Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crabmeat Guacamole Dip

This recipe makes a big bowl full.  Crabmeat and avocado really complement each other well.  I combined two recipes from the "recipe girl" and "The Pioneer Woman" and added some of my own touches as well.  Grab the tortilla chips and ENJOY!
  • 4 Hass avocados
  • 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ C. sour cream
  • ½ C. salsa
  • 1 lb. lump crabmeat
  1. Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the avocado with a spoon
  2. Place the avocado in a medium bowl and add the lemon juice
  3. Toss with a large spoon
  4. Add the salt, cayenne, green onion, and garlic
  5. Use a knife to cut through the avocado forming large chunks, then use a fork to mash some of the avocado to create a smooth consistency with some larger chunks
  6. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and salsa until all are well incorporated
  7. Gently fold in the crabmeat, then fold in the avocados
  8. Refrigerate for several hours to allow all the flavors to “marry”
Tips and Tricks:
  • I serve this with tortilla chips.
  • The lemon is what keeps the avocado from turning brown.  I have another trick to keep the avocados looking nice and green.  Place a sheet of plastic wrap DIRECTLY over the dip, then cover the container with its cover.
  • I use light sour cream and 1/3 less fat cream cheese.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni salad is SUMMERTIME!  This makes a huge bowl full.  It is the combination of a few different recipes.  One is from Aaron McCargo, Jr (Big Daddy) and the other is from Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) and one is from my friend Melissa.  I mixed them all together to make my own!
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 1 t. salt
  • 6 boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, diced
  • ¼ C. sweet relish
  • ½ lb. of ham, cut into cubes
  • ½ lb. of Colby jack cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 C. mayonnaise
  • ¼ C. sugar
  • ¼ C. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • ½ T. kosher salt
  • 1 T. Crystal hot sauce
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce 
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the salt and add the pasta and as soon as it returns to boil, remove from the heat and allow the pasta to soak for 20 minutes (DO NOT open the cover to stir)
  2. Drain the pasta
  3. In a large bowl, add the pasta, eggs, green onions, Vidalia onion, and cucumbers
  4. Combine the last 7 ingredients in a bowl and whisk
  5. Pour the dressing over the other ingredients and refrigerate overnight
  6. Serve the next day
Tips and Tricks:
  • Many types of pasta can be used for this “pasta salad”.  I used the small sea shells, but rotini or bow ties will work as well.
  • Follow my link to find out how I boil eggs.  Yes, there is a trick to it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders

I combined a few different recipes I have to make these beauties.  They are flavorful and so crisp.  I don't like frying in the kitchen, but I make an exception for these.  You WILL have to double this recipe if you want to feed more than 3 people, because NO one can eat just one.
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 1 ½ C. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 C. canola or vegetable oil (for frying)
  1. Preheat canola or vegetable oil to 350 degrees or until a little sprinkle of flour fizzles in the oil
  2. Use 3 shallow bowls, combine the flour, sugar, salt, Creole Seasoning, and paprika in the first one, beat the eggs in the second, and put the panko in the last
  3. Using tongs, dredge the chicken through the flour mixture, then the eggs, and finally the panko
  4. Cook for 4 minutes on each side
  5. Remove and allow the tenders to drain on a paper towel lined plate
  6. Serve immediately
Tips and Tricks:
  • I serve this with Honey Mustard or Pepper Jelly Sauce.  Follow my links for each recipe.
  • You can also use this recipe for nuggets.  Simply cut the tenders into inch long pieces.  Nuggets will only need about 4 minutes total to cook.
  • The confectioners’ sugar is the SECRET ingredient for this recipe.  You won’t taste that it is there, but you’ll miss it if you leave it out.

Pepper Jelly Sauce

  • 1 C. pepper jelly
  • 1 T. Creole mustard
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T. Crystal hot sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients and heat in microwave for 1 minute
  2. Can be refrigerated and used for 2 weeks

Tips and Tricks:
  • I use the RED Tabasco Pepper Jelly.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

These are the perfect mix of salty and sweet.  I got the recipe from Tracey's Culinary Creations.  I really like the caramel/chocolate combination.  I hope you do, too.  
  • 2 1/8 C. all-purpose flour
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • 12 T. (1 ½ sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 C. light brown sugar
  • ½ C. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ C. chocolate chips
  • 32 caramels
  • 1 t. sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Line a 8” x 8” baking pan with foil, hanging over each side, and spray with cooking spray
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla completely until incorporated
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a little at a time, and use a rubber spatula to fold everything together (the batter will be very thick)
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Transfer half of the mixture into the baking dish, spread into a layer
  8. Place the caramels on top of the bottom layer and sprinkle with the sea salt
  9. Use a small scoop to dollop the remaining cookie dough over the salted caramel
  10. Press down gently with your fingertips to distribute  
  11. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until the bars are brown and firm to the touch
Tips and Tricks:
  • This will make 16 bars (2’ x 2”).
  • Allow the bars to cool in the baking pan before you remove them with the foil and cut into squares.