Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you and your family!  May your days be filled with wonder and love!! ♥

Dishin with Didi

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Savory Steak and Celery - Crock Pot

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I know right?  So easy, I mean unbelievably easy dinner.  Did I mention absolutely delicious?  I didn't?  Well, the word that comes to mind when digging into this, if you want to call it a word is; "mmmmm".  Yup, seriously!  No other words are necessary.  You have those delicious round steaks, chunks of celery all bathing in that savory broth.  I know!

This was my adoption of an old favorite from my ex-mother-in-law. She is an amazing cook, and the first time she made the pork & celery with the egg and lemon sauce, (a very old Greek from the regions of Sparta recipe), I thought I had gone to heaven. The flavors of the celery just enhanced the pork, and the broth, well there just wasn't enough bread for the dunking I say!  After obtaining the recipe and duplicating it many times, I decided to do something a little different.  Make it working mom friendly was my goal.  Voila!  It was an absolute success and my family loves it!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time: 8-9 hours (on low)
Yield: 6-8 servings

6 round steaks (or your favorite cheaper cut steak)
4-5 large celery stalks

1 can cream of celery soup
1 can, 14.5oz  beef gravy (I used Campbells)
1-1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 tbsp onion powder + 1 additional tsp
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp Canola oil

-Combine dried seasonings except for the dried thyme and the additional 1 tsp of onion powder in a small bowl and set aside.

-Clean celery very well and cut into chunks.  Place half of the celery onto the bottom of slow cooker. Reserve the other half.

-Using a large skillet add Canola/Vegetable oil and bring to a high heat.

-Take the reserved dried seasonings and lovingly pat them onto both sides of the steaks.  Show them "the love" I say...

-The skillet should be ready now.  Lay the steaks into the skillet and sear until nicely browned on one side, about 1 minute or so.  Flip the steaks over using tongues, and do the same on the other side.  Place the seared steaks along with the drippings over the celery in the crock pot. 

-Using a medium bowl, combine the cream soup, beef gravy, dried thyme and 1 tsp of onion powder.  Taste, taste one more time for seasonings, what?  Pour over the steaks.  Add the rest of the celery over the soup mixture.  Cover, and cook on low 8-9 hours.

Voila, dinner is ready!  I know!  All you have to do is make a side when you come home and let me know what time dinner will be! *grin*

Buttered rice is my favorite with this, but I'm sure mashed potatoes are on hubby's wish list!

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, December 16, 2013

Italian Ricotta Cheese Cookies

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I know, trust me, they are "to die for"!  These little gems are one of the most delectable cookies ever.  I mean even for a self professed chocoholic, I still choose these over the chocolate cookies.

From what I understand there are more versions of these cookies than one can shake a peppermint candy cane...
That being said, I am sharing the recipe that was given to me by my very good friends mom, or as we all referred to her as "Nona Lena".
I think the difference in these cookies is the flavor of orange...
They are light and just bursting with flavor!  I know I can't stop at just 3, I'm serious!  What?

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 10-11 minutes

Yield: 6 dozen


1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter (I used unsalted)
2 cups granulated sugar

1lb (16oz) Ricotta cheese
2 eggs

Zest of 1 orange
*optional* 2 tbsp Grand Marnier (or your favorite orange liqueur)
1 tsp vanilla
4-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


3-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
4-6 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

- Preheat oven to 350F

-Add your flour to a medium bowl and mix in the baking powder, soda and salt, set aside.

-In a large bowl, cream your butter.  Once butter is creamed, add in your sugar and continue to cream, about 1 minute or so.  Add in your eggs, ricotta cheese, vanilla, orange liqueur (if using) and your grated orange zest.  Mix till all flavors have been incorporated.

-Slowly add in your flour.  You do not want to have the beaters on high unless you like yourself and your kitchen coated in flour.  If you do, hey, why not?

-Mix in all your flour till a soft dough forms.  Using your favorite small cookie scoop (or melon baller), scoop out dough and place on an ungreased nonstick baking sheet.

-Bake for 10-11 minutes till edges are lightly browned.  Remove from oven, let rest on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before moving over to cooling rack.

-As cookies are cooling, let's make up our frosting.  Add all your ingredients into a bowl.  Add your milk 1 tbsp at a time till you have reached your desired consistency.  I like a thicker frosting, some like a thinner.  If so, just add additional tablespoons of milk.

-Dip top of cookies with frosting and sprinkle with your favorite sprinkles.

Before giving all these babies away don't forget to grab some for yourself!!

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Shredded Chicken Santa Fe Dip

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I was introduced to the Philadelphia Cooking Cream Cheese packages last year when I won a "Kraft party" from House Party.  I have to tell you guys; this is the BEST STUFF EVER!  

Easy as pie to make and to create your own favorite flavors.  This recipe was a "make as we go" and let me tell you, IT WAS OUTTA THIS WORLD GOOD!! Don't believe me?  Look at my "BFF's hand", I couldn't get her arm out of the dip...
All I'm saying!!  Easy as all get out to make and absolutely delicious with the Southwestern flavors.  Add some crackers and you will have a very happy family and guests!!

Note: This REHEATS beautifully!! ♥

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: 8-10 servings

2 cans chicken (chicken breast in broth), shredded, reserve broth
1 package Kraft Santa Fe cooking cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic salt
3 tbsp sour cream
10 Ritz crackers (butter crackers)
2 cups- 1 package Kraft 4 Mexican shredded cheese (or shredded cheese of your choice)
1 jalapeno, fresh - seeds & membranes removed, diced fine

-Preheat oven to 350F.  Remove your Philadelphia Cooking Cream Cheese Santa Fe blend from your fridge and allow to come to room temp.

-Open cans of cooked chicken breasts.  Reserve chicken broth and taking a fork, shred till uniform, set aside.

-Clean and discard seeds and membranes from the jalapeno pepper, dice finely and set aside.

-Chop your fresh parsley and green onion, set aside.

-In a medium sized bowl, add your shredded chicken, sprinkle with garlic salt, add in your diced jalapenos.  Let's add in our fresh herbs, diced green onions and our Philadelphia Santa Fe Cooking Sauce. Now we add in our reserved chicken broth and mix well.

-Let's add in our sour cream and mix very well.  Taste for seasonings at this point... *what*?

- Sprinkle in 1-1/2 cups of your shredded cheese.

-In a 9 x 9 dish, spray with non stick spray.  Spread chicken mixture into pan.  Using your very clean hands, crush the Ritz crackers and sprinkle over chicken mixture.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.

-Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes till nicely golden and crispy and the cheese has melted nicely.  Sprinkle on a few green onions for a beautiful visual appeal if you want, totally optional!  Get ready for the "mmmmm's, and OMG's"!

This dip is seriously rocking, NO I'M NOT JOKING!
That is my "Chicken Souvlaki Dip" pictured next to the dip that my BFF is constantly dipping into! Best feeling in the world!! Did I mention easy?  I know!!  You can make this in a snap, and still have time to don on your favorite sporting jersey!!

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi