Tobins' Tastes: January 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

20+ Super Cheesy Party Dips

Pin It

Cheese dips pretty much make my life. I would much rather fill up on dips at a party then eat an actual meal and cheese dips are the end all be all of the dip world. Here are some of my favorite uber cheesy party dips!

Many of these recipes and photos are not my own. If you would like to see, pin or share a specific recipe please click the image to go to the original site. If you want to pin the whole collection then please pin the collage image above!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stove Top Mac & Cheese With A Crunchy Goldfish Cracker Topping

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GoldfishMix #CollectiveBias

Pin It

I have always been a huge fan of Goldfish crackers as an easy snack but last summer I went to a restaurant that made me completely reconsider my use of theses delicious crackers. When we were in Denver after my family reunion, Justin and I had dinner at a place called D Bar Denver. While it is famous for its dessert options we were also quite impressed with its dinner selection too. My favorite part of the meal? My Mac & Cheese topped with what the menu referred to as "crushed cheese snack crackers". And so the idea of Goldfish cracker topped Mac & Cheese entered my life. 

Originally I wanted to recreate this recipe using boxed or packaged mac & cheese but Justin was adamant that an idea this delicious needed to be done with real, homemade mac. I went with a basic stove top mac & cheese recipe using large elbow noodles but you can easily switch it up with a different shaped pasta and/or variety of cheese. I think that we will be using a white Vermont cheddar next time and maybe topping it with one of the flavor blasted Goldfish crackers instead of the traditional Cheddar.

I served my mac & cheese in individual ramekins which are perfect for adults and kids alike to enjoy at any party or get together. I also love the idea of serving these at a game watch and letting guests top with their own favorite Goldfish cracker flavor. 

I paired our mac & cheese with a side salad for dinner but it could be perfect on its own as a snack or small meal too. Right now, the large Goldfish cracker cartons are on Rollback at Walmart for $5.98 so be sure and stock up with they are on sale.

Stove Top Mac & Cheese With A Crunchy Goldfish Cracker Topping
  • 1 pound of pasta- I used large elbows
  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 2 cups of milk ( I used 2% and it was still very creamy)
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
  • 1-2 cups Goldfish crackers, crushed
1.) Cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.

2.) While pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until completely smooth.

3.) Slowly pour in milk and stir until mixture thickens and starts to bubble. 

4.) Stir in cheese until melted.

5.) Add drained pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to coat the pasta completely. 

6.) Scoop pasta into individual ramekins or into one large oven safe baking dish. Top with crushed Goldfish crackers. Place ramekins or baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees for five minutes to give the topping an added crunch. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Connect with Goldfish Crackers on Twitter at @GoldfishSmiles or by visiting their Facebook page.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Spaghetti With Creamy Broccoli Pesto

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and PEOPLE® and All You® but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #NewYearMeTime

Pin It

2015 is in full swing and I am slowly trying to get myself back on a schedule after the craziness and excitement of the holidays. Every year I try to set simple goals instead of resolutions and this year. as always, I am trying to eat better and take better care of myself. A huge part of doing this is setting aside some time for myself. When Justin is on shift I tend to rush around running errands and getting things done and I usually end up grabbing take out or heating something up from the freezer. In 2015,  my goal is to take 30 minutes for myself each evening to relax and recharge and to cook myself a homemade meal on nights when Justin works.

One of the difficulties I always face when cooking for just myself is that most recipes I use are way too much for one person. So I decided to grab some magazines for inspiration and look for recipes that could easily be adapted for single servings. During my last Walmart trip, I grabbed the latest issues of People and All You and when Justin went to work last weekend, I grabbed a glass of sparkling water and my hot pink sticky page markers and got to work.

All You was filled with tons of recipes that could be made quickly and easily for one person so I had a hard time choosing where to start. I knew our upcoming work week would be crazy so I settled on something that I could make myself a single serving of and then freeze the rest for later in the week. Anyone who knows me will be shocked to learn that Broccoli Pesto was my first choice.

It's not that I am against eating vegetables, I just don't happen to be the biggest fan of them and broccoli is usually at the top of my "do not eat list". But since my main issue with broccoli is the texture (little trees freak anyone else out?), I figured that this creamy pesto would be a perfect way to sneak some veggies into my meal without having to eat entire pieces of it. I love how creamy this sauce was and I almost couldn't even taste the broccoli.

This recipe was already super easy but I made a few changes to make it even simpler. Instead of cooking my own broccoli, I went with a steam in the bag variety. With all the New Years sales, I was able to find a great deal on an organic frozen variety. I also used jarred minced garlic because when Justin isn't home, I don't have my sous chef so I try to use the minimum number of steps I can when cooking. I love that I was able to make myself a single serving of pasta to toss with the pesto because it eliminated wasted leftovers and kept my portion size under control. I froze some of remaining pesto into single servings and one serving for two so Justin and I could have an easy weeknight dinner.

Looking for some me time for yourself? Be sure to check out Walmart's great selection of magazines filled with all kinds of inspiration for new dinner options, organization tips, home decor ideas and more for the New Year. Right now you can save $1 on ONE (1) PEOPLE®, InStyle®, PEOPLE StyleWatch®, All You®, or Real Simple® magazine. The Walmart digital coupon is available 1/14/15-2/16/15 (while supplies last). Be sure to visit and print out the coupon.

Creamy Broccoli Pesto  adapted All You Magazine
  • 1 pound chopped broccoli (I used frozen steam in the bag but you could use fresh)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • salt and pepper to taste
1.) Steam broccoli in bag according to the directions on the package. If using fresh broccoli, be sure to cook it before hand.

2.) In a food processor, combine cooked broccoli, olive oil and garlic. Process until smooth. 

3.) In a large bowl, combine broccoli mixture, cream and parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4.) Boil a single serving of pasta.* Drain and reserve some of the pasta water. In a small saucepan on low heat, toss the cooked spaghetti with 1/4 cup pesto mixture using reserved pasta water to loosen the pesto to your desired consistency. Serve immediately and top with additional parmesan cheese.

I froze the remaining pesto in single serving containers so I could make myself a quick and easy single serving of pasta any night of the week. 

*This recipe makes enough to toss a pound of spaghetti however I adapted it to serve just one but cooking a single serving of pasta. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...