Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crockpot Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos

I spotted these babies floating around pinterst last week, and knew they had to go on our menu. We live in Wisconsin. Beer + Cheese = Total Awesomeness. These tacos did not disappoint one bit, and we added diced jalapeno to the mix for some extra spice and increased the amount of beer! The original recipe is from How Sweet It Is, and she has some great looking food and lovely photos (better than mine).  The one thing about this dish that I loved it that you could really taste the beer. Some recipes use beer, but it gets cooked down so much that the flavor disappears. Not here my friends, and the cheese is the cherry on top! Great weeknight recipe, or perfect for your football parties! Have a lovely evening everyone!


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle of beer (I used gluten free Red Bridge)
1 jalapeno, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese + more for topping
taco shells (we use corn tortillas)
Your favorite toppings: sour cream, cilantro, salsa, black beans, shredded lettuce, etc.


In a bowl, mix together chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add 1 bottle of beer in a bowl and whisk. Add jalapeno.

Place chicken in the crockpot and dump in beer with seasoning and jalapeno. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours.

When you first remove the lid, it will seem as though there is a lot of liquid and the chicken is just sitting in it, but take two forks or kitchen tongs and shred, shred, shred until it all comes together. Taste and season if desired, then let sit in the crockpot for another 20 minutes or so. Turn the crockpot completely off, and right before serving toss in cheddar cheese. Once combined, immediately transfer the chicken to a large bowl so the cheese does not stick to the crockpot. Make your tacos!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chili & Cheese Stuffed Peppers

I know this is not much of a picture, but this is one yummy pepper! I had some leftover chili in the freezer I needed to use, and this fit the bill. It was one of those times where is wasn't enough for two, but too much for one person for a meal.

I was in serious need of comfort food this week. A friend and co-worker had a serious medical emergency last weekend, and is not going to make it back to us. My heart has been so heavy and painful the past few days for her family. They had to make some hard decisions. She was a wonderful person and I will miss her dearly.  Memories of her fun spirit and compassion (not to mention a great sense of style) are what I am focusing and holding with me.  That's all I can say now, but enjoy the recipe.

2 cups beef or vegetarian chili (you can use any type you like, but I think a thick chili is best)
4 large green bell peppers, tops off and seeded
1 cup uncooked brown rice
15 oz tomato sauce, divided
1 cup cheddar cheese
Sour Cream, garnish (not pictured)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook brown rice according to instructions. Place cooked rice and chili in a large bowl, and stir well. In a deep, 8X8 baking dish cover bottom with 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture and set into the baking dish. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the peppers and top with cheese. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes. Garnish with sour cream.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 1/30 - 2/5

I can't believe February is right around the corner! We are off to Key West this week for a vacation, and I couldn't be more excited! I plan on taking lots of photos, and eating delicious food. Anyone have a good restaurant recommendation while visiting the Keys?  We are renting a house so I will be in and out.
Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Out to Dinner with friends- El Serape
Tuesday: Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos, Rice and Black Beans
Wednesday: Perhaps out for dinner depending on when we play volleyball
Thursday: Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe's, Parmesan Potato Wedges (for next recipe swap)
Friday: Dinner in Chicago
Saturday: Off to Key West We Go!!!!!
Sunday: Drinking and Eating on the Beach and Watching the Superbowl (I am still bitter about the Packers..)
Treats and Bites: Better Than Sex Cake (Crazy Cooking Challenge)

See you next week!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Recipe Swap: Baked Pike with Moroccan Vinaigrette

Time for another recipe swap! The theme for this swap is healthy dishes. I submitted my recipe for poached salmon. I loved the theme because I was hoping for a new fish dish and got one! I received a recipe for Baked Fish with Moroccan Vinaigrette from Sweet Beginnings. Sweet  Beginnings is a great blog with tons of different recipes to tantalize your taste buds. I was excited to try something new and different. I loved the simplicity of the dish, and was excited to fix my husband's fresh fish. Ron loves ice fishing, and recently caught a large norther pike waiting to be cooked up! I really like the herbs and the lemon in the vinaigrette, but next time I would add a little less red wine vinegar for a little less tang. Ron was not a fan, but he doesn't like vinaigrettes very much so I figured he would eat his fish plain- more for me! I think this would also be delicious on a salad or over steamed vegetables. Thank you for a great fresh and healthy recipe!


