Tag Archives: entertaining

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

This easy stuffed mushrooms recipe is a great appetizer! It’s one of the best stuffed mushroom recipes I have found!

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a great meat-free appetizer!Robb is the kind of dad who takes a picture of his butt crack to use as his profile picture on his kids’ phones.

The Fruitarian was laughing his face off, looking at the text message bubbles, which now appear to be coming out of Robb’s coin slot.  He couldn’t stop himself from using a fart noise as his notification sound for text messages from Robb.

So… that’s what it’s like at our house.

Robb is also the kind of dad who will never introduce his children to artichokes.  Or mushrooms for that matter.  That responsibility lies solely on my shoulders.  He’s the fun dad, joking about his crack, and I’m the boring mom, making them eat artichokes.

Truth be told, in my 17 years of parenting, I have never actually made my kids eat artichokes.  Except once, when they had a spinach-artichoke-crab-and-lobster-cheese dip which was so freaking amazing, you would never guess there were actual vegetables in it.

(See related post: Stuffed Mushroom Cups)

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a great meat-free appetizer!

Pin this to your appetizer or party ideas Pinterest board!

It’s kind of what I was going for with these mushrooms.  If you’re looking for a meat-free appetizer, these babies are IT.

I think I ate half the batch all by myself.

While I was making them, I dropped some artichoke on the floor, and the dog slurped it up without hesitation.  It gave me some comfort, knowing that if the kids declined the mushrooms, the dog would happily take them.

My classic sausage-and-cream-cheese stuffed mushrooms are always devoured in record time by the kids, (not the husband though.  Never the husband.) so I wasn’t too concerned.

(See related post: Pulled Pork Tortilla Cups)

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a great meat-free appetizer!

He may not eat his veggies, but I’m glad my husband is the fun dad.

Even if he does show his crack too much.


Want more?  Get more savory snacks and appetizer recipes here!

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Cook time
Total time
Cooked mushrooms, filled with an artichoke cream cheese mixture.
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 24 oz.mushrooms, cleaned, and stems removed
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 jar (6.5 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  1. Place softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, artichoke, worchestershire, ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, and salt in a bowl. Stir until well combined.
  2. Place mushroom caps in a shallow baking dish or baking sheet, tops down. Fill each mushroom very full with cream cheese mixture.
  3. Sprinkle tops with bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons parmesan.
  4. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, until mushrooms are soft. Serve warm.


Game Day Dip Round-up

Dip is the perfect game day snack!  This collection of great dips is perfect for any get together, superbowl party, or Sunday afternoon.

mango salsaI couldn’t care less about football.  I really couldn’t.

You know what I like?  Superbowl party food.  That’s what I think about in late January.

Since Robb is no sports fan either, our one family football fan, The Lizard, has to watch his games alone, or at Grandpa’s house.  Thank goodness for grandpas.

Grandpa invited us over for Superbowl watching, and I excitedly searched high and low for great game day snacks.  I don’t even know which teams are playing, and please don’t tell me, because I don’t care.

But here is a far more interesting fact: Most of the game day snacks I found came in one of two forms.  Either A) nachos or B) dips.

Fine. With. Me.

Today I’m bringing you the best of the best… this collection has some of the tastiest dips and spreads I have found.  You’re certain to find several you can’t cheer your favorite team without!

fruit dipBrown Butter Dip cauliflower dipBuffalo Cauliflower Dip caramel apple dipCaramel Apple Dip
basil dipCreamy Basil Dip zucchini salsaZucchini Salsa roasted red pepper dipWhite Bean Red Pepper Dip
jalapeno dipJalapeno Popper Dip mango salsaMango Salsa spinach artichoke dipSpinach Artichoke Dip

You can find the recipes to all these amazing dips by clicking on the pictures, or on the links below.

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Dip from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
Buffalo Cauliflower Dip from Mother Thyme
Caramel Apple Butter Cheesecake Dip from Chocolate Moosey

Creamy Basil Dip from Overtime Cook
Zucchini Salsa from Closet Cooking
White Bean Roasted Red Pepper Dip from Smitten Kitchen

Jalapeno Popper Dip from Chocolate Moosey
Mango Salsa from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
Spinach Artichoke Dip from Gimme Some Oven

I hope you can find a dip or two that you can use for your own game day event, I truly do.  If you don’t please let me know.  I’ll be in the kitchen…

… dipping something.

