Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years

Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years

Shortly after moving to the country I decided to start a blog.  I had never visited many blogs at the time.  However, my friend, Jennifer, had a blog and I needed something to do.  My days of being a room mom and doing carpool were long gone.  It was either find a job outside the home or find something else to do at home other than cut 10-acres of grass, do laundry, and clean the house.  So in January of 2011, with the Super Bowl coming up, I decided it was the perfect time to start Not Just Sunday Dinner.  I had always enjoyed cooking and sharing recipes with my family and friends.  A food blog would be the perfect hobby!
The name came about because Sunday dinners growing up were always special.  By dinner, I mean the meal in the middle of the day, after church.  Daddy was a Baptist preacher, and many Sunday’s were spent having dinner with different families from the churches he pastored.  Other Sundays my grandmother Ma, would cook a big Sunday meal.  So you see, the name is rather special to me too.
On February 1, 2011, I posted my first online recipe.  One of my all-time favorite dip recipes, Hot Crab Dip.  I never imagined in 2011 that I would still be doing NJSD, and so much more, six years later.  NJSD has opened up many doors for me over the years.  Writing for a number of newspapers and doing a local cooking show has enabled me to grow my audience, and so far, this month alone, I have had over 56,000 page views.  I have done several product reviews for various companies, and earlier this year I was contacted by a large publishing company to do a cookbook review.
Today, as I reflect on the past six years, I want to share the very first recipe I shared.  Hot Crab Dip is an amazing dip served with toast points or toasted baguette slices. It is easy to prepare and has always been a hit anytime I have served it.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read NJSD!  You can not imagine how it makes my day to get comments on NJSD or emails from my readers.  Feel free to email at with any questions you may have or if you just want to share a recipe.

NOTE:  Please excuse the quality of my photo.  I am still working on getting a photo program up and running and this is a copy of my picture I used back in 2011.  I think my food photography has improved slightly since then!

Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years
  • 2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 8-oz. container sour cream
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 lb. fresh crabmeat, drained and picked
  • 1½ c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 French bread baguette
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice baguette on a diagonal about ½-inch thick. Place on baking sheet and toast on top rack of oven, about 5 - 6 minutes or until golden brown. Depending on the size of your oven, you may need to do this in batches. Set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, ground mustard, and garlic salt until combined (a few lumps are okay). Fold in crabmeat.
  4. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon crab mixture into dish. Sprinkle evenly with Cheddar Cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately with toasted baguette rounds.



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Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole

chicken poppy seed casserole

A few weeks ago I had a hard drive crash, and sadly I had not backed anything up in a while.  Isn’t that the way it always goes.  We get comfortable and we’re just rolling along and then boom!  I lost many photos and a Photoshop program that I have used daily for years.  I’m not sure why, maybe because they have now switched the the Creative Cloud, but I can not get the program to reinstall.  I am weighing  a few cheaper options at the moment but as of now I do not have anything.  As soon as I have a new photo program up and running I promise to make this casserole for a new photo!

For now I would like to share this old family favorite.  My mother-in-laws Chicken Poppy Seed casserole is wonderful.  It’s one of Savannah’s favorites and a great dish when you need to carry something to a friend recovering from surgery, a potluck supper, family reunion, or as we do here in the south take to the family of the deceased. (Yes, we really do that!)   It’s quick and easy to prepare and can even be made with a purchased rotisserie chicken.  It’s a great weeknight meal served with a fresh vegetable or salad and don’t forget the cranberry sauce! 😋


Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 (10.75-oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 to 3 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, the reduce to medium, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Drain the water and shred the chicken.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine the butter, crackers, and poppy seeds in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Blend the sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and about half of the shredded cheese in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix to combine.
  4. Pour chicken mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Top with cracker mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.


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Ultimate Tomato Soup and Over-the-Top Grilled Cheese Sandwich

ultimate tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich

Sometimes the only thing that will satisfy the stomach and the soul is comfort food. There’s just something about creamy mac and cheese, delicious chicken and dumplings, melty chocolate chip cookies, or this ultimate homemade tomato soup with over-the-top grilled cheese sandwiches. This combination has always been a favorite of mine. It’s like a warm hug and especially good when the weather turns cool.

