Tomato Mozzarella Bites

September 10, 2009 at 12:45 am | Posted in appetizer, Yummy Veggies | 1 Comment

We recently had a “welcome home/birthday/going away” party at our house for my little brother who is back in Iraq.  We invited some of his friends, some of our friends – it was such a fun time!  I of course made too much food but I had so much fun preparing the food and drinks!  I did appetizer and dessert foods and this was an easy, yummy, great appetizer – everyone raved about it.  I could eat a million of these!!

Recipe from www.allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 20 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 20 small balls fresh mozzarella cheese (often labeled bocconcini)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 toothpicks

Directions

  • Using a toothpick, spear a half of a tomato, a piece of basil, a mozzarella ball (I halved the mozzarella balls so they better fit on the toothpics), and another half of a tomato. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place on a serving dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix the vinegar and oil together in a small bowl to serve as a dipping sauce (I used this as more of a dressing and drizzled it over all of the bites once on the platter).
  • Mrs. Pig Rating:  I will make these again and again.  Fairly easy to make and oh so yummy!  Use all fresh ingredients if you can – that makes it so much better!!

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    Baked Chicken Taquitos

    June 17, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Posted in appetizer, Cheese, Chicken, football food, Mexican food | 3 Comments

    We pretty much love any variation of any type of Mexican food in our house.  I really think I could eat it every single night and I know Tommy could as well.  Tommy loves the chicken taquitos at our favorite local Mexican restaurant so I thought I would try these out.  I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe, one of my absolute favorite blogs.  It looked easy and tasty!  I served these with light sour cream, fresh salsa, and multi grain chips.  YUM!

    Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe

    Makes 14-16 taquitos as is – I halved this for just Tommy and I and it turned out great

    Ingredients

    4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup green salsa
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    1 green onion, sliced finely (white and green parts to equal about 2 tablespoons)
    2 cups shredded cooked chicken
    1 cup grated monterey jack cheese (use pepperjack if you like a little heat)

    small yellow or white corn tortillas
    kosher salt
    cooking spray

    Directions

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

    In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

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

    Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don’t crack while rolling. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can.

    Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt on top.

    Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. (Mine only took about 10 minutes so you might want to watch this timing depending on your oven). Serve immediately. Taquitos can be dipped in in salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or any other combination you can dream up.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig really really liked these and said these would be a great addition to our dinner rotation.  He said a lot of the things that we make that are Mexican taste very similar but that these had a different kick to them that was great.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I loved these little rolls of chicken Mexican goodness!  I am definitely making these again.  I dipped mine in salsa and they were so good.  I highly recommend these for a weeknight dinner.  Easy to prepare and even kids would like them.

    Heaven in a Wonton Wrapper…

    November 17, 2008 at 12:35 am | Posted in appetizer, Chicken, football food, Mexican food | 4 Comments

    I tried making these once before going off of someone telling me the recipe, but not actually having the recipe in which these were originally made.  When I made them before they were just okay, which was not good enough for me.  We went to a Halloween party a couple weeks ago and our friend had made these and they are one of our favorites.  I emailed her for the recipe and she was nice enough to give it to me.  This time when I made these they were most excellent!!!  I cut this recipe in thirds to make for just Tommy and I tonight for dinner.  These are definitely not healthy so not something to eat all of the time but definitely on our list to make again for a fun night!

    Recipe from my friend Karen

    Ingredients

    1 pkg wonton wrappers (makes 50), sold in produce section at Schnucks
                     or
    1 pkg egg roll wrappers cut in quarters  (makes 80)
    3-4 chicken breasts boiled shredded into small pieces
    2 packages shredded taco cheese
    1 regular size bottle Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing (regular – not light or fat free)
    chili powder
    1 diced green pepper (I used green onions chopped thinly)

    Directions

    preheat oven to 425….push wonton wrappers into muffin tins, they will resemble mini taco salad bowls…bake 3-4 minutes until edges are brown.  Continue with all wrappers until they are complete.  Arrange baked shells on cookie sheets.
     
    Mix shredded chicken and entire bottle of ranch dressing.  Add as much chili powder you wish….I probable use about 1 or 2 tsp.  Fill shells with chicken mixture and sprinkle each one with addtl’ chili powder.  Top with green peppers and cheese.  Put back into oven until cheese is melted.  Approx 2-3 min.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  These are to die for.  I could eat these until I was sick.  They are pretty easy to make and I have never heard a bad thing about them.  I recommend you go make them…NOW!  We both thought they were really rich though – we aren’t used to dressing that isn’t oil/vinegar based and we only eat fat free so this was insane for our taste buds!

