crafting is sanity

DIY or die.

Spicy Garlic Chicken Drumsticks

Happy (belated) 4th of July everyone!! I went to a BBQ at my friend’s house on the 4th because everyone has a BBQ on Independence Day! I made two dishes but this was the first one – spicy garlic chicken drumsticks!

Oh they were sooo good!

Oh they were sooo good!

I was trying to follow Chungah’s recipe from Damn Delicious┬ábut ended up making some modifications – mainly, I used chicken drumsticks because I couldn’t find chicken wings at the store (I didn’t think to look in the frozen aisle lol)

Ingredients for the marinade

Ingredients for the marinade

Luckily, all I needed to buy was the honey! Combine them all together

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Then get your chicken prepared -

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I removed all that extra skin and fat before baking it. Arrange the cleaned drumsticks in a single layer in a 9×13 pan.

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I used 12 out of the 14 drumsticks because I didn’t want to overcrowd the pan, but I realized after the dish was done that I totally could’ve fit all 14 drumsticks in! Pour the marinade all over the chicken

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And bake! I set my timer for 25 minutes so I could flip the drumsticks over. This is what it looked like after 25 minutes:

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Turn the chicken over and bake for another 25 minutes. This is what it looks like after!

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The chicken definitely reduced in size, which is why I think I could’ve fit all 14 drumsticks in the pan! =/ I was supposed to broil the chicken for 3-4 minutes but for some reason, my oven won’t turn to broil. So I turned it up to 550 degrees and baked the chicken for 5 more minutes.

The result!

The result!

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It definitely didn’t get as sticky as it was supposed to, but the chicken was moist and flavorful and a big hit at the BBQ! I think the recipe calls for a little too much marinade, since the pan was half full of it (and spilled in my car while I was driving to the BBQ :( ) In hindsight, I should’ve poured the sauce into a container and scooped it over the chicken when I got to the BBQ hahah. I’m definitely going to try this recipe again with wings and see if I can replicate the original! Yum!

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

 

 

 

 

 

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DIY Tutus

Wow, it’s been nearly a month since my last post! I was really trying to stick to a two posts a month schedule, but I didn’t have any craft projects going on and it was too hot here in LA to bake! But I’m back and it’s finally summer! My friends and I did The Color Run 5K this past Saturday. It’s my 2nd time doing The Color Run and it’s seriously still super fun and dirty! This time around we decided to make tutus!

Supplies!

Supplies!

I went to Michael’s (the tulle rolls in the back) and Joann’s (the tulle rolls in the front) and the ribbon to gather enough tulle and color varieties for our team of 5 girls. The rolls were 15-20 yards each and $2.50-2.99 each. And we used it ALL! We actually ran out of ribbon and I had to delve into my ribbon supply – luckily I had enough!

The chaos

The chaos!

I got really caught up in making my tutu that I forgot to take step by step pictures! Basically you cut the tulle to the length you want it. We found it best to cut a bunch of tulle first before we started tying the pieces onto the ribbon.

The knots

The knots

I stacked one piece of pink tulle and a piece of yellow and tied them together onto the ribbon. Fold the tulle in half to make a loop, and then pull the ends through the loop, capturing the ribbon in the middle.

I decided to add green tulle in between the pink & yellow

I decided to add green tulle in between the pink & yellow

This tutu was made by my friend Norman who finished it first! He’s a natural tutu-maker! :D

The colors remind me of Tinkerbell!

The colors remind me of Tinkerbell!

I love my tutu!

I love my tutu!

Close up of the knots again

Close up of the knots again

And a bow on the back!

And a bow on the back!

Us at the finish line! And our now dirty tutus!

Us at the finish line! And our now dirty tutus!

We had sooo much fun making tutus and just hanging out and I think we were one of the few who actually made their tutus for the run! The majority of the tutus we saw were store-bought, so we definitely gave ourselves a high five! The Color Run is super fun and for a great cause! I highly recommend you participate in one if you can! :)

Project Breakdown:

Tulle & ribbons: Approximately $65

Race fee: $45 (may vary)

Not the most economical project, but each tutu ended up being around $12-15 and personalized! Fun, but I have no idea what to do with my now dirty tutu…

Happy crafting!

-Yenny

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Turkey & Spinach Tortilla Roll Ups

Happy end of May everyone! I went to a friend’s Memorial Day BBQ on Monday (yay for 3 day weekends!) and since it was potluck style, I decided to make something I’ve been seeing all over Pinterest – tortilla roll ups! I love tortillas and I liked the idea of making something bite sized and didn’t need to stay warm.

