Bacon Deviled Eggs

This past Easter I thought I would try making deviled eggs, especially since I got a special accessory for my Pampered Chef Quick Cooker that allows 12 eggs to be hard boiled at once.

Online, I’ve seen instances where people just pile in eggs beyond a dozen in InstaPots. But, since this was kind of experimental on my part, 12 eggs could be plenty. They could be plenty good as a result or plenty bad.

Fortunately, cooking eggs in the Quick Cooker worked out better than expected. Unlike the traditional boiling eggs in the pot method, removing the shells was not that traumatic of an experience.

The shells slipped off without a lot of effort. To me this was huge. Removing shells from boiled eggs does not bode well with me to begin with. Past experiences resulted in frustration about the pitted surface of eggs after trying to poke fragments of shell off.

While the eggs were cooking, I hunted for a recipe from cook books and online. I found a recipe in a cook book for stuffed eggs using bacon and cheese. That sounded good, but I wanted the egg yolk mixture to be without the bulk of bacon and cheese.

Though I wanted the traditional creamy egg yolk mixture consistency, I yearned for ingredients that would add some kind of wow factor. I wanted the person eating these stuffed or deviled eggs to be surprised with the unexpected.

Suddenly, the use of Tastefully Simple’s Bacon Bacon came to mind. This would add that bacon flavor without the bulk. I was fortunate to find a recipe on the Tastefully Simple web site. I did bump up the amount of mayonnaise and used a spicy honey mustard like that made by Mustard Girl, which I felt complemented the Bacon Bacon well.

The result was more than “plenty good.” Needless to say, the dozen eggs that resulted in 24 stuffed egg halves didn’t last. Within hours, they disappeared without a trace.

Though the recipe rating was 0 stars at the time I found it on the Tastefully Simple web site, I would definitely give it 5 stars and make this again.

Supremely Good Pizza Hand Pies

I tried what I thought would be similar to those Hot Pockets you buy from the store–Supreme Pizza Hand Pies. It turns out they quite not like Hot Pockets. This recipe also comes from the Tastefully Simple 30-day meal kit.

One wintry Saturday resulted in the following:

  • I substituted the ground Italian turkey sausage or pork sausage with ground beef or hamburger. This was okay but bulked up the hand pies, which in my opinion are a daintier version of Hot Pockets.
  • I found out working with puffed pasty sheets can be tricky once they thaw out.
  • Because of the hamburger bulk and letting the pasty sheets thaw out too much, the end result wasn’t as successful as I would have liked it to be. However, the filling was very tasty and supremely good.

What would I do next time? I may attempt to try this again with the hamburger but forego the puffed pastry sheets. Instead I would try this recipe as a wrap in a warmed up soft burrito or taco shell. This would be a lot easier to handle and less meticulous to work with during prep. This would cut down on the time to both make it and bake it, reducing time by an estimated 15 to 18 minutes.

Want to find out more? Find the Supreme Pizza Hand Pies recipe here.

Surprisingly Wahoo! Good Corn Chowder

I honestly didn’t think this Tastefully Simple meal would go over as well as it did with Farmer.  Even the pickiest of eaters in the family liked this.  This indeed was a surprise.  Corn chowder is not usually part of the meat and potatoes fare typically preferred here.

I speculate it was well received because of the Farmer-approved ingredient combo substitution.  I admit I like to swap out ingredients to make recipes Farmer friendly.

I used our own venison hot dogs in place of the smoked sausage, although we do now have some of that after Farmer experimented with making his own.  I omitted the poblano chile pepper because green peppers and hot peppers are not Farmer’s thing.

Want to find out more?

Find the Corn Chowder recipe here.

Shop for Tastefully Simple ingredients individually here.

Discover TS To You delivery service here.

Hamburger Helper Convenience Without Preservatives

I have found that one of the ways to deal with lack of space to cook in my small kitchen is cooking meals with not too many ingredients. Hamburger Helper meals, I hate to admit, were some of those meals. I now emphasize the word were.

Since testing out the meals from the 30-day Tastefully Simple meal kit, I’ve discovered some recipes that are just as convenient as Hamburger Helper. One such recipe provided in the meal kit’s recipe book is Pasta Pizza Bake.

Making this recipe proved that one can cook a decent baked pasta dish in a small space without relying on convenience boxed meal kits like Hamburger Helper.

