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
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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
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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
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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!

Avocado Green Salsa

Growing up in the Houston area, green salsa was a staple at every Mexican restaurant. There are many different versions, but this one reminds me of my home state the most.  It is bright, tangy, creamy and bursting with flavor! It is a must-have accompaniment to my Enchiladas Verdes!

Avocado Green Salsa

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

½ lb fresh tomatillos (4-5)
½ cup large yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2 ripe avocados, pitted and skin removed
1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed
½ bunch cilantro
Juice of ½ a lime
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup water

Directions

Remove husks from tomatillos and wash to remove stickiness. Cut in quarters and place in food processor or blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more water if needed to create desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if needed.
*No need to remove stems from cilantro.

The BEST Queso

If you follow me on Instagram or if you’re in my private recipe group on Facebook, you’ve seen this recipe before. Sorry! I had to get it on my blog ASAP because it is my #1 most requested recipe.  This is not your average queso. The extra step of roasting the peppers is EVERYTHING and takes it over the top! I grew up on queso in all forms but this is a mix of all the right things.  You will never try another recipe for queso again after you taste this!

The BEST Queso

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

32 oz Velveeta Queso Blanco
10 oz can Mild Rotel Tomatoes, undrained
1 large poblano (or pasillo) pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
½ large yellow onion (or about 3/4 C), diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided

Directions

Place poblano and jalapeno on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with about ½ tablespoon of oil and place under broiler in the oven. Broil, turning occasionally, until all sides are black and blistered. Once removed from oven, immediately place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Remove from bowl and with the side of a sharp knife, gently scrape the skin off the peppers. Cut the stems off, slice in half, and remove the seeds. Dice and set aside.
Cut Velveeta into large chunks and place in a slow cooker. Add tomatoes.
Heat a small skillet to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add peppers and onions. Cook until onions are slightly browned. Add garlic and cumin then cook for 1-2 minutes. Add mixture to slow cooker. Cook on low until cheese is melted, about 2 hours. Stir everything together and serve with tortilla chips.