Jan 30, 2014



I love … love… love Raising Canes chicken strip dipping sauce. I was so excited when I found this recipe because I thought for sure it should have been the real deal but it’s not.

I think to get this recipe right you would have to add more Worcestershire sauce and more garlic powder. This recipe is great it really is but it’s not right on the money and so to me it’s not what I am looking for, but it is great and is a great French fry dipping sauce. I don’t want to discourage you from making it. 

Give it a try to see what you think.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients, mix well. Add additional pepper if desired.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. 

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Jan 29, 2014



If you see a 2 tablespoon measuring spoon like this buy one even better buy two. I love this measuring spoon so much! I thought it was weird the first time I saw it in a new set of spoons because I had never seen one before.

Now I must tell you this is my favorite measuring spoon! I use it all the time. I never realized how many recipes I have that call for two tablespoons. Although it’s not a huge times saver I just love it. It’s quick, easy, and in my opinion very unique. Unique because I have never seen another one!

Yep, it might not be anything exciting to anyone else, but it is to me!

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Jan 28, 2014



When I was a kid my Nana would make this each year to go on the Christmas Eve table for our family Christmas Eve party. This was my favorite cheese ball. In my head I can still see the plate that my Nana would put it on it was shaped like a green holly leaf with an elf’s face on the side. It was a ceramic plate that my Nana made herself.

This Christmas my aunt made it for the very first time in probably 20 years. I can’t even believe I just wrote 20 years. That was the last Christmas my Nana was alive. This cheese ball is my favorite one. I love it because of all the spices they meld so well together and the  is just perfect for anything. It would be great on crackers, bagels, or just about anything.

Although my pictures don’t show this recipe in ball form it’s actually a cheese ball. In order to make this recipe into a cheese ball you will have to double the recipe below.

The original recipe does not call for fat free cream cheese. Adjust to what makes you happy!!


Ingredients:
  • 11 ounces Fat Free Cream Cheese (1 block + 3 ounces) (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon Summer Savory
  • ¼ cup Parsley or nuts to cover cheese ball
Directions:
*If you are wanting to make this recipe into a cheese ball you will need to double the ingredients above*
  1. In a small bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer add all the ingredients (except parsley or nuts) and mix well at a medium speed. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap and cover. Refrigerator overnight.
  2. Take cheese ball out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature
  3. Place fresh parsley or nuts on a sheet of wax paper to coat cheese ball















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Jan 25, 2014



Is it possible to make your own confectioners’ sugar? You bet your hot cross buns you can! I got in a pinch the other day when I realized we didn’t have any powdered sugar and I needed it right away. I remembered seeing online that you could easily make your own just using granulated sugar and a blender. 

Was it just that easy? YES! Just take some sugar, maybe one cup at a time, and blend. You keep adding more sugar as needed. I have to stress that it has to blend a long time to get the smooth texture all the way around. I noticed that my blender was getting super-hot by the end of the process. 

I would probably never make this again unless I was in a pinch. Sadly it’s just as easy to buy it as it is to make your own, but it sure is nice to know you can if you need it. Also, it didn’t seem to matter how long I blended the sugar I could never get it perfectly smooth. Most of it was smooth, but not all. 

So what did that mean for me? My chocolate frosting was grainy and ruined! Ugh! I was disappointed but it was fun seeing the results. I am sure if you waited long enough your sugar would be perfect!


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Corn starch
Directions:
  1. Blend well in a blender until a nice smooth powder forms. 
  2. Check for graininess and keep blending if needed.


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Jan 23, 2014



When I was a kid my Nana would make a cheeseball at Christmas time that I always loved. Recently I decided I was going to make the recipe myself. I added the ingredients to my shopping list which were your common cheeseball ingredients, then I came to this… Summer Savory!

I had never heard of this spice in my life. I had never even seen a recipe that required it. I did my homework online only to find out it wasn’t a combination of spices but an actual spice called summer savory and apparently there is a winter savory too.

After a little digging the only brand I could find was Spice Islands that even mentioned having it. Then after 3 different grocery stores I found it and yep it was Spice Island, but wow the price! I paid almost $6.00 for this small bottle!

It’s probably a good thing I don’t have any other recipes that require it. It’s a bit too pricey for me, but as my husband put it, you only use 1/8 a teaspoon in the recipe so it should last awhile.

