Tuesday, December 31, 2013

French Onion Dip

I may never go back to the Lipton Onion Soup Mix to make my French onion potato chip dip!
Happy New Years Eve!
And what do you think I'm serving tonight?  You guessed it a big spread of appetizers!
I just finished up this fantastic dip, that is in the fridge chilling right now.
But before I put it in the fridge hubbie and I tried a few chips dipped in this nummy dip.
It was very good!!!

Here is what you will need:
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 large sweet yellow onions
A good dash of salt and pepper
1 Teaspoon sugar
1/4 Teaspoon of dried Thyme
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup beef broth
8 oz sour cream
8 oz softened cream cheese

How to make it:
Chop your onions, get them pretty small!

Melt your butter in a skittle add olive oil, salt, pepper,garlic, dried Thyme, sugar and beef broth.
Bring to a boil
Turn down on low and cook for 45 minutes, until tender and brown

Remove from heat and let cool
Once cooled mix onion with sour cream and cream cheese

Place in the fridge to cool

Serve with Potato chips

*Tip - put your onions in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting, you won't cry!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Reuben Dip

One of my favorite sandwiches to get when we go to an Irish restaurant is a Reuben Sandwich.
Here is a dip that imitates the sandwich!
I served this dip on Christmas Day, my daughter loved it, thumbs up on that cause shes a picky one!

This is what you will need:
8 oz softened cream cheese
8 oz of shredded Swiss cheese
8 oz of chopped corned beef, I used Budding sandwich meat
1/2 cup of Thousand Island salad dressing
1/2 cup drained sauerkraut

How to make it - so easy!
Mix everything together in a bowl
Place into a greased or non stick baking dish, I used a small cast iron skillet for show ( Santa got it for me! It's red, I love it!!!!)

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
Serve with toasted cocktail bread squares, we also used Triskets for dipping


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Caramelized Onion, Gruyere and Bacon Spread

This dip I recently brought to my sisters on Christmas Eve, it was gobbled up in a flash!
It has a rich flavor, it's the delicious Gruyere cheese that gives it the richness.  It's very good!

What you will need is:
8 oz shredded Gruyere cheese
2 large yellow onions chopped
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
6 oz real bacon bits, I used 2 3 oz jars of Hormel's real bacon bits
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil to cook onions

How to make it:
Cook the chopped onions in the olive oil until translucent 20 - 30 minutes
Add all the reaming ingredients to the pan of onions, mix well cook for 5 minutes
Transfer to a baking dish
Make sure you grease your baking dish or use a nonstick pan.
Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
Serve with toasted baguette slices and crackers


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Artichoke Mixture

So I was watching one of our favorite cooking shows Diners Drive-ins and Dives.
There was a piece on a restaurant called  Tin Shed a Garden Cafe in Portland, OR. where the chef was making basically an artichoke dip sandwich!
I was drooling watching this!!!  I have not made it yet but you can not go wrong with the ingredient and Guy Loved it!  Hello gotta be good!!!

So here is what you will need to make what I'm going to call an appetizer sandwich:
5 Cups of Mayo
3 Cups of Grated Parmesan
3/4 Cup of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
3 Teaspoons of black pepper
2 Teaspoons of sugar
1 Teaspoon of kosher salt
2 cans of artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
* Large amount I know it,  but they must be telling us how much she makes at one time for serving the restaurant??

Basically mix it all and what she did next was just nuts!
She fried it on the griddle!!
Then she placed it in between a crusty baguette slices
Can't wait to make this!

I don't have a picture sorry!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cheese Platter

I was reading Trader Joe's website and there is a bit on there called How to Avoid An Abominable Cheese Platter (scary pic of the Abominable snow man!)
One of the winners is this beauty pictured below
Tell me this doesn't make your mouth water!!!

We will be having people over to the house soon and I thought how fun would this be to put out for our guests at the together!
You can pick up all these items at Trader Joe's!

Also while I was there I picked up cashews to make my Rosemary Cashews for little Christmas gifts for a few people. 
And also I will be making for our party, are these nummy  Goat Cheese Bite's!

Hope your starting to enjoy holiday get togethers too!


Monday, December 9, 2013

Four Cheese Hot Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Today I'm sharing a fantastic hot dip that one of my favorite bloggers has written.
Kevin has a website named Closet Cooking because he says he cooks in a closet sized kitchen.
This guy has an ample amount of delicious recipes, he's so creative!
You for sure need to check him out.

