Saturday, December 24, 2016

Easy enchilada dip

This is one of our family favorite throw together meals when we’re enjoying a quite night at home watching movies or football.

2 pounds ground beef
1 can enchilada sauce
½ block of velveeta (give or take to taste)
1 small jar salsa
Tortilla chips

Brown ground beef and drain.  Add enchilada sauce and let cook for a few minutes.  Add salsa and velveeta until melted and warmed through.  Serve with tortilla chips.

If you want to give it a little more kick, use rotel instead of salsa and add a few dashes of hot sauce.  

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cold day casserole

I could call this “what I had on hand” casserole but that doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it.  Seeing how its -10 degrees here today, I wanted to bake something warm to in the oven.  The pictures do not do it justice! It’s like a sloppy joe loaded mashed potato explosion.

1 pound ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom
1/3 cup bbq sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s sweet and spicy)
Diced onions
Minced garlic
1 packet Idahoan butter homestyle mashed potatoes (large size)
½ stick of butter
1 block cream cheese
Shredded cheese
Bacon crumbles
Green onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown ground beef with some diced onion and a heaping scoop of minced garlic.  Drain and mix in cream of mushroom soup and bbq sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Prepare potatoes as directed (basically mine was boil four cups of water). Whip potatoes with a fork.  Add butter and cream cheese to potatoes.

Spread meat mixture on the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Then layer the potatoes over the top.  Sprinkle with bacon bits and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown.  Garnish with green onion and serve.  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Loaded Ranch Dip

A delicious party dip or game day grub.

1 cup light sour cream
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1 lb bacon
3 to 4 green onions, sliced
1 cup shredded cheese (I used colby jack)

Cook the bacon on both sides until crisp. Drain fat. Allow bacon to rest on paper towels until cool. Chop bacon into crumbles and set aside.

Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, and ranch dressing mix together in a bowl.  Fold in the bacon, green onions, and shredded cheese. Chill for an hour in the fridge. Enjoy with sturdy crackers or tortilla chips.  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Chocolate cake mix bars

So rich and decadent! No one will believe how easy these are to make!

1 chocolate cake mix
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter softened to room temperature
1 egg
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper & spray with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, butter, vanilla & egg in mixer bowl & beat until mix forms into thick dough.  Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared baking pan (it will look like there isn't enough to cover the bottom, just keep working it into a thin even layer). Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of each type of chocolate chips. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top in a thin, even layer. Separate remaining dough into balls & evenly distribute over the top of the chocolate chips. Press down to flatten a bit. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake 27­ 30 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Buffalo Ranch Chex Mix

1 bag bugles
1 box rice chex
10 oz. can dry roasted peanuts
1 package pretzels
1 box Cheez-Its zesty ranch crackers
¼ cup buffalo sauce
½ stick butter
1 ranch packet

Combine bugles, chex, pretzels and peanuts in a large bowl.  Melt butter and whisk together with buffalo sauce and ranch packet.  Pour over mixture and toss to combine.  Bake at 250 for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Break cheez-its into smaller pieces and add to mixture.  Store in an air tight container.  

Note: This makes a HUGE batch! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Reese's Peanut Butter Cookies

This is one of my families favorite Christmas treats.  My brother, sister and I have literally pushed each other out of the way at mom's house to get these.  And there have been some pictures to torment each other over the years if we were eating them and someone was not.  

1/2 C. soft butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1/2 C. peanut butter
1 bag mini Reese's peanut butter cups

Mix together, roll into small balls and put in miniature muffin pan. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Put miniature Reese's peanut butter cup in the center of each and let cool for 10 minutes.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hot chicken queso dip

1 block (32 oz) of velveeta cheese.
1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese.
1 can (10 oz) of rotel.
1 can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 pound of shredded chicken
2 Tbsp hot sauce
¼ cup salsa

In a crock pot, pour the cream cheese and add in the velveeta cheese after you cut it into cubes. Stir in all ingredients and cook on low for an hour.

**You can substitute the chicken for ground beef or sausage and the cream of chicken with cream of mushroom.

This was ooey gooey cheesy goodness.  Personally, next time I would add a little more hot sauce or use hot instead of mild rotel but I like things spicy.  

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crockpot cheesy corn mac

My friend Brian makes this and it’s always the hit of the party. I made it for Thanksgiving and it did not disappoint!

