March 2016

Taco Dip

taco-dip

I loooove dip. I love the chips, I love the endless options, I love appetizers, and I love the act of dipping. This dip is a combination of all the things I’ve loved about various taco dips throughout my life. It’s MY perfect taco dip, and my husband’s I supposed too because he’s in love. And, it’s super easy!

Recipe

  • 2 cans Fritos bean dip
  • 8 oz light sour cream
  • 8 oz light cream cheese
  • 1/2 envelope taco seasoning
  • Taco sauce
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 diced roma tomatoes

Spread the bean dip in the serving dish of your choice (I halved the recipe and used a 9 inch pan). Heat in the microwave until warm or bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, cream cheese and taco seasoning together. Layer over the warm bean dip. Drizzle with taco sauce (amount up to you…I did a generous drizzle), then top with cheese, lettuce (enough to get a little crunch in each bite, but don’t over do it), and tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips!!

chicken-and-wild-rice-casserole

Now that my pregnancy nausea has sort of ceased (I’m convinced it will never totally go away), the best thing has been very distinct cravings. Like I never just want a salad, or a sandwich,  I want an oriental salad with sesame dressing and wonton strips or a turkey sandwich with pickle and honey mustard.  This casserole was a product of that. I wanted a creamy chicken casserole with wild rice and teeny tiny chopped vegetables. Done.

Recipe

  • 1 box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice (small box – 6 oz I think)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (I got a rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cups chopped/small frozen vegetables (I used peas, carrots, and chopped broccoli)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, diced
  • salt (at least 1/2 tsp, more to taste)
  • pepper

Cook the rice according to instructions.  In a separate pan, cook the onion and celery in 1 tablespoon butter for about 5-10 minutes until tender. In a bowl, combine the cooked rice, chicken, soup, half & half, onion mixture, and S&P.  Pour into a casserole dish, cover, and bake at 300 for 30 minutes (or until warm). You could serve this with a salad, but preferred a warm, buttery, crusty piece of bread.

A Baby Shower

I’m back! Sorry for the looooong hiatus. I have an excuse. I am pregnant with twins and despite being over halfway in my pregnancy these little nuggets still insist on reminding me they’re in there each day with a nice dose of nausea. I hope this isn’t an indication of future behavior, because if it is these are DEVIL CHILDREN.

Anyway, cooking? No way. I’ve been lucky if I can stomach a PB sandwich.  I’m starting to turn the corner (I think)…so stay tuned for some recipes in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I wanted to post about a baby shower I held for my great friend Annie.  We have been friends since pretty much the very moment I moved to Dallas (we picked each other up at a bar – how romantic is that?), and it’s been such a joy seeing her transition from our days at dance clubs and pool parties to baby bellies and bottles.  …did I just say ‘it’s been such a joy’?? It’s happening already! I’m a mom!

Anyway, I had her baby shower all the way back in September but am just getting around to posting it now. Hopefully this helps you with ideas for future showers on food, decor, flowers, and most importantly – dessert. (yes that’s a separate category from food).

First, the flowers.  Bright yellow flowers to symbolize new life and opportunities (just kidding, gender-neutral shower and the yellow flowers were the prettiest)

More yellow flowers in a lemon-lined vase (super easy and pretty!). Also, a clothesline of sweet little baby onesies and stuffed animals over the fireplace.

And more beautiful yellow floating flowers on the patio. And some mums in the back that my husband insisted on.

A cute little ‘Sweet Baby Banner’ over the other fireplace

Now, the drinks. Champagne! Lots of champagne for everyone but the mom-to-be.

And mini champagnes for everyone to take with them (with a tag that reads ‘ready to pop’)

Now for the food! I often make this Wild Rice Chicken Salad for gatherings such as these. Always a hit, easy to make ahead, always pretty. Especially in my beautiful punch bowl courtesy of my MIL.

Next, caramelized onion and goat cheese flatbreads (and some with roasted red pepper). Guess I haven’t posted about these before, but they’re AMAZING. Naan bread, drizzled with olive oil, topped with onions that you’ve caramelized with a touch of sugar and butter, and sliced goat cheese. And roasted red pepper if you want some color. Oh and a sprinkle of fresh basil.

A colorful Kale Salad. I added fresh raspberries on this one for a pretty pop of pink.

And one of my all-time favorite appetizers, Bacon Wrapped Dates.  Hint – these are super easy if you buy a balsamic glaze instead of make your own, ditch the apricot jelly (don’t need it with the sweet glaze), and assemble up to a day ahead so all you have to do is pop them in the oven.

Lots of fun, easy food.

And finally, the drum roll please….the dessert table. My favorite cake of all time, decorated with light yellow icing and yellow sprinkles (I wanted to keep it classy rather than top it with everything in the chocolate candy aisle like I typically do- we’re moms now), cupcakes from Society bakery, and of course – cake balls.

Hopefully this gives you ideas if you have a shower looming in front of you, but most importantly this post will remind me what I did next time I host another shower so I don’t have to spend another 462 hours making decisions (there’s so many good recipes out there! and pinterest! and blogs! and food network!!).  

Happy Spring! Stay tuned…