Category Archives: Appetizers

Grilled Sweet Onions Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Bacon

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I had this recipe pinned on Pinterest for a long time. I finally got around to trying it out last night and I am sure glad I did. It was very easy to prepare and really good.

I have never been a huge Blue Cheese lover, but I am learning to like it. This recipe definitely helped me like it even more 🙂

This recipe came from What’s Cooking Blog.

Grilled Sweet Onions Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Bacon

  • 4 large-sized sweet onions
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup blue cheese
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Trim the ends off of the onions, and peel. Scoop out the inside of the onion to create a hole, but do not go through the bottom. I used a melon baller.

Mix butter, blue cheese, bacon, thyme, salt and pepper. I used a pinch of salt since blue cheese tends to be salty. I added a couple pinches of the pepper.

Stuff the onions with the blue cheese mixture. Wrap the onion in pieces of foil. Make sure to seal it at the top to keep steam inside.

Heat your grill on high. Reduce heat to medium low and place the foil pouches directly over the heat. Close the lid of the grill and cook for 30 – 40 minutes. (The Cooking time will vary upon size of onions). Try not to open the grill or the pouches while cooking.

Remove from the grill and let sit for 5 minutes in the foil. The steam from the pouches will be hot, so be careful when opening them. I found there was a lot of butter at the bottom of the foil, so I suggest using tongs to take out the onions….trust me, you do not need all that butter that is left at the bottom, but if you wish you can drizzle some of the butter on top of the onion 😉

Scoop out a hole in the top of the onion.

Scoop out a hole in the top of the onion.

Stuff the onion with the Blue Cheese mixture. Bring the foil to the top of the onion and make sure it is sealed.

Stuff the onion with the Blue Cheese mixture. Bring the foil to the top of the onion and make sure it is sealed.

After done grilling, let it sit for 5 minutes. Be careful when opening, the steam will be hot.

After done grilling, let it sit for 5 minutes. Be careful when opening, the steam will be hot.

Grilled Sweet Onion Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Bacon

Grilled Sweet Onion Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Bacon

Sorry for the photos, I took them with my phone and they did not turn out too good 😦 BUT I really wanted to share this recipe with you.

I made one for each of us. I think we each could have eaten 2 of them. Even this not too sure about blue cheese person LOVED them.

~Relish Food & Life

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BBBB Beer Bread & Basil Butter

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I have been cooking, just not posting. I hope to get back into the swing of things!

Eryn sent me these recipes and boy am I glad she did. They are super easy and very tasty! I am not sure where she found the Beer Bread recipe. There are a ton of them out there on the internet.

Beer Bread

  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can of room temp beer (All of our beer was in the frig, so it was slightly chilled 😉 )
  • 2 T. melted butter, optional (Eryn does not do this step, I seen it used on another recipe and thought I would give it a try. It was tasty.)

Mix everything except the butter;  put in a greased loaf. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 for an hour. You can decrease the sugar if too sweet for you.

That is it! How simple is that?

Ingredient Line up for Beer Bread.

Mix beer, self rising flour and sugar.

Pour into a greased bread pan. If you wish, drizzle with butter. Pop into the oven for 1 hour. Simple. Simple. Simple.

Meanwhile, you can whip up a batch of Basil Butter. This is seriously some good stuff! She found this recipe on Foodie Reflections Blog.

Basil Butter

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 3 garlic clove, peeled (I upped the garlic because I ♥ Garlic)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Get your food processor out. Add the basil and garlic cloves to the food processor. Process until finely chopped, you might need to scrap the sides to make sure everything is being chopped finely. Add the room temp (room temp is a must) butter and pulse until well blended then season with salt and lemon juice. Serve at room temperature or you can roll into a log with parchment paper and freeze. It should last in frig for 3 days or you can freeze it for a few months.

