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Tex-Mex Cheese Ball

This cute post The Perfect Fall Cheese Ball – Family Fresh Meals caught my eye and I pinned it on Pinterest.  Unfortunately I didn’t get around to making it until December and no longer was a pumpkin cheese ball necessary.  I am more than glad I made this Tex-Mex Cheese Ball.  It was a huge hit for my birthday and all my company enjoyed it.

I made the cheese ball the day before to save some time the next day at the party.  I even crushed my Doritos and kept them in a sealed bag to just roll and go the next day.  As I was making it we had a few extra friends visiting us and helping me with the cooking.  One of the little girls told me it was going to be “the hit of the party” it was so good.

Making half the recipe next time would probably work.  Even with my large crowd we ended up with a bunch of leftovers.  Although we ate it for snack the next few days.  We also used the leftovers to spread inside some chicken quesadillas which turned out great.

Tex-Mex Cheese Ball:

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cup shredded cheese (I used mexican blend)
  • 3 Tbs onions, minced
  • 3 Tbs salsa, your favorite kind
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cup nacho cheese chips, crushed

In a stand mixer combine all ingredients but the chips.  Mix until creamy and combined.

Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and scoop the mixture into a mound in the center.

Wrap up the ball tightly and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve roll in the crushed chips.

We served ours with tortilla chips and wheat crackers.  Celery and carrots would also be very good.


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Spanish Rice

I don’t remember even eating Spanish Rice as a child.  Mr.Picky loves spanish and mexican rice out of a box but I refuse to make the sodium filled rice.  I have come up with a recipe similar to the Mexican rice but had no recipe for the Spanish rice until now.

After doing some research and came up with this recipe after combining what sounded good to me.  It turned out great.  In fact is was the base layer to a skillet/casserole recipe I was making.  Be sure to check back for that recipe.

This Spanish rice is not spicy due to the little ones.  Extra heat could be added with come cayenne pepper to the mix or maybe add a diced jalapeño.  It was flavorful without too much salt and the perfect heat for the kids.

Spanish RiceSpanish Rice:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp or 1 cube chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

In a skillet heat olive oil over medium/ high heat.

Saute onion, pepper, and rice.  Stirring constantly so the rice does not burn, cook until most of the rice has toasted and the vegetables soften.

Spanish Rice

Add the rice mixture to a medium pot along with the remaining ingredients.

Bring the mixture up to a boil, cover and reduce heat to the lowest it will go.

Cook covered for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork when done.


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Quinto Baked Beans

Quinto Baked BeansYears ago Mr.Picky was searching for a baked bean recipe.  We found one in a Better Home and Gardens Grilling Cookbook, although he strayed from the recipe a bit.  This is Mr.Picky’s recipe to make when he is grilling and preparing dinner.  Over the years I think we have perfected this variation of baked beans.

Quinto baked beans give you a variety of five beans and textures alongside the sweet yet smoky flavored sauce.  These beans are not swimming in sauce but are nicely covered and can easily be served on a plate without mixing with everything.  Of course it has a bit of bacon in it which adds flavor and a nice bite when crisped up.

For the next event, or bring a dish meal try throwing these together.  Everyone will love them and they are a good hearty hot dish.  I think I forgot to mention you make them in the slow cooker which just makes everything easier.

Quinto Baked Beans:

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pork and beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-16 oz.) can garbanzo beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can butter beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can white kidney or cannellini beans
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs prepared or yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Saute bacon until partially cooked, drain off as much fat as you can.  Add in onion and garlic and continue to cook until bacon is fully crisp.

Beside the pork and beans, drain and rinse all the cans of bean.

Place all beans, the bacon and onion mixture, and all remaining ingredients in the slow cooker.  Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4 hours.  Stirring every so often to prevent burning of the sugars.

Enjoy, enjoy it even more along some good BBQ.


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Tuna Green Bean Casserole

My neighbor mentioned tuna noodle casserole and it occurred to me I hadn’t made that in forever.  My heart was torn because I had just purchased a giant bag of French’s Fried Onions and a bag of petite fresh green beans.  I really wanted to make green bean casserole.  So I combined the two and came up with a simple and tasty dinner.

The whole family enjoyed this meal.  Who doesn’t love a comforting casserole?  Mr.Picky heated it up even the next morning for breakfast.  Next time I will update the recipe by removing the canned mushroom soup and making it from scratch.  This is because Mr.Picky dried a ton of wild mushrooms and for health reasons.  It was late and I was hungry so I reached for the extra cans in the cupboard.  I really enjoyed the green beans and would probably double the amount next time.  This depends on if your family likes green beans of course.

Tuna Green Bean Casserole

Tuna Green Bean Casserole:

  • 2 cup dry egg noodles, cooked until al dente according to package
  • 2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 2 (7 oz. or smaller) cans tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup fresh petite green beans, cut to bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fried onions, divided

Tuna Green Bean Casserole

While cooking noodles, throw the green beans into the water the last-minute or two of boiling to start the cooking process.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine mushroom soup, milk, pepper, onion,tuna, 1/2 cup fried onions, and shredded cheese.

Drain noodles and beans and add to the bowl.

Combine the mixture and pour into a lightly grease 9×13″ glass baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly.  The last 5 minutes of cooking sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup fried onions and cook until golden brown.
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Crockpot Refried Beans

When looking for a simple refried bean recipe I came across Refried Beans Without the Refry Recipe – Allrecipes.com.  This was so easy and my family fell in love.  My daughter is constantly asking when I will make a pot of beans.  Not only is the an inexpensive side dish but is makes a large quantity that can be split and frozen for later uses.  You are controlling what goes into the beans including the amount of salt.

I make these beans as a side dish usually with mexican food.  We eat them up through the week by making bean and cheese burritos for lunch or into a tasty late night snack dip.  Give these beans a try you can’t go wrong.  I gave the recipe my own tweaks after making them multiple times now.

Crock-pot Refried Beans:Crockpot Refried Beans

  • 1 1/2 cup dried pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 cup dried black beans
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic,crushed
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

Placing a colander over a bowl strain the mixture of all liquids (but reserving the liquids).

Return the beans to the slow cooker.

Using an immersion blender pulse until desired consistency adding about 1/4 cup of liquid at a time as needed.  You can also mash beans with a potato masher for a coarser bean.

Taste for additional salt if needed.


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Baked Ham & Swiss Sliders

The first time I had Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders w/ Poppyseed Sauce – Saving Money Living Life my sister had made them at a birthday party.  Mr.Picky miss the party a few years ago and I knew he needed to try these sandwiches.  I have since made the recipe at least 3 times for dinner.  Whenever I buy a spiral ham and have extra to use up.

After the holiday season you can find spiral sliced ham incredible cheap, sometimes .99 cents a pound.  This is a great time to throw a few in the freezer for throughout the year, either whole or divided up.  If you don’t want to spend the money on a ham I am sure sliced deli ham would be tasty.

This is the best tasting ham sandwich I have ever had.  The kids love them, Mr.Picky loved them, and recently I had company who loved them.  They will please any crowd and can be made ahead without taking too long to bake.

Usually I use a sweet or plain dinner roll for these sliders.  After wanting to purchase these delicious pretzel rolls I had sampled I figured they would be tasty on them as well.  I prefer a sweet roll to the pretzel roll but I still ate two and leftovers for lunch, so no complaints here.  I felt the need for 1/2 cup butter in the original was unnecessary so I cut it in half with no problem.

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders:

The rolls needed really depend on size.  I fill a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish with sandwiches smashing them in together, so however many it takes you will work.

  • 12 rolls
  • 24 pieces of ham (preferably leftover spiral sliced)
  • 12 small pieces of Swiss cheese
  • 1/3-1/2 cup mayonnaise

Topping:

  • 1 Tbs poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbs yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup butter,melted
  • 1 Tbs onion,finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Prepare sandwiches by spreading a bit of mayo on each side of roll.  Add two pieces of ham and one slice of swiss cheese followed by the top bun.

Place all sandwiches tightly together in a baking dish.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the toppings.  Evenly pour and spoon the topping on to the sandwiches.

Allow sandwiches to set for at least 10 minutes to soak up topping before baking.

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, uncover and bake for 2 minutes more until golden.

Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders

Hot Corn Dip

Hot Corn Dip

I made this dip for Fourth of July and served it with tortilla chips.  It had wonderful flavor, and was easily made the night before and put into the oven before the party.  In no time the dip was gone, and I was asked for copies of the recipe.  Closet Cooking shared the recipe, and inspired me to try something new.

Hot Corn Dip:

  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 cup corn kernels or (2 ears of corn removed from cob)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup yellow or red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 handful of Monterey jack, grated
  • 1 handful of cheddar cheese, grated

Hot Corn DipMelt 1 Tbs of butter in a saute pan, add corn and saute until corn starts to become golden brown.  Place in a bowl and set aside.

Using the same pan, melt the other Tbs of butter and add peppers, garlic, and yellow onion.  Saute until vegetables become tender, add in green onions and saute 2 minutes more.  Add to the bowl of corn.

Mix in mayo, salt, pepper, cayenne, and half of the cheese.  Place in an 8×8 pan or a 9 inch pie plate.  Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Cheese will be melted and sides bubbly.

Hot Corn Dip

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