Friday, August 19, 2016

Maple Walnut Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I think everyone can agree that coffee cake is a pretty fantastic way to start your morning. Or end your evening. Or.. well.. ok it's good any time of the dang day.




We don't usually eat sweets for breakfast, not by MY choice, but my waistline and my boyfriend have very strong opinions on the matter.

But this coffeecake makes it all okay. It started with a recipe from a vintage community cookbook I have, and I am here to tell you this recipe has stood the test of time. I just made a couple of additions and substitutions, and this bad boy tastes like a pancake coffee cake supreme.

The thin sugary crust on top complements the dense cake beautifully, the sour cream gives it a distinct tang, the maple flavor will make you think you're slurping up syrup, and the sweet nutty crunch in the middle will make you very loudly go "mmmmmmm...".

I'm not sure why these pictures turned out so sideways and unattractive. I think I was just ready to dig in. Please forgive me. I hope you try this one soon!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Cheesy Broccoli Ranch Casserole

Do you ever have those times, where you're low on cash and low on groceries but happen to have a bunch of random ingredients at your disposal?



That is my life right now, and sometimes to be honest.. it's kinda fun to me. I like just rummaging my fridge and making delicious meals with what I have leftover from other recipes.

This one.. is pretty genius. I mean, when something like this comes together I wonder why I haven't thought of it before?

We all know ranch is God's nectar, and broccoli is good in ranch. And cheese. And broccoli casserole is legit the best.

I could yammer on with my incomplete sentences about cheese and ranch all I want but how about I just share this lovely casserole recipe with you and we move along with our lives, yes?

Keep Reading for the Recipe!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lemon and Dill Vegetable Pasta Salad

So I made this recipe probably going on 5 years ago and I've thought about it a lot. Of course I like your standard pasta salad, the one my mom always makes- it's pretty much a summertime staple. But this pasta salad is so refreshingly different.




I always thought that the recipe I used to make this years ago was long gone, but as I was going through my notebook of old printed off recipes.. I found it! I was so excited. 

I almost halved the recipe for the two of us, but decided to make the whole thing and give half to my sister who just had her second child, Darby Leigh!

Um... but.... she never got it. Because we ate it. All of it. And I'm pretty ashamed to say that we ate all but maybe 1.5 servings the same day I made it. And we would have eaten every last bite that day if I didn't hide it so we could have SOMETHING for lunch the next day.

Its crisp, bright and refreshing. It's everything you want in a summer side dish. I'm excited to make it again soon, I already bought all the ingredients- this time with feta cheese!

Oh and Heidi, I promise this time you'll get some....

Read more to see the recipe! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Grilled Cajun Chicken Wings

I think I have mentioned this before, possibly multiple times, but I LOVE to grill out. I always use charcoal, it gives whatever you grill such a fantastic flavor.



My parents always grilled out in the summer too (they still do.) One of my favorite things that they grilled when I was growing up was Cajun Chicken Wings. 

The seasoning they used was made by McCormick, which they don't make anymore- it was called "Creole" seasoning. I wish they still made it. I'm sure that I would find that it tastes like any other cajun/creole seasoning you can buy in the store but my memory tells me otherwise.

I remember when I was 12 or 13 coming home from school and wanting wings. My parents were still at work so I just pulled some wings out of the freezer, threw them on a baking sheet and covered them in cajun seasoning and stuck them in the oven and hoped for the best. They actually turned out good! Hows that for an afternoon snack!? Other kids were playing sports and eating lunchables and what not and I was just whipping up some chicken wings.

Any who, there's nothing fancy about how I make these wings. Load them up with whatever cajun seasoning you have on hand, or make your own. 

It would be really fantastic if I could figure out how to separate the wing parts but at the time of this blog post, it still frustrates the ever living sh*t out of me that I can't do it. I blame it on my knives.

But I guess the best part is, you can still grill these guys attached together. They just take a little longer to cook through- but I leave my wings on the grill for an extra long time because I like them CRISPY!

Keep Reading for the Recipe!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sweet Tea Cake with Whipped Lemon Frosting

Here in the south, sweet tea is pretty much a staple. We chug it like it's water and I'm okay with that. 



This recipe just screams summer to me, and surprisingly its not too heavy so you will still feel good wearing that bikini! Just don't eat too much ;) 

This recipe calls for REALLY strongly brewed tea, so don't use any kind of bottled tea that you would drink. You  need it to be really strong for the tea flavor to come through. Steep it as long as you can bear for this recipe.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer as much as I am.. but GOD it's hot out there. Cool off with a slice of this cake and a tall glass of sweet tea. 

