Friday, January 30, 2015

Hot Crab Dip

One of the first cookbooks I bought when I moved out of my parent's house and left for college was Betty Crocker's Big Red Cookbook.  Just like I do now, I took that book home, sat down and started reading every single page and marking my favorite recipes that I just had to try.  That cookbook was my Bible in the kitchen and I prepared countless meals from those pages.

One of my many favorites from the class book was a dip.  A simple dip that was so easy to make but so incredibly delicious.  For the better part of  a year it was the most requested recipe I made.
Hot crab dip.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seven Layer Dip

I've said it before and I'll say it again, my love for Mexican food runs deep.  I could honestly eat it every single day and never get sick of it.  Salsa. Cheese dip. Fajitas. Pico de gallo.  The list goes on and on.  I love it.

Another favorite of mine, is a Mexican inspired classic.  The infamous seven layer dip.  This dips is so incredibly simple, yet so amazing.  Seven (sometimes mores) simple and basic ingredients come together in a beautifully layered dip that is very addicting.  

I don't remember the first time I made this dip.  It was probably when Spencer and I were entertaining some friends.  I do, however, remembered that the dipped disappeared within minutes and from that moment on became a  staple at every gathering we hosted or attended.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DB: Esterhazy Torte

For the month of January Jelena from A Kingdom for a Cake invited us to start this year with a dreamy celebration cake. She challenged us to make the Esterhazy cake a.k.a the Hungarian dream. What better way to start the year than with a sweet dream?

What are your dreams made of?  According to Sleeping Beauty, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes When You're Fast Asleep!  And now I can't get that song out of my head.

Anyway, sometimes I do dream about food.  Maybe that sounds weird to you, but I love food.  I love eating it.  I love making it.  I love dreaming up recipes.  I love all types of food, but I do have a special place in my for desserts.

Monday, January 26, 2015

SRC: Homemade Peanut Butter

I have made my own peanut butter once.  That one time I made it, it was actually so it could be incorporated into another recipe.  It was for a pie crust, a peanut butter pie crust to be exact.  Of course, after making it I had to sample it.  I was beyond impressed.   Not only with the taste but with how incredibly simple it was to make.  I mean it came together in literally seconds.

I guess in the back of my mind I knew it couldn't be that hard since I pass those "homemade peanut butter" machines in the market.  I'm assuming if it was very complicated they wouldn't even give you the option to make your own.  Now I ask myself,  if it was so easy, then why haven't I made my own for my peanut butter loving son and husband since that very first time?  To that, I don't really have an answer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Grilled Ham and Cheese on Brioche with Brussels Sprout Slaw

Up until about a week and a half ago my fridge was a hodge podge of leftovers.  The foods in there varied from our New Year's and Christmas meals.  Before you get alarmed, we just recently concluded all of our holiday we haven't been noshing on month old leftovers.

You know, there are only so many times I can repeat the basic Christmas and New Year's meal before it's time to change things up.  I've used some of the sweet potato casserole to make my sweet potato brown sugar bars.  I've used ham and turkey in omelets, casseroles and and various other dishes.  I've gotten pretty creative over the past month and a half.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Brussels Sprout Slaw

Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that always have and still do get a bad wrap.  It seems like most people cringe at the thought, let alone the sound of the poor little vegetable.  They are truly a under appreciated and vegetable that isn't eaten enough.  I think cabbage is a close second.

In our home, the meager sprout feels big love.  Sprouts are actually one of my favorite veggies and a staple that I love to always have on hand.  There's so much you can do with them; roast, steam, saute, baked dishes and they even make perfect bases for salads and slaws.  The options are endless.

Let's focus on the slaw for a second.  Are you a fan of coleslaw?  Well, I've long been a lover of coleslaw.  Homemade, from a restaurant, or spruced-up store bought stuff. I've never been the kind to turn down coleslaw when it's available.  It is a perfect side on those spring and summer days and it's just light and refreshing.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Brown Sugar Potato Chip Cookies with Snickers Topping- A.K.A BFF Cookies

How many of you still have your childhood best friend in your life?  You know, that person who you spent every waking moment together and every weekend together whether it was at their house or yours?  That person who knows everything about you...yes, the good, the bad and the ugly, and they still love you and want to be your friend.  You know the person I'm talking about.

Well, fortunately I'm one of those people who has that person in their life and to this day we are still best friends.  We may not talk every. single. morning like we used to before school.  We may even go weeks or months without talking, but we can pick up the phone or see each other and pick up right where we left off.

Gosh, I think back to our childhood there are so many memories.  From fishing, riding 4-wheelers, cheering, playing at deer camp, rousing games of hide and go scare, and so many other things.  We enjoyed every single moment of our childhood.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Baked potatoes are one of my favorite foods.  Give me a hot potato with a dab of butter and sour cream and I'm good to go.  But, let me loose at a potato bar and I'm going to pile it all on.  Butter, sour cream, green onions, cheese, bacon and sometime even a schmear of ranch.  But, that's when I really want to indulge, since I know that's not the healthiest of meals.

