Easy Empanadas with Jalapeño Dip

There is a Cuban restaurant around the corner that makes super simple delicious empanadas. Beef or chicken, crunchy with an amazing dip.

I do not know anything about an authentic empanada, but I do know what would go well with a similar dip.

My version has roasted onion, potatoes, butternut squash, ground beef, and mozzarella. I used frozen empanada dough from my local grocery store. These seem to be pretty accessible. I found them at Walmart, Kroger, and Publix.

Best part is how easy it is to make these! I froze the filling and was able to make them in minutes.


For the empanada

Ground beef cooked and drained

2 cups of butternut squash and gold potatoes cubed

1 small yellow onion chopped

Mozzarella cheese (I like fresh grated for extra melt)

Empanada dough ( I’ve found this in the frozen section at Walmart, Kroger, and Publix)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt and pepper

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic

For the dip

1 cup sour cream

1 small ripe avocado

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 fresh jalapeño seeds removed

Juice from 1 lime


Let your empanada dough defrost.

Roast your squash, potatoes and onion until fork tender.

Add to your beef.

Season and mix.

Take a dough circle and fill it with the beef fixture leaving room to fold over.

Top with cheese.

Fold the circle in half.

I dip a fork into water and push the ends together. Just make sure it is nice and sealed.

You can bake or air fry at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (or until golden)

You can also deep fry at 350 degrees for 1-2 minutes per side.

For the dip

I dump everything into my blender and blend until creamy. Season with salt and pepper. This keeps fresh for up to 5 days in a sealed refrigerated container.

You can also freeze the empanadas. They reheat beautifully! I hope you try these out. Definitely experiment with your fillings! I want to try a breakfast version soon!

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Low Carb Pesto Chicken Quesadilla

Sometimes I just really crave pasta. Something about a big bowl of noodles with garlic bread is so comforting after a long day. Pesto specifically has been on my mind.

Since I’ve been eating low carb low sugar I typically only have pasta once a month if that. I had to find an alternative that wouldn’t be so heavy! Sprouts came to my rescue once again!

You can get these ingredients at any grocery store or even make them from scratch, but if you have a sprouts close to you definitely check these out!

I really like the tortilla factory low carb tortillas. They crisp up similar to a corn tortilla and only have 3 net carbs.

I bought the sprouts house made pesto which is extra heavy on the garlic. It is very similar to how I make mine. Mostly herbs and garlic!

I almost used mozzarella cheese, but then decided on Monterey Jack. If you can find cheese without rbgh hormones added that is what I like to use. It melts way faster and is a lot better for you.

For the chicken I just used rotisserie chicken from the deli- skin removed. I like to keep this on hand for salads during the week!

Then a little red sauce for dipping!


Rotisserie chicken shredded

2 tbsp of pesto

1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Low carb tortillas

1 tsp of butter


Heat a non stick skillet to medium

Add the butter

Coat the pan

Add your tortilla and spread with pesto

Top with 1/4 cup of chicken and 1/4 cup of cheese per tortilla

Let the cheese start to melt

Fold in half and flip

Serve with your favorite sauce!


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Crispy Salmon BLT

Our wedding is only a month away! I cannot believe how quickly everything has come together. We have been working on the finishing touches and the weather has not cooperated with my projects. It has been non stop rain. I’m hoping this means it will be nice and dry by the time the wedding day is here.

These Salmon BLTs are perfect for adding a little freshness during this dreary weather. Lemon aioli, spicy pepper bacon, juicy tomato, and fresh cut lettuce all do their part to liven up my favorite salmon.

You can use Texas toast or a lettuce wrap for these. We like the Publix onion rolls. They soak up all the aioli in the best way.


Green leafy lettuce


Thick cut bacon (we like pepper crusted bacon)

1/4 cup of mayonnaise

Juice from 1 lettuce

Tsp black pepper

1 small white onion sliced


Fresh salmon filets

2 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil

Steak seasoning or a blend of garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper

1/2 tsp dill


Rub the filets with oil and season liberally

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Fry each side in a cast iron skillet

Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through

Fry a few pieces of bacon and use the excess fat to sauté the sliced onion

Mix mayo, lemon and pepper

Slather on both pieces of bread

Add tomato slices and lettuce

Add the salmon

Top with the onions and bacon

Now there is nothing left, but to enjoy multiple times a week!

