Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme (Copycat Recipe). New Music From Caotico.

Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
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My last Taco Bell obsession was their line of Doritos Locos Tacos. As fast food goes, they make a delicious little meal but are pretty messy to eat (not that that ever stood in my way of enjoying them).

Step in the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. A hexagonal, portable nosh it combines soft and crunchy tortillas, taco seasoned beef, plenty of oozing melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream all in one neat package.

I found assembling the wraps a bit tricky. There are some step by step photos here. The recipe I followed made it less critical to get the hexagonal shape by using a cut round of tortilla to seal the top. I found the key was to just get the packets sealed as best as possible, then place them, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Once the wraps hit the frying pan they set up and held their shape just fine.

Oh, and did I mention how much I LOVED THESE? Taco heaven.

Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 (1 oz) packet taco seasoning mix
1 jar nacho cheese or queso dip (I used this chile con queso which is a really good storebought version)
6 burrito-size flour tortillas, plus 2 more to cut circles from
6 tostada shells or corn tortillas (I highly recommend seeking out the tostada shells for ultimate crunch)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 tomato, diced
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Cooking spray

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain. Stir in the taco seasoning mix and cook according to package directions.

2. Warm the cheese sauce in a microwave-safe bowl.

3. Place flour tortillas on a large plate. Microwave for 20 seconds to warm them. If using corn tortillas instead of tostada shells, heat oven to 400° F. Place corn tortillas on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crispy.

4. Lay one flour tortilla on a work surface. Spread 1/2 cup of taco meat onto the center of the tortilla. Drizzle a few tablespoons of cheese sauce over the meat. Top meat with one tostada shell (or crispy corn tortilla). Spread a thin layer of sour cream over the tostada shell. Top with lettuce, tomato and shredded Mexican cheese.

5. To fold the crunch wrap, start with the bottom of the flour tortilla and fold the edge up over the center. Continue to work your way around, folding the flour tortilla over the center fillings. There will be a spot left open in the center; cut a piece of another flour tortilla and tuck it in the center, so it’s fully covered.
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

6. Repeat with the remaining 5 tortillas, 5 tostadas and fillings.

7. Spray a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Place one crunchwrap, seam-side down, into the skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown. Carefully flip over and cook other side until golden-brown. Repeat process with all crunchwraps.

Makes 6 Crunchwraps

Recipe from Life In The Lofthouse
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme

Oh Sweden! You excel at cranking out danceable songs with insanely catchy hooks.

There is no way I can sit still when ‘Bad Heart’ is playing. Power pop at its most enjoyable.

“I’ve got a bad heart
even though you think I am good”

Check out Caotico on Facebook. You can buy their music here.

Cheers!

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Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger. A Lovely New Song From Andrew Marica.

Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger
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Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burgers.

That is a mouthful of a title and, wow, what a mouthful of a burger!

Pesto flavored chicken burgers are topped with tomato, a simple homemade guacamole and a thick slice of burrata, that king of creamy cheeses.

A-Maz-Ing!

Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger
Burrata Pesto Burger

Ingredients:

1 pound ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pesto, purchased or homemade (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
4 ounces burrata cheese
2 avocados, mashed
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 large tomato, sliced
3 whole wheat hamburger buns

Directions:

1. In a bowl combine chicken, salt, pesto and balsamic vinegar. Form into 3 patties (they will be quite moist).

2. Use a large spoon to add the patties to a medium size non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook for 7-8 minutes per side.

3. While meat is cooking add mashed avocado to a bowl. Stir in lime juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

4. Top each bun with a chicken patty, slice of tomato, a few scoops of guacamole and a slice of burrata cheese.

Makes 3 burgers

Recipe from A Zesty Bite
Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger

Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts. toasted
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

2. If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

3. If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Makes 1 cup

Recipe from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis
Burrata And Guacamole Topped Chicken Pesto Burger

We’re going to totally shift course from the big, cheerful burgers to this sparse, somber, and truly lovely song.

To quote Bucharest-based singer Andrew Marica:

“The song “Forever Gone” was written in one very lonely night, after the death of someone very dear to me. All of the songs I write and compose come out of passion. I wish this song to be a monument for a special person, and I also wish to share the emotion that led me to writing it, as I think there’s a special kind of beauty in sorrow.”

Check out Andrew Marica on Soundcloud where he is offering up his song as a free download.

Cheers!

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The Mother Lode Layered Cookie Bars. The Amazing Withered Hand On The Stereo.

The Mother Lode Layered Cookie Bars

You’ve got to love screaming goats.

And you WILL love these outrageous layered cookie bars.

