Fiesta Oyster Cracker Mix




I love these crackers. Not only are the inexpensive to make but they spicy (not hot) and yummy!  This recipe makes a great grab and go snack for a holiday party. You can use any ranch dressing, but the fiesta ranch adds a nice tangy zip to the crackers. If you need something quick and easy for a holiday party these would be great. Leaving them in a paper bag over night is a MUST! This will help absorb the excess oil. 
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 TBS of Fiesta Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Mix (I have used regular ranch also)
  • 1 bag of Oyster Crackers
  • 1/3 cup veg oil ( I don’t suggest Olive oil because it alters the flavor)
  • 2 paper bags (lunch bags)
 
Directions: 
  1. Add oil, and Fiesta Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Mix to a bowl and mix well
  2. Fold in the Oyster Crackers and mix until they are well coated
  3. Evenly distribute the Oyster Crackers into two paper bags
  4. Close your paper bag up well and shake. Shaking every once in a while for a few hours (the purpose of the bag is to absorb the excess oil)
  5. Remove from the paper bags after they have sat for three hours and store in an air tight container
  6. Enjoy!

Easy Fried Cheese

I found this recipe while watching Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s Big Bites” on Television. He made this recipe look easy and in truth it really was. The flavor is fantastic, and these cheese sticks make great appetizers. I had fun making them, and loved eating them. No doubt you will too!
 
Ingredients: 
  • 4 cups canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 8 ounces mozzarella string cheese, individually wrapped
  • 16 thin slices salami, 2 1/2-inches in diameter
  • 8 egg roll/spring roll wrappers

Directions: 

  1. In a medium saucepan, add oil and heat to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium shallow bowl, whisk eggs and milk thoroughly. In another medium bowl mix panko and Italian bread crumbs.
  3. Dredge 1 entire side of egg roll wrapper into egg wash. Place 2 slices of salami in the center of wrapper, towards the edge closest to you. Place 1 stick of cheese on top of salami. Roll wrapper edge closest to you over the filling. Tuck ends and continue to roll until it forms an egg roll shape.
  4. Dredge rolled wrapper in egg wash again, and then thoroughly coat in bread crumb mixture. (Wrappers can be frozen for future use at this point.)
  5. Add 1 to 2 rolled wrappers to oil at a time, cooking 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Be careful not to overcook, or cook on too high of a temperature as wraps may explode. Remove fried cheese to a paper-towel lined plate and serve immediately

Creamy Easy Spinach Dip

Spinach dip is one of my favorite dips to have during the holiday season we always have it on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. I rarely make it any other time of year. Why… no idea! I guess it’s just the holiday’s that make me crave it.  I was think today it would be excellent in a wrap.
 
If you don’t like spinach don’t let that stop you from making it because to be honest with you… you can’t even taste the spinach. It’s an excellent dip that goes a long way for a group but it’s also inexpensive and very tasty. I grew up on this dip and now my family is growing up on it too. Enjoy!
 
Ingredients: 
  • 1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach, chopped or 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (8 ounce) package vegetable soup mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped 

Directions: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 
  2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours over night would be best.

MAKES 4 cups dip.

Original Recipe Source

Christmas Turkey Idea!

 

 Happy Christmas Eve everyone! Who else is ready for Santa?
 
I must admit this was the best turkey we had ever had. I think the key is to start cooking the turkey with broth already in the roaster. It really helped to steam the turkey. Not only was it full of flavor but it was almost incredibly moist. I don’t think I have ever eaten a turkey so moist.
 
I will be honest you when I say I am not a big turkey fan, but this turkey was exceptional! I have never had one better!
 
 
Ingredients: 
  •  1 (18-20 pound) whole turkey
  •  1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  1 1/2 quarts turkey or chicken stock 
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place rack in the lowest position of the oven.
  2. Remove the turkey neck and giblets, rinse the turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Rub the skin with the softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Position an aluminum foil tent over the turkey.
  3. Place turkey in the oven, and pour 2 cups turkey or chicken stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. Remove aluminum foil after 2 1/2 hours. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F (80 degrees C), about 4 hours.
  4. Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Original Recipe Source

Pinterest Fun Friday: Christmas Appetizers

 
 
Every Friday I like to highlight some of my favorite Pinterest finds of the week. This not only allows me to spotlight some really awesome and crafty ideas but it allows you to see a few Pins you might not have seen this week.  
 
I spend way too many minutes’ hours in the day pinning on Pinterest. Now if I could only find the time to make all of these wonderful things I pin. Wouldn’t that be great?
 
Let’s Get Pinning!

 

Baked Spaghetti (Paula Deen)


This recipe was just OK. I think the concept of the recipe is a great one especially if you are using leftover spaghetti sauce. The sauce in the recipe is truly its downfall. My family liked the recipe but no one was overly impressed with the sauce. This is one of those recipes that you take the idea behind the recipe and simply replace the sauce. The Italian season was just over the top that’s all I could taste.
I think I will make this recipe in the future, but instead of this sauce I will use leftover Nana’s Spaghetti Sauce instead, or worse case scenario a jarred sauce would work. I think it would be fantastic using a bunch of different cheese’s like, parmesan, mozzarella, asiago, and even some provolone. Yum.
This is a great base idea/recipe but “fixing” the sauce would be a great improvement.
Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt pepper combo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack
Directions: 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stockpot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour. 
  3. Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining. Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot. 
  4. Simmer for 20 more minutes. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. 
  5. Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the sauce. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. 
  6. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes. Cut into squares before serving.

Triple Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

This mac-n-cheese is delicious. It’s a pain to make if you are thinking of boxed mac-n-cheese, but let me tell you its well worth all the work. It’s so creamy and delicious.
 
This recipe is very decadent and rich. If you are wanting something plain and simple this recipe is not for you. The only I could suggest is leaving out the Gouda cheese, but I wouldn’t!
 
If you want to serve it right away leave the bread crumbs off and sever right from the stove top. You can’t beat this mac-n-cheese. 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups Dried Pasta
  • 1/4 cup unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons Dry Mustard
  • 2 ounces Smoked Gouda grated
  • 8 ounces Cheddar Cheese grated
  • 6 ounces Mozzarella Cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • Plain Bread Crumbs

Directions: 

  1. Cook pasta about 4 minutes shy of package directions then drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly.
  3. Pour in milk, and mustard, then whisk until smooth. Cook until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Add in cheese and stir to melt.
  5. Add seasoned salt and pepper.
  6. Pour in cooked pasta and stir to combine.
  7. Pour into a buttered baking dish, top with plain bread crumbs, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Original Recipe Source

Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate

 

 
At this time of year my favorite find is Pumpkin Spice anything. I love pumpkin spice latte’ and any kind of hot chocolate.  When I found a pumpkin spice hot chocolate I knew I had to give this recipe a try. It’s what I consider the best of both worlds. The recipe certainly lived up to my expectations. It’s thick, creamy and has an amazing pumpkin pie flavor.
 
The smell in the house while this is cooking on the stove is incredible. This would also work great in a slow cooker. Try serving this recipe throughout the day on Thanksgiving. Your guest will be very happy I know I was!!
 
This is the doubled recipe. One recipe wasn’t even close to enough I had to double it!
 
Ingredients: 
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup hot cocoa mix (no marshmallows)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows optional
Directions: 
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat whisk together your milk and hot cocoa mix. 
  2. You will want to keep your heat no higher than medium. It’s important that all of your spices to have a chance to mingle in the hot chocolate.
  3. Add canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Heat until desired temperature is reached.
  5. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and/or marshmallows