Archive for the ‘Sides and Such’ Category

Mummy Dogs

 

Mummy Hot Dogs for Halloween

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Happy Halloween everyone! Herb and I are going to a Halloween party tonight, and we decided to bring MUMMY DOGS! So fun. I found the idea on pinterest. This would be a fun way to get your kids involved in the baking as well – let them “wrap” the hot dogs in the crescent roll strips!

Recipe Ingredients:

  • Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • Hot dogs

Recipe Directions:

Roll out the crescent rolls and either cut or tear them into about 1/4 inch flat strips. Wrap a strip around the “head” of the hot dog to make a headband. Then cover the bottom 2/3 of the dog to create it’s mummified body. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. You can use either mustard or ketchup to put 2 dots as eyes for your mummy dogs. Enjoy!

Mummy Hot Dogs for Halloween

Mummy Hot Dogs for Halloween

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Watermelon, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad

Watermelon, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad Recipe

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At first glance, watermelon, avocado and cucumber may sound like a strange combination for a salad. But trust me. This is delicious.

This would be a great side to take to a summer cookout or party. It’s probably good to have something healthy with all those burgers, hot dogs and desserts, right?!

Also, it just looks so pretty on a plate.

Watermelon, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad Recipe

I’ll go ahead and wish everyone a very Happy Independence Day!!! The Herb family had a mini-celebration with barbecue earlier this week. Then Herb and I are spending the 4th up at his family’s farm, enjoying some good food and spending time with everyone. I’m sure fireworks will be involved at some point. Have a wonderful Holiday! Oh, and if you are still unsure what to make to bring to your 4th of July gathering, here you go!

Watermelon, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad Recipe

Watermelon, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad

Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 Tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe Directions

Gently toss sliced avocado with the olive oil and lime juice. In a large bowl, mix together the cubed watermelon and cucumber. Add this to  either a platter or a large bowl. Add the avocado mixture on top and sprinkle with cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Watermelon, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad Recipe

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We give this recipe 5/5 for healthy, tasty, goodness!

Watermelon, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1 seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 Tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Gently toss sliced avocado with the olive oil and lime juice.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cubed watermelon and cucumber. Add this to either a platter or a large bowl.
  3. Add the avocado mixture on top and sprinkle with cilantro, salt, and pepper.

 

Cookout Season: Saturday Edition

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What you see here is the view from my parents’ back porch here in Northeast Tennessee.  I spent 24 summers enjoying this back yard, taking in the brilliant blue sky and the shade from the beautiful maple trees over the back porch.  In high school, my friends would come over for a game of backyard volleyball, followed by some marshmallow roasting in my dad’s fire pit.  Through college and to the present day, we have a cookout here for just about every occasion.  We are cookout fanatics.

If you are heading to or hosting some cookouts this summer, here are some easy recipe suggestions!

Looking for a fun salsa?  Try Becky’s Mango-Jalepeno salsa…what a fun twist on a traditional staple!

Want something more substantial than chips for a side item with your burgers?  Rachel’s Cheesy Grilled Foil Potatoes will do the trick!

Like pasta salad but want something different?  Try our Summer Orzo Salad!

Need an easy, portable dessert?  Erin’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars are a great idea!

Happy Cookout Season!!

Summer Orzo Salad

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

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Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and that means it’s cookout season!  One of my favorite things to bring to a cookout is pasta salad, and with my recent obsession with orzo, I thought orzo would be a nice change from the typical corkscrew noodles that are usually used in pasta salads.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 lb orzo
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 of cubed mozzarella cheese
  • handful torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Recipe Instructions

Cook orzo according to package instructions.  In the meantime, cube up the mozzarella and halve the tomatoes, like this:

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

When orzo is cooked to al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.  Place cooked orzo in a large serving bowl and toss with basil, tomatoes, and cheese.  In a small bowl, mix red wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil and coat salad thoroughly with dressing.  Chill for at least two hours (overnight is best!) before serving.

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

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This pasta is light, refreshing, and so pretty to beat it all! I give this recipe 4/5 herbs!

Summer Orzo Salad
Author: Sister Spice
Ingredients
  • 1 lb orzo
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 of cubed mozzarella cheese
  • handful torn fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Mix red wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil in small bowl.
  3. Cube cheese, halve tomatoes, and tear basil.
  4. Drain and rinse pasta.
  5. Coat pasta with dressing.
  6. Add basil, tomatoes, and cheese.
  7. Chill at least two hours or overnight before serving.

Cranberry Blueberry Muffins

Cranberry Blueberry Muffin Recipe

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Ah, the muffin. Cherished food for breakfast, snacks, and dessert. I especially like to bake muffins when I’m baking for a crowd, like when I’m bringing food to share with my Sunday school class. Muffins don’t require utensils so that cleanup is easy, and they are already made for individual servings!

