Parmesan Knots

Oh man, I wish I knew about these little babies sooner.  They are quite irresistible and so darn cute!  They would be perfect appetizers for a party, or served with any bowl of soup.  Actually they’d be great with just about any meal that I can think of!  And they are so easy!  I’ll definitely entertain with them in the future and I bet nobody will know that they are made from canned biscuits.  🙂

I had a little extra topping left over, so I’ll cut back on those amounts next time.  And I used oil as directed, but I think melted butter would be much better.

Parmesan Knots

Source:  Taste of Home; Aug/Sept 2009

Ingredients

  • 1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/4 cup canola oil – I recommend using melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Directions

  • Cut each biscuit into thirds. Roll each piece into a 3-in. rope and tie into a knot; tuck ends under. Place 2 in. apart on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; add the warm knots and gently toss to coat.  {I just brushed on the topping with a pastry brush, going over each knot twice.}
  • Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

Game Day Grub

I hear there’s a big game tomorrow…a football game, maybe?  I’m not really sure.  Professional sports aren’t really on my radar.  But I’ve heard a few comments here and there about the super bowl so that must be it.  😉   Just don’t ask me who’s playing!

Anyway, I thought you might want some last minute snack ideas.  So, here’s a round-up of a few things that I think might go well with watching a football game.  I hope your team wins!

Main Dish:

Traditional Chili or White Chili Make sure you have cornbread or biscuits on the side and all the fixings to go on top – crackers, cheese, sour cream, fritos, scallions, etc…

Appetizers:


Pizza Puffs

Enchilada Roll-ups

Pigs in a Blanket and Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Bites

Snacks and Dips:

Jalapenos would be the star of the game day for us.

Jalapeno Hummus

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Hot Pizza Dip {favorite!}

Oh, I almost forgot Salsa!  Can’t have a football game without the chips and salsa.

And while we are at it, we can’t forget the beer either.  Here’s a Beer Cheese Dip!

For the sweeter side of things, here’s a Cookie Dough Dip!

Dessert:

Keeping it simple, here are a few bar recipes that you can’t go wrong with:

Peanut Butter Fingers

Oreo Bars

Chewy Brownies

And last but not least, you gotta have drinks!

I recommend Rum Slushies!

Enjoy and have fun!

Brie en Croute

Baked brie is something I have spotted on blogs and in magazines for many years.  I always knew I would enjoy it, but I guessed that Tim never would.  So I had to wait for an occasion where it could be enjoyed by a crowd.  Well, the opportunities finally came this year.  I prepared it for Thanksgiving at my house and for Christmas at my mom and dad’s.  It was excellent.  Gooey, buttery pastry, tart cranberries, and flaky are a few ways to describe it.  I definitely recommend it!  I hope you don’t wait as long as I did to try it!

Brie en Croute

source: adapted from Pepperidge Farm

Ingredient measurements are approximate:

1/2 package of puff pastry {one sheet}

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts – almonds, pecans, or walnuts

1 wheel of brie – approx 1 pound {I cut the rind off}

egg wash {one egg + 1 Tbs water}

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thaw pastry sheet at room temp for 40 minutes, then unfold and roll into a 14″ square.

Place nuts, dried fruit, and honey in center of dough.  Place brie on top, fold the dough to close and press seems to seal, cutting off any excess dough.  Invert and decorate with pastry scraps.  Place seam side down on baking sheet.  Brush with egg wash.

Bake 20 minutes or until golden.  Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving {or up to one hour}.

Serve with crackers, apple slices, crusty bread, etc.

Enjoy!

Jalapeno Hummus

I’ve commented over and over again about how much I love hummus, so I won’t go into it again.  I’ll just leave you with this kicked up version of hummus for the folks who love jalapeno like us.  Enjoy!

Sorry no picture here, but it looks just like my regular hummus only with tiny green flecks in it from the jalapeno.

