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Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip

Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip

I am so, so behind! This year has become quite busy and I haven’t had time to keep up with everything. It’s been so hectic! Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • I’ve gone on a couple of different short trips including: a trip to visit friends in San Francisco and a work conference
  • I got a promotion at work (yay!), which comes with more work
  • I’m volunteering with four different groups (Baha’i children’s classes, the team that plans the Baha’i holy day activities, and with two non-profits in the community)
  • I plan and host a monthly devotional and craft night with a friend
  • I have a fairly intense exercise regimen and, at the same time, am trying to be more calm and meditative
  • Lastly, I’m trying to keep up with all of our friends and, take some time for me!

Anyways, here’s the last of the recipes I plan to share back from our game night in November. (It’s May now and I’m recapping from November?! Whoops…)

Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip

This was so easy to prepare and so, so, so delectable! I absolutely love dips and I love finding ones that are easy to make at home. It didn’t take long to make – probably about 45 minutes including chopping  and oven time. First I mixed the garlic powder, BBQ sauce, and softened cream cheese. (Low-carb/keto tip: Buy or make your own sugar free BBQ sauce!)

Cheesy Chicken Dip | Stone House Rock

Then I mixed in my shredded chicken. (Preparation tip: Cook a large quantity of chicken and shred it. Freeze it in smaller quantities for use in recipes. I thawed this overnight.)

Cheesy Chicken Dip | Stone House Rock

Below is a picture of the other ingredients, plus a can of black beans that isn’t pictured. I mixed these all in to the chicken mixture, transferred it into an oven-safe lasagna pan, and cooked it at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes – until it was golden on top and the cheese was bubbly.

Cheesy Chicken Dip | Stone House Rock

Lastly, I sprinkled the dip with the remaining onion, cilantro and BBQ sauce and served with chips! (Low-carb/keto tip: Serve with sliced vegetables like carrots or celery instead of chips.)

Cheesy Chicken Dip | Stone House Rock

Here is the link to the Cheesy BBQ Chicken Dip recipe that I used. (Low-carb/keto tip: Cut out the black beans to keep this very low carb!)

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Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers

I made these yummy caprese skewers back in November at the game night. They were so simple to make!Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockYou only need four ingredients:

  1. Cherry tomatoes or another small variety
  2. Fresh basil
  3. Small mozzarella balls
  4. Balsamic reduction – this means the balsamic is thick and less runny than your run of the mill balsamic vinegar. You can buy this in stores or make it yourself. I got mine from a lovely coworker. 🙂

Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockThe first thing you do is slice the ends off your tomatoes so you can sit them upright without falling over. I put the toothpicks in first but quickly found out that that made everything harder… though it did make for a pretty picture!Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockThe reason it made it harder was that it took longer to put on the basil and the mozzarella balls. In the future, I’d put the tomatoes on the plate after cutting them, tear up bits of basil into a pile and then while holding the basil and mozzarella on top of the tomato – spear all of them at once with the toothpick. It would save so much time and effort!Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockThis is what it should look like when done – whether you use the toothpicks the most efficient way or not. Ha!Caprese Skewers | Stone House RockLastly, you drizzle all the caprese skewers with the balsamic reduction for a pretty and sweet result!

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Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño Poppers

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year! I took a much needed 11 days off from work during the holidays and slept, crafted, played games, and saw friends and family. Now that we’re well into the new year though, I’m making plans and goals and trying to be productive.

A few of my goals are to write blog posts and post on Instagram more regularly, finish P90X3 (which I started last week), craft at least two nights a week and get more sleep!

Today’s post is about: jalapeño poppers!!

I made these for my husband’s birthday party/game night in November. It was my first time making them and they turned out soooooo goood! They were eaten up fairly quickly out of all the treats that I made. If you want the full recipe, please visit this blog.

Jalapeno Poppers | Stone House Rock

I didn’t think far enough in advance, so I had to heat the cream cheese in the microwave a little to bring it to room temperature. After that, I mixed it up with chopped jalapeño (de-seeded). Instead of wonton wrappers, I found egg roll wrappers at the store. Those worked great! I cut each piece into 4 and used 3 of them per popper to form the nice crispy shell.

Jalapeno Poppers | Stone House Rock

After loading the top with cheese, bacon and one slice of jalapeño, I baked the poppers for about 10 minutes until the edges were crispy and the cheese was fully melted. Looks so good doesn’t it!? By the way, if you’re vegetarian, you can easily just not add the bacon – like I did on the the right half of the picture below.

Jalapeno Poppers | Stone House Rock

Just thinking about these makes me want to make them again… such a cheesy, gooey, delicious treat!

Jalapeno Poppers | Stone House Rock

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Preparing an Appetizer Dinner for 25 Guests at Game Night

Preparing an Appetizer Dinner for 25 Guests at Game Night

My husband had a birthday last month! We have a habit of throwing a game night to celebrate. We love having people over, and most of the time we have everyone brings an appetizer while I provide an entree dish. This time, however, I decided to do it all myself! I had an idea in my head and wanted it to be perfect.

I spent much of the week preparing for it and this was the state of the fridge the day of the party:Preparing for 25 Guests at Game Night | Stone House Rock
Phew! That’s a full fridge! As you can tell from all the prepared food, my theme for dinner was:

Appetizers and Bites

The easiest appetizer to prepare was the cheese. I bought some crackers and cheese from Fred Meyer and set it out on my cute cheese plate.
Preparing for 25 Guests at Game Night | Stone House Rock
I also had a fruit salad with strawberry, pineapple and melon; chips and a cheesy BBQ chicken dip, caprese skewers, veggies and dip, bacon asparagus skewers, and jalapeno poppers. A good friend also brought some banana bread to share!
Preparing for 25 Guests at Game Night | Stone House Rock
Over the next few posts, I’ll share some of the recipes that I found for these various appetizers. They were SOOOO good! (Especially the jalapeno poppers.)

For dessert, I made a giant cookie in a cast iron pan. The ingredients were simply 2 of the pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough packs and 8 oz of chocolate in-between the two packs! It turned out so gooey and delicious.
Preparing for 25 Guests at Game Night | Stone House Rock
Both the cookie and the bacon wrapped asparagus recipes are part of this three-course Tuscan meal that I found here. Try it out and let me know what you think! By the way, the entree dish in the three-course meal was incredible too, though I made it on a different day that same week.

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Cheesy Onion and Eggs Recipe

Cheesy Onion and Eggs Recipe

The recipe I’m sharing today is seriously so, so, so good! I can’t take credit for these cheesy onions and eggs. My husband cooked dinner last week and created it from scratch. (Well, something like it may exist in the world… I’ve just never had it!) This was so delicious! So delicious that I had to make it this week for some of our friends, and I added a few items to the recipe because we had them and needed to use them.

Basically, this recipe is a delicious breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner recipe that fills all your cravings. It is low-carb… so if you need carbs, toast a slice or two of your favorite whole grain bread!

Seriously, this cheesy, eggy, sauteed onion dish is just divine! I think it comes down to the fact that it’s all cooked in butter and the spices include saffron. YUM! (Though you could cook in coconut oil instead.)

1. To get started, grab all your spices: salt, cardamom, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, paprika, tumeric and saffron. I made a mix that had about an eight teaspoon of each, but 1 tsp of saffron and used a mortar and pestle to grind it all up since the saffron and rosemary were not ground. I didn’t use the entire spice mixture on this recipe, but I liked the amount of saffron to the others. This is just the spices that my husband used and I copied this time around… but be creative! There are many options that would taste great!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs - spices | Stone House Rock

2. Chop up 1.5 small onions and saute them in 1 tbsp butter on medium heat. You can substitute coconut oil if you are avoiding cooking with butter. I LOVE the smell of onions being cooked but HATE chopping them. They always make me cry! The only time they don’t is when I think about it ahead of time and put on some science goggles prior to chopping.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

3. Once all the onions are soft (about 5 minutes), put in about a quarter of the spice mixture so that the onions are super flavorful!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

4. Spread your onions nicely across the pan and add the eggs. Roll the pan around a little to make sure you have evenly spread the white part throughout all the onion. (Note: I only added 7 eggs here but if you want to follow the recipe with the nutrition below, add 8 eggs for 4 servings total.)

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

5. Add another quarter of the spice mixture on top of the eggs and cover with a lid. This leaves half the spice mixture for another meal. Turn down the heat a little so that the onions don’t burn. The covered lid will help your eggs cook through quicker.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

6. Check the eggs every couple of minutes. When the eggs are no longer runny, they are ready for the next part. First, spread the bacon evenly across the pan.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

7. Spread the avocado evenly across the pan.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

8. Spread your cubed or shredded, pepper jack cheese across the pan.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

9. Cover with the lid again to let the cheese melt. This should only take a minute or two.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

10. When the cheese is melted, it’s done! Serve and enjoy!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

I love all things cheesy, and just look at this! So good!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

If you are doing the 21 Day Fix: sub the butter out and use coconut oil instead. Each serving would be 3/4 blue, 1/2 green, 1 red, 1 tsp.

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

The eggs weren’t super runny by the end of this but still soft in the middle. If you want them runny, you could throw the cheese on a few minutes earlier, and it would be super tasty as well!

