Sides, Snacks

110

Sweet Potato Parmesan Tater Tots (and Horseradish Ketchup)

This recipe is AMAZING. The tots alone are sweet and creamy, but pared with the spicy ketchup they’re just out of this world delicious. AND they’re baked, so it’s basically health food. My favorite part of this snack is easily the crunchy chip coating; it adds a whole new level to the tot. I made them as a side for burgers, but I think they’d be incredible as a breakfast side with fried eggs or an omelet. Try them. They do not disappoint.

Tots (adapted from halfbakedharvest.com)

– 4 medium sweet potatoes

– 2 tbsp butter, melted

– 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp pepper

– 1/2 tsp chili powder

– 1/2 tsp garlic powder

– 1 cup sweet potato chips crumbs

– 1 cup lentil chip crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with fork. Bake on the oven rack until tender (50-60 minutes). Allow to cool, then use your hands to peel away the skin.  Place the potatoes in a medium bowl and mash with the butter. Stir in the cheese, spices, salt and pepper to taste.  To make the best chip crumbs, pulse in a food processor until fine, then transfer to a bowl. You can also puree the potato mixture in the processor as well to get the smoothest texture if mashing by hand isn’t pleasing you. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the sweet potato mixture into your hand and roll into a tot shape.  Roll the tot in the chips and coat well. If you need to re-shape the tots now is the moment. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Repeat until all of the sweet potato mixture is gone. Bake for 15 minutes and flip the the tater tots over and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden!

 

Horseradish Ketchup

– 1/2 cup ketchup

– 2 tbsp horseradish

Combine the two ingredients and be merry.

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Snacks

thirty three

Everything-Inside-Your-Cabinet Granola Bars

Hey, who remembers when I made my first post and said one of my goals on this blog was to make healthy recipes? Anyone? Hands?

Considering the fact that I’m fairly certain at least 86% of the stuff I post here is either cake and/or chocolatesugardessert-related (mmmmm health), I’m fairly certain that goal went out the window along with “I will finish all my work before drinking wine” and “eight hours of sleep a night is perfectly achievable”. Well we can rest easy now, as I’m adding another healthy recipe to the bunch! These little bars are like eating loaded oatmeal cookies, but you can have them for BREAKFAST. Who’s excited??! Besides me, if you couldn’t tell from the excessive capitalization and punctuation..

I dubbed these the “everything inside your cabinet” bar because you really can use basically anything. Cashews, pistachios, dried apricot, candied ginger- knock yourself out! However, once you add mini-marshmallows, caramel, chocolate chips, and the like (now I’m considering a second batch) I’m very sorry, but you may want to go ahead and crumble it over ice cream, ’cause that is just no longer a granola bar. Come to think of it, that actually really does sound delish. To the kitchen! (#help?)

Bars

– 3/4 cup honey

– 3/4 cup canola oil

– 2 tbsp mollasses

– 3 cups rolled oats (don’t use instant, otherwise you’ll just have nutty oatmeal..)

– 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

– 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

– 1/4 cup chopped pecans

– 3/4 cup sliced almonds

– 1 cup ground flaxseed or wheat bran

– 2/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins (or both! live a little!)

– 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a shallow rimmed baking sheet (if you want crunchy bars) OR a 9×13 inch glass baking pan (if you want chewy bars) with parchment paper. Mix oil, honey, and mollasses together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour the liquid over the dry and combine well (use your hands if you want to get into the granola spirit, otherwise a flat wooden spoon works just fine). Pour and press the mixture into your desired pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until your desired texture. Let cool completely and then cut into squares or crumble into yogurt! (Heads up, if you’re making chewy bars, stick the whole tray in the fridge for a few hours after it’s cooled to help the bars bind together further before cutting them!)

(sorry I don’t have any pics of them in bar form…..I have hungry people living around me)

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Just a little mollasses shot for anyone interested in my superb photo takin’ abilities..

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aaaaand the now obligatory Instagram

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Sides

eighteen

Deviled Eggs

For those of you who’ve eaten a deviled egg (hard boiled, sliced in half, yolks mayonnaise-y and sunflower colored, just a dash of paprika for spice) I’m guessing you thought they were a retro food, right? The bright color, the cholesterol and the bite-sized cocktail party vibe they send out all seem to point to a 50s and 60s origin. Well, in fact, stuffed eggs date back to the 13th Century! While the name came along in the 18th Century, early medieval cooking texts list recipes for hard cooked eggs stuffed with raisins, cheese, and sweet spices like cloves and cinnamon that were then fried and served with a verjuice sauce. Not exactly the deviled eggs your grandma brings to the family picnic, am I right?

I’ve adapted this recipe from Martha Deane’s Cooking for Compliments, published in 1954 “…for the woman who practices the creative art of cookery with an eye on budget, time-saving, and gourmet results” That’s only my goal in life, Martha, no big deal. She does in fact suggest to deep fry her eggs, but I opted out in hopes of living past 30 without having a massive coronary.

