8.30.2012

No Bake Beer Dip!


We decide to have a party. I find a recipe called "Beer Dip." Was there even an ounce of questioning that went in to deciding to make this for the party? Absolutely not. Then I learned it didn't even require any baking. HELLO! My new favorite dip.  You definitely must like the taste of beer to enjoy this dip. It takes 5 minutes and was a nice cold alternative to most dips. Big thanks to Balancing Beauty & Bedlam for the new recipe that will be perfect for football watching!

No Bake Beer Dip
Serves: enough for a party (Original recipe says 12 people)
Cook time according to Balancing Beauty: 5 mins
Cook time according to Rachel: 5 mins
How difficult was this for Rachel? Psh EASY!

Ingredients:                                

3 (8 ounce) pkgs softened cream cheese
1 pkg dry Ranch dressing
1/2-3/4 can of beer
2 cups shredded cheese

Recommend a full bodied beer to get full flavor

Optional: bacon bits, green onions (I was in a rush so there was no time for this, but for sure in the future)

Directions:

Mix cream cheese, dressing mix and beer until mixed thoroughly.


Mix in 1/2 cup of cheese leaving the remaining to sprinkle on top.


Garnish with bacon bits & green onion. Serve with pretzels or chips.

8.29.2012

Funfetti Cake Dip!




So, this happened. While patrolling one of my favorite blogs Eat Yourself Skinny looking for more party foods, I stumbled across this dip. With zero control, my mouth immediately said "Hell yes" out loud.  Good thing nobody heard me but Duke.  Apparently it is also low in fat & calories, but when it came to our house warming party, calories weren't exactly on the mind. I stole the final pic below from Eat Yourself Skinny because the second I was able to get this dip into a bowl, hungry party-goers were already eating it.  Guess I'll just have to make it again to get another picture!

Funfetti Cake Dip
Serves: If it was up to me, one bowl would be a serving
Cook time according to Eat Yourself Skinny: 2 mins of prep time, must cool for 4 hours
Cook time according to Rachel: Same!
How difficult was this for Rachel to make? Easy breezy!

Ingredients:
Best part? 
1 18oz box Funfetti cake mix
2 cups fat-free plain yogurt
1 cup cool whip
1 box Teddy Grams 
(Original recipe called for animal crackers, but I couldn't find any!)   

Directions:


In a large bowl, mix cake mix, yogurt & cool whip until completely combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours. 

Picture graciously stolen from Eat Yourself Skinny
That's it!






8.24.2012

Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip


Picture compliments of Closet Cooking. See below about my lack of picture taking.
If you've been following, J & I recently moved into a house! J had the brilliant idea to have a house warming party the 2nd week we were in the house.  I was very excited to try out some new recipes because it's not often I cook/bake for other people.  I was all ready to spend the night before/day of baking & cooking...and then I found out I had to work. Television doesn't stop for parties! 

So the next couple recipes that I post were literally made as people were arriving at the house/already drinking and having a grand ol time.  Some I forgot to take pics of the ingredients (this post included...but who really cares about that) and some I forgot to take pics of different steps.  The important part here is the party was a success and all this yummy food I made was gone the next day.

This dip was gone within 30 minutes of me removing it from the oven. Guess I should have made more! What I love about this dip is there is very little prep time. All the ingredients essentially just get mixed together and thrown in the oven. Big thanks to Closet Cooking for the awesome recipe.

Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Serves: I don't even know how to answer that
Cook time according to Closet Cooking: 30 mins
Cook time according to Rachel: 30 mins!
How difficult was this for Rachel to make? EASY!

Ingredients:
1/2 (10 ounce) pkg frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained & coarsely chopped
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Mix everything in a large bowl & pour into a baking dish


Bake until the sides are bubbling and the cheese has melted & turned golden brown on top. About 30 minutes. Serve!

