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Jalapeno Corn Dip

I’ve added a new party dip to my repertoire – courtesy of the party-loving Catton family. Let me know what you think!

Lynd’s Jalapeno Corn Dip

  • 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) (I would suggest using a little less than 2 sticks, otherwise it can pool at the top of the dip)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 16-oz. can shoepeg white corn (drained)
  • 4 tbs. chopped jalapenos (I used canned so I don’t have to chop them. If you use fresh, be SURE to wear gloves!)

In a saucepan, melt the cream cheese and butter. Stir until blended. Add garlic powder, corn, and jalapenos. Transfer mixture to dish and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve hot with crackers or chips.

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Hi, my name is Jessica, and I’m addicted to goat cheese.

When Jared and I went to Paris this year for our three-year anniversary, I fell in love with the creamy goodness all over again! We had goat cheese salad every day (and sometimes twice a day). It just melts in your mouth and is the perfect, tangy consistency.

I posted earlier this summer about Smitten Kitchen‘s amazing Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta, and I’m always looking for new recipes to try with my favorite ingredient. So when I saw that goat cheese was the featured food in the “Five Ideas for…” section in the September 2009 issue of Good Housekeeping, I was definitely on board. I’ve already tried the Lemony Goat-Cheese Salad (blog post to come soon). Delish!

  1. Fresh-Tomato Pasta:  In a large saucepot of salted boiling water, cook 1 lb. bowtie pasta as label directs. Drain well; return to pot. Meanwhile, in large bowl, toss 2 lbs. chopped ripe tomatoes, 3 sliced green onions, 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives, 1 tbs. olive brine, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Toss with pasta; let stand 10 minutes, tossing twice. Stir in crumble cheese. Serves 4.
  2. Artichoke Spread:  In food processor, coarsely chop 1 jar (6 oz.) artichokes, rinsed and drained. Add crumbled cheese, 3 tbs. snipped chives, 1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel, and 1/8 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until combined. Makes 1 cup.
  3. Lemony Goat-Cheese Salad:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. From 1 lemon, grate 1/2 tsp. peel and squeeze 4 tsp. juice. On plate, combine lemon peel, 3 tbs. panko bread crumbs, and 1/2 tsp. olive oil. Cut cheese log into 4 slices. Dip slices in crumbs, pressing to adhere to all sides; place on baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden. In large bowl, whisk lemon juice, 2 tbs. olive oil, 1/8 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 package (5 oz.) baby greens; toss. Divide among 4 plates; top with cheese. Serves 4.
  4. Goat-Cheese Frittata:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, whisk 8 large eggs, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper until blended. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in 10-inch ovenproof skillet on medium. Add 4 cups chopped Swiss chard leaves (from 4 stalks) and 3 sliced green onions; cook 5 minutes or until softened, stirring. Add egg mixture; stir to combine. Sprinkle with coarsely crumbled cheese; cook 4 minutes or until beginning to set. Bake in oven 10-12 minutes or until egg is set in center. Serves 4.
  5. Honeyed Peach Pillows:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large glass bowl, microwave 1/4 cup honey on high 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups peach wedges (1 lb.). On plate, microwave 1/2 cup pecans on high 2 minutes or until toasted. Cut plain cheese log into 6 slices. Cut 1 sheet puff pastry into 6 rectangles. Bake on cookie sheet 13-15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Top each with cheese slice, peaches with honey, and pecans. Serves 6.

Each recipe uses a 4-0z. log.

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Rachael Ray dedicated several pages in her 365: No Repeats cookbook to her beloved dog, Boo. Tonight I tried “Boo’s Smoky Chicken Patties.” With the exception of the first bowl of ingredients committing suicide (ie plunging to its shattery, glassy death when I turned away to get the can opener), this one was a success. The paprika makes it have a kick without being too spicy. I served these with carrot and celery sticks and some baked beans leftover from our camping trip this weekend. Yum!

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground chicken breast (I used turkey)
  • 1 tbs. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbs. grill seasoning
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. EVOO
  • 8 slices sandwich white or whole-wheat bread
  • 2-3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach, watercress, or arugula

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Place the chicken in a bowl and add the paprika, grill seasoning, and parsley. Using a handheld grater, grate the onion into the chicken. Add the garlic and mix to combine. Make a mini patty, the size of a quarter, and cook it up, a minute on each side, to taste and check seasonings. If you want it really smoky, adjust the seasonings accordingly. Drizzle the chicken mixture with the EVOO and form 4 large, thin patties, then place them in the pan. Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side. Toaste the bread slices and spread liberally with softened butter. Serve the patties on the buttered toast with some chopped dark greens. Makes 4 servings.

