Smoky Pumpkin Spice Hummus

My Smoky Pumpkin Spice Hummus is a versatile dip that you could have any time of year, but tastes especially great as the season of pumpkin spice everything is upon us.  At our house, we enjoy throwing in popcorn, pretzels and pita chips along with the usual veggies.

Smoky Pumpkin Spice Hummus

1- 16 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon olive oil
4 teaspoons agave
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Chile Pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Place all the ingredients (except the pumpkin seeds) into a food processor and blend until smooth. If your hummus is a little thick, add more olive oil.

Place your hummus in a serving bowl.  Garnish with a light sprinkle of chipotle chile pepper and pumpkin seeds. Serve with popcorn, pretzels, pita chips, veggies, etc.

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Roll

Super Bowl Week!  Yes, there is a football game but I get excited about all the yummy Super Bowl Foods!  I have been working on my menu and I wanted to share this new, favorite of my boys.  Seriously it is buffalo chicken and crescent rolls.  I mean two amazing things at one time!  It is super easy to make.  Plus I got a hug from my oldest saying “Mom, you created the best meal ever!”.

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2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

1 T ranch dry seasoning

1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot (you can use whatever sauce you want- you completely have control the heat it brings.  Start with ½ cup and work up if needed.  

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 refrigerated crescent roll tubes

Dipping Sauces- Ranch Dressing, Bleu Cheese Dressing, Buffalo Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the chicken, ranch seasoning, wing sauce and mozzarella cheese and set aside.

Place one crescent roll onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Seal together to form a long rectangle. Open second crescent roll container.  Using only half of the dough, add on the rectangle.  Reserve the other half for topping.  

Place the chicken mixture down the center of the crescent roll.  Then bring sides together to form a log shape.  Fold the ends in to hold in the filling.  Take the  remaining crescent roll dough and cut into strips with a pizza cutter.  Then lay on top of your newly formed log/roll.  Design however you wish.  

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Bake for around 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat when ready to serve.  Cut into 1 inch long pieces.  

Serve with your choice of dipping sauces and celery.  

 

The Most Addictive Dip, EVER

Playoffs, Football, Tailgating and Food!  This is the time of year that you are invited to football watching parties even if you don’t like football.  But there is usually yummy food. Only good comes from that.

This year when you need to bring an appetizer that will say, “I came to play!” this is your dip.  It is seriously the most addictive dip I have ever eaten.  So there is BACON, we all know that means VICTORY.  Then all the other goodness is in there too.  One friend, while trying to talk through moaning over the yumminess, said “It is like all the best toppings of a baked potato.”  Yes, wipe your face, it is!

No matter what team you are cheering for, everyone will be calling you the winner for this dip!

Looking Forward,
Amanda

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The Most Addictive Dip, EVER

5 green onions, chopped
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 t Tony’s Chachere Creole seasoning
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
½ cup sliced almonds

Take all the above ingredients and mix them together.  Once all ingredients are well blended together, stick in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.  Serve with crackers.

Creamy Blanco Queso

The countdown is on to the Super Bowl. I wanted to share another yummy appetizer to share at your party. Change it up a little with Blanco Queso. Yummy and you can spice it up with jalapeños. Serve it up with a side of salsa or guacamole.   Everyone loves to munch during the game!  If you still have friends keeping to their New Year’s goals, consider serving up Cauliflower Poppers or Zucchini Fries. Enjoy creating your Super Bowl menu! -Amanda

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Creamy Blanco Queso

8 oz block regular cream cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 T salted butter 1 (4oz can) green chiles
1 T jalapeños, minced fine (optional)
4-6 T milk
3 Tablespoons water

In a crockpot combine the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, butter, green chiles and jalapeños. Cook on high for 30 minutes. Stir the mixture until well combined and then add a Tablespoon of milk and water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. (this is all up to you on consistency!) Cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and combined.
Keep cheese dip in the crockpot on the warm setting until ready to serve. Check on it and occasionally stir throughout the serving. Serve with tortilla chips or warm tortilla.

Layered Mexican Dip

Superbowl is this week!  Whether you are cheering for The Seahawks or The “Ball Deflated” Patriots, (or just excited about the commercials and halftime!), everyone wants something fun to munch on.  I will share a few of my “party dips” and highlight some recipes from the past. My Layered Mexican Dip has evolved over the years.  I started with a simple 5 layers and just kept adding stuff.  There is no right or wrong to this recipe.  Delete or add any ingredients that fit your tastes.  Just have good tortilla chips!    -Amanda

IMG_6798Layered Mexican Dip

1 (16oz) can refried beans
2 T taco seasoning
1 cup Guacamole or pre-made avocado dip (6 oz) carton
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
2 tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
1 (4 1/4 oz) can sliced ripe olives, drained

Combine beans and taco seasoning mix.  Spread in a deep dish pie plate or casserole dish.  Layer dip and remaining ingredients in order listed.  I make this dip ahead and refrigerate until party time.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Can’t Stop Spinach Artichoke Dip

