Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets Stuffed with Beer Cheese

It was almost exactly three years ago that I was spending my Winter Break at Rutgers, hanging out with whichever of my sorority sisters were still around, wasting countless hours at James’ fraternity house, and singing and dancing to Christmas songs with all of our friends who decided to stay in New Brunswick.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets Stuffed with Beer Cheese.  These make the perfect Super Bowl appetizer or party treat.  Grown-up chicken nuggets that make your taste buds smile. | hostthetoast.com

James and I weren’t dating yet.  In fact, I don’t think I even really realized that I had an actual crush on him at this point.  That, or I was avoiding admitting it because I had gotten out of a rocky relationship a couple of months prior and was still very, very firmly in the “I just want to be single and not deal with anyone’s crap” stage.

Regardless, I subconsciously started coming up with friendly excuses to hang out with James more, like making dinner for him and his fraternity brothers who I was good friends with as well.  After all, what college student would turn down a free meal?  I had mastered the art of boiling water and could make some passable pasta dishes, but after a few days of spaghetti I decided I should probably learn some more recipes if I was going to pretend to know how to cook.

Despite serious Google research into any meal I attempted to make, most of the time it didn’t work out well.  But sometimes– sometimes– I wound up surprising myself and nailing the recipe, like when James suggested I make Pretzel-Crusted Chicken.

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Cucumber-Wrapped, Feta-Stuffed Meatballs

Please do not ask me to detail what I have eaten in the past couple of weeks.  The holidays have turned me into a walking garbage disposal for all things fried, fatty, or fudgy, and just trying to remember exactly what that entails gives me a bit of a stomach ache.  I’m not saying that I regret it, but I’d rather just pretend it didn’t happen… maybe we’re on the same page here.

Cucumber Wrapped, Feta Stuffed Meatballs.  These Mediterranean-inspired meatballs are a HIT as an appetizer, and they're healthier than the usual options!  Served with hummus or tzatziki, they are perfect for parties!

One thing I definitely realized this year is that there are very few options for tasty and not-so-sinful appetizers out there.  (Or at least not that my friends and family members seem to be aware of.)

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5 Ingredient Breaded Lemon Chicken

I hope that you’re enjoying all of these simple recipes while you wind down from the holiday hoopla!  I’m starting to think that 5 Ingredient Recipes need to become regulars around here.  The only thing better than amazing food is amazing food that is cheap and easy to make, after all.

5 Ingredient Breaded Lemon Chicken.  This citrusy, bright chicken takes just minutes to make and only a handful of ingredients.  You're going to love it for busy workweek dinners! | hostthetoast.com

This recipe is actually my mom’s– a recipe my family has been devouring for about 2 decades, and one that my cousins, aunts, and friends have begged for.  With just 5 simple ingredients, this Breaded Lemon Chicken comes together to be crisp, tender, and bright.  Thank you, Mom, for finally relenting and letting me share this with the world.

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5 Ingredient Sweet & Saltine Peanut Butter Brittle

You may know “Sweet & Saltine Brittle” more fondly as “Christmas Crack,” aptly named due to its cracker base and tendency to be scarily addictive.  Very clever.

5 Ingredient Sweet & Saltine Peanut Butter Brittle.  Also known as "Christmas Crack", this stuff is super addictive, and just as easy to make!   It also makes fantastic and inexpensive last-minute gifts! | hostthetoast.com

If you’ve had the brittle before, you know exactly why I couldn’t help but make my own version to share with everyone.  (Hint: it’s because I wanted to eat a whole sheet of it to myself.)  If you haven’t had the brittle before, you’re in for a treat.  Several of them, really, because like I said before, this stuff is addictive.

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5 Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Christmas is this week, which means I’ve officially entered panic mode.  As an avid procrastinator, I just ordered most of my friends’ and family members’ presents online (thanking my lucky stars for Amazon Prime), and I have to go shopping tonight for the remainder.  I still have more cookies to bake, all of my wrapping to do, and most importantly, all of my Christmas Eve treats to prepare!

5 Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge.  Quick, easy and inexpensive to make for Christmas gifts, and tastes like a peppermint patty (but better). | hostthetoast.com

This year, to cut down on Yuletide time-crunch and Christmas cash shortage, I decided to come up with a recipe that only requires a handful of inexpensive ingredients and 15 minutes of work.  5 Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge was the result, and let me tell you, it is way better than most expensive fudges I’ve eaten!

Not to mention, it’s pretty.  Very pretty.  Just look at that red and white peppermint swirl!

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