Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sriracha Honey Oyster Crackers

These could not be any easier and watch out you better make a triple batch of these bad boys cause once they start they won't stop eating these!
Sriracha is life bae, NO I'm kidding, I'll just go ahead at slap myself now for even attempting to say that.
I actually picked up these oyster crackers for a stew I am making, but I was looking at this big old bag of oyster crackers and thought no way are we gonna need all of those. Hummm what kind of appetizer can I create with these?!
I know I have issues.  One of my tag lines on some sort of forum is "I wonder if there is an outpatient program for addicts of appetizers?!"
Now I will be honest here, this was not fully my idea, I was cruzin' my good old pal Pintrest and came across this recipe that The Cookie Rookie came up with and it sounded right up my alley.  I just changed some amounts to my liking.
You should check her out, she makes some really great stuff!

Here is what you need:
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons Sriracha
4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, use your favorite!
1 1/2 Tablespoons Honey, I like to use a local brand, if you can get one in your neck of the woods
1 Teaspoon Seasoned Salt
10 oz oyster crackers

How to make them:
Preheat oven to 200
SO simple, warm up your oil and butter in a skillet
Once that is incorporated stir in the honey, salt, Sriracha & syrup
Make sure that gets all blended together, bring to a gentle boil
Now add the crackers, coat them well
Line a baking sheet, scatter out those oyster crackers evenly
Bake for 1 hour
I could tell just by the smell of these even before going into the oven how awesome they were going to taste, and I was right!

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mexican Street Nachos

You heard me right Mexican Street Nachos!  If you have never had Mexican Street Corn, you are missing out it is so creamy wonderful!  Roasted Corn people is frickin awesome, I don't know what kind of magic happens when you blacken that corn but mmmmm.....
I have only had Mexican Street Corn one time in a little Mexican restaurant in Stillwater, MN you can read about that here, Stillwater Eats.

Now you take that Mexican Street Corn and turn it into Nachos! 
It was game day all day at our house last Sunday, and this is what I whipped up, they were so good! 

This is what you need:
1 bag of tortilla chips, I picked some up at Sams club they were organic and like huge scoops
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon mayo
2 cans corn
3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon diced jalapenos
6oz feta cheese or queso fresco
2 cups montery jack cheese
1 cup sharp white cheddar cheesse
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lime

How to make it:
If you have a cast iron skillet, I would use that to roast the corn, if not a frying pan will do.
Add your butter to the hot pan and fry up the corn until they blacken a bit, remove from heat and add the mayo, green onions and jalapenos.
In another pan heat your cheese, half and half, sour cream until melted at this point ad the corn starch to thicken up the cheese mixture, if that is to thick and more half and half.
Now I was not fancy or anything I just used a deep baking sheet piled up my nachos, next the corn mixture followed by drizzling on that creamy cheese, top with the nice big chunks of feta.
Sprinkle with paprika, chopped cilantro finally squeeze lime juice on top.
And serve!
If you want to be fancy pants use a nice large serving tray.
We really like this variation of nachos!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Holiday Munchies!

A belated Merry Christmas to you all!
What a busy time of year this was!  I went to a few Christmas celebrations and brought a few appetizers to share.
The first party was at my sisters, I brought my Lumpia to share that went over very well and got gobbed up!

Next would be a trip to my uncles where of course I was asked to bring a couple appetizers, go figure!

I brought with Amy Thielen's Onion Chip Dip and I turned my new Wild Rice Stuffed Jalepenos from this summer, into Stuffed Mushrooms!

My last party was with my husband's side and that was a brunch, my mother in law brought a nummy cheese ball,one of these days I need to get a recipe for.  I made a brunch.

Today is all day football with the hubbie, I will be making Street Corn Nacho's!  I can't wait to try that!

New Years Eve is right around the corner, I will be making my annual Cowboy Caviar, got to have the black eyed peas to ring in the New Year & have good luck!
And also a spicy oyster stew for the husband.

