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Category: Snacks & Sides

Halloween Graveyard Taco Dip

graveyard taco dipI know this is a month behind, but I have been trying out various Pinterest recipes and came across this dip from the chickabug blog. We attended a party at some friends house last month and I tried it out. Very easy to make and very tasty as well. I think the thing that took me the longest was mashing up the avacados. They weren’t quite as ripe as I would have liked, but they still tasted good. And making the gravestones / tree was very easy as well. What a fun idea for making various shapes for other things as well. I’ll store that tid bit for the future. This is just a great tasting dip in general. So even if you don’t make it graveyard style, it’s a great go-to party dip recipe. It’s definitely a keeper!

Homemade Stuffing a Hit

stuffingI have been trying to find various ways to use my Vitamix and have for the most part been successful. Beyond smoothies and juices I have also now added soup, salsa, and bread crumbs to the list of possibilities. I love that it is a blender/food processor, and so fast.

For Thanksgiving this year I signed up for stuffing so I thought I would try to make it from scratch. I really like stove top though, so the first step was finding a recipe that could get me close to that taste. This was the simplest recipe I could find so that’s the one I picked.

Stove Top-Like Stuffing Mix

We made it at home first as a trial run and used the Vitamix to create bread crumbs. What I found is that if you are using crumbs more than cubes, either use less, or add more liquid. Getting the ratios right was the hardest part. When it finally came to making the Thanksgiving batch we found the perfect ratio. 2 loaves of bread and 3x everything else. We toasted all the bread to dry it out some and then made the bread crumbs using the Vitamix. You could also use a food processor or just chop very small. We were very pleased with the results and I don’t know that anyone would know it wasn’t stovetop. In fact, I got many compliments on the stuffing. Yay for homemade!

First Salmon: Glazed Salmon with Spicy Broccoli Recipe

We cooked salmon last night for the first time ever. I’ve eaten a few times, especially in alaska, but I’ve never bought or cooked it. I’m not a huge fish person. But I know it’s supposed to be good for you, and it was on sale so I though, “Why not?”

We had to google whether or not we could eat the skin, because neither of us knew. I felt dumb, but I love google. It turns out you can eat the skin, and it also turns out that it tastes ok. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten fish with skin on before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was good.

The first salmon dish was a success. The only thing I did not like about the meal was the over salty broccoli, but that is easy to fix next time.

Does anyone have any great salmon cooking tips?

Glazed Salmon with Spicy Broccoli Recipe | Cooking | How To | Martha Stewart Recipes.

Saturday Cooking Day – New Recipes

John helped me pick out some new recipes to try from our large stack of them. We leafed through all the torn out pages from magazines until we had a menu plan we could work with. We ended up with the following:

-Homemade baked chicken tenders
-Jalapneo Mac’N Cheese
Cinco de Mayo Sippers
-Corn with Chili-Lime Butter 
   (We used chili powder instead of the paste)
6-23 cooking1 6-23 cooking2 6-23 cooking3

 John made the proclamation that the corn was the best he had ever eaten. That’s pretty cool too since he pretty much prepared it on his own. I had never bought ears of corn before. He even shucked them. It was so nice to have my husband helping me in the kitchen. We literally worked together on every aspect of the meal and then were able to sit down and enjoy it together knowing how hard we worked to put it together. It was rewarding and tasty!

BBQ Chicken & Hushpuppies

For Memorial Day weekend we decided to take it easy and make some homestyle food. I had a recipe for Crockpot BBQ Chicken that I had been wanting to try so we got that in the crockpot after breakfast and then had an early dinner. The chicken came out beautifully. I used chicken legs instead of breasts, but otherwise followed the recipe. The chicken was so tender, and so good. We paired it with some potato salad and hushpuppies. We also made some sweet tea trying a sample from Republic of Tea of their Watermelon Mint tea. It was so refreshing and just tasted like summer in a glass. I felt like we ate like kings. Nothing beats some down home cooking!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken
bbq chicken

Hush Puppies
hushpuppies

Buttermilk Biscuits

I love some good biscuits! Since I consider myself 1/2 Southern (my dad was born in Mississippi and we used to take trips to Alabama in my childhood summers) I am a fan of all that good soul food fare. Sweet tea, pulled pork, bbq anything, fried chicken, biscuits, greens, corn bread, hushpuppies, etc… I love some good southern cooking!

