Category Archives: Appetizers


Hot Artichoke Dip

This is another winner from my grandma Betty.  She really was the best cook, but every time I make one her recipes I feel her here with me.

Food is a great way to make memories and remember people.


Make sure you hand chop your can of artichokes, don’t put them in the food processor.  They will turn to mush and your dip with not be good.


This dip is great for any occasion, and even though it’s best eaten hot, it still tastes great eaten at room temperature.


Happy munching!

Hot Artichoke Dip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Hot Artichoke Dip
Serves: 8-12
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 can of artichokes, chopped
  • 1 4 oz can green chilies
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together all ingredients.  Place in a pie dish, 8x8 baking dish, or something along that size.
  3. Cook for 30 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.
  4. Eat!

I double this all the time and cook it in a 9×13 baking dish.

I like to serve it with chips, but some veggies would also be good with it.


Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Are you in the camp that has to have black-eyed peas on New Years Day or your year will be ruined?  Well this is the recipe for you.


This salad is so good and chock full of things that are good for you too.  What better way to start the new year?

This recipe calls for corn on the cob and I’m going to share my ultra secret tip to cooking corn on the cob.  I eat corn so much more now that I’ve figured this out!

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Pilgrim Hats

These Pilgrim Hats are a spin on pigs in a blanket. My kids love to cook and anytime they can help me in the kitchen I let them. They had so much fun making these Pilgrim Hats, plus its something that kids can contribute to the Thanksgiving table.


Start by chopping a couple of hot dogs into fourths.

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Stand them up on a parchment covered cookie sheet.


Break open a can of crescent rolls and separate into triangles.


Drap the triangles over each piece of hot dog.


Use a small cookie cutter or glass dipped in flour to cut off the excess dough. I have a ton of these tall glasses from The Old Spaghetti Factory floating around my house.  Any one else have that problem?


Get some cute assistants to help you with the rest.


I don’t think my 18 month old was that into it :)


Once all of the hot dogs are covered, bake them off.


While the pilgrim hats are baking, slice up some lunch meat into strips and cut some cheddar cheese into little squares.


Then just wrap the lunch meat around the hat like a belt and place the cheddar cheese square over the ends where it meets.


So fun for all ages!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Pilgrim Hats
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pilgrim Hats
Serves: 4
  • 1 can crescent roll dough
  • 2 hot dogs
  • 3 slices of thick cut lunch meat, cut into strips
  • cheddar cheese, cut into small squares
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut each hot dog into fourths.  Stand up each hot dog piece on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles.  Drape each triangle over the hot dough, stretching to fit if necessary.
  4. Cut off the extra dough with a small cookie cutter or glass dipped in flour.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Wrap each pilgrim hat with a strip of lunch meat and place the small square of cheese over the ends.
  7. Eat!


Autumn Squash Soup

Have you guys tried the Autumn Squash Soup at Panera Bread?  It is soooo good.

I can’t afford to eat there every day so I knew I would have to come up with my own recipe.


Start by chopping up a small yellow onion,


and cooking it in some extra virgin olive oil in a big soup pot.

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Then to deal with the butternut squash.  I like to chop off the top and bottom, and then cut it in half to make it more manageable.

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Then take your knife and cut all of the skin off.  The cut your peeled halves in half (does that make sense?), scoop out the seeds, and cut into one inch cubes.


Add the cubed squash to the onions.


Then add in some sliced carrots.

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Stir in your apple juice and chicken stock, and cook until very tender over medium low heat. About 45 minutes. It will depend on how small you cut your squash.

Once its very tender blend until smooth. Then stir in one can of pumpkin puree.


Then add the curry powder, cinnamon, and honey.


Stir in your cream and the juice of half a lemon.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.


Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve with a big chunk of crusty bread.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Autumn Squash Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Autumn Squash Soup
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 3 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ¼ cup cream
  • pumpkin seeds for garnish
  1. Cook onion over medium heat in extra virgin olive oil in a big soup pot until tender.
  2. Add in butternut squash, carrots, apple juice, and stock. Cook until tender.
  3. Blend with an immersion blend until very smooth.
  4. Stir in canned pumpkin puree, curry, cinnamon, and honey. Heat thru.
  5. Add the cream and lemon juice. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds.
  7. Eat!


Bacon Wrapped Lil’Smokies

Football season is in full swing!  And if your family is anything like mine, I’m sure there is a lot of football watching, TV screaming, and eating going on!

These bacon wrapped lil smokies are another gem from my grandma Betty.

And they only have three ingredients!

You start with some bacon and cut each piece into thirds.


Make an assembly line on a cutting board,


And wrap each piece of bacon around each lil smokie.


Line them up a on foil lined baking sheet sprayed with non stick spray. Believe me when I say not to skip this step.  These pans are not fun to clean!

I always make a ton!  They are always the first to go!




Sprinkle a little bit of brown sugar on each bacon wrapped smokie


And bake them off.  425 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to take them off the cookie sheet while they are still warm or the sugar will re-crystalize and you will not be able to get them off.


I like to keep them in some sort of warming tray or chaffing dish.  They are best eaten warm!

You will have everyone asking for the recipe!

Bacon Wrapped Lil'Smokies
Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies
  • Bacon, each slice cut into third
  • Lil'Smokies
  • Brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wrap each lil smokie with a piece of bacon.
  3. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet, and sprinkle with a little bit of brown sugar.
  4. Bake in a 425 degree oven, until the bacon is cooked.
  5. Eat!