Cheater’s Gourmet Pimento Cheese Dip

Ok, I admit it!  Sometimes I find a recipe I want to try and then when I get ready to make it I’m just not in the mood to do all the steps or I just don’t have time.  Yes, it happens to me too!  That’s what happened when I found a delicious-looking pimento cheese dip that called for shredding cheese and making a cheese sauce before adding the other ingredients.  Well I cheated and used two jars of Tostitos cheese dip.  I adjusted the rest of the recipe and absolutely loved the results! This is the fastest gourmet dip ever!  Now you can’t cheat on the pimento cheese.  Don’t buy the cheap stuff.  I especially like My Three Sons pimento cheese. It’s amazing. This is a great dip to serve at football parties, Halloween, Thanksgiving or anytime you just want to indulge in cheese.[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:13]

Goat Cheese, Pistachio & Pancetta Poppers

It’s not too early to start thinking about your Thanksgiving menu.  Don’t forget the appetizers!  A dynamite appetizer is a tasty way to entertain your guests as they arrive and talk and hug.  It also buys you a little time if the turkey isn’t quite cooperating.  I like to serve cheese appetizers at Thanksgiving because the meal doesn’t usually include a lot of cheese and everyone loves it!  Here is a make-ahead appetizer that will earn you lots of gratitude points.





Guac ‘N Turkey Rolls– great summer lunch

Who’s ready for a picnic!  ME!! The best part of the picnic is opening that basket  and finding some delicious bundles to enjoy as you lounge by the trees or the ocean.  Food tastes better out of a picnic basket for some reason.  I like to have fun with picnic food and do something a little more creative than just plain old sandwiches and chips.  Here’s an interesting alternative to a sandwich.  Wrap up a few of these and toss them in a cooler the next time you have hungry picnickers (is that a word?) to please.   I like this recipe because it can be eaten as a “wrap”or sliced into pinwheels for appetizer size portions. Tips: When making a wrap, try to spread all the layers evenly so that one part of the wrap isn’t thicker than the other.  Don’t fill it too full or it won’t roll properly and if you spread filling all the way to the top edge, it’s going to squish out as you roll.  Remember to keep the roll tight and even.


Healthier Ranch Dip for your Kids

Most kids love ranch, right?  Sometimes the only way to get them to eat a vegetable is to dredge it in ranch first.  Well that’s all well and good, but traditional ranch dressing is very high in fat and low on protein- almost negates the vegetable value. Here’s a ranch dip that gets a few more marks on the healthy scale.   You can adjust seasonings to your liking.



‘Tis the Season for Kid-Friendly Pumpkin Fondue

Mr. Pumpkin isn’t always sweet.  Sometimes he can be savory and sassy!  (Not sure why I made the pumpkin male….)  From lattes to pies to muffins, many of the seasonal pumpkin recipes are sweet.  Here’s a savory one to add to your fall collection.  I’ve always loved fondue.  Uhhhh….except for that time when my sister and I made fondue for a baby shower and we decided that any old kind of dish and open flame would do to serve our cheese fondue.  That was all well and good until the dish busted wide open with a loud and startling “bang” just as the church ladies were sampling their first very-full cups of blue punch.    Oops.  We referred to the dish that day as Fon-DON’T!

I promise this recipe is a definite Fon-DO!  It’s kid-friendly because there is no alcohol and has a cheese sauce base instead. My most important tip for fondue:  use good quality cheese.  You won’t like the outcome with the cheap stuff.  Been there.  The breads I like to use are jalapeno cheddar and pumpernickel, in case you’re wondering.

A Meatball Lover’s Sandwich .. Or Appetizer

I recently made some “game food” for my husband and some of his pals.  He said I’ve been cooking A LOT lately so he wanted to make it easy on me by ordering pizza and having me make just a few items to give his gathering that Homemade Love touch.  I made some fresh chocolate chip cookies, mini cheesecakes and these meatballs.  I did them appetizer-style and served them in a crock pot alongside some party rolls for mini sandwiches.  We skipped the cheese and didn’t miss it because the sauce is DDD  (drop dead delicious!!)  You can make the full sandwich recipe for a hearty lunch or dinner.  This is another one of those recipes that the men love.

Meatball Lover’s Sandwiches


One of my favorite new holiday recipes… Cranberry Salsa!

I am coming up for air from the holidays and going through all the recipes of things I cooked.. filing some back in my “favorites” place, updating some ingredients, adding in a few new faves to the files and even tossing out a few recipes I’m just not in love with anymore.  I served this Cranberry Salsa with Sweet Potato Chips at a party this year and it was one of the first appetizers to get devoured.  It’s such an interesting combination of flavors and a new way to serve this traditional holiday ingredient. It keeps great in the fridge for up to a week. This version is adapted from the 2012 Christmas with Southern Living book.  (Love that book series!)  Enjoy!

Cranberry Salsa with Sweet Potato Chips