Monday, February 24, 2014

Dill Pickle Dip:

 My birthday was last week, and like most people, my family kept asking me what I wanted for dessert, and things like that. I really just enjoy all kinds of food - a lot! So it's hard for me to pick one thing!! I seriously thought about it for days! We had a lot going on that weekend, and would already be having lots of desserts, so I thought that Chips/Veggies and dip and Chex mix would be fun! And it was a good choice!! Everything was so yummy, and it was so fun to just relax, have some finger foods, and watch one of my favorite movies - Princess Diaries2! And another good part, was that I could pick more than 1 thing!! I love Dill Pickle chips, but they are hard to find where I live, so when I saw this dip recipe, I wanted to try it! And it was so, so good! I actually like it far better than the dill pickle chips! So, even if it's not your birthday or any special occasion, I hope if you like dill pickles, you'll give this super easy recipe a try!!
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 - 1 cup chopped dill pickles, depending on how much you like pickles!
1 tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
Pickle Juice
Using a hand mixer, cream together the cheese, pickles and Worcestershire sauce, until well combined. If it's too stiff for you, than you can pour in a small amount of pickle juice from the jar, until it reaches desired consistency. Serve or chill until ready to serve!
-You can use any size pickle. I used the pickle slices, and chopped them about as small as I could get them.
-It's actually a lot better served the next day! The flavors have a chance to blend I guess, and it's just really super yummy!
-I served it with Potato Chips, but it's actually good with tortilla chips too, and I'm sure you could serve it with crackers as well!
 It's just good, no matter how you serve it!!!
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread:

After falling in love with the Monkey Bread I posted a couple of weeks ago, I knew there would be other ways to use that bread. Why not a savory option? When I saw a version of this recipe, I knew it would be AMAZING. And let me just tell you - it was!!! It smelled SO good while it was baking and it tasted heavenly! Even my mom liked it and she is NOT a fan of garlic or Parmesan cheese! As with the Monkey Bread, it takes a little time, but it's really easy. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as my family did!!!

2 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tblsp. Rapid Rise yeast
3 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (dry)
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tblsp. butter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tblsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla

1 & 1/2 cups grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 tblsp. dried parsley
4 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp. onion powder
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix all the dry ingredients from the "dough" list, until well combined. Set aside.
3. Put water and butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave just until the butter has melted. Remove from microwave and stir. Add milk, stir. Add egg, cider vinegar, oil and vanilla; whisk to combine.
4. With the stand mixer running (using the paddle attachment), pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrap down the bowl if you need to. Allow to mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
5. Melt butter in a small bowl. Combine the Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and onion powder from the "coating" list in a seperate small bowl.
6. Form the dough into 3/4″ balls (I just used a cookie scoop) and dip each ball first in the butter and then roll in the Parmesan cheese mixture.
7. Place into the prepared pan. Be sure to not tightly pack the dough into the pan, allow gaps between the dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been formed, dipped in the butter, rolled in the cheese and placed in the pan. You will probably have some butter and cheese mixture leftover. You can reserve the butter for another use. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over the top of the rolls. Place the remaining mixture in a zip-top back and refrigerate for later use.
8. If you want to bake it now, you may go ahead and follow the remaining steps. You can also cover the dish now, and place it in the refrigerator over-night or until you are ready to bake it. Follow the remaining steps.
9. Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place, covering the dish with a clean dish towel.
10. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until dough is no longer "doughy" when a ball of dough is pulled apart. Carefully remove from the oven.
11. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve and Enjoy!

-The Rapid Rise Yeast is very important here. Don't use Active Dry, or it will not rise at all.
-This would be SO good served with just about anything, but especially Lasagna, Spaghetti, or something like that. I served it with this Vegetable Meatball Stew and it was super yummy!
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Cherry Limeade:

Happy Valentines Day!
Here's a bonus recipe this week in honor of this special day!
I LOVE cherries, as long as they're fresh, but cherry flavored things are not my favorite at all. However, I really liked this drink! It didn't have a big cherry flavor, but was still surprisingly yummy! It would be perfect for in the summer, but it would also be cute for Valentine's Day too!! 
Hope you try it out! 
1 (12 oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate
1 (2 liter) bottle Lemon-Lime Soda
1 (10 oz.) jar maraschino cherries
Place limeade concentrate and the juice from the cherries in a gallon pitcher (save the cherries for something else later). Add a small amount of the Soda, and blend together with an immersion blender. Add the rest of the Soda and stir together. Serve over ice!
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Monday, February 10, 2014

One Bowl Chocolate Cake:

I don't know who it was that started the connection between Valentine's Day and Chocolate, but whoever it was, they were pretty smart!! This cake is SO easy and it would be perfect for an easy, yummy Valentine's treat!!! I've been looking for a good cake recipe for a while now, and when I came across this one, I thought it was too good to be true!! Being a food-blogger, it's my duty to try out all kinds of recipes. It's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it! So, doing my "duty" I made this chocolate cake! And it.was.good!!!!!! I hope you'll do your "duty" as well and give this recipe a try!
2 cups flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk (see note)
2 eggs
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 & 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 tblsp. baking cocoa
3 cups powder sugar
For the cake:
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add oil, buttermilk and eggs; mix well. Add water and mix until well combined. It may seem runny, but that's how it's supposed to be! Pour into a greased, 9x13 baking dish or a large sheet pan or jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake completely cool before frosting.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Using a hand mixer, mix until thoroughly combined. Add more milk, if desired, 1 tblsp. at a time, to reach desired consistency. I wanted mine to spread very easily, so I added 2-3 more tblsp. of milk than what the recipe calls for, but it's completely up to you.
-I don't normally have buttermilk on hand, so I use this handy substitute:
Place 1 cup of milk in a small bowl. Add 1 tblsp. vinegar and gently stir. Let stand for 5 minutes and then add it to your recipe! Works great!
-I made this cake with the chocolate frosting, but you could use any kind you like.
This Peanut Butter Frosting would probably be really good on it!!!!
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Tips on making half of a recipe:

I am part of a pretty big family  - I mean, 5 kids (all over 13) at home and two parents. And there's even a 16-year-old boy in there! But still, for some reason, if a recipe serves 4, that's the amount I make and usually there's leftovers! I hardly ever make anything with two pounds of hamburger, and typically only use 4 chicken breast. We're just not big eaters I guess, at least that's what people tell us (unless it's chocolate chip cookies we're talking about!)!! That being said, there is lots of times that I only make half of a recipe or sometimes I even make a recipe and a half, depending on what it is and how many I'm cooking for. We have this fantastic measuring cup that has teaspoons, ounces, tablespoons and cups all marked on it, but after years of use, the lettering is starting to disappear and I was starting to panic!! Then I stumbled across this and was very excited! It may not take the place of my handy measuring cup, but it will definitely help!
Now I know there's people out there that can figure all this out in their head in two seconds, but I am NOT one of them. Plus, I second guess everything, and that doesn't help either. So if you're super smart and don't need this chart, I sincerely congratulate you!!!! If you're anything like me, here's a handy chart to help us out!!
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