Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: October 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hot Cast Iron Skillet Herbed Bread with Spinach Artichoke Dip

This dip needs to grace your holiday table this year.
Perfect for parties and family gatherings!

Hot Cast Iron Skillet Herbed Bread with Spinach Artichoke Dip...the #1 holiday appetizer this season!  Bake it off at home and take it to your families Christmas, staff party or any holiday event. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Hi guys!

Well, if there is ever a time to break out your cast iron skillet it is now.  I woke up to a temperature of 40 degrees this morning.  You better believe I grabbed my sweatpants, my favorite slippers and a hot cup of coffee as soon the sleep left my eyes.

And then because I'm mother-of-the-year I ramschackled our front closet to try and find matching gloves, hats and the appropriate jackets for my three children to go out in this cold.  One of these years I'll be prepared for the first cold snap.

There's always next year.

And at which point do I break down and turn on our heat?  Can I make it until November?  This girl loves a challenge.  I'll keep you updated.

Hot Cast Iron Skillet Herbed Bread with Spinach Artichoke Dip...the #1 holiday appetizer this season!  Bake it off at home and take it to your families Christmas, staff party or any holiday event. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Alright, let's talk cast iron skillets.

I had one way back in time when being a food blogger was just a flicker in my mind, well before I was married and even the bit domestic.

It also pains me to tell you that I don't remember what happened to it.  Lost in a move?  Given to a friend to borrow and didn't remember to ask for it back?  I don't know.  Long story short it disappeared years ago and then when I did started to care about food {and blogging about it} I wanted it back.

Well, like anything in life, it took me years and years to get one back.  The husband must have been sick of me complaining about wanting one as on one random Saturday a couple months back he walked in the door with one.

And shockingly, he must have been {really} listening.  He walked in with the one I wanted, a Lodge 10-inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet.

Hot Cast Iron Skillet Herbed Bread with Spinach Artichoke Dip...the #1 holiday appetizer this season!  Bake it off at home and take it to your families Christmas, staff party or any holiday event. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

For a long time I had dreamt of baking up a hot, creamy dip inside some crusty, herbed bread.  Here was my chance.  Cast iron skillets create the BEST crusts on breads and pies, not to mention heating up super quick and keeping the heat, so baking them together works perfectly.

Last Sunday night I declared it "appetizer night" for dinner and this dip/bread combo took center stage, but really it was just a test on my family to see if they enjoyed it and it was blog worthy.

It passed the test.

And guess what?  Now, I now it will be perfect for upcoming holiday parties.  You can bake this off at home, cover it in foil, carry it to your party and it keeps warm for hours.

Hot Cast Iron Skillet Herbed Bread with Spinach Artichoke Dip...the #1 holiday appetizer this season!  Bake it off at home and take it to your families Christmas, staff party or any holiday event. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

The center of this dip, is my famous Spinach Artichoke Dip.  I've been making it for years {probably since around the time I lost my skillet} yet I have never tucked it into a skillet with warmed herbed bread dippers.

Combine the two and my friends, we have the #1 appetizer of this holiday season.  Pass it along to your friends and take it to an upcoming holiday party!

Yield: serves 10-12

Hot Cast Iron Skillet Herbed Bread with Spinach Artichoke Dip

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 35 mins
Dig out your cast iron skillet and wow your guests with this fun hot dip. The bread dippers and warm dip bake together in the oven and create the perfect appetizer.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Bread:
  • 1 tube Grands Buttermilk Biscuits
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. parsley
For the Dip:
  • 10 oz. box frozen spinach, squeezed and drained
  • 12 oz. jar marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c. mayonaisse

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Grease a 10-inch round cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Open the Grands biscuits and cut each biscuit into 8 pieces. Lay the pieces against the outside edge of the skillet forming a circle.
  3. In a small bowl combine the softened butter and seasonings. Mix and using a pastry brush, brush all over the biscuits.
  4. In another bowl combine the dip ingredients and stir until smooth. Place all of the dip in the middle of the skillet. Sprinkle with additional shredded Parmesan cheese if desired.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly browned and the dip is hot and bubbly.

notes

If you don't have a cast iron skillet simply swap for any round baking dish.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Friday, October 20, 2017

Creamy White Chicken Chili

Soup weather has finally arrived!
This soup comes together in 30 minutes and will take the chill out of your bones.

