Hot Corn Dip

I like dips.
I like to eat dips.
I like to make dips.
I like to dip fruits in dips.
I like to dip chips in dips.
I like to dip veggies in dips.
And if its really good...
I like to eat dips with a spoon.

This is one of those 'eat with just a spoon' type of dips. :)

not the prettiest picture, but I failed to get a good one before people had started to dig into it!

Hot Corn Dip
Adapted from GinaMariesKitchen.com
   (feel free to check on her version of it- its a cute food blog)


* 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
* 1 cup shredded Italian Cheese blend (original recipe calls for monterey jack, but I can never find that stuff at the store)
* 1 can rotel (original calls for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and diced green chilies and diced tomato- this just seemed easier)
* 1/2 cup mayo
* 1/4 tsp garlic powder
* 1- 11oz can of corn (I used mexi-corn to add some extra pepper flavor and spice)
* 1 small can creamed corn (original doesn't call for this, that was my addition to make it a little more creamy and corn-y)
* 2 tbs cilantro and 2 tbs green onion are in original recipe, I omitted due to lack of good selection at store

To Make:

* Preheat oven to 350
* Mix all ingredients (except tomato if using fresh, and cilantro and green onion if using) in a bowl and pour into oven safe casserole dish
* Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly
* If using the fresh veggies and herbs- add as a garnish to top of dish- serve with tortilla chips

Pizza Puffs

Last night, we had a 'surprise' party to go to for our friend Brandon. I offered to make the food. It had been forever since I had spent all day in the kitchen cooking and baking- and I realized yesterday how much I really missed it. I threw on my apron, put on the tunes, and cooked and baked and baked and cooked. I made enough food to feed an army, or in our case, an airforce squadron. :)

I found a recipe for these online at PlainChicken.Com, an amazing food site. They seemed so simple, with only a few ingredients, and looked amazing. The base is basic, and you can add whatever pizza toppings you want before you bake them. The best part? I finally had a good excuse to buy myself a mini muffin pan (and yes, I've gone this long without ever owning one and its tragic).

I will be making these for every party we are invited to for the rest of our lives. The recipe makes 24- I doubled it- and they were completely gone in about 5 minutes at the party. Not only were they gone, but about 10 people asked me for the recipe, and those who didn't show up in time to try them got an ear-full about how they suck at life and missed the pizza bites! I'll call that a successful dish :)

Pizza Puffs
(Recipe makes 24 mini puffs)

Ingredients for base dough:

* 3/4 cup flour
* 3/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp garlic powder
* 1 egg, beaten
* 3/4 cup whole milk

* cheese and favorite pizza toppings- anything your heart desires
note: I can also see these being perfect for things other than pizza toppings- I see cheddar, broccoli, and ham ones in our near future! Seriously- you could put anything in these and I may even throw a little sugar in the dough and do some sweet puffs the next time I'm making them!

Pizza Toppings I used:

* 4 oz shredded mozzerella cheese
* 1/2 cup mini pepperonis
* 1/2 lb cooked sausage, drained of grease
* serve with side of warm pizza sauce as dip!

To Make:

* Heat oven to 350.
* Mix flour, baking powder, and garlic powder together in a bowl. Whisk in egg and milk.
* Gently stir in pizza toppings of your choice. Let stand for 10 minutes
* Spray mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Divide batter between the cups- fill them up to the top- they won't puff up too bad and spill over.
* Bake for 20-25 minutes.
* Serve with warm pizza sauce


The kind you eat... not the kind that I'm desperately lacking.

The first time I ever had muscles was shortly after I moved to Ireland. I had no idea where I was going to live, no idea how I was going to live, and was in slight panic mode- but by God- I was going to eat some freshly caught seafood since I was finally living by the water! And eat them I did- an entire buckets worth. New food adventure in a new restaurant, in a new town, in a new city. It was a night to remember, and something I vowed I would do as often as possible.

Fast forward 4 years and I'm living back on the coast- fresh and tasty seafood served everywhere- and I'm here with a husband who hates it (or at least anything seafood that calls a shell a home). I have to wait until he leaves for an evening so I can cook it- and on Friday he had a night-flight- so I took full advantage.

I decided to make muscles for the first time ever. Its one of the less-expensive seafood delights you can find at the market. I bought a 2lb bag, knowing full well I can take down a ton of those things in a short amount of time, and looked up recipes online. I took what I loved of a bunch of recipes (and what was available in my fridge and pantry) that I found and here is what I came up with...

Muscles in Tomato and White Wine Sauce


* 1 lb muscles, cleaned
* olive oil
* 1 small white onion, diced
* 1 glove garlic, minced
* 2 cans diced tomatoes (I used one regular, one italian)
* 1 small can tomato paste
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* seasoning of your choice- I used some italian seasoning and salt and pepper

To Make:

* Add olive oil to a pan and heat over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until softened. Add minced garlic.

* Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasoning to onion and garlic mixture, stir, and cook until bubbly. Slowly add white wine and simmer.

* Steam muscles until they pop open. Add opened muscles to tomato mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.

* Serve muscles in a bowl and pour tomato sauce over them. Eat muscles with a giant scoop of tomato sauce. Enjoy.