I start my tomato soup as I do marinara sauce, with onions, garlic, carrots and celery. After adding tomatoes and simmering for a while, I then blend it until smooth and add a can of diced tomatoes so that I will have a small chunks of tomato scattered throughout the soup. The name of this grilled cheese could not be more fitting. It is over-the-top good! However, you can change it up to your liking. I usually start with good bread then I add a creamy cheese, like Monterey Jack or Brie, a sharp cheese, like Cheddar, and a few crumbles of goat cheese. Then as if that isn’t enough I add sliced onion and tomato, and a few leaves of arugula, basil, or spinach. Grilled to perfection in a skillet or Panini press its divine when dipped into a delicious bowl of tomato soup!

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Ultimate Tomato Soup
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth
  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and cook about 10 minutes over medium heat, until onions are translucent. Add celery, carrot, salt, and pepper and cook until soft. Add bay leaf, crushed tomatoes, 28-oz. can diced tomatoes and bring to a boil, uncovered. Lower temperature and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour.
  2. Remove bay leaf and puree in a blender, in batches. Pour the pureed tomato soup into the Dutch oven and add the 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer until heated through.

Over-the-Top Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Good bread
  • Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese, sliced
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
  • Arugula leaves
  • Onion, thinly sliced
  • Roma Tomato, thinly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the Monterey Jack cheese on one side of the bread. Add arugula leaves, onion, tomato, salt and pepper. Crumble goat cheese over top and then add Cheddar cheese. Top with second slice of bread and grill in a buttered skillet or a Panini press until the cheese has melted and the bread is lightly browned.


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Goat Cheese Pimento Cheese



With football season in full swing, everyone needs a good pimento cheese recipe for tailgating and those many gatherings where the theme is friends, food, and football.  This pimento cheese has two of my favorite things combined, pimento cheese and goat cheese! The recipe is from Wolf Mountain Vineyards’ in Dahlonega, Georgia. I changed the original recipe around a little bit to suit my taste. To find the original recipe, please visit, click on June 2015 under recent issues. 

To save time I bought roasted red peppers in a jar at the store. Taste before adding additional salt. The cheese and the olives are quite salty themselves. Serve your pimento cheese as a dip with fresh vegetables, crackers, a sliced and toasted baguette, or as a sandwich spread.

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Goat Cheese Pimento Cheese
  • 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. goat cheese
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 lb. shredded yellow cheddar
  • 6-oz. shredded white cheddar
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • ⅓ c. green olives, chopped
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the goat cheese and mayonnaise and beat. Add shredded cheeses, bell pepper, green olives, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste and mix well until blended. Chill until ready to serve.


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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Chops

bacon wrapped jalapeno popper stuffed pork chops


My family is crazy about “poppers” of any kind…pheasant poppers, venison poppers, or plain jalapeño poppers.  We do them all of the time as appetizers but I had never tried the idea as a main course.  I recently decided to try a jalapeño popper stuffed pork chop.  I found a recipe on I Thee Cook and I used it as a guide.  You could easily substitute chicken or venison if you wanted.

The thick-cut boneless pork chops were stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, and jalapeño peppers, then wrapped in bacon.  My family went crazy!  They were so scrumptious!  Serve with mashed potatoes and asparagus for a wonderfully delicious and easy meal!


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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Chops
Serves: 4
  • 8-oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 4 thick center-cut boneless pork chops
  • Zesty Italian salad dressing
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon
  • toothpicks
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut an opening in the long side of each chop. Make a slit in the chops, leaving approximately ½ to 1-inch uncut on both sides and on the bottom of the chop.
  2. Place the pork chops in a large Ziploc bag and cover with Zesty Italian dressing. Remove air, zip closed and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.
  3. Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator and remove from marinate, set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and diced jalapeño together in a medium bowl.
  5. Stuff each pork chop with approximately ¼ cup of the cream cheese mixture. Tightly wrap each chop with 2 slices or bacon, securing with toothpicks.
  6. Place in a baking dish, not touching each other. Bake at 400°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until pork chops are cooked through. Let chops rest 5 minutes before serving.


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