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Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts

14 Jan

I saw this recipe a year or two ago on one of the blogs that I follow. It looked absolutely delicious and I knew I had to try it. I just needed an occasion to make it!

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So when my brother had a family Superbowl party last year (remember these babies?), I immediately thought of this appetizer. And I am glad that I did!

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They are a terrifically simple concept –browned beef in a sauce, on top of pizza flatbread, topped with cheese! Doesn’t it sound fabulous?

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You can certainly use your own homemade dough for the flatbread part. But I was making 3 or 4 things and there’s only so much time in the day! So I used the Pilsbury dough as a shortcut. It worked out great though!

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You can cut them into pieces as big or little as you want – which is awesome! I like being able to offer smaller bite appetizers for someone who just wants a lil piece, or larger bite appetizers for those who want to feast on heavy apps! Here is how the flatbread part came out:

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Annnnnnnnnnnd here is the final product – cheesy, meaty, deliciousness in your hand.

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This little gem was a HUGE HIT. I believe I quoted one of my brothers saying “Please stop making these – you’re killing me”. He couldn’t stop eating them.

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Cheeseburger Flatbread Melts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pkg dry onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tblsp mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 11 oz thin crust pizza dough, Pilsbury
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Brown and drain ground beef. Add water, vinegar, onion soup mix*, ketchup, mustard and garlic. Stir to combine and simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile, divide the pizza dough into six equal portions and roll into a round, tortilla-like shape.

Heat 2 tbsp canola oil over medium heat in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Fry the dough for one minute on each side or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Top with beef mixture and shredded cheese. Serve warm.

Makes 6 flatbread melts – depending on what size you make. (* To double this recipe, double everything except the dry onion soup mix)

 

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Brie and Puff Pastry Bites

5 Jan

I saw this recipe on one of the blogs that I follow. It sounded both easy and delicious.

IMG_1375 IMG_1376 IMG_1377 And I was right! This lil app is a crowd-pleaser. It is fruity cheese inside dough and is best when served warm.

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It is easy to assemble – but takes a little bit of time to get everything put together It’s well worth it though. I have made this appetizer 6+ times now and each time it gets quicker to put together.

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I dont make it exactly as the original recipe says – laying cheese pieces on top of the puff pastry and baking it like an open-faced sandwich. I prefer to cut out circles of dough and wrap the cheese and preserves inside the dough and seal it.

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I’ve got to include my oldest brother and his best friend here…..acting stupid with their fake teeth and enjoying some Brie and Puff Pastry Bites!

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Brie and Puff Pastry Bites

Ingredients:

  •  1 Sheet of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Log of Brie
  • 1/2 Cup of Sour Cherry Preserves
  • 1/4 of a Large Granny Smith Apple Cut Very Thin

Directions:

Lay out defrosted puff pastry and cut into pieces.

Cut brie in 1/2 inch rounds and line up on puff pastry. If you cant find the log of brie to cut rounds, just cut up a wedge into small pieces.

Add a small dollop of preserves to each brie round with a teaspoon. Don’t get over-zealous with the preserves – too much will bubble out of the puff pastry.

Fold over the pastry to seal and place on greased cookie sheet. Make sure you poke holes on the top to vent the pastry as it bakes.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool and add apple slivers on top of each puff.

Rosemary Olive Wreath

15 Dec

I got this idea from Pinterest last fall. I saw it posted a couple times and decided it would be an awesome appetizer at Christmas dinner last year.

Rosemary Olive Cheese wreath

It was both pretty and delicious! This would make a great and artful appetizer to bring to someone’s house over the holidays if you have such occasion.

And so stinkin’ easy:

  • Purchase the following: Rosemary stalks, assorted olives in red, green, and black (kalamata), cornichons, and mozzarella (or other cheese of your liking)
  • Place stalks of rosemary around the edge of a pretty plate
  • Arrange multi-colored olives and mozzarella around the rosemary wreath

Voila! It will smell wondrous, too.

Rosemary Flatbreads

8 Dec

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My dear friend, Keri Brennan, passed this recipe my way. And it was perfect timing as I was headed to a family dinner and wanted to bring some things. These lil flatbreads would be the perfect thing to bring.

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They require some yeast – but don’t let that keep you from trying. It’s so easy to throw these together.

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You just need a little bit of time to allow the dough to proof and rise.

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You can also toss in any herbs/seasonings you like. They are so versatile!

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They were delicious! I think next time I wouldn’t add as much sea salt to the tops of them – they were a bit salty. But they tasted great and made a great accompaniment to our meal!

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Rosemary Flatbreads

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 F/43 C)
  • 1 teaspoon (2 ¾ gm) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup (¼ oz) fresh rosemary or thyme ( I used minced rosemary)
  • (homemade seasoned salt made by combining dried homegrown herbs with sea salt)

Directions:

Place the water in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, oil, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and the sugar. Stir until a dough forms. Add the minced rosemary.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Use as much flour as necessary so it is not a sticky dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough around in the bowl so that it is also lightly oiled on the surface all over. Cover with saran wrap. Let stand in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to moderate 350°F. Divide dough into 16 equal portions and cover with plastic wrap. Roll out each piece to approximately 4″x10″ (or however small/large you like) on a lightly floured surface.

Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt and herbs (or homemade seasoned salt.)

Bake, rotating sheet halfway through baking, until crisp and golden, 18-22 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storage and Freezing Instructions/Tips: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Prolong the freshness by freezing for up to 3 months.

