Sunday, December 10, 2017

Spiced Nut & Pretzel Mix


I think everyone who likes to host get togethers should have an arsenal of go to noshes that you can throw together in a flash!
This would be one of them, or a variation of a "Chex Mix".
It is an over all loved treat.
Let's be honest sometimes you just have to many things going on and you don't want to spend hours in the kitchen.  
This takes no time at all!


What you need:
4 cups nuts of your choice
2 cups pretzels
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar




How to make it:
Roast your nuts for 10 minutes, on the middle shelf in your oven
While your nuts are roasting, melt the butter and mix with seasonings
When the time goes off mix in the 2 cups of pretzels with the nuts
Pour on the butter mixture and stir in
Sprinkle 1 more tablespoon of rosemary and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar on top
Bake for 15 more minutes at 350
Keep an eye on them , mine got a little over cooked

Great for the holidays - hope you enjoy!


Friday, December 1, 2017

Kimcheeze-it's


Say what????!!!!  Kimchi + Cheese = Kimcheeze-it's.
Another great cookbook find.  I have been on a kick (finally) to cook out of my cookbooks.
Are you like me, I have tons of cookbooks, cooking magazines, Pinterest folders filled with yummy stuff, I check out books from libraries, follow people's blogs, Instagrams.  Obsessed!  Oh and my camera is filled with pictures I take of recipes to make later.
I need to stick with it and try new things.
This homemade cracker is from the book Milk Bar Life, this cookbook is cooky fun.
I was a little leary on making this treat, the combination of flavors just threw me off.  But, surprisingly it really works!
And I got to use my home made "from the garden"  Kimchi that I fermented last year!
Speaking of fermenting.  Hubs and I are going to take a class on it this winter, who am I ????
But, you can find kimchi in most grocery stores now.

I have a few other cracker recipes if you're not into these. Check them out here Angie's Appetizers
*Rosemary Cheddar Cracker
*Auntie Margaret's Cheese Crackers 
*Anything Bagel Crackers 

What you need:
1 cup kimchi, drained
12oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cheddar powder (I omitted this)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

How to make them:
I measured the kimchi before draining.  I used a thin kitchen towel, placed kimchi in it and squeezed out as much juice as I could.
Heat your oven to 325 (the cookbook says 250)
I like to buy block cheese and shred it myself
Add kimchi and cheese to a food processor get that blended well, start adding in flour, seasoning and cheese powder if you use it.  What is cheese powder???  I'm thinking the packets in mac and cheese boxes?  I'm not sure about that one.
Work that in food processor for a few minutes, it's going to look sandy don't worry.
Take ingredients out kneed for a minute then shape into a ball.
Using two sheets of parchment paper place ball of cheese goodness in between, and roll out try to get pretty thin.  refer to my photos.



Using a pizza cutter or paring knife cut into bite size pieces.

Place on a non stick baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Let them cool & ENJOY!



They a a zingy flavor - pretty addictive!
The book pairs it with a homemade blue cheese dip, I did not care for it.  But, I will share it below.

*Blue Cheese Dip
2Tbs dried chives
2 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs kosher salt
2tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp dried dill
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1Tbs white vinegar
1/4 lb good blue cheese, crumbled
Mix and chill for 3 hours (keeps for a week)





Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jalapeno Popper Cups


What do you do with leftover wonton wrappers?  Why make Jalapeno Popper Cups! 
I can think of several different ways to make a popper right off the top of my head, pull apart Jalapeno Popper Bread, Jalapeno Popper chicken bake, jalapeno popper stuffed mushrooms... The ideas are endless in this overactive food loving brain of mine!
Well it's football season and I love coming up with new ideas for the boys to eat while watching the game, ok I may try a little too.
This one was a hit with the hubster.  Hope you try them out!

What you need:
4oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 slices of bacon, crumbled
2 heaping Tablespoons jalapeno, diced (I used candied jalapenos, but you can use fresh peppers)
16 wonton wrappers


How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Spray the muffin tin with a non stick spray - or don't you're the one who has to clean it ;)



Place wonton wrappers in each cup
Bake for 7 minutes
While the cups are baking mix all your ingredients together well.



Fill the wonton cups with the cheese mixture.



Pop those into the oven and bake for 14 minutes
Let them cool a couple minutes before serving



Enjoy!

