About Ali Cummins

Posts by Ali Cummins:

Cauliflower Tater Tots

On a quest to get your child to eat more veggies? Getting tired of the same old Meatless Monday meal? Give these a try. Trust me, you will not be disappointed and neither will your kids. Typically I need to pull out all the stops just to get my oldest to choke down a pea, but she ate these happily. After all, they are tater tots! Minus the tater anyway.



Cauliflower Tater Tots

Cauliflower Tater Tots

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of cauliflower (I used frozen to save time)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cut cauliflower, red pepper, and onion into manageable chunks. Place in food processor and blend.
  3. Put mixture into a medium-size mixing bowl and add cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, and parsley. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Form into ovals. Place on baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
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Cayenne and Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Since Maddie has begun eating food, I’ve noticed a difference between what she will eat and what Riley likes. Riley, not much into the details of things, is very happy with plain butter noodles. Maddie, on the other hand, shoves away plain noodles in disapproval. She requires a dish with much more flavor. How is a mom to keep up? This weekend I experimented with kicking up my traditional scalloped potatoes with some cayenne and garlic, and with a large casserole dish, it was easy to keep one half plain and the other flavorful. Two happy kids. One mealtime victory.




Cayenne and Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Cayenne and Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of thinly sliced potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • Paprika

Instructions

  1. Cut potatoes into thin slices.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. While whisking, slowly add flour. Continue to whisk and add milk slowly.
  3. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling. Continue to whisk occasionally.
  4. Remove the roux from heat and add in 1 cup cheese, cayenne, and garlic.
  5. Grease a 9x9 baking dish and add half of the potatoes.
  6. Pour half of the cheese sauce over the first layer then add a second layer of potatoes and remaining cheese sauce.
  7. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and sprinkle with paprika for color.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of dish you used. My first try making this I my 9x9 pan was dirty, so I used a 9x13 pan, and it only took 30 minutes to cook. So, if you are pressed for time, try a bigger pan!
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Cayenne and Garlic scalloped potatoes

Chicken Suiza Cornbread Bake

The first time I made this dish I wasn’t convinced. The ingredients promised potential. How can you go wrong with cheese, cornbread and sour cream? But the end product, wasn’t what I had hoped. After some thought, I realized my mistake. I had used canned chicken. Yuk. It was an effort to save time but, really, canned chicken is absolutely disgusting. This weekend I had some extra time so I tried it again with fresh chicken. I used a little bit of cajun seasoning on the chicken to give it a little bit of extra spice and it turned out just like I had hoped it would the first time. Always up for cornbread, the girls loved it too. It’s a keeper but, definitely a weekend dish since it does take some extra time and preparation.




This Tex-Mex dinner has just the right amount of kick, and it’s all in one dish!

Chicken Suiza Cornbread Bake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Chicken Suiza Cornbread Bake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups chicken, shredded or cut
  • 1, 8 oz package Monterrey Jack, shredded
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 package of cornbread mix
  • 1 tbsp green chilies
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In skillet, melt butter. Add onion and garlic. Cook until tender (approx 4-6 minutes).
  3. In a large bowl, combine creamed corn, corn, egg, and cornbread mix. Mix in onion and garlic.
  4. Pour in 9x13 inch baking dish.
  5. In a large bowl, combine chicken, green chilies, sour cream, and salt and pepper. Spread over cornbread.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 35-40 minutes.

Notes

Substitute black beans for the chicken to make this dish vegetarian.

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Corn Dog Bites

Okay, I’m not even going to pretend like these are healthy. They are just so good and reminiscent of summer fairs! The girls and I had so much fun making them though and it was super easy. The most time consuming part was the frying but it was worth the little extra time that went into it. I served them with strawberries to make myself feel a little better about ti.

If you have toddlers, I recommend making sure there is another adult around while you fry. Hot oil is only a teachable moment at a distance! Cutting up these hot dog bites is also important with small kids.




Corn Dog Bites

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Corn Dog Bites

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add egg, buttermilk, oil, and honey. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Add more buttermilk as needed for the correct consistency. The batter should be the consistency of cake batter.
  3. Pour frying oil in a pan. I used a medium saucepan; however, the taller the pan, the better. Turn heat to medium.
  4. Dip hot dog chunks in batter and fry. I used a spoon to transfer, although tongs would probably be easier. Place a paper towel on the plate you are using to set the corn dog bites on after frying. This will help soak up some of the excess oil.
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Serve with fruit to alleviate some mom guilt.

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

I like salad dressing, but I don’t love it. Usually I have a craving for it, and then it sits in my refrigerator for the next six months before I even think about it again. By that point, I’m already disturbed by the fact that I have had a dairy-based dressing in my refrigerator for that long and it hasn’t gone bad. Homemade dressings are the best option for me. You can control the amount you make, and they taste fresher. This is one of my favorites. The creamy taste is balanced by a subtle taste of vinegar. Perfect.





Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Chill before serving.
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