Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Stuffed Mushrooms

This is a great appetizer!  We made these for our progressive dinner with a wonderful group of friends, and even with a double batch the small group demolished these!  I can't remember where I got this one from, but it is a keeper!

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 20 fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and set aside, you’ll need these in a minute.
  3. Use a damp cloth to wash the mushrooms.
  4. Cut any hard part off the mushroom stems and discard. Chop up the remaining mushroom stems so that they are really fine.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Sauté the chopped mushroom stems and garlic for 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat to low. Stir in cream cheese, parmesan cheese, black pepper and oregano. Stir well.
  6. Spoon about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of mixture into each mushroom cap.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the mushrooms are nicely browned.
  8. Serve immediately.

Hot Bruschetta Dip

This recipe came from Lemons for Lulu and it was an amazing start to our Italian Dinner!  This is best served with toasted garlic baguettes!
Hot Bruschetta Dip
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8 x 8 glass dish with non stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic and seasoning. Mix well. Pour into baking dish.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove. Top with chopped tomatoes and parsley. Serve immediately.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is the second time I have made this recipe, and I loved it even better the second time around.  It can easily be doubled and put in a 9x13 and leftovers are great on chips, baguettes, or even as a condiment for a sandwhich!

I have done this as an app for a progressive dinner, and as a hot dip for a NYE party and it has gone over well both times!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • ½ cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1½ cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 10oz frozen chopped spinach
  • 14 oz marinated artichoke hearts
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic
Baguette for Serving (or use tortilla chips!):
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 baguette for serving
  • Garlic cloves for rubbing on baguettes.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Defrost spinach and squeeze dry. Chop artichokes.
  3. In a bowl combine parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and garlic, minced. Place into a casserole dish or pie plate and top with remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is browned.
Instructions for Baguette:
  1. Slice baguette into ½" slices. Lightly brush one side of each slice with olive oil. Broil the oiled side for about 2 minutes or just until lightly browned.
  2. Remove from the oven and gently rub each slice with a clove of garlic.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mexican Rice

This is a recipe that I have used for about a year and we love it.  It multiples well and serves a lot!

Mexican Rice (serves 8)

1 bell pepper
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
salt and cumin to taste
1 cup of rice
6-8 ounces tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth


1.  Chop onion, garlic, and bell peppers and let sauté in the oil. 
2.  Add the spices and tomato sauce.
3.  Add rice and let the mixture coat it.
4.  Stir in the chicken broth and let come to a boil.
5.  Cook for 20-30 minutes until rice is soft.

Pantry Salsa

I love salsa, and this is my go to if we are stuck in due to rain, illness, or just not wanting to get out.  This therefore is based off of what I normally keep in my pantry, unfortunately I don't keep cilantro or jalapenos which would make this salsa even better!

Pantry Salsa

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
1 onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (diced) to taste
cumin and salt to taste


Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until the consistency of your liking. 

Enjoy with chips, tamales, tacos, or anything else you love salsa with!


This year we were by ourselves for Christmas so we decided to try our hands at making tamales!  They turned out really well, so here are the recipes!

Masa Dough (found from  Makes 30-40 tamales


4 1/2 cups masa harina (plus more to add if needed)
3 3/4 cups cold water
1 1/2 vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon salt

  1. Combine masa harina and water in a large bowl and mix with your hands until ingredients are evenly incorporated and dough is moist throughout; set aside.
  2. Combine lard or shortening and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on high speed until shiny and white in color, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium high and add dough in handfuls, letting it mix in before adding more, until all the dough has been added, about 2 minutes. Continue beating until ingredients are well combined and a smooth, soft dough has formed, about 1 minute more.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before.

**Once you are ready to start using this, you might notice that your mixture is too wet to spread evenly, we took it upon ourselves to just add more masa in until it wasn't stick and it worked and cooked perfectly!

The fillings really are up to your and your taste.  We used what we had on hand and just added until the consistency worked for us.

Pork Filling:
Shredded Pork
Enchilada Sauce (homemade)

Cook the pork and then shred.  Pour over enchilada sauce and let sit for at least an hour for flavors to meld. 

Chicken Filling:
Shredded Chicken
Cream Cheese (at room temperature)
Taco Seasoning

Mix together adding the rotel as you feel is needed for spice.  Let flavors develop for at least an hour before filling the tamales.

Making the Tamales:

This was the part that we thought would be the hardest part, and it wasn't! Which we were thankful for!

You will need corn husks.  This is one thing that we noticed some stores only carry at certain times of the year.  Walmart for example only carries during Thanksgiving time.  We were able to find some at a local grocery store in the spice isle, and we are assuming that Hispanic markets probably carry them year round. 

Corn husks need to be soaked in water for a few hours before they are ready to use.  You can use a large bowl or the kitchen sink.  Make sure you weigh them down. 

Start with a pliable corn husk and find the smooth side.  Then  spread 1/4 cup of the masa dough evenly on the wide side of the corn husk.  Fill will your stuffing (1-2 Tablespoons) and then roll.  Wrap the bottom end up and then place in a steaming basket.

When you are done assembling the tamales, you will need to steam them for 90 minutes.  They are done once the corn husks easily comes off the tamale. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Snow Cone Syrup

Andrew loves crushed ice.  I found a snow cone machine at a garage sale for $2 and decided to give it a try!  It works really well and gives shaved ice.  Normally Andrew will just eat the ice on his own, but today we decided to make some syrup to go with it!  Luckily for Andrew his Mommy loves Snow Cones, but hates the price of them.  This is a great compromise.

This is an easy recipe and can be a variety of flavors based on what flavor of Kool Aid you pick up!  Today was strawberry, but we have 3 other flavors ready to be made!

Snow Cone Syrup

3/4 cup of Water
3/4 cup of Sugar
1 packet of Kool Aid


1) Make a simple Syrup of the water and sugar by heating the water to a boil and melting the sugar in it.
2)  Slowly mix in the Kool Aid.
3) Place in a container and cool in the fridge for an hour. 
4) Put over your crushed ice and enjoy!