*candied jalapeno recipe I got out of this fantastic cookbook Not Your Mama's Canning Book
But you can find similar recipes on Pintrest

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Goat Cheese Pistachio Balls


What a simple, simple appetizer bite!
Absolutely perfect for those upcoming holiday parties!
This one is going to be short and sweet, I think I'm going to make a bunch of these for hubbie to bring to his employees for holiday gnashing.  Those guys are spoiled and I've never even met them LOL.
I just like to share :)
They asked for treat every Thursday's, hahaha pushing it fellas! ;)



What you need:
1 log of goat cheese
1/4 cup honey (try to use local)
6 dates, pittted
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

How to make them:
I'm serious SO easy!
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor, excluding nuts.  Get that all combined well.
Remove and with your clean hands shape into little 1in. (or so) balls.
Roll the balls into the pretty green pistachios, place on a plate to chill.

*serve with a thin pretzel in them for picking up or with crackers

Your guests and you will love them.  And I'm going to bet you can freeze these ahead of time!




*I think I picked up this idea on Pintrest not sure
*ALSO Thanks to my beautiful sister for taking these great photos!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Cauliflower Rice Taco Bake

Not to toot my own horn but, damn this stuff is good!
There is all this hype about cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower, I'm just getting around to trying it out and it's really good! 
I have a few different recipes Pinned I want to try with the rice.
This is more of a side dish rather than an appetizer.  But you can for sure dip tortilla chips in it!

What you need:
12oz bag frozen cauliflower rice
6oz hamburger
1oz packet taco seasoning, using only 1/2
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese
*toppings, avocado, black olives, jalapeno, cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce, whatever you like ! 


How to make it:
Do you not just love veggies that come in a steam bag!?  Pop that sucker into the microwave boom done in 4 minutes.
Brown that hamburger add in onions, toss in taco seasoning.  I used a cast iron skillet, you can just use a frying pan if you don't have a skillet.
Stir, stir, stir, is it cooked?  Ok get those chopped tomatoes in.  Cook for a few more minutes.
Mix in cauliflower rice, top with cheese. 
Let the cheese melt (if your pan is oven proof - broil in oven), now it's time to scoop some up and start your toppings!

Hope you love it! 

* this was a hard one to get a good photo of - your going to have to use your imagination - sorry! 







Saturday, November 4, 2017

Door County Fall 2017

I don't even know, ummm I think this is our 5th fall trip to Door County?
We so look forward to it.  It is the only vacation my husband and I take alone, a little bonding time.
My kids would be like eeewww gross!!!!

We hit up a couple new stops on this trip & then there are the "have to" stops that I'm going to share with you.  Pretty much all 2 thumbs up from us.

This year we went a little later in the season.  The cottage we stay in, is in Sturgeon Bay.  That is located at the bottom of Door County.  The colors were just about wrapping it up and getting ready for the snow fall.

But once we drove up the peninsula the colors were poppin'!

I know that writing this is going to make me hungry & I already can't wait to go back next year! So let's jump into it!

Kitty O'Reilly's, this Irish girl likey's!  We have never had any bad food or drink there.
This visit we shared the Pile-O-Gold-Nachos, I didn't add any meat to it. Not sure why :)  They were so messy good!
(I told you we made a mess of those nachos!)

Seaquist Orchards
Great spot, another have to visit on our list.  Tons of samples, wonderful fresh baked goods.  Plenty of treats to buy and bring home as gifts or for yourself!



Much more than just food here, clothing, decorations, candles.  And a great big winter wonderland area!
A few play areas for children indoors and out. A super fun rope maze in the forest!



This year we picked up a nut covered caramel apple, super yummy!


Across the highway is a new cheese shop,  Door Artisan Cheese Company. Very nice building, I believe they also have a restaurant.  Friendly people working here.  Not much for samples.  No activity in the cheese making area.



They seem to have more of other company cheeses rather than their own but, I'm guessing that is because they are fairly new.  I hear they have a cheese cave!  



Bea's Ho-Made Products, yup you read that right.  The sign will catch your eye and draw you in :)
When you walk in you're hit by a great smell of homemade pickles.  Like many of the other shops in the area, lots of local treats and gifts.


You can see them canning away behind the cashier's desk.  Busy Bee's!

One of our new favorites is Edgewood Orchard Gallery.



We stumbled across this place last year.
The artwork here is fantastic.  But, our favorite part is walking through the forest and admiring all of the sculptures.



Even if you're not a big art lover, I'm sure you will appreciate this place.


A new place for us is Renards Cheese.  But, we like to say it like you would say "Menards"!  I know we are dorks.

(not my photo)

You guessed it cheese, cheese and more cheese!  Free tastings.  There is seating outside and a little kitchen where you can order cheesey foods, yum!



I think my and probably the hubby's favorite thing to eat when we visit Door County, you will find at the tip of the peninsula in Gills Rock. Shoreline Restaurant.
We die over the white fish dip!  If they ever take that off the menu, I will cry!
No actually if you want to try it first go there but if you can't I have a pretty close copy cat recipe you can try :)  Angie's Whitefish Dip.


