Cornbread Casserole – Easy Weeknight Dinner!

This recipe is being shown over at Thursday’s Treasures!

Just in time for Fall! I have been down with a cold that won’t quit! My kids enjoyed every moment as I lost my voice for the entire week! This is a quick throw together type of meal that is perfect when your fam is on the go, just like Halloween, no one wants to sit around eating “good” food, they want that dang candy! You can feel good about having this ready in the oven and the little gobblins can have something yummy in their tummy before trick-or-treating.

Dressing

  • 1/2 c ranch dressing ( I use the packet kind)
  • 1/2 cup verde salsa
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves

Topping

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 lb ground turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can diced roasted tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

Crust

  • 7  to 16 oz size – 1 package cornbread mix, i used a 16 oz package, we love cornbread (make as directed on package)
  • 3/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips (i used these colorful orange and black for Halloween)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make ranch dressing and combine, ranch, verde salsa and cilantro in food processor until well combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator.
  3. Heat olive oil and garlic. Heat until garlic is just fragrant, then add ground turkey. Cook until browned.
  4. Combine taco seasoning and hot water, add to pan. Heat through on medium high for about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add canned tomatoes & cilantro and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Drain all juices out of pan and set mixture aside.
  7. Combine cornbread mix as directed on package.
  8. Get a baking dish, should be around 9″ x 9″ size or use a pie dish will work. I used a circular baking dish. Spray with non stick cooking spray, crush up your chips and line the bottom of the dish with your chips. You can add more or less depending on the size of your dish.
  9. Then add 1/4 cup of your corn and sprinkle on top of chip layer.
  10. Pour your cornbread mixture over the top of that, and top the cornbread with your meat mixture.
  11. On the very top add your cheese.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly golden brown on top. Everything is cooked you are just heating through and browning the cheeses!
  13. Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes after removing from the oven. This gives the casserole a chance to pull back and tighten up so when you cut it, it is not falling apart all over the plate.
  14. Drizzle over the top, or if you are like me, drench the top with your ranch verde salsa dressing, top with more cilantro and avocado.

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Jalapeno Popper Cornbread Pop’ems

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Marie Calendar cornbread mix

1.5 cups heavy cream

1/4 pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 jalapeno, diced and seeded

1/4 cup jack cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons honey

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl until all combined.

Spray mini muffin tin with non stick cooking spray

Add 1 tablespoon of batter into each muffin spot

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Let cool for 3 minutes and using a knife go around edges to loosen poppers, they should fall out after that.

I drizzle a little honey over the top and serve warm!

The warmth of the freshly out of the oven muffins, plus the warmed honey on top paired with the spiciness of the jalapeno creates an intensely packed pop of flavor in this little bite.

WARNING: You won’t want to stop popping at just 1 they are addictive little suckers! Perfect for snacking on at Game Day, your guy will LOVE these!!

Mini Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts + BONUS Recipe

DOUGHNUTS…anyone else feel like Homer Simpson when thinking of doughnuts? I do! And for that reason I stay my distance from the beasts that like to make my thighs bigger! My mom recently gave me a mini doughnut pan and I was like, REALLY mom? Are ya kidding me? This is the LAST thing I need.

After several hours of research online and seeing that there were some good recipes out there for them, I decided to give it a go. I mean they can’t be to bad, 1) they are baked, 2) they are tiny! Well, and after all it is: “All Things Pumpkin” here at Sweet Heat Chefs this week, so why not go for the gusto and make them Pumpkin doughnuts right?! Ok, let’s not be silly, we all know I can’t make much without chocolate being in it (yes that is the sweet tooth jabbering away at my inner self). So with regard to that I have included a BONUS recipe for that very inner self!

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups canned pumpkin pie mix
1.5 cups granulated sugar, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature and scrambled
1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature (make sure it is in liquid form)
1/4 cup applesauce, room temperature OR sour cream OR non fat greek yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour + 2 tablespoons

Topping

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine everything except the flour, and beat until smooth.

Add the flour and mix until combined.
Pipe batter into mini-doughnut pans. Fill them just a little over half full. Aren’t they super cute?
Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. When touched they should spring back and not be doughy. The smell is heavenly!
Remove from pans and place on baking rack to cool. While still warm, but not hot, place a few at a time in bowl with your cinnamon & sugar mixture and coat lightly. Yes this step is needed. I saw lots of recipes with a more refined topping and drizzle, this is the best option. It give a little sweetness and changes the entire flavor in lieu of leaving the doughnut plain. Try it, eat one without first, then toss in this mixture…YOU’LL SEE!!
Makes approximate 4 dozen depending on size AND how quickly you devour the baby doughnuts before anyone notices because they are school and work…wait what?
A little plug for my favorite coffee maker Keurig my hubby Mr. Sweet Heat Chefs, my mom and mom-in law bought me for my birthday this year. This Coconut Mocha coffee is the BOMB with these doughnuts! WINK
Alternative ideas for the doughnuts are:
Add mini chocolate chips on top of batter after filling and drizzle with melted chocolate chips for topping
Add 1/2 teaspoon chopped pecans/walnuts to batter and drizzle with this:
Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (mix together until sugar is dissolved) and top that with crushed pecans/walnuts.

Woah, wait a minute…SECOND RECIPE DOUBLE

TAKE FOR FRIDAY MADNESS!!

Mini Chocolate Espresso Doughnuts

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp plain yogurt
¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 tblsp instant espresso, in hot water

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and wet ingredients in another mixing bowl.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet slowly stirring to incorporate evenly.
  4. Fill doughnut pan with batter almost full and not overflowing
  5. Bake for about 7 minutes. When touched they should spring back and not be doughy.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips in a baggie (30 seconds) with 1 teaspoon of shortening and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. OPTIONAL: You could add espresso in with the chocolate chips while melting. Just make sure you dissolve it in hot water first.
  7. Cut tip off end of baggie and drizzle over doughnuts

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cheesecake you might as well know now…is a serious weakness for me. This time of year with pumpkin all around, I decided to add it to my cheesecake recipe. Talk about some exquisite delectability! This cheesecake has a really creamy center with a semi sweet gingerbread crust and is topped with a tangy sour cream yogurt mixture that rounds out this delicious dessert that is great for after your Thanksgiving meal or even a date night for 2 with a glass of Port. *Thank you to a reader who found some errors, this recipe has been updated!*

Foodie Friends Friday

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups gingersnaps or gingerbread cookies, crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2.5 packages cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin pie mixture (or canned pumpkin if you prefer, just add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice to it)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar if using pumpkin pie; if using canned pumpkin use 1 cup sugar (can also use brown sugar)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place cookies in food processor and pulverized until fine consistency.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Melt butter and add to cookie crumbs, place in a pie dish or tart pan and press firmly covering the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake in oven for 7 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, cream together; cream cheese, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add beaten egg and continue mixing for 1 minute on low speed.
  6. Pour mixture into tart pan or pie dish and bake for 45-50 minutes, until no longer “jiggly” or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  1. In a small bowl combine yogurt, sour cream and sugar, stir until well combined.
  2. Pour over top of cheesecake and return to oven for 5 minutes.

Let cool for about 20 minutes and begin to loosen edges with knife. Continue to let cool for 30 more minutes. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

Featured at: Foodie Friends Friday!

Broccoflower Fritters

Normally when you hear the word “fritter” you, or at least I, think of a nice warm gooey apple fritter! Sadly not much nutrients in one of those, but in my veggie fritter, you will get a ton of them. From cancer fighting agents to helping fight those nasty cold buggies searching your immune system for a place to live. There is no end to the wonderful benefits of broccoli. You can make this recipe with just broccoli, or just cauliflower, I used a combination of broccoli and a broccoflower I found at the store that looked beautiful. This cross-breed between broccoli and cauliflower is it’s sweeter counterpart. You can eat it raw as is, or cook how you would broccoli or cauliflower. I love the taste of both so I decided to have the best of both worlds 😀

The crispy exterior of these fritters mixed with the tender interior with the nutty parmesan cheese and rosemary flavors really blend well together. Bringing a well-rounded side dish to your meal or just to eat as a snack.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 stalks rosemary, toasted and chopped
1/2 c flour
2 stalks brocoli
1/2 broccoflower
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt/pepper to taste
rosemary oil to cook in

DIRECTIONS

Steam your broccoli or broccoflower until fork tender.

