May 6

Warm Bean Dip

Hope everyone had a great Cinco de Mayo! We had a delicious lunch at work where people contributed their Mexican dishes. Everything was great! And I quickly realized I shouldn’t have halved my recipe…

hotbeandip.jpg

I couldn’t snap a pic fast enough! Lesson learned.

This will take you less than 5 minutes to make and about the same to cook, if you do so in the microwave. Perfect for a quick and easy snack anytime!

Warm Bean Dip
slightly adapted from Andrea Rodgers

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cans refried beans
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
(or sub all above spices with a packet of taco seasoning)
4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (or sub half with monterey or colby jack)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream cheese and sour cream together. Add beans and spices and mix until completely combined. Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan.

Top with cheese and bake for around 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

***This can also be made in the microwave – cook on high for approximately 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.

***Recipe can be easily halved and served in a pie plate, as seen above.

Posted in appetizers, beans, cheddar, cheese, cream cheese, dip, low carb, make ahead, Mexican, QuickAndEasy, snacks | Leave a comment
Apr 30

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-Way Coffee Maker Giveaway!

Hamilton Beach has a great new product and I was fortunate enough to test it, and even more lucky to give one away to a lucky reader! This 2-Way coffee maker is perfect for everyone…it’ll brew one cup, or a 12 cup pot, and it’s super easy to use!

hamiltonbeach

You can use K-cups or your own coffee for the single serve brewing function (which brews a 14 ounce cup!). It even comes with a reusable single serving cup. And of course, you can program it ahead if you’re brewing a pot. It’s pretty compact too for such a versatile appliance. Great if you’re short on counter space!

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below telling me how you take your coffee. For a second entry, follow me on Instagram, and leave a separate comment with your IG user name. Giveaway ends on Wednesday, May 6th at 5pm EST. US residents only.

Good luck!

Posted in Uncategorized | 57 Comments
Mar 31

Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata

With Easter coming up, I had to share this recipe. For most of my life, we’ve had lamb for the holiday, and I think this is an excellent way to prepare it! Not to mention, it’s super easy, for those who may be intimidated by cooking it. Only 5 ingredients in this recipe!!

babylamb.jpg

It’s juicy and delicious and the gremolata gives it a nice fresh flavor. Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes and you’ve got a feast fit for any holiday!

babylamb2.jpg

Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata
slightly adapted from Country Living

for the lamb:
one rack baby lamb chops
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs torn mint
3 cloves garlic
freshly ground pepper

for the gremolata:
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
salt
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Place lamb, olive oil, torn mint, garlic, and pepper in a plastic bag. Toss to coat lamb chops and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Remove lamb, wipe off excess marinade, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Broil chops on high until medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.

To make the gremolata: crush garlic, lemon zest, and salt into a paste using the side of a large knife or a mortar and pestle. In a small bowl, stir together garlic paste and mint leaves with olive oil.

Transfer chops to serving plate, drizzle with mint gremolata, and garnish with fresh mint.

Posted in garlic, lamb, lemon, low carb, main dishes | Leave a comment
Feb 19

Burrata, Prosciutto, Tomato and Arugula Salad

What’s better than a delicious hunk of burrata over, well, pretty much anything? Not much.

burrata.jpg

If you’re not sure what burrata is, head to your local deli, or even grocery store, and ask about it. It’s creamy and delicious and perfect, even on its own.

You can tailor this salad to your taste, adding whatever you have on hand or anything you like. This is a great main dish for those who observe Lent, if you omit the prosciutto. And yes, I said main dish…it’s that satisfying!

Burrata, Prosciutto, Tomato and Arugula Salad

burrata cheese
prosciutto, sliced thin
grape tomatoes
chopped basil
arugula
extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

Toss arugula in a little EVOO and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place on a plate or shallow bowl. Add burrata to the middle, then spread tomatoes and prosciutto all around. Drizzle a little EVOO on top and more pepper. Throw basil on top. Serve.

Posted in cheese, lemon, low carb, main dishes, QuickAndEasy, salad, side dishes, tomatoes | Leave a comment
Feb 9

Golden Girl Granola Giveaway!

I was recently approached by Golden Girl Granola and after trying their product I have to say, I’m so happy they contacted me! Check out these delicious flavors I sampled…

granola

Golden Girl Granola is an all-natural, whole-grain granola that is non-GMO, dairy free, cholesterol free, casein free, trans-fat free, wheat free and has no preservatives, artificial color or flavors.

They have 7 flavors in all, including the ones pictured, as well as Original, Creative Cranberry, and Forest Maple. And now, you can choose your 4 favorites if you are the lucky winner of this giveaway!

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me what your top flavor pick would be.

If you’d like an extra entry, follow me on Pinterest and leave a second comment with your Pinterest user name.

If you want another chance to win, follow me on Facebook and leave another comment with the name you’re following me with. And for yet another entry, share this giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a separate comment with the link to that post.

This giveaway ends on Sunday, February 15th at 6pm EST (US residents only). The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email, and will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise another winner will be chosen. Good luck!

Posted in giveaway | 26 Comments
Jan 27

Homemade Birthday Cake Oreos

Wow, what a month! Things have been crazy busy – I haven’t had much time for anything – but this huge snowstorm that we’re in the middle of has forced me to relax. And what better time to bake than during a blizzard ;)

birthdaycakeoreos.jpg

Mom’s birthday is today so I made these last night so we could celebrate properly. When you see how easy the recipe is, you might want to bake some yourself, even if you aren’t snowbound!

