Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chicken Parmesan Dip

I wanted to make a hearty appetizer for our preschool birthday lunch this month.  Buffalo Chicken Dip is very popular.  I had that in mind but wanted something different.  I had some diced chicken breast... so I decided to try a Chicken Parmesan Dip!  YAY  - it was a huge hit.  I assembled the night before and baked it at preschool.  You have to try it - yummy, cheesy and hearty!

                Once again, not a great pic.  I took it quickly before the                      teachers enjoyed lunch!

Chicken Parmesan Dip

12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup or a little more Italian cheese, shredded
1/2 cup or so shredded Parmesan
sprinkling of Italian seasoning for garnish

Spray the bottom of baking dish. Mix first 8 ingredients and spread in the bottom of a prepared pan. Top with a cup of marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with a cup or so of shredded Italian cheese, Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Cover with foil and refrigerated until ready to bake.  Take out of fridge about an hour before baking.  Bake  at 350 covered for 30 minutes and  then bake uncovered for 10 - 15 or until the cheese is melted and the top is getting brown and bubbly.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Smokey Sausage and Grits Casserole

My husband loves grits.  I am from Texas but grits have not always been my favorite.  I think it is a texture thing!  When I was in Charleston, South Carolina a few years back with my Baylor girls, I had the pleasure of enjoying Shrimp and Grits at several different restaurants.  I have decided I love yummy, cheesy, "doctored-up" grits.

I, of course, keep my old Southern Living magazines and like to look through them before I get rid of them.  I found this Smoky Sausage and Grits Casserole.  Several things attracted me to this recipe - make ahead, cheesy, smoked sausage.....We enjoyed these for dinner one night and then the family enjoyed them for breakfast over the holidays.

I am sorry to say I don't have a picture.  I had one but I must have deleted it.  Southern Living's picture is way better any way.  Check it out at... Southern Living.

Smoky Sausage and Grits Casserole (adapted from Southern Living)

1 1/2 lbs smoked sausage, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
2   8 oz blocks sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.  Brown sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 7- 9 minutes or until browned and cooked, drain on paper towels.  

Bring Salt and 4 1/2 cups water to boil in a large Dutch Oven over high heat.  Whisk in grits and return to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, whisking occasionally.  Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until completely melted.  Stir in milk and next 4 ingredients.  Stir in sausage.  Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to one hour - or until golden and cooked through.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  

*This dish can be assembled and stored in the fridge for up to four days; let is stand at room temp for 30 minutes before baking

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Monday, January 9, 2017

CreamyRoasted Cauliflower Chowder

I love different, yummy soups!  It is cold here in Nebraska - like 5 degrees today.  Creamy Tomato Basil Soup is one of my "go-to" recipes.  There are lots of good soup recipes on the blog, Hard Rock Baked Potato Soup, Sausage Minestra Soup, North Woods Wild Rice & Chicken Soup, etc.  You will have to check them out.

Okay, let's talk Cauliflower - don't love it raw and cut up for dips, etc.  BUT, I do love Roasted Cauliflower.  Cut it up in small pieces, toss with olive and sea salt and cook at like 425 for 20 - 25 minutes. It is absolutely delicious!

Two Peas and Their Pod is one of my favorite blogs to follow.  I follow them on Instagram so I get good recipes often.  This Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup was one of her top recipes for 2016. You will love this chowder on your next chilly day!  Please visit Two Peas and Their Pod!

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Chowder (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup unsalted butter ( I used salted)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour)
1 (15 oz) cans vegetable broth (I used chicken broth - that is what I had in the house)
1  1/4 cups Almond Breeze Almond milk, unsweetened original ( I used half and half)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( I used Kraft Cracker Barrel Aged White Cheddar)

Preheat oven to 400.  Place chopped cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and toss until well coated.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Place in oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring once.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots and celery and good for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Finely chop the roasted garlic cloves.  Add the garlic, roasted cauliflower, bay leaf and dried thyme to the pot.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir until flour disappears.

Pour in the broth and stir.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in the milk and shredded cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted and chowder is creamy.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with a warm, crusty bread!

*When I reheated the chowder the next day, it was a little thick so I added a little more broth to reach the desired consistency

Printable Version

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Swiss Cheese Dip-easy and yummy!

Happy New Year!!

I love this new, easy dip!  Our local grocery stores sell a pre-made Swiss Cheese Dip!  I love this homemade version.  I served it with Triscuits and a variety of vegetables.

I was recently at a Noonday jewelry party!  Elizabeth served this yummy Swiss Cheese Dip- they call it..."Nana's Dip".  Also, I absolutely love the Noonday Collection.  Check out Elizabeth's Noonday Collection  Noonday partners with talented artisan entrepreneurs to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Enjoy this yummy dip - I think it will be one of your new favorite recipes - one of your "go to" recipes!   

Swiss Cheese Dip - AKA as "Nana's Dip"

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
few green onions, chopped (include some of the green too)
parsley for garnish

Mix well and refrigerate.  Serve with your favorite cracker or vegetable.  Enjoy!