Category Archives: Appetizer

Big Noise

Simple Beet Salad

beets

Summer is most certainly here – hitting over 100 degrees earlier this week before the heat index!  I’m trying to stay as cool as possible in the house, so avoiding the oven as much as possible.  Thankfully the local farmers’ markets are BOOMING with fresh and delicious produce making it super easy to make healthy dinners that don’t require much cook time.  With this simple salad the trick is to slice the beets on the thin side so that they can be cooked in under 7 minutes, nice and crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth delicious in the middle.

Big Noise

Ingredients

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tbsps shallots, thinly sliced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 medium beets, peeled and sliced (about 1 lb)

3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. The night before, place the beets and oils in a tupperware and toss well.
  2. 10 minutes before supper, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the beets in a single layer and cook for 3-5 minutes or until crispy - then flip and repeat.
  3. Turn heat off and leave beets in pan to slightly cool. Season to taste with salt and pepper - and do a final stir in the oils.
  4. Remove to salad plates and top with goat cheese.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/07/big-noise.html

To make it even quicker to get dinner on the table, I prepped them the night before so that they could soak in the oils.   We enjoyed these with a cold pasta salad, which had also been prepped the night before!  I find it so much easier to cook right before bed (and after dessert) and since it’s cooler outside the kitchen doesn’t become a mini-furnace.

In my Head

Sugared Wine Grapes & 

Garlic Chive Fries 

fries wine-graps

Welcome to a special themed edition of the Secret Recipe club!!!  Whenever a month has 5 weeks the 5th week gets a special theme and is open to members across all of the groups!  The special theme for today is Picnic/BBQ which is rather perfect for Memorial Day.  I was given The Cookaholic Wife which is run by Nichole who is “owned” by Gidget and Itty von Kat – her adorable cats!  I might be a dog person but totally understand the concept of being owned by a pet 😀  I totally failed this month at picking one recipe – but it’s a special day so that makes it okay to do two, right?!?!?  First up: garlic-chive fries!  Garlic + potatoes = WINNER!!!  We had friends over for dinner and these fries were devoured in minutes – and for once my hubby didn’t feel the need to coat his fries in Old Bay.   Next up: Frozen Wine Grapes.  These were the dessert for the same dinner and omgoodness they just made the entire dinner seem so fancy.  The best part is I was able to make them during baby’s morning nap, freeing me up in the afternoon to tidy up the place.  Love love love anything that can be done in advance!

Garlic Chive Fries

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

2 large russet potatoes

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the russet potatoes into fries using a sharp knife or mandolin - making them as even as possible.
  2. Preheat oven to 450
  3. Place into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients tossing well to make sure the fries are coated. Pour onto a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 12 minutes then flip and bake a final 12 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool slightly then serve and Enjoy!!!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/05/in-my-head.html

With the fries the only change I made was using minced garlic in place of the garlic salt while the grapes were perfect as is so head over to Nichole’s blog for that recipe!!!   These grapes could also be added to a sangria to give it an extra punch or as a practical alternative to a travel ice bag to make sure your food stays cool while heading to a bbq or picnic.

A bonus reason why you should check out Nichole’s blog?!?!  She’s another Maryland blogger!  I’ll overlook that she prefers Delaware to MD’s Eastern Shore, after all nobody is perfect!  I’m actually finishing this post up from MD’s Eastern Shore so I might be a bit partial.

A Certain Smell

Rosemary Popovers

Rosemary Popover

Welcome to day three of Fresh Tasty Valentines!  I’ve been having so much fun with this blog party thanks to all the fantastic sponsors and bloggers that have joined in.  One of my favorite things about events like this is being exposed to new-to-me vendors – such as Casabella.  When I received their Clip n Strip shears I think all my herbs gave  sigh of relief as I would no longer be torturing them with dull shears or nails in my attempt to get some herbs.  These shears are rather fantastic, especially since they have this awesome little notch in the handle for stripping the leaves off the stem.  Needless to say these scissors made quick work of the rosemary needed for these aromatic treats.  for best results, make sure the eggs are at room temperature and resist the urge to peek as they are baking – just trust in your oven as best you can!

Rosemary Popovers

Makes 6 popovers

Ingredients

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup milk, room temperature

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 1/ tbsp)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Beat the eggs and milk together and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the salt, rosemary, and flour then quickly fold in the egg and milk mixture stirring until just mixed.
  4. Pour into jumbo muffin tins (or custard dishes) until 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Turn oven off and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Popovers are cooked when they pull away from the sides

http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/a-certain-smell.html

Are they a dessert or are they a side dish?!?  I served them both ways and suspect they would also be fantastic as a breakfast item with some runny eggs.  Since I don’t have a proper popover pan, I use a jumbo muffin tin which works perfectly.  Now, have you entered the giveaway for a chance to win your own shears? herbs? or zester?

