Thursday, August 17, 2017

Snickers Dip

I took this dip along with a bag of pretzels to one of our very first tailgates several years ago.  And more than once I heard, "Oh my gosh what is in this?" and "You have to try this dip."  Needless to say it was gone before game time, because face it, who doesn't love a Snickers Bar? Years later tailgaters are still commenting on this dip.  It's that memorable!  Even better is the dip only has four ingredients.  It's super easy to make, and you can even make it ahead of time.  Serve it up with some pretzels for the perfect sweet and salty combination.  You'll get your Snickers fix in a cute dessert form!

Get your Snickers Fix in dip form!
The perfect sweet and salty combination!


Snickers Dip

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
8 ounces Cool Whip topping
6 regular-sized Snickers candy bars, chopped

Pretzels for dipping

Cream the cream cheese, brown sugar and Cool Whip together with a mixer.  Stir in the chopped candy bars.  Refrigerate before serving.  Serve with pretzels for dipping.

Prep Time:  Approximately 5 minutes     Cook Time: 0 



Monday, August 7, 2017

[Gluten-Free] Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

My husband and I were discussing the whole gluten/celiac diagnosis the other night. We both agreed that it's a good thing we enjoy cooking.  The hardest thing I've found about going to an all gluten-free diet is giving up convenience.  It is possible to wake up in the morning and prepare a gluten-free pancake that tastes great.  It's not always convenient to wake up in the morning and prepare a gluten-free pancake.  And dining out simply takes a little research beforehand. I've found that most restaurants have their gluten information posted online.  I can look ahead of time and find something on the menu to enjoy without being a pain in the neck or confusing the servers.  So for the most part, I'd say I'm happily adapting.  That was until I looked at him and realized, "The thing I will miss most will probably be your homemade chili with a big handful of oyster crackers in it."  While I'm sure there are some tasty gluten-free crackers out there, I haven't really searched, nor have I yet to create a homemade gluten-free cracker.  So I decided rather than eat his Award Winning Chili sans crackers, I decided I would substitute a recipe with all the great flavors of chili, but also a super healthy version that doesn't need crackers.  Substitute some vegetable broth for the chicken broth and you've got a great vegan recipe as well.  You'll never miss those crackers once you enjoy a bowl of this hearty, colorful chili. 

So colorful and tasty.
You'll never miss the meat or the crackers!
Serve over basmati rice or grilled chicken breasts.
Garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken or vegetable broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a large, heavy stock pot.  Over medium-high heat, add onion.  Reduce heat to medium, cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the bell peppers and sweet potatoes and cook an additional 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook one minute more.  Add the chili powder and other seasonings.  Stir in tomatoes and broth.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook uncovered approximately 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Stir in beans and cook another 10 minutes until heated through.  Remove bay leaf.  Stir in lime juice.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.  Delicious served over rice or grilled chicken breasts. 

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 50 minutes



Monday, July 31, 2017

{Gluten Free} Peach Cobbler

On Saturday mornings at our local Farmer's Market you can find farm fresh eggs and organic meats and homemade artisan breads (if you get up early enough to get it before it runs out.) Recently they added a Tuesday evening shopping option, which is great for people that have too many Saturday activities to shop for fresh fruits and veggies.  Or in my case people who just don't want to wake up early on Saturday morning to look at okra and eggplants.  Last week Mr. Devilish Dish and I had a little date night and took an evening stroll to the Farmer's Market.  Summer at the Farmer's Market in Oklahoma means bright red home grown tomatoes, piles of watermelons, and bushels of ripe juicy peaches.  We left with two big baskets of peaches, knowing there would be a cobbler in our future.  Gluten-Free Bisquick Baking Mix is the secret to the light, fluffy crust on this cobbler.  It's the perfect golden brown, with a texture that compliments the sweet, tender peaches.  Go over the top and add a scoop of ice cream, you won't be disappointed.
Perfectly Peachy Cobbler topped with a big
scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Summer in a bowl!
Pour the batter and spread over the peaches...
Bake until golden brown

Look at the fluffy crust!

What could be better than a big bowl of
peach cobbler on a summer evening?

A big bowl of peach cobbler on a summer evening,
topped with ice cream!

You'll never know this is gluten free.
It bakes up so light and fluffy.