My love for loading up those fluffy spuds doesn't stop with just the baked potato.  It goes to loaded potato skins, twice baked potatoes, loaded mashed potatoes, even indulging in a bowl of loaded baked potato soup...topped with a little extra bacon, of course!

So, since we're gearing up for the first foodie holiday of the year I started thinking about the infamous tailgate recipes that we just couldn't live without on the big day.  Of course there's wings, meatballs, sausage cream cheese dip, cheese dip, and the list goes on and on.  Another menu item that's a must is baked potato skins.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread

Typically, when I think of monkey bread my mind instantly goes to the sweet, breakfast-y version. The kind that has been rolled in cinnamon sugar, baked and comes out of the pan with a sticky, gooey coating.  You know the kind I'm talking about and it's amazing.

Since that classic, first batch of monkey bread I've been addicted to the stuff and making various other versions ever since.  But, I have yet to make a savory version...until now.

I know there are countless ingredients that would be a great addition to a little ball of dough, but there is one thing in particular that screams at me.  Pepperoni.  And cheese.  The idea of pepperoni and cheese stuffed in little pillows of bread and rolled in garlic butter sounds amazing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hawaiian Roll Ham and Cheese Sliders- A.K.A. Crack Sandwiches

If you're anything like I was when I first heard "ham and cheese sliders" you're thinking , really?  How good could these really be?  Is there really something that special about a ham and cheese sandwich and does it really constitute an instruction recipe post.  I was a skeptic too.  When I heard that's what was on the menu for a gathering I was less than ecstatic.  But, all that changed with the first bite.  There is a reason they are known as crack sandwiches.

It only took one bite to get me hooked and immediately ask for the recipe.  You see, this isn't just any ham and cheese sandwich.  It's not simply two pieces of bread, a little mayo or mustard, some ham and cheese.  While the humble ham and cheese is the base for this ever so familiar recipe, there is actually so much more to this little sandwich.

We're all addicted to Hawaiian bread, am I right?  What is it that's so incredibly addicting about that fluffy, light bread that has a touch of sweetness?  Well, those amazing little rolls are the bread for these addicting little sandwiches.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fudgy Bacon Toffee Brownies

Brownies.  What can I say about brownies.  Other than I absolutely love them.  I'm obsessed.  And the more gooey and fudgy the better.  You know I'm a sucker for them, and I'm perfectly content with just a good ol' basic, fudgy brownie.  But sometimes, just sometimes, a little something needs to be added to the mix.

But, with Super Bowl XLIX right around the corner it's time to start thinking about the big game day menu.  I think the commercials and food are just as important as the big game.  So, no Super Bowl party would be complete without some delicious, over-the-top game day eats.

So while brownies are amazing, and are definitely at the top of my favorite desserts list, just the basic brownie won't do for one of the biggest food days of the year.  It needs to be bulked up and intensified a bit to hold it's own on the game day spread.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cannoli Cheeseball

I've always been infatuated with cannolis.  There's something about that fried pastry dough that's rolled into a log and filled with that creamy filling.  Andy my favorite version is capped off mini chocolate chips.  It's a perfect dessert; crunchy, creamy, with a hint of chocolate.  It's not too heavy or too sweet; it's the perfect balance.

While I would love to take the challenge of making cannolis at home, I just haven't found the time.  it's not that it would be hard, but I know my little helper would want to be there every step of the way and I just don't want to risk him getting burned.  So, the traditional cannolis will go on the infamous waiting list.

In the meantime, this cannoli cheese ball will definitely tied me over.  And, it's a perfect recipe for my little guy to help me with.  Not to mention it comes together fairly quickly, it's no bake, portable making it ideal to take to parties or gatherings, and it's incredibly addicting. Oh, and it's a cheeseball...and let's face it, who doesn't like a cheeseball?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 Year in Review: My Favorites

The other day I posted the Reader's Choice for 2014.  Let me tell ya, we were pretty much on the same page with our tastes in 2014.  I think we all had a bit of a sweet tooth throughout the entire year..which I have no problem with at all!  There were, however, a few of my favorites that didn't quite make the cut for reader's choice, so I wanted to take a minute and reflect upon a few of my favorites from 2014. we go!

The mother of all cookies; brown sugar bacon cookies.  This was by far my favorite recipe of 2014, and to this date still the most requested by my family and friends.  It hits all the flavor notes; sweet, salty, nutty and chocolaty and it's all packed in a perfectly thick, chewy cookie.

