Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey tray

Want a fun way to make your fruit, veggie or meat and cheese tray festive for the holidays?  Check out this awesome turkey Melody made out of cheese and meats for our family Thanksgiving. Is that too cute or what?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Italian cheese dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 packet Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup bacon bits

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate an hour before serving. Serve with crackers and veggies.

This is good but super strong Italian flavor.  I doubled the recipe and ended up adding more cream cheese and mayo.  Next time I would make a double batch but only use 1 packet for the entire thing.  It was better after it sat in the fridge overnight but still very strong flavor.  

Saltine cracker toffee

Need a quick dessert in a matter of minutes? Look no further.

50 saltine crackers (approx.)
2 sticks butter
1 cup soft brown sugar

Pre-heat oven to 325.  Line 9x13 jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with cooking spray and then line pan with saltine crackers.

Place butter and sugar in a medium sized pot over low medium/low heat. Stir until butter is melted. Once butter is melted, bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens. Stir constantly.

After 3 minutes, remove pan from heat and pour evenly over saltine crackers. Spread mixture with a knife... however it doesn't have to be perfect.  Place pan in oven and bake for 6-8 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Do not over bake. The mixture will spread evenly over the crackers as it bakes.

Remove pan from oven and then take foil off of the pan. Allow the toffee to cool and then break pieces off of foil.

According to the author at iheartnaptime you can also place 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top right when it comes out of the oven. Allow the chocolate to melt and then spread it out with a spatula. Sometimes she adds slivered almonds as well.

This was easy to make.  I’m not a huge toffee fan, when it’s hard and brittle.  But this is really tasty! They chocolate didn’t spread “pretty” because I was in a hurry and running out the door but dang, it tastes good.  Will be taking this to turkey day gathering at my brothers.  Gobble gobble.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stuffed sweet pepper and bacon dip

Review by Lyndee.

My friend Bob makes these delicious stuffed sweet peppers and now has turned it into a dip that is to die for! 

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayo
½ cup monterrey jack
1 cup sharp cheddar
Pinch of basil
A couple pinches of parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp cayenne
½ lb cooked, crumbled bacon (1/2 in dip, 1/2 as garnish on top)
½ sleeve crumbled ritz crackers
10 small sweet peppers, roasted, seeded, skinned and diced
2 tbsp salsa verde

Mix all ingredients except bacon and crackers.  Add ½ the bacon.  Top with crushed crackers.  Top that with the rest of the bacon crumbles.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Serve warm with crackers, corn or tortilla chips. 

This dip is seriously amazing.  Much less work than stuffing peppers and wrapping in bacon but all the flavor and then some.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crockpot cheesy chicken & rice

Guest blog by Kristin O’Meara

1 (8 oz) box Zatarain’s yellow rice, cooked according to package
4 boneless chicken breasts
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (15 oz) can of corn, drained
2 cups chicken stock

Place chicken in crockpot and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with chopped onions.  Mix together chicken broth and cream of chicken soup.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours (or 4 hours on high). 

Before serving, shred the chicken with 2 forks.  Add in cooked rice, shredded cheese and corn.  Mix well until cheese is melted and serve. 

Easy to make warm meal for winter.  And who doesn’t like chicken and cheesy goodness?  This was great plain and I also tried with chips.  I bet it would be good on a bun too, like a sandwich.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No bake pumpkin oatmeal cookies

Guest blog by Stephanie Eyanson

1 1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. butter
2/3 C. milk
3 ½ C. quick cooking oats
1 tsp. pumpkin spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 box pumpkin spice instant pudding mix

In sauce pan mix sugars, butter and milk. Bring to boil.  Boil 2 min. Remove from heat.  Add pudding mix until completely combined.  Add in pumpkin spice vanilla and oats.  Stir to combine then let stand for 5 minutes. Use a cookie scoop to put them on the wax paper. Store in airtight container.

The verdict?  Simple and amazing.  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Strawberry Mango Salsa

1 cup of diced strawberries
1 medium mango diced
1 - 2 jalapenos diced and seeded
1/2 onion diced
red cabbage to preference
1 lime squeezed

Mix the fruit and veggies.  Add lime juice.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  Serve with tortilla chips or on fish tacos.  

A perfect blend of sweet spice that will tickle your tongue and make you feel like summer is near.  

Blow Pop Martini

Need a yummy drink that tastes like smooth summer fun?  Try this Blow Pop Martini!

1 Part Kinky Vodka
1 Part Bubble Vodka (Three Olives)
1 Part Lemonade/Pink Lemonade
2 Part Sprite

Mix over ice in shaker.  Strain into martini glass.  Garnish with a blow pop and enjoy! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pepper jack salsa chicken

Review by Lyndee

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
½ cup salsa
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
5-8 Ritz crackers
Spray butter
4 Laughing cow creamy pepper jack wedges
4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
Pico di gallo

Marinate chicken breast in minced garlic and salsa for one hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut chicken breast into four 4 oz tenders.  Place in greased 8 x 8 pan.  Crush the crackers and spread on top of the chicken.  Squirt with spray butter.  Bake for 30 minutes. 

When cooked through, top each piece with a wedge of laughing cow pepper jack and crumbled bacon bits.  Add a bit of pico and enjoy!

This was simple to make and tasted outstanding! It was some of the best chicken I’ve ever made.  Not too shabby for throwing a bunch of things in my fridge together.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mom's Delicious Pumpkin Bars

Review by Lyndee

1 cup oil                      
2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar     
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar    
1 tsp soda
4 eggs                           
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups canned pumpkin            
1 tsp nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese     
1 tsp vanilla
2 sticks butter                           
Approx. 3 cups powdered sugar

Mix in order given, sifting dry ingredients together first. Bake in 15 X 11-inch greased and floured pan at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

For cream cheese frosting: Soften and mix together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat well. Spread on cooled bars. If you don’t feel like making the frosting, you can buy a container of cream cheese frosting at the grocery store.