This dip has been a long time favorite in my family. It’s very, very easy to make because you just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and microwave it! It’s a great appetizer for a Cinco de Mayo party. I you want to make this meatless, you can omit the bacon. I think it’s fine without it, but my kids swear it tastes better with bacon. Either way, you’ve got to give this recipe a try. You won’t be sorry. Make sure you serve it warm!
WARM MEXICORN DIP
4 cans (11 ozs. each) Green Giant mexi-corn, drained well
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2/3 of a 16-oz. container sour cream
16 ozs. shredded cheddar cheese
3 or 4 green onion stalks, chopped (depends on how big they are)
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
Mix all the ingredients in a microwave-safe dish.
Microwave until hot and bubbly, stopping to stir halfway through (about 5 minutes).
This is an old recipe that I got from one of my first cookbooks many, many years ago. Hummingbird Cake is basically a banana-pineapple-nut cake. It’s moist, delicious, and absolutely addictive. I usually bake it in a bundt pan and serve it plain, but you could also bake it in three round cake pans and frost each layer with a cream cheese frosting. Either way is delicious and will have you humming with delight!
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
1 can (8 ozs.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a bundt pan.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon with a wooden spoon.
Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, bananas, pineapple, and nuts, and stir together well.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (In my oven, 50 minutes is perfect, but depending on your oven, this could take up to 70 or 80 minutes.)
NOTE: If desired, cake may be baked in three 9-inch round cake pans. If using three cake pans, bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 pkg. (8-oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
With an electric mixer set on medium-low speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add powdered sugar little by little, beating at low speed until blended.
Stir in vanilla.
Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
I had some pork tenderloins in the freezer so I decided to put them out for dinner tomorrow. This dish is pretty easy to make and most of the time, you already have all the ingredients in your pantry. I like to marinate the pork overnight, but if you can marinate it for at least 4 hours, that works.
SAVORY PORK TENDERLOIN
1 package pork tenderloins (package should contain two tenderloins)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 tsp. cold water
Place pork tenderloins into a gallon size ziploc bag.
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, dijon mustard, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Pour marinade into ziploc bag with tenderloins and seal, squeezing out as much air as possible.
Let tenderloins marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
The next day, preheat oven to 350°.
Place tenderloins into a small baking pan and pour the marinade all over them.
Bake 1 hour or until done, flipping tenderloins over halfway through baking. The meat is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 145°.
Transfer tenderloins to a chopping board, tent them with foil, and let them rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
While tenderloins are resting, pour the sauce into a small saucepan.
Add the cornstarch/water mixture to the sauce and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce is thickened.
Slice the tenderloins, then arrange the slices on a serving platter and pour the sauce over them.
I stumbled across this recipe on justapinch.com. They have some great recipes on their website and this one was no exception. This yummy, vegetarian appetizer is great to serve at a party or take to a potluck. You can substitute lowfat cream cheese if you want to cut down on the fat. These colorful rolls look so pretty arranged on a platter. And the best part is….. they’re super easy to make!
VEGGIE CREAM CHEESE ROLL-UPS
6 eight-inch flour tortillas (can use wheat, spinach, or tomato tortillas)
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 envelope ranch dressing or dip mix
4 green onions, finely chopped
½ small can (4.25 oz.) chopped black olives
1 celery rib, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
Beat cream cheese and ranch mix together until smooth and well-blended.
Stir in chopped vegetables with a rubber spatula.
Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over tortillas.
Roll up tortillas into logs and wrap each log in plastic wrap.
Place tortilla logs in fridge to chill for at least 3 hours to set.
Slice tortillas into ½-inch rounds before serving.
Can be served with salsa as a dip.
I don’t like a lot of olives in these rolls so I only use half a small can. Feel free to use the whole can if you like.
Chicken Piccata is one of my very favorite things to order from an Italian restaurant. Piccata actually refers to a method of cooking where something is sauteed in a sauce of butter, lemon juice and capers. In Italy, veal and fish are most often cooked in the piccata style, but chicken seems to be the popular choice in the United States. Whatever you choose, this dish is delicious and the impressive way it looks on a plate belies how simple it actually is to make.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper, to taste
all purpose flour, for dredging
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup dry white wine (I like Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp. capers, drained (or rinsed well if using capers cured in salt)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, optional
Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally.
Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness.
Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.
Dredge chicken in flour until well-coated, shaking off excess flour.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter together over medium-high heat.
Add chicken breasts and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Transfer cooked chicken to a plate.
In the same pan where you browned the chicken, add lemon juice, wine, and broth, and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
Stir in capers, then return the chicken to the pan, including any juices that might have leaked out onto the plate.
Continue to cook for another 4 or 5 minutes till the sauce reduces and thickens a little bit.
Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.
NOTE: Instead of half white wine and half chicken broth, you can make the sauce with just chicken broth or just wine. But don’t leave out the lemon juice. It’s a must!
