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


ABK's Classic Deviled Eggs

What's an Easter feast without a deviled egg?
Everyone loves deviled eggs, especially on Easter Sunday.
Here are a few secrets I've gathered from trial and error about making classic deviled eggs.
Rule #1 Don't overcook the egg. Follow the method below for perfect boiled eggs.
Grate, instead of smash the yolks with a fork. You'll get a smoother filling overall.
Don't add too much mayo, or the filling won't set up and the end result will be a not-so-pretty egg.

Fill the egg with a bag. Use a decorating tip, the same as if decorating a cake. Your eggs will look like they were filled by a professional, vs a 3 year old.

This photo sequence was taken by Grant, who is currently working on his
food photography skills. Bless his heart.

Even though this recipe looks complicated, it's not. I added lots of tips to make it easier for you. Because I love you.
And I want your deviled eggs to stand up to the scrutiny of your mother in law.
It doesn't get more simple than this:
One bowl.
One beater.
One bag.
One tip for the bag.
Get busy.

ABK's Classic Deviled Eggs
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

one dozen large eggs, preferably a few days old
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayo ( not low fat) I like Best Foods or Hellman's
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
salt and white pepper to taste
paprika, for top of eggs, optional
pastry or plastic bag and 1 large star tip

Carefully place the eggs in a pan large enough to hold all of the eggs. Cover with cold water about 2 inches above the eggs. Heat over medium high heat until the water boils. Boil for about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for 10-12 minutes. Rinse eggs with cold water, until eggs are cool enough to handle.  Drain water, crack the eggs and remove all shells. Discard shells. Unless you are Martha, and are making a craft for a centerpiece out of egg shells.
After peeling, cut the eggs in half with a sharp knife.
Gently scoop out the yolk into a deep bowl. You will want a large, deep bowl so when the yolks are beaten, they don't spill over the edge of the bowl.
Place the whites on a platter, or dish to transport the eggs (see below).
After all of the yolks have been removed, gently grate the egg yolks against the grate on a box grater. Add 1/2 cup of mayo, 2 teaspoons mustard, salt and pepper to the yolks. On low speed, beat the yolks just until smooth. If the yolks are not creamy enough, add additional mayo a little at a time, until the mixture will adhere to a spoon, but not fall off the spoon if turned upside down. If the mixture is too runny, it will not sit up well in the egg white. Taste the filling and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Fit the end of the plastic bag with a star tip. Cut the end of the plastic bag off, so the end of the tip is exposed. Roll the end of the bag to the outside, so the inside of the bag is exposed as much as possible, making the bag easier to fill. Use a large spoon and fill the bag with the egg yolk mixture, Spooning the filling into the bottom of the bag. When finished, unroll the edges of the bag and fold the bag down and let any extra air out of the bag, so the filling is ready to be squeezed out of the bottom of the bag.
Using a swirling motion, fill the eggs with the yolk mixture. Repeat until all of the filling is gone. Sometimes, I have an extra white, or two.
Sprinkle with paprika if you like.
Serve or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.

Tips, aka everything you ever wanted to know about deviled eggs, but were afraid to ask:
-For easiest peeling, it is best to use eggs that are a few days old.
-The size of the egg will determine if you use 1/2 or 3/4 cup of mayo, or possibly a tablespoon or two more than 3/4 cup. If you are purchasing extra large Costco type eggs, the eggs (and yolks) are usually much bigger than the extra large eggs purchased at the corner grocery.
-Grating the yolks, instead of smashing with a fork will give your deviled eggs a very smooth filling. I also used a beater to mix the ingredients after grating. Don't over mix, just enough to incorporate and get an even filling.
-Filling options. The options are endless. I'm into simplicity. My favorite egg salad sandwich has just mayo, egg and salt. So I love this recipe. You can add hot pepper sauce, vinegar, flavored mustard, sweet relish, chopped up anything, and lots of garnishes to top the egg. Just make sure it doesn't get too wet, or it won't sit up pretty when you go to fill the whites. And be sure the filling (chunks of desired filling) will still squeeze out of your pastry bag and tip .
-Where's the vinegar? Most recipes call for vinegar. I'm not a fan, so I leave it out. The mustard gives the filling a nice little bit of tart flavor, and I like the simplicity of yolk and mayo.
-Do not use a serrated edge knife to cut the eggs in half, or your eggs will not have a smooth edge when filled.
-White pepper is recommended, but black pepper is fine as well.
-When filling, use a disposable plastic pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. I used a large star tip. Slide the tip into the bottom of the bag before filling, then snip off the end of the plastic bag. A Ziploc bag
works if you don't have or want to purchase pastry bags. Pastry bags and tips can be purchased at grocery, craft or kitchen specialty stores. I like the disposables, because they are easily tossed after using. They usually come in packages of 12. The tips are $1-2 each and may be used over and over.
-When transporting the eggs, use a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of a dish. It will keep your eggs from sliding around. I put mine in a 9x13 plastic ware dish and snapped the lid on. See photo below.
-You can make this recipe the day before serving and hold them in the fridge. Just remove from fridge and serve when ready. They will look and taste the same the day after preparing.
-You've now earned one credit toward your Master Deviled Egg Chef degree. Congrats.

