June 29, 2012

Food Link Friday: 4th of July Edition

White-Chocolate No Bake Cheesecake
I love the look of these and the portion-size. Looks so decadent!
Fruit Flag
This would be so fun to have at a 4th of July BBQ.
Red, White and Blue Firecracker Popsicles
I'm obsessed with homemade popsicles lately and I love that they're made out of real fruit!
Patriotic Punch
Such a fun idea!
Layered Jello: 4th of July Edition
I had my first layered jello dessert the other day and now I'm hooked. Plus I love these colors!

June 28, 2012

Copycat Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits

So I'm going to be honest here. I've NEVER been a fan of fish. Maybe a little shrimp here and there, but that's about it. Boring I know, but it's just how it is. Still haven't grown those adult fish lovin' taste buds yet.

However, I do remember being forced to eat at Red Lobster with my family when I was younger and about the only thing I would eat were their amazing cheese biscuits. They must have made a pretty big impact on my life because I think the last time I stepped foot into a Red Lobster, I ordered off the kid's meal.

So when I saw a recipe for these biscuits floating around the blogging world, I knew I HAD to try them. And I wasn't disappointed. Cheese + garlic + butter + more butter = satisfaction.

And the best part is, you're bound to have the all the ingredients in your kitchen.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits
2 1/2 cups Bisquick or Jiffy
4 Tbsp. cold butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Butter Glaze:
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or line one cookie sheet with parchment; set aside.
2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter (or 2 forks). Don't worry about mixing too thoroughly; there will be small chunks of butter in the mix about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk and garlic powder. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.
3. Drop 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto the lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes in preheated oven or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
4. While the biscuits are baking, melt butter is a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in garlic powder and dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the freshly coated biscuits. Makes one dozen.

June 27, 2012

Seven Layer Dip

So I mentioned in a recent post that I was assigned to bring chips to a barbecue. Well here are my "chips" and dip. I couldn't just bring a boring bag of potato chips so I looked up a recipe for good old seven layer dip and changed it up a bit.
I've always loved seven layer dip, but haven't always loved every layer. So I chose the best ones!
{In my opinion of course.}

The cream cheese and taco seasoning mix in this recipe really give your standard seven layer dip an extra touch. So good!
Seven Layer Dip
Adapted from AllRecipes
1 (1.25 oz.) package taco seasoning mix {I used McCormick}
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sour cream
store-bought or homemade guacamole {so much better homemade}
2 cans (10 oz each) Rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 bags of your favorite tortilla chips

1. In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto the bottom of a lightly greased 11x13 baking dish using a spatula.
2. Spread homemade or store-bought guacamole over the beans.
3. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the guacamole.
4. Top the layers with the Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, cheddar cheese and cilantro.
5. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

June 22, 2012

Food Link Friday: Popsicle City

Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles
Creamy cheesecake and raspberry tartness in frozen form? Sounds so refreshing.
Samoa Popsicles
I LOVE samoa cookies, even though I can count the times I've actual eaten them on one hand. MUST try.
Red, White and Blueberry Yogurt Pops
Another creamy and fruity combo. And perfect for the 4th of July!
Homemade Fudge Pops
These look so rich and tasty!
Nutella-Banana Fudgesicles
Who doesn't love Nutella?

June 21, 2012

Copycat Arctic Circle Lime Rickey

So apparently, Arctic Circle is mostly a Utah thing with the exception of some locations in various western states, but when I was a kid Arctic Circle was the BEST and lime rickey's were BOMB.

Last weekend, Jordan and I were headed to a BBQ and our assignment was chips and drinks. {More on the chips later.} I wanted to do something different than bring the standard 2 liters of pop so I decided to whip up my own version of  a lime rickey.
I knew I needed Sprite, limes, some ice and grape syrup. The first three ingredients were obviously easy to find, but I didn't know where to buy the grape syrup/didn't want to spend too much on it.

So then good old Google came to the rescue and I found a recipe to make my very own snow cone syrup. Guys, there is a recipe for EVERYTHING out there. Seriously. 
 And I made myself a batch.
Oh the possibilties.
So here it is kids. A good old fashioned lime rickey that is equally as refreshing as Arctic Circle's in the comfort of your own home.

Copycat Arctic Circle Lime Rickey
Sprite or any lemon-lime pop
fresh lime wedges
grape snow cone syrup

Grape Snow Cone Syrup
Source: AllRecipes
2 cups white sugar
1 cup water
1 (0.14 oz.) package Grape flavored drink mix (such as grape Kool-Aid)

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the drink mix. Allow to cool and store in a container for pouring. 

Once the syrup has cooled, fill a glass with Sprite and add as much ice as desired. Pour 1-2 Tbsp. of grape syrup into the glass. Add more or less, depending on how much grape flavor you want. Squeeze a fresh lime wedge or two into the drink and throw the squeezed wedge into the drink for good measure. Enjoy!

June 15, 2012

Food Link Friday: It's Cake Batter Time!

