Cranberry Salsa

I spotted this recipe on Pinterest and really wanted to try it. I made a couple changes and we just love this stuff! It's great with tortilla chips on its own, or our favorite is spread over cream cheese with crackers. YUM.

This recipe is so simple and quick to make, I think I'm going to make it for the neighbors for Christmas. Making 10 batches of this would be WAY quicker than cookies. AND if I eat a whole bunch I wouldn't un-do all of my bootcamp hard work.
Cranberry Salsaadapted from bake-aholic

1 package of fresh cranberries (12 oz)
1/2 c. sugar
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, roughly chopped (I left in some seeds.)
3 green onion, roughly chopped
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cumin

Pulse everything together in the food processer until chopped to your liking. I left in some chunks. Refrigerate 12 hours before serving. This will stay good in the fridge a long time (up to 2 weeks.) Serve with tortilla chips or over cream cheese with crackers.

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Loaded Kettle Chips

Rob and I went out to dinner the other night to a restaurant in Central Phoenix called the Windsor. (Which we would highly recommend.) They have a delectable treat called "Loaded Chips." We ate every last chip and immediately decided I MUST re-create them.

Today, for Thanksgiving we obviously "needed" some appetizers before our big dinner at 6:00 so I made these Loaded Kettle Chips and I have decided that this is my favorite recipe I've ever invented or re-created myself.  A-mazing.  It would be really simple to make these vegetarian without the bacon. I did not make my own kettle chips because I didn't feel like it and I had already made an entire Thanksgiving feast with my sister and I was too tired to fry chips.  However, if you have a fry daddy all ready it would be super fantastic with homemade chips.

Loaded Kettle Chips
with Caramelized Balsamic Onions, Bacon, Blue Cheese & Chipotle Cream

Caramelized Balsamic Onions:
3 1/2 medium/large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 Tb EVOO (or reserve some bacon grease...YUM)
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper

Chipotle Cream:
1/2 c. sour cream
1 heaping Tb mayo
1 chipotle, minced
1-2 tsp adobo sauce from chipotle can
1-2 tsp granulated garlic

3/4-1 c. blue cheese crumbles
2-19 oz bags kettle chips
1 lb bacon, chopped and crisply cooked

To make the onions: Heat oil or grease in a large skillet.  Add the onions and cook over medium-high heat until the onions start to soften and brown.  Pour in balsamic vinegar and lower heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 30-35 minutes until onions are completely soft and caramelized.  Season with salt & pepper.

To make the chipotle cream: Mix together sour cream, mayo, chipotle, adobo sauce and garlic.  Taste and adjust garlic and adobo to your liking.  It should be pretty spicy because it is just a drizzle on the top.

To assemble chips: Heat an oven to 350.  Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with foil and pour the chips in a layer on the sheet.  Sprinkle on the bacon, then the onions, then the blue cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the blue cheese starts to melt.  Remove from the oven and drizzle on the chipotle cream to your liking.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

We had a sandwich like this at a restaurant recently and Rob and I both fell in love immediately.  Of course I had to recreate it with my own flare, so I added a balsamic reduction.  Rob told me that if he were a vegetarian, he would eat this sandwich once a week.

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

makes four sandwiches

8 slices of sourdough bread
4 Tb softened butter
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
large beefsteak tomato sliced
fresh basil leaves
4 Tb Pesto
Balsamic reduction

To make the sandwiches, butter one side of each slice of bread.  Spread 1 Tb of Pesto on one piece of bread, then layer on top Basil leaves, Tomatoes & Mozzarella Cheese.  Grill for a couple minutes on each side until golden brown and the cheese is melted.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

I've had buffalo wing dip many times.  I've always liked it but some are better than others.  This one is really, really good.  My friend made this at a party recently and I just loved it.  So of course I made it myself...and added a little extra cheese, because--why not?