Eggs ready to transport without the slippery slide problem...


Utah Fry Sauce

For a few weeks in February of 2002, Salt Lake City was the world's stage.  It was an exiting time, so many athletes, fans, and visitors from foreign countries. The media reported on everything from athletic events to two Utah phenomenon's:  green jello and fry sauce. Fun fact- two of the hottest Olympic pins traded at the 2002 games were the green jello pin, and the fry sauce pin.

As far as green jello goes, I'll tell you this, it's not making it's way into my kitchen. Ever.
Fry sauce... that's another story. One of my kids LOVES fry sauce. If there is any leftover when he's done dipping fries, he slurps up the remaining sauce. Not kidding. Ok, he hasn't done that for a few years, but he used to do it.
If you are familiar with fry sauce, you probably know it is served in almost every restaurant inside the Utah border where fries are served. What exactly is fry sauce?  Mostly, it's a mixture of mayo and ketchup, with various other ingredients added, depending on your liking. There are many stories about the origin of fry sauce.  Arctic Circle, a local Utah fast food chain, claims to be the first to serve it, way back in 1924.

Fry sauce is simple to make and promises to take your fries to an Olympic level!  Eh eh eh.
Couldn't help myself.
Happy dipping, friends.

Utah Fry Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

Basic ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup (or a mixture of barbecue sauce or chili sauce)

Add in any of the following:
1-2 tablespoon dill pickle juice
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
onion powder about 1/2 teaspoon
additional add in may include:
a few drops of hot sauce, or a few dashes of cayenne pepper

The Arctic Circle recipe is rumored to be:
equal parts:
mayonnaise, ketchup, buttermilk

Whisk together mayo and ketchup in a small bowl. Mix in any of the optional ingredients.
Keep refrigerated up to one week.
Serve with home made fries or onion rings, or serve on hamburgers.

Baked Fries

potatoes, any type- Yukon, Red, Russet
olive oil
fresh herbs, if desired

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees (convection setting, if available). Place rack on top third of oven.
Thoroughly wash potatoes. Pat dry. Cut into slices, depending on desired thickness of fries.
Place cut potatoes on jelly roll or other large baking sheet.
Spray pan lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking to pan, or use silicone liner, or parchment paper.
Layer potatoes in single layer on pan. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and top with fresh herbs, I like fresh thyme.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes depending on oven, or until fries are golden brown.


Seahawk Salmon Sliders with Sriracha Mayo

In 1976 our little JC Penney Store in Bremerton, WA was visited by a celebrity. His name was Jim Zorn, and he was the quarterback for the newly formed Seattle Seahawks. I stood in line to get a photo of  Jim; he gave me a hug and a signed a 5x7 glossy black and white with his name and a scripture. I was star struck over the most beautiful person I had ever met.  Since I was 13 at the time, it never really worked out for us…my earliest memory associated with the Seahawks= my crush on Jim Zorn.
Oh to be 13, in braces, and in love.

Bremerton, WA

In the 38 years the Seahawks have been in existence, this weekend will be their second Super Bowl appearance. Kind of a big deal.
We watched the Seahawks play an away game, on a Thursday night in Phoenix last fall.
The 12th man? Alive and well in Phoenix.  It seemed like a home game with all of the Seahawk fans in attendance.

Me and my baby.