1 can regular corn (drained)
1 can cream style corn
½ a large brick of velveeta cheese
8 oz. AE French onion dip
¾ stick of butter
1 ½ cups uncooked macaroni

Cook macaroni.  Drain and place in crockpot.  Dump everything else in.  Cook on low.  Stir as it begins to melt together.  Serve when warm.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

White Russians...with a twist

We did an experiment with White Russians and came up with a few fun variations of this classic drink.
Standard White Russian
White Cake Russian
Colorado Bulldog
Colorado Beerdog
Drunk Beaver

The hands down favorite was the Drunk Beaver.  The least favorite was the Colorado Beerdog.

5 minute caramel bugles with double chocolate drizzle

This snack is basically better than anything Bugles! They are sweet, salty, and extremely addicting. It's almost dangerous that they are so quick and easy to make!

8 cups Bugles (1 regular size bag)
¾ cups brown sugar
6 T. butter
3 T. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ c. white chocolate chips
¼ c. semisweet chocolate

Measure Bugles. Set aside. Line baking sheet with wax paper.
Add butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a large microwavable bowl. Microwave one minute. Stir. Continue to microwave in 30 second intervals until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add baking soda and stir until combined.
Add Bugles to butter mixture. Microwave in one minute increments, stirring after each minute. Microwave for a total of three minutes.  Pour Bugle mixture onto wax paper.
Put semisweet chocolate chips in a snack size seal-able bag. Leave the bag unsealed and microwave for two minutes, at half power. Seal bag and kneed until chocolate chips are completely melted. Snip a small triangle off the corner or the bag and drizzle over Caramel Bugles.  Repeat with white chocolate chips. Cool completely and store in an air tight container.
** The snack size baggie chocolate drizzle didn’t work for me so I just went to a bowl and a fork.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Crockpot Sausage Jalapeno Popper Dip

1 lb. ground Italian sausage (or regular pork or whatever appeals to you)
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 green onion, finely chopped
16 oz. sour cream
1/2 C. mayo
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. hot sauce  

Brown sausage and minced garlic. Drain.  Mix all ingredients together and dump into crockpot.  Cook on high for one hour.  Serve warm with ritz crackers or tortilla chips.  We also discovered this is great on top of a freshly grilled burger!  

Monday, October 24, 2016

Crockpot chicken tortilla soup

1 pound chicken breast or tenders
15 oz. can rotel
10 oz. can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
4 oz. can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
14.5 oz. can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 oz. package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Vegetable oil
7 corn tortillas

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.  Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, and then spread on a baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.

When soup is done, shred the chicken breasts with a fork.  Sprinkle tortilla strips over soup. Garnish with avocado if desired.

Summer made this for soup night and actually didn’t use tortillas.  It was still awesome! Just more of a broth based soup.  Also, if you don’t like heat, cut the cayenne pepper and replace the can of rotel with a can of diced tomatoes! Add some black beans! Another tweak, use all chicken broth instead of the 2 cups of water.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bacon Corn Jalapeno Dip

1 package cream cheese, softened
8 oz (1 cup) sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can corn, drained and dried
1 package bacon, cooked and drained
2-3 jalapenos, diced
1-2 tbsp hot sauce

Cook and drain bacon, set aside to cool. Stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Add in the diced garlic and jalapenos, then the drained corn. Chop or tear the bacon into small strips and stir into the dip. Add hot sauce. Chill for at least an hour and serve with chips, crackers, or raw veggies. 

Made this for a bonfire Thursday night and it was gone before some people even got to try it! I’d say it was a hit. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hamburger Potato Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
3 cups thinly sliced potatoes (either peeled or with thin skins)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tsp. hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 11 x 7 (2 quart) glass baking dish. In medium skillet, cook the onions and ground beef until done. Drain the grease. Add milk, soup, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir together with burger.  Layer half of the potatoes, soup mixture and cheese. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes, soup mixture and then the cheese. Sprinkle with green onions.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the potatoes are tender.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Gluten-free Cheesy Pepper Jack Potato Chowder

8 strips bacon, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 large shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less)
2 Tablespoons glutenfree or allpurpose flour
2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cups 2% milk
4 cups southern style frozen hash browns
8 oz freshly shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 green onions, chopped

In a small bowl whisk together 2 Tablespoons flour with 1/4 cup chicken broth then set aside.
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat then add chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then remove all but 1 Tablespoon bacon grease from the pot. Add celery and shallots, season with pepper, and then sauté until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes then sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add remaining 1 3/4 cups chicken broth, milk, hash browns, and lots of freshly cracked pepper to the pot then turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Slowly drizzle in flour/chicken broth mixture then stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer until chowder has thickened and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat then add shredded cheese about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until completely smooth before adding the next batch. Stir in 1/2 the cooked bacon then serve with remaining bacon and green onions.

