BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

Posts by BHG Guest Blogger

Hello everyone, this is Jonathan Melendez from The Candid Appetite, and I’m very excited because my first cookbook is out this week! I’m so happy to be able to share a preview of the book here for you all to enjoy! Order your copy of The Slider Effect today, so that you can begin making and eating sliders all summer long. If you’re a fan of sliders, as much as I am, then this book is for you. It features a multitude of recipes that aren’t just your basic meat and cheese sliders, with chapters ranging from Meat, Poultry, Seafood and Vegetarian. There is something for everyone! The book also has a chapter on homemade buns and homemade sauces so you can feel like the slider pro I know you are inside.

These Hawaiian Sliders are one of my favorite from my book, and so I’m happy to be able to share them with you today! I actually grew up eating Spam a lot, and I’m not ashamed to admit that every once in a while I get a craving for it chopped up and served on top of white fluffy rice, with a drizzle of hot sauce (preferably Sriracha). I don’t always eat it, but when I do it’s definitely a treat that takes me back to my childhood because my mom made the best Spam and rice. Promise me you’ll try this slider at least once, before writing it off. You might end up loving it. Actually, I’m positive you will. After all, Spam is making a comeback and even if it’s not, let’s make it happen.

These sliders are made with a rice patty, grilled spam, grilled pineapple, homemade Sriracha aioli  and Sweet Pineapple Hawaiian Rolls. The recipe for the buns can be found in the book, but if you’re in a time crunch and can’t make them from scratch, just pick up a package of rolls from the grocery store!

Hawaiian Sliders

Yield: 12 sliders


  • 2 cups long grain rice, rinsed under cold water
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans Spam
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 pineapple slices (about 3, 8-ounce cans), drained
  • 12 Sweet Pineapple Hawaiian Rolls or store-bought dinner rolls
  • Sriracha Mayo (recipe follows)


1. Bring 3 1/3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, set over high heat. Stir in the rice and bring back up to a boil. Cover, decrease the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes (without removing the lid). Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes, untouched.

2. Slice the spam into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange on a baking sheet. Brush both sides evenly with soy sauce and olive oil. Arrange the pineapple slices on a separate baking sheet and brush both sides with soy sauce and olive oil as well. Set a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the spam slices on both sides until crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes in total, flipping over half way. Transfer to a plate or platter. Grill the pineapple slices in the same manner, for about 2 to 4 minutes in total, flipping over half way. If you don’t have a grill pan, you can also sear the spam slices in a skillet or bake under the broiler for a few minutes per side.

3. Uncover the rice, and fluff with a fork. Using damp hands, and a 2-inch round cookie cutter, shape the rice into twelve even patties. Place on a baking sheet.

4. To assemble the sliders, split the rolls in half and spread each half with some Sriracha mayo. Place a rice patty on the bottom half of the buns, a slice of spam, a slice of pineapple, and the top half of the buns. Skewer with a long toothpick and serve immediately.


Sriracha Mayo

Yield: about 1 cup


4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

2 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup plus, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons Sriracha (depending on how hot you like it)


1. Place the garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, and mustard in a food processor or blender. Blend until just combined. Combine both oils in a measuring cup with a spout, and with the machine is running, slowly stream in the oils until incorporated and the mixture has thickened. Add the Sriracha and season with salt and black pepper and pulse once more.

2. Transfer to a bowl or jar and chill, covered tightly, until ready to use. Can be made two days in advance.  Will keep in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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Recipes reprinted from The Slider Effect with permission from Andrews McMeel Publishing. 

Chef Joanne Weir shares two of her favorite recipes for delicious dinners. Get more of Joanne’s recipes in the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

I am Joanne Weir: chef, cooking instructor, author, restaurateur, television personality, travel guide, daughter, wife, and friend. And, as my latest cookbook/memoir Kitchen Gypsy details, I am also a born wanderer. I love to travel and explore the world and its cuisine. I am in constant motion, hopping from recipe to recipe, project to project and country to country. With so many roles to juggle, I often find it hard to remember which way is up. So when it comes to weeknight meals, let’s just say I’m not a planner.

