Taco Dip

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Mr. Meat Eater and I recently went to a birthday party and since I can’t seem to go anywhere empty-handed, I made this taco dip that I found on Skinnytaste.  Now, I am always careful when using low-fat, no-fat products because many times they make up for the lack of flavor with sugar.  Most of the time, I just go with the full fat or less fat item and not the fat free.  For this recipe, I used less fat cream cheese and sour cream but used regular cheddar cheese.

I like this recipe since I am not a fan of refried beans and so many of these recipes use them.  It’s a super easy recipe and great to take anywhere.

Skinnytaste Taco Dip

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
8 oz reduced fat sour cream
16 oz jar mild salsa ~ if you like things spicier, use medium or hot
1 packet taco seasoning ~ I use less sodium
2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese ~ I use regular
small can sliced black olives, drained

Using an electric mixer, mix the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

Spread this mixture on the bottom of a serving dish or platter.

Sprinkle the cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives over the top.

Refrigerate until serving time.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Makes at least 24 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Panko Mushrooms

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I found this recipe on Pinterest and my daughter tried it and loved it so I tried it as well.  It’s so good!

I took my daughter’s advice and added some grated Parmesan cheese to the Panko and I think I would do that from now on.   They are easy to make and I think they would be good for a party and are a great way to use up mushrooms that are starting to look a little sad.

Originally, the recipe came from Food & Wine.

***Adding here that The Low Fat Chick tried this recipe and baked them which is a GREAT option ~ here is the link to how she did it ~ Chives and Asiago Mushrooms.  She has an awesome blog so I hope you will check it out!

Panko Mushrooms

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko
12 large mushrooms, cleaned and stems discarded
Vegetable oil for frying

In a skillet, heat the oil until it starts to shimmer.

Put the Panko (and Parmesan, if using) onto a plate and beaten eggs into a bowl. Dip the mushrooms into the egg, then the Panko.

Fry the mushrooms until golden, over medium high heat being careful not to let them burn. They only take a minute or two to cook. Make sure you roll them over so all sides get brown.

Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Serve right away.

Makes 4 servings

Happy Cooking!

Caramelized Chicken Wings

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Every once in awhile, I like making wings for dinner ~ they are easy to make and there is a million and one recipes for them.  I’ve made this recipe a few times in the past and it’s a favorite or ours.  I especially like it because it’s baked and not fried.

I use a bit less than one cup of honey ~ probably about 3/4 cups ~ but I usually don’t measure anything.  I just dump everything in a bowl and mix.

The picture makes the wings look burnt but they weren’t at all.

I’ve had this recipe for so long that I don’t remember where I got it from ~ probably a community cookbook.

Caramelized Chicken Wings

3 pounds chicken wings ~ I use drumettes
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsps ketchup
1 cup honey
1 clove garlic, minced ~ we like garlic so I use 2 or 3 depending on how big the cloves are
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375º.

Place chicken in a 9×13 baking pan.

Mix together all the rest of the ingredients and pour over the wings. Using tongs, turn the wings over so that all sides are covered.

Bake for 1 hour or until caramelized. I usually turn mine over at the 1/2 hour mark but you don’t have to.

Makes 6 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Hamwiches

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These little sandwiches are not nearly as heart attack worthy as my Hot Ham and Swiss Party Rolls but taste just as good.   These are easy to make and are good as appetizers or at a brunch or lunch.

Use your favorite mustard ~ I used Gulden’s. I didn’t have any poppy seeds so I just left them out and didn’t miss them. I also used King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls and loved the bit of sweetness from the rolls but any dinner rolls would work.

This recipe came from Capture the Coast, the fourth book in the Culinary Collection series by the Junior League of Tampa.

I made a few other recipes that I have already posted here ~ Mini Cinnamon Rolls, Paula Deen’s Sausage Spirals, Winter Fruit Salad, and one more recipe that I have to post.

Hamwiches

3 tbsps butter, melted
2 tsps mustard
2 tsps poppy seeds
1/3 cup chopped onion
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 (16 oz) pkg of dinner rolls
1/3 lb shaved deli ham
Swiss cheese slices

Preheat oven to 350º.

Mix the butter, mustard, poppy seeds, onion, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and set aside. Place a sheet of foil on a cookie sheet.

Remove the rolls from the package in one piece and carefully cut them in half horizontally so you end up with one top and one bottom. Place the bottom on the foil and spread the butter mixture evenly over the bottom. Layer the ham and cheese over the butter mixture. Replace the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Take out of the oven and carefully cut the rolls apart with a sharp knife.

Make as many servings as there are rolls. This is easily doubled.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Balsamic Chicken Wings

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You have GOT to try these wings!  I like Buffalo wings as much as the next person but I really enjoy a different tasting wing and these are it.  They are tangy and a little sweet and really just delicious.  I found the recipe on Epicurious but have seen it on Food.com and some other sites.

The thing to watch out for is while they are baking at 500º, they will smoke up your oven.  I know that Alton Brown has a trick to make them not smoke up your oven but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is.  Anyway, watch out for that.  Otherwise, they are super simple to make and everyone will love them!

Balsamic Chicken Wings

4 lbs. chicken drumettes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Line 2 large shallow baking pans (17 by 11 inches) with foil. Put pans in oven and preheat oven to 500°.

Pat wings dry, then toss with oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and divide between preheated pans, spreading wings in 1 layer. Roast, without turning, until golden and tender, about 35 minutes.

While wings roast, simmer vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.

Remove wings from oven and let stand in pans 1 minute (to make wings easier to remove from foil), then transfer with tongs to a clean large bowl.