(not my photo)

Ok back to cheese!  Our favorite cheese shop in Door County is Wisconsin Cheese Masters.  Everyday they have 3 special cheese samples that they let you try while giving you information about each.  Once you're done with that you can request any samples in the cheese case.
We ALWAYS buy cheese here!
Right next door in a wine shop, Harbor Ridge Winery. Fancy that!  Free tasting, but please tip them.  We usually pick up wine for gifts to bring back.

Let's stick to talking about the booze shall we.

A new stop for us would be Red Oak Winery.  Everytime we come into town we drive but this place never stopping by.  This year we decided to give it a go.
I myself am not a wine drinker, husband used to be.  But what the heck let's have a little fun.
The inside is much nicer than I was thinking it was going to be.  The outside sorta looks like a cold warehouse to me.

But, it was very inviting, lovely wood bars.  A back room with plenty of seating and barrels surrounding the entertainment station, yup they have music!


I bet you could have a real good time here!
We did a little sampling, I believe it was 5 for $5 and very generous pours.
*ps after this wine tasting I thought I was having a hot flash, had to roll my window down in the truck! hahaha wine went straight to my head.

Next on our self guided booze tour would be, Door County Distillery, again not a big booze lover maybe just once in a blue moon.


 But this is straight up my hubby's alley!  I agree to play along.
You can order a flight of samples.  Or maybe you would like a cocktail.  Also, they serve a few food items.


This is a big building with other things happening.  Food samples, wine tasting & gifts.
You find that a lot in Door County.
I have to say over the years this is the busiest of places, I've never been able to get close enough to trying any wine.  And the vultures hover over those free food samples like they have never eaten before!
Seriously I was telling my husband, if you want to be cheap. You can just drive the peninsula and stop in for free samples all day & not have to pay for a meal!

Another new place for us to try (and I think they are new) is Crate.  A fantastic sushi place.
We ordered 3 rolls to share.  They were so delicious and fresh.



Great beer and drink menu.  Service was excellent.  As so was the price.



Sonny's, I've always wanted to stop in here and this year we did.  It's right on the water. I was thinking it was a hot spot but, it was very quiet when we were there.
I'm guessing they are pretty busy in the warmer months.
It's a pizza place.  Gotta say, I'm not a fan.  Also not a great beer selection and my beer was flat.  Bummer. 

We do, do other things while there.  We walk the shore the lake is right at our front door. 

There is also a back road we like to walk and look at all the cool houses and beautiful fall colors, then make our way to the lighthouse for our annual photo.


There is a wood burning fireplace, that is always being stoked.  I love to cook us a few good meals.  We read, read and read!  Then usually wrap up the evening with drinks by the fire while watching a movie.
Oh and if I'm lucky I can sweet talk him into playing Scrabble with me.

Always a good time. 
Until next year! 




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stillwater 21st Birthday Extravaganza

Let's talk about a little adventure I had this weekend for my sweet, kind, unbelievable adorable first niece Mallory a.k.a Mal.
It was going to be a quaint little party of four Mallory, her Mom Amy my sister, my daughter Samantha a.k.a Sam, and myself.
Well that Sam ended up sick, so down to three.
Amy (my sister) rented a limo from a Groupon, she kept referring it to Craigslist ( I wouldn't get on that limo!).
Ok we are on our way to pick up the limo, my wonderful husband drives us to a mall where we are to meet the limo, no specific address, so we drive and drive to find it, we drive by a bus, pretty scary looking, black tinted out windows, skinny little tires, some strange emblem on the side of the bus, we all say  "Lord I hope that's not what they call a limo"!!
Somehow after questioning if that was it, we see people loading up into the contraption, my brave sister walks over there peeks her head in.
The young woman said to her with fear in her eyes, yes this is the "limo".  My sister describes is as basicly cheap, tinsel, a mannequin head and blacked out.
A. this is not a limo B. not private C. Scary AF!
Someone was in the bus checking people in, no sign to indicate that this is it.

This woman never to be seen again.  kidding

We had a group huddle about it, decided we would NIX this idea and head to Stillwater - a sure good time!
If you follow my blog, you know that I know Stillwater pretty well.
So I am the tour guide of the day (kinda sorta)!
We get there get dropped of at the edge of town after driving over the new bridge for the heck of it. Twice!  I have a fear of heights but managed to keep my eyes open the second time over & it was a beautiful fall filled sight.



First we did a quick walk through of the Fall Festival that coincidentally was going on. Tents set up with things for sale, drinks, food and music.
There was a pumpkin race but we could not get a view of it, to crowded.

Not my photo - but isn't this the craziest thing ?!  HAHAHA!

