Where Cooking is Fun
We want cooking to be as fun for you as it is for us.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Luscious Coconut Cream Fruit Dip

Who doesn't like a little "good for you" food at a buffet of party appetizers?!....FRUIT is always
a hit at our party tables (or really any table). With all the Super Bowl parties that will be coming
up...plan ahead and make sure this CRAZY DELICIOUS dip in on your table. I wasn't sure I would LOVE this stuff, but with the first taste I completely fell head over heels for it. I could pretty much could have eaten it with a spoon and been just fine...but add in a little fruit (ANY KIND) and its OVER the TOP! I've made it several times since and we have eaten the entire bowl of it...serve with any fruit or even a Nilla Wafer or Graham Cracker...its amazing! 

Luscious Coconut Cream Fruit Dip
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz) bottle CREAM of COCONUT (find it in the isle with the margarita mix or other drink mixers)
1 (8 oz) tub whipped topping

Place the cream cheese and whipped topping in a mixing bowl. Whip until creamy. Add cream of coconut, beat until combined. Chill for 15-30 minutes. Serve with fruit (we served with apples, oranges and bananas) and or/ Graham Crackers and Nilla Wafers. 

Julie~

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Honey Barbecued Chicken Wings

WHO DOESN'T adore barbecued chicken wings?? I don't know why, but I think they
are fabulous...maybe its because they are easy to eat, maybe its because my fingers get
all sticky, maybe its because they are JUST GOOD!!!....Mmmmm!
NO, these are NOT a healthy version, but hey....they are scrumptious none-the-less!

Honey Barbecued Chicken Wings
2 dozen raw chicken wings, thawed
2 t. salt
2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. red pepper powder

Sauce:
1 c. barbecue sauce (our favorite is Famous Daves Hickory flavor)
1/2 c. honey
2 T. ketchup
1 T. Franks Hot Sauce

Wash chicken wings. Place on paper towel and pat dry. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle seasonings on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. MAKE sauce by placing ALL ingredient in a sauce pan. Stir until combined. Heat until warm. When wings are done. Pour sauce carefully over ALL WINGS while still on the baking sheet. Return them to the oven and bake another 10 minutes. Serve with bleu cheese dressing (my favorite) or ranch dressing OR eat them as is!!

Julie~

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fluffy Dreamsicle Salad

I love the taste as well as the "simpleness" of this delicious salad. Its packed full
 of orange goodness and melts in your mouth. 

Fluffy Dreamsicle Salad

1 (6 oz) box jello mix
1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla INSTANT pudding
4 small can mandarin oranges
2- (12 oz) container whipped topping (totalling 24 oz)

DRAIN mandarin oranges. Place oranges in mixing bowl. Add whipped topping, vanilla pudding mix (dry) and jello mix (dry). Stir until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. 

Julie~

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cranberry Cheese Ball

Don't think that ALL the "appetizer" parties are gone YET....we still have the Super Bowl coming up. Seems that if you have a Super Bowl party....you need the snacks to go with it! This cheese ball is packed full of great flavor and it looks great on your table spread full of food. I like the sweetness of the craisins paired with the cream cheese...delightful pair! Mmmmmm!!

Cranberry Cheese Ball
8 oz. softened cream cheese
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 T. milk
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/2 c. craisins

Mix both cheeses together, beat until well combined. Add milk, salt and pecans. Mix well. Spread out a large piece of plastic wrap. Scrape cheese mixture onto plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap to wrap around the sides, try to form a ball. Form as much of a ball as you can. Wrap plastic wrap around cheese ball entirely. Place in a cereal bowl. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm. When ready to serve, Remove cheeseball from plastic. Place craisins in pie plate. Roll cheese ball into craisins, using your hands to press them on the cheeseball. Place completed cheese ball on plate. Serve with crackers. 

Julie~

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Grandma McQueen's Famous Lemon Jello Salad

My Grandma's were both fabulous cooks. Back in the day when food was made
from scratch, brownies didn't come from a box and potatoes were peeled and mashed.....homemade is my favorite. My Grandma McQueen loved her "jello". She made this jello salad to 
every family dinner she came to, and her pan always left empty. Its one of my favorite salads ever!
She never wrote her recipes down, they were all stored up in her head...BUT after some chatting with my mom this is pretty close to what Grandma made, and after tasting it, I think we hit the nail on the head!

