Monday, October 29, 2012

Greek Layered Dip


I made this dip for a party this past weekend and it was a huge hit. It disappeared very quickly - and I'm not surprised! This dips starts with a layer of hummus and is followed by sun dried tomato pesto, then topped with all kinds of good stuff: cucumbers, onions, olives, feta and sun dried tomatoes.


I think artichokes would be great too, and I thought I had some in the cupboard, but I didn't. No matter, there was plenty of deliciousness here to be had.

I'm not going to include quantities here, cause it really depends on how big of a platter you are filling up - clearly, I should have used a much bigger plate since this was devoured in no time!

Start by spreading the hummus on a serving platter. You can use store bought or make your own. You don't want to spread this too thin - just for context, I used about 10 oz. for this platter. Top with a thin layer of sundried tomato pesto.


Sprinkle the cucumbers over the top,


then add the onions.


Next come the olives,


then the feta and sundried tomatoes.


Doesn't this look amazing???


It tastes amazing too. Serve with pita chips.


Find more great ideas at Mangia Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Meatless Monday, This Week's Cravings, My Meatless Mondays, Mop it up Monday, Mix it up Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Recipe Sharing Monday, On the Menu Monday, Healthy Moms' Meatless Monday, French Cuisine Friday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza.

Greek Layered Dip

Hummus (either store bought or homemade)
Sundried Tomato Pesto
Cucumber, diced small
Red Onion, diced small
Black Olives, sliced
Feta Cheese
Sundried Tomatoes

Spread the hummus on a serving platter. Top with sundried tomato pesto, then cucumber, red onion, black olives, feta and sundried tomatoes. Serve with pita chips.


Recipe Source: Inspired by Annie's Eats



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Waffles


I know that everyone seems to be in a pumpkin craze this time of year. Certainly, I've already contributed with donuts and bars. And these scrumptious waffles probably won't be the last of it for this fall!

Pumpkin lends such wonderful flavor to recipes - and it's good for you, too! These waffles are so tasty that you won't even need syrup. I know that sounds like sacrilege - and I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't done it myself. But it's true!

Make your autumn mornings great with these delicious waffles!

In a large measuring cup, combine the milk, egg, oil and pumpkin


and whisk well until smooth. Then add the cloves, cinnamon,


brown sugar,


flour,


baking powder and salt and whisk just until combined. Pour the batter onto a preheated waffle iron


and cook for 4-5 minutes or until steam no longer escapes from the iron. (Of course, each appliance is different so follow the instructions for your waffle maker.)

A little spiced whipped cream (or cool whip!) makes a delightful topping for these delicious waffles.


One year ago: Cranapana Bread
Two years ago: Garlic-Herb Orzo Pilaf
Three years ago: Blueberry Pecan Cake

Get more inspiration at Full Plate Thursday, Swanky Stuff, Recipe Box, Thursday's Treasures, Tastetastic Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Finds, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2), Ingredient Spotlight.

Pumpkin Waffles

1 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves


Combine milk, pumpkin, oil and egg in a large measuring cup and whisk well. Add the brown sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves and stir just until moist.

Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray and preheat. Spoon batter onto hot waffle iron and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter. Makes 4 round waffles.

Recipe Source: Cooking Light

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Marsala


Not too long ago, I made chicken marsala for the first time, and loved it! It's not difficult to make, and it's not too time consuming, but I was sure there would be a way to adapt this to the crockpot. So I did!

This chicken marsala has the same flavor as the original, but because you're not dredging it in flour and frying it, it doesn't have the same "crispy" feel. What I especially loved about this version, though, is that it was on the table FIVE minutes after the chicken was cooked through! FIVE MINUTES! (I was serving leftover side dishes, namely roasted brussels sprouts, so your time may vary, but still - five minutes!)

A few minutes spent in the morning or afternoon will get you a freaky fast delicious dinner.

Start by brushing the bottom of your crock pot insert with the olive oil. Place the minced garlic on the bottom of the crock, then add the chicken breasts. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add the mushrooms.


Pour the wine over the chicken,


then cook on low for 4-6 hours until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and mushrooms to a plate and transfer the juices and wine to a small saucepan. In a small measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the chicken broth, whisking well until no lumps remain. Heat the liquids in the sauce pan over medium heat til it begins to simmer, then slowly add the chicken broth.


Continue to whisk the sauce until it thickens, 2-3 minutes.


Place the chicken on a serving platter or on individual plates and cover with the sauce.


In order to soak up the delicious sauce, you could make rice pilaf or mashed potatoes as accompaniments!

One year ago: Cranapana Bread
Two years ago: Pumpkin Cake Roll
Three years ago: Double Corn and Potato Chowder

Find more great ideas at Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show.

Crockpot Chicken Marsala

1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. cornstarch

Pour the olive oil into the bottom of the crockpot insert and brush to distribute the oil. Place the garlic in the crock, then top with chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add the mushrooms. Pour the wine in to cover the chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

When chicken is cooked through, remove the meat and mushrooms to a plate. Pour the wine mixture from the crock into a small saucepan and bring to a simmmer over medium heat. Whisk together the cornstarch and chicken broth and add it to the simmering wine, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes.

Pour sauce over chicken and mushrooms to serve. Serves 2.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple and Cayenne


Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables. I have a couple different favorite ways to make them, with maple and bacon, and with garlic butter, but if you can even believe it, I had never roasted them until now.

So when I was assigned to Brittany and Julie's blog for Secret Recipe Club this month, it was the motivation I needed to try roasting brussels sprouts.

It's so easy! And they're so delicious. Brittany and Julie recommend olive oil and salt, and I followed their recommendation. But to literally spice it up a little I added maple syrup and cayenne at the end. Forget sauteing! I think this is my new favorite way to prepare, and eat, brussels sprouts!