Have you ever used it in a recipe?

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Jan 22, 2014



I started putting Christmas away a few weeks ago and somehow putting Christmas away turned into early spring cleaning. The Christmas wasn’t put away but somehow the house was turned upside down and everything was a mess.

While cleaning I found the ultimate find … chocolate Easter candy still in the Easter Eggs… Ewww! I have no idea how that happened.


My friend asked me what I did with the candy… umm… the trash right away! LOL thank you Mr. Easter Bunny!

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Jan 21, 2014



This is a really interesting recipe. I wasn’t the biggest fan, but it wasn’t bad either. It has a unique flavor and a nice consistency. In the future I think I would use this recipe more as a gravy than a side dish. I think it would be wonderful over steak or a nice grilled chicken breast.

From what I read online the word Mifgash means encounter in Hebrew so I guess you could call this encounter mushrooms! Interesting!! I love learning new things.

My family loves mushrooms so no one was complaining about a big pot of them. They gobbled them down in no time, as for me I found them to be a bit salty and nothing special at least as a side dish. Like I said this would rock as a gravy or base to slow cook chicken in. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon oil, for frying
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can button mushroom, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon soup mix
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely grated
  • water
Directions:
  1. Fry the onion in the oil until golden.
  2. Add the mushrooms and continue sauteing for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add the soup mix, the black pepper and the paprika.
  4. Add enough water to make a sauce.
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce has reached the desired thickness.

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Jan 18, 2014




I was so excited when I found this recipe because this is my favorite sauce at Popeye’s unfortunately it didn’t taste anything like their sauce to me. Although the recipe didn’t say so maybe it’s because you need to use hot prepared horseradish, but I don’t know.

Don’t get me wrong this sauce is great but if you have illusions of this being the sauce you are looking for I am afraid you will be disappointed.
I would certainly make this sauce again because like I said it’s great, but it’s not Popeye’s sauce!

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbs. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbs. creole mustard
  • 2 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 2 1/2 tsp. sugar
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients
  2. Chill for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Original Recipe

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Jan 16, 2014




This is (in my opinion) the exact dip served at Mystic Lake Casino Café. My husband and I like to go there when we are in Minnesota for dinner, not to gamble because their slots are too tight, but the food is great!

As an appetizer this dip is served with toasted garlic bread on the side. We both absolutely love it. In all honesty I would probably eat it as a meal because it’s that good.
When I made this I started screamed because it tastes just like the casino dip. Even my husband said it’s exactly like he remembers.  This dip is fantastic! I can’t wait to make it again. I believe it would also make a great spread on a wrap for lunch.


Ingredients
  • 8 oz. block cream cheese
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 oz. can Mild Diced Green Chiles
  • 12-14 oz. Jar (or 2 - 7.5 oz jars) of Marinated Artichoke Hearts    
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
  2. Drain artichoke hearts, leaving a tiny bit of marinade behind.  
  3. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.  
  4. Pour into baking dish and bake on middle rack for approximately 30 minutes, until bubbling and starting to turn golden brown.  
*Please note that the dip will seem oily because of the oil the artichokes were soaking in.*


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Jan 15, 2014


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Jan 14, 2014



If you are strolling through old posts here on our site you might find that there are some post that no longer have pictures. The reason they are missing is because recently a blogger was sued by a photographer for a large sum of money because she placed a photo she thought she was free to use on her blog. She found the photo on Google Images and gave credit to the photographer but it didn’t matter.

The photographer sued the blogger for a large sum of money and sadly the blogger lost. She wasn’t using the image to make money it was just used in an everyday blog post but that didn’t matter.

I had quite a few images that were not mine, and although I gave the artist credit I am not willing to take a chance of having the same issue happen. I don’t want to be sued nor do I want to shell out a lot of money for something that wasn’t making me any money anyway.

So long story short if you see that old blog posts are missing images you now know why. If it’s not my image or I am not given the image I won’t be using it. I suggest all other bloggers do the same thing. It’s simply not worth it.

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My original intention was to provide you with the original recipe I started with. Then I realized my recipe is nothing like the original recipe. I think it would be an insult to the original recipe to say that this one is a copy because it’s really not even close.

