Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cranberry Salsa - serve over cream cheese

Recently, my Sunday School friend, Sara, made this for our Christmas party.  I LOVED it!  Sara found the recipe at Jamie Cooks It Up!  I visited Jamie's blog.  She has some great family recipes!  I especially love Jamie's humor and her description of chopping up the cranberries - check it out!

I love the sweet and savory of this Cranberry mixture so I decided to call it a salsa.  I divided the recipe and served it over one block of cream cheese on two separate occasions.  This recipe wasn't difficult. I could see.... just keeping this in my fridge over the holidays so I would always have an appetizer on hand.  I think I would love this on a turkey sandwich, too!

Yummo - give it a try - plus it looks so pretty!!

Cranberry Salsa - adapted from Jamie at Jamie Cooks it Up

1 12 oz package fresh cranberries
1/4 C green onion, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/4 C sugar
1/4 t cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt

2   8 oz packages cream cheese, softened

Using a food processor (I used my Ninja), chop the cranberries to your desired consistency.  I liked mine in small pieces.  Add rest of the ingredients (except cream cheese) and mix well.  Store in an airtight container for at least 4 hours or over night.  Don't omit this step as the cranberries need to absorb the sugar and soften and sweeten with time.

When ready to serve, take a softened cream cheese and spread evenly with a knife over a platter or dish, creating thin layer.  Top with desired amount of cranberry salsa.  Serve with Wheat Thins, favorite cracker or tortilla chips!

Printable Version  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cream Cheese Ball - Amazing!

I have such a fun job!  I work with amazing women at the preschool but since the preschool is in a church, I work with an amazing children's staff here at the church.  We had a birthday celebration yesterday for the sweetest of sweets, Christy!  Another dear friend, Jenni, brought this amazing Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cream Cheese Ball.  If you love chocolate, peanut butter and toasted pecans - oh my stars - you will love it! I loved it!  Jenni and I are always talking recipes.  I am so thankful she shared this fun new recipe with me. Be sure to add this to your holiday festivities!!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheese Ball

1  8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 C butter, softened
1/4 C creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
3/4 C powdered sugar 
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 C chocolate and peanut butter chips
1 Tablespoon chocolate liqueur (optional)
2/3 finely chopped pecans, toasted 

Graham Cracker Sticks 

1. Beat cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter at medium speed of an electric beater until creamy.
2. Stir in sugars, cocoa, chips, and if desired, liqueur. Cover and chill two hours or until firm.
3. Shape chilled mixture into a ball, and roll in toasted pecans. Serve with graham crackers.

*The picture above is a doubled recipe

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Pioneer Woman - Peppermint Fudge - Super Easy and Yummy

I LOVE The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond.  If you aren't familiar with her books and her website, please visit The Pioneer Woman.  Ree is this cute fun mom that lives on a ranch in Oklahoma with her family. All of her recipes are fabulous.  She is also on The Food Network.  I feel like I could hang out with her and we would be friends.  She reminds me of someone I would have grown up with!

Anyway, I recently saw this super easy recipe on Facebook.  I don't love fudge - I would usually go for a chocolate chip cookie instead.  This fudge seemed easy so I made it for my Sunday school party this past weekend.  I have to say - I loved it!  2 ingredients - plus the peppermints!  How easy is that!  I served it on a tall pedestel cake platter - very festive!

Peppermint Fudge - adapted from The Pioneer Woman

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1    14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
8 peppermints

The Pioneer Woman uses a double boiler.  I used the microwave and it worked beautifully.  Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.  Put the unwrapped peppermints in a ziploc bag.  Use a rolling pin or mallet to break into small pieces. Pour chocolate chips and milk into a microwavable bowl and microwave for one minute and stir; Microwave another 30 seconds to a minute and stir; Once all is melted and blended, immediately pour into the prepared 8 x 8 pan. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints.  Using the flat side of an off-set spatula, gently press the peppermints into the top of the fudge.  Refrigerate for two hours. Lift the foil from the pan and cut into small bite-sized pieces.

*Visit The Pioneer Woman for wonderful pictures and step by step instructions.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Layered Pesto Dip

I LOVE this dip!!  I love everything in it!  I have a new friend that sells Premier Jewelry and she shared the recipe with several of us.  Debi is great at her job and I have so enjoyed getting to know her.

This recipe is fabulous.  You could totally switch it up to your liking.  I added feta cheese as a layer and you could totally add sundried tomatoes as a layer or parmesan cheese or switch the pine nuts to toasted almonds.  Be creative!  This is the perfect, easy, holiday appetizer!!  I even made it a day ahead - except I didn't top it off with toasted pine nuts until just before serving!!

Layered Pesto Dip

Layer these items in a round flat dish or souffle dish or even a glass pie pan.

1.  8 oz cream cheese, softened, spread thinly
2.  Prepared pesto (I used the one from Costco)
3.  Crumbled feta cheese
4.  Slivered grape tomatoes
5.  Toasted Pine Nuts

Chill!  Serve with your favorite cracker!