, and stir in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 

Let simmer until liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.

Place peppers cut side-up in a 9″-x-13″ baking dish and drizzle with oil. Spoon sausage mixture into each pepper and top with cheese.

Pour the beef broth into the bottom of the dish, then cover the baking dish with foil.

Bake until peppers are tender, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbly, 10 minutes more.

Recipes, Seasonal

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Squash

If you are like me, fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. I can’t wait to get my hands on fall vegetables.

This Roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and olive oil pair beautifully with caramelized savory squash. As they roast in the oven, their flavor intensifies. They come out of the oven sweet, tangy, and with a deep flavor that’s almost wine-ish. The poached egg takes this dish to the next level. I used fresh duck eggs from my friend’s farm, Red Beard’s Farm.  Duck eggs are pretty much just like chicken eggs, except they are larger and richer. You can use regular eggs, of course.

INGREDIENTS

For the squash:

  • 2.2 lbs acorn squash, about 3
  • ⅔ tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the tomatoes:

  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme

For the poached eggs:

  • 4-6 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar
  • Fresh thyme, garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425F

For the squash:

Scrub the squash clean, pat dry, and cut into ½-inch rounds (length-wise).

Scoop out the seeds and remove the stringy parts.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Spread the squash out in a single layer over the sheet. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over the squash. Coat well.

Bake in a middle rack for about 20 minutes and flip the rinds to bake 8-10 minutes extra.

For the tomatoes:

Place the tomatoes in a baking dish.

Add the ingredients from oil to thyme.

Stir to coat well.

Roast until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to burst, about 20 minutes.

For the poached eggs:

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.

Add the vinegar. Turn heat down to a simmer.

Crack an egg into a small bowl. Stir the water with a wooden spoon to get it spinning in one direction.

Gently lower the egg into the water.

Cook for 5 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.

Reheat with other eggs.

To serve:

Arrange 3-4 squash rinds to each serving plate or shallow bowl.

Divide the tomatoes among plates and drizzle with the cooking juices.

Place the poached eggs on top.

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme, and salt.

On the Side, Recipes

Bacon Jalapeño Cheesy Cornbread

These Bacon Jalapeno Cheesy Skull muffins were perfect for our Halloween get together! Of course, you can make these in any muffin pan.

Ingredients

4 packets Martha White Cornbread Mix Buttermilk Cotton Country plus water as directed on package

1 cups haberno cheese, shredded

½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ cup diced pickled jalapenos, drained

6 strips thick bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Prepare cornbread as directed on package

Stir in bacon, both cheeses and jalapenos.

Bake in the oven until lightly browned. 

#whiskawaykitchen

Recipes, Small Bites

Pizza Dip

We all love pizza! Well how about a pizza dip! Less carbs with all the same delicious flavors! This MEAT LOVERS’ pizza dip is next-level good. It is super simple to make, and everyone will love it. I used sausage, bacon, and pepperoni but use whatever types of meat and toppings you like!

Ingredients

12 oz. bacon, cut into 1″ pieces 

1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed 

1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened 

2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided 

1 cup ricotta 

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

1 1/2 cup pizza sauce 

1/2 cup pepperoni slices

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F

In a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, add bacon and cook until crispy, 8 minutes. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate. 

To the same skillet, add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 6 minutes. Drain fat. 

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, ricotta, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. 

Add bacon, sausage, and cream cheese mixture to skillet and stir to combine, then spread in an even layer. 

Spread pizza sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Top with pepperoni and Parmesan. 

Bake until bubbly and cheese is melty, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with baguette slices.

Recipes, Small Bites

Buffalo Chicken Pull apart Roll ups

I love a good tailgate!

These Buffalo Chicken Pull Apart  Roll-ups are just the recipe you need for game day! 

It’s a great appetizer that is made in minutes and always a hit. If you love buffalo chicken dip, these will be your new favorite. 

If you love Buffalo chicken recipes, make sure to try my Buffalo Chicken Rolls with Blue Cheese Frosting. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 lb ground italian chicken sausage
  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce
  • 1 packet Ranch seasoning packet
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 8 ounce blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tubes Pillsbury Thin Pizza Crust

INSTRUCTIONS 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add the ground meat and sauté for 5 minutes and break it up with the back of a wooden spoon. Add all the ranch seasoning and stir to combine. Continue to cook the ground meat and break it down with the back of a wooden spoon until it’s fully cooked and no pink remains.

Once cooked, add ½ cup buffalo sauce and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

In the same skillet, saute the red onion and garlic. Sprinkle the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Saute until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. 

Pour onion mixture and cooked meat in a large bowl, stir to combine. 

Add the cream cheese to the bowl and mix until well combined. 

Place parchment paper on the counter for your workspace. 

Unroll one pizza crust dough out onto the prepared parchment paper, I like to work with one at a time. 

Spread chicken mixture evenly on dough to within 1/4 inch from sides. 

Sprinkle ½ of the blue cheese and ½ of the mozzarella cheese over the chicken mixture.  

Starting with one long side, roll up dough; spread a thin layer of ranch dressing along one side to help it seal. 

Repeat with the other dough and place both in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 9 inch springform pan.

Place seam side down on cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 equal slices; place cut side down in the prepared pan. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. 

Top with green onions and a drizzle of ranch dressing and if desired, additional Buffalo sauce.

Healthy, Recipes

Taco Cauliflower Rice Casserole

The BEST Keto Taco Casserole is here!

This Keto Taco Casserole is loaded with cheesy taco goodness without any of the carbs. This low carb friendly dish really hits the spot.

I’m a big fan of casseroles because they allow for easy cleanup, and are great for meal prep. This keto taco casserole is sure to be a regular on your meal plan!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups cauliflower rice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • homemade taco seasoning, two tablespoons store brought
  • ¼ cup water
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes sliced into wedges

HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the homemade taco seasoning, add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until evenly mixed. Set aside. 

Add oil to a large pan or skillet and bring to medium-high heat. 

Add in cauliflower rice. 

Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain and place cauliflower into a bowl to set aside.

In the same pan, add garlic, onion, ground beef and bring to medium-high heat. 

Cook until ground beef has browned, crumbling the ground beef as you cook it. Drain out excess fat.

Sprinkle taco seasoning across ground beef. 

Stir in the black beans. 

Add ¼ cup water and diced tomatoes (including the liquid). Stir and cook on medium heat until everything is evenly mixed and the sauce has thickened.

Add the cauliflower rice back in and mix with the taco meat, cooking for a few minutes on medium heat. Drain any liquid from the pan. 

Add taco cauliflower rice into a 9 x 12 inch casserole pan. Sprinkle cheese across the surface. 

Bake in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Garnish with cilantro. 

Serve with lime wedges.

Healthy, Recipes

Southwest Salmon Burgers with a Chipotle Drizzle

These Salmon burgers are so deliciously satisfying plus a light and healthy alternative to a regular burger. Each bite is hearty and juicy bursting with southwest flavors and topped with a creamy Chipotle sauce that takes it to Rockstar status. 

Here’s what to know about making this salmon burger recipe:

Fresh Salmon… I like to use fresh salmon but you can use canned too. 

A food processor is handy, but a knife works too! 

Refrigerate before cooking. Firming the burgers for 15 minutes does wonders for the texture.

Pan fry for 5 minutes per side. 

They will come out lightly crispy on the outside and browned to perfection.

Once you’ve cooked up your salmon burger, pair it with this tasty and delicious Chipotle drizzle for maximum deliciousness!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ pounds salmon, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup green onion chopped
  • ½ cup fresh corn
  • ½ cup zucchini, diced fine or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon water

Chipotle Drizzle

  • ½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt, (*see vegan note)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, (Sir Kensington’s is best here)
  • 1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, using your hands combine the salmon, green onion, corn, zucchini, garlic, cilantro and ½ of the black beans.

In a food processor combine the remaining black beans, avocado, lime juice and pulse well. Add egg and the spices, pulse until blended.

Add the mix to the salmon mixture and stir well. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 

Heat a large pan with a small amount of oil. 

Fry patties over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve over salad or with a bun!

Don’t forget the Chipotle drizzle!

Chipotle Drizzle

In a food processor, place the yogurt, mayo, chipotle pepper, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, honey, and generous pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper and blend until smooth. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Store in a small jar in the fridge, or in a squirt bottle for easy use.

Keeps up to 2 weeks.

Healthy, Recipes

Cabbage Roll Casserole

This Cabbage Roll Casserole Recipe makes dinner easy, delicious, and keto friendly. It’s the perfect all-in-one meal to satisfy any comfort food craving. Another great thing about this cabbage roll casserole is that it can be prepared the night before and then simply baked before serving. This makes it the perfect meal for guests and busy weeknights! 

Feel free to switch out the turkey for ground beef, cheddar instead of mozzarella or rice instead of cauliflower. This recipe can be customized to whatever you want! 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1 pound Ground Mild Italian Turkey
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Sea salt
  • ½  teaspoon Black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 medium head Cauliflower (riced; about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 medium head Cabbage (chopped/shredded; about 6 cups)
  • 3 cup Marinara sauce
  • 3 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for up to a minute, until fragrant.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add the ground meat. Season with seasonings.

Cook, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain if needed.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a 9×13 baking dish, stir together the rice cauliflower, and chopped cabbage. 

When the ground turkey is cooked through, stir in marinara sauce and pour over cabbage and cauliflower rice. Fold in 2 ½ cups cheese, save the remaining cheese for topping. 

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cabbage is crisp-tender.

Top with shredded mozzarella. Continue baking for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and the cabbage is completely cooked through.

Pasta, Recipes

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

This pasta bake recipe features the classic flavors of Spinach Artichoke Dip

Do you love Spinach and Artichoke Dip? I totally do! So I figured why not turn it into an easy pasta dish! It’s simple to make and delicious – just toss the pasta with the thick, creamy spinach & artichoke sauce and top with panko and Parmesan mixture. After 25 minutes of bake time, you’ll have a flavorful yummy dish that is sure to please your entire family!

Pasta bake recipes are perfect to make ahead! You can totally add some chicken to this bake to make this into a more filling meal, or leave it out. Completely your choice.

Looking to make this even easier? Just buy a container of Spinach Artichoke dip, stir in with the cooked pasta and bake.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 8  ounces medium pasta shells
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¼  teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 10  ounces fresh baby spinach, or frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1  (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2  cups heavy cream (1 pint)
  • 4  ounces grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
  •  Black pepper
  • 4  ounces grated mozzarella (about 1 cup)

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Turn down to medium-high, and cook the pasta according to package instructions until 2 minutes short of al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven). Drain and reserve.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the onion, garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach little by little until wilted, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped artichokes.

Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 

Stir in the Parmesan until melted. 

Remove from the heat then carefully stir in the cooked pasta, or transfer to a large bowl to mix together, if necessary. The liquid might appear wet and loose, but it will thicken up as it bakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a 2-quart casserole dish. 

In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pasta dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling around the edges and topping is lightly browned. 

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.