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!
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.
Sometimes, sandwiches just aren’t going to cut it for lunch. I mean really, I can’t expect my kids to eat them every day just because I can make them in my sleep. I made these pizza puffs to change-up our mid-day meal today and my two preschoolers ate the entire batch. They devoured them so quickly that all I got was a little taste and I had to beg for it from my daughter. I filled my version with some sautéed mushrooms, bell pepper and some ham. You could use pepperoni and sausage or just about any other pizza combo you can think of. Feel free to switch out the cheese too. Cheddar or pepper-jack would be delicious I’m sure. No matter how you prepare them, these light fluffy bites filled with big pizza-y flavor are sure to be a hit!
I used non-fat milk because it’s what I have in the house to use up. These still tasted fantastic, but were a little more difficult to get popped out of the muffin tin than if I’d used whole milk. So just keep that in mind. More fat = less bits stuck to your pan. I was planning to freeze some of these for a later use, but the ravenous children didn’t allow that to happen. I’m sure they’d freeze up very nicely though. Mmmm. Just look at all that cheesy goodness packed into a perfect mouthful!
These would be great appetizers for your next party or to celebrate the start of football season (it is less than 100 days away).
adapted from Plain Chicken
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 oz Canadian bacon (or deli ham)
1/2 cup mushrooms, sauteed until slightly cooked
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup pizza sauce
Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder , Italian seasoning and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, mushrooms, bell pepper and Canadian bacon; let stand for 10 minutes.
Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.
Do you ever want to pick up the giant box of frozen taquitos at the warehouse store but have no idea where you would store them? Well, with this recipe you can make your own, in whatever quantity you can manage to make room for in between frozen corn and random half bags of ice leftover from your last party. I made a double batch, half corn and half flour tortillas which ended up making 36 taquitos. Now I have them ready for when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to come up with something for dinner (or lunch). 20 minutes straight from the freezer and you have a delicious homemade meal that you can feel great serving to your family. You could even make them, freeze them and have them for a party appetizer! Yum!
At the beginning of every week I poach a few chicken breasts. It’s really easy. Boil broth in a medium saucepan, add the chicken – making sure it’s completely covered by the broth. Cover and turn off the heat. Allow the residual heat from the broth to gently cook the chicken for about 20 minutes (or until it’s cooked thru). Remove from broth and then shred with two forks or throw it into your Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment and turn it on medium for about 30 seconds. Seriously. Shreds chicken perfectly. Like a restaurant. I keep a bag of it in my fridge pretty much at all times. It’s fantastic for throwing into casseroles, soups, making tacos or these taquitos.
So, I took a few cups of my already prepared chicken and added it to some cream cheese, spices, onion, salsa and fresh cilantro. Mix it all up and you’re ready to fill your tortillas.
Heat up a couple tortillas at a time to soften so they don’t break apart when you roll them. Corn tortillas will need a little longer in the microwave than flour. I put mine under a slightly damp paper towel for about 20-30 seconds. Put a couple of tablespoons of the mixture on the bottom third of the tortilla and then roll.
Repeat until all the mixture is used. Then you can freeze for later, or bake them up right away. If freezing, “flash freeze” them in a single layer on a baking sheet. 15-20 minutes until they’re firm.
Then you can put them in a freezer bag and they won’t stick together. Easy easy.
When you cook these up they get all crispy on the outside with that rich chickeny cheesy filling melted up on the inside and are just divine. Use your favorite tortilla. Flour or corn works just as well. I know. I’ve tried both.
All ready to be devoured by your whole family. Mmmmm.
Creamy Chicken Taquitos
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup green salsa
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp sliced green onions
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 cup shredded Mexican flavored cheese
- small flour or corn tortillas
- kosher salt
- cooking spray
Mexican food is a big time favorite in my house. We have some variety at least once a week. And it seems that whenever I make tacos, I always have leftovers. Not enough really for another meal though. I hate throwing food away, leftovers especially. I mean, I already made all the stuff right? What a waste! So, I borrowed an idea from “Just Us” using wonton wrappers and my leftover taco stuff to create a quick and easy lunch. Used up all my leftovers, but put a new spin on them so I wasn’t bored with my food. I hate being bored with meals.
I have tried the fried cheese at just about every restaurant in the Seattle area. I love it. In sticks, wedges or balls. With marinara, sprinkled with parmesan, panko, breadcrumbs or beer battered. I would eat it in a box. I would eat it with a fox. I would eat it here or there. I would eat it anywhere. Hmmmm. Might be reading too much Seuss to my kiddos. Seriously though. Melty cheese in a crunchy shell is absolutely glorious. There’s a fancy pants fried bocconcini (mozzarella balls) recipe floating around on Pinterest, but I figured there had to be an easier way than draining the cheese, patting it dry etc. And I found it in my fridge. String cheese. Genius! Still melty and delicious, without needing a special trip to the store for a $20 bucket of bocconcini.