Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Dip

One thing I know...people LOVE dips!  What's better than a themed holiday dip?  This sweet pumpkin dip is a great addition to the dessert table at any Halloween/Fall party!  We used apple slices and graham crackers to dip, but the possibilities are endless!



Pumpkin Dip


Ingredients:



  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup frozen whipped cream, thawed
  • Apples or cinnamon graham crackers

  • Directions
1.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. 

2.  Add in pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger.  Mix well. 

3.  Fold in whipped cream.

4.  Serve with apples and graham crackers. 

*To make it extra fancy, gut a small pumpkin and serve the dip inside. 

Halloween Ghost Cookies

I know, Halloween is tomorrow.  So it's a bit late for these guys to make an apperance this year, but aren't they cute?!  Our family had an annual Halloween Party a couple of weeks ago and I was asked to bring dessert.  These little cookies were a cintch to make and my 6-year-old enjoyed putting the eyes on.  Notice the eyes on the ghost in the middle...they're rolling down the front.  

*These are great because Nutter Butters already have a natural ghost shape.  OOoooOOOooo!

Halloween Ghost Cookies




Ingredients:

1-2 boxes of Nutter Butters
Mini chocolate chips
Almond Bark

Directions:
Melt the almond bark according to the directions and dip the Nutter Butters in.  Let sit on wax paper and place the chocolate chips on as eyes.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken Burrito Filling

After I made this I seriously had a dream about it. I woke up at 3:00 AM and wanted a burrito with this filling. My mouth was watering. I made it knowing my husband wouldn't eat it because of the peppers so I got to enjoy it entirely myself. My plan was to freeze most of them to use as emergency work lunches, but I think I ate one everyday until they were gone. I CANNOT wait to make this again!

Thank you Mel for ANOTHER delicious meal! 

Chicken Burrito Filling





INGREDIENTS:
1 cup cooked rice, warm or at room temperature (I used Brown Rice)
1 cup cooked, chicken (I cheated and used the packaged fajita chicken in the bag)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/8 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2  green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups shredded cheese (I use a combination of Monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas
DIRECTIONS:
Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla. 
Dollop little bits of sour cream over the cheese before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center – it makes the wraps delightfully creamy.) 
I made a few of these and put in the freezer...not that it did any good.  I ate them all in the first week. 
*This is how Mel does it...but I couldn't be bothered with taking the time to do it: 
Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open and slightly flatten the wraps with the palm of your hand. Spray seam-side of the wrap lightly with cooking spray.
Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange wraps, seam-side down, in pan or griddle and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Cooking them seam-side down first helps seal the long edge so they don’t fall apart. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve warm.




Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oreo Cheesecake Bars

I've never been a big baker.  In my opinion, it's pretty boring.  But I find that the older my kids get, the more I want to create yummy treats for birthdays, holidays and other similar celebrations.  My baby turned one last month and I found these treats on Annie's Eats.  She's simply amazing.  She's a little intimidating.  I mean, these women really exsist?!  

Oreo Cheesecake Bars


Ingredients:
CRUST:
23 Oreo cookies
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

CHEESECAKE
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp sour cream, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
12 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped

Directions
Preheat the oven to 325º. 
Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with foil. 

CRUST:
Crush Oreos with a food processor until finely ground.  Add in the melted butter and pulse until the cookie crumbs are moistened. Transfer the mixture to the lined pan.  Press the crumbs into an even layer over the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, the set aside.  Leave oven on. 

FILLING:
Add cream cheese to a bowl and beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth.  Mix in the sugar until well combined. Blend in sour cream, vanilla and salt.  Beat in the egg and yolk on medium high speed until incorporated.  Be sure to scrape the bowl.  Stir in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the prepared crust, smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake for about 40 minutes, until the cheesecake is set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center. 

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 1 hour to room temperature.  Cover the pan and refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours.  

To cut the bars, pull the cake from the pan by lifting the foil up out of the pan.  Place on cutting board, peel away the foil and slice into bars. 
*Clean the knife blade between each slice to keep the edges neat. 
Keep refrigerate until ready to serve. 





Monday, October 8, 2012

Parmesan Chicken with Pasta Rags


A tasty dish that combines the yummy flavors, of breaded chicken with pasta and veggies.  It's a recipe I gathered from a church cookbook.  I love the name because that's exactly what the noodles look like, little pasta rags.  



Ingredients:
Chicken:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Pasta:
8 oz uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
1/4 c olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
9 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 cup cherry tomates, sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Heat oven to 475º.

In a shallow microwave bowl, stir together 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp seasoned salt 3 Tablespoons oil and the butter. Microwave until the butter is melted.  Stir together

In another shallow bowl stir together bread crumbs and grated cheese.

Coat chicken with butter solution and then with the crumb mixture. 

Place in an ungreased casserole dish and bake about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  

Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodle pieces until tender.  Drain and cover to keep warm.  

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat.  Add 1 clove of garlic and cook until fragrent.   Stir in spinach and seasoned salt.  Cook until spinach is cooked.  Add cooked noodles, tomates and chopped basil.  Cook for a couple of minutes until hot.  

Serve pasta mixture with chicken and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese. 

*It would be great with some Alfredo sauce tossed together as well. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Pasta

Wow.  This is good.  It is filling, cheesy, creamy, mushroom-y and chicken-y.  I got this recipe from Our Best Bites and they have it listed as a freezer meal.  That's what I planned to do...except there wasn't any leftovers!  Maybe next time.  

Cheesy Chicken Pasta


Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, havled
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablepsoons flour
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups, whole milk
10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 cup sliced, oil packed sun dried tomatoes (optional)
1 cup, mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese 

Directions:

In a large pan, boil the pasta until tender.  Drain, add a drizzle of olive oil, toss and set aside.  

While the pasta is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, cook 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked through.  Slice chicken and dice into small pieces.  Set aside.  

While the pan is still in the hot, toss the mushrooms in and saute until golden brown.  Add oil as needed.  

Using the same pot you cooked the pasta in, melt butter over medium heat and add flour and garlic.  Cook, whisking about 1 minute.  While whisking constantly, gradually add the milk, bring to a simmer.  Keep whisking frequently as the sauce thickens.  Add mushrooms and tomatoes.  Cook about 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat and gradually stir in mozzarella and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese.  

Add chicken and pasta to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  

Serve to a crowd!