Gluten Free Peach Cobbler


1 stick unsalted butter
8 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
pinch cinnamon (optional)
2 cups Gluten Free Bisquick Pancake & Baking Mix
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Melt the butter in a 9x13-inch baking dish.  Pour in the sliced peaches (season with a pinch of cinnamon if you like.) Do not stir.  In a bowl combine the baking mix, sugar and milk.  Pour over peaches and spread to cover.  Bake approximately 25-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Serve with ice cream and enjoy.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 30 minutes

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dr Pepper Ice Cream

Recently Mr. Devilish and I went on a little trip to Big D. (Dallas that is.) He had business meetings at the Gaylord Texan Resort, which is entertainment in itself.  You can stay there and feel like you've visited the entire Lone Star State.  We're never ones to just stay around the hotel, (though I did spend some time at that sweet pool...) So we did a little shopping and sight-seeing too.  We went to IKEA (can you believe I've never been there???) The only thing I found I really wanted was a bag of gummy Swedish Horses (Dalas) but I didn't want to stand in line for that one small purchase.  Much to his chagrin we also hit Nebraska Furniture Mart (which is so huge is has it's own street (Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive) and if you don't know the DFW area, it could easily be mistaken for the airport it's sooooo big.  To give you an idea of the size there was a sign that said, "We have enough beds to sleep 9,452 kindergartners."  Okay no thanks.  I've been on enough field trips with Little Devil, I don't need to spend a hot Texas day where 9,452 kindergartners might be sleeping.  We finished off at the Container Store.  (I could hardly contain myself.)  And dinner at our favorite Dallas restaurant, the hidden gem: The Celebration.  We ate there on our honeymoon and it's a can't miss for us every time we are in town.  Open since 1971, Celebration restaurant features locally-sourced home style meals.  So many wonderful things on the menu, and many gluten-free with the exception of my favorite dessert.  (Banana Pudding.) I got out my phone and Googled, "ice cream near me" and found Howdy Homemade.  Amazing ice cream with an even more amazing story.  Howdy Homemade employs folks with special needs, making the whole experience phenomenal.  With flavors like Hot Tamales (candy), Big Red (Soda Pop) and Cookie Monster, (yes it was blue and yes it had eyes!!!) I couldn't even begin to choose.  I wound up selecting the Dr Pepper Ice Cream.  It was the most wonderful, rich creamy ice cream with a definite Dr Pepper flavor, accented with chocolate chips.  We talked about that ice cream the entire trip.  And let me tell you in an area like Dallas and Grapevine, Texas there is lots to eat and do and talk about.  (i.e. Grapevine Mills Mall and discount designer sunglasses...) We've been reminiscing about that ice cream all summer, determined to re-create it.  This version doesn't even begin to sniff Howdy Homemade or the precious mission behind their company, but it is a darned good homage to the original.  So until my next trip south to the Lone Star State, I'll be whipping this up in my own ice cream freezer ( and I might just be wearing those new sunglasses and some cowboy boots while I do it!)
This ice cream is bigger and better than Texas!
Cool, creamy and full of Dr Pepper flavor...

Accented with mini chocolate chips...

The perfect treat on a hot summer day.
The Dr Pepper Ice Cream from Howdy Homemade.
My version is delish, but their version is
out of this world!
My purchase from The Container Store.
Containers to contain my cupcake liners.
I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.
My version of Dr Pepper Ice Cream.
If you can't make it to the DFW area
this will definitely satisfy!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Southwestern Coleslaw


It's summertime, and in addition to participating in the Summer Edition of #FreakyFriday, it also means we are in the full swing of reunions, potlucks and backyard barbecues!  In fact, we just finished celebrating July Fourth complete with meal on our deck with lots of old friends.  I was super excited to be invited to participate in #FreakyFriday for Summer because I love finding new recipes I can use for summertime entertaining. If you aren't familiar with #FreakyFriday, each person in the group is assigned a blog to recreate a recipe from.  All of this is kept a secret and today is the day we reveal our creations.  Not only with all of you, but with each other.  It's tons of fun to see who had what blog, and what recipes were chosen.  The bonus for all of you is not only do you get a collection of new recipe ideas, you are introduced to some talented new food bloggers as well.  


For the Summer Edition of #FreakyFriday I was assigned Lisa's Dinnertime Dish.  Lisa shares my passion for instilling a love of cooking in others, and her recipes are centered around finding ways to cook affordable, healthy meals.  We can all use more of that!  While browsing through Lisa's website, I was torn between several different recipes.  The Cheesy Hashbrown Bratwurst Brunch Bake (say that 5 times fast!) was really intriguing.  I love anything with Bratwurst, and we're always on the lookout for new breakfast and brunch friendly recipes.  In addition to making the Southwestern Coleslaw, I also made Lisa's Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Cream Sauce.  This turned out to be a wonderful recipe.  Impressive enough for company, but simple enough for a weeknight meal.  And while rich, and satisfying, only 1/4 cup of cream was used, so still on the healthy side  I decided to go with the Southwestern Coleslaw as my #FreakyFriday recipe because we agreed to lean toward summer inspired recipes.  Nothing seems more summery to me than a side of cool, crisp coleslaw!
 Like myself, Lisa's family isn't crazy about mayo-based coleslaw, so Lisa created this mayo-free version with a Southwestern twist.  It's different than your basic coleslaw, so if you're looking for something new to take to your next backyard get-together, this is a must try.  It's a great combination of flavors.  There's some smokiness from the cumin, a little kick from the fresh jalapeno, and just a touch of sweetness from the honey to round it out.  Bonus, it starts with a bag of basic coleslaw mix, so the preparation is super simple. 

