Monday, January 9, 2012

fruit dip

this is a great dip to bring to a party or serve as an appetizer. and it's so fast - it makes slicing and serving apples seem exciting. if you want to, you could add chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans, too. enjoy!

fruit dip (from
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract

mix ingredients and refrigerate for an hour before serving.

magical butter sauce

simple! i found this on tasty kitchen (via pioneer woman... oh, ree!), and it couldn't be easier. i've put this over salmon and sole, but it'd be great on veggies (ooh - especially on asparagus), too.

magical butter sauce
1/3 c. butter, melted
2 T. fruit preserves (any fruit)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
s&p to taste

mix 'er up!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

jalapeño ranch dip

my sister katie made this winner for a family get-together and it went over big time. it's really easy, delicious, and can be served on a variety of dip-vehicles (i prefer tortilla chips). if you're afraid of spice, be sure to remove all seeds and any white parts from the inside of the jalapeño; and if you want spice, keep some white (but toss the seeds). enjoy!

jalapeño ranch dip
16 oz. light sour cream
1 package (1 Oz.) ranch dip mix
2 large jalapeños, de-seeded and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. fresh cilantro
1 whole lime, juiced
2-4 T. milk (if desired)

combine roughly chopped jalapeños, cilantro and garlic in a food processor. pulse until finely chopped. add lime juice, sour cream and ranch mix. pulse until thoroughly combined. add milk, a tablespoon at a time, to thin if desired.

pumpkin muffins

this is a recipe shared with me by my friend joceline. her husband is convinced that he doesn't like pumpkin, but joceline decided he didn't know what he was talking about and took to making things with pumpkin in them and calling them "harvest spice". ha! so these are "harvest spice" muffins that are delicious and so... harvest spicy. by the way, her husband loves these (as does mine). (from smitten kitchen - if you don't read her already, don't miss out any longer - she's great!)

pumpkin muffins
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 c. canned pumpkin (from a 15 oz. can)
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 t. cinnamon, divided
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. ground ginger
1 c. plus 1 T. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

preheat oven to 350°. put liners in muffin cups. whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1 t. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

stir together 1 t. cinnamon and remaining 1 T. sugar in another bowl.

divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. bake until puffed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

(the muffins are delicious, but not so photogenic... so i added a cow)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

pasta with pumpkin and sausage

well, she's done it again. rachael ray has created a really yummy recipe that i totally love, but don't want to hear her talk about... her voice just gets to me (i can't be alone in this, right?). this is an awesome fall or winter dish that is hearty and delicious, but helps you branch away from the classic red or white pasta sauce options. i made a few minor changes, such as adding just a bit of sugar (weird, i know), but it really helped the flavor. i use turkey italian sausage, but you just feel free to substitute normal italian sausage if you'd prefer. make this tonight!

pasta with pumpkin & sausage adapted from rachael ray
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. sweet italian turkey sausage (out of the casings)
3 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 c. chopped onions
1 bay leaf
5 sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin slices)
1 c. white wine
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 T. sugar
1/3 c. cream (i used half and half)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
s&p to taste
1 lb. penne, cooked and drained

heat skillet over med-hi. add 1 T. olive oil and sausage; brown. transfer sausage to paper towels, drain fat from pan and return to stove. add remaining olive oil, garlic and onion - sauté 3-5 minutes until onions are tender.
add bay leaf, sage and wine to pan. reduce liquid by half, 3-4 minutes. add stock and pumpkin and combine, stir until sauce starts to bubble then return sausage to pan, reduce heat. stir in cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and s&p to taste. simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken.
remove bay leaf from sauce and combine pasta and sauce. garnish with shredded parmesan cheese, if desired.

crazy-easy apple dip

well, it couldn't be easier. this apple dip is delicious, fast and always a hit! it almost has a caramel-y flavor, but isn't too sweet. if you want to get creative, you can mix in fun ingredients like chocolate syrup, chopped semi-sweet chocolate, chopped pecans or almonds, or even some peanut butter. enjoy!

apple dip
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 T. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon

mix all the ingredients together & serve with apple slices.

Monday, August 29, 2011

curried red snapper

well, hello! though the posts have slowed down, the cooking has not. since i don't eat red meat, we have the potential of going stir-crazy on chicken in our house. so i try to bring fish into our menu as often as possible. this is a really simple recipe i found on that's very tasty. it calls for red snapper, but you could use cod, flounder or tilapia fillets, too. and if you need to make it gluten-free, try subbing cornstarch in for the flour to thicken. enjoy!

curried red snapper
1 lb. red snapper fillets
1/2 c. onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 T. butter
1 T. curry powder
1/2 t. salt
4 T. milk
2 t. flour (or more, to thicken)

place fish in greased 9x13" cooking pan. in skillet, sauté onions, celery and butter until tender; add salt and curry, mix. stir in milk and flour. spread curry mix over fish and bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.