1-1/4  pounds  fresh or frozen tilapia (We used my husband's freshly caught Northern Pike)
2  tablespoons  olive oil
1/4  teaspoon  kosher or sea salt
1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/2  cup  red wine vinegar
2  tablespoons  snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2  tablespoons  snipped fresh cilantro
2  tablespoons  olive oil
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1  large  shallot, minced
1  clove  garlic, minced
1/2  teaspoon  kosher or sea salt
1/2  teaspoon  paprika
1/4  teaspoon  ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin


Brush both sides of fish with some of the oil. Sprinkle both sides of fish with the 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

In a screw-top jar, combine vinegar, parsley, cilantro, the 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, paprika, red pepper, and cumin. Cover and shake well. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place fish on baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and flaky.

Serve fish over rice, couscous or something similar, and drizzle vinaigrette over the top.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BBQ Beef Sheperd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes

I love a good casserole. Casserole's are so easy to put together after work, and taste delicious. This recipe is a different take on Shepherd's Pie. I saw something similar in a magazine months ago, and have been meaning to get our version on the menu ever since. I used a bbq, veggie, and beef base topped with mashed sweet potatoes. I loved the flavor of the sweet potatoes with the bbq! I like to use a tangy bbq sauce over a sweet bbq. After lots of sampling, we like Stubb's sauce the best. It is tangy and has a little bite to it.  I hope everyone is keeping warm this week!

1 1/4 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 cup chopped carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup corn
1 cup kitchen cut green beans
14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes, drained
2/3 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 lb sweet potatoes
2 Tbl butter
1 1/2 Tbl flour
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp cumin
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/4 reduced fat milk

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 2 inch pieces. Place in a pot of boiling water, and cook till tender. Drain potatoes. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper. Mash potatoes and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large rimmed skillet, saute onions and carrots till tender. Add ground beef and cook till browned. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, seasonings, and bbq sauce. Stir well and allow it to simmer for fifteen minutes.  Sprinkle beef with flour and stir. Allow sauce to thicken and season with salt and pepper. Place beef into a 9X13 baking dish and top with potatoes. Spread the potatoes evenly and top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 1/23 - 1/29

I decided that I needed to start doing weekly meal plans on my blog to get myself organized and let you all know what is happening in my kitchen for the week. It also makes us eat at home and cook (usually not a big issue). This week we are starting to get ready for our Key West trip! I can't wait because I really could use a vacation from this cold Wisconsin weather!  Some other happy things in our life: our niece Hailey Mae was born healthy and beautiful! Mom and baby are both doing great. AANNNDDD my little sister is getting married in Mexico next year!

Here's what's on tap:

Monday: BBQ Shepherd's Pie w/ Sweet Potatoes & Salad

Tuesday: Baked Tilapia with Moroccan Vinaigrette, Creamy Lemon Rice & Steamed Cauliflower (For my Recipe Swap)

Wednesday: Out for dinner with my parents before volleyball to Grazie's

Thursday: Chili & Rice Stuffed Peppers & Salad

Friday: I am working at my restaurant job and we will most likely grab something after if I am done early enough

Saturday: Out for my girlfriend's Bachelorette Party! Sushi at KoKo's!

Sunday: Seared Scallops, Ginger and Carrot Risotto & Salad (This is for my Improv Challenge)

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gluten Free Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Another Improv Cooking Challenge has come! The theme for this month is lemons and sour cream. My first thought was a creamy chicken dish, but that was quickly scrapped when I saw this recipe from Taming of the {Celiac} Sprue for Gluten Free Sour Cream Lemon Pie. As you know, my husband is sensitive to gluten and while not all gluten is cut out I try to reduce if not eliminate it from our meals. However, this can be tricky when it come to desserts because I am not yet completely comfortable with gluten free baking. This recipe fit the theme perfectly, and allowed me to make a sweet treat for my sweetie. The recipe is really easy and simple to follow. I used a pre-made gluten free crust, but there are lots of mixes and recipes if you want to make one on your own. The lemon cream reminded me of my favorite lemon curd recipe saved for hot summer nights after a grilled meal. I added a little more lemon zest because I like strong and tart flavor to lemon desserts. Check out my fellow bloggers work their creative brains with lemons and sour cream in the blog hop below. Check out the next Improv Cooking Challenge: Carrots and Ginger!

1 gluten free pie crust, baked according to instructions and cooled (check out Taming of the {Celiac} Sprue for more great gluten free pie crust ideas)
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 1/2  Tbl lemon rind, finely grated
1/2  cup lemon juice
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped and sweetened with powdered sugar

Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon rind, juice, egg yolks and milk in a heavy saucepan, cook over medium heat until thick.  Stir in butter and cool mixture to room temperature.  Stir in sour cream and pour filling into pie shell.  Cover with whipped cream.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, better if overnight

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Wisconsin is freezing!! We have been at below zero temperatures this week, and we needed something spicy to warm ourselves.

