Thursday, December 16, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ummm, this is a really good recipe from my sister :o) Perfect for a Christmas or New Year's Party appetizer. I'm just sayin'...

Happy Holidays, everyone!!!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 cube cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup Kraft Roka Blue Cheese dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (I use Frank's)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients. Put in microwave for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cream cheese is melted and dip is warm. Serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gingerbread Trifle

Disclaimer: We have not made this recipe yet. I will report back when we do...

I was reading my Family Fun magazine for this month and happened upon this page--and I didn't get any further. Can you believe this thing? Doesn't it look AMAZING? I think I am just going to have to make it next week. Twist my arm...

Here's the link if you can't resist either:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Taste of Home's Pumpkin Sheet Cake

My mom made this recipe for my brother's wedding, complete with gold sprinkles on top for their wedding colors (and without the candy pumpkin on top). They were a huge hit at the wedding! We also know they freeze well, because we've been enjoying them this past week as well :o) Click here for the original recipe, or see below with a few alterations... BTW, I love this magazine.

Taste of Home's Pumpkin Sheet Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, oil and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased 15x10x1 baking pan (or large cookie sheet with high sides). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Cream cheese frosting:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Graduall beat in powdered sugar. Spread over cake; garnish with sprinkles or candy pumpkins if desired. Cover and refrigerate until serving. (Or freeze until needed!) Makes 24 servings.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Olive Garden, here we come!

My parents came up for dinner last night before we all headed to the temple for the Christmas lighting ceremony. They've been so busy with my brother's wedding last weekend that I wanted to make something nice for them, but still easy for me :o) So I brought The Olive Garden to our house!

We made my friend Krista's copycat Chicken and Gnocchi soup, my cousin Eleanor's breadsticks, and I tried to re-create Olive Garden's bottomless salad, which we love. Hope you enjoy them, too!

Krista's Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

My friend Krista created her own copycat recipe of Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi soup. We made it last night and it was terrific! The only thing I changed was to double the amount of chicken stock... Actually, I doubled the entire recipe, and then quadrupled the chicken stock. I did not, however, quadruple the amount of half-and-half, so it was more milky than chowder-y, but we really liked it that way :o)

Thanks for sharing, Krista!

Eleanor's breadsticks

My cute cousin Eleanor sent me this recipe a few months ago, and Jeremy made it last night. So glad he did--these breadsticks were awesome... and easy!!! They're a perfect last-minute addition to a yummy soup-and-salad dinner. We paired these with Krista's Chicken and Gnocchi Soup and my re-creation of Olive Garden's bottomless salad. YUM!!!

Eleanor's Excellent Breadsticks
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs yeast
1 cube butter
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
Parmesan cheese
Garlic salt

Combine sugar, yeast, flour and salt. Add water and stir. Knead on floured board for 3 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Roll dough into rectangular shape (the size of your cookie sheet). With pizza cutter, cut lengthwise in half and then into inch-wide strips. Melt butter and dip strips in butter (or pour butter over top) and place on greased cookie sheet. Generously sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garlic salt.

Let rise for 15-20 minutes, then bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until Parmesan cheese turns golden color.


Karen's Mock-Olive-Garden Salad

I crave this salad on an almost-continual basis, but as the closest Olive Garden is about 20 miles away, we don't get there very often. Last night, I decided to try and re-create it on my own with ingredients I had on hand, and I think it worked pretty darn well!
Let me know what you think...

Karen's Mock-Olive-Garden Salad
Romaine lettuce
(A mix with red cabbage in it would add extra color)
1 seeded cucumber, chopped
Whole grape tomatoes
Sliced red onion
Sliced pepperoncini (banana peppers in jar)
Assorted croutons (white, pumpernickel, etc.)
Ken's Lite Caesar Dressing
Shredded Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top