Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip!

The combination of spicy and sweet is amazing!

I made this weekend and am happy to say it is AWESOME! My husband really loved this dips as well. The recipe only called for 1 jalapeno pepper, I like things a little spicy so I added 3. Adjust this to your taste. The combination of spicy and sweet is amazing. I served mine with the Gluten Free multi grain crackers from Sam’s Club. I love these crackers, if you haven’t tried them I recommend them highly.
Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
Time: 15 minutes prep + 4 hours refrigeration
Yield: 15 servings

1  12 oz package fresh cranberries
1/4 C green onion, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 1/4 C sugar
1/4 t cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt
2  8 oz packages cream cheese
1. Put your cranberries in a food processor.  You could also,just use a food chopper,  I believe it would look a little prettier. The food processor may over chop. I used mine, it tasted fine, just think it may not look as pretty.
2. Chop up your green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper into small pieces. Careful of the seeds now. Throw on a pair of rubber gloves or something, please. The seeds are the hot part of the pepper. If you don’t like a lot of heat on the old pallet, just leave the jalapeno out.
3. Add all ingredients (but the cream cheese and the wheat thins) into a bowl. Mix them all together, cover and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours. The sugar needs some time to soak in to the cranberries and break up their bitter taste.
4. When you are ready to serve, place your cream cheese bricks on a plate.
5. Spread the cream cheese out as evenly as you can.
6. Pour your cranberry mixture over the cream cheese.
7. Spread it all around.
8. Serve immediately with Wheat Thins, Ritz Crackers or Tortilla Chips.

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Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Cook a pierced potato in the microwave until it’s soft all the way through – about 10-12 minutes total, flipping over every 1-2 minutes. Cut the potato in half, then cut each half into squares. Don’t cut all the way through, just down to the skin. Season with butter, parmesan cheese and Lowry’s seasoning salt, then pop them into the middle rack of your oven set to broil for 10-15 minutes.

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Lemon Chicken To Die For!


This is one of the best chicken recipes I have made. I love spicy food and I love food with lemon. My recipe for Habanero Chicken is my favorite spicy chicken dish. I believe this will be my favorite Lemon recipe for chicken. The sauce is AMAZING! The next time I prepare it I will make a batch of angel hair pasta as a side dish, and I will add mushrooms and a small bit of capers and drizzle the sauce over the angle hair pasta. Tonight I made it with the Parmesan Roasted potatoes, which were very good as well. We frequently go to an italian restaurant called Vitos for the Lemon Chicken dish. I’m so excited to find a recipe that I think is equally as good as Vitos. They serve theirs with the angle hair pasta, which I love. I can’t wait to try this again with the pasta! 

Photo: Quentin Bacon
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each) ( I used chicken breast with the bone and skin)1 lemon
Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?
Look Inside
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 X 12-inch baking dish.Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.
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Breakfast Cupcakes!

Delicious breakfast cupcakes with a crescent roll crust!

 Breakfast Cupcakes!

These are delicious! Perfect for a brunch or holiday breakfast. Simple to make packed with flavor. I served this with Asparagus with sliced garlic drizzled with olive oil and finished with a twist of lemon juice. My husband loved this recipe. It was so easy to prepare and would be wonderful for a crowd.  My sister posted the recipe, but I decided to add the crescent roll crust which really adds a lot to the dish. I love the parmesan cheese sprinkled on top before baking.  When I made this I cut it in half using only 5 jumbo eggs and filled 12 cupcake holders.

1/2  pound Italian Sausage (sweet, mild, hot variety depending on your preference I used  Bob Evans Italian)
1/2 cup broccoli florets
5  Jumbo eggs
1/8  cup milk (or half and half depending on how you’re feeling that day)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4  tsp baking powder

1/4 cup chopped mushrooms

1 pkg crescent rolls
salt & pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese as needed

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. In a large saute pan, over medium high heat, brown Italian Sausage for about 5 minutes, or until the sausage is no longer pink. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli and mushrooms cook for about 5 minutes longer.
3. Whisk together eggs, milk, oil and baking powder.  Season with salt and pepper.
4. Put crescent roll into each muffin tin. ( If you have more filling than crescent rolls  like I did lightly spray remaining muffin tins and fill with out crust. Spoon out the sausage and broccoli mixture evenly into each cupcake.
5. Ladle the egg mixture over sausage and broccoli.
6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

 

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Lobster and Shrimp Penne Pasta

Lobster and Shrimp Penne Pasat

I made this tonight for dinner. I was worried that it may not be worth the effort or cost. My husband said to add this to his list of favorite meals. It is pretty rich. I wasn’t uncertain about leaving all of the bacon fat in the pan for the sauce I followed the recipe exactly and would make it the same way again. When served with a caesar salad it could easily feed 6 people. This is something that you wouldn’t want to eat often, but it would be perfect for a dinner party.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • Two 4-ounce lobster tails
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup clam juice
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lobster tails and cook until they begin to curl, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, remove the lobster tails and set aside until cool enough to handle. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.

 

Using kitchen scissors or a heavy knife, cut along the underside of the lobster tails and remove the meat. Chop the meat into 3/4-inch chunks. Set aside.

 

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.

 

In the same skillet, add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes (and juices), clam juice, cream, 1/2 cup basil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

 

Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the lobster and bacon. Simmer until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.

