We made it to Friday! Woot! Friday is one of my favorite days because that is when we host Weekend Potluck. Now, if you're new here - no worries. I'll explain how this goes. Each Friday, we showcase recipes some our favorite food bloggers. Just click on any of the photos below and it will take you directly to the recipe. If you scroll just a bit further to the bottom, you'll see smaller photos of recipes. Those are recipes being shared by food bloggers right now. You'll find some pretty awesome recipes down there too. So get to clicking and find some great new recipes and maybe some new food bloggers to love! The recipe that you click on the most (from the smaller photos at the bottom) will be our top featured recipe next week!
Last year I had the amazing opportunity to attend the CMA Awards with my friends from Martha White. You can read all about the fun HERE. I still dream about that Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake performance - ha!
This year is a pretty big year for the CMA's since it's the 50th anniversary for the awards ceremony. I would be willing to bet that this will be their biggest and best show ever! And you can enter to win a trip to the CMA Awards this year in Nashville courtesy of Martha White. Click HERE to enter.
I had the chance to meet the winners from last year's contest so I can tell you that REAL PEOPLE do win and you can enter daily to try to win! It is the experience of a lifetime!
So, to celebrate the CMA's and Martha White's sponsorship of the awards ceremony, I thought I would make a country-inspired meal! And, of course, that requires Martha White cornbread! It's really a whole meal in one. Now, because it is a casserole, it ain't the purdiest thing in the world. I mean, not many casseroles are stunners in the looks department but they are hands-down the tastiest food to eat. It's what's on the inside that counts, right? A creamy chicken center surrounded by yummy cornbread and topped with gooey cheese. Oh yeah!
Last year I had the opportunity to go to Nashville for a short work trip. I always love visiting Nashville! I especially love all the different places there are to eat! We were taken to a place called Merchant's Restaurant. It was the neatest little hipster joint on the main drag right by all the honky tonks. And that is where I fell in love with homemade tater tots.
It was like all my childhood dreams coming true except I was a grown up and no one looked at me sideways because I was ordering tater tots. These were truly exceptional. They make them in-house and fry them in duck fat. Yes. Duck fat. They are served with a few dipping options. My personal fave was the chipotle mayo dipping sauce. Oh. My. Stars. I just cannot tell you how something so simple was turned into something so amazing.
So when I came home from that trip, I knew I had to try something I had never attempted before - making my own homemade tater tots. But I wanted to keep the process as simple as possible and, of course, I wouldn't have duck fat to fry them in so I would have to improvise.
Enter the Microwave Ready Little Potatoes (with seasoning!) These microwave ready creamer potatoes not only add amazing texture and taste but they make the process even easier and faster because I don't have to do any parboiling (yay for less dirty dishes!) Also, Little Potatoes are already pre-washed so that is another huge time saver. These homemade tater tots turned out even better than I expected. I think these would make an amazing appetizer. It will make everyone feel like a kid again! And that chipotle mayo really takes these to another level! I did add some shredded cheese and green onion to make it just a bit more special but you don't have to add those extras to make these taste good.
In my quest to get my head back into the 'back-to-school' routine, I got a headstart on making a bunch of after-school snacks that can be frozen and reheated. Of course, I like them own lunch too! This time, I set about making my own homemade pizza pockets. Honestly, I was kinda impressed at how well they turned out. Nothing beats homemade, right? I am not that great of a baker. Just keeping it real here. It doesn't come naturally to me, so I was worried about how well I could manage a good dough that is soft and has good flavor.
So I took my homemade pizza dough recipe and tweaked it a bit. Did you know that adding eggs to dough makes it softer? That's why when you are making a pie crust, you just add oil or butter. That keeps it flaky and butter-y. But when you want a soft and fluffy-type of dough, you need to add eggs. So, of course, I went with my favorite Eggland's Best eggs and didn't use just one egg - I used two! I figured, if I was gonna go through all this trouble to make a homemade dough, I better add some nutrition to it. Good for the kiddos (and Momma too!)
If you've followed me for a while, you know Eggland's Best eggs are the only eggs I use now. These aren't your ordinary eggs. They stay fresher longer than ordinary eggs. They have double the Omega 3's, 10x more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, 5x more Vitamin D, and more Vitamin B12 and Lutein compared to ordinary eggs! It's such an easy way to add healthy protein to our diets without any extra fuss. I'm adding nutrition in these pizza pockets and it tastes good!
The best way to do this is to make a whole bunch of these at a time. If you are gonna make a mess, you might as well get yourself stocked up for the next couple of months. Do it on a day where you can spend a couple of hours getting them all made. Then pack them into freezer-safe zip bags. Don't pack too many into one bag. Allow them to cool, then pack 5 or 6 into one gallon-size bag. These are so incredibly good that they don't have to just be an after-school snack. They could be eaten for dinner on those busy weeknights. They heat up in the microwave (from frozen) in about a minute!