Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roasted Garlic Dip

So I'm not gonna lie. I feel super proud of myself with this one.

This dip was an I'm-craving-garlic-and-cheese-spread-all-over-a-cracker-somehow-and-I-want-it-right-now kind of concoction.

I happen have a thing for cheese and garlic. You're probably sick of hearing me say that, but the truth is...I can't go a day without eating cheese and/or garlic in some way or another.

So the other day I roasted a head of garlic... you know... just because.

But then I didn't know what to do with it.

I seriously considered just smearing the garlic on crackers. But I happen to love my husband. And I just so happen to love being married...

I have a feeling he wouldn't stick around for... that.

So naturally I felt it should be mixed with cheese somehow. I took inspiration from my Parmesan Artichoke Dip, only nixing a bunch of ingredients and all that wait time.

I wanted my dip now! or then.. or whatever. I didn't want to bake it.

Here's my disclaimer: When I made this dip I tossed a little of this and a little of that... I didn't measure anything out.

I do have a very good idea of the quantities of ingredients I used, but just know that this is made "to taste." You can't wreck it. Follow my basic guidelines and if you feel it needs more cheese of
something...then just add it!

Roasted Garlic Dip

1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
1 head of roasted garlic
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
3/4 cup mozzarella
Salt and pepper, a pinch
Red pepper flakes, a dash or two

After removing the garlic cloves from the papers, smash them with a fork. Mix all of the ingredients in a  bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is completely melty. Serve with crackers.

I found that this dip is delicious served hot AND delicious served chilled. The flavors become stronger the longer it chills.

I'd like to say that I didn't eat the entire batch of dip by myself...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cream Cheese Danish

Remember that time I said I'm not much of a breakfast person?

Well if this is for breakfast then I change my mind.

It's made of cinnamon rolls and everyone knows that cinnamon rolls are perfectly appropriate for breakfast.

This is one of those recipes that is super easy to whip up and everyone always loves it. And if they don't...

Well let's just say you might want to reevaluate that relationship.

Just take a package of cinnamon rolls, unroll them, and then re-roll them.

Mix up a delicious cream cheese filling and pipe in the spaces between the rolls.

You will have extra filling, so do with it whatever you want. (I don't suppose eating it with a spoon is appropriate..
no... I won't tell)

Make this for breakfast.

Cinnamon Roll Cream Cheese Danish

1 can (17.5 oz) Cinnamon rolls
1 8oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. sour cream
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9" glass pie plate. Separate dough into 5 rolls. Unroll one roll into a long strip and re-roll in the center of the pan, loosely. Unroll second roll and wrap loosely around the first repeating with remaining dough. In a small bowl, beat remaining ingredients. Pipe mixture down between the strips of dough, starting at the center.

Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Warm icing (from dough pkg) in microwave and drizzle on cake. Serve warm

I'm not sure who the credit goes to for this recipe. I did not create it myself...I enjoyed this deliciousness first at my mom's house.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


My idea of vacation is laying at the pool in 95 degree weather and eating tortilla chips with fresh guacamole. Actually my first choice would be on a beach...but whatev.

We spent this last week in a condo at a lake. be in the sun again. I haven't enjoyed heat and sun since before I was pregnant. This last week was hot, sunburnt, and just what I needed.

My son enjoyed many firsts this vacation. Including vacation itself!

He swam for the first time. He was pushed in a real swing for the first time. He saw a horse for the first time.

And he ate ice cream for the first time! He loved it.

Another thing my wonder child loves?

Guacamole. (he is his mother's child)

I have a serious thing for guacamole. Maybe it has to do with the cilantro...or garlic.

I don't know. If you can smash it and mix it with cilantro, jalapeño, garlic and freshly squeezed lime juice... That's my idea of yum.

Eat it with tortilla chips. Or on tacos. Or on anything.
Or on everything.

Or with a spoon.


3 avocados, ripe
3-4 tbsp diced red onion
1 jalapeño, diced
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder (to taste)
Handful of cilantro

Mash the avocado to desired consistency. Add remaining ingredients.

