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Buffalo Pierogies

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Well the big game is here, and my family is expecting a buffalo smorgasbord! We have buffalo wings, buffalo chicken chili, and this year, we are adding buffalo pierogies. Now, my infatuation is a new one. I had two boxes left over from my last recipe, so I decided to try a new spin. Let me tell you, THIS IS SO FREAKIN’ EASY!! In fact, it was a no mess, one dish preparation!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of mini cheddar pierogies (I used Mrs. T’s brand)
  • 1 cup of buffalo wing sauce
  • 3 Tbsp of ranch or blue cheese dressing
  • 1 resealable sandwich bag

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400° & line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Spray parchment paper with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • In a medium bowl, coat pierogies in wing sauce.

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  • Line up pierogies on the baking sheet and bake according to the package directions (16-18 minutes)

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  • Remove from the oven.
  • Pour dressing into the corner of a resealable sandwich bag and snip off a very small portion of the corner. creating a thin opening to dispense the dressing onto the pierogies.

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  • Drizzle each hot pierogie with a zig-zag of dressing & let sit for 2 minutes.

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  • Transfer to a plate & serve immediately.

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The best part of this recipe is that there are no dishes to wash, other than the mixing bowl!. Roll up the parchment paper, gather up the sandwich bag & toss! That’s it!

Enjoy the big game & the tasty treats that go along with Sunday Funday!

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Crawfish Garlic Toast with Cajun Pierogies

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Yesterday, I gifted a friend with lunch from my favorite Cajun restaurant, to help her get labor started on her third, overdue baby. While I know this is an unproven, old wives tale, the voodoo crawfish worked to bring about many local babies!

Well, after ordering and coordinating delivery, I was left sitting at my desk craving Cajun food. I called my husband to whine about wanting to go out to dinner, but got no sympathy, so I took matters into my own hands! I shopped Pinterest for a Cajun pierogi recipe because I wanted to emulate the ones from High Street Caffe, but the recipes I found did not match the dish I desired. This is when the creative juices started to boil in my brain. By the time I left work, I was on a mission to go to Wegman’s  and secure some super tasty crawfish!!!!!

After an inspired trip to the store, I got home and started to cook! No pizza in my house on this given Friday! Once it was ready, I called my husband and urged him to rush home, because I couldn’t wait to dig in. It was HEAVENLY! Paired with a nice bottle of wine, it felt like a date at home! This recipe has now earned a spot in my top 3 greatest of all time!!!

Crawfish Garlic Toast

Ingredients:

The toast–

  • 1 baguette, sliced diagonally
  • 3 Tbsp of butter
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic

The Crawfish—

  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • ½ cup of finely chopped mirepoix (carrots, onion, & celery)
  • 12 oz. of crawfish tails
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 Tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp of fresh thyme
  • A few dashes of cayenne pepper (you can adjust to your liking)
  • Salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1 palmful of chopped fresh parsley

Preparation:

The toast—

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  1. Slice the baguette diagonally to create large oval slices.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the minced garlic. Sautee for 1-2 minutes to infuse the garlic flavor.
  3. Place each slice on a baking sheet, the brush with the garlic butter.
  4. Bake at 450° for about 3 minutes, then flip to toast the other side.
  5. Remove from the oven, and set aside.

The Crawfish—

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  1. In the same skillet used above, saute the garlic, mirepoix, and butter until softened.
  2. Add the crawfish tails and cook on high heat until firm.
  3. Mix in the spices, and saute for another minute.
  4. Add cream, mix well, and simmer uncovered for about 5 -10 minutes until thickened.
  5. Stir in the fresh parsley.

Final Preparation—

Place a slice of toast on a plate & spoon a generous serving of the crawfish onto the toast. Serve immediately.  If you would like to serve this as a small appetizer, use smaller, coin sized slices of baguette and smaller portions of crawfish.

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This pairs to well with Cajun pierogies! This is a total cheater recipe, so anyone can easily whip these suckers up. They also make a great stand-alone appetizer!

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Get the recipe here!

