“I followed my heart and it lead me to the fridge.” ~ unknown

Having spent the whole day yesterday watching college football and not have any food that even resembled tailgate food (aka appetizers, junk food, finger food), I was definitely craving something like that today!

But it needed to be quick and not huge because I may be the only one who would be snacking on it.

This old school dip came to mind and definitely handled my craving.

As I mentioned, this is not a large appetizer. It’s good for a few people to nibble on along with other items, although you could easily make 2 or double recipe and put on larger serving plate.

Easy Pizza Dip

  • 4-6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup Heinz Chili Sauce
  • ¼-½ cup shredded mozzerela cheese
  • 6 pepperoni slices, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 small olives (green or black) optional
  • Fritos

Evenly spread cream cheese in a small serving dish or dinner plate. Cover evenly with Chili Sauce.

Top with cheese, pepperoni, onion and olives.

Serve immediately with Frito chips or refrigerate until ready to serve.

I told you it was easy! 🙂


-abp

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“Why is it so hard to find an exercise bike with a nice little basket where I can put my nachos?” ~ Ron Alderson

If you are like me and should always be watching what you put in your mouth but never really want to – this quick little jewel of an idea is a great compromise.

It is great for an afternoon snack, a family dessert or can be taken to a party or get together.

And you don’t have to feel too guilty.

The wonderful bonus is how SIMPLE it is to create.

Caramel Apple Nachos

  • Pre-sliced bag of Granny Smith Apples
  • Tub of Caramel apple dip
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Salted peanuts, chopped

**The amounts would be determined by how much you are making.**

Layer apples on a serving platter.

In a glass bowl, melt caramel dip in microwave until soft enough to drizzle.

Drizzle (amount up to you) caramel over apples.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and peanuts on top.

Serve immediately.

 

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-abp

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.” ~ Ernie Harwell

My friends and I, The Regular Crew,  as they are called, will pretty much come up with most any reason to have a “gathering”.

These gatherings are always a fun, good excuse to try one of those new appetizers that cover up Pinterest. This gathering is no exception except that is will be bittersweet because the reason for this gathering is to say goodbye to 2 of our own, as they embark on their next life adventure in Indiana. 😦

While trying not to get too blue about that fact for the moment, lets focus on the app at hand.

I know most everyone has had the ham and cheese sandwiches with the popyseed/mustard spread and those really can’t be beat so today, so I’m not going to change up the original idea of the sandwiches but the way they are constructed.

Ham and Cheese Rolls

(adapted from Kevin & Amanda)

  • 1 can refrigerated pizza crust
  • 3/4 lb deli ham (thinly sliced, but not shaved)
  • 12 slices Swiss cheese (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350º.

Spray a 9×13 in baking dish with cooking spray.

Unroll pizza dough and stretch/press it out until it is around 13×18 in size.

On a cutting board, layer ham and cheese evenly on top of pizza crust. Tightly roll up the longer side, all the way to the edge. Pinch together and place seam side down.

Cut into 1 inches slices (12 in all) and arrange in baking dish.

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat,

Combine the butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and poppy seeds.
Whisk until all the butter is melted and ingredients are completely combined.
Pour evenly over rolls.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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-abp

“See your disappointments as good fortune. One plan’s deflation is another’s inflation.” ~ Jean Cocteau

It’s that time of year again!

The time when you can totally not feel bad about making a meal out of grazing for hours over the best appetizers there are to offer.

Well, at least that’s how we normally do the Super Bowl.

This year, it’s just going to be me and the hubs so we really don’t need several dips for just the 2 of us. Although, I still wanted a Super bowl party feel meal.

Que the Chicken Wings!

I have never attempted to make these at home so I thought what a good time to give them a go.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • 20 chicken wings
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 2 Gallon Ziploc bags
  • Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing for dipping

Place the salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, and vegetable oil into Ziploc bag, and shake to mix. Add the chicken wings, seal, and toss until well coated.

In the second Ziploc bag, place the flour, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder and shake to mix. Pour the chicken wings from the first bag into the flour bag, seal, and toss until well coated with the flour mixture.

Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet rack, and place into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a medium microwave safe bowl. Whisk in the hot sauce.

**If you want to skip this last step, you can buy your favorite jarred wing sauce – mine is Franks – and use it instead. **

Dip the wings into the butter mixture one at a time, and place back on the baking sheet rack.

Bake in the preheated oven until cooked through and crispy on the outside, about 1 hour, turning half way through baking.

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“Cooking is like love, it should be entered with abandon or not at all.” ~ Julia Child

This is definitely not a recipe that I could be enjoying due to my healthy eating diet I’m on at the moment but if I could eat something that was not so great for me – this would be it!

It’s my most favorite party dip!

I have probably been making this for 15+ years.

It’s one of the very first things that I ever mastered. One reason I remember that is because my Mammaw – the cook of all cooks – loved it! I remember taking this the first time I ever contributed to a family Holiday gathering. She asked for it again the next year.

