The only people I know who consider carrots a snack food are practically vegetarians. Sure, they are crunchy and pair perfectly with hummus. But really? I’d much rather be noshing on pretzels or chips. Carrots are not my first thought when deciding on a snack. You also probably never thought of them as pub (sorry, there’s my English roots showing) food. But I’m telling you, carrots made with a perfectly seasoned beer batter are both deserving of munching and would totally fit in on your favorite bar counter while you down a few brewskies.
The title says everything you need to know. Say it slowly with me. Mango. Guacamole. Feel the words as they bounce from your lips. Mango. Sweet, light, tropical. Guacamole. Rich, creamy, delicious. Now put them together. You know it’s going to be unbelievable.
I love throwing Halloween parties. Mostly because I get to make delicious food and give it disgusting names. Here’s a round-up of all the deliciousness I made this year and the nastiness I called it. Most of these items are easy to make (and can be done ahead of time) so you won’t be slaving away in the kitchen while your guests are having a goulishly good time! My hot hubby and I dressed up as Johnny and June Cash this year. We had a blast!
It’s zucchini season! Many of you, with greener thumbs than I, are reaping bountiful harvests of beautiful green squash. I’m so jealous! I kill just about every plant I touch, so a garden of homegrown deliciousness has never worked out for me. Also, it seems like a lot of work. Kudos to you vegetable garden type folks!
I recently started dabbling in wine. I’ve always been more of a vodka girl personally, but it just seems so socially grown up to drink a glass of wine at a party. Who says peer pressure stays in high school? A while back I managed to finish my first glass, but it was Moscato so I hardly think that counts. My next attempt was a Riesling. I got a local wine called 14 Hands and found it to be delightful. I’m still a long way from attempting a musky red wine, but I feel I’m maturing.
Dun-dun-dun-dun. Ba-ba, ba-ba. (drums) Dun-dun-dun-dun!! Ba-ba, ba-ba! What? Don’t recognize that? Hmmm. I may be overreaching the bounds of my regular viewing audience here. Let’s try this.
That’s right! It’s back! Football season! Woo-hoo! Tonight is the return of Monday Night Football and I couldn’t be more pleased. My husband can’t wait until February 2013 when all the pigskin madness comes to a close. I know, we are NOT a normal couple. My Seahawks have two new quarterback prospects (who I’m every excited about) and a new wide receiver (who I’m trying to get on board with). It is going to be a great year! Surely I’ve mentioned before that I love football. Right? L.O.V.E. One of the beautiful things about NFL season is the food. Glorious game time snacks. There’s nothing better than settling in for three hours of helmet crunching, bone jarring hits with a table of munchies. They are one of my favorite things. Like these little poppers. Perfect for throwing back while you cheer on your favorite team. You may want to double or triple this recipe if you are having the whole gang over for a game. Pretty sure that in the heat of a the action I could take down half this batch solo. Yeah, I gain weight in the fall because of football…not holiday parties. Come on, I’ve been a Hawks fan since Kindergarten. I’m a stress eater. And usually, the Seahawks provide plenty of anxiety riddled games.
In the summer, there are lots of opportunities to bring salads and slaws to BBQs. I recently brought a sweet & sour apple slaw (light & delicious) and of course there’s always my standby Chinese chicken salad (perfection!) if I’m not sure what to bring. Last weekend I wanted to make something close to a traditional cole slaw, but with a little twist. I dunno why, it has been forever since I had just a cole slaw. I needed that kind of dressing. This is what I came up with. Crunchy apples with moist tender chicken and a killer slaw sauce with a kick from lemon juice and cider vinegar.
These little pizzas will forever remind me of slumber parties. Growing up, this was the standard dinner fare for all things involving a gaggle of giggling girls in their jammies (I wish jammies started with a “g”). You can make dozens at a time and everyone can pick their favorite toppings. It is awesome when feeding a crowd. I remember all of us piling into my mom’s kitchen, carefully creating our pizzas and then positioning them on baking sheets so we’d know which were ours. Heaven forbid you go thru all the work of making a perfect pie only to have the neighbor girl spending the night think it is hers.
