Monday, December 23, 2019

Jalapeno Popper Ham Chowder

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My second entry into the Clifty Farm Blogger Recipe Challenge is the perfect thing to warm up with on a chilly day.  This Jalapeno Popper Ham Chowder has little bit of spice and a ton of flavor! Don't let the amount of jalapenos scare you- the cream cheese and milk in this super creamy chowder tames the heat and my kids had no problem eating two bowls each! 
If you can't find the package crispy fried jalapeno pieces at your store feel free to sub them with crispy french fried onions instead (you know, the type you sprinkle on top of classic green bean casserole)  for that delicious crispy topping- it will be equally delicious!

Jalapeno Popper Ham Chowder
4 Tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 large jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons flour
1 ½ cup chicken stock
2 cups milk
8 ounces room temperature chive and onion cream cheese spread
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ cup packaged crispy fried jalapeno pieces

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 7-10 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. 

Add the Country Ham Seasoning Pieces and fry for 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the ham and continue to cook for 3 minutes, or until the flour has been completely absorbed.

Whisk in the chicken stock, milk, cream cheese, pepper and garlic salt and bring the mixture up to a simmer. Allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with crispy fried jalapeno pieces.


Serves 6

You can follow Clifty Farm to find out more about their products and free recipe ideas on their Website, on Facebook and Instagram. There's also a $1 off Coupon Link for you to download too! 

#CliftyFarm #countryham #southerncooking

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Hasselback Ham and Cheese Garlic Bread

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Can you really ever have enough super simple appetizer ideas in your back pocket? I really don't think so. Whether it's for Christmas, New Years or Super Bowl I think my Hasselback Ham and Cheese Garlic Bread is just the thing! It's delicious, impressive and super easy -sure to impress at your next get together!  Who doesn't love garlic bread? Combine that with classic ham and cheddar cheese and you get this gooey pull apart bread that can feed a crowd. This is my first entry for the Clifty Farm Blogger Recipe Challenge and I guarantee you if you make this, it will disappear fast!

Hasselback Ham and Cheese Garlic Bread
1 baguette
6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon minced chives

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Slice the bread into 1/2-inch slices crosswise, without slicing all the way through. (Leave about 1/4 inch intact at the bottom.)
Prepare a sheet pan with one large long piece of aluminum foil long enough to wrap the entire loaf in.
Place the bread on top of the aluminum foil on the baking sheet. Alternate placing pieces of ham and cheese slices in the cuts of the bread.
In a small sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, reduce the heat to low and add the minced garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes. Whisk in the garlic powder and chives. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread loaf.
Fold the foil closed and place the bread in the oven for 12-14 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
Serves 8-10
You can follow Clifty Farm to find out more about their products and free recipe ideas on their Website, on Facebook and Instagram. There's also a $1 off Coupon Link for you to download too! 

#CliftyFarm #countryham #southerncooking

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Pear and Pepper Jelly Blue Cheese Tart

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This is my second entry into the USA Pears Blogger Challenge!
My Pear and Pepper Jelly Blue Cheese Tart is absolutely gorgeous and loaded with decadent holiday flavors. With only 6 ingredients and less than 30 minutes to throw together this may be your new go to appetizer for the season!


Pear and Pepper Jelly Blue Cheese Tart
1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted 
2 ½ ounces garlic and herb flavored spreadable cheese, at room temperature
1 large ripe Red Anjou pear, thinly sliced
1 egg yolk beaten with a splash of water
¼ cup jalapeno pepper jelly
2 Tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Place the Puff Pastry sheet onto a lightly floured board and lightly flatten with a rolling pin. Poke a few holes with a fork down the center of the pastry. With an offset spatula, spread the garlic and herb cheese in the center of the dough leaving a ½ inch rim around the edges.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.  
Remove from the refrigerator and arrange the pear slices in rows, slightly overlapping on top of the cheese.  Brush the edges with the egg yolk and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and brush the pear slices with the pepper jelly. Sprinkle with the blue cheese crumbles and serve.

Makes 9 servings.

 #usapears #cookingwithpears @usapears 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Little's Lunches

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Hey there! Happy Monday!
We are back in the swing of things after Thanksgiving week off and here are the lunches I packed with a very empty fridge and no energy to go to the store while unpacking and washing what felt like everything we ever owned after getting back home. While on vacation we bought a lot of sliced cheese and lunch meat for sandwiches but we never ended up being at the rental house long enough to use it so I froze it all and I am SO glad I did that- it saved me last week! My kids recently are obsessed with the sandwich rounds that I used in place of traditional sliced bread- they're just really thin wheat bread rounds that I've seen at almost every grocery store I've ever been to. Look for them if you can- they're really yummy!
Monday: colby jack cheese, cheese tortellini, cucumber slices, black olives, raspberries, BBQ Ranch, oranges

Tuesday: Colby Jack and Ham on a Sandwich Thin,  cheddar cheese star crackers, pickles and black olives, orange wedges

Wednesday: deli sliced ham, purple grapes, cucumber slices, caesar dressing, baby tomatoes and black olives, cornbread cracker sticks

