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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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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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Star Wars Movie Nights

Star Wars Movie Nights

Is anyone else getting excited for the new Star Wars movie? Well, my husband and I definitely are excited. We’ve hosted three Star Wars Nights (we have one more coming up in November) to prepare for the new movie. We started by watching 4 and 5 in August. We continued with 1 (for those who wanted to watch) and then 2 in September. We watched 3 just a few weeks ago, and coming up soon will be number 6.

Watching in the order 4, 5, 2, 3, 6 is called the machete order. You chop off number 1 because it’s not relevant to the other movies and you watch in this new order so that you don’t get any information from other films that mess up some surprises. For instance, if you watch from 1 to 6 in episode order, you’ll find out who Luke’s father is too soon. Read more about it here… but be aware that this explanation has spoilers in it!

We ended up adding in episode 1 for our friends who had never seen Star Wars and wanted to see it. The rest of our friends showed up part way through the movie night to watch number 2.

Anyways, I love a good movie night and party. I always try to create themed foods around whatever movie or theme we have for the evening. I looked at both Pinterest and “The Star Wars Cookbook” for inspiration. Here were a few of my favorite things over the past few months:

Han Solo in Carbonite (Jell0):

 Photo Aug 01, 5 13 30 PM

Please wash your Hans sign in the bathroom:

Photo Aug 02, 2 56 23 PM

Yoda Soda: This is definitely one of the biggest hits. You take carbonated water, lime (like 2 limes per drink OR just buy lime juice at the store… I figured that one out recently. Ha!), sugar, and lime sherbert. You want a lot of lime and a heaping tablespoon of sugar in your glass. Fill with water (not all the way full) and put a nice dollop of lime sherbert in on top. If you put the sherbert in first, it’ll fizz up too much as your mix the lime and sugar in the bubbly water!

Photo Aug 02, 2 37 44 PM

May the Forks be with You sign:

Photo Aug 02, 2 37 38 PM

Yodamelon: I bought two small watermelon and chopped one up, leaving triangle shaped pieces to attached to the other melon with toothpicks. I opened the back of the other watermelon and scooped out the watermelon, leaving its shell in tact. I then attempted to draw Yoda’s face on the front of the watermelon. I think I could’ve done a better job of drawing, but people got a kick out of it!

 Photo Aug 02, 2 37 31 PM

I’ve also made Greedo’s Burritos, Jawa Jive Milkshakes, Vader Taters, Tie Fighter Ties and more! What would you make if you were having a Star Wars party?

It’s March Already?

It’s March Already?

It’s nearly halfway through March – this year is speeding by so quickly! I’ve been a bit slow to post recently and I wanted to acknowledge that. Hubby and I have both been so busy, at work and at home, and I’ve been working on a couple larger projects that I’m not quite ready to post yet.

Today’s post is just a little recap post about the past month in cooking and crafts!

Cooking:

Food in February

Of course, I’ve been cooking a lot and trying to keep things interesting while staying healthy. Working from left to right, top to bottom, these were some of my favorite dishes this month:

  • Pan-fried chicken tenders with oven roasted sweet potato fries and a side salad
  • Pork chops with oven-roasted brussel sprouts and a side salad filled with goodies
  • Oven-cooked salmon in foil with a large salad
  • Filet mignon with asparagus

There were a few other favorite meals that I’m hoping to write posts about in the next few weeks.

Crafts:

As I mentioned above, I’ve been busy with a couple larger projects that I don’t want to talk about yet, but these are two of the things I did this month!

Mr. and Mrs. Signs:
photo 2 (17)

I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding in a couple of weeks and the bride asked me to create some signs for the chair-backs at the reception for her and the groom. I used the signs that I had for my wedding (that were handed down to me) that say Bride and Groom on the other side. I used the back/wooden part of the sign and painted the entire thing teal.

I then found a font and a flourish that I liked and printed it out. I cut it out with an exacto knife to create a stencil that I used to pencil the design onto the teal sign. I painted the design in very carefully and slowly with the thinnest tipped brush I could find!

Ayyám-i-Há  Sign:

photo (9)

I don’t talk about the Baha’i faith much on this blog, but with this project, it’s important for you to know that I am Baha’i. Ayyám-i-Há is a Baha’i holiday that’s basically the equivalent of the “Baha’i Christmas.” It’s at the end of February each year  and Baha’is celebrate with presents, service projects and parties/gatherings.