I’d love to tell you that I have the secret to effortless weeknight meal preparation, but I don’t. If I’m being honest, what happens most evenings that I’m actually at home is this: I’m sitting in my home office in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, completely absorbed in whatever recipe, menu, article, or project I’m working on at the moment. I glance at the clock to discover it’s getting dark and well past time to get started on dinner.

I fly down the hallway into the kitchen, flipping on lights as I go. How long have I been working in the dark? I wonder. As I land in my kitchen, my first stop is the freezer. The main reason I’m able to pull together dinner without a plan? I always keep my kitchen well stocked.

The freezer is my friend. It’s filled with a variety of proteins- sausages, ground meat and shaped into patties, chicken, and pork, as well as bread, nuts, and homemade chicken stock. A favorite option for a fast weeknight thaw is boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I make sure to freeze the thighs completely flat, so that they thaw in no time. Another favorite? Homemade burger patties, frozen and wrapped individually. My Moroccan-Style Lamb Burgers with Cucumber-Ginger Yogurt are fast becoming one of my most-requested meals. With these waiting in the freezer, I can prepare a meal (fit for guests, even) in a jiffy.

As the meat thaws in the sink, I move on to the pantry. Here you’ll find extra virgin olive oil, a wide variety of vinegars, mustards, capers, anchovies, every spice you can imagine, dried fruit, nuts, canned Italian tomatoes, lentils, beans, quinoa and rice. This variety allows me to make almost anything I can think of. The fridge is no different. I keep an array of seasonal, fresh produce on hand at all times. With a well-stocked kitchen, a side dish like warm, vegetable-studded lentil salad, to compliment my spiced lamb burgers, is easily attainable.

My second trick is to keep things simple.  Though I studied under famed chef Madeleine Kamman and was trained in the elaborate French tradition, my cooking style simplified after cooking at Chez Panisse. As I’ve traveled the globe, I’ve noticed that the simplest dishes are often the most delicious. It’s all about using quality ingredients in smart combination. One of my absolute favorite weeknight dishes is Chicken Breast Stuffed with Dried Figs and Fontina. Made with just five ingredients that I honestly have on-hand at all times, it’s rich with creamy fontina cheese and sweet dried figs. So simple, yet delicious, it’s a last-minute favorite that never disappoints. Get the recipe here.

I also love a good make-ahead meal. If I know I have a busy week coming up, I’ll spend time on the weekend preparing a meal in advance. Things like chili, soups, stews, and my mom’s Skillet Riblets with Balsamic, actually get better over time. Prepared in advance, the pork ribs get more tender and the rosemary-infused glaze richer in flavor.  To get dinner on the table, I simply reheat and prepare creamy polenta to go alongside.

And finally, when all else fails, I turn to breakfast-for-dinner. Though I’ve vowed to never eat cold cereal for dinner, you might be surprised how simply satisfying a warm, oozing cheese omelet or a soft poached egg on wheat toast can be at the end of the day. That’s why a dozen eggs is always, always part of my well-stocked kitchen.

Joanne’s Favorite Dinner Recipes

These pork riblets are falling-off-the-bone tender. Inspired by my Mom’s dizzying delicious spareribs, this is one of my favorite make-ahead meals.


2 pork baby-back or St. Louis spareribs, halved lengthwise, about 4 pounds total
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup dry red wine like cabernet sauvignon
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
6 ounces good quality balsamic vinegar, aged if possible
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups low sodium beef broth
1 ½ cups coarse polenta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cut the ribs into two to three rib sections and either salt overnight of brine overnight covered completely in a solution of 1 cup water to 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt.  Make sure the ribs are completely submerged in the salt solution.

Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the ribs, turning occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from the pan with tongs.  Pour off the excess fat and discard.

Add the garlic and cook the garlic until golden.  Add the wine, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute and add the rosemary and ribs, meat side down, to pan.  Add broth to almost cover the meat and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, turning occasionally until the meat is soft and almost falls off the bone, about 1 hour.

In the meantime, bring 5 cups of water to a boil.  Whisking constantly, gradually add the polenta in a shower.  Season with a teaspoon of salt and continue to whisk until it beings to bubble,  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the polenta is thick and a wooden spoon almost stands up in it, about 10 to 20 minutes.  Season with additional salt and pepper.  Set aside.