Spicy and creamy goodness is the best way to describe this dish. I noticed different variations of this recipe floating around the blogosphere the past few weeks, and decided I needed to my own version. I used Trader Joe's chicken sausage over a traditional andouille sausage, and it still provided a great kick to my pasta.

Ron and I love pasta of all kinds, and have had fun trying different types of gluten free pasta. We loved the flavors of this dish, and both went back for seconds (success!).  I subbed in the chicken sausage, fat free half & half, and brown rice pasta to lighten up this creamy dish. Trust me, you will not have a clue it is a light pasta dish! Enjoy!

1 lb pasta of your choice (we use gluten free)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1 lb chicken sausage (we used Trader Joe's Andouille), sliced
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup fat free half & half
2 clove garlic, minced
3 tsp cajun seasoning
1 1/2 Tbl olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
Sliced green onion, for garnish

In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium low heat. Add onion and saute till tender. Add sausage and saute 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and cajun seasoning. Bring to a low simmer for 20 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Add half & half to tomato sauce and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add noodles to the dutch oven and toss to coat. Serve and top with sliced green onions.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Crock Pot Mango and Beef Tacos

I love tacos. Ron and I try to switch up our tacos with different cooking methods, and different toppings. These tacos were something we came up with while looking for something spicy and savory. This combo is awesome! The beef literally melts in your mouth, and the sour cream calms the heat. I cooked the meat for 12 hours because it was how it worked with my work schedule, and it was so tender. I am sure that it will work cooked for a shorter amount of time if you can get home a bit earlier. Once the beef is shredded the liquid from the salsa soaks into the meat and.....yummy....party in your mouth! This is a great weeknight meal, and it makes great leftovers!
2 1/2- 3 lb round roast
2 1/2 cup mango salsa (this works best if you use a tomato salsa), we used a salsa that had habanero, but feel free to use mild if you do not like the heat
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt & Pepper
Taco shells (we make our own hard shells from corn tortillas)
Sour cream
Grated cheese (we used sharp white cheddar)

Place roast into crock pot. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Pour salsa over roast and cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Remove beef from crock pot and shred. Return beef to crock pot and allow it to cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Place beef in taco shells. Top with a squeeze of lime, cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recipe Swap: Gluten Free S'More Bars (Part 2)

Another fun recipe from my recipe swap blogger- DeLish! As I said before, I couldn't decide between two recipes.  The previous potatoes post was awesome, but this recipe popped up a few time while I was reviewing the different recipes. I decided that I needed to make two! This recipe for S'more Bars  is really great- gooey, rich, and a sweet reminder of a summer time treat! I used a bit more flour than the original recipe called for because my batter was still a bit sticky. I think that this was because of the gluten free graham crackers, so if you make if with regular flour I would stick the suggested 1/2 cup. Also, please ignore the bite take from the corner...someone, ok, my husband and I couldn't wait!  Thank you for great recipe!


1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups crushed graham crackers (we used gluten free)
2/3 cup flour (we use gluten free)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
3 1/2 cup mini marshmallows


Pre-heat oven to 350°, grease or spray 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together crushed graham crackers, flour, and salt. Stir the graham cracker mixture into the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla mixture. Should become one, big crumbly clump.

Press about 1/2 cup or more, if needed, of the graham cracker mix over the bottom of the greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle half (1 cup) of the chocolate chips on top. Sprinkle 3 cups of the mini marshmallows on top. Crumble, by hand, the rest of the graham cracker mix on top. Sprinkle last 1/2 cup of the mini marshmallows on top and finally, sprinkle the rest (1 cup) of the chocolate chips on top.

Bake 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recipe Swap: Strip House Potatoes Romanoff (Part I)

Time for another Recipe Swap! This theme is a little different than normal because it uses the model from the Secret Recipe Club. The Secret Recipe Club assigns a blogger to another blogger, releases the chains, and lets them go wild with whatever they find! Well maybe not that dramatically..... There is currently a wait list, and I am hoping to participate when they open it up again.