I took some fun printed paper and cut out the letters for the holiday using an exacto knife. Then I cut little holes in the top of each letter and drew a piece of string through it. Lastly, I hung it up with some painters tape.

I’d really love to create more of these hanging signs for our house for other holidays and birthdays! (And, also, find a way to hang it without using tape.)

Anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to in the world of cooking and crafts. I hope to have time this week to work on the next set of Travel Tuesday posts and some more in-depth cooking and craft posts. Thanks for reading!

Travel Tuesday: Chilean Emanadas de Pino

Travel Tuesday: Chilean Emanadas de Pino

While in Chile, my host mom taught me some recipes, including today’s topic: Empanadas de Pino! It technically is a three-day recipe… but I’m always impatient so instead of boiling soup bones and meat, I tend to fudge it and speed things up by just by using ground beef.

Here’s the mid-way result:

Empanadas de Pino

This recipe will make 20 empanadas, so halve it if you are only cooking for a few people!

1. Cook two pounds ground beef with chile powder, cumin, and oregano to taste. Don’t add salt here.

2. Take 4 onions and chop them. My host mom told me to put some boiling water on top of the chopped onion for a few minutes so it doesn’t taste as strong, then strain it. Fry the onion in a big pan, add paprika, and when it starts to caramelize, add the meat. Then add salt and pepper to taste. If you can find a spice at the grocery store called “aliño”, you can add that now too. (Or if you want to make it yourself, follow this recipe here.)

3. Add a little water (only a quarter cup or so) and keep everything in the pan for about 30 minutes. Then add two tbsp flour and mix it in. Refrigerate overnight (or at least a couple of hours.)

4. Hard boil 5 eggs. Peel and slice lengthwise. Set aside for later.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Mix 7 cups of flour with 1 cup of melted lard, 2 cups milk, 2 egg yolks and 1 tbsp salt. Once it’s completely mixed, separate the dough into 20 pieces. Keep them in a bowl covered by a kitchen towel as you work on each individual empanada.

7. Use a rolling pin to make a flattened circle, at least as large as the spread of your hand – make it pretty thin. Lay the following items on one side of the dough: 2 tbsp meat onion mixture, 1/4 of a hard boiled egg, 1 pitted black olive, and 2 raisins (optional). This should all be on one half of the dough.

8. To help the dough stick together, wet the edge of the other half of the dough before folder over the top. Press on the sides and use a fork or fold small segments over to look like a twisting rope around the edge – this will help seal the sides.

9. Use  toothpick and make a few little holes in the empanada so steam has somewhere to escape.

10. Place on a greased baking sheet and then continue and make the rest of the empanadas.

11. Brush each empanada with a mixture of one egg and a dash of milk. This’ll help brown the empanada.

12. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Take out when it looks nicely browned. Serve and enjoy! Be careful – before eating the empanadas, I usually cut it in half and let the steam escape to cool it off.

Grocery List:

  • 8 eggs
  • 7 cups flour
  • 2 pounds ground beef (or alternative)
  • 5 onions
  • black olives
  • raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup lard
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chile Powder
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Aliño
Pizza Zucchini Bites

Pizza Zucchini Bites

I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with recipes so hubby and I can eat more exciting low-carb recipes. One of my favorites lately is a picture I saw on Pinterest: Pizza Zucchini Bites!20150111-102113-37273706.jpg For the Pizza Zucchini Bites, I pre-heated the oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit. I used two small, organic zucchinis (one for each of us) and sliced the zucchinis with 1/3 of an inch slices. You don’t want the slices to be too thin or too thick. From there, I put a small spoonful of a tomato sauce (any kind will do, pick your favorite! I tried to pick the healthiest one at the store I could find) and sprinkled mozzarella on top. Put the pizza bites in the oven until the cheese has melted (about 5-7 minutes). Then they are done! The zucchini slices were still slightly crispy so you could pick them up with your fingers, but the inside of the slice was nice and cooked through. 20150111-102111-37271102.jpg Along with the Zucchini Pizza Bites, I pan-fried tilapia in butter and lemon and made Mashed Cauliflower. It was a strange selection of items that I put together here, but some of it was just what we had in the fridge. 🙂 Either way, the Zucchini Pizza Bites are delicious and something I’ll definitely make in bulk for our next game night!

Coconut Milk Shrimp

Coconut Milk Shrimp

I found this recipe in Sunset Magazine and thought it was so delicious! You are supposed to serve it over rice, but we didn’t. I think it would be scrumptious either way!

