GARDEN TOMATO SALSA

Just in time for Football tailgating!!

GARDEN TOMATO SALSA
6 cups chopped tomatoes
i bunch cilantro, chopped fine
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime*
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
jalapeno, minced to taste

Toss all together and chill 24-48 hours before serving. You end up with about 7 1/2 cups of salsa.

PICKLED EGGS

PICKLED EGGS
1 dozen JUMBO eggs
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
1 whole dried chile pepper

  • Hard boil the eggs.
  • Drain and fill with cold water. Allow eggs to sit in cold water for 20 minutes.
  • Peel the eggs and place in a glass jar, alternating with the onion rings. Add the red pepper.
  • In a medium saucepan combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Pour the hot vinegar solution over the eggs. Cover tightly and let stand in refrigerator for several days before serving.

CHEDDAR & BEER FONDUE

CHEDDAR & BEER FONDUE 
 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper to taste
3 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 cups grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Gruyere
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I omitted as I’m deathly allergic)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
1 12 ounce beer, preferably Budweiser (I used Dos Equis)
3 tablespoons Amontillado sherry
Sea Salt
Dipping items – crusty bread, apples, sausages, etc…

  • Melt the butter in a fondue pot or heavy sauce pan.
  • Add onion and garlic, stirring until it carmelizes.
  • Add the caraway seeds and stir to brown them.
  • Add the beer, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer to mellow the flavor, about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl toss the cheeses with the cornstarch, mustard and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the cheese mixture, a handful at a time, stirring each batch until smooth and all cheese is incorporated.
  • Stir in sherry and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Keep warm over a low flame.

Save

Save

BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS & RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

Hubby actually found this recipe over at Two Peas & Their Pod and requested I make them soon! Taquitos are just rolled up tacos. Her recipe calls for baking them which I adore since we just don’t do or need the fat, but don’t worry they still get nice and crispy in the oven!

Is there anything any more fun for an appetizer than a plate of FUN Mexican food? Don’t forget to top it with all your favorite toppings too. You can leave all the topping separate and do an appetizer bar for a party. The taquitos are the perfect appetizer or even the whole meal. The more toppings the better in my opinion. I’m going to make it again for Super Bowl! Her recipe is great the way it is, we just added a few additional toppings.

Hubby found this recipe just in time for my grocery shopping day too and I made them the next day for the NASCAR race – so perfect because I made them in advance and wasn’t in the kitchen during the race.

I did omit the step (changing it to brushing them with avocado oil) “Spray the taquitos generously with nonstick cooking spray” as I try to use very little chemicals in cooking and the spray just has an odd taste to me when used directly on food. And I added greenchile verde sauce, diced green onions and diced cilantro to the insides.

BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

2 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup green chile verde sauce
1 bunch green onions, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar jack combo
20 corn tortillas *

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Salsa
Guacamole
Sour Cream
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Chopped Jalapeños
Limes for squeezing
Chopped black olives
Chopped Green Chiles
Chopped Green Onion
Crumbled Queso Fresco
Finely shredded Jack cheese
Finely shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken with the cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika, 1/2 cup green chile verde sauce, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro. Stir until chicken is well coated and everything is well distributed.
  • Add the shredded cheese and blend well.
  • Before you roll up the taquitos, place the corn tortillas in between damp paper towels and heat them up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and fill quickly.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken and cheese mixture in the center of the tortilla and roll it up tightly. Place each tacquito, seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Continue rolling taquitos until the tortillas and filling are gone. You should have about 20 taquitos. Nestling the taquitos tightly keeps them from spreading during baking.
  • Use a silicone brush to spread a little avocado oil on the tops of the taquitos.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm with desired toppings.

When I make up the platter, I top the taquitos with the toppings we both like and then do up a side bar for the toppings that we use differently.

NOTE 1*: This will make them easier to roll and keep them from tearing.