I took the creative liberty to change it to my own recipe, but also I had some making up to do for the big mistake I made. Instead of buying the big bag of dry stuffing I bought Stovetop stuffing. I don’t even know what I was thinking but I didn’t regret the decision in the end! No way!

This actually worked to my advantage because it turned out fantastic. Actually better than I could have expected and better than any normal version of Stovetop. Stovetop (at least when I make it) always turns out sticky and in a clump and no it doesn’t matter how long I fluff it with a fork. This however turned out awesome and delicious and super moist. It wasn’t clumpy and was actually perfect. What was even better is it had to been left sitting for a bit than it probably should have because I made it too soon, but it turned out perfect! As you can see from the picture above it's not sticky or clumpy but beautiful! 

My favorite part was the mass amount of veggies. I think they really made this recipe special and pop out. Honestly I can't imagine making stuffing any other way.

So what's the twist? This stuffing tastes just like my Nana's bread dressing, which is what I would consider to be old-fashioned, but the twist is you are making the recipe in a fraction of the amount of time and not having to bake anything. Sweet!

I can’t wait to make this again. We don’t have to worry about holidays I will be making a half recipe to serve with diner.

Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces (two boxes) Stove Top Stuffing or Similar
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon dry sage
  • 1 tablespoon dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Directions:
  1. Combine celery and onion and 8 tablespoons of butter. Saute vegetables until they are tender.
  2. To the tender vegetables and butter add spices and then next incorporate stuffing
  3. Mix well
  4. Cook until stuffing is well combined and tender.
Original Recipe Source

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Jan 9, 2014




A few nights ago I was in the mood for a baked potato, but at the same time I was in the mood for French fries. As much as I wanted a baked potato I didn’t want to have the hassle of the baked potato. No matter what I knew we were going to have some sort of potatoes for dinner because they sounded so good.

I threw this together at the last minute and I must admit it turned out great. The key is making sure that your potatoes get nice and crispy. The browner the better because it add extra flavor. This is something you can you can easily adjust the size based on your needs at the moment.

I think it would also be really great with season salt added to it before baking!


Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds potatoes washed
  • ¼ cup bacon bits
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • 1 cup cheese (your choice)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Slice washed potatoes into ¼ inch rounds then spread out in a 16X20 baking dish.
  3. To the dish add a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. With clean hands rub the olive oil and spices into the potatoes. The potatoes should be well coated with oil. Add more oil as needed
  5. Bake for 45 minutes rotating the potatoes every 15 minutes to insure they get nice and brown
  6. Once your potatoes are at the desired crispiness remove from oven and add half the cheese, then the bacon and green onions then top with the additional cheese.
  7. Return the pan to the oven and make another 5 minutes
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Jan 8, 2014




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Jan 7, 2014




When I was a kid I hated beans I mean HATED them! There was nothing you could do to convince me to eat them. Now I love them. I can eat them right out of a can if I am given a chance. I probably have a protein deficiency or something.

I normally don’t buy canned beans. I prefer to buy them in a bag and make them myself. I like to do this for so many reasons for instance: I am trying to avoid BPA’s in canned good,  it’s a lot less expensive to make them yourself (3 to 1), and because I get to choose what goes in them. Normally I toss a bag of beans in water, let them set all night, then toss them in the crock pot and let them cook for the day. After that I bag them and freeze them. We always have beans in the freezer. I can buy a bag for $1 and it will make 3 cans worth of beans! Not bad for .33/can.

This is a quick and easy way to make refried beans and better yet they are inexpensive and full of flavor and a lot of protein.  I love the chunky beans in it too. They add a nice texture and fill you up! You can’t beat quick and easy but the icing on the cake is the great flavor!


Ingredients:
  • ½ can refried beans
  • 1 can pinto beans (drain and wash)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. bacon bits
  • 1 tsp. ground chicken bouillon granules
Directions:
  1. In a skillet add butter and allow to melt
  2. To the melted butter add bacon bits and allow to heat up until the bacon begins to pop
  3. Next add refried beans and water. Mix together well
  4. Add bouillon
  5. Once the beans begin to bubble add your drained and washed pinto beans
  6. Gently fold in the pinto bean
  7. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated or until you have a consistency you like
  8. Add salt as needed but try the beans before you add salt because of the bouillon and the bacon
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