I made this for the soup cook off I hosted this weekend. It was so good! I made mine in the crockpot so it was even easier and could be kept warm throughout the night.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots

2 pounds carrots, diagonally cut into about 2 to 3­inch pieces (I used a bag of baby carrots)
5 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425F.  Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.  Melt butter over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet or pan.  Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring very frequently. DO NOT burn the garlic.  Toss the carrots with the garlic butter either in the pan or pour the butter over them in a mixing bowl.  Transfer carrots to baking sheet.
Arrange in one layer and bake for 22 to 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

I served these last night with pork roast and baked potatoes.  They were just the right amount of garlicy goodness.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

1 lb. Italian sausage
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup white onion, chopped
24 ounce jar pasta sauce
1 can chicken broth
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
8-10 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
½ cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup water
½ cup milk
extra mozzarella cheese for topping

Cook sausage in a skillet with garlic, onions and olive oil until done. Drain excess grease.  Place sausage, pasta sauce, beef broth, onion powder, parsley, basil and parmesan cheese in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 2.5 hours.  After 2.5 hours, put lasagna noodles, water, milk, and ½ cup of mozzarella cheese into the slow cooker and let cook another 30-60 minutes, or until pasta is tender.  Top bowls of soup with mozzarella cheese.

I wanted to give mine a little kick so I added a few dashes of hot sauce and red pepper flakes while it was cooking.  I love, love, love this soup! 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Southwest Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 packet dry ranch dip mix
½ Tbsp. taco seasoning
16 oz. sour cream
1 can corn, drained well
1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced thin

In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, ranch mix and taco seasoning until smooth.  Add in sour cream and beat to combine.  With a spoon, fold in corn, black beans, cheese and green onions.
Eat right away with chips or refrigerate to let the flavors blend together. Enjoy!

I used half a can of black beans since I’m not a big fan.
I used 1 ½ Tbsp of hot and spicy taco seasoning

I made this dip for tailgating and a party at my house this weekend.  It was magnificent.  My friend Teresa said it was like crack.  Easy to put together.  Cheap to make.  Great flavor.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Monkey bread muffin cups


2 cans Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits (cut each biscuit into six pieces)
½ c. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon (or to your liking)
½ c. butter
½ c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and spray muffin pan with non-stick spray.
Put sugar and cinnamon in a baggie.  Toss the biscuit pieces until coated.  Fill the cups with biscuit pieces (about 10 pieces each). 
Melt butter and brown sugar together.  Drizzle over the top of each muffin.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

My aunt Becky made these for us at the lake last weekend.  They were great! I’m usually not a monkey bread fanatic but something about these muffin size creations hit the spot.  I felt like the “gooey goodness” is more evenly distributed in the muffin pans than a bundt pan.  Also, I’m a big fan of portion control.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Feta Pico de Gallo

2-­3 avocados, peeled and chopped (I did not use since I’m deathly allergic)
3 roma tomatoes (diced)
1½ Tablespoons minced garlic
⅓ cup red onion (diced)
1 bunch cilantro (chopped)
1 jalapeno (diced)
8 oz. feta cheese crumbles (divided)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

Mix the diced tomatoes, red onion, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a bowl.  Carefully mix in the cilantro, avocado and half of the feta cheese crumbles.  Add some salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle the rest of the feta cheese crumbles over the top.  Serve with tortilla chips.

This pico has amazing flavor! I tried it with chips last night.  This morning I put some on my eggs and it was delicious on those too.  Only tip, do not try to put in your contacts after making pico.  Oh the burning of the eyes.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cheesy chicken tater tot casserole (crockpot)

32 oz. bag frozen tater tots
3 oz. bag bacon pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¾ c. milk
Salt & pepper to taste

Spray crock pot or use crock pot liner.  Layer half the tots on the bottom. Sprinkle 1/3 bacon pieces, top with 1/3 of the cheese.  Add chicken on top.  Salt and pepper.  Add 1/3 cheese and bacon.  Layer with the rest of the tots.  Finish with remaining cheese and bacon.  Pour ¾ cup milk over the top.  Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  

Friday, September 16, 2016

Crockpot Beef Hash – Freezer Meal

1 ½ lb. ground beef
16 oz. frozen hash browns
1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp dry onion soup mix
1 C. beef broth (I used a full can)
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 c. shredded cheese

Label gallon size freezer bag with recipe, date and instructions. Place all ingredients except for the cheese in bag and seal.  Put in freezer. 

