Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Baby Shower Treats July 19, 2009

Filed under: Appetizers — lindsayrose @ 1:46 pm

Yesterday was my friend Elizabeth’s baby shower.  It was a very special day, and we had lots of fun.  Another thing that there was a lot of was food – oh. my. goodness.  There was a TON of food!  I was in heaven 🙂

 

I was responsible for appetizers and punch.  I made a delicious White Ginger Punch that was from a recipe Emily had given me, she made this punch for a party she had for Ross and I when we got back from our honeymoon.  I had forgotten just how tasty it was.  It was very easy to put together – I am definitely adding this one to my recipe box for future gatherings!

 

For appetizers, I made my Mom’s famous cocktail meatballs.  They were pretty popular!  I have written about them in the Herald before, but here is a copy of the recipe.  It sounds absolutely disgusting based on the ingredients, I know.  I wouldn’t have eaten them if my Mom had told me what was in them.  Somehow, when you put it all together, they just taste really good.

Cocktail Meatballs

2 lb ground beef

1 package onion soup mix

3 eggs

¼ c bread crumbs

 

Combine ingredients and roll into small meatballs.  Place meatballs in a single layer in baking dish. (You’ll probably need 2 dishes).

 

Sauce

1 16 oz can sauerkraut

1 15 oz can cranberry jelly

1 12 oz bottle chili sauce

Fill empty bottle of chili sauce with water and add to mixture

1 c brown sugar

 

Combine ingredients and pour sauce over meatballs.  Bake at 350 for 2 hours, uncovered.

Yield:  approximately 70 meatballs

 

Also, after my recent experiment with Spicy Three Pepper Hummus, I decided to try a few different types.  I made three, Easy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Basil and Pesto Hummus, and Spinach and Feta Hummus.  They were all pretty good, and so easy to make.  I’ve found that out of the 4 hummus recipes that I’ve made so far, 3 of them needed significantly more liquid to get to the right consistency.  Based on some reviews I’ve read, I use a combination of some extra olive oil and some reserved juice from the garbanzo beans (drain them into a bowl instead of just right down the drain).  While the food processor is on, I just slowly add more liquid, about a tablespoon at a time, until it gets to the right consistency.  It makes a great appetizer and is very quick and easy.  Once you buy a jar of tahini (that will last for awhile), the rest of the ingredients are super cheap.

 

Congratulations Keith and Elizabeth!  I can’t wait to hold your little man!

 

Spicy Three Pepper Hummus July 14, 2009

Filed under: Appetizers,Life,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 2:58 am

For the past two years, my sister’s birthday gift to me has been a country concert mega-ticket.  For those of you who aren’t country music followers, this is an awesome gift.  It is a pass to every country concert at Walnut Creek all summer.  The concerts this summer include George Strait, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney.  In addition to being awesome concerts, it is great to have a guaranteed night with my sister every few weeks throughout the summer.  We have so much fun, and count down the days to each concert.  If that isn’t a great birthday gift, I don’t know what is.  I have an awesome sister 🙂

 

Of course, one of the highlights of the concerts is the tailgating.  This year, my tailgating is a bit different of course.  The first concert I just had water, but I felt kind of left out.  The second one, I brought bottled root beer, but then I just felt like people were looking at me like “what is that pregnant lady doing drinking beer”.  This past weekend we went to see Toby Keith, who was by far our favorite last year.  This year he didn’t disappoint, he actually surpassed our expectations.  To toast Toby, I had some fake mojitos made from a mix Ross bought me mixed with some club soda.  They are surprisingly delicious and refreshing!

 

Along with the drinks, tailgating obviously includes food.  Kara and I start planning our snack menu days in advance.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make this time, but I found this recipe for hummus and I thought it sounded great.  I love hummus, and thought it would be fun to experiment with.  I was proud of Sanford, because I was pretty sure I wouldn’t find tahini anywhere locally, but Lowe’s carried it!

 

This recipe is quick and easy to make and tastes great.  Like the reviews said, you definitely need more liquid.  Despite my hatred for bean juice, I did reserve some from when I drained the garbanzo beans and added that.  It wasn’t enough, so I added more olive oil and a little water.  To cut on the spice a little bit, I added a little extra lemon juice.  I added only 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper instead of 1 1/2 and it was perfect, it actually gets less spicy the longer you let the flavors work together.  I brought some garlic Parmesan pita chips to eat along with this and it was delicious!

 

Now that I have a big container of tahini, I am excited to experiment with a bunch of different flavors of hummus!

 

Broccoli Pesto February 1, 2009

Filed under: Appetizers,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 9:51 pm

During the holidays, I pulled out the Southern Living Christmas 2007 cookbook that my mother and father-in-law gave me for Christmas last year.  As soon as I pulled it out, I regretted that I had it stashed away during the year.  Yes, this cookbook (and I am assuming each year’s edition) has many holiday recipes in it suitable for entertaining a large crowd on a special day, but it also has tons of great recipes that could be used all year round.  As I looked through it for my cookie recipe that I needed that day, I flagged some pages that had recipes on them that I wanted to try.

