Showing posts with label game day snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label game day snacks. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Avocado Feta Hummus Layered Vegetable Appetizer

Avocado feta hummus is a pretty and protein-rich vegetarian appetizer. Customize your platter with diced vegetable toppings and use pita chips or sliced vegetables as dippers.

Image of a plate of Avocado feta hummus topped with diced peppers, olives, and red onions served with a bowl of pita chips

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Being an intentionally seasonal eater means I get to eat amazingly delicious foods.  Fresh food--tomatoes, strawberries, even celery--just tastes better and I'm usually willing to wait out the winter months for those fresh tastes.  But if I limited my diet to solely local foods, I'd miss out on bananas, avocados, olives, shrimp, chocolate, salmon, tea . . . lots of stuff!

I compromise, of a sort, and think Kristy's idea of eating 80% local/20% other, as described in her podcast, is a terrific idea.  Every beet we eat is locally grown.  All the kale, as well. Much of the tomatoes and tomato-based products we eat are from my backyard and our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. I make enough pesto to last us for the year.  I'm also good with garlic, between roasting my own crop and using the fresh stuff from the farm share.

photo of Avocado feta hummus served as a layered appetizer topped with feta cheese, red onion, green olives, and yellow peppers

Avocados are an area where I enjoy breaking out of the local foods mode. After all, no avocado trees grow in my backyard (although I did have a banana tree when we lived in Hawaii)! Several years of resolving to add more avocados to my life [this is a New Year's Resolution more should adopt--it's fun!] means I am happy to report that I've gone beyond guacamole and avocado toast.

As soon as I tried the combination of salty feta and creamy avocado in Maria and Josh's Avocado Feta dip I was hooked. I keep coming back to that combination. I shared an Avocado Feta Lemon Yogurt Dip, and today I've made it into a hummus.

Avocado feta hummus is good as a stand alone dip--but it sings when you layer it with fresh & preserved vegetables and additional cheese then scoop it up with fresh veggies and pita chips.

I think this dip--with the green olives, yellow peppers, and red onion--looks like Easter egg colors.  I'm sharing it now just because I thought it would be a nice Easter appetizer, and I like to plan ahead.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Cranberry Salsa--put it up or give it away

Sweet and spicy, this gluten free condiment is terrific on a leftover turkey sandwich. The bright color makes a lovely edible gift during the holiday season.

image of  a plate containing a turkey sandwich topped with cranberry salsa

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I have a confession and an apology. Apology first. When I shared the Cranberry Chicken Swiss Chard Leek Enchiladas I was unaware that one of the ingredients I used, cranberry salsa, was not always available. I'm sorry.

Now for the confession--I often work ahead, posting recipes made up to a year in advance. See, I'm slow as the molasses in my cold kitchen in the wintertime. If I were to get recipes written, photographed and typed and published in order I'd be sharing tomato recipes in November, pumpkin recipes in January, and butternut squash recipes in April.

Nobody wants that--not even the folks Down Under?! Instead of missing the seasons by a mile, I opt to save posts until they are seasonally ripe. I've got some flexibility that way, so I can toss in a Beef and Venison Sloppy Joe recipe or a Slow Cooker Apple Chai for a crowd when the spirit moves me [and I'm asked].

Sweet and spicy, this gluten free condiment of honey-sweetened cranberries, onions, and peppers is terrific on a leftover turkey sandwich. The bright color makes a lovely edible gift during the holiday season.

Most of the time this method--of working ahead and taking my time, works fine. Sometimes I screw up. Royally. In this case I tried to find the same brand of cranberry salsa in the store and even contacted Ocean Spray only to learn that they don't make cranberry salsa each year. Instead of just saying 'oh well, you're on your own', I grabbed a bag of cranberries from my freezer stash and some hot peppers from my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share and made a batch.

pic of a pot of bubbling cranberry salsa

If you've ever made cranberry sauce from the bag of berries, you can make cranberry salsa. It's just boiling and stirring, after all. If your cranberry sauce involves opening a can from both ends, let's talk and explore your options.

image of a pantry shelf filled with jars of home-canned goods.