In honor of my mother, little brother and his family who LOVE the Seahawks, I created a dish that reflects the flavors of the Northwest in one fresh little slider.  It is perfection in a bite- a little sweet, spicy, creamy and crunchy. So simple. Takes less than 1/2 hour start to finish. If you are going to a Super Bowl party and want to take a dish that's not your ho-hum Little-Smokie-in-bbq-sauce fare, you've hit the gold mine.
Best new appetizer.
Say it with me.

Seahawk Sliders with Sriracha Mayo
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet
1 cup prepared teriyaki sauce ( I like Soy Vay's Veri-Veri Teriyaki)
1 large or 4 baby cukes, sliced thin*
1 small can water chestnuts, drained and cut into matchstick pieces
12 small dollar size rolls, sliced, or one french baguette, sliced into 12- 1" pieces
decorative toothpicks, if desired

for sauce:
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce**
1 tablespoon rice or cider vinegar

Cut salmon into 4-6 pieces and place in bowl with teriyaki sauce. Make sure all pieces are coated in sauce.
Make sauce by whisking mayo, Sriracha and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside. If not using immediately, set in refrigerator.
Heat a cast iron grill pan (the type with ridges that create grill marks) over medium high heat for about 5 minutes or until the pan sizzles when a drop of water is placed on pan. Spray with cooking oil, or quickly wipe with a paper towel and canola oil.
Place salmon onto the grill pan, cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Make sure to grill the sides of the salmon as well for about 1 minute each. The total grill time for the fish should be about 8-10 minutes.
Remove from grill pan and let sit on plate. If not using immediately, set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.
To assemble sliders:
Place a small amount of salmon on a roll, top with sliced cucumbers and water chestnuts, drizzle a teaspoon of sauce over salmon and veggies. Place top half of roll on top and skewer with long toothpick if desired to keep top of roll in place.  Serve immediately.
Yield about 12 - 2 inch sliders.

-*I purchased baby cukes at Costco. The seeds are very small so there was not a need to seed the cucumbers. If you are using full size vegetables, you will probably need to seed before slicing.
-**Sriracha Sauce is found in most grocery stores in the Asian section. It is a sauce made of ground chili peppers, garlic, salt and vinegar. It can be used in many recipes where you need a bit of a kick!
-This dish is best served warm, but is fine at room temperature as well.
-If you cannot find dollar size rolls, you may use any type of small roll. This recipe also works well served on a sliced french baguette, open faced ( similar to bruscetta).


Classic 7 Layer Dip

Football. One more game. The Biggie. 
If you are a football fan, it's time to rejoice!
If your are not a football fan, it's time to rejoice! This is the last game of the season! 
Either way, you can celebrate with food, the universal celebratory element.
This dish has been on our party table for years. It shows up at birthday gatherings, barbecues, tailgates, and holidays. It's one of those appetizers everyone loves. And guess what? Even though it looks complicated, it's really very simple. No cooking involved, just chopping, mashing and whisking cold ingredients. I've even included a step by step. In case you're that person. Who needs a step by step. 
Not going to mention names. 
Here's my version of 7 Layer Dip- not too spicy, but with a little kick to balance out all of the richness of the dip. 
Go Seahawks! 
PS…come back later in the week for a special appetizer, inspired by my hometown team. 

Classic 7 Layer Dip
A Bountiful Kitchen

3-5 ripe avocados (3 is minimum, 5 means a good thick layer of guac)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove crushed garlic
Tabasco, to taste
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 package taco seasoning
1 30 oz can refried beans*
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (Roma's are best)
1 cup or one small can sliced black olives
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
corn or tortilla chips

Peel, pit and smash avocados in a medium size bowl. Add lemon or lime juice, salt and garlic. Add Tabasco to taste. Cover and place in Refrigerator.
Mix sour cream, mayo and taco seasoning together in small bowl, whisk until smooth. Set aside. 
To assemble dip, spread refried beans on a platter. 
Top with avocado mixture, leaving a 1 inch space around the edge. 
Spread the sour cream mixture on top of the avocado layer, again, leaving a 1 inch layer around the edge. Sprinkle remaining ingredients on top and serve with tortilla chips. 
If not serving immediately, place in refrigerator, covered until ready to serve. 
Serves 15-20 

-You may sub 1 teaspoon of garlic salt for the salt and garlic in the avocado layer. 
-If you use refried beans without lard, they will not have a smooth appearance. In the photos above, I used no-fat beans. I prefer to use regular refried beans with lard, because they have a nicer appearance in this dish. 
-Roma tomatoes are best for this dip, because they are less juicy than other types of tomatoes. It is possible to use another type of tomato for this recipe, just remove the juicy seeds before using. Or if you are serving immediately after assembling, it is fine to use juicier tomatoes. 
-Don't make this sooner than about 4 hours before serving or the avocado layer will begin to turn brown. The lemon juice will keep it bright for a few hours. 


Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Bruschetta

Do you love baked artichoke dip?  This is similar, but also incorporates sun dried tomatoes. It's rich, creamy and a little tangy. It's a one bowl- mix, spread and bake process.  If you've got five minutes,  you have time to whip up this recipe.  You'll have an appetizer guaranteed to please everyone from cowboys to food snobs.
Perfect for ringing in
See you next year :)

Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Bruschetta
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3-4 oz  marinated artichokes, drained, chopped in half (approx. 1/2 cup before chopping)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish (optional, but really adds color to dish)
1/3 cup mayonaise
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
fresh ground pepper
1 french baguette, cut into 3/4 inch slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oven rack on top third of oven.
Gently mix together sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and mayo. Season with garlic salt and pepper.
Spoon mixture onto baguette slices and place on baking sheet.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  The topping should puff up slightly and turn bit golden on top.
Remove from oven. Place on plate and serve immediately, sprinkle with additional chopped parsley if desired.
Makes about 12-15 slices.

-You may substitute regular canned artichokes (in water)  for  marinated artichokes. If using regular canned artichokes, add one teaspoon of lemon juice to the recipe.
-To "drain" the sun dried tomatoes, I  use a fork to remove the tomatoes from the jar. No need to use a strainer.
-Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and toast them under the broiler if you like the bread more crunchy. Top with the spread and bake as directed.
-To serve as a dip, simply mix up the artichoke and tomato mixture and spoon into a small oven proof dish. Bake for 15 minutes as directed. Serve with veggie slices, chips, crackers, pita slices or bread.


Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

It's Friday. You have a holiday party tonight. You're suppose to bring something to share.
You've come to the right place.
Oh, and you're looking for something semi-healthy? Serious? Now I'm really going to be your new best friend.
Do you have ten minutes?  Okay, let's make this.

If you are making your own Tahini, throw some sesame seeds into a food processor. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until smooth, or semi smooth. I like to use a little Cuisinart mini for this. Or buy Tahini at the store, like most normal people. You can also skip the Tahini, and substitute a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil. 

Throw all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor.

Here's a pic after I mixed up one batch, then decided to double the recipe so I could have some for at home, as well as taking to the party :)

Pulse, pulse, pulse, then bleeeeend. Until smooth. Add a little liquid from the red pepper jar, or a few tablespoons of olive oil (I used olive oil) if your hummus is too thick. 

Scoop the mixture into a bowl or crock. Garnish with a little parsley or sesame seeds.
Get on your party clothes. 
You still have time to practice your dance moves. 
Happy Holiday. 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 
adapted from Allrecipes
print recipe

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans(chickpeas), drained
1 (4 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, reserve juice for thinning if needed*
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Tahini (see recipe below)*
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt to taste, I like coarse sea salt
olive oil, if desired to smooth hummus*

In an electric blender or food processor, puree the chickpeas, red peppers, feta cheese, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, fresh parsley, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Process, using long pulses, until the mixture is fairly smooth, and slightly fluffy. Add liquid as suggested or olive oil to make a smooth consistency. Make sure to scrape the mixture off the sides of the food processor or blender in between pulses. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour if possible. 
Remove from refrigerator before serving, bring to room temperature before serving.
Serve with flat bread, crackers, or vegetables. 

-*If the hummus seems too thick, you may use some of the juice from the roasted red peppers to thin the mixture, or blend in a little olive oil. I use about 2 tablespoons per single recipe. 
-*Tahini is found in most grocery stores. Sometimes by the peanut butter, sometimes by the beans or ethnic foods. I don't like to buy it because it's so simple to make, and a jar us usually about $7-8. Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds made into a paste. Here's my recipe:
Blend some seeds in a food processor or grinder or blender (about 1/3 cup) pulse several times until finely ground, add a little olive oil to make a paste. I like to toast the seeds first in the oven or stove top for a few minutes. I buy sesame seeds in bulk at the grocery or in the Asian section of the grocery, where they are less expensive compared to seeds purchased in the spice section. 
-The hummus can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Best served at room temperature.
-This recipe is easily doubled.


