Friday, August 31, 2012

BLT Dip...Sooooo good!

I love me a good dip.  Give me warm, gooey cheese or a cool, creamy chip topper, and I'm a happy Mama.  I'm not particularly picky about what I dip either...chips, crackers, melba's all good.  Oh, and vegetables.  They are good, too.  (I said that for my Mama.  I prefer chips.  Who are we kidding?)

 Recently we were headed to a family birthday gathering and I didn't want to go empty handed, so I whipped up a batch of this goodness.  And I mean, really, BACON?  You can't go wrong.  I served it with melba toast, but they had tortilla chips and potato chips on hand, and I'm not above dipping those in it, too.


BLT Dip:

1/2 lb of bacon, cooked and crumbled into small pieces (or more..I'm sure I used more.  BACON!)
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup of sour cream
1 medium tomato, diced into small pieces (Some people seed their tomatoes here.  Not me!)
2 TBSP dry ranch dressing mix (I'm sure you could use liquid ranch dressing if you didn't have the powdered stuff.  Go nuts here.)
2 green onions, diced

Mix all your ingredients together.  I did mine the night before, and boy, oh boy, did those flavors marry well!  The bacon made it so nice and smoky and bacony!  You could probably serve it right away if you needed to, as I can attest it was mighty tasty right away.

Here's the tricky part.  I didn't have any lettuce, so this is more of a BT dip without the L, but you could serve it up on some lettuce leaves if you were fancy like that.  I was doing pretty good to get it in tupperware with a matching lid.  At least it wasn't in a Country Crock bowl.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

You can pretty it up with some green onions and crumbled bacon sprinkled on top.  They won't stay there long, though.

I am adding this recipe to Boomama's Diptacular post.  If you happen over there, check out the rest of her blog.  I love her posts, even if she is a Mississippi State fan.  :)She's also very funny and sometimes seems like she's living in my head.  It's a little scary.

Have a great weekend!  Roll Tide!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Angry Birds" Cake Pop Tutorial

Yes, I am strolling in here and typing up a blog post like it hasn't been over two years since I've added ANYTHING.  I'm  flaky like that.

So, yeah.  Umm...Let's move past the awkwardness right into the post, shall we?

My son, Luke, requested that I make him "Angry Birds" cake pops for his birthday.  He loved the Elmo pops I made for my two-year old daughter's birthday.  (Hello, reason why I haven't posted in over two years.)

So, I started scouring the internet for ideas for how to make the "Angry Birds" pops.  On the plus side, there were TONS of pics of "Angry Bird" cake pops everywhere, especially Pinterest.  Unfortunately, NO ONE had much of a step by step explaining how to do them, nor were there pictures of the process.  So, I jumped in head-first into this project.  Please forgive the pitiful iphone pictures.

First, you make a cake from a mix, according to package directions.  (I used a Funfetti mix.)  Let it cool completely.  When cooled, crumble it into a large bowl.  Next, add 3/4 of a can of frosting.  (I used a vanilla frosting.)  I have made these using the whole can, but it just seems to be too soft and sticky that way.  3/4 was just the right consistency.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  I went overnight, just because...see aforementioned 2 year old.

The next day, I started forming my scoops of cakey goodness into the familiar shapes of  my favorite iphone time-wasters.  It was mostly a matter of size--large for green pigs, small for blue birds, medium size for red birds and bomb birds.  For the yellow birds, I made more of a cone/triangle type shape.  For the white (egg bomb, as my son calls them) birds, I made more of an oval shape.  After making into desired shapes, place into the freezer.  Again, I left them overnight, but have I told you about my two year old?

(Luke told me he didn't want his birds to be on sticks, but to sit on a cake, so I didn't put them on sticks as I normally would've at this point.  If you want them on sticks, you should dip your stick in candy melt and insert it into the bottom of the birds (ouch) at this point and let them hang out in the freezer for 10 or so minutes before decorating further.)

The next day, I started dipping the birdies-to-be into the appropriate colors of candy melts.  I bought most of the colors at Hobby Lobby, but a few needed tweaking.  I bought some special food coloring that is designed to be used with candy melts.  I learned the hard way that regular or even some gel food coloring will cause your melted chocolate to seize right up, which STINKS right out loud.  I made my own yellow color and brightened up the red a bit.  I could not find black candy melts, so I used dark chocolate candy melts and added tons of the black special candy coloring.  It turned out great--messy, but perfect.  The blue was spot-on perfect!