It's important to taste test throughout the process so you get the flavor you like. Sometimes it feels right to add less or more of one ingredient. Sometimes I toss in a couple tbsp of salsa. It's all about making it to taste. Make it so you like it. That's the most important part. :)

Don't wait for a reason to make guacamole. It's perfectly appropriate if it's midnight and your feeling munchy...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Parmesan Artichoke Dip

I'm on vacation so I'm keeping this post short. :)

This Parmesan artichoke dip is super easy and super delicious. Every time I've made this it hasn't made it to the end of the party. Sometimes it has a hard time making it TO the party.

Just toss all the ingredients in a food processor and...Process? Chop it up.. Whatever.

Bake in a shallow dish and serve this deliciousness with chips or veggies.

Parmesan Artichoke Dip

14 oz artichokes (not marinated or pickled)
1 package cream cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan (not grated)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 jalapeños (diced)
2-3 garlic cloves (minced)

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Bake in a shallow dish for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with crackers, chips, or veggies.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cream Cheese Corn

So I know this corn looks kind of weird.

I honestly thought the same thing when I found the recipe on pinterest. BUT I'm a sucker for cream cheese and it looked so stinkin easy that I had to try it.

I really don't know what the typical "creamed corn" is made of... But whatever it is, this isn't it. This was cheesy. Kind of zingy.

"Creamed" is not the word I would choose to describe it.

I made this with intentions of saving some to serve as a side for dinner.
I ended up eating the whole pan.
By myself.

Then I made it again the next day.

Cream Cheese Corn
1 lb of sweet corn
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add corn and cream cheese and stir until completely melted and combined. Season with salt pepper and red pepper flakes

Just try it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tortilla Pizza

I'm going on vacation this next week.

Thank the Lord.

That has nothing to do with tortilla pizzas, but it's wonderful nonetheless.

Anywho. Here's the thing about me (in case you haven't figured it out yet): I'm mildly obsessed with cheese. Ugh. There will never be enough cheese in my life.

One time, when I was pregnant with my son, I woke up at 4 in the morning craving pizza. Tortilla pizza to be specific.

I won't tell you that I made two one.
And ate them it.
At 4 A.M.

Nope. Not tellin.

Now don't misunderstand. This isn't your mom's "we're-too-poor-to-buy-real-pizza-so-I'm-tricking-you-with-flat-crunchy-tortillas" pizza. No. This is the real deal.

(For one pizza) I take two tortillas and spread a liberal amount of cream cheese (on one tortilla.)

And feta. And Parmesan. And garlic and basil. And any other delicious thing you would want smooshed in between the crust on your pizza.

This is like a stuffed crust pizza...only the whole thing is stuffed. I told you...real deal.

Take the second tortilla and sandwich it on the top. Press it tightly so it stays together when baked. Top with sauce.

See, this is why I love this pizza so much. It's fast. I had homemade tortillas on hand. I always have cheese. I had left over spaghetti sauce. And I also tore up some ham and chopped a few onions. It's like instant gratification. Obviously the perfect pregnancy pizza. (Or not pregnancy pizza. Whatever.)

Tortilla pizza

Ingredients: for one pizza
2 Tortillas
Cream cheese
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Cheddar cheese
Toppings to preference (i.e. ham, onions, etc.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a cookie sheet or pizza stone lay out tortilla and spread desired amount of cream cheese on it. Add basil, garlic, and parmesan (amount to preference). Top with second tortilla and press to seal. Add sauce, desired toppings, and cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

On the flip side: it's tortillas. So it's healthy. So (pregnant or not) waking up at 4 a.m. to make this might not be so bad... Food for thought.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scrambled Egg and Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos

I've never been much of a breakfast person.

When I was a kid my dad was mildly obsessed with buffets. If we ever went out to eat it had to be a buffet. Most often: Big Boy. And on that note, side story:

We always, ALWAYS vacationed. More specifically we almost always went to or through Tennessee. And on those trips we ALWAYS ate at Shoney's. 

