Monday, September 24, 2012

Crab Meat Cheese Spread

This is one of my all time favorite appetizers that my mom serves (and now I serve).  The flavors are so good and it is so simple - you won't be able to believe you haven't been making it your whole life.

Crab Meat Cheese Spread
From: Mom
Prep time: 5 min
cook time: none

1 bottle chili sauce
1 small can crabmeat (7 1/2 oz)
1 (8oz) cream cheese

1. Place cream cheese on a serving dish.  Cover entire brick with chili sauce.  Sprinkle crap meat on top until entire brick is covered.  Serve with crackers.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Frozen Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bites

I saw this on Pinterest and was intrigued. Frozen bananas are always tasty and this recipe seemed like a good treat.  I tried using both semi sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate melting wafers (for fondue).  The melting wafers worked better and covered the banana better, the semisweet chocolate got really thick really quick.  These were tasty, but not sure if it is worth the work.

Frozen Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bites
From: Namely Marley
Prep time:  15 min
Freeze time: 20 min

Banana, sliced
Peanut butter
Semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk melting chocolate

1. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Put a small amount of peanut butter on each slice of banana.  Lay sliced banana on waxed paper and place in freezer for 5 -10 min.

2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave (or melt milk melting chocolate).  Use fork to dip each banana slice in chocolate.  Return to wax paper and place in freezer until frozen through.  Store in freezer.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Crock Pot Creamy Corn

I made this a long time ago, but forgot to post it.  I thought it was delicious and easy but made a lot.  It was creamy and is good comfort food.  Bill thought it was only ok.  He thought it was a little heavy plus he doesn't love corn the way that I do.

Crock Pot Creamy Corn
From: deme7 via Tasty kitchen
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 1 hour

1 bag frozen corn (large bag)
1 block cream cheese
5 Tbsp Sugar

1. Throw everything into a crock pot set on high for 1 hour.  Cream cheese will melt into a creamy sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Strawberry Freezer Jam

My mom makes the best strawberry jam.  Bill as also raves about it - so this year I finally decided I would try to make it myself.  I asked my mom for the recipe and she told me it is just the one on the Sure Jell box.  Well that sounded easy enough.  And turns out it was.  Only 3 ingredients and now I have a bunch of delicious jam in the freezer!

Strawberry Freezer Jam
From: Mom and Sure Jell
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min

4 pints Strawberries
3 cups Sugar
1 pkg Sure Jell
1 cup water

1.  Discard stems and crush strawberries with a potato masher.  Measure 4 cups of crushed strawberries.

2. In a large pot add sugar and Sure Jell package and mix thoroughly.  Stir in 1 cup water.  Bring mixture to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

3. Stir fruit mixture quickly into hot pectin-sugar mixture.  Sir 1 minute or until thoroughly mixed.

4.  Pour into washed and rinsed containers leaving 1/2 inch space at top for expansion during freezing.  Cover.

5.  Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set.  Refrigerate up to 3 weeks, otherwise, store in freezer for up to 1 year.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip


I'm sure everyone has a version of this they love, but this one is what I grew up on and has always been my favorite (and the easiest).  I'm actually surprised I've never blogged this before since I my whole family makes this version and I have probably eaten it several hundred times in my life.  Make this, you won't be sorry.  It isn't super fancy, but it is dog gone delicious and perfect for football season this fall.

*** UPDATE: I just learned that this was originally from my Great Aunt Betty.  It makes it even more special! ***

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip
From: My Mom & Great Aunt Betty
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min

1 cup Mayo
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use the stuff in the green shaker, real stuff doesn't work as good!)
1 can of artichoke hearts (drained and cut up)
1/2 a cup of frozen chopped spinach (thaw in microwave and remove excess water)

1.  Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until paremsan is mixed throughout.

2. Spread in pie plate and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the top gets brown around the edges.  Serve with crackers or chips (I prefer wheat thins).

