Have you ever noticed how almost every single party dish revolves around cheese?? Dips, cheese balls, cheese logs, pinwheels….it seems almost every single holiday recipe starts with an 8 ounce package of cream cheese. Not that I’m complaining! However, since learning of my lactose intolerance (and my mom’s, and possibly my sister’s), I tend to pay more attention to these things nowadays. I try to cut down on the amount of cheese dishes I make when I host parties. Goat cheese doesn’t count, thank the Good Lord (I’m not affected by goat’s milk, just cow’s milk), so there’s ALWAYS plenty of that! So, this year, instead of a cheese ball (or two) and a couple of cheesy dips, I chose only one cheesy dish. This Baked Pimento Cheese Dip. Josie debuted it first, then Annie. After drooling over it on both girls’ blogs, I finally decided it was time to make it! Perfect party food, easy to make, and definitely a crowd-pleaser. What more could you ask for?
Baked Tex-Mex Pimiento Cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup greek yogurt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature (reduced fat is fine)
3/4 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped finely
8 oz extra sharp cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
8 oz Pepperjack cheese, grated
1/3 cup minced scallion (2-3 scallions)
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
tortilla chips, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dip, reserving 1 tablespoon of each cheese for topping. Mix well and spoon mixture into the baking dish.
Top with the reserved cheese and bake 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Garnish with additional cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips.
Recipe source: adapted from Pink Parsley; originally from Southern Living
This is one of those last minute, throw together meals that just happened to turn out to be a huge success (even if it doesn’t look all that appetizing). I had a can of black beans, a jar of salsa, some flour tortillas and cheese just sitting around waiting to be used, so I whipped up these super quick Mexican pizzas. They were excellent as is, but some shredded chicken or ground beef, cilantro, green onions and fresh tomatoes would have really made it awesome! I’m definitely going to play around with these again and see what yummy versions I can come up with!
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 flour tortillas
approximately 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or as much as you’d like)
1 cup salsa
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the tortillas with butter or olive oil spray and bake for about 3-5 minutes on each side until golden and crisp.
In a small saucepan, mash the black beans with the back of a fork or a potato masher (it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth- some lumps are just fine. In fact, I prefer it that way!). Spoon in approximately 1/4 cup of the salsa, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until heated through.
To assemble: Spread some of the beans on a tortilla. Top with salsa and cheese. Top with a second tortilla and repeat (ending with the cheese). Repeat with the remaining two tortillas (so you’ll end up with 2 pizzas). Bake for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream. Serves 2.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
Fightin’ Texas Aggie Football is in full swing, so naturally we’re watching every single game on tv (the ones we don’t go to in person). I don’t know about you, but I need something yummy to snack on while I watch a football game, otherwise I get….bored. In fact, usually once the food is gone I pretty much lose interest in any sporting event. I know…I guess that makes me what Joel calls a “2 percent-er”. Oh well. A few weeks ago when we were enjoying one of the (few) particularly good Aggie games on tv, I whipped up this cheesy pepperoni bread and BOY did we gobble it down! It’s perfect football food! I used a store-bought can of bread dough, so it really saved a ton of time and came together lightening quick. We loved it dipped in marinara sauce- overall, a totally yummy snack that I’m sure I’ll be making over and over again every football season!
Cheesy Pepperoni Bread
1 can store-bought Pillsbury Italian or French bread (you could absolutely make your own dough- I was just short on time)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
marinara sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll the bread dough so that it makes a large rectangle. Sprinkle generously with the mozzarella cheese, then top with desired amount of pepperoni. Carefully roll the dough jellyroll style into a loaf and place seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Recipe source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for sloppy Tex-Mex. I love pretty much anything doused in enchilada sauce covered in cheese- it’s my weakness (well, one of ‘em). The other night I was craving Mexican food pretty bad (it happens a lot lately) and I decided to whip up these burritos. They took no time to make and tasted awesome. You’ll have to excuse the fact that I had to photograph them on a paper plate…we’ve been in the middle of having some renovations done and I packed all my dishes up temporarily. If you’re in need of a quick, delicious meal, try these burritos- they won’t disappoint!
1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
half a (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
burrito-sized flour tortillas, warmed
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped green onions
sliced black olives
Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat and drain. Stir in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the green chiles and turn off heat; keep warm. Warm the refried beans in a small skillet over low heat.
In a saucepan, combine the tomato soup and enchilada sauce. Mix well, and cook over medium heat until heated through.
Place a warmed tortilla on a plate and spread some of the refried beans into the center; sprinkle with cheese, then spoon some of the ground beef mixture onto the center. Tuck in the ends of the tortilla and carefully fold into a burrito. Spoon some of the enchilada sauce over the burrito and top with additional cheese and garnishes. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serves 4-6
Recipe source: Adapted from allrecipes.com
Three words: Bananas. Foster. Nachos. You remember these?? I posted them back in October for my Project Food Blog challenge #4. Oh yeah. These are some serious nachos, y’all! Something I think you really, really need to make your Super Bowl party a success. Chocolate, caramel, buttery, brown sugary, rummy bananas…. Super Bowl food for the GODS, I tell you!