Made our way over to a cool looking building Tin Bin's  for a cup of java - the girls had spiked coffees, I tried a sip of each, very good.

(not my photo)

Really a cute place, they were pretty busy but, we did manage to find a spot to sit.
They also have food if you're hungry :)
Here's my pretty niece (hope she doesn't kill me for sharing her pic)!


Not in any special order but, here are some great spots we hit up!

Maple Island Brewing - we stopped here twice hahaha!  Great venue, outdoor seating great view of the lake.
Good Beer, we shared a couple flights so we could try each beer, they also have root beer and sell growlers.
There was a band and the rental room above was hosting a wedding reception, we witnessed the first dance - that's when you all say AAAHHHHHH.......


Right next door is a Northern Vineyard Winery. The ladies did a tasting, I'm pretty sure there was rooftop seating here. The women who were working there were very friendly and informative.  


Stopped in at Wedge and Wheel, one of my favorite stops in Stillwater - wine & cheese!  


Fantastic cheeses, paired with meat, nuts, warm bread and those yummy little French pickles Cornichons. This was a chef's choice pairing. 

The Tilted Tiki - such a cute place!  They too have a patio and a special little seating area, it looked to be inside and outside, reminded me of the Golden Girls veranda LOL  
The Tilted Tiki has a very large specialty drink menu they were SO pretty!  


We shared a plate of fried rice, it was one of the appetizers offered - kinda strange to be an appetizer if you ask me, but it was good.


A few spots we wanted to get to but did not have enough time would be Nacho Mamas, they have the best street corn actually everything we have had there is very good & affordable!
My sister says she makes the best street corn.  But, I have yet to try it HINT HINT Amy!  

Lion's Tavern, they have a great patio.  

I always wanted to go to Luna Rossa wine cave tour, while there we thought it was just under construction.  Seems to be permanently closed according to the web.

It wasn't all drinking we did do a little shopping antique shops and cooking stores.

Overall a pretty great day - Happy 21st Birthday Mal - Love ya!  











Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mediterranean Dip



I love love love Greek/Mediterranean food!
We don't go out to eat it much so I'm always recreating dishes at home.
Tzatziki, Gyros, hummus and now this fantastic dip!
Great refreshing flavors, and easy to make always a bonus!
Hope you like it :)




What you need:
4oz cream cheese, softened
6oz feta, crumbled (I found a Mediterranean seasoned feta @ Trader Joe's)
2 scallions, chopped
4 leaves basil, chopped
6 ex-large kalamata olives, chopped
4 chives, chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons, sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
3 Tablespoons cucumber, chopped
1 teaspoon, honey

How to make it:



Look who went to Trader Joe's :)
Make sure your cream cheese is softened or room temperature, easier to work with.
In a bowl mix the cream cheese with feta cheese, use the back of a spoon to break down feta or simply mix it with spoon.
Chop the remaining ingredients and stir into cheese mixture.


Be Careful chopping that jalapeno, I am very sensitive to them and boy it hurts!
If I'm working with a lot of jalapenos I wear gloves but in this case I just was chopping the one.
I found this cool tool, Target I think.  It just scoops those nasty seeds out! 




Next add a teaspoon of honey, combine well.

Now it's time to dig in!



Serve with pita chips or sliced cucumbers
It's deliciously light and fresh!


*I adapted this from The Mediterranean Dish 





Friday, October 13, 2017

Bar 209



Don't let the outside scare you away, I thought at night it looked pretty shady, we had our 14 year old with us, lots of smokers hanging outside the door.
But I'm so glad we went in!
You're greeted by a monstrous buffalo head on the wall, wouldn't want to run into him!


Seat your self, it was hoppin we sat at the bar.
Absolutely excellent service! Total team work vib.
You can see into the kitchen, watch them work their magic.
Food & prices were excellent! Beer selection awesome.
We shared this amazing dip - ugh wish I got a better photo for you :(

This is the Sante Fe Cheese Dip - Roasted chicken, pepper jack cheese, fontina, poblano peppers, sour cream, cream cheese, jalapenos, black beans & tortilla chips- they topped it with guacamole.
Really Really good!


We shared the B Squared - a burger encrusted with blue cheese, prosciutto, bacon & finished with roasted garlic balsamic aioli. On the side beer battered onion rings.
Just - WOW!  


Awesome menu, made it hard to choose!!!


The selection of beers were awesome!
Happy Hour 4-6PM & 10-11 PM - 2 for 1s | Half Priced APPETIZERS
Happy hour 4- 6 & 10 -11, 2 for 1  &  Half priced appetizers

So if you're ever in the area of Bemidji, MN - swing on in!  

*Forgive the terrible photos, it was dark, and the bar lights......