My jaw dropped when I saw the recipe. Four cookie doughs layered one on top of the other to create the ultimate bars. There is sugar cookie, double chocolate chip, peanut butter and classic chocolate chip all tucked in there together. Just to put them totally over the top, the bars are drizzled with melted chocolate. Insane!

I couldn’t get my layers as pronounced as Jenny did, but the phenomenal flavors are all that really matter.

The Mother Lode Layered Cookie Bars
The Mother Lode Layered Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

Sugar Cookie Layer (recipe follows)
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer (recipe follows)
Peanut Butter Cookie Layer (recipe follows)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer (recipe follows)
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted to drizzle

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Press sugar cookie dough into bottom of a 9 × 13 inch baking dish lined with non-stick foil.
Sugar Cookie Layer

2. Layer 1/2 the Double Chocolate Chip Cookie dough recipe over sugar cookie layer, pressing gently. (This is a bit of a fiddle to do. I used my fingers to spread the dough, managing to get most of the sugar cookie dough layer covered.)
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

3. Press Peanut Butter Cookie Layer over Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer.
Peanut Butter Cookie Layer

4. Spoon 1/2 the Chocolate Chip Cookie dough recipe evenly over Peanut Butter Cookie Layer. Don’t press the dough down, just leave in uneven mounds.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

5. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until center of dough is cooked through.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer
Motherlode Layered Cookie Bars
6. Drizzle top melted chocolate, if desired.

The original recipe said that it makes 8 to 12 bars, but that would be insane even for the most ardent sweet lover. I cut about 30 little bars.

Recipe from Picky Palate

Sugar Cookie Layer

Ingredients:

1 (16.5 oz) roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer (This recipe makes double the quantity needed for the bars. Use the extra dough for cookies or halve the ingredients.)

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

2. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients then stir in chips.

Peanut Butter Cookie Layer

Ingredients:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer (Again, this recipe makes double the quantity needed for the bars. Use the extra dough for cookies or halve the ingredients.)

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.

2. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bolw; mix to combine. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips.

Mother lode Layered Cookie Bars
The Mother Lode Layered Cookie Bars

A recipe as good as this needs a singer that continuously melts my heart with his beautiful voice, spot on lyrics and incredible arrangements. Step in Withered Hand aka Dan Willson.

Since I first heard a Withered Hand tune back in 2009, his music has lived on my cd changer, on mix cds, and in playlists that I make for my daily runs. Such incredible talent….and he’s Scottish, to boot! Yes.

‘Horseshoe’ is from the 2014 Withered Hand album “New Gods”. I highly recommend you buy everything he has released.

“We could kill our friends
we could sing a song that never ends, again
Tell me was it easy to pretend?
That nobody is dead
That nobody you love will ever die?”

Check out Withered Hand on his Website, where you can learn of upcoming UK tour dates and buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Dessert | Tagged | Leave a comment

Parmesan And Thyme Crackers. I’m Here Blasting Exist Elsewhere.

Parmesan And Thyme Crackers
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Once again Ina Garten has hit the ball out of the cooking park.

These Parmesan And Thyme Crackers are absolutely divine. Light and crisp with an irresistible buttery, cheesy, peppery and thymey flavor, they are perfect with a glass of wine or champagne.

I did have some problems with the dough being crumbly, but making sure that the butter is super soft and adding some water before trying to shape helped a lot.

Parmesan And Thyme Crackers
Parmesan And Thyme Crackers

Ingredients:

1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until creamy, about 1 minute. (You want the butter to be really soft to avoid a crumbly dough later.)

2. Add the Parmesan, flour, salt, thyme and pepper and combine. If the dough seems too dry to come together then add water, 1 teaspoon at a time.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and roll into a 9 inch long log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350℉.

5. Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place the slices on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 22 minutes.

Recipe from Back To Basics by Ina Garten
Parmesan And Thyme Crackers
Parmesan And Thyme Crackers
Parmesan And Thyme Crackers

It’s a sign!

“Signs” from LA-based Exist Elsewhere is one of those ‘love on first listen’ songs for me. Super catchy with a hook that cooks, I can’t believe I missed it when it came out about 6 months ago.

Check out Exist Elsewhere on Facebook and the band’s Website, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Starters | Tagged | 1 Comment

Banoffee Pie. Fun New Music From Ransom And The Subset.

Banoffee Pie

banana man
Banoffee Pie is one of my favorite desserts. This traditional British pudding combines bananas, toffee or dulce de leche and cream in a buttery cookie crust. Fantastic!

