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Dilly Cucumber Bites

You know those times when you make a grand entrance at a holiday party with the nagging thought skittering around the back of your mind “I cannot eat more junk. If I consume one more chocolate treat I’m going to explode.”? Nah. Me neither. However, I understand these kinds of people exist. For all your veggie loving friends, I give you these delightfully fresh and light Dilly Cucumber Bites. Sliced cucumbers get a dollup of creamy topping tinged with fresh dill, garnished with tomato. Festive, simple and perfect for parties! Make a couple batches! As the not-so-bad-for-you option on the buffet, they disappear like lightning!

Dilly Cucumber Bites

Print Recipe for Dilly Cucumber Bites

Dilly Cucumber Bites
from JessFuel

4 large English cucumbers
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (or quartered…depending on size)
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, at room temperature
1 small (5.3 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
3 tbsp fresh dill, minced
1 tbsp powdered Ranch dressing mix (such as Hidden Valley)

Directions

  1. Slice cucumbers into rounds, about ½-inch thick. You can leave the skin on, peel them, or partially peel them for a striped look. Slice grape tomatoes in half (or quarters, if large) and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, Greek yogurt, dill and Ranch dressing powder. Mix thoroughly. You can use an electric mixer, but you can also do this by hand.
  3. Transfer the cheese mixture to a piping bag (if you don’t have one, you can use a large Ziplock bag with a corner snipped off).
  4. Pipe the cheese mixture onto the cucumber rounds, then top with a tomato half!
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Cranberry Jalapeño Bruschetta

This week, I’m sharing some of my favorite Christmas Party foods. Everyone needs a few good, go to items to bring when you’re invited out at the holidays! We’re starting off with a recipe I stole from a friend after she brought it to a party last Christmas. The beautiful red color of the cranberries is perfect for this time of year! With sweet and tangy flavor from the cranberries and heat from jalapeno, they’re bright and vibrant in your mouth! You’ll be snagging these little babies until the plate is empty!

Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta

Extra recipe for a genius use of the drained juice since I hate wasting things with so much flavor! After you’ve let the berries soak in sugar and drain the juice, you are essentially left with cranberry simple syrup with a little pop of jalapeno. I whipped up an amazing martini for my husband by combining 3 parts vodka to one part cranberry syrup (drained juice). Shake over ice and pour into a martini glass. I wish I had a little jalapeno for a garnish with the cranberry…alas, had to use a lime. Oh well. Delish!

Cranberry Jalapeno Martini

Print Recipe for Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta

Cranberry Jalapeno Bruschetta
from What’s Cooking With Ruthie

1 (12oz) bag fresh cranberries, finely chopped
1 C sugar
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely sliced
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 baguette, sliced ½ inch thick on a diagonal
olive oil
additional cilantro leaf and quartered cranberry for garnish

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Place baguette slices on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Bake 5-6 minutes until golden brown, let cool.
  4. In mixing bowl combine cranberries, sugar, green onions, and jalapenos; mix until combined.
  5. Let marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Drain juice, add cilantro, mix well.
  7. When ready to serve spread 1 Tbsp cream cheese on each baguette, a dollop of cranberry mixture, garnish with additional cilantro leaf and cranberry if desired. Enjoy!

Happy Pi Day!

It’s March 14th! That means math rules the day and we get to celebrate by eating pie! Yes, the third month, the fourteenth day is very special around here. For it is the glorious day we celebrate the tool that helps us calculate all circular things. 3.14 = pi. March 14th = pie. Here are some of my favorites to make for this special day.

Pi Day - Bakerlady [Read more…]

Oatmeal to Go Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

As a homeschooling family, I only have to cram breakfast in while packing lunches and getting out the door on time once a week. We have a weekly co-op, and every Tuesday, amid the scramble, I marvel at all you moms and dads who run the gauntlet of morning activity every day. “Where are my shoes?” “I forgot my water bottle!” “No, you cannot wear flip-flops! It’s pouring down rain and 40 degrees!” It’s pure insanity. Getting some food in the kid’s bellies is the worst part. Breakfast is just not a meal that you can finish in the car easily. You either chow down at the table, or get to enjoy the smell of stale milk wafting from the back of the van for weeks on end after your precious 6 year-old dumped his cereal all over. Yeah. Breakfast is an in-the-house meal. Unless you make up a batch of these delicious Oatmeal to Go Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins. They are completely portable and absolutely scrumptious.

Oatmeal to go Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins - Bakerlady

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Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon = summer. It’s just a fact of life. There’s nothing better on a sweltering July afternoon than devouring a giant slice of juicy delicious watermelon. Getting all that sticky sweetness running down your chin. Even better when the watermelon is the size of your head. Preferably while walking Main Street in Disneyland, listening to the old timey piano and enjoy the smell of churros.  My sisters are in The Happiest Place on Earth right now. Without me. I’m having serious withdrawls.

Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa - Bakerlady

This salsa combines the icy chill of watermelon with the spicy zing of jalapeno in the absolute perfect summer dip for your chips. My grandmother gave me this bowl. It is perfection.

Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa - Bakerlady

Just chop up some watermelon, add some peppers, onions, cilantro and a hit of lime and you have a delightfully cool salsa.

Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa - Bakerlady

It’s so light, you may find yourself eating the entire bowl as you lounge around in the sunshine.

Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa - Bakerlady

If you are wondering how to easily chop up a watermelon into all those tiny pieces, simply cut the ends off the watermelon, then slice off the rind all around until it looks like this. Excuse the poor quality photo — what a difference a cell phone makes.

Quick and Easy Way to Chop Up a Watermelon - Bakerlady

Then cut into slices (they look like giant tomato slices). These are thicker because I was chunking this watermelon. Just make thinner slices for the salsa. Then cut across horizontally and vertically like you are making a tiny squared checker board. Boom. Done.

Quick and Easy Way to Chop Up a Watermelon - Bakerlady

Enjoy!

Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa

Fire and Ice Watermelon Salsa

3 cups chopped watermelon

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, green bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno and garlic salt. Mix well and serve.

Fourth of July Flag Bean Dip

Independence Day is coming this weekend! Break out your stars and stripes, fireworks and booze! Because we’re celebrating “Merica”! Whip up this festive bean dip and you’ll be the hero of the day!

Festive 4th of July Flag Bean Dip - Bakerlady

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White Bean and Chicken Chili

 

NFLfemale.comYou’ll be seeing this tag occasionally on my recipes. I’ve been invited to be a the food/homegating writer over at NFLfemale.com. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to share Bakerlady deliciousness over there, and the chance to work with a really fantastic group of women. Head over and check out a sisterhood of women who love food and football. They have a great time supporting their teams and each other!

 

Given that football is a raging passion in my life, a passion only matched by my loathing for ambient air that’s sticky and too hot, it’s no wonder autumn is my favorite season. And it’s here! Imagine me pulling out bins of sweaters, boots and multi-hued leafy decor right now. Dancing around rejoicing that overnight the temperature has returned to a nice healthy 65-ish with some rain. Ah rain. I’ve missed it horribly. I’m such a Seattleite. If I see 85 degrees again before July of next year, it will be too soon. Plus, there’s that glorious crisp in the air that tells folks in the Pacific Northwest that cool evenings and foggy mornings are ahead. Am I the only one who adores fog? I so enjoy watching the sun break over the evergreens, the rays cutting through a blanket of misty foggy beauty. Yeah. That’s good stuff. If it happens to be game day? All the better. Football is just better with some weather thrown in.You know what else is fantastically fall like? Chili. Nothing puts the topper on a good blustry autumn day than a hearty, chunky bowl of chili. With cornbread and a pat of melting honey butter. Mmmmmmm.

White Bean and Chicken Chili - Bakerlady

I love all forms of chili, but my favorite is this chicken and white bean version. It comes together quickly for a great weekday meal, and is a nice departure from the typical beef and kidney bean variety. A little lighter for the transition from summer to fall. Full of tender chicken with a good strong kick of chilis and cumin swimming in a fragrant broth. As it simmers away, it fills your home with a rich spiced aroma that will have you counting down the minutes until a steaming bowl hits the table. Dinner should announce itself and draw all your family from the corners of the house, sniffing the air asking “What’s cooking? It smells amazing!”. This chili does exactly that.

White Bean and Chicken Chili - Bakerlady

You’ll be the homegating MVP if you whip up a batch of this chili for a football party. Does your blood run cold as your team gives up a 4th quarter lead? This stuff will warm you back up. Stress eating as your gridiron boys mount a seemingly too last-minute comeback? Fill your belly with this chili and hang on for the ride! Go Hawks!

White Bean and Chicken Chili - BakerladyPrint Recipe for White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean and Chicken Chili
a Bakerlady Original

3 (15 oz.) cans white beans, rinsed and drained (any white bean will work just fine)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large chicken breasts (2 1/2 pounds)
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (4 oz.) cans roasted green chilies, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Garish: sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese

1. Cube the chicken. In a large saucepan, brown over medium high heat in a little olive oil. 2. Remove the chicken to a plate and in the same pan, saute the onion until just softened. 3. Add the garlic until fragrant (about 60 seconds). Add 1 cup of the broth and use it to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
4. Puree one can of the rinsed beans with a little bit of broth and add to the pot. Then add the other two cans of beans, the broth, the cooked chicken, corn, all the spices and chilies.
5. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer 1 hour.
6. Serve topped with sour cream, cheese and sliced green onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get On The Veggie Train With Your Lollipop

My kids love walking to the mailbox for one reason. It comes in the form of a brightly colored magazine called Clubhouse Jr. Within the pages are stories, life lessons, jokes and activities. They pour over every amazing detail together on the couch and then inevitably have some craft request from within. I am decidedly un-crafty. This month, the “craft” they were interested in was a fun food activity. Whew. Food crafty-ness I can handle. If you are looking to make vegetables incredibly delightful for your kids, or simply enjoy throwing some fun into lunchtime, try out these veggie train and lunchtime lollipop recipes, courtesy of Clubhouse Jr.

Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops - Bakerlady

I went with the hummus version for the trains and added an olive for my smokestack on the engine. You can fill those little celery cars with peanut butter, cream cheese or whatever your kids love instead. And I’m sure there are much more creative veggie toppers than I used. Let your (or your kid’s) imagination run wild! My kids have officially reached the “awkward-never-a-good-picture” age. Notice my son’s olive engine is already gone. He loves olives with the passion of a thousand suns.

Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops

Veggie Train
adapted from Clubhouse Jr.

Ingredients

Celery stalks, washed
Cream cheese, hummus or peanut butter
Carrots
Toothpicks
Olives or cherry tomatoes
Bits of veggies, fruit or nuts (optional)

Directions

Cut celery into 2 1/2 inch stalks.
Spread one teaspoon of cream cheese, hummus or peanut butter in each stalk.
Cut a carrot into circles about 1/4 inch thick to make the wheels.
Push a toothpick into the center of a carrot wheel. Add a wheel to the other end. Repeat to make 2 sets of wheels.
On a plate, arrange the wheels 1 1/2 inches apart.
Place the filled celery between the wheels to rest on the toothpicks.
Repeat as neccessary for more train cars.
Place an olive (or cherry tomato) with a piece of green pepper (or broccoli) in the top on the front of on of the cars for an engine stack.
Add a piece of carrot (or a baby carrot) for the engine body.
If desired, load your train cars with raisins, craisins, peas, broccoli or nuts.

Lunchtime Lollipops
adapted from Clubhouse Jr.

Ingredients

cream cheese, softened
tortillas
lunch meat, sliced
lettuce
toothpicks

Directions

1. Spread thin layer of cream cheese on tortilla.
2. Cover tortilla with lunch meat.
3. Add lettuce, if desired.
4. Roll up tortilla tightly.
5. Poke in toothpicks, 1 inch apart.
6. Cut between toothpicks to make 1-inch pieces.

If desired, slip a 2-inch piece of straw over the toothpick. Wrap each lollipop in a 5-inch square of plastic wrap. Tie with curling ribbon at the top of the toothpick stick.

Gobble-Berry Lollipops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese, cranberry sauce and sliced turkey.

BLT Lollipops: Fill tortillas with herb cream cheese, bacon bits, thinly sliced tomato and lettuce. Eat right away—tomatoes can make the lollipops soggy.

Rainbow Fruit Lollipops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese and fruit leather or jam. Make several lollipops, using a rainbow of colors.

Pizza Pops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese, pepperoni, mozzarella and sliced black olives (optional). Dip in tomato sauce.

Sunny Hawaiian Lollipops: Mix 2 tablespoons of cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of well-drained, crushed pineapple. Fill tortilla with cream cheese mixture, shredded carrot and a thin layer of ham.

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I blame Pinterest for many things. Off the top of my head, here are a few. I can never again guiltlessly purchase the little tear apart Valentines and send my children to school with them. Every minor holiday must be celebrated as an over-the-top extravaganza with special breakfast food and remarkably adorable after school snacks. Supplies for more crafts than I ever imagined existed are now cluttering up my house. Let’s be real. The craft supplies are relegated to my closet after I realize post-purchase that I am not now, nor will I ever be crafty. I despise everything in my closet because none of it is perfectly coordinated down to shoes, bag and belt. I obsessively want to work out and try the twelve cleaning tips I found this morning. There are at least ten things I do wrong as a mother every single morning before school (according to all the amazing parenthood books Pinterest has introduced me to). And don’t get me started on the change in my children’s birthday parties since Pinterest took over my life. That being said…. that darn red swirly P holds my heart forever because it gives me recipes like this one.

Lazy Heath Bars

I’ve been cleaning my house like a crazy person for two days. If you know me, you know this is NOT normal behavior. Usually I’m perfectly content for my house not to resemble a museum or some kind of scientific lab. I prefer to spend my time on the floor doing puzzles or coloring rather than scrubbing. Things are clean enough. Or, as my father-in-law used to say “good enough for government work”. He was allowed to say things like that. Jeff worked for the IRS for 20+ years. When houseguests are coming however, I become a short freckled version of Adrian Monk. Ok. Not quite that obsessive. Close though.

[Read more…]

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