Appetizers & Snacks

Nutty Edamame Dip

This nutty dip resembles the texture and versatility of hummus with a different flavor twist – edamame. 

Nutty Edamame Dip 1

If you are into college football then you are as excited as I am about tomorrow! Well you may be more excited than I am actually because upon hearing of the injury of the Ohio State QB’s shoulder I deflated a bit. However, that won’t stop me from watching all the games I can lay my eyes on and whipping up appetizers and desserts made of peanut butter and chocolate. Which means for the next several weeks PB+Choc Saturdays are back! Even if you don’t like college football you can appreciate from peanut butter and chocolate goodness. But that’s tomorrow.

Being the day before the game I decided it was a good time to post an appetizer recipe. Maybe I’ll make it a thing, “App Friday”. The first dip up for grabs is one that reminds me of hummus but instead of pureed chick peas it is edamame which creates a pretty green color. Different flavor of course, but just as versatile of a spread/dip. Chips, veggies, crackers, whatever you can find to scoop it up!

Nutty Edamame Dip 2

One year ago: Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce

Two years ago: Reese’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie

Three years ago: Almond Berry Overnight Slow Cooker Oatmeal
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Prosciutto, Pear, and Gorgonzola Bagel Bites

Bagels are not just for breakfast. Make these fancy bagel bites with arugula, prosciutto, pear and gorgonzola for your next party or as an afternoon snack.

Prosciutto, Pear, and Gorgonzola Bagel Bites

Be warned, I’m going through an arugula and kale phase. I’ve already shared an arugula topped pizza and a panini with kale, but prepared yourself for a several more recipes featuring these greens in the upcoming weeks. Starting with these fancy little bagel bites topped with spicy arugula, salty prosciutto, sweet pear, and tangy gorgonzola cheese. You won’t find these in your local grocery store’s freezer section.

I was inspired to make these bagel bites upon hearing the news that my friend’s Tabletop Board Game Cafe has officially started construction and will soon be ready at 1810 West 25th in Ohio City, Ohio. Tabletop will feature over 1000 board games (I’ve seen their stock-pile it’s impressive), a weekly trivia night, and monthly DIY design sessions in their maker space. But what does that have to do with me? Well on the menu you just might find a few Spiffy Cookie-contributed creations!

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One year ago: Nutella Ice Cream with Granola Topping

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Mousse Parfaits

Three years ago: Homemade Pesto
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20 No-Cook Summer Recipes

Beat the summer heat with these 20 no-cook breakfast, snack and entree recipes. No oven or stove-top required.

20 No-Cook Summer Recipes

July and August tend to be the hottest summer months which means turning on your oven or even cooking on your stove-top is undesirable. For such occasions I have compiled a list of 20 recipes that require no oven or stove-top for breakfast, entrees and even snacks. What are come of your favorite no-cook recipes for hot summer days?

Next week I will be sharing some of the favorite no-bake desserts!

One year ago: Individual Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon & Jalapeno

Three years ago: Sourdough Starter
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Spicy Honey Mustard Hard Pretzels

Hard pretzels seasoned with spicy mustard and honey make a great snack for any occasion. Add a little extra heat if you are feeling bold!

Spicy Honey Mustard Hard Pretzels 1

Periodically throughout my job search I find myself contemplating the idea of going back to school for something. I say “something” because that’s where my train of thought loses its rationality. I cannot imagine any other venue in which I would want to pursue a career. Before grad school I had actually considered Pharmacy school or even a dual PharmD/PhD. Since graduating I have thought of going back for the PharmD but there’s no enthusiasm there. Then there was the idea getting a masters degree to be a PA or Med Tech because I find TONS of job postings for those positions, but again just doesn’t get my motor going. The bright side of this thought process is that it means I am already looking in the right field of work for me (and those 7 years of grad school were not pointless), I just have to find the job. But finding the job has not proven to be an easy task, therefore causing these thoughts of going back to school. Oh the cyclic nature of this story.

