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Chicken jalapeno dip

This delicious Mexican dip is flavorful, spicy and cheesy, my three favorite ways to describe food. I love that it is unique and familiar all at once. I am marking this as a new favorite for parties. Or, just for those indulgent days when my husband and I decide to enjoy a margarita and a spicy, gooey treat. We are due for one of those soon.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine:

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese

1/3 cup skim milk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 jalapeno peppers, chopped (give or take, depending how much you like for your mouth to burn)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pull and coarsely shred the meat from 1 Rotisserie chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Add the chicken meat to the mixture and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized, greased baking dish.

Top with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with chips and pita bread. Have a cold margarita handy! 

Click here for a printable recipe!


Reuben braid

I find it unappetizing to use the word "loaf" when describing food, bread being the exception. I, along with the girls who attended our Bloggy Day party last month, pondered long and hard about what word might be a good replacement in this instance. Even the slightest of negative connotations should not surround the word "Reuben." By the end of the night, our Reuben loaf had turned into Reuben braid. Still not perfect, but better. So, allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite new foods, the delicious Reuben braid.

I adore Reuben sandwiches. Years ago, I lived a few blocks from a divey little restaurant in Omaha that made the world's best Reubens. Strangely enough, in an attempt to find the name of the restaurant, I discovered that the Reuben sandwich originated in Omaha! Anyhow, I miss that place, whatever its name might be.

I found this Reuben loaf, er, braid recipe in Taste of Home magazine and furiously ripped the page out. My friend Jess helped pull it together (thanks, Jess!) because I was making about 8 recipes at once and needed a hand. It was one of the favorites at our party. It is fabulously tasty and I often find myself thinking about it at odd times during the day. I absolutely cannot wait to make and eat it again.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

On a large, greased baking sheet, roll 1 pound of thawed frozen pizza dough into a 15x12-inch rectangle.

Down the center, layer:

3/4 pound thinly sliced deli pastrami

1/2 cup Thousand Island salad dressing

1/2 pound sliced Swiss cheese

1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained

On each long side, cut 1-inch strips until you reach about a 1/2 inch from the center.

Fold alternating strips across the filling and pinch the ends to seal.

Beat together in a small bowl:

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon cold water

Brush the mixture over the braid.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-38 minutes, or until golden brown. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

ENJOY. You will enjoy, I promise.

Reuben Braid

The Reuben sandwich transformed! This is DELICIOUS and a definite crowd-pleaser. (source:

Serves: 8-10

Total time: 50 min

Reuben Braid


  • 1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed
  • 3/4 pound thinly sliced deli pastrami
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
  • 1/2 pound sliced Swiss cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  1. On a greased baking sheet, roll pizza dough into a 15x12 inch rectangle. Arrange pastrami down the center third of rectangle; spread with dressing. Top with cheese and sauerkraut.
  2. On each long side, cut 1-inch-wide strips about ½ inch into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Pinch ends to seal. Beat egg yolk and water; brush over braid.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-38 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.




Four-cheese french onion soup

A friend recently asked me if I had any Dutch oven recipes to share on this website. I did not, so I searched for something delicious. This was my favorite of the list I pulled together. What could be more delicious than a cheesy French Onion Soup? Although I have not ordered French Onion Soup from a restaurant in ages, I have to say that this recipe was the best FOS I've had in a very long time. Perhaps even the best ever. It was DELICIOUS.

Did you know that with a Dutch oven you can go from stovetop to oven to table in one dish?! There's a reason this cooking vessel has been around for hundreds of years. I'm excited to try some different recipes with my versatile little pot!

In a Dutch oven, melt together:

1/3 cup butter, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil


3 large onions, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir frequently.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup all-purpose flour over the mixture.

Stir until blended.

Gradually stir in:

Two 32-oz. cartons beef broth

1 1/2 cups white wine

Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 additional minutes, while stirring occasionally.

Place 8 French bread slices (1/2-inch thick) on an ungreased baking sheet (use as many servings as there will be per sitting). Broil for 3-5 minutes on each side, 3-4 inches from the heat. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1 1/3 cups shredded Swiss cheese

2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls and top each with a piece of toasted bread. Sprinkle with the cheese mixture.

Place the bowls on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly golden.

Please go make this. And then invite me over.

Click here for a printable recipe!

French Onion Soup


Pan-roasted pork chops with creamy cabbage & apples

This is Week #10 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010.

I have been looking forward to making this recipe since I first saw it on my list. It is unique, and I love unique. I also love pork. And cabbage. And bacon.

I have another pork recipe to post soon detailing the way my husband has been cooking it lately, but I adore the way it is cooked in this recipe. An "Mmmmm" escaped my mouth with every bite.

In a shallow dish, combine:

1/4 cup olive oil

4 thyme sprigs

1 large garlic clove, chopped

Add 4 12-oz. bone-in pork loin chops (I used 3 boneless and this was perfect for 2 meals for 2 people).

Turn to coat with the marinade and refrigerate overnight.

Thinly slice 1/2 of a head of cabbage crosswise and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook 3 thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, until browned. Pour off the fat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet along with the sliced cabbage.

Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 7 minutes.


1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon white vinegar

Cover and cook until the apple is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Simmer uncovered until the cream has thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Remove the pork chops from the marinade, discarding the thyme and garlic. Season the chops with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until they are richly browned, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chops for about 12 minutes, turning once halfway through, until just pink in the center. Transfer the pork chops to plates and serve with the cabbage.


Click here for a printable recipe!


Nutella cupcakes

Nutella is one of the foods I ate in plentiful quantities while I was pregnant with my second son. One morning, early on in my four months of bedrest, I laid on the couch on my left side to help calm my contractions as I watched Mystic Pizza and dipped my finger into a Nutella jar. Have you watched Mystic Pizza within the last ten years? There is something so awesomely terrible about watching 80's movies 25 years after they have been filmed. Regarding eating Nutella like an animal, there is nothing terrible about that.

I found this most delicious recipe while searching for a yummy treat to make for our Bloggy Day last month. And yes, it tastes as good as it looks.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

Cream together for 2 minutes, until light:

10 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup white sugar

With mixer on low-medium speed, add 3 eggs to the mixture, one at a time, until fully combined. The batter may not appear totally smooth at this point.


1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

Stir until combined.

Fill each muffin liner 3/4 full with batter. Top each with 1 1/2 teaspoons of Nutella. Swirl the Nutella with a toothpick or sharp knife and fold the batter over the Nutella.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Or not. I most certainly did not.

Click here for a printable recipe!