BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, I have a yummy Mexican recipe for you!!

A little while ago I made a batch of slow-cooked BBQ chicken for my husband’s work lunches.  And it turned out I’d made just a bit too much.  Like he wasn’t going to eat it all before it went bad.  So I decided to use some of it to make some recipes I’d been kicking around in my head for a while – the first of which was BBQ chicken quesadillas.

I had a really good BBQ chicken quesadilla once at a restaurant downtown.  It was chock full of BBQ chicken and melty cheese and peppers and onions.  That’s kind of what I was going for, but mine are much thinner, because I have an inability to make big fat quesadillas and not have them fall apart when flipping.  I need one of those quesadilla grill baskets or something!  But whatever.  These were plenty good!

I used my favorite //pickled red onions// in this recipe along with some store-bought pickled jalapenos and the flavor was spot-on, exactly what I was looking for.  Little bit of sweet, little bit of heat.  I used pepper Jack cheese too, and a fresh sprinkling of cilantro both inside and on top of the quesadillas.  They were so good!

When Vegetarian May is over I may just make these again!!

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
Serves 2

Ingredients
4 large flour tortillas (burrito or enchilada size)
1-2 cups shredded BBQ chicken (see Notes)
2+ cups shredded pepper Jack cheese (or mix 1 cup shredded pepper Jack + 1 cup shredded cheddar)
Pickled red onions, drained and dabbed dry
Pickled jalapenos, diced
Minced cilantro
Sour cream, if desired

Directions
1. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Spray one side of one flour tortilla lightly with cooking spray, and place sprayed side down on the griddle. Repeat with one more flour tortilla.

2. Top each tortilla with about a 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Then layer on 1/2 cup or so of shredded BBQ chicken on each tortilla, then pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, and minced cilantro. Top with remaining 1/2 cup or so of shredded cheese on each tortilla. (I say “or so” a lot because these can be as big or as small as you want. Do it to your preference!)

3. Spray one side of each of the remaining flour tortillas lightly with cooking spray. Place each tortilla sprayed side up on top of each quesadilla that you’ve built.

4. As the cheese melts on the bottom tortilla, use a spatula to peek underneath to make sure the tortilla is not burning. When the tortilla is nicely browned, carefully flip the quesadilla over, and cook until browned on the other side. This can take several minutes, depending on the heat of your stovetop or griddle. Just keep an eye on it, and if it’s not moving fast enough for you, raise heat to medium-high, but then you REALLY have to keep an eye on it.

5. When finished, cut each tortilla into fourths or sixths, and sprinkle with more minced cilantro if desired. Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

Notes
To make shredded BBQ chicken: Place 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into a slow cooker and cover with a 12oz bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. When done, shred the chicken right in the slow cooker, then serve. Or, remove to differently tightly-sealed containers for leftovers and other purposes.

#52NewEats :: Week 17 :: Crockpot Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

Crockpot Sausage Peppers and Onions

Who doesn’t like sausage, peppers, and onions?  It’s one of my favorite Italian dishes.  I was recently at a work teambuilding event and they had a catered lunch for us.  I have been following an 80/20 grain-free rule over the past couple of months and all I could eat at this catered lunch was sausage, peppers, and onions!  Everything else was grain- or pasta-based!  So I just filled up a plate with some sausages and the peppers and onions and ate with a knife and fork (instead of on a roll) and it was actually VERY delicious.  Everything appeared to have been simmered in a tasty tomato-based broth or sauce.  There were chunks of tomato in it, and it was seasoned very well with all your typical Italian flavorings.

It kicked off the wheels in my head and off I went to Pinterest looking for a similar dish, thinking maybe I could find something that could cook in the slow cooker all day and be ready for us when we got home.  And that’s exactly what I found in this recipe!  It’s exactly what I wanted.  I ate it that night without a roll, but I did top it with some provolone cheese and stick it under the broiler to melt for a bit (as pictured above).  It was just as satisfying as if I’d eaten it on a roll!

We used a mix of mild Italian sausages and hot Italian sausages, and found that we preferred the hot sausages.  Why?  Even though we browned the sausage links in a pan before slow cooking them, they still softened up enough that they didn’t have much of a ‘bite’ to them when you bit into them.  We found we didn’t miss that ‘bite’ as much with the hot Italian sausages, because the spice made up for it.  But it’s also something that maybe could be fixed by letting them brown a little longer in the pan before slow cooking them.

