Saturday, April 9, 2016

Spinach & Artichoke Pull Apart Bread

1 pkg Pillsburry biscuits
8 oz cream cheese
1 can chopped artichoke hearts
1 pkg chopped spinach
½ cup shredded parmesan
½ cup mozzarella
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 tblsp butter
Sprinkle of garlic & salt
Extra parmesan & mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400°F. Microwave cream cheese in a bowl for about 1 minute until smooth. While the cream cheese is melting, drain the artichokes & spinach. Mix chopped artichokes & spinach into cream cheese with parmesan, mozzarella, garlic powder & salt. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Cut each biscuit in half & flatten using a rolling pin. 
Fill with a spoonful of spinach & artichoke mixture. Wrap it up & pinch to seal. Repeat until you’re all out of biscuits. 
Melt butter in microwave & brush across the top of the biscuits. Sprinkle a little garlic powder & salt on top of butter. Then add a little more mozzarella & parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Creamy Shrimp Scampi Dip

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined & roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 whole lemon juiced
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • Loaf french bread, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
  • olive oil & sea salt

Melting butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Once melted, add garlic & chili flakes. Stir & cook for a minute. Add shrimp. Once the shrimp begin to turn opaque, add in the wine. Cook for about 2 minutes to let some of the wine cook off, then season with salt & pepper. Give a stir, then remove everything from the skillet & place into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, add cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, Sriracha & mozzarella cheese & stir.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Once the shrimp mixture has slightly cooled, add to the cream cheese mixture. Give another good stir.
Fold mixture into a baking dish, then cover the top with breadcrumbs. Bake until the breadcrumbs are nice & golden, and the dip is warmed through, about 15 minutes.
Serve with sliced French bread that is drizzled with olive oil & sea salt. This can be done ahead of time by baking on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 375. Stored covered in an airtight container.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Chicken Tequila Burgers

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced
1 lb ground chicken
3-4 tbsp. cilantro
Zest of ½-1 lime
1 1/2 oz. tequila
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Provolone cheese
French hamburger buns
Blue Plate light mayo
Lettuce & tomato
Tortilla strips

In a bowl, mix the ground chicken, garlic and jalapeño. Add the fresh cilantro, lime zest, tequila, soy sauce, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper. Form 4 patties. I put mine on wax paper and in the freezer for about 20 minutes to keep them from falling apart on the grill. Grill on medium heat for 4-5 minutes each side.

Butter & grill hamburger buns for about a minute until they are nice and toasty. Top with patties, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and tortilla strips. 

{Food for thought}

We have tried these with peppers and onions but found they overwhelmed the burger too much. Lettuce and tomato is simple, adds texture and coolness to offset the kick in the burgers. Add a little tortilla strips for a little crunch if you'd like.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

All In Chili

This chili recipe is a combination of many and has all the ingredients I love and feel should be in a chili. A true chili is robust, rich and deep and a labor of love. To me, there's nothing like listening to some music on a cool morning while laying out all the ingredients to make assembling that much easier. 

If you're able, make this a day ahead. Letting it sit overnight really takes the marriage of flavors to another level. I highly recommend a full bodied cabernet like this Earthquake. My husband says this is the best chili he has ever had and right after we had it for lunch, he was on his way to deliver some to both of our parents who live 25 minutes away. I am not even a chili fan and truly enjoyed it! 

You can use any meats you'd like, I just suggest sticking to 3 lbs as this was perfect. We chose the usual ground beef and since Terry does not like sausage in his chili we compromised with chicken sausage from Publix Greenwise. We love the taste of it and it's healthier. It comes in a package of 5 links so I just took the casing off and crumbled the meat. This chili has a kick but it's not too spicy by any means.  

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb chicken sausage, mild
  • 3 (15oz) cans kidney chili beans in a mild sauce, drained
  • 1 (15oz) can chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 2 (28oz) cans Rotel, original
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, diced (I seed only one)
  • 2 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon diluted in 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 Corona Extra (18oz) (drink the rest)

  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tblsp plus 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 1/2 tblsp chili powder
  • 1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tblsp minced garlic
  • 1 tblsp dried oregano

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Mine is 8.5" high and 10" wide. Crumble the ground chuck & chicken sausage into the hot pan (I used two pans so it would cook evenly, then combined the meats), and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease. Add in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes & tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green & red bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, bacon bits, bouillon & beer. Season with cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, sugar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic & oregano.  

  2. Stir to blend, then cover & simmer over low heat for at least 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. I simmered mine for 4 hours. Let it cool, then refrigerate. If you're able to make this the day before serving, it's actually better! I served it with shredded Mexican 4 cheese blend, sour cream, scallions & oyster soup crackers. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grilled Asian Glazed Salmon

Fresh salmon with or without skin, 3-4 servings
1 tblsp Dijon mustard
3 tblsp reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp sesame oil
1 tblsp rice wine vinegar
3 tblsp + 2 tblsp sweet Asian chile sauce, divided
A swirl or two of Sriracha, depending on your heat preference
Garlic powder
Ginger powder

Mix all ingredients together except salmon. Taste it to see if there is anything you like more of. This seemed like a perfect combo for us. It also works if you don’t have Sriracha or the rice wine vinegar. The point is this should be an easy throw together with what you have in the house. Important thing to remember is you want a little zing, a little spice and a little sweetness. As for the garlic and ginger, I just throw everything together then sprinkle a very good amount of both. If I had to guess, it’s about 2 tsp of each.

Pour 3/4 of the marinade over salmon in a Ziploc bag, reserving a small amount to glaze salmon after it’s done. Let it marinate at a minimum of 20 minutes at room temp. Pre-heat grill with a smaller grill rack on it. The rack not only keeps the salmon from falling through the main grill grates but I find it protects the salmon from getting burnt . Add a couple more tablespoons of sweet Asian chile sauce to the reserved marinade.

Spray non stick spray on the grill rack. Place the salmon on the rack and grill for about 4 minutes. Depending on the thickness, it’s about 8 min for an inch thick. Use a large spatula to flip carefully. Grill for 4 more minutes. Brush the reserved glaze over the salmon.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Jalapeno Poppers

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 small jalapeno peppers, roasted with stem and seeds removed
2-3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Frank's Buffalo Hot Sauce
8 slices bacon
Blue cheese or ranch for dipping

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Pound the chicken very thin. If making appetizers, cut each breast into four pieces. Season with salt & pepper and lay a roasted jalapeno pepper and some cream cheese over the top.

Roll each one into a little bundle and coat in Buffalo wing sauce. You can marinate the bundles in the sauce, but it's not completely necessary. Wrap in bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and pour a little of the wing sauce in the bottom. Place bundles in the dish without crowding. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and bacon is starting to get crispy, turning once if necessary.

Serve with blue cheese or ranch.

{Food for Thought}

Next time, I may place the cream cheese in the jalapeno before putting it in the chicken, because I found both the pepper and cream cheese to be very slippery. Also, this could prevent the cream cheese from oozing out of the chicken too much.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nutella Brownies

I am not a big brownie person but was intrigued when I saw these somewhere on the internet. And since my mom and MIL are chocolate lovers, I thought these would be perfect for dessert one Sunday dinner. These are a dense kind of brownie and everyone really loved them. I will definitely be making them again. 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup Nutella
2 tbsp brewed espresso
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tblsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking dish. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Nutella and espresso until well combined. Pour butter mixture into a large bowl. Beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.

Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until just combined. Spread into prepared pan (batter will be very thick and sticky) and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked. 

Cool on a wire rack. Don’t cut until completely cooled.