Friday, September 19, 2014

Goat Cheese and Artichoke Dip

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I made this over the summer and you have to be a goat cheese and artichoke lover to enjoy this dip. I really enjoyed it, but others felt the goat cheese was too strong, it also didn’t help they aren’t a fan of goat cheese!

Goat Cheese and Artichoke Dip

(Adapted from the meaning of pie)


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8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, thoroughly drained and squeezed with paper towels

1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced

5 ounces (give or take) of goat cheese, softened

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Dash of cayenne pepper

Dash of cracked black pepper


Let the cheeses soften a bit and then mix them all together thoroughly, along with the garlic and the peppers, using a fork or an electric mixer.


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Squeeze the artichokes with paper towels until you have gotten most of the liquid out of them. You will be surprised at how much water artichokes are holding even after you have drained them. Chop them up coarsely and then add them to the cheese mixture. Gently fold in the artichokes.


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Place the mixture into an oven-proof dish. I used an 8-½ inch round shallow baking dish, but you could easily use 2 smaller ramekins or some other dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until it is hot and a little browned on top. Remove from the oven and serve.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

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I made this on a whim when my cousin was in town, and it was ok, but not I was in a hurry and dumped all the potatoes in so it was a little skimpy on the sauce. I also left out the chives since I forgot to buy them after I realized my plant died. Oh well at least it wasn’t a major ingredient.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

(Adapted from Ray Ray’s Fav Recipes)


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4 large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup freshly chopped chives, divided

8 strips of bacon (6 for the salad and 2 for topping) cooked and crumbled

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

Serves 4 – 6 (Simply double list of ingredients if you need a larger serving)


In a small bowl, mix together your mayonnaise, and sour cream.


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Make sure the two are completely combined and then add half of the chives, cheese, and pepper. Taste mixture to see if you prefer some salt. (I usually add a dash or two.) Let chill in fridge for a bit.


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Meanwhile, peel and cube your potatoes into bite size pieces. Put in a large pot, cover with water, and boil until fork tender. About 20 minutes. *You need to keep an eye on them. If they cook too long you’ll end up with more of a mashed potato consistency when you mix them with the sauce.


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When potatoes are ready, drain and let cool just a bit. *Let them cool a lot if you plan to serve chilled. Put potatoes in a large bowl or dish and combine with sour cream mixture. Fold in most of your crumbled bacon. Top with remaining half of chives and remaining crumbled bacon.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

CPK’s Kung Pao Spaghetti

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I honestly haven’t had the CPK Kung Pao Spaghetti, so I can’t compare how similar they are, but if it’s as good as this recipe I’ll have to order it next time I’m there. Can’t wait to make this one again.

CPK’s Kung Pao Spaghetti

(Adapted from Damn Delicious)


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1 pound spaghetti

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts

2 green onions, thinly sliced


For the sauce

2/3 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup dry sherry

2 tablespoons red chili paste with garlic, or more, to taste

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon sesame oil


In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, chicken broth, dry sherry, red chili paste, sugar, red wine vinegar, cornstarch and sesame oil; set aside.


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In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.


Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces; set aside.


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Add garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.


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Stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.


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Stir in pasta, chicken, peanuts and green onions.


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Serve immediately.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Jack Daniel's Maple Fudge

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I decided to start trying some recipes ahead of time instead of waiting till Christmas. I also needed a dessert and this one is super easy to whip up.

So normally I wouldn’t fuss that you can’t taste the liquor in something, but holy mother of God, this one you for sure wanna cut back a little or else cut the fudge in tiny pieces. Everyone that tried this said it was like taking a shot! After 2 bites I started to feel it, so I’m glad I tested this recipe out now!!

Jack Daniel's Maple Fudge

(Adapted from Just a Smidgen)


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6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey

1 tsp maple extract

1 lb powdered sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Measure out all ingredients in advance as this fudge sets up fast.


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Heat the chocolate chips in a microwave safe container in short 20 second “bursts” until chocolate stirs and is smoothly melted. Alternately, use a pot/bowl placed over a simmering pot of water.


Meanwhile, mix together the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey and the maple extract in a measuring cup.


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Once chocolate has melted, quickly stir in the powdered sugar, followed by the whiskey/maple extract liquid. Then stir in the walnuts.


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Quickly spoon into 9”x9” baking pan.


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Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cut into squares.


Allow to cool completely.

* please note, this is a no-cook recipe and as such, has a strong alcohol content and should be ingested with caution!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Copycat Red Robin Banzai Burger Recipe

Copycat Red Robin Banzai Burger Recipe

We don’t go to Red Robin that often, unless it’s around our birthday’s when you get a free burger. When we do go I usually order this burger because I love pineapple. Same with pizza I’m a huge pepperoni and pineapple fan. Anyway, I loved the idea of just making them at home. Since we have a freezer full of steer meat I used one package for my flavor of burger and another for hubby’s. (He likes a bacon bacon burger, I’ll have to post it another time.) I used a bottle of spicy teriyaki sauce and boy was that sucker spicy. Next time I’ll opt for the original. I also used Colby jack on my burger since I prefer that over the stronger cheddars. Can’t wait to make these again. Also see my note in red below I think mixing the sauce in with the meat worked better for a better flavor and you can also sauce the meat as it’s cooking if you want additional.

Copycat Red Robin Banzai Burger Recipe

(Adapted from Six Sisters Stuff)


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1 1/3 pounds ground beef

4 pineapple rings

2 cups teriyaki sauce

4 slices cheddar cheese

4 hamburger buns with sesame seeds

4 Tablespoons mayonnaise

4 slices tomatoes

1 cup shredded lettuce

Form ground beef into 4 equal sized patties. Pour one cup of teriyaki sauce in a container and let hamburger patties marinate for at least thirty minutes. (I just mixed the sauce in with the meat instead of pouring it over the meat.)


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Pour the second cup of teriyaki sauce in a bowl and let pineapple rings marinate for at least thirty minutes.


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Remove hamburger patties from teriyaki sauce and grill on high heat until you reach desired doneness.


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Melt cheese on top of hamburgers while still on the grill.


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Grill pineapple rings on medium heat for one minute on each side.


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Spread 1/2 Tablespoon of mayonnaise on each half of each hamburger bun. Place tomato slices on the bottom buns and top with hamburger patties. On top of each hamburger patty, place pineapple rings and shredded lettuce. Top with top half of hamburger buns. Serve with extra teriyaki sauce.

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