Jalapeno Hummus

2 jalapeno peppers, ribbed and seeded {You could go with 1-3 depending on your tastes}

2 small cloves of garlic, peeled

1 (14 oz) can of chickpeas, drained

juice of 2 small lemons

1/4 cup tahini

4-6 Tbsp water

2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp cumin

Combine the jalapenos, garlic, and chickpeas in the bowl of a large food processor.  Pulse into coarse paste.  Add lemon juice, tahini, some water {start with 4 Tbsp}, salt, and cumin.  Process until fully ground.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube.  Scrape sides of bowl again and then process for a few more seconds to ensure that everything is combined.  May need to add more water to reach desired consistency.

Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Buffalo Chicken Patties

This recipe was intended to be vegetarian which I’m sure would have been terrific, but I had to add some chicken since T is far from being vegetarian.
Ash at Veggie by Season had a great suggestion to make these into burgers, but we just ate them plain.  Additionally if you make them into mini patties, I think they would be great appetizers or as sliders too.   It’s nice to have versatility.
If you do want to make them vegetarian, omit the chicken obviously and use a whole can of chickpeas, or just follow the link to her blog.
Buffalo Chicken Chickpea Patties
adapted from:  Veggie by Season
Ingredients:
half of a 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. buffalo sauce, plus more for serving
1 egg white
1 small yellow onion, grated or finely minced
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper
For serving:
Buffalo sauce
Ranch or blue cheese dressing
Carrot Sticks
Celery
Buns, lettuce, tomato and crumbled blue cheese, if served as burgers
Directions:
Add chickpeas to a bowl, use a potato masher or fork and mash until about 2/3 of the chickpeas are pasty and 1/3 are in pieces or whole.  Add the shredded chicken.
Add the buffalo sauce to the chickpeas and chicken.
Add half of the oats to a food processor, pulse to create a crumb, add to the chickpeas.
Beat the egg white in a small dish to a froth, add to the chickpeas.
Grate onion into the chickpeas, finally add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Use a spatula and fold mixture, combining ingredients well.
Heat a griddle over medium, spray with nonstick spray or add 1 tbsp. EVOO.
Use a 1/3 measuring cup or large ice cream scoop to portion out chickpea mixture onto griddle, this yields about 7 patties, or more.
Cook patties for 5-7 minutes, until crispy and brown, flip gently and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Serve immediately to retain maximum crispness.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Sometimes I’m torn about whether or not to post certain food pictures.  I personally like to see a picture with every recipe that I want to make, but some of my pictures are so bad that I think they detract from the food itself.  This is one of those instances where you probably won’t want to make this dish based on the picture, but it’s there anyway.  You’ll just have to trust me that it tastes good.

I’ll point out that this makes a ton of dip, but the kind person who I found this recipe from also has a use for the leftover dip.  I took advantage of that recipe too and its coming up in my next post.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

{source:  adapted from a blog that I couldn’t find again????}

dip:

3-5 slices of bacon, diced

5-6 fresh jalapenos, coarsely chopped {can use more or less to taste}

two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened {I don’t know why I bothered, but I used low-fat cream cheese.}

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded cheese {Mexican blend was listed, but I just used cheddar}

two 4 oz. cans of chopped green chilies

1 clove of garlic, peeled

topping:

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese

1/2 stick {1/4 cup} butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 2 quart baking dish.

In a frying pan, saute bacon over medium heat until starting to brown.  Stir in the chopped jalapenos and continue to saute until bacon is fully cooked but not burnt, about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

In a food processor, add the rest of the dip ingredients and process until smooth.  Add the cooked bacon and jalapenos and pulse until incorporated, but not smooth.  Spread into the prepared dish.

Make the topping by combining the breadcrumbs and cheese in a bowl.  Pour melted butter over the top and mix well.  Sprinkle evenly over the dip and bake for about 25 minutes or until top is browned and dip is heated through and bubbles around the edges.

Serve hot with chips.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

As if we don’t eat enough regular homemade pizza as it is, we also enjoy pizza dip and now these pizza puffs.  We LOVE pizza!  You should definitely give these a try for your next party.  They are so easy and really tasty!