8.23.2012

Twice Baked Potatoes


With every meal comes a lesson. The lesson I learned from these potatoes? PAY ATTENTION (yes, I say this to myself a lot).  I found this recipe from Weight Watchers Recipes (thank you Pinterest) and after seeing the photo, I was sold. However, the recipe calls for 3 large baking potatoes. I only wanted to make 2.  Ask me if I adjusted the rest of the ingredients for only 2 potatoes instead of 3...NOPE. So these potatoes were a bit on the creamier side. J of course wolfed them down and I enjoyed them as well...but I will be attempting these again with the modified ingredient amounts.  Because I like my followers, I adjusted the ingredients below to what they SHOULD be for 2 potatoes.

Best part of this? I made these potatoes to go with this pain in the ass dish, Crunchy Honey Garlic Chicken. What a disaster of a meal.

Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves: 2
Cook time according to Weight Watchers: 1 hour 40 mins
Cook time according to Rachel: 2 hours
How difficult was this for Rachel to make? If I had paid attention, maybe moderately difficult

Ingredients:

2 large baking potatoes
1/3 cup fat free chicken broth
2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp green onion slices
1/4 cup light sour green
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp paprika

(I have no idea why I put garlic in this photo)



Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Pierce potatoes in several places with the tip of a sharp knife. Cook potatoes for 1 hour- 1 hour 25 mins, until tender.


Immediately cut potatoes length wise in half. Scoop out centers, leaving 1/4 inch thick shells.  I struggled with this a bit because my potatoes weren't 100% tender.


In a large bowl, mix the scooped out potato, broth, 1/4 cup cheese, onions and sour cream until well blended. 


Scoop back into potatoes and add additional cheese (I accidentally added the cheese after the 2nd round of baking)
 Bake an additional 20 mins. (It should NOT be this liquidy!)



8.16.2012

Crunchy Honey Garlic Chicken



Ohmygod it's been almost a MONTH since my last post. That is simply depressing...and also says I have been eating takeout and frozen foods for far too long.  In the past few weeks I moved out of my little one bedroom apartment into a big 'ol house (just renting!) and went back to work after a lovely 3 month summer vacation. Ergo, ZERO time to cook.  This particular meal was made in the midst of packing and what a dumb idea that was.  Never attempt a complicated meal while surrounded in boxes.  The chicken was not as crunchy as the original picture alluded to, but it was still tasty...just a bit of a pain in the ass. 

Crunchy Honey Garlic Chicken
Serves: 4
Cook time according to Barry: Doesn't say
Cook time according to Rachel: I want to say an hour, but it was so long ago I can't remember...but it did take a while
How difficult was this for Rachel?  Some may say challenging. I say pain in the ass.

Ingredients (aka your entire spice rack)
1 cups flour                                                  
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp ground sage
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 eggs
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Honey Garlic Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 additional tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Sift together everything listed above the eggs.


In a separate bowl mix the eggs with 4 tbsp water creating an egg wash.

Here is where things got fun. Directions say to place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound the meat to an even 1/2 inch thickness.  Well I don't own a meat mallet. I asked J what he thought about me just using a hammer. The look I got back basically told me to find another option. Then I read alternatively, I could slice the breasts into halves.  First one worked perfectly as shown above. 2nd one...

turned out this. So much for that idea.

Moving on.

Dip the meat in the flour/seasoning mix then into the egg wash and then once again dip back into the flour/seasoning mix.


I got so carried away with the mess I was making, I forgot to take pics.  Heat a skillet on the stove with about half an ince of olive oil covering the bottom. I didn't use as much because it seemed like too much. This may have been a mistake. Cook the chicken gently for about 4-5 mins per side. Must be careful to regulate the temp and not let them burn because they are so thin.

I also skipped the next step. THAT was a mistake.

Once chicken are fully brown, drain on a wire rack for a few mins.

I also forgot to take a picture of the sauce. Remember, I was in the midst of moving. Be nice.

Combine all the ingredients listed under Honey Garlic Sauce.  Coat the chicken evenly and serve.

Just wait till you see what I did to the potatoes that I served with this pain in the ass dish
Coming soon...