Tag Archives: easy recipes

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

#SipYourSummer #CollectiveBias

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

Now that summer is in full swing, I’m relaxing as much as possible and enjoying spending a little time away from my classroom.  It feels so great to wind down and de-stress a bit! I’ve found myself sitting outside on the patio as much as possible, just staring at the bright blue sky and listening to the sounds of the outdoors. Summer really is the perfect time for relaxing and just enjoying life!

Sometimes I bring a book or my laptop outside with me to get a little blog work out of the way, but more than anything, I really enjoy the peace and quiet of the warm summer days. I find it so comforting and serene.

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

It can get a little toasty in the warm Southern California sunshine, and my go-to cool-down of choice is an ice-cold bottle of Snapple Premium Tea. I’m an iced tea lover all the way, so all of Snapple’s teas–both the flavored AND the Straight Up Tea varieties– are my favorite summer beverages. They’re seriously the best way to cool down on a blazing hot summer day–I love when the bottle turns nice and frosty right out of the refrigerator! It goes down smooth and just a little sweet–perfect for quenching my thirst and helping me de-stress from my looooong year of teaching junior high (let’s be honest: it was a bit of a ROUGH one!). 

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

My favorite flavor has always been Snapple’s Raspberry Tea–it brings back so many memories of warm summer days, time spent at the pool, and afternoons spent at the beach. In college, I pretty much drank raspberry tea exclusively, and every time I take a sip, I’m instantly transported back to some of the best times of my life.

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

On a recent trip to Walmart, I picked a 6-pack of my favorite Snapple Raspberry Tea flavor to enjoy during my summer patio relaxation sessions:

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

Right now, Snapple also has a limited edition Lady Liber-TEA flavor available, with RED raspberry, WHITE peach, and BLUEberry flavors in a black tea blend. It’s only available from May 1st to July 4th (in both singles and 6-packs), so get it while it lasts!

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With the 4th of July coming up, and plenty of free time now that I’ve got a little break from my day job, I’m planning on spending my summer having some friends and family over for a few relaxing outdoor barbecues.

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

One of my favorite ways to relax and enjoy a little “me” time, ironically enough, is spending time with friends and family. They know how to make me smile and laugh–the best way to relax!

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

We’re not talking a huge raging party here, but a quiet evening on the patio with great food, good company, and delicious food and drinks. I’m so looking forward to these summer nights!

As part of my summer barbecue relaxation plan, I’ve come up with the perfect, easy party punch using my favorite Snapple flavor: Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch.

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

This party punch not only features the delicious flavor of Snapple Raspberry Tea, but citrusy pineapple and orange juices, puckery lemonade, fizzy ginger ale, and fresh raspberries and lemon slices. It’s all topped off with sweet scoops of raspberry sherbet. It’s refreshing, sweet, and absolutely delicious–I think you and your summertime guests will love it!

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

Even if you’re not in a party mood, you can still enjoy this yummy punch:

I love making a huge jug of this to keep in the refrigerator even when I’m not having guests over. I keep the ginger ale and sherbet separate, and keep my punch mixture in the fridge. When I’m ready for a refreshing Snapple pick-me-up, I pour some punch over a scoop of sherbet and top it off with some ginger ale bubbles–instant cool down and relaxation!

I hope you’ll give my Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch a try. I just know you’ll love it–and your guests will keep going back for more!

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch

Ingredients:

  • 3 bottles Snapple Raspberry Tea
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 3 scoops (about 1/2 cup) powdered lemonade concentrate
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bottle ginger ale
  • 3 lemons, sliced
  • 1 small pint raspberries
  • raspberry sherbet

1.  In a large container, add the bottles of Snapple tea, the pineapple juice, orange juice, lemonade concentrate, and water.

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

Add in the lemon slices and raspberries. Use a wooden spoon to gently mix the juices and tea together.

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

2.  If not serving right away, place the punch container in the refrigerator to chill and blend the flavors together.

3.  Just before serving, add the entire bottle of ginger ale, pouring it onto the sides of the punch container to keep it from losing its bubbles.

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

4.  Add in several scoops of raspberry sherbet–I used about half of the pint of sherbet, but the amount is really up to you!

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

Alternatively, if serving in single glasses, skip steps 3 and 4:

Instead, place a large scoop of raspberry sherbet in the bottom of a glass. Fill the glass halfway with the juice and tea mixture, then top off with ginger ale to the top of the glass. Garnish with fresh raspberries and lemon slices.