This is not your granny’s salsa. I know it isn’t because it came from my friend Theresa. And she’s nobody’s granny. Actually, her sister’s husband made it so I guess it’s his salsa. Even better. I know for a FACT that HE isn’t your granny. I had it at a bridal shower over the weekend and pretty much flipped out over how delicious it is. Seriously. I think I may be forever branded as “that crazy girl at Jessica’s bridal shower who wouldn’t stop talking about the salsa”. I was a little embarrassing.
I just couldn’t help myself. I’ve never had a more delicious chip dip. And I love dipping chips. I also like teaching them the rhumba. It’s the dance of love you know. If I’m going to love them, they might as well learn to love me back. My cowboy caviar and my sister’s cowboy salsa formally held a tie for my favorite things to shovel into my mouth on crunchy chips. Now, this tart salsa is the frontrunner. It’s full of crisp apples, just the right heat from a jalapeño, a little sweet onion and fresh tomatoes. Perfection for summer. It’s incredibly refreshing and unlike any other salsa I’ve tried.
Since I polished off the entire bowl at the shower, I asked for the recipe, went home and promptly made a batch for myself. I couldn’t stop gushing about it to my husband and knew he wouldn’t understand until he tried it. I should have thought that thru better. I should have told him it was terrible and a “diet” food. That he’d hate it. Epic fail on my part. Now I have to figure out how to nicely forbid him from eating all my salsa.
Make some. Then disappear with the bowl, a lawn chair & a bag of chips. Unless you are a super generous person who doesn’t mind others stealing all your deliciousness. In that case, feel free to have the bowl out somewhere. But believe me once you have some, you won’t want to share.
Granny Smith Apple Salsa
from the Costco Connection Cookbook 2008
1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 large jalapeño chile, cored, seeded and finely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground
Stir together tomato, onion, lime juice and jalapeño in a medium bowl.
Quarter and core apples and cut into fine dice. Stir apples into the tomato mixture with cilantro, honey, and salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate for up to 6 hours before serving.
To serve, spoon the salsa into a serving bowl and place a bowl of corn chips alongside.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Full of bright colors, tang and texture, this bean salad is sure to be a hit at your next get-together. This salad requires a little time to hang out at the vinegar dressing dance party (aka: in your fridge), but if you know your way around a can opener, you throw the salad together in about 5 minutes. Why on earth would you buy the giant jug of this stuff at the store when making it yourself is so incredibly easy and delicious! Bonus, you won’t be eating a bowl of something that’s been salted and pickled beyond recognition.
The trickiest part of this salad is finding the wax beans. You’ll find the chickpeas and kidney beans with the chili, northern beans and navy beans – in the bean aisle. But the wax beans and green beans will be together hanging out with their friends in the canned vegetable aisle. I don’t want to admit how long I spent scouring for yellow wax beans among the jalapeno pinto beans. Sigh. Does anyone else think “beans” no longer looks like a word?
Fabulous Four Bean Salad
adapted from Food.com
1 can chickpeas
1 can green beans
1 can wax beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 red bell pepper (any colour can be used)
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Drain a can of chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinse well, then drain again; place in a large mixing bowl.
Drain a can of green beans and a can of wax beans well and then add to bowl.
Drain a can of red kidney beans, rinse well then drain again; add to bowl.
Dice up a colored bell pepper and add to beans.
Peel a small red onion and slice into very thin strips and add to bowl.
Lastly, add about 1/2 cup of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.
Now make dressing: in a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegars, oil, sugar (I use a scant 1/3 cup), minced fresh garlic, worcestershire, and salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally (before serving, taste, as it may need more salt or pepper to taste).
When ready, spoon bean salad into a serving bowl using a slotted spoon, to drain off most of the dressing before serving.