Homemade Birthday Cake Oreos
from Chef in Training

2 boxes chocolate cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup oil

for the filling (cake batter frosting):
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup yellow cake mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat chocolate cake mixes, eggs and oil until completely blended. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets.

Bake for about 8 minutes. Do not overcook!

While cookies are cooling, make frosting. Combine butter, sugar, cake mix, vanilla, milk and sprinkles together in a medium bowl until blended.

When cookies are completely cooled, frost the bottom of one cookie, top with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Roll assembled cookies on their sides in sprinkles to cover the sides.

Posted in cake, chocolate, cookies, dessert, family, QuickAndEasy | Leave a comment
Jan 2

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

After buying fresh crabs not long ago, and struggling to get a decent amount of meat from them after cleaning them (don’t ask!), I had to come up with a recipe to use the little that I had. I decided to remake one of the first recipes on my blog, and the end result made me forget about all the little cuts I got on my fingers ;)

crabmush.jpg

So delicious and easy to make! Impressive enough for company, too. The filling would be delicious in a stuffed fish dish as well, like flounder or shrimp. And of course, you can use canned crab meat to make your life easier…

(The original recipe source page was deleted which is why you don’t see anything cited)

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

2 dozen large fresh mushrooms (save half of the stems when cleaning them)
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 pound cooked crab meat
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons seasoned dried bread crumbs
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems from cleaned mushrooms, then chop stems and sauté in half of the butter with garlic and onion.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Brush mushrooms with remaining melted butter.

Mix together crab meat, eggs, mayo, bread crumbs, green onion (save some of the green part for later), lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add to onion mixture and cook for 5 minutes. 

Fill mushrooms with mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and reserved green onion. Bake in buttered shallow casserole for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Posted in appetizers, make ahead, mushrooms, seafood, side dishes, snacks | Leave a comment
Dec 31

Eggs Benedict Made Easy

Lots of eating, drinking and being merry is happening lately, especially tonight, which is why most people love a breakfast on New Year’s Day that will “soak up” the festivities from the night before. But, at the same time, you probably don’t have the energy to put tons of effort into making it. So, you might want to check this out…

Poached eggs…made in the MICROWAVE? And hollandaise sauce, made on the stovetop, so you don’t have to have that blender running and making your head pound even worse? ;)

No matter how you’re feeling, these techniques will come in handy.

eggsben.jpg

So, how do you poach eggs in the microwave? It’s very easy. However, cooking time depends on your microwave, so you need to have some patience and a good eye. Simply take an egg and crack it in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1/3 cup of cold water and a 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar. (FYI – I made 2 eggs at a time and doubled these amounts, and it worked beautifully!)

Cover the egg with a microwave safe plate and start by cooking for around 40 seconds. Remove the cover and check the eggs. Are they set? Do they look like they’re cooked? If not, continue cooking in 20 second intervals until they are finished. Again, cooking times vary based on what kind of microwave you have and how powerful it is.

Remove eggs carefully with a slotted spoon and place on toasted english muffin/bread, or whatever you desire.

As for the hollandaise, you’ll need…

3 egg yolks
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup butter

Beat all ingredients besides butter together in a bowl. Put butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat, then slowly add egg mixture while whisking. Continue whisking for around 6-7 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Serve immediately.

If your sauce breaks or is too thick, add a splash of warm water and continue whisking fast.

So there it is – an easy yet impressive breakfast for tomorrow morning, or any time. Hope you all have a fabulous New Year! Here’s to 2015…I’ve got my Vasilopita and my lentils ready to go!

2015vas.jpg

Posted in breakfast, condiments, eggs, lemon, QuickAndEasy, sauce | Leave a comment
Dec 22

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know there are many of you out there like me who are coming down to the wire. Presents to wrap, food to prep, last minute gift shopping, etc…don’t deny it! You probably still have cookies to bake too, don’t you. Well, this is the perfect one for a procrastinator like yourself.

redvelvetcookie.jpg

Yep, you’re allowed to use cake mix for cookies in emergency situations. Or even otherwise. Aren’t they festive looking? I made these recently for a church function and they were gone in minutes, so believe me, they’ll be a huge hit!

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Whipperberry

1 box red velvet cake mix
1 cup AP flour
2 sticks butter, softened
1 egg
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix butter until soft and fluffy. Slowly add cake mix and flour. Once combined, add egg and mix completely. Add white chocolate chunks, and stir until well combined.

Form dough into one inch balls, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Posted in chocolate, Christmas, cookies, dessert, QuickAndEasy | Leave a comment
Dec 17

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

This is one of those “let me clear out the fridge and see what I can scrounge up” kinds of dishes. We’ve all been there. And your mind changes 100 times while going through what you have. You think you’re in the mood for one thing, then another, then another…then you realize that you can never go wrong with anything buffalo.

buffchicnachos.jpg

My only regret is that I didn’t have blue cheese. But it still hit the spot. Next time though, I’ll be sure to have it! Because really, what’s buffalo anything without blue cheese ;)

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

tortilla chips
chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)
monterey jack cheese
tomatoes
scallions
Frank’s Red Hot wing sauce
other recommended toppings: blue cheese, olives, celery

Place chips on broiler pan covered with foil. Add chicken (which you can toss in wing sauce first if you like!), followed by cheese. I used the toaster oven and cooked it for about 7 minutes at 350 degrees, but time will vary depending on the amount you have. Mine was a small portion.

Remove from oven and add whatever veggies you’re using, followed by wing sauce. Serve immediately.

Posted in appetizers, cheese, chicken, leftovers, QuickAndEasy, snacks | Leave a comment