Saturday, February 21, 2015

Butternut Squash Noodles with Cranberries and Spinach

Butternut squash noodles have become my new obsession.  They are so delicious and satisfying so you don't miss the real pasta noodle.  Tart cranberries and wilted spinach pair perfectly with the sweetness of the butternut squash.  You will need a veggie spiralizer for best results.  This is the one I use, here on amazon.com.

You'll Need:
  • 1 small to medium butternut squash (try to find one with a long skinny neck)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp chili flake
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (or a box of frozen, thawed and drained)
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Peel squash and cut the bulb off the end so you are left with only the long skinny neck.  Spiralize the squash into thin noodles and place onto baking sheets.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 7 minutes and remove from oven.

Drizzle large skillet with olive oil and saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.  Add in chili flake and spinach.  Cook until spinach has wilted.  Add in the butternut squash noodles and saute just until ingredients come together, no longer than 5 minutes.  Serve!



Sunday, February 01, 2015

The Ultimate Superbowl Dip Bar

Dips are always a crowd pleaser and they are an easy app for the host to prepare too.  For your Superbowl party why not set up a dip bar to keep your guests snacking through out the game?  Set your table up with all the fixins for the big game!  Here are some dip ideas!

Jalapeno Popper Spread

2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese
1 c mayo
1 (4oz) can chopped green chili's
1 (2oz) can chopped jalapenos
1 c grated Parmesan cheese

Stir all ingredients except the Parmesan cheese until well incorporated.  Place in a microwave safe dish and top with Parmesan cheese and microwave for about 3 minutes.



Taco Dip
credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/daanell/351589631/ 

1 package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (8oz) cream cheese
1 (16oz) sour cream
1 (16oz) jar of salsa
1 large tomato chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 bunch green onions chopped
1 small head lettuce shredded
2 c shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In small bowl mix taco seasoning with refried beans.  Spread mixture on the bottom of a large serving platter
  2. Mix sour cream and cream cheese together and spread on top of refried beans.
  3. Top layers with salsa, tomato's, pepper, green onions and lettuce and top with cheddar cheese.

Corned Beef Stuffed Pumpernickel 

1 loaf of round pumpernickel (about a 2 lb loaf)
1 (12 oz) can corned beef
1 small onion chopped
2 small dill pickles chopped
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese
2 (8oz) containers sour cream
2 tbl mayo
2 tbl dill pickle juice
1 tsp garlic powder



  1. Hollow out bread and reserve the filling for when you serve the dip.  
  2. Shred the corned beef and place into a medium size bowl.  Incorporate the rest of the ingredients making sure to mix together well.
  3. Once mixed, place the dip back into the hollowed out bread and serve with reserved bread chunks.
Beer Cheese Pretzel Dip  
credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/24013072@N05/4739994879/ 
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese
1 (1oz) package powdered ranch dressing mix
2 c shredded cheddar
1/2 cup beer
Dash of salt
Dash of Cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Mix all together and place into a serving bowl.


All of these yummy dips can be served with:

  • Pretzels
  • Nacho chips
  • Chips
  • Crackers
  • Veggies
  • Bread chunks
Enjoy!
Lucy~

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ultimate Chili


You can either make this stove top and let it simmer on low or you can use your slow cooker and cook on low for at least 5 hours (the chili will already be cooked, you will just need to let the flavors come together and allow the vegetables to soften).  Perfect for a cold day!


Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground sweet or hot sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 small green pepper diced
  • 1 small jalapeno,diced and seeds removed
  • 1 (25 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbl cumin
  • 3 tbl chili powder
  • 1 (14 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz)  can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Individual bags of Frito's
In a large skillet over medium heat brown the beef and sausage.  Place the rest of the ingredients in a dutch oven or slow cooker and allow to simmer.  If your using a dutch oven keep the heat on medium until the chili begins to simmer then reduce to low for at least 1 hour.  If you are leaving the chili on stove top for more than 1 hour check and stir about every 20 minutes.  If your using the slow cooker to keep on low for up to 8-10 hours.

Serve with tortilla chips or fritos!
Lucy~

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ribollita - Day old Bread Soup

Use up your day old bread with this hearty soup.  This soup can feed a crowd and is very cheap to make.  It's a real stick to your ribs type of soup without having to add in meat or lots of expensive ingredients.
credit: http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0091009/photos/simpleprovisions/9352722799/


Ingredients: 

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped (I don't even peel these, just wash them)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of white beans (whatever you have on hand)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups stale bread
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • small handful of torn basil for garnish (optional)
  1. Saute garlic, onion, carrots, celery and bay in large stock pot with a little olive oil.
  2. Add in beans, chicken broth and tomatoes.  Cover and brink to a simmer.
  3. Remove lid and lower heat.  Add in stale bread and stir until bread is all moist and mixed into the soup.  The bread will make the soup thick and stew like.  Once the bread is evenly distributed the soup is done.
  4. Serve with grated cheese for garnish.
If your soup becomes too thick from the bread simply add more water or chicken broth.

