Quick & Easy Snacking – American Idol Top 8

We’re inching closer and closer to the American Idol finale next month and from now on we’ll be seeing some major talent going home each week. Last week’s Idol Top 8 performed songs inspired by the movies and Paul McDonald, unfortunately, did not impress with his rendition of “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll” from the film Risky Business.

Paul’s quirky dance moves and pearly white smile will be missed, but something tells me we’ll be seeing him around the Hollywood scene sooner then later (or possibly walking the next Twilight premier).

Every week I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my tasty treats with Yahoo blogger and super cool music enthusiast, Lyndsey Parker, on her blog Reality Rocks. Last week I put a gourmet spin on typical theater food…minus the popcorn and traditional candy treats.

So check out these quick and easy recipes and tune in Wednesday for my first Top 7 recipe of the week on Reality Rocks!

Loaded Rotisserie Chicken Nachos


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Pinch salt/pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ container spicy nonfat refried beans (such as Old El Paso)
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • Tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded 4 cheese Mexican blend
  • 1.5 – 2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped (I used 1 breast, leg, and thigh)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1.5 oz queso fresco, crumbled
  • ½ tomato, chopped
  • sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and next 5 ingredients, through the salt and pepper, and sauté until veggies are tender. Once the veggies are cool enough to handle, roughly chop into smaller pieces. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, cook the garlic until fragrant, around 30 seconds. Add the beans and lime juice and heat through.

Using a foil-lined, quarter baking sheet (about ½ the size of a normal baking sheet), cover the sheet with a single layer of tortilla chips. Sprinkle with the 4 cheese blend and bake just until the cheese has melted.

Remove from the oven and top with the beans, veggies, and chicken. Sprinkle with the cilantro, queso fresco, and tomato. Bake in the oven until all of the ingredients are heated through. Be careful not to bake too long; you don’t want to brown the chips. Remove from the oven and top with a few dollops of sour cream.

Flatbread with Arugula


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ tsp red pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • Flour
  • 11oz can of thin pizza crust
  • 1 cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 1.5 oz goat cheese
  • ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 white mushrooms, thinly sliced

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees

In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine the olive oil and next 3 ingredients, through the red pepper. Heat until fragrant, set aside.

Combine the next 2 tbsp of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

Add the arugula and toss until well-coated, set aside.

Lightly flour countertop and gently roll out the pizza crust. Fold in half and roll into a nice rectangle with a rolling pin (this helped the crust fit onto the stone better). Poke all over with a fork to prevent the crust from rising too much.

Place on a lightly floured pizza peel and brush with the garlic and thyme oil.

Top with the mozzarella, goat cheese, onions, and mushrooms.

Using the pizza peel, place on the stone and bake until crust is golden-brown and cheese is melted. Remove flatbread from the oven and top with the arugula mixture.

**If you do not have a pizza stone, then use a lightly colored baking sheet. Dark-colored baking sheets conduct more heat, which can cause the crust to overcook.

Last year I wrote a blog for Virgin Music on a great new artist form the UK Ellie Goulding. Her debut album, Lights, was just released last month bringing a unique blend of electronic pop. Take a listen to one of my favorite tracks off the album!

Ellie Goulding – Under the Sheets

3 responses

  1. Seriously….YOU ARE AMAZING!! I am dying to make those nachos!! Actually…..all of your recipes! And the music***sigh***just a complete sensory feast. Would love to see you cover Adele’s “Rollin In the Deep”! It would be amazing, Im sure! Love to see a fellow Texan rock it out! You were totally robbed of being on Idol! This is te first season i’ve watched since the very first and while some voices are beautiful, the competition definitely needed a soulful female vocal (along with Haley). You. Are it. You should try out for The Voice! Perfect for Adam Levine’s team!! Goood Luck and please cover “rollin in the deep”!!

    • Thank you so much! Yes you must make them, they are delicious. I actually did a cover of Rolling in the Deep in January…check out the link below. 🙂

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