Homemade Salsa

I love making salsa!

It’s super easy & you can make as much or as little as you want.

Not to mention you can control how spicy it is. 

The hotter, the better in my book!!

My only problem with having an over abundance of salsa in the house, is staying out of it.

I always find myself sneaking back into the kitchen getting into the salsa bowl. 😉

 

salsa

salsa 2

Ingredients

1 can (28 Ounce) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced tomatoes And green chilies)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeño, quartered And sliced thin (I add more than 1, maybe 3 or a couple serrano peppers)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (more to taste)
1/2 whole lime, juiced

In a large food processor or blender, combine whole tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin,

lime juice, and cilantro. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like.

Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips.

salsa jar

This recipe was adapted from the Pioneer Woman.

Fruit Salsa w/ Baked Cinnamon Chips

This is the perfect summer staple especially on a really hot day. 🙂

 

cinnamon sugarYou are going to have more than enough cinnamon sugar left over.

You can either reduce that amount you make or save it in a little

container like I did for the next batch you make.

butter me upAdd a little melted butter to your tortilla before sprinkling with the cinnamon sugar.

(You can use whole wheat or gluten free tortillas.)

sugar meSprinkle your cinnamon sugar on.

a chipsAfter all of your tortillas are covered in cinnamon sugar.

Use a pizza cutter to slice into triangles.

Place on a cookie sheet to bake.

It’s okay to sneak a few before they bake. Go on… You know you want to. 😉

a salsa bowlChop your fruit & serve. 🙂

Ingredients

Salsa:

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
8 oz raspberries (optional)
1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar

Chips:

10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
melted butter

Cinnamon Sugar:

1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with melted butter.  Sprinkle tortillas with desired amount of cinnamon sugar, cut into wedges, and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture. This salsa can also be served with cinnamon graham crackers or cinnamon pita chips. Best when made and eaten the same day.

a bowl of chipsEnjoy!!

Original Recipe

Ranch Sauce & Cheese Fries

If I had to choose 3 things to eat for the rest of my life, 

cheese fries w/ ranch would definitely be on that list.

A nice crispy fry covered in ooey gooey cheese, with big chunks

of apple wood bacon smothered in ranch sauce.. who wouldn’t

want to eat that?! 😉

Given it’s not a healthy snack but these are prefect for those once

a week splurge days while you’re watching football. You know

which days I’m talking about. It’s the day where you sit around in

your pj’s all day, lounging on the couch. Yeah, these are perfect for those

kind of days.  

DSC05507 redoServe ranch sauce on the side.

DSC05510 redoOr drizzle ranch sauce over fries & cover with cheese.

Ingredients

4-6 Potatoes or Frozen Bag of Wedges
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper (Any other seasoning)
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup Real Bacon Bits
1/4 Cup Green Onions (Opitional)

Ranch Sauce
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Ranch Dressing 
1/4 Cup Milk

Cut potatoes into “steak french fries” size.  Place on baking sheet. 
Drizzle with olive oil & lightly toss with tongs.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper. 
 Bake 400 for 40 minutes or until tender. If using frozen wedges, do as directed on bag.

 Mix together sour cream, ranch dressing & milk.
Once wedges are finished baking, drizzle the ranch sauce over the potatoes.
Cover ranch sauce with cheddar/ mozzarella cheese & bacon.
Place under broiler for a few seconds to melt the cheese.
If you are using the ranch sauce as a dipping
sauce, just cover wedges with cheese & bacon.
Then place under the broiler.
Serve on the side.

Original Recipe

Cajun Fire Crackers

These are OMGoodness AMAZING!

I would almost say they are better than chips &

I’m all about some potato chips. Especially spicy ones.

I’ve seen these floating around Pinterest a few times since trying these,

but this recipe came from a nice guy at work. He brought them in for a potluck a few months back

& after raving about them non stop he shared his secret recipe with me.

Nice huh?! I thought so too.

If you don’t like spice, I would take it easy on the cayenne & red pepper.

I would also recommend eating them with cheese. Mmm!

Ingredients

3/4 cup canola oil

1 tbs red pepper

1 tbs cayenne pepper

1 packet dry fiesta ranch dressing

1 2.5 gallon Ziploc bag

1 box saltine crackers

Mix all ingredients in a Ziploc bag then add 1 box saltine crackers.

