Foodie Blog Roll 2

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Creamy BBQ Chicken Dip

This dip is a spin off of the great Buffalo Chicken Dip. Savory. Sweet. Easy. Cheesy. Perfect for snacking. Can someone say "Super Bowl snack?"

Creamy BBQ Chicken Dip

I would call this dip buffalo dip's little brother. It's not spicy like the buffalo dip and it's slightly sweet. I wasn't sure how the cheese would taste with the flavor of the barbecue sauce but it is really great. I mean, what's not to love? Cheese, bbq sauce, ranch, yeah. I used a new bbq sauce and it's really awesome. It's Jack Daniel's Steakhouse Barbecue Sauce.

Creamy BBQ Chicken Dip
adapted from buffalo chicken dip
     serves 8
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 C Jack Daniel's Steakhouse Barbecue Sauce
1/4 C fat free ranch
8 oz fat free cream cheese 
2 C reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, ranch and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in shredded chicken. Mix in 1 cup of shredded cheese and pour into a 9X13 pan.

Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining cup of cheese.

Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Pile your plate high and scoop it up with chips and pretzels.
Oh yea, if you are wondering if I really do eat dips with pretzels, well, yes. Yes, I do. Don't believe me? Click here to see. Or here. Also, did you notice that this recipe only has 5 ingredients? It's quick and easy and perfect for game day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Banana Oat Clusters

Many of you are probably unaware that before I started this blog I actually had another one. It was just about the happenings of my newlywed life with Chris and other randomness. The problem was that I kept blogging about food and what was going on in the kitchen. Every once in a while I go back to it and look through some of the great recipes on there. These "cookies" were blogged on there almost two years ago. I though I would share them with you on here. They are that awesome.

Banana Oat Clusters

Why are they so awesome? Because they have no added sugar {the chocolate chips can be left out}, no butter, no eggs, no flour, and they are full of fiber. The texture is a cross between an oatmeal cookie and banana bread.

Banana Oat Clusters
     makes 16-20
3 well ripened bananas
2 T vanilla extract
1/4 C olive oil
2 C rolled oats
1/3 C wheat germ
2/3 C finely chopped almonds
1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1 T ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 C semi sweet chocolate chips {optional}

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork and mix in the vanilla and oil. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, wheat germ, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be crumbly  Roll into small balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 16 minutes, or until slightly brown and firm. Make sure not to under bake or they will fall apart. Store extras in the fridge.

These slightly sweet clusters would also be great for breakfast! You could always omit the chocolate chips, or switch them for carob chips or chopped, dried fruit.

Looking for another awesome, healthy oat recipe? Try these delicious, Almond and Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Friday, January 27, 2012

Goat Cheese Panini with Cooked Pears and Honey

I have a slight obsession with goat cheese. And pinterest. So when I saw this beautiful grilled goat cheese sandwich with figs and honey on pinterest a few days ago, I knew I had to recreate it. The sandwich was featured on Serious Eats website and is a Cooking Light recipe.

Goat Cheese Panini with Cooked Pears and Honey

The flavors of this sandwich remind me of the pear, walnut and goat cheese stuffed endives appetizer I made a while back. 

This is a simple sandwich to make and there are only a few ingredients.

Goat Cheese Panini with Cooked Pears and Honey
      makes 2 sandwiches
1 bosc pear
1 lemon
1-2 T water
Ground cinnamon
2 oz goat cheese
2 tsp pure honey
4 slices whole wheat bread
Cooking spray
Preheat a skillet to medium heat. Slice the pear very thin and place in the skillet. Squeeze juice from half of the lemon over the pear slices and liberally sprinkle with cinnamon. 

Add a tablespoon of water at a time and bring up to a low boil. Flip pears over and continue to cook, adding more cinnamon if desired. 

Cook until slightly tender and until the flesh of the pears are slightly browned. Remove from heat. 

Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese and honey in a small dish.

Mix them together.

Spread the goat cheese mixture on one slice of bread and top with half of the cooked pears. 

Put second slice of bread on top and spray with cook spray. Repeat with second sandwich. Once loaded up, place the sandwiches on the panini maker or in a heated skillet. 

Cook  for about 5 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. 

The cinnamon and lemon juice give the pears such a wonderful flavor and tang of the goat cheese is so delicious with this sweet sandwich.

