Search Results for snacks + starters

granola-crusted nuts with dried cherries

November 16th, 2012

Have you ever had a moment when a recipe speaks to you? Well, that’s exactly what happened last week when I was perusing blogs and fell upon this recipe for granola-crusted nuts. I’m suppose to be eating every three hours, which seems like it should be more fun than it is. My stomach growls but I don’t know what to eat—when you’re eating that often, things get boring. I needed something to jazz up my boring routine, something that was fairly healthy, and above all, it had to be delicious. So yeah, I was pretty pumped when along came this remedy for my little predicament, in the form of bite-size granola nuggets that are a cinch to make.

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Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with Asiago cheese

September 20th, 2012

I don’t really even know where to start except to say that I just wiped a little drool from my lips. If you’ve ever had bacon wrapped dates, you know what I’m talking about. Somehow the name sounds so innocent and unassuming—three, maybe four ingredients (if you include the paprika) somehow work some major magic in just a few minutes in the oven. What comes out is a melt-in-your-mouth little flavor bomb.

The rich, salty flavor of the bacon and cheese merge together with the sweet, tender dates to create a dream come true in your mouth. I understand I’m really talking this up, but believe me, they’re good stuff. And I dare you to find a simpler, more addictive snack to serve at your next party.

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peach + blackberry crostini

July 5th, 2012

Last week my friend and catering partner, Caroline and I did a cooking demonstration at the Union Square Greenmarket. I’ve gone on about my love of the market before, but seriously, this time of year is such a thrill. There’s just so much goodness, so many things to make. Over the course of two and a half hours we whipped up three tasty snacks—luckily none required heat—and met all sorts of people.  It was a blast. This little number, a peach and blackberry crostini, is a variation on one of the things we made. I know I just posted a crostini a few posts ago, but I just couldn’t resist sharing this one as well—it’s that good.

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ricotta + date toast

June 26th, 2012

When warm weather arrives, I find myself wanting to simplify the foods I eat— especially when it comes to lunch. I don’t want anything fussy and I rarely want to actually turn the stove on, which leaves me with salads or sandwiches or these little piles-of-goodness-on-a-piece-of-bread. Because that’s a mouthful, I’ve simplified it down to “toast” even though it doesn’t even have to be toasted. We’re talking super simple.

Ever since I was introduced to ricotta with lemon zest and a bit of lemon juice in it, I’ve been finding excuses to use it. More often than not, I simply spread in over bread and layer something tasty over top—tomatoes, peaches, pesto—or I even just keep it plain with a little salt and olive oil over top. My stomach just growled thinking about that.

This combo of fresh chopped dates with mixed greens over top, then drizzled with a little olive oil and salt is a new favorite. It hits all my favorite cravings—sweet, creamy, fresh and a hint of salty. It’s a snap to make and it tastes like a million bucks—treat yourself to lunch or serve it as an appetizer—either way it’s going to go over well, I promise.

ricotta + date toast

makes 4 slices

4—1/2-inch slices of good hearty wheat bread
1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
zest of half a lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-2 dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mixed greens
olive oil
sea salt
1. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest and lemon juice.2. Meanwhile, toast the bread if you’d like it warm. Spread a layer of ricotta on each slice. Arrange a few pieces of dates over the ricotta—keep in mind that you’d like a piece of date in with each bite. Gently arrange a few pieces of greens over top, tearing any larger pieces into smaller, bite size pieces.

3. Arrange toasts on a plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Enjoy!

parmesan shortbread with sea salt + pepper

March 7th, 2012

I have a soft spot for shortbread—those buttery, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits are like a little piece of heaven that I just can’t pass up. So you know what happened when I was flipping through the latest bon appetit and spied a recipe for Blue Bottle Coffee’s Parmesan Shortbread cookies… yeah, it didn’t take long before I was pulling out the Kitchen Aid.

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maple mixed nuts

October 31st, 2011

I’ve been in a slump lately. I’m not sure what’s going on—sometimes it’s just that I don’t have the time to make (and photograph) things, but in the past few weeks I’ve tried a few new recipes and just haven’t felt they were good enough to share. It’s such a bummer because I love sharing things with you! Luckily I finally had some success… This weekend we had a crazy early snowstorm and we scratched our plans and just stayed inside to watch movies, read magazines and generally indulge in doing very little. It was awesome. As I was flipping through the November issue of Food & Wine (it’s full of gems!), I came across a recipe for maple pecans that sounded awesome. Sweet and spicy nuts seemed like the perfect snack for the first snowstorm of the year.

Making a simple nut mix is one of my favorite fall/winter snacks. They require very little effort but almost always turn out great—and they make great last-minute gifts. These are no different—simply toast the nuts, add some spices and the maple syrup, then toss them all with an egg white (which will make them crispy), and pop them in the oven. About 40 minutes later they were smelling great and nice and crisp. After breaking them apart and letting them cool a bit, I brought out a little bowl to snack on while watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They’ve got a perfect balance of sweet from the maple syrup and spicy from the cayenne pepper—I love a sweet and spicy combination.

maple mixed nuts
slightly modified from Food & Wine, November 2011

4 cups mixed nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, pistachios (4 cups pecans would work great too)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg white, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Spread the nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast until they are fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let the nuts cool. Lower the oven temperature to 250°.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the nuts with the maple syrup, butter, salt, cayenne and black pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the egg white to the nuts and toss well.

Spread the nuts on the lined baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, until the nuts are golden brown. Immediately loosen the pecans from the paper with a spatula. Let cool completely on the baking sheets before serving.

The nuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

spiced pumpkin seeds

October 4th, 2011

Oh how I love fall! Seriously, I feel like it’s exactly what I needed. I feel a sense of energy that I really couldn’t grasp during the hot summer months, which kind of bummed me out. But now, now there’s pumpkins and apples and pears and plums—and best of all, cool weather! I’m in heaven.

You know what else is awesome? Hayrides and pumpkins and apple picking. A few weekends ago Aaron and I took a ride out to New Jersey with some friends to go apple picking. It’s something that I always looked forward to growing up, but I haven’t done it for at least 10 years… It’s so much fun, I can’t believe I’ve deprived myself of this simple joy for so long.

The chance to get out in nature is rare for us, so when we actually do it, it feels like such a treat. Just wandering through the apple orchard, searching for the best apples—perhaps tasting 1 or 2 or 10—and joking around with friends was a great way to celebrate the season.

We came home with apples and lovely, plump pumpkin and I knew exactly what I wanted to do to that puppy—pumpkin seeds! Read the rest of this entry »

pickled peppers

August 10th, 2011

Pepper season is gearing up and I always find myself buying them like they’re going out of style. What can I say, I like spicy. Looking for something a little different than just adding them to salsa, I thought I’d try my hand at a pickling some peppers.

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