What you will need for Kevin's Four Cheese Hot Roasted Red Pepper Dip is:
2 roasted red peppers, diced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup manchego, shredded cheese
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, shredded cheese
1 cup mozzerella, shredded cheese
pepper to taste

How to make this awesome dip:
Mix everything, place in baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown on top and bubbling on the sides about 20-30 minutes


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Spicy Velveeta Hamburger Dip

Kraft sent out an email recently packed full of new holiday foods.
In that email there was lots of dips!  Yipee!
I found a real simple one, looking at the picture it makes my mouth just water!

What you need is:
1 Lb.Velveeta, cut into cubes
1 Can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained
1 Cup Kraft shredded low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese (I'm gonna use full flavor cheese :)
1/2 Lb ground beef, cooked, drained 
Green onions, sliced

How to make this:
Combine all ingredients except onions in a microwaveable bowl
Microwave on high for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Mix well
Stir in your onions
Serve with crackers or tortilla chips

*Make it your own, add ingredients in there that you think will kick it up a notch! 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gorgonzola, Fig and Walnut Tartlets

I have so many Pillsbury products at my house right now, I went a little crazy with the coupons the other week.
I strive to be one of those Extreme Couponers but, I don't think I will be as good as them!
So I looked up on the Pillsbury web-site holiday appetizers and found this mouth watering treat!

What you will need is:
1 Box of Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on the box
6 dried figs or pitted dates, well chopped
1 Tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/8 to 1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup chopped walnuts
1/2 Cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (2 oz)
1 Tablespoon honey

How to make it:
Preheat your over to 450 degrees.
Unroll your pie crust
Use a 2 inch cookie cutter, cut 24 rounds from the pie crust, re-roll crust scraps if necessary.
Gently press 1 round in a bottom and up side of each of 24 ungreased mini muffin cups
In a small bowl mix the figs, sugar, cinnamon and walnuts.
Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the mixture in each cup.
Break up any larger pieces of cheese (don't ask me why, I LOVE big chunks of cheese!)
Top each tartlet with slightly less than 1 teaspoon of cheese
Bake for 11 minutes
Remove from oven place onto your serving plate then drizzle with honey.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Pepperoni Bread

One year my Uncle Kenny brought this fantastic bread to Christmas at my house.  He brought two loaves and good thing too because my youngest discovered it early in the evening and I swear he ate one whole loaf!

What you will need is:
1 loaf of frozen bread dough, thawed
1 Egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
2 Teaspoons oregano
2 Teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cup  shredded mozzarella cheese
4 Oz sliced pepperoni

How to make this Nummy bread:
Make sure that you read the packaging on your frozen bread loaf, what I have done is placed my loaf in a baking dish lightly spread olive oil over the bread, place a clean kitchen towel over the pan and let it rise over night.
When your bread has risen you will want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Flour your work space and rolling pin, next roll out your thawed bread try to get it 12x12 inches or as large as you can without it being torn or to thin.
Now brush the dough with the oil, sprinkle with the seasonings.
Next sprinkle with cheese's and then the pepperonis.
Roll your pepperoni bread as tight as you can until the ends meet now pinch the end shut so there is a seal.
Brush the edges with egg to make a good seal.
Place on a baking sheet, bake for 40 minutes.
Cut into 2 inch slices
You may want to dip Pepperonis into a marinara sauce.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Northbound Smokehouse Brew Pub

Took a break from cooking dinner one night and went on a date with the husband.
We went to a super awesome place called Northbound Smokehouse Brew Pub.  One of my old co workers told me of this place it's in her Minneapolis neighborhood.
We have been here a couple times now and really like it!
Hello, how can you not!  They smoke their own meat, brew their own beer and sell locally brewed beer.
 My favorite being the Lightrail Pale Ale, or the Liftbridge Farm Girl (love the fun names).
Now for my favorite item on the menu that would be the Smoked Beef Sandwich, in that lovely sandwich is an in-house smoked roast beef, shaved - NUM!  Topped with a smoked Gouda, sauteed mushrooms, onions and horseradish mayo served on a egg bun.
 You HAVE to add their smoked hand cut thick bacon to that too!  SO GOOD!  My husband ordered the same thing :)
In the warmer months there is outdoor seating.  Every time I have been there, there is a wait, and not to much room for standing, maybe you can squeeze in at the bar, but its well worth the wait!
So, I would totally recommend this super delicious neighborhood restaurant.

*Also not to take away from this review,  there is another smokehouse right down the road from Northbound Smokehouse that I hear gets great reviews, it's called Ted Cooks 19th Hole BBQ we have not been yet but it is on our list of places to try.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Olive Bruschetta

MMMMMMM......  Bruschetta, there are so many variations you can create and top onto a simple crunchy piece of baked baguette.