Just a few simple ingredients

Just a few simple ingredients

I went with whole wheat tortillas and lower sodium turkey breast to make them healthier than the original recipe called for. Be sure to get the chive and onion cream cheese!

Spread a thin, even layer of the cream cheese on the tortilla

Spread a thin, even layer of the cream cheese on the tortilla

Lay the spinach out

Lay the spinach out

Don’t place your filling all the way to the edges! I learned that when you roll them, everything starts shifting and I ended up having to trim the turkey breast in some places.

It's a little messy, but I wanted turkey in every bite

It’s a little messy, but I wanted turkey in every bite

Roll it up! Make sure to “seal” the edge with some cream cheese so the whole thing stays together.

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Repeat with all the tortillas. I kinda ran out of turkey breast, so I only ended up using 7 tortillas. Plastic wrap each roll and stick them in the fridge for about 30 minutes so the cream cheese can firm up again.

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Use a sharp knife, and don't saw!! Just press straight down and it should cut cleanly

Use a sharp knife, and don’t saw!! Just press straight down and it should cut cleanly

I had to put some more cream cheese on a few of the edges to seal them more securely. Also, the ends are too ugly/have no filling so I ate them and didn’t bring them to the party :)

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I stacked them into a tower!

I stacked them into a tower!

Tower!

Tower!

They were a big hit!

They were a big hit!

I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out! When I make them again, I’d buy more turkey breast and put a double layer of both the spinach and turkey to make fatter roll-ups. The chive and onion cream cheese really made a big difference!

 

Happy cooking and hello summer!

-Yenny

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DIY Seashell Summer Wreath

Hello all! I’m finally posting a craft-related project! This probably won’t last long as there are just more recipes that I want to try and share and I’ve kind of run out of projects to do or make for my apartment… But I will always be making wreaths for my front door! Summer is almost here and this coming week is another heat wave for us – temperatures reaching the mid-90s and up to 100s in the valley – yay! I love the heat :) I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for a summer wreath and finally decided on a seashell-beachy one.

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Ta-da~! What do you think? It’s a little messy and shipwreck-y but I kinda like it! I started with the usual supplies:

Wreath form, leftover burlap and seashells

Wreath form, leftover burlap and seashells

I’m using the same wreath form I always use and leftover burlap that I’ve used for my previous wreaths. I’m almost done with all the burlap too!

The shells are from Michaels

The shells are from Michaels

I cut three strips of burlap, approximately 3-4 inches wide and wrapped them around the wreath form. I used hot glue to keep everything in place. The most annoying part is that after three full strips of burlap, I was left with this gap:

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And I had to cut a small piece to cover it. Then I chose my shells. I knew I wanted to use the starfish and the large white clamshell looking one but wasn’t sure about the smaller shells.

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Some of the shells were a bit too difficult to glue to the wreath so I didn’t use those.

This was the arrangement I ended up with

This was the arrangement I ended up with

I also used some blue fabric I already had to hold up the wreath. I thought the wreath looked a little lonely so while I was at the 99cents store today I saw this!

How fortuitous!

How fortuitous!

However, this net is 5ft by 7ft which is wayyy too big for what I was thinking.

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So I opened it up and eyeballed how much I would need and just snipped that part off. Then I was super duper lazy and kind of just draped the netting onto my wreath until I liked it haha!

I like it!

I like it!

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Perfect for summertime!

Project Breakdown:

Wreath form, burlap, blue fabric, and hot glue gun – already owned

Seashells from Michaels – $2.61 (40% coupon off $3.99)

Netting – $1.00 from 99cents store

Total: approximately $4.00! Woohoo!

 

Happy crafting!

-Yenny

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Black Bean & Corn Enchiladas

Wow, April has passed by in a flash! I almost forgot that I had made a resolution to post twice a month :) So here’s another food-related post! I seem to be doing more and more of those lately – makes me wonder if I should’ve chosen a different blog name… Oh well!

If you’re like me, then you love Mexican food! It’s probably my second favortite type of cuisine (after Japanese) and I was really craving enchiladas the other day so I decided to make them!

Gather your ingredients

Gather your ingredients

I ended up filling my enchiladas with black beans and corn because 1) I forgot to defrost chicken and 2) even if I had defrosted chicken, I probably would’ve been too lazy to cook it :) Good thing I love vegetarian dishes!

Put your filling about 2/3 of the way on the tortilla

Put your filling about 2/3 of the way on the tortilla

Then roll it tightly and carefully, keeping the filling inside. Put them into a 9×13 baking dish, seam side down.