To cook:
Thaw overnight in fridge.  Dump in crockpot. Cook 4-6 hours.  Cover with shredded cheese and cook another 20 minutes. 
The picture I took doesn’t do it justice.  It may not look great but this was so good and easy to make!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small can diced green chiles
1 packet taco seasoning
14.5 oz. can chicken broth
2 cans northern beans, drained and rinsed (I used one)
8 oz. block cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sliced green onions
Frito chips

Place onion and jalapeno in bottom of crock pot. Put chicken on top.  Add green chiles, taco seasoning, chicken broth, and beans. Cover crock pot and cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.  Add cream cheese and cook on LOW for 1 more hour.  Add shredded cheese and stir until cheese melts, shredding the chicken as you stir. If cheese doesn't melt all the way, cover for 5 to 10 minutes.  Serve with green onions and Frito chips.

As odd as it sounds, I had never made or even eaten white chicken chili before but man am I glad I did! Throw everything together in the crockpot and wait for a creamy, delicious meal? Yes, please! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles

1 package peanut butter Oreos
1 block cream cheese
2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
12 oz chocolate almond bark or candy quick

Crush cookies in food processor until small crumbs.  Mix with room temperature cream cheese and peanut butter until well blended. Roll into 1 inch balls and set in fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Melt chocolate in microwave according to directions.  Dip balls into chocolate and set on wax paper.  Store in an air tight container in fridge until ready to eat. 

Peanut butter and chocolate are pretty much my favorite combination in the universe so these are right up my alley! 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Amish Country Casserole

12-14 oz. box of your favorite pasta
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup milk
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup shredded Colby jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large oven dish with cooking spray.  Cook the pasta, in a large pot, per the instructions on the packet. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the ground beef and cook until done.  As soon as the pasta is done - drain and return to the pot. Add the cooked meat, soups, Worcestershire, cheese and milk to the pasta. Stir and season to taste with salt & pepper. Transfer to the prepared oven dish. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.  Bake 25 - 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Baked grilled cheese and Chili Bar

I hosted a dinner party for friends the other night.  Eight of them to be exact. I made a huge batch of chili and all the fixings.  Where I grew up, you accompany your chili with a cinnamon roll or grilled cheese.  I know, some of you say, what? Where's the cornbread? I'm from the North, that's just how we roll. I didn't want to waste precious wine drinking time at the stove cooking one or two grilled cheese at a time.  I found a few recipes online that said you can make them in the oven. I've heard this rumor before but never had a reason to try it.  This was the night. There are different variations of how to do it but I chose the simplest one.

Grilled Cheese in the oven
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Butter one side of 6 pieces of bread and place butter side down on a baking sheet.  Top with a slice of cheese of your choice.  Butter 6 more slices of bread and lay on top of the cheese, butter side up.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 6-8 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.  Flip and bake 6-8 more minutes.  Keep in mind the tops won't be brown, it cooks from the bottom!

The sandwiches turned out great! I cut in diagonals and we dipped away!

For the chili I used my usual recipe found here but doubled it to feed the crowd.  I threw it in the crockpot before I went to work in the morning so it was really easy prep pre-party.

For the Build Your Own Chili Bar I had the following for people to enjoy:
shredded cheese
green onion
sour cream
cinnamon rolls
french bread
grilled cheese
saltine crackers
ritz crackers
tortilla chips
hot sauce

Monday, August 22, 2016

Breakfast casserole muffins

8 oz. breakfast sausage
8 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
6 Thomas’ English Muffins, coarsely chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 12 cavity muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
Cook the breakfast sausage in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up and crumbling it until it’s no longer pink. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, dry mustard and paprika. Add the coarsely chopped English Muffins, cheese, green onions and cooked sausage to the bowl, stir to combine. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes before filling up the muffin cups evenly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the eggs are set and cooked through. Run a knife around breakfast cups to remove from the muffin tin and enjoy warm.

*If desired, package up the breakfast cups in a zipclose bag and store in fridge. Reheat one cup at a time in the microwave before eating.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Henrytown Church Cookbook Banana Bread

1 C. white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda in ¼ C. hot water
½ C. shortening
2 Tbsp. sweet milk
1 ½ C. flour
2 bananas, mashed

Combine all ingredients, adding bananas last.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.  

This is one of my mom's most used recipe from the Henrytown Church Cookbook.  So moist and delicious! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Southwestern Cheeseball

8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
¼ cup finely diced onion
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
4 oz can chopped green chilies
chopped cilantro
crackers, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the cheddar, cream cheese, butter, onion, garlic powder and green chilies. Mix completely.  Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until set up, 2 hours to overnight.  Place chopped cilantro on a plate. Unwrap cheeseball and roll in the cilantro until coated. Serve with crackers.