Two of my favorite things found their way together in this recipe.  Fudgy brownies topped with cookie dough frosting.  Folks, if you missed out on this recipe in 2014 don't make the same mistake in 2015, head in the kitchen and make these cookie dough brownies.

There isn't a week that goes by that we don't have at least one pizza night.  9 times out of 10 I like to make my own pizza; sometimes I enjoy playing around with various topping combinations, while others I keep it simple and traditional.  But, one thing is for certain, you have to have a basic, fool-proof dough recipe.  Thanks to Lauren of Lauren's Latest, I've found mine {and my families} new favorite dough and cheese stick recipes; fail-proof pizza dough and cheesy garlic bread.

I can't tell you how many times I enjoyed this mocha-nut frappuccino; all the deliciousness of a coffee house but half the cost and all in the comfort of your own home.

Pound cakes are one of my favorite desserts. They are a classic.  I love a basic pound cake, but I also enjoy playing with different flavor combinations.  One of my favorites of 2014 is this orange blueberry pound cake with orange glaze.  It's a perfectly moist cake that is sweet with hints of tang from the orange, the orange glaze is the perfect compliment that really brings it all together.

Along with pizza night, wing night is another regular occurrence in house.  We have a favorite wing restaurant, but there are times where we just want to stay in and make our own at home.  This year, I got a little more comfortable with the process, and perfect the baking least to our liking.  The chicken remains moist and tender, the skin has a nice crispy, then the chicken is ready to be tossed in your favorite sauce.  These sticky honey soy baked wings are sweet, salty and perfectly crispy.  One of our must makes on wing night!

I love a basic cinnamon roll.  What's not to love about fluffy, sweet dough that's stuffed with a cinnamon sugar mixture?  But, add roasted bananas to the mix?  Well, why not.  These roasted banana cinnamon rolls became an instant favorite.

Salted caramel is an obsession of mine, to say the least  So adding it to one of my favorite fall drinks seemed like a no-brainer.  I can't tell you how much I'm obsessed with this salted caramel apple cider.
Southern sweet tea and bourbon cocktails, the best way to unwind on a hot summer day.  I can't tell you how many times we sipped on these cocktails throughout the warmer months.  They are so good and incredibly easy to make.

I love soup during the winter months.  Even better if it's easy and super quick to throw together, but tastes like it's been simmering all day.  Well, such is the case with this white bean soup.  A thick, creamy soup packed with tender white beans and juicy chicken.  Serve with some toasted garlic bread and it's a complete and satisfying meal.

I had several more favorites, but figured it would be best for all of us if I stopped with 10...otherwise I may set a record for the longest, single blog post!  I had so much fun trying and creating new recipes this year.  I am so excited to see what delicious eats and treats 2015 holds.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Creamy, Quick Shells and Cheese

What do you want to eat?  A question that we think to ourselves or ask others every. single. day.  There are an infinite amount of responses that can follow that simple question.  At my house, I can guarantee I will hear "macaroni and cheese" at least 5 to 6 times a week.

What is it that is so intoxicating about shells covered in gooey, creamy cheese?  The addiction starts when we're kids and never goes away.  It quickly goes from a quick, easy meal that your mom could through together in no-time to a comfort food and best friend for years to come.

Mac and cheese is one of those foods that's always there for you, no matter what goes on in your life. Whether it's just needing to take a time out and reflect on the simpler times (like childhood) or overcoming something not so great that happened that day.  Had a bad day at work?  Trouble in a relationship? Kiddos not listening to you?  Smooth it over and settle down with a big helping of macaroni and cheese.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Year in Review: Reader's Choice

2014.  What a year it's been.  I embarked on a new, and somewhat unplanned, adventure.  In January of 2014 I left my 8:00-5:00 job to enjoy what little time I had left to stay at home with Tucker.  It was a fun-filled, blur of a year with all sorts of firsts...mostly for my little guy.  

I have to say, when I left my job I had no idea what to expect.  I knew it wouldn't be a life of leisure, posted up on the couch eating bon bons.  Contrary to what many people picture when they think of stay-at-home moms.  We've done a little homeschooling, mini vacations with my mom and been able to take advantage of many opportunities we wouldn't have had the option to do otherwise. 

I can say, one thing I expected was to be able to have a little more time to focus on the blog.  Since I wasn't working Monday through Friday, I thought I could focus on a little more on recipe development, taking pictures in actual daylight and getting ahead on my posts for all you guys.  Well, I have to say, most of that didn't become a reality.  Although I have been able to spend more time in the kitchen, it's been more bonding with Tucker over baking cookies than actual recipe development...which I'll definitely take!  

So, I have to say a big "Thank You" to all of you.  Thank you for staying with me through my time of transition, through a few months of sporadic posting and the occasional MIA's on social media.  You've all been great and stuck by me through it all and for that I'm forever grateful.  So, without further adieu, here are your top 10 most viewed recipes of 2014.  I'm going to try to be better in 2015!

