Saturday, August 15, 2015

Oven-Roasted Chickpeas

This simple snack is so good- it must come with a warning that you will eat the whole batch regardless of your initial intentions!

Also, you can make these to suit your needs. Sweet with cinnamon? Can do. Spicy with chili powder and cumin? Yes. Simple with just salt? You got it.

"California" Phantom Planet

Ingredients


  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Spices to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine chickpeas, olive oil, and desired spices on the baking sheet. Put baking sheet in oven for 40 minutes or until crisp, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent burning.


Soft Pretzels with Spinach Artichoke Dip

Pretzels and cheese has been my comfort food. The perfect combination of texture, your teeth sink into the soft cheese before getting the snap of the crisp pretzel.
I like to think of Spinach Artichoke Dip with Soft Pretzels as the more sophisticated cousin of pretzels and cheese. An adult version of that simple comfort snack.

We could kid ourselves that its a bit healthier, but really, does it matter?

Comfort food is comfort food. Regardless of health concerns. 

To spruce it up even more, feel free to put poppy seed and/or sesame seeds on the pretzels with the salt.



"Unbelievable" Owl City feat. Hanson
This song is seriously my jam right now. I'm in the phase of new favorite where I listen to it nonstop. Three days in and still not sick of it. Possibly true love?

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest

Ingredients


Soft Beer Pretzels
  • 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup beer
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • Canola oil, to grease bowl
  • 3 quarts water, for boiling the pretzels
  • 2/3 cups baking soda, for boiling the pretzels
  • 1 egg, beaten, for brushing before baking
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Poppy and sesame seeds (optional)

  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip Filling

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%, but whatever you have will be fine)
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup (about 5 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 (6.7 ounce) jar grilled artichoke hearts or you can sub marinated artichokes, chopped

Directions

To make the pretzel dough, combine the water, brown sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the melted butter, beer, salt, all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour to the mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Coat a large bowl with canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size. This will take about 1 hour.
About 10 minutes before you're ready to roll out the dough make the filling. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute or two, then pour in milk. Stir and cook one minute, if your paste gets too thick splash in more milk.
Add cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted. Stir in the greek yogurt until smooth. Chop artichokes and spinach and add to the sauce. Add the bacon, stir to combine. Dip will be thick, just use some muscle and stir in those veggies!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Divide the pretzel dough into 8 equal balls and roll each out into a rectangle (about 11x3 inches). Roll the dough up into a log. Pinch the seams together and then very gently roll the dough with your hands to form an even cylinder.
Take the two ends of each filled cylinder and form into a circle that is overlapped by a couple of inches of dough on either side, twist the ends and lay over the opposite side to form a pretzel shape and press to seal. Slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. Boil the pretzels in the water solution, 2 at a time for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with the warmed water using a spoon. Remove with a large flat slotted spatula or a spider. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with sea salt, poppy seeds, and/or sesame seeds. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
Remove pretzels from oven and let cool five minutes. EAT!!
Or if needed you can reheat the pretzels at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Candied Ginger and Ginger Syrup

I'm not a ginger person, but my grandma loves it. When she was little, she lived on a farm and would have a lemonade-like drink with ginger instead of lemon. She swears that ginger can cure every type of upset stomach, indigestion, and even her arthritic pains. 
She's an amazing person. Always keeping busy and getting stuff done.
And enjoying the little things in life.

Seriously, she is so good at design and making things look good.
I wish I had her talent for composition.
Anyway, here is candied ginger (and ginger syrup)

This song (and singer) is also one of her favorites. 
Iz "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Ingredients

0.5 lb. ginger, chopped into small, thin slices
2 cups sugar, plus additional sugar for coating ginger if desired
2 cups water

Directions

Combine ingredients in sauce pan on medium high heat, until the water begins to simmer. Reduce to medium heat and leave simmering for 40 minutes or until syrup reaches consistency of thin honey. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  If desired, drain syrup while still hot and toss ginger in sugar leaving to dry. OR after cooling, store ginger in syrup.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Leftovers Club: Red, White, and Blue Biscotti

I made these for the Leftovers Club exchange this month. I sent these to Ginger. Be sure to check out her blog! It's fantastic! Also, check out the Leftovers Club. It's really fun. 

