BBQ Chicken & Caramelized Onion Sliders

Are you ready for the big game this weekend? If you’re still trying to decided what to make (because it’s all about the food right?) then look no further! My BBQ Chicken & Caramelized Onion Sliders are kind of amazing if I do say so. My husband always replies with “But you should say so!” Ha! He’s the best and really missing my food right now since he’s deployed overseas. I will definitely be putting these on the list of my new recipes to make for him when he gets home.

I made these yesterday on ABC4’s Good Things Utah and it was such a fun segment. I know I say that every time but I seriously love being there and love everyone there-the adorable receptionist, the camera crew, the interns, the producers, and the hosts. I can’t say enough about the good vibes and fun that is had in that studio! Watch my segment here!

Love cooking with Nicea!

Caramelized onions are a labor of love but very easy! You just have to be patient and give plenty of time because you just can’t rush the process. Check the recipe notes for tips! Also, you can use whatever BBQ seasoning that you’d like but I have tried two and the Traeger Chicken seasoning is the best. Adds a ton of flavor!

I will fully admit that I got the worst pictures yesterday of these sliders so bear with me. I am trying to be better at getting pictures of the process and not just the final product so here are a few that I had to screen shot from my video.

Hold the top with your hand and slice the King’s Hawaiian Rolls across horizontally.
Look at all those sweet, rich caramelized onions!
Lots of cheese is always a good idea!

These sliders are great for parties but would also work for a busy weeknight meal. Get the kids in the kitchen to help assemble them because they are so fun to make. As always, if you make them please give me a comment below and let me know what you think!

One more just because I love these ladies so much!

BBQ Chicken & Caramelized Onion Sliders

  • Servings: 18 sliders
  • Print

Ingredients

3 large yellow onions, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
18 pack King’s Hawaiian rolls
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon BBQ seasoning
8 large slices cheddar or pepper jack cheese (7-8 oz)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted

Directions

Heat a large nonstick skillet to medium-low heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until very soft and brown.

Preheat oven to 375.

Break rolls in half so that there are two sections of 9 rolls. While keeping rolls connected, slice each section in half horizontally using a large serrated knife. Place bottoms of rolls in a 9×13 pan.

Place chicken in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of BBQ seasoning. Toss to combine. Spread evenly over rolls in the pan. Drizzle 1/2 cup BBQ sauce over the chicken. Next, add caramelized onions evenly across the top. Add cheese slices then place tops of rolls on.

Add 1 teaspoon BBQ seasoning to the melted butter and stir. Brush tops of rolls with butter mixture. Cover loosely with foil and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 5-10 more minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes:
1. Be patient with the onions! It takes a while but is totally worth it.
2. If onions start to get dry, add about 1 tablespoon of water to the pan.
3. Add a teaspoon of sugar to the onions to speed up the process.

Muffaletta Pinwheels

I’m imagining that part of you are excited right now because you’ve had a muffaletta sandwich and love them. The rest of you are thinking “muffa-WHAT???” Ha! If you are the latter, let me explain. Muffaletta sandwiches are a New Orleans staple and are made on a special round Italian bread and filled with a variety of meats like salami and ham. They also include cheese and a tangy olive salad which is definitely my favorite part.

I was raised in a small town in East Texas called Livingston. It is only 1 1/2 hours from the Louisiana border so I grew up with a lot of Cajun food. I grew up eating crawfish etouffee, boudin, gumbo, jambalaya, etc and still love it so much. The “fancy” restaurant in my hometown is still there and called Shrimp Boat Manny’s and they’re famous for their delicious Cajun seafood. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

To have a muffaletta sandwich is to love it and since I can’t transport myself to New Orleans anytime soon, I created these Muffaletta Pinwheels. They include all the flavors of the classic sandwich but rolled into the perfect appetizer. They will take you right to New Orleans!

The olive cream cheese mixture is my favorite part! Giardiniera mix is basically pickled vegetables and usually includes cauliflower, carrots, pearl onions, red peppers, and celery. Peperoncinis are always in my fridge because we put them on everything-sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, you name it. Both ingredients can be found near the pickles and olives in grocery stores.

The process is pretty easy! Make the olive cream cheese mixture then layer the meats and cheeses on. Don’t be scared to roll it all up! It can be a little messy but that’s ok. Refrigerating the rolls before slicing helps them to firm up a little and makes them easier to cut.

My Muffaletta Pinwheels are the perfect dish to bring to your Super Bowl parties this weekend! This recipes makes A LOT but you will leave with an empty tray. I tried them out on my teacher friends and took the giant tray pictured below. They loved them and some are patiently waiting for this blog post so they can have the recipe!

This is a huge tray and the pinwheels are double stacked!

