Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cheddar Broccoli Bites

I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. 
I was not additionally compensated for my time.

These Broccoli Bites are the perfect hearty appetizer for every party goer tired of raw veggies and dip. The Broccoli Bites are crunchy, nutty and have a surprise center - a cube of delicious Cabot cheddar!

Bake these bites for your next party, game day or as an entree for your next veggie-focused dinner. I'm more of a board game player than sports team watcher, but I am sure that these bites are applicable at all party types. And better yet, they're loved by vegetarians and meat eaters alike!

Cheddar Broccoli Bites
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 4 ounces Cabot cheddar cheese, cut into 16 even cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment (VIP!)
  2. Steam broccoli florets for 10 minutes or until vibrant green and tender. 
  3. Pulse almonds in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Pulse steamed broccoli in food processor until chopped. Add to bowl of almonds and add Parmesan, pesto and eggs. Season with salt and pepper if you wish. 
  5. Grab a golfball-sized scoop of the broccoli mixture and form it around one cube of cheddar, squeezing tightly to ensure broccoli mixture holds shape. Place on prepared baking sheet and continue with the remaining broccoli bites. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy. 
  7. Serve plain, or dipped in your favorite warmed spaghetti sauce. 

An InLinkz Link-up

Sunday, September 21, 2014

{Recipe Redux} Get Your Dehydrator On: Fancy Stuffed Dates

Here is a perfect appetizer (or dessert) to bring to your next party, potluck or picnic. Stuffed dates do not need a fork, they do not need to be kept warm, they're vegetarian and can be vegan, they're even gluten free. Just a few minutes of prep and a small number of ingredients are all that are standing between you and a delicious collection of healthy, delicious treats!

 Whether it’s extra garden bounty or a sale at the supermarket - dehydrating food is a budget-friendly way to stock up for later. You can use a food dehydrator, a low slow oven, or natural sunshine to preserve natural healthfulness. Show us how you like to dehydrate, or a healthy recipe for how you enjoy using dehydrated fruits, veggies or other bounty.
Sometimes life is just full steam! It has been a wild and wonderful summer full of weddings and travel, some great contract opportunities, a trip to Vermont as well as the beginning of a new teaching opportunity.
We have all had those months (or years) where it is all you can do to stay ahead of the avalanche. But, life marches on! And with the holiday season approaching quickly, we will need to have some tasty treats up your sleeve that don't require a lot of fuss.
I made four varieties, and the cogs are turning in my brain coming up with more! Almond butter and sea salt? Goat cheese with lemon zest? I think the options here are many! 
The most simple are the dates stuffed with a match-stick sized piece of fresh ginger. For a savory option, I mixed soft goat cheese with freshly minced rosemary. Inspired by the Lake Champlain Aztec chocolate I had the opportunity to try last weekend, I stuffed each date with a whole almond, dipped them in dark chocolate and then sprinkled each with the tiniest amount of cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Tip: look for pitted dried dates - they're easier to work with.
Tip 2: some dates have a slit on the side, making stuffing quite easy. Others, don't. If your dates aren't ready to be stuffed, use a knife and pretend you're opening up an envelope. Easy breasy!
Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

  • Dried, pitted dates
  • Soft goat cheese
  • Fresh rosemary, minced
  1. Mince rosemary and mix with goat cheese. Spread about 1 teaspoon into the center cavity of each date and enjoy. 
Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Dates

  • Dried, pitted dates
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Maple Syrup
  • Course sea salt (optional)
  1. Mix equal parts cheese and pumpkin.
  2. Stuff 1-2 teaspoons into the center of each date and arrange nicely on your your serving plate.
  3. Drizzle with a bit of maple syrup and sprinkle with sea salt, if you wish.
Ginger Stuffed Dates

  • Dried, pitted dates
  • Fresh ginger
  1. Peel ginger and slice into match stick sized pieces.
  2. Stick one piece of ginger into each date. Trim ends if needed.
Aztec Stuffed Dates

  • Dried, pitted dates
  • Whole almonds
  • Dark chocolate, minced
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Cayenne powder
  1. Melt chocolate in microwave or over double boiler.
  2. Stuff one whole almonds into each date. Dip stuffed dates into chocolate and set onto serving plate.
  3. Lightly sprinkle each date with cinnamon and cayenne powder.
What is your favorite way to enjoy dried dates?

An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, September 28, 2012

Decadent Dip: Spiced pumpkin hummus

Fall is here! My favorite season for so many reasons; the trees putting on a firework display in slow motion, the crisp weather and of course, the delicious seasonal foods available. For this mild and flavorful hummus, I used my prepared pumpkin puree that I made from the pumpkins I picked at Green Truck Farms. Of course, you can also whip this recipe up in a flash using canned pumpkin. Either way, it is delicous, fast, and way less expensive than store bought hummus. And, what store sell pumpkin hummus anyway?

Here are directions for cooking fresh pumpkin in the microwave, slow cooker or in the oven. 

Spiced Pumpkin Hummus
Makes about two cups
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of apple juice (or water, but I like the hint of sweetness that balances the heat from the cayenne pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pumkin seeds, for garnish - roast the seeds from your fresh pumpkin or find in a latino market - in spanish they're called pepitas and come without the shell
  1. Rinse and drain the beans and place in the blender. Add pumpkin, apple juice and seasonings. Pulse to blend. 
  2. Add olive slowly while the food processor is blending and continue blending until very smooth. 
  3. Scoop into your serving vessel, garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve with pita chips, crackers, or raw veggies. 
This would be a great dip for your Halloween party!

Toss everything in the food processor...
...and blend until smooth. Yum!
You may also like:

Pizza Hummus
Pad Thai Hummus
Roasted Carrot Hummus a l'Orange

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Decadent dip: balsamic black bean hummus

Hummus, that fabulous middle eastern spread made from chickpeas (also known as garbonzo beans) and tahini is a great dip for raw veggies, whole grain crackers and pita as well as a tasty spread on sandwiches and in wraps. My gripe? Dried beans cost pennies while an 8oz tub of prepared hummus can cost three bucks! If you have a food processor, making hummus at home is a snap.

This is a twist on the classic version using black beans, and replaces the traditional lemon flavor with balsamic vinegar. Grind the beans and seasonings in the food processor until velvety and smooth and voila! You have a sophisticated appetizer for you and your friends (if you can bring yourself to share!).

Added bonuses? This appeals to vegetarians and vegans, and if you choose gluten-free dippers, you can feed this to your gluten-free friends too. Carnivore approved, as well :) 

This packs well for snacks and picnics on the road without risk of spoilage; there is no meat or dairy to worry about spoiling quickly!

Balsamic Black Bean Hummus

  • 2 16-oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed (or half of one pound of dried beans, cooked until tender)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Load up your food processor with black beans

Add balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Pinch of salt and lots of fresh pepper...blend for a full 2-3 minutes or until very smooth

Serve with fresh veggies and whole grain crackers!
 I used dried beans to make this recipe. Total cost for about 16 ounces of dip? Less than a dollar! Woot!

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