Anyways, the blogger I was assigned to is DeLish-Lishie. I loved reading the different posting on her blog and searching for my favorite recipes! She has a great variety, and lots of tasty treats to choose from. I actually picked two things because I could not decide (I will be posting the second one tomorrow)! However, I had to choose one to be my "main recipe" for the swap and Potatoes Romanoff was my choice. This recipe yelled out to me. White cheddar? Potatoes? Shallots? Sign me up please! I am not familiar with the original restaurant they came from, but the potatoes were delicious! I loved the creamy texture and the sharp cheddar. I reduced the amount of shallots and followed the recommend sour cream and cheese amounts.  My husband and I loved the potatoes, and will mostly likely be fighting for the leftovers on Tuesday (I will win because I can wake up earlier).  Make sure to read the recipe, because you need to bake the potatoes the day before and let them rest in the fridge!

Thank you  for a fantastic recipe that I can't wait to make again!
3 large russet potatoes, about 2 lb total, unpeeled and scrubbed
1 large shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 cup light sour cream


Preheat an oven to 425ºF.

Wrap each potato in aluminum foil and pierce several times with a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Remove the foil and let the potatoes cool to room temperature. Place the potatoes on a plate, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the potatoes, including the skins. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle the shallots, 1 cup of the cheese, the salt and white pepper on top. Using your hands, gently toss the mixture together to combine, then fold in the sour cream in 2 additions.

Transfer the potato mixture to a 1 1/2-quart gratin dish; do not compress. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top. Bake until the potatoes are hot and the cheese is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serves 6.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baked BBQ Ranch Pork Chops

This is a totally random, but awesome recipe I came up with while searching for something to make for dinner. The photo really does not do these pork chops justice so please do not let that influence you! Truth be told, I am not a fan of ranch dressing on by itself, but I love ranch and bbq mixed together (odd I know). I thought that this dish would give those flavors without the full fat of regular dressing. I loved how it turned out and will make it again. Sometimes the truly random can be truly yummy!
4 boneless pork chops, trimmed
2/3 cup bbq (we use Stubb's...yummy)
1 Hidden Valley Ranch packet
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix ranch packet, bbq, pepper, and paprika.

Dip pork chops into bbq mixture and place in a greased (Pam!) medium baking dish. Top chops with leftover sauce. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Crockpot Cabernet Blackberry Turkey Meatballs

No, I didn't burn the meatballs. I soaked them in booze and blackberries, and look pictures in evening house lighting! This recipe was inspired by Confessions of a Foodie Bride's Blackberry and Pinot Noir Meatballs. I loved the idea for the sauce, but wanted to make it crockpot friendly to bring to a party on new years eve. I also thought turkey meatballs would lighten up the dish, but you could use beef/pork and it will turn out fine. These got rave reviews from family and friends, and were so easy to put together! The flavor of the Cabernet with the blackberries is wonderful- sweet and spicy. They were the one thing completely gone at the end of the evening. I always think that is a sign of a great dish! Enjoy! 
2 1/2 cups Cabernet
13 oz jar blackberry preserves
2 shallots, sliced thin
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 lb frozen turkey meatballs

Place Cabernet, shallots, blackberry preserves, pepper, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Place meatballs into a large crockpot. Pour sauce over meatballs and stir to coat. Cook on low 4-5 hours- stirring every hour or so to coat the meatballs.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Time for another Crazy Cooking Challenge!


This months theme was chicken noodle soup. I have a few great chicken noodle soup recipes, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I came across this recipe for Thai Chicken Noodle Soup at Bev Cooks. This soup is really easy and tastes delicious! I came across Bev Cooks from another blog I follow, and I love her recipes! I can't wait to try more in the future. I love the simplicity of the slow cooker, plus the longer cooking time allows the flavors to become fantastic.  Make sure to add the cilantro, jalapenos, and a big squeeze of fresh lime! I am really excited to see what the other bloggers come up with- who doesn't love a big bowl of chicken soup on a cold winter day!
Stay tune for next February's challenge: Chocolate Cake!

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
recipe by Bev Cooks
3 frozen or thawed chicken breast halves
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. freshly minced ginger
2 (13.5 oz) cans coconut milk
4 cups chicken stock
3 Tbs. soy sauce
4 oz thin rice noodles
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 cups fresh beans sprouts
2 jalapenos, finely sliced
2 limes
cilantro for garnish
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a slow cooker, add the coconut milk, broth, garlic, ginger, chicken, soy sauce, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook on high for 3 hours.

Using tongs, remove chicken from pot and shred with two forks. Return to pot. Add the rice noodles, bell pepper and sprouts.

Cook 30 more minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve each bowl garnished with sliced jalapeno, a good handful of cilantro and some gigantic squirts of lime.

UPDATE: I recieved the most clicks for the challenge!! Thank you everyone!!