Note: I was gifted the shears and a garlic roaster as part of participating in Fresh Tasty Valentine however all opinions are my own.   

Orioles Magic

Nopal Dip

nopal_dip

Welcome to a special August edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  A few months ago it was decided that instead of the 5th Monday of the month being a “buy” week, it would be a time for all four groups to get together around a common theme.  The first theme: Tailgating!  While we’re not really tailgators in this house, we are huge fans of chips and dips and all those other delicious finger foods – we just tend to serve them during (board)Game Days.  This year we did treat ourselves with (partial) season tickets for the Orioles, so have had a few more opportunities to indulge in tailgate treats while at the game.  For this special feature, I was sent to check out Micha’s Cooking Mimi blog which has a bunch of delicious treats.  In fact, the recipe I settled on in the end is really a 2 for 1 as for the perfect Nopal dip you have to first make her Pico de Gallo salsa.   I had to make one change to each recipe, dropping the lime juice from the salsa (allergy) and subbing some black beans in for the ground beef in the Nopal dip.  I’m sure a beef substitute would work, and that had been my original plan, but I’ve had a hard time finding my favorite one lately – which of course is store brand so limited in options.  Anyway – this dip came together super fast and was delicious!

Nopal Dip

Ingredients

5 Roma or plum tomatoes, chopped

1 medium vidalia onion, diced

2 jalapeños, diced

1 tbsp fresh cilantro

Salt

1¼ pound White American Cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 cup whole milk

2 cups black beans, presoaked and rinsed

Salt/pepper to taste

1 recipe Pico de Gallo (above)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Pico de Gallo by mixing the tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt, then set aside.
  2. Add the milk and cheese to a heavy bottomed pot and slowly melt the cheese over medium low heat stirring frequently and once melted add the black beans. Season to taste with salt and/or pepper.
  3. Combine the cheese and pico de gallo in serving sized portions. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/08/orioles-magic.html

We enjoyed it with chips (of course) and some burrito bowls for a perfect Mexicanish dinner.   The salsa had the right amount of bite thanks to the two jalapenos which is always an issue for us as many are a bit too mild.  I did notice my salsa came out a bit thicker than Micha’s but not exactly sure why.

Highs and Lows

Corn Blinis

corn_blinis

Hello again! It seems I’m only around for Secret Recipe Club reveals but I’m hoping that with my third trimester quickly approaching I’ll finally be back to regular posting.  We were hoping that my HG would let up in the second, and it did for a bit, before coming back with a vengeance.  Still, I had rather be dealing with that then back at the RE figuring out another infertility treatment.

With that said, once again my SRC buddy gave me the inspiration I needed to get back in the kitchen.  This month I was partnered with the incredible Vicky of Things I Made Today and WOW! is her blog incredible.  I was blown away by all the incredible options, and the blog’s crisp clean style made it oh so easy to find tons of delicious treats.  Given my constraints, I had to limit myself to things that were quick and easy – and seasonal so that I could do the bulk of my shopping at my office’s Farmer’s Market.  That still didn’t narrow things down as I tried to focus in on my top 5: Cauliflower Fritters, Roasted Vegetables, Baked Ricotta, Carrot Fritters,  and Corn Blinis.  In the end the corn won out thanks to a delivery of fresh Eastern Shore corn from my fantastic MiL.

Highs and Lows

Serves: Yields 2 dozen blinis

Ingredients

3 tbsp cornmeal (I used white)

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 egg, beaten

½ cup milk

1 tbsp melted butter

? cup fresh corn kernels

dash of cayenne pepper

olive oil for frying

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, (beaten) egg, milk, and butter. Whisk together until smooth batter forms. Stir in corn and cayenne pepper.
  2. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a medium sized frying pan. Once oil is hot, scoop about 1 tbsp of batter on to the pan, leaving about an inch between each.
  3. Cook blinis for about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Flip and cook on other side for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel line plate and repeat until all batter is used, adding more oil in between batches if needed.
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/08/highs-and-lows.html

While VIcky topped hers with some mango salsa, I mixed up a quick topping of peaches and feta which worked perfectly.  These delicious little treats were a huge hit and can only imagine how well they do at a party.  In our case, they were a great pre, during, and post dinner treat.