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Friday, December 30, 2016

Passive Savings Plan

I figured with the new year starting, I'd share some of my Passive Savings Plans ... it's not rocket science, trust me, BUT I do have a hard time saving money, intentionally and then leaving it alone.  These 4 things work for me and I hope you are able to find something that works for YOU!

Yes, they are all referral links and I will receive a small compensation IF you opt to sign up through one of these programs.  If you prefer not to go through my link, simply google the name of the program and click directly through 😉

Are ANY of you setting goals for the new year? I'm on the fence. I do it every year and then before you know it, it's already August and you are like WTF? The year is more than half over with no hope of achieving some of those goals now!

1.       Digit.  Digit is a cool little program that sweeps a few pennies to a few dollars per day from your bank account. You will need text messaging for this as they send you a daily text message with your account balances for the bank and their account.  Once you want to withdraw funds from Digit, simply send a text message and within 48 hours, those funds will be in your bank account again.  I like to use this STRICTLY for debt paydown.  I save until I hit $100 and then sweep it and add it to my lowest balance credit card. It’s like an extra payment in my mind as that is added on top of my usual monthly payment.  You have the option to “save more” or “save less” by telling the program to do so.  I’ve been using this program since 2013 and have NOT had any issues. *Note, really, had I been smarter in my spending I'd have paid off TWO credit cards and then some already! $3,485??



HIGHLIGHTS

Total Savings Since Joining Digit
$3,485.18
Total Savings Transfers
232
Average Savings Transfer
$15
Average Days Between Transfers
2.07
Total Digit Savings Bonuses
$0.15

2.       CapitalOne 360.  This is another online account that I use. I actually have 2 3 set up. One is long term savings and one is short term.  You sign up on line with this link (yes it’s a referral link), tell it how much to take and how often.  For extremely painless savings, just start with $5 or $10 a week.  I’m up to $100 a week now which is sort of neat and I think I’m going to increase it another $10 per week.  I use this for our property taxes, insurances, etc. All those things that come around every 4, 6 or 12 months.  Interest paid is a little better than your local bank is. Funds are generally held for 24 hours and released back upon request within 24 hours. I also make it a point to deposit any large bonus checks I get (my Christmas bonus was rather substantial this year and 80% of it went straight to my long term program). Again, been using this for years and have had NO issues.  I just recently set up another Capital One 360 checking account for groceries to try and keep my grocery shopping in check for the new year! FYI - there is a sign up bonus of $25 going on right now, read the fine print!

3.       Swagbucks.  Ok, this is not necessarily a “savings plan” BUT I love it.  I’ve swapped out my home page to be Swagbucks.com and use it for all my searches, even coming to my blog page.  500 points will give you a $5 amazon gift card.  Also, you can use Swagbucks to shop, simply type in Amazon, Best Buy, Target or Macy’s or any other number of stores and click on the link that’s provided to earn points on your purchase (1 Swagbuck for each dollar spent is the norm) … in my opinion, it’s a no brainer!  I use my Swagbucks for Amazon just about 100% … those gift cards add up quickly when you use activate the shopping feature. I order my office supplies this way, any online ordering is done through a Swagbuck search!  It takes a few weeks to get the points to your account and then only a few days to request a gift card code.  *If you are more in the actual cash factor, you can also redeem for Paypal. I’m not a huge Paypal user so I don’t use that option.

4.       Just say no. I also have the mentality that all I have to do is say NO.  Of course, that does not apply to Honeycrisp Apples, Aldi, Trader Joes, but for the most part, I can walk away.  Either that or just know that I can’t arbitrarily walk in to Target for ONE thing for $5 … it’ just doesn’t work that way for me!


Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!


*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Chicken Teriyaki - Crockpot Style

Honestly, I wasn't planning on this dish ... but it just popped up on Pinterest, I had everything I needed to make it, and tossed in some more of them veggies from the freezer and called it a day.

The only thing was, I made it Saturday afternoon. Hubby makes dinner on Saturdays. So this was put aside and then consumed on Sunday, reheated in a skillet, not the microwave.

If you do grains, rice, whatnot, this would be excellent served that way. As I TRY not to, I just plopped mine in to a large bowl, sprinkled the sesame seeds over the top and chowed down. I'm thinking next time I will try some Cauliflower Rice to up my veggie intake!


It's simple ... really. BUT I wouldn't call this a meal to have after a long day at work or something  because it only hangs out in the crockpot for 4 to 5 hours ... unless you can set the crockpot to turn on at a certain time?

Here's what you need:

2 lbs boneless chicken. I used chicken breast, only because they defrosted faster. Next time I'll try thighs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp minced ginger (I use the stuff in the tube)
2 tbs cider vinegar. Umm, I used apple cider vinegar as that's all I had?
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp or so of black pepper
cornstarch

Cut your chicken in to bite size chunks and toss onto a plate or shallow pan. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss with hands to coat a little more.

Spray crockpot with non stick spray and toss the chicken in (not the excess cornstarch!)

Mix the balance of ingredients in small bowl and pour over the chicken.

Put lid on the crockpot, turn to high for 4 hours and go shop, swim, exercise, read a book, nap ... do SOMETHING to get out of the kitchen! :-)

DING! 4 hours are up ... go check on the chicken. Does it look happy? Swimming in a little sauce?

At this time, I tossed in the frozen veggies as I didn't want them to be super mushy and let them cook on low for another hour.

THEN I dished it up ...

And took a taste. Smacked my lips and wished like MAD that I had opted to do this on a Sunday afternoon instead!! Did you miss the beginning of this post??

Go ahead, give it a try ... I think you will like it!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Pom & Prosecco Cocktails

Merry Christmas!!

*This is a repost from last New Years and well, it's rather fitting again this year! I currently do not have the Prosecco, but DO have 4 now 6 bottles of Champagne in the freezer fridge (2 Moet, 3 Cuerve and 1 less expensive brand, NOT Korbel!)  Seriously, this is what I will most likely be drinking on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve!  Definitely on New Years Eve since I figured I'm starting another round of Whole30 on Friday and I sure as hell do NOT want to be hungover!  I have 6 bottles of champagne which should be more than adequate for the dinner toastings, the mimosas AND the midnight toast ... if necessary and see it on sale, will buy a few more bottles of Prosecco (if it's on sale). I DO have the POM so that's not a problem!

Let's face it ... on a whim, I will sometimes buy things spontaneously, with good intentions ... just like when I bought 2 bottles of Prosecco a few months back. By the time I got around to wanting to use them, I couldn't remember just what the heck I had planned!

This could be why I really need to do the Pantry Challenge and stick with it this January! **2016 is a Whole30 Challenge ... lets hope there are a few items in the pantry to be used!!**

Uggh.

So, I had these two bottles of POM I got from Costco (which I justify in saying they were a GREAT deal and a healthy juice option) ... the kids have been chugging a little here, a little there, I had a splash with some vodka a few weeks ago ... but otherwise, what the heck was the ORIGINAL reason I bought them? I still have one bottle, half full ...

It was 82 degrees New Years Eve day with a low of 76 that night 


Ah HAH! Then I remembered ...

1 champagne flute (well, rather, however many participates there are, in my case, ONE!)
fill flute 1/3 with POM juice
Fill close to top with the Prosecco
Arils (the seeds from the pomegrante)- totally optional but so wish I had them to do so!


Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post contains affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)






Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shredded Salsa Chicken - InstantPot Style

We've kind of left the Instant Pot alone for a few weeks and I just felt like I needed to bring it out again ... so what the heck, let's make a super simple meal, shall we?

Just a little inside scoop: Hubby has used the thing MORE than me ... he's become the designated cook lately and well, he doesn't always follow the directions and we've had a few flops ...