What you will need for this one is:
Green olives
Kalamata olives
6 Basil leaves
Garlic cloves
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

How to make this:
Chop your baguette into about 20-25 pieces, lay out onto a baking sheet brush with olive oil, pop into a preheated oven 350 for 5-7 minutes.
Chop your olives and add to a bowl.
Thinly slice your basil leaves add to the bowl.
Finley chop the garlic and scallions add to the bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese to the bowl and toss.
Divide mixture evenly among the baguettes, sprinkle with more olive oil and serve.

Hope you like them!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Veggi Pizza Dip

What you need:
1 Package of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup pizza sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1/3 Chopped green peppers
1/3 cup drained and finely chopped canned mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup Kraft Three cheese Italian shredded cheese
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil

How to make them:
Heat your oven to 350 degrees
Mix cream cheese, pizza sauce and garlic.
Spread into the bottom of a 9 inch pie place, top with the next 5 ingredients.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes
Top with the basil
Serve with the crackers, enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chicken Marsala Stuffed Mushrooms

What you need:
20 fresh mushrooms, washed and stims removed (save those stims use them in a spaghetti sauce!)
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onions
2 Tablespoons chopped onions
2 Tablespoons of melted butter
14 Ritz crackers, crushed about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup finely chopped, cooked chicken
2 Tablespoons Kraft shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons Marsala wine
1/2 Teaspoon Italian seasoning

How to make it:
Heat your oven to 400 degrees
Cook the onions in a butter skillet for 3 minutes remove from heat.
Stir in cracker crumbs, chicken and 1 Tablespoon of Parmesan, wine and seasoning.
Spoon into mushroom caps, place on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
Bake 15 minutes

Your gonna love these!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Curried Walnuts

Around the holidays a quick at hand appetizer is good to have when you have people dropping by unexpectedly.
Something you can throw together quickly, and this falls into that category.

What you will need is:
2 cups walnuts
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 Teaspoon curry powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon butter

How to make them:
Microwave the nuts for 5 minutes stiring once half way through.
Stir in a bowl 1 Tablespoon of sugar with the curry and salt.
Combine vegetable oil and butter with 1 teaspoon of sugar in a saucepan.
Heat over medium heat whisk constantly until butter melts.
Add nuts, cook for 2 minutes.
Let the nuts cool 10 minutes before serving.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets

This cutie is like spinach dip in a cup!  Skip the dipping and crackers, these super good and a great finger food!

What you need:
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil, for brushing
1 Large shallot, minced
1 Clove minced garlic
1 Teaspoon flour
A pinch of grated nutmeg
1/4 cup milk
3 1/2 oz finely grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 Large eggs, seperated
1 10oz box  frozen spinach, of thawed and drained
Chopped chives

How to make them:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Melt one tablespoon butter.
Place one phyllo sheet on a clean surface brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Parmesan.
Cover with another phyllo sheet and brush with butter.
Cut the phyllos stack into 24 squares, about 3 inches each.
Brush a 24 cup mini muffin tins with oil, then firmly press each square into each cup, butter side down.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
Add the shallots and garlic, cook until translucent.
Stir in flour, then the milk stir until smooth about a minute.
Add the nutmeg. salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the goat cheese, lemon zest and vinegar until the cheese melts.
Remove from the heat and mix in the eff yolks, then the spinach.
Beat your egg whites until stiff , fold into the spinach mixture, spoon about 1 tablespoon into each phyllo cup and top with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake for about 15 minutes then sprinkle with the chives.


 I found this gem in one of my Food Network Magazines, they have an endless amount of awesome recipes !!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mini Chicken Empanada

I'm not sure you can call these an appetizer but they are so little you can just about pop them into your mouth like an appetizer!
One of my dear friends  Beth  introduced me to these & they are fabulous!
I'm sure you can totally switch this up and add things to it that you love or even make them larger in size.
I doubled this to accommodate my family size and we still have left overs.
My ten year old who is a pretty picky eater gobbled these up so you know they are good!

What you will need is:
1 cup of shredded chicken (I used rotisserie, no skin)
5 Softened cream cheese
1 Cup of shredded Montrey Jack cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped jalapenos
3 Tablespoons chopped red pepper
2 Teaspoons cumin
A good dash of salt and pepper
2 Sheets prepared pie crust
Egg whites

How to make them:
Start by removing your pie crusts, follow the directions on the packaging, your going to need to let them sit out at room temperature for a bit.
Mix all your top 7 ingredients
Once your pie crust is ready lay it out, take a coffee mug and knife if you do not a biscuit cutter (obviously that is what I did ) cut out as many circles you can using the mug and knife technique ;)  Real professional, I know!
Place a full Tablespoon of your chicken mixture in each pie dough circle.
Fold dough over covering chicken, pinch shut with fingers or if you want to be fancy, take a fork and press all around the dough to seal.
Now brush egg whites around the closing and brush the tops.
Place on a baking sheet cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sticky Asian Wings

I had a impromptu game night this past weekend and wanted to serve a few appetizers (imagine that!).
What I served was Ree Drummond's Best Spinach Artichoke Dip, always a winner.
Also, I made Buffalo Wings with homemade blue cheese dressing, so good!
I wanted to create a Asian wing that was sticky, you know the kind :)  I got pretty close with these.

