Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hot Pizza Dip

This is an old Pampered Chef recipe that makes for a delicious appetizer, snack, or even lunch during all of this chilly weather!

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (or just combine a little oregano, basil and garlic powder)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce

Garnish: 2 Tbsp. chopped green bell pepper or 2 Tbsp. green onion slices

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cream cheese and Italian seasoning in small bowl. Spread onto bottom of a small baking dish (PC's Mini Baker if you have it). In another small bowl combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle half of it over the cream cheese. Spread pizza sauce over it and then sprinkle with the other half of the mozz/Parm mixture. Top with garnishes (I didn't do any!) Bake 15-18 minutes or until bubbly.

Serve with toasted baguette slices or fresh vegetable dippers!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

Publix has their Pace Picante Sauce on sale this one, get one free. Food Lion has Kraft Shredded Cheeses on sale this one, get one free. And they have boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.79/lb. So guess what this means?? It's time for Chicken Enchiladas!!

1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken
1 (12 oz) jar picante sauce, halved
3 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
8 (6 inch) flour tortillas

Heat oven to 350. In a large skillet saute onions in butter until soft. Add chicken, half of the picante, cream cheese and cumin. Stir until combined. Add 1 cup of the cheese. Stir and remove from heat.

Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture in each tortilla. Roll up and place in 7x12 baking dish. Top with remaining Picante sauce and cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Bites

This is a quick and simple treat to make that's full of protein and healthy goodness! Perfect for children and toddler-hands! Thanks Elise for this delish after-school snack!!

1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter (crunchy will work, too, or even almond butter)
3/4 cup powdered milk

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup raw honey

Mix well and roll into 1 inch balls. Place on waxed paper-lined pan and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Store covered for up to one month- if there are any left!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Praline Thumbprint Cookies

No photo for these...the last thing I think about when these cookies come out of the oven is a photo!! They are too good not to eat up immediately!

This recipe comes from a local church cookbook and the woman who makes them every year at the holidays is a good friend of my sister. We started making them ourselves (we were tired of praying that Leslie would get some from her at cookie swaps! :) about two years ago, and they are heavenly.


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well at a medium speed. Add flour, mixing well. Stir in chopped pecans and vanilla. Shape dough into one inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press thumb in center of each cookie to make an indention. Bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on wire racks.

Praline Filling

1/2 cup butter
dash salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Let boil 2 minutes. Remove praline mixture from heat and cool to lukewarm. Stir in powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon til mixture is smooth. Spoon about 1/2 tsp. of the praline filling into each indention.

Enjoy with a cup of hot tea and a good holiday read.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Crockpot Chili

This is a great meal to put together in the morning and let it sit slow cooking all day. It's also great to assemble ahead of time and freeze...then just thaw the Ziploc the night before and plop in the Crockpot the next morning. This is an adaptation of the chili recipe that came with my Crockpot.

1 lb. ground beef, browned
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can pinto beans, undrained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
2-3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Cook on low for 5 or so hours.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, Tostito scoops, or rice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Brown the Beef

If you want to make life simpler in your kitchen, do some of your work ahead of time. I went grocery shopping this morning and bought 4 lbs. of organic ground beef. That's about what I buy for two weeks worth...two ground beef dishes a week. When I walked in the door, I immediately got out my big ol' family skillet and browned all four pounds of beef with about 1/2 of a large sweet onion. I drained it and now it is cooling.

I have labeled 4 freezer Ziploc bags for the meat once it has cooled. One will be for Crockpot Chili. The others are for spaghetti sauce, lasagna, and Cincinnati Chili. I will freeze the Crockpot Chili with all of the ingredients in with the beef...beans, tomatoes, spices. For the spaghetti sauce and lasagna, I just will split up the beef into their quart size bags to be ready for when I need it for sauce. For the Cincinnati Chili, I will just add the spices for that recipe, and freeze (in my cabinet I already have the tomato sauce and tomato paste for that recipe...and I took a Sharpie and put a big "X" on those cans so that I know they are to be used for freezer food).

Browning the beef ahead of time will save you time in the future because you only had to do it once instead of four times (which also decreases your dishwashing time!) and it also makes you know that you have meals planned and ready to go.

photos by dronir

Pecan Chicken Spread

As the holidays get closer, we always need some good stand-by appetizer or bring-to-a-party recipes. My sister has had this recipe for at least 20 years and it's always a crowd pleaser. It's original name was "Chicken Loaf", but let's face it...anything with "loaf" in it doesn't sound appetizing. So I renamed it. But it's just as delicious as ever.

1 1/2 cups cooked, minced chicken
1/3 cup minced celery
2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. Heinz 57
1/2 tsp. curry
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Blend together cream cheese, Heinz 57 and curry. Add chicken and celery and stir. Form into ball or dome. Cover with parsley and nuts. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with crackers.

I know. Sounds weird to have Heinz 57. But trust me, this is awesome!

photo by fuzuoko