Back to an EASY meal that only uses a few ingredients.  All you need is the following:

2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast (I started using thighs because they are less expensive AND more flavorful!)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
black pepper
generous dash of oregano
1 jar chunky salsa (about 2 cups worth)

Ready??


Mix the salt, cumin pepper and oregano in a small bowl and season the chicken on both sides.

Toss them bad boys in the pot and dump the salsa over the chicken.

Secure the lid, making sure your vent is CLOSED and press the poultry button, adding another 5 minutes so you have a total of 20 minutes cook time.

  
Rule #1 - always make sure the seal is tight  Rule #2 - always make sure your vent is closed!


Let the Instant Pot do it's thing and wait for the pressure to release when done cooking (seriously, this will take a total of  about 30 to 35 minutes. TOTAL time to come to pressure, cook and de-pressurize).

  
Start time                                    Dishing up

Pull chicken out of pot and either chop chop or shred with 2 forks (I like mine chunkier so I chopped) and add salsa from pot to the shredded chicken.


Serve up any which way you'd like:  over pasta (zucchini noodles!), as a taco filling (or lettuce!), over rice (or riced cauliflower!) ... or eat it as is (like Hubby!)

Another side note: did you know that there is actually jarred salsa out there that's Whole30 compliant? This jar of Chi-Chi's is ... as is Tostitos.  Who would have thought! IF you are doing a Whole30, just read your labels and be prepared to be surprised!

Enjoy!

**Yes, this can be cooked in a crockpot instead ... cook on low for about 4 hours**

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Quick Trip to Costco

We just dropped the price on the house and the realtor was having an open house Sunday afternoon ... so I convinced Hubby to go with me to Costco to return the lights (and cheese) and then we'd drive through our soon to be neighborhood to scope out some houses.

Always an adventure to be had!

So, Costco. Was a madhouse.  Hubby dropped me off in the middle of the parking lot so I could go stand in line to return my stuff and he could find a parking space.  Mind you, we were driving Brutus which is the BIG truck.  Yeah, it was fine.

So, I'm standing in line for what seemed forever and finally got up to the cashier.  She didn't save but maybe five words to me, all the while just chatting away to the other cashier.  I got back $188 but seriously, didn't count the money to me, tell me how much it was or anything. I was a little surprised by her rudeness BUT then again, I would HATE to work at Costco during this time of year 😑

So, we shopped. Very selective. And QUICK. Too many people and Hubby was not amused today.  No samples for us.

$111.72 with cash. It's a miracle!

bag of celery sticks $3.99

6 pack of romaine lettuce $3.89
6 pound bag of frozen strawberries $10.99
large container of blueberries $5.99
large package of french green beans $4.99
container of fresh cut pineapple $7.99
large bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs $12.99
HUGE pork loin $15.29
large pork loin roast $15.82
2.5 pounds of cashews $16.99
40 pk of AA batteries $14.89 less $3

All that ... for $111.72.  I'm ok with it, honestly. I've got some plans for the pork and chicken thighs ... green beans are a staple and the pineapple has been making a more frequent appearance in our household since Hubby had his first grilled spear 😉

Only thing missing was eggs. They didn't have the 2 pk of 18 count extra large eggs ... not sure what happened there! I can pick up cheap eggs at Aldi later this week.

Been to Costco lately?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Creamy Crock Pot Potato Soup

Hey hey, it's Sunday which means it's time to share another SUNDAY SOUP! Let this cook all day on your Sunday Funday and you'll be set for dinner!

THIS soup is yummy and I get really excited when I'm making it ... its just a little bowl of pure comfort food to me ... yummmy ....

The last few times I made this, I switched it up a little and used the refrigerated steakhouse seasoned diced potatoes .... I really liked the seasoned taters and plan to stick with that from here on out!



Another thing I have to point out: toppings. I love toppings, but then again, I love a loaded baked potato ... so that's how you need to look at it. Do you like bacon, cheese, green onions on your baked potato? Then, by all means, add those to your cup of soup. Otherwise, eat it naked and make feel a little healthier for doing so ;-)  I've not added the toppings to the ingredient list below ... just add what YOU like to top off your soup!

