{Fresh Guacamole}

We are big Guac fans over here! This is better than any guacamole I have ever had, my husband and kids couldn’t stop eating it. We have been making this recipe for a couple years, and never will we go back to store bought or package mixes again.

Ingredients: 

3 Avocados, pitted and diced
2 Roma Tomatoes, seeds removed and diced small
2-3 Tbs Red Onion, diced small
2 Tbs Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 whole lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Sea Salt

In a large bowl, slightly mash the avocado pieces. Then add the juice of one whole lime and a teaspoon of sea salt, and toss. Next add the minced garlic, chopped roma tomatoes, red onion and cilantro. Toss gently, and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

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{Easy Shrapnel Dip}

My family loves this dip. It’s super easy to throw together and has such bold flavors and colors. This could really be eaten as a salad too. We have also made nachos in the oven and then spread a bunch of this on top after they come out with all the melty cheese. Delish!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 can white beans, great northern beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1-2 avocados, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 Tbs finely chopped red onion
2-3 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup Italian dressing, plus more if needed
Squeeze of fresh lime juice, from half a large lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Tortilla chips for serving

Drain the beans and corn together in a colander and rinse them well under cold water. Drain well. Add them to a large bowl and toss in the avocados, red pepper, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro. Stir together. Pour the dressing over the top of the salad and stir until it is evenly coated.
Squeeze in the fresh lime juice and add the salt and pepper. Serve with chips.

Adapted from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

{Restaurant Style Salsa}

I love salsa, if I had my choice I would eat it for dinner. My favorite is fresh salsa from veggies in my garden. Since it hasn’t yet produced veggies quite yet I made this, and it was awesome and addicting. It makes a lot so you can eat it for a few days too.

1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
2 cans (10oz) rotel. I use the mild
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 whole jalapeño, halved (I take the seeds out because I don’t like it too spicy)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 whole lime, juiced

In a large food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients together and blend until well combined.

Recipe adapted from: Two Peas & their Pod

{Yummy Cheese Ball}

Here is a recipe for a yummy and very easy cheese ball. I hope you all have a fun and safe New Years!! xo

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package ranch-style dressing mix
2 cups chopped pecans

In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and dressing mix. Form into one large ball or two smaller balls. Roll in chopped pecans to coat the entire ball. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

{Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Galette}

This is a great Autumn recipe, and the roasted garlic made my house smell heavenly! You can plan ahead for this one and cut and peel your squash earlier in the day, I even roasted the garlic early. That way it came together pretty quick come dinner time. This would also make a great appetizer.

Pastry:




Filling:

  1. To make the dough: Put the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse to form a mixture that looks like small peas. Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough sticks together (to test, remove the top and gather the dough in your fingers. If it sticks together without crumbling, it’s ready). Add the ice water while pulsing, until the dough comes together, being careful not to over mix. Transfer to a lightly floured board and shape the dough into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. To make the filling: Cut the squash into two pieces to separate the rounder part from the narrower section. Peel the entire squash, cut both parts in half and remove any seeds. Cut all four pieces into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Put in a large bowl and add the olive oil, chopped garlic and thyme. Toss to coat evenly. Spread out on one of the prepared baking sheets. Set the bowl aside. Sprinkle the squash with the salt and pepper. Put the garlic on the baking sheet and bake until the squash and garlic are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out the dough into a large circle about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, peel and put in the reserved bowl. Mash with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the ricotta.
  6. Remove the pastry from the fridge and spread the garlic-cheese mixture over the top, leaving a 1-inch border. Spread the squash over the garlic-cheese mixture and fold the edges toward the center of the galette. Sprinkle the fontina over the center of the galette. Sprinkle the edges of the crust with the parmesan and bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving

Recipe Source: Food 52

{Basic Hummus}

Pita chips and hummus are one of my favorite snacks! Homemade hummus is so delicious you will never want to buy store bought again I promise. This stuff is so great in so many ways and with so many things. Dip for veggies, chips, you can put it in wraps, really anything. I love it! Oh and did I mention it’s super easy to make?