Either way, I was really happy with this recipe and will definitely make it again!!  You can find the original recipe //here//.

Crockpot Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2 Tbsp oil
2 lbs sweet and/or hot Italian sausage links
2 bell peppers, sliced
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Hoagie buns
Provolone cheese slices

Directions
1. Add oil to a large skillet over high heat. Brown the sausages well on all sides. Remove the sausages to the slow cooker. Add the bell peppers and onions to the same skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, getting them a little bit brown as well. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic to the veggie mixture for the last minute.

2. Add all remaining ingredients, except hoagie buns and provolone cheese, to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on LOW for 5 hours.

3. When you are ready to serve, toast your hoagie buns on both sides, then add the cheese to the inside of the buns and place back in the oven to broil until the cheese is melted. Add the Italian Sausage & peppers & onions to each hoagie roll. Serve with some of the tomato sauce on the side for dipping.

Favorite Chicken Salad

Favorite Chicken Salad

There’s this Jewish deli in Bala Cynwyd, PA, near where I used to live, called Hymie’s.  And Hymie’s makes THE BEST chicken salad I have had ANYWHERE in this entire world.

I know, I know, again – here we are – really SFB?  Chicken salad?  I know.  It’s so simple, probably everyone has a recipe for it.

But do you know how to make it like Hymie’s makes it?

I will tell you that if you are in the Philadelphia area and consider yourself a chicken salad aficionado, then you should take a Saturday and head out to Bala Cynwyd and pick up a pint of it at Hymie’s.  Pick up a couple of their pickles too.  Ugh, mouth watering.

So, there’s also this kinda sorta popular food blogger, Mel Joulwan, who was my idol during my Paleo days, and in one of her cookbooks she has a recipe for deli tuna salad.  But ew, fish.  So I skimmed over the recipe ingredients and thought hey, maybe I can just swap out the tuna with shredded chicken, and voila, chicken salad.  Well, I did exactly that, AND OMG WHAT ARE THE CHANCES BUT IT TASTED JUST LIKE HYMIE’S.

That might have been the most excited I’d been while following Paleo.

But the beauty of this chicken salad is that it can be as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be.  There have been times where I’ve just wanted to throw something together for lunch for the week and I toss only some of the ingredients in a bowl and mix it up and it’s still delicious.  But the full recipe – listed here – is, dare I say, a Hymie’s copycat chicken salad recipe.

My absolute favorite way to eat this chicken salad is as pictured – wrapped in butter or Boston lettuce leaves.  But, if you are going for a non-Paleo, Jewish-deli style experience with your chicken salad, pile it up onto some rye bread and nomz it down.  With a big ol’ pickle on the side.  😉

Favorite Chicken Salad

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (you can roast or poach, then shred)
1/4 medium yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash cayenne pepper
1 rip celery, finely diced (or more, depending on your taste)
2 tablespoons dried chives
1/4 cup dill relish
2-3+ tablespoons mayo

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. You will want to add enough mayo to hold it all together, but not so much that it is sopping wet. Start with 2-3 tablespoons and go from there. Once you reach desired consistency, refrigerate to let the flavors combine. It should keep for a few days in the fridge. Enjoy!

Sloppy Joe Sliders

Sloppy Joe Sliders

Some time ago I was Paleo, or predominantly Paleo, for the better part of about a year.  My husband really took to it – he likes meat and vegetables and has no problem turning away from potatoes and pasta.  Me, not so much.  I couldn’t last on Paleo like he could.  So he continued on with it, and I was on Pinterest one day looking for recipes to make for him for lunch, and stumbled upon Paleo Sloppy Joes by Cook Like a Cavewoman.  (Her blog is no longer in service, wah!  But I managed to find the recipe somewhere else, and have included it here.)

So anyway I thought well these look good, and I make them, and my house smelled AH MAZE INGGGG.  You know what it was?  Liquid smoke.  It was the first time I’d ever used liquid smoke and I wanted to drink the stuff.  It takes this simple ground beef dish to a whole ‘nother level folks.

I ate a small bowl of it as-is and my mind began racing with all the things I could make with this delicious Sloppy Joe recipe.  Sloppy Joe Cheese Fries?  //Check.//  Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese?  Someday.  Sloppy Joe Sliders?  Here ya go.