That made an impression on me.

Gosh, I miss her.

She would totally be surprised to know how much I love to cook now.

So – if you need a great appetizer to take to the Super Bowl later this month – here you go!

Kickin’ Baked Artichoke Dip

2 (21 oz.) jars marinated artichoke hearts
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained
2 tsp. chopped jalapeno (or, to taste)
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain artichokes and roughly chop, combine with remaining ingredients.
Place in small baking dish and cook for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and slightly browned.
Serve with Triscuit Thin Crisps (my fav) or your favorite crunchy cracker.

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-abp

“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” ~ James Thurber

I have noticed that many restaurants have started adding marinated olives to their appetizers menus and I love it! Sometimes, I would want to order a martini just for the olives.

Who am I kidding?

I would order the martini anyway! The olives are just a bonus.

I love olives! All kinds, well, except those sliced black ones that come on mexican food. Bleh. I don’t like those.

But all the other kinds are fabulous! When you add seasoning, cheese, nuts etc. They just get better.

So, I thought, why not make some at home. Would be a great additive to any Christmas gathering you may have this season.

Marinated Olive and Almonds

(adapted from Southern Living)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups pitted and drained green and black olives
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted salted almonds

1. Stir together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add olives; toss with marinade to coat. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

2. Remove and discard crushed garlic cloves, and stir in roasted almonds just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Simple as that!

Enjoy!

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-abp

“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people” ~Abraham Lincoln

I stepped totally out of the box on this one, folks.

This is a recipe I would normally skipped right on past.

But it was the Fourth of July and what better fits that holiday more than watermelon?

– Not much.

And who is trying to lose baby weight?

– Me.

So I thought “why not?”.

I was still skeptical even as I filled the bowls but after all the garnish was applied, it all came together.

The flavors were amazing together and every bite was better than the last!!

Watermelon Gazpacho

1 large tomato, pureed
1/2 Serrano chile
2 cups cubed fresh watermelon
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1/2 cucumber, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a blender, puree the tomatoes, chile, and 1/2 of the watermelon. Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse. Add the onion, cucumber and dill and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkle with dill, feta, and remaining watermelon.

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-abp

“The Super Bowl is Americana at its most kitsch and fun.” ~ Sting

I must admit – I’m not a huge pro football fan but I do like the Super Bowl and yes, it’s because of the commercials. I also usually like the excuse to have people over and/or make yummy appetizers because appetizers are my fav!

Also – I love Peyton Manning. So, this year I will be pulling for the Broncos.

No big party this year but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a yummy appetizer and this year’s appetizer will be a little thing called Cajun Crack.

Cajun Crack

  • 2 cans of corn, drained
  • 1 can of rotel, drained (mild)
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoon Tony’s Seasoning
  • Fritos

Drain corn and Rotel. Combine all ingredients. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Serve with Fritos.

phontoThe original recipe called to serve it chilled but you cook also cook it in a baking dish at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

And to be honest – I think next time that’s what I would do but if I kept it cold, I would use green onions instead of red onions.

Also, in the cold version, I might add chopped green pepper. Basically, this is a good base but it needs to be dressed up to your taste. 🙂

-abp

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” ~ Tom Peters

Happy New Year!!

2013 was a wonderful year for my family and I am looking forward to a lot of great times in 2014 – including a lot of firsts with my sweet Elizabeth.

Of course, sometime today we have to have our greens and black eyed peas for luck – not sure how I’m going to get the greens in but I have great way to get the peas in that will pair up perfectly with a lazy day of watching football.

Black Eyed Pea Dip

(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 can (14-ounce) Can Black-eyed Peas
  • 1/4 whole Onion, Chopped Fine
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 8 slices Jarred Jalapenos
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Salsa
  • Hot Sauce, to taste
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste

Preheat oven to 350°.

Drain the black eyed peas and mash partly with a fork, leaving some whole.  Mix in the remaining ingredients and spread in an 8×8 baking dish.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Delish and very, very simple!

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Good luck to everyone in 2014!!

-abp

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Hello, it’s me again! Sorry I have been MIA but if you have read much of my blog lately you know I have a good reason! 🙂

Miss Elizabeth Louise Poore made her debut on Halloween – my little pumpkin baby!!

So, of course, it has been quite hectic around here but I wanted to throw a quick recipe out there for you.  It’s a very popular, easy party dip that I’m sure you have seen at a many of parties.

7 Layer Dip

  • 2 cans of refried beans with greens chilies
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup guacamole (I used premade)
  • shredded lettuce
  • shredded mexi-blend cheese
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped green onions (green part only)
  • tortilla chips

Spread beans evenly in a glass dish (9×11). Then layer the remaining indredients and serve with chips.

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Now how easy was that?? Easy enough for a mom with a 4 week old to make and take to an Iron Bowl party, but we are not going to talk about that. RTR anyway!

-abp