It’s ‘Crack Dip’ Season!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

YEEEESSSSSS. Blame it on the pregnancy cravings (give me all things Buffalo!), or the Super Bowl season, but I am PUMPED about Buffalo Chicken Dip, aka, Crack Dip. I only make it once a year for the Super Bowl, but I crave it year round. Don’t forget to make some for your Super Bowl bash! It’ll be the hit of the party!

Here’s a few more of my favorite football foods that would be equally as awesome for your party:

Baked Tex-Mex Pimento Cheese Dip

Cheesy Pepperoni Bread

Bananas Foster Nachos. These are seriously AH-MA-ZING.

Bananas Foster Nachos

BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos

Baked Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-Ups

Happy Super Bowl party planning, everybody! May you enjoy your fatty dips, quesos, and deep-fried stuff as much as I will! :)

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red velvet cupcakes

With Valentine’s Day fast-approaching, I thought it only fitting to post something festive and “Valentine-y”. Joel and I never make big plans for this holiday; instead, we stay in, cook steaks, sip wine (sadly, I’ll be skipping that part this year…), and enjoy some sort of delicious dessert like fudgy fondue or these moist red velvet cupcakes.

red velvet cupcakes3

I only want red velvet once a year. It just seems weird to enjoy it any time but Valentine’s Day. So it had better be one fantastic recipe, otherwise, I’ve just let “red velvet season” slip through my fingers without fully enjoying it. This one doesn’t disappoint. The cake is super moist and rich and the cream cheese frosting is oh-so-smooth and slightly tangy. I just love a good red velvet cupcake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cup (one stick) butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 oz. red food coloring (I prefer Wilton ‘no taste red’)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 3 9-inch cake pans or line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

Cream the butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy; about a minute. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla. Make a paste with the food coloring and cocoa powder and add it into the batter.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and vinegar. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the batter alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating after each addition.

Spoon the batter evenly into each cupcake liner (about 3/4 of the way up) and bake for approximately 20 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need more or less baking time, so keep an eye on them. Let cool completely.

For the Frosting:
2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, at room temperature
1 package (2 lbs.) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Makes approximately 24-30 cupcakes.

Recipe source: adapted from my great-grandmother’s recipe

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Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken Breasts…

Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken

I looooove roast chicken. It’s one of my favorite things to make because a.) it’s super easy, b.) it makes the house smell amazing, and c.) it tastes awesome. I recently had some massive bone-in skin-on chicken breasts and decided to roast them just like I do a whole chicken. Except even easier. Just smear them with olive oil (or butter, if you prefer), sprinkle on a little salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary, squirt a couple of lemons on top and pop ‘em in the oven. Could NOT be simpler!

Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken 2

Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken Breasts

3 or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
olive oil
salt
pepper
2 lemons, cut into halves
3 or 4 sprigs fresh rosemary (chop one sprig and leave the others whole)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the chopped rosemary. Squirt the lemon halves over the chicken. Arrange the lemon halves and whole rosemary sprigs on the baking sheet around the chicken.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until skin is lightly browned and juices run clear. Serves 3-4.

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Asian Spaghetti…

Quick and easy Asian Spaghetti made with angel hair pasta, crisp veggies, and a light sauce. The perfect side dish for any Asian-inspired meal!

Asian Spaghetti

Alright, folks. It’s a new year and I’m feeling good and ready to jump back in! Luckily, I’m no longer struggling with morning (aka: 24 hour) sickness and I’ve begun to regain a lot much of my energy that the first trimester robbed me of. I’m 16 weeks along, and we’ll find out in about 3 weeks if Cassidy will have a little sister or brother. We can’t wait! I’ve been getting back into the kitchen lots more and cooking healthy meals again (for awhile, Taco Bell was my only friend…). Now that I’m feeling better, I get to look forward to throwing Cassidy’s 2nd birthday party in a few weeks! She’ll be having a Curious George themed party and I’m soooo excited to put it all together!

I want to thank you all for being patient with me as I cope with the challenges of pregnancy and toddler-wrangling. I appreciate you all so much and can’t tell you what your readership means to me. So, before my hormones run wild and I start getting all teary-eyed (it happens a lot, really), I’ll go ahead and switch gears- let’s talk about food!

Asian Spaghetti 2

As I said before, I went through a phase where the only things I could stomach were junky, carb-y, really bad-for-you things. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a half-eaten chocolate cake and a package of Soft Batch cookies in my kitchen right now, but now that I’m feeling so good, I’m really focused on eating healthier foods, along with lots of fruits and vegetables. One of my favorite go-to meals is my Asian Glazed Salmon, and this Asian Spaghetti goes perfectly with it! Light, crisp, and full of flavor. I love the crunch of the snow peas and carrots, and the light soy sauce dressing is super quick and easy. Perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner!

Asian Spaghetti

8 ounces angel hair pasta
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup fresh snow peas
3/4 cup shredded carrots
4 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, snow peas, carrots and onions in oil until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, and cayenne. Drain pasta. Add pasta and soy sauce mixture to skillet and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Recipe Source: Taste of Home

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