I’ve attempted many dishes but biscuits has been one thing I have never tried to make before. For whatever reason, I seem to have this fear of making bread items. I think it’s just because it’s something I have such little experience doing. But how do you gain experience without trying? Last weekend I had the time and decided, this is the day. I found a recipe online and made it. And believe it or not, they actually came out pretty darn good and we enjoyed them all last week.

Buttermilk BiscuitsbiscuitsNow I think this will become a staple item, along with our waffles and homemade pop-tarts. Breakfast is becoming much more fun when we have food that I enjoy eating!

Weekend Cooking

This weekend I had a little time to cook for us. On Saturday I made breakfast food and Sunday was  just food for Sunday and a little extra to freeze.

Saturday:
Homemade Poptarts (you can find out about my first experience making them here.)
This time around I added more filling and tried some with nutella too. I can’t wait to try them.

Banana Breadcooking ahead

We are all set for breakfast this week!

Sunday I got a rotisserie chicken that we baked. In the meantime I also made a new recipe I found in the Food Network magazine for Spicy Guacamole with Mango. It came out delicious and I think we could have easily just eaten the whole bowl of that and not had any chicken. But alas we saved some for dinner too where we used some of the chicken from lunch to make quesadillas. And I also had enough chicken leftover to freeze for future use as well. I am starting to really love the rotisserie chicken!Spicy Guacamole with Mango Quesadillas

One interesting thing from my cooking adventures this weekend was that we tried a new food. The guacamole recipe called for some fresh jicama. I had seen it in the store before so I knew where to get it, but I honestly didn’t even know what it was, nor have I ever purchased it or used it before. I had to google it. But now I can say I know what it is and have used it. I feel just a little more savvy!

Homemade Popcorn Steals My Heart

Lately I have been on a popcorn kick. Plus I’ve been reading about all these combinations of flavors you can make at home. So when John and I went to Long grove a while back we stopped at a popcorn store and picked out some kernels and seasoning.
Kernels Seasoning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since then, it has been sitting on my shelf in the kitchen, while we have used up our microwave popcorn. I have wanted to try making it, but I was just hesitant. Would it really be as easy as I have read?

popcorn2

Finally we went for it. We’ve made it twice now and I have to tell you, both times, it was the best popcorn I’ve ever eaten. And it is EASY. Here’s a the recipe for Perfect Popcorn that I used the first time. The second time I just kinda eye balled it. Basically you just need a pot, some oil, some kernels, some time, a little butter and seasonings of your choice. That’s it. A little oil in the bottom of the pan, add some kernels, turn it on medium and wait. Oh yeah, don’t forget to put the lid on (slightly ajar). Otherwise you will have popcorn all over your kitchen. I love watching it pop. Call me a kid, but it’s just cool! I captured this video so you will all get to enjoy a little bit of it.

Popcorn

right after it's done
right after it’s done

After it’s done popping or barely popping take it off the heat. Let it sit a moment or two to let any stray kernels get that energy out of their system and dump in a bowl. Pour melted butter over popcorn and your seasoning. Mix and you are ready to enjoy the best popcorn ever!

all seasoned and ready to go
all seasoned and ready to go

Strawberries are wonderful!

Strawberries have been on sale and I have been loving it. Last week I think I bought 5 cartons and we actually used 3 that week. The others I froze for smoothies. Strawberry soup for dinner. Strawberry smoothies. My latest to try was a fruit salsa. We had it with the cinnamon tortilla chips and it was delicious. We had alot left over so I decided to make some pancakes and we used it as a topping. So good! It’s a keeper for sure and I have never been so excited to make pancakes again!

Pancakes with our Smoothies (strawberry,mango,kiwi,blackberry)

 

Our Delicious Fruit Salsa