To serve, add the butter to the polenta and stir together.  Warm the polenta over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.  Remove the ribs from the pan and strain the sauce.  Skim off any fat that has accumulated.  Add the sauce back to the pan and reduce if needed to thicken the sauce to a syrupy consistency.  Gently turn the ribs gently to coat. Spoon the polenta into bowls and place the ribs onto the top and serve.

Serves 6

I always keep several of these boldly spiced lamb burgers prepared and frozen in my freezer. Once thawed, they’re easy to grill for a weeknight escape to magical Morocco.


1 1/4 pounds lean grass-fed ground lamb
1/2 pound ground pork
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tablespoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons prepared harissa or more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
6 slices coarse textured bread, toasted
Cilantro sprigs as a garnish

Place approximately one-quarter of the ground lamb, pork and garlic in a food processor and process until well ground.  Add the paprika, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons harissa, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and pulse several times  until well mixed.  Add the remaining lamb and cilantro and pulse a few times.

To test for flavor, heat a small frying pan over medium heat.  Make a small thin patty with a walnut size piece of the mixture and cook until done, 3 minutes.  Let cool.  Taste and season with salt, pepper and spices if needed.

Preheat an outdoor grill.

Form into the mixture into 6 patties.  Cook the lamb burgers, turning occasionally until medium rare, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

To serve, place a slice of the toasted bread on a plate and place the lamb burger on top.  Top each burger with some Cucumber and Ginger Yogurt and garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Serves 6

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
½ English cucumber, peeled, seeded and ¼-inch dice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

Place the yogurt, cucumber, lemon zest, ginger and garlic in a bowl and stir together.  Season with salt.

Makes 1 ½ cups

Get more of Joanne’s recipes at


A 4th-generation professional cook, Joanne Weir spent 5 years cooking at Chez Panisse after receiving a Master Chef Diploma with Madeleine Kamman.  Joanne is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author, cooking teacher, and host and Executive Producer for several award-winning PBS TV series, including her latest, “Joanne Weir Gets Fresh.”  Joanne has written 18 cookbooks, most recently her food memoir Kitchen Gypsy:  Recipes and Stories from a Lifetime Romance with Food, which was released in Fall, 2015.   She is co-owner of Copita, a tequileria & restaurant in Sausalito, California.  In 2012, Joanne was also appointed by the State Department to the American Chef Corp, a select group of chefs chosen to promote world relations through food.  Joanne writes for several national publications and travels and teaches extensively around the world as well as in her San Francisco studio kitchen.

Get Joanne’s latest cookbook, Kitchen Gypsy:  Recipes and Stories from a Lifetime Romance with Food.

Dinner maven Katie Workman shares her secrets for family-friendly dinners. Get more of Katie’s recipes in the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

Wouldn’t it be so nice if someone would bend towards you and say, “Lean close, dear.  I’m now going to tell you the secret to getting a stress-free dinner your family will all love on the table, every night of the week.” This person would beckon you to come closer.  You would lean in, holding your breath, ready to hear the words that could change your life….

Now in the movies, this is usually where that person falls over, dead. Or if you’re sleeping, this is where you wake up.

Yeah, I’ve never heard any such words of wisdom, nor do I have them to impart.  What I do know is that some pretty basic things have made it easier for me to get dinners on the table with regularity.  Without further ado, here are those things:

1) Prep Your Week: I may have said this a few (hundred) times, but it remains the number one tip I have for getting it done.  I spend some time at the beginning of the week chopping onions and shallots, mincing garlic, chopping parsley, peeling carrots, peeling and mincing fresh ginger, zesting and juicing lemons.  All of these prepped ingredients go into little containers in the fridge.  Then come 6:00 the thought of mincing a garlic clove doesn’t stand between me and a beef stir fry.  Did I mention how much I love my food processor?

2) Make On-Purpose Leftovers.  Extra chicken breasts become Butternut Squash and Chicken Enchilada Cups or Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup.  Cooked orzo or rice goes into Avoglomono Soup, or become a stir-fry.   When you have a bunch of things left, and no inspiration, put them all out and you have Leftover Night.

3) Make Double Batches; Freeze Half.  Think Turkey Chili, lasagnas, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, casseroles, Slow Cooker Barbecue Beer Stew, soups.