First of all, I left this as a dip and added the cilantro instead of rolling in it.  I found the original recipe to be a bit blah so I added 2 Tbsp of ranch dressing, a few dashes of hot sauce and half a diced jalapeno.  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

One Pot Kielbasa Pasta

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked kielbasa or turkey/chicken sausage sliced 1/4 inch thick
1.5 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
10 oz can diced tomatoes
8 oz dry pasta(small pasta)
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt and pepper, each
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat.  Fry the kielbasa and onions.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, heavy cream, pasta, and seasonings.  Simmer for 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese.  Top with remaining cheese and cover until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.  Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.

This was easy to throw together and very tasty.  I had most of the ingredients on hand so it was super cheap to make.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trash Treats

3 tbsp. butter
1 (16) oz. bag marshmallows
2 tbsp. peanut butter
4 c. potato chips, crushed
2 c. Pretzels, crushed
1/4 c. M&M's
1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted

Grease a 9" x 9" pan with cooking spray.
In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and stir until smooth. Add peanut butter and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and quickly stir in crushed chips and pretzels.
Using a spatula or wax paper, press mixture into pan. Sprinkle with M&M's. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Let chocolate cool and harden before serving, about 30 minutes.

These bars were a perfect combination of sweet and salty. The only thing I would change is to mix the M&Ms in to the mixture before pressing in the pan.  They tend to fall off the top after you cut them.  I also had a small amount of Reeses Pieces in the kitchen so I added those too.  Yum! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Pull-Apart Bread

1 tube of biscuits (8 rolls)
16 slices of bacon, cut in half
6 medium sized jalapeños
14 oz. cream cheese
14 oz. diced cheddar cheese (I used shredded)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Cut jalapeños.  Mix cream cheese with 2/3 of cheddar, jalapeños, salt, garlic and pepper.
Cut dough in half and wrap in bacon.

Oven directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray pan with non-stick spray. Place bacon wrapped dough around outside perimeter of the pan.  Place cream cheese mixture in the middle and add the rest of the cheddar on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits and cheese turn golden brown. 

Grill directions:
Place in cast iron pan.
Place cream cheese mixture in the middle and add the rest of the cheddar on top.
Grill on indirect heat at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

Hottest day of the year so far and I chose to make this last night.  Great idea, turn on the oven.  Ooh, eat something spicy.  But it was totally worth it.  Delicious recipe.  Next time I will try it on the grill just to see the difference.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cheesy Ranch Snack Mix

6 oz. package pretzels
6 oz. package Bugles (plain or cheese flavored)
1/2 box miniature club crackers
6 oz. package goldfish crackers (cheese flavored)
1 can mixed nuts
1 envelope dry ranch mix
8 oz. butter flavored popcorn oil 

Mix crackers, pretzels, nuts in bowl.  In separate bowl mix ranch and popcorn oil.  Pour ranch and popcorn oil over crackers, pretzels and nuts.  Shake so everything is covered well.  Spread on two cookie sheets.  Bake 250 for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool completely before storing.  Makes a large batch!

This snack mix is totally addicting! How can you go wrong with cheese, ranch and salty goodness? Great for parties or to take along on a road trip.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bacon Egg Salad

18 hard boiled eggs
2 tbsp drained pickle relish (I used dill but you can also use sweet)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup mustard
1 cup mayo (I used fat free)
Minced onions, salt, pepper & powdered garlic - Sprinkle to liking
2 cups oven cooked bacon - crisp & crumbled

Put the eggs & all the egg mix ingredients in a large bowl & mix with fork.  Mash & break up the eggs as you go.  When all combined & there are no large chunks- refrigerate until ready to serve.  Add to croissants (toasted or untoasted) when serving.

I cut this recipe in a third since I’m living solo.  You don’t have to eat this on croissants, although, hello, croissants are awesome! You can enjoy this on toast, a bun or like I did, which was all by itself.  Great flavor and a good protein breakfast.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

S’mores Fluff/Dip

1 C. marshmallow crème
1 C. chocolate pudding
8 oz. tub Cool Whip
½ C. mini chocolate chips or chopped Hershey’s bars
½ C. mini marshmallows
1 pack graham crackers

With an electric mixer, beat crème and pudding until smooth.  Fold in cool whip, chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Store in fridge until ready to serve with graham crackers. 

You can do this as a dessert or a dip.  My sister made it as a dessert by crushing up the pack of graham crackers and mixing it in.  Or you can dip the graham crackers into it. Either way, if you like s’mores at all, this is delicious! 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Amish Broccoli Salad

1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ pound bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix mayo, sour cream, sugar and salt.  

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.  Chill one hour before serving.