What you will need is:
Approximately 12-14 chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry
8 Garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon of ginger paste
2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 Tablespoons honey
A good dash cayenne
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons scallions finely chopped

How to make them:
Make sure to wash your chicken and pat dry, set aside
Add all your ingredients to a large freezer sized Ziplock bag or in a container with a lid, mix well.
Now add your chicken to the bag of ingredients
Place the bag in the fridge to marinade for 2 hours or more
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
Line a shallow baking pan with tinfoil and lightly oil.
Add wings to the pan and bake for 35 minutes, turning half way through.
Top with sesame seeds and onions & serve!

Hope you like them!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Husbys Food and Spirits

Husbys is a total hot spot to eat at in Sisters Bay, WI.
Right by the water, awesome outdoor patio seating.  They also participate in the often city festivals.
Great food, great staff, clean what else can I say!
On my recent trip to Door County we stopped in to Sisters Bay and had lunch at the bar in Husbys Food and Spirits.
Hubbie and I were pretty hungry so we started off with a basket of their jalapeno poppers, that were filled with cream cheese nummmmm.
The bartender was really nice and the food came out fast and hot.
Marc ordered the Vaquero burger and sweet potato fri basket, that's a spicy burger just they way he likes it hot like his wife!  HAHA  KIDDING!!!!
I ordered the Chopped Bacon Blue Burger and fris, It was SO good!  The bacon was nice and thick, I'd totally order this again.
The interior had a northern log cabin feel to it nice place to hang out.
Stop in if your ever in the area!

Also there are dollar bills tacked all over the ceiling, I never asked why.  Maybe you can and let me know why!?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Smoked White Fish Dip

I just came back from a fabulous vacation with the husband.
I planned on making this appetizer while on vacation because I knew just where to pick up a great smoked fish to use.
We got that at Charlie's Smokehouse located in Ellison Bay, WI.  If your ever in the area pick some up, its delish!

The original recipe calls for smoked salmon, use what you like.

Here is what you will need to make this fabulous spread:
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
4-6 oz softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon of capers
2 tablespoons of diced red onions
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of horseradish
4 oz flaked fish, like I said the original recipe I have calls for smoked salmon, I used white fish
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley.

So simple just add everything to a food processor (not the crackers), mix all until well blended.
Chill until ready to serve.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Streetz American Grill

Surprise date night with the hubbie and we finally got to check out this new place in our town called Streetz American Grill.
This location used to be a Denny's restaurant after that closed down it stayed empty forever!
We, along with other people in this town I know were super excited to see this new development.
What a great location, right off the highway, they should get allot of business.

It took a bit for them to get regular hours for whatever reason, but they got their act together and rumor is they are opening a new location in Hopkins, MN.

I love the look of the place, cool decor.  There was 50's music playing when we were there.
 There was a  upbeat happy feel to the place.
I think its a great place for a date or to bring your family to.
Oh and there was a cool photo booth in the corner, where I saw people were tacking their pictures up on the wall, how fun is that!
Finally not a cookie cutter chain restaurant!

Now the food, we both ordered burgers and shared a basket of truffle fris - NUM!

 You place your order in line then the cashier gives you a number to place at your table.
Someone brings you over your meal.
Everyone we came across that works here was very friendly gotta love that.
The kitchen is open to the restaurant so you can see them cook your food, that I like :)

My husbands "Monster Chicago Burger" was crazy!  Topped with a split long hot dog on top, he just loves a fun burger.
I got the Q burger, it was BBQ bacon burger, it was real good too.

There are several other items we want to try on their menu, on my list is the Philly cheese steak sandwich and the Gyro.

I'm excited to go back!

