Category Archives: Appetizers

Veggie Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Toddlers are funny little people.  One minute, they’re begging for broccoli and just when you set their plate in front of them, THEN they ask for cake.  My little miss LOVES cupcakes.  She calls them pancakes, but I know what she means.  My little mister LOVES ketchup and will dip anything in it- even apples.  And he loves hot dogs.  They also have days where they eat hardly anything, and days I’d swear they had hollow legs!  Well, today they ate four of these mini muffins, each.  And that’s a LOT for a little tummy.  They both said, “yum!” and little miss even said the ‘pancakes’ were ‘so pretty’.  She’s got good taste!

This recipe is easy to pull together, takes literally 5 minutes to assemble, and tastes great to boot!  I hope you love them as much as we did.  They also freeze very well!  Perfect for those crazy week nights!

Veggie Corn Dog Mini Muffins

  • corn bread muffin mix that makes 6 regular sized muffins (I used Marie Callendar’s)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded zucchini
  • 2 hot dogs, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly spray 20 of the cups in your mini muffin pan.
  2. Make corn bread according to package directions, using milk, egg and butter.
  3. Place shredded veggies in a clean towel or paper towel and twist/squeeze to get some water out.  Stir into corn bread batter.
  4. Dollop about 1 tsp batter into each of the 20 greased cups.  Use your clean finger or spoon to even it out in the cup.
  5. Add about 1 tsp chopped hot dog on top of the batter, then top that with another tsp of batter.  If you have some left over, just distribute it among the cups.  Use your clean finger or a spoon to make sure the hot dogs are covered with batter.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until sides are golden brown.  
  7. Let cool about 5 minutes, then remove from pan to a cooling rack.  Serve warm with ketchup and/or mustard.
  8. To freeze, let cool to room temperature, then place in a zip top bag and remove as much air as possible.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  Reheat by baking on a foil lined and lightly greased tray at 400 for about 10 minutes.

These would be great chili toppers, too!!


The Secret to Awesome Grilled Cheese

Really- who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich? If you know someone, you should disown them.  You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!  

This isn’t a recipe, really.  But it is a method.  A delicious, crispy, melty method.  One that takes a good grilled sandwich and makes it awesome.  

Hope you love this method as much as we do!

The Method

1. Gather ingredients.  Good bread, real butter, and your favorite melty cheese- cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, whatever.  And… Grated Parmesan. Not the stuff from the green can.  The GOOD stuff.

2. You know the drill- butter bread, put cheese between the two slices (butter side out) and grill until golden.  BUT WAIT! Before you put the butter side to the pan, sprinkle it with 1/2 to 1 tsp grated Parmesan. Grill slow and low until golden brown outside and melty inside.

3.  Please let it cool a bit before biting into your awesome grilled cheese.  Burned taste buds are duds!

Naughty and Nice Cracker Spread


It’s that time of year.  That time where everyone is put into one of two categories.  You know the ones – Naughty or Nice.  Well, what if you’re a little bit of both?  What if your halo is held a little crooked because of those cute little horns coming out of your forehead?  Is there a gray area?  No, not one of the 50 shades…

Well, Santa, I’ve been NICE this year.  I’ve done some good deeds, thought some good thoughts, put others before myself.  But I’ve also been NAUGHTY.  I snuck Halloween candy and ate it without telling my hubby I bought any.  And I didn’t share.  I let my babies cry on the floor when they didn’t want to do tummy time and I made them do it for a few minutes more anyway.  And I ate my dinner before feeding the dog.  Because I was hungry.

So, this cracker spread is a little like me.  There’s the nice side that is all creamy and sweet.  Then there’s the naughty side that you THINK is creamy and sweet– until it punches you in the taste buds.  Don’t be surprised if you have every intention of sharing, then end up in the closet with a few Ritz crackers and a spoon.  Go ahead.  Double dip.  Be naughty.  I won’t tell…

Naughty and Nice Cracker Spread

  • 2 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup raspberry preserves (I used seedless)
  • 1 cup jalapeno pepper jelly (I used Tabasco brand)
  • Crackers (Ritz are NICE)
  1. Plop cream cheese blocks onto a plate- I used one that was about 15″ in diameter.  Use a rubber spatula to smush and squish the cream cheese into a flat layer.  Smooth out the top.
  2. Pour raspberry preserves on one half, and pepper jelly on the other half.
  3. Serve with crackers.

By the way, the spicy NAUGHTY side is fantastic on a bagel in the morning.  Especially with bacon.  😉

Pork Egg Rolls


This summer is just FLYING by, isn’t it?  I haven’t posted a recipe in what seems like FOREVER.  It’s not that I haven’t been cooking.  I just haven’t been cooking as much.  Having two littles at the same time kinda takes a lot of time.  And less sleep.  Heck, they’re 6 months old today and still wake up once a night to eat.  We’ve had a few nights where they’ve slept through the night.  Four nights in a row!  Then teething started.  Poor littles!

So, we’ve been grilling a lot.  Making BLTs and other sandwiches.  Or ordering pizza on the nights that we’re just too tired to even think about what to cook.  Nothing too fancy.

These egg rolls are definitely not fancy.  But they are delicious.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did! 🙂

Pork Egg Rolls

  • 1 head napa cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 lbs ground pork
  • 3 Tbsp stir fry seasoning mix (or 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger and 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots, drained well
  • Egg Roll Wrappers (about 20, in the veggie section of the supermarket)
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Vegetable or peanut oil
  1. Place cabbage in a large colander and sprinkle with 1.5 tsp salt.  Mix well, then set the colander in the fridge over a bowl.  Let it sit for about an hour, mixing once in a while.  After the hour is up, remove from the fridge.  Place the cabbage in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to get out the excess moisture.  Place cabbage in a large bowl.
  2. In a large skillet (12″) over medium-high heat, brown the ground pork, stir fry seasoning mix, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Crumble as the pork cooks.
  3. Place cooked pork and shredded carrots in the bowl with the cabbage.  Add soy sauce and sesame oil.  Stir well.
  4. Combine flour and water in a small bowl, set aside.
  5. Place the egg roll wrapper with a corner facing you.  Put about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the pork mixture in the middle.  Fold the corner facing you over the filling, then bring the sides toward the middle.  Place a dab of the flour mixture on the farthest corner (the only one not folded in), then roll the egg roll closed.  The flour mixture will act as a glue!  Continue until all the filling is used up.
  6. Fry egg rolls, a few at a time, in oil at 365°F, turning often, until golden brown on all sides.  Serve with dipping sauce like the one I serve with Potstickers.

I hope you’ve had a great summer.  I can’t wait for Fall!  This summer has been a HOT one, and I’m looking forward to sweat shirts, warm mugs of hot cocoa, and walking around the neighborhood with these two…


Monkey Fruit Salad


I have an obsession with monkeys.  We’re decorating the nursery in Monkeys for the twins!  We have monkey sheets, monkey outfits, monkey blankets, monkey quilts, a monkey diaper bag… yep.  Monkeys everywhere!

And what do monkeys eat?  Fruit.  And what has this preggo lady been craving?  FRUIT!  I love this salad.  It’s simple, keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is super healthy for me and my babies.  Sometimes I even add a dollop of whipped cream to make it a bit more indulgent.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2014!

Monkey Fruit Salad

  • 1 (15 oz. can) pineapple chunks- drain and reserve 1/4 cup juice
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into chunks
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into chunks (I used Gala)
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup red or green grapes, halved
  • whipped cream for topping (optional)
  1. Put all the fruit in a bowl.  Drizzle with reserved pineapple juice, and stir well to coat.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.
  2. To serve, spoon fruit into a bowl and add a dollop of whipped cream!

This fruit also makes a great smoothie combo.  Just combine in a blender with some plain or vanilla yogurt and ice.  YUM!!

Crunchy Ramen Coleslaw


This is one of those beat-the-heat recipes for summer.  No cooking involved!  This salad whips up in a flash and is PERFECT along the side of grilled meat.  You could even add diced cooked chicken to make it a main meal salad.

This recipe is based off of the Ramen Coleslaw on the Food On The Table website.  I had to make several substitutions because of what I had in the house.  Hope you like it!

Crunchy Ramen Coleslaw

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or splenda
  • 1 (3.0 oz.) package Oriental flavored ramen noodles, crushed, seasoning packet reserved
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag cole slaw mix
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, sugar, contents of the ramen noodle seasoning packet, and pepper together.
  2. Place cabbage, green onions, and crushed noodles in the bowl.  Toss well to coat.  Top with toasted sesame seeds and peanuts.
  3. Serve immediately.

Greek Salad for One


This weekend, I decided to shop at the local Fred Meyer.  Inspiration struck as I was passing the Olive Bar.  They had some chunked feta and Greek olives marinated in an herb-infused oil.  Who could pass that up?

As soon as I got home, I tossed those lovely cheese chunks and olives with fresh veggies and a bit of vinegar.  Let me tell ya- easiest Greek salad ever!  Not that Greek salad is that hard anyway, but the herbs in the cheese-olive oil were the perfect complement.

I hope you have an olive bar with the marinated feta cheese chunks somewhere in town.  And I hope you are eating lots of veggies and drinking lots of water.  I’m good on the veggies, but drinking water is hard for me.  Unless its in the form of sun tea.  😉

Here’s to easy summer salads!

Greek Salad for One

  • 2-3 Tbsp chunked feta and Greek olives marinated in olive oil and herbs (from the olive bar)
  • 1 cup torn lettuce
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 3″ section of an English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 3 or 4 marinated artichoke heart quarters
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pepperoncini for garnish
  1. Put everything in a bowl, except garnish.
  2. Toss to coat the veggies.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Garnish with pepperoncini.  Devour.
  4. Feel good about eating such a healthy meal when you were at home by yourself.  😀