Peanut Butter Easter Bars

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When you think of Easter what comes to your mind. Of course we should think about what the day is truly about. Church, the Resurrection of Christ, family, dressing up, and Easter dinner. But really, since we were kids, it was also about a bunny bringing a basket full of candy or going to an Easter egg hunt, getting plastic eggs filled with candy or the big winner, money.

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Since I was little, I have always loved Reese’s peanut butter eggs. My mom used to make homemade peanut butter eggs for us every year.

I decided this year to make a bar that adds another one of my favorite’s “Whoppers Mini Robins Eggs”. The mini malted milk eggs add a crunchy, not so sweet, touch to these bars. My family loved them.

An easy, make ahead, treat for Easter Sunday.

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Rosemary Focaccia Bread

I have been experimenting with different yeast breads lately. Yeast is easier to work with than you think. Don’t be scared; if you have a stand mixer, with a dough hook, you are in business. This recipe lets the mixer do all the work, kneading the dough.

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This makes a very large loaf. I think I will try this again making 3 smaller loaves to get more of the yummy crunchy edges.

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The recipe calls for a large amount of oil but it needs it to get the crunchy edges.

Goes great with my Lasagna or a hearty Bolognese sauce. The bread also freezes well.

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Blogger note…. I’ve made this recipe many times with great results. I was ready to post last week but couldn’t find my finished product pictures. Not fun, but it happens. So of course I had to make another batch last Friday. My neighbor “Amber” loves this bread, but I think she is going to kill me if I keep making it and giving her samples. She says I am trying to make her fat. No chance she is very thin. Now she can make Focaccia bread herself and stop blaming me. I will send her a sample of one of my new creation’s soon.”

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CRAB DEVILED EGGS RECIPE

Crab Deviled Eggs

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Over the past few weeks I have been experimenting with a crab salad recipe using imitation crab meat. I usually made this on Friday because typically that is my day off from cooking and crab salad really isn’t cooking.

I really wasn’t planning on blogging the recipe but the family loved it, especially when I added hard-boiled eggs to the recipe. My family loves egg salad and the combination of the two tasted awesome.

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I was trying to decide on what I was going to post for my Easter menu when I realized this new crab/egg salad recipe would make a great filling for deviled eggs. My family loves deviled eggs but we usually only have them on holidays.

I try to lighten the recipe using low-fat mayo. You can use real crab if you want, but the imitation crab works fine for this type of dish and is definitely more economical.

Great as salad if you do not want to stuff the eggs. Serve over lettuce or with crackers.

I hope you enjoy and have a Happy Easter!!

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March 23 is National Chips and Dip Day

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

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Here are today’s five thing to know about Chips and Dip:

  1.  The potato chip was first invented in 1853.
  2.  Dips for chips first become popular in the 1950s serving as finger food.
  3.  Choices of chips can be tortilla chips, potato chips, or pretzels.
  4. It takes 10,000 pounds of potatoes to make 3,500 pounds of potato chips.
  5.  Dips can be salsa, guacamole, cheese, hummus, olive dip – anything can be made into a dip.

Fun Fact:

Hummus, as part of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines for centuries, did not appear in the United States until after World War II.

The first chip-and-dip set was made by glass and this two-bowl set was advertised  as useful not only for potato chips, but also for salads, floral centerpieces and seafood snacks..

The Oxford English Dictionary added the term  “dip” in print,  in 1960.

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Today’s Food History

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Bruschetta al Pomodoro

TwoYoungLadies

“Day-old bread, month-old oil, and year-old wine”–Italian Proverb

This saying applies to today’s recipe, Bruschetta. Bruschetta, itself, is originally just toasted bread, olive oil and garlic.  It gained in popularity in the different regions of Italy, where they each made their own version.

The most popular version includes the proud colors of the Italian flag. Green = Basil, white =  garlic, red = tomatoes.  This is referred to as bruschetta al pomodoro.

Ours isn’t quite traditional, but it certainly has the flavors of it. We like a more saucy bruschetta, so the bread can absorb some of the Italian flag goodness aka basil, garlic, and tomatoes.

How beautiful is our little basil plant.


What you need:

  • cutting board
  • knife
  • garbage bowl

Ingredients:

  • 5 roma tomatoes
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (12 oz)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 baguette…

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BACON CHEDDAR RANCH CHEESE BALL

Great easy appetizer for your March Madness watch party!!

For another great appetizer check out my

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Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball

Tonja Busch

Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball

Recipe makes two balls

What you need:
2 8oz package of cream cheese softened
1 pack bacon cooked and crumbled (set aside 1/4 cup to coat the outside)
1 packet ranch dip mix
2 T Ranch dressing ( 1 tablespoon for each cheese ball)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Mix together 1 cream cheese, bacon, half the ranch dip mix, 1 TBS ranch dressing, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Then form into a ball and cover with 1/2 cup cheese and the bacon you set aside. repeat for second ball. Then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until ready to serve

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March 21 is National Crunchy Taco Day

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

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Here are today’s five thing to know about Taco:

  1. Founder, Glenn Bell, first opened the chain “Del Tacos,” a hot dog and taco franchise.
  2. He was the first to fry his taco shells in advance.  Before then, they were fried on demand.
  3. They were the first fast food chain to have move tie-in promotions.
  4. In 1962, a tacos only cost 19 cents.
  5. Even though the 1990 Chihuahua was an advertising phenomenon, taco sales actually went down during that period.