I made these for Super Bowl Sunday a couple weeks ago and they were a hit.  They are, quite literally, sloppy.  And SO delicious.  I really love this method of ‘baked sliders’ and have a few more ideas up my sleeve.  Which means I need to have a couple more parties to feed all the people all the foods.  I hope you make these and I hope you love them!

Sloppy Joe Sliders

Ingredients
15oz tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground beef
Cooking spray
1 small yellow onion, diced fine
1 small red bell pepper, diced fine
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
6 slices yellow American cheese
12 slider buns

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Split apart slider buns and lay bottoms into a 13×9 baking dish. Set aside.

2. Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat and drain. Spray the skillet with cooking spray and add the peppers. Saute for about 2-3 minutes, until almost tender. Add diced onion and saute until onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add grated garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add the drained ground beef back to the skillet and lower the heat to medium. Stir to combine.

3. Add all ingredients to the ground beef mixture, from the tomato sauce through (and including) the ground black pepper. Stir to combine, and simmer for about 10-12 minutes, until thickened.

4. When the sloppy joes are thickened to your liking, pour them on top of the slider bottoms in the baking dish. Top with the slices of American cheese, and then with the slider bun tops. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

5. After 20 minutes, check to see if the cheese is melted. If so, these babies are ready to devour!

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Sliders

Last summer sometime, I hosted a Slutfest at my house with our friends Geoff and Becky.  Normally Slutfest is just the four of us getting together and pigging out but on this occasion we also invited our friends Jackie and Brandon.

One of Jackie’s contributions to the party was some kind of cheesesteak or cheeseburger slider dish – she had seen a recipe or video on Facebook, and it was basically 12 slider buns split apart, bottom halves placed into a baking dish, covered with meat and cheese, topped with the top halves, and baked.  Then you take them out of the oven and it’s meaty and cheesy and melty and slutty and delicious.  They were SO GOOD.  My mind got to turning about how many different ways I could take this method and make something delicious out of it.  And so, the sausage, pepper, and onion sliders were born!

I actually tried this recipe out for the first time on Jackie and Brandon when they came to our house for New Year’s Eve a few weeks ago.  These sliders were a hit!  I don’t think you can beat the smell of Italian sausages cooking with peppers and onions…. it’s one of my favorite smells.  In fact, I love this sausage-pepper-onion mixture so much I am thinking about repurposing it in other recipes… maybe on pizza, or inside stromboli.  YUM!

These sliders are so easy and will feed a lot of people at once.  They would be perfect for a Super Bowl party or any other kind of gathering you may be hosting!

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Sliders
Serves 6

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 links mild Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 link hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 8oz can tomato sauce
12 slices provolone cheese
12 slider buns, split in half

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the chopped green bell pepper and saute until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Add diced yellow onion and saute until translucent. Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet to a bowl and set aside.

3. Return the skillet to medium heat. Spray the skillet again with nonstick cooking spray, and add the Italian sausage links. Break up the sausage into crumbles with a spatula. Cook until cooked through, about 10 minutes or so. Add the peppers and onions back to the skillet with the crumbled sausage. Pour in the tomato sauce. Stir together, reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. You want some of the water to cook out of the tomato sauce so that it thickens nicely. The sausage, pepper, and onion mixture should be saucy and coated nicely with the tomato sauce, not runny and watery.

4. While the sausage mixture is simmering, place the bottom halves of the slider buns into the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. You may need to squish them in there a little bit, this is okay. Press them down slightly so that they stay in place. Cover with 6 slices of provolone cheese, overlapping if necessary. When the sausage mixture is done, pour it on top of the provolone cheese. Top with the other 6 slices of provolone cheese, and finally the top halves of the slider buns. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteaks

Ok so here’s the thing.

The lighting in my pictures these days SUCKS.  And I’m apologizing but not really because I’m kind of actually impressed with myself that I’m managing to keep up with blogging with all the crazy that’s going on in my life right now.  And while I certainly know that there is weight and attention and who-cares-what-else tied to a great food picture, I also know that there are people who just want to eat good food and don’t care much about the lighting or focus or depth of field of the shot.  They just want a mother-effin’ buffalo chicken cheesesteak.

So I think it’s mostly to those in the latter camp that I’m speaking to these days.

