Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders Recipe

Today I’m really excited to share a new partnership with Kraft Foods. Creating recipes for my family is something I love to do but it actually becomes fun when it comes with a challenge. This month I was given the task of turning a Kraft Fresh Take variety into a new and delicious recipe for my family to enjoy.

Kraft Fresh Take Challenge

Use the Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ variety to create a recipe that uses one protein (other than chicken), is a an easy appetizer or lunch-friendly sandwich and uses the broiler to add a little crisp to the dish.

As someone who loves to experiment in the kitchen this was an easy challenge for me. There’s a lot you can do with a smokey mesquite BBQ flavor, especially with chicken, but what about ground beef? When I think of easy lunch sandwiches I think of sliders. They’re versatile sandwiches that are made in a kid-friendly size but with gourmet flavors adults will love too.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Cheddar & Grilled Onion Sliders

Lunch needs to be an easy meal that can be made quickly so we can go about our day. I like to use recipes that don’t have an overwelming number of ingredients. For the Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders you’ll only need a dozen rolls, one Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ variety (found in the refrigerator section of your grocery store), one large onion, some bacon, a pound of ground beef, sharp cheddar cheese (Kraft Big Slice is great) and your favorite BBQ sauce (Kraft Hickory Smokey is excellent for this dish).

Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ Recipe Ingredients

Inside the Kraft Fresh take bag you’ll find a blend of cheese, seasoned breadcrumbs and spices to make a flavorful meatball. You can toss all of the ingredients inside the convenient bag. I just added the meat and used my hands to combine all of the ingredients until they’re evenly distributed throughout the ground beef.

Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ bag mix

One pound of ground beef along with the Kraft Fresh Take makes a perfect dozen meatballs. I just rolled them by hand to about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. If you want to really get technical to make sure they’re all the same size you can use a small kitchen scale to weigh each one.

Rolling a Meatball

Next the meatballs get spaced out and lined up on a baking sheet (with a lip). Since there is cheese in the meatball you’ll want to make sure to bake them on parchment or Silpat (my preference) lined sheet. Thirty minutes in the oven is all it takes to have them ready!

Smokey Mesquite Meatballs

Once the meatballs are out of the oven you can set them up on the rolls and brush some of the bbq sauce over each one.


Add some sharp cheddar to the top for some extra flavor.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Sliders topped with cheddar cheese

Fried bacon bits give these sliders the perfect crunch.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Sliders topped with Bacon

And for some added sweetness, chunky grilled onions put these sliders over the top.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Sliders Topped with Grilled Onions

Just a few minutes under the broiler and you’ve got gooey melty cheese, toasted buns and a dozen sliders ready to serve as an appetizer or lunch for a small crowd.

Dozen Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders

Depending on your appetite one slider is a great start, but two will really fill you up.

Smoky Mesquite BBQ Cheddar Onion Sliders

Keep an eye out next month for a new recipe and challenge using the Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ variety. Until then, I’d love to hear your ideas on how to use this product.

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Broccoli Chedder Chicken Crescent Braid Recipe

Far too often we have week nights when my husband comes home late from work and we’re left scrambling to come up with dinner at the last minute. The end result of that scramble means fast food more often than I’d like to admit. It doesn’t help that I’m not much of a planner when it comes to meals because I never know what flavors I’ll be in the mood for.

To help avoid our fast food splurges, I’ve been working on a few recipes we can use when time is lacking. This Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid is one of those that can be made in less than an hour, doesn’t cost very much to prepare and packs a lot of flavor into one dish (and fits quite nicely on my favorite jelly roll pan).

broccoli chedder chicken croissant braid

recipe card rolling pin


  • Pillsbury Crescent Rolls – 2 cans
  • chicken chunks – 2 cups
  • cheddar cheese 2 cups
  • broccoli 2 cups
  • mayonnaise ½ cup
  • egg yolk 1
  • rosemary, fresh


