October 29, 2015

Homemade Dorito Dust Flavoring - for pretty much everything and anything! (Dorito Chips, Taco Shells, Chex Mix, Potatoes, Popcorn...)

About two years ago I made a homemade version of Fritos Chili Cheese Corn Chips  - completely homemade with Corn Masa dough cut into little strips and the frying and seasoning, etc.  and it was good... but after hours of mixing, frying, taste-testing, adjusting, taste-testing, baking, taste-testing...  I was so sick of chili cheese corn chips and my stomach rebelled with the grease, the spices... I didn't even want to smell them for a month, much less eat another one.

Such is the 'taste testing' process of many recipes.

And this is one of them.

A great food product that after five continuous hours (yes, 5) in the kitchen tasting and testing and cooking and frying and sprinkling and tasting...  I had a hard time even wanting to post the results.  I didn't even want to think about Dorito Dust flavoring anymore.  But I have to - because it's a great food idea I want to make sure I make again in the future (far, far future....) but also need it posted so my kids can try making it.

By the time I was done taste-testing and adjusting, I had about 4 cups of this seasoning!  Ha Ha.  So I closed up shop for the night and use my food sealer to seal it in air-tight bags and tossed them (far back) in my pantry for a future time when Doritos flavored chips, taco shells, Chex mix, popcorn and baked potatoes sound good again.  Because right now... they don't. 

If you've been around An American Housewife before (and stayed awhile) you probably know I'm a huge proponent of keeping a stocked pantry for 'unexpected' things in life, be they made-man or by nature.   This includes not only a well stocked cupboard and pantry, but canned, dehydrated and freeze dried foods for long term storage.

This makes it easy for me to throw together recipes without having to run out and purchase or order many items - but I know most people don't keep cheese powder, powdered tomato, red pepper, etc. on hand.  I will link to some of these items below from Amazon since I'm an affiliate there, but just as a side-note - I order a lot of my long term food storage items directly from Emergency Essentials and The Ready Store, Auguson Farms, etc. 

When I decided to tackle a nacho flavored Dorito, I had most everything I needed (or thought I'd need).  NOTE:  I  had diced freeze dried red and green peppers I just ground up in the food processor with the cheese mix.  I tried to powder them alone first, using a clean coffee grinder but they just flew all over and didn't grind because they have almost no weight to them.  After the coffee grinder and a small Cuisinart processor, I finally resorted to adding them in with the powders in the larger food processor and that worked perfectly. Companies like Harmony House offer it in powder form and I probably would have bought it if I didn't already have freeze dried on hand.

To make this, I had about 4 different lists of seasonings and spices and such to use... no real amounts, and some items I knew I wouldn't use (like nutritional yeast) because I didn't have it and wasn't in the mood to buy it.  I also was loosely basing this recipe test on the chili cheese corn chips I made 2 years ago from a camping and food storage recipe.

This is the part that scientific 'tell me exactly how much to use' people are going to hate.
Because it's not like that.
I'm not going to tell you exactly how much or what products you must use.

EVERYONE tastes things differently.  Similar... but different.   So what I think tastes really good or exactly right on target, my husband tastes a little differently.  For the most part, I tend to pick up on tiny, subtle tastes or smells as a HUGE difference and can't or won't eat many items because of it.  (*Like Carbquick mix or soy flour - yuck!) For me, the flavor is a massive, screaming flavor that overwhelms everything it's in... yet some people can't taste it at all!  See how this works?)

I can give you an approximate measurement or a measurement to start with.
But then you have to taste it.  And add and delete until YOU think it tastes "about right".

I started to scribble down on my notes every time I added more flavors but it got crazy and I just stopped.  Sorry.  

Doritos Dust

Cheddar Cheese Powder (think; the cheese packet of macaroni & cheese - but more of it)
Tomato Powder
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Red Bell Pepper Powder (can be ground from freeze dried red bell peppers)
Green Bell Pepper Powder (can be ground from freeze dried green bell peppers)
Chili Powder
Nacho Cheese popcorn seasoning
Turmeric Powder
Whatever you want to use it on:  Corn chips, corn tortillas, baked potatoes, taco shells, rice or corn Chex cereal, bread, popcorn, Bugle snacks, peanuts... the list goes on.