Cheesy Onion and Eggs | Stone House Rock

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1.5 small onions
  • 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp bacon
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 ounces pepper jack cheese, cubed or shredded
  • Spices:
    • 1/4 tsp: salt, cardamom, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage, paprika, tumeric
    • 1 tsp: saffron

Recipe:

  1. Put all your spices in a mortar and grind up the spices.
  2. Chop up 1.5 small onions and saute them in 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil on medium heat.
  3. Once all the onions are soft (about 5 minutes), put in about a quarter of the spice mixture.
  4. Spread your onions nicely across the pan and add the eggs. Roll the pan around a little to make sure you have evenly spread the white part throughout all the onion.
  5. Add another quarter of the spice mixture on top of the eggs and cover with a lid. Turn down the heat a little so that the onions don’t burn.
  6. Check the eggs every couple of minutes. When the eggs are no longer runny, they are ready for the next part. First, spread the bacon evenly across the pan.
  7. Spread the avocado evenly across the pan.
  8. Spread your cubed or shredded, pepper jack cheese across the pan.
  9. Cover with the lid again to let the cheese melt. This should only take a minute or two.
  10. When the cheese is melted, it’s done! Serve and enjoy!

Cheesy Onions and Egg Nutrition Label

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My Hobbit Menu

My Hobbit Menu

During the Weekend Surprise Getaway that I planned for my husband, I created an entire hobbit menu complete with all the important meal times:

  1. Breakfast
  2. Second Breakfast
  3. Elevensies
  4. Lunch
  5. Afternoon Tea
  6. Dinner
  7. Supper

Here was the menu I created, with help from a little Google to know what hobbits like to eat:

A Hobbit Menu

If you missed the post about how I created the crisped edges on the parchment paper in the picture above, please click here.

My husband really got a kick out of having an entire hobbit meal plan, so much so that I plan to reuse this for a Hobbit movie marathon sometime with our friends. I spent 3-4 evenings before our getaway cooking everything on this menu, except for the meat pie and the dinner rolls.

Without further ado, here is the meal plan!

Breakfast (9AM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - First Breakfast

Breakfast was Lavender Lemon Muffins with coffee. The lavender lemon muffins were easy to make, other than finding cooking lavender, which I eventually ordered off of Amazon. 

Also, I just love the atmosphere in the hobbit hole! A small fireplace, a chess table/dining table, all the coffee and tea you could want and a “barrel” of water up on the wall. So cute. So quaint. So much craftsmanship and love.

Second Breakfast (10 AM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Second Breakfast

We moved outside to continue drinking our coffee while I used the camp stove to heat up the sausage. Second breakfast included the coffee, sausage and nonfat Greek yogurt with blueberries. There wasn’t a lot to prep here, but I wanted to make sure we got some good protein for the day, since it seems that hobbits love baked goods!

Elevensies (11 AM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Elevensies

Of course elevensies is at 11 AM. Our elevensies snack was Elven Lembas Bread. While this is an Elvish snack and not 100% perfect for a hobbit menu… I couldn’t resist! I found many different recipes online and tried the one that looked the most appealing. In reality, Elven Lembas Bread is supposed to be a food that a single bit will sustain you for an entire day. In our world, we can’t quite match that with a baked good! Instead, I went for a sweet option. 

My husband LOVED these, so I know I’ll be making them again sometime soon… but perhaps a no sugar version, since these are full of sugar!

Lunch (1 PM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Lunch

Again, since we were having a lot of sugary/baked goods, I wanted to make sure that we had a balanced, nutritional meal plan for the day. I made a “Forest Salad” with a lot of different ingredients. This was our main source of veggies for the day, so we ate quite a bit!

Afternoon Tea (3 PM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Afternoon Tea

For afternoon tea, I baked Bilbo’s Tea Cake. I cut two slices off of this and wrapped them up to take with us into the town of Chelan. We got some chai tea lattes at a coffee shop and sat outside on a bench to munch on the tea cake.

Definitely delicious, but also super dense food. A single slice is more than filling, especially when you feel like you’ve been eating nonstop all day long!

Dinner (6 PM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Dinner

I sauteed green beans with garlic for dinner along with “Rosie’s Shire Pie.” I didn’t make this pie. Instead, I bought it from a local pie shop that delivers on Amazon Fresh. It was a lamb pie. I did have to cook it before leaving for this getaway, or else it would have taken forever to cook while here. It still took nearly 30 minutes to heat up in a dutch oven!

Supper (8 PM):

Stone House Rock: A Hobbit Menu - Supper

I wanted to keep things light for supper, so I made a homemade cream of mushroom soup and paired it with a dinner roll. Hobbits apparently love mushrooms, so I had to put something with mushrooms on the hobbit menu. It was a great end to a full day. Ha!

What would you put on the menu for your hobbit menu? 


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Ahi Poke Recipe

Ahi Poke Recipe

When we were in Hawaii, we had ahi poke quite a bit. There are literally dozens of recipes that you can follow. All of them come back to one thing: fresh, chopped, raw ahi tuna.

