Cookie Dough Dip

Last year I made the best discovery of all time:

howsweeteats.com 

Okay, maybe it’s not the best discovery of all time, but for some delicious recipes, it’s right up there.

The woman who writes this blog has some great ideas for pretty much any food setting, and I have tried one that is up on my list of favorites.

“Cookie Dough Dip”

(Find the recipe here: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/12/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-dip/)

It’s an explosion of powdered sugar, brown sugar, cream cheese and chocolate. Does it get much better than that?

To me, this sort of reminded me of a cookie dough cheesecake because of the cream cheese flavor. I actually added more brown and powdered sugar to the mix to take away a little of the cheese taste (I still wanted the cheese taste but I didn’t want it to overpower the dip).

It calls for regular sized chocolate chips that you crush up, but I didn’t find a very simple (read: non-messy) way to go about doing that, so I would suggest using mini chocolate chips instead.

To make the chocolate shavings on top, I took a pure dark chocolate bar and used a veggie peeler which works perfectly.

I certainly liked it, but I wasn’t sure how it would go over in a crowd. I made it last year for a small group bible study, and went home with a completely empty dish.

Trust me, this stuff is amazing.

What to serve with it? Jessica, the creator of this recipe suggests ” fruit, cookies, crackers, pretzels or a spoon.” I would add to that teddy grahams and graham crackers (or those graham cracker sticks).

I will definitely make this one again because it’s a great crowd-pleaser, and she’s got three more recipes out that build off from this one that I’m going to have to give a try as well:

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/12/cookie-dough-dip-trio-3-new-flavors/

 

Seriously. Try this one. Don’t hesitate. You really won’t be sorry.

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Mexi-Ranch Dressing

Last weekend I went to Muskegon with some family and friends to try out a restaurant called “Hobo’s Tavern”. Ryan and I had seen it driving by and thought it looked like an interesting place.

I’m a picky eater, so at dinner I decided just to order a Santa Fe Chicken Salad (with a side of fries, of course). Turns out it was a great decision. The salad was fairly simple: lettuce, cheese, tortilla strips and a chicken breast that had some sort of southwest marinade smothered all over it. But the best part of the salad was their homemade Mexi-Ranch Dressing.

This stuff was amazing! Of course when I got home I had to see if I could find a recipe that might mimic Hobo’s version. After eliminating some online recipes that were mayonnaise-based, I stumbled across this one: (http://www.itsacookbook.com/viewPublicRecipe?id=166)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2 C. Sour Cream
  • 1/4 C. Taco Sauce

 

Directions

  • Mix all three ingredients together, blend until smooth.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using.

I already had the sour cream and ranch, so after a quick stop for taco sauce I was good to go (I picked it up from Aldi’s and to be totally honest, it tastes just like any other brand name sauce I’ve had).

After a few taste tests, I decided to add my own little spin onto it with one ingredient:

  • 1-2 tbs of taco seasoning

Can you say y-u-m? 


It may not look like much, but this stuff packs a great flavor. I’d put it on a salad like I had at the restaurant, or I’ve discovered it also goes great on sandwiches too (which is husband approved!)

This stuff was SO easy to make and it makes about a cup to a cup and a half of dressing. Perfect for sharing with guests… or keeping all to yourself!

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Easy Cheesy Potato Soup

My mom introduced me to this simple potato soup when I first got married. I was stumped as to what to serve for dinner, and she gave me the easiest yet very delicious recipe to serve my new husband.

Ingredients:

  • Half a loaf of Velveeta processed cheese, cubed
  • 2-3 cans of chicken broth
  • Quarter to half a bag of frozen cubed hash brown potatoes (depending on preference)

You wouldn’t believe how delicious such a simple recipe can be. This quickly became a favorite in our household, and I added some ingredients to make it my own:

  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced carrots (the thinner they are, the faster they cook)
  • 1/2 cup of bacon, cooked and crumbled

The great thing about this soup is you can really add so much to it, like green onions, corn, and broccoli.

Directions:

Heat the chicken broth to boiling, then add cheese and continue to stir until well blended. Add carrots and other veggies, saving the potatoes for last (the potatoes cook the fastest in this case and you don’t want them to become too soggy). Once the carrots are tender, add potatoes and cook until soft. Serve immediately with a salad, corn on the cob, grilled chicken or garlic bread. Refrigerate the leftovers (oh, and you will want leftovers… it makes  a great lunch!)

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Taco Soup

I love soups. Hot soups and cold days were made for each other. But I won’t lie; I’ll eat soup regardless of what kind of weather we’re having. 95 degrees and humid as all get out? Not a problem.

I also love tacos. Taco seasoning goes well with almost anything. Taco salad, chicken fajitas, dip, donuts… Okay maybe not donuts. Or ice cream. That might be weird too.

Anyways, a year ago a friend of mine introduced me to the perfect marriage of these two things: Taco Soup. Although, it’s more like a chili in some ways than a soup.

I changed up the recipe a bit to fit my needs (I absolutely hate beans with a fiery passion), but the great thing about Taco Soup is that you can really try many different variations and still have a great meal.

Here’s my recipe:

1 pound of hamburger meat

1 Large can of Tomato sauce (or 2 – 8 oz cans)

Taco seasoning

Half a can of corn

1 small can of diced green chiles

Water

Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Or Colby-jack or Taco Blend)

 

Brown hamburger meat in a large enough pan for the whole meal. Drain off the excess fat, and add taco seasoning plus about half a cup to ¾ cup of water. Mix well, and cook the meat until all the water is absorbed.

Add tomato sauce and water. Depending on your preference of soup thickness, add more or less water. I usually do a ratio of tomato sauce to water as 2:1.5, but as the soup cooks I may add more water. Stir in corn and green chiles. Half a can of corn should be plenty, and I’ll usually save that extra corn for another meal. For the chiles, I like to blend them in my Magic Bullet so the flavor spreads better throughout the whole soup, but you can add them just as they are.

At this point you’re just trying to get the soup to a good heat, but for me I like a little less tomato flavor and a lot more taco flavor, so I’ll add more taco seasoning until desired yumminess. Like I said; you can change up the recipe however you like, so if you like diced tomatoes and beans, add those in too. Shoot, add diced jalapeños if you are feeling adventurous!

Once the soup is at an acceptable heat, dish it up into bowls and garnish with cheese. And to save on cleaning dishes, eat this tasty soup with tortilla chips or Doritos. Yum.

This soup can be a stand-alone meal, or I’ve found it goes well with a nice salad or cornbread muffins (with honey drizzled on top, of course!). There you have it! An easy soup that is sure to please the masses. But don’t feel too inclined to share – it also does great as leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Welcome to Stephanie Loves Food!

This is a blogging project created to challenge myself to cook more, try new recipes, or create my own.

I need to get far, far away from Hamburger Helper and frozen dinners, so I decided that I would record this journey. Here you will find some original recipes, recipes I have taken and customized to make my own, as well as recipes I’ve found from various sources and whether or not it was a hit or miss.

I am a young wife who is fairly new to the culinary world, and I am blessed to have a husband who enjoys cooking with me!

My hope is that you’ll find recipes here that you might want to try based on my recommendations. Enjoy!

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