Cheesy Jalapeño Bites (Man Night Cheat Treat!)

So I haven’t posted a naughty treat in quite some time!  But the season of parties has arrived, so I thought I would share this little gem!  Perfect for man nights!!  I love man nights!!  My house always gets clean, I get to cook fun food…and before I leave or go hide in the bedroom, I get to enjoy the fact that most men are easily pleased.  So the fact that I can make tacos or chili or jalapeño bites gets me tons of “mmmm’s, “oh my gosh”s, and “Tabby this is so good, you’re amazing”s, haha!  Its a nice feeling.  So here is something to hopefully help you get a similar reaction!!

Cheesy Jalapeño Bites!!  Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Egg Yolks (Psst…secret…I totally forgot these and they STILL WORKED!  Baha!)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softenedd
  • 16 oz Shredded Parmesan Cheese (Yes, it is a lot!  But worth it!)
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Jalapeños (I used fresh, then found out after I had already mixed it that my mom uses the ones from the can!  But it seemed to still work well, so choose your fancy!)
  • Bread Crumbs

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix everything but the bread crumbs together in a bowl.
  3. Form into small bowls and roll in bread crumbs, getting a nice coating.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  THEY WILL FLATTEN OUT, that’s fine!! 🙂

Photo-25

Yeah buddy!  Golden brown, melty, spicy…perfection!

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Here it is with a big ol’ pot of chili and sweet cornbread!  A perfect feast for  a man night in!!  I hope you enjoy!

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A Tip On Entertaining: On the 11th Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me a tip to help me not stress when cooking for a party!!

Yes, cause we all know that entertaining and hosting can be stressful. Personally, I LOVE throwing parties! I love making gorgeous food spreads that people ooh and aah over and enjoy to the fullest. However, there are times when I over plan and stress myself out to such a degree that I end up having a panic attack before the party which makes it so hard to enjoy the party itself!! So, here is my thought that can help.

Put out appetizers. Now I know that sounds silly, cause it’s more food to think about. But here’s my thought.

Sure, make an extravagant meal. Something that will make you happy, and your guests. But put out a SUPER simple appetizer. Something crazy easy like the Grinch Kabobs I showed you earlier in my 12 Days of Christmas series, or even…gasp, don’t hate me for saying this…go out and BUY something!!

I know. You never thought I’d say that. I’m all about making stuff. Home made home made home made!!! But I’ll explain.

Timing. Timing is what stresses me out the most. People arrive and I am still frantically trying to prepare things. Or even if it’s just a family holiday with my husband and mother in law, everybody starts getting grumpy cause they’re hungry and can smell the great food but not eat it yet. So…turn on some happy tunes, light a few candles, make a nice atmosphere, and put out a cheap, easy appetizer. Not too much. We’ve done that and been too full to eat dinner. But just a little something for people to snack on while they chat…to keep them busy so they don’t notice that you haven’t served the main course yet…so you’re off the hook and free to not rush your little hiney off!! Want to see our super fancy appetizer this Christmas? Kudos to my husband for plating it and taking artsy fartsy pictures. Here it isssss!!

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Crackers. Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar. And a nice big summer sausage. (By the way…have you ever wondered why summer sausages come out during the winter?!). Not fancy. Not expensive. Not hard to prepare. Everybody loves it and will be pleased snacking on that while you calm down and do what you need to do!! You know what else we do sometimes? A jar of mini dill pickles. They go fast, they’re tasty…all you have to do is dump them in a bowl. You see what I’m saying here? Deviled eggs take a tiny bit of prep, but are still easy and a well loved favorite.

So here’s what I’m saying. Don’t stress. It will all come together. Don’t be ashamed to buy a little something to put out on the table while people gather. And remember the real reason for your party. People. Fellowship. Fun. Best of luck to you!!

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Kirkwood “Garlic Parmesan Dilly Biscuits…On the 7th Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me…a REALLY late Christmas recipe!!

We are back in business folks!!  Good gracious I am sorry for my silence!  The past week and half have felt like absolute madness!  Between an ice storm and all the adventure that surrounds that, throwing a Graduation party for a friend, an Ugly Sweater party at work, being the only shift leader and manager for 2 weeks, Christmas itself, and trying desperately to hold together my disaster of a house and still spend quality time with my sweet husband…I’ve been a bit frazzled!  But I’m back!!  I missed you all!!!

I felt like such a failure with this whole 12 Days of Christmas thing I started and didn’t finish.  I wanted to curl up in a ball and pout because I don’t like failing…I like finishing what I start!!  However, when I expressed my disappointment to my lovely Sister in Law, Dani, she informed me of something…APPARENTLY the advent and “12 Days of Christmas” season continues till January 6th!!!  So, I’ve decided to stop my pouting and do my best to get my last 6 posts out before then!!  So…here we go!!

