Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Dip

This is another "recipe girl" recipe that I tweaked. I added the pickled jalapeno peppers because I love the flavor they give to this, but they aren't necessary if you don't like them.  Easy to prepare and makes a large amount. 
  • 1 (10 oz.) can of Mexican Rotel tomatoes with Chiles, drained
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 C. jalapeño peppers, pickled
  • 1/2 C. enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 2 C. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
  • 2 C. Mexican cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place the Rotel, jalapeños, and the chicken breast into a food processor and pulse until well chopped
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese with a mixer, then add the mayo, sour cream, chicken, Rotel, jalapeños, and cheese
  4. Pour into baking dish and bake for 40 minutes
  5. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving
Tips and Tricks:
  • I serve this dip with Frito Scoops.
  • I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese and light sour cream for this recipe.
  • This dip can be baked ahead of time then reheated in the microwave later when serving.
  • I use Kraft Mexican shredded cheese, but if you can’t find it just use a Cheddar.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Vegetable Tian

Fresh produce is so abundant in the summer.  This is a wonderful recipe, from the Barefoot Contessa, that will help you serve up some squash in different colors.
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 6 creamer potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 zucchini, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 yellow squash, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 8 oz. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Brush a 13” x 9” baking dish with 1 T. olive oil
  3. In a skillet, heat 2 T. olive oil over medium-low heat
  4. Sauté the onions until soft, about 15 minutes
  5. Add garlic for 1 minute
  6. Pour into baking dish and stack the zucchini, potato, then squash into rows on top of the onions and garlic
  7. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Creole Seasoning
  8. Drizzle with 1 T. of olive oil and cover tightly with foil
  9. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil
  10. Add the cheese and bake for an additional 30 minutes
  11. Serve hot!
Tips and Tricks:
  • You can slice the veggies ahead of time to save time making this recipe.  The potatoes should be placed in ice cold water to keep them from turning brown.
  • Fresh cilantro can be added with the seasonings, if you like. (just sprinkle a few chopped tablespoons when you add the salt and pepper)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Marinated Cheese

This a recipe from Southern Living from years ago.  It is a great appetizer for a cocktail party.  The cheese soaks in the Italian dressing and gives it great flavor.  The green onions and pimentos give it a pop of color.  Enjoy!
  • 1 pack of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
  • ½ C. olive oil
  • ¼ C. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ T. sugar
  • 2 T. water
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 (2 oz.) jar of pimentos, diced
  • 1 (8 oz.) block of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 oz.) block of Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese
  1. Combine the first 7 ingredients by whisking together, then set aside
  2. Cut each of the cheeses horizontally, then cut each of the 6 blocks into ¼ inch slices
  3. Make little cheese sandwiches with a slice of cheddar on one side, a slice of Monterey Jack on the other side and  the cream cheese in the middle
  4. Lay the cheese in a rectangular glass dish with 3 or 4 rows of cheese
  5. Cover with the dressing and refrigerate overnight
  6. Serve the next day with assorted crackers and a small fork or tongs to grab the cheese stacks
Tips and Tricks:
  • I serve this with Wheat Thins and Sociables.
  • I don’t recommend using the 1/3 less fat cream cheese for this recipe.  It is too soft when slicing and doesn’t hold up as well.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Creole Tomatoes, Vidalia Onion, and Mozzarella Salad

Oh summer, how we love you. You bring us our favorite Creole Tomatoes and Vidalia Onions.  If you haven't had these you are missing out.  The onions are so sweet they hardly taste like a onion.  The tomatoes are the perfect consistency, not too firm, not too soft.  This is dinner for us with some french bread with butter.
  • 2 medium Creole tomatoes, sliced thick
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, sliced thin
  • 8 oz. of mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • ¼ C. of balsamic vinaigrette
  • ½ T. Sea salt
  • Calamata olives (or olives of your choice)
  1. Make balsamic vinaigrette and set aside
  2. Arrange Creole tomatoes on a platter
  3. Place a slice of mozzarella on top
  4. Sprinkle onions and sea salt over all
  5. Drizzle with vinaigrette
  6. Place one olive for each slice of tomato
Tips and Tricks:
  • DO NOT refrigerate the Creole tomatoes.  They taste best at room temperature.
  • I made this with slices of mozzarella from the deli, but fresh mozzarella is great with this.
  • I made my own balsamic vinaigrette.  Follow my link to make yours.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pretzel Dogs

