Archive for ‘Appetizer’

February 1, 2013

Crock Pot Pork Ribs


The Super Bowl is basically here and I’m a little late in the game (HAHA get it?) with suggesting ideas for you to serve at your partay. Here I go anyway: RIBS. 

It’s funny how easy these are. All we did was rub the ribs with some rib rub, let them marinate for a bit (because we started them too late in the day) and tossed them into the crock pot at around 3:30am (don’t ask).

We literally took them out of the fridge, placed them on their sides into the slow cooker and turned it on to low for 10 hours. Then passed out in bed and woke up to a house smelling of ribs and excited that lunch was already prepared!



Since we are only two people, we have leftovers! Hurray! I hope everyone has a fun Sunday enjoying football (if you enjoy that part of the Super Bowl), commercials or whatever and the FOOD!

Crock Pot Pork Ribs


  • 2-3 lbs pork ribs
  • 1 packet of your favorite BBQ rub (we used this one from McCormick and it was great!)
  • Barbecue sauce (optional)


Remove ribs from package and cut them into smaller racks so they fit in the crock pot. Evenly distribute the rub all over the ribs. Place ribs into crock pot, on their side if possible, and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Remove from crock pot and serve with barbecue sauce, if you like.

**Print this Recipe**

{Other Super Bowl ideas}


1. Nachos – This one is an obvious choice.

2. Soft Pretzels (vegan) – Make them into smaller bites if you need to feed a small crowd.

3. Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas (with sriracha) – A pretty basic quesadilla with buffalo chicken but I love the addition of Sriracha. 

4. Buffalo Chicken Dip – Well…yeah!

5. Panko Fried Pickle Chips – This one is for my sister-in-law. She loves them and I think you will too! The panko makes them extra crunchy!

6. Baked Coconut Shrimp – I could probably eat 143 of these. Light, crunchy, delicious and easy. What else can I say?

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January 22, 2013

Baked Coconut Shrimp


We have been meaning to make our own version of coconut shrimp since we returned from our most recent trip to Florida. We ate at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and I ordered the “Shrimper’s Heaven”. The description is:

Love Shrimp? This one’s for you! Hand Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Chilly Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, and Japanese style Tempura Shrimp with Fries. And of course great Dippin’ Sauces like Tangy Asian, Cajun Marmalade and Zesty Cocktail.

I ended up swapping out the Chilly Shrimp for more of the Tempura Shrimp. The place was pretty silly but this was the first time I ever tried coconut shrimp (I know, right?) and I really loved it! So did my husband. By the way, his hand is in the first photo and mine is in the last. My nails are WAY better…just kidding.

I would love to take a trip back to Florida and not just for the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.! Although we did have a gorgeous view. Oh wait, I think I have a photo.

420427_615784561330_1017974308_nWell I guess it doesn’t look that gorgeous but to the right was a great view of the water and we were sitting on a deck outside, enjoying the warm weather. It sure beats the views I am seeing today which include snow and gray and brown colors.

We stayed quite a few days in Florida helping my mom unpack and unfortunately (or fortunately) never made it back to that funny little Forrest Gump themed restaurant. Darn.

So here we are, 3-4 months later and I finally made coconut shrimp.


I read a lot of different recipes and one called for toasting the panko and coconut flakes first. I think it helped make them crunchier in the end or maybe it brought out a more toasted flavor, but what do I know? All I know, is the smell from toasting the coconut and panko was heavenly.

Really easy to make! Here are the ingredients (well, minus the shrimp ha!)


I ended up double coating mine. It was kind of difficult because a lot more panko ended up in my egg than I would have liked and the panko mixture became really sticky but in the end, there was a nice thick crust on the shrimp which we enjoyed.



We didn’t make any fancy dip from scratch. Instead I picked up a bottle of Thai Sweet Chili sauce and it was a perfect match.


We literally didn’t leave the kitchen when these came out. We stood over the baking sheet, dip beside us and ate every single one before I had a chance to plate them. And the good news is that I have everything here to make them again… woo hoo!

Baked Coconut Shrimp {adapted from here}


  • 1/2 lb peeled and deveined raw shrimp (~16-18 large shrimp)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup panko
  • 3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk (or water)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2-2/3 cup dipping sauce (we used Thai style sweet chili sauce)


Preheat oven to 400°F

Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium. Add the panko and coconut and cook until golden brown, stirring constantly – very important! When finished, remove from heat and place on a plate to cool.

Add the cornstarch to a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Take each shrimp and dredge into the cornstarch, shaking off excess, then dip into egg, and then into the coconut mixture. To double coat the shrimp, add shrimp back into the egg and dredge into the coconut mixture a second time. Place onto the baking sheet. When finished with all of the shrimp, place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through and the coating is a deep golden brown. Serve immediately.

**Print the Recipe**

January 4, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Get some!


I hope everyone is enjoying 2013 so far! I sure am. I went to see Louis C.K. in Boston and I have never laughed so hard. That man is FUNNY. Now we are back home, relaxing and thinking about what to put on the ol’ resolution list. Wait, should I have made it already? Oh well. It is always the same…eat healthier, get into shape, etc. So why do I need to write it down? I did find a 3 day detox that I really want to try out because it seems simple enough but also includes good looking salads and juices to choose from. We are going to start that Monday, I’ll let you know if I survive.


Dexter says Happy New Year (and don’t use flash on me)! If anyone should put “lose weight” onto their resolution list, it should be him. Sorry buddy… but it’s true.

2012 was pretty great. We experienced living in Boston and I will always be happy we decided to make that move. We also did some traveling to Chicago and Florida so I will always remember the fun we had then too. I am looking forward to the year 2013 even though I am not sure what it will bring. In a few months we can move WHEREVER we want and do WHATEVER we want so that is exciting! Or completely terrifying.

What are some things you hope to accomplish this year? I am turning the big 2-7 in May and I was thinking of making a list of 27 things to do before 27. My husband thought that was insane and said I couldn’t possibly finish it before my birthday. He actually thought I was aiming for goals like buying a house or traveling the world. Ha! I want to accomplish much smaller goals, such as go to the movies or learn to knit. Those are slightly easier to tackle.


Speaking of eating healthier, here’s a fatty recipe for buffalo chicken dip! I don’t know why it has taken me so long to make buffalo chicken dip at home. Maybe I was afraid that I would really enjoy it and decide it’s the only thing I will consume for breakfast, lunch and dinner?


Oops. I was right.

Oh and if you haven’t noticed already, we love spicy in this house so I definitely added sriracha and wow, I am fan. Huge fan. HUGE.



Ok so I have to admit something… I tried to make the dip look nice by serving it in the dish pictured above but it just wouldn’t heat up! The top was getting very hot, but the inside was pretty much staying lukewarm. I decided to take it out, dump it onto a larger pan, mix it all up and throw it back in the oven. Much better. I really just kept the picture because it’s the only picture I took before inhaling. Don’t do what I did – use a more convenient dish! It tastes too good to worry about what kind of dish you serve it in. Also, I may cube the chicken next time instead of shredding it because I think it would be easier to scoop up if it was diced.


I wanted to include this last photo because it makes me so happy when my husband offers to do the dishes. I guess this means he liked the dip! Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 8 oz cream cheese (1 package), softened
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 1-1 1/2 cups Frank’s Red Hot
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Sriracha, to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F

Poach the chicken and chop into small pieces or shred with a fork.

In a bowl, mix chicken with hot sauce, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing, sriracha, salt and pepper.

Spread dip into a large oven safe dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until hot.

Serve with your favorite chip or cracker.

**Print this Recipe**

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