 

Pour the tomato mixture over the cooked pasta and toss until coated. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup basil and season with salt and pepper.

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Spicy Tomato Salad

Served with rice delicious!

This is a side dish I make all the time in the summer. It is wonderful as a side dish served with rice.  I use serrano peppers they are a little more spicy than jalapenos.

1 pint of grape tomatoes sliced in half

1/2 bunch of cilanto chopped

1/2 red onion diced

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour or until  ready to serve.

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Baked Oatmeal

Healthy breakfast!

So I had seen where someone on facebook posted they were eating an oatmeal casserole. I decided to google a recipe and found this. It is  a delicious healthy breakfast. Simple to prepare. This recipe serves 2. I added warm milk to my bowl before serving.

1 3/4 cups milk

1 tablespoon butter

• 1 cup old fashioned oats (NOT quick cooking)

• 1 apples peeled, seeded, cored and chopped small

• 1/3 cup dried tart cherries

• 1/4 cup  Almonds, toasted

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar or 2 tablespoons unbleached cane sugar, plus

• 1 tablespoon brown sugar or 1 tablespoon unbleached cane sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract

• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.
Lightly toast walnuts and set aside.

2.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3.
Coat a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with butter or margarine substitute.

4.
In a medium saucepan, bring  milk and butter to the boil. Slowly stir in the oats with a fork.

5.
Stir in the apple and dried fruit, toasted almonds, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, vanilla extract if using, cinnamon, and the salt.

6.
Cook mixture, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn! Pour the oatmeal mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

7.
Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes. The last 5 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar on top and bake until the top is bubbly.

8.
Serve warm with additional warmed  milk served .


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Avocado Dip

 

Delicious refreshing dip great for the summer.

 

This is a delicious dip. Great served with chips. Adds a little twist to ordinary guacamole dip.  The addition of the corn adds a nice crunch and sweetness to the dip.

4 avacodos

1 red onion

1/2 bunch of cilantro

1 ear of sweet corn

1 pint of sweet grape tomatoes

juice of 1/2 lime

2 fresh jalapeno peppers

Remove avocado and dice in a bowl. Shuck corn and remove kernels from cob and add to avocado. Dice red onion, cilantro and jalapeno.  Slice tomatoes in half. Add to mixture, season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge. Be sure to press plastic wrap to the surface of the dip to prevent browning. I also add the avocado seed to the bowl to help prevent browning.

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Chews

I love this cookie recipe. Dark chocolate and tart cherries how can it get any better? When I make these they don’t stay around for long. They are a little more labor intensive, with hand chopping the chocolate and the dried cherries, but hey if your gonna spend time making cookies make sure they are good. I always try to buy the best chocolate I can find, last time I made these I tried mixing bitter sweet chocolate and semi sweet chocolate. If you are like me and more of a fan of the really dark chocolate than the milk chocolate give it a try. Besides they have discovered that eating dark chocolate is good for your heart….NO BULL!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Chews

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
scant teaspoon almond extract (teaspoon not quite full)
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, and salt; set aside.
3. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs, once at a time, blending well after each addition. Blend in vanilla and almond extracts. Blend in flour mixture, a little at a time, until it’s all incorporated. By hand, stir in cherries and chocolate pieces.
4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced at least two inches apart. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-13 minutes or until edges are starting to brown. Let cool on baking sheet for ten minutes then move to wire racks to cool completely.
Yield: about four dozen cookies

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Jalapeno Popper Sandwich!

 

This warm spicy cheese sandwich will be one you will want to make again!

If you love Jalapeno Poppers you will enjoy this sandwich!

 

So I had an ice maker that I purchased from Target that was complete garbage. I didn’t have the receipt so the cashier told me I needed to purchase something in the same department. I was so angry, because I just wanted to use the credit to buy groceries. I mean what could I possible buy in that department and spend a hundred dollars? Well it turned out it was a blessing in disguise. I purchased a new toaster…the kind that takes unusual shapes of bread, and new electric skillet and a PANINI PRESS! My two favorite meals would be a good soup and a sandwich. I have been wanted to buy one for quite sometime. So I quickly searched for a recipe to use my new-found gadget! I thought this sandwich sounded amazing, and it was. I also made up a soup which I prepared with this sandwich. It was sort of a Tortilla Soup…DELICIOUS. I will be posting that recipe next.  Back to this amazing grilled sandwich. I couldn’t believe how much it tasted like a crunchy Jalapeno Popper. The cream cheese combined with the cheddar jack is a perfect combination. I used a sour dough bread, and the addition of the crushed chips between the two layers adds a nice crunch to the sandwich.  The recipe I found actually called for roasting your own jalapeno peppers in the oven. I didn’t have fresh peppers so used the ones I had in a jar. They were fine. I will try making it with the fresh ones again.  Helpful tip, when using a panini press do not press down on the sandwich, simply let the top rest on the bread. Toast until golden brown!  Enjoy

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 slices of sour dough bread

cream cheese ( I used the spreadable kind.)

cheddar jack cheese

japaleno peppers

crushed tortilla chips

butter

HOW TO PREPARE:

Butter the outsides of both pieces of bread. Spread with cream cheese.  Press crushed tortilla chips into the side. Add a layer of jalapeno peppers and the cheddar jack cheese.  Toast in a panini, or toast the way you would a grilled cheese on a griddle.

 

 

 

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