Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

chickpeas

A friend posted a photo of a bunch of old Encyclopedia Brittanica’s thrown on the street corner for recycling.

To think those were put to good use when I was in a grade school and now they’re just a relic from the past.  I feel the same way towards cookbooks.  My mom’s kitchen shelves were overflowing with tons of cookbooks- battered and dog-earred- from which she cooked almost every day.

These days, many cookbooks have turned into gorgeous coffee table books, on display for the beautiful photography and nothing more.

Why?  Because, anyone can type in a key word or phrase into their computer and receive thousands of variations of recipes within seconds.

While I rely on internet searches for my recipes, I do have my two favorite books on my shelf:  The Silver Palate, How to Cook Everything.  All of the other books are rarely opened, if ever.

I am relieved to say that I do have a new favorite cookbook that has become my bible, my go-to for weeknight dinners: [Read more…]

Artichoke Squares

artichokesquarepic

Last night I went to an Oscars viewing party and needed to bring a appetizer, one that appeals masses – kids and adults alike.  I turned to Mom’s no-fail Artichoke Squares because they’re tasty and filling and easy to make.

artichokesquares

My kids prepared the entire dish- -from the chopping to the mixing to the baking.  And, the finished product is quite flavorful, almost like an artichoke egg quiche.

We added an additional 10 minutes to Mom’s cook time and decided that next time around we would definitely sprinkle breadcrumbs over top the mixture before baking.  Otherwise, this recipe is flawless. The Artichoke Squares are a perfect addition to any breakfast, brunch or as an appetizer.

You Pick!

Enjoy.

Best Super Bowl Appetizers

Super bowl appetizers

With one of the most highly-anticipated sporting events on the horizon, I have learned that an arsenal of finger food recipes is a necessity for a successful viewing party.

I’ve put together a round up of my favorite appetizers from the blog that are reliable crowd-pleasers (healthy or not)!

Oh, and as a prerequisite, they’re EASY to make too.

Hope you enjoy:

 

Judy’s Baked Brie

iStock_000004544216XSmall

A deliciously warm and sweet appetizer to compliment any party. No one expects the “kick” provided by the honey mustard and ginger snap combination. Mom made this all the time and graduated from using little wheels of brie to one large wheel since it’s gobbled up so quickly. You can also top the brie with anything from brown sugar to raspberry jam. Make sure when you’re baking the brie, you place a cookie sheet underneath the cheese. If there are any holes in the crescent crust, the cheese will ooze out, making a mess.  So, best if you buy smaller wheels of cheese.

Click here for brie recipe.

 

Seven-Layer Dip

mexican bean dip

Offer a big bag of tortilla chips to help scoop up all seven amazing layers of this dip. There’s no heating or reheating involved, just add the layers and serve immediately. If you’re an olive fan, top it off with some sliced olives too!

Click here for seven-layer dip recipe.

 

Hot Crab Dip

Crab dip fresh from the oven.

Crab dip fresh from the oven.

A must for all crab lovers! This dish tastes best if you splurge for the lump crab meat– don’t used imitation pasteurized meat.   It’s best served very hot (until it’s literally bubbling in the oven) with Crostini rounds and lots of Old Bay spice sprinkled on top. Feel free to leave out the slivered almonds if you aren’t a nut fan. Bet you just can’t have one.

Click here for hot crab recipe.

 

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

spicybuffalochicken

These Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are not only easy to make, they’re not greasy and quite tasty too.

If you’ve made turkey burgers or chicken burgers, you’re in luck, you’ve essentially made a version of meatballs. I used ground chicken breast for the base and some generous portions of Panko bread crumbs combined with egg, butter to help bind the meatballs, and lots of hot sauce to help give it that KICK. Serve with Blue Cheese and they’re perfection.

Click here for Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs recipe.

 

Slow-Cooked Drunken Meatballs

slow cooked meatballs

If you want to do as little work as possible—Slow Cooked Drunken Meatballs fit the bill. These meatballs are DELICIOUS and quite unique due to the addition of whiskey, which provides a nice lingering subtle smoky flavor (obviously reduce the amount if you’re serving minors). All you need is a slow cooker and you’re set.

These meatballs were gobbled up immediately. You’ll be surprised at how quickly 60 meatballs can vanish!

Click here for Slow-Cooked Drunken Meatballs recipe.

 

Jambalaya Stir

iStock_000023365630Small

Use the rice bowl as your canvas and allow your guests to add their own toppings.  This dish is perfect for a more filling and potentially healthier option. #CreateAStir!

 

Broccoli Cheese Dip

Hot_Broccoli_Cheese_Dip

My family loves Mom’s broccoli casseroles so I figured this would be another hit. It’s brilliantly cheesy with just a mild hint of broccoli. I serve the dip with pieces of sliced fresh Italian bread or flat bread.

Click here for Broccoli Cheese Dip recipe.

 Slow Cooked Pulled Chicken

BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders -Photographed on Hasselblad H3D-39mb Camera

This recipe only requires a few basic ingredients that you should have in your stocked pantry and fridge.  And, you’ll also need a slow cooker to do all the work for you. All that’s required of you, the cook, is shredding the cooked chicken breasts and adding BBQ sauce; the hard work is up to your slow cooker. That’s it!  No culinary skill required— my favorite type of recipe.