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

Ready to give Snapple a try? You’re in luck! 18.5 oz Straight Up Tea and Premium Glass Snapple will be on Rollback for only $1.00 in-store at Walmart starting on June 3rd, throughout the summer season. That’s a seriously amazing deal! Pick up your raspberry tea bottles and get to mixin’ up this punch!

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

For more from Snapple, visit snapple.com. Don’t forget to check out the SipYourSummer.com hub for more amazing Snapple recipes and crafts, just like this one!

Lemon Raspberry Iced Tea Party Punch with Snapple #SipYourSummer #Ad #CollectiveBias

What’s your favorite way to relax during the summer months? Share your tips in the comments below!

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Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

#HuntsFreshTwists #CollectiveBias

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias  I can’t believe summer is already here! It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the new year, and now school is out (today for me, in fact!) and we’re getting ready for pool parties, beach trips, and family vacations. I don’t mind that summer has arrived so quickly though, because it is my absolute favorite time of year!

One of my favorite things about summer is sharing laughter and fun with family and friends. I have so many great memories of summer. It’s the perfect time of year to spend time with your loved ones–by the pool, at the beach, or in the comfort of your cool, air-conditioned home (usually my choice!). Hanging out with friends wouldn’t be complete without delicious snacks, and one of my favorite entertaining must-haves is salsa and chips. It is definitely a crowd-pleaser, so I find myself serving it again and again. It’s easy to throw together at the last minute, and there are so many different twists on this classic recipe that it never gets boring. Today I’m sharing my absolute favorite summer salsa recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar, made with a little help from Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes.

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

This recipe has become one of my signature dishes over the past few years–it’s one that I make almost any time we have company over. I have a few friends who just absolutely devour my Cowboy Caviar any time I make it. If I DON’T make it for a party or get together, I never hear the end of it!

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

Cowboy Caviar is like a cross between a salsa and a chili–it has the tomatoes, avocados, and green onions of a salsa, but adds a little twist with the addition of sweet corn and black eyed peas. All of this is topped off with one of the most delicious dressings I’ve ever tasted: hot sauce, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.  To make it a little more summery, I add a splash of lime juice to give my Cowboy Caviar a citrusy punch. It is so, SO good!

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

Making my Cowboy Caviar couldn’t be easier–it takes maybe 15 minutes from start to finish. I love that it is a “chop and drop” recipe: just a little bit of chopping, opening cans, and mixing the dressing ingredients together, and you get an amazing appetizer that your summer vacation guests will love.

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

To help make my salsa-making super easy, I always keep several cans of Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes on hand. I stock up at Walmart, where you can find all different flavors of Hunt’s tomatoes:

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

 Keeping Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes on hand is not only the best way to throw together an easy summer salsa, they’re also a perfect solution for quick weeknight dinners–I use them in everything from chili, to taco filling, to casseroles. You’ll always find Hunt’s in my pantry.

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

I know that you, your family, and friends will absolutely adore my Summer Cowboy Caviar recipe–I hope you’ll give it a try. You can serve it with tortilla chips, multigrain crackers, or even over chopped lettuce for a filling salad. All I know is: you’re gonna love it!

Summer Cowboy Caviar

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 firm avocados, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black eyed peas
  • 1 can (11 oz.) sweet corn kernels
  • 4-5 scallions, sliced
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes, excess liquid drained
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • tortilla chips, for serving

1.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, hot sauce, olive oil, and lime juice.  

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

Add the garlic and avocado and toss with a spoon to coat.

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

2.  Open the cans of black eyed peas and corn, and drain completely.  Add the black eyed peas and corn to the bowl and mix to coat in the dressing.

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

3.  Add the scallions:

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

The minced cilantro:

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

And the can of Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes:

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

Make sure to drain most of the liquid from the tomatoes so your Cowboy Caviar isn’t too watery.

Toss everything together and sprinkle to taste with salt and pepper.

4.  Once everything is mixed, give the Cowboy Caviar a little taste to see if the seasonings need to be adjusted. At this point, you might need to add a little extra hot sauce or a little extra vinegar, but this all depends on your tastes. The Cowboy Caviar should have a definitely bite to it, spicy with a little bit of tanginess.

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

Serve in a large bowl with plenty of tortilla chips for dipping.

Are you ready to give my Summer Cowboy Caviar a try? You’re in luck! Give this Ibotta coupon a try: 

Buy 3 Hunt’s Tomatoes any variety 6 oz or larger at Walmart and receive $1.00 in your Ibotta account.  All 3 products must be purchased on the same shopping trip. Check http://cbi.as/cjnt for details.
 
