Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Dip

Two of the most popular things I've ever written about here on the blog were dips- a Warm Taco Dip that has been among the top recipes on RecipeGraze.com for almost a year straight now and a Buffalo Chicken Dip that has been repinned over eight thousand times in less than a year.
I think it's fair to say that you guys like your dips!

With New Year's Eve approaching I thought I'd come up with a new, simple, tasty, delicious, low-carb dip for you guys.

Was that enough adjectives for you?

Anyway, this dip definitely delivers!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Southwestern Egg Rolls

I was totally going to make these for my daughter's Girl Scouts Christmas party the other night.
You know...right before I landed in the hospital and didn't make anything to send with her.  *sigh*

Too bad, because I was really looking forward to making an extra-big batch so that I could freeze a bunch for our family for later.  These guys might just be my favorite appetizer to keep on hand! After assembling the egg rolls I lay them flat on wax paper in the freezer and transfer them to a freezer bag after they have completely frozen.  They're equally as delicious and convenient as bite-size treats made with wonton wrappers.

There is literally nothing I don't like about them!  I mean- what's not to like?

Chicken, black beans, corn, Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeƱos...yum!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Julia Child's White Sandwich Bread

I know, I know, I've shared some pretty excellent bread recipes with you before- but none like this.

This bread is a game changer.

This bread is amazing

This bread is just ridiculous.

We've talked before about my love of baking and that I generally make bread rather than buying it.

We've talked before about bread that my family has simply fallen in love with, like that Light Oat Bread I wrote about not all that long ago.

This guys is...well, this bread blows those breads out of the water.

It's perfect on every level.
It's soft, but strong.
It's just sweet enough.
It's buttery, light, delicious, yeasty, goodness.

There's just no going back- not after you've tried this stuff.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Iced Eggnog Cutouts and A Hospital Stay

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 
pneumonia and a hospital stay....

Ok, maybe that gift didn't exactly come from my true love, though he has been pretty awesome about sticking by my side and handling things while I've been stuck here attached to tons of wires.

{side note: do you know how hard it is to try to type with an O2 monitor on your left index finger?  It kind of stinks..}

Anyway, here I sit- the girl who NEVER gets sick- waiting on more tests to figure out some weird lab results.  My options are watching more bad TV or getting up the blog I intended to write before my ER trip yesterday- and I choose you guys.

Well, you guys and Iced Eggnog Cutouts.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Three Cheese Tortellini In No Time At All

You know how sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table?

Preferably a good dinner- though I'm sure we all have the occasional  boxed-macaroni-and-a-can-of-veggies nights.

There's really something to be said for a yummy, filling meal that you can have on the table super quickly.

Well, this is totally it!
Bonus points?  My husband AND my daughter both enjoyed it, and the two of them belong to completely different culinary fan clubs.

This month's Allstars partnership was with Barilla, and although they have a ton of recipes that look yummy over on Allrecipes I wanted simple- lol I've been insanely busy making popcorn and keeping up with the kids' holiday activities lately.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Double Fudge Cookies and One Long Night

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about a recent evening at my house...

Now, my husband had been out of town for four days.  I love him.  Oh goodness I love him.  I am grateful that his job provides me the opportunity to stay home with the kids even if that means a few times a year he has to travel for work.

That being said, a few days into his trip I  get a little...frustrated.  Jealous of freedom.  Rundown by single parenting, a very active daughter, and a son with autism.

Oh I had such great plans for that night!  I was going to be like...Pinterest Mommy of the Year or something.  You know, all rainbows and unicorns and happy childhood memories.
My daughter came home from her after school activities and immediately showered and got into cozy PJs.  Homemade double fudge cookies were baked.  Homemade chicken noodle soup was consumed.  We had a girly evening styling our hair and painting our nails.  We piled into the car to drive aimlessly and enjoy Christmas lights.  Upon returning I popped delicious popcorn, started the fire in the fireplace, and we all curled up together by the tree to watch Peter Pan live on TV.  Then we headed off to bed with visions of sugar plums dancing through our heads.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Candy Cane Cookies for the Holidays

My grandma did Christmas well.
Each year the tree was decked out with ornaments that she had made herself.  I remember fires in the fireplace and a living room full of family.  I'm sure those times at my grandma's house have taken on that kind of rose-colored quality that can sometimes come over our childhood memories, but that's ok.  They were good times.

By all accounts, her candy cane cookies were pretty great.  They are inextricably connected with the holiday season in my mind.  Just as the sight of a jar of Almond Roca will always bring me right back to the jar that was ever-present on the shelf in her (off-limits!) dining room, those cookies always bring me back to Christmas at Grandma's.

I can still close my eyes and remember the taste of my Grandma Martin's beef stew, goulash, or buttery noodles despite all of the years that have passed since I was last able to actually eat them.  Alas, I don't remember what my grandma's candy cane cookies tasted like in that same way.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Only Gift I Need

I don't need anything for Christmas this year.

I really don't.  I can't think of anything that could beat what I've already experienced this holiday season.
My son gets that it's Christmastime.
He got that it was Thanksgiving.
He understood that it was Halloween.

He may not have the slightest clue what any of those things actually mean.
He wouldn't eat his Halloween candy (that makes two years in a row his sister has really lucked out).
He ate a grilled cheese sandwich while we stuffed ourselves with Thanksgiving dinner.
He doesn't know to look forward to Christmas gifts.

Mom's Potato Pancakes

My mom's potato pancakes were one of my favorite breakfasts when I was growing up.  She didn't make them often (I'm sure if she'd had a food processor to speed things up I might have enjoyed them more frequently!) but when she did make them I'd absolutely stuff myself on those golden, crispy little pancakes.
When I got a little older I realized that her "potato pancakes" were also called latkes and are often served during Hanukkah.  Apparently they're often served with sour cream or applesauce, though we always just ate them plain.  My daughter even likes to eat them with ketchup- they are kind of like a hash brown's tasty cousin.  :-)