Good luck with your new company's Streetz!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chatterbox Pub

I wish this restaurant review was going to be better than what I'm going to write.
But, I was sadly disappointed in our experience at the Linden Hills Chatterbox Pub this past Friday evening.
My husband and I visited this restaurant a few years ago and thought it was ok.
I love the original concept they had for this restaurant.
It's theme is "games", there is a shelf filled with different games you can play during your visit.
Anything from Battleship to Battle of the Sexes.
There are a couple of t.v.'s with old school video consoles hooked up to them that you can pull up a chair and play a game.
The decor is kooky fun.  There is wall art everywhere in this place, and you are sure to see pictures that your parents or grandparents used to have.
Now, for the not so good part of this review.
The moment you walk in the door you get hit with a smell.  I'm not sure what the smell is but when you smell it you will know.
I think its grease baked in the walls?? Maybe no one cleans the place.
Not very appetizing at all.
There was no space to wait for our table until some people moved from a empty bar in the middle of the restaurant, when I say empty I mean empty there is no alcohol or bartender.  I think it might a very large hostess desk???
Waiting for our table a server comes over asks if she can get me anything, I said sure a drink, she said are you waiting for a table?
Yes I am, well I cant get you a drink that makes things too complicated.
Ummmm ok???
Two minutes later another server comes by asks if he can get us something to drink.
Yes, and thank you was my response!
At this point I'm confused, I don't' know what to think about that first server.
Finally seated and our server was very friendly and efficient.
We did not care for our food or the prices.
The only reason we gave this place a second chance is we thought it would be a fun place to bring our young son with us on date night.
Gotta say he is the only one who enjoyed his night out.
Sorry Chatterbox Pub, maybe one of your other locations is better?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lobster Dip Elegante

Ok today I'm bringing it old school.
Recently a friend of mine sent me a couple of cook books, one is an old Appetizer cookbook and the other is a cookbook from 1966 Cooking With Cheese.
I picked out a recipe in the Cooking with Cheese book called Lobster Dip Elegante.
Now, I have not tried this dip but it sounds pretty good to me so I thought I would share with you.

What you need is:
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup of mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated onion
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
Dash seasoned salt
1 5 oz can (about 1 cup) lobster, flaked
3 tablespoons cooking sauterne (What is this, you say???)
 ok I had to look this up, here is a description
Sauternes is a French sweet wine from the Sauternais region of the Graves section in Bordeaux
Thanks Wikipedia!  

How to make it:
Melt cream cheese over low heat, stirring constantly.
Blend in Mayo, garlic, onion, mustard, sugar, and salt.
Stir in lobster and sauterne, heat through.
Serve hot with melba toast and assorted crackers.
Makes 1 3/4 cups

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Wraps

These are a super easy appetizer to throw together, light and colorful.

All you will need is:
 4, 8 inch flour tortillas
1 red pepper
1/2 cup of spreadable goat cheese
1/4 cup of chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

How to make them:
Start out by turning your oven on broil
Cut your red pepper in half and, de-seed
Lay out cut side down on a cookie sheet, rub with olive oil
Place in broiler until the tops of the peppers turn black (watch them very carefully)
Let the peppers cool a bit then peal off the blackened
Now cut your pepper into strips
Lay your tortilla out
Spread Goat cheese on your tortilla
Sprinkle with chives, salt and pepper
Lay a few red pepper strips in the tortilla
Roll up your tortillas
Cut them at an angle in half
Place in the fridge to chill for a while

Lay them out on a plate to serve or stand them up.
Try serving them with these Taco Roll Ups

Friday, September 13, 2013

Northern Waters Smokehaus

I've been gone a while but I'm back now!
Summer is almost over and Fall is in the air!
My vegetable garden has been supplying my family with plenty of fresh veggies and they just keep coming!
The hubbie just came back from a solo canoeing trip in the Boundary Waters (if you ask me I think he's going through a midlife crisis!) and on his drive home he stopped at an awesome deli that we HAVE to go to every time we are in Duluth, MN called Northern Waters Smokehaus.
It's SO good!   I heard of them from watching Guy Fieri, from the Food Network and I remembering salivating as they showed their smoked fish and meats, then when they said the store Northern Waters Smokehaus was in Minnesota!!!  Yeah Boy I'm in!
Long story short we always make it a point to stop by on our way thru town.
Once while we were staying in the area we ordered a picnic lunch they put together for you, we went on our way and enjoyed our lunch and got to go sightseeing in the awesome town of Duluth.
Always a hopping shop filled people stopping in for a sandwich on their lunch break or passing thru town and trying out their famous smoked fish.
They also have more to offer in their catering department.
I have actually craved it so bad that I placed an order online and had it delivered to my home shhhhh..... don't tell!
So a great appetizer for company I would suggest you try one of their smoked fish ( I love them all) make a platter of fish, assorted cheeses, nuts, olives and crackers.
You and your guests will love it.
It is a must do if your in the area!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Southwest Hummus Dip

I really like hummus but sometime you want to mix it up a little bit, this one does just that, gives it a little zip!

