Snacks

Organic Banana Walnut Bread

There's a new business in town, NSB Eats Organic, that offers a great produce home delivery service. The owner, Jana Caylor, is passionate about the quality of her products. In fact, she even goes directly to the farmer and hand selects every egg that she delivers. 

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My family is enjoying all the fresh fruits and veggies and I am thrilled that everything is delivered to my door. I place my order online over the weekend and my box of goodness arrives Tuesday afternoon. 

Last week, I ordered organic bananas, along with those farm fresh eggs, so I could make my all-time favorite loaf bread. My husband, who doesn't normally like banana bread, loved the organic version. Jana's bananas were substantially more flavorful than conventional brands. 

The following Banana Walnut Bread recipe is not 100% organic; however, the only ingredients that are not include the cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. 

Banana-bread-the-cheap-gourmet

ORGANIC BANANA BREAD RECIPE
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Florida Crystals Organic Sugar
1 stick Organic Valley Pasture Butter
2 farm fresh Eggs
3 organic Bananas
1 tablespoon Organic Valley Grassmilk
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
2 cups King Arthur Organic All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 cup organic Walnuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. In a small bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are slightly lumpy. Add milk and cinnamon and mix together until ingredients are incorporated.

4. In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Add banana mixture to creamed butter and sugar. Stir until well combined. 

6. Add dry ingredients and mix until flour disappears. Fold in chopped walnuts.

7. Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on baking rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

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Introducing Spinach and Kale Chips from The Better Chip

When The Better Chip asked me to review their new Spinach and Kale chips, I was hesitant. I love raw spinach and baked kale chips, but couldn't imagine combining these flavors into a tortilla chip. This is probably why I'm a food blogger instead of a recipe developer.

I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the The Better Chip spinach and kale chips. They were incredibly fresh and had a nice crunch. Each chip had the perfect amount of sea salt which enhanced the flavor of the kale.

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While the chip wasn't lacking in flavor, I wanted to experiment with various types of dips. First, I dipped the spinach and kale chip in guacamole. It was pretty good, but I felt the avocado wasn't the best match for the flavor profile. Next, I tried salsa and enjoyed the contrast between the tomato and spinach.

Finally, I tried my all-time favorite Beau Monde dip consisting of cream cheese, onions, and Beau Monde seasoning. For me, this was the perfect match because the cream cheese married well with the spinach and kale. In fact, it was so good that I soon devoured almost half a bag – oops!

In addition to sending a full size bag of kale and spinach chips, The Better Chip also sent snack pack bags of Sweet Onions, Red Pepper, and Jalapenos chips. I also received an awesome T-shirt that has a really pretty green design on the front. It's made from super soft fabric and is very lightweight; making it ideal for the hot weather we've been experiencing.

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I thoroughly enjoyed all the flavors, but my all-time favorite is the Red Pepper chip. It has a lot of zing and paired well with the salsa.

What I like most about The Better Chip snacks is they are made with fresh ingredients that you can actually see in the chip. Even better is these chips are non-GMO and gluten-free. They are perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores who enjoy real food manufactured from natural ingredients.

Overall, I'd rate all the chips at a 10. I am still surprised at how much I enjoyed the spinach and kale chips. I'm very glad I had the opportunity to sample them because I have found a new snack that I can enjoy without feeling guilty. Learn more about The Better Chip at www.TheBetterChip.com or follow them at Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheBetterChip.


Deep Fried Bacon and Cheese Biscuit Appetizers

Okay, so I know there is absolutely nothing healthy about these deep fried bacon and cheese biscuit appetizers, but sometimes a person needs a little guilty pleasure. This is one of mine. Chances are it will become one of yours too!

Not only are these bacon and cheese biscuits deliciously tasty, they are also super easy to make. You can enjoy these wicked appetizers in about 20 minutes from start to finish. Experiment with different types of bacon and cheeses to create your own flavor profile.


