This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!
Appetizers, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

Our Favorite Fresh Vegetable Dip

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It’s a great appetizer or side dish!

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

At my house, the best way to make sure we eat our veggies is to always have some prepped and ready to snack on. I think that’s why those bagged salads, precut baby carrots, and ready-made vegetable trays at the grocery store are so popular. Preparing vegetables can be so time consuming! On the weekends, I like to spend some time cutting bell peppers and cucumbers, then portioning them into little containers to pull out of the fridge for my lunchbox all week long. Wait. I just reread that sentence. I’m not sure I like to do that… but I sure like the results. And you know when I like the results even more? When I’ve thought ahead enough to make some veggie dip like this one!

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

It’s not that veggies aren’t tasty enough on their own, but sometimes we need some extra motivation, ya know? 🙂 My husband can testify to that, haha! Some people just like dipping their veggies in ranch dressing, but since my husband isn’t a ranch sort of guy, I have to be a little more creative. This fresh veggie dip meets both of our needs: it has a cool and creamy base with tons of flavor, but not that unmistakable ranch flavor. The ingredients are somewhat similar since it uses onion and garlic as the base flavors along with some herbs like dill and parsley, but what makes this vegetable dip stand out from the crowd is the addition of Worcestershire sauce! This adds a complex salty depth to the herby goodness.

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

Like most dips, this comes together in a flash but I do recommend making it ahead of time so it can chill in the fridge for about an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to marry and taste even better! 🙂 If you want to healthify the dip, you could substitute some plain yogurt for part of the sour cream. I think the recipe is amazing as-is though! Hope you enjoy!

one year ago: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake
two years ago: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
three years ago: Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins
four years ago: Pumpkin Graham Muffins
five years ago: Roasted Chicken
six years ago: Homemade Maple & Brown Sugar Almond Butter
seven years ago: Pumpkin Soup and Homemade Croutons

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

Fresh Vegetable Dip

  • Servings: ~ 2 cups
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from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • a few cracks freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh vegetables, for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream and mayonnaise. Add seasonings: onion powder, dill, garlic powder, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Taste and season with black pepper as desired.

Cover and chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

Serve with fresh vegetables!

Notes: You can also substitute some of the sour cream for plain yogurt (Greek or regular).

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Chicken gyros--baked in the oven--are a wonderful weeknight dinner option! Lemony yogurt sauce makes these tender herbed chicken strips even more amazing. These gyros are great served with pita, rice, and lots of fresh veggies.
Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

Sheet Pan Chicken Gyros with Lemony Yogurt Sauce

Chicken gyros--baked in the oven--are a wonderful weeknight dinner option! Lemony yogurt sauce makes these tender herbed chicken strips even more amazing. These gyros are great served with pita, rice, and lots of fresh veggies.

Chicken gyros–baked in the oven–are a wonderful weeknight dinner option! Lemony yogurt sauce makes these tender herbed chicken strips even more amazing. These gyros are great served with pita, rice, and lots of fresh veggies.

Chicken gyros--baked in the oven--are a wonderful weeknight dinner option! Lemony yogurt sauce makes these tender herbed chicken strips even more amazing. These gyros are great served with pita, rice, and lots of fresh veggies.

Back to school is here! At my house, it has come and gone. This week marks my husband’s second full week teaching at his new school and things are going well. His schedule is a little more flexible than last year, which has been so nice. Ben gets home earlier–even when he picks up our little guy at daycare. This means dinner isn’t quite as rushed and we have a little more family time in the evening. I’m sure things will ebb and flow a little as the year goes along, but so far, I’m just trying to enjoy the reprieve while it lasts! Especially since it’s still summertime, technically.

Chicken gyros--baked in the oven--are a wonderful weeknight dinner option! Lemony yogurt sauce makes these tender herbed chicken strips even more amazing. These gyros are great served with pita, rice, and lots of fresh veggies.

One way I’ve been trying to make the most of these longer late summer nights is by keeping dinner simple. I’ve probably talked about that a gazillion times since I went back to work after baby was born, but it’s still true. I can’t tell you how many meal planning and prep schedules, systems, and calendars I’ve tried to get my life in order. I haven’t paid for any yet (and don’t think I will). At some point, I’d love to write a post detailing my meal planning system, as it is… because I ***think*** I finally have something down that works for us. YAY! But I don’t know if anyone is really interested in that sort of thing–are you?

Chicken gyros--baked in the oven--are a wonderful weeknight dinner option! Lemony yogurt sauce makes these tender herbed chicken strips even more amazing. These gyros are great served with pita, rice, and lots of fresh veggies.