Grandma McQueen's Famous Lemon Jello Salad

1 (6 oz) box Lemon Jello
Mix jello up according to package directions, set aside. 

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple WELL DRAINED
1 c. cottage cheese
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Add the pineapple, cottage cheese and pecans to mixed jello. Place in the refrigerator for 8 hours to set. Top the jello recipe below:


8 oz. whipped topping
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 c. powdered sugar

Combine powdered sugar and cream cheese. Beat until mixed and there are no lumps. Add whipped topping. Whip until combined. Top jello salad. Serve. 

Julie~

*Grandma didn't usually put a topping on....but I like it better WITH the topping. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Halle's Barbeque Little Smokies

We can't have a party without "little smokies" in some form or another. My 
daughter chose to cook these at  one of our last family parties. She is full of amazing ideas and
whipped these little dandies up in a jiffy. They are easy and taste FABULOUS...in fact they were "picked" in so often while cooking that we had to "add more" to the pot!...WOO HOO for great appetizer foods....THEY are the heart and soul of a party, WELL EXCEPT for all the wonderful people of course! :) 

Halle's Barbeque Little Smokies
2 pkg. Little Smokies (not the cheese filled)
1 (29 oz) bottle of FAMOUS DAVES original recipe barbeque sauce (the SECRET to these)
1 1/2 c. brown sugar

Drain little smokies. Place in a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 2-3 hours or on high for 1 1/2 hours. EAT UP!!

Julie~

Friday, January 16, 2015

Skinny Chicken Tortilla Soup


We have been trying to get a little "healthier" at our house...so I hope to be posting 
more and more HEALTHY recipes to help you with your New Year's Resolutions OR just to try new tasty meals on your menu. Something I've tried to do with our "healthy meals" is not only to cut the calories, but to keep the taste, so that we all still enjoy eating. This Skinny Chicken Tortilla Soup hit the spot. Its a tasty soup that has less calories but still has the taste your mouth craves!

  
Skinny Chicken Tortilla Soup
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breast, partially thawed, diced into pieces
2- 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with chilies (blended up in the blender)
1 c. frozen corn
1 can black beans
1 small can diced chilies
2 cloves minced garlic
2 c. chicken broth (fat free)
3/4 t. cumin
3/4 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/t. pepper

Place all ingredient in the crock pot. Stir just to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

*IF you notice....in my picture there are tortilla chips and cheese. Some people in the house still wanted to ADD them, afraid that the LACK of them would alter the taste....Sooooo..... Add them if you want, BUT beware that they also add calories (maybe just add a few)!

Julie~


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Julie's Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my "go to" comfort foods. I adore the creamy cheese, the 
soft noodles and the tomato sauce, it all just melts in my mouth....I ALSO adore Chicken Cordon Bleu, so combining 2 of my fav's is sure to have a FABULOUS outcome. This Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna is not only creamy, but the ham adds a wonderful "smoky" flavor that just tops the entire dish into being OVER the TOP YUM!!!

Julie's Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna

Cheese Sauce:
4 c. heavy cream
1 c. butter
1 c. grated Swiss cheese
1 c. grated Colby jack cheese
1 c. six cheese (Italian, comes in a package already grated)
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a medium sauce pan combine cream and butter. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly until the butter is melted. Gradually stir in cheese (all). Reduce heat to low and stir until all cheeses are melted. Set aside.

1 package lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
3-4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 c. diced ham

Cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan with a small amount of cheese sauce. Place enough lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan to cover it. Add a layer of grated cheese, diced ham and more sauce. Continue to layer until pan is full...making sure that your top layer is covered in sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until center is hot. Serve immediately.

Julie~


Monday, January 12, 2015

Jalapeno Popper Dip

When I saw that this recipe was a "Slow Cooker" recipe, I was a little 
worried about how it would turn out...BUT rest assured, it was a HUGE hit and loved by all
who ate it. My crockpot full of Jalapeno Popper Dip disappeared in literally a matter of minutes. The picture doesn't do it justice AT ALL (sorry its an awful picture) because this dip is completely AMAZING! Its perfect for your SUPER BOWL PARTY or just a fun dish to make for an old day! I know I will make this AGAIN AND AGAIN!!

