O Taste + See!

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If you've seen my last post, you know that part of my summer travels involved staffing a Cru Summer Mission to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire!

Every Wednesday morning, we staff ladies had a portion of the day to be rejuvenated by spending time with one another and getting to know each other better in the midst of our busy weeks. The community of women here has been such a gift!

What's another big gift from the Lord? Food. Amen. Praise hands.

A few weeks ago, our time together consisted of making some of our favorite quick dishes. Since it was such a special time for us, and my tastebuds certainly glorified the Lord through the whole experience, I figured it'd be fun to share those recipes here, along with some pictures!

They all only have a handful of ingredients + take minimal time! Enjoy!


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A M Y // 3 Ingredient Flourless Brownies

What you need:
3 medium, overripe bananas (approximately 1 cup or so)
1/2 cup smooth almond butter (can sub for any smooth nut butter)
2 T - 1/4 cup cocoa powder (more = richer taste) // Amy uses Hershey's Special Dark!

Instructions:
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees, grease a small cake pan or loaf pan and set aside.
In a small microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, melt your nut butter. In a large mixing bowl, add the banana, nut butter and cocoa powder and mix very well.
Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for around 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces.

Extra Pointers:
For a smoother batter, add all the ingredients into a blender and blend well. For the best texture, enjoy refrigerated.


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L I N D S E Y // Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
(+ cream cheese icing!)

What You Need:
bowls (2), griddle (or hot pan), whisk, spatula, cooking/measuring utensils
Pancakes //
Bisquick (or other pancake mix) and follow the recipe (for bisquick, I made the ultimate pancakes which required bisquick mix, milk, eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and vegetable oil)
1/4 cup (ish) dark brown sugar
2ish tbsp cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing //
1 package cream cheese
1 lb powdered sugar
vanilla
salt pinch
milk as needed for consistency

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Instructions:
For Pancakes -- Mix dry ingredients thoroughly before adding wet ingredients (thoroughly mixed separately)
Mix dry and wet ingredients until just combined; batter will be lumpy! Then spoon onto hot griddle. When they're ready to flip, you'll see bubbles coming through the pancake and the edges will look dry.
For Icing -- Whip cream cheese with a few tbsp milk with mixer. Add vanilla and salt, and add powdered sugar in increments (I didn't use the full pound, but most of it). For thinner icing, use more milk and be sure to refrigerate leftovers! For thicker icing (think cake icing) you can use 50/50 cream cheese and butter and start off with just a small amount of milk. Enjoy!!


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A L E X // Buffalo Chicken Dip

What You Need:
1 10-12oz can of chicken (or 12 oz shredded chicken)
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot hot sauce
1/2 cup hidden valley blue cheese dressing
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350
Soften cream cheese and mix with chicken. Break chicken up if in chunks.
Mix in hot sauce, blue cheese, and a handful of the shredded cheddar.
Top dip with remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20 min or until cheese is warm and bubbly.
Serve with tortilla chips or celery!

 


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K E R I // Bruschetta

What You Need:
(additional & important thought from Keri: Choosing ingredients here really does matter. With each substitution, you really will lose something.)
EVOO "product of Italy" (enough for drizzling)
1 TBS Balsamic Modena vinegar
3-5 of the freshest tomatoes you can find,diced
3-5 fresh basil leaves, minced
optional: chopped fresh garlic
day old baguette, sliced
pinch or two of sea salt

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Instructions:
Lightly stir together tomatoes, vinegar, basil, and salt (optional chopped garlic). Set aside (up to one hour).
Toast the sliced bread lightly. You don't want a lot of color.
Drizzle toast with EVOO.
Top with a large spoonful of tomato mixture.
Sprinkle parmigiano-reggiano cheese on top.

This was one of our family favorites while living in Italy, and if you can access the authentic Italian ingredients here, it is one of the few dishes we can make that tastes just as good in America as it does abroad. Italy is known for its fresh food, which really does make the simplest of things explode with flavors!