These chewy brown butter gingersnaps were posted less than a month ago and have already taken the top spot for your favorite recipe of 2014.  My beliefs are true, brown butter truly does make a good think great!

 I think we all agree about the trusty slow cooker.  It's definitely a busy person's best friend.  From soups, stews, roasts and much more, it cuts our work in half.  Who knew that the filling for chicken fajitas could be thrown in a slow cooker before walking out the door and cooked to perfection by the time you came home?  These slow cooker fajitas yield perfectly moist and tender chicken that shreds so easily.  All you have to do is put it in a tortilla and enjoy.

I love making bread, so I'm very glad you enjoy a)making it too, b) reading about it, or c) looking at pictures of it...or all of the above.  I am in love with this Sally Lunn batter bread; it's fluffy, butter and slightly sweet.  Everything I look for in bread.  

A "best of" round-up wouldn't be complete without at least one cocktail, and you all were instantly drawn to this pomegranate cranberry fizz.  What's not to love; a little pomegranate blueberry sherbet, cranberry lemonade, vodka and a little soda water for some fizz.  A fun drink for any occasion. 

I made this blueberry lemonade for my son since he's a sucker for lemonade.  He polished off the whole pitcher in under two days.  Like my little guy, you too were hooked on this stuff.  I don't blame you, it's the perfect amount of tart and sweet and the ideal drink on a hot day.

You all may remember peanut butter week, a full week of deliciously decadent recipes that featured peanut butter as the start.  Peanut butter week was also the week we bid farewell to Matt Mosler on KARK 4.  You all, just like Matt, have a passion for peanut butter and this peanut butter caramel skillet cookie soared to the top of the favorites. 

An instant favorite was my Carrot cake monkey bread.  I'm a sucker for carrot cake, as well as monkey bread.  I fused the two together to make the ultimate breakfast treat that could also double as a dessert.

 When I tasted these pineapple chorizo tacos from a local Mexican restaurant, Local Lime, it was love at first bite.  After enjoying these countless times at the restaurant, I knew it was time to recreate them at home.  These didn't disappoint, and you all shared my love for these.

Blueberry lemon funny cake.  Funny cake, gooey butter cake.  Whatever you call it, this takes that classic and adds a refreshing burst of citrus that pairs perfectly with those sweet blueberries.  

Thanks for all your support throughout the year.  I appreciate each and everyone of you.  I can't wait to see what 2015 holds.  Stay tune for a post with my top picks of 2014.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

It's January 1, 2015  It's hard to believe another year has already come and gone.  It seems with each passing year, the time goes by just a little faster than the year before.  A saying I heard throughout my whole childhood, but didn't really take to heart until now.  It truly seems like yesterday we were ringing in 2014.

2014 was a year packed with so much, looking back it seems like it was a complete blur.  From leaving my full-time job to becoming a stay at home mom and spending tons of quality time with my little man.  Starting something so new was definitely a leap of faith but something I would trade for the world.  We have been able to go to Charlotte and see so many things and enjoy some terrific food, Tucker took his first plain ride, weekly (sometimes multiple weekly) trips to Magic Springs and tons of fun in the sun.  Summer cookouts, various other travels and the icing on the cake was our mid November cruise to the Keys and Bahamas.

It has been a fun-packed year with so many incredible memories that we will forever hold close.  As we bid farewell to 2014, I'm sad to see it go but I'm so excited for 2015.  I can't wait to see what it has in store.

As we embark on 2015, I've started thinking about some goals and changes for Lynsey Lou's.

I want to incorporate more persona posts.  From time to time I give little snip-its of whats going on in our lives, but I'd like to give you more.  While the blog is a big part of my life, there's so much more that goes on.  So I want to give you all a glimpse into what else goes on behind the scenes.

I've tried to post consistently through the year, but let's face it.  Life happens and well, sometimes even our best intentions don't actually become reality.  I am going to try to keep up my posts, facebook updates, be more active on twitter and instagram.

I also want to try to focus on more Lynsey Lou original recipes.  Folks, I'm constantly in the kitchen playing with recipes but it seems like only a small portion of those ever make in on the ol' blog.  So, as we start a new year, one of my major goals is to get more of those recipes into your hands!

I know it's only a few goals, but I want to keep it maintainable.  But, that's my thoughts for the year.  Do any of you lovely readers haven any suggestions or anything you want to see on the blog?

I hope you all had a wonderful time ringing in the new year and are having a blast the first day of this year.  If you haven't already, be sure to eat those black eyed peas and greens for a rich and prosporous new year!

Thanks again for all your support and dedication to Lynsey Lou's over the past year!  I look forward to another wonderful year!
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