Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix

This Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix recipe is the ultimate party snack combining crunchy and salty plus a marriage made in heaven, Buffalo and ranch.

Appetizers & Beverages | October 4, 2018 | By

This Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix recipe is the ultimate party snack combining crunchy, salty and that marriage made in heaven, Buffalo and ranch.

Snack mix, trail mix, Chex mix . . . whatever you call it, most of us have indulged in it over a cocktail or three. It has an almost addictive quality about it.  

I’ve found myself picking through premade snack mixes for my favorite parts and pushing aside others. Please don’t judge me; let’s stop the madness and make our own snack mix!

This Buffalo Ranch Snack Mix recipe couldn’t be faster or easier and the best part ~ you’re guaranteed to have it exactly as you like it.

Crunchy, salty and boldly spicy. Read on.

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Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps: seasoned ground chicken sautéed with mushrooms and water chestnuts, nestled in lettuce leaf, topped with a spicy hoison sauce.

Appetizers & Beverages, Dinner | September 24, 2018 | By

Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps ~ Asian seasoned ground chicken sautéed with mushrooms, green onions and water chestnuts, nestled in lettuce leaves and topped with a spicy hoisin sauce.

When I look back on old posts like this one, it reminds me of photos my kids come across of me that they find hilarious. “Those glasses ~ that hair!”. 

The old photos from the original Easy Chicken Lettuce Wraps post were just as awkward and cringe-worthy.

But what I had forgotten about this recipe because I hadn’t made it in a while is . . . dang! ~ it’s sooo good! I do remember how my husband and I almost arm-wrestled over the last wrap. He ended up eating it, but  I would have won. I totally would have won. 

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Easy Hummus Recipe Without Tahini

easy hummus recipe without tahini

Easy Hummus Recipe Without Tahini ~ delicious, creamy hummus with a hint of lemon. No tahini needed and this healthy appetizer comes together in a jiffy!

I haven’t sworn off tahini and have nothing against it, but the last time I bought it I could only find it in a super size jar that could have easily come off the shelves of Sam’s Club (but didn’t). I couldn’t use it all before the expiration date and ended up throwing a good portion of it away.

When we were in Florida last March, I bought a container of the local grocery store’s own hummus and was really disappointed ~ thick, tasteless and a little clumpy ~ whaaat? I swore when I got home I would make the kind of hummus I like to eat ~ creamy, full of flavor with just a hint of lemon.

Easy Hummus Recipe Without Tahini recipe rivals any I’ve had with tahini and since I usually have everything on hand to make it, it’s easier than a trip to the store for pre-packaged and takes about as much time.

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Fresh Tomato Salsa

fresh tomato salsa ~ no cook recipe, diced tomatoes, jalapeno, onions, cilantro and lime. Tasty appetizer or top any Mexican dish.

Appetizers & Beverages | August 16, 2018 | By

Fresh Tomato Salsa ~ light, spicy fresh tomato salsa with a hint of lime and no cooking involved. Also called pico de gallo ~ it’s a delicious appetizer with tortilla chips or topping your favorite Mexican dish.

We planted our garden again this spring and watered and fertilized all the plants; probably watering more this year than I can ever remember because of the stretches of 90+ temps.

We lovingly cared for these little sprouts like they were our children, anxiously waiting for the first sign there would be a harvest and watching as some of the tomato plants grew as tall as me. Don’t be too impressed ~ I’m only 5’2″.

Our reward for all this tending is lots of tomatoes. I’m talking Lots.Of.Tomatoes. We’ve eaten them in pasta salad, sliced on BLT’s and even a goat cheese-tomato appetizer. Some have a future in marinara but for now, our favorite is this Fresh Tomato Salsa with a basket of tortilla chips and a couple of margaritas

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Grilled Peach Caprese

Grilled Peach Caprese ~ grilled sweet peaches, summer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella or burrata, salty prosciutto, basil and balsamic reduction.

Grilled Peach Caprese ~ grilled sweet peaches, summer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella or burrata, salty prosciutto, basil and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. A delicious update to a classic.  

I originally published this recipe in 2015 as one of my first recipes, so if you’ve been following since then maybe you remember it and notice a couple of changes; maybe you’ve even made this recipe. If not, for the love of summer, add it to the top of your list.  

This salad needed better photos that show how much I love this recipe. I love it in the way Oprah expressed her love of bread in the Weight Watcher commercials and because of that, I want you to love Grilled Peach Caprese, too.

Don’t ask me why ~ I guess it’s (another) one of my crazy quirks, but in my *humble* opinion this salad begs to be eaten outside. Maybe it’s the combination of summer tomatoes, sweet peaches made even sweeter by grilling, fresh mozzarella or my new fixation burrata, basil, some salty prosciutto, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic reduction.

Whatever the reason, grab of glass (or bottle) of your favorite wine, head outside to the patio and enjoy some of summer’s finest. 

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Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail

This Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CelebratorySips #SipSparkleShine #CollectiveBias

watermelon sparkling wine cocktail ~ made with fresh watermelon juice and chandelier sparkling wine

It’s the same every year here in the Midwest. Cool, rainy bone-chilling spring days and just when we think they’ll never end ~ it’s as though someone flips a switch and suddenly, it’s hot. Flip flop wearing, turn on the air conditioning NOW ~ hot. The days I spent curled under a blanket with a good book are forgotten.