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DEEP FRIED BACON AND CHEESE BISCUIT APPETIZERS
Yield: 20 appetizers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
1 can of 5 count Buttermilk biscuits
10 slices bacon – medium to thick cut works best
20 1-inch cube Mozzarella cheese
20 toothpicks

NOTE: It's best to use a deep fryer, but if you don't have one use a large skillet.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oil in deep fryer or skillet to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. While oil is heating, quarter each biscuit and set aside.
3. Cut Mozzarella cheese into 1-inch cubes.
4. Cut bacon slices in half.
5. Gently flatten biscuit quarters into rounds. Place cheese cube in center; fold sides over cheese; and roll into a ball. Wrap with ½ slice bacon and cover as much of the biscuit as possible. Secure with toothpick.
6. Carefully drop biscuits into hot oil and cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip. Remove from oil when bacon is crisp. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease. Serve and enjoy!

 


The Better Chip Review

 

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I recently had the opportunity to try The Better Chip; an all natural, gluten-free, cholesterol free, non-GMO ingredients tortilla chip and all I can say is YUM! These chips really live up to their name.

I received three varieties of The Better Chip including: Red Pepper with Salsa Fresco; Jalapeno with Sea Salt; and Sweet Onion with White Cheddar. 

The company also sent along a really cute cotton tee shirt with the words "Lip Burner" emblazoned across the chest.  This was a gift for taking time to try The Better Chip and write a review.

What I liked most about these chips is they were super fresh and crisp and had just the right amount of seasoning. I'm more of a naked chip kind of gal and prefer to dip my naked chips in salsa. The reason being, most flavored chips on the market have a coating of some manufactured powdery substance that leaves a nasty aftertaste. Or, there's so much seasoning that the taste hangs around in your mouth for hours. Not so with The Better Chip.

The Red Pepper with Salsa Fresco had big flavor packed inside the chip. Take a look for your self...

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You can actually see the red pepper flakes baked into the chips.  Better yet, the Red Pepper with Salsa Fresco are perfect for those times when you don't have salsa around.  While these chips had plenty of flavor on their own I sampled them with some salsa just to see how the tortilla chip would hold up. Of the 10 chips I dipped, not one broke. That's because The Better Chip is thicker than most other brands.

While I enjoyed the Red Pepper chips, I really loved the Sweet Onion and White Cheddar. This really surprised me because I'm not a huge fan of any chips that add white cheddar. Again, it goes back to having too much of the powdered seasoning that usually doesn't even resemble the flavor of white cheddar.  Not so with The Better Chip.

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These had a great balance of onion and white cheddar flavors. There was a light dusting of white cheddar cheese across the entire chip. Just enough so that when you lick your lips you get the final remnants of the saltiness of the cheese. Delicious!

Sadly, I was only able to eat half of the chips because I shared them with my husband. I served them as a side with BBQ Beef sandwiches and a pickle spear. They were a great addition to the meal and in fact, were the favorite part!

I am saving the Jalapeno with Sea Salt for our Mexican Dinner night this week. I'm thinking of turning them into a nacho dish, but these chips are so good on their own I might just serve them as a side.

Unfortunately, The Better Chip is not yet available in my state, but I'm hoping they arrive soon. The good news is they are available in states where I have friends and family so I've already placed orders.

Learn more about what makes The Better Chip better and see if they are available in your home town. If so, I highly recommend buying a few bags. You won't be disappointed.

 

 

 


Spicy Hot Chocolate Covered Bacon

Spicy-chocolate-covered-bacon-on-a-silver-platter If you've never tried spicy hot chocolate covered bacon you are in for the treat of a lifetime! The saltiness of the bacon combined with heat of freshly ground chili peppers and slathered in melted chocolate offers a taste bud sensation like no other!

Before divulging the spicy hot chocolate covered bacon recipe, allow me to tell you how it came to be. Last November, I was invited to participate in "A Chile and a Spoon Competition" hosted by Marx Foods.

Marx Foods provided a variety of dried chili peppers to food bloggers and allowed competitors to create any dish we wanted as long as it contained one or more of the sample peppers and could be eaten with a spoon. My entry was Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.

I've been like a kid in a candy store since receiving the generous supply of chili peppers from Marx Foods. I've made a few dozen varieties of chili powder and used them in soups, stews, side dishes, desserts, marinades, sauces, and as meat rubs.

My all-time favorite use of freshly ground chili powder is pairing with chocolate. I can say with certainty I have not made one chocolate dessert without chilies since the chocolate lava cake entry. So, when my favorite foodie website on the planet, FoodBuzz.com, announced they were hosting a bacon recipe contest with a grand prize of $500 cash AND $100 Denny's restaurant gift card, the idea of spicy hot chocolate covered bacon came to mind. 

