Tag Archives: recipes

an easy 3-ingredient chili dip

chili dip

The dad entered a chili contest at our town’s Winter Chill Festival this weekend and came home with just a small container of leftovers for us to share. His two batches of chili (one super-spicy and one mild) were among the most popular of the 15 business entries, which explained the lack of leftovers. The winner still has not been announced, but he is hoping to place somewhere close to the top. He wants bragging rights.

Because there wasn’t enough to make a meal out of, we settled for our new favourite chili dip. We’ve made it several times during the holidays and it has been devoured quickly each time. It fits my criteria for party recipes – fast, few ingredients and easy.

3-Ingredient Chili Dip

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups of chili (or one can of chili)
  • 1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350F. Spread the softened cream cheese evenly on the bottom of a small casserole dish, 9″x9″ cake plate or a deep pie plate. Layer the chili on top of the cream cheese and top with the grated cheddar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

This is an easy dip to take to a workplace potluck as well and can be easily heated in a microwave for 5 minutes instead of in the oven. It can be made spicy or mild, depending on the chili that you use and or whether or not you use a spicy cheddar cheese for the topping.

Tagged , , , , , ,

butter tart mini-muffins


I had grand plans for a baking spree today until I realized that I have only 3 eggs in the house. Fortunately, the first thing on my list to make only required two, so these got made. The dad says that they are winners – they definitely get you right in the sweet tooth. Everyone loves butter tarts (especially me), but I am an absolute failure at pie crust. I even managed to fail that part of my Quantity Foods class in university. These taste like tarts, but without the pie crust. Perfect. Even I can’t fail.

There are only 6 ingredients and it takes just minutes to mix up. The batch I made this morning are already gone and the dad is requesting that I make them again. He is planting the garden this weekend without my help, so a trip into town to buy more eggs is the least that I can do. This started with a recipe for Pecan Pie Muffins, but a few changes morphed them into more of a butter tart muffin.

Butter Tart Mini-Muffins

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted (but not hot, allow to cool after melting so it doesn’t cook the eggs when you mix them together)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously oil a mini muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and walnut pieces. In a separate bowl beat the eggs then add the vanilla and butter and whisk until smooth.

Stir into the dry ingredients just until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Cups should be about 2/3 full. Depending on the size of your muffin tins, this should make between 18 and 24 mini-muffins. If you are making larger muffins, you may need to adjust the cooking time.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 12 t0 15 minutes. They should be starting to brown around the edges, but remain a little soft on the inside (not uncooked, but a little softer than normal). Allow to sit in the muffin tin for a couple of minutes before attempting to remove. Cool on wire racks when done.

Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugally Sustainable

Tagged , , , , , ,

grilled balsamic asparagus


We’ve been eating our weight in fresh asparagus for the past week thanks to neighbours who are harvesting more than they can eat themselves. This is our favourite way to prepare it (even the small squeaky kid admits that this is tasty – and nobody can argue that asparagus is exciting to kids).

This, a baked potato, steak and a big glass of wine just might help you get through the weekend when your husband thinks it’s a good idea to allow the children to invite 3 friends over for a sleepover. And then they spend 24 hours giggling, screaming and breaking the odd window.

Grilled Balsamic Asparagus

  • 1-2 lb fresh asparagus
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Rinse and snap off the tough ends of the asparagus.

Place asparagus spears on a platter or cookie sheet, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (a couple of tbsp of each or more, depending on the amount of asparagus). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roll the asparagus around in it until well coated.

Heat grill to high heat and grill for a few minutes on each side or until asparagus is done.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Wildcrafting Wednesday

Tagged , , , , , ,