Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cookout Recipes (and a few others I forgot)

Last night we had a cookout for some of our favorite friends! Almost everything I made was new so I have lots of new recipes to share. We had a great night filled with sweet friends and yummy food and of course, the Olympics! Hope you enjoy!


I wanted quick and easy appetizers that were yummy and easy to eat. These were definitely hits and I will definitely be making these in the future. They each called for chicken but that took too long so I just made vegetarian. (No one minds cheese, right?)

Enchilada Dip

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and shredded (I didn't use chicken for time reasons)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 the fat cheese)
1 cup mayonaise (Used Olive oil mayo)
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican blend cheese (I used the kind w/ the taco seasoning)
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chili peppers
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (I didn't use one because I didn't want this to be spicy. It was the girls' dip)

In a medium bowl, combine shredded chicken, cream cheese, mayonnaise, shredded cheese, green chile peppers and jalapeno pepper.
Transfer the chicken mixture to a medium baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

Yummy and easy!

This fit perfectly into an 8x8 baking dish

Buffalo Dip
Lighter Buffalo Chicken Dip
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 1/3 cup  Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 107.9 • Fat: 4.9 g • Carbs: 5.4 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 10.3 g

  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened (no one knew this was a "skinny dip"
  • 1 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you like)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups (14 oz  raw) cooked shredded chicken (I left this out but it was still yummy!)


Mix the first 5 ingredients together until smooth. Add the chicken and put this in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Serve warm.
I did NOT use a crock pot. I just mixed everything in a baking dish and cooked at 350 for 30 min. Perfect!
Before baking

No one minds a bowl of cheese, right???

I made 2 different "specialty drinks" for the evening on top of beer and "Fancy Pants" wine, brought by Claire. I also made these 2 drinks at the beach for the girls.

Cherry Limeade: (Pioneer Woman)
This was my pic for cooking club this month. I knew I needed a "mama" friendly drink for when Mamatha came over and I thought this looked great. It is very refreshing and sweet!

Mix one jar maraschino cherries with one 2 liter Sprite or other lemon/lime soda (I used diet since it was so sugary). Enjoy! For the girls at the beach, we spiked it with vodka, since none of us are expecting! :)

"GO GO Juice"
I made this at the beach as well, but don't have any pics. This is my most favorite mixed drink and I change it up based on what juices I have on hand.

Peach Juice
Orange Juice
Pineapple Juice
Peach Schnapps
Malibu Rum
Mix all of these ingredients, based on your preference of taste. I like mine to be mostly peach and pineapple. Cranberry and orange juice with the schnapps and the rum is tasty too! Serve this cold.

I did a green salad with Artisan lettuces, black olives, grated Romano cheese, and knock off Olive Garden Salad dressing. Yummy!!

Olive Garden Salad Dressing: (I doubled this recipe)
½ c. mayonnaise (I used the Olive Oil kind--delish)
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tb. corn syrup
2 Tb. Parmesan cheese
2 Tb. Romano cheese
¼ tsp garlic salt – or one clove garlic, minced
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp parsley flakes
1 Tb. lemon juice

This pic was pre-tossing. After I soaked it in the dressing, I added more croutons and olives. 


Bourbon Baked Beans

I got this recipe off of one of my favorite cooking blogs and HAD to try it! Next time I think I will cheat and use canned beans so I don't have to go through the drama of soaking and boiling them. These were a big hit and I will definitely make them again!
Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans
serves at least 6-8 (so I doubled this)
1 pound dry navy beans
10 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups water
3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup bourbon (NOTE: your husband will not be amused if you use the rest of his bottle of Makers Mark)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
The night before, add beans to a large pot and cover with water. Drain the next morning.
Bring beans to a boil in a large pot of water, let simmer for 30-40 minutes, then drain. (Too much drama for a working girl--use canned and skip this step. I literally had the beans soaking in my office and then drove home with them in my lap). While beans are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion, cooking for 8-10 minutes, until caramely and soft. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.
Add water, bourbon, brown sugar, bbq sauce, ketchup, ground mustard, vinegar, molasses and worcestershire sauce to the crockpot and whisk well to combine. Add in beans, onions (and all of the bacon fat) and bacon to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally. After 10-12 hours, turn crockpot to “warm” setting or turn off completely and let sit anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours, which will help the sauce for the beans thicken even more. These taste even better the next day!
Note: after 10-12 hours the liquid may still seem “liquidy.” It is imperative to let the beans sit for a while on the lower setting (or on the off setting, still covered) so they become thick and syrupy like traditional baked beans.
***I cooked these over night on low and turned them to "warm" about noon. I left them on warm until 5 and then turned them back to low. They were amazing and not over cooked!***

Potato Salad

3 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed (I used 5lbs and just upped the rest of the recipe)
8 dill pickle spears (per my Aunt, I used Clausson)
3 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 medium red onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes (you can check this by pricking the potatoes with a fork. If the fork goes in fairly easily then they’re done). Drain and cool slightly. While they’re still warm, cut potatoes into chunks and transfer to large bowl with the onion, pickle and celery. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, vinegar and dill and then pour the dressing over the potatoes. Season potato salad to taste with salt and pepper.
Note: you can prepare the vegetables and dressing separately a day before and then combine an hour before serving.
***I would recommend putting it together the night before. It is better the next day!***

-Steak and shrimp kabobs with bell peppers and onion. Delish!

-Olympic brownies!! Julie brought homemade brownies and we made sundaes with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and red white and blue sprinkles! Yay!

Forgotten Recipes
I realized I had forgotten to include a few other recipes you might be interested in. The first is from our dinner on Monday. Since Forrest had been home alone for 4 days I wanted to make sure he got some good home cooking in his belly. I had a meeting at 6:30 but I had time to whip this up. Don't you love meals you can complete in a few minutes? This one also had the added bonus of being good for you too!

Penne Rosa with Shrimp


  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced (you can use pieces and stems if you are in a huge hurry)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 10 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (I always keep bags of the pre-cooked frozen shrimp in the freezer so I used 1 of them--perfect, quick, and easy)
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook penne according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  3. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water.
  4. Turn heat up to medium-high and add in shrimp. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the penne, Greek yogurt and pasta sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.

SUPER good!
I also forgot to include my recipe for "Godiva Dip", which I made for the Gandhi's shower. This is my FAVORITE dessert dip and it is easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. I don't have any pictures, but I bet your imagination can fill in the details!

Godiva Dip:
1 package Cool Whip
4 table spoons Godiva liquer
4 table spoons Kahlua
Heath bars, crushed (this is one you have to just look at and guess-at least 1 whole bar)

Mix everything together and keep refrigerated.
Use large pretzel sticks, strawberries, and pirouette cookies to dip!

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