I’ve made these cranberry blueberry muffins a couple of times in both the regular and mini size. They are yummy and very simple!

Cranberry Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Cranberry Blueberry Muffins

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Recipe Directions

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and oil. Whisk the egg mixture into the dry mixture until smooth. Stir in the craisins and blueberries. Fill 12 muffin liners. Sprinkle the top with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes.

Cranberry Blueberry Muffins Recipe

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We give this recipe 4/5 herbs!

For those of you that are chocolate lovers, check out our Double Chocolate Muffins!

Cranberry Blueberry Muffins
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and oil.
  3. Whisk the egg mixture into the dry mixture until smooth.
  4. Stir in the craisins and blueberries.
  5. Fill 12 muffin liners. Sprinkle the top with sugar.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes.

 

Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

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This is a recipe that Herb and I use often. We love it because twice baked potatoes are so versatile – they are great made with a variety of ingredients from veggies to meats to cheeses. It’s easy to mix it up! Though broccoli cheese is usually what we use in our twice baked potatoes, we’ve also added red peppers, mushrooms, different cheeses (Parmesan is great), and even ground beef.

Twice baked potatoes are also pretty hearty! Though they are great as a side dish, most of the time we use them as “the main event”!

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Question: Do you like to eat the skins on your potatoes? Mr. Herb thinks this is the best part! If I leave any of my potato skin uneaten (which I usually do), Mr. Herb will gobble it right up! Weird!!! What do you think, readers? Do you like the potato skins? Would you go so far as to eat someone ELSE’S potato skin?!

Anyway, this recipe is very flexible as far as the ingredients go. Use whatever veggie/meat/cheese/seasoning combination appeals to you! As a rule of thumb, I’d say about 1/2 cup of “other” ingredients for every one baked potato, so for three potatoes, you’d use roughly 1.5 cups of your chosen ingredients (veggies, meat, cheese, etc).

Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium-sized baking potatoes
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli (other cooked vegetables would work as well!)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter and sour cream to garnish (optional)

Recipe Directions

Rub olive oil on potatoes and sprinkle salt over them. Bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

While potatoes are baking, cook 1 cup of broccoli (or vegetables of your choice) – we used steam-in-the-bag broccoli. Once potatoes are finished, take the baking sheet out of the oven and let them cool for several minutes. Then, cut the top 1/3 or so off your potato (or you could cut them in half!) A serrated blade works best to cut through the potatoes.

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

Then scoop out the potato from the skin and mash in a mixing bowl. I’ve found that an ice cream scoop works pretty well for scooping out the potato.

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

Once the potatoes are mashed, mix together with broccoli, about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Also add several tablespoons of milk, using your judgment for the consistency. Next, spoon the mixture back into your potato skins.

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

Sprinkle with additional cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve with butter, sour cream, or other potato toppings if desired!

Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe

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We give these spuds 4.5/5 herbs!

 

Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • •3-4 medium-sized baking potatoes
  • •2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
  • •1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheddar
  • •1 cup cooked broccoli (other cooked vegetables would work as well!)
  • •2-4 Tablespoons milk
  • •Salt and pepper to taste
  • •Butter and sour cream to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Rub olive oil on potatoes and sprinkle salt over them. Bake on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
  2. While potatoes are baking, cook 1 cup of broccoli (or vegetables of your choice) – we used steam-in-the-bag broccoli.
  3. Once potatoes are finished, take the baking sheet out of the oven and let them cool for several minutes. Then, cut the top 1/3 or so off your potato (or you could cut them in half!) A serrated blade works best to cut through the potatoes.
  4. Scoop out the potato from the skin and mash in a mixing bowl. Add broccoli, about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Also add several tablespoons of milk, using your judgment for the consistency.
  5. Spoon the mixture back into your potato skins. Sprinkle with additional cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve with butter, sour cream, or other potato toppings if desired!

 

Easy Crock Pot Queso

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This is another great go-to recipe for parties! This year we brought it to a Super Bowl party and a fun game night with friends.  It was a hit! We served this meaty queso with tortilla chips, but we also found ourselves dipping chicken tenders and other things in this because it’s so good!

Easy Crock Pot Queso

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 16 oz Velveeta
  • 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles (OR 2 cups salsa)

Recipe Directions

Brown the ground beef and drain. Add to the crock pot with the Velveeta and tomatoes. Cover and cook on low until melted (1-2 hours), stirring occasionally.

Easy Crock Pot Queso Recipe - Meaty Cheese Dip

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BONUS idea!

Herb and I served this dip over baked potatoes the next day for dinner. Loaded spuds! Yum!

We give this recipe 4.5/5 herbs. One of our favorite party foods for sure!