So...enough with the ramble ... lets get cooking!!

2 bags (20 oz each) of steakhouse seasoned diced potatoes (or you can use frozen potatoes)
2 cartons (32 oz) of chicken stock 
1 can cream o' chicken soup 
1/2 onion, chopped fine OR a real generous shake of the dehydrated onions
1/4 tsp ground black pepper 
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese ... do not use fat free as it will not melt down

As with ALL crockpot meals, just dump everything in the crockpot except the cream cheese. Give a little stir, put the lid on and set it to high for 6 hours or 8 hours on low (your choice).



After the time has gone by ... take the lid off, cut up the cream cheese into cubes and toss those in the crock pot. Add the lid back on and walk away for an hour or so, til the cheese has melted.

Because I like my soup creamy, I grab the immersion blender and go to town making the soup nice and smooth. If you prefer, leave it chunky. It's up to you and I won't judge! :-)

IF the soup is too thick, you can add a little water, chicken broth or milk to thin out a little.

Dish up, add your toppings if using, and dig in to this little bowl of comfort ... enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sweet N Sticky Wings

The holidays are upon us and I don't know about you but it's also known as Appetizer Season in my house!  That's why you've been seeing quite a few reposts with appetizers (oh, yeah, and soup, because I'm still waiting for cooler weather here!)

I made these the first time when I was having a girls night and freaked out when I realized thought that I wouldn't have enough food to go around ... how silly of ME ...

So, of course, in my panic, I hopped over to Pinterest to see what I could find for some quick, simple appetizers, using what I already had on hand. Surprisingly enough, I was able to make meatballs AND wings! Woohoo! Totally blew off the chicken apple sausage I was going to make though when I realized just how much food I really did have! Go figure!

The original recipe comes from Hip 2 Save and I really liked these! I made them pretty much according to the recipe, but next time, I think I will bypass the "sticky" addition and not baste and cook the wings with the sauce. They were good, I just prefer my wings to NOT be sticky!

Here's who I did it:

30 wings (I have that 10 lb bag I picked up at Costco a while ago)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (um, I actually did a few shakes and *may* have added a touch too much)

For the sauce you will need:
1 cup of hickory flavored bbq sauce (I used bulls eye from pantry, wish I had used Hubbys sauce)
1/2 cup honey
2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs Srirarchi (or other hot sauce you have on hand)
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Turn oven on to heat to 375. I used my convection roast option.

Rinse and dry wings. Generously spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Lay wings out on a baking tray. Sprinkle the seasoning over them. I should have flipped and seasoned both sides but I didn't.

Bake wings 25 minutes and then flip them all over and bake another 20 minutes. I like mine well done.

While the wings are cooking, make your sauce. Just mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

After wings have cooked for the 45 minutes and they are done, use a brush and brush the sauce generously over all the wings and put back in oven for 10 minutes or so. Flip them again and sauce up the naked backsides. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, stand back, admire, and taste one. Yummm ...



These were really really good and all 12 of the girlfriends loved them. I'm just not a fan of sticky sauce that's all. The taste was great!

Once they were cooked, I tossed them all in a crockpot on "warm" to keep them hot ...

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!


*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bite Size Caprese

*This is a repost and I just made these this last weekend for our annual, and probably LAST Boat Parade Party ... these are always a hit, and like so many other appetizers, make more than you think you'll need because they will be gone!

After devouring some cinnamon rolls, we cleaned up the kitchen and Hubby got busy with the turkey breast and hunk of beef ... I ran to pick up my dad which was an hour round trip ... 

When I got home, I prepped these little guys. Seriously, so simple to make and such a hit with all people and tastes!  I had made these for the boat parade party and they were the first thing gone ... and I had over 3 lbs of grape tomatoes that I had used ... whew!



