Sausage with Red Wine and Smoked Paprika

Sausage with Red Wine and Smoked Paprika

 

These are an easy and great little snack for football, cocktail parties or the holidays.

1lb Kielbasa or other sausage ( Andouille or smoked sausage would be great)

2 T olive oil

1 T chopped fresh oregano or parsley

2 t chopped garlic

1 t smoked paprika

1/2 c dry red wine

Cut sausage into 1/2 in rounds. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med high heat. add sausage and cook until browned. stir in oregano, garlic and paprika. cook for 1 minute. Add red wine and stir. reduce heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes. Serve with toothpicks.

 

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Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed

1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)

2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces

1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths

1 tomato sliced into wedges

1 T olive oil

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 t chopped garlic

2 t cumin

1 T lime juice

Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired

Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and  lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

 

 

Food Trend: Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

 

Burrata cheese is popping up on menus all over town. What is it? Pure indulgence, it is fresh mozzarella cheese filled with shredded mozzarella cheese that has been soaked in cream. Here is my recipe for a delicious salad using the best that summer has to offer. Make sure you use good ripe tomatoes for this recipe.

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

makes 1 dinner or 2 appetizer portions

For the vinaigrette

2 T fresh Basil leaves

1 T honey

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper

Mix the above ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 

Salad

1 vine ripened tomato sliced

1 c spring mix greens

2 T thinly sliced radish

2 t sliced fresh basil

1 T pepitas ( roasted pumpkin seeds)

1 ball Burrata cheese

Layer greens, and tomatoes on a plate, sprinkle sliced radishes, pepitas and chopped basil on top. drizzle with Basil Honey Vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

 

Chicken Frito Pie

Chicken Frito Pie

Chicken Frito Pie

As promised here is the recipe for Chicken Frito Pie that I made for Gone Girl Book Club

Chicken Frito Pie

1 T vegetable oil

2 c cooked chicken ( I used a rotisserie, one from my grocers deli)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 can cannelli beans drained (white beans)

1 can tomatoes with green chilies (rotel)

1 T chili powder

1 2 c bag shredded cheddar cheese

1 bag fritos (not scoops)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. add oil. Then add chicken, onion, and garlic, saute about 3-5 minutes or until onion is soft and garlic is browned. add beans, tomatoes, and chili powder. Continue cooking until all ingredients are heated through.

Chicken Frito Pie

Preheat oven to 350

Pour fritos into the bottom of a pie pan ( enough to cover the bottom) take the heel of your hand and slightly crush the corn chips so the lay flat. add 1 c shredded cheese, then chicken mixture, then 1 more cup cheese and then cover with fritos. Bake for about 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream.

Chicken Frito Pie

Buffalo Cauliflower

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Yes I am mean, this is what I tried to serve my husband and kids as so called wings. But guess what it was delicious, maybe not low fat but it sure is healthier than regular buffalo wings and if you don’t over think it , it tastes pretty similar. The heat and crunch are there and dip anything in blue cheese and its a winner. Mix it up this Super Bowl and try this, perfect for vegetarians and dieters.

3 T butter

2 T hot sauce

1 head cauliflower , cut into florets

blue cheese dressing (optional)

Met butter in a pan

add hot sauce and stir over med high heat. Add cauliflower and saute for about 4 minutes, until coated, but still crunchy.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Sprinkle with salt. Serve with blue cheese dressing

Buffalo  Cauliflower

Frosty The Cheeseman, Performance Food Art

Frosty the Cheeseman

We always have a book club Christmas party, and the stakes are high. Not only can these girls read and have intelligent conversations, they are crafty, gourmet cooks and food connoisseurs. So when choosing a dish to bring you can’t resort to the usual stand bys. Last year I saw a picture of this cheese ball snowman and thought that’s it, food performance art. Now I know culinarily speaking it is not that exciting but it makes up for it in entertainment value.

Frosty The Cheeseman

1 large box and 1 small box of velveeta cheese any flavor

2 bricks cream cheese softened

green pepper

black olives

carrots

toothpicks

cut the velveeta into 3 pieces, like a snowman they should vary in size from large to small, using your hands roll them into ball shapes ( velveeta is like playdoh, its easy)

frost the balls with the cream cheese and stack them using toothpicks to hold them together.

cut arms, hat, and buttons from carrots ( be creative use whatever vegetables you have)

cut a bow out of a green pepper

use black olives for eyes

Heres the fun part, put frosty in a fondue pot or electric fry pan on low, watch Frosty melt into a puddle of goodness, and serve with chips.

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Goat Cheese and Marinara Dip

I first tried this dip when my best friend made it for book club. It is a true crowd pleaser and couldn’t be any easier. It’s a perfect go to appetizer when invited to a last minute cocktail party or when unexpected guests come over.

Goat Cheese and Marinara Dip

4 oz goat cheese log

12 oz of your favorite marinara, I like to use spicy (or make your own)

1 T chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350. Pour marinara in to a small baking dish, slice goat cheese and arrange on top of sauce.

 

 

Heat for about 15-20 minutes or until goat cheese is slightly melted. Top with basil and serve with sliced Italian or French bread.

Snack Attack: Crispy Chick Peas

Easy, Easy, Easy, and much better for you than chips. Try this crispy chick pea recipe and feel free to switch out the seasonings, I used an Indian spice this time but I have made them with Cajun and curry spices too.

1 can of chick peas rinsed and dried

2T olive oil

1t salt

1T Garam Masala (Indian Spice Mixture made with cumin, cinnamon and other spices)

Put dried chick peas on a baking sheet, toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and seasoning. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until dark golden brown and crisp.

Happy Easter, Bunny Spinach Dip

I cheated but hey it’s a holiday, we can’t always be creative. I used the tried and true spinach dip recipe, but took it up a notch by making a bunny bread bowl. I think it turned out pretty cute and besides why mess with perfection?

Here’s how to make the dip:

1 10oz package chooped frozed spinach thawed and squeezed dry

2c Sour Cream

1c mayonaise

1 envelope vegetable soup mix

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill for at least one hour.

To assemble:

Hollow out the middle of a round sourdough loaf

Cut one loaf french bread in half for the ears, use bamboo skewers to attach to bread bowl

Add Spinach dip to Bread Bowl

Use Grapes or Olives for Eyes

Use Chives for Whiskers

Use Grape Tomato for Nose

Serve with raw veggies and torn bread

Beer Cheese Dip

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Beer Cheese Dip

Let’s start with an easy one. This is an all time crowd pleaser and one of my most requested recipes.

2  8 oz packages of Cream Cheese (slightly softened)

4-5 scallions trimmed and chopped

1  1oz package of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 bottle of beer (I used Drifter Pale Ale,using different beers will give the dip different flavors, just make sure your beer has flavor, I am a hop head and prefer pale ales and IPAs, but Stouts work nicely too)

Put all the ingredients into a a large food processor until combined. Transfer to bowl and serve with Veggies, Kettle style chips and Pretzel Crisps ( I prefer the original and sesame flavors with this dip)