And I don't mean we patronized one Shoney's during our trip to satisfy a sense of nostalgia. 

We ate EVERY SINGLE MEAL at Shoney's. Why? 
Reason #1: My dad.
Reason #2: Buffet. 

By the end of the trip my mom and sister and I would have rather eaten gum off the ground than eat at another Shoney's. 

Okay, back to breakfast.

So as a kid, whenever we went out to breakfast I would always order two things and two things only: bacon and hash browns. (Honestly what more could you want?) The hash browns would be completely doused in ketchup, and the bacon would be picked apart until every last ounce of squishy bacon fat was completely removed. My dad was always all, "QUIT PICKING YOUR BACON!" It drove him nuts.

I've learned to enjoy breakfast a little more. ESPECIALLY if cheese and cilantro are involved. And quite honestly, I usually eat these for lunch. 

Make a batch of homemade tortillas, fill them with roasted sweet potatoes, scrambled egg, and tons of feta and cilantro. 

I'm of the opinion that cheese and sweet potatoes (ok and cilantro) can be combined with just about everything and it will be delicious. 

I'm just sayin.

Scrambled Egg and Sweet Potato Breakfast Burritos

3-4 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 large sweet potato, roasted

Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl and mix with a fork until combined. Add salt and pepper. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add eggs and scramble until desired doneness. 

Warm the tortillas. Add a serving of sweet potato and scrambled egg. Garnish (heavily) with feta and cilantro. Makes 4-5 breakfast burritos. 

Add bacon to it. You know you want to.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Homemade Tortillas

This is one of those recipes that is super easy and impressive, even though I know you probably aren't going to quit spending $2.00 for the convenience of having pre-made tortillas. 

HOWEVER, I was craving tortillas one day and just so happened to be completely out of them. So this was a much better option than driving all the way to town for $2.00 store-bought tortillas.

These taste EVEN BETTER than the store bought stuff anyway.  So, if you are having a mexican theme dinner and you're feeling just a little extra ambitious, make these! 

Honestly, when I made these I did NOT have a mexican theme dinner planned. But they keep wonderfully in the fridge and very soon I will post a few different recipes using these delicious homemade tortillas. 

The process is actually really easy. You just start with some flour and butter. According to the recipe I used it is really important when cutting in the butter that the butter pieces are nearly eliminated in the flour or it will cause inconsistencies when cooking the tortillas. I just used a fork and pressed the butter until I felt it was small enough. They turned out inconsistency-less. ;)

Add a mixture of salt and water to the flour to create a dough. 

Separate the dough into 12 separate balls and let rest for about a half hour. Each dough ball becomes one 7-9 inch tortilla, so if you want smaller or larger tortillas separate accordingly. 

Roll the tortillas out on a floured surface and bake on an ungreased skillet over medium heat. This part is super quick. They literally spend only about 30 seconds on each side. 

So, the weekend is coming up. Make a batch of homemade tortillas and have yourself a party! 
(Or just have dinner. Either tortillas.)

Homemade Tortillas

2 3/4 cups of flour
5 tbsp of shortening
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup very warm water

Combine the flour and shortening in a bowl and work the shortening in with a fork (or pastry blender) until completely blended. It is important that this is done until there are no visible particles of shortening remaining, or the tortillas will not have a consistent texture once cooked.

Dissolve the salt in the water and pour about 2/3 cup over the flour mixture. Work it in with a fork. Add the rest in (plus a little more if necessary) until all the dry ingredients are dampened and the mixture forms into dough. Bring the dough onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth. It should have a medium-stiff consistency.

Divide the dough into 12 separate balls. Cover on a plate and let rest for around 30 minutes.

Heat an ungreased skillet over medium-high heat. Roll a ball of dough on a floured surface into a 7 inch diameter. Lay the tortilla on the skillet and let bake 30-45 seconds until brown spots on the underside. Flip and bake another 30-45 seconds and then remove from heat and wrap in a cloth napkin in a tortilla warmer. Don't over bake the tortilla or it will become crispy. Repeat with each ball of dough.

