7.2.16

Easy, Semi-healthy Superbowl Snacks


Happy Superbowl Sunday!

Do you have big plans?  Or will you be watching it at home?

Either way, you'll need some snacks. Maybe you're a planner and you've got everything you need, but maybe you've been procrastinating like me and need some last minute ideas.

Here's a list of easy, semi-healthy Super Bowl snacks that you can whip up in no time.

These are all great for munching on while watching intense football

or while watching the halftime show and commercials involving puppies.......no judgment here.


Classic Southern Pimento Cheese 



Copycat Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus



Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini with Pancetta & Kale and Rosemary Roasted Pears



Perfect Guacamole



Cocoa Cinnamon Roasted Almonds



Edamame--add salt or cajun seasoning



Popcorn--the microwave kind is fine! Or get fancy and make the stovetop version.



Stupid Easy Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies



Apple "Nachos" with Granola and Peanut Butter Chocolate Drizzle 



Brownie Batter Energy Bites


31.1.16

Brownie Batter Energy Bites


I like to celebrate the blog birthday every year by making a chocolate peanut butter dessert.  Is there really a better culinary combination? 



This year, I've made brownie batter energy bites--a healthier chocolate peanut butter dessert--made with dates, peanut butter, cocoa powder, chia seeds, oatmeal, and chocolate chips. 

But, don't let the healthy ingredients fool you--these bites are rich and packed with intense chocolate flavor.   


And, there's no baking involved. You'll combine all the ingredients in the food processor, make the balls, and then pop them in the fridge to set.


It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for three years. THREE YEARS.

I started this blog during my third year of teaching and I've continued blogging though almost three years of law school.  In a lot of ways, I think it's helped keep me same.

Throughout everything, this blog has been a space where I've come to play, experiment, and connect with you.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for loving chocolate and peanut butter as much as I do.


Brownie Batter Energy Bites


Ingredients:
10 dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
3 tablespoons salted peanut butter or almond butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
Splash of milk (optional)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions: 
Add pitted dates to the food processor and pulse until they form a ball. (As in the photo above)

Add peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, chia seeds, and oats. Pulse until combined. (You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor if you have a regular model like mine.) If the mixture is not coming together, add a splash of milk and pulse again. 

Add chocolate chips and pulse for another few seconds. 

Use your hands to roll the dough into 1 inch balls. (Should make between 12-13, depending on the size)

You can eat these immediately, but to firm them up a bit, stick them in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. These will stay fresh in an air-tight container or in the fridge for up to a week. They can also be frozen!

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

24.1.16

Green Chile Strata (with leftover Pimento Cheese!)



Most of us on the east coast have been snowed in this weekend, so we've been drinking wine and eating comfort food.

Enter this baked cheesy, eggy goodness.....the green chile strata.


Adam and I didn't have a lot of groceries going into the weekend.  Although Adam was able to go to the grocery Thursday night before the storm came, there were no carts or baskets left, so he was only able to make it out with milk, apples, and cereal.

So, we had to feed ourselves for 3 days with with the remnants of our pantry and fridge.

I actually sort of love this kind of challenge. I enjoy imagining different recipes using the combination of ingredients we have on hand.  I especially enjoy it when the end result is this delicious and blog-post worthy.


The base recipe for this green chile strata is incredibly simple--corn tortillas, canned green chiles, shredded cheese, eggs, and milk.  However, it's also very adaptable. We only had one can of diced green chiles, so I sautéed some chopped yellow bell pepper from the freezer and added it in. We also only had 2 cups of shredded cheese, so I used a cup of leftover pimento cheese. (This might be the secret ingredient for this recipe....) 

This strata is a very forgiving recipe. Feel free to add other sautéed veggies, black beans, or your favorite hot sauce. 

You can prepare the strata the night before and let it set in the fridge, or just refrigerate it for 30 minutes before baking.  If you're anything like us, you'll be devouring half the pan within minutes of taking it out of the oven. It's that good. 


Green Chile Strata (with leftover Pimento Cheese!)


Ingredients:
8 corn tortillas
1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 cups shredded cheese (You can use 1 cup leftover pimento cheese in addition to the other cheeses--monterrey jack or cheddar is great!)
6 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
hot sauce, if desired

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you're planning to bake the strata today. Otherwise, skip this step)

Grease a 13 by 9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter.

Add olive oil to a small sauce pan. Add the chopped yellow pepper and sauté for 5-6 minutes or until starten to soften.  Add the can of diced green chiles to the pan and stir to combine.

Cover the bottom of the pan with 4 corn tortillas. (I ripped two tortillas in half and used them to fill in the gaps) Cover the tortillas with half of the pepper mixture and half of the shredded cheese.  Cover the cheese with four more tortillas. Add the other half of the pepper mixture and top with the remaining cheese.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and hot sauce. Pour egg/milk mixture over the baking dish.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.

Notes:
  • The original recipe calls for three 4-ounce cans of green chiles. I only had one can, so I used a fresh yellow bell pepper instead.  Feel free to experiment. This is a forgiving recipe!
  • I also used 1 cup of leftover pimento cheese in this recipe. It was delicious! If using, consider omitting the salt, as pimento cheese is already salty. 
Adapted from Savor by Shauna Niequist.

17.1.16

Classic Southern Pimento Cheese



Hi!  It's only mid-January and I'm already post a dip recipe made from primarily of cheese and mayonnaise.  I'm pretty sure this is breaking some food blogging rules, but sometimes that's necessary.

Pimento cheese is indeed a southern classic.  I hated it when I was a kid because of my aversion to mayonnaise, but I've grown to love it in recent years.  This pimento cheese could be used to make a killer grilled cheese, especially when accompanied by tomato soup--one of my all-time favorite winter meals.


Also, the Superbowl is coming up soon, and this is a quintessential football-watching recipe. (Or the kind of thing you'd like to eat while others are watching football....)

As for me, I'll be bringing this classic southern pimento cheese dip to a friend's house to watch the Bachelor tomorrow.  It's a silly, sometimes blatantly sexist show, but I enjoy making fun of it with my friends. The Bachelor also provides a great excuse to get together on a Monday night to drink wine and eat cheese dip.  Whatever we need to do to make Mondays in January a little more bearable, right?


Classic Southern Pimento Cheese


Ingredients:
1/2 cup Duke's mayonnaise
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
1 tablespoon graded Vidalia onion with juice (I used a box grater to grate the onion)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups extra-sharp white cheddar cheese


Directions:
Combine the mayo, pimentos, grated vidalia onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a large bowl.

Add the grated cheeses and stir to combine.

For optimum favor, refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipe adapted from The Southerner's Cookbook.
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