Bacon Guacamole…yes you heard right…BACON!

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

There is one thing my household loves more than avocado and that is bacon. That is why when I saw this recipe I instantly knew I HAD to make it, and soon.

This recipe is from my sweetest and most awesome friend Bernadette. Her fabulous blog is Rantz From My Crazy Kitchen. You can find many amazing recipes there including a page with 58 bacon recipes from breakfast all the way through to dessert, which means you can have a PORK PARTY all day! You can view Bernadette’s recipe for her outta this world guacamole here. Below is my version with just a slight modification.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 slices thick center cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, diced fine
  • 3/4 tablespoon jalapeno, diced fine 
  • 4 heirloom cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (small cloves or 1 big one)
  • handful of freshly chopped cilantro
  • dash of salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut up bacon in bite sized pieces and fry the bacon with the onions until crisp. (this is money right here, in the voice of Guy Fierre!) If you prefer less done/burnt onions, remove as you are cooking. I enjoy crispy bacon and crispy onion and they cooked together the entire process in a pan of marriage bliss! Drain everything on a paper towels when done.
  2. In a small bowl mash the avocado
  3. Next add; tomatoes, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Stir in the bacon and onion, cover tightly with plastic wrap pressed right on top of the guacamole and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. 

This recipe fed 3 of us, 2 boys and myself. We ate every last drop.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

I TEENY TINY PIECE OF ADVICE ON THIS RECIPE…..The yield here is NOT enough, plan to quadruple it for your first try. That way you won’t be licking the container clean just to get a little bit more.

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Tomato & Red Quinoa Bread

tomato and red quinoa bread - sweetheatchefs.com

The only commentary I am going to try to make up for this recipe is, be sure to make both loafs, as this first one will not last long. Oh and don’t let the title fool you…There were 5 of us for dinner last night and we devoured 1 loaf in its entirety. (finger licking good is not just for chicken!)

tomato and red quinoa bread - sweetheatchefs.com

Apparently we are carb loving fiends!! All is good, I am happy being one. This bread is good next morning for toast and then for lunch as an open faced sammy! It is not just about the bread and butter here.

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INGREDIENTS #1

DIRECTIONS #1

Rinse quinoa in a strainer and add to pot with V8 juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Set aside with lid off to cool. You need it cool for the next step.

tomato and red quinoa bread - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS #2

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 cups warm V8 juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tbs dried basil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour

DIRECTIONS #2

To the bread machine, add the yeast to the warm water and stir, let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients plus the cooled quinoa and mix thoroughly.  Let run through the dough cycle and sit for 1 hour.

INGREDIENTS #3

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cups white bread flour

DIRECTIONS #3

Add the dough that has been sitting for one hour into an oiled bowl and mix the above ingredients into the dough, start with 2 cups of flour first. Place dough on a clean surface, along with 1 more cup of flour and knead that into the bread. Continue to knead bread for about 5-10 minutes or until  smooth consistency.  Dough is relatively sticky, but if it is too sticky, add more flour 1/4 cup at a time.  Once ready, place back into the oiled bowl, cover and let sit for another 1.5 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. After the 1.5 hours punch dough down and re-cover while oven is heating up.

When oven is ready, take 2 loaf pans, buttered and divide dough in half and place in pans

tomato and red quinoa bread - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS #4

  • 3 tbs butter, melted
  • 2 tsp flax seeds

DIRECTIONS #4

Slice down the middle of the dough and drizzle half of the butter over the top of loaf. Sprinkle with half flax seeds, continue with second loaf.

Bake for about 50 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes (if you can stand it) and then repeat after me:

SLICE BUTTER SCARF, REPEAT! 

 

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers5 - sweetheatchefs.com

Using leftovers in my house is ALWAYS a chore. 1:  My kids and hubby hate leftovers, 2:  it is hard to make only myself leftovers while they eat crap (aka boxed mac-n-cheese or cup of soups which my kids would live on if I’d let them) So today I decided I wouldn’t tell them I was using leftovers to create this dish, and see how that went over.

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers2 - sweetheatchefs.com

I had leftover ground turkey and some sweet peppers. I am rummaging through my fridge to see what I can make to go along with it. I always turn everything into a Mexican type meal so I was determined NOT to make this dish that way. Now I see your brow furrowing and your mind racing saying…wait the name of the dish begins with Mexican.

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

And…You are right, because there is simply no way for me to NOT make a Mexican based dish, I simply love it way too much. My favorite quote of the night was from my daughter, who upon returning home from the mall, ate dinner and stated: “It tastes like a party in my mouth” I do not know 1 chef who would not like that type of review! #missionaccomplished!

Now, this dish is packed full of flavor and guess what? FULL of nutrients too! How awesome is that?! Common, get your shopping list ready and get this dish done!