Eggs

– 7 eggs, hard boiled* and peeled

– 1/4 cup mayonnaise

– 1 tbsp spicy mustard

– salt and pepper

– paprika for garnish

Slice the eggs in half longways and pop the yolks out into a bowl. Add mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. Smash around with a fork until smooth. Add more seasoning if you so choose. Spoon the filling into the open holes in the eggs and sprinkle with paprika. Chill for a while if you’d like, and eat in the next day or so. But if you happen to forget about them or have just had your fill of eggs, you can always throw them at the car of someone you don’t like (I’ll just leave that reference for anyone who’ll appreciate it..)

* how to hard boil eggs: place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan with just enough water that they are covered. Place pan on stove and boil. Immediately after, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and place eggs in ice water for about 5 minutes. Peel underwater for best results.

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Desserts, Snacks

six

Caramel Corn (aka my version of Cracker Jack)

Although Cracker Jack was not invented in the 50s or 60s, it was a common feature in lunch bags and snack cabinets during these decades. I’ve adapted this dish from simplyrecipes.com- If it’s not the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted, there’s something very wrong with your mouth. I definitely recommend using the peanuts; they add a great flavor and texture. I chose to make my popcorn from scratch, but you can easily make some unsalted and non-buttered in the microwave (Newman’s Own is a great brand). Watch out for rogue un-popped kernels in the midst of snacking- I found that a couple managed to sneak their way into the final product!

Popcorn

– 6 tbsp canola oil

– 2/3 cup popcorn kernels

Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat.Put a few popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan. When the kernels have popped, add the rest of the kernels. Cover and remove from heat for 30 seconds. Return the pan to the heat, making sure to keep the lid slightly ajar for the steam release. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump into a large parchment paper-lined roasting pan.

Caramel Corn

– 4-5 quarts popped popcorn (above recipe is perfect amount)

– 2 cups packed brown sugar

– 1 cup unsalted butter

– 1/2 cup corn syrup (light or dark will suffice)

– 1 tbsp molasses

– 1 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 2 cups salted peanuts (optional)

Heat oven to 225 degrees F. Place popcorn in large roasting pan and set aside. Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, molasses and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. This will cause the caramel will foam up and turn a lighter color. Pour caramel over the popcorn in the pan. If using, add the peanuts at this time as well. Stir with a wooden spoon until all popcorn is coated, making sure not to let the caramel touch your skin- it’s VERY hot! Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir again. Return to oven and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. Spread popcorn onto waxed paper-covered cookie sheets. Let cool completely, and break into bite-sized pieces.

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Sides, Snacks

three

Canapes

For those who have never been sure exactly what canapes are, they are bite-sized decorative hors d’oeuvres: the bottoms are small crackers, circles of bread or puff pastry, filled with various toppings. (Fun fact, the word “canape” comes from the french word “sofa”, as the toppings sit on the bread or pastry like people on a couch). A standard feature at cocktail parties of the 50s and 60s, canapes were often made by cutting pieces of bread into circles, deep frying or toasting them, then piping out flavored cream cheese or compound butter, with a finishing touch of chopped vegetables or meats. My version of canapes do not have the creamy center or the deep fried crunch, but rather are baked puff pastries in a mini-muffin pan with lighter, more flavorful fillings. This recipe is extremely easy to follow, and the filling possibilities are endless. Here are the two kinds I created.

#1

– 1/4 sheet of puff pastry dough (you can make your own as well, the ready-made one is just simpler)

– 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

– 1/8 cup dried cranberries

– 1/2 finely chopped granny smith apple (any kind works, but I find that sour green apples are the best compliment to the cheese)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry until very thin, about 1/8 inch. Using a 2 inch wide biscuit cutter, cut as many circles as you can. Place circles into a greased mini-muffin pan. Fill each pastry circle with cheese, cranberries, and apples. Bake 15 minutes, checking every 5 to ensure even browning.

#2

– 1/4 sheet of puff pastry dough

– small fillet of grilled salmon

– 1/4 ripe avocado, diced small

– 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce

Follow above recipe for rolling and baking instructions, then fill with salmon, avocado, and sauce.

#1

#2

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Snacks

two

Broiled Grapefruit

My first official recipe is a quick one: it’ll take ten minutes at most, maybe five if you’re really speedy. In the 50s, broiled grapefruit was a breakfast staple, but fruit covered in sugar and garnished with a maraschino cherry isn’t exactly the healthiest option. So for this recipe I used Agave nectar instead of brown sugar. This makes for the easiest breakfast, snack, or even dessert!

– 1 large grapefruit

– drizzle of Agave nectar

– sprinkle of raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to broil (500 degrees F). Slice grapefruit in half and place on a metal baking sheet. Drizzle Agave nectar over the fruit and if using, the raw sugar. Place in oven and bake for 3-4 minutes.

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