Sunday, December 31, 2017

Texas Trash Dip

Texas Trash Dip

1 (8 oz) block of Cream Cheese (softened)
1 cup Sour Cream
2 cans Smooth Style Refried Beans
1 can Mild Rotel (if you want more spice - use any Rotel)
1 can chopped Green Chilis
2 cups Cheddar Jack Cheese (may need more)

I used my stand mixer to mix everything to make it easier -- but any sort of mixer would be fine.

Mix together all ingredients except for the cheese. Spread into a 13x9 inch pan, evenly. Cover with cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and everything is warm.

Serve with Tortilla Chips or Frito Scoops.

We had this yesterday, and everything was gone except a few tortilla chips -- I was amazed!
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Crockpot Christmas Candy

Crockpot Christmas Candy

16 ounces Salted Peanuts
16 ounces Unsalted Peanuts
16 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
16 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips
(2) 10-ounce bags Peanut Butter Chips
(2) Packages of White Almond Bark

Place all in a crockpot on low for around 90 minutes -- but I'd check it after an hour, and then every 10 minutes or so until 90 minutes is up to make sure the chocolate doesn't burn.

Then use a medium cookie scoop to make clusters of uniform size. Place the mounds of candy on wax paper to cool until they are solid.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fruit Salsa with Pie Crust Chips

Pie Chips with Fruit Salsa
• 1 package refrigerated pie crust (15 ounce with 2 ready-made pie doughs)
• 3 tablespoons butter, melted
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 cup diced strawberries
• 1 cup diced pineapple
• 1 cup diced kiwi (about 3 kiwi, peeled)
• 1 cup diced peaches (about 1 large peach)
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• Mint for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven according to pie crust package directions; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Stir together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside
Unroll pie dough and brush with melted butter. Cut 1 crust into 8 wedges, then cut each wedge into triangles like chips. Repeat with second crust. Transfer chips to prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle chips with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
While chips are cooking, prepare your salsa. Dice all fruit and place in a medium serving bowl. Combine honey and lime juice in a small bowl and then pour over the fruit. Serve with the chips.
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Baked Brie Bites

Baked Brie Bites

Brown Sugar
Pecan Halves
Phyllo Shells (frozen food section)

Cut the Brie into bite sized pieces. I remove the rind from the cheese when I make them, but that's a personal preference. Add a dollop of honey (just a small squirt from the bottle), 1/4 tsp of brown sugar, and place a pecan half on top. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes on 350, just until the cheese is melted and the shell starts to brown.

Remove from oven and serve - they are good warm or room temperature.

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Philly Cheesesteak Wontons

Philly Cheesesteak Wontons

1 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 small/medium onion
1 green bell pepper
1 package sliced provolone
1 package wonton wrappers
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with onion and bell pepper. Top with provolone, and cover the pan with a lid just long enough for the cheese to melt. Stir all of the filling together and allow it to cool for a couple of minutes.

Keeping the wonton wrappers moist with a damp (just barely damp) cloth, begin putting a small amount of filling in the middle of the wrapper, then using your finger or a small brush - lightly put a coating of water around the outside edges of the entire square wrapper. Then bring one corner over to the other and press down to seal them into triangle shapes. Spray the tops with nonstick cooking spray to allow them to crisp up while baking.

Bake in the oven for about 5-10 minutes on 375 degrees. Serve warm and enjoy!
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Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings

12 cups of chicken broth
5 bay leaves
6 fresh thyme sprigs
4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed

1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion chopped
1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup of whipping cream

2 cups all-purpose flour
           ½ tsp baking powder
           1 tbsp dried parsley
           1 tsp salt
           1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
           1 cup buttermilk
           3 tbsp butter cubed

Directions:  In a large saucepan, combine the broth, bay leaves, thyme and garlic cloves.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.  Strain broth or use slotted spoon to remove bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and garlic cloves.  Thyme leaves are not necessary to remove.

In a saute pan, add the 3 tbsp olive oil and heat.  Add the chopped carrots and saute for 2 minutes to give them a head start.  Add the chopped celery and onion and cook until the onion is translucent.  Add the garlic and saute for one minute.  Then add the 2 tbsp of butter and allow it to melt into the veggies.  Then add the 3 tbsp of flour to the pan and coat the veggies.  Add this mixture to your broth/stock that has been strained.  Add the ¼ c. heavy cream to the stock and stir with a whisk to incorporate the flour and cream into the mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 c. all-purpose flour, ½ tsp baking powder, salt, pepper and dried parsley.  Stir the mixture and then add cubes of butter and cut in with a fork or a pastry cutter.  Pour in the buttermilk and mix with a spoon until mixture becomes too thick to mix.  Abandon the spoon and use your hands to mix the dough the remainder of the way until it is a nice smooth ball.

Spread some flour onto a piece of butcher paper or wax paper and prepare to roll your dough.  Roll the dough to a thickness of 1/4”.   Make sure to keep flour on your surface and rolling pin and keep the dumplings floured well to alleviate sticking.  Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dumplings into the size you prefer.  I prefer 1 ½” wide X 2” long, but it’s whatever you want.  The smaller, the more dumplings you will have to deal with.

Bring your broth back up to a boil and once it is boiling, start adding your dumplings – one at a time to ensure they do not stick together.  Sometimes it helps to have someone helping you so that they can stir the dumplings are they added, so the new ones sink to the bottom.  Allow the dumplings to cook for 10-15 min.

Shred the rotisserie chicken and add the meat to the pot and allow it to cook for 15 min at medium heat to warm the chicken throughout.  Taste your broth and add salt and pepper to taste – enjoy!

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