really good recipes

6 delicious dips to make in your slow cooker

January 26, 2015
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Fix it and forget it…sounds like my kind of recipe! All of these mouthwatering, tasty dips are just that–basically combining all your ingredients into your slow cooker, mixing, then walking away.

slow cooker dips

Whether you’re throwing a party for the big game or just having a few friends over, we think these amazing appetizers will impress your guests (with very little work involved)!

You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of toasted crusty bread if you decide to whip up this Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Dip. Head over to Cooking and Beer if you’d like to also find out what beers pair up perfectly with Justine’s dip.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip–have your ever enjoyed this at your favorite restaurant and thought, “I wish I could make this at home”? Well, now you can! Check out Tina’s recipe on Just Putzing Around The Kitchen.

If you’re looking to spice it up a little, check out Sarah’s recipe for 7-layer Bean Dip on her blog-The Magical Slow Cooker. This dish requires a little extra prep work (browning the meat), but just looking at this photo it appears to be well worth the effort.

Cris explains that her recipe has three things going for it….bacon, cheese, and more cheese! If her Bacon Double Cheese Dip looks like something you’d like to try, take a trip over to her blog Recipes That Crock where you can get the whole scoop.

Move over store bought onion dip–and make way for this Crock Pot Creamy Onion Dip. It takes only 2 hours of cook time in your slow cooker to make this crowd pleaser.

Tammilee makes a good point…if you’re having guests over, making your food ahead of time makes sense so that when your guests start to arrive you can actually spend time with them and enjoy the party instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Here’s her timesaver: Crock Pot Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip.

Like appetizers that taste great and are easy to make?  We love finding & sharing fun treats. Don’t miss out on our future finds… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

7 healthy appetizers that your guests will love

December 27, 2014
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Need to get an early start to your resolution?  Delicious doesn’t have to mean loads of calories or fat.

healthy appetizer recipes

If you’re looking for a way to lighten up the menu, get the party started with few of these a few of these amazing appetizers that we found on the web from some creative cooks…

The Spinach and Bacon Deviled Egg recipe courtesy of Emily on the Healthy Seasonal Recipes blog replaces mayo with greek yogurt and lots of other unique ingredients. She put a very flavorful spin on a family classic.

You may have to hold everyone back from digging into the Zucchini Carpaccio once it hits the table.  It’s not only delish, but a true feast for the eyes. Find the full recipe on DishTales.

If you take a trip over to Mason Jar Salads, Spinach Broccoli Bites is just one of the healthy and tempting dishes that you’ll find. These bite-size portions are great for kids!

Head over to Peas & Crayons to find out how to turn a pepper into an instant appetizer….these Healthy Humus Stuffed Peppers are a nice crunchy way to add nutrition to your menu.

You’ve probably enjoyed this tasty dip at a restaurant, but now you can learn how to make a slimmed down version by following Monica’s recipe for a Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip here.

The Cucumber Cream Cheese Tomato Bites from Kara’s Party Ideas can be made in just minutes (these look pretty impressive…and don’t worry, we won’t spill your secret)!

And lastly, a plate that’s full of flavor and packs a lot of punch. Tempt any appetite with these Sweet Potato BBQ Nachos! You can change up the toppings as you wish, but Brita used shredded chicken, cheese and tons of veggies.

Like appetizers that taste great and won’t make you feel guilty?  We love finding & sharing fun treats. Don’t miss out on our future finds… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

6 mocha recipes to warm your heart and soul

November 29, 2014
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Looking for a quick pick-me-up? A delicious mocha fits the bills whether it’s your morning starter or a nice indulgence in the afternoon. There are quite a few variations on this classic drink.

mocha

Now you can skip the coffee shop once in a while and try a few of these at home thanks to these fellow bloggers…

If you love the combination of salty and sweet flavors, check out Carissa’s recipe for a Salted Caramel Mocha on her blog-Pretty Hungry. The added saltreally brings out the flavor of the other ingredients.

Calling all coconut lovers! Sandra from Sandra’s Easy Cooking used coconut oil to create her Coconut Mocha Latte. It’s sure to be a real treat for your tastebuds.

mocha Make way for this rich and velvety Creamy Triple Chocolate Mocha created by Alexandra of A Bright Eyed Baker. She includes directions for fresh whipped cream which really take this drink over the top!

Looking for low-carb or gluten free? Then head over to All Day I Dream About Food to get the scoop on how to make this Low Carb Raspberry Truffle Mocha. It will warm you right down to your toes!