I hope you’ll enjoy my Summer Cowboy Caviar, made with Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes. For more great ideas and recipes from Hunt’s, check out the their website and “Ready, Set, Eat”. For even more Hunt’s news and recipes, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, too!

Easy Entertaining Recipe: Summer Cowboy Caviar with Hunt's Diced Tomatoes #HuntsFreshTwists #ad #CollectiveBias

Looking for more summer salsa recipes? Be sure to check out more delicious salsa recipes at http://cbi.as/a28k . I’d love to hear your favorite–leave it in the comments below!

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Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp I am not a morning person. Not in any sense of the word. I am that annoying person who hits snooze at least three times every morning, and then still grumbles and moans as she rolls herself out of bed. It is terrible. 

This is a problem, considering I teach junior high and have to be at work by 7 am (okay, so it’s more like 7:10 for me… I swear I try to be on time!). Most days I hit snooze as long as I possibly can, rush around the house packing my lunch and getting coffee like a mad woman, then I blast through some hair and makeup and throw on the easiest outfit possible (usually a maxi dress and denim jacket… because they hide yoga pants underneath REALLY well). Thank God I shower and blow dry my hair at night so I don’t have to deal with that too. I’m a total morning mess.

As you can probably tell, getting breakfast in among all my morning madness is next to impossible. I’ve premade smoothies before, made grab-n-go egg muffins, and made masses of frozen make-ahead breakfast burritos, but the recipe I’m going to share with you today is quite possibly one of my favorites. My Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt can be made ahead of time (I do five jars on Sunday for the week) for a healthy breakfast that you can grab on the run.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

If you’ve never tried overnight oats before, I think you’re in for a treat. I think of them as a kind of cross between pudding, oatmeal, and a parfait. They’re pretty great because you can customize the toppings and add-ins to make all kinds of different flavors. Whatever toppings you can dream up, you can add to these overnight oats. Add a little crunch with your favorite nut, a hint of the tropics with some shredded coconut, and as much fresh fruit as your heart desires. You can even stir in some nut butter to up the protein ante.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

The base is made from just a few ingredients: old-fashioned oats, milk (any kind will work–reduced fat, almond, soy), chia seeds, and yoghurt, like Mountain High Yoghurt.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

As it sits in the refrigerator over night, the oats soften, the chia seeds absorb liquid, and a yummy pudding-like parfait forms. Top it with your favorite toppings, and you’re ready for a delicious and easy breakfast.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

Mountain High Yoghurt is my favorite choice because it’s simple AND delicious. Mountain High makes their yoghurt using a traditional European way (thus where the H in yogHurt comes from–it’s the European way), nicknamed “Cultured in the Cup.” They use only cultures to thicken their yoghurt, so there aren’t any additives or unnecessary ingredients. Plus, Mountain High uses milk from cows never treated with growth hormone. I feel great using a yoghurt that not only tastes great, but is good for me, too.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

I like to mix my overnight oats together at the beginning of each week so my breakfast is ready at a moment’s notice. You’ll need several pint-sized mason jars to do this. They should be stored in the fridge after you’ve made them, and they’ll last about 5 days.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

You can also make a single serving of these overnight oats by using a half a cup of oats and yoghurt, 1/3 cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. You’ll still need to chill it overnight to allow the oats to soften, but you won’t have as many servings on hand. That’s up to you!

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try–I think you’ll like it (and you’ll especially love not having to make breakfast each morning!).

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats

Makes 5 servings.

  • 2-1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2-1/2 cup Mountain High Low-Fat Vanilla Yoghurt
  • 1-2/3 cup reduced-fat milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters
  • dark chocolate chips (about 1 tablespoon per serving, to be added just before serving)
  • sliced almonds (for serving)

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

1.  In a large bowl, combine oats, yoghurt, milk, and chia seeds.  Whisk together until thoroughly combined.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

2.  Divide oats into five mason jars and seal with cap and ring.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

3. Refrigerate overnight, or until mixture is thick and pudding-like.

4.  To serve, top with sliced strawberries, a tablespoon of dark chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of almonds. I like to pre-slice my strawberries at the beginning of the week and keep them in a sealed container so its easy to toss them into the jar as I get ready to leave for the day.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

You can either eat your oats in the jar on-the-go, or if you have a little more time, you can empty them into a bowl. Either way, they’re just as delicious!