3-4 peeled garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 (15.5oz) cans chickpeas
6 Tbs tahini
6 Tbs lemon juice
up to 3 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, curly or flat, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 1-1/2 tsp salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 Add garlic cloves, chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. After putting the lid tightly in place, process until a thick, coarse paste is formed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Check the consistency of the hummus. If you’re happy with the texture of the hummus, add the salt, parsley, black pepper and cayenne pepper, and any optional add-ins, and pulse until evenly combined. If you would like it to be thinner and/or smoother, add the olive oil and process for an additional minute.

{Easy Salsa}

I love Mexican food, I feel like I make it a lot and the one thing always missing is some really good Salsa to go along with it. I hate the bottled salsa at the store, so I wanted to start making my own. Luckily my Sister in Law has a good recipe that I slightly adapted. It’s really simple to make and it tasted great! I used my food processor to make it, but I know that a blender would do the trick too.

2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, drained

1/2 onion, finely diced

1-2 tsp minced garlic

1 lime, juiced

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup canned sliced green chiles

3-5 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, green chiles, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Blend on low to desired consistency.

{Mini Baklava}

I have never made regular baklava but these are super fun to make and just the right size to eat. I did use a mini muffin tin but I am sure you could get away with using a regular muffin tin and just cutting your squares bigger and adding more filling. I loved the soft filling and yummy flaky, crisp of the phyllo.

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 stick butter, melted, divided
3 Tbs honey
12 sheets phyllo dough

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Place the almonds, walnuts, apricots, bread crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt in a food processor. Run the machine until the mixture is very finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and the honey and stir to combine.

On a dry work surface place 1 sheet of phyllo. Using a pastry brush and the remaining melted butter, lightly cover the entire sheet of phyllo with melted butter. Cover the first sheet with a second sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Continue until there is a stack of 6 sheets of phyllo. Cut the stacked phyllo rectangle into 12 equal pieces (Cut lengthwise into 4 pieces and widthwise into 3 pieces.)

Gently press each cut piece of phyllo into the mini-muffin tin cups. Press 1 tablespoon of the nut mixture into each of the phyllo cups. Gather the ends of each of the phyllo squares and twist to make a sachet shape. Continue shaping the remaining sachets in the other mini-muffin tin. Bake until the edges of the phyllo are golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the baklava sachets and transfer to a serving plate.

{Chicken Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce}

I have only made Egg Rolls one other time a really long time ago. I like this recipe better. I prepared the chicken earlier in the day so that it had plenty of time to marinate which I think is the key to the great flavor these have.

For the filling:
4 tbsp. soy sauce, divided
3 cloves minced garlic, divided
4 chopped green onions, divided
4 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
¾ head green cabbage, shredded thin
3 carrots, peeled and shredded

To finish:
24-30 egg roll wrappers
1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp. water
Canola or peanut oil, for frying

Directions:
To make the filling, combine 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic, half of the green onions, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a resealable bag; shake well to combine. Place the chicken in the bag, press out the excess air, and seal. Refrigerate and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the shredded cabbage and carrots, and the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir to toss the vegetables. Cook over high heat for about 2 minutes. Toss in the remaining garlic and green onions and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat.

Dice the chicken breasts and add them to the vegetable mixture. Let the filling cool for 30 minutes before filling the wrappers.

To finish the egg rolls, heat about 3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or large pan to 375˚ F. While the oil is heating, assemble the rolls. Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface with one corner pointing toward you. Add a tablespoon or two of the filling to the center of the wrapper. Fold the corner closest to you up over the filling. Roll slightly away from you, fold the two corners pointing to the sides inward, and continue rolling the wrapper tightly away from you. Dip a finger in the cornstarch mixture and lightly brush inside the top corner of the wrapper to help adhere, and finish rolling. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Fry several egg rolls at a time in the hot oil, without overcrowding, about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a large pot or dish lined with paper towels and place the finished egg rolls vertically to help drain excess grease. Repeat with the remaining rolls. Serve warm.

For the Sauce

3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Place the sugar, vinegar, water, soy sauce, ketchup and cornstarch in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened.