6 Mind-Blowing Ways To Eat Potato Skins (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

You’ve certainly heard that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and that absolutely applies to the kitchen, where scraps can be the best part of a meal.

Case in point: potato skins. If you’re making mashed potatoes or something similar that doesn’t require you to use the earthy outer covering of the starchy roots, consider saving them (along with a bit of inner flesh) for an exciting and budget-friendly appetizer or meal!

1. Reuben Stuffed Potato Skins

It’s not just your favorite sandwich anymore; it can be your favorite snack too. With tender, savory pastrami or corned beef, flavorful sauerkraut, gooey, melty Swiss cheese and a sweet, spicy sauce to bring it all home, you might find yourself getting hooked on these.

2. Crispy Potato Skins with Pesto Cream Dip

You had me at pesto cream. But in case you need any further convincing, you can crack an egg on these once they are done cooking (or to revamp any leftovers) and bake until the whites are set just to make it that much more dippable and delightful.

3. Bacon Blue Cheese Burger Skins

The hearty ground beef, sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and crumbled blue cheese make for the perfect bite. You can also totally apply these principles to another type of burger combo like beef, cheddar cheese, pickles and mushrooms or even something a little less conventional like ground turkey, smoked provolone cheese, pesto and cherry peppers.

4. Crab Salad Stuffed Potato Skins

Deep-fried potatoes with creamy, mustardy crab salad piled high on top? I sure can’t resist!

5. Garlicky and Cheesy Crispy Potato Skins 

If you’re a garlic fiend who loves cheesy mashed potatoes but also craves a bit of crunch here and there, these crunchy, aromatic skins are for you.

6. Mac n’ Cheeze Stuffed Potato Skins

Those in the know will recognize that the “z” in “cheeze” is the stamp of a vegan recipe, although cheddar fiends can use their favorite dairy-packed recipe, of course. Either way it’s super melty, crunchy and delicious.

Featured Image: Public Domain Pictures

Tags: affordable recipes, appetizers, Potato Skins, snack recipe, Tasty Tuesday
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7 Awesome Things You Can Do With Pepperoni (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

Pepperoni is a totally underappreciated food!

Are you still thinking about what to do with pepperoni?

Everybody knows it’s great atop a big cheesy, classic slice of pizza. And when you taste a slice, it immediately brings to mind your favorite childhood meal.

But there’s so much more to make with pepperoni than that! From gooey sandwiches to bite-sized appetizers to savory waffles, the spicy sliced sausage really is a versatile star. Even the fancier stuff is usually a lot cheaper than its cured cousin, salami, though you can use them interchangeably if you want to mix around your flavors a bit.

Here are some excellent things to do with pepperoni and uses for pepperoni, everything from pizza-inspired treats to slightly more unexpected delights (Try all 7 recipes with pepperoni):

1. Cheesy Pepperoni Bites

This is sort of like a thick, dense pepperoni bread, and it’s just amazing. The batter will come together in just a few minutes if you chop your leftover pepperoni and cheese the day before. You can totally sneak some spinach, mushrooms or cooked zucchini in there too!

2. Pepperoni Pops

Look, cake pops are fabulous, nobody is disputing that. But have you ever tried pizza pops? Puff pastry or canned pizza dough make for perfect pockets that you can fill with sauce, cheese and all your favorite pizza fillings.

3. Roasted Red Pepper, Pepper Jack and Pepperoni Sandwiches

I don’t know why nobody called this thing a Triple Pepper sandwich, but please let’s make this catch on. The melty Triple P is so easy when you bake it in the oven, although you can absolutely use a panini press if you have one.

4. Pepperoni Pizza Waffles

Are you one of those people who just loves savory breakfasts? If so, you can’t do much better than this super easy pizza waffle. It’s delicious, and you can top it with anything you want — parmesan cheese, marinara sauce and a fried egg, maybe?

5. Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna Roll Ups

Can’t pick between your two faves, pepperoni pizza and lasagna? You don’t have to! They are absolutely wonderful when combined into this cheesy casserole dish. This is so good that the kids probably won’t even mind if you sneak a bunch of chopped spinach into the bottom.

6. Mini Cauliflower Pizzas

No gluten? No problem. If you’re cutting down on calories, carbs or flour, this is a very sensible but super tasty, crispy way to get your pizza fix. Even if you could care less about calories, you’ll still love these — they are that good!

7. Pepperoni Roll Ups

Pepperoni, string cheese, crescent roll dough and a bit of seasoning — that’s all it takes for a fabulous appetizer. Perfect!

