Category Archives: Sides

Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Popcorn Chicken | Kirbie’s Cravings | A San Diego food blog

Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Popcorn Chicken

This is another fabulous recipe from Kirbie’s Cravings

Taiwanese Salt and Pepper Popcorn Chicken


Taco Pasta Salad

Taco Pasta Salad

1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta
1 pound ground beef (or cubed chicken)
3/4 cup water
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 bottle (16 ounces) Catalina or 16 ounces Western salad dressing
Optional: you could add shredded lettuce just before serving

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add water and taco seasoning; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Rinse pasta in cold water and drain; place in a large bowl. Add beef mixture, cheese, green pepper, onion, tomato and olives; mix well. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

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So You Forgot You Committed to Bring Snacks…

I love the pinwheels


If you’re anything like me, you are constantly offering to bring a side dish/dessert/snack to dinners/baby showers/get togethers…. you catch my drift. And then the inevitable happens. You forget. Talk about embarrassing. Maybe you remember the day before and still have time to get to the store. Or if you are still like me, you forget until the day of, you remember while you are eating lunch at work, run by the grocery store on your way home, and have 42.7 minutes to prepare something amazing. Because you have a wicked pride streak that will not allow you to show up to a partying carrying only a fruit tray. You just WON’T, okay? Yeah, this happened to me just yesterday. But fear not!! I have some DELISH options that I have proven myself can be done in 20 minutes or less. 

Option #1: Ranch and bell pepper pinwheels


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Greek Stewed String Beans

I love green beans, and these look delicious!

Linzer's Kitchen

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My friend and I recently went to a delicious greek restaurant in NYC and has stewed string beans as a side dish. We devoured them. I knew I would have to recreate the dish for myself.

You will need

  • string beans
  • one large yellow onion
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • half jar of tomato sauce

Chop the onion and sauté in a pan with garlic.

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Add the string beans to the pan after about 5 minutes.

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Let them cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Then pour approximately half a jar of tomato sauce along with a cup of chicken stock into the pan.

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Let the string beans get tender in the pot from the sauce and chicken stock mixture. Let them cook for about 10-15 minutes.

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I love this dish. It’s the perfect side to any protein and its super healthy too!

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Fried Mac & Cheese Balls


Fried Mac & Cheese Balls
makes 8 balls

2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 packed cup leftover mac & cheese
1/2 cup flour
1 beaten egg
1 cup panko (you can also use regular bread crumbs)

pecorino or parmesan cheese for serving (Optional)

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and stir vigorously until the mixture is bubbling. Remove the pan from the heat, then slowly whisk in the half and half until it is fully incorporated and there are no lumps. Return the pan to a medium-low heat stove and use a silicone spatula to continuously scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the sauce from burning. When the sauce is thick and bubbly, remove the pan from the heat and add the mac & cheese. Stir to combine, then taste for salt and adjust as needed. Cool to room temperature, then place the mixture into the fridge to harden.

Once the macaroni mixture has cooled, it will be very firm. Use a spoon to scoop out a 1 1/2″ ball, then roll it between your hands to make it round, pressing down a bit to remove any air pockets. You should be able to make about 8 balls.

Add about 2 inches of oil into a heavy bottomed pot. Turn the heat onto medium high, and watch for the temperature to reach about 320 degrees F. In the mean time, get 3 shallow bowls out, and put the flour in one, the egg in another and the panko in the third. Roll each ball in the flour to coat evenly, then in the egg (make sure it’s well coated with egg or the panko won’t stick). Lastly, drop the balls in the panko and roll around to coat evenly.

Line a wire rack with paper towels to place the balls on once they’re fried. Fry each ball, rolling them around so they brown evenly until they are golden brown and crisp. Transfer the fried mac and cheese bals to a paper towel lined rack and let them drain. Let them cool for a minute before serving, then top with plenty of grated cheese.

Baked Mac & Cheese Balls

A healthier alternative to the fried one I found

Linzer's Kitchen

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My best friend is having Super Bowl party and asked me to make something yummy! I never made these before, but I figured it couldn’t be that difficult, right?

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You will need:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 family size box of macaroni and cheese (I used Kraft)
  • seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 package shredded mexican cheese
  • flour
  • eggs

Start cooking the macaroni according to the box directions.

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Drain the macaroni, add milk, butter and cheese powder

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Mix the macaroni and add the shredded cheese

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Give it a stir and you will see all the cheese melt.

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Place in a tupperware and place in the refrigerator overnight.

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The next morning, take the mac and cheese out of the fridge. Using an ice cream scooper, form large golf ball sized balls. Then place back in the fridge.

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Next you will make three bowls: one with flour, one with two eggs and…

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“Jiffy” CopyCat Corn Muffin Mix



2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

To make muffins

add 1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Optional Ingredients:

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
2 ounces canned chilies (optional)
1/4 cup drained chopped pimiento (optional)
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)


Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, mix well.

Whisk in vegetable oil and mix until dry mixture is smooth and lumps are gone.

NOTE: If another recipe is calling for a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, add the above mixed ingredients to that recipe.

To make Corn Muffins:
preheat oven to 400°F, spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.

OPTIONAL: To mix, add any combination of optional ingredients you prefer.

Combine mix with egg and milk, mixing well.

Fill muffin pan 1/2 full, bake for 15-20 minutes.

Homemade Bisquick Mix

Homemade Bisquick Mix

6 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 cup butter/margarine/or shortening

In a large mixing bowl whisk and sift together the dry ingredients.
Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse sand.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four months.


2 cups Bisquick mix
1 stick melted butter
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, set aside.

*Stir together melted butter, bisquick mix and sour cream until ingredients are fully incorporated.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned on top.




2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
1 tsp garlic powder, divided
¼ cup butter, melted

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 450, or 475 for high altitude
In a medium bowl, mix together the bisquick, milk, cheese, and ½ tsp garlic powder; beat for 30 seconds
Fill lightly-greased muffin tins with the mixture, filling up 2/3 of the way

Bake for 8-10 minutes or till the tops are nice and golden
Combine the melted butter and the remaining ½ tsp garlic powder; brush this over the warm biscuits.

• add sesame and poppy seeds into the dough mixture
• omit the garlic and use your favorite nut
• the add-in options are endless

Muffin Tin Mashed Potatoes

Muffin Tin Mashed Potatoes


Source: Dairy Goodness

Course: Side Dishes
Prep. Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 45 – 50 mins
Yields: 12 servings

What You Need

10 medium potatoes,peeled and diced
4 tbsp (60 mL) butter
2 cups (500 mL) chopped fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup (180 mL) sliced green onions
1 garlic clove,minced
1 cup (250 mL) Milk
3/4 cup (180 mL) all-purpose flour
4 eggs, beaten
4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper


Cook potatoes in lightly salted water until tender.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter in medium skillet. Sauté mushrooms, onions and garlic until tender and any liquid has evaporated; set aside.

Drain potatoes; coarsely mash to make 5 cups (1.25 L). Beat in remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter and milk until fluffy.

Combine potatoes, cooked vegetables, flour, eggs, baking powder, salt and pepper. Divide mixture among twelve large well buttered muffin cups. Bake in preheated 375 °F (190 °C) oven 35 to 40 min or until golden brown. Let stand 5 min before removing from pan.


For a delicious variation fold 2 cups (500 mL) of shredded Canadian Cheddar cheese into potato mixture.