Recipe from: The Urban Spork

Guacamole please. Mmmm.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spring Rolls

I usually have spring rolls that are cooked; the insides all warm and delicious and the outsides crispy and fried. Well these are the opposite. The vegetables are uncooked and they are served cold.

But trust me in this, they are surprisingly refreshing and extremely tasty. The perfect appetizer to an asian meal.

I made these off a memory of eating them 6 months ago AND three different recipes. I don't even know who to give credit to. My friend Fiona probably deserves all the credit actually because I ate them at her house. Regardless of how they made their way into my kitchen, they were super delicious.

The rolls are filled with vegetables, but also with rice sticks. This pasta sits for a few minutes in hot water until soft. I tossed the veggies and pasta with a little soy before wrapping them. 

I made a garlicky, asian sauce to dip the rolls in. We also dipped them in (store bought) sweet chili sauce. Either way was tasty.

So next time you're making asian food, pick up some ingredients for these rolls. It's a little time consuming, but way worth it!

Spring Rolls

1/4-1/2 small cabbage, sliced into eatable size portions
3 medium carrots, julienned or shredded
1-2 tbs fresh minced ginger
4 oz rice sticks (a little over half a package)
Cilantro (amount to preference)
4 tbs soy sauce
1 package rice paper

Cook the rice sticks according to the directions on the package. In a large bowl combine the first six ingredients.

The best way to make these rolls is to set up an assembly line. You'll need a large plate filled with warm water, a dry plate, and a serving plate. One roll at a time, dip the rice paper in the warm water and let soak for about 30 seconds, until it is pliable but not completely soft. Move it to the dry plate and let it sit for another 30 seconds or until it is completely soft. Place a couple spoonfuls of the veggie/rice mixture in the top third of the paper. Starting at the top, roll the mixture one turn. Turn the sides in and then finish the roll. Repeat until you are completely out of the mixture. 

This process was a little time consuming, and I didn't perfect it till the last plate of spring rolls. It takes some time to get the best technique for creating a tight roll. It really doesn't matter if they are perfect, it only really matters that they're delicious.

I found that the rolls were best served after being chilled for an hour or two.

You need to make these sometime in your life.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Peanut Butter Filled Peanut Butter Cookies

I literally have like 8 jars of peanut butter at my house right now.

So naturally I decided to make peanut butter cookies. I actually did even better than that. I made peanut butter FILLED peanut butter cookies.

I'd love to say these are originals. And in a way they are.

But in another way...they are so not. For one thing I am NOT the first person to come up with peanut butter cookies. And I'm probably NOT the first person to fill them with peanut butter. AND I totally didn't make up the cookie recipe.

BUT I did decide to fill them without any outside inspiration whatsoever (outside of the rumblings of my stomach). AND I did make up my own filling.

So there. Non-original originals.

The cookies are a Jif recipe. I figure Jif knows how to make peanut butter, so their peanut butter cookie recipe is probably trustworthy. Turns out it is.

Go figure.

The filling is made of peanut butter, powdered sugar, and a dash of milk.

Tell me you don't want to eat that with a spoon.
You do.

Take a teaspoon of cookie dough and press in the center with your thumb, creating a little boat. Fill with about a teaspoon of the filling. 

Take another teaspoon of cookie dough and put it on the top, pinching around the edges to seal the cookie. 

Press the center with a fork and bake!

Peanut Butter Filled Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 tbsp of milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups of flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a couple cookie sheets. 

Combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl. Beat until well blended. Add the egg and beat until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture at low speed. 

For the filling beat the peanut butter and powdered sugar in a separate bowl until combined. Gradually add in the milk until consistency is creamy but "spoonable." You may use more or less than the 1/3 cup of milk. 

For each cookie, take a teaspoon of cookie dough and press in the center with your thumb creating a little boat. Fill with about a teaspoon of the filling. Take another teaspoon of cookie dough and put it on the top, pinching around the edges to seal the cookie. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. The recipe makes 2 dozen.