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Pimento Cheese Burgers

pimento cheese burger

We are finally moved in to our new house! Well technically we moved in 3 weeks ago, but I finally had a chance to move all my photography props and lights into our make shift studio. The natural lighting here is so amazing and I am excited to start working on recipes. We have so much more room here. At our last place (while we loved it) everything just felt so cramped and there was not much kitchen space. I am just so inspired here in the new space! Now lets talk about these pimento cheese burgers!

pimento cheese burger

These burgers are the first recipe I photographed here! Perfectly soft onion rolls with a medium rare steak burger topped with melted cheddar and pimento cheese. The perfect side for me were these garlic sweet potato fries! We served ours with lots of dill pickles, fresh tomatoes, lettuce and crispy bacon.

pimento cheese burger

After uploading these pictures I am absolutely craving another bite. We just bought a hot sauce called “the sauce”. It is so peppery and tart! I would love to tell you we did not go through a whole bottle in 2 weeks, but… we did. I highly recommend a side of hot sauce for these garlic fries.

Pimento Cheese Burgers
Recipe Type: Burger
Author: Kellie Rice
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 big burgers
Pimento cheese burgers topped with lots of fresh ingredients!
  • Soft onion rolls
  • preformed burger patties (I prefer steak burgers)
  • sliced cheddar
  • 1/2 cup of pimento cheese
  • 8 pieces of thick cut bacon
  • sliced tomato
  • lettuce
  • dill pickle chips
  • mayonnaise
  • 2 sweet potatoes sliced into wedges
  • 2 tbsp of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of canola oil
  1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. place bacon on a cooking sheet and bake until crisp (about 10 minutes)
  3. let drain on some papertowel
  4. Lay the potatoes on another baking sheet and drizzle a little cooking oil on them
  5. season liberally with salt and pepper then sprinkle the garlic powder
  6. cook for 15 minutes then flip
  7. then finish for another 15 minutes
  8. heat a saute pan over medium high and add the oil
  9. salt and pepper the burger patties and place them in the pan once hot
  10. I like to cook my burgers for 3 minutes then flip, cook to an internal temp of 135 then let rest
  11. top with cheddar slices
  12. to build your burger put a little mayo and dill pickles on the bottom of the bun
  13. top with the burger
  14. top with pimento cheese and bacon
  15. add lettuce and tomato
  16. serve with fries

pimento cheese burger


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Steak Egg And Cheese Biscuits

steak egg and cheese biscuits

Biscuits scream brunch to me. Especially when they are warm and fluffy. These steak egg and cheese biscuits are so moist I recommend eating them with a fork!

steak egg and cheese biscuits

On Saturday nights I work late so we typically eat something quick and easy. Last night we grilled some onions, colorful peppers and carne asada for fast fajitas. They were delicious and I made sure to save a little for today’s brunch.

steak egg and cheese biscuits

While we were in Savannah we went to our favorite breakfast stop, Clary’s Cafe, a few times. They have these giant pillow-like biscuits that honestly do not even need a filling. Pretty much anything you order at Clary’s is going to be delicious. Everything is made fresh with local ingredients. I wanted these biscuits to me made with ingredients that everyone probably already has at home.

steak egg and cheese biscuits

I rarely make biscuits without buttermilk, but I really wanted to only use what I had on hand. 2% milk worked perfectly in this recipe. I wanted to get as much texture and flavor as I could by using only a handful of ingredients. I used just a little bit of garlic powder to compliment the steak. I added hashbrowns last minute to have another layer of texture.