I canned this cranberry salsa. In fact I've canned so many things that my shelf support broke! Luckily the shelf fell onto the jars of salsa verde and Cantina Style Strawberry Salsa, so nothing slid to the floor. Although I did get 7 jars to fill up my canner, I did have a wee bit left over and it has been in my fridge for 2 weeks and tastes delicious. I'll bet it's good for at least 2-3 weeks in the fridge, and that's plenty long for Thanksgiving turkey sandwich leftovers. That means you don't have to process this before using.

image of a making a turkey sandwich with cranberry salsa, cheese, kohlrabi pickles, lettuce, and bread
Salad greens from the farm share and kohlrabi pickles make this sandwich amazing.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Asian Maple Sausage Meatballs (Gluten Free)

Sweet and heat combined into a gluten free Asian flavored meatball made with maple pork sausage and extra maple syrup. These little gems make a terrific appetizer or entree. Serve over rice or in lettuce cups.

photo of a dish of Gluten Free Asian Maple Sausage Meatballs served over rice

This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. Recently I lunched with several Ohio farmers and bloggers at Bob Evans Farms corporate HQ. In addition to an easy recipe, I'm going to share my thoughts on the visit. First, it was very special to know that Bob Evans uses Ohio grown pork in their products, so some of the food we enjoyed could have come from animals raised by the farmers in the room. I like to support my local farmers and meet the folks who grow the food I feed my family.

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What struck me most about the day was the intersection of science and art that goes into our food. No, I'm not talking about molecular gastronomy (I'm not 100% sure what that even means). I'm referring to engineers working to produce soybeans that efficiently turn a piglet into my bacon. Sounds like magic, but it's science. Because of science, farmers like Phil Hord and Tom Graham can raise pigs to their mature weight of 270 pounds within 6 months. Tom feeds his hogs up to 6 times a day, and since he's showering in and out of the barn that means Tom's winter skin is chapped but his hogs are healthy and we're enjoying antibiotic free pork.  Raising pigs more efficiently means folks like Nathan Schroeder, a 4th generation Ohio hog farmer, can come back to the family farm and make a living without needing an off farm job.

scenes from a tour of the Bob Evans Farms corporate HQ
Do you see all of those microwaves? When they say "Test Kitchen" they really mean testing! The side dishes and entrees are tested in a variety of microwaves to ensure the directions work for most machines.

At the luncheon I learned more about the international work our Ohio hog farmers are doing. I knew from my visit with Mark Runyan of Oakview Farm Meats that Ohio hog farmers work with pork producers around the world. My first degree was in Animal Science, so when Rich Deaton mentions "genetic material" I know he's talking about frozen straws used for artificial insemination. That genetic material can travel all over the world. I didn't know that Tom exports young female pigs overseas. Ohio born hogs are creating dynasties to feed folks throughout the world. That's some pretty impressive science!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Triple Bacon Club Sandwich

This triple decker sandwich is packed with bacon! Starting with crisp bacon strips, tender slices of Canadian bacon, and an amazing Bacon Basil Tomato Mayo spread--this recipe is perfect for a game day crowd or a satisfying solo lunch with a good book.

photo of  a triple bacon club sandwich with chips

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The Ohio Pork Board asked me to write a post about bacon. I can't believe I'm getting paid to do this. I mean, bacon. A crisp slice of bacon, crackling as I bite into it and then dissolving in my mouth . . . well that's bliss right there. Creating this recipe was truly a pleasure, and I hope you enjoy re-creating because it's easy to make this restaurant-quality dish right at home!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Instant Pot® Pickled Pork Sliders

Pickled pork sliders combine bacon, ground pork, and pickles for a savory sandwich. These are terrific with coleslaw or over rice. Use the Instant Pot® or make it on the stove top--with only 5 everyday ingredients, this recipe is easy to make and fun to eat.

Image of pickled pork slider sandwich topped with coleslaw, served with pickles, apple slices, and chips. Wholesome lunch.

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Disclosure--this post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. The more I meet with Ohio hog farmers the more inspired I am to create recipes showcasing their hard work. Pork is a versatile protein and I always have some in my freezer. I'm glad to show you an easy way to enjoy ground pork!

I've been using my new Instant Pot to make new versions of old favorites. In this post I'm updating my Pickled Pork and White Bean Sliders recipe with a new-and-improved version, using bacon instead of beans, and cucumber pickles instead of yellow squash pickles. If you're looking for the old version, scroll down to the bottom and you'll find the stove top directions.
photo of Instant Pot® pickled pork slider, topped with coleslaw, served with potato chips and a pickle.