Potato Latkes

17 Nov

My mom has been making these potato pancakes for as long as I can remember. And before this recipe, she probably made another version of potato pancakes. Eating potato pancakes (aka potato latkes) is part of our eastern european heritage (we’re Lithuanian).

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Most of the time, I am disappointed with potato latkes when I order them out. So I typically don’t eat them anywhere other than my family’s house. They are usually made with too much “filling” so that its consistency is more cake than potato. They are too thick and greasy and sit like a bomb in your stomach. I don’t know what they add to it to weigh them down, but it’s just not cool. I find myself asking “where’s the potato”?

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This recipe is INSANE though – not only insanely simple, but insanely delicious. It was posted in the New York Times EONS ago and it comes from Simon and Garfunkel. Here is a pic of it!

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When you use a food processor to grate your onions and potatoes, it goes SO much easier and quicker! Also, if you find the mixture to be too wet, drain some of the liquid out of the bowl.

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You want to make sure you use a non-stick frying pan as well – something that will encourage the pancakes to lift up easily. I have made the mistake of using a bad pan and it was a disaster!

potatoes

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Our family serves these with sour cream. Some people like to eat them with applesauce or ketchup. Whatever you prefer, go for it!

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 The next time you have Jewish friends over, make this for them – they will beg you for the recipe!

Potato Latkes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tblsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

Grate potatoes into the milk. Grate the onion into the mixture. Add flour and salt, mix well.

Spoon mixture one tablespoon at a time into hot oil in a frying pan. You can make the pancakes as little or as large as you like. Make sure that the pancake is flat and not too lumpy or thick.

Brown on one side, then turn and brown on the other. Drain on a paper towel.

Serve hot with a side of applesauce or sour cream.

Spicy Cheddar Cheese Straws

6 Oct

These lil babies are a surprising treat for the person who bites into them.

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My mom has been making them for quite some time – but those times were far and few in between. As I was perusing the Family Cookbook, I came across the recipe and remembered how tasty they were.

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They are really like a spicy cheese cracker. You can make them into any shape you like – I like to keep them in a narrow triangle shape.

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You are also supposed to put some seeds on top before baking. But I had forgotten to get them at the store. So I went naked with my cheese straws. No cheese straws were harmed – they still came out delicious.

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You don’t need to provide any dip or cheese to accompany these crackers. They are good enough on their own 🙂 Of course if you want to dip, be my guest!

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Spicy Cheddar Cheese Straws

Ingredients:

  • 1 10-oz block Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp dried crushed pepper
  • 2 tblsp half-n-half
  • Seed mixture (see below)

Directions:

Pulse the first 5 ingredients in a food processor at 5-second interval until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-n-half and pulse 10 more seconds or until dough forms a ball.  (Note –dough may be wrapped in plastic wrap or Ziploc bag and chilled up to 3 days)

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare dough and divide in half. Roll each half into a 9-10 inch round. Transfer rounds to parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tsp water just until foamy. Stir together ¼ cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup roasted sunflower kernels, 2 tblsp toasted sesame seeds, and 2 tblsp black sesame seeds. Brush rounds with egg white mixture and sprinkle with seed mixture.

Cut each round into wedges of random sizes, using a fluted pastry wheel. Separate wedges about 1 inch apart. Bake 16-18 minutes, cool on baking sheets on wire racks, 30 minutes.

Makes 24-32 triangles

Garlic Dill Pickles

31 Aug

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My friend, Matt Smith, posts some great pics and recipes of yummy dishes he makes from time to time. Earlier this summer he posted a pic of a giant vat of pickles that he had just made. And all of a sudden it dawned on me – I desperately want to make pickles.

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He graciously gave me the recipe he used. As soon as I saw it, I knew this was the perfect pickle recipe. IMG_1497

It had all the ingredients I love in a pickle – jalapenos, garlic, dill, and some sugar. Cucumbers are flooding the farmers market at this time of year – everyone is practically giving them away. And I have a ton of jalapenos in my lil garden 🙂

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The hardest part to this recipe? Waiting for the pickles to marinate for a week…..It takes SO much patience. Every time I opened the fridge, those pickles were staring at me – daring me to take a taste. Look at them….mocking me.

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But I resisted. And my hard work paid off. These pickles are incredible. They might not be for everyone – so you might want to tweak the recipe. Tweak away, friends! These pickles are tart and have a definite vinegar flavor. They mellow over time.

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I highly recommend draining all of the spices/seeds/dill/peppercorns out of the liquid when the week is up. That way they don’t continue pickling while you eat them (and you don’t reach into the vat and pull out a strand of dill or random spice).

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Garlic Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 3.5-4 pounds of pickling cucumbers (the lil guys)
  • ¼ cup chopped garlic
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (seeds and all)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 tblsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar (I used a lil less)
  • 5 heaping tblsp pickling spices
  • 2 tblsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tblsp black peppercorns

Directions:  

Make sure you prepare a large container – at least a 3.5 quart container – to hold your pickles.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pull the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool down while you slice your cukes.

Prepare garlic, jalapenos, and dill. Slice your cucumbers into ½ inch-thick rounds – you can slice thinner if you like as well. Put them in your container along with the dill, garlic, and jalapenos and mix well.

Pour the mixture over your other ingredients and make sure everything is all mixed around and ingredients are distributed. Cool to room temperature and cover.

Here comes the hardest part: put them in the fridge and don’t touch them for a week unless you are going to shake them up a bit.

This recipe makes a TON of pickles and they keep for weeks!

 

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