Creamy White Chicken Chili...a simple, one pot 30 minute soup that you're family will love!  Creamy, cheesy and comforting for the winter months. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Being a parent to three kids under the age of 8 is not for the faint of heart.  I mean, last week we had two separate kids lose teeth a day apart and the middle child's tooth got forgotten in the rush of life and she didn't even notice the tooth fairy didn't come.  Luckily she handles her role of the middle child well, as I'm sure these instances will occur again.  

A few weeks back the kids all starting changing what they wanted to be for Halloween {my least favorite holiday of all time} and they couldn't understand why it sent Mom into convulsions.

I can barely remember to pack their lunches every night for school the next day, let alone keep track of their daily costume changes.

"Didn't you want to be a football player?"

"No, I want to be a zombie."

"Do you even know what a zombie is?"

Long pause.

"It's settled then, you're dressing up as Anthony Rizzo {the popular Chicago Cubs 1st base player} because you already have his jersey, plus all the baseball hoop-la and Mom can't handle all these changes."

So let's just say after a few days of pulling teeth {including one tooth that fell out while her and I were playing volleyball in the front yard} and all this Halloween costume talk, I got out my soup pot and made dinner.

Creamy White Chicken Chili...a simple, one pot 30 minute soup that you're family will love!  Creamy, cheesy and comforting for the winter months. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Because when this Mom gets stressed or life turns chaotic, I run to the kitchen.  I have to feed these people anyway, so I might as well be productive about it.

For some reason they feel they need to eat three meals a day {plus snacks}, so they really should be thanking the Lord above that I enjoy feeding them.

Sometimes.

But here's the thing, I find soup incredibly easy to make.  It's more often than not a one pot meal.  A zillion pans aren't required and you can feed a crowd.  Or a family of five like me, which usually seems like a crowd.

Throw a crusty slice of bread on the side as a dipper or in the case of this soup, crunch up some tortilla chips and call it a meal.

Creamy White Chicken Chili...a simple, one pot 30 minute soup that you're family will love!  Creamy, cheesy and comforting for the winter months. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This Creamy White Chicken Chili is a bit smoky, incredibly smooth, a bit cheesy and simply delicious.  We like to swirl in sour cream, salsa and crunch up a lot of tortilla chips in ours.  If you really have some guts add in a few slices of jalapenos.

Start to finish this soup takes about 30 minutes.  I used the help of an already shredded rotisserie chicken {god bless the supermarkets who started selling these}, but feel free to cook and shred your own, it will just add some cooking time.

There aren't too many dinners that come together in 30 minutes, right?

You're welcome.  Feel free to send me a thank you check in the mail.

Creamy White Chicken Chili...a simple, one pot 30 minute soup that you're family will love!  Creamy, cheesy and comforting for the winter months. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This soup looks a bit fancy, but isn't in the least.  Feed your crazy family or make it for a friend.  Carry it right over to their house in the stock pot you made it in.  

Easy peasy.


Yield: 8-10 servings

Creamy White Chicken Chili

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 30 mins
This creamy, comforting chicken chili is perfect for chilly days and nights. Soups on!

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 c. rotisserie or shredded chicken
  • 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 2 c. half and half
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 1 t. salt

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. In a large saucepan or stock pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion until tender. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant.
  2. Stir in all seasonings {cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper} to coat the onions/garlic.
  3. Place the shredded chicken, beans, juice of the lemon and cornstarch into the stock pot and stir until combined.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a low boil, allowing the mixture to thicken.
  5. Bring the heat to LOW and stir in the half and half. Stir in the cheeses and continue to stir until melted and soap thickens.
  6. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Serve warm with tortilla chips, chopped jalapenos, sour cream and salsa.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Monday, October 16, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

If you love chocolate chip cookies AND you love cheesecake, then here's a treat for you!
I combined both and the angels started singing.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars...for those that love chocolate chip cookies AND love cheesecake!  Crispy on the cookie edges with a creamy middle cheesecake layer.  The perfect bar dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

I'm sitting here in a completely dark house this morning working on my blog.  It is glorious.  A hot cup of coffee is at my side and our dog in laying on my feet keeping them warm.  The husband left super early to go hunting, one daughter is at a sleepover and the other two lovely darlings will hopefully sleep till noon.

That will never happen, but a Mother can dream.

I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep so why not be productive?  That is my prerogative today.  Also, can I let you in on a little secret?

I'm super stoked, excited, practically wetting my pants over here getting ramped up for my 2nd annual 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways.  Do you remember it from last year?  I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, so I'll forgive you if you don't.