There are other tips (again and again, get the kids involved, in picking the recipes, in helping in the kitchen, in repurposing leftovers (maybe a Top Chef/Chopped- like challenge?), use that slow cooker, but these are the three that I have found up my count of low-stress meals.  I know, wouldn’t it have been nice if there had been more magic involved?  I’m also waiting for the fairy godmother to show (and I really hope she does dishes).

Get more of Katie’s recipes and learn more about her cookbooks at


Blogger Heather Christo shares her secrets for family-friendly dinners. Get more of Heather’s recipes featured in the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

My blog is a celebration of my mission, and my mission is to change the way the world sees—and eats—the allergy-free life. My goal is to inspire and empower people and families through safe, wholesome and delicious food so they can live fully and give joy to those around them.

We may be eating allergy free, but we are still a family with all of the same normal stuff going on as everyone else. Two young daughters, time shortages, scheduling complications, afterschool activities, homework, sports and crazy work schedules- gah! I’m exhausted just thinking about it! However for us, making sure that there is a delicious and nutritious -and safe- dinner on the table is an absolute must (but clearly, I appreciate easy too!)

What I want in a weeknight meal is: Tasty (to everyone), Healthy and Nutritious (am I being a good mom and getting everyone a few servings of veggies and enough protein to fuel them? Healthy fats?), Easy (I am not looking to get complicated or use a ton of pots and pans), Fast (30 minutes or less- I am not kidding) oh! And I love pretty too.



Here are a few options that we have found work for the whole family and meet all of the criteria on my checklist:

Stir Fry- The fact that the kids will happily eat this veggie packed dish surprises me every time! (I think it has something to do with me letting them help chop the mushrooms.) I pile mushrooms, asparagus or broccoli, bell peppers and onions with some type of protein like chicken, pork, beef or even black beans and add a homemade sauce. You can do all of this in the time it takes to steam some rice and the whole family loves it- much better than takeout.

Pasta- With all of the different varieties and cuts of gluten free pasta out there, pasta remains one of the easiest and most popular dinner favorites in my house. Whether it’s linguini with fresh veggies and chicken sautéed in olive oil, a zesty green pesto tossed with spaghetti and shrimp or penne with sausage and a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce, pasta is always a consistent and reliable dinner in under thirty minutes. I just add a big green salad and a glass of wine (for me obviously- not my children) and we are good to go.

Soups- I will always stand by a big pot of soup. My kids love it and it is the ultimate in leveraging your time. If you make a large batch of whatever is a favorite in your house (tomato basil, chicken noodle, beef stew) you can have dinner or dinner and lunch squared away for a few days (score for mom!) Again, I just add a green salad and maybe a hot gluten free baguette to go with the soup.

Salads- I have to add this, because I am getting my 6 year old more and more open minded about salad for dinner, and my eight year old will eat it like a champ. Personally, this is my favorite one dish dinner wonder. When you have the right combination of greens, vegetables, protein and an awesome dressing (think Seared Sesame Salmon, Mango and Avocado Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette) eating healthy never tasted so good!

Get more of Heather’s recipes at

Hello BHG! My name is Jonathan Melendez from The Candid Appetite blog. My blog is a recipe site photographed step-by-step that focuses on making cooking and baking easier for those who love to cook but need a helping hand in the kitchen. I graduated with a degree in photography, so my site is very much photo based. I find that cooking and baking is a very visual learning experience, so I like to make sure people have images to guide them through a recipe. I’m so excited to make these marshmallow treats!

When I was a kid my favorite ice cream flavor was always Neapolitan. It was the best of all three worlds. I didn’t have to choose between vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream because I’d get all three in one ice cream flavor. Talk about a kid’s dream come true! While browsing through the Better Homes and Gardens site, I came across these Neapolitan Marshmallow Treats and I was instantly hooked. I’ve since made them several times and have they’ve always been a hit. I’ve made a few changes here and there each time I’ve made them, and I think they just keep getting better and better (which I didn’t think was at all possible!)