Links to all the recipes are above.  I will be sharing soon with you all the Street Corn Nachos!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Stuffed Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Who does not like pizza, am I right!?
This Stuffed bread is a hit at any party.  I have another variation of this bread that I got from my Auntie Susie that you can read about here Stuffed Bread, and oh my gosh this post is OLD & done so poorly.  Thinking I need to redo that one!
Remember in one of my past posts that I had a big fail?  It was this but, I was going to do a pull apart monkey bread, most people make that in a bunt pan, well I donated mine years ago because I never used it.  So I thought I would use a Springform pan, umm ya don't do that the inside will not cook so you leave it in the oven longer and longer and longer because the center of the bread is still dough.  Once that is finally done the outside of the bread is charred black!
So, I have another idea for that Monkey Bread, another day my friends.
In the mean time I thought I would share this lovely fun party bread, all will like!
You can make it so many different ways too, I kept this one simple because my youngest is kinda picky and was going to be eating some of this.
Ill put a little bowl of added foods we grownups can add to ours if need be.

Here is what you will need:
1 Loaf of bread, not sliced.  I used a small sour dough today.  Italian would be nice.
3-4 Tablespoons butter
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tsp. onion powder
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
30'ish pepperonis
1 1/2 Cups mozzarella, shredded
Your favorite pizza sauce for dipping

How to make it:
Preheat your oven to 350
Slice your bread diagonal then cross cross in the opposite direction, while being careful not to cut all the way to the bottom.
Here comes the messy part, start stuffing butter into all the cracks in the bread, being careful not to rip your bread.
In a bowl mix all your seasonings, meat and cheese.
Now start stuffing that into the cracks of the bread.
Wrap the bread in tin foil, sorta making a tent with the foil so the cheese from the bread is not sticking to the foil.

Bake this scrumptious bread for 45 minutes.
Place your bread on a serving plate with a side of warm pizza sauce.
Let your guests rip a chunks of bread off.  But I would put a bread knife out also.
Like I said you can make this into what you want, ad some of your favorite pizza toppings.
I'm going to put out a little bowl of sliced black olives and banana peppers, and maybe some peppeochinis to add to ours today. Normally I would have stuffed that into my bread.

Hope you enjoy!
Also check out my other stuffed bread recipe.  Link above!

*note on the only photo I got of this appetizer, that is really crappy I may ad, I realized after we polished off half the loaf I never took a photo!  We were pretty hungry.  OPPS!!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Roasted Garlic Asiago Cheese Ball

What would the holidays be without a classic cheese ball!?!
This bad boy is full of great flavor.
One of my favorite food smells next to bacon or onions frying would be roasted garlic, mmmm can't you just smell it?
I am all about quick and easy appetizers, and especially during the holidays.  There is so much going on, I love to cook but I want to make things go as smooth as possible.

There are only a few ingredients and a few easy steps to make this.
Also, bonus make a few balls at once, wrap them separately in plastic wrap pop into your fridge bring out when you have company or bring as a hostess gift.  Going to Aunt Mary's for Christmas? Bring a cheese ball and a box of your favorite crackers, she will love it!

Just for the record I do not have an Aunt Mary. ;)
I have so many cheeseball recipes it's embarrassing.  Sometimes I like to make the cheese mixture into something other than a ball, like a wreath, snowman, tree, lots of individual mini balls to name a few!

You can roll them in so many different toppings pecans, walnuts, chives, parsley, crushed pretzels, bacon bits, sesame seeds, red hots NO I'm kidding!!!  Unless you have no sense of taste or are pregnant do not add red hot candies.

