November 21, 2008

Our New Buffet!

Last weekend I went to the Pottery Barn Outlet with my two fabulous friends, Jess and Linds.  We kind of went nuts shopping...but there were really great deals!  Here is us in the car heading home.

"Go Big, or Go Home.", Lindsay

When we were there, I spotted this awesome green buffet.  I kept thinking about it the whole drive home, kept talking to Steve about it and finally over our 2nd dirty martini at the Old Pointe Bar in Grosse Pointe, Steve said "Do you want to go back tomorrow and get it?".  And this my friends is one of the many reasons I am marrying him!

So we went back and got it.  We love it.  It gives us so much more storage and adds a really fun element to the one room in the house I am itching to re-do, but think we will wait for the dream kitchen at the next house.

It was a pain getting the 140 pounds of it into the house, but the end result is worth it!  I can just see the Kitchen Aid mixer on it now... (hint, hint)

Celery, Artichoke, Hearts of Palm and Shrimp Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

Steve actually made this for dinner last night from our "The Healthy Kitchen" cookbook. It was given to me from a lady I work out with and this is the second recipe we tried. It was so good! Super refreshing and light. It would be perfect for a summer BBQ...but was still great in the middle of November in Michigan.

For the salad

2 pounds cooked medium shrimp, cut into bite-sized pieces (we used is easier)
14 oz. canned artichoke hearts in water, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 cups peeled and chopped celery stalks, including the hearts
14 oz. canned hearts of palm, drained
1 cup green onions

For the dressing

2 tablespoons of pesto
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3 large shallots, minced
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes

  1. Mix all the salad ingredients together in a big bowl
  2. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the salad
  3. Toss to make sure everything is evenly coated with the dressing.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until everything is ready to be served.

Easy Apple Betty

I love to bake. I am a little intimidated by crust for pies, so when I saw this easy recipe for Apple Betty on a fellow Knottie's blog, I wanted to give it a try.

4 cups thinly sliced apples (I used MacIntosh and Empire)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 pound of butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9" pie plate.
2. Mound sliced apples into greased pie plate
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
4. Cut in the butter into the mixture looks like coarse crumbles. (I used my hands for part of this to break up the butter)

Bake for 45 minutes. We served it with one scoop of vanilla ice cream! Yummy.

Laughing Cow Chicken

I got this recipe from a fellow Knottie's food blog and it was yummy and super easy! It was perfect for 2 people too, which I was relieved about!

2 chicken breasts, cut horizontally 3/4 of the way through (for stuffing the cheese)
2 wedges Laughing Cow light cheese (one per each breast)
Italian seasoning to taste (I used chicken seasoning because that is what we had)
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (I used seasoned)
Handful Parmesan cheese (I used shredded because we had some left over)
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Open up each chicken breast and spread one wedge of Laughing Cow cheese in the middle. Sprinkle seasoning to taste. Fold back over to original shape.
3. Mix together bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish.
4. Spray each chicken breast with cooking spray, then dip in bread crumb mixture to coat. Place on cookie sheet (I used an 8x8 dish)
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

November 2, 2008

Ghosts in the Graveyard

I thought Steve was reverting back to some elementary school Halloween party when he asked me to make this for Halloween...turns out, he regularly used to make this for work pot-lucks around this time of year. "I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys R'Us kid" comes to mind! It is yummy and I think I made Steve's fall by making it and having leftovers for him to have multiple times a day!

3 cups of cold milk
2 packages (4 serving size each) Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 tub (12 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
15 Oreo cookies, crushed
Assorted decorations

Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with whisk until well blended. Let stand for 5 mins.

Gently stir in 3 cups of the whipped topping and half of the Oreo crumbs. Spread evenly into a 13x9 dish. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate at least one hour. Decorate with candy corn, cookie tombstones, etc.

Cheesy Spinach and Bacon Dip

Anything with cheese is good in my book.  I also love a good dip for tortilla chips and I wanted something new to try.  This comes from the Kraft website and I know I will be making this again.  The next time, I will probably keep it in the crock pot so it stays warm, gooey and easy to slop on tortilla chips!

It makes a lot, but would be easy to half it.

1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 lb. Velveeta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed (I used fat free)
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies, un-drained
8 slices bacon, crispy cooked, drained and crumbled (I used only 4)

Combine all ingredients in a microwavable bowl.  

Microwave on high for 5 mins or until Velveeta is completely melted and the mixture is well blended.  Stir about half-way through to help this process along.  

Serve with tortilla chips or veggies.

Hot Broccoli Cheese Dip

This recipe was very highly ranked on the Kraft recipe site, so I thought I would give it a whirl for our little Halloween gathering. It was really easy and delicious! I actually made it the night before and threw it in the oven when we were ready and I think it turned out great.

1 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese, softened (I used Fat-free)
1 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix
1 package (10 oz.) frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed and well drained
1 package (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and dressing mix with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add broccoli and 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese. Mix well.

Spoon into a 9" pie plate.

Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Serve with crackers.

Cream Cheese Crock Pot Chicken

Since we had our 3rd (and final) wedding prep class with the church all afternoon today, I wanted to make something that wouldn't take much to do when we got home.  I got this recipe from a fellow Knottie's food blog and have been wanting to try it.  We really liked it and are already thinking of things to add to it for the next time!

3 - 4 boneless chicken breasts (un-thawed or frozen, I used frozen and it worked great)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 packet dry Italian dressing mix
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup (we used the Healthy Request kind)
8 0z. cream cheese (I used Neufchatel, less fat, same cream cheese taste we all know and love)
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place the chicken breasts on the bottom of the crock pot, sprinkle the packet of dressing mix on top of the chicken.  Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter and drizzle over the dressing covered chicken.  Set the Crock Pot on low and cook for 4-6 hours.

About an hour before you want to eat, melt the remaining 2 Tbsp. in a large pan and saute the chopped onion and garlic.  Add the remaining ingredients (cream of chicken soup, cream cheese and chicken broth).  Stir until smooth.

Add the mixture to the crock pot and cook for an additional hour.  We had it with egg noodles...rice would probably be good as well!  Enjoy!


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