Featured Image: PixnioTags: appetizers, leftover pepperoni, make with pepperoni, Pepperoni, pepperoni recipes, Pizza, Pizza Snacks, Tasty Tuesday, things with pepperoni, to do with pepperoni, uses for pepperoni
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7 Winning Breakfast Burritos And Wraps For Any Occasion (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

Need a filling breakfast, a quick meal or a mini appetizer or snack?

Then make some breakfast burritos. Everybody loves breakfast burritos, right?

Here’s how to roll one up:

If you need to entertain some guests, why not make mini versions? If you want, you can pan-fry them until they are golden and crispy for an extra dose of fun.

Either way, they’ll be delicious for just about any occasion.

1. Pulled Pork Breakfast Wraps

These seem elaborate, but they couldn’t be any easier, since you can make the pulled pork in the slow cooker beforehand. Then all you need to do is roll it up with your favorite fixings. Yum!

2. Breakfast Taquitos

Ok, not technically burritos (you can make them that way if you want!), but these easily freezable baked egg/sausage/sun-dried tomatoes/avocado/cheese wonders are as delicious as they are easy, so I just couldn’t leave them off.

3. DIY Starbucks Spinach-Feta Wrap

Look, nobody really knows why this semi-healthy breakfast option just tastes so dang perfect when you order it from ‘Bux. Make them at home and you’ll save money and calories, plus you can customize it as you please. Want to add in some bacon or remove the spinach? It’s all up to you.

4. Crispy Breakfast Burritos

These pan-fried delights have a nice crunch on the outside, and the inside is full of deliciously tender, flavorful scrambled eggs, ham, fresh tomatoes and melty cheese. Add some veggies like sauteed peppers, mushrooms or spinach if you want to trick yourself into eating some nutritious food.

5. SuperSonic Breakfast Burrito

Whether you’ve never tried the drive-in fast food chain’s delectable breakfast burritos or you’re completely hooked, you’ll adore the homemade version that gets jam-packed with creamy eggs, breakfast sausage, gooey cheddar, crispy tater tots, jalapenos, crunchy onions and fresh tomatoes.

6. Vegan Breakfast Burrito with Daiya Pepperjack

The impossibly melty vegan cheese (of course, you can use regular if you want) melts down into what almost tastes like a cheesy sauce and perfectly coats the spicy sauteed mushrooms. Seasoned and browned tofu, seitan or tempeh would be great too!

7. Cinnamon French Toast Wrap

Are you craving something on the sweet side? If savory breakfasts just don’t hit the spot for you, these wraps — which use a similar egg-soaking process as regular French toast — will rock your socks off, especially when you add in a little almond butter and/or your favorite fruit.

Featured Image: Sodanie Chea/Flickr

Tags: appetizers, breakfast burritos, easy breakfast recipes, Tasty Tuesday, wraps
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8 Glorious Things You Should Be Doing To Your Nachos (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

Hey, you there! You need more nachos in your life.

I am completely sure of this. Whether you’re looking for an indulgent, quick meal that is both filling and snacky at the same time or you have a pile of guests to entertain, nachos are the way to go.

I mean honestly, who can say no to nachos? Here are some glorious things you can do to jazz up the classic cheat food:

1. Green Chile Chicken Nachos 

The home-fried tortilla chips are fabulously fresh and crispy, although you’re more than welcome to use store-bought chips. If you want to save even more time, you can make a simpler version of the chile verde chicken in your slow cooker, provided that you plan ahead a little!

2. Pepperoni Pizza Supreme Nachos

Because obviously, the only thing better than pizza is pizza nachos! For a doughier flavor, you can sub the tortilla chips for pita chips or even pizza crust chips.

3. California Roll Nachos

Want to kick these up another notch? Make these with wonton chips or even consider using nacho-flavored Doritos. Once the nachos are done in the oven, feel free to top with anything else you like in a sushi roll, like spicy tuna, sashimi cubes, eel sauce, even pineapple or mango. Anything goes!

4. Pineapple and Bacon Nachos With Brie and Chipotle-Orange Salsa 

These individually topped nachos are perfect for entertaining. They are a lot tidier than your standard pile, and the fun ingredients bring a classy sweet and savory balance. Your guests will devour them!

5. Grilled Sweet Potato Nachos

Healthy? YES, HEALTHY! With sweet corn, refried black beans, bold cilantro and a fabulous cheese sauce, this really doesn’t get much better. P.S. If you want to make it even healthier, you can use this vegetable-based vegan, gluten-free cheez sauce instead.