Let bag rest for 2 hours, turning bag over every 15 minutes or so.

If possible wait until next day to eat.

Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers

Not sure about your family but mine is really into college sports.

Two teams from my home state played in the elite eight this weekend

which means a lot of time spent glued to the t.v watching basketball.

GO CARDS!! 🙂

Basketball/ Sports = Finger Food

Not wanting to make too much for the 3 of us,

I opted to make crispy baked chicken fingers.

Not only are these filling, they are super tasty served with honey Dijon mustard.

I was surprised how well these turned out for my first time. Fool proof!

** Original recipe below, I used different breadcrumbs since I had them on hand.

I used Italian Crumbs & omitted the garlic powder.**

Ingredients

2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. canola oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
3 large egg whites
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme or ¼ tsp. dried
Cooking spray
1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch wide strips


Preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  In a large skillet, toss the panko with the oil.  Toast over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer the toasted crumbs to a shallow dish or pie plate.

In a second shallow dish, whisk together the flour, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.  In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water, mustard and thyme.

Spray a wire rack lightly with cooking spray and place over a rimmed baking sheet.  Working in batches, dredge a few pieces of the chicken in the flour, then the egg whites, and finally the breadcrumbs to coat, shaking off the excess between each step.  Lay the coated pieces on the prepared wire rack and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Spray the tops of the chicken pieces lightly with the cooking spray.  Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes.  Serve warm.

This recipe came from this wonderful blog!

 

Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

When I first came across this recipe, I was pretty excited. The title read “Toasted Ravioli with Marinara Sauce”.  

Then I discovered the toasted part they must have been referring to was the Italian bread crumbs. 😉

The raviolis sounded good enough but they were fried & the suggested ravioli, frozen.

I still wanted to give them a try.

I have to admit that they were very tasty, but next time I will make homemade ravioli instead.

Also going to try to bake them instead of frying them.

If you remake these little treats, let me know if you bake them.

I’d like to know how they turned out.

Please ignore the sauce bowl of choice that says beware & boo.

These were made around Halloween.. haha!

Ingredients

2 tbs whole milk

1 egg

3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried thyme

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 (25 oz) package frozen cheese ravioli – thawed

2 cups vegetable oil for frying

grated Parmesan cheese

marinara sauce  (this is the sauce I made)

Combine milk & egg in a small bowl. Combine breadcrumbs & seasoning in a shallow bowl or pie dish.

Dip ravioli in milk mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs.

Heat your marinara sauce. If you are using the above recipe (link) it will already be on the stove.

In a large pan,  add vegetable. Should be about 2 inches in depth. Heat oil on medium heat.

Add a pinch of breading to see if it sizzles & turns brown. This well let you know your

oil is hot enough to fry up your raviolis.

Add a few to the pan at a time, making sure not to over crowd or touch.

Cook about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.

Line on paper towels to soak up the extra oil.

Sprinkle with Parmesan & serve with hot marinara sauce. 

Fried Pickles

Oh My Goodness let me tell you about my love of fried pickles!

I did not, let me repeat, did not like pickles until I had fried pickles. There are so many things I dislike & pickles are were right up there at the top.

I couldn’t get past the vinegar taste.  But one night of eating out changed my mind forever. My husband ordered fried pickles,

now let me just stop here & say I have never heard of fried pickles before & I thought it must have been a Texas thing. Wrong!

Texas isn’t the only state with magical fried pickles. lol. So he ordered them, made me try them & the rest is history.

Since I couldn’t go out to eat every time I wanted the oh so delicious pickles, I had to find a way to make them at home.

I’ve tried a couple recipes but so far I like this one the best.

Oh, did I mention that my husband bought me a deep fryer for Christmas just so I can make fried pickles. Yes, I am addicted. 😉

Ingredients

1 pint sliced dill pickles (I used spicy pickles because I like the extra  kick)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup all purpose flour plus 1 tbsp – divided

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

pinch of salt

vegetable oil – you can use canola oil if you’d like

ranch dressing

Drain the pickles reserving some of the pickle juice. Reserve about 2/3 of a cup. Lay the pickle slices on a paper towel to blot off the excess moisture.

Combine the reserved pickle juice, egg & 1 tbsp of flour in a bowl. Whisk to combine, then set aside.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the remaining flour, cayenne, garlic powder, salt & paprika. Whisk to blend.