There is only one mix item used in this recipe. The Cheesy Pizza Warm Dip Mix can be purchased from Tastefully Simple. What sets this mix and other mixes apart from Hamburger Helper is that Tastefully Simple has rated this mix as a TSeatwell product.

What does a TSeatwell rating mean? It simply means that the product rated as such is free from artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats.

So, this means the Cheesy Pizza Warm Dip Mix is as real as the rest of the recipe’s ingredients like the real whole milk ricotta cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese, which makes this extra dairylicious!

I did tweak this recipe, using the farm’s homegrown and made ground beef instead of the turkey pepperoni and Italian turkey sausage or pork sausage the recipe lists.

This pasta dish can be served with garlic bread, but I would suggest zesting it up with Italian Garlic beer bread and green salad.

Want to find out more?

  • Contact me for the Italian Garlic beer bread recipe.
  • Find the Pizza Pasta Bake recipe here.
  • Shop for Tastefully Simple ingredients individually or as part of the 30-Meal Kit or Cozy Comfort Meal Kit which come with beautiful recipe booklets here.
  • Discover TS To You delivery service here.

Yum-O Cubano

Back on New Year’s Eve, I didn’t want to deal with shuffling around baking sheets of grocery store frozen appetizers because of my very small oven. The oven is a built-in wall Whirlpool oven. It’s almost a couple feet up from the floor but a real pain in the you no where. I can’t use the larger than 13″ baking sheets that I used to get by with in the past.

This year I opted to have a meal. Now, that sounds like a lot of work, but the way I did it was not that difficult and less frustrating. The bonus was that I had enough for another meal, which went into the freezer for another time.

I gave Tastefully Simple’s The Cubano a try from my 30-meal kit. I wanted to pair that with the suggested Wahoo! Fries & Dipping Sauce, but as usual I tweaked things to go my way. More about that below.

Here’s how the cooking session went:

  • Rather than placing the boneless pork shoulder roast in a slow cooker, I gave the Pampered Chef Quick Cooker a try. I combined the ingredients outlined for The Cubano and poured them over the pork. I set the time under the Beef/Pork setting for 1 hour 30 minutes, beginning cooking at 6 p.m. This resulted in beautifully cooked pork in time for me to prep the sandwiches and have them ready for the family. I thought 1 hour 30 minutes sure beat the 8 to 10 hours on low or the 6 to 8 hours on high via slow cooker.
  • The pork shredded beautifully with a couple forks. I didn’t have the luxury of having a Pampered Chef Salad Chopper then, but the forks worked out fine.
  • I don’t have a panini press, which was suggested in the recipe. I don’t intend to get one either because it would take up valuable space, seeing that I wouldn’t use it very often. The rolls I got that were what Walmart calls gourmet or artisan worked just fine in place of the panini pressed-Bolilla rolls suggested by Tastefully Simple. I have yet to try this with a loaf of French bread. Still, one has to remember that the pork is the star, being brought to its full flavor potential using the sauce mix.
  • If a person really wanted the panini press effect on the bread, I found a note at the bottom of the recipe indicating that a heavy skillet could be used. I just didn’t want to drag out any more pans or skillets than I had to due to limited space and ambition. I also didn’t want to risk getting burned from a hot pan just to flatten bread halves out.
  • My Walmart grocery app order substituted frozen waffle fries with seasoned waffle fries. I chose not to mess with those, leaving them as is, and didn’t make any dip either. There was so much flavor to The Cubano meat that I didn’t want to mute that out with anything more. If I were to try the Wahoo! Fries recipe, I would go easy on the Wahoo! Chili Seasoning unless you really like the heat with seasonings.
  • After I had the sandwiches assembled, I just popped them into a warm oven, not only to keep them warm until everyone came in from doing chores out in the barn but to allow time to melt that dairylicious Swiss cheese a tad.

The best part is that this meal wasn’t hard to prepare and didn’t take up that much time with the Quick Cooker.  The ingredients were not that difficult to put together, though the flavors came though from the meat like it took me hours and really were impressive. This is also one of those recipes you can make ahead. The pulled pork and mayo mixture can be prepped and refrigerated up to a day ahead. I definitely would make this again for a special event or holiday or just because I have a hankering for pulled pork.

  • Find The Cubano recipe here.
  • Shop for Tastefully Simple ingredients individually here.
  • Discover TS To You delivery service here.