Today, I pulled it out to look for a cookie bar recipe.  Although I didn’t end up choosing a cookie bar recipe from the book, I did run across one of my flagged recipes, the one for Broccoli Pesto.  I love  pesto.  I love it on bread, tossed with pasta, on my pizza, as a condiment, etc.  This variation, using broccoli instead of basil, really intrigued me.  I love basil, but thought the idea of using broccoli was interesting.  It has the same pretty color and is even healthier than regular pesto.  I made it to bring to a Superbowl party this afternoon, and I plan on stashing some aside to make pizza with this week.  The cookbook suggests either spreading it on a crusty baguette, tossing it with hot, cooked pasta or using in place of (or in addition to) red sauce on a pizza.

Although I am taking it with me this afternoon, I felt it was my responsibility to give it a taste test before I subjected everyone to it.  Oooooh, it is yummy.  This one will be served at my house often.  It was very quick and easy to make, too (as long as you have a food processor).

 

Broccoli Pesto

12 oz fresh broccoli florets, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1/3 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (to toast, I just put them in the skillet after I emptied out the garlic mixture and cooked over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then. As my food network junkie husband told me, they’ll let you know when they are done… when they become fragrant).

1/3 cup chicken broth (or veggie to make vegetarian)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Garnish:  toasted pine nuts

Toasted or grilled baguette slices

 

Place broccoli in a large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 8 minutes, or until tender.  (Be careful of the steam when you take it out!  Pierce the plastic wrap first to allow the steam to escape.  I have burnt myself on steam before and hurt worse than any other burn I’ve given myself).  Drain and transfer to a food processor. 

While broccoli cooks, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper; saute 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned.  Add garlic mixture, Parmesan cheese, and next 4 ingredients to food processor; process until smooth.  Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.  Garnish, if desired.  Serve pesto with baguette slices.

Yield:  2 cups

1 tablespoon = 49 calories and 3.4 grams of fat

 

New Year’s Eve-Afternoon December 31, 2008

Filed under: Appetizers — lindsayrose @ 10:48 pm

Today at work I decided to surprise everyone with a mini New Year’s Eve-Afternoon party.  Who really wants to be working on New Year’s Eve?  Not I.  So, I made some snacks.  I didn’t want it to cost a fortune so I went hunting for cheap appetizers.  Here’s what we ended up with.

 

  • Pigs in a Blanket-Easy yet tasty and most people like them.  Plus it is something hot that was easy to roll up last night and bake in the toaster oven at work today.
  • Fruit and Cheese Skewers-This is so basic but I wouldn’t have thought of it.  I googled “cheap appetizers” and found this one.  Just take a toothpick and skewer a cheese cube and a grape.  That’s all!  It looks cute and is very tasty.
  • Jalapeno Popper Dip-This was another one that looked easy, I had most of the ingredients, and you can heat it up in the microwave, making it easy for work!  I do think it would be better baked, but the microwave is a good alternative for when there isn’t an oven available.  It is basically cream cheese, mayo, green chiles and jalapenos mixed together with parmesan cheese on top.  I think I’d add more jalapenos next time, but when you’re making it for a group, it is better to go light on the heat.
  • Turkey Roll-Ups-These were easy and cheap and I made them up last night.  Spread some of the tasty cream cheese and herb dip on a tortilla, toss a slice of turkey on there and roll it up.  I added some green onion to the cream cheese mixture and omitted the chopped onion and shredded lettuce.  I cut each wrap up into little slices and stuck a toothpick through them for bite size treats. 
  • Mr. Amy’s Cucumber Dip-I have started buying a bunch of dip mixes from Amy’s Confection Company to have on hand when I need to take something somewhere but don’t have time or ingredients to whip something up.  They are all so tasty.  Mr. and Mrs. Amy are one talented couple when it comes to the kitchen!  All I had to do was mix in sour cream and mayo and voila!
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-These are always a huge hit.  I think it’s funny because people always beg for the recipe… and it’s on the back of the bag of Toll House Chocolate Chips!  Am I the only one who’s ever looked back there? You just make the chocolate chip cookie dough and spread it in a 9×13 and bake for about 20 min or so.  They are super tasty – even better than the plain ol’ cookies!

 

So, that was our afternoon snack.  It was fun and made being at work not quite so sad on a holiday!  I hope everyone has a happy, fun and safe New Year’s!  Yay for ’09!

 

Thanksgiving Treats November 27, 2008

Filed under: Appetizers,Side Dishes,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 4:36 pm

In a little while, we will head over to the Tipton’s to celebrate Thanksgiving.  I can’t wait for a huge meal full of so many of my favorite things.  It is fun to share in the traditions of my “new” family and to bring some traditions from my family along with me. 

 

I offered to bring cornbread, because of this wonderful recipe that was given to me by Emily’s mom, Mrs. Waters.  This is the best cornbread I’ve ever had.  Emily has raved to me many times about her Mom’s cornbread, and I was so excited when Mrs. Waters gave me a homemade cookbook for a wedding gift, including this recipe.  It is easy to make, but has so much extra flavor than just a mix itself.

