June 30, 2016

All American Totchos {Tater Tots + Nachos}

What do you get when you combine tater tots and nachos? Totchos! These bite size baked potato puffs are made All American style with red, white, and blue toppings including cheese, bacon, and crispy potato strips!
Totchos are delicious served like nachos as an appetizer or bake them in individual ramekins like I did and serve as a entree or side dish. This family friendly meal would be a delicious addition to your 4th of July cookout!

Ingredients:

Makes 4 individual servings
  • 1 lb tater tots, frozen {about half a bag}
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup bacon, crumbles
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 mini sweet red peppers, seeded and diced {or you can add diced tomatoes}
  • 2 small purple potatoes, peeled and julienned {or substitute blue tortilla strips}
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spread tater tots out in an even row on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and warm.
  4. Meanwhile, peel and thinly julienne the potatoes. You can use a mandoline or a spiralizer at the thinnest setting. 
  5. Add cut potatoes to a bowl of water to remove excess starch then dry out on a few paper towels, patting dry. 
  6. Heat a small pot over medium heat with about 2 inches of oil, heated to about 375 degrees.
  7. Once the oil is to temp, add a couple pinches of potatoes and fry until crisp, about 20-30 seconds. 
  8. Drain on a papertowel lined plate and repeat with remaining potatoes. 
  9. When the tots are cooked, turn the oven down to 375 degrees. 
  10. Separate the tots into four ramekins, piled high.
  11. Sprinkle liberally with toppings: diced peppers, bacon, onions, and lots of shredded cheese. 
  12. Place the ramekins in the oven and bake just until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. 
  13. Remove from oven and top with a pinch of fried purple {or blue in this case} potato strips. 
  14. Serve warm and dig in to this All American meal!
 I use regular frozen tater tots or sweet potato tater tots for this recipe. 
Bake about 1/2 the bag. 
 Spread out on a baking sheet and bake the tots according to the package instructions. 
I baked mine for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. 
 Bake until golden then let cool slightly.
Now time to make your potato strips!
I use purple potatoes {let's just call them blue to stick with the patriotic theme!} from this variety of small potatoes bag.  
These potatoes are small so you will need about 2 for making the crispy potato strips.
Wash and peel the potatoes.
 If you have a julienne setting on your madoline you can use that or a spiralizer like I did. 
 Add cut potatoes to a bowl of water to remove excess starch.
Dry out on a few paper towels, patting dry. 
 Heat a small pot over medium heat with about 2 inches of oil heated to 375 degrees.
Once the oil is to temp, add a couple pinches of potatoes and fry until crisp, about 20-30 seconds. 
 Drain on a papertowel lined plate and repeat with remaining potatoes. 
I love to use diced mini sweet peppers {just the red for this recipe}.
You could also use diced tomatoes. 
Once the tots are out of the oven turn the temp to 375 degrees.
Now time to top your tots! 
Separate the tots into four ramekins, piled high.
 Top with shredded cheese, diced red peppers, bacon crumbles, and diced white onions.
Place the ramekins in the oven and bake just until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. 
 Remove from oven and top with a pinch of fried purple {or blue in this case} potato strips. 
Serve warm and dig in! 
 The perfect bite: a crispy tot topped with gooey cheese, smokey bacon, peppers, onions, and a crunchy potato strip! It doesn't get better than that!

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June 25, 2016

Birthday Cake Latte for the Coffee Lover

Today is my birthday and to celebrate I recreated a coffee drink I tried in Salt Lake City last month and loved: the Birthday Cake Latte from Seattle's Best Coffee. This easy to make brew has white chocolate and vanilla mixed in and is topped with pillowy whipped cream and {of course} sprinkles!
Time to celebrate!

Ingredients:

Makes one large latte
  • 3 tbsp espresso coffee 
  • 5oz warmed milk {frothing optional}
  • 2 tbsp white chocolate syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • whipped cream, for topping
  • rainbow sprinkles, for topping

Directions: 

  1. Add white chocolate syrup and vanilla to the bottom of a mug.
  2. Pour warmed milk into the mug.
  3. Place in coffee maker {I use my Ninja Coffee Bar} and brew espresso directly into mug.
  4. Once done stir to mix the flavors at the bottom of the mug.
  5. Top with a swirl of whipped cream and a pinch of rainbow sprinkles
To get the birthday cake flavor I added white chocolate syrup 
and vanilla extract to the mug before adding the milk and coffee.
First, add 2 tbsp white chocolate syrup.
Now add 1 tsp vanilla.
Now warm 5 oz of milk. Frothing is optional {I always do!}.
Pour the warmed milk in the mug.
Now time to brew your espresso {or coffee if you'd rather}.
I add 3 tbsp to my Ninja Coffee Bar filter and brew directly into the mug.
How gorgeous are these layers?!

Give it a stir then top with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.

It's my birthday and I will drink coffee {with sprinkles} if I want to! 
A photo posted by Nicole (@flchefnicole) on




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June 21, 2016

Refreshing Peach Iced Tea

Y'all know I am Southern through and through and I love me some Sweet Tea!
I make it all summer long, usually Sun Tea out on my patio.
I love using fresh fruit to add sweetness and flavor, so when I stocked up on peaches at the store this week, I decided to make some homemade peach syrup for my iced tea.
It tasted so good I think this Peach Iced Tea is now my signature summer drink!



Ingredients: 

Makes 4-6 servings 

Peach Syrup:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 large sliced peaches
Tea:

  • 4 Family Size Tea Bags
  • 8 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Ice
  • 1 peach sliced, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring syrup ingredients to boil. Then reduce heat to medium.
  2. Crush peach slices as you stir to dissolve sugar.
  3. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, boil water and then add tea bags. 
  5. Brew tea by letting the bags steep for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove and the discard tea bags.
  7. Strain syrup through a fine strainer to remove peach pieces.
  8. Pour tea into a pitcher then add syrup along with 1/2 cup sugar. 
  9. Stir well and refrigerate until chilled.
  10. Serve over ice and garnish with a couple fresh peach slices. 
To make the peach syrup you need 2 large {or 3 small} sliced ripe peaches.
I leave the skin on and just roughly slice.
Add one cup water and one cup sugar to a medium saucepan.
Add the sliced peaches and bring to a boil over medium high heat. 
Turn heat down to medium and stir, crushing peaches with a spoon.
Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil water then add tea bags.
Brew tea by letting the bags steep for 5 minutes.
Remove and the discard tea bags.
Strain syrup through a fine strainer to remove peach pieces.
Pour tea into a pitcher then add syrup along with 1/2 cup sugar. 
Stir well and refrigerate until chilled.
Serve over ice and garnish with a couple fresh peach slices. 
Can you taste it already?! Perfectly sweet and downright delicious! 

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