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Cajun Pierogi

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I love Cajun food, and I have a favorite local Cajun restaurant that serves the tastiest Cajun pierogies. Well, the other day, I found myself craving this awesomeness, and dinner out was not in the plans, so I embarked on a mission to recreate them at home. Warning, this is kind of a slacker/cheater recipe. I did not go as far as making my own pierogies. I’m an Irish girl, and really have no experience with them other than what I have ordered out. I purchased Wegmans brand roasted garlic pierogies, but you can also use a classic cheddar variety. This is a simple recipe that can be whipped up quickly, without many ingredients, so you may want to keep a  box of pierogies in your freezer, so you can whip these suckers up in an appetizer or dinner emergency!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of frozen pierogies (I used Wegmans brand roasted garlic flavor)
  • 3 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 large shallot
  • 3-4 Tbsp of Cajun Seasoning

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Preparation:

  1. Thaw pierogies according to the package instructions.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt butter and add sliced shallots.
  3. Add pierogies, sprinkle generously with Cajun seasoning, and brown each side for about 3-4 minutes. Be sure to season each side.
  4. Remove from skillet and serve immediately, topped with the sautéed shallots.

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Serving Suggestion: These pair very well with Crawfish Garlic Toast for a Cajun themed dinner!

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Asparagus & Prosciutto Roll-Ups

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This is a simple favorite that will be an instant hit wherever you take it! This recipe is great because it only has three ingredients, but looks sophisticated. Even the most timid cooks can do it. I have taken it to our neighborhood girls night party because this pairs really, really well with a big glass of red wine! I also took it to my sister’s house for Christmas dinner, and it was gobbled up quickly.

Ingredients

30 stalks of asparagus (I prefer them on the skinny side)

10 thin slices of prosciutto (room temperature)

2 Tbsp. of grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to an ice water bath. It should be bright green, but still firm.
  2. Remove and pat dry.
  3. Slice the prosciutto into thirds, lengthwise. You want long, skinny strips.
  4. Wrap each stalk of asparagus, in a spiral fashion, with a strip of prosciutto. Wrap from the base of the stalk to just below the flowery tip.
  5. Repeat until each stalk is wrapped.
  6. Line up the wrapped stalks on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes or until the prosciutto looks a bit crispy.
  7. Remove from the oven and transfer to a platter.
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese & serve.

Enjoy!

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Extra Creamy Pumpkin Dip with Chai Whipped Cream

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This recipe is an old favorite with a new twist. I have made this simple pumpkin dip for many fall occasions, but this is the first year I have topped it with the chai whipped cream. This marriage of flavors makes a simple recipe into something sophisticated that is sure to catch the attention of your fellow party goers.

Extra Creamy Pumpkin Dip with Chai Whipped Cream

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Preparation:
I recommend making the whipped cream first. While you can used a pre-made whipped topping, it’s really not the same as homemade.

Chai Whipped Cream

1 pint of heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup of confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsp. of powdered chai drink mix ( I prefer Tastefully Simple)

1. Place an empty metal mixing bowl in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
2. Remove the chilled bowl and add the cream.
3. Using an electric mixer, whisk on high-speed until it starts to stiffen.
4. Add sugar & chai slowly until fully blended.
5. Set aside in a clean bowl.
6. ** Be sure not to over-whip it so that it is stiff and firm. It should be soft & fluffy.

Extra Creamy Pumpkin Dip

2 blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 can (14.5 oz) of pumpkin puree
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ground ginger

1. Place the softened cream cheese into the same bowl that you just used to make the whipped cream. (I don’t even wash it.)
2. Using the whisk, whip the cream cheese on medium until it is fluffy and free from any lumps.
3. Spoon in the pumpkin puree, 1 dollop at a time, until it is completely incorporated.
4. Add the sugar and spices until creamy & smooth. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl!

The Final Presentation

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Pour the pumpkin dip into a shallow dish. Then gently spread the whipped cream on top. Garnish with a few sprinkles of cinnamon. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve it.
I have served this dip with apple or pear slices, ginger snaps, Nilla Wafers, or graham crackers, but be creative and see what else you can pair with this simple favorite.

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Note: The chai whipped cream is great on pumpkin bread or gingerbread. It is also heavenly on top of pecan pie 🙂

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Positively Perfect Progressive Dinner Party–Roasted Tomato Caprice in Garlic Bread Bowls

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As the Fabulous Food Fairy, two of my favorite words are…DINNER PARTY!! I love the idea of gathering with friends, for adult time, where I actually get to do my make-up, dress in a fun outfit, sip “mommy drinks” and have intellectual conversation without coaxing a few more bites, or imploring my dinner companions to sit down, don’t talk with your mouth full, and KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF!!

However, this dinner party is different. It is entirely virtual, so forget the hair and make-up, stay in your yoga pants (or as I call them “buffet pants”) and come to our table to “feast” your eyes on these spectacular recipes for every course, plus tips for pulling it all together!

Here are the rules:

Use the links below, to click “door to door”, visiting various blogs, and experience all that these fabulous women have to offer. If you find something really great, send it to your friends, pin it to your boards, or share it on your Facebook page. Because unlike an actual dinner party, the more the merrier, there’s plenty to go around.

To get the full Progressively Perfect Virtual Dinner Party blog hop experience, click the links below in order:

Appetizers

Salad

Drinks

Entrees

Coffee, Tea & Dessert

Late Night

Decorations, Outfits and Music

Hope you have as much fun reading through the party as we did planning it!

Roasted Tomato Caprice in Garlic Bread Bowls

Have you ever had an idea that you knew, from the moment it popped into your head, that it was brilliance? That is this recipe for me. I was charged with the task of creating an original appetizer recipe and this little goodie came seemingly out of nowhere!

I LOVE roasted tomatoes.

I LOVE basil.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE balsamic vinegar.

I REALLY REALLY LOVE garlic.

And bread…INFATUATED!

In one stroke of creative genus, all of my loves came together into one amazing appetizer that just may cause you to skip dinner.

Wanna peek?

Here it is…

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So, wanna know how to make it?

Ok. Here goes.

Ingredients:

Roasted tomatoes (click here for the recipe)

4 large dinner rolls

3 Tbsp. of melted butter

1 tsp. of garlic season all

1 cup of fresh mozzarella cheese– I used the small beads of mozzarella

3/4 cup of basil leaves

2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar

4 tsp. of parmesan cheese

Balsamic glaze

Preparation:

1. Prepare roasted tomatoes according to the recipe. (this can be done up to a day ahead)

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2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

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3. Use a knife to cut a circular divot out of the center of each roll, leaving the bottom intact, creating a mini bread bowl.

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4. Mix the melted butter and garlic seasoning and brush each bread bowl inside and out with the mixture.

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5. Place the rolls on a baking sheet and bake until crispy with slightly brown edges.

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6. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

7. Meanwhile, toss the roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar.

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8. Once the bread bowls cool a bit (you want them a little bit warm, but not warm enough to melt the cheese) place each one on a small plate.

9. Spoon the caprice salad neatly into each bowl.

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10. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and drizzle with the balsamic glaze in a side to side sweeping motion.

Serve immediately!

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I take no responsibility if your dinner guests scarf down this appetizer, ask for seconds, and don’t have room for the main course 🙂 At least, that’s what happened at my house when I made them for the first time 🙂

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So my husband is thinking I am not so fabulous this week. I have hit the internet to holiday shop because, frankly, I hate shopping in real life. The problem lies in the fact that I have also purchased almost one of everything for me too!! OOPS!

Well, there is one purchase for which I will not shed any buyer’s remorse. It is a handmade dipping oil bowl from Neal Pottery. It is the coolest thing ever!

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This all started at dinner with friends. My friend, Susan, was telling me about a dipping oil bowl that she had received as a gift a few years ago. She shared how much she loved it, but regretfully has never found where to buy another one. Thanks to the wonders of Google…I was able to find on ETSY! Right there, at the table in the restaurant, I ordered a few as gifts (and maybe one for myself, because I AM the Fabulous Food Fairy!)

Well, I was impressed from the moment I opened the box. Not only are the bowls beautiful, but sweetly tucked inside was a personal thank you note. How’s that for customer service? My own reaction to this handmade creation fills me with excitement to give this gift!

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The box has been sitting in my dining room for a week now, with all the other unwrapped holiday loot, but curiosity got the best of me, and I had to give it a go!

First, the bowl is beautiful! Second, it came with a recipe! Here is the process. I dare you to read on and not jump over to ETSY and buy one!

According the recipe, I grated a fresh clove of garlic on the raised ridges on the bottom of the bowl.

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It smells so freakin’ good!

Next, I mixed the suggested herbs and spices, in a separate bowl. It is a great feature that they have you make the herb mixture in bulk. I think I will make some for each bowl I plan to gift. It is also great because it is all ready to go, should a quick impromptu party erupt at your house, which is common in my neighborhood.

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Next, you sprinkle some of the herb mixture into the bowl, over the freshly grated garlic.

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Finally, pour some olive oil into the bowl, coating the seasoning goodness!

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Then dip away with fresh crusty bread!

No need for an enchanted wand, the bowl does all the magic.

So, Neal Pottery sent me a thank you note, but I truly believe they are the ones who need to be thanked. This is one of the greatest gifts I have purchased this season…even if it was a gift for myself 🙂

To purchase your own, click here:

Neal Pottery Dipping Oil Bowl

Enjoy!

Disclaimer– I purchased this product on my own, and this post is an expression of my own opinion.