Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BBQ Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Because we all tend to munch on snacks and finger foods during the New Year's holiday, I am going to post a few different recipes for some yummy appetizers that are quick to throw together and feed a crowd. My mom invented this recipe one summer for a family bbq we had one evening. It contains simple ingredients and makes plenty for a medium-size group of people. The smoky barbecue flavor really adds a zing to any menu. I recommend making it at least 5-6 hours before the party so all of the flavors can absorb together. (Picture courtesy of Chili Cheese Fries)

  • 1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 oz.) can rotel (I use mild, but any type of heat can be used here)
  • 1/2 c. onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 cup bbq sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Add corn, black beans, rotel, onion and cilantro to a large bowl. Add bbq sauce until all ingredients are covered. Stir in lime juice and chili powder until combined. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and serve cold with tortilla chips.

Belgian Waffles

These waffles are honestly out of this world. They are thick and soft and have just the right amount of sweetness that tastes amazing with just about anything - buttermilk syrup, fresh strawberries or peaches, butter and jam and anything else you can create. They are super easy to make and use common ingredients found in any pantry. My husband loves these with chocolate chips and they also make the perfect fall treat with a dash of cinnamon and fresh cut apples inside. (Recipe and picture courtesty of Taste of Home)


  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. butter, melted (2 cubes)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add milk, butter and vanilla and mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown. Serve.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Marshmallow Breakfast Rolls

15 minutes and four simple ingredients: that's all it will take to whip these babies up for a last minute get-together, dessert or quick breakfast in the morning. These are super easy and are loved by kids and adults alike. Warm, soft cinnamon crescent rolls cover gooey marshmallows that literally melt in your mouth and make for a perfect treat. (Picture courtesy of My Sisters' Cucina)


  • 1 Pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
  • Marshmallows, big
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • Cinnamon-sugar mix (1/2 c. sugar to 1/2 tsp. cinnamon)

Separate rolls and place one marshmallow in the center of each one. Wrap tightly around marshmallow and roll in melted butter, then in the cinnamon-sugar mix. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake according to crescent roll package directions.

Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken

I often go on "healthy cooking" streaks where I search to find healthy recipes that are still delicious. I came across this recipe from Mindika Moments about a year ago that fits perfectly into my healthy and delicious category. I love the sweet and tangy flavor of the honey-mustard sauce and it pairs perfectly with a side of cooked vegetables and brown rice. It is also extremely easy to throw together which is a big bonus when I get home late from work and don't feel like doing much for a good meal. Healthy, delicious and easy.. what could be better than that? (Picture courtesy of Mindika Moments)


  • 5 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, honey, brown sugar and thyme until combined. Divide in half and set one-half aside. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a 9x13 pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Brush with half of the honey-mustard sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Turn over the chicken breasts and baste again with some more sauce. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Use the reserved sauce to drizzle over the top of the chicken or use as dipping sauce.

Shrimp & Grits with Creamy Corn Sauce

So I'm a little embarrassed to admit that up until I had met my husband, I had never in my life tried grits of any form, flavor or style. My husband made them for me for breakfast one morning while we were dating and I loved them!! Then I moved to Tennessee and realized that grits are a staple here that everybody eats and loves. There is even an entire section dedicated to grits in the grocery store - it's a serious thing, folks. My parents came to visit a few months ago and we all went down to the Smoky Mountain National Park and ate at a little restaurant called "Miss Lily's Cafe," where I was first introduced to the classic dish: Shrimp and Grits. Let's just say I fell in love. The grits were so soft and smooth and were dotted with a few jumbo-sized shrimp smothered in a creamy, cheesy corn sauce. Needless to say, the cravings for my new-found love came within a few short weeks after leaving the Smokies and I was determined to find a way to duplicate the recipe. Although it's not exactly the same, it is pretty darn good and tastes incredible on a cold night. If you're like me and have a very limited experience with grits, let this be your first dish to try. I guarantee it will become a staple in your pantry just like it is in mine. Enjoy! (Picture courtesy of Gluten-Free Food Recipes)

  • 2 servings grits, cooked according to package directions (I cook mine with chicken broth instead of water to give it more flavor)
  • 2 1/2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2/3 c. heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 c. canned corn
  • one pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce

While grits are cooking, heat heavy cream, butter, salt and pepper together in a medium-sized skillet of medium-high heat. When cream begins to boil, add in the corn, red pepper flakes, worcestershire sauce, cheese and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cheese is melted and sauce ingredients are combined. Add in shrimp and cook until pink and firm. Serve grits in a bowl and pour cream sauce over top.

Tip: If shrimp are already cooked, add them into the sauce at the very end for about a minute, or until they are heated through.

Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce

This sauce will change your life. I'm not exaggerating or being sarcastic in any way, either! Even if you're not a blue cheese fan, I'm begging you to just try it!! Some good steaks don't need sauce, but if you want to try something different and absolutely phenomenally delicious, try this! It is thick, creamy, and so savory that you won't be able to stop eating it. It pairs perfectly with a seasoned steak right off the grill, and is also amazing as a dip for crusty bread or rolls. I have made it several times for my husband and I, as well as for guests, and each time I taste it, I honestly want to cry. It is that good. (Recipe and picture courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.)


  • 2 whole ribeye steaks
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Salt and pepper both sides of the steaks. Grill in 2 Tbsp. butter until cooked to your liking (medium-well is my favorite). Saute onions in 4 Tbsp. butter over high heat for 5-7 minutes, or until dark and caramelized. Reduce heat to simmer and pour in cream. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in blue cheese until melted. Serve a generous portion of sauce over steaks.