In a food processor start with approximately;
1 1/4 cup cheese powder
1/2 cup tomato powder
2/3 cup freeze dried red bell peppers
1/4 cup freeze dried green bell pepper
2 tablespoons nacho cheese popcorn flavoring
1 tablespoon garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder
2 t paprika, turmeric and salt
1 t MSG
I didn't use any cayenne but some people use that and a dash of dry mustard powder.


I added more tomato powder, popcorn seasoning and onion powder.
I added more turmeric.  Then realized I wanted a little more red pepper powder.
I added a little more salt and MSG to mine.
Then I added more cheese powder, then more turmeric and then more garlic powder and onion powder.
I added more chili powder.
Then... I was happy with it. Or at least sick of taste-testing it and decided it was "close enough".  And I found the flavor changes when added to hot foods!  It becomes even more vibrant and fresh and delicious so keep that in mind when tasting. 

And then I started to use it on all the foods in my kitchen!!!!!

I cut white corn tortillas up into triangles and fried them in hot oil.  Placing them on paper towels briefly to drain and then quickly dipping them into the dust and back on a paper towel.  These were a huge hit with my family.

We used these not only to snack on as a regular nacho cheese chip, but used them in taco salads.

Since I had the corn tortillas out, I fried them up and seasoned them to make taco shells.  My family loves these.

Made the same way I made the chips;  fry in hot oil, drain, dip to season and back on a paper towel.
Kind of a pain in the back-side to make when you can buy them at the store pretty cheap, but this way you know exactly what went in them to make I guess!  Next time I'm just going to lightly spray store bought taco shells with Pam, season, and pop into the oven at 350 for a few minutes.  :)

I don't know if they are still on the market or not, but in parts of the US there are flavored Chex mixes with BBQ seasoning on them that we tried once and really liked.  That got me thinking of using the dust to make Dorito Corn Chex for a snack!

Since I had worked on this one for 5 hours, I was sick of the smell, site and taste of anything remotely related to the seasonings anymore so I washed off my orange cheese encrusted fingers, brushed my thankful tongue and teeth and packaged up the remaining seasonings with my food sealer.

NOTE:  I LOVE MY CHILI CHEESE VERSION - and was finally able to eat it again after 'over doing it' with recipe taste-testing chili cheese corn chips from 2 years ago.  JUST ADD MORE CHILI POWDER to the mix - taste test - and use on corn chips.

Print Friendly and PDF

October 27, 2015

Jalapeno and Cheddar Meatballs

A quick fly-by post of tonight's dinner... loosely based on my previous version here:  Jalapeno Popper Meatballs This one I just mixed everything together instead - including the bacon.  This made it a super duper quick dinner item.  I served with roasted broccoli and garlic but feel free to serve with mashed potatoes or even french fries if that is what your family loves.

Jalapeno & Cheddar Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 t fresh minced garlic
1/4 c wheat germ (or any filler you like to help bind it - almond flour, oatmeal, eat)
1 egg
salt and pepper
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
bacon - cooked and crumbled

In a mixing bowl combine everything and mix well.  Form small balls.  Place in lightly greased or sprayed pan or foil lined pan.   Bake at 425 until browned, and done in the center.  Mine took about 25-30 minutes.

Print Friendly and PDF

October 26, 2015

Low Carb, Sugar Free Pecan Cinnamon Rolls (from Dixie Carb Counters Pecan Sticky Buns Mix)

Over the years I've bought various products from Dixie Carb Counters and they've been hit or miss on whether or not we cared for them.  One of my purchases last year included a handful of their products I thought would be great to have on hand to 'throw together' when I didn't have the time or feel like making the effort to make something completely from scratch.  This included a 'crumb' mixture to use for pies or cheesecakes, a mix to use as a substitute for sweetened condensed milk, a thickener product, pecan sticky buns and a bunch of other items.

After I had two "eh" results with their crumb topping and another crumb product, as well as a "um, no" result from the so-called sweetened condensed milk substitute, I was burnt out on their products and didn't want to try anymore for awhile so this package of Pecan Sticky Buns sat on the shelf, ignored, for months and months and months.  And then, out of the blue a few weeks ago, I decided to make these for my husband for breakfast one weekend.  And?  They were awesome!
I bought my mix from a big order I placed with Netrition - I am not sure that Amazon has them but I will link to a bunch of their product options at that bottom of this post if you want to browse - they make everything from bread and pretzels to desserts, thickeners, baked desserts and more.