Here is what you will need:
1 Medium ear of sweet corn, husk removed & grilled
1 Can (15 oz) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoons of minced fresh cilantro or parsley
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1/2 Chopped roasted sweet red pepper
1/4 Cup of diced tomatoes

How to make it:
Grill your corn.
In a food processor , combine your beans and spices until well blended.
Stir in your corn, peppers and tomatoes.
Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Serve this with pita chips.

I found this on a Taste of Home's web site

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Cajun Jalapeno

I'm lovin the different variations I'm finding to make Jalapeno Poppers!
Here's a great one

What you need will be:
8 Large jalapenos
3 oz Softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar cheese
1 Teaspoon of Cajun seasoning ( I like Tony Chacher's)
8 Slices of peppered bacon (or whatever kind you want)

How to make them:
Cut Jalapenos in half remove the seeds.
In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese & Cajun seasoning.
Stuff about 1 1/2 teaspoons into each pepper
Cut bacon strips in half, in a large skillet cook bacon until partially cooked.
Wrap a piece of bacon around each pepper, secure with a toothpick
Place on a wire rack in a shallow baking pan.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

Don't eat the tooth pick!

* Did you know the smaller the Jalapeno Pepper the hotter it is!?! 

Taste of Home

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Creamy Mushroom Tartlets

Oh these look g-oo-d!!!!!!!
Fresh & light, a lovely spring appetizer!

Here is what you will need:
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 Package of finely chopped fresh mushrooms
1/2 Cup chive and onion cream cheese
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Can (tube) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 Teaspoons finely chopped parsley

How to make them:
Pre Heat oven to 350
Melt your butter in a pan, add mushrooms, stirring for 5 minutes.
Add cream cheese and Parmesan, stirring for 1 minute or until cheese are melted remove from heat and set aside.
Unroll your dough, firmly press perforations and seams together to seal.
Cut each rectangle into 12 squares.
Place 1 square in each of 24 mini muffin cups (CUTE) with corners of squares just extending over rims of the cups.
Firmly press dough onto bottom and up side of each cup.
Spoon about 1 1/2 TSP of the mushroom mixture into each cup
Bake 10 -12 minutes
Sprinkle with parsley
Cool a bit & eat!!!

Thanks KRAFT!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

This past weekend my sister & I threw our Mom a surprise Birthday party & boy she was surprised!
We had a appetizer buffet and a pretty popular item on the menu was the Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip, I Googled some different recipes and this must be pretty close if not the one that they made

What you will need is:
2 Cans of drained and chopped artichokes
1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
2 Cups of mayo
1 Cups of shredded Parmesan cheese
8 oz Softened cream cheese
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of garlic powder

How to make it:
Mix it all together
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes
Serve with slices of baguette, tortilla chips or crackers


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rosemary Roasted Cashews

This past Christmas my co-worker made these delicious nuts as gifts for the office people.
I just asked her this week for the recipe & made them at home for the family, they got gobble up in a hot second!
Super easy to make & very good!  Kinda addicting!

She got this from the Barefoot Contessa (well not directly)

1 1/4 pounds cashew nuts
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt ( I used Sea Salt)
1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions :
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until they are
warmed through(watch those nuts they can burn quickly!). Meanwhile, combine the rosemary, pepper, sugar, salt and butter in a large
bowl. Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until the nuts are completely coated.
Serve warm.

Hope you love em'!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Herbed Goat Cheese Bites

This appetizer says spring to me , its light & fresh!
OMG I'm ready for spring!!!!  Bring it on!
Ok back to food.

This is what you need:
1 Tablespoon of Thyme
1 Tablespoon of  Parsley
1 Tablespoon of  Tarragon
1 Tablespoon of  Fresh mint
1 8oz log of goat cheese
1 French baguette, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 Tablespoons of Olive oil
1/2 cup of sun dried tomato's (drained of any oil)
1/2 Cup basil leaves

How to make it:

  1. Combine and finely chop first 4 ingredients. Roll cheese log evenly in herb mixture; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2.  Preheat oven to 350°. Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil. Gently press slices into 24 muffin cups in muffin pans.
  3.  Bake at 350° for 7 to 9 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Remove from oven; let cool in pans 5 minutes.
  4.  Spread goat cheese into baguette cups; top with sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves.
Hope you like it!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Baked prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

On to the next holiday Easter.
This is a perfect appetizer for Easter.  Light, fresh and simple.
When hosting a holiday you want your foods to be delicious but also easy to make.