But anyways, the meal I’m sharing today… Sheet Pan Chicken Gyros with Lemony Yogurt is completely a by-product of my simple weeknight dinner theme. I know these aren’t true chicken gyros BUT they are truly delicious! Slicing the chicken before baking allows for quicker cooking… and seasoning the chicken with olive oil, lemon juice, and plenty of herbs makes sure your chicken is moist (sorry) and not a gross dried out mess. To dress up the chicken, be sure to serve it with some fresh pita, chopped veggies, and a super delicious (and EASY) lemony yogurt sauce. Sometimes I’m tempted to skip sauces when making recipes… “oh, I’ll just use hummus instead.” But seriously guys… please don’t! This lemony yogurt sauce is just THREE ingredients–plain greek yogurt, lemon juice, pepper. That’s it. Whisk together and enjoyyyy! This dinner is the best.

one year ago: Baked Burritos with Pinto Beans and Kale
two years ago: Zucchini Apple Walnut Muffins
three years ago: Baked Honey Chicken Nuggets with Homemade Chick-Fil-A Sauce
four years ago: Churro Cheesecake Bars
five years ago: Pesto Potato Salad
six years ago: Salmon with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic Sauce
seven years ago: Summer Mexican Soup

Sheet Pan Chicken Gyros with Lemony Yogurt Sauce

  • Servings: 6
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Chicken gyros--baked in the oven--are a wonderful weeknight dinner option! Lemony yogurt sauce makes these tender herbed chicken strips even more amazing. These gyros are great served with pita, rice, and lots of fresh veggies.

inspired by my sheet pan chicken fajitas

Ingredients:

for gyros

  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • juice of 2 lemons (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

for lemon yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt (full fat!)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper

for serving: pita, romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced red onions, feta, lemon yogurt sauce, hummus, greek lemon rice, etc.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil, parchment, or a silpat for easy clean up. Alternatively, you could just spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spread sliced onion and chicken on the baking sheet. Season with oregano, dill, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, then toss everything together with your hands. This could all be done in a bowl if you prefer… but I prefer fewer dishes! Spread in an even layer.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

While chicken is cooking, prepare lemon yogurt sauce by whisking together greek yogurt with lemon juice. Season with pepper as desired. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve chicken in a pita with romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced red onions, feta, lemon yogurt sauce, hummus, greek lemon rice, or any other desired toppings. Enjoy!

Breakfast, Pancakes

SRC: Apple Cider Pancakes

Flavorful fall pancakes–made with apple cider and topped with cinnamon sugar, these pancakes are a real treat! 

Flavorful fall pancakes--made with apple cider and topped with cinnamon sugar, these pancakes are a real treat!  #secretrecipeclub

It’s time for a FALL DISHES themed edition of Secret Recipe Club! Even though I’m still sad that the club is retiring next month, I’m pumped for today because fall food is my favorite!! Pumpkin and apples and squash… yes, please! For this special edition of SRC, I was assigned to Erin’s wonderful blog, The Spiffy Cookie. Fun fact: the word “spiffy” was one of my favorite words in junior high/early high school. My friends and I were really kind of weird, and had all sorts of nicknames for ourselves. I was Spiffy Sarah. Or Scarah. Or Schara. I don’t know how I spelled it but it basically sounded like “scary+Sarah” combined. Like I said… we were weird. was weird. But I digress…

I don’t know how I first met Erin through blogging, but I’ve been fortunate to be part of a variety of blogging events with her over the years [like our weekly Menu Plan posts]. She always makes such creative dishes, especially for her #PBChocSat where she celebrates all things peanut butter chocolate to support her Buckeyes. 🙂 I obviously had a tough time to choosing what to make from her blog. Some close runner ups to these AMAZING apple cider pancakes included: Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese, Apple Maple Turkey BurgersSpeculoos & Pumpkin Spice Oreo Lasagna, and S’mores Pumpkin Pie. There were a bunch of other runner up recipes too, but I couldn’t link to 20 of her recipes in one post. That would just be crazytown.

