Chicken Jalapeño Dip

Chicken Jalapeño Dip

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry reading through the kitchen incident comments from this post. Oh my goodness! Burning stomachs, flaming oven mitts, sliced fingers, dropped turkeys and toes that were hacked to pieces with an axe! I had to read through them a couple times to pick a winner because they were all so good!

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Spruced-Up Spaghetti - the perfect use for leftover spaghetti noodles!

Spruced-Up Spaghetti - the perfect use for leftover spaghetti noodles!

The clock has been ticking loudly in my aging ears. My 39th birthday is tomorrow, so I am preparing for my last full year of being 30-something. In addition to feeling like the middle ages are looming, this is also the end of the season of having more children. This realization has been unexpectedly sad for me!

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Loaded Breakfast Wraps Recipe

Loaded Breakfast Wraps Recipe

This recipe is very fitting this week, you know, containing scrambled eggs and all. Because my brain feels scrambled. I am struggling to even write this post tonight. I want bed. Badly. The only thing I want more than bed is one of these wraps, followed by bed. I am headed toward my comfy pillows shortly, friends.

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Jalapeño Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

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Some days I picture myself in a Family Circus comic, where you can see the path of footprints through the house with all of the unnecessary turns and stops all the way through. If I tracked my steps around this house in a single day, it would be hilarious! Back, forth, around in circles, up, down, repeat. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE IT.

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Spicy Chickpea Salad Recipe

Combine fresh tasty vegetables with chickpeas in a protein packed salad. Each crunchy bite offers a scrumptious filling salad, side dish or filler to a wrap. This colorful salad that brings summer to life in any season!

Fresh-ingredient salads rock. They're pretty and fresh and tasty and versatile. My husband and I make a killer fresh salad that rivals this one, and I'll share it before summer arrives. By the way, where is summer? We got teased with a bit of warm weather last week, so now the cold and snow and freezing rain are even harder to swallow. I'm not convinced that summer will ever welcome us into her warm embrace.

This colorful salad helps me to believe that it might happen, though. It makes me think of lunches outside with my boys as we sit barefoot on the grass, wiping beads of sweat from our foreheads. Mmmmmmmm.

Back to my cold reality known as Minnesota.

If you, too, enjoy tricking yourself into believing it is summer when it is in fact not, make this salad! My family loved it and the entire batch was gone within 24 hours, despite the lack of warm weather.


A salad that will make a healthy choice delicious and unforgettable!

STEP 1 -

Drain 2 cans of chickpeas and place them in a medium bowl.

STEP 2 -

Add 1 tomato diced, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, half of a small red onion diced and half of a seeded jalapeno minced. Pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Squeeze two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice in and mix in 1 teaspoon ground cumin with a quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper. If you like to mix things up, add in 1 teaspoon dried mango powder!

STEP 3 -

You can chill the salad in the refrigerator for an hour or serve it room temperature. Enjoy!

Kitchen Tips: If you want to go fresh and do as the recipe suggests, soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in water overnight. Drain the chickpeas and bring to a boil in a large saucepan in 4 inches of water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 hours, or until chickpeas are tender.

The first thing we did upon making this was throw it onto a piece of flatbread with sliced turkey and black pepper. It’s a great way to make an easy meal and stay healthy - it was delicious!

A piece of lettuce would have added a nice crunch, but that had probably been juiced, as well.

No mayo needed! It made a delicious, healthy dinner wrap.

The next day for lunch, I used it as a topping for my boring baked chicken and cottage cheese. And I ate the last of it with crackers for a snack.

I can think of about 100 other things I'd like to put it in and on and in between. Or, I wouldn't mind eating it straight from the container while having a picnic lunch with my family, the beating sun making the tops of our heads hot.

Ahhhhh, a girl can dream.


spicy chickpea salad

A colorful salad that brings summer alive in any season!

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Mar 23, 2011

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Serves: 4

Total time: 2 hr 15 min plus overnight soaking



  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (about 5 oz), soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 tomato, cut into ½-inch dice
  • ½ cup diced cucumber (1/2 inch)
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried mango powder, optional
  1. In a large saucepan, cover the chickpeas with 4 inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 hours; drain.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomato, cucumber, red onion, jalapeno, olive oil, vegetable oil, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne pepper and mango powder. Add the chickpeas and season with salt. Serve the chickpea salad at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Cheese-Topped Guacamole Recipe

A fresh, zingy flavor that will make it difficult to stop eating!

Guacamole recipes are not something I typically seek out. I have my favorite guac recipe, so why look any further? Making the recipe highlighted in this post has taught me a valuable lesson: Don't settle! Don't assume there isn't something better out there! This, of course, does not apply to my marriage because there is no man better for me than my husband. But with guac? I'm sad that I settled for so long!

This guacamole recipe was amazing! It had a fresh, zingy flavor that made it difficult for me to stop eating.

I'm so happy to have found you, new guac!

Cheese Topped Guacamole

A fresh, zingy flavor that will make it difficult to stop eating!

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Feb 16, 2011

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Serves: 4-6

Total time: 30 min



  • 2 Hass avocados, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ¼ small red onion, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded queso Oaxaca or Monterey Jack
  • Tortilla chips, for serving
  1. In a shallow bowl, mix the avocados, tomato, onion, cilantro, mint, jalapeno and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Melt the cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, pour over the guacamole and serve with tortilla chips.

Mexican Corn Recipe

A veggie side with a kick! This is the bowl version of the street corn snack many people love. You’ll love the creaminess that is in each bite to help tame the jalapenos. While this can be made with less heat, the spiciness is great so be sure to warn people before they dig in!

I would put jalapenos into everything if I never shared food with others. I love a little extra zing in my food. Or a lot of extra zing, depending on what I am eating.

Is this the same as Mexican Street Corn?

This recipe came together as inspiration from traditional street corn but it is not the same. I enjoy this recipe and another benefit is that it is easier to prepare for a group of people this way.

How is Mexican street corn prepared?

Mexican street corn, or Elote, is prepared on a grill with corn on the cob. It is coasted with Mexican crema and sprinkled with a cotija cheese.

I brought this corn dish to Thanksgiving dinner this year, along with a non-spicy option. It went over well! Most people (kids excluded) at least tried it. A few people said they loved it and much preferred it over the non-spicy version. I absolutely adore this recipe. It is my favorite way to eat corn, aside from maybe sweet corn on the cob doused in butter and salt or Grilled Corn with Spicy Cilantro Lime Butter.

In a medium saucepan, combine:

One 32-oz. package frozen corn

One 8-oz. package cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

1 teaspoon garlic salt

2 diced jalapeno peppers (or more, or less, depending on how spicy you and your guests like it)

Cook over medium heat until heated through, stirring constantly.

Be sure to warn people about the heat before they dig in!

Mexican Corn

A veggie side dish with a kick! Be sure to warn people before they dig in!

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Dec 10, 2010

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Serves: 8-10

Total time: 15 min



  • 32-oz. package frozen corn kernels
  • 8-oz. package cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until heated through, stirring constantly.