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

Are you ready to give Mountain High Yoghurt a try? Visit this link, sign up for their newsletter, and receive a coupon for $1 off when you purchase two tubs.

Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats with Mountain High Yoghurt #simplelife #MountainHighYoghurt #sp

For more great ideas using Mountain High Yoghurt, visit them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Cranberry Pineapple Cocktail Meatballs

Cranberry Pineapple Cocktail Meatballs When I first heard of this recipe, I have to admit–I was WAY skeptical.  Pineapple on meatballs?!?!? It sounded kinda strange to me, but my husband SWORE to me that they were the most delicious things on the planet.  His friend’s mom gave him the recipe, since it was his favorite, and I have to admit–they’re so amazing! Now I make them ALL the time.  They’re perfect for any get-together, holiday gathering, or party.  Just three ingredients and a slow cooker is all you really need to make these Cranberry Pineapple Cocktail Meatballs.

Cranberry Pineapple Cocktail Meatballs

Cranberry Pineapple Cocktail Meatballs

  • 1 large bag of frozen homestyle meatballs
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (the large can!)

Cranberry Pineapple Cocktail Meatballs

Place the meatballs in a large slow cooker.  Pour the cranberry and pineapple cans on top of the meatballs.  Use a large spoon to mix everything together, coating the meatlballs in the fruity mixture.  

Cranberry Pineapple Cocktail Meatballs

Cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Voila! That’s IT.  Super easy, right?

I don’t even have a finished picture of these because they’re so popular they just disappear! Enjoy!

Cranberry Pineapple Cocktail Meatballs

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Layered Taco Dip

Layered Taco Dip

 

With the Big Game coming up this weekend, I’ve been sharing lots of ideas to entertain your guests (or just your family) on the big day. I’ve even got one more up my sleeve for tomorrow, too! So far, I’ve shared my Snickers Apple Brownie Trifle, my Skittles Layer Cake, my Fancy Footwork Fries and dipping sauces, plus my amazing Hot Wing Cupcakes. Wanna know something crazy though? Even with all those great recipes, THIS is the recipe my family goes crazy over.  I put this out at Christmas and my family just could NOT stop eating it.  This Layered Taco Dip will be the perfect appetizer for the Big Game.

Even better, this dip couldn’t be simpler.  Just a few ingredients mixed together and layered into an 8 x 8 pan, served alongside tortilla chips–that’s all it takes! It’s a great recipe to put together to keep you out of the kitchen and in front of the TV watching the game–just where you should be on football’s biggest day of the season.

Layered Taco Dip

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 jar mild salsa (15.5 oz)
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • tortilla chips for serving

1. In a bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream cheese for 3-4 minutes.

Layered Taco Dip 2.  Fold in the sour cream.

IMG_0106 3.  Mix in the spices and stir thoroughly to combine.

Layered Taco Dip 4.  Use a spatula to spread the cream cheese mixture into an 8×8 pan.

Layered Taco Dip 5.  Pour the salsa on top of the cream cheese mixture.

Layered Taco Dip 6.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of the salsa.  Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, until the cream cheese has set back up a bit.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Layered Taco Dip

 

Enjoy!

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Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls + Four Unique Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune

Disclosure: This #TaiPeiGoodFortune shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

With the holiday season in full swing, and the big Christmas holiday just a little over two weeks away, holiday entertaining is alive and well in our house.  Our schedule is packed full of social obligations, and we’re already planning and prepping the menu for our big Christmas celebration.  I’ve been finding myself spending lots of time having friends and family over, and attending lots of get-togethers, potlucks, and parties.  I love entertaining, but I don’t like spending all my time in the kitchen preparing.  I mean, isn’t the point of having friends over spending as much time with them as possible? I like to have delicious snacks ready in just minutes so I can get my quality holiday bonding time in! Today I want to share an easy holiday entertaining idea with you that’s as simple as it is delicious: my Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter, made super easy with the help of Tai Pei Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls, plus the recipes for four of my unique (but super easy) dipping sauces that you can throw together in just minutes. 

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

When I entertain, I love to come up with fun and unique appetizer ideas–usually some sort of snack that can be personalized with different toppings, sauces, or flavorings.  These are always unique and different–and most importantly, crowd pleasing! Giving your guests lots of choices in their snacks without cooking up lots of different appetizer dishes is the best way to make everyone happy without being tied to the kitchen.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

Dipping stations are one of my favorite appetizers for easy entertaining.  Everyone gets the sauce they want and boom–instantly personalized snacks! If they want to try one or a little bit of everything, they totally can.  These dipping sauces can be made ahead of time too, so you can spend even MORE time with your guests and out of the kitchen!