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 sweet peppers, cleaned, top off and de-seeded
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 can diced green chilis
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (I use microplane)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 tbs fresh cilantro chopped & washed
  • 1/2 cup Red Quinoa
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup jack cheese, shredded

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers4 - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a sheet pan with foil and drizzle olive oil over it, about 2 tsp.
  2. In a skillet brown ground turkey
  3. Add garlic, onion powder, and salt/pepper.
  4. Once almost browned, add lime juice and green chilis.
  5. Continue to cook over medium high until thoroughly cooked.
  6. While cooking stuffing mixture, rinse  1/2 cup red quinoa in a strainer
  7. Add to pot with beef broth.
  8. Bring to boil and reduce heat cooking on low simmer for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  9. Once stuffing mixture is finished remove from heat and let cool.
  10. Once quinoa is finished add 1/4 cup to stuffing mix, combine well and add 1 tbs chopped cilantro.
  11. Using a teaspoon measure stuff the peppers until filled to the top.
  12. Roll in olive oil on sheet pan and continue until all peppers are stuffed.
  13. Top all peppers with shredded jack cheese evenly. (I push them all together to cheese is not wasted on pan, but ooey gooey goodness all over peppers) 
  14. Bake for 10 minutes on 375 degrees, then broil for 5-7 minutes.
  15. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Serve peppers on top of remaining red quinoa and remaining cilantro, and prepare to lick your plate clean!

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers6 - sweetheatchefs.com

Mexican Red Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Peppers7 - sweetheatchefs.com

Additional Hint:

IF your kids are anti-peppers (I have 2) whether they are sweet or otherwise, wrap the filling into a corn or flour tortilla and heat up and roll like a burrito. They will be just as pleased with the dish as you. You still are getting that quinoa in them and a healthy meal!

 

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My New Coffee Obsession – Don Tomas Coffee

DT Coffee - sweetheatchefs

There are 2 things that are constant in my life (food wise) Wine and Coffee, and not necessarily in that order and if possible I’d drink them together! I am a huge fan of a particular coffee spot that I visit DAILY, yes DAILY. I have tried so many different coffees in a way it is like wine tasting, you try them to see what you like the best. In fact, why isn’t their coffee tasting…hmmm, maybe I stumbled upon something new…

Anyway, in my experience people are fans of either a light or mild coffee, or a medium coffee, or even a bold coffee or espresso. I am a HUGE fan of bold and espresso varieties. Again, each brand and company makes them differently so a bold at one company is not necessarily my idea of bold from another. With that being said, I continue to try different brands and flavors to make sure I am maximizing my coffee potential! 😛 After all I am raising 5 kids, going to school, blogging, and co-chairing this years Relay For Life event, so I’m a tad tired!

You can imagine my delight when I was offered a chance to taste coffee and do a review of it. It went something like this when I got the news:

S Q U E E E E E E L!!!! S H R I E K!!! W O O H O O!!!

DT Coffee 4 - sweetheatchefs.com

Now the details. My opportunity came from a company called Don Tomas Coffee, you can visit them here. I was not familiar with them at the time, but as I asked around people I knew had. I guess my head had been stuck at the previous coffee store too long. I read up on the history and the story behind this company, all I can say is O M G! I feel horrible for even drinking coffee from anywhere else besides Don Tomas! These farmers are 4’th generation coffee cultivators. They live on the farm they cultivate from, they give back to their community, they have built schools and medical clinics on the farm for their own employees AND their community! THAT IS NOT ALL…For every purchase that is made 30% goes to a fundraising organization of YOUR choice. (they have a list, but you can add your organization!) How dedicated and amazing is that??

Now, you are going to say “ok, well they do all that, but how is their coffee”. Have I mentioned that I love coffee?? Yes? Ok, well I consider myself a coffee snob, meaning I only drink the best of the best, because frankly life is too short to drink crappy coffee plain and simple. I LOVE DON TOMAS COFFEE! 2 years ago I got a Keurig machine for my birthday. I stopped using it because the pre-packaged coffees just did not suit me. They were too weak or un-flavorful, whatever the case, I was not happy with the coffee I had to use. I now know, you can make your own coffee blend with a special filter thing-a-ma-bob that I have. I just put my Don Tomas Coffee in it, and viola, it was done….smelled divine  and was out of this world CRAZY GOOD! I am serious, I don’t say I like or even LOVE something if I don’t, it isn’t in me (I am sure you know this by now).

DT Coffee 2 - sweetheatchefs.com

DT Coffee 3 - sweetheatchefs.com

I have found my new coffee company, Don Tomas Coffee. I can’t go wrong with a $10 bag of excellent tasting coffee, of which $3.00 is donated to an organization of MY choice. Knowing that the company is just as awesome as can be. I hope you will give this coffee a try, I think you will switching just like me….yep that is right, no more of “that” other coffee place for me folks, I have been converted!