For another grilled sandwich idea, try this grilled peanut butter and honey sandwich.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken

Wow, the last three weeks have been crazy! That's right, we have officially been in Kansas City for three weeks. In case you missed the lats post, we are currently living with my sister-in-law, Jordan. I have done a little cooking in her apartment, but not much. It started bothering me so I came up with an "excuse" to cook. Here goes.

Jordan is in Occupational Therapy school at KU Med, and she and I were talking last week about cold things that she could take with her to campus for lunch. She said she didn't really like to take things that needed to be heated up because the lines for the microwaves are so long. I was telling her about the pasta salad kits with the noodles and the spice packets that you throw together, add some dressing and refrigerate. Then I thought, "Duh, let's make our own!"

Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken

I decided to do pesto instead of an Italian dressing or Greek dressing, but both of those would be excellent in a homemade pasta salad.
Now, normally, I would use a food processor to whirl the pesto all together, but since I am in apartment living mode, I used Jordan's Magic Bullet. A blender would also work. Also, I used my new panini maker to cook the chicken, but grilled chicken or skillet cooked chicken would also be great.

For the pasta, I used whole wheat rotini noodles.

Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken
     serves 6
1 C fresh basil leaves
1 1/4 C fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 C toasted pine nuts
3 coves of garlic
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Zest from 1 lemon
1/2 C light olive oil
12 oz whole wheat rotini noodles
1 large chicken breast (or 2 small)

Pulse the basil, spinach, pine nuts and garlic in the food processor, magic bullet or blender. Add the remaining ingredients, drizzle in the oil and blend until smooth.
Meanwhile, boil water in a large pot, add the noodles and cook until al dente. When the noodles are done, strain them and rinse in cold water.

While the noodles are cooking, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and place on the grill/maker. 

Cook until done or the juices run clear. 

Move the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for about 5 minutes. 
Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and pour the pesto over the top.

Mix the pesto and pasta together. Once the chicken has cooled, cut into chunks and pour over the pasta.

Mix the chicken into the pasta and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until chilled all the way through. 

Boo-ya! I cooked! :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Kansas City - The Big Move

I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come
I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come
They got a crazy way of loving there
And I'm gonna get me some.

Blog family, have you wondered where I've been the past 2 weeks? I'll give you a hint. I haven't been cooking and I haven't been blogging. I've been......MOVING! Chris and I have finally made the move from Birmingham to Kansas City! We are both from the Midwest and have been eager to get back to our roots.We got here earlier in the week and have been exploring already! For the time being, we are living with my sister-in-law, Jordan, and she is showing us the ropes. The one sad thing is that my whole kitchen is packed away in storage. ALL OF IT! So my cooking and blogging will be very minimal for a while. That being said, we had such a wonderful time in Birmingham and I just wanted to reflect on that for a bit.

A few weeks ago, when I was making the practice Memory Bread for Christmas, I got kind of sentimental during the process. I knew it was going to be my last thing to make in my Birmingham kitchen and that made me really sad. You see, that is where I STARTED cooking, because before we got married I never cooked. Like, not at all. So, after the bread was baked and cooled, Chris came into the kitchen and we each had a piece and started talking about the great times we had shared there. It was kind of like our own Memory Bread. After that, we stood up and with a shaky voice I said, "Well, I guess it's time to pack up the kitchen," only part way through that little sentence, I burst into tears. Brooks and Dunn were wrong. Cowgirls DO cry. I know there are many great times ahead of us in Kansas, but we made some unbelievable friends in Alabama and that is what I will miss more than anything.

The past few weeks I have been looking back at lots of photos from our days in Birmingham {and I do mean lots} and one thing I realized was we were there during such a fun part in life. We were able to be a part of and attend several of our friends' weddings. Call me sentimental, but I love weddings!

Then there are all the great girlfriends that I've made and roommates that I've had. {Oh yeah, I used to be blonde.}


Last but not least were just the great hang out times with good pals: the Halloweens and New Years, the trips to Nashville and the beach, the supper clubs, pool days and church small groups.

The friends and memories we made are irreplaceable and will always have a special place in my heart! Sweet home Alabama, you will be greatly missed!

So bare with me, everyone. I will try and post every once in a while, but it will be a little slow for now. I appreciate you all being patient with me and for joining me in this new journey! Hopefully we will find a house soon so that I can start flooding you with new scrumptious recipes again. :) XOXO

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