Friday, July 8, 2011

July 8, 2011

Wow...time is flying by! We've already been out here visiting my family for 2 weeks. You know how it is with spend forever planning for and waiting for the time to arrive, and then before you know it, you blink and it is nearly over and behind you!

My sister asked me a while back if while I was in could I watch her three boys while she and her husband worked two days. Tuesday this week was one of the days, and it was a busy day with 6 kids under the age of 10! We had a great day, and even found time to cook dinner and dessert. So...don't complain you don't have the time, or can't cook with the kids underfoot. Recruit them to help you - everyone will win! The 4 big kids took turns helping me make meatballs and sauce for chicken Parmesan meatball subs (remember that recipe from a while back?), and then we tried out a new one - thin French apple tart! After taking them for a walk, then over to the beach, we had lunch and put the babies down for a nap and got cooking.

11 of us had dinner that night, and everyone gave the complete meal two big thumbs up. Even my oldest, who is convinced she hates apple pie, tried it (because she helped make it) and loved it! She told my brother in law it was delicious - high praise indeed! During dessert my 2 year old nephew turned to us and said "I like this pizza", and thus, the French Apple Tart was renamed Apple Pizza. I would definitely be comfortable serving this EASY dessert to company.

And of course, it was 4th of July!!!! We had a couple of great appetizers, two of which were major keepers. The funniest thing is that given the ingredient lists, I would never have independently made either of these dishes. But, take my word for it, both the salsa and the dip were scrumptious!!!!

Hard to believe that next week I will be cooking in my own kitchen again. It always amazes me that time really does fly by...

New Recipes
Apple Pizza
I Can't Believe I Love This Buffalo Chicken Dip
Corn Avocado Salsa

Corn Avocado salsa


* 1 can black beans, drained
* 1 can shoepeg corn (I have used white corn, or mixed white and yellow)
* 1 red pepper
* ½ cup red onion
* 1 cup cilantro
* 2 avocados, cut into small chunks
* ½ cup 7 Seas Italian salad dressing


Chop and dump it all together, mix, and serve with tortilla chips.

Seriously...couldn't be easier!

I Can't Believe I Love This Buffalo Chicken Dip


* 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
* 1/2 cup Frank's RedHot Sauce
* 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
* 2 to 3 cups chicken or turkey, chopped well
* 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions (optional)


1. Heat oven to 350°F.
2. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.
3. Mix in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken/turkey.
4. Bake 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir.
5. If desired, garnish with green onions. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or vegetables.

We had leftover turkey breast from a previous meal, and used that instead of chicken and it was a hit! We used blue cheese dressing and a mixture of mozzarella and blue cheese crumbles. I don't like blue cheese, but I have to admit it, I loved this dip!

Apple Pizza


* 1 refrigerated pie crust
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3 to 4 baking apples (Golden Delicious, Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
* 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Thaw dough according to package. When ready, roll out and place on a pizza stone.
3. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar mixture over dough.
4. Arrange apple slices on top of dough, working from outside edge of dough to the center. Sprinkle apple slices with remaining sugar mixture.
5. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes.
6. Combine honey and vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high 40 seconds. Brush honey mixture over warm tart. Serve warm or room temperature.


This is a thin apple tart. We changed the name to Apple Pizza because the kids all just picked up their slices and ate it without a fork like a slice of pizza! We used Granny Smith apples. The tart looked a little dry when it came out of the oven, but it wasn't, and after brushing the honey vanilla over the apples and crust, it looked beautiful! Everyone, kids and adults alike, enjoyed this light dessert.