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Refrigerator Oatmeal - Pinterest FAIL

I saw this on Pinterest and really wanted to try it. I dragged my feet because I couldn't find Chia seeds at any of my regular grocery stores, so I finally broke down and bought some from amazon.  I was excited for this to be a potential every day breakfast since it sounded so easy and making it the night before even better.  Plus, eating out of a mason jar always makes things that much better.  Unfortunately it was too good to be true.  The consistency was gloppy, the flavor was blah and cold oatmeal isn't all that appealing.  I made 2 flavors and the cinnamon one was better than the Banana Peanut Butter, but neither of us had more than a few bites.  Bill, bless his heart, suggested maybe heating it up would taste better.  It didn't.

Even though this didn't turn out to be very good, I wanted to post it because I know it keeps going around Pinterest and thought people might appreciate hearing about someone who tried the recipe.  Plus, now I have a whole bag of Chia Seeds and don't know what to do with them so if anyone has any recipes that include chia seeds, please let me know!

***Apple Cinnamon***
*** Banana Peanut Butter***

Refrigerator Oatmeal - Pinterest FAIL
From: The Yummy Life
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 0 min

1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tspn dried chia seeds
1 tspn honey
For Apple Cinnamon: 
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
For Banana Peanut Butter:
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 cup diced ripe banana

 1. In a half pint or larger jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and honey.  Add cinnamon for apple-cinnamon and add peanut butter for banana-peanut butter.  Put lid on jar and shake well until combined.

2.  Remove lid, add bananas or applesauce (depending on which you are making) and stir until mixed throughout.

3. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.  Eat Chilled.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fresh Corn Soup

I love Corn.  I love corn on the cob, off the cob, creamed corn, corn chowder, corn dip, corn salad... anything you can think of that involves corn.  This one appealed to me because it said it was a creamy corn soup using fresh corn, and no dairy.  So I gave it a shot.  I even doubled the recipe anticipating it would be good and I would want to freeze some of it to save for the winter when I crave fresh corn things.

And it was good.  Great in fact.  It is think and creamy, but not like a dairy cream soup if that makes any sense.  One thing to note though.. it takes a while to make. Most soups need to simmer for a while, but this one seemed to have a lot of hands on time rather than get it all ready and just let it simmer.  I'm glad I made a double batch because I think this is a once a year type of recipe because of the hands on time involved.  This definitely isn't a weeknight quick and easy meal, but it IS worth it.

***I forgot to take a picture of ingredients - pretty much all veggies :) ***

No Dairy Creamy Fresh Corn Soup
From: We are not Martha
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hr 30 min

5-6 large ears of fresh sweet corn, shucked
Kosher salt
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 medium red potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
Fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 jalapeno, chopped (not in original recipe, I added it)
Optional Garnish: chopped tomato, sour cream, basil

1. Cut corn off cob into a large bowl.  Don't cut to close to the cob.

2. In a separate bowl take the cobs you just cut kernels off and scrape as much off the cob as you can, extracting all the "milk" and solids possible.  I used the back of a butter knife and it worked really well.

3. Break cobs in half and put them in a pot with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp salt.  bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to medium low, cover, and simmer for about 30 min.

4. Once done cooking, throw away cobs, but save liquids in a separate bowl and set aside.

5. Put the pot back over medium-high heat and add oil.  Saute onion in the oil for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Then add garlic and cook for another minute.

6.  Turn heat down to medium and add celery (I also added 1/2 a jalapeno chopped at this point).  Cover the pot and continue to cook, making sure to stir occasionally for about 5 minutes, until vegetables soften.

7.  Add the potatoes, pepper, and cayenne.  Stir.  Pour in corn stock.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and lower heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, unitl vegetables are softened enough to puree.

8.  Add all of the corn kernels except 1 cup. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

9. Puree the soup using immersion blender. Taste it.  Add more salt or pepper if needed. 

10. Add the rest of the corn and the corn 'milk.'  Simmer for another 5 minutes.

11.  Serve warm with as many toppings as you choose (I added chopped tomatoes, basil, and sour cream, and one night even added chunks of avocado. 


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