Here’s one for the grown-ups…Evan from The WannaBe Chef combined Irish Cream and Amaretto to create this Hot Amaretto Mocha. You can also make a non-alcoholic version using coffee creamer along with a splash for almond extract for the younger crowd.

My favorite flavor of the season is peppermint, so no mocha recipe post would be complete without a mention of mint. Kimberly from A Night Owl Blog explains how to whip up her version here. (And don’t forget to sprinkle the crushed peppermint on top!)

Like playing barista at home and saving some dough?  We love finding & sharing fun treats. Don’t miss out on our future finds… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

6 superb turkey sandwich recipes

November 24, 2014
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There’s a lot of buildup  leading up to the big Thanksgiving meal, but I must admit…my favorite part of the whole holiday are the leftovers. In the days that follow, being able to open the fridge and graze through the delicious dishes that aren’t normally there  is a real treat!

turkey sandwich recipes

Here are a few scrumptious ways to turn that leftover turkey into a great lunch or dinner…

“Fall in a bite”…that’s how Gina from Running to the Kitchen describes her Turkey Cheddar Apple Butter Panini. The super melty cheese is a delicious contrast to the crispy crunch of the apples and bread.

Check out Leah’s creative use of ingredients in her Double Decker Apricot Turkey Sandwich. She incorporates cream cheese which keeps this amazing sandwich in the low calorie range. You’ll find the full recipe on her blog, So How’s it Taste?

Turn that leftover turkey into a warm sandwich with an Italian flavor! Click here to get the tempting recipe for a Turkey Pesto Panini–courtesy of Vicky from the Avocado Pesto Blog,

If you prefer wraps over sandwiches, then this Turkey Hummus Spinach wrap is right up your alley. The spicy red pepper hummus gives this satisfying meal an extra kick of flavor. Head over to My San Francisco Kitchen to get the full recipe.

Here’s another great sandwich that has an amazing explosion of flavors. Brandie from Home Cooking Memories created her Cranberry and Pecan Turkey Panini with Bacon Spread starting with a base of turkey salad–then added cranberries and pecans to complement the flavors.

Only 250 calories? We know it’s hard to believe but that’s the calorie count on this mouthwatering Turkey and Tomato Panini that Rachael shares on her blog, Spache the Spatula. Fresh basil and parmigiano reggiano make this a sandwich you won’t soon forget!

Like to give your leftovers a new life?  We love finding & sharing fun treats. Don’t miss out on our future finds… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

how to turn a bottle of beer into an amazing appetizer

November 18, 2014
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That bottle of brew sitting in your fridge isn’t just good for drinking. Beer can add lots of flavor to a recipe.

beer recipes

So, just in time for Turkey Day weekend – here are a few delicious recipes to serve up while everyone is watching football.

These Beer BBQ Meatballs that we found on Sweet & Savory by Shinee are sure to be a hit. Check out her recipe which includes complete instructions on making her homemade meatballs.

If you’re up for enjoying “little slices of heaven”, then head over to The Cottage Market-where you’ll find the recipe for Beer Battered Fried Pickles with Sriracha Dipping Sauce.  Andrea describes this treat as hot and spicy with just the perfect crunch.

Cheese and bread…my two favorite food groups : )  If you’re also feeling the love, then this Beer Dip from Try Anything Once has your name written all over it. Another reason to love it…any leftovers make a great sandwich spread.

You can start these Guiness Braised Short Rib and Cheddar Sliders a day ahead of time, then just heat and assemble them with the finishing touches before you serve them up.  Mary Kay from Homemade Cravings adapted this recipe for the slow cooker, but says you can also create this delightful dish on the stovetop using the low setting.

If you’re a fan of the cheesy bread at your local pizza place, then you’ll definitely want to try Tessa’s recipe for Cheesy Garlic Beer Breadsticks on Handle the Heat. Her take on this appetizer?–“The beer flavor is subtle yet when paired with garlic and cheese it is heaven on your tongue”.

The recipe for this Beer Caramelized Onion & Artichoke Dip was inspired by Cassie’s new paint color for her kitchen walls: Caramelized Onion. Find the full recipe on her blog, Bake Your Day.

beer

If buffalo wings aren’t your thing, give these Chili Lime Beer Chicken Wings a try.  Jackie from The Beeroness certifies this tasty dish as one of her official “football watching foods”.

