Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Bites

If you like smoked salmon or lox, these will be your BFF’s.
IMGP0280 This is one of those appetizer recipes that you’ll love yourself if you have the ingredients to make these when guests unexpectedly show up. They’re simple and elegant. Y’all already know that I’m obsessed with appetizers.
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Do you know the difference between smoked salmon and lox?? I didn’t until I married my husband 10 years (yes ten!!!) ago. During my first visit to meet his family his mom prepared this impressive spread of bagels and lox, fruit and pastries. I was definitely familiar with smoked salmon, but the lox tasted just a little different. I had to find out why these two things that tasted so similar but had different names. I went to my best friend, Google, of course. Answer = Smoked salmon is smoked (shocker), and lox is salt cured.

A couple of years ago I attempted to make my own lox at home and that didn’t turn out so well…but that’s a story for another time. I’m definitely going to try it again because I really, really want to make my own. There’s nothing like things made at home with your own hands.
IMGP0246 These are soooo easy, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re pretty. For these, I use some of the juice from the caper jar as opposed to topping them with actual capers, because it gives the cream cheese topping the caper flavor without having to juggle the capers flying all over the place. I mean, seriously, that shit just gets on my nerves when I’m trying to enjoy a bagel with lox (especially a really damn good one). Ok, so maybe mine might be a little cumbersome because I have to top it with cream cheese, lox, fresh tomato slices, onions and capers. I mean, if you’re gonna make it why not make it right??

So….when those little bastard capers start to roll all over the place it just makes me want to cuss. 

There’s no runaway capers here.

Here’s your printable-

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Bites

Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese Bites

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of juice from a jar of capers
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce, or hot sauce
  • 4 oz smoked salmon, cut into cracker size pieces
  • Triscuits, or your favorite crackers for serving
  • 1 tbsp dill

Instructions

  • Combine cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, caper juice and hot sauce in a mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.
  • Top each cracker with smoked salmon, cream cheese mixture and top with dill.
  • Serve.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/smoked-salmon-cream-cheese-bites/
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Homemade Marshmallow Ice Cream

Look what I made for you! Yes, it’s another dessert post. This time it’s ice cream.
IMG065 Marshmallow ice cream! 
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Are you surprised? I do these things for the kids (and Mark) because it’s summertime, after all. This recipe resulted in THE BEST texture of any homemade ice cream I’ve ever made. It’s so soft, and not too icy-ish (if you know what I mean). I made a typical vanilla homemade ice cream using my KitchenAid attachment and added a few drops of Chocoley’s Marshmallow Flavoring Oil

Let me just tell you about Chocoley. Ok, so you know I don’t really care about sweets, right? The first time I tasted their chocolate I declared it was literally the best I’ve ever put in my mouth. Before I turned 30, I loved dessert; especially cheesecake, key lime pie, chocolate mousse, etc., so I do know quality. I’m not exaggerating – this is elite stuff. 
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See the pretty sparkles? Those are Chocoley’s Gourmet Sanding Sugars – they have a bazillion colors. They’ll make you feel like Elvis.

The Vegas Elvis.
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To make chocolate to dip your cones in, combine chocolate and some coconut oil in a microwavable bowl and heat. Then dip away.

Here’s your printable-

Marshmallow Ice Cream

Marshmallow Ice Cream

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine whipping cream through marshmallow flavoring oil in an ice cream maker and churn until frozen.
  • Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a micowaveable bowl and heat 30 seconds at a time, until melted.
  • Dip the tops of waffle cones in chocolate, then in sprinkles and/or sanding sugar.
  • Serve ice cream in cones.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/homemade-marshmallow-ice-cream/
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Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes

I don’t like this whole being-a-mom-of-an-almost-grown-ass-person-thing. 
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‘Cause that shit is a little painful.
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My son moved out today and it almost doesn’t seem real. I don’t understand; how did he go from being 6 years old and bringing me flowers from the neighbor’s yard to….living on his own in what seems like such a short period of time? So, I had about 17 mini panic attacks when we got home from helping him move. 

What if he doesn’t lock the door at night? What if he leaves the oven on? What if he gets sick and doesn’t tell me and doesn’t go to the doctor? Nobody prepared me for this. Unfortunately, there’s no handbook given to you in the delivery room.

Anyway, one of his very favorite desserts is key lime cheesecake, and I made these a while back at his request. I find it’s easier to make cheesecake in “mini” form because they don’t seem as fragile during the baking process as making a whole cheesecake. 

Here’s your printable-

Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes

Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • 1 large graham cracker crust, crumbled
  • 3 packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 jumbo eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick spray, and smush (yes, smush) graham cracker crumbs in muffin pan. This will make about 12-15, depending on how thick you make your mini crusts.
  • Beat cream cheese and sugar together until fully incorporated.
  • Add sour cream, vanilla, eggs, flour.and lime juice.
  • Pour over mini muffin crusts and bake for 25-30 minutes, until set.
  • Top with whipped cream.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/mini-key-lime-cheesecakes/
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Balsamic Chicken and Couscous

Sometimes it’s the simple things. 
IMGP3926 Grilled chicken with a balsamic roux over couscous makes for a perfect dinner. I also made brussel sprouts in a butter sauce to go along with it, but I didn’t even notice they were there. Honestly, at that point I declared everything and anything in my life an “asshole”. I’ll spare you the details, but I got over it and life went on.