I figured it was time to finally share with you the beauty of this recipe with you.  It is a LEGEND.  For real.  We have people that…after tasting these…make them ALL the time.  In fact, one friend in particular will buy all the supplies and bring them to my parents house and make them with my mom…they will be the only food needed at our parties!

On top of that, it seems that every holiday party has some form of warm yummy rolls.  Once you try these, you will forsake all other breads and make these every chance you get!!  Oh, and did I mention that these are easy and I have been making them since elementary school?  Anyone can do it!!  And the family will love them.  Whenever mom made them, I would sit down and before anyone had a chance to speak I would ask (with much concern) “HOW MANY BISCUITS CAN I HAVE?!”  My brother Judah and I would have competitions to see how many we could!!

 

So, here’s what you need for one batch (you’ll want to make more than that)!

  • 1 Tube Pillsbury Biscuits (The small ones…the kind that pops when you peel it!)
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • Garlic Powder
  • Powdered Parmesan
  • Dill Weed

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees (or whatever is recommended on the tube of biscuits you are using).
  2. Put the butter in a (preferably metal) 9 inch cake pan.  Slide it into your oven while it preheats so that it melts.
  3. As soon as butter gets sizzling and just starting to brown, take it out of the oven.  Sprinkle a very generous amount of garlic powder on the surface of the butter so that you have a garlic layer.
  4. Open your biscuits and one by one place the biscuit in the butter, swish it around, then flip it over and swish again so that both sides have a coating of garlic butter.
  5. Shake a layer of parmesan on top of the biscuits.
  6. Sprinkle a touch of dill weed on top…really you can do this to taste, I like a decent amount but I know some people aren’t as big of fans.
  7. Bake as directed, until the biscuits are raised and the tops are a nice golden brown.

 

Photo (4)Preheat your oven and melt your butter in the pan while it warms up.  I used my cast iron skillet here because it was before I had bought a cake pan, but the best pan to use is a metal 9 inch cake pan 🙂

Photo (3)Take butter out when it is melted, bubbly, and slightly browned.  Shake a generous layer of garlic powder onto the surface of the butter.

Photo (2)One by one take your biscuits, place in the butter, swish around, then flip and swish so that you have a coating of garlic butter on both sides.

Photo (1)Shake a layer of parmesan on top of the biscuits, then finish with a sprinkle of dill weed.

PhotoBake as directed, until biscuits have risen and tops are nice and browned!!

Eat.  Enjoy.

 

Colorful Winter Salad. On The Second Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me…a light and healthy salad recipe!!

I know those aren’t usually words you would associate with Christmas.  But our Kirkwood Christmas feasts ALWAYS had a salad!!  And it really is nice to have the lightness to break up all the fantastic other goodies you will be eating.  It will make you feel better about your meal too.  😉

This salad is a recent addition to our collection of deliciousness at the Rodgers household.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  In fact, I brought it to the church so I could leave some for Mr. Rodgers!  I walked out of the room for a minute and came back to both secretaries saying “OH MY GOSH WHAT IS THIS?!” and “Tabby that salad looks amazing!!!”  Hehehe.  Those moments make me happy!!  I also brought a big plateful to my manager, who loved it!!

I got this lovely little recipe from simplylovefood.com.  I was so intrigued by the title.  “Winter Salad.”  Salads usually seem so…summery.  So the thought of a winter salad made me excited!!  And it definitely didn’t disappoint!!  A few alterations and I had a huge, fantastic, delicious salad!!  And did I mention that it was beautiful?!  It adds such color and prettiness to your spread!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Romaine Hearts, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 Large Handfuls of an Herb Mix, Spring Mix, Spinach…your choice!
  • Seeds from one Pomegranate
  • 1 Pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 Apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 Avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/4-1/2 Red Onion, thinly Sliced
  • Feta Cheese To Taste
  • 1/4-1/2 Toasted Pecan Halves

Dressing: (Depending on the size your salad turns out you may need to adjust the amount of dressing)

    2/3 C Olive Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Agave Nectar or Honey (I’ve heard some iffy things on agave lately.  Sad face.)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Rinse and prep your veggies.
  2. Put the romaine and your “mix” or spinach in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Top with all the other salad ingredients.
  4. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over your serving of salad, or over the whole thing if you are serving to a group!

Bam!!  How easy is that?!?!

Photo (4)How pretty is that?!

photo 1Don’t you want to eat it?!

photo 3Yummy!!!

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🙂

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Grinch Skewers! Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas!

On the first day of Christmas my true blog gave to me…a really great idea for appetizers for my Christmas party!!

