Appetizers & Snacks

Easy Corn Salsa & CW CorningWare Giveaway

This sweet and tangy corn salsa is as easy to make as it is to watch disappear. With sweet yellow corn, black beans, pimentos, and bell pepper, what’s not to love?

Easy Corn Salsa 1

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have spied the new CW bakeware by CorningWare in my posts this week. CW is a new line of bakeware from CorningWare that comes in an array of vibrant colors and sizes (purple, blue, green, yellow, and red & 3 quart, shallow 1.9 quart, 1.5 quart, and 20 oz.). What first excited me about this bakeware were the colors, especially the purple ;-). It didn’t hurt that they also net together for compact storage – something I battled with constantly in my apartment’s tiny kitchen.

CW_Aerial_Hero_Stack

I made a sausage and egg breakfast casserole in the blue 3 quart baker, an asparagus & wild rice casserole in the green 1.5 quart baker, and today I am sharing a recipe for an easy corn salsa displaying in the blue 1.5 quart and red 20 oz. bakers. Although this salsa does not require any oven-time, I wanted to show off that this bakeware is just as good at serving food as it is at baking. As for the salsa, the recipe is from my PhD advisor’s wife. Whenever she made it for any event and I would be found hovering over it. Under my watch, it disappeared as quickly as it was made.

What you would make in the CW bakeware? Tell me using the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post and you will be entered to win your own set!

P.S. For those of you wondering, I qualified in the B1 group for pickleball. There are 5 groups starting with C, B2, B1, A2 and then A1 is the best. So I’m i the middle of the pack. I was told I could easily move up to A2 with just a little more practice. Maybe in another month if I’m still without a job…

Easy Corn Salsa 2

One year ago: Pear Yogurt Almond Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream
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Review: The Laughing Cow – What’s your snacking style?

The Laughing Cow® provided me with product and a $10 gift card for this review. However, thoughts and opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the brand.

Besides your typical cream cheese on a bagel in the morning, I’ve used The Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges in a variety of recipes on my blog: Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese, Corn, and Bacon Waffles, Jalapeno Popper Crostini, Peanut Butter-Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes, Creamy Chicken and Herb Skillet and even the Baked Reuben Taquitos I shared yesterday. I’ve particularly enjoyed using them in single servings recipes such as White Cheddar Mac & Cheese in a Mug, Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas, and Cream Cheese and Bell Pepper Stuffed Chicken. The individual 3/4 oz. wedges are perfect for such portion sizes.

But then The Laughing Cow brought me back to the basics by asking, “What’s your snacking style?”. Well, I am not a snack-planner. I will plan every meal of the day but planning snacks is not on my radar, which means I have a “grab and go” snacking style. Granola bars, fruits, and cheeses are my typical snacking choices. My ideal snack is a small plate of fruit, cheese, and crackers. Which means The Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges fit right in with my snacking style.

I’m curious, what’s your snacking style?

The Laughing Cow Snacking Style

The Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges are rich, creamy and the perfect snack for any occasion. With 35 calories per light cheese wedge and seven delicious varieties to choose from (such as creamy swiss, white cheddar, and queso fresco & chipotle), there are endless pairing options to enjoy whenever and however you want. Check out their product locator to find your favorite flavors at www.TheLaughingCow.com.

One year ago: Steel Cut Oatmeal with Bananas & Cobbler Topping

Two years ago: Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Smoked Paprika

Three years ago: Potica Nut Roll
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Baked Reuben Taquitos with Thousand Island Dipping Sauce

Irish meets Mexican in these baked Reuben taquitos with a thousand island dipping sauce. Classic Reuben flavor with a twist.

Baked Reuben Taquitos with Thousand Island Dipping Sauce

St. Patrick’s Day may be over but Reubens are good year-round, which is why you should use up any leftover corned beef that remains to make these taquitos. Oh yea you better believe I mixed Mexican and Irish into one amazing appetizer (or entree). I was inspired to do such a thing after experiencing Irish eggrolls for the first time and figured I could expand it into other food genres. Cooked corned beef is mixed with shredded cabbage and creamy swiss, then rolled into white corn tortillas to be oven-fried with a light spray of cooking oil. While they bake, whip up the thousand island dipping sauce and you’ll be ready to dive in.