Keep Reading for the Recipe:


Friday, July 15, 2016

Mini Hot Dog Sliders

Do you like to serve and eat adorable things? If so, I have something right up your alley! 



Not only are these little guys cute as can be, they're yummy too! And you can load them up however you and your family like. We used brown mustard, ketchup, and even BBQ sauce on some of them. 

Another plus? Perfect size for little kid hands!

I can see these being served at birthday parties, prepared in advance and thrown in an aluminum pan for tailgating, or for a taste of summer on a rainy day (like we did). 

With just a couple of ingredients, pick them up at the store this weekend and be prepared to hear your family squeal in delight!

Keep reading for this EASY recipe!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Dip Bites

Have you guys ever tried that yummy buffalo chicken dip at parties? Usually with tortilla chips or celery- its so good!




Technically I set out to make a "buffalo chicken croquette" but once I bit into these little guys, I had to change the name! They taste exactly like little bite sized morsels of that favorite dip, but no dipping is required!

A quick tip to shredding your chicken is to throw it into your Kitchenaid mixer with the paddle attachment and whisk it around a couple of times. Just be careful when you're mixing in the other ingredients that you don't whip it too much, or it kinda becomes gooey and the chicken gets lost. 

If you try them, let me know how they turn out for you!


Keep Reading for the Recipe!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Remember that Low Country Boil I made for my birthday party I told you guys about on Monday? Well it pretty much got gobbled up and I didn't have too much leftover, but there were a lot of potatoes. Turns out when theres sausage, crab legs and shrimp to eat people kind of skip the potatoes. So I was left with about 3 pounds of leftover cooked potatoes. What to do?

Common sense says potato salad, duh. But I don't really like potato salad. It was suggested that we have steak for dinner and I remember a deli salad I had before that was "loaded baked potato salad." It has all the flavors of a baked potato, but cold and delicious! Perfect for a summer night. We even ate outside on the patio on my new patio furniture. This is one time where I was loving some leftovers!




Keep Reading for the Recipe!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Low Country Boil

Well, it happened. This past week I turned 30. I didn't want it to happen, but it did. Fortunately, I had a wonderful party with my best friends and family there to celebrate. I love throwing birthday parties. LOVE it. I threw myself an "under the sea" theme party this year. I spent a lot of time pinning and thinking of decoration ideas but still had no clue what to make to serve everyone!

I didn't want to be in the kitchen all day like I was on Easter.. I wanted to enjoy the party with everyone else! I decided to do a low country boil, it's easier than it appears and went with my theme perfectly! Everyone was happy and it is a great social meal. Maybe a perfect idea for your 4th of July get together this weekend?? This recipe fed 12 of us with some leftovers.


Keep Reading for the Recipe!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sausage and Cheese Crustless Quiche

I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with breakfast, especially on the weekdays. I'm not hungry when I wake up, but by the time I do get hungry I'm already in the middle of my morning. I have eaten one too many hard boiled eggs, and I try to steer clear of the sugary granola bars.




Every time I have made this quiche on a Sunday, it makes my weekday mornings so much better. We enjoy the quiche hot with fruit during our relaxing Sunday breakfast, then I package up the rest in baggies for the week. I eat the slice hot or cold and its good either way! 


This would even be great for company, and I promise you won't miss that pie crust! Low carb and full of flavor and protein, this is a good breakfast for any occasion.

Continue Reading for the Recipe!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Crock Pot Cajun Boiled Peanuts

Let me just start off by saying, boiled peanuts have not always been my favorite thing. You can get them from a variety of places here in Wilmington, but they're almost always flavorless and overcooked. If you feel this way about boiled peanuts, I beg you to keep reading! Also, if you like them any way they come, still keep reading.



This recipe produces perfectly cooked, spicy, juicy boiled peanuts. They are seriously the best snack to have while watching tv or even while hanging out drinking a beer. The best part is that they only take TWO ingredients, and all you really have to do is dump the TWO ingredients into the crock pot.


Keep Reading for the Recipe!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Grilled Chipotle Lime Pork Chops

If you're anything like me, I'm always trying to find new ways too cook our favorite proteins. With summer pretty much here, grilling is the way to go! Marinades and dry rubs are our friends, but it is easy to get stuck into a rut.