Still looking for that perfect Super Bowl dessert? Look no further, because these nachos are lightening quick to make, easy to eat (albeit a little messy), and seriously, seriously delicious! And most importantly, they’re man-friendly. These are guaranteed to please ANY man on the holiest of man days- Super Bowl Sunday. For a ridiculously easy step-by-step recipe, click here, and make all your Super Bowl dessert dreams come true.
Here I am again (and honestly, I just can’t believe it!), thanking you all for your continued support through Project Food Blog. I’m just blown away by your unfailing sweet, generous comments, encouragement and your votes. You are all truly wonderful readers…I am SO lucky to have you!! THANK YOU!!!
Ok, so here’s the challenge for Round 4: Sure, you can take a pretty picture. But your task here is to go above and beyond and use photography to create a step-by-step, instructional photo tutorial. It could be anything from how to bone a chicken to how to make your favorite recipe, but your photos need to guide the reader through the steps.
Honestly, at first, I thought this challenge would be a cinch. “Eh, what’s a few extra pictures?” However, it didn’t take long (about 12 seconds) for me to discover one very simple factor: step-by-step photos are HARD. For an A.D.D girl, something as simple as taking a few extra photos of the cooking process can be DAUNTING. I found myself running all over the kitchen, dining room and living room trying to get lists together, compiling my ingredients, writing down every single step of each recipe and trying to get my camera settings figured out (it takes awhile to do step-by-step photos, and your lighting is changing constantly- if you don’t change your camera settings accordingly, your pictures will absolutely start to suck). So needless to say, this has been the hardest challenge for me BY FAR. But, I barreled through and got it done- and came out with two totally awesome and delicious recipes to share with you! Yay me!!
For this challenge, I decided to do the kind of food that makes me happy (and my hubby!)- nachos. It was a very BIG game day in Texas today- the Aggies were playing a big game (who am I kidding, every game is a big game at our house!), then the Rangers with a playoff game after that. Needless to say, we needed game day food and we needed it bad. Just one kind of nacho wouldn’t be enough. I decided on two different kinds: Tequila Lime Chicken Nachos and Bananas Foster Nachos (yes, bananas foster- and let me just say….I’ve come up with a doozy.) So let’s open with recipe #1! This is how my family makes nachos- just layer on your favorite flavors. It’s great with seasoned ground beef, shredded chicken, or even meatless! I decided shredded chicken with a little tequila and lime juice would be perfect (and it was!)! Let’s get started!
You’ll need: 1 chicken breast, tortilla chips, a can of refried beans, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, limes, sour cream, guacamole and salsa, salt and pepper and tequila (not pictured…oops).
Put the chicken in a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove from water and shred with two forks. Toss with 1 tablespoon tequila, the juice of one lime and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
But before you season your chicken, be sure to give your sweet doggy a little tidbit.
Put your refried beans in a small skillet, stir in 1 (rounded) teaspoon of salsa and a splash of the juice from your jarred jalapenos (trust me, it’s good! Plus, it helps thin it out a little bit so it’s easier to spread). Cook the beans over medium-low heat, until heated through. Set aside.
Chop 8-10 slices of the jalapenos.
Spread out some tortilla chips on a baking sheet lined with foil and top with the beans. Just spoon some on, then gently spread it out with a small spatula.
Top with the shredded cheese and the chopped jalapenos.
Bake it in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes, until it looks all gooey and delicious, like this.
Top with the chicken then spoon on some of your salsa.
Spread the guacamole over the top, then dollop with sour cream.
Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.
Game Day nachos are best enjoyed with cold Dublin Dr. Pepper…Mexican Coke would be excellent as well.
These nachos are seriously GOOD (and they serve a whole boat-load of people!). They’re packed with so many different layers of flavor- the chicken is so moist and the hint of tequila really adds a lot! This is seriously, the perfect game day food! But those aren’t the star of today’s meal….these Bananas Foster Nachos are BY FAR, some of the BEST dessert food I have ever had. Seriously. An explosion of awesome in your mouth. So rich…so gooey…so amazing! I can’t wait to show them to you! Here we go- hold onto your hats…this is gonna be good.
You’ll need: flour tortillas, rum, caramel sauce (by all means, make homemade if you want to- I chose not to today), brown sugar, bananas, vanilla ice cream, chopped toasted walnuts, cinnamon/sugar, butter and hot fudge (I use this recipe).
Start by cutting 3 tortillas into quarters. Arrange on a greased baking sheet and spray with butter spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes, until crisp. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt half a stick (4 tablespoons) butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Place three sliced bananas in the pan, gently stir, then add in 2 teaspoons rum. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. You still want the bananas to have some texture, so be sure not to overcook them.
Arrange the tortilla wedges on a platter and drizzle with hot fudge (not too much- this dish can get RICH quick!).
Top with the bananas. Wow. This is looking good already!
