Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sausage and Pepperoni Hot Italian Dip

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Anyone who knows me know I am the crazy list lady. I have an Excel Spreadsheet for every holiday, party and get together that I've hosted since the early 90's. It's what I do. I have a weekly list that I update as I go through the week. I add items as I add recipes and I also have files for all the major holidays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. I can tell you what we ate for Christmas Eve in 2001 and produce the shopping list to go along with it. It's just how my brain works. I need to write it or type it down to get it out of my head.

The process for creating a recipe is a bit different but starts the same way. I get an idea for a recipe, I jot down what ingredients I need and then I have the laptop on the kitchen table and I adjust the recipe as I go, back and forth from the stove to the laptop. Once it's out of the oven and approved, I hit the save button, write up a post and share it with all of you. Lots and lots of hours go into each recipe, not to mention the time it takes to photograph each dish, something that gets more difficult when the short, dark days of winter approach.

Hot Italian Dip

I was looking for something different to add to my Christmas Eve table. I didn't want the same old, same old so I decided to make a new dip straight from my noggin. This dip was created over the course of a few hours on a Saturday afternoon and happily devoured by my guys in about 10 minutes. That's how I know a recipe is a hit! This was definitely a hit my friends. It's got a sausage and pepperoni pizza like taste, but you still get all that creaminess and cheesiness too. Success!

Sausage & Pepperoni Hot Italian Dip
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil, drained
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
1½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 pound of Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
20 pepperoni slices cut in half
1 small can sliced olives, drained
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook  the sausage in a skillet on medium heat breaking the sausage up as you cook it. If you are using sausage links, remove the meat from their casings.  Drain any grease and set aside. Place the olive oil back in the same skillet and cook the onion until they becomes soft and translucent. Add the chopped garlic in at the last few minutes. Place the onions and garlic in the same bowl as the sausage and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and Italian seasoning together with an electric mixer and spread on the bottom of a baking dish. I used a baking pan that was a little bit smaller than a 9x13. Top with the diced tomatoes, the sausage mixture, and the pepperoni *(see note on pepperoni preparation). Continue to layer with the sauce, mozzarella, and the olives. Sprinkle with Parmesan just before going in the oven. Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips, bagel chips, crusty bread, crackers, etc.

Note* - I placed my pepperoni on a double layer of paper towel and microwaved them 20 seconds to release some of the grease.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Buttery Parmesan Roasted Carrots

Roasted Parmesan Carrots

I know it's the holiday season and there is candy and cookies around every corner. It's so hard to be good this time of year and I'm certainly not going to deprive myself of some sweets in the next few weeks but I'm trying to be good during the week and get my veggies in.

These Buttery Parmesan Roasted Carrots were so sweet and delicious you can almost pretend you're eating something that's not good for you!

With just a few ingredients you can have these sweeties on the table in no time.

Roasted Parmesan Carrots 1

Buttery Parmesan Roasted Carrots
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
5 - 6 carrots, peeled (I used tri-color carrots)
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Melt the butter then add the garlic. Place the carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pout the mixture over the carrots and toss to coat. Place in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes depending on the size of your carrots. Check them half way through cooking to move them a bit so they get evenly roasted. Sprinkle with Parmesan and roast for an additional 8 - 10 minutes or until they are done.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

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You know those handy little packets of instant oatmeal that they sell in the store? The ones with the smiling Quaker on the box? Did you know that you can make your own homemade instant oatmeal? You can ditch those little packs that are filled with way more added sugar than you need in the morning. With instant oatmeal, the packages often have loads of added sugar, salt and artificial coloring. Read the labels and see what you’re getting. Another thing with instant is that it tastes differently than rolled or steel-cut oats. The flavor is more bland and not as textured.

Also, the glycemic index of old fashioned oats is 55, while the GI of instant oats is 83, so instant or quick-cooking oats push up your blood sugar, something of particular concern to diabetics and people with other blood sugar issues.

I started making this a few months ago. I can tell you this.....we will never go back to those little packages again. In a short amount of time you can whip up a big batch of oatmeal. I just take the recipe x8 or x10 and store it in a big glass jar on my counter. I throw a 1/2 cup measuring cup in the jar so two scoops, some fruits and/or nuts and a cup of boiling water makes a nice big bowl of oatmeal that will stick with ya.

Homemade Oatmeal (12) Blog

We throw all sorts of stuff in the oatmeal too. I have jars of nuts and dried fruit at the ready so we just mosey over to that cupboard and add whatever we feel like that day to the bowl. I often chop up an apple and add some raisins in mine, but you can use what ever combo you love. I'm very found of dried pineapple and coconut. Yum!

Please note that this recipe calls for OLD FASHIONED ROLLED OATS, not INSTANT oats. It may take a few more minutes to make than the oats in the paper packet, but it's so worth it!

Homemade Instant Oatmeal
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Printable Recipe
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not quick cooking oats)
2 teaspoons oat bran
2 teaspoons brown sugar or maple sugar if you have it
2 teaspoons dehydrated milk (powdered non-fat milk)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch kosher salt

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container or portion out into increments of 1 cup into snack size bags. I use 1 cup of oatmeal to 1 cup of boiling water but you may want your oatmeal thicker or thinner. Let the oatmeal sit for 5 minutes. I cover mine with a small plate until it's ready. Experiment until you get the perfect mixture for you! Don't forget to add in nuts and fruits to make it your own!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thin and Chewy Ginger Cookies

Thin Chewy BB

Every time I mix up ginger anything I look at the batter and think "now that would be a beautiful wall color". Strange I know, but I do it every single time.

Do you think the guys at Lowes would think I'm strange if I walked in with a bowl of batter and said "match that".

As soon as the molasses hits the batter and my spatula does a few turns around the bowl it turns into this lush, warm color that I want all over my walls. Luckily for me I'm getting ready to paint my spare room so I'm hoping to see a ginger cookie or two up on those walls.

By now if you've followed this blog at all you know I'm obsessed with all things onions, mocha, pie and ginger, so yes, this is yet another ginger recipe, but come on.....thin, chewy ginger cookies. They are just crying out for a nice cuppa tea or a big mug of hot chocolate!

Thiny Chewy Ginger Cookies Blog

Thin and Chewy Ginger Cookies
Recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
makes about 26 cookies
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
extra sugar for rolling

Oven to 350 . Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Scoop into walnut size balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar.

Place on an ungreased or parchment paper lined baking sheet 2" apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to cooing rack.