Appetizers & Snacks
No bake granola bars are incredibly versatile. Try this gluten-free version with almond butter, dried cherries, and roasted pistachios
Holy freaking September where did you come from? Thankfully with the help of Bob, Christina, and Dave the end of August was not overlooked. We hillbilly mini golfed, saw thousands of salt and pepper shakers, wine/moonshine tasted, hiked to the tallest waterfall in the Smokies, saw a folk-rock band, grilled and just had a good time. Alas the arrival of September meant they had to return to their respective states today.
Accompanying us on this adventure were these gluten-free granola bars which came in handy on the hike. Just like the base for my favorite chocolate chip cookies, the base for these granola bars allows for all kinds of flavor options. This time I made them with almond butter, dried cherries, and roasted pistachios.
One year ago: Chicken Taco Stack
Two years ago: Buckeye “Cheese Ball”
This nutty dip resembles the texture and versatility of hummus with a different flavor twist – edamame.
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!
One year ago: Gnocchi, Sweet Corn & Arugula in Cream Sauce
Two years ago: Reese’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie
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.
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!
One year ago: Nutella Ice Cream with Granola Topping
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Mousse Parfaits
Beat the summer heat with these 20 no-cook breakfast, snack and entree recipes. No oven or stove-top required.
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
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!
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.
One year ago: Bananas Foster Mini Cheesecakes
Sourdough hard pretzel pieces seasoned with cheesy taco seasoning make for a highly addicting snack and it’s incredibly easy to make.
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.
One year ago: Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
Two years ago: Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip
Sweet and tangy caramelized onions shine in this dip. Pair with you favorite vegetables or chips for a perfect party appetizer.
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.
One year ago: Vanilla Bean-Nutmeg Shake with Blackberry Swirl
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.