    Pig Rating:  The pig says, “Tell your blog that the Pig gives this recipe all hooves up!”  He loves these things.  LOL

    My First “Dinner Party”

    October 13, 2008 at 12:56 am | Posted in appetizer, Cakes, Cheese, Dessert, Fun, Menus, pasta, pizza, wine | 11 Comments

    I use the term “dinner party” loosely because really it was me and two of my awesome co-workers who also happen to be very good friends of mine.  I decided I wanted to have them over for dinner so we turned it into a fun event – we all dressed up and made it a true “girls night” and had waaaaaay too much to drink.  And by that I mean that I had a bottle and a half of wine.  On a Thursday night.  I felt miserable on Friday.  Stupid, stupid.  HOwever, we had an absolute blast!!!  We are already planning our next one – Asian inspired food with a prom night theme…HA!

    Here was my menu:

    Appetizers:

    Bruschetta with Fresh Marinated Mozzarella

    Garlic Bread
    Port Wine Cheese Ball with crackers

    Dinner:
    Stuffed Shells
    Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Pesto (recipe to follow)
    Margherita Pizza (recipe to follow)

    Dessert:
    Chocolate Lasagna
    Assorted Milano cookies (I couldn’t help it…I adore them!!!)

    Drinks:

    Gewurtztraminer
    Pinot Grigio
    Shiraz

     

    Oh yeah, did I mention that I wore my wedding dress?  Yeah, I drink wine in it often so I decided it would be a riot to answer the door in it with an apron on.  My friends loved it!  HA!  That’s right.  I’m insane.  You know you love me.  : )

    Bruschetta with Marinated Fresh Mozzarella

    October 13, 2008 at 12:39 am | Posted in appetizer, Cheese | 1 Comment

    My friend Andrea went to this fab cooking class and one night they had an Italian/Tuscan theme.  She made some things that sounded phenomenal and I knew that I had to try them.  I decided to have a little dinner party while Tommy was out of town this past week and it was the perfect time to try them out.  My dinner party had an Italian theme – I mean hey, let’s face it.  What theme goes better with my favorite thing – WINE! – than that?!  Picture of the dinner party to follow but let’s start with some of the things that I made.  First up…Bruschetta with Marinated Fresh Mozzarella. 

    Recipe from Andrea’s cooking class….not sure the exact source

    Ingredients

    Crostini:
    8 (1/2-inch thick) slices Italian bread, cut on the diagonal
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt and freshly groud black pepper to taste

    Mozzarella:
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
    1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon)
    1 tablespoon coarsley chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
    2 bay leaves, torn in half
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices

    Directions

    1.  For the crostini:  preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet, and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
    2.  For the Mozzarella:  Whisk together oil, garlic, pepper flakes, zest, parsley, and basil.  Stir in the bay leaves, then season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.  (Note:  Before drizzling over the mozzarella, remove and discard the bay leaves, then whisk to re-combine.)
    3.  Place the cheese in a shallow dish; drizzle with the marinade to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap, and allow tot stand at room temperature for at least one hour.
    4.  Just before serving, place one slice of cheese on each crostini, and garnish with additional chopped fresh parsley; serve at room temperature.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I looooved this!  I adore fresh mozzarella and it looks really pretty served up on a platter for an appetizer.  I will definitely be making this again!!!

    Ham Sandwich Appetizers

    May 6, 2008 at 11:40 pm | Posted in appetizer, ham | 1 Comment

    My friend Mary made these ham sandwich appetizers at a party at her house one time and since then we have been obsessed.  I have made these for several different dinner parties and everyone loves them.  They are very easy and so good.  I make them for events that I have to go to a lot and poor Tommy is always trying to snatch one or two before I run off with the batch of them, so I decided to make them for dinner one night last week so he could enjoy them as well.  : )

    Ingredients

    1 package of Kings Hawaiian Rolls
    2 tbsp. sugar
    ½ lb. shaved ham (I get really thin shaved ham from the deli)
    1 tbsp. Grated onion
    1 pack swiss cheese
    2 tbsp. Poppy seeds
    ½ stick butter
    2 tbsp mustard

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter. Add all other ingredients to butter. Spread mixture onto rolls that are sliced open. Add cheese and ham to make them into sandwiches. Bake 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

    Pig Rating:  Well, obviously, the pig loves these.  : ) 

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I love these too.  So good, so easy.  You can’t go wrong.

    Other rating:  Every time I take these to a party, people ask for the recipe.  You know you have done well when that happens.  : )

     

     

    Taco Dip

    December 29, 2007 at 9:46 pm | Posted in appetizer, Mexican food | Leave a comment

    I was asked to bring some appetizers for Christmas at my grandmother’s house. In my mind, you can never go wrong with bringing a taco dip somewhere. Nearly everyone likes it and I personally could eat an entire pan by myself. I’m sure of it. : ) So, any excuse to make it and I will.

    Again…no picture unfortunately. It wouldn’t have been very pretty anyway since I just made it in a 9×13 pan. : ) I found this recipe on www.allrecipes.com. You can pretty much not go wrong with a taco dip, but this is a good starter recipe – you can add or take away whatever you want from it.

    Ingredients
    1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
    1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
    1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
    1 large tomato, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    1 bunch chopped green onions
    1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
    1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
    2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


    Directions

    In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter.
    Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the refried beans.
    Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, green bell pepper, green onions and lettuce over the salsa, and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives.