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I’m baaa-aaack!

It’s been quite a while, I’m sorry. This summer just got away from us – and we didn’t even go to the beach this year! We have been so incredibly busy lately, and one of the downsides of being busy is a) I don’t cook and b) We don’t eat as healthy. I decided I’d had it, and started flipping through the latest issue of Food Network Magazine. It’s hard when it only comes every other month, but I read in this issue that it will be coming more often, yay!

The October issue (Vol. 2, Number 4) has more than 120 recipes in it, so I’m sure it will give me lots of ideas. One feature was “50 Easy Soups.” As the weather starts to cool down, I naturally crave something warm. Last week I tried Escarole & White Bean Soup. It was super easy. I’ve never tried escarole before, but it cooks similar to spinach and has a a slightly bitter flavor. The recipe suggested adding sausage, but I tried turkey kielbasa for a healthier kick. I was cooking late, so by the time it was ready I was too exhausted (and hungry) to get the Nikon to snap a photo. You’ll have to be content with this one from my phone instead!

  • 3 garlic cloves, choppe
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 head escarole, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 package turkey kielbasa, diced

Cook garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, and turkey kielbasa in olive oil. Add chicken broth, escarole, and a parmesan rind (I didn’t have one); simmer 15 minutes. Add white beans, parmesan, and salt (be careful, only use a small amount or it will be too salty). Makes 4 servings.

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Nilla wafers

Admit it, just like me you still sometimes crave dipping Nilla Wafers in milk till they are a little soggy, no? We all still have a little preschool left in us. But I found another, slightly more “grown up” dessert using a 4-year-old’s favorite snack – and it only uses three ingredients.

This one I found on the back of a Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers box. I tried it with strawberry banana yogurt, but it would be great with any flavor. My next idea is to sprinkle in a few chocolate chips and maybe a few chopped walnuts or almonds. Yum!

Nilla Wafer Dessert (one serving)

  • 2 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers
  • 2 tbs. lowfat yogurt, any flavor
  • 2 tbs. Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 muffin cup

Stir Cool Whip and yogurt together until smooth. Place one wafer at the bottom of the muffin cup and cover with the Cool Whip/yogurt mixture. Place the other wafer on top, and freeze approximately 1 hour until hardened. (I like to make them six at a time so I can put them in a muffin tin to keep them together in the freezer.)

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I blogged a few weeks ago about making Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta from Smitten Kitchen, and I finally did it tonight. I can’t believe I waited so long!

Picture 127

It literally took 12 minutes to make, and it tasted like it had taken much longer.  Deb suggests adding some lemon juice if you feel it needs a little kick – I added the juice of half a lemon and it was just right. I also didn’t have any tarragon so I used herbes de provence, and it tasted just the same.

While I had the camera out, I wanted to take a picture of the awesome trivet my dad made me for Christmas this year.

He’s an amazing woodworker! A few years ago, he made me a beautiful handmade rolling pin, too. I’ll have to post a picture of that later.

Picture 128Picture 130

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One of last week’s Hungry Girl emails was called “I Love Rocky Road!” and described how to make low-cal rocky road fudge. I was skeptical at first, but decided to give it a whirl, and made a double batch for two different birthday parties. The interesting thing about this fudge is you only get a hint of the pumpkin – just enough to say “What is that?” but not enough to say “Yuck, it isn’t Thanksgiving, so don’t serve me pumpkin pie.” And this is fudge you can feel better about eating, considering the fact that regular rocky road fudge can net you 226 calories and 10 grams of fat per piece.

Hungry Girl’s Rocky Road Fudge

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies Mix (18.3-oz. family size)
  • 2 cups canned pure pumpkin (if you’re making a double batch, like I did, one big can can get you almost 4 cups – I just used a little less than 2 cups per batch)
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly crushed
  • 2 tbs. Hershey’s Lite Chocolate Syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine brownie mix, pumpkin, and chocolate syrup in a large bowl, and stir until completely mixed and smooth. (Batter will be thick.) Spray a midsized baking pan (8×8 works best) with nonstick spray and pour in the mixture. Smooth the top of the batter with a spatula.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, and evenly distribute mini marshmallows across the top of the batter. Sprinkle almonds over the marshmallows. Using a spatula (or your fingers!) press down on the marshmallow-nut layer to help it adhere to the batter.

Return pan to the oven, and bake for 10 additional minutes. Remove pan from the oven, and let cool slightly. Refrigerate, uncovered, for several hours, until completely chilled. (Important – do NOT cover pan while initially chilling it in the fridge.) Cut into 36 squares and serve.

Per serving:  Calories – 73,  Fat – 1g, Protein – 1g

Picture 116

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