Jalapeno Popper Dip
3- 8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
1- 4 oz. can green chilies, diced
2- 7 oz. can Fire Roasted green chilies, chopped and peeled (buy them over by the mexican food)
1 1/2 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend (pre-shredded and packaged)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. fresh parmesan cheese, shredded

Place ingredient in the crock pot. Stir. Cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with homemade baguettes, tortilla chips or wheat thin crackers. WE made baguettes and LOVED the way they complimented the Jalapeno Popper Dip! Enjoy!!

Julie~

Friday, January 9, 2015

Apple Juice Waffles

Fall and Winter make me think of everything "apples" and "pumpkin".....so these
Apple Cider Waffles were the perfect comfort food for a cold winter day. 

Apple Juice Waffles
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
dash salt
1 T. sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
2 eggs
2 c. apple juice

Heat waffle iron. Spray with cooking spray. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Pour 1/2 c. batter into HOT waffle iron. Cook according to waffle iron directions. Repeat until all waffles are made. Top with Apple Syrup:

Apple Syrup:
1/2 c. butter
1 c. apple juice
2 c. brown sugar

Place all ingredient in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes. 
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. 

Julie~



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Easy Chicken Burritos

Easy dinner, tastes fabulous and everyone will love this EASY CHICKEN BURRITO!

Easy Chicken Burritos
1 whole Rotisserie chicken (purchased at your local grocery store)
      OR you can use any chicken you can make at home (4 chicken breast), shred cooked chicken
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 avocado, mashed
4-6 tortillas
1 can refried beans
1-2 T. oil (for cooking)

Place shredded chicken and shredded cheese in a bowl. Place tortillas out on someplace flat. Spread desired amount of refried beans down the center of each shell. Divide chicken mixture between tortillas. Top with mashed avocado. Roll up each burrito, tucking ends in so the filling won't fall out. Place oil in a frying pan, heat until hot. Fry burritos in oil until golden brown, turning so that both sides are browned. MAKE sure your oil isn't TOO hot or it will "burn" your shell and the inside won't get warm. Top with diced tomatoes and dollop of sour cream if desired. 

Julie~

Monday, January 5, 2015

Marinated Steak Burritos

We are a family who loves Mexican food, so anything we can roll in a tortilla, top
with sauce and cheese, is a hit at our house. This Marinated Steak is amazing! Its packed
full of flavor that just makes your mouth water!

Marinated Steak Burritos
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. canola oil
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 T. garlic powder
3 T. dried basil
1 t. pepper
1/4. t. Franks Original Hot Sauce

Place all ingredient in the blender. Blend on high for 15-30 seconds. 

6 steaks, bones removed (any kind of steak)

Place steak in a ziplock bag, pour meat over the top. Zip the bag shut, refrigerate overnight or for 8 hours. Cook meat as desired (I grilled mine).

Cut meat into thin slices....THEN make your burrito. 

6 burrito tortillas
2-3 c. shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese
1 large can green enchilada sauce
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained. 
2 c. cooked rice

Place tortillas on counter, Place meat (cooked) down the center of tortilla. Top with desired amount of cooked rice, beans and cheese. Roll up shell. Place rolled up burritos in a 9x13 baking pan. Repeat until ALL burritos are wrapped. Pour green sauce over burritos. Top with MORE cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

Julie~

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hot Italian Subs

Are you as FULL as I am?? The holidays tend to be about 6 weeks of EATING GARBAGE, BUT OHHHHHHH SUCH good tasting garbage!!! But I am ready for a "food break"....this Hot Italian Sub is simple, yet delicious. Its something you can make in a hurry and eat on the go or sit at the table and enjoy some conversation with the family. I love the fact that its a HOT sandwich, so I feel like its more than just "lunch food"...Happy New Years and enjoy a little simpleness in life today!

Hot Italian Subs
6 Hoagie buns
1 package salami sandwich meat
1 package pepperoni
1 package deli ham
sliced provolone cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 t. DRY italian dressing (from the package)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soften butter and mix with italian powder. Spread evenly on inside of hoagie rolls. Place 1 slice of cheese, cut in half, on the bottom bun. Top with layered pieces of meat, (ham, pepperoni and salami). Top with another slice of cheese, cut in half. Place top bun in place. Press tightly together. Place sandwiches sideways (open side facing up) in a 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Serve with salad or chips for a full meal. 

Julie~