I fit six enchiladas into my pan

I fit six enchiladas into my pan

Pour the enchilada sauce carefully over the tortillas

Pour the enchilada sauce carefully over the tortillas

Sprinkle some cheese

Sprinkle some cheese

And then I added some corn for good measure

And then I added some corn and red pepper flakes for good measure

I ended up adding more sauce and cheese before I popped it into the oven.

Yummyyyyy

Yummyyyyy

So I made these to take to work for lunch the next day so I didn’t try them right out of the oven. Please excuse the paper plate I ate these on :P

So good!

So good!

The black beans, corn and cheese all melted together and created this super creamy and flavorful mixture! I forgot to say that I seasoned the black beans with garlic and chili powder to give it some heat. I also sprinkled a BUNCH of red chili flakes on top for even more heat before baking them. Delicious and leftovers for DAYS! Yum! But it will definitely be a while before I make these again – just too much food! :)

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

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Lasagna Cups

Happy April! It’s finally beginning to feel like spring here in LA! It was a nice 82 degrees today :) Last week, my friends and I had a potluck. It seems that we like to do that haha! I made lasagna cups this time – yet another recipe I found on Pinterest :)

Not the best picture but yum!

Not the best picture but yum!

So I was kind of in a rush to take pictures so please forgive me for some of the terrible angles. You’ll notice that my finished lasagna cups still have some of the powder on the wonton skins, which I realized I could’ve fixed but didn’t this time. I got the recipe from here and modified it a little. I always stray a little from recipes because I like to make it to my own tastes.

Let's start!

Let’s start!

I used 3/4 of the ground turkey and seasoned it the way I would for pasta – garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, a little salt and pepper. I cooked it with half of a white onion.

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I forgot to take a picture of the next steps but I dumped the whole can of crushed tomatoes into the ground turkey and onion mixture. The ricotta cheese, I also eyeballed an amount and mixed it with a little italian seasoning. I didn’t want to season it too much since I knew the ground turkey mixture would be more flavorful. Then comes assembly!

Spray your muffin tin thoroughly with cooking spray

Spray your muffin tin thoroughly with cooking spray

And put a wonton wrapper into each one. I did this super quickly (I was running late) and they probably could have been neater and more evenly squished into the cup.

Layer some ricotta on the bottom and spoon the ground turkey mixture on top

Layer some ricotta on the bottom and spoon the ground turkey mixture on top

Then sprinkle a little mozzarella cheese and put another wonton skin on top. Repeat the ricotta layer and ground turkey mix layer. Finish with more mozzarella.

Yum!

Yum!

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This is where I would have: 1) brushed some of the powder off OR 2) wet the exposed corners with a little water OR 3) done an egg wash on the edges. I put them into the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until I saw the edges of the wontons crisp up and the cheese fully melted.

Soo yummy!

Soo yummy!

They were still yummy with the extra powder (I mean, its just flour) but not as pretty!

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They were a hit at the potluck so I’m happy! I will definitely make them again because they are SO much faster and easier than making actual lasagna! But I would definitely do something about that flour residue. And maybe make sure I’m not running late so they turn out prettier hahaha :)

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

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I baked a cheesecake!

My friend (and neighbor) Alex turns 24 today! Wow, he is SUCH a youngin’! I like to think of him as the little brother I never had – which means I like to boss him around and needle him and be kinda mean to him :P Like any big sister would! Anyway, he’s young and has the metabolism of the Energizer bunny (super unfair!). He asked me to bake him a cheesecake for his birthday and I did!

Definitely not as pretty as I had hoped =/

Definitely not as pretty as I had hoped =/

It was my first time baking a cheesecake and it’s definitely a time intensive thing to make! I followed this recipe with a few modifications.

Ingredients!

Ingredients!

I can’t drink milk so I always have soy milk in my fridge – I subbed soy milk for the milk and used more graham crackers than what the recipe called for. So my friends and I did a white elephant gift exchange over Christmas last year and I got this handy dandy blender! (Similar to the size of the Magic Bullet but not upside down) I decided to try and see if I could make graham cracker crumbs with it!

I think I started with 4 broken up crackers

I think I started with 4 broken up crackers

Pulse pulse pulse!

Pulse pulse pulse!

Pretty successful!

Pretty successful!

I had to pick out a few chunks that didn’t get blended but overall it was MUCH faster and easier than my old method of crushing the crackers in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin hahah :) So I had to do the whole blender thing maybe 4 more times to get this:

Super fine!

Super fine!