This is a sponsored post for my favorite grocery store, Lee’s Marketplace. If you make this recipe please comment here and let me know what you think! A share on social media tagging Lee’s and I would be amazing too!
Items on sale at Lee’s the week of Jan 28-Feb 3: ALL OF THEM! YAY!

Muffaletta Pinwheels

  • Servings: About 50 Pinwheels
  • Print

Ingredients

5 large “burrito sized” flour tortillas
2 packages cream cheese (8 oz each), softened
1 cup giardiniera mix, drained and finely chopped
½ cup peperoncinis, drained and chopped
1/3 cup black olives, chopped
1/3 cup green olives, chopped
10 oz Genoa salami, thinly sliced
10 oz deli ham, thinly sliced
10 oz mozzarella, thinly sliced
10 oz provolone, thinly sliced

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, mix cream cheese, giardiniera, peperoncinis, and olives together. Place tortilla on a flat surface. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture on, leaving a ½ inch border. Place one layer each of salami, ham, mozzarella, and provolone on top. Add another, even thinner, layer of cream cheese over the top. Carefully but tightly roll tortilla up. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then repeat with remaining tortillas and fillings. Refrigerate rolls for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Slice into 1 inch pieces and serve.

Notes: Giardiniera mix and peperocinis can be found near the pickles and olives in most grocery stores. Use mortadella ham for more authentic muffaletta flavor.

Street Corn Layer Dip

It’s not a party without 7 Layer Dip. Am I right? It’s one of my favorite things to take to a party and is such a crowd pleaser. When I was asked to do the Halloween segment for ABC4’s Good Things Utah, I wanted to create something that could be made year-round but could also work for the holiday. The idea for this dip had been on my recipe list for a while and I thought this was a great opportunity to finally make it. Y’all know I couldn’t just make normal 7 Layer Dip! I had to put my own spin on it and the thing that was missing to me was corn. Then I thought of the flavors of street corn…lime, Tajin seasoning, queso fresco cheese…and the layers started to form. The GTU crew devoured it! Watch me make it here.

Look at those layers!

The cilantro lime corn layer is my favorite! The sour cream layer has a generous amount of Tajin seasoning and is so tangy and delicious. You can generally find Tajin in the Mexican food isle at your grocery store. This recipe makes a lot and can also be made in a 9×13 pan.

Now that New Year’s Eve is a few days away, I had to get this on my blog! A little late! Ha! For NYE, we always do a variety of appetizers. This year we are having a party for our local friends that will also double as a deployment farewell for my husband. My Street Corn Layer Dip is on the list to make for the party and I hope that it ends up at your parties as well! Happy New Year to you all! Thanks for supporting me and making my recipes!

Street Corn Layer Dip

Ingredients

2 cans (15 Oz each) refried black beans
1 packet taco seasoning
16 oz prepared guacamole
16 oz sour cream
3 teaspoons Tajin seasoning
16 oz salsa
32 oz frozen corn, thawed
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 limes
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 oz package Queso fresco, crumbled
8 oz can sliced black olives, drained

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, mix beans and taco seasoning until well combined. Spread in bottom of 9×13 pan or similar sized serving dish. Top with prepared guacamole.

Add Tajin directly to container of sour cream then mix well. Spread of top of guacamole. Pour and spread salsa on top for next layer.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine corn, cilantro, juice of 2 limes, and salt. Mix well then carefully spread on top of salsa layer.

Top with queso fresco then add olives to garnish. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving.

Note: As this sits, it does get “wet” because of the salsa. It still tastes great but if you want to avoid that, replace the salsa with pico de gallo or fresh chopped tomatoes.

Guests, host, and crew digging in on Halloween!

Cowboy Crescent Bites

I was recently trying to remember the appetizers that I grew up eating in Texas and thought of sausage balls. Remember those? They are made of just three ingredients: Bisquick mix, cooked sausage, and cheddar cheese. They are pretty good but I thought I could do better. I have to say that my Cowboy Crescent Bites don’t even compare! They are loaded with so much more flavor and are still so very easy!

The combo of cream cheese, cheddar cheese and jalapeno all melted together totally reminds me of queso! If you know me at all you know that queso is my FAVORITE. I have the best recipe for it here.

This recipe makes 32 little cups of deliciousness which is great for holiday family gatherings. The filling could even be made ahead of time then assembled with the crescent rolls when you’re ready to bake. Also, the crescent rolls that come in one big sheet work best but if you can’t find them just pinch the seams together before cutting into squares.