Everyone's Favorite Shrimp and Avocado Salsa

I just returned from spending a few days in the Pacific Northwest, one of my favorite places in the world. Bremerton was my childhood home, a ferry ride away from Seattle. I grew up among these beautiful sights but never really appreciated them until I moved away! A few days with family is always treasured time :)

I was also able to attend the International Food Blogger's Conference in Seattle! Yes, a conference just for FOOD bloggers. Since I haven't been to a blogger conference (ever) I was wondering what to expect? I was pleasantly surprised. It was: food food food, gifts gifts gifts, fun fun fun. Who wouldn't love that? Seriously, three days of 300 women, (and a few men) talking about food blogging, taking classes, collecting an IN-sane amount of gifts from vendors, eating from morn until night, and taking pictures of food. Want to hear the funniest part of the conference?  Before eating, people were almost reverent about allowing the food to be photographed. If someone showed up after the initial photos were taken, and people were dishing up food, they would step aside and allow the food to be photographed again. No weird looks while photographing, or impatience while waiting in line to dish up a plate, just mutual understanding. Hell-o.

Top l-r : Four cute food bloggers I met at lunch one day, trying out some fun new food products, the SWAG bags, and yes, it was bags. Plural. As in- I had to buy another suitcase to get everything home!, a tasting before dinner one night from Alaska Seafood featuring Alaska Halibut Corndogs, Buffalo Alaska Cod Quesadillas, Sockeye Salmon and Bacon Wrapped Scallop Sliders. 

The classes were awesome.  Dorie Greenspan, Andrew Scrivani, Chef Jon Mitzewich, Jeffrey Lunak, Mark Briggs, the people from Allrecipes, Foodista and so many more. The only problem was how to attend every class, when there were three going on at the same time...
I met the nicest people and it was a great learning experience.  An experience that helped me to appreciate, a little more, what a blessing it is to spend time sharing my love of family, friends, community and cooking through ABK!

In honor of my recent visit to Seattle, I'm sharing (my daughter Corrine's) Shrimp and Avocado Salsa. This is one of our family favorites. Corrine has been making it for a few years and it's become one of those recipes. You know the dish that you make once and then get assigned to make for  EVERY party from that time forward because it's just So. Darn. Good.
Yup. This is that recipe. I've had people text, email and call me for this recipe. If you're a seafood hater, you may want to reconsider,  even seafood haters tell me they love it.
Tuck it away for your holiday parties coming up.
I know you're going to love it.

Everyone's Favorite Shrimp and Avocado Salsa
Adapted from Corrine at Mint Arrow
print recipe

1 lb cooked shrimp, thawed, tails removed and rinsed*, medium to large in size
juice of 6 limes
1 large white or sweet onion, chopped ( about two cups)
two bunches of cilantro, stemmed and chopped coarse, reserving a little for garnish
2 Serrano chilies, seed the chilies if you don't like spice and chop fine
4-6 medium avocados, slightly soft, chunked
1 large red pepper,  seeds removed, diced
Several dashes of hot sauce, to taste
1-1 1/2 cups ketchup
a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

The day before serving, remove shrimp from freezer and thaw in refrigerator in bag (see note below).
The next day-
Pull the tails off shrimp and devein the shrimp if needed. Chop the shrimp into large chunks, place in large bowl. Squeeze the fresh lime juice over the shrimp.
Place the chopped onion, cilantro, chilies, avocados, red pepper, hot sauce, ketchup and Worcestershire into bowl with shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the ingredients together.  Chill until ready to serve.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Serves 15-20 as an appetizer

-Plan ahead when making this dip. The best way to thaw the frozen shrimp is to leave it in the fridge overnight. If you forget and try to run it under cold water to thaw, the shrimp can take on a water-logged texture.
-If you like your dip more saucy, add another 1/2 to 1 cup of  ketchup.
-This can be made up to about 6 hours ahead of serving.

Night-night Seattle.