You can see in the above pic, I had a candy mold that I used to make beaks.  I made up some orange melted bark and just kind of painted it on with a toothpick.  The mold was for squares, so I only used the corners to make triangular beaks.  I made eyebrows with the black melts, just painted onto the plastic.  I made the eyes out of flat-rolled fondant that I cut with a tiny circle cutter, which was actually an attachment for some squeezable frosting.  I made the iris of the eye...or is it the pupil...whatever...out of edible magic marker on the fondant.
Next, I added the eyes to the already-dipped bodies.  I painted on a little of the color-appropriate melts and just slapped those eyeballs on.  It dries quickly!  I used some specially bought candy paintbrushes from Hobby Lobby, but I can't tell any difference between those and ones you get with kid's paint.
I attached the beaks and blue licorice feathers in the same way.  Paint and stick!

Details:  For the birds with white bellies, I used the fondant again, just with a larger size cutter.  I painted on the black feathers with toothpicks.  I used some red licorice, sliced thin for the yellow birds' eyebrows.  I used that same red licorice for the red birds' wings.  For the bomb birds' fuses, I put a drop of the black melt on its head and then just stuck a yellow sprinkle into it.  I dripped green melts into little circles on wax paper to make the green pigs' ears.  Their noses are just unmelted green candy melts that I carved two little "snout holes" on.  I think I just made up the phrase "snout holes."  Feel free to use it in conversation.

I won't lie:  this was a time consuming project to get all the little details right.  It is like an art project and a baking endeavor all rolled up into one!  There was a lot of heating and reheating of colors because I would realize I forgot to add feathers or whatever.  It was so completely worth it, though, when Luke saw all of them for the first time.  He was over the moon with excitement!  He wanted some of his birds to sit on a cake( that I made...woot!  Did I mention I don't bake cakes?  I totally don't!  Also, I have a two year old!) with their eggs, which were shiny sixlets that I found in the wedding section at Hobby Lobby.  You could also use Easter candy or jelly beans if you have know, hidden from your children. the drawer that they don't know about.  Maybe that's just me.

Anyway, the "Angry Bird" cake pops were a huge hit!  They were all eaten in a flash.  I hope this tutorial helps you make your own "Angry Birds!"  Let me know if you try it or if you have any questions!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shrimp and Grits

Are you ready for some serious yumminess?  Oh, I think so too.  Behold:

Shrimp & Grits

2 cups quick cook (not instant) grits, cooked in 3 cups of water
2 or 3 medium onions finely chopped
2 lbs cooked, diced shrimp  (You can use petite salad shrimp.  I used the frozen kind and it was great.)
1 TBSP minced garlic (The kind from a jar works great.)
1 stick butter
1 finely chopped bell pepper
3 jalepeno peppers, finely chopped (I used one large banana pepper since I REALLY can't deal with spicy stuff right now.)
11/2 cup heavy whipping cream
12 cup roasted chopped pimentos (jar)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cup monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
2 TBSP Creole seasoning
1/4 cup parsley flakes

Cook grits according to package directions, just reducing water amount.

Saute' onions, garlic, bell pepper, jalepeno (or banana) pepper, and butter in a large skillet.

Isn't it pretty?  So green!  You can ALMOST pretend it's good for you.

Pour grits into a large bowl and add sauteed veggies.  The grits will be super-thick, due to the reduced water amount.

Add roasted peppers, cheeses, and seasonings.  Stir well.  Add shrimp, heavy whipping cream, and parsley.

Pour into a large, greased pyrex dish. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.


I served my shrimp and grits with Torie's recipe for Country French Bread.  It is AWESOME!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Do you know about Zoe's Kitchen yet?

So, while this isn't technically a recipe like I would normally post, I wanted to let you know about a fabulous restaurant that I've recently discovered, Zoe's Kitchen.  (Click for a location near you.)

Recently, I was invited to come try some of Zoe's new menu items.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to go because of a death in our family.  The Zoe's representative, Lindsey Limbaugh, was so gracious to me that she offered to send us two free lunch cards so that Jason and I could still come in and try the new items at our convenience.  How awesome is that?!?