The temperature change triggers something in my husband’s brain too that says all meals should be grilled. It’s a man vs. fire thing that I can’t argue with. But he gets to show off his mad grilling skills while I contribute an equally good, celebratory cocktail because after all, we not only survived spring, but a brutal winter, too.

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Charcuterie 101 + Tips for Hosting a Wine and Cheese Party

Charcuterie 101 + Tips for Hosting a Wine and Cheese Party ~ casual laid back entertaining iat home ~ perfect for wine and cheese lovers.

Appetizers & Beverages | April 13, 2018 | By

Charcuterie 101 + Tips for Hosting a Wine and Cheese Party ~ casual laid back entertaining at home ~ perfect for wine and cheese lovers.

GIVEAWAY!

When was the last time you had a girls’ night in? Your best girls at your house, good food, wine and of course plenty of laughs, catching up and sharing a little gossip. If you can’t remember when, it’s been too long.

Of course you can always meet at a restaurant, but that can be expensive and you lose the relaxed, ‘come as you are’ feeling of getting together in someone’s home.

Entertaining just got easier with step by step instructions for a drool-worthy charcuterie board, tips on how to host a wine and cheese party and if that’s not enough ~ a GIVEAWAY!

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Garlic Feta Dip

Garlic Feta Dip ~ loaded with the bold Mediterranean flavors of garlic and feta, balanced with fresh lemon and dill in a creamy dip. Serve with warm toasted pita and veggies.

Appetizers & Beverages | March 22, 2018 | By

Garlic Feta Dip ~ whipped ’til creamy, loaded with the bold flavors of garlic and feta, balanced with fresh lemon and dill, served up with warm, lightly toasted pita and veggies.

We vacation as a family in southwest Florida every year. My husband and I kick off the vacation and the kids join us a couple of weeks later.

Last week all the kids were in town and along with the volume and craziness they bring a wide variety of appetites. Meals range from Fruit Loops to hot dogs, to Chorizo Queso Dip and Chicken Tacos to and scallops and risotto for seafood night. In between there are rum drinks and wine but that’s for another post. 

We had a great time together with lots of laughs and swimming, kayaking, hunting for sharks teeth on the beach, catching some beautiful sunsets and even celebrating our granddaughter’s second birthday.

Garlic Feta Dip ~ loaded with the bold Mediterranean flavors of garlic and feta, balanced with fresh lemon and dill in a creamy dip. Serve with warm toasted pita and veggies.

My husband and I are here another week or so along with an odd assortment of food left in the refrigerator after the kids departed. I’m up to the task. I consider my personal challenge to use up *every* bit of it even if it kills me. That chicken though ~ vamoose. It somehow got shoved to the back of the fridge and really would kill me. 

Garlic Feta Dip ~ creamy, tangy feta, bold garlic flavor and the bright, fresh taste of lemon and dill has already used several ingredients plus some pistachios that became a garnish. This dip (insert sigh) is so delicious I’d ride this train ’til it won’t run any more.

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Jalapeno Popper Pigs in a Blanket

Jalapeno Popper Pigs in a Blanket ~ smoked cocktail sausages wrapped in warm, flaky, golden crest dough, filled with 2 kinds of cheese, spicy jalapenos and crispy bacon.

Appetizers & Beverages | January 28, 2018 | By

Jalapeno Popper Pigs in a Blanket ~ mini smoked cocktail sausages wrapped in warm, flaky, golden crest dough filled with two kinds of cheese + spicy jalapenos and crispy bacon.

I actually do kind of enjoy the football part of the Super Bowl even though our home team wasn’t even close to being there, but let’s face it, the commercials and the food come in 1st and 2nd in my book ~ and not necessarily in that order.

Football food is pretty much the best food around, especially on Super Bowl Sunday, which gives us license to eat all sorts of food we try to stay away from the rest of the year. 

On Super Bowl, home cooks become as competitive as the players on the field with first string recipes like Chorizo Queso Dip or Sausage Wonton Cups and Jalapeno Popper Pigs in a Blanket ~ mini smoked sausages wrapped in crescent dough and filled with two kinds of cheese, jalapenos and bacon then baked until lightly golden and flaky.  They’re a combination of the classic Pigs in a Blanket and Jalapeno Poppers, but better. So much better. . .

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BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip

bbq chicken pizza from A Gouda Life just out of the oven served with Stonefire naan dippers

Appetizers & Beverages | January 23, 2018 | By

BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip ~ tender tasty bites of barbecue chicken, 3 kinds of gooey, melted cheese, bell peppers and red onion all scooped with warm, lightly toasted bread.

You don’t have to know a lot about football to know that football food should have its own category on the food pyramid and if there’s justice in this world, that category would be at the very bottom of the triangle. Can I get a high five on that one? 

So even if you’re not going to be wearing a game jersey at your Super Bowl party if you’re like me, there’s a good chance you’re assembling an arsenal of MVP recipes like this BBQ Chicken Pizza Dip, Chorizo Queso Dip or maybe a batch or two of Sausage Wonton Cups. Basically all things cheesy, indulgent, cheesy and a little spicy.

Did I mention cheesy?

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