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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Baked Sausage Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner

Baked Sausage Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner ~ just 30 minutes to delicious fresh sausage, tender potatoes and earthy brussels spouts flavored with olive oil, honey, Dijon and fresh herbs.

Dinner | January 18, 2018 | By

Baked Sausage Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner ~ cooks in just 30 minutes in one pan ~ delicious fresh sausage, tender potatoes and earthy brussels spouts with amazing flavor blend from the juice of the sausage plus a light olive oil, honey, Dijon, fresh herb blend. Some good bread or rolls and you’ve got dinner.

I’ve been meaning to get this recipe on the blog for a while now. Actually, since Thanksgiving when I started the post with “if you can’t eat even one more bite of turkey leftovers but still want delicious comfort food in minutes, this is your dish”. Okay, so I’m a tad behind, but it’s here now and every bit as delicious as it would have been then.

The hardest thing about making Baked Sausage Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner is that you’ll be smelling it almost from the minute it goes into the oven (thankfully it’s just in there 30 minutes!) but once it comes out, oh man ~ juicy sausage, bites of tender red skin potatoes and rustic, earthy brussels sprouts with little crispy bits (my personal favorite). Trust me on this ~ you’ll be ready to dive right in.

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All American Beef Sliders

Appetizers & Beverages, Dinner | January 14, 2018 | By

 

Classic All American Beef Sliders ~ mini ground beef patties infused with the flavor of caramelized onions then topped with even more plus a tangy pickle or two, gooey melted cheese slid between Pepperidge Farm Slider Buns

All American Beef Sliders ~ ground beef topped ~ and infused ~ with caramelized onions, cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard all on timeless, unpretentious Pepperidge Farm slider buns.

With the Big Game coming soon, you may have been all over Pinterest looking for that game-winning recipe because let’s face it, while some are counting down to kickoff, others (me!) are checking out the food that’ll be served because where else do you find a better spread?

Classic All American Beef Sliders ~ mini ground beef patties topped ~ and infused ~ with caramelized onions ~ warm melted cheese, plus tangy pickle slices all slid between Pepperidge Farm Slider Buns are crowd-pleasers; bet you can’t eat just one!

All American Beef Sliders ~ ground beef topped ~ and infused ~ with caramelized onions, cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard all on timeless, unpretentious Pepperidge Farm slider buns.

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Honey Bourbon Pub Style Steak Tips

Honey Bourbon Pub Style Steak Tips ~ pan seared steak tips just like your favorite restaurant + sautéed mushrooms and onions and the best potatoes ever.

Appetizers & Beverages, Dinner | January 11, 2018 | By

Honey Bourbon Pub Style Steak Tips ~ beautifully caramelized pan seared steak tips just like your favorite pub or restaurant, topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions and served up with the best potatoes ever.

We eat steak pretty routinely in the summer. It’s an easy go-to on the Weber but as cold as it’s been lately no one wants to draw the short straw to see who’s putting on their coat and hat to grill outside.

Cooking steak indoors means we stay toasty warm while still enjoying delicious, caramelized steak in just a few minutes. Of course, we could always get dressed and head to our local pub or favorite restaurant ~ pretty much everyone makes steak tips these days. But today we’re staying warm and enjoying them at home and you can, too.

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Braised Beef Ragu

braised beef ragu over pappardelle pasta sprinkled lightly with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley

Dinner | January 7, 2018 | By

Braised Beef Ragu ~ slow cooked tender shredded beef in a robust tomato sauce over pappardelle pasta. Delicious Sunday Supper comfort.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, but when your local grocery store has BOGO (buy 1, get 1) chuck roast, make Pot Roast or Braised Beef Ragu ~ slow cooked tender, fall apart beef in a robust tomato sauce over pappardelle egg noodles. It’s Sunday and we’re bringing it all to the table.

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Tex Mex Veggie Chili

Tex Mex Veggie Chili ~ spicy, hearty, carnivore approved. Loaded with robust Tex-Mex flavors and packed with beans and vegetables.

Dinner | January 4, 2018 | By

Tex Mex Veggie Chili ~ spicy, hearty, loaded with robust Tex-Mex flavors, packed with beans and vegetables and carnivore approved.