And it couldn't be easier. Start by trimming the ends of the brussels sprouts and picking off any wilted outer leaves. Then cut the sprouts in quarters. Place them in a large bowl, then drizzle with olive oil


and sprinkle with salt.


Spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet


and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. While they're roasting, combine the syrup


and cayenne


then drizzle it over the sprouts after the 20 minutes are up.


Stir up the sprouts so they're all coated with the yummy spicy syrup, then return the pan to the oven and roast for an additional 2 minutes.

Vegetables never tasted so good!


I loved this roasting method so much that I was inspired to make this delicious main dish: pesto pasta with roasted brussels sprouts and sausage!



One year ago: Cranapana Bread
Two years ago: Pumpkin Cake Roll
Three years ago: Double Corn and Potato Chowder

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple and Cayenne

1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place sprouts in a medium bowl, and drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt. Stir well to coat all the sprouts. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400 until browned in spots and tender, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine syrup and pepper. Drizzle over sprouts, stir to coat, and roast an additional 1-2 minutes. Serves 4.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicken Gnocchi Soup


I love making and eating soup, especially now that the weather is more predictably chilly (ugh) every day... after Mel posted this recipe a few weeks ago, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I changed up a few things and it was as good as Mel promised.

A creamy, hearty soup base is chock full of yummy and healthy veggies, chicken and soft gnocchi. What's not to love? I can't wait for lunch tomorrow, and this will be one of many times I make this soup this winter, especially since I stocked up on gnocchi!

Start by heating the oil over medium heat in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots


and thyme,


and cook and stir for several minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and the mushrooms


and cook for an additional two minutes. Now cover the vegetables with the flour


and stir well to coat all the veggies. Add the chicken broth


and cook and stir until slightly thickened. You can increase the heat to medium high, then add the half and half


and the milk. Keep stirring and cooking until the mixture comes to a boil, then cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the soup thickens up a bit. Add the gnocchi


and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken,


spinach,


and salt and pepper and cook for just a minute or so until the spinach wilts and the chicken is warmed through. Eat soup and keep warm!



One year ago: Double Berry Banana Muffins
Two years ago: Pumpkin Cake
Three years ago: Peach Pound Cake

Find more great ideas at Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped up Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Swanky Stuff, Pennywise Platter, Recipe Box, Thursday's Treasures, Tastetastic Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2).

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms (about 1/2 of an 8 oz. pkg.)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup flour
2 cups fat free half-and-half
2 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth
1 - 17.6 ounce package gnocchi
3 cups cooked and diced chicken
2 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. salt

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot; add the chopped onion, carrots and thyme. Cook until the onion is translucent and carrots are slightly tender, stirring often, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly, for another 2 minutes. Cover the vegetables with the flour and stir well to coat all the vegetables.

Add the chicken broth and increase the heat to medium high. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken, then slowly add the half-and-half and then the milk. Stir while bringing the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is slightly thickened, 5-7 minutes.

Add the gnocchi and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the chicken, spinach, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and chicken is warmed through.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Monday, October 15, 2012

Banana Bread


I know there are a million recipes for banana bread out there, and I don't expect anyone to adopt a new one if you've found one you love. But if you don't have one, this is a good one. And I wanted to post it because I refer to the recipes on this blog, too, and wanted to have a record of this very good banana bread!

This isn't the healthiest, lowest fat or most interesting banana bread. It's just straight up delicious, no frills, just how it should be, regular banana bread.

Start by creaming together the oil, applesauce and sugar. Add in the bananas,


eggs and vanilla and mix well. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon,


baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this to the batter alternately with the buttermilk


and mix just until combined. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan


and bake for about an hour.


Cool the bread in the pan for about 15 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

One year ago: Caramel Cracker Bars
Two years ago: Apple Dumpling Cake
Three years ago: Potato Soup

Get more ideas at Mangia Monday, Mop it up Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, On the Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show.

Banana Bread

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt

In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the oil, applesauce and sugar. Mix in the bananas, eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl alternately with the buttermilk, and mix just until combined.

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.




Thursday, October 11, 2012

Caramel Apple Cookies


We now return to fall treats after that diversion to an actual main dish. These cookies - my oh my. What a wonderful use for apples! I can't decide what part of this cookie I like best - the chewy caramel, the sweet apple, or the spicy dough that turns beautifully crunchy when baked. These cookies are autumn perfection.

Start by creaming together the butter, brown sugar


and applesauce.


Add the egg and vanilla


and mix until incorporated. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.


Add the chopped apple to the flour mixture


and stir it up to coat all the apples.


Add the flour/apple mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until combined. Then stir in the caramel bits.


Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and then drop small mounds of dough on the paper.


Bake for 12-14 minutes. Then let the cookies cool completely before removing to a wire rack. Otherwise the caramel bits will stick on the paper, and not stay in the cookie. That would be bad, very bad.


These cookies are great with a tall glass of milk!


One year ago: Portobello Spaghetti Risotto
Two years ago: Mixed Berry Coffeecake
Three years ago: Garlicky Shrimp and Spinach Pizza

Find more inspiration at Full Plate Thursday, Sweet and Swanky Stuff, Recipe Box, Thursday's Treasures, Tastetastic Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2), Crazy Sweet Tuesday.

Caramel Apple Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple
1 cup caramel bits (or regular sized caramels, cut up into small pieces)

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and continue to beat until combined.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in another bowl.

Add chopped apple to the flour and then add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and mix until combined. Then, add the caramel bits.

Drop small balls of dough on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes. Let cookies completely before attempting to move them off the baking sheet or else the caramel will remain on the sheet away from the cookie!

Makes 3-4 dozen.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Eat, Live, Run
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