That thing still looks delicious right?  Look at how ooey gooey.  You still want to eat it right?  Even though I didn’t make it before the sun went down to capture it in natural lighting?  Good.

So yeah!  Guys.  Buffalo chicken cheesesteaks.  So easy, and so delish.

I pretty much love buffalo chicken anything and everything.  Except wings.  I feel like we’ve talked about this before though.  I don’t eat food connected to a bone.  No sir.  No can do.  Lately my favorite buffalo-flavored thing has been buffalo chicken pizza without the chicken.  (I’m trying to eat less animal protein, remember?)  Seriously though, try it.  Lay out some pizza dough, slather some buffalo sauce on it, top it with mozzarella cheese and bake it till it’s bubbly, then sprinkle with scallions and bake for another couplea minutes and BOOM.  Pizza heaven.

Anyways.  Today we’re talking about a buffalo chicken something that actually has chicken in it.  Though I suppose you could sub seitan or tofu.  But I don’t know how to cook those (yet), so sub at your own expertise please.

Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteaks

Cheesesteaks are so easy to make at home, I’m discovering… I might just start making them at home more often.  I think when I move out of the city I probably won’t have a choice anymore!!

Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteaks
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 large chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and cubed into bite-size pieces
2 Italian hoagie rolls, such as Amoroso’s
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
4 slices white American cheese (I like Cooper Sharp or New Yorker American)
Salt & pepper to taste
Cooking spray
Blue cheese dressing, for topping (optional)

Directions
1. Heat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Once the skillet is heated, add the chicken, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Push the chicken around the skillet so that it cooks on all sides. When the chicken is no longer pink, turn the skillet to low, and add the buffalo wing sauce. Turn the heat to low, and simmer, stirring the chicken periodically, until the sauce reduces a little bit and starts to thicken and coat the chicken chunks.

2. Meanwhile, slice the rolls open and hollow out the thicker side. Spread blue cheese dressing on one (or both!) side of the roll.

3. When the chicken is nicely coated in the buffalo sauce, separate the chunks into two even hoagie-shaped piles. Top with cheese, cover, and allow to melt.

4. When the cheese has melted, using a long spatula, carefully scoop the cheesy pile of buffalo chicken out of the skillet and into the prepared roll. Repeat with the other pile of chicken. Fold the roll over the melty spicy chicken and devour promptly!

Slutty Grilled Cheese

Does anybody else out there know the term, “food hug”?

My friend and I use this term to describe the situations in which we are so stressed or angry or frazzled or crazy that we want to EAT ALL THE FOOD, ALL THE UNHEALTHY-FOR-ME FOODS, ALL THE SLUTTY FOOD because it’s the only thing that will make us feel better.  And we usually try to talk each other out of going off the rails like that – “don’t do it, you know you just need a food hug, it will go away”.  But sometimes you just need a food hug so bad….

And that’s how this grilled cheese was born.

For whatever reason, I was super stressed at work one day recently, and I wanted a food hug so bad… And I couldn’t get out for lunch so I had to eat whatever I had brought, which was decidedly NOT a food hug, so by the time I got home I was extra-jonesing for a food hug.  And we were just having boring old grilled cheese for dinner (hello, totally-packed-kitchen)…. until I decided to completely slut it up.

Slutty Grilled Cheese

Do you know what really knocks this grilled cheese out of the park?  Bread and butter pickles.  They just add a tang to all the richness and it somehow goes really well together.

So next time you need a food hug… you probably have a lot of these ingredients on hand… whip this one up and take a bite and feel better instantly.

Slutty Grilled Cheese
Makes 1 sandwich (yes, ONE)

Ingredients
2 slices sourdough bread, panini bread, or your favorite grilled cheese bread
2 slices yellow American cheese
2 slices Cooper Sharp American cheese
2 slices of bacon, cooked to your liking, cut in half
2 slices beefsteak tomato
6-8 slices bread & butter pickles
2 eggs, cooked sunny side up or over easy (runny yolk FTW)
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional, but why would you not?)
Butter for buttering the bread

Directions
1. Butter the bread as you would any other grilled cheese.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat as you would if you were making grilled cheese like normal. Place both slices of bread, butter-side down, in the skillet. Place the slices of yellow American on top of one slice, and the slices of the Cooper Sharp on top of another slice. Cook gently, browning the bread, so that the cheese begins to melt. If necessary, cover the skillet so that the heat can circulate around the top of the cheese and help it melt. Be careful not to burn the bread. (Unless you like that, ew.)