steak egg and cheese biscuits

Steak Egg And Cheese Biscuits
Recipe Type: Brunch
Author: Kellie Rice
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
Fluffy biscuits filled with eggs, cheese, carne asada, and hashbrowns
  • 1 1/2 cups of AP flour
  • 1 cup of bread flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 1/2 tsps of baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of margarine
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 2 cups of hashbrowns cooked per package instructions
  • 2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces of thinly sliced steak or carne asada cooked through
  • 2 eggs scrambled with salt and pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Make sure the margarine is ice cold
  3. In a large bowl mix the flours, baking powder, salt, and garlic
  4. Chop the butter in small pieces and use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix into the dry ingredients
  5. One you combined the butter and it resembles small crumbles add in the milk
  6. Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 10 minutes
  7. Roll or pat out on a floured surfaced to about 1 1/2 inches thick
  8. Press down with a biscuit cutter careful not to twist
  9. Bake in a greased pan for 15 minutes or until golden
  10. Slice and fill with the steak, cheese, hashbrowns, and egg

steak egg and cheese biscuits

Definitely give these biscuits a try. This is one of the most forgiving recipes I’ve ever made. The thicker the biscuit the better the result in my opinion! Enjoy! Don’t forget to #kelliericecakes if you try the recipe!

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Farmer’s Market Steak Sandwiches

steak sandwich

Sometimes the Farmer’s Market is all the inspiration I need to make something truly great. We were passing the fresh baked baskets and it was all I could do not to take a huge bite out of the various ciabatta rolls. They smelled so insanely good. Right away I knew I needed them to make these steak sandwiches.

steak sandwich

We picked up the everything, asiago, and onion flavors. That bag sat in our shopping basket taunting is with perfect baked bread smell packed full of different cheese and spices.

steak sandwich

Next was the steak. I used sirloin that had been marinated in garlic, soy sauce, and spices for 24 hours. We grabbed some smokey provolone cheese and spicy pickles. On the way home Patrick also bought a jar of fresh pepper jelly – one of our favorite condiments!

steak sandwich

Fast forward to the caramelized onions, horseradish mayo and fresh veggies. Now we have the perfect sandwich! My favorite part is just how fresh each bite is!

steak sandwich

Steak Sandwich
Author: Kellie Rice
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Super fresh veggies, marinated steak and caramelized onions stuffed in a fresh ciabatta roll.
  • sirloin steak
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of garlic
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • sliced smoked provolone
  • fresh tomato
  • shredded lettuce
  • caramelized onions
  • thick sliced pickles
  • ciabatta rolls
  • 2 tbsp of mayo
  • 1 tbsp of prepared horseradish
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of pepper jelly
  1. The night before marinate the steak with the soy sauce, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper
  2. In a hot skillet cook the marinated steak for about 3 minutes each side for medium rare (depending on how thick your sirloin cut is)
  3. Toast the ciabatta rolls
  4. Mix the mayo and horseradish
  5. Spread the pepper jelly on one side of the roll
  6. The horseradish mayo on the other
  7. Top with cheese and pickles
  8. Slice the steak and layer on top the cheese
  9. Finish with caramelized onions, tomato, and lettuce
  10. Enjoy!

steak sandwich

The only thing that could make these sandwiches even more perfect would be a perfectly fried egg! I hope you enjoy these steak sandwiches as much as I did!

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Harissa Chicken Sandwiches

harissa chicken sandwiches

harissa chicken sandwich

You may have noticed the trend in fried chicken on my blog. For some reason I always try and find the next bigger better fried chicken. (fun fact I also do this with chocolate chip cookies) This sandwich might be the one though. So much flavor and easy to adjust to your personal heat levels. The harissa spices bring a really nice warmth to the breading without being to spicy or salty.  I picked up my harissa seasoning from World Market. I prefer the dry mix because you can add olive oil to the spices to make a paste or leave it dry.

harissa chicken

The secret to exceptionally juicy fried chicken is using chicken thighs. I like to soak them in buttermilk before dipping them into the egg batter. They are almost melt in your mouth tender with a perfect crunchy crust. The real star of the show is the honey harissa mayo spread. It brings a really nice sweet heat that pairs well with some tangy dill pickles.