I made this at my daughter's birthday dinner to go with pizza and we scraped out the crock pot!  This dip goes well with celery sticks or tortilla chips.  Or pizza crust too.  I made 1 1/2 the recipe for 5 adults so I would highly recommend doubling for a party.

Buffalo Wing Dip

2 c. shredded or chopped cooked chicken
1 block cream cheese (neufchatel works great), softened
1/2 c. Franks Buffalo sauce
1/2 c. Ranch dressing
1/2 c. shredded (sharp) cheedar cheese

Mix together all ingredients and either put inside a little dipper crock pot for an hour or bake in an 8'' square pan at 350 for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Serve with tortilla chips and celery.

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Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

I think I've blogged enchiladas before. Maybe once or twice. And probably you're getting the picture that we love Mexican food. Like really, really love it!

This recipe is based off of the creamy chicken enchiladas that I feel like everyone knows the recipe for, but of course I had to kick it up a notch and I like to use corn tortillas for a few reasons. One, because their much healthier for you. And two, because they hold up much better with filling and sauce without getting soggy. And I just like them.

I made this in my Pampered Chef deep covered baker and cooked it in the microwave (it's unbelievable how amazing stuff turns out in that thing!) BUT, a 9x13 pan would work out great. We ate ours with a few dots of sriracha for an extra kick, because we're punchy like that.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

10-12 corn tortillas, quartered
1 12-oz can green chile enchilada sauce
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cooked & chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used reduced fat)
1 c. (heaping) sour cream
1/4 of an onion, minced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, ribs & seeds removed, minced (You can sub a fork-full of nacho slices)
4 whole roasted hatch chiles, peeled and chopped (or 1 4-oz can chopped green chiles)
salt & pepper to taste
2 c. shredded colby-jack or cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the chicken, soup, sour cream, onion, garlic, jalapeno and green chiles. Taste and add more jalapeno and salt & pepper if needed. To assemble, pour a little bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer the tortilla quarters in a single layer. Spread on half of the chicken mixture, half of the cheese and top with another single layer of tortillas. Spread a little more sauce on top of that. Add the other half of the chicken mixture, the cheese and another tortilla layer. Top with more enchilada sauce. Bake 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (If using the deep covered baker, microwave covered 15 minutes.) Let stand 10 minutes to let it settle before cutting and serving.

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Parmesan Italian Chicken

I found this recipe in a magazine advertizement for Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix a long time ago.  I'm pretty sure I (kind of) discreetly tore it out of a magazine in a doctor's office at the time.  Over the last several years I've made this many times, especially when I don't have dinner planned and it's somewhat last minute. 

In this photo I used chicken breast tenders, but chicken breast halves work well also.

Parmesan Italian Chicken

1/2 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 envelope Italian Salad Dressing Mix
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or tenders)

Preheat oven to 400. In a pie plate mix together the cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder.  Dredge the chicken in the cheese mixture, patting to coat it well. Bake in a 9x13 pan 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  (Tenders take less time to cook that chicken breasts.)

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Peanut Butter Cheese Ball

Yet another recipe I found on Pinterest.  I had all of the ingredients for this so I made it right away for the ladies in our small group and it was a hit.  My favorite dipper with this was the granny smith apples, the tart apples with the sweet peanut butter ball was a great combo.

Peanut Butter Cheese Ball
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
3 Tb packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c. chocolate or mini chocolate chips
Apple slices, graham sticks and/or animal crackers for dipping
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in large mixing bowl until blended.
Spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap, bring up all four corners and twist tightly forming into a ball shape.
Freeze for 1 1/2 hours, or until firm enough to keep its shape. Place the chocolate chips on a plate. Remove plastic wrap and roll the ball into the chocolate chips to completely cover, pressing them into the ball if necessary.
Place ball on serving dish; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until almost firm. (Can be made ahead. If frozen overnight, thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.) Serve with graham sticks, animal crackers or apple slices for dipping.

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