Flavorful fall pancakes--made with apple cider and topped with cinnamon sugar, these pancakes are a real treat!  #secretrecipeclub

So let’s talk pancakes, specifically these Apple Cider Pancakes. Pancakes are, without a doubt, my most favorite breakfast food. There’s just something about them that I love. It’s more than just the crispy edges and versatility… but they can be SO flavorful and can be the basis for SO many toppings, it’s unreal. They just seem like breakfast for special days, and who doesn’t like special days?!? I just love them! ❤ I’ll admit they are a little time consuming to whip up and cook on the stove, but homemade pancakes are way better than the plain pucks you can purchase at the grocery store. Did I just say that? Whoops. 🙂

These Apple Cider Pancakes are full of REAL apple cider flavor. Be sure to use good apple cider so all the warm fall spices and apple-y goodness comes through. 🙂 Erin topped her pancakes with a fabulous cinnamon sugar topping, a la an apple cider doughnut from an apple orchard… Let me just say–DON’T SKIP THIS PART.

Flavorful fall pancakes--made with apple cider and topped with cinnamon sugar, these pancakes are a real treat!  #secretrecipeclub

Whoa.

The cinnamon sugar topping takes these pancakes to the next level. They are unbelievable; a real treat without being a big sugar bomb. I know you’ll love them! Enjoy! Thanks, Erin for a great recipe!

one year ago: Beef Stroganoff 
two years ago: Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin
three years ago: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote
four years ago: Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew
five years ago: Individual Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
six years ago: Aunt Charlotte’s Tex Mex Corn

Apple Cider Pancakes

  • Servings: 20 pancakes
  • Print

from The Spiffy Cookie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, regular or Greek
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • canola oil
  • butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together both types of flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil, buttermilk, yogurt, honey, and apple cider. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then stir until combined. Mixture will be lumpy. Let batter rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.

When skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to pan. Pour batter onto hot skillet in 1/4 cup increments. Cook for two to three minutes on the first side until bubbles form, then flip and cook on other side until golden brown. Add extra oil as needed so pancakes don’t stick, and don’t be afraid to adjust heat as needed if pancakes start to get too dark over time.

Meanwhile, mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

After pancakes are removed from pan, melt butter on top of each pancake, then top with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes: If your pancakes are, for lack of a better word, greasy enough already – no need to top with extra butter before adding cinnamon sugar. I found I only needed the butter on about half of the pancakes to make the cinnamon sugar stick.

Check out other fall dishes at the link below!

Breakfast, Oatmeal, Recipes

Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats for #Choctoberfest

Dress up your oatmeal to taste just like your favorite fall mocha… and add some extra caffeine too, because we all need more of that, right? Or is it just me? Ha. Thank you to Caveman Coffee Co. for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own.

Dress up your oatmeal to taste just like your favorite fall mocha... and add some extra caffeine too, because we all need more of that, right? Or is it just me? Ha. Thank you to Caveman Coffee Co. for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored

Oatmeal and coffee… these two items have filled my plate, err bowl and mug, since #BabyVolde was born in May. Breakfast is important, yo. Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast choice for anyone, and there is some anecdotal evidence that it helps with milk supply for breastfeeding moms. So I’ve tried to eat a bowl most days because it can’t hurt, right? And I love oatmeal so there’s that too. 🙂

You know what else I love? Coffee. Mmm, coffee! I’m drinking some now, actually. I think coffee has become more important lately since baby life=not a lot of sleep for the parents. Our sleep journey has been up and down–the first two to three weeks, he wouldn’t sleep unless held. By about two months, he was pretty much sleeping through the night [don’t be mad!]. That lasted, with a few bumps in the road, until four months. Over the past month we’ve been on a downward spiral with lots of wakeups alllll night long. Womp womp. Oh well, things have got to get better soon, right? But until then… lots of coffee! A cup of coffee at home, a travel mug at work in the morning, maybe an iced coffee in the afternoon… just depends on the day. I’m not a crazy coffee drinker by any means but I do love my coffee more than I did before! So putting it in oatmeal was just the natural choice, along with chocolate for #Choctoberfest too! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway before Friday, btw!! 🙂

Dress up your oatmeal to taste just like your favorite fall mocha... and add some extra caffeine too, because we all need more of that, right? Or is it just me? Ha. Thank you to Caveman Coffee Co. for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored

This isn’t my first rodeo with chocolate oatmeal, but it is the first time I’ve made overnight style. I know cold oats sound weird, but they are refreshing and it is great to not have to make breakfast in the morning! For this version, I paired the mocha base of the chocolate and coffee with a teensy bit of salted caramel. The result? Fabulous overnight oats like your favorite fall coffee beverage!

