Tag Archives: recipe

National Chip & Dip Day: March 23

20 Mar

While my social feeds are filled with angry people regarding their March Madness brackets, I am excited to report to you a different kind of March Madness. On March 23, the nation celebrates National Chip & Dip Day! If you remember from my post on What I’m giving up for Lent, I said I wasn’t going to set myself up for failure and decided to leave chips off of the fried food list. Thank goodness because I LOVE chips and dip!

Favorite dip: french onion dip with ruffles.


Second favorite: chips and (white) queso dip from Mexican restaurants.


Third favorite: chips and guacamole.

Dos Caminos Guacamole


Like I said, I love chips and dip. Watching a sporting event on TV is an excuse for me to have some sort of chip & dip. Super Bowl… more like scooper bowl.

When I found out that Tostitos is giving one free dip to anyone in America named Chip, I got really excited! No, my name is not Chip, but my BFF’s dad’s name is Chip! That is exciting for him! Don’t believe me, check it out! www.EveryChipGetsADip.com 

To all you Chips out there, you’re awesome. Enjoy a free dip from Tostitos!

Happy National Chip & Dip Day!

Also, here’s a recipe for magic and my 4th favorite dip… Buffalo Chicken Dip.


Butternut Squash & Fried Sage Pizza

27 Sep

Few things signal that Fall is officially here like butternut squash. Admittedly it is one of my favorite Fall veggies – firm, sweet and goes with almost everything. I found this recipe during the summer and knew I would save it for the first cool Fall Friday. The Love Muffin and I tend to make pizza on Fridays. Let me rephrase, the Love Muffin makes the dough, sauce, toppings and I just arrange them while drinking wine or beer. It’s such a great relationship that we have 😉

Butternut Squash Pizza with Crispy Sage
Yield = one pizza

1 recipe of pizza dough or 1 pre-made ball of dough (we used wheat dough for this recipe)
1 small butternut squash (about a pound, but you will likely have leftover squash)
olive oil
kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
fresh ricotta cheese
a few sprigs thyme, leaves removed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
10-15 sage leaves
oil for frying (we used olive oil)
Parchment paper

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Remove the skin of the squash: Halve the squash and remove the seeds. The best way to cut the squash so that it cooks well on the pizza is to cut it into thin slices. We luckly had a fairly straight (rather than bulbous) squash so this was easy. You’ll want the slices to be no larger than a 1/4 of an inch thick. The thicker, the longer they take to pre-cook.

2. Place the slices of squash on parchment paper on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with kosher salt to taste, toss to coat, redistribute onto sheet in one layer and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender.

3. Meanwhile, peel and mince the garlic and mix it with the ricotta cheese, set aside. After rolling out the pizza dough and placing it on a prepared baking sheet, brush dough with olive oil. Then top it with salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Spread a thin layer of fresh ricotta over the crust. Sprinkle with fresh thyme to taste. Top the ricotta with baked squash slices. Top with more grated Parmesan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, fry the sage. Heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium, high heat. You can test the oil to find out if it’s hot enough by flicking a water droplet off of your finger. If it sizzles, it’s ready. The sage leaves should take no longer than 5 seconds in hot oil to crisp up. I tossed in one leaf first to see how it would fry up but it was pretty easy to tell when it was done (it curls!). So we threw in the rest.  Let the sage cool on a plate with a paper towel.

5. Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the crispy sage. Voila! Pizza time!

Butternut squash, garlic ricotta, and fried sage pizza

This was a great pizza and it gave me a few ideas for new pizzas to make. Here’s to enjoying all of Fall’s bounty!


This recipe is adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen.

Fork it! With MyReci

26 Jun

Today through the magic of Twitter (yes, I’m still obsessed) I got a tip from a good friend about this new community for people who like food and like to cook food. It is called MyReci. When I first clicked on the link from Twitter I wasn’t sure what I would find. To my surprise and delight it was a new site that functions similarly to Pinterest except this one is JUST for recipes! And you don’t have to be invited – sorry Pinterest but you’re not that exclusive anymore.

Let’s say you’re browsing the web and you come across a recipe you want to keep, rather than emailing yourself the link now you an use MyReci’s cute ‘Fork It’ pin to pin the recipe to your online cookbook. Your recipes are then shared across the network, giving you an opportunity to search other recipes. Given that Kteb and I are obsessed with all things social media and all things new (don’t hate), we were immediately taken with MyReci. I did some more research and discovered the philosophy of the site:

“Cook Better, Together: We’re a group of cooks passionate about building a strong, online community for all of us to become more active, more inspired, and ultimately better cooks. “

This philosophy is something I can definitely get behind. The best recipes are tried and true AND shared! So while you may be saying, Cdog, really, I don’t have time for another stupid social network. My response to you is, JOIN, you won’t be disappointed and we’ll all be better eaters for it.

