“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

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“Who do you think would win in a fight between a grilled cheese sandwich and a taco?” ~ Andy Samberg

I love Mexican food and I really like making tacos at home – you know, the kind in the cardboard box. Old El Paso, Taco Bell……I usually buy which ever one is “buy one, get one free” at Publix. They do that quite often so I had started to build up a collection in the pantry and I knew I needed to be making tacos soon.

A few days ago, I saw where Lindsay from normalcooking.com had made Oven Tacos and I thought that would be a great way to change up my normal tacos from a box.

So that’s what I did!

Oven Tacos

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 1/2 small can diced green chilies
  • 3/4 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) can low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) can fat free refried beans
  • 1 cup mexican blend cheese
  • 10-12 hard taco shells
  • your favorite taco toppings

Preheat oven to 400°.

Brown meat and onions, drain.

brown meat

Add chilies, seasoning, tomato sauce and beans to meat mixture. Cook until moisture is absorbed. (I accidentally dumped the whole can of tomato sauce and started to stir before I remembered it was suppose to be only half – I scooped some of it back out so mine is a little more tomato-y than it should be. oops.)

mix

Spoon mixture into shells, top with cheese and place (standing up) in a baking dish. (Lindsay commented the shells with the flat bottoms would be great – and they would – but I didn’t have those).

stuff shellstop with cheese

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tacos are heated through.

Bake

Top with your favorite taco toppings.

baked tacosbaked tacos

There you have it – a new swing to an old favorite!

abp

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

What a week!!

There is so much going on and it’s not even officially the holiday season!

The past six months just seem like a blur to me – 4 major events – our wedding, the reception a couple months later, our honeymoon to Italy and my surgery. Thrown into that were football season (tailgating), getting a new house in shape and my new blog ( 🙂 )

Don’t get me wrong! I have loved every minute of it! Well, except the surgery, although I did enjoy the time off from work – that was awesome!. It’s just everything is going so so fast! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away!! And it will be my first officially Thanksgiving in my new house! YAY!

ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness!!!

Starting then I’m pretty sure we will be having all kinds of traditional holidays foods for the next several weeks but this week and next weekI’m sticking to the normal everyday things I like to make.

You know I LOVE pasta and you know I LOVE Mexican food. So why not combine them??

When I came across this recipe on Pinterest – I knew I must try it!

Chicken Taco Pasta (adapted from Bev Cooks)

Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbs. favorite taco seasoning
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can drained and rinsed kidney beans (or black)
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 cups pasta shells
  • 4 oz (half a block) cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs. greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • coarse salt and pepper

(FYI – the pictures below are a double recipe)

Start by putting pasta onto cook according to directions. Reserving 1/3 cup pasta water.

Brown your chicken over medium-high heat. (I must admit, I’m not really a fan of what ground chicken looks like while it’s cooking)

Add onion, garlic and taco seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes.

Next add corn, beans, green chilies and salt/pepper to taste. Cook another 5 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes and toss to combine.

Stir in cream cheese and yogurt.

Combine meat mixture with shells. Add pastas water bit by bit if it is to thick.

Serve with plenty of fresh cilantro.

This recipe was very filling and had great flavor but I must warn you – wear your chopping gloves because there’s a whole lot a choppin’ going on!

I can tell you – my wrist wanted to revolt against me.

But it was worth it. 🙂

abp