NOTE 2**: These tasty snacks can easily be made in advance.  You can even freeze the taquitos before you bake them. Lay the taquitos in a single layer, side by side on a baking sheet, cover with saran and freeze. When frozen, place taquitos in a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425° and place frozen taquitos on a large baking sheet lined with foil or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

4 large avocados (black in color, slightly soft to the press)
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice 1 lemon or tangerine
1 bunch green onion, diced
3⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1 large tomatoes, diced
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
finely chopped fresh jalapeno (optional)

  • Slice avocados in half. Discard the seed. Scoop all the meat into a medium bowl.
  • Add juice of one fresh lime immediately to prevent browning.
  • Use a fork and mash to desired consistency.
  • Add chopped onions, tomato, and cilantro, stirring gently to mix ingredients.
  • Add juice of lemon or tangerine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Stir just slightly, until incorporated.
  • Add jalapeño to taste.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips for a dip, or use with your favorite TexMex meal.

NOTE: If you want a very creamy dip use a food processor. Otherwise doing it by hand gives you a rustic chunky guacamole.

Save

Save

VAMPIRE SLAYER GARLIC BREAD

OMG This appetizer replaces any entree – it’s ooey, gooey, cheesy and literally melts in your mouth all the while tantalizing your taste buds from the very first bite!

VAMPIRE SLAYER ARTICHOKE BREAD Adapted from Crumb
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced fine

14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained REALLY WELL and chopped small
1 cup shredded Face Rock Vampire Slayer Cheddar cheese
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
1 package Seattle Sourdough Ciabatta rolls
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat broiler, and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter until foamy.
  • Add garlic and green onions sauteing until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in artichoke hearts, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan and sour cream until combined.
  • Slice the bread lengthwise.
  • Place the bread halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up, and spoon the cooled cheese and artichoke mixture over top.
  • Lightly salt and pepper to taste.
  • Broil until cheese is melted and bread is hot.
  • Cut each half into pieces and serve right away, while the cheese is still nice and melted.

Save

BUFFALO CHICKEN FRITES

We love this recipe because it is so easy to personalize it.  Hubby LOVES Bleu Cheese, me not so much so I can make mine with cheddar or Jack.

BUFFALO CHICKEN FRITES
2 russet potatoes
2 medium carrots, sliced on an angle thinly
1 large celery stalk, sliced on an angle thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced on an angle thinly
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bit sized pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
1/8 cup Bleu Cheese crumbles
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 cup rice flour
1 +  1 teaspoon Ranch seasoning
2 tablespoons Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
2 +1  tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
Fresh ground Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste
Fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Line cookie sheet with foil.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Wash potatoes and dry well.
  • Slice potatoes into even size sticks.
  • Toss potato sticks with avocado oil and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  • Arrange potato sticks in a single layer on the cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.
  • Toss again with 1 teaspoon of Ranch seasoning and bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  • While frites are baking, prepare chicken.
  • In a ziplock bag combine the rice flour and 1 teaspoon of Ranch Seasoning.
  • Add chicken pieces and coat well.
  • In a cast iron skillet melt the butter.
  • Add chicken pieces and brown well on all sides.
  • When chicken is almost done move to outer edges of pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon butter more to center along with onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender.
  • Mix together veggies and chicken pieces.
  • Drain in a colander of any excess oil.
  • Toss chicken mixture with sour cream mixture.
  • Plate crisp frites.
  • Top with a scoop of chicken mixture.
  • Top with cheese crumbles and ENJOY!

Save

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD

I found this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pull-Apart Bread on Facebook, you know one of those that they show you in video form in 30 seconds or less AND looks really scrumptious?  I was thinking of making it as an appetizer when our son and family are here at Christmas time, but needed to test it first.

Well, this recipe did not disappoint.  I made some of my homemade Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing to go with it and the combination was addicting! Instead of an appetizer we added a salad and made it a meal.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD
2 packages Pillsbury pizza dough (I used 1 recipe of my homemade pizza dough)
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I used original recipe Costco Rotisserie chicken)
1 cup Buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (I used more, about double – we like onions)
2 1/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (I used regular jack cheese)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 jalapeno, sliced (OPTIONAL – I didn’t use)
Ranch dressing for dipping (I used a batch of Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a bowl toss together the chicken, buffalo sauce, green onions and half the cheese.
  • Roll out dough and cut into 3×3 inch squares (about 30 squares total). **SEE NOTE
  • Brush each square with the melted butter.
  • Top each square with a spoonful of chicken mixtures and then a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.
  • Brush loaf pan with butter.
  • Stack each square on top of each other in your loaf pan with the chicken side up.
  • Brush top of bread with remaining butter. 
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes until golden and set.

