Saturday, February 25, 2012

Warm Chick Pea and Artichoke Salad

Man, have I been missing out! If you remember from my Black Bean and Corn Salad post, I vowed to start cooking with beans more. That means all kinds of beans. So far I've only used black bean, Northern white beans, and as of today, garbonzo beans. Now, I've had garbonzo beans (chick peas) prepared in other ways before, but none of those times have been with the whole bean. They've always been pureed or smashed into a hummus or burger or something like that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings - The Ultimate Comfort Food

Chicken and dumplings is a classic that has taken on so many different variations over time. It really comes down to the basics though: chicken, dumplings and a gravy. It's one of those meals that is always good. Kind of like pizza. (You know what I mean, right? Even when it's bad, it's still good...) Well, chicken and dumplings is so good at delivering comfort and warmth and happy thoughts and.... Well, I could go on and on but I'll just get to the good stuff.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tropical Banana Muffins

I've had the idea for some tropical-inspired muffins in my head for a bit and I finally wrote a recipe last week. Two versions later, I had the best-tasting banana muffins with a hint of tropical flare.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Three Potato Chowder with Beans and Sage

I'm always trying out new and interesting soup ideas. Because it's winter, my need to create yummy, comfort foods is heightened and soup is usually on the top of that comfort food list. We're big fans of stick-to-your-ribs kinds of soups and chowders in the winter because they make such a great meal and they taste so good and they make you feel so warm and fuzzy inside and...well, you get the idea.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fast Smoked Sausage Skillet

When it comes to getting dinner ready for a busy family, there's nothing better than a super quick meal that covers all the basis. This one-pan dish is full of everything you need for a well-rounded dinner including the meat, the veggie, the starch and the yummy goodness.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Super Simple Chicken Salad

I'm a big fan of chicken salad. I mean, a really big fan. It's just so good! It's creamy, it's full of so many different flavors and it can be made in so many different ways. I always hope that there's leftovers when I make dinner so I can chop it up the next day for a quick, yummy sandwich. If there isn't any, I'll just cook up a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts to get my fix.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The 3rd Birthday Bash

My son turned the big '3' a couple weeks ago and I still can't believe it. I'm also surprisingly taking it much better than I did when he turned 2. He was never your typical 2 year old so I'm wondering if the terrible twos are still coming. It's just one of the perks of being a parent, right? That and having a birthday party every year...or in our case two with a third that still hasn't happened yet.

The Best Buttercream


I'm not a fan of buttercream frosting that comes in a can. It just tastes so processed, fake and full of sugar. Instead of buying those, I'll usually whip up my own because it's so easy and tastes so much better. I don't like sugary frostings so my version has just enough to compliment the butter. This recipe is an adaptation of my normal buttercream because I've incorporated almond extract. It adds a sweetness without additional sugar and enhances the flavors of the cake itself.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baked Avocado Eggrolls with Honey Cilantro Dipping Sauce

The Super Bowl was one of my excuses to make a whole bunch of food and entertain some guests. I've been dying to try avocado eggrolls but never really had a reason to do it. Yesterday became my reason.

Cheesy Artichoke Dip

Who can resist yummy artichokes that are bathed in a mixture of different cheeses? It's tangy but smooth. It's sweet but savory. It's, well...just plain good.

I made this dip for our Super Bowl get together and it was a big hit. Cream cheese, Asiago, Mozzarella and Parmesan blend together to create interesting flavors that are perfect with pita chips or toasted bread rounds. It's a real crowd pleaser and it's great for any occasion!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Beef 'Empanada' Pockets

I've had a few crescent roll cans in my fridge that were about to expire so I brainstormed and decided to make something similar to empanadas. I can't really call them authentic empanadas because I used the crescent rolls for the dough instead of an empanada dough, but my version is just as good in flavor and style and took much less time. I think I'll try out a actual empanada dough at some point, but crescent rolls just make life so easy sometimes!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Caprese Skewers

Elegant appetizers can be so much fun but they don't surface very often. They just bring such a different feel to a party than chips and salsa or pigs in a blanket. And the cost doesn't have to be out of control if you find the right combination of ingredients. This post happens to be about my sister's creation and it fits the bill for being easy to prepare and it's not too shabby on the budget either. 

Potato 'Chips' with Baked Potato Dip

Do you love baked potatoes with all the trimmings but wish they were in snack form? Well, if so, look no further! (Hmmm...sounds like the beginning of a commercial.)

I put these little munchies together based on some potatoes I made for dinner the other night. Those dinner potatoes were similar to the following recipe, but more like a side dish rather than a snack. They were also served plain while these snack-size bites come with a dip.