Last night my husband and I went to a birthday party of a dear friend. At this party we met a lot of new people who I feel will become great friends; they were so much fun!
One of my new friends, Leigh Ann Jacobs, brought this delicious dip – my husband loved it. I just have to share it with you all. Thanks Leigh Ann!
4 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
1 package of Ranch Dressing mix
2 chicken breast, chopped
1 bottle Hooters’ Hot Wing Sauce – USE HOT ONLY
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
You make this dip in 2 layers. Mix the cream cheese and Ranch dressing packet. Layer, 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture on bottom of baking dish, top with 1 chicken breast – chopped, 1/2 bottle Hooters’ Hot Wing sauce, and 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat for next layer. Bake at 350 until dish is bubbly and cheese melts. Eat with Frito corn chips.
Nothing smells better than a freshly picked bunch of basil. This time of year my basil seems to grow faster than I can use it. Basil Pesto is great way to use up that fresh basil and an easy way to have a little lagniappe all year-long.
There are so many uses for pesto, it’s great on pasta, sandwiches/pannini, dips, pizzas, soups, fish or chicken, or as above over fresh mozzarella cheese. Pesto freezes well – divide the leftovers into an ice-cube tray, seal it tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. After it has frozen, I place in a freezer zip lock bag. Since Pesto has a very concentrated flavor, you will not use more than one or two cubes at any time (unless coating large quantities of meat!). Later pop out a cube, defrost in microwave to use.
This is one of the easiest bunch of goodness you’ll ever make. I use my blender. (Can you believe I don’t have a food processor?)
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted – trust me here, toasting makes all the difference in the world
- 3 cloves or garlic, roasted
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, optional, you know I like a little kick!
- 1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan – I always say, ‘more is better’
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup good Olive Oil – to make it smooth and somewhat emulsified.
Chop the basil, pine nuts, and garlic together with the salt and peppers. Add the cheese. Then add the olive oil in a stream until it looks right. Sit back and wait for the Wows, Ohs, and Ahhhs!
Salmon molded into a delectable cream cheese mixture and rolled in toasted pecans and parsley – doesn’t get better than that! This recipe is so easy, but impressive.
Smoked Salmon Dip:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 heaping teaspoon horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 1/2 cups smoked salmon, flaked or chopped
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Combine cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, onion, horseradish, and salt. Stir in salmon and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Combine the toasted pecans and parsley and sprinkle on top of the smoked salmon mixture. This recipe can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.
Smoked Salmon Roll:
Increase smoked salmon to 2 cups and eliminate the sour cream. Chill the mixture for several hours. The spread can then be formed into a log shape and rolled in the parsley-pecan mixture. Serve with assorted crackers and endive spears. Makes 3 cups.
When the summer heat is unbearable and it’s too hot to cook, you can make this delicious crab salad sandwich with avocados.
I love avocados!!!! I asked a dear friend, Céire, if she had a favorite recipe using avocados. She shared this simple and amazing recipe and I have to share it with you – it was that good. She said she got the recipe from Martha Stewart Living a few years ago. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to chill, and one second to devourer!
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or juice of 1 lemon
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon minced chives
Freshly ground pepper
8 ounces lump crabmeat
4 leaves red-leaf lettuce
1 avocado, thinly sliced – I really love avocado so I used 2
8 slices brioche, toasted (I used french bread.)
Mix lemon juice, salt, crème fraîche, shallot and chives. Season with pepper. Fold in crab. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Divide lettuce, avocado and crab among 4 bread slices and top with remaining bread slices. I didn’t have any brioche, so we used fresh french bread sliced and toasted and ate the sandwiches open-faced. So delicious!!!
My high school friend (Class of ’75), Polly Benfield McKaskle and her sisters put together a cookbook of their mother’s (Marie Elaine Thompson Benfield) favorite family recipes after she passed away. These recipes are an expression of a mother’s love handed down through the generations starting with Polly’s grandmother, Ollie.
“Ollie always had Ice Box Cookies baked and 3 kinds of ice cream to choose from in the freezer. I so miss those days. In a way I have kept up the tradition. I make up the cookie dough and freeze it. That way my husband, Gary, can slice and bake the cookies anytime. The only problem, he gets in front of the t.v. and lets them burn!” Polly Benfield McKaskle
Ollie’s Ice Box Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shortening
4 cup flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts, chopped
Cream shortening, brown and granulated sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla. In another bowl mix together flour sifted together with the baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until smooth. Add the nuts and mix thoroughly. Spread the batter on waxed paper and shape into 3 rolls. Slice about 1/4 inch thick and bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The cookies slice easier if you chill the dough first. Cookie dough may also be frozen.
Casserole before it's baked.
A dear friend, Charlie Barritt, shared this recipe with me. It’s bursting with flavor and super easy.
1 lb. package frozen crawfish tails or shrimp
3/4 stick of butter
1 large onion, diced
3 green onions..tops and bottoms
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 Anaheim peppers or 1 bell pepper, chopped
4 toes garlic, chopped
1/4 Tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 Tsp black pepper
1 can cream of shrimp soup (or homemade shrimp soup – recipe is in this blog – super easy and quick!)
1 cup fine bread crumbs
Chop your vegetables, saute’ until clear, add crawfish tails and cook 5 minutes – take off heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Very moist.
Charlie uses Anaheim peppers for a little extra kick.