  1. Put oven at 375 degrees (F)
  2. Spread both cans of crescents on a parchment paper
  3. Press the seams so it forms a single layer of dough
  4. Combine chicken, cheese, broccoli and mayonnaise in a large bowl
  5. Spread mixture over the croissant dough evenly
  6. Cut horizontal strips about 1 inch apart down each side of the crescsent
  7. Fold the strips over the top of the chicken mixture, switching the left and the right to create a braid
  8. Brush off the top of the braid with egg yolk and sprinkle rosemary on the top
  9. Bake for about half an hour

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Sweet Savory Homemade Croissants

Last week I was doing my regular blog hopping and come upon Lindsay’s March Kitchen Challenge. The idea here was to try something new, tackle a recipe that you would otherwise run from. For March, that recipe is croissants. They are by far my favorite type of bread! As a kid my dad would get up early and take me to Burger King for a ham, egg and cheese croissanwich (minus the egg). It was also the place my dad taught me how to drive. We would get up super early, just as the sun was rising and head to the Burger King parking lot (which was empty) and let me drive his truck. This was a year or two before I even got my learner’s permit, around 14 or so.

Clearly, croissants hold a special place in my heart.

Homemade Cocktail Croissants

These days, I still enjoy them but I usually grab a big box of the cocktail croissants from Sam’s Club. They’re quite tasty, flaky and perfect for a quick snack or breakfast. I’d always thought about trying to make my own but that’s as far as the process ever went … thinking about it.

After making homemade danish dough, I know how much work goes into making the butter layers. Hours worth! But I’m always up for a challenge so I set aside my Sunday to make a batch, even bought the fancy European butter. And then the worst happened. I made the dough, I beat the hell out of butter until it formed a perfect block, rolled the butter into layer after layer of the dough, even cut them and shaped them into cute little croissants. Then when it came time to let them rise, well, they rose alright and then they MELTED. My kitchen was way too hot. My heart sank, I shed a few tears and tossed the dough in the garbage. I even crumpled up the recipe which is probably still on top of my cabinet after I sent the little ball of anger flying across the room.

At the moment I felt pretty defeated and disappointed in myself but I didn’t let one screw up defeat me. I was determined to do this right and made up another batch. Boy am I glad I did because after learning from my mistake I ended up with 16 of the best little croissants a girl could ask for.

A few of them we ate for dessert with a Bavarian Cream filling, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with chocolate ganache.

Bavarian Cream Filled Croissants with Chocolate Ganache

The rest I saved for breakfast and filled them with leftover Black Forrest Ham, grilled onions & peppers and some fried egg whites.

Ham and Egg White Croissant Sandwiches

Will I ever make these again? Doubtful. It’s a lot of work with a little bit of reward but the fact that I know I can make them if I *need* to is good enough for me.

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Recipe | Holiday OREO Stuffed Cupcakes

A few days ago I got a surprise delivery. I had entered a few blog giveaways including one hosted by Liz at A Nut in a Nutshell where she asked the OREO kit winners to recreate a dessert from the OREO Play Up Dessert recipe booklet. Inside the booklet there are a lot of really cute Fall and Winter dessert ideas all using my all-time favorite cookie … OREOS.

Holiday Stuffed OREO Cupcakes

Since Fall and Thanksgiving have already passed I thought it would be fun to turn these into a more festive dessert using red velvet cake and the limited edition holiday OREOS that have cute designs on the cookie and red creamy filling inside.

Snowman and Snowflake OREO Cupcakes for Christmas

When you cut through the stuffed cupcake you can see all that OREO goodness inside. And when you eat them warm, right out of the oven, the cookie is soft. They look pretty darn fancy too when plated on a vintage cake stand.

Holiday OREO Stuffed Cupcake


  • Holiday OREO cookies, about 25
  • red velvet cake 1 box
  • marshmallow creme, 1 cup
  • COOL WHIP, 1-1/2 cups


  1. Set oven at 325 degrees (F)
  2. Place an OREO with the design facing down into each of the liners
  3. Prepare cake mix as it is directed on the package
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of cake batter over every cookie
  5. Bake around 20 minutes
  6. Put marshmallow creme in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds and whisk with the COOL WHIP
  7. Remove cupcakes from the liners and slice in half and put one dollop of the fillings between each layer

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