Going along with the theme of recurrences I made yet another version of seasoned hard pretzels. They are so easy to make and difficult to resist. This one was inspired by the expansive supply of El Diablo spicy mustards I received for July’s Burger Month. I also added a little bit of honey to give these some sweet heat. Surprisingly my dad enjoyed them which means they were not overly spicy (or maybe he’s growing more tolerant of spicy foods since I’ve been around), so depending on what kind of mustard you use and how spicy you prefer the pretzels you may want to add some cayenne pepper powder.

Spicy Honey Mustard Hard Pretzels 2

One year ago: Bananas Foster Mini Cheesecakes

Two years ago: Spaghetti Squash with White Cheddar Cheese Sauce
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Cheesy Taco Seasoned Hard Pretzels

Sourdough hard pretzel pieces seasoned with cheesy taco seasoning make for a highly addicting snack and it’s incredibly easy to make.

Cheesy Taco Seasoned Hard Pretzels 1

It’s hard to believe that Sunday is the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This month-long event seems to have passed by in a much shorter time frame. There were so many exciting, close games (except for Germany-Brazil) and hopefully the final game will be just as fun to watch.

Since I am pulling for Germany to win, in preparation for this event I decided to post a pretzel recipe. This is a different variation of seasoned hard pretzels using cheesy taco seasoning instead of Ranch. I got the idea when a coworker said that she doesn’t like Ranch seasoning (we were presented with Ranch-seasoned pretzels from a patron) and I pondered what other seasonings would work on a hard pretzel. Taco seasoning just popped right into my brain. I went with cheesy taco seasoning, assuming that straight taco seasoning might be a bit overpowering. Whether that would have been true or not I do not know, but what I do know is these were addicting.

Cheesy Taco Seasoned Hard Pretzels 2

One year ago: Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

Two years ago: Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

Three years ago: Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seed Cookies
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Caramelized Onion Dip

Sweet and tangy caramelized onions shine in this dip. Pair with you favorite vegetables or chips for a perfect party appetizer. 

Caramelized Onion Dip 1

A few weeks ago some friends and I stayed at a cabin in the Smoky Mountains and for dinner we put together some homemade pizzas. As topping for one we were caramelizing onions – or so we thought. As I took a turn stirring the onions I noticed that they were pretty dry and had a chalky white residue. A couple more stirs and the end of the spatula broke off. Evidently it was not a heat proof spatula and it had been melting into the onions the entire time. I have not seen a non-heat proof spatula in years and it didn’t occur to any of us to check it to be sure. Alas those onions were tossed out but we still made some amazing pizzas.

Rest assured that when I cooked the caramelized onions for this dip, I used the proper tools. Thank goodness too because this dip was so much more than I has imagined. It knocks the pants off of any dip you could buy from the grocery store. Dare I say, the best onion dip I’ve ever had.

Caramelized Onion Dip 2

One year ago: Vanilla Bean-Nutmeg Shake with Blackberry Swirl

Three years ago: Nutella Waffles with Raspberry Syrup
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Caramelized Cheetos

Cheetos are highly addicting but caramlize them and they are downright crazy. These caramelized Cheetos are a great  party snack – they are a conversation starter!

Caramelized Cheetos

After the confusing yet successful Cheetos marshmallow crispy treats, my friends actually requested that I make another wild Cheetos creation. I couldn’t turn them down so I whipped up these caramelized Cheetos for the next gathering. I was a bit disturbed when they did not turn out shiny as in the recipe’s picture but apparently that did not hinder their appeal because they were a popular item without any confusion! Many people said that it reminded them of something, mostly that it tasted like Cracker Jack or something similar. Whatever it is, it’s good. If you were too shy to try out the Cheetos crispy treats, I understand, but you really should give this a try.

One year ago: Chicken Taco Salad with Quesadilla Strips

Three years ago: Zucchini Bread
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Greek Hummus Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

Dig into this layered Greek hummus dip with a cream cheese-Greek yogurt layer, hummus, and chopped tomatoes, red onions, cucumber and feta. Served with homemade pita chips.