Last Monday, en route to our ultrasound  appointment, we stopped off at Zoe's Kitchen in SoHo.  The kids got quesadillas, as they always do, and Jason and I both got the Hummus salad plate:

Not only was it beautiful and colorful, but it was incredibly tasty, too!  Everything was so fresh and delicious.  I am something of a picky eater, but I was all over this food!   The hummus is very light and creamy, which paired perfectly with the fantastic pita bread.  The tomato-cucumber-white bean salad (bottom right) is fresh, delicious, and oh-so-yummy.  (The fact that I don't eat raw tomatoes did not deter me whatsoever.  I totally got the clean plate award!)  The Greek salad was awesome, as usual.  I love Zoe's Greek dressing, and was stoked to see that they have bottles of it for sale in the restaurant.

I was in Birmingham again on Friday, so I decided to get Zoe's Kitchen to go for dinner.  I picked up a roll-up combo dinner and chose a combination of their chicken roll-ups and their new steak roll-ups.  Words do not do those roll-ups justice.  While I loved the chicken, the steak was unbelievable!  It was so thinly sliced, flavorful, and perfectly tender.  The combo dinner also includes a yummy rice pilaf and my favorite Greek salad.  Even though this dinner wasn't free, it was still excellent!  If we hadn't devoured it so quickly, I would have taken some beauty shots of it.  Alas, it was too good to wait for pictures!

(I didn't even mention their caffeine-free hibiscus green tea that I'm completely addicted to.  I wish they bottled the stuff and sold it in the grocery store.)

For a satisfying, fresh, dare I say healthy-for-you meal, you've got to try Zoe's Kitchen.  You will thank me later.  Or now.  Now is good, too.

By the way, if you are interested in obtaining a free lunch or two from Zoe's Kitchen, check out Rachel's giveaway.  If you win, please take me.  :)

***(Other than the 2 free lunches, I was in no way compensated.  They didn't even ask me to review it!  I just love Zoe's Kitchen THAT much!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cheryl's White Chocolate...Stuff

My friend Cheryl made this treat for me a few years ago.  I asked her yesterday for the recipe.  She didn't really know what to call it, so I decided to name it after her!

Warning:  If you have this in your house, you are powerless against it.  It demands to be eaten.  It is addictive.

2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 lb white chocolate Almond Bark, melted with a TBSP of shortening

Mix well and pour out onto a sheet of waxed paper.  Let dry until firm and cool.

Break into pieces,  Hide it from the children.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

(Just pretend like it hasn't been 3 months since I've posted a recipe here, mmkay?)

Now that we are getting in the the prime-eating months of the year, I am going to step up my feeble attempts to post more recipes here!

I proudly present to you my very own dreamed-up recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

I would have taken pictures of the mixing/cooking process, but I didn't know if these were going to be good or nasty, so I didn't chance it.  Or I was lazy.  Whatever.


1 box Duncan Hines butter flavored yellow cake mix
1 cup pumpkin (you may use canned, although I used fresh puree' and it was FABULOUS!)
1 egg
1/2 cup eggnog (you can use milk if you prefer, but I had it on hand and it just felt like the thing to do)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Use cooking spray to grease your muffin tins.  The way I doled out my batter, it made 18 muffins, but you can do more or less batter per cup.

Mix together all ingredients except chocolate chips until well blended, but do not overbeat.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until muffins are golden brown and spring-y in the center.

Prepare for some yummy, moist, chocolate-y goodness!

Both my kids (even the non-pumpkin eating one) LOVED this!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Soft Pretzel Heaven!

Yes, I know I've been ignoring this blog. I avert my eyes every time it pops up on the dashboard. But, I am here to remedy the problem.

Behold! The best, easiest, and most fun soft pretzel recipe ever created.
(I found this recipe at, but tweaked it to my liking. They call them "Mall Pretzels" because they taste like...wait for it...pretzels you get at the mall!)

Best Soft Pretzels Ever


* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
* 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
* 2 tablespoons baking soda
* 3 tablespoons butter, melted
* 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt


1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.
2. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan.
3. After dough has risen, cut into 12-16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 2-3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt, or cinnamon sugar.Cinnamon Sugar on the left, Garlic salt on the right. I loved them both.

So yummy! The kids put their seal of approval on these pretzels!

Luke wanted to make one special heart-shaped pretzel for his breakfast tomorrow. Here it is before baking:

I added this post to Kimba's Do It Yourself Day Blog Carnival. Check it out!