 

Corny Cornbread

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread

8 oz sour cream

3 eggs

1 large can cream style corn

1-2 tablespoons sugar

1/2-1 stick butter

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Melt 1/2 stick of butter in 13×9 pan.  Mix other ingredients.  Pour butter into batter, then pour the batter into the buttered pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned on the edges.  Melt the remaining 1/2 stick of butter and brush on top during the last few minutes of baking to make it browned and tasty!

 

I am also bringing some appetizers.  I found a recipe for Crock Pot Crab Dip on the Year of CrockPotting blog.  It sounded so good to me, and the Buffalo sauce reminds me of home.  It is in the crock pot now, and it smells and looks so delicious.  I can’t wait to taste it.

 

Since Ross is disgusted by crab meat (he is not thrilled with the smell in the house at the moment), I figured I’d make an appetizer that he would like as well.  I’m about to put together Feta Cheese Foldovers, a recipe that I found on allrecipes.com.  It sounds very easy, putting a mixture of feta cheese and some other tasty things on a puff pastry sheet and folding it over to make little triangles stuffed with cheesy goodness. 

 

Neither of these appetizers are super “Thanksgiving-y” but I think they’ll be good and we’ll still have all of the traditional foods to make it a true Thanksgiving.

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and remembers to think about all that we have to be thankful for.  I know I will be doing that all day.

 

Fall Fun Party October 25, 2008

Filed under: Appetizers,Life,Websites — lindsayrose @ 8:28 pm

Ross and I are going to my sister’s tonight for dinner and game night.  Kara has planned dinner around a Fall theme, so when I asked what I could bring, the answer was an appetizer… a FALL appetizer.  So, I began my search for something tasty and Fall-ish, a little bit different but not “weird”.  Also, as I’ve mentioned, Kara is a vegetarian, so there couldn’t be any meat in the recipe.

 

It’s no secret that allrecipes.com is my favorite go-to place for new recipes.  There is a little bit of everything on there.  I like that it has review and ratings of the recipes, and often times other user’s comments are very helpful, offering suggestions to tweak the recipe to your liking.  I love the recipe box feature, which allows you to save any recipes that you’ve tried and liked or ones that you see and want to remember to try another time.  When I make my grocery list each week, I usually visit my online recipe box to see if I’ve saved anything that I’m ready to try at that time. 

 

Another perk to this website is that it is constantly updated to include highlighted seasonal recipes.  During the holiday season, you can just click on “Thanksgiving appetizers” or “Christmas side dishes” and have a wealth of selections to choose from.  There wasn’t anything special on there for Fall today (although the website is decorated cute for Halloween) but I just entered “Fall appetizers” into the search bar and had a ton of choices appear.

 

My selection was Mini Pumpkin Sage Balls with Balsamic Creme Fraiche.  These sound fancy, but are easy to make.  I just threw them together, and I am going to bake them when I get to my sister’s tonight.  The balls are made up of pumpkin, onion, garlic, sage leaves, an egg, breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper.  The dipping sauce is simply sour cream, heavy cream, sugar and balsamic vinegar.  I had to dip my pinky in there to taste it and it is good. I think I want to use this as a base for trying a creamy balsamic salad dressing in the near future. I can’t wait to taste it with the pumpkin balls dipped in it.  The last step is to fry up some fresh sage leaves to crumble and sprinkle on top.  The ingredients and presentation are nice for a gathering because they are a little fancier, but the recipe is no harder to make than many other dips or appetizers I’ve made.  In fact, I think it’s easier than many.

 

Tomorrow, I will provide an update on the gathering, including Kara’s Fall vegetable mix, “Fall Apple Thing” (as she explained it to me) and the one I’m most anxious to try… Pumpkin Creme Brulee.  Ooh la la.

 

Sweet Baked Brie September 2, 2008

Filed under: Appetizers — lindsayrose @ 1:24 am

When my Mom visited last week, Ross went to the store and bought her favorite wine and her favorite cheese, which is Brie.  Unfortunately, we weren’t home long enough to ever make the Brie, so I decided to make it to take to the Tipton’s for our Labor Day cookout today.  When Ross told me he didn’t like Brie, I reminded him that he did like this recipe, I had made it for New Year’s a few years ago.  His response was “well, yeah, ummm… that was when we were first dating and I kind of had to pretend I liked it, but now I can tell you that I don’t”.

 

Ummmm, I guess that is a good thing?

 

Anyway, I made it and he DID end up liking it!  Brie is a very tasty cheese, and fun in that it really takes on the taste of however you prepare it.  I like it prepared with something sweet.  This is a recipe that I found in the Broadway Women’s Club Cookbook.

 

Sweet Baked Brie

1/2 c chopped apples

1/2 c dried cranberries

1 T brown sugar

1 T margarine

1 t cinnamon

1/4 c sliced almonds

1 8 oz round Brie (I used a triangular one and that is fine, too!)

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine first 6 ingredients. Slice Brie in half horizontally.  Layer 1/2 of Brie, 1/2 of fruit mixture, second 1/2 of Brie and top with second 1/2 of fruit mixture.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.  Serve with sliced French bread.