NOTE:  The original recipe had you doing each square one at a time, but I found it much easier to do them all at once and then stack for a more even and less messy build.

PIMIENTO CHEESE

As a kid I hated Pimiento Cheese.  What I didn’t realize is what my family put out with crackers was NOT real food LOL.  You know the jelly jar cheese spread you find at the grocery store.  Jack Allen’s Kitchen serves a small dab of their Pimiento Cheese with a cracker as a nibble before you order and it is fantastic!  I even bought a jar to bring home and it was the first recipe I tried from their cook book when it arrived. At home we tried it with all sorts of crackers before deciding a simple Ritz cracker was the best.
PIMIENTO CHEESE
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 pound Medium Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 large Red Bell Pepper, washed, seeded, roasted and chopped fine
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Sherry Vinegar*
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Vinegar and salt until smooth.
  • Blend in the grated Monterey Jack cheese and grated Cheddar cheese.
  • Fold in bell pepper until well distributed.
  • Chill well.
  • Serve with crackers.

*I didn’t have any so I used Golden Balsamic Vinegar

BUFFALO CHICKEN MUFFINS

BUFFALO CHICKEN MUFFINS
Yield: 24-30 Muffins

1 recipe of your favorite PIZZA dough or cheat and use a can of Pillsbury Pizza dough
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 pound ROTISSERIE chicken pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
2 cups fresh mozzarella

Instructions
  • Saute chopped onions in butter over medium heat. Once transparent, add chopped chicken to heat through.
  • Add Buffalo Sauce and heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  •  Prepare muffin tins with non-stick spray or line with muffin papers.
  • Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a large rectangle roughly 1/4 inch in thickness.
  • Spread chicken and cheese evenly across each piece of rolled out dough. 
  • Starting from long side of dough, begin rolling the dough up like a cinnamon roll. Pinch ends when done. 
  • Slice into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls. 
  • Place in muffin tins. 
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and dough is lightly browned. 
  • Serve and enjoy!

PROPOSED EASTER MENU

Things are moving along well, so well that we decided to host Easter. I’m really excited about being far enough along host Easter and being able to really bake and cook again. This is my proposed menu. Any other ideas?

TROPICAL GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

2-3 pound pork tenderloin
1 cup apricot pineapple preserves
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Whisk together brown sugar and pineapple juice.
  • Blend in preserves.
  • generously salt and pepper the pork loin.
  • Spread a small layer of the glaze on the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Lay the pork loin on top and spread the remaining glaze on top and along the sides.
  • Baste as necessary
  • Bake 45-60 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.
DEVILED EGGS

8 hard boiled Eggs
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
paprika

  • Cut eggs in half and scoop out yolks. 
  • In a mixing bowl mash the yolks to a fine consistency. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients except the paprika and mix well until smooth and creamy. 
  •  Fill egg whites and sprinkle with paprika. I have a Tupperware egg keeper that fits 8 eggs perfectly. I like to do these a day before serving also to allow the flavors to meld.

HOLIDAY APRICOT CARROT CASSEROLE

2 pounds carrots**
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cans apricot pineapple nectar
1 pound dried apricots
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

  • Clean and bake carrots until slightly mushy.
  • Cool, Slice lengthwise and set aside.
  • While carrots are baking, put dried apricots in a dutch oven and cover with nectar.
  • Simmer apricots until mushy – about an hour.
  • Add butter, brown sugar and walnuts to apricot mixture.
  • In a 13×9 greased baking dish layer carrots and apricot mixture twice.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes at 350°.

**Yams or sweet potatoes or a combination of can be substituted easily.

CHEESY AU GRATIN POTATOES
1/2 cup butter
16 oz. whipping cream
5 large russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups grated 4 white cheese mix (Gruyere, Muenster, etc…)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
Wondra Flour

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
  • Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.
  • Gradually add the whipping cream and spices. Blend well.
  • Gradually add the flour until the mixture thickens, but it is still pourable!
  • Mix the cheeses all together.
  • Layer the potatoes, cheese and cream mixture ending with cheese on top.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

CHOCOLATE BERRY BASKETS 
Chocolate 
Strawberries
Blackberries
Blueberries 

ROLLS OF SHARON aka CINNAMON RAISIN BUNS
ROLLS
2 packages Fleischman’s Rapid Rise Yeast
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup WARM water
1 cup scalded milk (2 minutes in the microwave)
1/2 cup Crisco stick
5 cups flour, divided
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon salt

  • In a small bowl combine the warm water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and both packages of yeast until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the scalded milk, Crisco stick, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Blend well.
  • Add yeast mixture and blend well.
  • Add the well beaten eggs and half the flour. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the remaining flour (a little more if too sticky) and mix well until dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is elastic.
  • With vegetable oil, wipe the inside of another bowl.
  • Place dough in bowl and turn once.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rest in a warm place until double in size.