NOTE: You can also buy pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs at the store but what do you do with the rest of the box?? I like buying whole crackers and crushing them myself because I can eat the rest of the un-used crackers! I am definitely NOT going to eat the rest of a box of graham cracker crumbs. Unless I was really really starving :P

I used roughly 20 graham crackers and 9 tablespoons of melted butter to make the crust

I used roughly 20 graham crackers and 9 tablespoons of melted butter to make the crust

It was probably more butter than I needed but I really wanted to make sure the crust stayed put and held together!

Now time for the cheesecake filling. It is REALLY important to let all the non-dry ingredients reach room temperature before you start baking!! I let everything sit out for 2 hours before I started (you can see from the time on my microwave between the ingredient picture and the graham cracker picture). It is much much easier to cream the ingredients together when they’re at room temperature!

This was just the cream cheese and sugar creamed together

This was just the cream cheese and sugar creamed together

Yummmm

Yummmm

Once you add the eggs, vanilla, milk and flour it gets much more liquid.

Ready!

Ready!

Carefully pour the cheesecake batter onto your crust. I actually spooned it at first to make sure my crust stayed in the pan :)

Carefully pour the cheesecake batter onto your crust. I actually spooned it in at first to make sure my crust stayed in the pan :)

To prepare the cheesecake for its water bath, I wrapped the bottom in foil like so:

IMG_0837Then put the springform pan into the empty roasting pan and slide it into the oven. THEN pour water into the roasting pan. It’s hard to see in my picture, but I filled the water level until it was about halfway.

I just used cold water from the tap, not boiling water like the instructions say

I just used cold water from the tap, not boiling water like the instructions say

I baked it for a total of 1 hour and 16 minutes, which was definitely a little too long! I checked it at one hour and it was still very very liquid. So I added 8 minutes, checked again and added 8 more minutes. I probably should have stopped after 1 hour and 8 minutes. To prevent cracking, I left the cheesecake IN the oven for 2 hours until the oven was cool . I finished baking at 9:30PM and took the cheesecake out around 11:30PM. The top was definitely a little brown :(

This is how it looked after about 18 hours in the fridge:

Not terrible but not very pretty either!

Not terrible but not very pretty either!

Too brown on that edge!

Too brown on that edge!

Crust was a little messy with I took off the ring

Crust was a little messy when I took off the ring

But the birthday boy seemed to enjoy it! He ate a huuuge slice after I gave it to him :)

Happy Birthday Alex!

The birthday boy!

The birthday boy!

Happy baking!

-Yenny

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DIY Spring Yarn Wreath

Happy (almost) spring!

I’ve been lagging on making a new spring wreath for my door – after I took down my Christmas wreath, I just hung my old jingle wreath as a placeholder. But I finally got my butt in gear and made a new wreath!

 

My fave color! :)

My fave color! :)

I once again used my straw wreath form that I’ve used countless times (as you can tell from the Sharpie marks) and some leftover yellow yarn I found while cleaning out my room at my parents’ house.

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Hot glue the end of the yarn and start wrapping! I had forgotten HOW LONG wrapping a wreath form in yarn takes!! I think it took me about 1.5 hours over 2 days. I wanted to make sure I covered the black markers completely since I was using such a light colored yarn.

All wrapped!

All wrapped!

Then I gathered some leftover burlap and yellow fabric from my burlap & flower wreath. I really liked how the burlap flowers turned out from here but when I actually tried to make them, I wasn’t very successful =/ I don’t know what went wrong! But maybe my burlap knit was too loose… So I just made up some flowers of my own!

I tried to make different sizes

I tried to make different sizes

It started out with the same method as the original link, but I just twisted and hot glued whenever I felt it looked pretty. I think the yellow ones are a little flat but they were a lot easier to work with than the burlap! Burlap sheds EVERYWHERE.

I hot glued them on in a pattern I liked

I hot glued them on in a pattern I liked

And used the same yellow fabric to hang it up!

I added the bow after because I thought it needed a little more cuteness

I added the bow after because I thought it needed a little more cuteness

Snip snip!

So cute!

So cute!

I took these pictures at night when I finished and hung the wreath. I literally take my floor lamp outside and take pictures :D But I like the warm tones!

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Then I took some more pictures in the daylight:

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I love it!

Best thing about this was that it was all free! I already had the wreath form, yarn, burlap, yellow fabric and hot glue gun! If you didn’t have the supplies, it would probably cost you about $7-10. Still cheap and fun!

Happy crafting!

-Yenny

 

 

 

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Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Happy February!

Continuing my posts about the dishes I made for my holiday potluck! Today is the third and final thing I made! And I totally cheated for this one :) My friend Wandy had brought Pao de Queijo for another potluck I had been to and it was so deliciously yummy and easy when I found out that she had used a mix, I was sold!

