Saturday, December 13, 2014

For Holiday Gatherings

I'm woefully behind on what's been cooking here at our house.  But I'll save you the excuses, and jump right to the good stuff, just right for you holiday parties.

A group from church gathered tonight to celebrate the holiday, and the rebuilding of a tornado damaged house.  Since we had a rather sizeable group, I brought two appetizers, both big hits.

Cranberry Salsa & Cream Cheese Dip -- delicious and fresh, and the perfect taste of the holidays.

Hot Corn and Bacon Dip -- decadent and easy (especially with Kirkland Signature real bacon bits)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's the Holiday Season

I love the approaching Christmas season.  Even though I see the calendar filling up with events, I'm looking forward to wrapping up the fall semester, celebrating with friends and family, and resting.  I'm really looking forward to resting.

As usual, the December menu is filled with holes for traveling, parties, and times when I know our evening meal will be up in the air.  My plan for the month is always only my best guess at what will be happening.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

I'm barely keeping my head above water, over here, but I can almost see the end of the semester and more breathing room.  We're still eating, but frankly the the recipes I've made haven't been exciting enough to report on, especially with limited time.

Here's a brief rundown of what we've been eating and a brief (very) review of each.

Farmer's Casserole--we enjoyed this for breakfast with my family this Thanksgiving weekend.  It could definitely use more cheese.  It is friendly to those eating gluten free.

Pecan Caramel Cheesecake Dip--yummy dessert dip that is pretty rich.  I liked it best with apple dippers and pretzels.

Ham and Cheese Mini Breakfast Pies--this was dinner for us.  Tasty, but basic.  Would be good to keep on hand for quick breakfasts.

Chips & Cheddar Hot Dogs--this is a fun concept, but nothing too exciting.  I learned that I prefer ketchup to barbecue sauce on hot dogs.

Cheesy Potato Taco Casserole--this was good, but the potatoes didn't cook through in the time allotted.

So, there's that.  A very quick rundown.  Some hits, some misses, but basically a lot of meh. I'm sure I'll make other more tasty items in the future.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chicken and Noodles with a Twist

We are definitely in comfort food season, and there is no greater comfort food than chicken and noodles.

The best part of this French Onion Chicken Noodle Casserole is that I get to use Prairie Farms French Onion Dip.  It's really the best part of any party.  I could snuggle up with a bag of fresh Lays and PF French Onion dip, and be quite content.

Although I only made a half recipe, this is delicious.  We have four servings of leftovers as it is, and I'm looking forward to enjoying them.  The french fried onions on the top are a great crunchy finish to a creamy casserole that's not too much.  Perfect comfort food.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Island Getaway

A getaway to Hawaii is still on my bucket list.  Someday I'll get there.

Until then, these Hawaiian Sloppy Joes were a lovely little escape from ordinary dinner.  I don't pretend the flavors were terribly authentic, but we did enjoy them.  I followed the recipe to the letter.  Except, when it came time to add the liquid smoke I grabbed vanilla instead.

See how similar they are?  Lucky for me, the vanilla flavor didn't really come through with all the other things going.  Reminder to self, if it should smell like liquid smoke, make sure it IS liquid smoke.  Better yet, read the label, don't just look for the yellow topped bottle.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Party-on, Halloween Style

Our annual Halloween tradition of hanging out with the neighbors and handing out candy from one garage continued this year.  We cranked up the heater, and added layers to cope with the cold, and then had a grand time together.

As always, I love to try some fun Halloween foods. These Monster Cookies were especially cute.  I used purple and leaf green food colors.  To get the slime colored green, I also added a dot or two of yellow food color.  They were soft and gooey, and a total hit.

Since we love regular Gooey Butter Cake, I decided to give the pumpkin variety a whirl.  (Please disregard the picture quality on this, all of a sudden I realized I hadn't taken one!)  It is great!  The texture of the pumpkin layer is very different than a typical butter cake, but that doesn't interfere with the flavor at all.  Soooooo very good.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Little Late to the Party

It's November!  Wow. Can't keep up.  Can't even believe the end of the year is just around the corner.

I have managed to piece together our menu for this month, and I'm looking forward to some of these recipes.  Mostly, I'm looking forward to not having to have a crock-pot meal every Monday.  We've changed our piano lesson time, so there's a bit more flexibility there, and I'm grateful.

So, here's to turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and a countdown to Christmas that's really not too far away!