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

Tai Pei’s delicious egg rolls and spring rolls are the perfect appetizer solution paired with these sauces.  Being Filipino, I always tend to serve Asian dishes at Christmas, alongside our other traditional dishes like turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and more.  Tai Pei’s authentic tasting Asian appetizers go great alongside the rest of my family’s meal.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

Not only are Tai Pei’s egg rolls and spring rolls really delicious and tasty, they’re also a cinch to make.  Just pop them in the oven on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes, and presto! Appetizers are ready to go.  I had such a hard time resisting the delicious scent of the spring rolls, there might be a couple (or several) missing from the pictures.  Actually, I’m surprised they made it to being photographed! They’re packed with fresh cut veggies and hearty chicken, all wrapped up in a tasty, crispy wrapper–seriously, what’s not to like?

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

I picked up our Tai Pei egg rolls and spring rolls in the freezer section of our local Walmart.  They have so many flavors to choose from, from chicken to pork to shrimp to veggie–and even spicy chicken for the more daring ones out there.  My favorite are the chicken, but the veggie are a close second!

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

Even though Tai Pei has a totally delish sauce that conveniently comes alongside their egg rolls and spring rolls, you know that I’m always looking to put a unique twist on classic standbys.  I created four brand new Asian inspired dipping sauces that go perfectly with Tai Pei’s snacks: Carrot Ginger, Mango Lime, Honey Soy, and Orange Almond. You can make one, or make all four, and give your guests the fun of personalizing their holiday appetizer treats.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

Carrot Ginger Dipping Sauce

This sauce reminds me of the salad dressing at one of my favorite Asian restaurants! The carrots give the sauce a sweet base, while the ginger adds a bit of spice, and the rice wine vinegar gives it some tang.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • salt + pepper to taste

1.  In a blender, combine all ingredients except water and oil.  With the blender running, stream in the water and the oil.  Blend for about 1 minute, until oil and water are completely mixed in with the other ingredients.  Pour into small bowl and serve.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

Mango Lime Dipping Sauce

Mango is an unusual choice for a sauce perhaps, but I was inspired by mango chutney and the flavors of India.  I combined the mango with lime for a bit of  citrusy sweetness and a little nod to Thai cuisine.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons mango nectar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • brown sugar to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons, but my limes were not particular ripe and sweet)

1.  In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except sugar.  Gradually add in a small amount of sugar at a time, until it’s sweet enough, but not TOO sweet (it’s not a dessert!).

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

Honey Soy Dipping Sauce

This sauce is probably the most traditional of these sauces, but the hint of sweetness from the honey makes it a little more unique! The sweetness of the honey is set against a hint of spiciness from red pepper flakes, so you get the best of both worlds!

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1.  In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except sesame seeds.  Keep whisking until honey is dissolved and fully incorporated into the sauce.  Stir in the sesame seeds just before serving.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

Orange Almond Dipping Sauce

I love this sauce so much–it’s definitely my favorite! It reminds me of the typical Asian peanut dipping sauce, with a little twist.  The use of almond butter gives this sauce a richness that is way beyond your typical peanut sauce!

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2″ piece ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1.  Combine all ingredients except sesame seeds in a blender and process until smooth.  Stir in sesame seeds just before serving.

Easy Asian Inspired Appetizer Platter with Tai Pei + Four Dipping Sauces #TaiPeiGoodFortune #ad

I hope you’ll give these delicious Asian inspired dipping sauces a try–they’re sure to be crowd pleasers alongside Tai Pei’s delicious assortment of egg rolls and spring rolls.  For more from Tai Pei, check out their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Pinterest.

Happy Holidays!

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Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart

Disclosure: This #ChooseSmart shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

It’s official–baking season has arrived! With November’s arrival, it means big holiday meals, parties, and get-togethers will be filling our calendars soon. I love the holiday season, and I love cooking holiday meals even more (probably more than is normal, actually), but I definitely struggle on those big days to get everything prepped, cooked, baked, and plated.  To take some of that holiday pressure off, why not use a slow cooker to free up some of your time (and oven space!)? I created this delicious Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream to save you time making dessert during the holiday season–just put the ingredients in, turn it on, and voila–major dessert deliciousness! Thanks to Smart & Final and their First Street brand products, I’ve got everything I need right at my finger tips to make this delicious dessert.  