The addition of black beans adds some heartiness to this recipe too, while keeping it light and healthy.  Fresh tomato and cilantro round out the southwest flavor nicely, and the dressing made up of olive oil, lime juice and rice vinegar provide that tart flavor you expect in a coleslaw.  This is the ideal summer dish.  We served it alongside tacos, but it would be even better ON A TACO.  Topping a fish taco would be fabulous, but it would be equally delicious alongside your favorite burger or hot dog.  I encourage you to head over and check out Lisa's Dinnertime Dish.  She's got a wide variety of recipes, with beautifully composed pictures and simple to follow instructions.  (Many of which I will be making in the future!)  She truly does inspire folks to get in the kitchen!

Southwestern Coleslaw

By: Lisa's Dinnertime Dish

1 (14 ounce) package coleslaw mix
1 (14 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 or 4 squeezed)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients, through the jalapeno.  To make the dressing, whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, until well combined.  Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss gently to combine.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.  Enjoy!

Prep Time:  Approximately 15 minutes     Cook Time: 0

Monday, July 10, 2017

{Copycat} Baskin Robbins Daiquiri Ice {Ice Cream}

Daiquiri Ice is my all-time favorite ice cream flavor.  That pastel green one from Baskin Robbins that looks like lime sherbet only tastes 10,000 times better?  When Little Devil was little, we would head out to Baskin Robbins after supper for dessert.  She would always order strawberry.  I would always order Daiquiri Ice.  Then she would repeatedly ask my for a bite of my ice cream.  Leaving me with a dripping sticky cone of strawberry ice cream that I hated.  Finally her dad told her, "You order Daiquiri Ice.  If you order something else do not ask your mother for a bite of hers."  So she fell in love with Daiquiri Ice too.  It's been years since we've had a Baskin Robbins location in my town.  When Michaela from An Affair of the Heart posted this recipe, I was so excited.  (Coincidentally, it is Michaela's favorite too, so I knew it would as close to the real thing as it could get.)  Now we can have Daiquiri Ice whenever we want.  And I don't have to share mine with Little Devil.
I can assure you our serving sizes
were considerably larger than this photo.
It was so hard to be patient while it froze.
I love my ice cream freezer.
I keep the bowl insert in the deep freeze
so we can make this whenever we want!

My all-time favorite flavor!
What's yours? 
Let me know in the comments...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Individual 7-Layer Dips

My Devilish Nephew and his sweet wife come to visit pretty often.  Like a Mama Duck, nothing makes me happier to have all of my little ducks in a row.  I'm truly overjoyed when everyone is here.  I'm the happiest of course when everyone is here eating.  They have a pretty long drive here from Texas, and often they arrive at odd hours.  Not really a meal time, but definitely a snack time.  On their last visit, they were coming to Oklahoma to pick up their new puppy Finley.  He's an English Cream Retriever, who got to spend a few, very entertaining days with me before their arrival.  They rolled in late on a Friday evening, hungry of course.  Nothing makes a better late night snack than chip and dip.  Even better are these individual dips.  Unlike the traditional large pan of 7-Layer Dip, these were easily made ahead and the guacamole didn't turn brown and the salsa didn't get watery.  The colors were vibrant and the flavors were delicious.  I cheated and used a store bought guacamole and salsa because face it, I had better things to do.  Like snuggle with an 8-week old puppy.  A terrific snack, and still good a couple of days later.  Definitely perfect for a party or tailgate.  I will be making my 7-Layer Dip this way from now on.  More free time to play with pups!

The Party Perfect Portion
Just add tortilla chips!

A new twist on a traditional dip.

8 snacks.  7 layers.
Aren't they fun?

And isn't he fun?
Just a puppy in pajamas.
Advertising 7-Layer Dip.



Individual 7-Layer Dips


Makes 8 servings

1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning (I use gluten-free!)
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package prepared guacamole
1 (8 ounce) container prepared salsa or pico de gallo, drain the liquid out
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
8 (9 ounce) clear, disposable cocktail cups

In a small bowl, combine the refried beans and taco seasoning.  Divide evenly among the 8 cups.  Use a small spatula to spread it out.  Repeat with the sour cream, guacamole, salsa and cheese.  Finally sprinkle the top with chopped tomatoes and green onions.  Cover each with plastic wrap until ready to serve with tortilla chips.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time: 0 needs to chill


 

 



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Antipasto Skewers and Foodie Photography

A while back I was given the idea of a food photography post from a company called Light.  I was very flattered, but also a little embarrassed to tell them that I'm really not much of a photographer. I explained the challenges of taking photographs in my own kitchen, i.e. it's too dark, my space is limited, and there's even a dog underfoot.  They went on to explain that photography and cooking are very similar in that there are so many factors that contribute to creating a good final product, and they were interested in hearing how food bloggers like myself adapt their individual situations to produce good photographs.  Light is working on a food photography project, and I was invited to participate!  Thanks to their encouragement, I created these Antipasto Skewers with some straightforward photography tips in mind.  Like photography, they are simple to create, but the final product has a serious wow factor. 
A wonderful snack and appetizer.
Look at the brilliant color!
The perfect go-to snack.
Even better for the upcoming
Summer BBQs.

My kitchen walls
are black.  Lighting is a big challenge
in my kitchen.  I usually try to open curtains and
let in as much natural light as possible.
Sometimes natural light isn't enough.
I've been known to sneak the lamp from my
sewing table onto the kitchen counter, sans shade
for an additional light source.
I try to focus on the food as much as possible.
So you don't see the clutter in the background.
I may be a food photographer and blogger, but first
and foremost I'm a wife, mom and woman with
a messy kitchen just like everyone else.
So when I take a picture of my antipasto skewers...
What you don't see is the mess in the background.There's
always a Diet Coke, a dish rag and usually ingredients for
a million other things when I'm cooking.
The biggest space on my counter happens to be in front of
my display of favorite cookbooks.  I think they make a
nice colorful background for my photos so that's usually where
I place my dish and take my pictures.
I try to zoom in so you don't see that is also my catch-all
spot for recipes, my grocery list, and to-do list.

As I said, my counter space is limited.  Why? Well we have
our food sealer, food processor, toaster, three utensil holders
and two mixers out on the counter.  I guess you could say
we are true foodies around here.  Two mixers is a bit of an
extravagance, but one is for very large tasks, and the baby mixer
is my favorite for everyday cooking.
When I focus on the food you don't see all of
those appliances in the background.  All you see is the
food.  And sometimes a bit of color.  Whenever possible
I'll try to add a napkin or place mat to liven up the photo.
My counter tops are grey and when you use a white serving dish,
the photo seems washed out.
I also try to capture the food from an angle.  When I stand directly
over the dish for an "aerial view" I make a shadow and
the food just doesn't look as pretty.

Here are the skewers from the side.  You can even see
the char on the fire roasted red peppers.  See how those
cookbooks are barely in view?  It's okay because
they are out of focus.  The important part of the image
is the food.  You can even see the bits of peppercorn
in the salami.  When you see that, can't you almost
taste that salami?  Like my husband always says,
"We eat with our eyes first."
Food photography has come a long way.
Check out this 1950's meal.  They've got the whole
table in the image.  Plus that groovy plant and lots of
artwork in the background.  I'm not sure if we are supposed
to focus on the shrimp cocktail or that giant lettuce bowl.
These days the trend in food photography is to zoom in and
capture the food.  It's okay to show the crumbs on the plate
or a half-eaten cookie.  It looks so much more lifelike this way
doesn't it?
Light has the answer to every food photographer's struggle.
The Light L16 has 16 lenses that work together to produce
pictures that are worth a thousand words.
And yes, there really is a dog underfoot!
Here's Ghirardelli "Elli" for short, hoping a crumb gets dropped.
Check out the wagging tail action shot!

Antipasto Skewers


1 carton Ciliegine or Bocconcini (Mozzarella Balls), drained
1 package Italian salami
1 small jar Pepperoncini peppers, drained
1 small jar roasted red pepper pieces, drained
small skewers

Slice the salami into bite size chunks.  It the Pepperoncini peppers are large in size, cut those into bite sized pieces as well.  On each skewer place a Mozzarella ball, piece of salami, Pepperoncini pepper, and piece of roasted red pepper.  Place on platter and serve.

Other skewer ingredient possibilities:

pitted olives
pickled okra
artichoke hearts



Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time: 0


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