Please note the following recipe was created as part of the Denny's and or FoodBuzz BACONALIA challenge and is an entry for a chance to win.

This recipe calls for thick sliced bacon. If the bacon is too thin it will fall apart when coated in melted chocolate. I used hardwood smoked bacon, but I bet maple or pepper-crusted would be delicious as well.

While you can use any type of chili peppers, I highly recommend Marx Foods. They have a fabulous supply of unique peppers and the flavors are absolutely divine!

I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Here's the chocolate covered bacon recipe. Enjoy!

SPICY HOT CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON

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Yield: 54 pieces
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 22-25 minutes


INGREDIENTS:

18 slices thick hardwood smoked Bacon
1 dried Mulato Chili (mild)
1 dried Organic Limo Rojo Chili (hot)
7 ounces Chocolate Candy Discs or Baker's Dipping Chocolate

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Remove stems from chili peppers. Roast chilies in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic; about 5 to 6 minutes. Frequently turn to prevent scorching.

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3. Grind peppers in coffee grinder or food processor until fine powder. Transfer to small container and set aside.

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4. Line 18"x13" baking sheet with parchment paper. Place bacon strips side-by-side, leaving a little room to prevent sticking. Lightly sprinkle each side with chili powder.

5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until bacon is dark golden brown and crisp. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease.

6. Using a double-boiler, melt chocolate candy discs over low heat or microwave according to package directions. Transfer melted chocolate to a medium bowl large enough to accommodate your hands.

7. Using kitchen shears, cut bacon slices in thirds. Add to melted chocolate and gently toss with hands until evenly coated.

8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently shake off excess chocolate and place bacon pieces on baking sheet.

9. Place in freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to serving dish or resealable container. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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Gorgonzola Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto

I recently served these gorgonzola cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto appetizers at a wedding. They were a big hit and several people asked for the recipe. Not only do the dates taste amazing, they are super simple to make and can be served warm or at room temperature; making them a great appetizer for nearly any occasion.

Another great thing about the gorgonzola cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto is they can be made a day ahead. I stored them in a resealable plastic bag placed in the refrigerator overnight. I wouldn't recommend making them more than 1 day in advance to prevent the prosciutto from drying out.

You could substitute prosciutto with bacon or thin slices of maple-glazed ham. These can be baked in the oven; grilled on a flatop griddle or electric skillet; or an indoor grill. I hope you enjoy this semi-healthy-dessert-appetizers as much as we do!

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GORGONZOLA CHEESE STUFFED DATES WRAPPED IN PROSCIUTTO

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Yield: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

24 whole Medjool Dates, pitted
1/2 cup Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled
12 slices Prosciutto

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place 24 toothpicks in water and soak for 10 minutes to prevent burning in oven.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Slice dates in half, being careful not to slice all the way through. Remove pit.

4. Stuff each date with 1 teaspoon Gorgonzola cheese.

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5. Wrap each date with 1/2 slice of Prosciutto and secure with toothpick.

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6. Place dates on baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese begins to bubble and prosciutto starts to crisp up.

7. Remove from oven. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately. Place leftovers in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.


Black-eyed Peas Salsa Recipe

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I was introduced to black-eyed peas salsa while dining at Flip Flops; a favorite local restaurant that became famous when head chef, Chef Danny Veltri won the reality TV show, Hell's Kitchen. Flip Flops serves used to serve the salsa to bar patrons and diners as they awaited their meals.

I became addicted to black-eyed peas salsa the first time it crossed my lips. One of Flip Flops bartenders, who just happens to be the brother of Executive Chef, Erik Amalfitano, shared the ingredients so I could make the salsa at home. The recipe has become a staple in our house and is the first appetizer I make for guests. Everyone loves this salsa and I hope it becomes a favorite for you as well!

BLACK-EYED PEAS SALSA

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Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 (15.8 oz) can Seasoned Blackeye Peas, drained
1 medium Celery stalk, sliced thin
1/4 Red Onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:

1. Drain blackeye peas and place in medium size container.
2. Add celery, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
3. Mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
4. Serve with tortilla chips or flat bread.