    Tip: Several people added this tip on the review and I agree – do not add the salsa until last or just serve it on the side. It tends to make the dip kind of runny.

    Pig Rating: The pig liked this one okay. He isn’t a huge taco dip fan (can you believe this?!). He would rather just have chips and salsa. I worry about him sometimes…. : )

    Mrs. Pig Rating: I love this. I could eat it until I am sick. Oh wait, I think I did. : ) This is a yummy one and easy to make. Great for parties.

    Recipe from www.allrecipes.com

    Spicy Chicken Quesadillas

    December 29, 2007 at 9:41 pm | Posted in appetizer, Chicken, Mexican food | 1 Comment

    I haven’t updated my blog in so long it seems like! Christmas is such a busy time for us with all the running around and having the kids all week. Fun, but busy. I did manage to make a few new things over the past week though. However, I wasn’t so great at remembering to take pictures. Usually by the time I had dinner ready I was ready to just eat and didn’t really care about a picture, so sorry about that. : )

    My friend Mary made these awesome quesadillas one night when we were at their house for dinner and I had to have the recipe.

    Ingredients
    1/4 C thinly sliced green onions (about 2)
    2 T chopped cilantro
    1 T chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
    1 C chopped cooked chicken
    4 (8″) flour tortillas
    3/4 C reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
    Cooking spray
    3/4 C salsa

    Directions
    1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; stir until blended.
    2. Pace 1/4 C chopped chicken over half of each tortilla. Sprinkle each with 3 T cheese and 1 T onion mixture; fold tortillas in half.
    3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in a pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla in half. Serve with salsa.
    Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 quesadilla and 3 talbespoons salsa).

    Recipe from the Cooking Light cookbook

    Pig Rating: Tommy really liked these a lot. He loved them with dipping them in the salsa. I made these and tacos and he didn’t even touch the tacos.

    Mrs. Pig Rating: I really loved these! They were easy to make and they tasted so good for something different. I recommend this recipe if you like chicken quesadillas.

    Crockpot Salsa Chicken

    October 29, 2007 at 11:52 pm | Posted in appetizer, Chicken, football food, Mexican food | Leave a comment

    Some of my friends have raved about this crockpot salsa chicken recipe that has been floating around. I loved the sound of it because I love to use the crockpot and we really like Mexican food so I thought this would be a winner. And it is beyond easy. It smelled SOOO good when I got home from work today. YUM! : )

    This is taken from my friend Nikki’s blog…I believe she got it from Sparkpeople.

    Ingredients

    4 chicken breasts – put in frozen if you’re worried about overcooking
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
    1 16 oz jar salsa
    1 can corn (I didn’t use corn)
    1 can rinsed and drained black beans
    1 cup reduced fat sour cream

    PS – this recipe makes a ton. I will half it next time.

    Directions

    Mix soup, salsa, and taco seasoning together and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Before serving, shred the chicken, add corn, beans, and sour cream. Cook for a few more minutes until everything is heated through. Serve with tortilla chips or in a tortilla.

    Pig Rating: He said it was good but it wasn’t something that he will crave. He said it was a little too Tex Mex for him. He says that a lot lately – all that is in this is taco seasoning and he likes regular tacos, so who knows. : ) Anyway, he thought it was okay but he likes my chicken nachos way better.

    Mrs. Pig Rating: Super easy recipe which is always good. I liked this one pretty well, but I probably won’t make it again for awhile. Not my favorite, but I didn’t hate it either. I am still getting used to chicken in Mexican food so maybe that was why I wasn’t in love with it.

    Recipe from Nikki’s blog, picture from my kitchen

    Mexican Pizza

    October 24, 2007 at 11:48 pm | Posted in appetizer, Mexican food, pizza | 3 Comments

    We love Mexican food (as you can probably tell) and Sheridan’s favorite food is tacos so any variation of that is usually a winner. I found a recipe for Mexican pizza – we like Mexican, we like pizza, so I thought I would give it a shot.

    Ingredients

    2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1 cup sour cream
    1 pound ground beef
    1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
    1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained
    1 medium tomato, chopped
    3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    1 cup shredded lettuce

    Directions

    Unroll crescent roll dough and place in an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Flatten dough to fit the pan, sealing seams and perforations. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown; cool. In a small bowl, blend cream cheese and sour cream with a wire whisk; spread over crust. Chill 30 minutes.
    Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown beef; drain. Stir in taco seasoning. Add water according to package directions and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with olives, tomato, cheeses and lettuce. Cut into serving-size pieces. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

    Pig Rating: Just so-so. He said having that kind of crust with Mexican food was kind of weird.

    Mrs. Pig Rating: Just so-so also. It was good but it just kind of tasted like soft tacos to me, nothing really special.

    Little Pigs: Sheridan didn’t like it. She likes tacos but the crust she didn’t like. Will ate, well, the black olives. : )

    Recipe from www.allrecipes.com and picture from my kitchen

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