In batches, dip the pickle slices in the egg mixture, gently shaking off the excess. Then dip in the flour-spice blend. Make sure to coat your pickle evenly so it will fry up nice & crisp. In a medium saucepan (I am assuming not everyone has a deep fryer), add oil. About a inch in depth. Heat oil to 375 F. Fry pickles in batches until golden brown, which should take about 3 minutes or so. Make sure not to add too many to the pan! Line freshly fried pickles on a paper towel to soak up the oil. Serve warm with ranch as the dipping sauce.

Smoked Jalapeno Poppers

Who doesn’t love jalapeno poppers? 
Simple to make & they taste great. Normally when you get jalapeno poppers they’re fried but a few months ago we attended a BBQ contest & they had poppers. These weren’t just any poppers, these were hickory smoked poppers. BOY OH BOY were they good!! My husband decided we should recreate them, so below is step by step to smoked jalapeno poppers.

Things you will need: Bacon, Shredded Cheese, Cream Cheese (room temp) & Jalapenos

Depending on how many jalapenos you make will determine how many pieces of bacon you need to fry up.

We used 12 jalapenos which gave us 24 total (you don’t have to make this many) so we used 7 pieces of bacon.

Fry your bacon & chop into tiny little bacon bits. Slice your jalapenos in half & scoop out the seeds.

You can leave a few seeds if you like a little extra kick or you can take them all out. Either way they will still taste great.

Above you will see the slice peppers with a layer of cream cheese. Just spoon a little into each pepper & spread it out evenly.

Next you will top with shredded cheese & your bacon bits.

Time to put these on the grill/ smoker.

Only leave poppers on for a minute or 2. Just long enough to get hot & have a little black on bottom. 

They are ready to be eaten as soon as you pull them off the grill. 
Enjoy!

Peppadew Peppers w/ Goat Cheese & Pesto

Okay, so sometimes you can get recipes or ideas from places you never thought you would. Which totally happened to me the other night. I was getting my hair done an I mentioned to my stylist Drew that I needed a finger food for a Christmas party I was attending. He instantly suggested that I try this simple appetizer. While I did make this totally awesome appetizer, I wasn’t able to share it with anyone but my husband due to our child being under the weather. So, I am going to share it with you!
 
Peppadew Peppers w/ Goat Cheese & Pesto
You will need Peppadew peppers, pitted. There’s no certain number of peppers to get, just however many you think you will need. You will find these peppers on any olive bar at your local Signature Kroger or Market Place. These will be fresh peppers. You may be able to find them in a jar but I didn’t look.
Goat Cheese
1 Jar Pesto (If you want to make your own pesto, go for it.)
 
You are going to turn the peppers upside down on a paper towel to drain the oil before stuffing with cheese & pesto. Once the oil has been drained, cut a small piece of goat cheese & stuff in the middle of the pepper. Next add a little pesto on top of the pepper covering the goat cheese. To make it easier, I put the pesto in a pastry bag & pipped the pesto on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. These are so tasty you will have a hard time not eating them all yourself.

Pizza Bites

My family absolutely loves these little pizza bites. So much that I have to make a double batch for the 3 of us. Not only are they super tasty, they are super easy to make, which is a double plus in my book. While I found this recipe on Pinterest, it links me to a fellow blogger here.
Ingredients
3/4 Cup Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional) (I always add more than a pinch)
3/4 Cup Whole Milk (I used skim)
1 Egg Lightly Beaten
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (If you are like me & love cheese, you’ll need to add a little extra)
1/4 Grated Parmesan Cheese (I didn’t use the shredded prepackaged cheese, I grated my own)
1 Cup Cubed Pepperoni (If you can’t find the cubes, use the bag of mini pepperonis)
** Of course since this is a form of pizza you will need marinara sauce. The sauce can really make or break a pizza in my opinion. Since I am not a huge fan of store bought sauce, I decided to make my own. Don’t panic, it’s not hard at all. I’ll be posting the recipe in my next post.**
Okay back to making the pizza bites.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24 count mini cupcake pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt & red pepper flakes. Whisk in milk & egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan & pepperoni. Let stand for 10 minutes before dividing out into pan.
Stir the batter, divide among mini cupcake pan. Bake until puffed & golden. About 20 to 25 minutes. Each oven is different so watch closely toward the end not to burn.
Hope your family enjoys these as much as mine. 🙂