Cake Batter Blondies
Cake in a condensed form such as a blondie makes my mouth water.
Cake Batter Truffles
The chocolate coating may be a little much, but I may just make these little balls of cake batter goodness.
Cake Batter Fudge
I might just die a cake batter death.
Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats
Rice Krispie Treats + Cake Batter = My two favorite treats combined. MUST TRY THIS.
Cake Batter Milkshakes
Nothing batter than a little cake batter ice cream.

June 14, 2012

Cook's Illustrated Taco Meat

So it turns out, up until I got pregnant, which many of you know I just had my baby, me and hamburger have been on uneasy terms.

I still have to say that I really only like hamburger as a solo artist. You won't be seeing any hamburger casseroles and such on this blog. EW. Just good old hamburgers and well, beef tacos I guess.

Anyway, this is recipe is fabulous. It obviously takes a little more time than your old run-of-the-mill packet of taco seasoning, but it's totally worth it. Yum.

Cook's Illustrated Taco Meat
Found and slightly adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
2 tsp. dried onion, minced
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. light brown sugar
8 taco shells

1. Hand mix the spices with the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about five minutes.
2. Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, vinegar and sugar until thickened, about 10 minutes.
3. Place in taco shells or on tortilla chips and top with tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, parmesan, etc.


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June 13, 2012

Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto

So here's the deal. I have a love/hate relationship with pesto. It's good and all, but the standard pesto that calls for basil and pine nuts makes for a pricey meal. And it's ok...

Cue this twist on pesto. So much flavor and most of the ingredients are in your pantry. Now that's my kind of meal. 

Very similar to the Thai Peanut Noodles, but may be even better...

Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto
Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites; originally from Martha Stewart Everyday Food
1 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped

1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. sesame oil
{use veggie oil if you don’t have this; just adds more flavor}
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 cup roasted peanuts {plus more for serving, if desired}

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

3/4 pound (12 oz.) linguine or spaghetti, cooked according to box instructions

1. In a food processor or blender, combine cilantro (save a bit of cilantro for garnish), garlic, ginger, vegetable and sesame oils, red pepper flakes, lime juice, brown sugar and peanuts (basically everything except soy sauce).
2. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine.  In a large bowl, toss pesto with hot pasta. Roughly chop additional peanuts and sprinkle over pasta along with extra cilantro leaves and lime wedges if desired.  
3. Serve immediately. (If you’re prepping and not quite ready to eat yet, wait to toss with pasta until right before serving for the best flavor.)  

June 12, 2012

Caesar Pasta Salad

Can I just say that I love the idea of pasta in a Caesar salad? Genius! This salad is so good and so simple. I could eat this all the time. It makes a great party salad as well.
Caesar Pasta Salad
Adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen
½ lb. pasta, any shape, cooked al dente {I used trumpets}
1/2 envelope Good Seasons Italian dressing
1 (5 oz.) container of baby spring mix {or use lettuce of choice}
2 cups croutons, homemade or store bought
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
About 1 cup of Caesar dressing {I used Bolthouse Farms Caesar Parmigianino Yogurt Dressing} YUM!

Make the night before serving if possible:

1. Place cooked pasta in a bowl. Sprinkle with the dry Good Seasons Italian dressing and about 1/4 to ½ cup of the Caesar dressing.  Refrigerate overnight. {If you forget to do this like me, hurry and place the pasta in the freezer so it will cool down.}

Before serving:
2. Place the prepared pasta, lettuce, croutons and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.  Toss with about 1/2 cup of dressing. Let sit for a few minutes, add additional dressing to taste just before serving.

June 9, 2012

Barbecue Chicken Cobb Salad

This is a quick recipe idea I found that doesn't exactly have a recipe, but it's good just the same. There's nothing better than some boiled egg, bacon and cheese on a salad. It's all about the toppings right? Oh and the barbecue ranch? Yum.
Barbecue Chicken Cobb Salad
1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 boiled eggs diced, for the perfect boiled egg
head of lettuce, your choice
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
barbecue sauce
cheddar cheese, shredded
1-2 sliced tomatoes
ranch dressing

Prepare the chicken and mix with about a 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce. Also prepare the eggs, bacon and tomatos. Add a Tbsp. of barbecue sauce to about a 1/2 cup of ranch dressing for some extra flavor. (You may or may not need more dressing so use this as a guide.) Wash and tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Top lettuce with the chicken, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, cheese and dressing.


June 8, 2012

Food Link Friday: Chicky Chicky Parm Parm

Chik-Fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
I don't know about you, but I love Chik-Fil-A chicken! And their sauce...yum!
Cream Cheese and Chicken Enchiladas
I love me some cream cheese and chicken. Enchilada form? Yes, please.
Crispy Cheddar Chicken
Simple ingredients and such a pretty result.
Chicken Broccoli Supreme
I'm a broccoli addict so this is calling my name!
General Tso's Chicken
I love any form of goopy Asian chicken. Can't wait to try this!