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

{source:  seen @ Delicious Meliscious, originally from Every Day with Rachael Ray}

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 4 ounces pepperoni, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil- I omitted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Frozen Assets
Freeze the baked puffs in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. To reheat, bake the frozen puffs on a baking sheet in a 350° oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Deviled Eggs

I don’t remember when I made these and took the picture, probably around the holidays, but I’m just now getting around to posting it!

Since most deviled egg trays hold 12, you only need to cook 6 eggs but I like to make 3-4 extras in case some don’t come out of their shell nicely.  Making a few extras also allows for plenty of filling, so you can fill the eggs nice and full.  Just discard any unused hard cooked egg whites.

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

6 hard cooked eggs {or more}

1 tsp yellow mustard

1/4 cup mayo {or maybe slightly more}

1 scant tsp white vinegar

s & p to taste

paprika

Directions

Remove each cooled hard cooked egg from its shell and cut in half.  Carefully remove yolks and place them in a large bowl.  Stir in mayo, mustard, vinegar, and s & p.  Mash and combine with a fork.  Once the yolks are mashed, I like to switch to a whisk and beat until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings and add extra mayo depending on your preference.

Place the filling in a pastry bag fitted with with tip of your choice, or just use a sandwich bag with the tip snipped off.  Pipe mixture into egg white halves.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Chill until serving.

How I make hard boiled eggs:

Place eggs in a single layer in large saucepan making sure no eggs are cracked.  Add cold water to cover the eggs by about an inch.  Bring water to a boil.   Immediately, remove pan from heat and cover with the lid.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large bowl full of ice and let sit until completely cooled.

Beef Empanadas

I served these empanadas as a meal by themselves, but due to their size I think they would be better suited just as appetizers.  Or, they need to be made larger to be served as an entire meal in my opinion.

I had way more filling that I needed, so I’ll cut that in half {or more} next time or I’ll double the amount of pastry and freeze half of them.  I think I’ll also add a few tablespoons of salsa to the filling next time as well.  To cut down on prep time, I made the filling the night before.

Sweet Corn and Beef Empanadas

{heavily adapted from a Cuisine At Home magazine}

Note – Below is exactly how I made them which yielded way too much filling.  We used the leftover filling in soft tacos for the next few day’s lunches and dinners.

Filling Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small can roasted diced green chilies

1 can Mexi-corn, drained

4 scallions, sliced

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp or more ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne or to taste {can sub paprika for less heat}

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

For the empanadas:

1 pkg refrigerated pie dough (2 sheets)

1 egg yolk

1 Tbsp water

paprika

salsa for dipping

Directions:

Brown ground beef with garlic and chopped onion until cooked through.  Drain fat.  Mix meat and onions with chilies, corn, scallions, and seasonings.  Chill thoroughly {or overnight}.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unroll 1 sheet of pie dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll with rolling pin to smooth and thin out (about 1/8″).  Cut circles in dough with a 3.5″ or larger biscuit cutter (I’ll definitely make them larger next time).  Place rounds of dough on prepared baking sheets.  Repeat with second sheet of pie dough and re-roll scraps as needed.

Add shredded cheese (and some salsa?) to the meat filling and then place one tablespoon of filling on each small circle of dough.  Fold in half and crimp with fork to seal.  {You may freeze them at this point if desired.}

Blend egg yolk and water and brush it on the top of each empanadas.  Sprinkle with paprika and bake until golden, 15-18 minutes.

Serve with salsa on the side for dipping.

Cookie Dough Dip

Of all the food served at the recent baby shower I hosted, this dip was probably talked about the most.  I think everyone liked it and several people asked how to make it.  It is a nice sweet alternative to the typical savory dips/appetizers served at parties.  Its also totally addictive!

The only change I make is adding more powdered sugar than what is called for.  I like a thicker dip, so I would guess I added closer to 1 cup but I just eyeballed it.

Cookie Dough Dip

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 {8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s/powdered sugar {I used maybe 1 cup?}

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup chopped nuts – optional {I always omit}

Nilla wafers or graham crackers for dipping

Directions

Melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir until the butter is melted and sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined and fluffy.  Slowly add the cooled butter mixture and beat to combine.

Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  Place in serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. 

Add additional mini chocolate chips before serving for garnish if you choose.

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