This vegetarian dish looks like you spent all day making it but is actually very easy. Not only is it delicious, but it’s healthy too. If you have a mandoline, use it. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it sure makes nice even eggplant slices. You can also make your own marinara sauce or just buy a jar, like I did. They have lots of healthy ones out there nowadays. This recipe makes a big 9×13-inch casserole. If you’re feeding less people, cut the recipe in half.
This vegetarian dish is popularly eaten in Peru. Besides being healthy and good for you, it’s also very easy to make. I think you could add other veggies to it if you wanted to, like carrots, mushrooms, kale, or peas, which makes it quite the versatile little dish. Just make sure you keep in the potato and corn which are what make it classically Peruvian. Oh and I forgot to sprinkle the cilantro over it before I took the photo above. Don’t do what I did. The cilantro adds a delicious pop of flavor so you don’t want to leave it out. This recipe serves 2 people, but could very easily be doubled or tripled to feed more.
PERUVIAN QUINOA VEGETABLE STEW [Serves 2]
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
½ red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. paprika
¾ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ cup water
2 cups vegetable broth
1 red potato (6 ozs.), unpeeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
⅓ cup quinoa, rinsed well
⅓ cup fresh, canned or frozen corn kernels
salt and pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced
queso fresco, crumbled
1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, paprika, coriander and cumin.
Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened and spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Stir in water, scraping up any browned bits.
Stir in broth and potato, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir in quinoa and simmer for 8 minutes.
Stir in corn and zucchini and continue to simmer until quinoa and vegetables are just tender, 6-8 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide stew into 2 bowls.
Top each with a sprinkling of cilantro, a little avocado, some crumbled queso fresco, and 2 or 3 lime wedges for your guests to squeeze into the stew before eating.
Chocolate Ganache is used as a filling, a frosting, or a glaze for cakes and pastries. It’s very easy to prepare. This recipe is wonderful made with a good quality chocolate like Scharffenberger chocolate, but it’s just as good made with chocolate chips.
Make sure the chopping board, bowl, and utensils you use are completely dry because water will cause the chocolate to seize when it’s melted. Also when working with ganache, bear in mind that while it’s warm, it’s liquid and pourable, but it thickens and firms as it cools. If you need to soften it, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir.
I saw the Pioneer Woman make this on TV one weekend and decided to try it. I wasn’t disappointed. It was delicious! This salsa is great served with grilled fish or chicken. You could probably serve it as an appetizer with tortilla chips, too.
2 pints strawberries, hulled and diced
½ small red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste
In a bowl, combine strawberries, red onion, red pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice together.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lime juice or salt and pepper, if desired.
My mom used to make this cake for us all the time when we were growing up. Pineapple Upside Down Cake is an old-fashioned cake that sort of died down in popularity over the years. It’s delicious, though, and definitely deserves a comeback. I’ve altered my Mom’s original recipe to make the cake more moist and added more pineapple to it, but the basic recipe is still hers. It’s easy to prepare and my family loves it judging by how quickly it disappears every time I serve it!
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
⅔ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 20-oz. can pineapple slices, drained and juice reserved
1 8-oz. can pineapple slices, drained and juice reserved (optional)
1 jar maraschino cherries
2½ cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
16 Tbsp. reserved pineapple juice from the cans
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter, softened
1½ cup white sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place butter in a 9×13-inch cake pan and put it in the oven to melt the butter.
When butter is melted, remove pan from oven.
Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula.
Arrange pineapple slices over the butter-brown sugar mixture in any pattern you want. You can leave the slices whole or cut them in halves or quarters to make a fancier design.
Cut a few maraschino cherries in half and nestle them, cut side up, around the pineapple slices in the cake pan. You can leave the cherries whole if you want, but my mom always cut them in half. Probably to save money.
In a medium bowl, stir flour, baking powder, and salt together.
In a small bowl, stir pineapple juice and vanilla together.
With an electric mixer, beat softened butter and white sugar on high until thick and light colored.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well-combined.
Reduce speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the pineapple juice mixture until just incorporated.
Pour cake batter evenly over the pineapple slices in the cake pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed down lightly on top.
Allow cake to cool for 10-15 minutes, then turn it out onto a rectangular plate. If a pineapple gets left behind in the pan, just pick it up with a metal spatula and flip it over onto the spot it came from on the cake.
NOTE: You only need one 20-oz. can of pineapple, but if you want to completely cover the top of the cake with pineapple rings like I have pictured, you’ll find one can is about 2 slices shy. My family likes a lot of pineapple so I add the second smaller can, but if you don’t want to bother with that, you can make do with one 20-oz. can and just space the slices farther apart so they’re evenly distributed. Bear in mind, if you do decide to use just one 20-oz. can of pineapple slices, you might be a little short on the pineapple juice. Different brands have different amounts. If you’re short, just add enough water or cooking oil to make 16 tablespoons.