3. In the meantime, in a separate small skillet, cook your eggs as desired. When done, turn the heat off and cover to keep warm until the sandwich is ready to assemble.

4. When the cheese on the bread slices looks sufficiently melty, slide both slices out onto a plate. Assemble in the following manner: swipe mayonnaise on top of the yellow American cheese. Lay bacon slices on top of the Cooper Sharp. Lay tomato slices on top of the bacon. Lay pickles on top of the tomatoes. Slide your eggs out of the skillet and on top of the pickles. Flip the slice of bread with the yellow American and mayo on top of the eggs. Hold tight, and slice in half. Now eat it!

Cheesesteaks

If you don’t know by now, I’m from Philly – land of the cheesesteak, land of the soft pretzel, land of Wawa, land of Tastykakes.

We love our Philly food, especially the cheesesteak.  What I love about the cheesesteak is that you could ask 50 different people what their favorite cheesesteak shop is, and you would probably get about 25 unique answers.  As for me, I really love Jimmy G’s, D’Alessandro’s, and Ishkabibbles.  No, I don’t like Pat’s, or Geno’s, or even Jim’s.  Tony Luke’s used to be my favorite but since embarking on my cheesesteak adventure (search #cheesesteakadventure on Instagram), I have eaten so many delicious cheesesteaks that I never knew existed!  I have a bunch more on my list to try too!

Anyway.  Sometimes you just want to make one at home.  And I finally have perfected a recipe to my liking.

What are my secrets?

First – you gotta use Cooper Sharp American cheese.  I LOVE Cooper Sharp.  I love it on turkey sandwiches, egg sandwiches, grilled cheese, cheeseburgers – anything.  It’s great on cheesesteaks.  If you can’t find Cooper Sharp, regular American cheese will do.

Second – you gotta use a cast iron skillet.  It will sear your beef really well.

Third – you gotta use an authentic Amoroso’s roll.  I know they are pretty local to Philly so I’m not sure how far away you can get them – but if you can’t get them, make sure you find a nice soft Italian roll.  It should not be as firm as a baguette.  It should be hoagie length – about 10-12″ in length.

Fourth – you gotta let the cheese melt real good on top of the beef, and then sort of toss it all together to spread all that cheese throughout the steak chunks.  This is my number one pet peeve with cheesesteak shops is that they don’t do this.  The typical way they put together a cheesesteak is: they slice the roll open, they lay the cheese into the roll, then they flip the roll with the cold cheese upside down onto the hot cheesesteak meat on the griddle, and let it sit there for a minute.  Then they take their big spatula and slide it under the meat, put one hand on the upside-down roll, and in one swift motion they flip it all upright, so that now the beef is sitting on top of the cheese.  Well that’s great and easy, but now you only get cheese on part of the meat!  It is so much better when they flip the meat around and let the cheese get all melty into it.

Anyway enough with that.  On to the recipe!

Cheesesteaks
Makes 2 stuffed cheesesteaks or 3 average cheesesteaks

Ingredients
1 lb skirt steak
Salt & pepper
Cooking spray
4-6 slices Cooper Sharp cheese
2-3 Amoroso’s long Italian rolls
1/2 yellow onion, diced (optional)
Ketchup and mayo for topping (optional)

Directions
1. Slice skirt steak against the grain (as if crossing a ‘T’ against the grain) in very thin strips. Think shavings. If necessary, you could lay the skirt steak pieces onto a cutting board and stick them in a freezer for about an hour to firm it up to make slicing/shaving easier. Spread all the shavings across the cutting board and season liberally with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray. When the skillet is hot, add the diced yellow onion and saute until softened, just until the dices begin to brown around the edges. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Turn the heat up on the skillet to medium-high. Add the skirt steak. Let it sear, then start pushing it around the pan to brown it on all sides. Once the meat is browned on all sides, turn the heat down to medium-low, and separate the meat into the number of cheesesteaks you will be serving. Push them into a long oval shape, so that you can scoop from the skillet to the roll easily. Once the meat is separated, add the diced onions to the top of the desired piles of meat, and place 2 slices of cheese on top of each little pile. Cover the skillet to let the cheese melt.