Putting them on a toothpick and making them seriously bite size is so much better than the whole sliced tomato ... much easier to eat and way less messy!

It's easy to do, and makes a pretty presentation on top of it! Gotta love that!



Package of grape tomatoes, rinsed and patted dry
mozzarella balls, cut in half (technically called Bocconcini or Ciliegine - Costco has the best prices on this!)
fresh basil leaves
toothpicks
balsamic glaze (this is the brand I used)

Are you ready?  

Lay out your tooth picks on the counter.

Grab a toothpick, spear a tomato with it (I did it side to side as stem to bottom takes up too much toothpick space), grab a basil leave and fold in half/quarters if larger, thread that on next and then spear a mozzarella half.  



Line up on the toothpick so it's pretty much centered and place on a serving tray.



Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.

Arrange the sticks on a tray in some sort of fashion, whatever makes you happy, and then drizzle a light stream of the balsamic glaze over the top.

Now. When you get tired of threading what feels like hundreds of these things, just take an easy way out and dump them in a bowl, cut up the basil with a pair of scissors and call it a day ;-)



Here's the funny thing ... a few people thought these were some sort of dessert tidbits as the glaze is really dark and looks like chocolate ;-)

*Note, I didn't add the balsamic glaze til right before the party started which is WHY I don't have any pictures of the absolute final product!

Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

DIY Cocktail Sauce

A few years ago, I ran out of cocktail sauce on Christmas ... what horrible timing!!



So a quick Google search gave me this recipe, and what do you know, I had everything, thankfully!


1 cup ketchup
1 tbs horseradish (more or less to your taste)
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper


Put all in bowl and whisk. Cover and allow to chill before serving. I put some in a small martini glass to serve for the shrimp appetizers.

I'm glad I made this on Christmas as I was planning on having a small shrimp platter on New Years Eve ... I feel way better now, knowing I can have this instead of a jar of the prepared stuff ... now I need to try the homemade ketchup again 😉



Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!


*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

French Onion Soup

Annnnnddd ... in keeping with the Sunday Soup / Soup Sunday routine, I present to you:

French Onion Soup

This is an all time favorite of our household and usually once it get's below 65 degrees at night, we whip the recipe out and make it! It's a simple recipe, doesn't require any really funky ingredients and I've made it during a pantry challenge!

Gosh ... I look at the bottom of the recipe printout and see that I've had this since late 1998 .... wow!

I've made this specific recipe a few times, but then I get distracted with a newer recipe and try that ... and ALWAYS have to listen to Hubby ask why I don't just stick with the first one I have... he's right.







Here's what you need ....

3 lbs of onions, make sure ONE is a sweet onion, and ONE is a red onion
1/2 pound smoked bacon - honestly, any bacon is fine
2 tbs thyme (dried)
12 cups beef stock
1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
1 tbs sea salt
black pepper to taste
1 tbs dry sherry
6 ounces sliced provolone, gruyere or mozz cheese (whatever you have will work)
6 slices of baguette or other thick bread OR just use croutons

Cut your bacon up in 1/2 inch or so pieces and cook in a LARGE heavy bottom pot til crispy.



While bacon is cooking, slice your onions thin, thin, thin. I use a mandoline, and I asked Hubby how on earth I sliced all those onions back in the day so thin before I had this thing? He said it wasn't pretty ... hmmm ... I think I need to hold back a bowl of soup from him ...



Remove bacon to a lined bowl to drain and toss the onion slices in, on top of the bacon fat, add the 2 tbs thyme. Give a quick stir to mix everything up and then let the onions sit there, undisturbed for about 10 minutes, give them them a quick stir again and really leave them alone for about 20 minutes so they can caramelized. The secret is to NOT TOUCH the onions ... hard as it may be.

Once onions are caramelized, pour in the 1/2 cup of vermouth to deglaze. Allow to cook a minute or so and then pour in the broth and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. NOW, add in your bacon and sherry. Let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour and marvel at the lovely, deep color of the broth. Yummm.

