Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Neiman Marcus Dip

Review by Lyndee:

5 - 6 green onions
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 jar Hormel Real Bacon Bits
1 pkg. slivered almonds

Chop the green onions.  Mix the onions, cheese, mayo, bacon bits, and slivered almonds together. Chill for a couple hours. Serve with Ritz crackers or corn chips.

So I’m kind of known among family and friends as being the dip queen.  I’m proud of that title.  During a family get together a few weeks ago I wanted to try a new dip.  It’s summer and it’s hot so I didn’t want to make a warm dip or use a crockpot since we were camping.  I had seen this recipe multiple times on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  It was cheap and easy to make.  The crunch of the slivered almonds was perfect with the bacon bits and green onion.  I served this with Ritz but you could definitely do corn chips or club crackers as well.  Will definitely make this again. It doesn't make a giant batch so if you are feeding a large crowd, you might want to double it up. 

Crockpot Candy (Peanut Clusters)

Review by Lyndee:

2 pounds white almond bark
4 ounces German chocolate
12 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
24 ounces dry roasted peanuts

Add all ingredients to the crock pot.  Cook on low for 1 hour without stirring.  After an hour, stir to combine everything.  Allow to cook for another hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Drop spoonful’s of the candy onto wax paper and allow to cool completely. 

This was one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made.  Literally just dump and stir.  The only time consuming part was putting the candy on wax paper.  This makes a HUGE batch of candy.  My entire table was covered in peanut clusters.  The chocolate is delicious with just the right amount of crunch from the peanuts.  These were a big hit at the family 4th of July gatherings.  Even my Grandma couldn’t believe they weren’t a fancy store bought candy.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Caramel apple cheesecake cookies

Review by Lyndee:

1 box caramel apple cake mix
1 small box instant cheesecake pudding mix
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
¾ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.  Combine pudding, cake mix, oil and eggs in a medium bowl until dough forms. Mix in white chocolate chips.  Place balls of dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies began to brown.  Remove from oven and let cool. 

Saturday was a rainy day and of course, I got the urge to bake. I had wanted to try a new cookie recipe. I love everything apples and was excited when I found this one.  They were super easy to make. The hardest part was finding a caramel apple cake mix. I had to go to two stores, but that didn’t stop me, aka, the cookie monster.  I wasn’t super impressed with the raw dough when I tested it but the end result was awesome! Totally satisfied my sweet tooth and I will definitely make them again.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Macaroni Salad

Review by Lyndee:

1 pkg. (1 lb) pkg. macaroni (or shells)
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. mustard
1/4 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
1 c. ham steak, cut into small cubes
1 c. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3 c. frozen peas, thawed
2-3 carrots, shredded

Optional mix-ins:
cucumber, peeled and diced
dill pickles, chopped
tomato, diced
red bell pepper, diced
celery, chopped

Prepare macaroni to al dente according to package directions. After macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Once macaroni has cooled down, drain well.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.  In a large bowl toss macaroni with ham, cheese, peas, carrots, and other mix-ins.  Fold in mayonnaise mixture until pasta is well coated.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight.  If the salad seems a little dry after setting up overnight, add some milk a little bit at a time until salad becomes nice and creamy again.

I didn’t do any additional mix-ins. This salad was easy to make and tasted great. The mustard was a bit stronger than I would’ve thought it would be so if you aren’t a fan of mustard, I would half the amount.  Still, it was a great salad that made a big batch and fed my large crowd with ease.  

Bleach t-shirt

Review by Lyndee:

My friend Audra and I had a joint birthday celebration together this weekend.  She contacted me Thursday and asked if I could make t-shirts.  Obviously we didn’t have time to order anything special and I had no idea what to put on them.  When I asked her if she had any ideas she said “you’re the crafty one”.  Well that narrows it down, right?  I needed to be able to make the t-shirts fast, at home and on the cheap. I reached out to a friend who had made some fun ones for Superbowl and consulted Pinterest.  I decided to do bleach spray t-shirts.  With the help of my muse, Melody, I decided on the saying “Vintage 76”, for the year Audra and I were born.

The directions were to place stickers or stencils on the shirt.  MIX bleach and water and then lightly mist over the stickers.  I failed this in two ways in my first attempt.  First, I didn’t mix the bleach with water.  And secondly, I doused it instead of a light mist.  This turned into an ugly white blob of bleach on a t-shirt.  Ugh! 

So after going back and consulting the directions like any smart person would’ve done from the start, I found my mistakes and tried again.  And this time it worked. Next time I might use a lighter colored shirt so that the contrast of bleach isn’t so drastic but once I did it the right way, these were easy to make in a pinch.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chicken tortilla wraps

Review by Lyndee

1 tortilla
Shredded chicken breast
2 tbsp cream cheese
Fat free ranch
Shredded cheddar

Bake or grill chicken breast.  Shred when cooled. Spread cream cheese onto tortilla.  Drizzle with ranch dressing.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese to taste.  I used about 1/8 of a cup.  Add chicken.  Roll tight and refrigerate.  Cut into sections before eating.

This is a great way to use up chicken breast.  Easy to make snack or lunch idea.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Skillet pizza (low carb)

Review by Lyndee:

This was very easy to make and I thought it turned out pretty good for a crustless low carb pizza snack. 

Mozzarella cheese
Toppings (I used 5 slices of pepperoni) but you can add whatever you wish)

Heat non-stick skillet to medium heat.  Add ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.  Top with ingredients.  The cheese will melt, bubble and begin to turn a slight golden brown on the bottom.  Check often to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Once the bottom is a nice golden brown and your toppings are warm, remove from heat  Let stand a minute so that the cheese can set.

To me this tasted like a very thin crust pizza. I generally enjoy the cheese and toppings most anyway so this was a great snack for me.  Only takes a few minutes to make, you can get some protein and feel like you’re indulging and eating pizza.