P.S. Big Fat Thanks to all the amazing bloggers who allowed me to link to their awesome dips today.  All these blogs are fantastic, and you should totally spend some time diving into to each of them.  I know I will! Continue reading “Game Day Dip Round-up” »

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Dip

This cream cheese dip with browned butter has a rich, caramel flavor.  It makes a great fruit dip, also great on graham crackers.  You’re going to want to hide the mixing bowl from your kids.

fruit dipI have a confession to make.  I love my kids and all, but I really like having my days to myself when they’re at school.  It’s all silent, here, with just me and the dog.  No one is begging me for food or asking to play video games or leaving their snowy shoes right in front of the door where every one has to step on them to get in the house.


On the other hand, there are some real bonuses to those no-school days.  Like not packing cold lunches and not getting up at the butt-crack of dawn.

I’m not a morning person.

Today was one of those rare half-days, when they get out at noon.  There’s only a couple of them each year, and frankly, they are a great compromise. I still have to get up at o’-dark-thirty, but I don’t have to pack lunches.

Of course, they still come home hungry.  But when is that not the case?cream cheese dip

My sister recently sent me a recipe for cookie dough dip, which is basically just a euphemism for “just go ahead and buy some larger pants now, because we all know where this is going.”  But as I perused the short-but-sweet-and-fatty ingredient list, I just couldn’t stop thinking about brown butter.

I blame Annie.  I drooled over these cookies for 15 minutes straight this morning.

And thus, brown butter dip was born.

cream cheese dip

I was so disappointed {why does my blog still not have a sarcasm font?} when I had my photo shoot all set up, and then grabbed my camera and found that the battery was dead.  Disappointed because it gave me a few precious moments alone with what was left in the bottom of the mixing bowl, and what was left in the bottom of the graham cracker box.

Lawd have mercy, this stuff is good.

Do you like how I took pictures of myself with my snazzy super-red nails dipping an apple in this, like I totally ate this on an apple an not on my finger?

The kids didn’t know what hit them when they walked in the door at 12:30, and left their shoes and coats on the floor.  I was all “You guys are home already finally!”  Then I introduced them to brown butter dip, and they dove in face first.

Then I licked my fingers and headed to the computer to do some online shopping for new pants.

fruit dip

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Dip

A rich brown butter and cream cheese dip for fruit or crackers.

Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a saucepan, melt butter, and cook until brown. Add brown sugar, and stir until dissolved.

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and cinnamon, and mix well.

  3. Add butter mixture, and mix well. Serve with crackers or fruit.

Spicy Sweet Pecans

Spicy nuts with sugar; This recipe for sweet and spicy pecans is a simple and tasty holiday snack.

sweet pecansThese nuts are a metaphor for my life.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have kind of a strong personality.  I prefer to see myself as sweet, gentle, kind, and thoughtful.  In recent years, I have realized that some people disagree.

For example, here are some things I have {mistakenly} been called:
The meanest woman in the church congregation.

Well, that last one might be true.

Even my parents have said that, as a baby, I would scream inconsolably for hours every night, and that I would utterly refuse to sleep if there was anything at all going on in the house.
candied nuts

I like to think that it’s my fiery personality that explains my love of spicy foods.  I actually really really enjoy when the food is so spicy, it burns your lips and the inside of your mouth and throat.  Mmmmm… It’s one of my favorite things.

On the other hand, I’m also known to have something of a sweet tooth.  I mix the Kool-Aid kind of heavy on the sugar, and I like to frost the brownies.  And, well let’s face it, I have a dessert blog.  All this is because I am so sweet and friendly and thoughtful.  I’ve also been called “kind” on occasion.

Look, I’m working on the sweet side of my personality.  I’ve become a hopeless optimist, I work hard not to speak ill of others {it’s a work in progress!}, and love finding ways to be a better friend.  I deserve a little sugar on my nuts.

spicy nuts

And thus, when I was deciding exactly how to make these magical metaphorical pecans, there was really only one choice.