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H E A T H E R // Oatmeal Balls

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What You Need:
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chip
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt

Instructions:
Mix oatmeal, chocolate chips, and salt in a large bowl.
Add banana and mash it into the dry mix with a fork.
Add vanilla, peanut butter, and honey. Mix well.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll into balls.

*Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the final product, but luckily Heather has provided the link to where you can find this recipe and its nutritional info! Check it out here!


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K A R E N // BBQ Chicken Dip

Karen says this is a big crowd pleaser at any party she brings it to!

What You Need:
Wheat Thins
12 oz bar of cream cheese, softened
BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ, because SBR is obviously the best choice)
1/2 cup of chicken breast pieces (Karen uses Perdue original roasted short cuts)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup of green onions, chopped
Ranch dressing

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Instructions:
Spread cream cheese on the bottom of a 9 inch glass pie dish.
Add a layer of BBQ sauce, spreading enough to cover al of the cream cheese.
Put bits of chicken evenly on top of the BBQ sauce.
Sprinkle red bell pepper on top.
Microwave for 2 minutes.
Sprinkle green onions on top.
Drizzle ranch dressing on top of everything.
Use Wheat Thins for dipping!

Guys, no lie, we all devoured this pretty quickly. The big crowd pleaser claim was no exaggeration.


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A I Y A N A // Maple Walnut Muffins

Aiyana's recipe probably took the most effort. And by most I mean least. BUT they were delicious and I'm still including it here for you all to feast your eyes.

The Hampton area has a quaint, family-owned place called Applecrest Farm where Aiyana picked up this yummy muffin mix. It's also critical to note that she took the recipe to the next level by adding **gourmet** chocolate chips (wooaaahh!). And don't forget the fact that you have to have a variation, so Yani made both regular size and mini muffins.


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K E L L Y // Fried Apples

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What You Need:
Apples -- Kelly used 6 small pink lady apples but always switches up the amount or type that she uses. She does suggest using a less-sweet, more-crunchy apple.
Butter, brown sugar, cinnamon (all to taste, but you should have equal amounts of butter & brown sugar)
Oats

Instructions:
Cut up apples into thin slices.
Heat up butter in skillet on medium heat until melted.
Add apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon to skillet.
Cook until apples start getting soft. Stir throughout.
Add oats to skillet and cook until oats are soft and until desired softness for apples. Continue stirring throughout until you think they're done!


J O C E L Y N // Mexican Dip or Salad

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You guys are gonna have to bear with me on this one. My cooking style shows a lot about my personality, and if you're someone who likes to follow specific numbers when you're making food, this might be a little more difficult to follow.

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BUT what I love about a recipe like this is you can basically do whatever you want with it.

What You Need:
Chicken -- you can use whatever kind you want. I made a salsa verde chicken recipe for dinner the night prior & used that, but you can use a rotisserie or whatever else!
1 15oz can of corn
1 15oz can of black beans (feel free to add any other types)
1/2 chopped onion (I used half of one of those pre-chopped containers you can buy at the store)
1 Lime
Cilantro (as much or as little as you want -- I've been obsessed with it recently)
1 Avocado
Tomatoes - I diced probably 6 or 7 cherry tomatoes because that's what I had on hand.

Instructions:
Basically you chop/dice/slice everything up and throw it all in a big bowl!
You can use as little or as much of any of these items, but I really like having a pretty even ratio.
You can either eat this with tortilla chips, or if you wanna be healthier, top it on a bed of greens! Or you can certainly scoop a spoon in the bowl and eat it as is!
If you're making this for a party, you could set out each ingredient buffet-style and have people choose what they want. Feel free to make it with or without the chicken!


This day certainly brought Psalm 34:8 to life for us. Praise the Lord that He chose to make food such an enjoyable experience for us! Yes, good food makes me sing His grace.

Let me know if there are any of these that you'd like to try or have tried!

Jocelyn Hepler