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

 When stocking up for the holiday season, Smart & Final makes prepping easy.  They’ve got everything from produce, to meats, to warehouse-sized items, all under the same roof.  I can get all my baking supplies, paper goods, turkey, and fruits + veggies all at the same place–without a club card!

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Smart & Final’s First Street brand offers every kind of baking supply you might need, from sugar:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

To all types of flour:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

 To oats:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

 And even baking extracts and ice cream:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

 First Street Pure Vanilla Extract has such a strong and classic vanilla flavor–I just love it.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Smart & Final seriously has everything I need to stock up for my favorite time of year.  I always have my baking supplies on hand and at the ready for whatever holiday get-together I’m prepping for, and which is easy thanks to the one-stop shopping at Smart and Final.  Making this Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble couldn’t be easier, thanks to their help!

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

This time of year, everyone seems to go for the pumpkin and apple desserts.  I see pumpkin everything and caramel apple everything, which I LOVE–but I think it’s time for something different. Everyone seems to forget one amazing and delicious fruit: the sweet and tangy pear!  

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

These babies are so good mixed with caramel and cinnamon and vanilla and all kinds of yummy fall flavors. They’re the perfect dessert for the holiday season.  If you’ve ever had warm, poached pears before, this dessert is like that… plus a crunchy streusel topping and creamy french vanilla ice cream.  It’s heaven in a bowl.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

I love the warm, caramel-y crumble with the ice cream, especially when it starts to get a little melted and all mixed together. Oh. So. Good.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Best of all, this dessert couldn’t be simpler.  It takes maybe ten minutes of prep time–chopping the pears, mixing the sugars, and mixing the topping–and cooks in just two hours.  It’s totally hands-off, which means you’ll have plenty of time to worry about your main course, or if you’re having friends over for dessert–more time to spend with the ones you love (And isn’t that what this time of year should be about anyway?).

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes about 6-8 servings.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 6 Bartlett pears, sliced then cut into chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup First Street Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup First Street Granulated White Sugar

For the topping:

  • 2/3 cup First Street Rolled Oats
  • 2/3 cup First Street Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup First Street All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons First Street butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon First Street Pure Vanilla Extract

For serving:

  • First Street French Vanilla Ice Cream
  • First Street Extra Creamy Dairy Whipped Topping

1.  Cut the pears into medium sized chunks and place in a bowl.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Sprinkle the pears with the salt and one teaspoon of cinnamon:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Then toss with a spoon to thoroughly coat the fruit in the seasonings:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

2.  In the bottom of your slow cooker, mix together the brown and white sugars, spreading them into an evenly layer on the bottom.  This will become your caramel.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Spread the cinnamon-coated pears on top of the sugars in a single layer (as much as possible):

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

3.  In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the streusel topping.  

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Use your fingers to distribute the butter through the oats and sugar until it forms coarse crumbs:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Spread the streusel topping on top of the pears in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

4.  Cook on high for two hours (or low for four hours), then unplug and let sit for one hour while the caramel thickens:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

5.  To serve, scoop some of the caramel-y pear goodness into a bowl, then top with a big scoop of French Vanilla Ice Cream and a little bit of whipped cream:

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

Yum! I can’t believe how delicious (and SIMPLE) this is! You’ll definitely find this on our table many times throughout the holiday season.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream from Smart & Final #ChooseSmart #shop #CollectiveBias

For more from Smart & Final, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

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Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Crumble with French Vanilla Ice Cream
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  3. 6 Bartlett pears, sliced and chopped into pieces
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the topping
  1. 2/3 cup rolled oats
  2. 2/3 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup flour
  4. 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. French Vanilla Ice Cream
  8. Whipped Cream
Instructions
  1. 1. In a bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon cinnamon, salt, and pears until the fruit is coated with seasonings.
  2. 2. In the bottom of the slow cooker, mix together white and brown sugars, flattening into an even layer.
  3. 3. Pour the pears on top of the sugars into a single layer.
  4. 4. In a bowl, mix together the streusel topping ingredients. Use your fingers to distribute the butter throughout the oats and sugar, making coarse crumbs. Pour the topping over the pears in the slow cooker.
  5. 5. Cook on high for two hours (or low for four hours). Unplug and let slow cooker sit for 1 hour, allowing the caramel to thicken.
  6. 6. Serve with french vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on top.
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Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

Well, the day has finally arrived.  The last night of summer.  Tomorrow I go back to school, back into the classroom, to prepare for another year of 7th grade.  As I sit here typing this, my chest is a little tight with anticipation and anxiety about the school year to come.  I’ll meet my students on Monday, and summer vacation will soon be just a distant memory for us all.  It’s kind of sad and bittersweet.  I love my job–don’t get me wrong–but summer passing so quickly each year makes me realize how time just slips away so fast.  

Anyway, enough waxing poetic for this evening. Sometimes when I’m really bored, I wander the aisles of the grocery store in search of inspiration.  I love finding new and different ingredients and challenging myself to create a recipe around them.  Since it’s time for me to go back to work, I’m in need of easy, healthy snack foods.  One of my favorite go-to snack recipes is homemade granola bars.  They’re so easy to make and taste SO good.  I love that they don’t have a ton of sugar and that I can control exactly what goes in them.

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

 A couple weeks ago at Trader Joe’s I came across a bag of dried sweet baby pineapple.  I’m a huge pineapple lover, and baby pineapple–how cute is that? I have a bit of a pineapple obsession going on right now, so of COURSE I had to buy a bag. I thought they’d make some really different and delicious granola bars. And I was totally right.

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

 

I combined the pineapple with some coconut for a little extra tropical flavor, and some mini dark chocolate chips for a little sweetness.  I love eating dark chocolate–it cures my sweet tooth and the antioxidants are good for you too!

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

One thing I love about making granola bars at home is that you can customize them however you want.  The basic formula is pretty easy.  You need a binder and a sweetener (like applesauce and honey), some spices (like cinnamon and vanilla), and oats, and then you can customize the rest to your own tastes.  You can add nuts for some crunch, all kinds of dried fruit, and even chocolate.  

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

These granola bars are also gluten free, which is really cool for people like my sister who are gluten intolerant.  She has such a hard time finding reliable, edible, and delicious gluten free snacks, so I kind of designed these with her in mind.  Just keep in mind, when making gluten free granola or granola bars, make sure you get certified gluten free oats, because lots of them can have cross-contaminants.  I always buy my oats at Trader Joe’s, since they have the gluten-free seal on them.

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack  

Feel free to adapt this recipe however you see fit. If you like milk chocolate, go for it.  Want to add a different fruit? Cool! Need some nuts for a little saltiness and added crunch? Go crazy.  I hope you enjoy!

 

Pineapple Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 + ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped, dried sweet baby pineapple
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper (I used an oval Corningware pan–it works but your bars will be a little bit funky shaped!).

2. In bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, cinnamon and vanilla.

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

 

3.  Add the oats. Make sure to mix thoroughly, coating all of the oats with the wet ingredients.

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

4. Add the pineapple, unsweetened coconut, and chocolate.  Mix to combine.

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.  Use a spatula to pat it down tightly and smooth out the top.

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and cool in the freezer until the bars are firm, about 1 hour. Remove from the pan and cut into bars. You’ll want to store these in an airtight container at room temperature; they’ll last for about one week.

Dark Chocolate Pineapple Granola Bars #glutenfree #healthysnack

I like to wrap these individually in foil at the beginning of each week.  When I pack my lunch in the morning, I just grab a bar and toss it into my lunch bag.  Easy and fast.  Once you taste these homemade granola bars, you’ll never go back to the store-bought ones again!

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Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

 

Every city has their own special style of hot dog.  New York has their Dirty Water Dogs, Chicago has those dogs covered in tomato, picked, relish, and whatnot, and LA–well, we have the bacon wrapped LA street dog. Some call it an Alley Dog, some call it a Danger Dog, but whatever you call it–it’s still delicious.

You won’t find our hot dog in an actual restaurant. You can’t order it from a sit-down joint at all, in fact.  The best hot dog in LA is sold on the street, cooked on a food truck… or more than likely, a little push cart with a makeshift grill on top.

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

Sound a little scary? Well, of course it is. It’s LA–we like to live dangerously.

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Okay, okay. Truth be told? I never had the guts to try a street dog until year before last… and I grew up here in LA.  I visit downtown LA quite often, where the bacon wrapped street dog can be found on every corner.  I’d pass by cart after cart, smelling the delicious grilled peppers and onions, and my mouth would start watering.  I’d never try them though.  Food off the street? Never!

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

A couple of years ago though, on a trip downtown to buy fabric, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try.  I mean, I’d eaten quite a few NYC street dogs over the years, and I’m still alive and kicking, so that was a good sign.