Orange Almond Salad Recipe

Orange Almond Salad is refreshing and incredibly easy to prepare. It makes for a great lunch or can be served as a side with dinner. One serving equals 2 cups of salad mix and 1 tangerine. Use a combination of iceberg and romaine lettuce, if desired.

ORANGE ALMOND SALAD RECIPE

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Serves 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
Ready in: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 head Lettuce, green leaf
2 Tangerine Oranges, fresh
2 tablespoons Almond slivers, toasted
1 Lemon, juice only (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Wash, rinse and dry green leaf lettuce.
2. Chop into bite-size pieces. Place into salad bowl.
3. Peel and separate tangerine orange slices. Place on top of salad.
4. Add almond slivers.
5. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top, if desired.
6. Serve immediately.

Cooking Tip: Instead of purchasing roasted almond slivers, roast your own. Heat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange almond slivers in a single layer on baking pan. Place in oven for 5-10 minutes, depending on how brown you like them. Keep a close eye though, as almonds will burn quickly.

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Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla Recipe - The Cheap Gourmet Original

I am excited to share this Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla recipe with you. A few weeks ago I saw a commercial for a local restaurant offering two new cheese steak sandwiches; one of which was a quesadilla. What was ironic about it was my husband and I had been discussing the concept a few nights before.

To us, a philly cheese steak quesadilla seemed like a perfect fit. It also seemed less messy. I LOVE philly cheese steaks, but always end up wearing half of it. Do you have that problem too?

A few nights ago, my husband was attending an event and I had to fend for myself come dinner time. We had all the makings for cheese steaks sandwiches except for bread.

The light bulb went on and I decided to give the quesadilla concept a try. I am happy to report it was an incredible success. Even better, this recipe is super simple to make. The icing on top is you can make personal quesadillas to accomodate everyone's taste buds.

I love mushrooms on my philly cheesesteaks. My husband isn't too fond of those. I added fresh diced tomoatoes in the quesadilla and it added a nice flavor contrast. We've had cheese steak quesadillas three times in four days -- that's how addicting these things are!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla Recipe

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Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

2 medium flour Tortilla wraps
4 slices frozen Philly Cheese Steaks
1/2 green Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 cup Red Onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh Tomatoes, diced (optional)
4 Tablespoons Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop bell pepper, onions and tomatoes.
  3. Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove frozen Philly Cheesesteak meat from package. Break into bite-size pieces and add to skillet.
  5. Add pepper and onion, stirring frequently.
  6. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Cover each quesadilla with 2 Tablespoons Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce. Spread cheese evenly and all the way to the edges.
  8. Place half the meat mixture on one half of each quesadilla.
  9. Top with fresh tomatoes, if desired.
  10. Fold the other half over meat mixture and seal edges using the cheese sauce.
  11. Place on baking stone or baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until tortillas begins to turn light brown.
  13. Remove from oven, transfer to plates and serve immediately.

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla


Super Simple Sunday Snack: Gourmet Snuggle Dogs

Around my house, Sunday is a day reserved for simple snacks and a down-home Sunday dinner. Today, my husband decided to try something new in the snack department. I must confess, if I'm not careful he could very well pass me in the culinary arts game! Of course, I could always claim his improved cooking skills are a direct result of my impeccable food coaching ;-)

This afternoon he treated me to a super simple Sunday snack which can be served for many events. In a sense, this recipe is our version of Pigs in a Blanket, but much simpler and definitely tastier. Just for fun, we'll call them Gourmet Snuggle Dogs.

If you aren't familiar with Toufayan products, you're missing out. Toufayan Bakeries sell a wide range of products including: tortilla wraps, pita breads, bagels, bread sticks, lavash and these amazing hot dogs rolls called Snuggles.

We used Johnsonville New Orleans Smoked Sausage, but you could substitute with any type of sausage or hot dog you desire.

As a side we used Mrs. T's Pierogies; a delightful pocket of whipped potatoes encased in pasta.

Here's the recipe for creating a super simple Sunday snack that feeds four in under 10 minutes:

Gourmet Snuggle Dogs

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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

4 Toufayan Snuggle Buns
4 Johnsonville New Orleans Smoked Sausage
Mustard, (optional)
Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees or turn oven to 'Broil' setting.
2. Remove Johnsonville Sausage from package.
3. Place dogs on grill, turning frequently and cooking until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. During final minutes, place Toufayan Snuggle Buns on grill to warm.
5. Place Sausage inside Snuggle buns.
6. Using a cutting board, slice snuggle buns in 2-inch slices and secure bun with toothpick.

While dogs are cooking, preheat cooking oil to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently place Pierogies into hot oil. Cook for approximately 4 minutes until light golden brown.

Remove from oil and place on paper towel lined plate to absorb excess grease.

Transfer snuggle dogs and pierogies to individual plates. Serve with sides of mustard for dipping the dogs and cheese sauce for dipping pierogies.

This super simple snack is great for tailgate parties, girls-night out, pool parties, and family gatherings. It's perfect finger food and guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone who enjoys sausage and potatoes!

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Lowfat Mock Guacamole Dip and Tortilla Chips

Perfectly seasoned, this lowfat mock Guacamole Dip made from frozen peas tastes just as good as the "real" thing, but without the fat or the guilt! Serve with a basket of homemade low-fat Tortilla Chips and your guests will be raving about your spectacular snack for weeks to come.

Consider creating individual recipe cards for low-fat mock Guacamole Dip and Tortilla Chips and provide a copy to each of your guests. Insert inside their holiday card or leave a stack on the table. Chances are the recipe cards will disappear as quickly as this guilt-free healthy holiday snack!

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Low-fat Mock Guacamole Dip
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Yield: 1-3/4 cups
Serves: 14
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen tender-sweet Peas
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fat-free Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon fresh Lime juice (or use bottled, if desired)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Garlic Pepper Hot Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Plum Tomato, seeded and chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh Cilantro, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook peas according to package directions; drain.
  2. Finely chop peas and onion.
  3. Mince garlic using a garlic press.
  4. In a 2-quart bowl, combine peas, onion, garlic, sour cream, lime juice, Tabasco sauce and salt and mix well.
  5. Chop tomato and cilantro, then gently stir into pea mixture.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  7. Serve with homemade low-fat Tortilla Chips

Homemade Low-fat Tortilla Chips
Yield: 80 chips
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 6-8 minutes

Ingredients:
10 8-inch fat-free flour Tortillas

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
  3. Arrange wedges on a baking stone or pizza pan.
  4. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer chips to a cooling rack or large piece of aluminum foil and allow to cool completely.
  6. Store in airtight container until ready to serve.

Transfer pea guacamole into serving bowl and place in center of serving tray. Arrange chips on serving tray and let the party begin!


Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries and Almonds

Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries and Almonds
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

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Ingredients:

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour (or all-purpose white)
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp Ginger, ground
1/4 tsp Cloves, ground
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 cup Pumpkin, canned, solid pack
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup dried sweetened Cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted Almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Butter 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Line bottom and long sides with waxed or parchment paper.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk flour, spices, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until blended. Set aside.
  4. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy.
  5. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until blended.
  6. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  7. Add pumpkin and vanilla; beat on medium-low speed until ingredients are well incorporated.
  8. Slowly add one-third of of dry ingredients and one-third of buttermilk into pumpkin mix. Repeat two more times.
  9. Fold in cranberries and almonds.
  10. Pour batter into loaf pan.
  11. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar, if desired. 
  12. Place loaf pan in oven and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean; about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  13. Cool bread in pan on baking rack for 15 minutes.
  14. Cut bread at short ends of pan to loosen. Turn bread out onto rack; peel off waxed paper.
  15. Cool completely before serving.

*Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries and Almonds can be made up to two days in advance. Securely wrap loaf in plastic wrap and store in cool, dry area. Bread can be frozen up to 3 months if wrapped in plastic wrap, then a layer of foil. Let thaw at room temperature.


Spicy Pecans Recipe

Spicy pecans are a must-have at Hurricane Parties. Actually, spicy pecans are great for any party and make excellent gifts as well! They are easy to make, require few ingredients, taste ever-so-yummy, and provide the body with essential fatty acids.

Here are two of my favorite Spicy Pecan Recipes. One is sweet and one is hot, and both will leave you wanting more!