Like to mix up your recipe collection?  We love finding & sharing fun treats. Don’t miss out on our future finds… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

7 tasty thanksgiving side dishes

November 11, 2014
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The Thanksgiving menu has been on my mind…there’s always the star of the meal, the turkey itself–but, this year it’s time to try a few new sides that tantalize the tastebuds.

thanksgiving sides

These mouthwatering recipes are sure to leave your dinner guests wanting more.

Move over hum-drum green bean casserole. There’s a new dish in town–Dijon Maple Green Beans with carmelized pecans, bacon, and feta.  Jen of Carlsbad Cravings sure came up with a winner when she created this explosion of flavors on a plate!

Another twist on a traditional side…Ashley from Spoonful of Flavor used orange and ginger to enhance the taste in her Apple Cranberry Sauce recipe. You can save time by making this one a day ahead of time!

This little gem of a dish~ Garlic-Herb Smashed Potatoes ~ is the best of both worlds…a combination of mashed potatoes and french fries. Just follow Valentina’s recipe from Cooking on the Weekends and your potatoes will be soft, yet crispy on the outside (and don’t forget to add the gravy).

While I would like to enjoy bread at every meal, I don’t. But, Thanksgiving definitely gives me the green light to go a little carb crazy and what better way than with these Pumpkin Dinner Rolls?  And even though these rolls have pumpkin in them, Karen’s Kitchen Stories promises that even the pumpkin haters will love them (there’s no pumpkin flavor…the ingredient just gives the rolls a nice color). Serve them up with apple butter or honey.

I’m all about easy when it comes it cooking, so it seemed fitting to include this recipe for Super Simple Glazed Carrots.  Seriously–4 ingredients and a pan! Thanks to Kelly at The Pretty Bee for sharing this lovely dish.

Becky from The Cookie Rookie says that her Loaded Sweet Potato Skins remind her the loaded sweet potatoes at steak places.  They’re loaded with mini-marshmallows, cinnamon sugar pecans, and honey cream cheese.  Can you say yummmmmm??

Homemade Creamed Corn in the Crockpot 1

Kelly from Mostly Homemade Mom has a warning for you…once you make her Creamed Corn in the Crockpot, there’s no turning back to canned corn again. And it only takes an hour to make this amazing side dish that’s perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!

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What’s For Dinner?

November 1, 2014
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Looking to mix up the same old dinner line up?  Pick up one of our recipe books and add some new tastes to your table.  I’ve made and blogged about a number of the recipes featured in these books if you want to do a test drive too.

recipe books

1.  These easy-peasy creamy chicken crock pot tacos from 200 Slower Cooker Creations  have earned a regular rotation in our dinner line up $12.99

2.  Grab more slow cooker recipes from 50 Simple Soups.  Who can say no to this potato broccoli cheese number this time of year?  $16.99

3.  You can forego the store bought frosting or traditional butter and sugar mix when you add this fabulous frostings book to your collection $19.99

4.  Bacon lovers… you have found your tribe with Bacon Nation $14.95
5.  Take this simple lunch to the next level with Grilled Cheese Please.  This French twist we made is perfect for the fall season.  $16.99

6.  No need to wait for a party to indulge in cake with Mug Cakes.  We treated ourselves to these single serving caramel apple cakes just last week.  $22.99

7.  Muffin tins can be used for so much more than what they were designed for.  We whipped up these fish tacos for a frest twist on a mid week meal.  $15.99

8.  Who’s says pancakes are only for breakfast?  Expand your options and tastebuds with this tempting book  $21.99

9.  Make the most of America’s favorite comfort food with Mac and Cheese Please  $16.99

recipe books

1.  Mexican can be made so many creative ways with Salsas and Tacos  $12.99

2.  Popcorn takes this snack way beyond your traditional popcorn balls & standard seasonings $19.95

3.  Save some cash and create your own bar at home with Girls’ Night  $10.95

4.  Diets don’t have to be boring when you keeps things fresh with 200 Salads $12.99

5.  Get inspired to stuff tortillas with so much more than cheese with QuesadillasWe tried two different styles that were super scrumptious  $14.95

6.  Looking for even more things to do with tortillas?  This title is for you $12.95

7.  Hate how much slow cooker meals make?  Create two different menus at the same time with this clever take on crock pot cooking $19.99

8.  Find the best recipes from a variety of home spun cook books in Michigan with this title.  We loved eating up the grilled zucchini boats  $16.95

Do you like being inspired to mix up your basic day to day eats? We’re happy to share some of our recipes.  Simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email and you’ll be in the loop & get our latest scoop.

