Month: April 2016

Suzi’s – make it in seconds…tastes like you slaved all day…Secret Salsa Hack!

I’m not kidding when I say this is the easiest and best salsa ever!  It’s almost embarrassing to share the recipe but share I must.  I just can’t keep things like this to myself. AND I want you to get all the credit when you serve it!  It’s your recipe now…

Suzi’s – make it in seconds…tastes like you slaved all day…Secret Salsa Hack!

You can serve this salsa immediately or make ahead a few hours or even the day before to allow flavors to blend. Store covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. can Herdez brand Salsa Casera, come in mild, medium or hot (choice is yours)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 green onions chopped or 2 tablespoons or so of diced red onion

Instructions

  1. Open can
  2. Pour into a serving dish
  3. Add cilantro and green onion
  4. Stir and serve!
  5. Or...
  6. If you prefer you may put all ingredients in a blender or food processor
  7. The choice is yours!
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Cranberry Bleu Pecan Cheese Ball – faux pas and all!

 

 

Soooooo Easy…only 4 ingredients and it is awesome!

One night this flavor combination just popped in my head so I quickly wrote it down…a few weeks later I had the opportunity to try it out and serve it at a luncheon.  It was a hit!  I originally served it as a spread with crackers and also with celery sticks for a gluten-free option.  I’ve made it several times since and it is always well received.  I hope you’ll give try it out and taste for yourself.  Enjoy!

Cranberry Bleu Pecan Cheese Ball ~ AKA CBP Cheese Ball

Cranberry Bleu Pecan Cheese Ball ~ AKA CBP Cheese Ball

Quick and easy cheese ball or spread! Only 4 ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Additional 3/4 cup chopped pecans for rolling

Instructions

  1. Place cream cheese in microwave safe bowl
  2. Heat in microwave on 50% power for 1 minute to soften
  3. Add cranberries, bleu cheese, and pecans
  4. Use electric mixer to mix together
  5. Form into a ball and roll in chopped pecans or you can serve it as a spread
  6. You may serve immediately or even better make ahead and refrigerate for flavors to blend
  7. Before serving, remove from fridge 30 minutes or so to soften
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Easy Toffee Pretzel Bark – A fabulous gourmet snack!

 

Toffee Pretzel Bark

Toffee Pretzel Bark

This makes a great party snack. Serve in baskets or put in small treat bags tied with ribbons. You can also use colored candy melts to coordinate with the occasion. I sometimes use colored sprinkles in place of the toffee.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups mini pretzel twists
  • 1 1/2 white chocolate candy melts (approximately 10 oz.)
  • 2/3 cup toffee bits

Instructions

  1. Line a 1/2 sheet baking pan (13" x 18") with parchment
  2. Spread pretzels evenly over the parchment, they will overlap slightly
  3. Heat white chocolate candy melts in microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, heat for an additional 30 seconds, stir until smooth
  4. With a large spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the pretzels
  5. Sprinkle toffee bits evenly over the chocolate
  6. Allow to cool
  7. Break apart and serve or store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag
  8. Enjoy!
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How to make “Apple Dumplings” an Easy and Classy Dessert!

Don’t be fooled…these Apple Dumplings look difficult….. but they are soooooo easy!  Just watch and see….

Apple Dumplings close up

Apple Dumplings with Raspberry Sauce

*Raspberry Sauce In a small saucepan, mix 1 12 oz. package frozen raspberries (unsweetened) and 2/3 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat until boiling...mix 1/3 cup water and 1 Tablespoon corn starch together, stir into boiling raspberries and sugar, stir until thickened. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

Ingredients

  • 6 Rome Beauty Apples (or other)
  • 2 Packages refrigerated pie crust rolls (4 crusts total)
  • 1 cube (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Remove crusts from the refrigerator
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Peel and core apples - cut the bottom of the apple about 1/4 inch so it will sit flat
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon
  5. Fill the hollowed cores with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon mixture
  6. Cut 3 of the crusts in half, roll each into a ball, knead until until mixed together
  7. Using a rolling pin, on a lightly floured surface (granite counter works great), roll out to about 8 inches in diameter (so it will cover the apple completely)
  8. Cut 6 small pieces of the remaining crust, about 1 1/2 inches square, place on the top of each filled apple, covering the core
  9. Place apple upside down in center of dough circle
  10. Carefully wrap and pinch dough around the apple making sure dough overlaps a the bottom
  11. Place apples, pinched side down, on a baking sheet
  12. Using a pastry brush, brush with egg wash (egg/water mixture)
  13. Using a sharp knife, cut out 12 leaves, "score" each leaf with a line down the center and marks to resemble leaves
  14. Roll 6 small pieces of dough to resemble stems, pinch and flatten at one end
  15. On top of each apple, place a "stem" and 2 "leaves"
  16. Brush leaves and stem with egg wash
  17. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
  18. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes until apples are soft and crust is golden
  19. Serve with
  20. *Raspberry Sauce and vanilla ice cream, if desired
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I hope you will push out of your comfort zone and make these “Classy” Apple Dumplings!  Remember, if you can dream it… You can do it….and I just showed you how!  You can do this!  Confidence comes with practice!  You’ve heard the saying….If at first you don’t succeed….try, try, again!

Helping people gain confidence in the kitchen is my dream!  I’ve put off doing this because I was scared 🙁  I may look confident but to be honest….putting myself out there like this is SCARY!  I’m taking my own advice and just doing it!

My greatest desire is that you find your passion and “just do it”

Yours in living your passion,

Suzi

 

Caprese Skewers…Easiest and Classiest Appetizer Ever!

These are so easy and you can make them a day or two in advance.  If you do, be sure to add the balsamic vinaigrette just before serving.  

Another cost saving tip is to cut the mozzarella balls in half…..it is the perfect bite and you yield 50 appetizers instead of 25!  

Caprese Skewers - Easiest and Classiest Appetizer Ever!

Caprese Skewers - Easiest and Classiest Appetizer Ever!

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. container fresh mozzarella balls (25) - Can be cut in half to yield 50 appetizers!
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette - (a few tablespoons)
  • 4" wooden sandwich picks

Instructions

  1. Cut basil leaves in 1" strips
  2. Cut mozzarella balls in half, if desired
  3. Thread on wooden sandwich pick in following order:
  4. Mozzarella ball
  5. Basil
  6. tomato
  7. Place on serving tray...
  8. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette
  9. Serve and enjoy!
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As always….I hope you will give this easy appetizer a try!

Yours in easy and classy,

Suzi

How to make…Homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

Milk, mayonnaise and Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix…It’s really that easy!  You will never buy the stuff in the bottle again!

1 pint (2 cups) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
  • Will keep 1-2 weeks depending on the freshness of your milk.
  • Variations:
  • For Bleu Cheese Dressing: add 1/3 cup of crumbled bleu cheese
  • For Creamy Dill Dressing: add 1 tsp. dried dill weed or 1 Tablespoon of fresh dill weed
  • For Creamy Bacon Dressing: add 1/4 cup of crumbled bacon bits

Instructions

  1. In a 1 quart (4 cup) measuring/mixing bowl:
  2. Pour in milk up to the 1 cup line
  3. Add mayonnaise to the 2 cup line
  4. Add in the 3 Tablespoons of Ranch Dressing Mix
  5. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Add fresh ground pepper, if desired.
  7. Pour into a 1 pint mason jar, or other, and refrigerate until ready to use.
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