Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers ~ fresh seasonal fruit skewered with tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. A caprese ~ and more.

When will this excessive heat end? I know I shouldn’t keep complaining about it because come January I’ll be wishing for it ~ the stifling feeling long forgotten ~ but for now, maybe just a few degrees cooler, please? I’m taking a break today from all things cooked and bringing you these Caprese Skewers. Not only do they take in the freshness of summer produce, but it doesn’t take you anywhere near that fire-breathing box in your kitchen.

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Tzatziki

Easy, authentic Tzatziki recipe from A Gouda Life kitchen. Perfect with pita chips, fresh vegetables or over grilled chicken.

Greektown is a fun, lively neighborhood located in the heart of Detroit. The sound of Greek music playing and the aroma of some of the best traditional Greek cuisine anywhere are all around. It’s what I like to imagine Greece is actually like. There is even a casino and high above is the People Mover, Detroit’s transit system.  Baklava from Astoria Bakery is To Die For. Yes, the capital letters are necessary. It’s that good. I’m usually too full for dessert but that doesn’t stop me from getting some to take home, nestled in that little white box tied neatly with string. Flaming cheese served with an enthusiastic opa! and Tzatziki are also staples in Greektown and while Tzatziki is easy to make at home, flaming cheese, because of the potential for your igniting your kitchen or losing your eyebrows, is probably a dish best left to the professionals.

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Chicken Avocado Club Wontons

Crispy BAKED Chicken Avocado Club Wontons shredded chicken, bacon, tomatoes and avocado nestled in a wonton cup with a sriracha ranch drizzle on top.

The inspiration for this recipe is partly from many girls’ lunches and dinners at California Pizza Kitchen  and one of their classics, the Avocado Club Eggroll. If you’ve never been to Cali Pizza, it’s time. The menu goes way beyond creative pizza and salads. Maybe they should change their name to California Pizza and Lots of Other Good Food Kitchen. But that’s for another post. The tasty filling for these Chicken Avocado Club Wontons is nestled in a mini wonton cup, then baked not fried so they’re a bit healthier, leaving room for wine. . .and dessert.

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Black Eyed Pea Hummus

Black Eyed Pea Hummus ~ simple, healthy, creamy black eyed pea hummus topped with a dollop of tomato chow chow relish. Eating black eyed peas New Year's Day is said to bring luck all year.

Black Eyed Pea Hummus ~ simple, healthy, creamy black eyed pea hummus topped with a dollop of tomato chow chow relish. Eating black eyed peas New Year’s Day is said to bring luck all year.

Repost from 2016:

As folk lore goes dating back to the Civil War, eating black eyed peas on New Year’s day is said to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year. Like many recipes on this blog, this recipe is simplified with everyday grocery store ingredients without sacrificing flavor. 

Black . Peas are a good source of fiber, but hey ~ this stuff just tastes good. With so many healthy recipes out there that actually taste good, why go any other route? 

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Chicken Salsa Verde Dip Recipe

chicken salsa verde dip recipe

I’m not sure where my love of Mexican dips started but it’s definitely in full force and I can’t imagine it ever going away. When our kids were small many Saturday nights were spent with our neighbors and their kids ~ 4 girls total. For the adults Margaritas and a layered Mexican dip ~ refried beans, full fat sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce and salsa. So much yummy goodness. The girls’ favorite meal was French fries and dino-nuggets. Even today get-togethers aren’t the same without some kind of dip. The one I’m sharing today is a Chicken Salsa Verde Dip Recipe which is the last recipe in the Same Ingredients/Different Results series. The series is over, but stick around ~ next week and throughout the summer we’ll be fishing and grilling and, well ~ you’ll just have to come back!

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Skillet Garlic Herb Biscuits

Skillet Garlic Herb Biscuits ~ freshly baked bread, smothered in garlic-y butter and topped with cheese. Serve as an appetizer or with pasta, soup or steak.

Appetizers & Beverages | March 10, 2016 | By

Skillet Garlic Herb Biscuits ~ freshly baked bread, smothered in garlic-y butter and topped with cheese. Serve as an appetizer or with pasta, soup or steak.

“No one eats salad on Sundays” ~ so says my oldest daughter who was hosting a family get-together Sunday when I offered to bring salad. I took this as code for I’d really like something yummier and party-worthy and since she’s due to deliver our second grandchild very soon, I’m happy to oblige.

Now that we’re home from vacation, there are two top orders of business ~ my roots (which will be taken care of tomorrow at the salon) and rehabbing my diet because while those Rum Runners were ah-maazing ~ pineapple and orange juices, blackberry and banana liqueurs, two kinds of rum and a splash of grenadine ~ and piles of boneless Buffalo wings dipped in Blue Cheese dressing, something’s gotta give here which is why I suggested the salad.

