Holy Guacamole

Guacamole is one of my most FAVORITE things to eat! I was enjoying a friends dip when all of the sudden my chip ran into one of these bad boys...

The PIT!!! She proceeded to tell me that she leaves them in the actual dip to prevent it from browning. I had always been taught to use lemon juice...but mine still was brown after a few hours. Well let me tell you what, the next time I made Guacamole I totally left them in and no JOKE people!!!! My guacamole stayed GREEN for up to 3 days!!!! I was so shocked and I just HAD to share my new found fact with you all! (Thank you sweet friend for sharing your know who you are!) I was able to enjoy my dip for a few days instead of feeling like I had to devour every last bite that evening. LOL So here is my recipe...hope you love it!

Holy Guacamole

3 ripe avocados, mashed (SAVE the PITS!!!)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
Lowery's season salt to taste

In a bowl mash avocados, add remaining ingredients & add season salt to taste! Be sure to add the avocado pits back into the dip to keep from browning. Serve with tortilla chips! :)

Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus

Sooooo....we went to an awesome BBQ this weekend and a sweet friend of mine brought this AMAZING hummus to go along with her veggie tray! IT. WAS. AMAZING. All I have to say is that I CAN NOT stop thinking about it and how much I wish a container of this was in my fridge RIGHT NOW!!! Anyway, just had to share my new found love! Hope you live close to a Trader Joe's...for the love of Hummus!!! Btw, I'm SURE TJ's flat bread would taste amazing in this as well. Oh GREAT, after all this hummus talk I just MIGHT have to make a trip out there this week! THANKS DAWN!!! :)

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
As you can see our family LOVES anything to do with Mexican food. Now these obviously are not your traditional chicken taquitos, but I think you will absolutely love how the cream cheese and pepper jack tie into this dish. I was expecting these to be pretty spicy but they were actually on the mild side. (My 3 year old ate them!) So if you want some spice, dice up a jalapeno for an extra kick! I posted this as an appetizer, but we ate these as a main dish with Spanish rice and re fried beans! I had left overs today and just popped them back in the oven until warmed through...just as good as last night! Hope you love these as much as we did! :)

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Recipe by

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic or garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 C grated pepperjack cheese
about 16 small corn or flour tortillas (we liked flour better)
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

The corn tortillas can be harder to roll without cracking. For the corn tortillas: work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Makes around 16 taquitos.

Dip in salsa, sour cream, salsa verde, or guacamole!!!

Soft Cheddar Pretzels

The other day I got an email from my old college roomie Crystal! She had sent me this wonderful pretzel recipe that looked delicious and super easy! I couldn't stop thinking about them and you know I HAD to make them! So, the other night I was feeling ambitious and made two batches of these little guys! That night I went to sleep and woke up with the idea of putting the cheese on TOP!! So the next morning I made one more batch just to try it out! I LOVED how they turned out and I hope you guys love them too! I ended up with 1 batch of plain pretzels, a batch with cheese just inside and the 3rd batch had cheese just on top! I probably shouldn't even tell you how badly I wanted to dip these into a jar of processed cheese...but I did!!! The Tostitos con queso was PERFECT! :)

This pretzel recipe is pretty basic and there are soooo many things you can do to make these JUST the way you and your family prefer! Add Jalapenos & cheddar to the dough! Dust them in a sugar/cinnamon mixture before baking for a sweet treat, top them with Parmesan instead of the cheddar, add sun-dried tomatoes to the dough! The possibilities are endless and they are always going to be yummy, soft and delicious!

Soft Cheddar Pretzels
Adapted from the French's Dijon Soft Pretzels recipe

1 2/3 c. warm milk (it needs to be warm, not tepid, but not hot either, or it will kill the yeast)
1 pkg. (or 1 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese*
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 c. all purpose flour (or less, just until dough is pulling away from walls of the bowl and isn't sticky!)

Into large warm bowl, measure warm milk. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved.

Stir in cheese, sugar salt and enough flour to make a stiff dough.

Knead on floured surface until smooth, about 8-10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down.

Divide dough into 16 pieces. Roll each into a 20 in. rope. On lightly greased baking sheet, shape into a pretzel. Brush tops with egg whites (Or just top with additional grated cheddar cheese) and then cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place 15 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree (190 C) oven 12-16 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on wire rack.

Note: dough may be shaped into 2 long loaves (baguettes); cover, let rise 1 hour. Bake 20 minutes.

* If you simply want to make plain soft pretzels just leave out the grated cheddar in the dough mixture and then just top with egg white wash & bake.

Cool Veggie Pizza

Let me just tell you that this is by far one of my all time FAVORITE "go to" appetizers! I have made this in soooo many different ways and with soooo many different ingredients and I ALWAYS end up going back for more! The neat thing about this recipe is how flexible it is. You don't like cucumber? Use Broccoli! You prefer ranch mix over it! You really can't go wrong here as long as you substitute with something similar! Once I was in a pinch and forgot to buy the dressing packet, so I looked up a homemade ranch dressing recipe on line and just added the seasonings that were called (good thing I had almost everything in the cupboard) and you wouldn't have even known! So if you have never had this before then I BEG you to find a reason to make it THIS week! You won't regret it! :o)

Cool Veggie Pizza

1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dill Mix or dill weed (You can just add ranch from packet to your taste)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of a variety of fresh vegetables: zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, green or red bell peppers, green onions, seeded tomatoes, seeded cucumbers, etc.
1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Spread crescent roll dough onto 13-inch baking stone or cookie sheet and pinch seams together. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Blend cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt and pepper. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust. Coarsely chop or crinkle cut chosen vegetables.

Mix diced vegetables in a medium bowl & then spread mixture over pizza. Top with grated cheese. Refrigerate before serving.

Yield: 8-10 appetizer servings

Fiesta Taco Dip

This week the Hubs asked me if I would mind throwing some appetizers together for his Texas Hold em' night! (Did he even have to ASK!?!?) My mind instantly started to go through my recipe "box". I was trying to think of something that was tasty and filling since it would be feeding a house full of men! This recipe came to mind and I just knew I had to make it! I have a very soft spot for yummy layers of beans, sour cream, tomatoes, olives and cheese! YUM!

Fiesta Taco Dip
1 1/2 cans (16oz cans) Green chili & lime refried beans
2 large Roma tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, diced
1 (6oz) can olives, sliced
16oz sour cream
8oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp Taco Seasoning mix
2 clove garlic, chopped
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread refried beans evenly in the bottom of a 9x13 dish. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, and taco seasoning; blend well. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over beans. Grate cheddar cheese over top the cream cheese mixture and bake 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Dice tomatoes, thinly slice green onions, slice olives, and finely chop cilantro. Sprinkle tomato, onions, olives, and cilantro over dip. Garnish with additional sour cream and serve with tortilla chips if desired!

I made this little number and then excused myself from all the testosterone in my home. (Went to the movies and saw The back up plan..soooo FUNNY!!!) I couldn't wait to get back to snack a little on the dip, but when I got home this is what I found!
Totally GONE!!! I guess they liked it. :o)