The Herrys went to St. Louis for a little baseball trip.  We had pretzel dogs at a place called Gus' Pretzels.  I was on a mission to make my own, so when I got a Kitchenaid mixer for Mother's Day, that's what I did.  The recipe is a from Tracey's Culinary Adventures, but she started with a pretzel recipe from Alton Brown.  These are SO good.
  • 4 ½ C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2 t. kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ t. instant yeast
  • 1 ½ C. warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 4 T. butter, melted
  • 10 C. water
  • 2/3 C. baking soda
  • 8 hot dogs, cut in half (to reduce the diameter, not the length)
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 T. of water (egg wash)
  • Sea salt
  1. Add flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook
  2. Mix on low speed until the dough comes into a rough ball
  3. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic (it should pull away from the sides of the bowl)
  4. Transfer the dough to a large bowl that’s been sprayed with cooking spray
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about 50 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  7. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
  8. Combine the water and baking soda in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil
  9. Turn the dough out onto a work surface that has been dusted with flour
  10. Flour your hands and flatten the dough to divide into 16 equal pieces
  11. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough in your hands into a 12 inch rope
  12. Wrap the rope around each piece of hot dog, being sure to seal the ends well, so they don’t unravel when you boil them
  13. One at a time boil the pretzel dogs in the water mixture for 30 seconds, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to drain
  14. Transfer the dogs to the parchment paper-lined cookie sheets, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle with the sea salt
  15. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, or until golden brown
  16. Serve with Honey Mustard
Tips and Tricks:
  • These are great with Honey Mustard.  I make my own.  It’s easy, follow my link.
  • The dough is very tacky when you remove it from the bowl after it rises.  You need to work with it a bit with floured hands to get it to come together.

Honey Mustard

This is a recipe I got from "".  I like a Honey Mustard that has some mayo cause it's creamier.
  • ½ C. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. yellow mustard
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 3 T. honey
  • ½ T. apple cider vinegar
  1. Combine all ingredients
Tips and Tricks:
  • I serve this with Pretzel Dogs and Corn Dogs.
  • Can be refrigerated and kept for up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Balsamic-Mango Grilled Chicken

This is a "recipe girl" recipe and it is easy and yummy.  I made it my own by adding the mango salsa.  It is a great summer dinner with a fresh salad and a crusty chuck of bread dipped in some good olive oil.  Enjoy!
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8 chicken tenderloins (pounded if they are thick) 1 ½ to 2 lbs.
  • 1 C. mango nectar
  • 1/3 C. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • ½ T. of thyme
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • ½ T. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • Mango salsa
  1. In a large storage bag, combine chicken, mango nectar, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper
  2. Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to two
  3. Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat
  4. Spray with a cooking spray, then add chicken that has been drained of the marinade to the grill
  5. Cook for at least 4 minutes per side or longer if the breasts are thicker
  6. Serve with mango salsa
Tips and Tricks:
  • Mango nectar is what makes this chicken so tender.  You can find it on the juice aisle.  I used Kern’s.
  • Follow my link for my mango salsa recipe.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mango Salsa

This is such a great summer appetizer.  It is a combination of a few different recipes.  It is easy to prepare, except for cutting the mango which can be a little tricky.
  • 1 large mango (or 2 small), peeled and diced small
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ lime, freshly squeezed
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • ½ t. kosher salt
  1. Peel the mango with a vegetable peeler
  2. Cut the mango in half as close to the seed as possible and dice into small pieces
  3. In a medium bowl, with a cover, combine the mango, red onion, red bell pepper, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and salt
  4. Stir all ingredients and refrigerate for several hours
  5. Serve with tortilla chips 
Tips and Tricks:
  • I serve this salsa with Tostitos Scoops or Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips.
  • Some people are not cilantro fans, but this salsa really needs the cilantro to pull it together.