Monday, April 25, 2011

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

This dip is so yummy on grilled bread or on crackers.  I like it best on wheat thins and triscuits.

2 T. butter
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 15-oz can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt

Melt butter in large skillet over med-high heat.  Add garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add the artichokes and spinach and cook, stirring often, until spinach wilts, about 3 minutes.  Thoroughly mix in cream cheese (can add 1 or 2 Tbs water if too thick).  Mix in Parmesan and salt, and scrape into a serving bowl. 

This dip is good hot, and even better cold the next day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mock Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

So, to go along with the last post of black beans, here is our version of the pork:

3-4 pounds pork tenderloin
1 can caffeine-free cola
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups salsa
1 tsp cumin

Cook in crockpot all day till tender, or simmer over very low heat, covered, till tender.  Shred with a fork and enjoy in burritos, tacos or on salad.  My kids just ate the meat plain.  It is delicious!

For our burritos, we layered inside the tortillas:
green enchilada sauce, shredded mozzarella, scoop of beans (recipe below) and a good portion of pork.  Roll up and place in baking dish and smother with more sauce and top with more cheese.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then broil till cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.  Add toppings of your choice.  We used guacamole, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, olives, avocados, green onions and cilantro.  Oh, and don't forget the lime wedges to squeeze over the whole thing!  That really makes a great Mexican dish!

Mock Cafe Rio Black Beans

I love black beans, and these are super easy and super yummy!  Last night we made mock Cafe Rio sweet pork burritos with these black beans inside and on the side.  Sooooo good!

Start with 1 1/2 to 2 cups dry black beans, rinsed.  Cover with water, two inches above the beans.  Bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes.  Cover and let sit for two hours.  Drain, rinse and put in a pressure cooker with the following ingredients:

4 Tbs oil
4 cloves minced garlic (fresh is best)
1 tsp cumin
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce plus 2 cans (16 oz) water
2 t. salt
4 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro (I actually forgot this, but I'm sure it would make them even better)

Bring pressure up and cook 12 minutes.  These beans are very saucy, like those at Cafe Rio, but the sauce is red, so they look different, but they are soooo good!  Serve with Mexican meals, or just scoop and eat with corn chips!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kabocha what?

I recently received two kabocha squashes in my Bountiful Basket.  I hate hard squash!  But I like pumpkin, which is a squash, so I thought this recipe might be okay.  I was WRONG!  It was FANTABULOUS!  I could have eaten the whole cheesecake by myself!  It was light and fluffy, as far as baked cheesecakes go, and the lime walnut crust was so yummy! (I thought it would probably ruin the cheesecake, but decided to try it anyway.  After all, how good could a squash cheesecake be?)  I followed the recipe exactly.  You should do the same.  Divine!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Best Apple Pie I've Ever Had, and I don't usually like apple pie!

For Thanksgiving this year I was in charge of pies.  I made vanilla cream, chocolate cream, pumpkin, praline pumpkin, chocolate pudding cheesecake, baked mango cheesecake, fresh peach (with frozen peaches) and the yummiest apple pie ever!  I found the recipe on, again (I LOVE the site!), and here it is for you (but I threw in a handful of craisins, too):

I had some diced frozen apples from last year instead of fresh, and they were PERFECT in this pie.  Mmmmm...can't wait to make it again!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yes, I know, EVERYONE has a recipe for chicken tortilla soup!  But this one is delicious and super-duper fast and easy!  Thanks to my sister-in-law for sharing it with me.  It is my favorite!  And no, it really doesn't have any tortillas in it, but that's what we call it.  I guess the corn chips stand it for them.

1 1/2 pounds cooked, shredded chicken (or 2 large cans, drained)
15-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
16-oz can green enchilada sauce
4-oz can chopped green chilies
15-oz can pintos drained and rinsed
15-oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 medium onion, diced
2 T. minced garlic
2 c. water
15-oz can chicken broth
15-oz can corn, drained (or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn)
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Cook all together for about 30 minutes, then add:

2 T. chopped cilantro (this really makes the dish--don't skip it)

Toppings:  (choose from any or use them all!  I always at least use sour cream, cheese, chips and green onions)
corn chips
sour cream
shredded cheese
chopped green onions
fresh salsa

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie

I know, sounds gross, right?  I hate sweet potatoes, but when we got a bunch in our Bountiful Basket last Saturday, I knew I had to use them somehow. is an awesome website because you can type in ingredients you want to use and, Voila!  So, I only sorta like pumpkin pie (if it has LOTS of whipped cream), but one of the recipes had rave reviews for  sweet potato pie, with lots of people saying they didn't like pumpkin pie but loved this pie.  I really liked it!  To be honest, though, that first bite was pretty intimidating!  I was sure it would be disgusting, but I've eaten three pieces since then.  It tastes a little bit sweeter than pumpkin pie.  So...if you've got sweet potatoes from your BB hangin' around, give this recipe a try!  I doubled it and it made three pies (because I wanted to use ALL of the potatoes and I had no idea how much a pound was!  So I used 8 small potatoes, so maybe about 3 would be a pound?)

1 pound sweet potatoes
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter, cut into slices
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk (I used cream because I had some I needed to use)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust (I used a frozen one)

Boil sweet potatoes whole in skin till tender.  Cool enough to handle and remove skins.  Mash with butter til smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and mix with electric beaters till smooth.  Pour into unbaked pie crust.  Place on cookie sheet (in case it bubble over in the oven) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Pie will puff up a little bit as it cooks, then sink down as it cools.  Cool on rack, then chill before serving (with lots of whipped cream, of course!)