Thursday: Turkey and Meunster Sandwich Thins, cucumber slices, black olives, carrot sticks, ranch, dried pears


Friday:  Chef Salad (romaine, ham, shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes), raisins, cheddar cheese star crackers, orange slices



I use Yumbox (here) lunchboxes and I love them! They make it SO easy to put lunches together, keep everything separated and are leak proof!! Also, the little Animal Food Picks (here) keep things cute and so colorful!! These Sistema dip containers are the perfect size to include wet or runny items to dip into. I frequently use these Silicone muffin cups to separate items that aren't exactly messy but I still want to keep from touching everything else in the box. The height of the dip containers and muffin cups are perfect in the Yumbox Panino and the Yumbox Original


*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you I can earn a commission on purchases made through my site

Friday, December 6, 2019

Maple Pecan Pear Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

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I think every Friday should involve cake, don't you?
This Maple Pecan Pear Cake is loaded with chunks of juicy pears, crunchy pecans and the perfect amount of maple syrup. The only thing that could make this cake any better is the maple syrup cream cheese icing on top. Since it pairs so perfectly with a cup of coffee, I won't even judge if you have this for breakfast!

Maple Pecan Pear Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

Maple Pecan Pear Cake
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
¾ cup maple syrup
¾ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Bartlett Pears, finely chopped
1 Bartlett Pear, shredded
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a Bundt pan generously with non-stick baking spray.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the oil, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup and brown sugar.

Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk until combined. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour, chopped and shredded pears and the pecans just enough for the mixture to come together but being very careful not to over-mix. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. 

Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes.

Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

While the cake is cooling, prepare the icing:

Maple Cream Cheese Icing
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons room temperature butter 
2 ounces room temperature cream cheese 
¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon vanilla coffee creamer

In a small mixing bowl beat the powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, maple syrup and coffee creamer until smooth. Once the cake has fully cooled, drizzle the icing over the cake. Serve immediately. 


Serves 12-14



 #usapears #cookingwithpears @usapears 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Vegan Orange Cranberry Cake

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Anyone out there freaking out over what to serve on Thanksgiving to your Vegan/dairy free/egg free friends for Thanksgiving? I think I have the perfect thing for you!
This is my second entry for the "Florida Crystal's Blogger Challenge". This Orange Cranberry Cake is so easy to throw together and can be made ahead of time, saving you stress and oven space Thanksgiving day. Orange zest and fresh cranberries are one of my favorite holiday flavor combos and since it's not overly sweet, you can totally have it for breakfast the next day if there's any left. I won't tell!

Vegan Orange Cranberry Cake
 1 ½ cups plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
5 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 cup frozen cranberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 3 Tablespoons of the flour in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the remaining flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and orange zest.

Using a spoon, create 3 wells in the flour mixture (1 large and 2 small). Pour the vinegar into one of the wells, pour the vanilla and orange extracts into the second well and the vegetable oil into the last well. Add the water to the bowl and whisk until the mixture is well incorporated. 
Add the cranberries to the reserved flour and stir until well coated. Gently fold the mixture into the batter and pour into the prepared pan.

Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Set aside and allow to cool. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it on a serving plate. Dust the top with the powdered sugar and serve. 

Serves 9


You can find more about Florida Crystals by following them hereInstagramFacebook, and Pinterest  and following along for delicious recipe ideas!! Florida Crystals products are available at local retailers


#FloridaCrystals  #FCChallenge #Sweeps #Ad

Monday, November 18, 2019

Little's Lunches

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Happy Monday! Here is another week of ideas to get you through before Thanksgiving break! I can't believe how fast November is flying by! Since we will be in Colorado for Thanksgiving break I pulled out all of my Christmas decorations this weekend and I am loving seeing all the Christmas lights go up in my neighborhood. Are you decorating for Christmas yet?
Monday: Trader Joe's mini cheese cracker sandwiches, chicken spinach and feta sausage slices, cucumbers, garlic parmesan dip, celery sticks and baby tomatoes, grapes
Tuesday: yogurt tube, chicken spinach and feta sausage slices, garlic parmesan dip, grapes, cucumbers and baby tomatoes, cornbread crostini
Wednesday: ham cubes, shrimp spring rolls, sweet and sour dipping sauce, grapes, cheddar cheese star crackers layered fruit chew bar

Thursday: Chef Salad (romaine lettuce, ham, cheese, cucumber, tomato), Trader Joe's mini cheese cracker sandwiches, Moon Cheese, grapes
Friday: cheddar cheese star crackers, deli sliced roast beef, celery and carrots, parmesan garlic dip, raspberries, yogurt tube

I use Yumbox (here) lunchboxes and I love them! They make it SO easy to put lunches together, keep everything separated and are leak proof!! Also, the little Animal Food Picks (here) keep things cute and so colorful!! These Sistema dip containers are the perfect size to include wet or runny items to dip into. I frequently use these Silicone muffin cups to separate items that aren't exactly messy but I still want to keep from touching everything else in the box. The height of the dip containers and muffin cups are perfect in the Yumbox Panino and the Yumbox Original



*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you I can earn a commission on purchases made through my site

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Sweet Potato Praline Crème Brulee

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Creme Brulee is one of my absolute favorite desserts and if you are still undecided on what to serve for Thanksgiving this year I am begging you- let it be this!!  It needs to be made ahead anyway, so less time stressing about that on the big day AND it's gluten free, so any of your guests who can't have pie will be thrilled to dig into these!
 I love the crispy just torched sugar topping, the ultra rich cold custard underneath and  the extra crunchy praline pecans give it so much nutty texture and crunch. You'll still get the essence of pecan or sweet potato or pumpkin pie only way more decadent!