This is so good on the beer bread, but I have used it on lots of things. I spread it on a french bread, then sprinkle the bread with parmesan cheese; broil. It would be good on pasta, potatoes, chicken, fish, steak, veggies…

Finely chop the garlic and basil in a food processor. Add the butter. Pulse until thoroughly mixed. Add salt and lemon juice. Pulse a few time.

BBBB ~ Beer Bread & Basil Butter. So good.

Is your mouth-watering?

Sorry about disappearing for awhile. I shall try to do better!

Thanks for the recipes, Eryn 🙂

~Relish Food & Life!

Baked Chicken Taquitos and Creamy Cilantro Sauce

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I spent last weekend visiting Samantha in West Palm Beach, FL. It was so nice to get away to nice weather, but especially nice to spend some one on one time with Samantha. I am so proud of her and the woman she has become.

The first night we attended the West Palm Beach Art Show, which was across the street from her apartment. The art was great, but the people watching was fabulous 🙂

Friday night we had dinner atFood Shack in Juniper. Then we headed for a drink at Guanabanas Island Restaurant and Bar.

On Saturday Samantha treated me to an exercise class and a massage at Exhale located in Omphoy Ocean Resort.

We got to enjoy the beach a little bit in the morning before our class and massages.

Between the class and massage we enjoyed breakfast beachside. We both ordered Lobster Omelets. They were soo good. The little jar in the background was jelly and everyone got their own jar to use. It was yummy.

Samantha, Jeff and I enjoyed dinner  that night at one of my Mexicans places in West Palm, Rocco Tacos. On Sunday we decided to cook dinner for a few of her friends. So, we hit the Green Market to buy some of the ingredients.

I LOVE that place. There is a bakery there that has the BEST Almond Croissants ever! Unfortunately, I did not take a photo before I ate the whole HUGE thing. Well, Sam did take a photo of me stuffing it into my mouth, but I could not figure out how to send to my computer. Just trust me, it was delish and I relished every moment of it.

We stopped at a road side truck and purchased the Stone Crabs...which were yummy!

Then we took a long walk on the beach ♥

We prepare dinner together along with her friends. I really meant to take photos of the food…but I think the Mexican Martini kicked it and I forgot 😉

I had the job of slicing onions for the Onion Bacon Marmalade. This was our solution to onion goggles when cutting 4 lbs of onions.

Dinner was great, but the company was awesome!

I was sad to leave, but I get to see her in February at a pharmacy conference.

On the way home I had a layover in Chicago and I had the BEST Chicago Hot dog!

This is a sign they have posted at the hot dog place.

No, I did not put any ketchup on it...it did not need it. Sooo good!

Ok, are you ready for a recipe? I love Mexican food and pinned this recipe on Pinterest. The recipe, I think originally came from Our Best Bites.  Taquitos are usually fried, this a baked version. It was very easy and yummy.

Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup salsa verde
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tsp chile powder or 1 tsp. Chile powder and 1 tsp. Ancho Chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbs chopped scallions
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican Taco cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
  • 8-12 (6-inch) Flour tortillas
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt.  Fold in the chicken and cheeses.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Working 3 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook 30 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and pliable.  I did not find the need to do this, but wanted to include it just in case your tortillas are not pliable. The original called for corn tortillas, I used flour and they are softer than corn. I like flour better.

Spoon 3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly.  Place seam side-down on the prepared(spray with cooking spray) baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown.  Serve with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole.

Ingredient line up.

The tortilla I have here are so soft. You can find them at Super Valu in the Mexican food area. They are not in the refrigerated section.

I cooked my chicken in the microwave in a covered casserole dish.

Mix cream cheese, spices, cilantro, green onion, salsa, garlic and lime juice.

Stir in chicken and cheeses. At this point, you can refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

Place approximately 3 T at the end of the tortilla

and roll up.

I had a poblano pepper, so I decided to roasted it and add it some of the Taquitos.

I brought home some FL avocados from the Green Market and decided to add it to some of the Taquitos.

It is hard to see here, but FL avocados are HUGE. They are at least 2 times the size of the avocados we have here.