Spicy AND Sweet.

And toasted, of course, because toasted nuts are obviously the very high-end best.

These pecans turned out basically just like me… sugar and spice and everything nice.  I can almost guarantee that the strong-personality types out there will love these.  And the gentle personality types?  Well, they’ll love these too.

Because I said so.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas recipeSpicy Roasted
Mustard PretzelsMustard
Pecan SandiesPecan


Continue reading “Spicy Sweet Pecans” »

Chunky Taco Dip

taco dipI like making lists for my kids.  They hate it, because the lists are always lists of chores to be done, and never lists of ice cream places we’re visiting or lists of video games we’re planning to purchase.

After showing a dear friend my new list-making-system, she confessed that her husband loves lists.  She makes lists for him, and he happily goes about checking things off.  She also admitted that if he did the same for her, she would be… well,… let’s just say it would not end well.

Which got me thinking.  I asked Robb whether he would like me to make him a list, and his reply was an emphatic “No.”  I tried to remind him how much he loved the extensive and detailed lists I have made in the past when I have gone out of town and left him home alone with the children.  He claims he only likes those lists because I have so much stuff to do.  {Welcome to my world.}

I feel I have a new thing to tease Robb about, and let’s be honest, teasing Robb brings me so much joy.

chips & dip recipe

This same friend and her family came to our house for an evening of chatting and chatting and board games and more chatting, fueled by Mexican food and Dr. Pepper, and lots and lots of cookies.  And guess what?  It wasn’t me that made the cookies this time. Continue reading “Chunky Taco Dip” »

Lime Cream Cheese Wontons

cream cheese wontonsIn the twelve years we have lived in our home, we have had some strange experiences with pesky animals.  The worst, for me, are the mice.  Because I’m a mouseophobe.  Or rodentophobe.  Wait, I’m not afraid of hamsters or squirrels.  Let’s stick with mouseophobe.  And ratophobe.

I. HATE. Mice.  I can’t word that strongly enough.

So one day, a couple years ago, when Robb was conveniently out of town, I heard this weird scratching noise in the basement hallway.  After dark.  I stood in the hall to check it out and the noise disappeared.  I walked away, and it started again.  I came back and it stopped.  It was like a horror film.

Exactly like a horror film.

Continue reading “Lime Cream Cheese Wontons” »

Chunky Guacamole and Fresh Corn Chips

A recipe for a fresh and chunky guacamole and corn chips.

Saturdays were made for snacking.  And so was guacamole.  I didn’t come to love guacamole until later in life.  I was influenced in this by my brother, who spent some time in South America and came home with a love affair with avocados.  He later married a woman who is from Mexico, which is somewhat fortunate for me, because it means I get to use their incredibly delicious and authentic Mexican guacamole recipe.  I’ve been eating it almost every day lately, after my doctor suggested I eat more avocados.

Best. Prescription. Ever.

Continue reading “Chunky Guacamole and Fresh Corn Chips” »

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Large marshmallows dipped in chocolate and decorated with a variety of toppings.

Yield:  About 30-35 large marshmallows

It’s funny, how we make decisions sometimes.  I was wandering through the blogosphere, looking for fun cookies and other recipes to try when I found a picture of these marshmallows dipped in chocolate.  They reminded me of a local candy company that sells amazing candied apples.  I’m not a big fan of caramel apples, myself, so I was much more impressed by the one tray of candy marshmallows in their window.  They look a lot like the apples, just not quite so round.  The next day, I found marshmallows on clearance at the grocery store, and in that moment, the decision was made.

Continue reading “Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows” »

Bite-Size Christmas Cookies

I love playing Bonko.  It’s such a good excuse to get out of the house and hang out with my girlfriends one night a month.  I have been in this particular group for over 11 years now, if that tells you anything.

This year, I volunteered to host in December, the one month a year that we have a pot luck dinner with our dice game.  I made a glazed ham, some really yummy stuffed mushrooms*, and a few of my favorite cookies.  The dinner and the evening were both wonderful, and I even came away with a prize.

Continue reading “Bite-Size Christmas Cookies” »