You get 10 cinnamon rolls from each package and each roll is 2 net carbs - if you are counting.  The little cinnamon goodies are a bit more crumbly than traditional wheat flour based rolls of course, and don't brown up or get that crust a regular bread product gets when baked.  But one or two of these with a cup of coffee on a chilly morning was perfect and perfectly delicious!  We had them Saturday and Sunday mornings and my husband grabbed the last 3 rolls to take with him for 'breakfast in the car' on his way to work that Monday morning.

This product got a big thumbs up from both of us - for flavor of course, but also from me because it's an easy to throw together package mix I just need some cream, water, an egg and a little butter to make.  Quick and easy.

 Dough rolled out and the yummy cinnamon filling spread evenly

All rolled up and ready to slice

 Ready to bake

 I did indeed get 10 rolls - just like the package states
 Baked and ready to add the pecan topping

 Hot and fresh from the oven

 See the cinnamon swirl of yumminess inside the roll.  Texture is more crumbly than a wheat based - but who cares?  Not us.  So good with coffee.

You might also be interested in some other Dixie Carb Counter Products I found through Amazon affiliate links;

Dixie Carb Counters Quick & Delicious Cinnamon Swirl Snackin' Cake
Dixie Carb Counters Cinnamon Streusel Muffin Mix
Dixie Carb Counters Blueberry Cream Muffin Mix
Dixie Carb Counters Pancake & Waffle Mix
Dixie Carb Counters Strawberry Cream Muffin Mix
Dixie Carb Counters Brownie Mix, Deluxe Double Fudge, 7.6 Oz.


Print Friendly and PDF

Repost: Halloween at Our House - with LINKS TO PURCHASE Skull Cake Pans, Bloody Cakes, Severed Fingers and more!

Our family room was decorated every year by my teenage son
This is a repost from 2014 - but has some great recipes and links in it for Halloween!

Although I never personally loved Halloween, when you have small children, decorating and celebrating just comes naturally.

By the time the kids were preschoolers we had cute little pumpkin window clings and little adorable witches and pumpkins hanging on the fridge.  Little bat cookies soon followed and with the next few years, as the kids got more vocal about decorations... it grew.

By the time my kids were 18, 17 and 13, our Halloween decorations had expanded to pretty much the entire main level of our home from the spiderweb encased front porch to the bloody background graveyard above  our fireplace mantel.  We had flying bats, electronic rats, flying ghosts and fake blood splattered walls with HELP ME written on them by some poor soul.  My son had a BLAST decorating.

We even covered our every day artwork with vampire and ghost inspired art as well as running a smoke and bubble machine!

Yes... our house became a Halloween house - complete with Halloween inspired FOOD.

However, my "Halloween Loving Child" is now a 22 year old guy living on his own about 1,000 miles away... my days of creepy Halloween decorating are over and I'm back to being able to decorate with a pretty little pumpkin, a harvest theme, or cornucopia.  No bloody finger cakes as I don't have a house full of teenagers to appreciate it.  Or eat it all!

Our annual Red Velvet Bloody Finger Cake

Previous Halloween Goodie Posts

Edible Worms
Bloody Red Velvet Finger Cake
Witches Fingers Cookies


However,  in keeping with the holiday spirit, I started to search for Halloween themed baking pans this morning on Amazon.

I had seen the coolest idea to use a skull cake pan to make not cake, but homemade pizza calzones.  The bread pressed into the pans with a red pizza sauce and pepperoni filling oozing from it's skull was brilliant!  And it got me thinking about how I wanted to buy a skull pan and ship it to my son... who loves to cook in his apartment and I knew would find skull pizzas an awesome fun idea.

Wilton Haunted Manors 6-Cavity Pan
Wilton Pumpkin Faces 6 Cavity Silicone Mold

Wilton Cake Pans: Halloween Singles Bat Ghost Pumpkin Mini Molds ~ Set of 3

Wilton Dimensions Nonstick 3D Skull Pan

Wilton 2105-8920 Web with Spider Cake Pan Set

Wilton 2105-0679 Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Fluted Cake Pan

Or cupcake liners!

Wilton Graves Baking Cups 75 Pack

Wilton Skull Petal Baking Cup 24 Ct

Print Friendly and PDF