In a medium sized bowl combine; eggs, parmesan cheese, cornmeal, rosemary, flour, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper (if using).

Add steamed broccoli or broccoflower and mash away. Using a potato masher works wonders for this process. You don’t want the consistency of mashed potatoes, you want a chunkier mixture with pieces of the vegetable throughout. 

In a skillet heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 sprig of rosemary. Heat on medium low to infuse the oil with the rosemary flavors. About 5-7 minutes.

Using a tablespoon, scoop 1 tablespoon of fritter batter into the hot rosemary oil and flatten with spatula.

Cook until brown on edges about 3-4 minutes, then flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.

Remove from oil and place on paper towel and give a light dusting of parmesean cheese & salt (optional). I omit the salt from the recipe and use it here instead.

Recipe makes approximately 15 fritters depending on the size you make them. They can be stored in an airtight ziplock or container in fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 2 weeks.

Best served warm.  If re-heating, warm oven to 375 degrees F. Take a cookie sheet with a wire rack and place on cookie sheet, place fritters on rack and bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through. 

Featured at: Foodie Friends Friday

Banana Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream – Gluten & Dairy Free, Indulge!

Day #3 of All things pumpkin continue here at Sweet Heat Chefs. I know a lot of families have issues with allergies and slowly there are recipes surfacing for alternative options. It is nice to have a quick, healthy alternative to a store purchased ice cream. This is so easy, it is a shame to even call it a recipe, but not many people realize ice cream DOES NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT have to go into an ice cream maker, nor does it have to contain dairy. TWO INGREDIENTS people 2, AND 3, if you are like me and have to have chocolate atop everything! Eating healthier is not hard to do and takes little to no effort for this recipe. 

Kids LOVE to help with this. Get a plastic knife and have them peel and slice up the bananas, then place in a zip-lock and put in freezer! They have just made 1/2 of the ice cream! When kids are a part of what you are doing in the kitchen, they are that much more likely to eat what has been made. Even if it is only a bite, that is a triumph!

Makes 4 servings using 2 scoops per serving

INGREDIENTS

3 Bananas, sliced and frozen
2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie from a can
dark chocolate chips, optional

DIRECTIONS

Freeze banana slices for about 1 hour

Remove from freezer and place in food processor with pumpkin pie. Mix until thoroughly blended.

Place in a freezer safe container and re-freeze for another 1-3 hours until desired consistency is achieved  I like mine on the softer side, so mine was in there for 1.5 hours.

Scoop into a bowl and sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips on top!

2 YEAR-OLD KID TESTED AND APPROVED!

Featured at: Foodie Friends Friday

 

Swirly Pumpkin Brownies

Day #2 of all things pumpkin at Sweet Heat Chefs!

Who doesn’t love brownies? My daughter, Jasmine’s favorite thing to make are brownies, usually from a box though. I decided to try my hand at home-made brownies and well with FALL officially here and all, why not mess with the best of both worlds and add some pumpkin to the mix?! The result is a dense chocolatey ooey gooey creamy pumpkin mass of goodness, yes I said all that! You won’t believe me until you try the ridiculously rich brownies you are about to see here!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup dark chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9″x 9″ cake pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chocolate and remove from heat. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth.
  • In a large bowl add eggs, sugar and vanilla and in a smaller bowl add flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the large bowl beat mixture for 3-4 minutes, until thick.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt mixture slowly and beat just until combined.

  • Take about 2 cups of the batter into the smaller bowl that had the dry ingredients and add in the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until well combined.

Dump melted chocolate into the remaining batter (without pumpkin) and spread a little more than half of the batter into the prepared pan.



Top the brownie mixture with 3/4 of the pumpkin batter and smooth over top.

Top pumpkin mixture with remainder of brownie batter

Using a tablespoon, dollop 9 spoonfuls of  remaining pumpkin mixture on top of brownies.

Using a skewer or knife swirl the pumpkin dollops through the first layer of brownie batter creating a swirly/marbled effect.

Bake for 40 minutes, until just set and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Makes 16 brownies.

Featured on Foodie Friends Friday!