Friday, December 30, 2016

Crockpot Italian Beef

After trying various recipes, we finally came up with a blend of all of them for this recipe that we really enjoy.

4-4.5 lb. boneless chuck, trimmed of fat, cut into large chunks
1 pkg zesty Italian salad dressing mix
1-1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 beer (or less)
10-12 oz. beef broth
2 cloves garlic minced
10 oz. whole pepperoncinis, with juice

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook 8 hours on low.

8-10 servings

Our own recipe

Spicy Pretzels

This recipe was shared with me by a friend. She made these for our girls' weekend, and I couldn't stop eating them!

3/4 cup olive oil
1 oz package dry Ranch dressing mix
3 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp dill weed
1 Tbsp lemon pepper
1 Tbsp Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic*
Cayenne pepper to your taste
15-16 oz bag of sourdough pretzel bites (or sourdough pretzels broken into bite-size pieces)

Mix the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. Add pretzels and stir to mix. Toss every 10 minutes for 1 hour. Spread pretzels onto cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
*Substitute Garlic Garlic seasoning: 4 Tbsp dried minced garlic, 1 Tbsp dried minced onion, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp garlic power, 1/2 tsp dried chives, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/4 tsp dried basil


Mexican Wedding Cookies

We've traditionally made Matt's grandmother's Mexican Wedding Cakes recipe. This year I had lots of leftover pecans and saw this recipe and decided to try a different variation. We LOVED them! The little crunch from the pecans with the hint of spices were a great addition.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Additional powdered sugar (about 3/4 cup)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. In a Small Batter Bowl, combine the flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt; mix well and set aside.
  2. In a Classic Batter Bowl, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla; beat well. Gradually add the pecan/flour mixture to the butter mixture; beat on low speed just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Using a Small Scoop, drop level scoops of dough, 1" apart, onto a Rectangle Stone. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are set, but not brown. Remove the cookies to a Stackable Cooling Rack; cool 5 minutes. While the cookies are still warm, roll them in additional powdered sugar to coat. Cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

4 dozen

Pampered Chef

Servings of 2 cookies. Calories 160, Total Fat 11 g, Saturated Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrate 15 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 100 mg, Fiber less than 1 g

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Best Bean Dip

My sister stumbled on this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything (sourced from Taste of Home). Definitely a keeper! It's creamy, spicy, and the perfect texture for dipping. Bring it to a friend’s house to watch the game and it’ll be a hit.

16 oz can refried beans
1 cup picante sauce
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin (or more to taste)
Tortilla chips

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients; transfer to a small (1-1/2-qt) slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until heated through, stirring intermittently. Serve with tortilla chips and salsa.

Optional ways of preparing: The slow cooker is ideal because it keeps the dip warm but you can also prepare this in the oven or even microwave. For the oven, bake dip at 350˚ for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. In the microwave, heat in a microwave safe bowl for 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and smooth. Stir every couple of minutes.

36 servings (about 4-1/2 cups)

The Girl Who Ate Everything (sourced from Taste of Home)

2 Tbsp: 57 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 151mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein

Rosa's Granola

Café Sid Notes: We received this recipe from a friend who enjoyed this amazing granola at The Inn of the Five Graces in Santa Fe, NM. Absolutely delicious with served with yogurt and fresh berries.

1 large container of quick oats (2 lbs, 10 oz)
1 cup grape seed oil
1 cup honey
2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
2 cups sliced almonds (unsalted)
1 cup each dried blueberries, cherries and cranberries

Add grade seed oil and honey in large measuring cup and be sure to mix well as possible. Place dry oatmeal in a very large bowl and pour the oil and honey mixture into the oat as they are mixed thoroughly by hand. You would like to have the mixture as even as possible. Allow the oats to soak for approximately 2 hours. The idea is that the more the honey and oil penetrate the oats, the more moist the finished granola will be.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spread oats on a tray and bake for 30 minutes turning once after 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Note: You may need to do across two trays or in batches.

On another tray, spread the shredded coconut and the almonds and bake for 10 minutes also turning once after 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Once everything has cooled, mix both trays together. Add the dried fruit of your choice and mix one final time. Store in sealed container. Enjoy on top of yogurt, with milk or just as a tasty treat. Makes a great snack on the go!

A lot of servings :-)

The Inn of The Five Graces

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Watergate Salad

Café Sid Notes: My grandmothers used to make this salad for family picnics, potlucks, or whenever so it definitely brings back childhood memories with every bite!

20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 pkg (3.4 oz) JELL-O Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1-1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip

Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl.
Stir in COOL WHIP.
Refrigerate 1 hour.

8 servings