7 clever kitchen tips that just may change your life

October 28, 2014
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I’m always on the lookout for tips that make my time spent in the kitchen more efficient and effective.

kitchen tips

I guarantee that some of these smart shortcuts and ingenious ideas will have you saying “Why didn’t I think of that?”…

The next time you make any recipe that calls for shredded chicken just remember this terrific timesaver that we found on Blue Cricket Design. Instead of pulling out the cutting board–use the beater attachment on your Kitchen Aid Mixer and you’ll be finished in less than a minute.

Got a recipe that calls for cutting butter into flour? Katie from Good Life Eats recommends keeping some butter in the freezer, then grating it with a cheese grater. A great tip for bakers that make lots of pie crusts or biscuits.

Love garlic but not the peeling? Follow the easy instructions on The Pin Junkie and you’ll be in business in no time at all–you’ll be amazed at the easy two step process.

This technique will come in handy the next time you’re serving up pancakes to the little ones. End the battle with a fork and knife by cutting their pancakes with a pizza cutter…perfect every time! Brooklyn from Cook and Craft Me Crazy believes this shortcut is a must for every mom out there.

We all love the convenience of a non-stick spray…but maybe don’t care for the all chemicals or preservatives in it. Just 2 Sisters can show you how to make your own at home–using just olive oil and water. Extra bonus: it’s a moneysaver!

You’ve spent all that time baking a beautiful cake. Here’s the inside secret to keeping it fresh after you cut it–sliced bread and toothpicks. Wanna know how this works? Just head over to Created by Diane where you will find all the details.

Your cutting board may not be as clean as you think it is. Rachael from All Kinds of Yumm was amazed at the results when she used fresh lemon and kosher salt to disinfect hers. Head over to her blog to check out the before and after.

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mug cakes in minutes

October 24, 2014
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Satisfy your sweet tooth and cake cravings quickly (and quite cutely) with a mug cake!  I whipped up this caramel apple number from our Mug Cakes recipe book for a fall evening treat.

mug cakes book Here’s what you need:

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 grated apple

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons self rising flour

pinch of kosher salt

caramel sauce

whipped cream

 caramel apple mug cake In a large mug combine the butter, cinnamon and apple and microwave for 30 seconds until butter is melted.  Whisk in egg with fork.  Stir in milk, vanilla and sugar, then add flour and salt.  Beat the batter until smooth.  Fold in the caramel sauce and divide into two mugs.  Microwave separately for 1.5 to 2.5 minutes each until risen and firm.

mug cake recipe

Top with whipped cream & caramel sauce and enjoy this warm autumn treat!

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spooky sips that will send a chill up your spine

October 21, 2014
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We continue to be amazed at the creative recipes that fellow bloggers come up with–and Halloween is no exception. You’ve come to the right place whether you’re looking for the perfect Halloween Party punch or searching for a few tempting cocktails for the adults.

spooky sips for halloween

We’ve even included one liquid refreshment that will light up the night. Happy Haunting!

This drink may look gory, but it tastes amazing according to Krissy from Self Proclaimed Foodie. Her delicious Vampire Cocktail will surely get stir up some conversation at your Halloween get-together.

Amber from Dessert Now Dinner Later concocted this colorful Candy Corn Punch with the magic of “layering”. Want to learn how?-head over to her blog to get all the details.

What would Halloween be without a little Black Magic? This creepy cocktail is ghoulishly dark and is brimming with the luscious flavors of citrus and black cherries. Sound intriguing?-Adventures in Cooking has the full recipe here.

Amy from A Healthy Life for Me scared up a few spirits and created her own flavorful drink for Halloween…the Witch’s Brew Cocktail. Surprisingly, this thirst quencher has a twist of coconut and pineapple~a treat for the tastebuds!

Turn down the lights, break out a black light and wait for the excitement to begin! Head over to Girl Loves Glam to find out the secret ingredient that McKenzie uses to make this eerie version of a classic lemonade that she calls “liquid ghost drink”.

Here’s a yummy way to warm up your little trick-or-treaters after a long night of roaming the neighborhood…Halloween Hot Chocolate! Debbie of Made from Pinterest used a basic recipe of white hot chocolate, then explains how you can really get creative with your color and topping choices.

What little ghost or goblin wouldn’t like a taste of this Spooky Shirley Temple? Now that marshmallow-y peeps are available for almost holiday, it’s easy to conjure up a ghastly drink for the kiddos and that’s exactly what Kellie from Nest of Posies did (and even added in some Pop Rocks for a little extra color and excitement).

Like festive drinks to celebrate the season? We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox.

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April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty. Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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