P.S. Job hunt news: I had a second phone interview for the job I told you about last week! The one with the writing assignment. Overall I think it went well and enjoyed the conversation. Unfortunately I blanked and then blundered a bit over one question, but managed to compose myself and continue on without another hitch. Hopefully I will receive good news in a week or two regarding the next step in the process!

One year ago: Raw S’mores Cookie Dough Bites

Two years ago: Corned Beef with Blackberry Mustard Glaze
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Oven-Fried Mac and Cheese Ravioli Salad

Before I get into this recipe, I just have to say that I am super stoked about Taco Bell’s breakfast menu. I don’t eat fast food very often but when I do it’s typically Taco Bell or occasionally breakfast from one of the main-stream burger joints. To join those two together is a dreamland. Admittedly, I have eaten regular Taco Bell menu items for breakfast more times than I can count but now I’ll have the option of actual breakfast food. Glory and celebration!

Now that I’ve warmed you up to atypical meal options, how do you feel about macaroni and cheese on top of a salad? Let me explain before you run away thinking I’ve lost my mind completely.

Oven-Fried Mac and Cheese Ravioli Salad 1

After hearing about Mac and Cheese Mania, hosted by Rachel and Brandy, I knew I had to jump on board. An entire event dedicated to carbs and cheese? Heck yea I want to participate in that celebration! As an added bonus there are prizes involved. In order to win you have to link up a mac and cheese recipe (up to 4, old or new) and link back to their pages. I already submitted an old one but decided to whip up something new for another entry. And because I’ve been trying to eat more salads O:-).

Oven-Fried Mac and Cheese Ravioli Salad 3

This event just so happens to be occurring at just the right time as I have been meaning to use a bag of frozen mac and cheese ravioli for quite awhile. I know you are familiar with fried ravioli, but this time I used those mac and cheese stuffed ravioli, oven-fried them, and then threw them on top of a salad! You could skip the salad and serve them as an appetizer with Ranch dipping sauce, but it’s so much more fun to put unhealthy things on top of a healthy salad because everyone knows that a salad negates anything bad you eat with it. This is science people, the science of denial.

Come join Mac and Cheese Mania at Rachel Cooks and Nutmeg Nanny sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO – Win prizes!

Oven-Fried Mac and Cheese Ravioli Salad 2

One year ago: Baked Banana-Pecan Oatmeal
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Orange-Vanilla Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Remember the peanut butter Greek yogurt fruit dip? Well I made another dip for the fruit-dipping-lovers out there! The reason why I bring up the peanut butter one is because I made both of these dips at the same time as evident by the same fruit skewers in the background. I actually made these dips months ago when my cousin Alex got married. Which happened in early fall. Makes you wonder why I waited so long to post them. I could make up all kinds of excuses but in reality I just totally forgot about them. The pictures were on an old memory card and I was distracted by my fancy new camera with it’s brand new memory card. Thankfully old pictures don’t get stale or moldy…

…dang, I really know how to make you crave this dip.

Orange-Vanilla Yogurt Dip

One year ago: Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfaits

Two years ago: Beef with Barley Soup
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Captain Rodney’s Baked Cheese Dip

First things first… SNOW IN EAST TN!! We didn’t get as much as some places but it still made me happy. I think that’s the most snow I’ve seen ever fall in TN. I am trying to curb my enthusiasm however as many people’s Valentine’s Day plans may be disrupted and/or lose power. That’s just not good for anybody. But you know what is? Cheese and bacon.

Even though I am restricted to cooking healthy meals, there are plenty of game nights at which to make appetizers and dessert – hooray! I took the first opportunity to make this dip (albeit I did make a slightly healthier version) using a new found love, Captain Rodney’s Boucan Pepper Glaze. It’s a sweet and spicy sauce that can be used on just about anything such as a glaze on meats and vegetables, straight out of the bottle as a dip, or mixed in to add flavor to a recipe.

Sarah made this dip for our lab Christmas party and I nearly inhaled the entire pan by myself. It’s a cream cheese and cheddar mixture topped with crushed Ritz crackers, bacon, and Captain Rodney’s glaze. What’s not to love about that? And as part of my going away present from her (which was super amazing by the way), she included a bottle of this glorious glaze. Thankfully, the recipe only required 1/2 cup which means I get to try it with all kinds of other things. So many possibilities!

