Monday, November 23, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

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My November New Year’s Resolution goes to dates. I’m sure I’ve tasted one of these before, but honestly I don’t remember. Usually you see some of these dried dates on cheese platters. I really enjoyed the sweetness, but the added goat cheese cuts through it and you can’t go wrong with bacon. I did however like it better just stuffed with goat cheese, but presentation wise I liked the baked bacon wrapped ones. These are easy to prep ahead of time and freeze so you can pop them in the oven for guest over the holidays.

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Bacon Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

(Adapted from betsylife)

Makes 30


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30 Pitted dates

4 ounces goat cheese

12 ounce package of bacon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


Carefully cut a slit in as many dates as you're preparing. Stuff each date with goat cheese. Do not overstuff or the cheese will melt out in the oven.


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Slice bacon strips into thirds. Wrap each stuffed date with ⅓ strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick.


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Place prepared dates on a baking sheet lined with foil then topped with parchment. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through until bacon is crispy.


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Remove from oven and place on a paper towel for 2 minutes to absorb excess grease.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Sweet, Sticky, and Spicy Brussel Sprouts

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I’ve been on a brussels sprout kick lately and I really like these I found at Target.

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I just trim them and chop in half then ready for the recipe. This one we really liked with a hint of spice and the char flavor, I will make them over and over again!

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Sweet, Sticky, and Spicy Brussel Sprouts

(Adapted from Celeste Cooks)


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1 lb fresh Brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and  sliced in half

1 Tablespoon fresh ginger   

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

1 Tablespoon light cooking oil   

2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce

A few red pepper flakes

Black and white Sesame seeds

¼ cup chicken broth or white wine

1/4 cup honey


In a large sauté pan, over medium to medium high heat, add both sesame and light oils with the grated ginger and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  (Can also add black pepper here).


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Once oils are heated and ginger starts to bubble add brussel sprouts.


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Shake pan to distribute brussel sprouts and add soy sauce.


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Cook for about 10 minutes, once brussel sprouts begin to caramelize (turn a golden brown) you can deglaze the pan with your broth or white wine…just need a splash.


Cook another 2-3 minutes,

shaking pan a few times.


Add honey and a few sprinkle of sesame seeds, cook another 2-3 minutes or until brussel sprouts are tender and taste good.


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You can add more soy sauce, honey or red pepper flake prior to serving. 

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Refreshing Seared Tuna Salad

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With the holiday season right around the corner we like to try and squeeze in some filling yet lighter dishes for dinner. Hubby and I both loved this dish! It’s also easy to toss together on a busy night. 

Tuna Salad

(Adapted from Ina Garten)


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2 pounds very fresh tuna steak, cut 1” thick

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grated zest of 2 limes

1 teaspoon wasabi powder

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)

2 teaspoons soy sauce

10 dashes Tabasco sauce

2 firm, ripe Hass avocados, large diced

1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)

¼ cup red onion, small diced


Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I also added sesame seeds. Place the tuna steaks in a very hot sauté pan and cook for only one minute on each side. Set aside on a platter.


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Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime zest, wasabi, lime juice, soy sauce and Tabasco. Add the avocados to the vinaigrette.


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Cut the tuna in chunks and place it in a large bowl. Add the scallions and red onion and mix well. Pour the vinaigrette mixture over the tuna and carefully mix.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Salt Dough



Now is the time to start cranking out those Christmas craft gifts before you are left with no time at all. It’s a great project for the kids to kill some time over that long Thanksgiving break coming up.

I happened to make this one back in May while I had one of Travis’ friends over for the day. Boys where totally not into it, but I know as a proud momma I appreciated the end result as did his mom, so it’s all worth it! I think I may do one of these every year to look back on how big he’s grown over the years. Best of all it doesn’t make a mess! The recipe below made enough for 2 toddler hands. Also mine too way longer to bake and dry out, but I think that is because I didn’t roll it out as thin.

I think over Thanksgiving I’ll take Travis out exploring and maybe make one using stick, leaf, nature impressions. Maybe then he’ll be a little more excited about it since he’s such a boy!

Salt Dough

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup (give or take) water


Knead until dough forms. Make impression. Bake at 200 degrees F.  for 3 hours.



Friday, November 13, 2015

Slow Cooker Stuffing

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When it comes to stuffing I’m honestly pretty picky. I like my mom’s (she just makes Stovetop), my mother in law (from scratch that she makes every Christmas) and that’s about it. I’ll make some for my hubby which he really loves the cornbread one I make (click HERE for the recipe), but for me I’m just not a fan of all the recipes. I am however branching out and giving some recipes a shot and I have to say this one really grabbed me. Not only can it be done in the crockpot, but it’s packed full of flavor! I’ll probably be making this year round!

I make this actually the day before and had it ready to bake in the crockpot the next day. You could probably do it 2 days in advance, which doesn’t sound too advanced unless you have 50 things you need to make. I didn’t have any issues with it drying out either, but you can just have everything ready in advance and mix right before you cook it, if it weird’s you out, or like me you just don’t have extra fridge space for a crockpot size dish.

Slow Cooker Stuffing

(Adapted from No. 2 Pencil)


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2 tablespoons of olive oil       

1 medium onion, diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

1 pound of sausage

1 teaspoon of salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of fresh sage, minced

2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary, minced

2 tablespoons of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 large golden delicious apple, cored and diced

3/4 cups of dried cranberries

2 cups of turkey or chicken stock

6 cups of dry, unseasoned bread cubes

4 tablespoons of melted butter


Sauté onions and celery in olive oil over medium heat, until they start to soften.


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Add sausage, breaking up as it cooks.


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Season sausage with 1 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


Once sausage is cooked through, stir in fresh herbs.


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Stir in apples and cranberries.


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In a large slow cooker, combine breadcrumbs and sausage mixture. I used a large bowl to stir easier than transferred to the crockpot.


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Stir in turkey stock and melted butter.


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Cook on low for about 4 hours.


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Sprinkle with additional fresh parsley.

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