Summer Reading and Layered Seafood Spread

For as long as I can remember, I've loved shrimp cocktail, deep fried shrimp, shrimp in dips, even shrimp sandwiches. Maybe it has something to do with my first memory of reading a "real" book (with chapters). It was summer in the early 70's. A few of our neighbors were commercial fishermen, so a book about a girl working in a seafood processing plant was fitting for a young girl (me) growing up in Bremerton, Washington. I don't recall the name of the book, but the memory of the visuals I had while reading are still clear. The girl in the book was hired to help process crab and shrimp after local fishermen brought in their catch of the day. After her work day was over, she was allowed to eat a bit of leftover shrimp.  I remember wishing I could sit beside the girl on the loading platform of the warehouse and share her can of shrimp. Don't you love how a book can transform you to a different place and time?? Forty years later I recall that vivid description of freshly canned shrimp.
So that's my summer reading/shrimp story. Oh-The shrimp. I've been making this appetizer for years. It's simple and delicious. Great for summer or winter. Relaxed or formal gatherings. Another tried-and-true Pinch of Salt Lake Cookbook recipe.

Layered Seafood Spread
A Pinch of Salt Lake
print recipe

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
dash of garlic salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
8 oz jar chili sauce or 8 oz homemade chili sauce
1/2 bunch chopped green onions
2 cups crab meat or shrimp (small or large), cooked, deveined and chopped if desired

Combine softened cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, garlic salt and Worcestershire in a medium bowl.
Spread onto a serving platter. The cream cheese mixture should be spread into a 10-12 inch circle. You may also use a pie plate.
Pour the chili sauce on top of the cream cheese mixture, taking care to not mix into the cream cheese. Make sure the seafood is drained well. If you have rinsed the shrimp, blot dry with paper towels to avoid making the dip watery.
Top the cream cheese and chili sauce with green onions and seafood.
Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.

-The original recipe says to make this several hour before serving. I have done this but usually wait to top the cream cheese with the rest of ingredients until just before serving. The chili sauce tends to bleed onto the cream cheese mixture if making too far in advance. If you want to make this ahead of time, mix all of the ingredients in the cream cheese layer ahead of time,  spread onto a platter, cover and set in fridge. Rinse the seafood, blot dry and put in a Ziploc bag. Chop the green onions, place in a small Ziploc bag. Just before serving, assemble.


Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Getting your grocery list ready for Sunday? If you want to be the favorite child, make this for Mom. It takes about 20-30 minutes to throw together and will make you look like a pro in the kitchen. Not that you need help in that area.
I made this appetizer a few weeks ago with Cape Cod Chopped Salad,  Lobster Shells and some Baked Lemon Chicken. It's a  delicious, simple and beautiful meal fit for a queen, or in this case, your Mother.
Have a wonderful weekend :)

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
adapted from
print recipe

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 baguette, sliced into 3/4 inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint strawberries, washed and diced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
5 oz goat cheese, room temperature
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat vinegar in a small pan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced by about half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Prepare a grill for high heat. Place bread slices on baking sheet and brush with olive oil.
Combine strawberries thyme and basil in a small bowl and set aside.

Grill bread on the preheated grill until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Alternately, you may toast the bread under a broiler until light golden.

Spread goat cheese on toasted bread. Add black pepper, salt, and reduced vinegar to the strawberry mixture. Spoon over the goat cheese topped bruschetta. Garnish with additional basil and thyme.
Serves approximately 12 as an appetizer.


Baked Jalapeño Dip

What goes best with the Superbowl? Not beer. FOOD!
Your favorite Neanderthal will love this Baked Jalapeño Dip.
Trust me.
I have loads of experience in this area.

Baked Jalapeno Dip
adapted from Simply Gourmet
print recipe

2  8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened, 16 oz total
1 cup of mayonnaise, regular or low fat
3-6 jalapenos, chopped, seeds removed
1 cup of cheddar cheese grated, sharp is best
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup diced green onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
few dashes of hot sauce

1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir until combined.
Lightly grease a 9x13 or other similar size bake-proof dish. Place ingredients in the prepared dish. Place   parmesan cheese and additional 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake at 350 uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until bubbly. 
Serve with sturdy chips (such as tortilla chips), crackers, or our favorite, sliced pita bread. 