I promised you I was working on something special; well here it is!!  The 12 Days of Christmas, Feeding Mr. Rodgers style!!!  When it comes to holiday entertaining, food is key!!  I was going to say food is everything, but that’s just not true cause it is a season for love and fun and appreciation and giving and especially faith!!  But when the time comes to gather and celebrate all of those things…its just not a party without fun holiday food!  Planning menus can be stressful for parties, especially when you are like me and want everything to be perfect AND home made!!  So here are my 12 Days of Christmas…my gift to you to make it that much less stressful.  Cut down on planning time, but still offering fun home made recipes that I can guarantee are DELICIOUS!!

There are so many things wonderful about these little appetizers!  For one…they are the Grinch.  I mean, come on.  How can you get any better than that?!  I LOVE planning themed parties.  I usually go all out for them, but for this party, I had no time!!  And I wasn’t exactly hosting either.  So because of lack of time and the complete relaxed nature of this annual Grinch party with our favorite people (love you Hopper family!), I did not make a green Christmas punch…or green cookies…or guacamole…or all sorts of green foods like I wanted.  But when I found this idea…all of that melted away and I knew it was PERFECT and better than all those things combined!!  I can’t say enough about how fun they were!!  They were tasty…yum!!  They were super cute…awwwe.  They are decently healthy…all fruit except for the tiny little marshmallow.   And they are fun!!  They bring people together, because building them is a great family/friend activity!!  All things considered…you should make these!!  Oh, and they’re easy!!

So, here’s what you need:

  • Green Grapes
  • Bananas, Sliced 1/4 – 1/2 inch
  • Strawberries (Sliced in half or whole, however you please!  We started with whole, but ended with halves to stretch our strawberries!)
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Toothpicks

And here’s how you do it!!  It’s so easy!!

  1. Take your toothpick and stick a marshmallow on one end.
  2. Slide on a strawberry (half or whole) upside down until the tip is touching the marshmallow.
  3. Slide a slice of banana up until it touches the strawberry.
  4. Slide a grape up until it touches the banana and BAM!  You have a little Grinch head with a Santa hat!!  Yaaaay!!!

 

Here’s the little cuties, perfect for snacking while you watch Christmas shows or to keep people happy while your holiday main course finishes!!  Yaaaay!

Photo (1)So many little Grinches!!

And here is the fun we had making them!!  The Hopper kids were so excited to help me with these that they were climbing all over each other!

1479012_10151884840274753_496465026_nWe had so much fun!!

Photo (2)Oh my gosh aren’t they so cute and tasty looking?!  🙂  Let me know how they go over at your Christmas party!!

Cucumber Tuna Cups (A Light, Protein Filled, Gluten Free Lunch!)

And did I mention that this is also quite easy?!  Well, it is!   Another great way to use up any left over cucumbers  from the summer garden! 🙂  They’re just so cute, too!!  I just love these little guys, yay!!  I bet you have never had tuna like this!!!!!! Oh oh oh…it’s a really cheap lunch too!  So much good news, let’s get down to business!!  Ready, set, GO!!!!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Large Cucumber
  • 1 Can Tuna
  • 1 Tbsp Mayo
  • 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Celery, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Red Onion, Minced
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 1 or 2 Pickles, Sliced
  • Sharp Cheddar, Sliced into small squares
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Peel your cucumber (leaving a few green strips if you want it to be extra pretty).  Chop into approximately inch long slices.
  2. Chop your celery and onion, slice your cheese and pickles.
  3. Take a melon baller and scoop out some of the insides of each slice of cucumber.  It should be like a little cup!
  4. Open your can of tuna and drain.  Dump it into a bowl.
  5. Add mayo, olive oil, celery, red onion, capers…and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash.  Mix until combined. Taste, and adjust.
  6. Take a spoonful of the tuna mixture and place it into each cucumber “cup.”  Top with a small slice of cheese and pickle!  Eat and enjoy!!

I think they’re just so precious!!  And they would be so great for a brunch or luncheon!!

Peectures!!

Cucumber Tuna Cups 1

Peel your cucumber (leaving a few green strips if you want it to be extra pretty).  Chop into approximately inch long slices.

Cucumber Tuna Cups 2

Chop your celery and onion, slice your cheese and pickles.  Take a melon baller and scoop out some of the insides of each slice of cucumber.

Cucumber Tuna Cups 3It should be like a little cup!

Cucumber Tuna Cups 4

Open your can of tuna and drain.  Dump it into a bowl.  Add mayo, olive oil, celery, red onion, capers…and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash.

Cucumber Tuna Cups 5Mix to combine.  Taste and adjust!!

Cucumber Tuna Cups 6Take a spoonful of the tuna mixture and place it into each cucumber “cup.”

Cucumber Tuna Cups 7Top with a small slice of cheese and pickle!  Eat and enjoy!!