Each day from December 1-12, I post {lord, bless me} and showcase a fantastic company and/or product and then turn around and giveaway that same product{s} to my readers!  I would love to shout from the roof-tops the UNBELIEVABLE companies that have jumped on board so far, but I can't.  I need to keep you in suspense.

Is it working?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars...for those that love chocolate chip cookies AND love cheesecake!  Crispy on the cookie edges with a creamy middle cheesecake layer.  The perfect bar dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I will tell you this.  You will not be disappointed.  Again, I will have some great kitchen applicances to giveaway, some fabulous food products and back by popular demand a fun book bundle giveaway of which I've hand-picked, {plus, a recap of EVERY SINGLE BOOK I've read this year...there are a lot, you have been warned}.

Until then, you have less than two months to wait.  It's not that long!  Go grab your stretchy pants and make these bars.

We went over to a friend's house last night and I took these bars along.  Because when you order pizza for the clan and another friend is bringing the appetizer, then I am REQUIRED to bring dessert.

At least this is my rule.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars...for those that love chocolate chip cookies AND love cheesecake!  Crispy on the cookie edges with a creamy middle cheesecake layer.  The perfect bar dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I love chocolate chip cookies and I love cheesecake.  So naturally I combined the two into a bar.  I'm so flipping dangerous.

And can we talk about easy?  Do not be intimidated.  Of course you are welcome to use your own homemade chocolate chip cookie dough, but I took the lazy route and used refrigerated store bought dough which is equally delicious and let's face it - saves time.

I scrubbed my 3 year's old hands and she helped to press down the first layer of dough.  Let them help in the kitchen!  Yes, it will give you grey hairs {ahem, me}, but they have fun and will remember it forever.  After much stress {again, grey hair} I took over on the cheesecake layer and finished them off.  But the point here is...I did let her help.

A little bit.

Golly, you guys, these bars are dreamy.  Easy, breezy, dreamy.  That should be these bar's motto.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars...for those that love chocolate chip cookies AND love cheesecake!  Crispy on the cookie edges with a creamy middle cheesecake layer.  The perfect bar dessert! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Oh, and because people ALWAYS ASK each time I take photos using these pans, I baked these in my Doughmakers 9x13 baking dish that comes with a super handy lid for easy traveling.

Remember I gave a set away last year during my 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways?  They are super nice, commerical grade, quality bakeware.  I use it alot especially for baking desserts!

Now, can you do me a favor?

If you love this recipe - share it!  On Facebook, by pinning it on Pinterest {just click on any photo} or by going old school and emailing it to a friend.  My blog is only successful if word spreads.

Love to you all and have a great week!

Yield: 24 bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 40 MINStotal time: 55 mins
If you love chocolate chip cookies and love cheesecake, then these bars are for you!

INGREDIENTS:


  • 2 - 18 oz. pkgs refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cookiing spray.
  2. Unwrap the first roll of cookie dough and press down into the bottom of the 9x13 greased dish {you will have a little room left}. Unwrap the second roll of cookie dough taking 1/4 of the dough and finish pressing down the bottom layer.
  3. In a stand mixer or using a hand held mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, egg and vanilla until combined and smooth. Pour this cheesecake mixture over the bottom layer of cookie dough and spread out with a spatula.
  4. Taking the remaining cookie dough, crumble with your fingers and drop onto the cheesecake layer.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until both the cookie dough and cheesecake is lightly golden and springy to the touch.
  6. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Apple Cider Pancakes

Apple cider is a Fall favorite for many...how can you not like it's sweet, tart taste?
I combined two of my favorites.  Pancakes + Apple Cider.

Apple Cider Pancakes...the ultimate Autumn breakfast!  Apple cider, nutmeg and cinnamon take a traditional buttermilk pancake mix up a notch to a new level.  Kid's love these pancakes! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

I love mornings.

I really, really love mornings.

It's almost to the point that I will feel guilty if and when I ever do get the chance to sleep in, because then I miss that glorious time of day when the house is QUIET.  I've been known to set an alarm on Saturday, for the the love, at 6 a.m. just so I can get up, grab some coffee, my book and maybe some morning news before the chaos ensues.

The morning I made these pancakes I had wonderful intentions.  But here is what really happened.  The husband had to be at work super early {one extra person not in my way} so I set my alarm for 5:25 a.m.  I promptly did a yoga workout.  Then with a whining dog at my feet I let him out to potty, which turned into a 20-minute jaunt around the neighborhood.  I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat on the front step watching this dog visit each neighbor {in the dark}, because god forbid he actually come back when I call him.  When that canine finally trounced back looking at me like nothing was wrong I got to start on this pancake batter.  I sifted, shaked and stirred my little heart away until I smelled something....wrong.