What you need:
2 Heads of garlic
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Cup Asiago cheese, shredded
1/4 Cup greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons Parsley, chopped
1/4 Cup Pecans, chopped
Olive oil for drizzling
*A dash of liquid smoke, optional

How to make it:
Start off by preheating your oven to 400 degrees
Cut the heads off your garlic, exposing the cloves, peel away any loose skin
Place garlic heads face up in tin foil drizzle with olive oil, wrap garlic in the tin foil and roast for 40 minutes
While your garlic is roasting away, mix your cream cheese, yogurt, asiago cheese & a dash of liquid smoke (lq. smoke is optional), set aside
You're still waiting for your garlic aren't you?  Yup.  Ok well start chopping your parsley and nuts.
Place them in a bowl and set aside.
Once your garlic is done, now you need to wait for it to cool off.  Kinda a waiting game for this cheese ball process I guess huh?  Hummm maybe  not as fast as I thought it was.
Alright, I think your garlic is cooled off now, here is the fun part!  Squeeze each one of those little garlic cloves out of the casings into your cheese mixture.
Mix very well, you do not want big chunks of garlic so you might want to cut them up or if you have a food processor, use that.
Next, if you have disposable kitchen gloves you might want to get those out for this part.
Scoop up all that fragrant garlic cheese mixture and start forming into into a ball, working it back and forth in both hands.
Place that ball in plastic wrap and pop into your fridge for at least 1 hour.
Ding ding ding 1 hour is up, your cheese ball is now more firm.  Unwrap and roll in the nut and parsley mix.
Place the cheese ball on a pretty little serving plate and surround by your favorite cracker!
Hope you enjoy!

*Here's my excuse for not doing a new appetizer for a while, I had a big fail on a new aptz bite I was trying to come up with, that I will continue to work on.
I'm sure I will be asked to bring an appetizer to Christmas so mabye I will do a new dish & share that with you all soon!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Iron Door Pub

Friday night date night, we went Uptown.  We don't do that to much anymore, I think the last time we did was at the late Boneyard, that has now closed.  Not to sure why, because that place was always hoppin' , food was great and the atmosphere was a ton of fun.  They even had valet parking.  Alright Ill stop dwelling on that.
Also another fun find that is now closed was The Cafeteria, I had only been there once but it was good stuff.
On to The Iron Door Pub, I found on Twitter a list The Growler put out Kind-Of-A-Big-Deal list, on hot spots in the Twin Cities.  Well really Minnesota.  That list contains awesome Beer, Spirits, Food & Culture. 
On that list was The Iron Door Pub.  This is on the corner of Lake Street & Lyndale, awesome location, tons of windows to watch all the busy happenings on the busy streets.
Total bonus, they have their own parking lot in the back, not super big but we got a spot.
Our server was totally on the ball, super attentive and funny as heck.  I got a skunky beer and he took that back with no problem and exchanged it at no extra cost. I love when there is no hassle. 
A large variety of local brews here, that is always a good thing!
There is a dart board and I think some games but I'm not positive about that. 
It was not very busy when we were there, around 7:30 on a Friday night, but that could just be because there are so many choices of places to eat in that area.
Husband wanted an appetizer, I told him he could choose.  I think that shocked him because I am the self proclaimed queen of appetizers. 
He picked the Warm Butter Nuts, I was like really, all those choices and that is what you pick?!? 
Well I did tell him, that he could decide. 
And if I go back over all of my restaurant reviews I think this has happened before.  You would have thought I learned my lesson.
But, to my surprise the Warm Buttered Nuts were really good!  We couldn't stop munching on them.  Really quite simple, a variety of nuts warmed up on a skillet in butter!  And those puppies stayed warm! 

Ok on to the grub.  the picture the Growler Magazine used to advertise this location was a Philly Cheese Steak, so that is what I had my mind set on.  I believe you get a chose of tator tots, fris or potato salad.
I picked fries.  The sandwich was huge!  Gotta say not my favorite, not to be gross but my first bite was very fatty, I could not chew it.  So hubbie loves leftovers!  Ya I didn't eat that :(  But I did love those nuts!

Husband got a huge burger, The Burger Royal', you know like in the movie, Pulp Fiction! 
Very clever!  Really a copy Cat version of The Big Mac. He choice tator tots.