When ready to serve:

Toast the slices of bread under broiler. NOTE: I always drizzle a bit of olive oil on the bread just to give it a little more 'richness'

Place oven proof bowls on a baking tray.

Place bread slice in bowl, ladle a generous portion of soup over the top. Add a slice of cheese carefully over the top of the soup.

Place in oven under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve up and warn everyone that a) the bowl is HOT and b) the SOUP is hot ...


Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)



Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Trip to Costco

Ahem.

The grocery shopping has been fairly moderate by our standards lately and we fully intend to keep it that way ...

But then Costco happens.

Granted, a lot of the stuff on the list is specifically for a party we have coming on the 10th (Boat Parade!) but still ...

and the Boy was along for the ride to pick up a few things AND a few gifts as well ...

Honey $12.99 (the Boy)
4 pounds unsalted butter $9.49
4 boxes of tape/rope/flat lights $39.99 each ... Hubby and I are going back and forth whether to use them or return them. Most likely going back
large bottle of Fabuloso $7.99
Kirkland brand flushable wipes $14.99
24 pk of Red Bull (because some days we need wings) $32.89
3 twin packs of yogurt $5.89 each (the Boy)
Gatorade variety pack $15.89 (the Boy)
4 pk of beautiful New York Strip steaks $24.92 (thinking Christmas grilling)
40 count water bottles $4.99 (party)
2 pk Nerf Blasters $15.99 (the Boy gift for soon to be BIL)
45 count Starbux Kcups $42.99 less $6
Art set $29.99 (the Boy gift for sister - this set is AWESOME!)
3 pack of european salami choices $11.99 (party)
oatmeal $7.99 (the Boy)
2 pkgs 3 dozen xlarge eggs $2.19 each (yeah for cheap eggs again!!!)
2 trays lasagna $11.99 each (party)
2 containers of Burattas (fresh mozzarella balls) $6.79 each (party)
variety pack of crackers $7.99 (party)
protein bars $17.99 (the Boy)
2 bags of 31/40 shrimp $15.99 each (party)
large bag of celery sticks $3.99 (party)
tomato mixture $6.49 (party)
Asian Chopped Salad mix $4.99
french beans $4.99
bananas $1.39
cheese tray $9.99 (party)
5 pk romaine lettuce $3.89
3 pk cucumbers $3.99

Grand total? $561.02 with tax. Good news? $160 will be coming back if I return the lights. The Boy will give me $100 for his stuff ... so really, I only spent: $300 ... but still!

I'm pretty excited about the egg prices again, I will say that!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

It's that time of year where we open our doors to friends and family and celebrate the holidays!

How exciting!

BUT ... you have to be able to feed these people when they show up at your door.



This is a pretty simple appetizer to make and it's a crowd pleaser so go ahead, make it for your next gathering!

*And if you are doing Whole30, use a sugar free bacon (normally MOST low sodium bacon IS sugar free, but read your labels!) and you've got yourself a pretty nifty little appetizer to share ...



Here you go:

2 cans of WHOLE water chestnuts (not the sliced ones!) 
1 pkg of bacon - slices cut in two
toothpicks

Grab a large baking sheet and lay out a large piece of parchment paper over it. Turn oven on to 375 degrees. I think I may have fallen over that Amazon sells Kirkland's parchment paper (Costco)??!!

Drain the water chestnuts and dump them out on the cutting board (or plate, whatever).  Open your bacon and cut it in half.

Wrap each water chestnut in bacon, as tight as you can, secure with a toothpick pierced all the way through.  Toss the bacon wrapped nuts on to the baking sheet and spread out to give a little room between them.


*Yes, I do stand mine up but it's not a requirement*

Bake for 15 minutes or til the bacon is cooked to your liking. Yes, you can burn these so keep an eye on them ;-)

I serve mine naked. I know a lot of people make these and then douse them with bbq sauce or some other glaze (teriyaki sauce?) which is fine and dandy, but for me, I like them just bacon and water chestnutty ;-)

Enjoy! 


Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!

*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)




Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sweet & Spicy Meatballs

Hey, it's a repost, but with the holidays upon us and I have a Boat Parade Party coming up, time to bring out all the favorites...*

I had that girls night recently ... and had a momentary panic attack that I maybe didn't have enough food to feed the masses sufficiently. Really, who am I trying to kid? I had tons of food!

However, in my panic mode, I jumped on Pinterest ... of course!  I found this cool meatball recipe (and had everything on hand, thankfully because I was NOT going to the store!) and tossed these together ...

The boyfriend (of Princess) loved the sauce ... as did 10 of the 12 girlfriends ... me, not a whole lot, just because it's not the way my meatballs usually taste ... but I would certainly make these again as they were a HIT! (The 2 who did not like that much said they would rather have the spicy meatballs instead).

For the record, this picture was taken as everyone was scooping them up!

Original recipe comes from Oh Bite It ... and it's pretty much true to form.  My meatballs were the pre-made ones from Costco, Italian style. I'm thinking maybe plain meatballs would be better suited, but still, EVERYONE loved these...so go ahead and give them a try! Here's how I did it:

1 1/2 lbs of frozen meatballs. I used the Costco Italian Meatballs, my favorite and it emptied the bag
1 cup molasses - used up the rest of Hubby's stash for his BBQ sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic powder (not salt)
1 tsp ginger
pinch of cayenne (I sort of wish I had added more, that might have sold me)
1/2 cup water

Add everything to a pot except the meatballs. Stir and heat over low to a slight simmer, stirring occasionally.

Add meatballs, stir to coat well. Allow to simmer til meatballs are cooked. Truth be told ... I heated mine up and then transferred them to a crock pot to keep warm til the party was underway! Perfect!

Serve up on a platter with toothpicks. The cool girl over at Oh Bite It served hers with pretzel sticks for the spears ... I'm just not that cool and would rather save the sticks for dippin' :-)

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cracked Up Onion Dip

FYI ... THIS IS VERY ADDICTIVE AND YOU WILL WISH YOU HAD MADE A DOUBLE BATCH!


It's been a looooong time since I made this as we were making it every weekend and both Hubby and I decided that it was a little too indulgent to make "just because it's Saturday!" BUT now the Boat Parade Party is coming up and well, what better time than that to make this again! Yippee!!

Cheese? Yup, in the freezer! Onions, of course, and SWEET VIDALIA ones at that! Cream cheese? Yup, down to 2 now in the fridge. Mayo ... yes, sadly, store bought.  Parmesan cheese? Wasn't 100% certain but I have some! 

This is one of those dishes that people will be crowding around, giving a little jab of the elbow at times to try and get a scoop of the yumminess ...


We've had friends who just pull up a barstool at the counter and just basically hover over the dish, inhaling it without a care in the world ... 

Trust me, the one guy is Mr. Health Conscious and does not just eat stuff to nibble on ... and I just can't wait to see him do this again at the party!

It's damn good ... give it a try!



1 cup of mayo (used my homemade stuff)
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, room temp and cut into cubes for easier mashing
1 regular size SWEET VIDALIA onion, diced (or any other kind just as good)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (the real stuff)
generous sprinkling of black pepper
generous sprinkling of dried parsley

Add all to a large bowl and mix well. Really mash the cream cheese as it will want to stay chunky.


Spray a shallow baking dish with nonstick spray and cook 45 minutes or so at 350 til nice, bubbly and brown. 


Serve with a thicker tortilla chip or hardy cracker (this is not the time for a buttery ritz type cracker!)

Seriously, I am always surprised at how fast this disappeared. You may want to DOUBLE the recipe so you don't come back to an empty tray within minutes.


*You can always add this to a small crockpot after cooking to keep it warm but most likely, it will be gone before you know it!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these GREAT Parties ... go check them out!



*This post may contain affiliate links ... click here to read my disclosure :-)