Spicy Pecans Recipe #1
Serves 10. Yields 5 cups.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white
  • 5 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place egg white in a medium mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white until foamy.
  3. Pour pecans into egg white foam and using a wooden spoon, stir until thoroughly coated.
  4. Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
  5. Sprinkle mixture over pecans and stir until thoroughly coated.
  6. Spread pecans in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  7. Bake for one hour; stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove from oven and let pecans cool on baking sheet.
  9. Transfer to airtight storage container.

Spicy_pecans_2


Spicy Pecans Recipe #2

Serves 12. Yields 6 cups.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Hot Pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups pecan halves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Melt butter over low heat in a large skillet.
  3. Add garlic, Hot Pepper sauce and salt to melted butter and sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Remove skillet from heat and add pecans to butter mixture; stir until thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake pecans for about 1 hour; stirring every 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let pecans cool on baking sheet.
  8. Transfer to airtight storage container.



Gourmet Food Store


Spicy Boiled Peanuts Recipe

Spicy_gourmet_boiled_peanuts_3 Spicy Boiled Peanuts are part of the Southern culture and a necessity at hurricane parties. They are super easy to make, but take a few hours to cook. You can make them plain or spicy. You can add beer or vodka or tequila. You can eat them hot (the preferred method) or cold and they can be frozen for up to six months.

Although we live in a sub-tropical climate, we prefer our boiled peanuts to be spicy hot. I've become interested in growing peppers, so pretty much everything I make these days has one of my gorgeous beauties tucked inside ;-) My recipe for spicy boiled peanuts is no exception. I experimented with this version and believe this is the best yet. Feel free to adapt it to suit your needs.

Spicy Boiled Peanuts Recipe
Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1-1/2 to 2 hours

Ingredients:
4 pounds Green Peanuts (only available between June and August)
6 quarts water (substitute with 2 quarts beer and 4 quarts water, if desired)
2 medium Cowhorn peppers, seeds removed and finely chopped
6 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons Cajun Seasoning

Directions:

  • Place peanuts in colander and rinse well.
  • Pour water into large kettle or stock pot.
  • Add peanuts, peppers, salt and seasoning.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cover.
  • Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until peanuts are tender.
  • Remove from heat and allow to soak in water for 30 minutes.
  • Drain and serve immediately.

Homemade Salsa Recipe

SalsagardenAfter months of cultivating my organic salsa garden, the fruits (or veggies in this case) of my labor are ready for harvest.

I tended these gorgeous tomatoes, peppers, and herbs myself, but didn't have much success with the garlic. From what I now know, garlic is grown during the winter months. Other than that, my garden was a success and today I would like to share my favorite Homemade Salsa Recipe with you.

There's nothing better than the rich, robust flavor of homemade salsa made from home-grown vegetables. However, if you don't have homegrown produce you can still enjoy this delicious recipe. Simply purchase the ingredients at your local grocery store, health food store or Farmer's Market. Enjoy!

HOMEMADE SALSA RECIPE
Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 stalks Cilantro, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
5-6 stems Chives, finely chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 Vadalia onion, finely chopped
1 small Habaneros or Cowhorn pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 Banana or Sweet peppers, seeds removed and finely chopped
1/2 Green, Red, or Yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
3-4 vine-ripened Tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cover and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. Serve with organic blue chips and enjoy!

Fresh-garden-salad-the-cheap-gourmet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gourmet Flatbread Pizzas

Gourmet Flatbread Pizzas

Did you know you can make your own gourmet flatbread pizzas for about half the cost of delivery pizza? This recipe can easily be adapted to suit your tastes. Final cost is about $3.50 per pie!

To make these pizzas you'll need flatbread which can be found in most major grocery chains or health food stores. They are available in white, wheat, soy, multi-grain and sundried tomato.

GOURMET FLATBREAD PIZZAS

Yield: 2 personal pizzas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 12-15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 Flatbread, round
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Green Onions,sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Pizza Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce (marinara works well)
1/2 cup Canadian Bacon, chopped
1/4 cup Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese (Cheddar cheese works well too!)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Add olive oil to a small skillet and saute onions and garlic until translucent; about 3 minutes. Cook on medium-low heat.

3. Spread 1/4 cup of sauce on each flat bread round. Top each round with 1/4 cup Canadian bacon and 1/8 cup artichoke hearts. Divide green onion and garlic mixture and add half to each pizza round. Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

4. Place pizzas on pizza stone or flat baking pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove from oven. Transfer to plate and serve. 

 

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