4. While the cheese is melting, slice the rolls open and scoop some of the bread out to hollow the roll out a little. At this point, if you’re adding ketchup and/or mayo to your cheesesteak, you can do so on the roll.

5. When the cheese is finished melting, using a large spatula, begin folding the meat over the cheese over and over to distribute the melted cheese throughout the meat. When distributed to your liking, scoop out of the skillet and onto your prepared roll. Cut the sandwich in half and devour promptly!

Chipotle Cheeseburger Patty Melt

Holla ya’ll!

We are well into January here in Philadelphia and you know what’s wonderful?  Today we received our first snowfall.  The snowfall itself is not actually all that wonderful, but the fact that it took so long to get here is pretty awesome.  I mean winter is already like almost half over.  I love it.

You know, about a year ago, a couple inches on the ground would have caused me some serious panic attacks.  “OH NO WHAT IF IT SNOWS MORE WHAT IF IT ICES OVER MY CAR WON’T GO ANYWHERE OMG WILL I HAVE TO WORK FROM HOME MY BOSS WILL HATE ME WHAT NOW I SHOULD JUST CALL OUT SICK UGGGGHHHH I FUCKING HATE IT HERE IF ONLY THEY WOULD PLOW MY STREET I NEED AN SUV!!!!!”  That was pretty much my instant, standard response as soon as the first snowflake fell and it would only intensify from there.

But this year is oh so different!

For one thing, my old evil boss, who hated letting people work from home even in inclement weather, was fired in May.  He was replaced with two awesome, truly caring individuals.  I am so thankful every day for having them in my life now.  Having them in place makes my life so, so, so much easier.  For another thing, I just bought a new car a couple months ago – a 2015 Dodge Durango – so AWD is also a part of my life this year.

It’s amazing how just these two things have lessened the amount of stress and anxiety that I felt almost daily, a year ago!

Now I can take a snowfall for what I think it should be – a perfect excuse to stay inside and make slutty food and drink hot chocolate.  Or whiskey.

Take this chipotle cheeseburger patty melt.  I had been tossing this idea around in my head a while and finally had a chance to make it recently and O. M. G.  I hadn’t been so sure about chipotle mayo with beef – it goes SO WELL with chicken and almost everything else on the planet…. well now I’m wondering why I even doubted it to begin with.  Cuz guess what, it was fucking awesome.

I feel like my recipes can take a lot of effort, and for that I apologize, but not really, because I feel like slutty food, like beauty, takes effort.  And if you came here looking for 30-minute-or-less meals, or one-pot wonders, well you might have stumbled onto the wrong blog.  But please stay a while and give my recipes a try.  They are rewarding!  You can believe me, because I hate waiting to eat and I hate doing dishes.

Chipotle Cheeseburger Patty Melt
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2-4 slices sourdough bread (see notes)
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, diced
1/2 lb. ground beef, formed into two burger patties
Chipotle Mayo
Softened butter

Directions
1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with your favorite cooking spray, and add the diced onion and jalapeno. Saute until soft and the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. When tender, remove from skillet into a bowl and return the skillet to the stove.

2. Butter one side of each bread slice, and place bread butter-side down into the skillet, as if you were making grilled cheese. Divide the shredded cheese into four equal portions, and top each bread slice with a portion of shredded cheese. Keep an eye on your bread and make sure you don’t burn it. Turn the heat down if you have to; but make sure the cheese melts. Cover the skillet if necessary to allow the cheese to melt.

3. While the bread and cheese are getting cozy, grill burger patties to your liking – we like cooking them in a cast iron skillet.

4. When the bread is golden brown and delicious and the cheese is melted, remove them from the skillet to a plate. Top one slice for each sandwich with some of the jalapeno-onion mixture. Place a juicy burger patty on top of the jalapeno-onion mixture. Top with chipotle mayo and the other slice of cheesy bread. Smoosh down to make it slutty, and eat!

NOTES
For the sourdough bread: I get a sliced sourdough loaf from my grocery store’s bakery, and they call it “panini bread”. It’s more rectangular than round, and is perfect for, well, paninis. If you are able to score this type of sourdough bread, cut one slice in half to create the ‘bun’ for your burger. Two slices of this rectangular bread would be too big, and you’d have to fashion yourself a long rectangular burger patty, which would be weird. If you find sourdough bread that is more rounded, more like sandwich bread than panini bread, then form your burger patty so that it will fit the bread slices nicely.