I’ve just started making ahi poke at home, and my husband and I love it! In fact, we just saw a recipe in Sunset magazine for Poke Nachos… which we’ll have to try soon.

Ahi Poke is delicious, but you have to take certain precautions.

  1. Buy fresh ahi tuna and use it that same day! Fish doesn’t last very long in the fridge – just a couple of days. If I’m going to eat something raw, I make sure to eat it the same day I buy it! Also, try to make sure that it’s “sashimi-grade” ahi tuna that you buy.
  2. Eat it pretty quickly after making it. Ahi poke is not a meal that you want to make and marinate over a period of hours of days. Give it 15 minutes at the most to let the flavors set in.

We love this recipe and I usually make it with brown rice and then buy seaweed salad at the grocery store to go with it. I could make my own seaweed salad, but that seems like too much work! 🙂

Also, this recipe is super quick to make – it takes much longer to make the rice than making the dish! I’d recommend making your rice earlier in the week or earlier that day. 15-30 minutes before you want to eat, start making the ahi poke.

Ahi Poke with Brown Rice and Seaweed Salad

Ahi Poke Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 of a sweet onion, diced
  • 12 oz fresh, lean tuna, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, just a pinch

Directions:

Add tuna, onion, scallion, sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame oil and honey to bowl. Mix it together gently. Season with a small pinch of salt and crushed red pepper. Take a quick taste and adjust with more of the sauce/seasoning ingredients as needed.

Eat immediately or let sit up to 15 minutes at room temperature.

Serve on top of rice and enjoy!

Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup

Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup

I am really loving our new kitchen. It is a dream. I have plenty of space to spread out while cooking and, if we have friends over, I can continue to socialize while focusing on the food.

Recently, I tried a Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup recipe that I found on the Food Network website. The recipe is fairly simple and takes less than an hour total cook and prep time. And, it’s really good!Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup

I will admit that it was odd eating this in July. It seems like it’d be better suited for Thanksgiving or the winter season. Either way, you should try it!

My favorite part is that the recipe also calls you to make some sweet potato chips to go along with the soup. Yum! My chips ended up a little crisper than I wanted, but  parts of them weren’t cooking all the way through. I need to get better at using my mandolin slicer!

Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup

In addition to the soup, we had kebab and sauteed kale. My kebabs are basically like small hamburgers, except using a Persian kebab recipe.

Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup

So, do you want to try this soup?

Click here for the Food Network’s recipe and let me know what you think!

 

Spicy Guacamole Recipe

Spicy Guacamole Recipe

I made many snacks for our housewarming party. I like to think that all of them were very delicious, but I got feedback on my guacamole, that it was “addictive”! Today, I’m going to share my recipe with you. 🙂

Guacamole

Spicy Guacamole Recipe:

  • 5 small avocados
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes (fresh limes, not the juice in a bottle)
  • Salt to taste

I mix it all up and taste test, adding more lime juice and salt as needed. Serve with chips and enjoy!

Spicy Guacamole!

What’s your favorite guacamole recipe? 

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Housewarming Party!

Housewarming Party!

We held our housewarming party earlier this month. It was a two-part party: open house in the afternoon and then board game night all evening long. Literally all evening, since the last game ended at 1 AM.

Dining roomI spent all week doing the final organization of the house, hanging the last picture frames on the walls, and so on. (Note the lightsabers on the wall in the photo above!) On Friday night and Saturday morning, I did a full house cleaning as all our little projects and moving in seemed to bring in a ton of dirt and dust!

Here’s the way the house looked for the party. As you can tell, we still have no blinds. We had the Bali Blinds book out to let people give us their ideas for blind colors. Living area

We don’t currently have a dining set (since our previous place had no dining room), so we’re happy with our folding tables and chairs for the moment. The rest of this area is so comfortable though, complete with the lightsabers on the wall! Yes, we do actually play with them… our neighbors say they’ve seen us have epic battles, as we have no shades yet, ha!

Anyways, going back to the housewarming – I had a lot of fun prepping all the food. We provided fruit skewers, chips and guacamole, veggie tray, tomato and mozzarella on bread, brownies, and chocolate covered almonds during the open house and then burgers and tater tots during game night.

Mmm food!

Here are some close-ups of the food:

Fruit SkewersGuacamole!Mozzarella, tomato and basilBy the way, these are the best brownies ever… the Ghiradelli brownie mix from Costco. Cook them for 5 minutes under what the recipe says and let cool. Best. Thing. Ever.

Ghiradelli brownies....Anyways, we had about 35 guests over the course of the day and evening and had a blast! I’m excited to continue to have people over, host more parties as well as smaller dinners or game nights with friends, and hosting more Baha’i events. Woohoo!

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