Have you tried Don Tomas Coffee? Tell me about it, and leave a comment below 😀 I just can’t say enough awesome things about Don Tomas Coffee.

I said it once and I’ll say it a million times over…

DT Coffee 5 - sweetheatchefs.com

What Is A Blog

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Hello friends!! I have been made aware that some of my wonderful readers are unsure about what a “blog” really is. I hope to clear that up for you and arm you with the information necessary to proceed with signing up to my actual “blog”.
 
I have a Facebook fan page for fun that I show off my culinary creations in the kitchen. To get the full benefit of and find the recipe along with additional pictures and commentary I have a “blog” to read. A blog is an online record, which is short for web log. It is a website that a single person or a group of people use to record information. It is usually based on a single subject, and mine, of course, is cooking and recipes. You can join websites or blogs directly or in some cases, they will have a fan page on:
 
 
It does not cost money to join my blog, it is simply a way to ensure you see each new yummy post I publish.
I hope this clears things up for anyone, unsure, of what a blog is. I welcome any of you to join me at http://www.sweetheatchefs.com, or just continue admiring our fan page on Facebook. There is no requirement to sign up to my actual “blog”, it is just nice to see you all off of Facebook and over in another venue. Which ever way you choose to visit Sweet Heat Chefs, we welcome you and thank you for being great friends  followers, commentaries and family.  So sit back and enjoy our yummy food and there are always new foodies to meet! I appreciate each one of you, and each one of you make Sweet Heat Chefs what it is. Cheers my friends!
 
I want to thank a great foodie friend, Christine from Foodthoughtsofachefwannabe. She inspired this post and I appreciate her taking time to explain what a blog is to her readers and mine. The truth is, we are doing this for one simple reason…WE LOVE IT! Please, take a moment to visit her page and see all the goodies she has cooking up in the kitchen too.
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Strawberry Cake Cookies

strawberry cake cookies6 - sweetheatchefs

I have never heard of cake cookies. I came across a recipe the other day that talked about it, and I had to try it. I usually am about making my food from scratch, but something about this jumped out at me. Moist soft cookies with few ingredients, I just had to do it.

strawberry cake cookies4 - sweetheatchefs

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought I’d surprise the kids with a little pre V- Day treat. They loved it, I loved it and I am almost teetering on the fence as to make more! Scary right? Ok, I won’t apologize for making my life easier by using cake mix to create cookies, but I will apologize for not finding these sooner!

strawberry cake cookies3 - sweetheatchefs

These cookies contain a whopping 4 ingredients 5 if you use the optional ingredient. I heart cake cookies and I’m not afraid to admit it. I am sure I will get some flack for even posting this on my blog, but it’s ok. We all need a quick and easy go to recipe, this is a perfect one! Enjoy 😀

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1.5 cups white chocolate chips 
  • heart shaped candy (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine, butter, cake mix and eggs. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add white chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.
  4. Chill dough for about 2-3 hours or until firm.
  5. Take 1 tablespoon of dough and form a ball, roll in white chocolate chips or heart candies and place on cookie sheet. In between batches I keep dough in refrigerator to keep cold.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

strawberry cake cookies5 - sweetheatchefs

strawberry cake cookies2 - sweetheatchefs

strawberry cake cookies - sweetheatchefs

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Ultimate S’mores Bread

s'mores8 - sweetheatchefs.com

Who doesn’t love a good S’more? It used to be it was just a camping affair, but not anymore. Not with all the talented cooks coming up with amazing recipes to create fond memories of campfires past. In fact this S’mores Bread was created by a good friend of mine Becca over at It’s Yummilicious.

s'mores6 - sweetheatchefs.com

Of course if given the chance to make a sweet treat that involves chocolate I have to over do it. So this is why I call it the Ultimate S’mores Bread. Now, there will be no more waiting for summer, no more waiting for camp fires…my S’mores addiction can be curbed at anytime with a few simple ingredients that I tend to keep on hand anyway. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 packages of Crescent Rolls
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips (reserve a few to sprinkle on top)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of mini marshmallows
  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  • Using a foil or parchment paper lined cookie sheet, arrange the crescent rolls with the large side toward the middle and the points hanging over the edge.
  • Crush your graham crackers and sprinkle them down the center of the crescent rolls like the picture below.

s'mores - sweetheatchefs.com

  • Next add your chocolate chips & white chocolate chips

s'mores2 - sweetheatchefs.com

  • Next add your mini marshmallows and begin to fold the points of the crescents up and over the top creating a braid.

s'mores3 - sweetheatchefs.com

s'mores4 - sweetheatchefs.com

  • Melt the butter and brush over the top of the braid. (or you can cut up the butter and place on top)
  • Next sprinkle the cinnamon, marshmallows and a few mini chocolate chips over the top.

s'mores5 - sweetheatchefs.com

  • Cook at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the braid is golden brown and the marshmallows are too. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting into. Sink your teeth into the blissfully decadent sweet bread that since it is made with croissants, I justify eating for breakfast too! 

s'mores7 - sweetheatchefs.com

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3-Way Whole Wheat Buns, Never buy from the store again!