Here I just added avocado. Some I added avocado and the poblano strip...oh man those were good.

Put the seam side down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

I made the whole package of 10 tortillas and had this much chicken left.

Spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake 15 - 20 minutes.

I decided I would serve it with a Creamy Cilantro Sauce and taco sauce. I wanted to serve it with salsa. But, I hunted high and low for salsa….never found any. Kate came home after we ate, walked to the frig and pulled out some salsa!?! Anyway, I made Creamy Cilantro Sauce ahead of time and refrigerated it. I found this recipe years ago on All Recipes website. It was very good with the Taquitos along with Taco sauce.

 Creamy Cilantro Sauce                                                                                    

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 (7 ounce) can Salsa Verde
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Put it all in food processor and blend.

Ingredient Line Up. I have salt in here by mistake. It does not need it with the celery salt.

No need to chop the cilantro...doesn't it get chopped in the food processor??

Creamy cilantro Sauce.

This is great with just chips, chicken, fish or any Mexican dish.

Baked Chicken Taquitos with Creamy cilantro Sauce...YUM!

You really could add what you want with the chicken. I kept some of them without any add ins for Grace. Some ideas of things you could add: corn, chopped jalapeno, poblano, avocado, green chilies and tomatoes. Maybe not all together, but you could easily add one or two of them.

Sorry for such a long post, but I wanted to share my trip with you.

~Relish Food & Life!

Yummy Guacamole Salad (Salsa)

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I saw this recipe on Pinterest.   I have mentioned pinterest before….warning, it is addicting, but I love it.  This recipe came from Barefoot Contessa Show on Food Network. It is really yummy. I sent some with Mark to eat and he even called me to tell me how good it was 🙂

Guacamole Salad

    • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2-inch diced
    • 1 (15-ounce) (!/2) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 cup small diced red onion
    • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 2 limes)
    • 1/4 cup  olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.

Just before you’re ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve.

MY NOTES: I did not add the zest because my limes did not look so good on the outside. I think it was fine without it. I had some cilantro on hand, so I added around 2 T. I increased the garlic to 1 tsp because I love garlic. I am not crazy about beans. I am ok with black beans…but there are A LOT of beans in a can. Therefore, I only put a half of a can 😉

Ingredient line up, except for the onion and pepper. I need to not read the ingredients so fast. Oh, and the cilantro. That was a last minute addition.

Combine the tomatoes, pepper, jalapeno and onion.

Whisk together, olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic.

After adding the beans. Toss with dressing.

Right before serving add avocado.

So fresh and I think healthy 🙂

Guacamole Salad ~ So good and pretty.

This is also good served as an appetizer with tortilla Chips.
Inspiring Thought:
~ Relish Food & Life

BLT Bites made with Brown Sugar/Chili Powder Bacon

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I had book club tonight and needed to make something that would be hard to live without….BACON! Here is a shout out to my friend Leann for giving me the recipe for the bacon. Thanks Leann! The bacon recipe is from Paula Deen.  I decided to make small BLT Bites with the bacon and it turn out great.

Brown Sugar/ Chili Powder Bacon

  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 package thick bacon (which is about 10 slices)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a cooling rackinside the prepared pan and set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine the brown sugar and chili powder.  Dredge the bacon slices in the brown sugar mixture and arrange the bacon on the rack. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Paula Deen’s recipe called for half of the brown sugar and chili powder for 8 slices of bacon. I double it, which is the recipe I have here for 10 slices of bacon….I did not have any brown sugar mixture left.

Ingredient Line up

Mix brown sugar and chili powder

Dredge bacon in sugar mixture and put on prepared pan. Bake until crisp.

 

While baking, I toasted bread, cut off crust and cut into 1/4th.

Sliced grape tomatoes in half.

 

After bacon was done. I started assembling them. I spread mayo on toast, piece of bacon, 2 pieces of lettuce, piece of bacon and tomato slice. Skewer it with a toothpick.