Ok, fine, I’ll tell you – my son is moving into his own apartment and I’m having a bit of a problem transitioning. When in the hell did one of the children- that I birthed!- acquire that kind of independence? God didn’t prepare me for this, nor did he ask me permission! I think I’m kind of in a little bit of a state of denial/really not ready to deal with the fact that my son is moving out. What if he needs me?? What if he gets sick? What if he’s broke and doesn’t tell me?? 

I’ll be ok. Anyway, back to the food – I absolutely love couscous, and I tend to pair it with Greek flavors like feta cheese and Kalamata olives, tomatoes, etc., but tonight I made a roux with a balsamic vinegar marinade that my chicken soaked in for a few hours. Now, I have to admit that I varied from my regular marinade routine today when it comes to chicken – I put mayo in it.

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Yes, mayo. Don’t judge a girl, but damnit I had to find out if it did the same thing for chicken that it does for beef (mayo is great for making ground beef tender and moist). It does! I just love mayo; it’s like a good, reliable girl friend. You know she’s always got your back.
IMGP3945 Also, what I’ve discovered is that it’s amazing how resourceful and creative you can be on a whim when you haven’t eaten a thing ALL DAY LONG, but taking a road trip (albeit 5 minutes – ssshhh don’t judge) to Publix seems like pure freakin’ torture. Let me put it this way –  I just thought we were completely out of groceries. It’s amazing what you’ll sniff out of that freezer and pantry when it’s late, you’re starving and the last damn thing you want to do is go to the store. Especially when you’re all comfortable…it’s raining (and thundering)…and shit, you basically live at Publix anyway. I know those people have got to be sick and tired of seeing my face. 

But they’ll get over it.

The marinade is a very easy combo of olive oil, lemon juice, mayo (not much, so don’t get all crazy), salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. The roux that this marinade makes…OMG. It’s downright luscious. Pour it all over the couscous, rice, or whatever. It’s crazy good.

Here’s your printable-

Balsamic Chicken and Couscous

Balsamic Chicken and Couscous

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Couscous, cooked
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Instructions

  • Combine olive oil through Worcestershire sauce and add to a gallon size zip lock bag; add chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but it will still be good if you just throw it together and make it impromptu. Marinading the chicken deepens the flavor.
  • Whisk the flour and water together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan.
  • Add chicken - reserving marinade - and cook 3-5 minutes on each side until done. (This will depend on the thickness of the chicken).
  • Remove chicken from pan (do not rinse!) and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Turn heat up to medium high heat and add remaining marinade, and while whisking add flour/water mixture. Continue mixing until thick, adding the milk, salt and pepper. Remove from heat when thick enough and serve over chicken and couscous.
  • Top with green onions.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/balsamic-chicken-and-couscous/
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Crispy Chicken Sliders with Tabbouleh and Feta Mayo

I’m not sure what I love most about these little chicken sliders.
IMGP3715 I’m so in love with feta cheese. Tabbouleh rocks, and although traditionally has some type of grain in it, like bulgar, I decided to leave it out this time.

One of my favorite things to eat in the entire world is pita chips dipped in hummus, then dipped in tabbouleh. There’s NOTHING like it in the world!! I do love some baba ganoush, too (if it’s made the right way). My love for these started several years ago – about 17 (Jesus, where did the time go) – with a little middle eastern restaurant/store close to where I live called Naji’s Pita Gourmet. Hands down, they make the best hummus I’ve ever had in my life. 
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This slider is like the epitome of sammy perfection.

It’s crispy, tabbouleh-y, feta-y, all on a soft Hawaiian bun.
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Speaking of what I love about these – the chicken is coated in – Bacon.Croutons. 

Yes. JD Foods recently sent me some of their products to try and although they’re all good, these croutons won a special place in my heart. Try ‘em out – you’ll love them.

Have a great week!

Here’s your printable-
   

Crispy Chicken Sliders with Tabbouleh and Feta Mayo

Crispy Chicken Sliders with Tabbouleh and Feta Mayo

Ingredients

    Tabbouleh
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic (jarred)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • Sliders
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups seasoned croutons - I used JD's Bacon Croutons, crushed or run through the food processor
  • 2 eggs, slightly whisked
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Hawaiian sweet rolls, split, buttered and toasted

Instructions

    Tabbouleh
  • Combine all ingredients, taste and adjust seasons to taste.
  • Sliders
  • Combine mayo, feta and lemon juice in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate.
  • Cut the chicken breasts small enough to fit on a slider bun (pound them down if they're thick and quarter them).
  • Mix the bread and crouton crumbs together in a large bowl.
  • Dip chicken quarters in egg, then bread crumb mixture. You can do this twice on each piece if you want a good, thick coating.
  • Heat the canola oil to 350 degrees and fry each piece until done, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
  • Make the sliders by spreading feta mayo on a bottom bun, add lettuce, chicken and tabbouleh.
http://www.dixiechikcooks.com/crispy-chicken-sliders-with-tabbouleh-and-feta-mayo/
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