Ingredient Challenge Monday – Announcing the First Ingredient and Additional Challenger!

And the first ingredient is……


I love them!  If you missed my last post, which was Pomegranate Pico de Gallo, then go see it.  The whole batch I made was gone in one afternoon; we scooped it up with sea salt pita chips, cinnamon and sugar pita chips, Fritos, and even put it on our turkey burgers that we made for dinner that night.  The stuff is good.

So, that’s the one ingredient we are going to be using to create Monday’s challenge recipe.  Also, we have a new blogger that decided to join us (yay!), Marci Gilbert at will be our third challenger.  Anyone else is welcome – just let one of us know! 

Please bookmark our sites so you can keep up with the challenge recipe results and ingredients.  Remember, we want feedback from our readers! It’s not meant to be a real competition, but a fun way to challenge eachother’s creativity. 

Happy Cooking!

~Dixie Chik~

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Ingredient Challenge Monday


Today I am introducing a new Dixie Chik regular post – Ingredient Challenge Monday!  A few days ago I threw out the idea on Foodbuzz about participating in a limited ingredient challenge, to be done on a regular basis…you know, just to keep our creativity up! 

Nutritionella will be joining me in this challenge bi-weekly and we want our readers to rate our recipes – so bookmark our sites so you can participate. 

The challenge will consist of either ONE ingredient to be used in a recipe OR a select few ingredients (I will choose hers, she will choose mine) from which to create a dish.  Monday, December 20th, we will be posting our first recipe!  Tomorrow we will reveal this weeks’ ingredient. 

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see the challenge ingredient 😉

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Pomegranate Pico de Gallo

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate winter?  I HATE it.  Sorry to all you lovers of winter/snow/fireside chat/freezing to death.  Put me on a beach with 90 degree weather and a margarita anyday. 

In the last few years I have discovered pomegranates, a fruit that is seasonal between September and February.  It is also one of the few nutritious foods I can get my picky little girl to eat.  They contain a very high content of antioxidents, as well as Vitamin C and B.  They contain almost three times the amount of antioxident potency as an equal serving of green tea – they are little cancer fighters!  Because their seeds are eaten raw they also provide a good amount of fiber.  Who knew?  Okay, I’m off my nursing school soap box now.

Pomegranate Pico de Gallo

1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds – for a great instructional on how to de-seed a pomegranate go here.  <—- You should go here anyway 😉

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp pickled jalapenos, chopped

1 big handful fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped

Juice of one lime

Sea salt 

Combine all ingredients, and salt to your taste.  Try to do your taste test with something OTHER than a tortilla chip or salty cracker.  The salt will inhibit your ability to adjust ingredients.  If it were only little ‘ol Dixie Chik eating this, I would add about another 2 tbsp of jalapenos, but I have my little family’s non-fire loving mouths to consider.   I’m just sayin.

Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, then serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, or whatever you like to eat pico or salsa with! 

Next time I make this, I’m thinking pork carnitas tacos~

Dixie Chik

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Chinese 5-Spice Eggrolls and Pampered Chef Bar Pan Winner

Congratulations to Helen Watson for winning the Pampered Chef Mini Bar Pan!  –

“My favorite christmas recipe is an oyster and cracker casserole. It is so very easy to make, 2 pints of oysters, saltine crackers and butter. Crush the crackers and put them in the bottom of a casserole dish. Put a layer of oysters, dot with butter and repeat two more times.  Add milk until you see it thru the crackers. Bake at 350 until golden brown, about 20 mins.”

Chinese 5-Spice Eggrolls with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce

Chinese 5-spice powder encompasses all five flavors – sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty.  The number actually refers to 5 elements: wood, fire, water, earth, metal, and water.  It is a mixture of five spices; star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and cloves.  Is it just me or did I literally just go off on a list tangent??  Should that have been a power point with bullets??  Um ok, anyway…..

There are other variants, but this is usually the typical (from what I’ve seen at least).

-Mise En Place-

1 package egg roll wrappers

1 bag broccoli, carrot and cabbage slaw (found in the bagged lettuce section)

2 cups fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced very thin

2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 cup chicken or beef broth

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp cornstarch

1/2 cup water

About 1/2 cup canola oil, for frying

Heat sesame oil and garlic in a large saute pan over medium high heat until fragrant.  Add slaw and mushrooms, stirring to combine.  Reduce heat to medium and add the 5-spice powder, broth and soy sauce.  Cook, stirring occasionally until soft.  Feel free to add more broth if you think it needs it, but not too much – it should be a thick consistency.

Combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl, set aside.

Start by lying one eggroll wrapper flat on your workspace.  Using a pastry brush, line the outside edges with the water/cornstarch mixture.

Add a small amount of eggroll filling at one corner.

Starting at the bottom corner, very gently begin to roll up keeping it tight.  When you get about halfway, fold the two sides in.

Continue tightly rolling and fold the last corner over, making sure there’s enough water mixture on it to form a seal.

Repeat with the rest of ingredients.  These can be refrigerated if you plan on cooking them later.

Otherwise, heat the canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil is ready, add the eggrolls a few at a time, making sure they have enough room (don’t crowd them).  Fry about 30 seconds to a minute on each side until golden brown.

For the Dip:

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tbsp dijon mustard

Combine in a small bowl and serve with eggrolls.



Dixie Chik

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New Giveaway!

Just In Time for Christmas Baking….

I am giving away a Pampered Chef mini bar pan.  The possibilities for this great little thing are endless.  

Here are just a few ideas I’m thinking of right now:

♦ Personal pan pizzas

♦ Biscuits

♦ Bake pancake batter in it and slice it into strips to dunk in syrup

♦ Use in toaster oven to make hot sandwiches (yes, it can go in the toaster oven AND the microwave!)

♦ Your favorite cookie or bar recipe for a small batch 

Use your imagination…you’ll use this over and over.  It’s just like the pizza stone; the more you use it the more seasoned it becomes and the better your stone-cooked food will be.

You could also use it for those once monthly (ahem) times when you need to bake something chocolate and you don’t want to share with anybody else damnit. 

Did I just say that?? 

Speaking of pizza stone!  I have to take a minute to brag on mine.  I received mine as a gift about 6 years ago and I LOVE it.  My pizza crust comes out perfect every time.  I have also used it to broil salmon, chicken, and steak….I typically set my oven to low broil and the stone does all the work.  As you use it, the stone becomes seasoned from cooking on it and it just adds to the flavor of your food. 


I also have the pizza cutter that is fabulous.  I’ve found that it has so many other uses than just pizza.  I decided to make homemade pasta recently and I used it to cut the dough into strips, which made it so much easier and faster.  (It also makes cutting your dessert bars and brownies a breeze.)

Onto the giveaway for the bar pan…

To enter, comment on this post:  What’s your very favorite Christmas party recipe to make?  You know, the ones you take to office parties, family get-togethers, etc.  To double your chances, like us on Facebook.  If you’ve already done that, tweet us your recipe!  Good luck! 

Thanks so much to Jenny Carden for sponsoring this giveaway.  Please visit her online Pampered Chef website here to check out her wonderful kitchen goodies.  Their quality really is superior an she’s an extremely knowledgeable consultant. 

Contest ends at 9:00 P.M. Central Time, Thursday, December 9th.  Winner will be announced Saturday, December 11th.

~Dixie Chik~

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