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Archive for the ‘Snacks’ Category

Candied Nuts

A few weeks ago, in class, we made candied nuts of all different kinds.  I brought them home and Christopher devoured just about every one.  This week he asked that I make more, and I was happy to oblige.

The cashews are his favorite, so I made this batch all cashews, but you could easily do it with any kind of nut or even mixed nuts.  These would also make great holiday gifts!


INGREDIENTS

2.5C. Nuts of your choice
1 Large egg white
1t. Ground cinnamon
1/4t. Ground nutmeg
1/4C. Sugar
1/2t. Salt (if the nuts aren’t already salted)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine nuts and egg white.

In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt.

Combine the two bowls and spread out on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.

Bake 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and move parchment paper to a wire rack to cool.  Separate any big clumps of nuts when cool and enjoy!

Husband Rating – 5 out of 5 – **crunch, crunch** “yum” **crunch, crunch** “so good!”

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I knew I wanted to make some kind of corn dip to take to a 4th of July BBQ, but none of the recipes I found were quite right (most called for canned corn – YUCK!) so I decided to just wing it and make something on my own.

This dip is awesome!  A little spicy and full of great flavors!

INGREDIENTS
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
1T. Olive Oil
2.5C. Frozen Corn
1 can Black Beans
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1 Jalapeno, finely diced (you can remove the seeds/ribs if you don’t like it too spicy)
1/4C. Red Pepper, finely diced
1/4C. Green Pepper, finely diced
2T. Green Chiles (from a can is fine)
6oz. Sour Cream (I, of course, used Tofutti brand)
2T. Penzeys Bold Taco Seasoning (or any taco seasoning you prefer)

DIRECTIONS
Add oil to a large skillet and heat on medium/high for 2 min.  Add onion and cook 3-4 minutes.

Add jalapeno, red pepper, green pepper and taco seasoning and continue cooking another 4 minutes.

Add corn and cook until just warm – about 3 minutes.

Next, add the black beans, garlic and green chiles and warm for another 2 minutes.

Move to a bowl and set in fridge for at least 1 hour.  Remove from fridge and add sour cream.  Refrigerate at least 30 more min to let the flavors meld.  Serve with Fritos Scoops or Tostitos with a Hint of Lime.  YUM!

Husband Rating – 4 out of 5 – Could use a few more peppers, but overall very good!

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Pita Bread

Almost a year ago our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, Mediza, went out of business.  I was so sad.  They had the best pita bread I’ve ever eaten.  Warm, fluffy, clearly homemade and perfect with roasted garlic hummus!  The only other Mediterranean restaurant near us (I won’t name names) clearly uses store-bought pita.  It’s just awful.

Anyway, I got very excited when  I saw this recipe for pita bread on Brown Eyed Baker.  It looked just like the pita we longed for from Mediza.

This pita bread is wonderful!  I don’t think I’m ever going to go back to store-bought pita ever again!

INGREDIENTS
3C. Flour
1 1/2t. Salt
1T. Sugar or honey
1 Packet instant yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2C. Water, roughly at room temperature
2T. Olive oil

DIRECTIONS
Mix the yeast in with the flour, salt, and sugar.  Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon.  All of the ingredients should form a ball.  If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add more water.

Once all of the ingredients form a ball, place in the bowl of your electric mixer (with the dough hook attachment) and mix on low for 8-10 minutes.

When you are done kneading the dough, place it in a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil.  Form a ball out of the dough and place it into the bowl, rolling the ball of dough around in the bowl so that it has a light coat of oil on all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 90 minutes.

When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.

After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface and place one of the balls of dough there.  Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the dough and use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and flatten the dough.  You should be able to roll it out to between 1/8 and 1/4 in. thick – 6 in. in diameter.  If the dough does not stretch sufficiently you can cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Place discs on a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, until barely doubled in thickness, about 30-45 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well.  If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven.  This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.

Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface.  They should be baked through and puffy after 3 minutes.  If you want your pitas to be crispy and brown you can bake them for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, but it isn’t necessary.

Husband Rating – 5 out of 5 – Perfect!

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My Husband loves apple sauce.  Almost every day he takes one of those Motts single-serve cups to work in his lunch bag.  Now, while I’m happy that he’s eating fruit I figure there has to be a better (read: more cost effective and slightly healthier) option.  So, after searching for a crock pot applesauce recipe I combined a few and came up with this.

Christopher loved it!  I’m so happy!  Now, I can make a big batch and have it last twice as long as the single-serve cups!

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INGREDIENTS
4lbs. Apples (I used Macintosh because that’s what the local farm had ready in 1/2 peck containers – no time to pick my own)
1/4C. Sugar (I used Splenda)
1/2t. Cinnamon
3/4C. Water
1T. Lemon juice

DIRECTIONS
Wash, core and slice apples and add to crock pot.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and stir.

Pour water and lemon juice over apples, stir again.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Husband Rating – 4.5 out of 5 – “So good!  I love it warm.”

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Today’s blog post comes from a special guest … my Dad!

While in Cape Cod last week he and my Mom saw a description for seafood nachos on the menu board in a cafe at Wood’s Hole.  They didn’t eat there, but he took the recipe home and recreated them this past weekend.

Holy moley, were these tasty!  I could have eaten the entire plate myself!  So good that I just had to share them on here.  Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS:
1/2lb. Sea scallops, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1T. Olive Oil (or butter)
1/2lb. Shrimp (he used pre-cooked) cleaned, de veined, also coarsely chopped
1/2 Bunch green onions, sliced
1lb. Shredded plain Havarti cheese
1 Bag white corn chips
Salsa & Sour Cream (to serve on the side)

DIRECTIONS:
Barely cook the scallops in butter or olive oil.  (Of course multiple of taste tests were necessary.)

Spread seafood pieces, green onions and grated cheese over two single layers of chips and heat through (@350) to melt the cheese.

Serve with salsa and or sour cream on the side.

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What do you get when you mix a hungry Husband, tortilla chips, cheese and leftover BBQ chicken?

BBQ chicken nachos, of course!

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INGREDIENTS:
Tortilla Chips
BBQ Sauce
Pre-cooked BBQ Chicken (see pizza post below)
Cheese of your choice (we use Soy-Sation brand soy cheese blend)
Chopped Fresh Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:
Cover a cookie sheet with foil and set your oven to 375 degrees.

Add tortilla chips to the pan and cover with cheese.  Top with chicken and drizzle with extra BBQ sauce.

Throw on a little more cheese…just to be sure you have enough and cook for about 10 minutes (until the cheese is bubbling and the chicken is warmed through.

100_2032Top with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

Husband Rating – 4 out of 5 – “That’s me <–“

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