It’s worth mentioning that there are others out there similar to this of course Pinterest (boring) and Punchfork – but if you want this bloggers opinion, MyReci is where it’s at.

They also have a great blog which you can read here. You can find MyReci on Twitter here, the CEO Vijay here, and their fab community manager here. Do yourself a favor and look me up on MyReci and let’s get sharing!


Happy National Popcorn Day!

19 Jan

Happy National Popcorn Day! Since this blog started our as an ode to all things snacks. I thought it would be appropriate to mention today as a day of celebration. We all have co-workers who make popcorn in the office and it’s like a chain reaction. Everyone makes popcorn. And then there are those who burn said popcorn and are shunned from the office. But in all seriousness, who doesn’t like popcorn. It’s super versatile, fun to make and healthy (unless you’re pouring massive amounts of butter on it). In celebration of the day give one of these recipes a try – here are some fun and traditional twists on popcorn.

Caramel Popcorn (Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com)


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.
  4. Yields five quarts.

Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn (Recipe courtesy of Everyday with Rachel Ray) Yes, I can still eat a whole pot!


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid (I’d recommend the Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn. When the oils sizzles, sprinkle the sugar over the kernels. Cover and shake the pan or turn the pan handle until the popping slows down (about 3 minutes). Remove from the heat and toss with the salt.


Cocoa-Cayenne Popcorn Balls (Recipe courtesy of Chow)

  • 9 cups plain popped popcorn
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Candy thermometer*
  1. Coat a large heatproof bowl with butter, vegetable oil, or cooking spray and place popcorn in the bowl.
  2. Place sugar, corn syrup, water, vinegar, and salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture registers 260°F on a candy thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, cocoa, orange zest, cayenne, and vanilla until melted and smooth.
  3. Immediately drizzle sugar mixture over popcorn. Stir continuously with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until popcorn is thoroughly coated and cool enough to handle, about 3 minutes.
  4. Using buttered or oiled hands, tightly press mixture (it may still be a bit warm) into 3-inch rounds. Place on waxed or parchment paper to cool completely, about 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe makes 6 3inch popcorn balls.

*A good candy thermometer is needed for this recipe. The Love Muffin just bought me one. Check out CDN TCG400 Professional Candy & Deep Fry Thermometer.

And if none of these strike your fancy, I would recommend tried and true Orville Redenbacher’s.

Happy National Popcorn Day!!


Leftover turkey? No problem.

28 Nov

Turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, turkey casserole…BORING! Every year after Thanksgiving you’ll see recipes galore claiming that they have found the best uses for leftover turkey. I’m here to tell you that I, yes I, Cdog have found the best use for leftover turkey. TURKEY TACOS! As much as I love Thanksgiving dinner, I also am not a huge fan of leftovers (just ask my Mom). So when I have leftovers the last thing I want to do is have the same meal over and over. I can’t remember when but the Love Muffin and I found this recipe for turkey tacos a few years ago. Every year it is one of the meals I look forward to the most around Thanksgiving.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • About 1/2 lb of leftover pulled turkey meat (white or dark – your preference)
  • Leftover cranberry sauce (preferably the fresh not jellied)
  • One small container of plain Greek yogurt (I prefer Chobani)
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of chili powder, plus 1 more tsp for the cranberry sauce salsa
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • Flour tortillas

You could also buy a McCormick’s taco seasoning packet, but we like to make our own. And if you decide to make your own, may I recommend Penzey’s spices. Their stuff is ridic. Now onto the easy part…the cooking!

Pull the leftover turkey and place it in a non-stick skillet with a little bit of water. Put the burner on low to start to heat it. Add the spices (chili, cumin, paprika, garlic, cayenne, salt & pepper). Mix it all together and continue to let it simmer. While the turkey is heating you can prepare the cranberry sauce salsa. Finely chop the cilantro and add it to the cranberry sauce, along with 1 tsp of chili powder. When the turkey is heated through, your tacos are almost ready. Take out a tortilla and fill it with the pulled turkey, top it with the cranberry sauce salsa and then with the Greek yogurt, fold and enjoy!

So as annoying as it is, this recipe isn’t just a good way to reuse turkey, it’s also super healthy (bonus!). Please let me know if you decide to try this! We make ours differently every year and it would be awesome to hear your spin on it.