The sweet drink from coffee shops is certainly a treat, but dare I say that I like this version better? It’s not quite as sugary but still has that classic mocha + caramel pairing, with a hint of salt and a bit of indulgence to start your day. Salted Caramel Mochas have been my surprising go-to coffee shop order this fall [I used to be a PSL girl all the way], and now that I can enjoy those flavors in my oats, I am one happy girl! Hope you enjoy these as much as I have been! ❤

Dress up your oatmeal to taste just like your favorite fall mocha... and add some extra caffeine too, because we all need more of that, right? Or is it just me? Ha. Thank you to Caveman Coffee Co. for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t brag on how good the Blacklisted coffee from Caveman Coffee Co. is. This small batch coffee is rich and flavorful. Sometimes dark roasted coffee is too intense for me, but I love this kind! They also sent some Cacao Butter for me to play with–I can’t wait to bust it out in the kitchen! So fun. Thanks to Caveman Coffee Co. for sponsoring this event! Please check them out on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

one year ago: Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
two years ago: Pumpkin Bagels
three years ago: Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies
four years ago: 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup
five years ago: Sweet and Sour Chicken
six years ago: Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 2
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adapted from my base recipe for Maple Berry Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coffee – I used Caveman Coffee Co. Blacklisted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • salted caramel sauce – I used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
  • mini chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together coffee, milk, and yogurt. Stir in oats and cocoa powder. Divide between two bowls or mason jars, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top each serving with salted caramel and mini chocolate chips. I like it with about 1/2 teaspoon of salted caramel sauce and mini chocolate chips, but feel free to adjust quantities to your taste.

If I wanted to healthify this, I would make this date caramel sauce to use in place of the traditional caramel sauce. 🙂


Click below for more chocolate recipes!

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Potatoes, Recipes, Sides

Mashed Potato Casserole

A cheesy, creamy, baked mashed potato casserole that’s perfect for ANY holiday or just a special meal with family and friends. 🙂

A cheesy, creamy baked mashed potato casserole... perfect for every special meal!

Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that are the best, aren’t they? My family has long tried to find the best cheesy potato recipe because everyone loves them. My sister is pretty much the biggest cheesy potato fan I know, and my husband is pretty much the biggest mashed potato fan I know, so this is a dish to please them both!

A cheesy, creamy baked mashed potato casserole... perfect for every special meal!

Regular ‘ole mashed potatoes aren’t my favorite Thanksgiving side dish of all time, but add in a bunch of cheddar and parmesan, and you make this girl veryyy happy! All that cheese + some sour cream or greek yogurt jazz up plain mashed potatoes, but it’s the baking of them that take this dish over the edge! I don’t know what it is about baking dishes but that just adds an extra layer of deliciousness to the final product… especially when there’s cheese involved. Think about stovetop mac & cheese vs. baked mac & cheese. I’m right, aren’t I? There’s just no competition! Baked wins every single day. 🙂

A cheesy, creamy baked mashed potato casserole... perfect for every special meal!

I’ll admit that some may take issues with this dish because it’s not traditional enough… and there isn’t even any butter in it [gasp!]. But all the cheese and sour cream sure makes up for it. One of the best parts about this creamy ‘n cheesy side dish is that you can make it ahead AND it reheats beautifully in the microwave. Regular mashed potatoes can get kinda weird after the microwave but these absolutely do not! Have I convinced you to make them yet?!? I sure hope so, because they’re pretty much the tastiest version of mashed potatoes I’ve ever enjoyed and I bet you will too!

one year ago: Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups
two years ago: Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes

three years ago: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
four years ago: Crockpot Saucy Italian Chicken
five years ago: Layered Taco Dip

Mashed Potato Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

from The Kitchn

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 8 ounces sour cream or plain yogurt [regular or greek]
  • 1/2 cup half and half or milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 large shallots, minced – about 1/2 cup
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place potatoes in a large stock pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender, when a fork easily pierces through. Drain and return potatoes to pot.

Off heat, add sour cream and half and half to potatoes, then stir to combine. Use a potato masher to smash until desired texture is achieved. Stir in cheddar, shallots, and pepper. [If desired, shallots could be sauteed in butter or olive oil for a few minutes to soften.]

Transfer potatoes to a medium baking dish – a 10 inch round, 8×8 square, or the like, at least 2.5 quarts. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with Parmesan and extra freshly ground black pepper, and broil for about 2 minutes until golden brown.

Notes:

Dish can be prepared up until the baking step up to 24 hours in advance. Let dish come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking.

If desired, shallots could be sauteed in butter or olive oil for a few minutes to soften before adding to the potatoes. The flavor was fine when raw, but even though they were minced small, we found them a little crunchy, especially the ones that were left on the top of the dish.