These bars start just like regular rice cereal marshmallow treats, so you want to melt the butter, and mini marshmallows with some vanilla and marshmallow fluff. That just makes them even better. Mix together with the plain rice cereal until evenly combined and then transfer to a rectangular 9 by 13-inch that has been lined with parchment or foil and greased with cooking spray. This will ensure that the treats come out from the pan without sticking. Press out into an evenly layer and then set off to the side. Then in the same pot, melt more butter, more mini marshmallows and even more marshmallow fluff.

Mix in the chocolate rice cereal and, this is where I changed the recipe a bit from the original, add in about a cup or a cup and a half of dark chocolate chips. Any chocolate chips you have on hand will do though. Once mixed, pour over the vanilla layer and press down with wet hands into an even layer.

Then you’re going to do the same process, just one more time, but this round we’re going to melt butter, strawberry marshmallows, strawberry jam and marshmallow fluff. To get that bright pink color, I added a few drops of red food coloring, but if you’re not a fan of food coloring, you can definitely just leave it out. To change the recipe a little further, I added dried cherries, but if you can find dried strawberries, those would be even better!

Press the strawberry layer onto the chocolate and then place a piece of wax paper and a baking sheet on top and weigh it down with a few cans or cast iron skillet. This will ensure that the layers stay together. Allow to set for at least 1 hour. Remove the bars from the baking pan and then cut into squares.

I’ve found that these are a definite crowd pleaser and they always get people talking because of the three flavors included in one treat! You’ll for sure want to keep some for yourself hidden away, so that people don’t eat them all!

The changes I made to the original recipe Neapolitan Marshmallow Treats are:

  • Add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract to the vanilla layer.
  • Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped, to the chocolate layer.
  • Add 3/4 dried cherries or dried strawberries to the strawberry layer.

Hi there! I’m Kathleen and I’m the creator of Hapa Nom Nom.  You may be wondering what hapa means. It’s a word used to characterize mixed-race people – usually half white and half Asian.

On Hapa Nom Nom, food is a kind of connective tissue, bringing my background, family, travels, and tastes together in one delicious bite. It’s a deliciously modern way to think about how we bring a wealth of life’s experiences with us as we learn to cook for ourselves – mixing cultures, simplifying traditional techniques, and adding a good dose of healthy.

Spicy Chicken Pot Stickers with a Ginger Infused Dipping Sauce


I can’t tell you how excited I was when Better Homes and Gardens contacted me to do a guest post! Its cross-generational influence is directly in-line with what the recipes on Hapa Nom Nom are all about.

Saying yes was the easy part, but selecting just one recipe was a bit more of a challenge. I finally settled on ‘Spicy Chicken Pot Stickers with Ginger and Green Onion Dipping Sauce’.

Spicy Chicken Pot Stickers with a Ginger Infused Dipping Sauce

I made the pot stickers, following the recipe to the letter – they were very delicious! However, the objective was to put my own little spin on things, and that’s exactly what I did.

  • I substituted the water chestnuts for shredded carrots to add a bit of natural sweetness. I also added 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, which gives food a tremendous depth of flavor and incredible complexity. Sometimes I get a strange look when I mention fish sauce, but if you like Thai, Vietnamese, or other Southeast Asian cuisine, then you’ve already had it. A big part of those flavors you love is fish sauce!
  • I prefer my dipping sauce to be flavored with ginger, and generally don’t leave the grated ginger in the sauce; therefore, I instead sliced it up and let it infuse the sauce before removing it.  Additionally, I sprinkled the scallions over the pot stickers as a garnish instead of adding them to the dipping sauce so they stay crispy.
  • Finally, there are various ways to wrap pot stickers, and I prefer the more traditional method of pleating them to make a crescent shape. It’s really not very difficult – I created a video so you can see just how easy it really is.
Spicy Chicken Pot Stickers with a Ginger Infused Dipping Sauce

If you want to make the pot stickers and serve them later, or if you want to double the recipe so you can have some for dinner and save the rest for another time, they are perfect for freezing!

Simply place the uncooked pot stickers on a baking sheet so they are not touching, cover it with plastic wrap, and freeze for about 3 hours or until they’re completely frozen. Next, transfer the pot stickers to a zip top freezer bag – they can be frozen for up to two months. When you’re ready to cook them, take them out of the freezer and cook them according to the recipe. The same cooking method applies if you want to eat them right away!

Spicy Chicken Pot Stickers with a Ginger Infused Dipping Sauce

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