I mean seriously that burger was BIG!  And he ate every last bite.  He said it was amazing.
The prices were good too.
I would for sure go back here, I'd just try something different.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Roasted Brussel Sprout Dip

I only learned how brussel sprouts grew a few years ago.  I must have been living under a rock.
I thought they were amazing!  Like a vegetable Christmas tree!  HAHA!
Pre Warning I have a hard time deciding what pictures to post, so I will just overwhelm you with my favorites!  Get your bib on, time to start drooling.
Ok this bad boy just got out of the oven and holy moly it is heavenly!!!!!!!!
Such deep flavors and really rich too.
After I fried up some bacon, I fried up some thin slices of baguettes to slater this wonderful dip on, let me tell you that was a great way to use up that bacon grease woah mama!
I better not make a habit of that.

I love the presentation of making a hot dip in a mini cast iron skillet.  I picked this one up at a vintage shop up north, I wonder what wonderful things have been made in it.
Also look at these cute measuring spoons I picked up, I think I got them at World Market.

I love to tease my husband with my food photos while he's at work, he likes this one.  But, he likes everything to be honest.

Here is what you need:
1 Pound Brussel Sprouts
3 Slices bacon
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
3 Garlic cloves
1/2 Teaspoon thyme, chopped (do you have enough thyme? heehee)
1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 oz Cream cheese, softened
1/4 Cup sour cream
1/4 Cup mayo
3/4 Cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 Cup Parmesan, grated
1/4 Cup Romano, grated

How to make it:
Heat your oven to 400 degrees
Wash your brussel sprouts cut off the tips and cut into quarters, place on a baking sheet.

Pour 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on them, place garlic cloves on the sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Keep a good eye on them, as you can see some of mine got burned.

Fry up your bacon, drain and crumble.
While the brussel sprouts are in the oven start shredding your cheeses.
Mix the cheese, mayo, sour cream, seasonings together in a bowl.
Once your sprouts are done roasting, try not to eat them all then add them to your bowl.
Mix well and place in your baking dish bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned.
Sprinkle with cooked bacon

And serve with a warm baguette.
Delicious I promise!


* adapted from Closet Cooking, check him out he makes great stuff!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Indeed Brewing Company

Friday night date night was spent at Indeed Brewing Company.
I'll start by saying I did not get any photos, I was a bit frazzled this date night.
On our drive in the Uber car, almost to the location about 20 minutes from home. We get a calling say our home may have been broken into.  We have the police go to the home and thank God the coast was clear it was not broke into.
Then we get there and we heard about the horrible events that happened in Paris.  My heart goes out to them all.
So I would like to revisit & do another write up on this rockin' brewery.
It was pretty dark out so I could not take in the beauty of this building, I do believe it was brick, I like brick :)  And there was a nice patio outside.
There were 2 rooms to choose from to park your booty and enjoy one of their wonderful beers.
Very nice interior & ladies you know you we enjoy a nice restroom.  Love this bathroom, I want it in my house!
All the employees were so nice & helpful!  If they saw that you had an empty beer they were there in a flash to clear your empty mug away.
That evening the O'Cheeze food truck was there, they had maybe 5'ish gourmet grilled cheeses to choose from.

(photo taken by husband, added after I wrote this blog post :)

They switch up what food truck comes to visit. That is in the back by the patio.
The beers were very good!
You can have private parties and also get a tour of the brewery.
Can't wait to go back !

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Olive Tapenade

With the holiday's right around the bend, I am thinking about easy appetizers!
With unexpected company popping in and being to busy to plan ahead most days, a quick appetizer is the way to go.
This appetizer is made with staple foods that most people have on hand in their pantry. Maybe not the Trader Joe's name brand olives I used but, something similar I'm sure.
Speaking of Trader Joe's I was just reading their newsletter today (ad really) OMG they have these new Rosemary Monkey bread for the holiday, I need this in my life !
In the freezer section, get some before they run out!

Ok back to the olives I got there, they do have pits so that is a bit time consuming but I think it is worth it, they have a great flavor not to salty.

I think this Tapenade would be best on a crunchy baguette.  But if you don't have any on hand crackers would do.