Pour balsamic mixture over wings and toss to coat well. Let stand 5 minutes, then toss again.

Makes 6-8 appetizer servings.

Happy Cooking!

Parmesan and Garlic Fries

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These are to die for!  The hardest thing about this recipe is cutting up the potatoes.   I wanted mine to look like fries so it took a bit to cut them up and then I realized I had a little contraption that would have done it for me.   Argh!!!  No matter how you cut them up, you have to try them ~ they would be perfect for a Super Bowl party, too.

Parmesan and Garlic Fries

4 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch strips ~ you can leave them unpeeled if you prefer
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425º.

In a large mixing bowl, place the cut potatoes and pour the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle on the garlic, thyme and seasoned salt. Mix well until the potatoes are evenly coated. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. DO NOT throw away the oil that is left in the bowl.

Bake 30 minutes, turning the fries over halfway through (I didn’t do this because I forgot and I don’t think it really matters if you do or you don’t). After 30 minutes of baking, return the fries to the bowl with excess oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Toss to coat and return to baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes.

If desired, sprinkle fries again with a few shakes of Parmesan and a few shakes of seasoned salt.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Loaded Italian Bread

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So good, it’s almost a meal in itself.  This recipe is really easy to make and I think it would go with almost any main dish ~ I served it with pasta.  You can change up the bread or even the ingredients if they don’t work with what you are serving it with.

This recipe came from one of my cookbooks called The Wild, Wild West by the Junior League of Odessa, Texas.

Loaded Italian Bread

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chives, snipped (I just use scissors to snip them into the bowl)
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 loaf Italian bread

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together EXCEPT the bread.

Slice the bread in half horizontally and spread the mixture evenly over both sides. Put the bread spread side up on a cookie sheet and broil until edges are browned and cheese is melted. Be careful not to burn it.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

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I am still stunned at myself for choosing to make a Sandra Lee recipe as she is not a favorite of mine and I usually don’t watch her show.  For some reason, I had the FN on before the holidays and Sandra made these mushrooms and since I am addicted to mushrooms,  I tried them.  They ARE good!  They take a bit of time to make but are easy to assemble.

The pictures are lousy because I didn’t get a chance to put them on a plate before they were scarfed up!  I had to elbow my way in to grab a couple pictures.

Stuffed Mushrooms

24 large stuffing mushrooms
olive oil
4 links sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 1/2 cups diced leeks
1 cup cornbread stuffing
1/2 cup warmed chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375º. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Wipe mushrooms clean and remove stems but save the stems. Brush each cap with some olive oil.

Dice the stems.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsps olive oil. Add mushroom stems and cook for 1 minute. Add sausage; breaking up any clumps. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the diced leeks and saute for another 3 minutes or until the sausage is completely cooked through and the leeks are tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the stuffing and warmed broth. Let sit for a minute or two until the stuffing softens. Stir in sausage mixture, sage, garlic, and 2 tbsps Parmesan into stuffing.

Fill each mushrooms with some stuffing mixture and place on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 2 tbpsp of Parmesan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Easy Guacamole

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I have a couple of recipes for guacamole but I turn to this recipe the most because it’s super easy to make and doesn’t call for a bunch of ingredients.  I really *HATE* cilantro so I don’t add it and no one has ever missed it.  Sometimes I sub parsley but usually I just leave it out altogether.  This guac seems to stay green longer than other recipes I have tried but it doesn’t keep until the next day so use it up!

I found this recipe on Food.com submitted by Theresa in Chi-town.

Easy Guacamole

5 Hass avocados
2 limes
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped ~ leave it out or sub parsley if you don’t like it
1 tomato, diced and let sit on a paper towel for a minute to drain off much of the liquid
salt
chopped jalapenos ~ I used diced from a jar but fresh is fine as well or you can leave it out

Place meat of the avocados in a bowl and squeeze the juice of one lime over the top immediately to prevent browning. Using a fork or potato masher, mash up the avocado to the consistency that you want. I leave mine a little chunky.

Add the onion, tomato, and cilantro and mix together. Add the juice of the second lime and then add the salt to taste. Mix to combine. Add jalapeno and mix together.

Use as a dip or topping.

Makes 6-8 servings (or more)

Happy Cooking!

Hot Ham and Swiss Party Rolls

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This recipe should come with a defibrillator.  They are so bad calorie-wise but every time I make them for a party, it’s the one appetizer everyone raves over the most.

This recipe is found in so many cookbooks and all over the internet.  It’s small size makes it great for parties or tailgating or a picnic.  I try to skimp some on the butter so that it isn’t quite so bad for you but you’ll have to decide for yourself.  I do hope that you try them once ~ they are excellent!

I made mine early in the morning so I did not marinate overnight and that worked out fine.  In fact, I like it better.

Hot Ham and Swiss Party Rolls

1 cup butter
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

24 small dinner rolls
mayonnaise
24 slices thin slices deli ham
24 slices thin slices Swiss cheese

Line two 9 x 13-inch baking pans with non-stick or regular foil.

Prepare marinade: Saute onion in butter over low heat until onion is soft. Add poppy seeds, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and brown sugar. Stir until brown sugar is melted into the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Set aside.

Slice the buns in half. Spread bottoms of buns with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Fold ham slices to fit the bottom of each bun. Repeat with Swiss cheese slices, folding to fit buns. Replace bun tops. Place ham and cheese buns into prepared baking pans. Pour marinade evenly over both pans of buns.

Cover tightly with foil. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake marinated buns covered for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Makes 24 appetizer sandwiches.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!