Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I hope you are all getting a chance to relax. Today has been my kind of day. I started the day early at breakfast with one of my cousins. She lives about 20 minutes away, but I rarely see her because of our busy schedules. We ate at this adorable little bakery I’d never been to. It was so good! I had breakfast pita pockets, which were stuffed with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, green onion and cheese. Oh. Em. Yum. I wish I had taken a picture. Like I’ve said, I’m not a breakfast person, but that breakfast could change me. On the way home, I stopped at Redband Coffee for a mocha. Isn’t this place adorable?

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When I got home, my friends, Elizabeth and Tyler were here working on my yard. Since my back isn’t completely healed, Tyler has been mowing my lawn every week for me. I pay him in food. Oh, they are just the best! I spent the rest of the morning cleaning the house, trying out some organic weed killer I found on Pinterest, and finished planning a bachelorette party. This afternoon, I went flower shopping with my friends, Bryan and Seth. I got a beautiful hanging plant and a red begonia. Today=success!

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I am beyond excited to share this biscuit recipe with you.  I found the original a few years ago (and have lost it since then.)  It was listed as a “Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit copycat.” I’ve never had Red Lobster, so I can’t speak to that, but Elizabeth requests these when I make pasta, and I don’t blame her; they are so good! I love all things cheese and garlic (I bought some tomato garlic cheddar today…seriously) so these are right up my alley. I’ve made some adjustments to the original recipe, and cut it down so it makes just enough for one!

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

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What I’m Listening to: “Modern Family” reruns…thank you, USA!

Ingredients (makes 6 biscuits)

-1 cup Bisquick mix

-1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp garlic powder

-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-1/3 cup milk

-2 tbsp butter

-1 tsp garlic salt

-Dried parsley

Preheat the oven to 400. In a medium sized bowl, combine the Bisquick, garlic powder, and cheddar cheese. Stir in the milk until just combined. Drop lumps of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the tops begin to lightly brown.

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While the biscuits bake, melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the garlic salt. When the biscuits are done, spoon the butter mixture over the top. (You may not use all of it.) Lightly sprinkle the biscuits with dried parsley and bake for 3-4 more minutes. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.

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Creamy Veggie Ranch Dip

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all having a great weekend! I just got back from spending time with my sisters. Mallory graduated on Friday with her Master’s Degree, so the three of us got together to celebrate. My parents and grandparents came last night for the graduation and we all got dinner together afterwards, before they drove home. Saturday, Mal, Kaylee and I went downtown to walk around in the beautiful weather. We had lunch at  La Cava, a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Iowa City, then headed to the mall. I did a little damage at Ann Taylor Loft, and had my first Teavana experience…it was glorious. But now I’m home…hello cleaning and lawn mowing.

I discovered this dip recipe last year on my friend Danielle’s Pinterest board. I’ve done some minor tweaks since then, and it’s become one of my favorite things to make for cookouts and potlucks. I took this to work last week and it was a big hit! The best part? You can make it in ten minutes or less! Yes, it’s going to make a lot, but you can file this recipe under “food you CAN share.” Or, you can eat it all by yourself…I won’t tell.

Creamy Veggie Ranch Dip

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What I’m Listening to: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” soundtrack

Ingredients

-16 ounces of cream cheese, softened

-1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix

-1/2 a red pepper, diced

-1 can of corn, drained

-1 jalapeno, diced

-Chips to serve (I like Tostito’s multigrain scoops!)

In a medium sized bowl, mix the blocks of cream cheese together with a metal spoon. Add the ranch mix and stir well. Mix in all the veggies and refrigerate until ready to serve!

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Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Marinara

I need to apologize for dropping off the face of the earth. I promise it won’t happen again…this week, anyway. I did have good intentions; I just had some terrible cooking mishaps in the past two weeks that I absolutely refuse to share here. It’s also May and May is recital month, so my free time is…somewhere. Not here. Probably in Hawaii sunbathing. Anyway, I digress. It’s a busy month, which means I’m spending a lot of time eating frozen pizzas and drinking entirely too much Starbucks, and not perfecting new recipes. But, once June hits, it’ll be smooth sailing and more delicious recipes than you can handle. Get excited.

Today’s post is dedicated to spaghetti squash. I first gave it a shot about two and a half years ago, and, I won’t lie, I was skeptical. In case you haven’t noticed, I love pasta more than most people love their children, so trying to trick my belly with a veggie substitute? No. Just no. Fortunately, I liked it better than I thought it would, and have perfected several spaghetti squash recipes. This was my first one, so I thought I’d start here.

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Marinara

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What I’m Listening to: season 10 of “Friends”

Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)

-One small spaghetti squash

-Spices of your choice (I used dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and red pepper flakes)

-1 lb. ground chicken

-1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 375. On a large cutting board, cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop all the seeds and gross stuff out with a spoon. Lay the halves next to each other on a baking sheet with the insides facing up. Sprinkle generously with your choice of dried spices. This will give the squash more flavor. Cover loosely with tin foil and bake for 45-90 minutes. (The amount of time you need will depend on the size of your squash and your oven. I usually do 60-70 minutes for a small one and that seems to work just fine; however, my oven at my old apartment would cook my spaghetti squash in 50 minutes.) At that point, you can decide if the squash is your desired texture. You don’t want it to be mushy, or too crunchy.(I don’t mind a little crunch.)

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This picture is pretty deceiving…my squash was probably only about 7-8 inches long.

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When you have about 10 minutes of cook time left, put the ground chicken in a skillet. Sprinkle with a small amount of garlic and onion powder. Break up the meat with a spatula and cook through. Cooked ground chicken will take on a white color like regular chicken, but I always brown the edges a little bit. Feel free to add more spices to your liking. When the chicken is cooked, add the jar of marinara. Mix well, then cover the skillet for 3-5 minutes until the sauce is heated through.

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When your spaghetti squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for several minutes. When you are ready to serve it, hold half of the squash with an oven mitt and run a fork over the inside. It will fall out in spaghetti-like tendrils. Serve with the marinara and warm bread.

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