Fun Fact:

The word taco started in the 18th century silver mines in Mexico. Back then, a taco was just some paper wrapped around gunpowder.

Taco Bell has tried to enter the Mexican market twice, failing both times, even after branding their food “American” food.

In 1914, the first recipes for tacos were put into an English cookbook.

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Mexican Chipotle Layered Bake

www.dadwhats4dinner.comWe were very busy, a few weekends ago, with different functions. We had our monthly Dinner Group at our house on Saturday. It was The Pioneer Woman theme night. I will explain this and my menu in another post. I cooked all day Saturday and had a fabulous dinner. Usually on Sunday I cook a meal or two for the blog and also take various meats out of the freezer so I can plan my meals for the week. But by this Sunday afternoon I was beat. I didn’t feel like cooking a big meal. I had yummy leftovers from the night before for lunch and I was full. But the pesky kids always want to eat.

I had a pound of ground beef in the freezer and decided to make taco meat for the kids. Then my mind does what it usually does and I make the ordinary, extraordinary, using just ingredients I have in the house. I made a Mexican Chipotle Layered Bake with minimal effort. I used Herdez Chilpotle Salsa for a smokey taste, but any salsa will do. This dish could also be used as an appetizer party dip if you want. The kids placed the mixture on soft tacos and they loved it. Simple, good and quick!

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One Skillet Cod and Sausage Paella

One Skillet Cod and Sausage Paellawww.dadwhats4dinner.com

I’m not a big fan of boxed rice mixes because of the sodium and preservatives. But like most families I am always looking for shortcuts, but I try to find healthier versions which are lower in sodium and fat. But when I find a product that makes my life easier I will incorporate my own ingredients into the recipe to make a quicker healthier dish.

I found this McCormick Paella Rice Mix at our local Jungle Jim’s food market. It had been in my pantry since October. Jungle Jim’s is a Cincinnati specialty grocery and a regional favorite. If you are ever in the Cincinnati area it is must see for foodies.

I had taken cod loins out of the freezer earlier in the day and wasn’t sure how I was going to fix them. The kids love cod made into homemade fish nuggets. I need to post the recipe for cod nuggets but it is usually a last-minute dinner idea and not on my food blog agenda. So the rice mix in the pantry and voila, Paella.


Paella (Valencian: [paˈeʎa] or [pəˈeʎə], Spanish: [paˈeʎa], is a Valencian rice dish with ancient roots that originated in its modern form in the mid-nineteenth century near Albufera lagoon, a coastal lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain.[1] The dish is widely regarded as Spain’s national dish

The three best known types of paella are Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco), and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well. Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe[citation needed] and consists of white rice, large white beans, flat green beans, tomato, meat (chicken and rabbit), salt, oil, water and seasoning such as saffron, rosemary and occasionally lemon. Optional ingredients include artichoke, pepper and chicken liver. Seafood paella replaces meats with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of land animals, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans.  All types of paellas use olive oil.

Courtsey of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paella


To make this a more substantial meal for my family of five, I added a bag of Uncle Ben’s Ready long and brown rice, 90 seconds in the microwave and it is ready to go. I also had mixed sausages in the freezer, so I added them. You can substitute any type of proteins in this dish, as it is very versatile, such as shrimp, chicken, white fish or sausages. If chorizo is to spicy for your taste, substitute Italian sausage.

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One pot, 40 minute dish, start to finish. This dish would make a great Lenten meal just leave out the chorizo and add shrimp with the cod.

Check out my Cheap Meal Guide at the bottom of the post.

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March 18 is National Sloppy Joe Day

Here is your easy dinner choice for tonight, Sloppy Joes!!!

Nothing fancy but always good. Pickle or no pickle?

I like to use ground turkey.

Here is a great recipe for homemade Sloppy Joes from Brown Eyed Baker

Homemade Sloppy Joes

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, dice

1 green pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 pounds ground beef

2 cups tomato puree

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

Hamburger buns, to serve

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and pepper and sauté until soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper while cooking. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Remove from the pan to a bowl.

2. Add the ground beef to the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the beef is completely browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. If the beef has released a lot of fat, drain off most of it.

3. Add the vegetables back to the pan and stir in the tomato puree, ketchup, brown sugar and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve on hamburger buns. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

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Here are today’s five thing to know about Sloppy Joe:

  1. Most believe the sloppy joe was first served in Havannah Cuba at the bar and café “Sloppy Joe’s” in the early 1900’s.
  2. The sloppy joe goes by many names, including manwich, slush burger, yum yums,barbecue, dynamite, and even sloppy jane.
  3. “Sloppy Joe’s” were mentioned in several movies of the 1930’s, Citizen Kane and even It’s a Wonderful Life. Even though it was not widely popular until the 1960’s.
  4. In 1969, Hunt’s revolutionized the Sloppy Joe when it introduced its Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce.
  5. Many say that a cook named Joe in Sioux City, Iowa, in the 1920′ created a sandwich of  “loose meat” served in bread, a “sloppy’ Joe.

Fun Fact:

Sloppy joes are often called by different names in different parts of the United States such as barbecues, dynamites, gulash, sloppy janes, slushburgers, steamers, wimpies and yum yums.

Some variations…

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