Thursday, September 24, 2015

Zucchini Casserole

I have a lot of favorite foods from my childhood, but this Zucchini Casserole has to be right up there near the top of my all time favorites. I was never ever a green vegetable eating kid, but for some reason I loved this dish, and that's probably why we had it often.

It's a quite simple dish, cooks up in about 30 minutes, and it only uses one dish! Well, unless you want to serve it in a pretty dish, then you will need two. 

The ingredients include bacon, onion, celery, mexi-corn, zucchini, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. It makes a great side dish and a great lunch (my favorite) if you have any leftovers. I hope you get a chance to try it. You can find the recipe HERE.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Food For Friends

I had the honor of cooking all the yummies for a friends retirement party last weekend. I made a few of my "regulars" but also added a few new ones that I wanted to share.
 A while back I had purchased some glass shot glasses at the dollar store (3 for a $) and really wanted to make something in them for this party. I found a recipe on line for a Cajun Bloody Mary that I thought would be perfect. Limed, salted, and peppered half the glass, poured in the shot and topped with a cooked shrimp and a celery stick. These were a huge hit and I had no problem getting rid of them!
I make ham and tortilla rolls quite often for parties because they can be make a day ahead of time and everyone loves them. For this party I made some Mexican tortilla rolls (cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, cheddar cheese, diced green chilis, black olives, finely diced red bell pepper, and a few splashes of hot sauce. Ham rolls were spread with cream cheese mixed with diced black olives and either rolled around a green onion or dill pickle spear. The key is to roll tightly and chill before slicing.

 Jalapeno Popper Dip is always a crowd pleaser. Made the day before and baked right before the party. I like to nuke it a minute or so every once in awhile to keep it hot. (2 pkg. cream cheese, 1 cup mayo, small can diced green chilis, 1/2 can diced jalapeno, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese inside, and more on top).

This was a bit of an experiment but it got rave reviews. Spinach leaves (2) wrapped around a half of a strawberry. I then pushed a skewer through to hold it together and topped with a sprinkling of feta cheese, candied pecans and a drizzle of Panera's balsamic vinaigrette from Target (which is the bomb!).

I've made these tri-tip sliders for the last 4 parties I have done and everyone seems to love them. I BBQ the tri-tip the day before than sliced thin the morning of the party. To put them together I toast the dinner rolls, top with Gorgonzola cheese, tri-tip, caramelized onions, spring mix, a drizzle of a balsamic reduction, then speared. I did nuke the meat just to warm it before assembling them. Always a hit. 

I also put together a cheese and cracker tray and a vegetable platter with a dill dip. I think everyone's tummies were happy and a good time was had by all!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

To Boil Or Not To Boil

I love pork ribs! Probably one of my favorite things to BBQ. I am a boiler. My mom boiled her ribs and they were always so good that it's was I have always done too. I tend to get flack from other cooks when I state this and get an ear full about how they lose flavor and I'm ruining the ribs so on and so on. But, anyone I have ever cooked them for has raved about them. Well, today, for the first time ever I did not boil the ribs. I practiced patience and cooked them low and slow in the oven. I used the recipe on for Sweet & Spicy St. Louis Ribs. I sprinkled the rub all over the ribs (I halved it as my rib was on the smaller side) and wrapped tightly in foil along with a couple tablespoons of beer. I cooked them on 275 for 3 hours. I could smell them cooking and OMG they smelled sooooooo good! I removed them from the oven then I spread them with about a half cup of Sweet Baby Rays with a couple T of Fischer & Wieser Chipotle Raspberry Sauce mixed in and threw them on the grill until there were char marks.

I will admit it. They were fall off the bone tender and soooo flavorful! I loved the taste of the spices from the rub and not just tasting the sauce as I do with mine. Since this takes quite a bit of time to prepare I probably wouldn't be able to make it for a week night dinner but I think I am going to continue experimenting with this method on the weekends. I will admit it, I very much enjoyed these, and..... I think they were better than mine :-)

I am an AllrecipesAllstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews my personal blog.  The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are all my own. 

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Appetizer Party Platter

I was going through all my old pictures and thought there were quite a few there that I could share with you. Here is a one of two identical appetizers trays I made up for a birthday party I did numerous years ago. I love making appetizers! You could say it's my "niche". In my perfect world, I would cater two parties a month and ONLY do appy's!

Well here's what's on the plate:

Ham Rolls - My mother made ham rolls back as far as I can remember. She mixed diced black olives into some softened cream cheese, spread it onto a slice of ham, topped with a green onion spear, refrigerated, sliced and cut. And, even though I am not a pickle fan, and my mom never made them with a pickle, I added them to half instead of the onions because my friends love them too!

Stuffed pepperoncini's - This recipe is from and has always been a hit among my friends. They are pretty simple to make and since I platter them slit down, you can't even tell they are stuffed! You can find the recipe HERE

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes - Cream Cheese, a touch of mayo, chopped green onions, and BACON! I use my little 1/4 tsp. metal spoon to hollow out the tomatoes after slicing a bit of the top off. Sprinkle the inside with a little bit of salt and place them upside down to drain completely, then fill.

Tortilla Rolls - As you can see from a previous post, I just love rolling things in a tortilla! These ones here had a "Mexican" flair to them. Cream Cheese, green chilis, green onions, black olives, red bell pepper and taco seasoning! You can really add anything, but I like the different colors. 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Baking With The Wrap!

This month I had the awesome pleasure of working with Reynolds Wrap products. I have used Reynolds Wrap foil and turkey bags as long back as I can remember. I don't remember my mother ever using anything beside Reynolds Wrap while I was growing up. I think it is a trusted name and a product we know will work. Who wants to buy some knock off brand just to find out it's crap, and have to wait 200 feet before we can get our hands on the stuff we know works, right? I was given a box of Non-Stick foil which I had never used in the past (another one of those things where I am afraid to try something new). Now that I think about it, it's also the same reason I order the same menu item every time I go out to eat! Back to the foil. I made two recipes. The first one was Salted Caramel Nut Brittle from SUPER simple to make (4 ingredients + toppings), and very forgiving. I slightly passed up the 290 degree mark by about 15 degrees and who woulda known? It was super yummy! I only plated it about 15 minutes ago, and my boys have already consumed about half of it! So I will take that as a huge thumbs up.
The next recipe was for Fajitas baked in foil also from allrecipes. I threw the meat and all the marinade ingredients into the foil and topped it with my onions and peppers. I didn't see any reason why the ingredients couldn't share a packet. I let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours then placed it in the oven to bake. I cooked it for the time stated as I love my meat medium rare and it was the perfect doneness. I think the meat could have used a little more flavor, but with all the toppings it was super good! I think it would also be great to throw it in on the bbq and let it cook that way. Maybe in the summer when it's too hot to turn on the oven I will give it a try.
If your interested in trying either of these recipes, and I suggest you do, here are the links 
Salted Caramel Nut Brittle
Easy Flank Steak Fajitas

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Hi all! This month I had the opportunity to work on a Mazola Oil campaign. I was given a bottle of Mazola Corn Oil, which to be honest with you I have never tried before. Since I grew up on good ol' veggie oil, I find myself venturing away from other oils for fear that they would taste different. I was totally willing to give it a try and am glad I had the chance, since I know I probably would have never done it on my own. 

The first thing I made with my new oil were these yummy cookies. Peanut Butter, Chocolate AND oatmeal! How could they not be good! I followed the recipe almost to the T except I did my fork marks with my fork dipped in flour instead of sugar, as other said they were enough sweet without it. We loved these cookies straight from the oven as they were warm and soft. They are a pretty crunchy firm cookie once they cooled. I took the majority of them to work and left them on the break table. Sometime between 8 am and my lunch they managed to all be eaten! '

Since then, I have used my corn oil numerous times with excellent results. If you haven't given corn oil a try, I highly suggest you do. I mean come on, it's made from CORN! You can find the cookie recipe HERE

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Party!

4 more day until Halloween, and 4 more days until I need to produce a bunch of food for my kids and their friends at a party we are having! My kids are not little. They range in age from 19 to 28 but do love to get together and also love to eat my food! When they asked if we could have party I was all for it. I really like their friends and love having everyone over for any occasion. 

I made a suggestion that everyone bring an appetizer to share. This way I wouldn't spend my entire time in the kitchen. Well, I think there was a vote, and the kids friends all would rather give me money because they want ME to cook! So, because it's quite a compliment, and because I'm a sucker for these kids. I agreed! Here is what I have so far on my menu board. It may change as it usually does a bit at the last minute, but so far this is what I am going with. Oh, and that guy up there, he was dinner last night. Just trying to get myself into the spirt of the season!