Captain Rodneys Baked Cheese Dip

One year ago: White Chocolate Cake Batter Hearts

Two years ago: Pasta with Vodka Sauce
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Quinoa Turkey Meatballs

Per the request of my parents I have been cooking healthier meals. The only problem is that they eat about half as much as I do resulting in me feeling like a little piggy. Regardless, I guarantee I am still eating less than I normally did when I was on my own. I know this because I’ve been getting a lot of headaches, which is typical for when I am not eating enough. Sherrill has reminded me on more than one occasion to eat lunch. If any of my former labmates are reading this they will be shocked because I was nearly always the first one to initiate the “Lunch?” conversation. It’s hard to remember to eat when you’re the only one participating!

But yes, healthier meals are going to be spread across this blog on a more regular basis. I actually made this recipe before the meatloaf cupcakes. They were so darn cute I couldn’t wait to post them. These meatballs also deserve your attention, being made with not only ground turkey but also quinoa in case you were short on your protein intake for the day. These meatballs are great served over pasta, but would also make for a great appetizer.

On an unrelated note, if you didn’t watch the Olympics finale for mens snowboarding halfpipe then don’t read any further. Jump to the recipe and ignore all this. All I have to say is – holy crap Iouri. As for Shaun White and the rest of the USA team – there’s always 2018!

Quinoa Turkey Meatballs

One year ago: Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes
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Spicy Cheddar Ranch Dip for One

Alright folks today is my last day in Memphis, for real. I’ve said many tearful goodbyes and there will be a few more of those today, but it’s okay because I will come back! If for nothing else other than Music Fest or BBQ fest, or one of the many other fantastic festivals that occur in and around Memphis in May. Heck it’s my birthday month, what better way to celebrate than how I’ve been doing it the past 7 years? And there’s always the chance I’ll find a job here. Or anywhere else in the country…

Moving on to what you probably care most about today: The Superbowl. However, maybe you are not gathering up with the masses for a viewing. But of course you still need some grub of course so make this Ranch dip with some added spice and cheddar because it serves one (or maybe two if you are willing to share). Mix it, dip it, enjoy it until it’s gone.

Spicy Cheddar Ranch Dip for One

Two years ago: Reese’s Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Three years ago: Homemade Taco Bell Beefy 5-Layer Burrito
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Superbowl XLVIII Recipe Roundup

At lunch with my former labmates yesterday I was greeted by many demands for me to stay until Monday instead of my projected departure of tonight/tomorrow morning. This request was granted when Steph and I had an extremely difficult time saying goodbye to each other. We joined the lab at the same time and have been through so much together that saying goodbye to her is one of the most difficult ones. Not that I won’t ever see any of my friends from here again, I just don’t do well with goodbyes even if only for an absence of a week. So I promptly kicked her out of my car before we both broke down crying and told her I’d see her Sunday (likely Saturday as well because she’s also moving and needs help). And no not just for the Superbowl. Evidently several friends are competing in an indoor soccer game that afternoon and I’ve heard rumors of their intensity. Their soccer team is the only team I will be honestly cheering for on Sunday however, as I have no preference for a winner in the Superbowl. But I do enjoy a good football game and of course the food that accompanies it! Here are some recipes that I think would be perfect for viewing this sporting event whether you are hosting a party or bringing a dish to pass.

Two years ago: Nutella Smoothie

Three years ago: Buffalo Chicken Nachos

DIPS

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

APPETIZERS

Sausage and Cheese Wonton Cups

ENTREES

Apple Maple Turkey Sliders

Check out a previous roundup: Superbowl XLVI Recipe Roundup (2012)

Signature

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

I finally decided that my final departure from Memphis will either be Friday evening or Saturday morning. The decision depends on whether there will be reason to stay later in the day on Friday, resulting in the requirement for sleep before driving. As of right now, I do not know of any such plans but if nothing comes up I’ll just mosey on out to start living the pretend retired life. Bring on the card games!

Speaking of games, the Superbowl is nearly upon us and I have barely touched upon appropriate recipes. I’m so out of it with upcoming holidays, food holidays, and other such events that I even missed peanut butter day. Disgraceful. In an attempt to remedy this I am sharing an easy, 3-ingredient fruit dip that you can whip up in no time. If you don’t feel challenged enough, then go ahead and put that fruit on skewers to make it look all fancy schmancy. Stay turned tomorrow for an entire lineup of Superbowl eats!

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

Two years ago: Berries & Cream Granola
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