My partner this month is Ginger from Stark Raving Delicious. Definitely go check out her blog! (And make delicious lemon zingers)

If you, like me are going on a road trip this 4th of July, this biscotti is the perfect thing to munch on in the car. That sweet tooth that always seems to hit on long drives is perfectly satisfied with these.

And if your the type who tries to limit how much you eat out of sheer boredom in the car, these are also fantastic. You can limit yourself to a few or because let's be honest that's not going to happen  you can be comforted by the fact that you are at least eating dried fruit.

Or Option #3: accept that the foods that you eat only on road trips are worth overeating on road trips.


Willie Nelson "City of New Orleans"




Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 cups walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in blueberries, cranberries, and nuts by hand.

Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.

Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.




Monday, June 22, 2015

Artichoke Tapenade

This is my new go to snack food. Seriously, olives and artichokes? What could go wrong?
This dip has the sharp tang of olives and garlic while keeping the mouthwatering, mild sweetness left by the artichoke. The best of both worlds.


"Comeback Kid" Brett Dennen



Ingredients

5 artichoke hearts
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 cup pitted green or Spanish olives
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
2 to 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp freshly grated lemon peel (optional)
3 to 4 tsp.
1/3 cup olive oil
cracked or ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor whirl the artichoke hearts, walnuts, olives, garlic, parsley, and lemon peel for a few seconds until everything is uniformly minced. Scrape down the sides and add the lemon juice and olive oil, and process or a few more seconds until the mixture forms a rough paste. Season with pepper to taste. Tapenade can be stored, covered, and refrigerated for up to a week

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter


More summer grilling! This definitely spruces up your usual grilled corn.

I'm usually not too too much of a basil fan. The taste always has echoes of anise for me. Yuck!
But with the salt and butter and sweetness of the corn, it fits right in.

This recipe makes a bit of extra butter. The leftovers can be eaten on toast or other vegetables. 
So good!

"Blister in the Sun" Violent Femmes


From Food 52

Ingredients

8 ears of corn, shucked
Olive oil
Salt

For the butter:

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup basil, loosely packed
1 tablespoon sea salt

Directions

Preheat grill to medium hot. Roll corn in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When grill is hot, add corn and close the lid. Rotate the corn a few times, until some of the kernels are blistered and the rest a bright and shiny yellow. This shouldn't take longer than 8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, or the corn will be dry. 

Meanwhile, add the butter, basil, and salt to a food processer and let it rip. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice. When the basil is finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint, it's done.

When the corn comes off the grill, slather it with the basil butter. Sprinkle with a little more salt if desired. Eat immediately. 

Note: basil butter can be made ahead and extra basil butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spiced Fries

What goes better with the start of grill-out season than French fries?

But maybe this year, it's time to step up your French fry game with these.
Of course, I'm terrible at grilling, so I will be munching these with something simple like grilled corn or veggie burgers. There isn't so much finesse with those.

 Chili powder and cumin is my all time favorite spice combination, so of course, I loved these!
Seriously, the hotter spices with mellow potato is so good!

I changed these up a bit and baked them instead of frying them. They came out just as good and crisp.
But if you're set on frying them or you're just in a rush: use grapeseed oil heated to 350 degrees in a Dutch oven and cook them for 5-7 minutes.

Naked and Famous "Young Blood"


Ingredients

3 Idaho potatoes cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks (about 2 pounds)
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup chickpea flour
4 cups vegetable oil
Spicy ketchup

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and soak the potatoes under cold running water for 20 minutes. Strain and pat dry.

Toss together the parsley, salt, chili powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine the cornstarch and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and toss to coat.

Spray a baking sheet with oil, and spread the fries evenly on the sheet. Spray with oil.

Cook in oven for 35 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes to turn fries to prevent burning, or until crisp.

Remove from oven and toss with spice mix. Serve with ketchup.