Monday, October 29, 2012

Apple, Walnut, and Feta Salad (With dressing to die for)

I love to eat salad, and I love Pioneer Woman. I DVR her show and get so excited to see what she is going to make next. The beauty of her recipes is that I virtually always have her ingredients on hand for any given recipe. It makes for delicious, quick weeknight dinners that don’t disappoint. I made this for a church activity, and it got wonderful reviews! The dressing is my favorite part, you can barely taste the mustard but it gives an added flavor, and the maple syrup and vinegar combined, mmmm! Yummy!

Apple, Walnut, and Feta Salad (With dressing to die for)
Printable Version

12 ounces, weight Salad Greens (spring Mix)
2 whole Apples, Cored And Sliced Very Thin
1/2 cup Walnut, halved or chopped
1/4 cup Dried cranberries
6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
1 ¼  Tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Add greens, apple slices, walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta cheese into a large salad bowl.
In a small jar, mix Dijon, maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well to mix.
Pour a little salad dressing over the top of the salad and toss to combine. Taste salad and add more salad dressing to taste.

Recipe Adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks
Serves 12 as a side dish

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

The first soup of the season, and mmmmm it was GOOD! Sometimes I feel like the title to meals just doesn't quite fit...well, this one did. This tasted exactly like a baked, mashed up, loaded potato, in soup form. It was so yummy, and very filling. We will be adding this to our winter rotation!

Baked Potato Soup
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 of a large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 baking potatoes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup bacon bits, cooked and diced

Bake your potatoes either by piercing with a fork and 1) Baking in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour or 2) Cooking in microwave for 6-9 minutes, depending on size of potato, turning half way through cooking.
Remove potatoes and coarsely mash. We like to leave the skins on but you are welcome to peel them!

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft, about 8 minutes.
Add flour and mix until encorporated, then add milk, stirring with a wisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Add mashed potatoes, 1 cup cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.
Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with remaining cheese, onions, and bacon bits.

Serves 8.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken, Bacon, and Cream Cheese Taquitos with Avocado Dipping Sauce

Chicken and bacon, can you really go wrong? I don’t think so! These two ingredients pretty much make a meal remarkable to my husband, so I try to sneak them into everything! He also has a new addiction to avocado, and after you try this sauce you will, too. These Taquitos were a tangy, creamy delight! I even ate them for lunch the next day and they were {almost} just as good! O...and roll them up if you want more taquito-ish shape to your meal!

Chicken, Bacon, and Cream Cheese Taquitos with Avocado Dipping Sauce
Printable Version

6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
½ of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups Cooked, shredded chicken
8 corn tortillas
½ medium avocado, pitted, peeled and cut up
⅛ cup mayonnaise
⅛ cup sour cream
½ Tbs. milk
¾ tsp. white vinegar
⅛ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried parsley flakes, divided
½ tsp. onion powder, divided
½  tsp. Garlic powder, divided
½ tsp. Ground black pepper, divided
½ cup monterey jack cheese

Stir the bacon, cream cheese and chicken in a medium bowl. Add ¼ tsp. parsley flakes, ¼ tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. garlic powder, and ½ tsp.  black pepper.
Spoon about ¼ cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla round. Top with a little shredded cheese. Fold tortillas up and place them next to one another in a small baking dish, close enough to hold the sides up.
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.
While taquitos are cooking, mash the avocado in a medium bowl with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, vinegar, salt, and remaining parsley, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Serve with the taquitos for dipping.

Serves 2.
Recipe highly adapted from

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brazilian Cheese puffs

Have you ever been to a Brazilian grill? You know, one of those restaurants where they walk around with HUGE skewers of grilled meat and cut it right on your table? They are quite the sight to see, especially when you see how much all-you-can-eat you can really consume! I like meat, we eat it almost every day, but my FAVORITE dish at the “eat as much meat as you can” restaurant is these non-meat cheese puffs. I CHOW down on them. I mean chow. I get my $20 worth in cheese and milk. Love it. I was beyond ecstatic when my sister gave me the recipe and it was so easy and tasted just like the orginal. Go Sister!

Brazilian Cheese Puffs
Printable Version

1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup milk
Scant 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup packed queso fresco, shredded
¼ cup parmesan
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a mini-muffin tin. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender so that everything gets blended well. At this point you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Pour batter in tins, filling each cup halfway. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and just lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.
Eat while warm or save to reheat later.

Makes 24 puffs, serves 4.
Recipe from Amanda.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pioneer Woman's Creamy Mac

My heart lies with Mac and Cheese. Really, if you know me, you know that I could eat it for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. It makes me so happy. My mom made it constantly, and she got me addicted.

Pioneer Woman’s Creamy Mac
Printable Version

4 cups Dried Macaroni
1 whole Egg Beaten
4 Tbs. Butter
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
½ tsp. Dry Mustard, More If Desired
1 pound Cheese, Grated (I used 8 oz. colby jack, 6 oz. velveeta, and 2 oz. american)
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 4.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cody's Feta Avocado Dip

He’s obsessed. Seriously every day when my hubby gets home from school, he whips up the feta avocado dip. He comes up with the craziest things, and they usually pay off. This is over-the-top good. I honestly fight him for EVERY. LAST. BITE.

Cody’s Avocado Feta Dip
Printable Version

1 Large avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
3 Tbs. crumbled feta cheese
½ tsp. ground chipotle powder
¼ tso. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic salt
2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the above ingredients until well combined. Dip tortilla chips into dip and love every bite!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Momma's Bruchetta

Well, sadly the summer is coming to a well as all of the fresh, delicious herbs and vegetables This is a great excuse to make and eat all the bruchetta as I can stomach...which is way too much:). I had never had this rendition before, and I’ll never go back. The garlic gives it an extra pop and makes it heavenly.

Momma’s Bruchetta
Printable Version

4 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 pint yellow grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
16 whole fresh basil leaves, plus more as needed, chiffonade
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole baguette or crusty loaf
1 stick butter
fresh mozzarella cheese

In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, removing before the garlic gets too brown. (If you don’t have fresh garlic, jarred minced is fine, just don’t saute.) Pour the garlic and oil into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Add the red and yellow tomatoes, balsamic and basil to the bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and then taste and add more basil if needed. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two if you have the time.
Cut the baguette into diagonal slices to allow for the most surface area possible. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet and grill half the bread on both sides, making sure they're nice and buttery. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and the other half of the bread.
To serve, Place 1 thick slice mozzarella on top of the bread slices, give the tomato mixture a final stir, and then spoon generously over the slices of bread. Serve on a big platter as a first course or appetizer.

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman and my Momma