I didn’t have dulce de leche when I tried this recipe and went with the substitution make-your-own that was suggested. Mine just didn’t set up, so I had more of a Banoffee mess, but the flavor was absolutely fantastic. For a pie that slices, I’d recommend that you use some purchased dulce de leche or a tried and true recipe (I have had success in the past with the oven baked method).

Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie

Ingredients:

4 oz unsalted butter, melted
½ package (the 11 oz size) of Nilla Wafers cookies
1 (14-oz or 13.4 oz) can Dulce de Leche
4 bananas
1 pint heavy cream (or Cool Whip)
Caramel sauce or grated chocolate to decorate top of pie, optional

Directions:

1. Crush the cookies into fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter. Press buttered crumbs into bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Chill crust in refrigerator for one hour.

2. Pour Dulce de Leche into the crust. Chill for one hour until the caramel is firm.

3. Slice the bananas and place them in a single layer on top of the caramel. Whip the cream and spoon over the Dulce de Leche and bananas. Drizzle top with caramel sauce, if you like.

Recipe from Breakfast In Bed(Stuy)
Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie

Serves 8

Ransom and the Subset, a new band out of Seattle, just released their debut single “Anna”. It’s a fun slice of indie pop/rock with cool guitar.

Check out Ransom and the Subset on the band’s Website, where you will be able to buy their debut album ‘No Time to Lose’ out October 7th, 2014.

Cheers!

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Super Sides. Soy-Garlic Butter Broccoli. Lemon-Herb Orzo.

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Lemon-Herb Orzo

Did you hear about the new corduroy pillows? They’re making headlines everywhere!

You were inflicted with that because there’s not much side dish humor out there.

Today’s two side dish recipes are super easy, super fast and super delicious.

The Soy-Garlic Butter Broccoli dish is simply broccoli tossed with soy sauce, melted butter, garlic and a little brown sugar then cooked in the microwave for 4 minutes.

It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare the lively Lemon-Herb Orzo side. The abundance of chopped herbs and a good dose of lemon zest give the dish a fresh, vibrant flavor.

Soy-Garlic Butter Broccoli
Soy-Garlic Butter Broccoli

Ingredients:

5 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Directions:

1. Place broccoli in a large microwave-safe bowl.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over broccoli.

3. Cover and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Serves 4

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine

Lemon-Herb Orzo
Lemon-Herb Orzo

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups orzo
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup each chopped chives, dill and parsley
Zest of 1 lemon

Directions:

1. Cook orzo in boiling salted water until al dente; reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain.

2. Toss orzo with butter, chives, dill, parsley, and lemon zest. Add the reserved pasta cooking water if the orzo is sticking together too much. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine
Lemon-Herb Orzo

This song is quite lovely with its ukelele, whistling and Martha Paton’s sweet, folksy vocals.

“Cos I’m not afraid to say that I wouldn’t know what to do
and some might say there’s more fish in the sea
and well maybe it might be true
But as far as I’m concerned and from all those things that I have learnt
Happiness is just loneliness plus you”

Check out Martha Paton on her Website, where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Pasta, Side Dish, Vegetable | Tagged | Leave a comment

Artichoke And Spinach Dip Pizza. Another New And Eerie Tune From Fable.

Artichoke And Spinach Dip Pizza

This totally cracked me up.

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Pretty cold, huh?

On to the recipe.

Think of the wonderful flavors in a Spinach-Artichoke Dip. Then imagine those flavors on top of a pizza crust with a scattering of sun-dried tomato and red onion.

There you go: Artichoke And Spinach Dip Pizza. So easy and super yummy.

Artichoke And Spinach Dip Pizza
Artichoke And Spinach Dip Pizza

Ingredients:

1 prebaked 12-inch pizza crust
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup spinach dip (they sell this in the refrigerated aisle of many stores)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 jar (7-1/2 ounces) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, patted dry and chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Place crust on an ungreased pizza pan; brush with oil. Spread spinach dip over top. Sprinkle with cheese, artichokes, tomatoes and onion.

3. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are lightly browned. Cut into slices or squares.

Serves 4-6

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine
Artichoke And Spinach Dip Pizza
Artichoke And Spinach Dip Pizza
Artichoke And Spinach Dip Pizza

‘Stranger In My Head’, another new track from 19 year old Fable’s debut album, is an intriguing tune (I featured a previously released song here). Kind of tribal and frenetic in her desire to be stabbed, she’s created one hell of an eerie song.

That burst of noise at the 3:40 mark is awesome.

Check out Fable on Facebook, where you can keep updated on how to buy the EP, due out in October.

Cheers!

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