 

  • Punch down and divide into 2 balls.
  • Put one on the pastry board and one back in the bowl.
  • Let rest 10 minutes.
  • While resting prepare the filling ingredients.

 

  • Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness in a rectangle about 18×24 inches.
  • Spread half the melted butter over the dough and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar.
  • Spread half the raisins over that.
  • Roll tightly jelly roll style and cut into 18 rolls.
  • Place rolls in greased pans 1/4 to 1/2 inches apart.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rise again until double in size.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • While baking prepare the icing.

 

  • When rolls come out the oven, put globs of icing on each one. Return to the oven for a minute or two to melt icing all over the rolls.

FILLING
1 stick melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins

  • Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon until well blended.

ICING
1 stick butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered vanilla
4-6 tablespoons milk

  • Mix all together until smooth.

When re-heating rolls, put a pad of butter on top of roll before microwaving.
These freeze really well. 

MOSCATO STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
1 bottle pink moscato
6 cups lemonade
1/4 cup strawberry vodka
Frozen Strawberry Slices
Lemon slices

  • Blend together well.
  • Enjoy!   

Save

SOUTH of the BORDER CHICKEN WINGS & BEER BAKED BEANS

SOUTH of the BORDER CHICKEN WINGS
GLAZE
1 cup BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)
1/4  cup light corn syrup
1 small can chopped green chiles, drained
1 bunch green onions, finely minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Juice of 1 lime

  • In a small saucepan whisk together the BBQ sauce, corn syrup, garlic powder and cumin.
  • Stir in green chiles and onions.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. 
  • Whisk in lime juice and set aside.

WINGS
2 pounds chicken tenders
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh ground salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Line baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick spray.
  • Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper on chicken pieces.
  • Arrange chicken in a single layer.
  • Bake 25-30 until cooked through.
  • Brush with glaze last 10 minutes.
  • Serve with remaining sauce and ranch for dipping.

JALAPENO RANCH (FOR DIPPING)
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Penzey’s California crushed jalapenos
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • Whisk all together and chill overnight before serving

BEER BAKED BEANS
1 pound small white beans, soaked over night, drained and sorted
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1 large shallot, sliced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon honey
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 bottles Angry Orchard Summer Honey hard cider or Shocktop
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 KNORR chicken gel bouillon
Fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large skillet cook bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.
  • When bacon is done, add onions, shallot and garlic to bacon grease sauteing until opaque.
  • Whisk together the beer, hot water and bouillon. Add to onion mixture and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Add honey, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Add beans and return to a boil.
  • Transfer to baking dish baking until beans are tender and moisture is absorbed.
  • Stir in bacon just before serving.

My family added some of the extra wing sauce from above to the beans and LOVED it.

HAM & CHEESE ROLLS with CREAMY 3 CHEESE DIPPING SAUCE

HAM & CHEESE ROLLS with CREAMY 3 CHEESE DIPPING SAUCE
1 can Pillsbury refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces deli ham, sliced thin
1 egg, beaten
Sea salt
1tablespoon butter, melted
Progresso Recipe Starters Creamy Three Cheese cooking sauce, for dipping

  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. 
  • Unroll pizza dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Top dough evenly with ham slices and grated cheese. 
  • Carefully and tightly roll up dough from the long end into a log; pinching the seam to seal.
  • Slice log into 16 equal pieces. 
  • Set each piece cut side-down on baking sheet.
  • Brush dough with beaten egg, then sprinkle sides and tops with  a little salt. 
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Brush dough with melted butter. 
  • Sprinkle with a little more salt. 
  • Serve with warm Creamy Three Cheese cooking sauce on the side for dipping.