In the meantime, I needed an appetizer to bring to my daughter’s house on Sunday ~ something men and women would both enjoy which nixes a charcuterie board, veggie tray or any kind of hummus. I decided on Skillet Garlic Herb Biscuits ~ warm bite-size buttery garlic-y biscuits sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and dipped in marinara. Winner.

The salad will wait for Monday.

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Mango Salsa

Appetizers & Beverages, Dinner | February 20, 2016 | By

Lots of things change when your spouse retires. Some good. Some. . . call me ~ we’ll chat. But one really great thing is that we’re lucky enough to be able to spend a month in (usually) sunny Florida. The first time I wondered how we’d fill a month or whether I’d miss home. Now I just wonder how one month can pass so quickly. We take a few days and drive down; an adventure in itself, usually arriving March 1, but this year a most exciting arrival is due mid-March ~ our new granddaughter who will be joining her almost two-year-old brother. At this age, he’s not fully aware of the upcoming changes, but will, however when asked “where’s your baby?”, proudly lift his shirt and pat his Pooh belly. You’re probably thinking ~ okay, great story, but where’s the food? No worries – I swear I’ll get to the Mango Salsa.

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Southwestern Eggroll Cups

Southwestern Eggroll Cups

Appetizers & Beverages | January 31, 2016 | By

It’s been several years since I was introduced to the world of wonton wrappers by my niece and became instantly addicted to her Sausage Wontons – mmmm so darn good. I’ve created several appetizers with wontons since, like Reuben Wontons and Taco Cupcakes. I never get tired of their versatility. They’re the perfect little boat for a food cruise. Today, while I’m excited for the Big Game, I’m really excited for all the great food we’ve come to count on at Big Game parties. These Southwestern Eggroll Cups are totally touchdown worthy, along with so many others below from the #SundaySupper home team that are practically guaranteed to make this party your best Big Game party yet.  Southwestern Eggroll Cups have everything you think of when your mind goes Southwestern – chicken, cheese, black beans, corn, bell peppers, lime juice, cilantro and if you can handle the heat ~ jalapeno. They’re perfect any day, but especially for the Big Game when you want the food to be, well…super!

Southwestern Eggroll Cups

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Spicy Thai Meatballs

Spicy Thai Meatballs

Appetizers & Beverages | December 28, 2015 | By

I’m not quite sure where 2015 went ~ I swear we were just ringing it in days ago ~ yet another New Year’s Eve is upon us. It’s probably obvious I loe Thai food and have been on a kick lately, so it should come as no surprise that I’m finishing 2015 with another yummy Thai recipe, this time in appetizer form ~ perfect for New Year’s Eve get-togethers ~ one-bite Spicy Thai Meatballs. Meatballs are such a great appetizer. My nephew shared his mozzarella- stuffed meatballs with a rich, red tomato sauce with us Christmas Eve. So yummy, cheesy and definitely high-five worthy we all went back for seconds. Meatballs are also economical ~ one pound of ground meat makes so many! ~ easy to prepare and let’s face it ~ they look just as pretty when they arrive at the party as they do with just one left in the bowl. The same can’t be said of all appetizers. Ahem, yes, I’m talking about you, layered dip ~ starting out looking as pretty as a prom date when you pick her up, but a hot mess by night’s end – chips embedded, gaping holes, pools of liquid (the dip I mean, not the prom date). Trust me. You’ll be happy you opted for easy, one bite Spicy Thai Meatballs and in spite of (or maybe because of) this being a season of overindulgence, these Spicy Thai Meatballs are made with ground turkey, so if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, get fit or just eat healthier so you’ll feel better, that’s just one more reason to try them.

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Easy Inexpensive Charcuterie Board

Easy Inexpensive Charcuterie Board loaded with your favorite cheeses and meats ~simple and simply elegant entertaining with the fuss.

Appetizers & Beverages | December 14, 2015 | By

Let me start by saying I am not one of those people who finished her Christmas shopping by Halloween. I had good intentions. I really did. . .but then life happened. Entertaining, however does not have to be time consuming, expensive or difficult. Whaaaat? That’s right. It’s true. My single favorite appetizer, this Easy Inexpensive Charcuterie Board  requires only one trip to the store  and not a single burner or oven. It’s fun, festive and has some serious wow factor going on too. All the meats and cheeses you see on this board are from ALDI ~ my favorite place for cheese. Truly if you aren’t an ALDI shopper (parent company of Trader Joe), you’re missing out. The one pictured below was for a small, pre-holiday gathering. I’ll bring out the big guns board for Christmas Eve and our larger gathering and fill it with even more deliciousness.

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