harissa chicken

Harissa Chicken Sandwiches
Recipe Type: Sanwiches
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Fried chicken sandwiches with a harissa crust and sweet harissa mayo.
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of milk or buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of AP flour
  • 1 cup of panko crumbs
  • 2 tbsp of harissa spice
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • potato buns
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • dill pickles
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of harissa spice
  • oil for frying
  1. soak the chicken thighs in the milk while preparing the oil
  2. In a deep frying pan heat oil to 350 degrees. (I used canola oil)
  3. Prepare two bowls- one with the eggs beaten and the second with the flour, panko, garlic and harissa
  4. Dip the chicken into the egg then into the flour mix
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Fry in the oil until up to temperature. I usually cook to 160 degrees then let rest until 165
  7. While the chicken is resting mix the mayo, remaining harissa spice and honey.
  8. Toast the buns lightly and spread with the mayo.
  9. Add the pickles and chicken then top with lettuce and tomato.

You can definitely add more or less of the harissa before frying. I usually love my food extra spicy, but these are just perfect with a tiny pinch of heat. Don’t forget the potato buns! They are so soft and just soak up all the juices from the chicken.

I hope you enjoy!

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Nacho Cheese Burgers

nacho cheese burger

I have been craving a plate of nachos lately. Unfortunately, Patrick is not a big fan of tortilla chips so I am always trying to come up with a new spin on nachos. Homemade nacho cheese is what makes this fantastic burger. Fresh garlic and jalapenos sauteed before adding in sharp cheddar and monteray jack.

nacho burger

The hardest part about making burgers on the stove top is not drying them out. To be honest I am usually so focused on flavor I forget about the cook time on the burgers. When I told Patrick what I was making he actually cringed a little clearly remembering my well done burgers from last time. Oops! This time I am focused! These came out a perfect medium rare which is so important since we are using a very lean cut of meat.

nacho burger

I used a blend of my favorite spices: smoked paprika, fresh cracked sea salt, white pepper, garlic and onion. Yes I definitely satisfied my nacho craving with these! Feel free to reduce the recipe. We ended up sharing one burger since they were so massive.

Nacho Cheese Burgers
Recipe Type: Burger, Dinner
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
Thin sirloin patties topped with home made nacho cheese.
  • For the burger:
  • 1 pound of ground sirloin
  • 1 tbsp cracked sea salt
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 buns (or 4 if you want singles)
  • For the cheese sauce:
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese – cheddar and monteray jack
  • 1 tbsp of corn starch
  • 1 tbsp of fresh garlic
  • 1 chopped jalapeno seeds and veins removed
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • Burger toppings:
  • Bacon
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Ketchup
  • Mayo
  • Whatever you decide
  1. In a large mixing bowl mix together the sirloin, spices, and egg.
  2. Form into thin uniform sized patties.
  3. Preheat a skillet to medium heat.
  4. Add the olive oil.
  5. Cook the patties for about 3-5 minutes on each side depending on your temp preference.
  6. For the cheese:
  7. In a small sauce pan heat the butter.
  8. Add the garlic and jalapenos.
  9. In a bowl combined the cheese, spices and cornstarch.
  10. Add to the sauce pan.
  11. Make sure the heat is medium low.
  12. Add in the milk 1/4 a cup at a time.
  13. Whisk constantly.
  14. Sauce should be smooth.
  15. In a frying pan fry 1/4 a pound of bacon.
  16. Let drain.
  17. Warm your buns and top with your favorite toppings!

So next time you are craving some nachos, but do not want to use tortilla chips try out my burger recipe!

I promise it is so worth it.

I added lots of hot sauce.

It was delicious!

If you try this recipe don’t forget to tag me! #kelliericecakes

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Po Boys with Yum Yum Sauce

chicken po boys

I know I know. Another FRIED CHICKEN RECIPE!? I promise this is different. You can swap the chicken out for white fish or shrimp, but we just happened to have chicken on hand. Did I mention that once a month I load up on every cut of chicken and beef I can find and freeze them all? It makes it easy to come up with different ways to cook when I have options. I usually buy my produce every few days and fish once a week, but the rest I buy in bulk for the freezer.