This is the mix I found at the Brazilian grocery store

This is the mix I found at the Brazilian grocery store

Luckily in my neighborhood, there’s a Brazilian grocery store that has the mix. Unfortunately the directions were in Portuguese:

My Spanish knowledge wasn't super helpful here

My Spanish knowledge wasn’t super helpful here :(

Google translate to the rescue!

Not 100% exact, but good enough for me to follow!

Not 100% exact, but good enough for me to follow!

Here are the instructions:

1. Pour contents of bag into a medium bowl and add 1/2 cup of cold water and 2 medium eggs.

2. Mix well until all liquid is absorbed. Knead dough for about 3 minutes, or until smooth and incorporated.

3. Pinch and roll into balls (I did about 1.25 inch diameter) and place onto baking sheet. Make sure to leave room in between.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 40 minutes or until they are golden.

Step 1 - pour the mix into a bowl

Step 1 – pour the mix into a bowl

 

Step 2 - add eggs and water

Step 2 – add eggs and water

 

Step 3 - mix!

Step 3 – mix!

 

Ready to go into the oven!

Ready to go into the oven!

I don’t remember exactly how long I baked them, but it wasn’t for the whole 40 minutes as suggested in the instructions. I checked on them after about 30 minutes and they were ready!

So fluffy n the inside with a great crunch on the outside!

So fluffy and chewy on the inside with a great crunch on the outside!

Yum yum!

Yum yum!

I wish I had taken a picture of the inside so you could’ve seen the chewiness/fluffiness! Oh well, maybe next time! I’ve seen many recipes on Pinterest for Pao de Queijo made from scratch but I don’t think I want to spend that much time to make it when the mix is so simple and tastes great to me!

Thank you Wandy for introducing me to Pao de Queijo mix and for always reading my blog! :)

 

-Yenny

 

 

 

 

 

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Hawaiian Roll Sliders

Happy (super belated) New Year!! Wow, my first post of 2014! I meant to post way closer to the beginning of January, but oh well, here we are!

As you may remember from my chocolate tart post, I made 3 dishes for a holiday potluck with my friends. This is the 2nd dish I made – Hawaiian Roll Sliders!

Unbaked!

Unbaked!

Ok so I have no good pictures of the finished product because we were too busy eating it so please bear with my less than awesome pictures :P. I got the recipe from Pinterest, of course and thought it would be super fun and easy to make for the potluck! I did make some changes, some worked and some did not. I omitted the poppy seeds and the Worcestershire sauce, mainly because I didn’t want to buy them lol

Gather your ingredients

Gather your ingredients – Hawaiian rolls, onion powder, dijon mustard, butter, ham, and swiss cheese

The Hawaiian rolls came in a pack of 12, but that didn’t fit into my pan, so I only used 9 rolls. I sliced them in half horizontally like so

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Then I made a mixture of dijon mustard, onion powder, butter and a little soy sauce (in place of the Worcestershire sauce). Smear it on-

I really got it into the nooks and crannies of the bread

I really got it into the nooks and crannies of the bread

Then start layering the ham and swiss:

First layer of ham

First layer of ham

Ok so I went a LITTLE overboard with the cheese because I didn't want to have any leftovers (BAD IDEA)

Ok so I went a LITTLE overboard with the cheese because I didn’t want to have any leftovers (BAD IDEA)

I layered more ham on top and for my second layer of cheese, I went a little lighter

This is what I should've done for the first layer as well lol

This is what I should’ve done for the first layer as well lol

I smeared more of the mustard onion mixture onto the tops of the rolls

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I made these the night before! Covered the pan with foil and brought them to the potluck to be served there. I think the mustard-onion mix had a chance to really soak in overnight.

After baking!

After baking!

I threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and I left it covered. That was enough to get the cheese melty, but it wasn’t really hot enough all the way through. Then use a good knife and slice along the bread separations to eat!

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You see how there’s SO MUCH CHEESE in the middle?? That’s where I made my mistake! Definitely should’ve went lighter on the cheese (and ham too) I didn’t want ham leftover either so I used the whole pack :P Again, BAD IDEA lol. The sliders were good, but on the saltier side! I also didn’t drizzle anything over the sliders. The mustard-onion mixture was great though!

If I make these again, and I probably will – I would use less cheese and less ham and bake it for a longer amount of time. So basically, I would suck it up and have leftovers and not be so impatient and hungry to eat :)

If you decide to make these, I hope my mistakes help you!

Happy cooking!

-Yenny

 

 

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