Sweet Potato Praline Crème Brulee 

Sweet Potato Crème Brulee
2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pureed cooked sweet potatoes

Pour 4 cups of hot water into a 9×13 baking dish, place it in the oven on the middle rack and set the oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup raw cane sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved then remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy and lighter in color, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly to prevent scrambling, add the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks about ¼ cup at a time. Add the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and sweet potatoes, and whisk until smooth.
Set a fine mesh strainer over the pot you cooked the cream in and pour the egg mixture through it to strain out any lumps. Pour the custard evenly into 6 (4-oz) ramekins.
Carefully place the ramekins in the water bath and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the ramekins are just barely set in the center. Remove from the water and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve sprinkle each ramekin with the remaining sugar and using a small kitchen torch cook the sugar until bubbling and melted. Allow the sugar to cool and harden for a minute or two, top with pecan praline topping and serve. 

Serves 6

Pecan Pralines
1 ½ Tablespoons Florida Crystals Organic Raw Cane Sugar
1 ½ teaspoons water
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup chopped pecans

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, water, vanilla and salt. 

Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the pecans to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the nuts are lightly toasted and you begin to smell them pour the sugar mixture into the pan, stirring constantly for 15-30 seconds or until the nuts are evenly coated. Remove the pan from the fire and spread the mixture into an even layer onto a piece of parchment paper. Allow to cool completely. Once the nuts have cooled, break into pieces and serve with the prepared crème brulees. 

Look at that crispy crackly sugar and crunchy coated pecans - that's double the texture to go along with the super creamy sweet potato custard underneath!

You can find more about Florida Crystals by following them hereInstagramFacebook, and Pinterest  and following along for delicious recipe ideas!! Florida Crystals products are available at local retailers

#FloridaCrystals  #FCChallenge #Sweeps #Ad

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Grilled Teriyaki Meatball Skewers

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These Grilled Teriyaki Meatball Skewers are my kid's newest favorite dinner! They might be the easiest thing I've made all week too which makes it a total winner. With only a handful of ingredients and less than 20 minutes from start to finish, it may be my new go-to!
My kids even took the leftovers in their lunchboxes this week and  loved it cold too.
For these I used bamboo skewers since I can't find my metal ones (so annoying). If you use metal ones, you're good to go but if you're using bamboo be sure to soak them in some water before threading the food on them to prevent them from burning on the grill.
In the recipe I linked to the exact meatball I used, but please feel free to use any pre-cooked meatball you have, this recipe will be delicious no matter what flavor they are!

Grilled Teriyaki Meatball Skewers
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces


Heat a gas grill to medium heat (350 degrees).
While the grill is heating, thread the meatballs, peppers and onions on skewers. Place the full skewers on the grill and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Using tongs rotate the skewers and brush with half of the teriyaki glaze. Allow to cook for 2 minutes. Flip the skewers again, brush with the remaining sauce and grill 2 min more. Remove form the grill and serve immediately.
These are delicious as is or serve with cauliflower rice, white rice or a green salad.
Just look at those char marks! I always grab the ones with the most crispy edges!


Monday, November 11, 2019

Little's Lunches

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Happy Monday and Veteran's Day!

Monday: cucumber slices, dried apple slices, radish and bell peppers, parmesan garlic dip, cheddar cheese star crackersGrilled Teriyaki Meatballs
Tuesday: Ham and Cheese on wheat with mayo and dill mustard, dried mango slices, mixed raisins, baby tomatoes and edamame
Wednesday: butter crackers, edamame and baby tomatoes, raspberries, Moon Cheese, corn, Grilled Teriyaki Meatballs 
Thursday: Ham and Cheese on wheat with mayo and dill mustard, cucumber slices, parmesan garlic dip, raspberries
Friday: sliced deli ham, grapes, butter crackers, BBQ ranch, cucumbers, cheddar cheese

I use Yumbox (here) lunchboxes and I love them! They make it SO easy to put lunches together, keep everything separated and are leak proof!! Also, the little Animal Food Picks (here) keep things cute and so colorful!! These Sistema dip containers are the perfect size to include wet or runny items to dip into. I frequently use these Silicone muffin cups to separate items that aren't exactly messy but I still want to keep from touching everything else in the box. The height of the dip containers and muffin cups are perfect in the Yumbox Panino and the Yumbox Original



*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you I can earn a commission on purchases made through my site

Shoyu Udon Egg Drop Soup

We just got back home from Mardi Gras and it was a jam packed long weekend full of family, parades, friends, beads, king cake, drive thro...