Friday, January 6, 2012

Diablo Pork

Last night I was studying my reader looking for a spicy dinner recipe. I came across this recipe from Bev Cooks and it sounded different and delicious. I didn't have any chicken, but figured it would be just as yummy with pork.  It was so awesome! It is pretty spicy so if you can't handle too much heat you may want to reduce the hot sauce and add a little extra sour cream. I love creamy spicy food on a cold day (it was freezing cold yesterday!). The other great thing about this recipe is that it is really easy to put together, and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand. Trust me, give it a try!
1/2 cup Frank’s hot pepper sauce
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
4 boneless pork chops, trimmed
1 Tbl olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced scallions
2 cups cooked brown rice

In a bowl, combine the pepper sauce, sour cream, ketchup and honey. Whisk it up all good. Add the paprika and cumin; give it another whisk.

Pour half the mixture over the pork in a shallow dish. Cover and reserve the rest. Cover and marinate pork in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and bloom 30 seconds. Add the pork and cook until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through. Heat the remaining marinade in a small saucepan until lightly simmering.

Serve chicken over rice. Spoon some of the sauce over the pork and garnish with scallions

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breakfast Casserole

Ron and I love eggs in the morning. I am not a big oatmeal or cereal person- I love 2 runny eggs and a slice of toast. We made this casserole for our Christmas morning breakfast (sorry a little late!) and it was wonderful. I added a few extra veggies from my original recipe and scaled it down for Ron and I. This is such an easy breakfast to put together and is a total crowd pleaser. I had it as breakfast leftovers for the following morning and it was great! I am always on the look out for savory breakfast casseroles so if you have any you would like to share I am all ears!

8 large/extra large eggs
4 cups Ore-Ida frozen hashbrowns
8 strips center cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup diced ham
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  In a small bowl mix bacon, ham and veggies together. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, milk, and salt/pepper. Grease an 8X8 baking dish. Evenly layer hashbrowns into baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese over hashbrowns. Add meat and veggie mixture. Evenly pour eggs over hashbrowns/meat. Top with cheese. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the middle is completely cooked*.

*You may need to alter baking time depending on how fast the middle of the casserole takes to completely set.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Dip

Yesterday we headed over to Ron's parents for a Rose Bowl party (another game we do not need to discuss....), and I wanted to bring a new dip.  I decided a crock pot was in order for this dip so it would stay nice and warm. Cold dip sitting out for an hour = not so yummy. This dip is delicious. The BBQ and hot sauce give a nice zing, but are cooled by the creamy ranch and cream cheese. I made enough for leftovers because I think this would make a delicious melt baked in the oven. Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!
3 cups cooked chopped chicken
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup light sour cream
2/3 cup bbq sauce
1/2 light ranch dressing
1 1/2 Tbl hot sauce
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour into a small crock pot. Heat on low till hot and steamy. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Featured on January 8, 2012 at:
A Little Nosh

Monday, January 2, 2012

Spicy Orange & Honey Shrimp with Broccoli

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful celebration! We were very thankful to ring in 2012 with a Packer win over the Lions. If the Packers get to the Super Bowl we will be in Key West on vacation. While it will be sad not to be in Green Bay for the game, I must admit I am excited to watch a Packer game in warmer temperatures (today it was 15 degrees! Brrr!). 

This is a dish that I put together while trying to clean out our freezer. We had some frozen shrimp from the Texas shrimp truck that needed to be used and this meal fit the ticket. I love shrimp and broccoli take out, but it is not the healthiest meal, and is loaded with sodium. I was so pleased with how this turned out, and Ron said it was one of his all time favorites.  Enjoy!

22-25 peeled & cleaned shrimp
4 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
Juice from 2 large oranges
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 cups seafood or vegetable stock. divided
2 Tbl honey
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl ground ginger
1 Tbl hot sauce
1 Tbl olive oil
2 1/2 Tbl cornstarch

Saute onions and peppers till tender. Add broccoli and cook for about 5 minutes. While broccoli is cooking, mix orange juice, soy sauce, 4 cups of stock, honey, ginger, sugar, and hot sauce in a medium mixing bowl.  Pour over broccoli mixture and simmer for 8-10 minutes. In a small cup, mix 1/2 cup of stock with 2 1/2 Tbl cornstarch. Make sure the broccoli is at a heavy simmer and add the cornstarch and stock to thicken. Allow mixture to simmer and thicken for 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook till shrimp are cooked and pink.  Serve over rice or rice noodles.

Featured on January 8, 2012 at:
A Little Nosh