Apparently using cumin instead of cinnamon in your Apple Cider Pancake batter makes them smell funny.  You know that little light we all have above our stoves?  As a mom, that is the ONLY light you have on in the house at 6:30 a.m. due to the fear of a child noticing light creeping through their sleeping eyelids and then sneaking out to see what Mom is doing.

Apparently I should have turned on an additional light.


Apple Cider Pancakes...the ultimate Autumn breakfast!  Apple cider, nutmeg and cinnamon take a traditional buttermilk pancake mix up a notch to a new level.  Kid's love these pancakes! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

After I dumped out my first batter I got to work on my second batter, which smelled much, much better.

Miracously, my kids slept in, I finished up making the pancakes and I had to pull them out of bed at 7:20 a.m.  No one fought me about which clothes to wear, whether or not they HAD to brush their teeth {really?} and we walked out the door on time.

I may have shoved two of these in their hands as we got into the van, but after the whirlwind {not relaxing morning that I was intending} I settled for the C+ effort.

THEY LOVED THESE.

They are out-of-this-world slathered with butter and maple syrup and eaten traditionally, but when warm and fresh off the griddle they are fantastic just alone.  With so much apple, nutmeg and cinnamon flavor you don't need to top them with anything!

Apple Cider Pancakes...the ultimate Autumn breakfast!  Apple cider, nutmeg and cinnamon take a traditional buttermilk pancake mix up a notch to a new level.  Kid's love these pancakes! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

We have yet to go apple picking, and who knows if we will get around to it....but anyone can pick up a jug of apple cider at the grocery store.  Do this...please.  We don't buy juice in our house, so when the kids see a gallon of apple cider in the fridge every Fall, you'd think we'd just won the lottery.

These pancakes are super fluffy {buy your favorite buttermilk pancake mix} and let this recipe help you to kick up your morning pancakes a notch.  Throw in a side of grilled sausages or fried bacon and oh my word, it'll be like heaven in your mouth.

Yield: 12-15, 4 inch pancakes

Apple Cider Pancakes

prep time: 5 MINScook time: 5 MINStotal time: 10 mins
All the flavors of Fall are in these fluffy, buttermilk pancakes. Make year around or save for the beautiful autumn months.

INGREDIENTS:


  • 3 c. dry buttermilk pancake mix
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk or 2% milk

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Preheat a large griddle or skillet to medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients: pancake mix, seasonings, vanilla, apple cider and buttermilk. Stir to combine, but not too much. Don't overmix.
  3. Grease your cooking surface with cooking spray or butter. Ladel on the pancake batter into 4 inch rounds. Allow the batter to bubble (about 1-2 minutes), then flip and allow the other side to cook (an additional minute).
  4. Serve the hot Apple Cider Pancakes with butter and maple syrup.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts

Tis the season for warm mocha drinks and desserts.
How about 15 of my favorites?

15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

It's October!

I'm not sure how it got here so fast, yet I'm so very thankful.  It, like many, is one of my most favorite times of the year.  Bring on all the football games, sweatshirts, apple cider, fall foilage, hayrack rides and crock pot soups that I can handle {which is a LOT}.

It is a season that gears us up for winter here in the Midwest.  It shoves a handful of still fairly warm days but then mixes in some cold snaps that have us rushing for the nearest blanket.  I mean last week I was freezing my bootie off at my son's flag football game, yet yesterday we had our air conditioning on.  Tis the season.

It's not a lie I've jumped on the coffee and mocha bandwagon this past year.  Lately my morning isn't complete or at least doesn't FEEL complete until I sit down {or stand or run - darn kids!} and have a hot cup of joe.  It warms the soul and gets my day off to a good start.

Ladies {and gents} I've hand picked a few of my favorite coffee and mocha desserts just for you.  Because you only live once.  Because chocolate and coffee go together like Donald Trump and bad hairstyles.  Because I don't want you to live out the rest of October without some deliciousness.

Enjoy my friends.


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)


15 Coffee & Mocha Desserts...warm drinks, easy cakes, fun layered sweets and more!  15 fun and festive chocolate and coffee flavored desserts for Fall. (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Which one do you want to dive head first in?

Enjoy the Fall weather and the month of October, I know I will!