Here is what you will need:
4 oz Picholine Olives, chopped
4 oz Kalamata Olives,chopped
1 Green onion,chopped (the whole thing)
2 Cloves garlic,chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Generous dash, pepper

How to make it:
Like I said really easy!
Chop it all , mix it all , chill for 1 hour so the flavors can marinate.
This is served cold, I would put this on a crispy warm baguette.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 6, 2015


Lumpia is a Filipino appetizer, very similar to an egg roll, the wrapper is different and not
as thick as an egg roll.
I believe the ingredients are very similar though, you can really put what you like in it, or whatever you have on hand.
Like I did, I thought I had carrots at home when I went to make these but I did not, but what I did have on hand was a gorgeous head of purple cabbage.  So I used that.
These are a snap to make, the most tedious part is gently peeling the Lumpia wraps apart.
I watched a couple YouTube videos and read a couple blogs on how to make Lumpia, different techniques and ingredients.
Some people do not cook the ingredients before frying, but I did just to be on the safe side.
Also you can wrap these and store in the freezer uncooked for up to two months.

I fried mine we ate a few and I froze the rest for another day.  My batch made about 25.

What you will need is:
Lumpia Wrappers, the best ones you will find in the Asian store in the frozen food area (mine came 50 to a bx.)
Pork, 3 large links (each the size of a brat)
1 Cup Onion, finely chopped
1 Cup Cabbage, thinly sliced
1 Cup Carrots, julienned
5 garlic Cloves, chopped
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Package of Chicken Seasoning, from a Ramen package

How to make them:
My pork came frozen in a casing, so defrost and remove meat from casing.
Cook pork on cooktop and add the rest of the ingredients.

Carefully peel away one Lumpia wrap at a time.
Lay out approximately one Tablespoon of filling close to the edge of the wrapper
Roll the wrapper over the meat a couple times now fold in the right then the left side and continue to roll until the very edge, using water or egg seal it shut.

Place roll into hot oil on stove top frying each side about 3 minutes total, medium heat should do.
Once done carefully remove Lumpia roll and lay out on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
Banana Sauce is a popular dipping sauce for this.
And I see why it's dang good!!

Hope you try it out & enjoy it!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Door County Eats

 Just got back from the majestic Door County, WI.!
It's been a tradition of ours for the last 4 falls to visit this amazing place and we plan to continue to take this annual trip for years to come.
There are a few major vacation spots in WI. (that we have been to) Hudson, Lake Geneva, Bayfield, WI Dells, Milwaukee.  I would definitely say that Door County is the best out of all all these places and I have visited all of them several times.
Door county is a peninsula off upper WI. it is town after town filled with wonderful shops, restaurants and things to do. We drive all day taking in the absolutely breathtaking views, stopping in to fun shops and picking new places to grab a bite to eat.
So here is a little bit about the places we stopped at this last trip.

My favorite place to get a quick bite is in Ellison Bay, way at the tip of the peninsula.  The Shoreline Restaurant, they have the best smoked whitefish dip!!!

Now let's talk cheese. I mean we are in Wisconsin!  And it's me we are talking about, I love cheese!
We have to stop at Wisconsin Cheese Masters, their cheese is amazing.  You get in line and  get a few samples of the wonderful cheeses they are showcasing that day.  This visit I picked up cheese from Saxon Creamery, Winter Seasonal Milk Cheese, Butterkase Style, it is amazing & just melts in your mouth!! Also, bonus there is a wine shop right next door, free tastings!  

One more cheese shop!  Door County Creamery.  It is a wonderful little shop with gifts, tasty cheeses and a little deli. Located in Sister Bay.

Speaking of Sister Bay, the best burger is made at Husby's Food And Spirits.  I did a review in them a couple years ago, and the burgers are still great!

Let's take a break from the food for a minute to take in some DC beauty.

There is a gorgeous horse farm among rolling acres that is just breathtaking.

Or how about this sight.  It was a rainy day and that just made the trees colors pop.

Ok back to the grub.  There is an Irish pub in Sturgeon Bay named Kitty O'Reilly's, great food and drinks.  This visit we got the Loaded Tachos, so good!  

One day we stopped for a cup of soup at a place named Coyote Roadhouse, we almost passed by this place it looked like a home.  It was a really happenin' little place, very busy.  Looked like a fun place to hang out.  But we were not there very long.