While the bacon was cooking I also spread mayo onto the toast squares.

BLT Bites...yum!

~Relish Food & Life

Greek Feta Tomato Dip

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I have made this dip 2 times in the past week, everyone loves it. It is ridiculously easy! I found it on Pinterest… Feta Dip on Clover Lane’s Blog.

Ingredient Line Up.

Choose a plate and pour olive oil on the bottom

Until it is generously covered.

Don’t you just love this plate? Samantha made it for me…one of my favorite things 🙂

I bought a block of feta. It is prepackaged and is usually by the shredded cheeses. You could also by the feta that is already crumbled. The amount of cheese, tomatoes and green onions will vary on your plate size.

Just noticed the date and time on the photos. No, I did not take these at 4 :29 am 😉

Crumble the cheese with your fingers.

Put cheese on top of olive oil

Add diced tomatoes, green onions and sprinkle generously with Greek seasoning ( Approximately 2 - 3 tsp)

Stir it all around and serve with sliced french bread. How easy was that?

Greek Feta Tomato Dip

~Relish Food & Life!

Watermelon Salsa and Caprese Bites

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Since we had our own home grown watermelons, I decided to make Watermelon Salsa. I have been making this recipe for years, so not sure where it first came from.

Watermelon Salsa

  • 2 cups watermelon, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 T chopped onion
  • 2 T water chestnut, chopped
  • 1 to 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1 – 1 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 T minced garlic

Mix it all together and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

Ingredient Line up for Watermelon Salsa.

 

Put all the ingredients into a bowl.

Mix and refrigerate for 2 hours and serve.

 

I had a baby watermelon that was not going to get any bigger, so I decided to cut off its top

Scoop it out.

 

and use it for my bowl.

 

Watermelon Salsa

When just serving it in a regular bowl, it amazing how everyone assumes it is a tomato salsa. The balsamic gives the watermelon a deep red color like tomatoes. When taking a bite,  everyone is pleasantly surprise. It is a refreshing with a bit of a kick to it.

The other night at the sunflower dinner a friend made Caprese Salad. It was yummy. There are so many caprese salad inspired appetizers out there in the internet world. They all do the same thing….they may just skewer them differently. I made them for a party last night and everyone loved them.

Caprese Bites

Ingredient Line Up for Caprese Bites

Super Valu has a new cheese section in the deli. They had these mozzarella pearls. I was so excited to see them and knew what I wanted to do with them right away. I also purchased the tomatoes from there since my garden had 1 (ONE)  grape tomato in the whole garden. The basil I got out of my herb garden, but I did see that Super Deli had some in a bag that was locally grown.

You take a large basil leaf and stick a toothpick through one end. Then a tomato and a mozzarella pearl and then through the other end of the basil leaf. At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Then right before serving...

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with black pepper. Done! Caprese Bites.

They are so simple and delicious.

~Relish Food & Life!

Tomato Guacamole & Ancho Chili and Greek Pork Tenderloin

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Jim B. shared with  me a super easy way to make a pork tenderloin. I just so happened to have pork tenderloin in the frig and made it that night. It was delish! Thanks Jim!

He took a pork tenderloin rubbed it down with olive oil, salt, pepper and then sprinkled Ancho chili powder all over it and rubbed it in.  Seared it in a skillet with half butter/half olive oil, then put it in an 8 inch square pan into a 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Cover it, then let it rest about 5 minute.

Ingredient Line Up.

Pull off the silver skin.

 

Rub olive oil all over the tenderloin.

Rub in salt and pepper.

Rub with Ancho Chili Powder. Don't be afraid to use a lot of this. I should have rubbed in a bit more.

 

Get the pan sizzling hot with olive oil and butter.

Put tenderloin in pan.

Sear it on both sides.

 

Put it in a pan and bake for 25 minutes in a 425 oven.

 

Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

Ready to slice and serve.

Ancho Chili Pork Tenderloin.