When I left for work I thought I was going to be making chicken pasta so I sat some chicken out to defrost. By the time I got home I was craaaaaving a po boy. We love ordering from Red Crawfish. They make these enormous po boys filled with fresh fish, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of yum yum sauce. I still had a bag of spicy fish fry left so I cut the chicken into strips and dipped them into a mix of flour and fish fry.

chicken po boys

I want to start making my sub rolls from scratch, but until then I will continue to buy from the Kroger bakery. These rolls are just under 6 inches and have a beautiful crust with soft pillow-y interiors. They are perfect for these po boy sandwiches. I hollowed out the inside so I could pack in the filling without too much bread in the way.

chicken po boy

Classic Po Boys with Yum Yum Sauce
Recipe Type: Sandwich
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Chicken dipped in fish fry then layered with sauteed onions, cheese, and yum yum sauce.
  • For The Sandwiches:
  • 2 Sub Rolls
  • 1 pound of chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1 cup of AP flour
  • 1 cup of spicy fish fry
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 small onion sliced thin
  • 1 cup of chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 a cup of cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • For the Yum Yum:
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of mayo
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp of water or milk
  • pepper to taste
  1. In a deep sauce pan add oil ( enough to at least be 1/2 inch high)
  2. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  3. In 1 bowl whisk the egg, in another bowl mix the flour and fish fry
  4. Dip the chicken into the egg then into the flour mixture.
  5. Fry until golden brown on each side. Internal temp should be around 160-165 and no longer pink in the middle.
  6. Slice chicken for easier eating.
  7. In a small sauce pan fry the onion slices with a drizzle of oil.
  8. To assemble the sandwich hollow out the sub rolls and slather the top with mayo.
  9. Line the bottom with the cheese then the chicken.
  10. Top with onions and lettuce.
  11. For the Yum Yum:
  12. Mix together the mayo, garlic, tomato paste, paprika and sugar.
  13. Add the water or milk to desired consistency.
  14. Pepper to taste.
  15. Drizzle a little yum yum sauce (and hot sauce if you want!)

chicken po boys

If I can’t make it to my favorite restaurant for some yummy po boys this is definitely the next best thing. Not to mention they are SO easy and quick for a week night dinner!

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Egg Sandwiches Smashed Full of Kettle Chips

egg sandwich

These egg sandwiches came into my life after I tried one of these voodoo kettle chips. Seriously, I went into the kitchen and started making myself some toast. Dave’s killer toast is my new favorite. It is packed full of grains and seeds, lower in carbs, and only 70 calories. Anyways, while I was waiting on the toaster I thought I would try just one of these voodoo kettle chips. I did not expected to fall in love immediately. I am not even much of a chip person! These chips are crunchy and packed with cajun bbq flavor! Since it would be silly to eat chips with my toast, I started pulling everything out of the fridge to find a reason to eat them.

egg sandwich

I started with my toast then added a scrambled egg, pastrami, and colby jack cheese. Then I added my favorite deli mustard and zesty dill pickles. Originally I was just going to eat the chips on the side, but then I decided just to top my sandwich with them. SUCH. A. GOOD. IDEA. I’m a sucker for anything with a crunch and this was such a satisfying topper to the sandwich.

Egg Sandwiches Smashed Full of Kettle Chips
Recipe Type: Sandwich
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Zesty egg sandwich packed with traditional lunch goodies then topped with kettle chips!
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread (or your favorite)
  • Spicy deli mustard
  • 2 slices of pastrami (or your favorite lunch meat)
  • 1 slice of colby jack cheese
  • 2 slices of zesty dill pickles
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small tomato
  • a handful of kettle chips
  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Heat a sauce pan over medium low heat.
  3. Add cooking spray or oil.
  4. Cook the egg into a slow scramble.
  5. Season with salt and pepper if you choose.
  6. Slather the toasted bread with the deli mustard.
  7. Add the egg, meat, cheese, pickles, and tomato.
  8. Top with chips then smash down top slice of bread for optimum bite!

egg sandwich

I know this seems like an embarrassingly simple recipe. Well, it is. But it is THAT good! When I was in elementary school my dad used to make me ham, cheese, hot sauce, and Doritos sandwiches. I blame him for this elevated version.  Usually when I make myself weird meals I don’t share them with the world, but in this case I’m pretty sure everyone needs to start smashing some kettle chips on their breakfast sandwich!

egg sandwich

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