Easy Crock Pot Queso
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 16 oz Velveeta
  • 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles (OR 2 cups salsa)
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef and drain.
  2. Add to the crock pot with the Velveeta and tomatoes.
  3. Cover and cook on low until melted (1-2 hours), stirring occasionally.

 

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Pinit

Grab your slow cooker and prepare for some delicious, cheesy comfort food!

So here it is, March 5th, and we are potentially getting ready to see the most snow we’ve seen all winter here via Winter Storm Saturn! I must say, I’m ready for spring and warm weather, but I do loooooove me some snow, so I’m actually quite excited!

We’ve been wanting to make this crock pot macaroni for a while now, and we thought that the yucky weather today presented the perfect opportunity for one of America’s favorite comfort foods. We weren’t planning on photographing this recipe, but it was SO good that we knew we had to share it with you! Good thing we were able to snap a picture before we ate it all!

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni (can use shells/whatever pasta you want)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter

Recipe directions

Put all ingredients together in the crock pot, cover, and heat on high for 45 minutes. Stir everything well, and let it cook on low for about 2-3 hours.

This. Is. Delicious.

Herb and I may or may not have eaten the entire crock pot full of macaroni…. in one evening….

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Pinit

We give this recipe 4.5/5 herbs! Cheesy, gooey, goodness!

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni (can use shells/whatever pasta you want)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients together in the crock pot, cover, and heat on high for 45 minutes. Stir everything well, and let it cook on low for about 2-3 hours.

 

Cream of Chicken Substitute

Cream of Chicken Substitue Recipe

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I would love to have the time, money, and self-discipline to eat nothing but all natural, whole foods…but in reality, I just can’t do it. I try to get recommended organic food (especially meats, certain fruits, and dairy products) and my husband and I both think that checking ingredients is very important. If the ingredients are few and easy to pronounce, then we’re usually confident. Therefore, I have been getting a little weirded out by cream of ANYTHING soups.

Most of the recipes I use call for cream of chicken, and while popping open a can (an inexpensive one at that) can be so easy, I just wanted to see what my options were for cream of chicken substitutes. I found several recipes online, but decided to try Karly’s, of “Buns in my Oven”, because it looks quick and easy.
**Disclaimer** Her recipe claims it makes one can of soup, which should be about 8 oz, but in reality it made about half a cup.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste

cream of chicken ingredients

Recipe Directions:

Melt butter in saucepan, then whisk in flour until smooth and bubbly.  Then add milk and broth and continue to whisk.

Cream of Chicken Substitue Recipe

 

cream of chicken

 

cream of chicken

 

cream of chicken

Throw in some salt and pepper and keep whisking until thickened, then transfer into jar or dish.

cream of chicken

 

cream of chicken

 

cream of chicken

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Once it thickened and set up, it really looked just like cream of chicken soup from the can. I’ve used it in three different recipes, and haven’t been able to tell a difference. Ergo, I give this “recipe” 5/5 herbs!

Cream of Chicken Substitute
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in saucepan, then whisk in flour until smooth and bubbly.
  2. Then add milk and broth and continue to whisk.
  3. Throw in some salt and pepper and keep whisking until thickened, then transfer into jar or dish.

 

Shortcut Asian Green Beans

Shortcut Asian Green Beans Recipe

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Green beans are probably my favorite vegetable. I think I could eat them every day!
My Nana makes the best green beans, stringing them herself and then cooking them for hours with butter and bacon or ham. (Yes, I know – this is making a healthy vegetable rather unhealthy, but you can’t deny that they have amazing flavor!)
Most of the time, we just revert to canned green beans. I know, I know. They aren’t nearly as good as Nana’s. But I’m a working girl! I don’t want to take the time to string those beans myself and give them the tender care they need! So canned green beans will do in a pinch for us.
Then I found this fun variation on green beans and decided to try it. It’s a bit unusual, but we love it! AND it’s super quick and easy! All you do is throw 5 ingredients in a pot and heat them up! We like to serve these with our Coconut Pecan Chicken.

Shortcut Oriental Green Beans

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 can of green beans, mostly drained (leave about 2 tablespoons of liquid)
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (we used crunchy, but creamy would be fine!)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Shortcut Asian Green Beans

Recipe Directions

Add all the ingredients to a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. That’s it! No. Seriously. That’s all!

Shortcut Asian Green Beans

Shortcut Asian Green Beans

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These green beans may never rival Nana’s tender, home-cooked delicacies, but you can’t beat it for a super fast and unique green bean side dish!

Shortcut Asian Green Beans

We give this recipe 4 out of 5 herbs.

Anyone else have a favorite vegetable short-cut???

Shortcut Asian Green Beans
Author: Mrs. Herb
Ingredients
  • 1 can of green beans, mostly drained (leave about 2 tablespoons of liquid)
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (we used crunchy, but creamy would be fine!)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. That’s it!

 

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