Greek Hummus Dip with Homemade Pita Chips 1

The other day I was mailing out a bill and needed a stamp. I found a sheet of old Easter stamps on my parents’ desk and sent it on it’s way. Later that day, Sherrill asked me if I had any stamps for the letter she needed to mail and I pointed her in the direction of the sheet I used earlier. They weren’t stamps, they were stickers. Stickers that looked just like stamps with the ridged edges and everything but were not legal stamps. Of course the mailman had already pick up my letter which meant my bill would likely be late by the time it was returned and properly stamped. I waited a week and finally decided that it was time to call up the credit card company to see if I could reason with them, but first I got the bright idea to check my checking account. Guess what? The check was cashed which means the post office accepted the sticker as a stamp! Glad I wasn’t the only one who was duped.

Greek Hummus Dip with Homemade Pita Chips 2

This dip may seem complicated with the long list of ingredients but is pretty easy to throw together. The hummus is pureed in a food processor, the cream cheese and Greek yogurt are blended together, and then the two layers are topped with chopped veggies and feta. The homemade pita chips take a little more effort but if you are not up for the task feel free to skip and serve with store-bought pita chips, tortillas chips or vegetables.

One year ago: Breakfast Stromboli

Three years ago: Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Cookies
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Pesto-Feta Dip with Roasted Red Pepper

This quick and flavorful dip is perfect for crackers or any of your favorite vegetables. Feta, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and pesto are blended together and topped with roasted red pepper.

Pesto-Feta Dip with Roasted Red Pepper 2

Yesterday was the grand opening ceremony for the new pickleball courts. There was music, hot dogs, cookies, lemonade, ice cream, clowns and a lot of pickleballs flying around. But beforehand I played pickleball on the old courts and actually some tennis too! It had been a very long time since I last played tennis and it was completely disorienting. I felt like a miniature person because pickleball really is a miniature version of tennis - everything felt huge. Tennis courts are much bigger, the net is a little higher, the racket is bigger than a paddle, and tennis balls bounce a lot higher than pickleballs. Of course the worst part was realizing I am no longer as good as I was in highschool and college. Apparently not playing for a few years will have that effect, who knew? I wonder if I can keep up with switching back and forth between the two sports though. May be difficult if only for time constraints.

If you couldn’t tell I am not having a hard time enjoying all this time off post-grad school. I did start working part time at the gym to help pay the bills but otherwise I am still living the retired life. Another perk of this situation is all the opportunities to cook. If I am not cooking dinner for my parents, I am whipping up a dessert or appetizer for their friends who come over for various game-nights. Since healthy options are always welcomed with this crowd I dished out this feta dip served with veggies.

Pesto-Feta Dip with Roasted Red Pepper 1

One year ago: Wheat-Oat-Flax Buns
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Goat Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach artichoke dip just got even better with the addition of goat cheese. This super creamy dip is perfect for any occasion.

Goat Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip 1

This mini road trip of mine has been a lot of fun and I am so glad I thought of doing this on my way to Rochester, NY for my friend’s wedding. The only problem is figuring out how best to divide my time. Before setting out I thought I had it all planned out but of course every stop I make there never seems to be enough time and wish had an entire month instead of just one week. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego now? Cleveland, OH! I hope to check out the location for their Tabletop board game cafe while I am there. But in the meantime, check out this dip.

Everyone loves a good spinach artichoke dip, especially the creamy sinful ones. I once made a healthier version using Greek yogurt but now it’s time to share it’s more devious counterpart – goat cheese spinach artichoke dip. Although it’s not too terribly unhealthy the cream cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella, and milk were all essential to creating this incredibly creamy dip. I started out by adding only 4 ounces of goat cheese but ended up adding the entire 8 ounce log because I simply love goat cheese. Apparently many other people share this sentiment with me as it was quickly devoured.

P.S. Thank you to my lovely hand-model, Sherrill!

Goat Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip 2

One year ago: Healthier Elote

Two years ago: Banana Peanut Butter Bread Pudding
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