6. Waffle Breakfast Nachos

Honestly, I don’t know why people don’t mix tortilla chips and waffles more often. Waffles + savory flavors are just stupendous. Top these with anything you like.

7. Chicken Pad Thai Nachos

Can you nacho pad thai? Yes! Should you nacho pad thai? YES YES YES! It’s so good! Top with whatever you want — I won’t be mad if you want to throw in some shrimp, pork and/or fried tofu.

8. Korean Nachos With Kimchi and Bulgogi Beef

If you’ve never eaten kimchi with cheese before, you are missing out so hard. There’s just something magical that creamy cheese brings to the spicy, tangy crunch of kimchi. You must try it, and what better way to do so than piled high atop wonton chips and thinly sliced, sweet, tender bulgogi beef?

Featured Photo Credit: NatureBoyMD/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: appetizers, loaded nacho recipes, nacho upgrades, Tasty Tuesday, unique nachos
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10 Amazingly Easy 3-Ingredient Appetizers (Recipes)

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By Cooking Panda

You thought you were doing great. You cleaned the house, got yourself ready and prepped all the food for your party with extra time to spare — or so you thought. But that’s when you realize that — GASP! — you forgot the appetizers!!

If you’ve ever been in this stressful scenario, or if you just simply don’t have the time and/or energy to whip up any elaborate apps, whether it is for a potluck or even just for a relaxing afternoon at home, you can breathe easy.

Here are some incredibly simple appetizers you can make that have three essential ingredients or fewer. You might need to add some seasoning or oil here or there, but I’m assuming you already have that stuff, ok?

1. Super-Easy Mozzarella Sticks

Yep, all you need to do is fry some string cheese folded into egg roll wrappers. P.S. If you happen to not have an egg within reach, you can skip the egg wash and just brush the final fold with water so that it seals better.

2. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Two ingredients! So simple! You can also grill these, if you want. If you’re taking this route, I recommend tossing the asparagus in olive oil and pre-grilling it for around five minutes if you like your asparagus more tender (if you like it more al dente, skip this step). Then wrap in the bacon and put back on the grill for five or so more minutes, until it is nice and crisp.

3. Apricots and Creme Fraiche

Summer is definitely the wrong time to sleep on fresh fruit appetizers, especially if you have access to some good stuff. Don’t have apricots? You can sub for a similar stone fruit like peaches if you’d like. The fresh, sweet flavors with that tiny pop of savory pepper is just perfectly balanced goodness that’s sure to be a hit.

4. Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Wrap anything in bacon and it instantly becomes tasty, especially if that thing happens to be a cheese-stuffed jalapeno. By the way, if you want to cut down on cooking time, you can cook the bacon in the microwave, crumble it and mix it into the cream cheese instead of wrapping it.

5. Three-Ingredient Creamy Sweet and Sour Wonton Dip

This one is honestly so easy, especially if you have extra wonton skins on hand from making #1. An excellent reason to keep sweet and sour sauce on hand.

6. Citrus Crisps

You might think you don’t have anything lying around that you can make into a quick appetizer, but if you’ve got any type of citrus fruit, you’re good to go. Martha recommends using sweeter stuff like Meyer lemons and grapefruit, but you can absolutely play around with lemons or limes, though you might want to really smother them in sugar to keep them from tasting too sour.

7. Easy Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

These are fast, semi-healthy and stunningly tasty. Feel free to switch it up and mix in anything you want, like crab meat, crumbled Italian sausage or leftover chicken. P.S. Here’s how to make pesto from scratch, if you’re into that.

8. Three-Ingredient Five Minute Crab Dip

The secret is that particular Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy blend. If you can’t find it, however, you can probably get away with some Old Bay, cayenne pepper and salt. I won’t tell anyone.

9. Cheesy Pesto Crescents

Pesto. Crescent rolls. Cheese. It’s that simple! If you don’t have string cheese, you can use absolutely anything else you want. Shredded mozzarella, ricotta, blue, jack … it’s all good.

10. Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Wings

You know those ranch powder packets that you keep around for no known reason? Yeah, that’s the secret ingredient that makes these chicken wings so good. If you like them a little crispier and have a few extra minutes to spare, you can bake them like so and simply toss them in the sauce right before serving.

Featured Photo Credit: Palmetto Cheese/Flickr

Tags: appetizers, easy appetizer, five minute recipe, Tasty Tuesday, three ingredients
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