Lucy~


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cinna-Mocha Chip Cookies

Here's a perfect twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie.  The addition of a little espresso powder and cinnamon adds a delicious flavor that tastes so good with chocolate chips!  Perfect to dip in a cup of coffee!

You'll Need
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c softened butter
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Cream the sugars and butter together until creamy.  Slowly incorporate the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.  Next add in the salt, baking soda, cinnamon and espresso powder.  Finally slowly add in the flour 1 cup at a time.  Drop spoon fulls of the dough on the lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for about 8 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Valentine Tootsie Pop Flower

This simple little craft is an adorable alternative to store bought Valentines.  Kids can decorate each flower and personalize each one!


You'll Need:


  • Construction paper 
  • scissors
  • crayons
  • tootsie pops
This really couldn't be simpler, cut out a bunch of flowers with your construction paper.  Have kids decorate each flower to their liking.  Once finished, pierce a tootsie pop in the center to finish off your flower!  If you want to get fancy you can cut out a few leaves with green paper and glue underneath.

Lucy~

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bite Size Pizza Puffs

These are great when your craving pizza but want a quick app....great for parties too!

credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/gloryfoods/6312238433/

See below for alterations for pizza flavors*

You'll Need:

3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Marinara sauce for serving

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Puff
Add In:

  • 1 cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 1/4 cup Franks Hot sauce (depending on how hot you like it)
Serve with Blue Cheese dressing

Hawaiian Pizza Puff
Add in:
  • 1 cup diced ham, deli ham can be used just ask them to slice it thick
  • 1 16 oz can petite size diced pineapple
Pepper & Onion Pizza Puff
Add in:
  • 1/2 cup diced peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
BBQ Chicken Pizza Puff
Add In:
  • 1 cooked chicken breast diced and tossed in your favorite BBQ sauce
Serve with BBQ sauce on the side

Meat Lovers Pizza Puff
Add In:
  • 1/2 cup diced pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup cooked crumbled sausage

Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 24 cup mini muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients of the basic pizza puff ingredients.  In a smaller bowl, whisk the milk, egg and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry making sure to mix well.  This is where you can add in your favorite add in making sure to combine well.
  4. Pour the batter into the mini muffin cups and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. While your puffs are baking prepare your sauce for serving along side the puffs.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Decadent Rum Balls

These decadent confections are so simple to make.  They make an elegant looking desert and would also make a perfect little gift wrapped up in a tin.  What makes them great is you can roll them in almost anything so you can satisfy any craving!

credit:  http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0093009/photos/sanfranannie/2484374139/

 Main Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cup vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (whatever your favorite nut is)
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup rum
Once you have assembled your rum balls you can roll them in lots of fun toppings.  Here are some ideas of how to dress your balls:
  • coconut
  • cocoa
  • finely chopped nuts
  • sprinkles
  • colored sugar
  • confectioners sugar
  • cinnamon & sugar
  • crushed candy cane
Directions
  1. Crush wafer cookies in a large zip lock or food processor.  Once finely crushed, mix crumbs in with sugar, nuts and cocoa powder.
  2. Add instant coffee granules to rum; stir until coffee granules are dissolved. Add corn syrup to instant coffee mixture and add into the cookie crumb mixture.  Mix well. Let stand 15 minutes.
  3. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; roll into desired topping. Place in airtight container with sheet of wax paper between each layer of balls. Store at room temperature. 
YUM!
Lucy~ 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Reindeer Pancakes and Fruit Candy Cane

How cute are these Christmas morning pancakes?



You'll Need:
Bacon for antlers
Tip of Strawberry Nose
Whip cream and chocolate chip for eyes
Sliced Bananas and Strawberries for candy cane!

Use One larger pancake and one smaller pancake, stack them. Then Cut small ovals for ears.


Simple Oreo Cookie Butter

Cookie butter is the new craze and its delicious!  It also happens to be very simple and affordable to make requiring only a few ingredients.  Package it up in quaint mason jars with a simple label and give as a gift!  Its perfect to spread on crackers, breads or use as a dip with pretzels or treats.  You can also dollop it on ice cream! 


You'll Need:
  • 1 package of Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (depending on how loose you want it)
Place the cookies and coconut oil in the food processor and pulse until cookies have begun to break up.  Turn processor on and begin drizzling in the oil until the cookie butter reaches your desired consistency.  Enjoy!