Many of us are kicking off 2018 with resolutions to exercise more, spend less, eat a bit better ~ or some combination. I got a Fitbit for Christmas that’s become an appendage of  my wrist so you can probably guess where my New Year’s resolution falls: at least 10,000 steps each day. I had no idea how sedentary I’d become but ‘friendly reminders’ to move keep me on track.

Since I’m moving more, I’m also *trying* to eat a little healthier while still enjoying comfort food, especially now that we’re in the middle of a death grip of cold, so if a cold salad is what you’re looking for today, feel free to click out.

Coming up I’ll still be sharing lots of new simple comfort any-night meals as well as a delicious Beef Ragu that’ll be the Sunday dinner of your dreams. It’s all about balance.

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Best Loaded Spicy Ranch Dip

Best Loaded Spicy Ranch Dip ~ sour cream, French onion, plus everything else we love in a dip ~ spicy ranch flavor, cheddar cheese and bacon! 5 minute prep.

Appetizers & Beverages | December 28, 2017 | By

Best Loaded Spicy Ranch Dip ~ sour cream-French onion based + everything else we love in a dip ~ spicy ranch flavor, cheddar cheese and bacon!

Christmas is over which means in another week or so the ornaments will come down off the tree and carefully packed away along with the other decorations. Except one. For some reason, there’s always one decoration I don’t notice (despite that it’s glittery or red or a snowman) and forget to pack. 

It’s usually something you’d spot in a New York minute, but because I’m in a hurry to pack stuff away, that item is always missed and instead of joining the other Christmas decorations it’ll be shoved to the back of the linen closet until next year. It’s not a proud moment that I share my lack of organization, but facts are fact. 

I have every intention of eating a little healthier in 2018 (really I do!) with more veggies, lightened up meals that don’t include a generous pour of heavy cream, but in the meantime, I’m sharing my all-time favorite chip dip ~ the Best Loaded Spicy Ranch Dip, a guaranteed crowd pleaser every time.

It’s a great year around dip, not just for special occasions, is addictively delicious and way better than anything you’ll find pre-made in stores. It whips up in 5 minutes ~ the amount of time I *may* have spent looking for my glasses. . . while they were in my propped on top of my head and it transports easily, too.

Let the dip chill for an hour or so and the best gets even better. . .

. . . except your breath. That doesn’t get better, but I had to get it out of the way. Let’s get real, I can’t sugarcoat onion and the resulting onion breath, but as long as everyone’s dipping, it negates the onion thing you’ll all have going on. I swear.

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Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus, quickly sautéed makes a delicious side dish or appetizer.

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus, pan sautéed crisping the prosciutto and cooking the asparagus to tender perfection.

It may be mistletoe, egg nog, holiday cookies and ugly Christmas sweaters for now but New Year’s Eve will be here before we know it.

Last year I had a bright idea that we should go out for dinner, so we ditched our comfy pants and fuzzy slippers and embarked on our favorite neighborhood restaurant only to find our waitress frazzled, the place packed and the food not at all the quality we had come to expect there. 

This year we’ll ring in the new year with a delicious home cooked meal including Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus ~ thin sliced prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus spears pan sautéed crisping the prosciutto and cooking the asparagus until tender and of course good company too because isn’t that what the best celebrations are about?

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Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese and broiled on top.

Appetizers & Beverages | December 16, 2017 | By

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese, broiled until golden and served with warm toasted bread.  

Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer ~ burst tomatoes, garlic and capers nestled around tangy goat cheese and broiled until golden. Serve with toasted bread.

Back in the winter of 2015 I posted a recipe for one of my favorite combinations, roasted tomatoes and goat cheese slathered thick on a lightly toasted baguette slices. Like women and good wine that recipe has improved with age and is now this Tomato Caper Goat Cheese Appetizer.  If you made it before, you’ll notice a couple of subtle changes to the process that in my opinion make the dish even tastier. 

It’s meant to be an appetizer but a nice glass of red or chilled Rosé, depending on the season along with some warm, crusty bread and for me, it’s dinner.

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