A Lemon-y Summer dessert

29 Jul

Friends! I have such a wonderful recipe for you this week. Of course there’s a story with it. Earlier this month the Love Muffin and I took a cooking class. Okay, quick story. We found out that this great kitchen store (Eurostoves) offered cooking classes. It took us almost a year to finally get it together and book a class. They offer classes almost every day and even do corporate outings (show your boss who the real iron chef is!). It was super fun and I highly recommend it. You can check out all of the classes from Eurostoves in Beverly, MA here. The theme for our dinner was ‘Decadent Dinners’.

The recipes were everything rich you could imagine, duck, filet mignon, lobster, risotto – and those were just the main courses (I’m not even listing them all here people!). And that brings us to dessert. The chefs encouraged us all to make dishes that we weren’t comfortable with. I love making desserts but I have never made a mousse before – let alone a lemon mousse. Well, I have now and let me tell you, I will be making it again and now, so can you!

Here’s the recipe (it’s a double so make sure to read all of the directions before starting):

Ingredients for Lemon Curd (make this first):

  • 6 eggs yolks
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of two lemons (I used a Microplane for the first time doing this – I found my new zester – LOVE)


Whisk all ingredients in large heavy bottomed saucepan (something like this from All Clad works great) until blended, then set over med-low heat and cook while stirring constantly until thickened (15-25 minutes). Low heat is important to maintain a smooth consistency and to avoid overcooking the eggs (no scrambled eggs here people!). When mixture is about as thick as pudding, remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and place plastic wrap over surface of custard. Let cool to room temp before chilling in refrigerator.

Now onto the Mousse…

Ingredients for Mousse:

  • 3 extra-large whole eggs
  • 3 extra-large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Lemon Curd (recipe above)
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream
  • Sliced lemon, for garnish


In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the 3 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 10 to 12 minutes until the mixture is thick like pudding. (I changed to a whisk when the mixture starts to get thick.) Take off the heat and set aside for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until completely chilled.

Place half the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and shiny. Carefully fold the beaten whites into the cold lemon mixture with a rubber spatula. Place the cream in the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (no need to clean the bowl) and beat on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture. Fold in the lemon curd, and pour into a 7-inch-diameter, 3-inch-deep souffle dish. Decorate with sweetened whipped cream and lemon slices that have been cut into quarters. Chill and serve cold.

Lemon Mousse (folding in the cream)

BAM! Lemon Mousse – believe me, while the recipe may seem complicated, all you really need is time and some good lemons. This dish would also be really good served in little tart cups with blueberries or raspberries on top…just saying. Maybe I’ll do that next time. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time…


P.S. Greetings from Wisconsin – my love affair continues this weekend. Saturday I’ll be visiting the oldest cocktail bar in Milwaukee – Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge. I’ll write up my review next week! Happy Weekend!!

Recipe Wed: Cdog’s Dry Rub Recipe

6 Jul

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating my BBQ you know there are a few things I take VERY seriously.

One, is the cut of meat that I buy. Here’s a small tip, if you’re at the grocery story and looking for something specific but don’t see it – ASK. Most grocery stores have butcher shops in them and unless you’re grocery shopping at the end of store hours or at the end of a busy weekend, chances are, they will be able to butcher whatever you’d like. (I experienced this last weekend – thanks Danvers Market Basket for being so accommodating with my brisket). My favorite meat choices as of late have been split chicken breasts (bone-in), brisket (duh) and pork butt.

Two, is the dry rub that I use. I like to use a dry rub, even when I know there is going to be sauce involved later. There is just something about the flavors really getting baked into the meat that makes it that much more special. Another great thing I’ve found with dry rubs is that they are really versatile – I can use the same rub for beef that I can for pork – umm yes!

Cdog's ribs - ok not really my ribs, but you know what I mean

Three, is the sauce that I use. Personally my favorite kind of sauce is Carolina style (vinegar based) BBQ sauce. Of course this is best with pork, although I’ve tried it with chicken and still loved the results. For beef, I have found that I actually prefer Texas style BBQ – no sauce needed. Just enjoy the dry rub and the flavors of the smoke and meat.

Now that you know what is important to me and my BBQ – I will give you my tried and true rub recipe. Use this on ribs, pork butt, brisket and even chicken and enjoy! This should be enough for 8-10 pounds of meat, but it also keeps nicely in a jar, so make it and keep some for later or use it up!

Cdog’s BBQ Dry Rub:

  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup cumin
  • 1/8 cup chili powder
  • 1/8 cup fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of cayenne (optional – you can reduce the amount to your liking)

Mix together in a stainless steel bowl and apply a generous coating on the meat. Allow meat to refrigerate, at least two hours but can be up to 12 hours or more, then prepare however you like best – smoked, grilled, baked, crock pot – you name it. It all works! After cooking, your meat should have an amazing flavorful crust that will surely not disappoint!

Happy BBQ’ing!


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