This is a bowl (tortilla) of chilli, very good.

There are tons of wineries and little shops that do wine tasting.  Also a distillery in Door County.  
But finally a brewery! Door County Brewing Co. Hubbie grabbed a growler of beer from them, at that point of the day that we stopped there, it was a little to early for the drinking for us.  But people were having a pretty good time.  I really liked the interior.  It was a little on the small side.  I can't imagine what an evening there would be like.  Oh and the funny thing is, the connecting parking lot is the cop shop.

There is just so much to do & see.  Everytown has it's only little vibe, tons of shops, wineries, places to eat, coffee shops and more.
The views are amazing.
This coming summer I hope to come back to visit the lavender fields on Washington Island, you have to take a ferry to get there.
Door County always has some sort of festival going on, never a dull moment.
I could go on and on telling you about festivals we have been to and other places we ate or had a drink, but you just need to trust me and put Door County on your lists of places to vacation you will not be sorry.

Needless to say we will be back Door County!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Honey BBQ Chicken Dip

Another chicken recipe?!  Yes sir this is happening!
I have a few different chicken dip recipes on my blog.
With my overall favorite being this classic Chicken Dip.
This Honey BBQ Chicken Dip has got a nice zip to it.  Warm dips in the cooler months are just what the Dr. called for!
For years I have been watching YouTube videos, and I came across this dip and just knew I needed to try it.
Now I have changed it up a bit to make it my own, I seem to do that a lot.

This is what you need:
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup honey bbq sauce ( I used Sweet Baby Rays)
1 tsp hot sauce
1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
5 green onions, chopped
A sprinkle of salt & pepper

How to make it:
Preheat your oven to 450
Mix it all together and bake for 18 minutes
When it's done make a little design with the BBQ sauce on the top for a little Va-Va- Voom!

Serve with chips or crackers.

Hope you like it!

*where I got the idea - Cooked By Julie

Monday, October 19, 2015

Restaurant Review Updates

(Door County, WI.)

I'm in a rut lately with restaurant reviews people!  Believe me I'd like to do a write up on places we eat but they are just not worth the time or it's that we keeping visiting with same places we love, I mean how many times can I write about the same place 2,3,4 times?!
No I can't do that.
So hopefully we will venture out to some new places.
In the meantime I will give you a little recap on some date nights

I will start with the most hysterical evening (well at least for me).
I said to the hubbie lets go somewhere different, I wanted to check out this place called George and the Dragon in Minneapolis or is it Edina?  humm...
Well anyhow the wait was 4 hours!  Nope, better plan ahead when I want to go there.
Hubbie says lets try David Fongs, we never go out for Chinese.  I was pretty shocked that my burger addicted husband wanted Chinese and especially from a dive.  LOL
It's been around a long time maybe the 50's, pretty popular with the elderly in the area, I felt like I was at a nursing home having dinner haha and I know how that feels cause I used to work at one!
No offence elderly people, I love you!
I have not been here to eat in at least 9 years because the last time we went there the elderly woman next to us was choking, no one was doing anything.  So I stepped in and gave her the heimlich maneuver.  I have never done this to a person before just practiced on a dumbie.  I was so shocked I ran out of there! Well after I finished saving her life and was applauded by everyone there.
I know what a strange reaction I had right!?
Now you know me better!
Ok back to the food, we started with cream cheese puffs, really dry and egg rolls very good!
I ordered vegetable lo-mein and rice, very dry.
And what did hubbie order at the Chinese restaurant!?  A BURGER! HAHAHA!  It looked so bad but he said it was good.  Go figure.

Other places we have been recently Blue Door Pub, always good!  They gave us a free basket of fried pickles, and I won a super rockin' t-shirt!
Sports Page our local dive with dirt cheap food that tastes great.

That's about it.
It is restaurant week in the Twin Cities this week, but we will not be going out, because we are headed out of town for a fews days to the gorgeous Door County, WI!
The colors will be amazing, I'm sure I will have some places to write about from our visit!

Have a great day!