The recipe itself is very easy and takes 20-25 minutes tops (depending on how slow you are at cutting a carrot into matchsticks… I’m very slow, haha!)

This recipe serves four and is 369 calories per serving (plus whatever rice you eat).

The ingredients are:

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tsp. red chile flakes
  • 15 oz. coconut milk
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 lb. shelled and deveined medium shrimp
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

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Step 1: Prep the onion, carrot, tomato and cilantro.

Step 2: Heat the oil in your frying pan. Once heated, you cook the onion, carrot and chile flakes until the onion is soft. (About 3 minutes.)

Step 3: Stir in the coconut milk.

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Step 4: Add the tomato and shrimp and cook until the shrimp is pink. (About 4 minutes.)

Step 5: Serve with rice (or cauliflower rice) and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
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That’s it! Super simple, quick and so delicious! You can make it spicier by adding more chile flakes, or if you don’t like any spiciness… just leave the chile flakes out altogether.

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Chicken Chili Soup

Chicken Chili Soup

Since it’s the holidays, I’ve been busy hanging out with family and trying to relax. I didn’t have time to work on a Travel Tuesday post this week, so instead, here’s a fun slow-cooker meal I made: Chicken Chili Soup!

I found this super-easy and very delicious recipe on Caveman Keto’s blog. My sister bought me a crockpot a few years ago, and I haven’t used it as much as I should have in that time. Crockpot meals can have 10 minutes or less prep time and you just set them to go. 6 to 10 hours later, you end up with a succulent meal that hardly took any time out of your day!

Since hubby and I are are still low-carb, I searched and search for recipes that we could use. I stumbled upon Caveman Keto’s site and found a ton of recipes that look amazing!

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All the ingredients are shown above plus bacon (forgot it in the photo!) and the spices: salt, pepper, and thyme. For the exact list of ingredients and the directions, please go to this blog post.

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When I first threw everything into the crockpot, I was a little unsure. It doesn’t look too appetizing like this, does it? After 6 hours on low, the chicken fell apart and I stirred it all together. And, oh my goodness, the smell in my house when I came home from work? I was suddenly starving and salivating, and dinner wasn’t for another hour!

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The best part about this recipe? It makes a lot of food, especially if you serve it with a side salad or appetizer. I had leftovers to take to work the entire week! I look forward to trying more of Caveman Keto’s recipes – if they’re anything like this one, they’re sure to become a household favorite!

Egg & Broccoli Casserole

Egg & Broccoli Casserole

The other night, hubby and I had a few friends over for dinner. We’ve been eating a lot of meat lately and I wanted to eat something vegetarian for a change. I found a recipe for an Egg & Broccoli Casserole that I thought would be easy and tasty. We had some parsley and mushrooms that needed to be used, so I threw them in as well, and it turned out pretty nicely if I do say so myself! We also had some leftover green beans, so I used those as a side dish.

What I love about this meal is that it was so healthy and simple, yet tasted delicious. Took a total of 40 minutes to cook, but much of that time, the casserole was in the oven. This meal has about 3 eggs a person, so plenty of protein and packed with veggies. Low-carb, low-fat, and no added sugars!

Egg & Broccoli Casserole

Casserole:

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups of broccoli (1 inch chunks)
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • non-stick cooking spray

Servings: 4

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut the broccoli into one inch chunks and boil it in a pot until the broccoli turns bright green (shouldn’t take too long). When it turns bright green, drain the water out with a colander.
  3. Sauté the mushrooms in a pan. I used unsalted butter, but oil would work just fine.
  4. Break the eggs and put them into a bowl with a dash of water. Put a little salt and pepper in with them and mix it well.
  5. Spray a glass lasagna dish with cooking spray and spread the broccoli and mushrooms evenly across the dish.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese and the parsley on top of the broccoli and mushrooms.
  7. Pour the eggs across the dish and then lightly stir to make sure the egg surrounds all the mushrooms and broccoli.
  8. Put into the oven for about 25 minutes (the eggs should puff up a little and brown slightly).

While you are waiting for the egg casserole to bake, you can prep the side dish:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups green beans
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Boil some water in a pot with a dash of salt.
  2. Chop the stems/ends off of the green beans and throw them in the pot.
  3. Lower the heat to let it simmer nicely.
  4. Wait about 6 minutes until the green beans look tender and bright green.
  5. Drain them in a colander and rinse them with cold water to cool them off.
  6. Put them in a bowl and toss with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and then salt and pepper to taste.

Egg & Broccoli Casserole

Serve and enjoy!