This is what you will need:

12 thick asparagus spears, with tough ends trimmed off
6 thin slices of prosciutto
2 ounces whipped cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives (optional)
Ground black pepper, to taste

How to make them:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Blanch asparagus in boiling, salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Plunge into iced water. Drain and blot on paper towels.
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese with garlic powder, chives, and pepper.
Spread a small amount of cheese mixture over each prosciutto half and, starting at the bottom end of asparagus, wrap prosciutto diagonally around each spear.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with vegetable cooking oil.
Arrange prosciutto-wrapped asparagus on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spam Bites

Minnesota home of Spam, something to be proud of?  I'm not sure about that.
Some people love this stuff.
Fact did you know in Hawaii their McDonald's serve rice and spam with their meals!?
TRUE FACT!  I have a friend who lives in Hawaii I've see pictures!
They LOVE their Spam in Hawaii
But here in the states (or as a Hawaiian would call it, the main land)  its a scary meat product.
I have only used it in my pizza burgers, I dunno ask my Mom its her weird recipe.
But the hubbie & I LOVE the Spam bites we order at The Blue Door Pub.
So I Googled (Google I love you) how to make Spam Bites, so here you go!

What you need is:

1 Cup of Flour
5 Large eggs
1 Cup of buttermilk
1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
1 1/2 Teaspoons ground pepper

20 Saltine crackers
4 Cups Kettle styled potato chips

1 Can Spam, chipped
1/2 cup diced pickles
1 softened block of cream cheese
Vegetable oil for frying
Flour for your hands (sounds messy!)

How to make them:

Batter: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Breading: Pulse the crackers and potato chips in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl.

Filling: Cut the canned meat into chunks and put it into a food processor with the pickle slices. Pulse until the mixture becomes chunky. Don't over mix.

Roll pieces of the cream cheese into 1 1/2-ounce balls with floured hands to avoid sticking. Fatten each ball with the palm of your hand. Portion out the meat mixture to match the amount of cheese balls. Put a portion of the meat into the middle of a cheese ball and fold the cheese over the meat to enclose. Once you have a ball formed, dip it in the batter and then roll it in the cracker mixture. Repeat with the remaining cheese balls and meat.

Heat about 1-inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Gently fry the bites, in batches, until golden brown. Remove them from the oil to a serving platter and enjoy!

Thank you Food Network!!

Served with a Jalapeno Jelly

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Leprechaun Legs

In honor of St. Patrick's Day right around the corner why not Leprechaun Legs!
Fried Leprechaun Legs at that!
I have seen them called this on a menu somewhere before but, really "they" are Fried Green Beans.
You're not gonna get any good luck if you fry up the wee Leprechaun legs now are you! ? !

This is what you will need:
1 Pound of green beans, washed, dried & ends trimmed
1/2 Cup of water
1/2 Cup of milk
1 Egg
2 Cups of seasoned bread crumbs or Panko crumbs
1 Cup of flour
1 Teaspoon of Chili pepper or Cayenne Powder
1 Teaspoon of Garlic powder
1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder

How to make them:
Heat your oil until its ready for frying
In a bowl mix all your wet ingredients
In another bowl mix your dry ingredients
Start by dipping your green beans in your wet ingredients
Then roll them trough the dry ingredients
Carefully drop them into your hot oil
Frying them until they are golden brown & crispy, that takes about 2 minutes.

For dipping you can use a honey mustard or a wasabi dressing.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Greek Cups


  These are so colorful and I love the bite size too.

What you need is:

  • 3/4 cup each finely chopped red onion, seeded peeled cucumber and seeded tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup Greek olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Greek vinaigrette
  • 3 packages (1.9 ounces each) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

How to make them:

  • In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, olives and vinaigrette. Spoon into tart shells, about 1 tablespoon in each. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 45 tartlets.
Taste of Home

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blue Cheese, Pear, and Caramelized Onion Pizza

I need this in my belly now!  I have to make it this weekend!
I was looking at a few menus from different places I want to visit and I ran across different variations of this appetizer.
They all sounded so good, I combined what I think would be great tasting together & voila! 

Here is what you will need:
6 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 red onions sliced into thin rings
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium sized pre make pizza crust
2 ripe pears, sliced thinly
1/2 - 3/4 cup of blue cheese crumbs
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley

How to make it:
Warm your olive oil in a pan
Add onions, Salt and pepper saute' stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
Reduce heat let them continue to cook until the onions are caramelized
While the onions are still cooking.
Pre heat your oven and cook the pizza crust according to directions
Once done remove & set aside
Brush the pizza crust with olive oil when it has cooled a bit
Layer the crust with the caramelized onions, pears then top with your blue cheese crumbs.
Cook for 10-15 minutes

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Grilled Snow Crab Balls

I Love Crab!  If you like crab you will like these crab balls.