Whole Wheat Buns5 - sweetheatchefs.com

I’m serious when I say you will not want to buy store made buns or rolls again. This process is not only easy, but you can make a double batch and freeze what you don’t use. They will keep for 2 months time in an airtight container. You can also use unbleached all-purpose flour in place of the whole wheat, this gives the bread a fluffier texture. 

I have always been intimidated with making bread or any type of dough that deals with yeast. I found this to be a super easy dough especially using the bread machine. Even when you go to roll out the dough, it is soft and pliable with not stickiness. 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of milk
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup melted butter
4.5 cups whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat white)
1 packet, or .25 ounce instant yeast
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten

Whole Wheat Buns2 - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

  1. Warm milk slightly in the microwave (approx 40 seconds) and place in bread machine
  2. Melt butter and place in bread machine, add water, sugar, salt, and egg.
  3. Add flour and stir a little to combine
  4. Turn bread machine on dough setting. *Mine has a 1 hr rise/rest period after it has mixed* If your’s doesn’t place in greased bowl and let rise for 1 hr.
  5. Turn dough out onto a cutting board and cut into 12 – 16 pieces. Depending on if you are making burger buns, hot dog buns or rolls will depend on how you create the pieces.
  6. After you have your desired shapes and pieces, brush with a little melted butter.
  7. Top with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic powder, or Parmesan cheese
  8. Then bake for 10-12 minutes. Mine all took 10 minutes from the get go. These are a dense bread due to the whole wheat, if you let them bake too far along you will have a rock.

Burger Buns

  • place on a greased sheet pan, cover and let rise 20-30 minutes
  • bake as above

Whole Wheat Buns4 - sweetheatchefs.com

Hot Dog Buns

  • shape the 12 pieces into approximately  6″ x 4″ rectangle shapes. This can vary depending on the size of the dogs you use.
  • starting at the long end facing you, roll tightly away from you
  • pinch and tuck the ends
  • place on a greased sheet pan, cover and let rise 20-30 minutes
  • bake as above

Whole Wheat Buns3

Whole Wheat Buns

Rolls

  • cut into 16 pieces
  • shape into smooth round balls
  • place on to a greased sheet pan, cover and let rise 20-30 minutes
  • bake as above

Whole Wheat Buns6

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Chocolate Chip Nutella Banana Bread

Choco Chip Nutella Banana Bread - sweetheatchefs.com

Be prepared to WOW your taste buds! I made some mini tarts with Nutella and topped with banana slices. After that it was on to see what else I could make with Nutella besides my spoon inserted into the container <blushing> So while sitting in the kitchen looking for inspiration I see browning bananas calling my name. I remembered seeing a recipe somewhere recently for Nutella muffins, from my good friend Becca over at It’s Yummilicious. If you want to check out her fantastic page click HERE. If you want to see all her amazing Nutella recipes click HERE.

This is a great recipe to share on Valentines Day for that special someone. Perhaps a neighbor who helps you out, your kids’ teacher, your daycare provider, or even your spouse! Imagine opening up a cute little box of this homemade treat instead of boxed candy this year!! It is quick, easy and ooey gooey bites of chocolaty deliciousness! Here is how…

Choco Chip Nutella Banana Bread4 - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or coconut oil; or 1/4 cup coconut oil and  1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Nutella (heaping)
  • 2 overripe bananas, smashed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (no buttermilk? no problem, see additional notes at bottom of page)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup mini milk chocolate chips

Choco Chip Nutella Banana Bread - sweetheatchefs.com

Choco Chip Nutella Banana Bread - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare two loaf pans by lining with parchment paper. Or you can just spray the tin, I use the parchment because I think it is easier to get out and makes the bread better when cooking.
  2. Mix oil, Nutella, and sugar in a large bowl with a stand mixer.
  3. Add the bananas, eggs, buttermilk, and baking soda to the Nutella mixture. Mix well.
  4. Slowly add flour and chocolate chips, just until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.
  6. Top with a few mini chips or Valentine’s candy or colorful sprinkles.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Make sure to let cool before slicing

Choco Chip Nutella Banana Bread - sweetheatchefs.com

Choco Chip Nutella Banana Bread5 - SWEETHEATCHEFS.COM

Additional Notes:

How to make your own Buttermilk:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbs vinegar

Combine ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes. Then add to recipe. That’s it!

 

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