Click here for Slow Cooked Pulled Chicken recipe.

Artichoke Squares

final artichoke

The prep for this dish is very easy. And, the finished product tastes amazing, almost like an artichoke egg quiche. I added an ten minutes the original cook time, and, next time around, I would definitely sprinkle breadcrumbs over top the mixture before baking. Otherwise, this recipe is near flawless and the squares are a perfect addition to your appetizer selection.

Click here for Artichoke Squares recipe.

Best Appetizers for a New Year

Assorted appetizers

Appetizer season is upon us. With many highly-anticipated events on the horizon, I have found that an arsenal of finger food recipes is a necessity.  From New Year’s Eve to the Superbowl to the Grammy’s to the Academy Awards, chances are you’ll be hosting or attending some sort of party in the next few months.

Whether an informal sports gathering or a fancy dinner party, I’ve put together a round up of our most favorite appetizers from the blog that are reliable crowd-pleasers!

Oh, and, as a prerequisite, they’re EASY to make too.

Hope you enjoy:

 

Judy’s Baked Brie

A deliciously warm and sweet appetizer to compliment any party.  No one expects the “kick” provided by the honey mustard and ginger snap combination.  Mom made this all the time and graduated from using little wheels of brie to one large wheel since it’s gobbled up so quickly.  You can also top the brie with anything from brown sugar to raspberry jam. Make sure when you’re baking the brie, you place a cookie sheet underneath the cheese.  If there are any holes in the crescent crust, the cheese will ooze out, making a mess.

Click here for brie recipe.

 

Seven-Layer Dip

Offer a big bag of tortilla chips to help scoop up all seven amazing layers of this dip.  There’s no heating or reheating involved, just add the layers and serve immediately.  If you’re an olive fan, top it off with some sliced olives too!

Click here for seven-layer dip recipe.

 

Hot Crab Dip

A must for all crab lovers! This dish tastes best if you splurge for the lump crab meat– don’t used imitation pasteurized meat.   It’s best served very hot (until it’s literally bubbling in the oven) with Crostini rounds and lots of Old Bay spice sprinkled on top. Feel free to leave out the slivered almonds if you aren’t a nut fan. Bet you just can’t have one.

Click here for hot crab recipe.

 

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are not only easy to make, they’re not greasy and quite tasty too.

If you’ve made turkey burgers or chicken burgers, you’re in luck, you’ve essentially made a version of meatballs. I used ground chicken breast for the base and some generous portions of Panko bread crumbs combined with egg, butter to help bind the meatballs, and lots of hot sauce to help give it that KICK.  Serve with Blue Cheese and they’re perfection.

Click here for Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs recipe.

 

Slow-Cooked Drunken Meatballs

If you want to do as little work as possible—Slow Cooked Drunken Meatballs fit the bill. These meatballs are DELICIOUS and quite unique due to the addition of whiskey, which provides a nice lingering subtle smoky flavor (obviously reduce the amount if you’re serving minors).  All you need is a slow cooker and you’re set.

These meatballs were gobbled up immediately.  You’ll be surprised at how quickly 60 meatballs can vanish!

Click here for Slow-Cooked Drunken Meatballs recipe.

 

Broccoli Cheese Dip

My family loves Mom’s broccoli casseroles so I figured this would be another hit. It’s brilliantly cheesy with just a mild hint of broccoli.  I serve the dip with pieces of sliced fresh Italian bread or flat bread.

Click here for Broccoli Cheese Dip recipe.

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I was surprised this dip was voted second best to the crab dip since no one in my family likes artichoke.  Apparently its muddled green color and the fact that it contains two vegetables was not a deterrent for my kids.  Serve this hot with colorful tortilla chips, it’s fab!

Click here for Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe.

While I’ve now got you hooked on artichokes, you must try this:

 

Artichoke Squares

The prep for this dish is very easy.  And, the finished product tastes amazing, almost like an artichoke egg quiche.  In addition to adding an additional 10 minutes to Mom’s cook time, next time around, I would definitely sprinkle breadcrumbs over top the mixture before baking.  Otherwise, this recipe is near flawless and the squares are a perfect addition to your appetizer selection.

Click here for Artichoke Squares recipe.

 

Kale Dip

Forget what everyone is saying, that Kale was so 2014.  We LOVE kale and it will always be on our table somewhere.  You must try this dip that’s refreshing and also, drum-roll, low-cal too.  It’s a nice counterbalance to many of the calorie-laden appetizers.  Try it with carrots or even some crunchy celery stalks!

Click here for Kale Dip recipe.

 

Homemade Hummus

We’re a blue-corn-loving-chip-eating family.  There’s rarely a time when there isn’t a bag of chips open and some sort of dip on the table while we’re watching a show on the television.  Last year I decided to make some hummus at home instead of buying our favorite store-bought variety (Sabra).  It is amazing and quite simple to make.

Click here for Hummus recipe.

 

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