This is what you need:
8 oz lump crab meat
1/2 cup Rice Krispies
3 Tablespoons of mayo
1/2 egg white
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 Teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

How to make them:
Combine everything in a mixing bowl
Form crab mixture into medium size balls and put on a plate or tray making sure they're not touching.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 30 minutes
 Grease your warmed grill
Gently place the balls on the grill.
After 3 1/2 minutes gently turn over
Place on a skewer and serve with Greek Tzaktizi sauce
Makes approximately 4 large balls.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tex - Mex Egg Rolls

Yesterday was a snow day.  The kids & I got a little claustrophobic so we decided to go to the Mall of America.
Before we hit Lego Land we visited the Rainforest Cafe.
That is a really fun place to bring a kid to eat, or an adult for that matter!
We ordered the appetizer sampler and on there were some Tex/Mex Egg Rolls.
This recipe is my best guess at how to make them.
Here is what you will need:

  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 4 ounces, canned tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, minced
  • 1 cup of corn
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers

How to make them:
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, excluding the egg roll wraps.
Stir until combined.
Remove the egg roll wraps from the package and drape with a damp towel.
Place a heaping teaspoonful of the filling mixture on the egg roll wrapper and wrap it according to the video.
Dab your finger into a bowl of cold water, rub the final triangle of wrapper and rub to seal it closed.
Preheat frying oil to 375 degrees.
Place the wrapped egg rolls into the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry for 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
Slice each egg roll in half
Serve with Salsa or guacamole for dipping

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Y Club Review

Hello and welcome to another restaurant review by (can you hear me singing that??)  Awh just kidding, I'm a little goofy today maybe because I'm not sure what to do with my self while on vacation. TV not on, people not talking non stop, phone not ringing. 
So relaxing.
The husband and I are taking a long weekend away and rented a nice little cabin in Garrison, MN just about 2 hours from the Twin Cities.
Right off of Lake Mille Lacs.
If it wasn't winter the cabin is on a golf course.
OK am I doing a cabin review or a restaurant review here?  Hummm maybe I need to do vacation reviews too, thinking out loud again.
So today we wanted to try out this restaurant called the Lonesome Pine Restaurant and Bar, recommended to us by my employers. But, since they open at 5pm in the winter, we will try to get to this before we go home.
So we went to The Y Club in Garrison.  OK the name???  Strip club???  Not fond of the name it must have a story behind it.
Great location, right on the lake. We picked window seats facing the lake and watched people ski across the lake while attached to parasails so cool!
It was a bit after noon not many people there. 
There seem to be 2 sections to the place but the other half was locked up.
A large bar in the middle of the restaurant.
The waitress was very friendly and attentive.
She told us about the specials and they all sounded great made it had to chose.
I ordered one of the specials the blackened tilapia sandwich with french fries.
Marc ordered off the regular menu he got a walleye sandwich with onion rings.
Huge portions and both were excellent!
There was a good selection on the menu & coke products (that made us happy).
I bet this place is hoppin in the summer, its gotta be the place to be.
I would totally come back here.

Hope you give it a try if your in town or passing through.

The Y Club

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Almond Bacon Cheese Crostini

These are a wonderful mouth watering little bite, you will need to try!

    What you need is:
  • 1 French bread baguette , cut into 36 slices
  • 2 cups  shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Dash salt
  • Additional toasted almonds, optional

  • How to make them:
  • Place bread slices on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-9 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cheese, mayonnaise, almonds, bacon, onion and salt. Spread over bread. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with additional almonds if desired. Serve warm.     Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bacony Deviled Eggs

Who says Deviled eggs are just for Easter!?  
Add Bacon & some onion, its delicious, hope you like it!

What you need is:
12 large eggs hard boiled peeled and sliced in half
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon of dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon of horseradish
8 oz of chopped, cooked bacon
4 scallions, chopped fine

How to make them:
 Plop the egg yolks into a small bowl and mash them with the back of a spoon until smooth. Then stir in the mayonnaise, mustard and horseradish. When the yolk mixture is smooth, make it bumpy again by stirring in the bacon and the scallions. Taste for seasoning. 
Using two spoons, stuff the egg whites with the yolk mixture. 
Cover them with plastic wrap. Keep them covered and chilled until you're ready to serve them. 
Putting deviled eggs--the slipperiest food known to man--on a bed of parsley is supposed to keep them from sliding around the platter. But the only way to make that work is to use a whole lot of parsley; you'd need a couple of bags, not just a sprig or two. And even then your eggs wouldn't necessarily be kept from tipping over if you had to take them in the car. If you have to drive deviled eggs somewhere, line a tray with a sheet of plastic wrap. Then put the eggs in little nests of scrunched-up plastic wrap, making sure that each nest is touching its neighbor. Then cover the platter with more plastic wrap, and those guys stay where they're supposed to.

Sprinkle with seasoned salt or Cajun seasoning!