Make these for Thanksgiving and everyone will fall in love (with you AND the food)! You’ll be making them again and again for all your holiday gatherings. I definitely will be! Y’all know that I love simple recipes that are BOLD with flavor. This is my new favorite appetizer and I love that it was inspired by my Texas roots!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale Nov 19-Dec 2: crescent rolls, sausage, cheddar cheese, cream cheese

Cowboy Crescent Bites

  • Servings: Makes 32
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

2 tubes crescent rolls
½ lb ground pork sausage
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
½ teaspoon each: garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, salt
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Cook and crumble sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine sausage, cream cheese, cheddar, jalapeno, half of the green onions, and spices.

Roll crescent rolls out, pinch seams together, and cut each sheet into 16 squares. Place squares of dough into mini muffin tins. Place a small spoonful of cheese mixture onto each square.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crescent rolls are golden brown. Remove and garnish with remaining onions.

Filled with ooey gooey cheese and sausage! Yum!

Crispy Parmesan Brussel Sprouts with Roasted Garlic Aioli

It’s brussel sprout season! Who’s cheering with me?? If you aren’t cheering with me just give me a minute to tell you that these aren’t your mama’s brussel sprouts. These could easily turn a hater into a lover! Crispy parmsan and panko crusted brussel sprouts with an amazing aioli loaded with roasted garlic. Yum!

I’ve loved brussel sprouts since I was a kid believe it or not. My mom prepared them terribly though! She’d boil them to death then drown them in butter and salt. I ate them as a kid but never knew just how incredible brussel sprouts could taste until I roasted them. My favorite pieces are the super dark almost burnt ones!

You could serve these as is roasted with the crispy coating and they are so good but the aioli takes them to the next level. Maybe a few levels! Also, roasting garlic is so simple! You just need a 400 degree oven, whole heads of garlic, a sharp knife, olive oil, and a piece of tin foil. I make it all the time and add it to mashed potatoes!

This is all you need to make roasted garlic!

My Crispy Parmesan Brussel Sprouts with Roasted Garlic Aioli would be the perfect addition to your holiday table! It could be a appetizer or a side dish. I love traditional sides but every year I throw in something new for variety. You’re going to love this one!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of September 12-18: brussel sprouts, olive oil, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, butter

Crispy Parmesan Brussel Sprouts with Roasted Garlic Aioli

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup parmesan, grated
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
For the aioli:
2 whole heads garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon
Dash of cayenne pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off ends of garlic heads and place on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Wrap up and seal into a packet. Place in oven to roast for 45-60 minutes. It’s done when garlic is brown and soft. Set aside to cool.
Place brussel sprouts in a large bowl then drizzle with olive oil and melted butter. Add salt, pepper, parmesan and panko. Toss to combine.
Pour onto a large baking sheet and spread out to single layer. Place in oven and roast for 15-25 minutes or until browned and tender.
While brussel sprouts are roasting, make the aioli. Remove garlic cloves by either squeezing or using a small knife to pry out. Place on flat surface and mash using the tines of a fork.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Dijon, and cayenne. Add garlic then stir to combine.

When brussel sprouts are done, serve immediately with the roasted garlic aioli as a dipping sauce or drizzle.
Note: Fresh grated good quality parmesan cheese works best.

Peach Salsa

I just realized as I was writing this recipe down that last week’s recipe also had cilantro in it! I know there are cilantro haters out there (why???) but in my house, we LOVE it. It is always in my fridge because we use it several times a week. I should start a blog category labeled “cilantro” so all my fellow cilantro lovers can find those recipes easily! Ha!

I am in love with this Peach Salsa! If you don’t know about Utah peaches, let me tell you, they are the BEST! We have a peach tree in my yard but, just like our cherry tree, it got a chemical burn last year. It didn’t produce any fruit this year and we were so sad! When I saw that Lee’s Marketplace had fresh, LOCAL peaches on sale this week, my brain started spinning with ideas. I wanted to make something savory instead of sweet. You know my mind is always on Mexican food so this salsa was created!

My family was skeptical but they all went crazy over it! My kids are not fans of salmon so they had their salsa on top of chicken breasts and devoured it. The peaches are so sweet and perfect but are balanced with the spice of the jalapenos and the tart lime juice. The Tajin seasoning is a must in this! If you’ve never had it, Tajin is a chili-lime seasoning that can be found in the Latin section of any grocery store. Have you ever had it on a mango? Game changer! (Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace)

Items on sale at Lee’s July 25-29: peaches, tomatoes, limes, bell peppers

Peach Salsa

  • Servings: 8+
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

3 large peaches, diced
¾ lb tomatoes, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
½ cup red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon Tajin seasoning
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Directions

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well to combine. Taste and add more Tajin or salt if desired.
Serve on top of cooked chicken or fish. It is also delicious with tortilla chips!