We all know chipotle and lime go well together, and this is my take on a classic flavor pairing! Bright and full of flavor, with a little heat on the back end, these little guys are perfect for summer. 



Continue reading for the recipe, and let me know if you try them!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cheesy Ranch Meatloaf Muffins

Have you ever had meatloaf muffins? Of course you have. They're everywhere, and for good reason. These little guys are so delicious! I have posted a recipe before for meatloaf muffins, with a good old fashioned meatloaf flavor. I was looking to jazz it up a little bit this time though, and that is exactly what I did!

If I had to pick my favorite condiment, it would be ranch. Hands down. I want all the ranch. I prefer homemade, but bottled will do in a pinch. 

In all honesty, sometimes I think about what life was like before ranch. Italian dressing on my salads? Dipping my chicken nuggets in honey mustard? What the what? 

Also, cheese. Oozy, salty, delicious sharp cheddar cheese. I mean that's all I really have to say there, right? 

cheesy ranch meatloaf muffins

Keep reading for the recipe!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Balsamic Marinated Roasted Summer Vegetables

You guys, I don't think I've ever liked vegetables as much as I do after eating this recipe tonight.

I made it to go with grilled chicken and we both agreed that the veggies were the star of the meal. I went and got more and topped my chicken with them. The flavors are so deep and complex and all of the textures are different. I highly suggest using sweet potatoes in place of regular potatoes!

Like I mentioned in my previous post, we had a lot of fun at our local produce stand. Since we weren't sure about the weather situation, I decided we will have some roasted summer veggies to go with our baked chicken breasts tonight! 

I know the thought of heating up the oven in the summer makes some people cringe. These veggies would also be great cooked up on the grill! Feel free to throw in whatever you have, just remember to throw the potatoes in first so that your other veggies don't fry to a crisp while the potatoes are cooking through.

After roasting, I topped the hot veggies with some fresh basil from our patio for a bright flavorful pop that screams:

Welcome Summer!!


Continue Reading For the Recipe


Monday, May 30, 2016

Easy No-Yeast Flatbread Dough

Sometimes lunch annoys me. I'm always in the middle of something when suddenly my stomach starts growling. I try to ignore it but eventually I must give in.

Today I decided to whip up a quick flatbread since its more than just the two of us and this can casually feed a few people. I didn't feel like dealing with making a yeast dough so I found this recipe, altered it a bit, and threw everything in my Kitchenaid. 

It came out crisp and sooooo delicious! Such a simple recipe for a quick lunch or dinner. I used what I had on hand for this one: some leftover vodka sauce, mozzarella, turkey pepperoni and parmesan. I can't wait to try with a ranch base with chicken and turkey bacon. Or Pesto with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella! The possibilities are endless. Top with your favorite flatbread toppings and enjoy in less than 30 minutes!



-Ingredients-

1 1/3 c bread flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c warm milk
2 T oil (I used canola b/c thats what I have)

-Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 400*. Mix the dry ingredients with the paddle attachment of your mixer. Slowly pour in the milk and oil. Add liquid 1/2 T at a time until a dough forms.
2. Switch to your dough hook and knead 1 minute.
3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, kneed a few times then cover with the bowl for 10 minutes.
4. Roll the dough out onto an ungreased 12" pizza pan or roll it onto an ungreased rectangular cookie sheet. Poke holes with a fork and bake 8 mins with no toppings.
5. Remove the pizza, add your toppings. Cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until desired crispiness. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Blackberry BBQ Sauce

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone! The official start of summer has us so excited. Even though we have had some on and off gloomy weather here in Wilmington, of course we have to make some ribs! 

We went and stocked up on fresh fruit and veggies at Port City Produce yesterday, and picked up some gorgeous plump blackberries. After bringing them home we realized they were a little tart for our taste. So that left me brainstorming what I could do with those beautiful berries.

Enter this blackberry barbecue sauce. Its tart, sweet and a hint of spicy. Perfect for those ribs I planned to cook today! 


-Ingredients-

2 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 lemon, juice only
1 T chili powder
1 t yellow mustard
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

-Directions-

1. Add the chicken stock and blackberries to a medium sauce pan over high heat. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, simmering and stirring until the berries start to break down. Mash the berries as they break down.
2. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer berries to blender and mix until smooth. 
3. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and press the berry mixture through. Discard seeds and transfer the sauce back to the saucepan.
4. Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium-low heat until the sauce is thick and coats the spoon. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

We plan on having ours on ribs, but it would be great on chicken too!