Buffalo Wing Dip

Super Bowl. Get on your apron and fire up the deep fryer.
If I had one, (a deep fryer) that's what I'd do. Baking works for me.
Today's appetizer has become a family favorite. Nothing says testosterone like Buffalo Wings. Every time I make this it gets Raven reviews. ha. Rave reviews. Especially from the fist pumping crowd.

Buffalo Wing Dip
originally posted here

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 chicken breasts halves, cooked and chopped, or one rotisserie chicken, chopped
1/2 bottle Franks Hot Sauce
1/2 cup grated cheddar/jack mix or pepper jack cheese
1 cup Mozzarella, grated or chopped if using fresh
1 bottle Roka Blue Cheese Dressing

Spread the cream cheese in a 9 x 13 pan. In a bowl combine chopped chicken, hot sauce and 1/2 cup each of the cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Dump this mixture over the cream cheese. Drizzle the Blue Cheese dressing over top. Top with grated mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or baguette slices.

- I spread this into two 9 inch round baking dishes.
-I used about 1/2 bottle of the Blue Cheese dressing.
In the photo above, we drizzled the dressing over the top of the baked dish and sprinkled with a little blue cheese. 


Sheri's Pomegranate Avocado Salsa

We love this salsa. Made with pomegranates and avocados, it not only has great flavor combinations, but looks really festive for the holidays. It takes about 5 minutes to put together (if you buy the pomegranates seeded, thank you Costco).  I made this twice last week and it was a hit both times.
Christmas is coming.
Is your goose getting fat?

Sheri's Pomegranate Salsa
print recipe

1-2 pomegranates seeded* or about 1 1/2 cups (see note about purchasing pre-seeded pomegranates)
2 tomatoes diced (or about  1 1/2 cups)
2 avocados diced
1 bunch green onions chopped (mostly the tops and a few stems),
or red onion chopped 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
juice of 1 lime, optional
chopped cilantro, optional

Place all ingredients in medium sized bowl. 
Mix together gently.  Let sit at room temperature before serving.
Best served with large Fritos.

-*Pomegranates may be purchased pre-seeded at Costco in a two pack.  Each container holds about 1 1/2 cups of pomegranate seeds. I used one package, or one half of the Costco container (227g  for this recipe). 
-I halved the original recipe, this recipe serves about 4-6 hungry people or 12 polite people. 
-The recipe calls for letting the salsa sit for several hours at room temperature, I made this both times and we ate it up immediately after. 
-If you want the salsa to look like the photo attached, make sure to GENTLY mix the salsa. 


Black Bean and Corn Salsa

It's the last weekend of summer. I know, summer is not officially over until September 22nd  (Melinda reminded me of this on our morning walk), but it feels like it's over when the kids go back to school.
With the end of summer, comes the end of local fruits and veggies. It was a hot summer here, and the peach crop came on unusually early. Tomatoes have been plentiful. Local corn has been amazing. I've been eating lots of these:


I cooked like a crazy person last week. I tried to keep up with the fresh peaches, tomatoes and corn on my counter before they attracted my personal favorite, fruit flies. What is it about fruit flies??  I have a serious hate relationship with fruit flies and moths. I'll spare you a crazy rant about both :) 
I've been making this Black Bean and Corn Salsa for years. The recipe originally came from a cookbook in my collection. It's simple and can be made anytime of the year, from summer to the dead of winter. In September, it's a crime to use anything but fresh tomatoes and fresh corn. If you haven't ever made black bean salsa, this is the recipe for you. It's foolproof and absolutely delicious. Enjoy your last weekend of summer! 
Next week, two more early harvest recipes: Fresh Peach and Blackberry Slaw  and Mango-Peach Tango. 

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

15 oz can black beans, rinsed with cold water and drained ( I like S&W brand best)
2-3 ears corn, cooked and cut off cob, or half of one small bag of frozen corn, about 1 cup
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro, about 1 cup
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2-3/4 cup chopped red or purple onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 fresh medium size tomatoes, chunked or 1/2 can of *Rotel (pureed if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently with a large spoon. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours if possible. Serve with tortilla chips or as a side dish with enchiladas or other Mexican dishes. 

-If you want to make a large amount, this recipe is really easy to double. I often spoon half of the salsa into a mason jar, top it with a screw on lid and share with a friend
-*Rotel is a mixture of tomatoes, spices and green chilies.