Most weekends around 4 o’clock this house is ready for an appetizer.  We love homemade dips.  This past weekend I tried a different version of spinach dip.  Easy and delicious.  All the seasonings and marinated artichokes dance together to create a perfect appetizer.  So worth sharing and creating again!  Enjoy!- Amanda

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Can’t Stop Spinach Artichoke Dip

8 oz. cream cheese

1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayo

1 pkg. frozen, chopped spinach (thawed)

2 jars of marinated artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

1/2 t Garlic salt

1 T Chili powder (you may want to add more!)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese + 1/2 cup for topping

Make sure your spinach is throughly thawed.  Use paper towels to press out the excess water.  Warm cream cheese for about 2 minutes on 50% heat.  This will make it easy to mix your dip up.  Now mix all ingredients in a baking dish, and sprinkle on a bit more mozzarella.  Broil until the cheese is browned. Serve with crackers, celery, radishes.

Lesley’s Deviled Eggs

This past week I spent time with my family.  We all love to gather around the table for yummy meals and then debrief in the kitchen.  My sister, Lesley, has taken over the responsibility of making deviled eggs.  This trade was taught by my mom and Lesley has mastered her skill.  In the south we know that deviled eggs are not just for Easter.  They are the perfect addition to any brunch, party, or special occasion.  I’m excited to share Lesley’s recipe as only she could write it!

Lesley’s Deviled Eggs

1 dozen eggs, boiled
3 T yellow mustard
1/2 cup mayo
paprika

Peel egg shells from all eggs. Cut eggs long ways and empty yolk into a small bowl.  In a food processor blend yolks, mustard, and mayo until creamy.  You may alter the taste by adding more mustard or mayo.

After you are done blending, you want to get all that yummy goodness into the center of your egg.

A couple of options: first one, my favorite, is using the accent decorator from pampered chef. Put the yummy goodness that you have blended into the decorator and it will squirt it mess free into your egg.

The second option is putting the yummy goodness into a ziploc bag, and cutting one corner off at the bottom and then squirting it into the egg.

Both will limit the time and mess of your creation.

After finishing the eggs, it’s a great idea to sprinkle with paprika for some color and a little taste.

Amanda’s Guacamole

It’s that time of year when the avocados are ripe, delicious, and usually not $3 each.  I love avocados.  We add them to salads and sandwiches. (I’ll be sharing an avocado chicken salad in a few weeks.) With these magic green things, I create a guacamole that does not last long.  It is simple, fresh, and addictive.  Perfect as a starter to your fajita or taco night.  This amazing guacamole is a staple for any summer get together.  To Avocados! –AF

Amanda’s Guacamole

3 ripe avocados (must be ripe)

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

1 T fresh lime juice

1 t salt

freshly ground black pepper

Cut each avocado in half and remove seed from avocado.  Scoop out avocado pulp into a large bowl.  Mash avocado until desired consistency.  I like to leave small chucks in my guacamole.  Add tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, salt, and lime juice.  Stir until avocado mixture is blended.  Top with black pepper.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Happy Birthday Meal: Starter: Caprese Skewers

I LOVE birthdays!  It is a perfect time to celebrate and of course, cook.  Today it was time to celebrate Chris.  William and I whipped up a four course meal fit for our king.  After consulting various cookbooks and notes, our menu was filled with his favorites.  I will be sharing all four courses over the next few days.

Birthday Menu

Our first course started with Caprese Skewers.  These bite size appetizers made it easy to mingle and make casual talk about the day.  Chris loves the combination of tomato, basil, and mozzarella.  The drizzle of a balsamic vinaigrette completes the taste.

Caprese Skewers

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 T + 1 t extra virgin olive oil

1/4 t ground black pepper, divided

1/8 t kosher salt

12 small mozzarella balls

24 grape tomatoes

24 small to medium leaves of fresh basil

24 toothpicks

Cut the mozzarella balls in half. In a small bowl, toss mozzarella with the 1 t of olive oil and 1/8 t of the pepper. Set aside to allow the mozzarella to absorb the flavors.

In another small bowl create a vinaigrette by whisking together balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 T of olive oil, 1/8 t pepper, and kosher salt. This vinaigrette will be brushed on the skewers, once assembled.

Create skewers:

Slide 1 grape tomato onto a toothpick. Fold 1 basil leaf in half; pierce with toothpick and slide up to the tomato. Slide 1 mozzarella piece onto the toothpick.  Continue assembling skewers laying them on serving plate.
Once all skewers are assembled, brush them with the balsamic vinaigrette.

Cover until serving.

Cauliflower Poppers

I was curious about this zero calorie snack.  Many have pinned it on their Pinterest boards claiming they will make it one day.  Well, my day came last Friday.  Simple, Easy, Delicious, and NO GUILT!  It took only ten minutes for my boys to polish the plate.  Eat your veggies!- AF

Cauliflower Poppers

1 small head of cauliflower
1 t olive oil
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Cut cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces and place in a medium bowl. In a small bowl combine cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Add olive to cauliflower and gently toss.  Add seasonings; toss well to coat.

Spread cauliflower on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees and bake until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy, stirring halfway through, about 10 minutes.