Drizzle with the caramel sauce. Try not to lick the spoon.
Seriously. Don’t lick that spoon.
Sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.
And finally, top with a couple of hearty scoops of vanilla ice cream. Holy cow.
Go ahead and sprinkle with a teensy tiny bit of cinnamon.
OMIGOSH, OMIGOSH, OMIGOSH….
Take a bite…and find yourself on a short trip to “Delicious-Gooey-Yum-Yum-Land”. A truly magical place….
Oh yeah…he’s there too…welcome, honey. Welcome.
Here’s another one of my mom’s recipes. She’s made this one for as long as I can remember and my family has always loved it! Mexican Casserole. It’s super easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. If you ever need a dish for a large crowd, I’d recommend this one- you can double or triple the recipe and even make it ahead of time. My mom makes a big one and freezes the leftovers- it keeps beautifully! Perfect for potlucks, Mexican-themed dinner parties or even Sunday Night Football!
My Mom’s Mexican Casserole
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can Ranch Style beans
1 10-12 ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
sour cream and salsa for serving
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, brown meat and drain off fat. Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning, soup and water. Simmer over medium-low heat until everything is well combined and heated through.
Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Put down a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer of the meat/bean mixture, then half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream and salsa. Enjoy!
The weather is (slowly) changing from boiling hot to cool and crisp, every Saturday from here until Thanksgiving will be taken up with us either road-tripping to College Station, Tx or glued to the T.V., there’s an obscenely large, menacing maroon and white flag flying proudly in our front yard, and my husband has turned from being a mature, respectable man into a squealing 8 year-old child. This can only mean one thing: it’s Aggie football season, indeed. Yes, friends, my husband and I are Aggies. Big ones. My hubby went to school there and even though I didn’t (there’s no music program to speak of, hardly), I come from a family of proud Aggies. Therefore, every September, we get serious about Fightin’ Texas Aggie Football.
This is our “Aggie shelf” in the living room- these were my granddad’s belongings from his days at A&M – yearbooks, (very old) stuffed animals and lots, lots more. We’re so proud to display his things in our home; Joel, especially.
Football food is SO good (which, by the way, if you love it as much as I do, check out my “Football Food” tag! Lots of game-day goodies in there!). There’s nothing better than having some friends over to watch the game and eat good food – like this pie! It’s an old family favorite that gets made a lot around football season. I love the layer of spicy beef and cheddar cheese- it has SO much flavor! The good news is, this keeps really well in the fridge- just pop the leftovers back in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes and it’s just as moist and flavorful as it was the first day- maybe even better!
Game-Day Mexican Cornbread Skillet Pie
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup oil
1 cup sour cream
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 can cream style corn
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 small can green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first 8 ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a medium pan, saute the onions, garlic and peppers over medium-high heat until soft. Add in the ground beef and cook through. Drain off grease and stir in the tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper. Remove from heat.
Grease a cast iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet) and sprinkle the bottom with a little cornmeal. Spread half of the cornbread mixture, followed by the beef mixture. Top with the cheddar cheese, then spread the remaining cornbread mixture over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy in front of the T.V. while cheering for your favorite football team! Serves 4.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original (though technically I guess I can’t take credit since my mom has been making it for years!)
Gig ‘Em and God Bless!
Doesn’t that title just draw you right in? Ok, ok – it might not sound too appealing to you, but you’ll just have to trust me on this one, ok? Should you ever find yourself with leftover BBQ – you’re going to want to try this…..trust me.
In my home town, there’s a restaurant that serves something called “Texas Trash”; it’s essentially a taco salad of sorts, but with BBQ instead (and lots of other yummy things!). It’s so good, most of the time I don’t even wait until I have leftover BBQ to use up – I’ll just run by a good BBQ joint and pick up some brisket, beans and sauce just for the sole purpose of making Texas Trash! Start with a bed of Fritos, top it off with some chopped brisket, a little BBQ sauce, pinto beans, cheddar cheese, sour cream, black olives (yes, black olives!), jalapeno peppers (lots of ‘em), lettuce, cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of ranch dressing and you’ve got yourself one tasty pile of food! I swear, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! This is seriously one of my favorite things to eat! Tired of the same old chef salads and taco salads, but still don’t want to cook?? Make this! I *promise* it’s delicious!!
(there are no measurements because you just pile it on your plate according to how much you feel like eating!)
Chopped BBQ brisket (if you’re using leftover, make sure to heat it first)
shredded cheddar cheese
cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Place the Fritos on a plate and top with remaining ingredients (however much you want!). Enjoy! (Wasn’t that simple?!)
My mom made these for our 4th of July party. They’re insanely good. So good I was lying in bed around midnight that night wishing I had another one. I’m not sure what else to say here- those are the cold hard facts. Make these. Make them soon.
BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos
20 fresh jalapenos, cut in half and seeded
2 blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound bacon, cut into thirds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Spread some of the cheese mixture in each jalapeno half. Wrap each piece with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Brush with BBQ sauce, and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bacon is nicely browned.