Since I used ancho chili powder, I thought I  would serve it with a Guacamole  and corn with a dash of Ancho Chili powder mixed in. This would also be great sliced thin for a pork taco.

Here is the Guacamole recipe. Sorry no photos.

Tomato Guacamole

3 clove garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 tomatoes, medium chopped
2 avocados, medium chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1/2 of a lime squeezed
½ teaspoon salt
¼  teaspoon pepper

Mix it all up. Adjust seasonings to your taste. You can spice it up with some minced jalapeno. This would be great with tortilla chips.

The tenderloin came in a package of 2. So, I decided to use one of our favorite spice blends…Greek Seasoning. It turned out great. The only thing that you need to watch when using your favorite spice blend, is if it has salt and pepper already in it. Then you may need to skip the salt and pepper step. I did not pay attention to that and really rubbed in a lot of Greek seasoning and it was a bit salty and peppery.

We put Greek Seasoning on everything…green beans, potatoes, meat, chicken etc.

Greek Pork Tenderloin.

There are a ton of different seasoning blends out there that you can use with this recipe…the possibilities of endless 🙂

Grace and I planted watermelons is our landscaping this spring. We harvested 2 watermelons 🙂 So proud!

Adding watermelon to your landscaping is a great way of adding foliage to it and if you do not have space for a garden. Kathy, my sister-in-law has been doing this for years and producing a lot of watermelons.

Off to make Watermelon Salsa!

~Relish Food & Life!

Super Duper Easy Cheese Spread ~ Jarlsberg -Onion Spread

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Hello Everyone!
I tasted this spread at a wine and cheese show. I knew I had to make it. So simple and so good. I brought it to a party last weekend…they quickly gobbled it up!

Ingredient Line Up.

The chunk of Jarlsberg Cheese was around 3/4 lb, 1 red onion, approximately 1/2 cup mayo and a few pinches of pepper. That is it! I served it on rosemary Triscuits…yum yum yum!

Shred Cheese, finely chop onions and add the rest!

Jarlsberg - Onion Cheese Spread

I am heading to CA and Las Vegas for the next week. I hope to post a few times during my trip sharing my food adventures and the fun places I will be visiting. I will share one thing …I am zip lining, well I hope to zip line and not chicken out on Monday.

What do you think…would you do it?

~Relish Food & Life

Jalapeno Bacon Popper Dip

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There are several versions of this recipe on the internet. This is my version. It is super easy and very tasty! It is a great recipe to take to a party. The dish came home empty!

Jalapeno Bacon Popper Dip

  • 2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped jalapenos (if you like, you can use fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp. Adobo seasoning
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup Mexican Taco Cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup bacon (I used bagged, but you can use freshly cooked if you wish)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • cooking spray

Mix cream cheese, mayo and sour cream in your mixer. Add seasoning, jalapenos, chilies, bacon and Mexican cheese. Mix thoroughly. Put into a baking dish. Mix Parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle on top of Cheese. Spray a quick spray of cooking spray on top. Bake at 350 for  20 – 30 minutes. If in a hurry, you can microwave.

Ingredient Line Up.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and mayo

Add adobo seasoning.

I purchase my Adobo seasoning from Penzeys.   It is a spice blend of onion, garlic, black pepper, mexican oregano,  cumin and cayenne pepper. Here is a recipe that you can make own. It is pretty close and I think it would work. Adobo Seasoning recipe

Add jalapeno's and chilies.

Mix in cheese and bacon.

I purchased my bacon in a bag…I did not want to mess with cooking bacon today. I used approximately 1/4 cup since it was in such tiny pieces. It they were larger bits, I would use 1/2 cup.

Put cream cheese mixture into a baking dish.

Mix panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle Crumbs on top of dip

Spray cooking spray on top of crumbs and pop into the oven. I forgot to sprinkle some bacon on top 😦

Yum!

Jalapeno Bacon Popper Dip!

~Relish Food & Life