I am SO glad that I gave in and gave the LA street dog a try.  The grilled peppers and onions are amazing paired with the crispy bacon surrounding the hot dog.  As if that weren’t good (bad?) enough, the hot dog comes with all the fixings too–mustard, ketchup, AND mayo, and from some places, a grilled jalapeno and pico de gallo salsa upon request.  It’s definitely a heart attack waiting to happen, but boy it is GOOD every now and then. I eat one every time I visit downtown–and it’s the highlight of my trip.

If you can’t get to LA to experience the bacon wrapped street dog first hand, don’t worry–I’ve got you covered.  They’re super easy to make at home and take very little time to prepare.

The Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dog

Ingredients:

  • 4 jumbo beef hot dogs
  • 1 package thick-cut bacon
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 white onion
  • vegetable or canola oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • pinch of sugar
  • hot dog buns
  • mustard
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

1.  Slice the onions and bell peppers into thin strips.  Remove the seeds and veins from the jalapeno, then dice into small pieces.

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

2.  Wrap two slices of bacon around each hot dog.

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

3.  Brush some oil (about 2 tablespoons) onto an indoor griddle.  Heat to medium high heat and place the veggies on top.  

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and add a pinch of sugar (The sugar will help to caramelize the onions quicker.)

Use a pair of tongs to toss the veggies around to coat them in the seasonings and oil.  Let the peppers and onions cook until they are slightly charred and blackened.

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

3.  In a skillet, heat another tablespoon of oil over medium heat.  Add the bacon wrapped hot dogs.  

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

Cook until the bacon is crispy and browned, turning the hot dogs several times to evenly cook the bacon.

4.  Remove the hot dogs to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Using the tongs, move the veggies into the skillet and toss in the bacon drippings (I know it sounds strange, but this is an important step to getting the authentic street dog flavor! Normally, the hot dogs and veggies are grilled side by side, mingling all the yummy flavors.) Place the hot dogs onto the griddle pan and get them a little bit blackened and charred.  

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

5.  Place the hot dog buns on a cookie sheet, and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until toasted.

 

To serve, place one hot dog into each bun.  Top with ketchup, mustard, mayo, and lots of grilled peppers and onions.

Bacon Wrapped LA Street Dogs

 

Enjoy!

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Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough @ Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

 

It has been WAY. TOO. HOT. here in California lately.  Normally in the summer we’ll have hot weather, sometimes as hot as over 100 degrees.  But lately, not only has it been 105 degrees for days at a time, it’s HUMID too.  I just can’t stand it.  I don’t want to go outside, I don’t want to move, and I definitely can’t stand to turn the stove on.  This is a problem when you are craving chocolate chip cookies like nobody’s business at 12:30 in the middle of the night.  What’s a girl to do? Make this edible eggless chocolate chip cookie dough, that’s what!

Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough @ Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

I really love chocolate chip cookie dough, but I know it’s definitely not safe to eat it raw.  Leaving the eggs out means I can eat a couple spoonfuls and not worry about getting sick from eating raw egg.  

The great thing about this is that it takes just a few minutes to mix together, and it keeps well in the fridge.  You can eat this eggless chocolate chip cookie dough as is, or you can use it as a cookie dough mix-in for ice cream, a topping for cookie dough brownies, or even a dip for graham crackers (ultimate dessert lover snack alert!).

Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough @ Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

The best part about this cookie dough is that you don’t have to turn on the oven.  You get the yummy flavor of chocolate chip cookies without heating the house up.  I’m all about that right now!Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, softened 
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I actually used dark chocolate chips because they’re my favorite!)

1.  In a bowl, use your electric mixer to cream together the butter and the brown sugar.  

Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough @ Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

2.  Add in the vanilla and the salt and mix to combine.

Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough @ Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

3.  Mix in the flour.  At this point, the dough will be very crumbly (and you’ll think all hope is lost), but don’t worry! You’re on your way.

Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough @ Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

4.  Mix in the 2 tablespoons of milk.  Now the dough will look like regular cookie dough! Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. 

Edible Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough @ Ya Gotta Have a Hobby

Ta-da! Ready to eat cookie dough!

Now, I’ve read there is a small risk in eating raw flour, so consume this at your own risk.  I have eaten it plenty of times with no problem, but as with all foods these days, contamination can be a potential problem.

Keep your eggless chocolate chip cookie dough in a sealed container in the fridge.  You can also freeze it for up to 3 months, so you can have a little treat whenever you’re up for it!

Happy snacking!

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