Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Smoked Almond Cheese Spread

I love smoked almonds and I think everyone loves cheese.  I tasted a Smoked Almond Cheese spread at an event and decided I would come up with one.  Feel free to tweak it with different cheeses.  I like serving it with crackers but I totally think you could add a little more mayonnaise, spoon the mixture into a baking dish, top with chopped smoked almonds and baked it for a hot appetizer.

Smoked Almond Cheese Spread

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups swiss cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz sharp cheese, grated (I used white aged cheddar but any sharp cheese)
4- 6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 oz can smoked almonds, chopped (divided)

Mix all ingredients with about 3/4 of the smoked almonds.  Mix well.  Spoon into one larger crock or two smaller crocks and sprinkle with chopped almonds.  Serve with favorite crackers or vegetables.

* I don't like to serve this right out of the refrigerator.  The cheeses are too hard and you can taste the flavors.  Allow dish to sit out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving
*We enjoyed one crock at home and I took the other crock to a party

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Mexican Chicken Pot Pie

We love chicken pot pie so I had to try this Mexican version.  I did change it up.  I decided to do it the traditional way with one crust on the bottom and one on the top.  I baked it in a round quiche dish.  I had extra "inside" so I am saving it to make one of our favorites - Chicken Pockets .  I thought about baking the extra in a dish with cheese on top - for a dip.  I thought about heating it and serving it in a warm tortilla.

Mexican Chicken Pot Pie

2 refrigerated pie crusts
1  16 oz jar of favorite salsa
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (16 oz) pkg of frozen corn (I used the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups diced chicken or 2 cans chunk white chicken, drained

Let pie crusts sit at room temperature to soften.   Mix the salsa, soup, sour cream cheese, corn, beans and chicken.

Option 1 - Spray a round quiche pan with cooking spray and bake the bottom crust according to pkg directions.   Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the baked pie crust.  Top with 2nd crust and bake at 400 for 30 - 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Save the extra inside to make Chicken Pockets or top with cheese and bake as a dip or heat and serve in a warm tortilla.

Option 2 - Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.  Unfold the pie crusts on a lightly floured surface side by side so they overlay by about three inches in the cneter.  Press the seam to seal and roll the pie crust to form a 10 x14 inch rectangle.  Place the rectangle over the mixture in the pan.  Seal edges or trim off extra dough. Cut a few slits in crust.  Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Almond Bars - just too yummy!!

During the Christmas holidays, I saw a former preschool parent mention this yummy recipe on Facebook.  I love almond flavoring so I knew I had to make these bars.  I just got around to making them this past weekend.  I LOVE these Almond bars.  I was with my Baylor Besties on a girls weekend a couple of weekends ago.  We had a dessert similar to this.  The restaurant baked theirs in a round cake pan and served "pie slices" with a homemade vanilla whipped cream.  I made these Almond Bars in a 9 x 13 but you could totally divide this recipe into two round cake pans and serve it by the slice with a whipped cream.

Almond Bars

1 cup butter, softened 
8 oz almond paste 
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Ising a mixer, mix butter, almond paste, and sugar..beat in eggs and extract...gradually add flour.  Spray 9x13 with cooking spray. Pat mixture into pan. Top with sugar and almonds.  Cook at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  

* can cut in 48 small bars 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I am so sorry that I haven't posted since before Christmas.  With our girls home for college and starting back to preschool, I just got behind.

Also, I ate WAY too much during the holidays.  With our girls home from college, it is like one big party.  We eat too much, stay up too late, sleep too late, shop too much.....

So, I am trying to cook healthier.  I have been looking for some good recipes.  Our healthy option around here is to grill meat and roast a vegetable.  I would like to vary that a little.  Also, it is usually too cold in Nebraska to grill very often.

I can't remember where I found this recipe.  It was easy and we loved it.  I could see having this on a regular basis.  You could probably make it fancier with a sauce or extra toppings but we decided to keep it simple and lower in calories.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


4 Tbsp soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
2 Tbsp brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1 tsp rice vinegar
little water


1-2 Tbsp olive oil
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (baked or grilled) (or precooked from Costco)
1 cup water chestnuts, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1-2 tsp garlic, minced
3 Tbsp onions, diced
lettuce leaves (I like Boston lettuce - use your favorite)

Heat oil in wok or large skillet.  Add water chestnuts, mushrooms, onions and garlic.  Heat until warm. Add chicken and stir.  Drizzle sauce over mixture and stir, heating thoroughly.  Spoon mixture into lettuce leaves and serve.

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