When I embraced making pickles--thanks to the clear directions and approachable small batch recipes in Marisa McClellan's book Food in Jars (Amazon affiliate link) and on her eponymous blog--I did so with gusto. I pickled cucumbers, beets, peppers, green beans, squash, and turnips nearly as fast as I could accumulate mass quantities of them from my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. I soon had jars of quick-pickled vegetables in my fridge, and water bath-processed jars of pickled vegetables in my pantry. I had a family who unanimously loved cucumber pickles--at least on sandwiches and burgers.
What I didn't have were kids who would embrace different types of pickled vegetables.
Pickled beets?  Um, they're beets, Mom. Pickled turnips?  No, thanks. Pickled peppers?  Too hot! Pickled squash? Just . . . . why? Dilly Beans? Ok, none of us really cared for them, though I tolerated them in a nicoise salad.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Green Tomato Garlic Chili in the Instant Pot® or Slow Cooker

Green tomatoes, roasted garlic, and ground beef make a colorful and flavorful chili recipe perfect for fall. You can make this in the Instant Pot®, a slow cooker, or on the stovetop. 

photo of a bowl of green tomato garlic chili that was prepared in an Instant pot®

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As someone who cooks with what's in season, this time of year means green tomatoes. I decided to update an old post from my first year, really the first few weeks of starting this website. In addition to publishing new photos and adding an easier to read recipe card, I've also cooked this recipe in my newest appliance, the Instant Pot®. My husband bought me an early birthday/Christmas present, and I unboxed it--with the dogs' help--and shared the resulting video on my FB page. I'm quite happy to ditch the old, poor quality photos for some newer, still poor quality photos (it's been raining here), but I didn't want to delete how I was inspired to make this chili. For that, please feel free to read my original text below.
I recently started volunteering at a thrift shop.  I didn't realize that it would mean I'd be shopping at the thrift shop on a regular basis, which is an unfortunate happy side effect.  I mean, I did get a pair of new-to-me jeans for $3.  And they're not 'mom jeans' either. Last time I volunteered was after I'd made the Cabin Casserole.  I was chatting with Fran about it, and how the recipe called for green tomatoes, when she told me about her Green Tomato Garlic Chili.  I immediately requested the recipe! This recipe is from The Garlic Lover's Cookbook. I've adapted Fran's recipe by cutting the fat, adjusting the spices, swapping roasted for fresh garlic, pumping up the amount of veggies, and finely chopping everything so my kids will eat it. We liked it so much that I harvested the rest of the green tomatoes on my plants, cored them (the composting pigs like green tomatoes too!) pulsed them in my lovely food processor, and froze 2 2+ lb bags of green tomatoes for winter chili nights.  Make that chilly winter nights.  Oooh!

A few Notes about this recipe.
  1. I used ground beef, but feel free to substitute fresh ground pork. I already know ground pork and green tomatoes make a great chili--check out my Chorizo & Green Tomato Chili recipe here.
  2. Use the hot peppers of your choice. I'm able to get quarts of freshly roasted Hatch chiles each August from the local grocery store, and I pop them into the freezer to use throughout the year. I think using roasted chiles adds more flavor than fresh chiles, so I do recommend using roasted green chiles.
  3. No roasted garlic? No problem! You can substitute minced garlic, probably ⅓ of a cup. Like with the chiles, I think that using roasted garlic punches up the flavor in many dishes. When I harvest my garlic crop each summer, I roast and freeze a portion for use throughout the year. Here's a post about how I put up my garlic crop.
  4. That's a lot of chopping! Yes--I like to start my day at work chopping a bunch of onions, but if chopping isn't your thing, run the onions, bell peppers, and green tomatoes in turns through a food processor until they are finely chopped. [If you don't have a food processor and chopping's not your thing . . . add that to your birthday wish list and find room in the kitchen.]
  5. I've included instructions for cooking this chili in an Instant Pot® (mine is 6 quarts, plenty of room), in a slow cooker, and on the stove top. I am sure you could figure out a way to cook this on a grill--but I'm not going to do that. I grill pizza and vegetables mostly, and I'm good with that.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Easy Chile Relleno Dip

This hot, spicy, cheesy vegetarian dip has the flavor of a cheese-stuffed chile pepper similar to a jalapeño popper without all the fuss (or the jalapeños).  Salsa verde provides the heat in a smooth dip great for parties and game day snacking.

This hot, spicy, cheesy vegetarian dip has the flavor of a cheese-stuffed pepper without all the fuss. Salsa verde provides the heat in a smooth dip great for parties and game day snacking.

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I know I'm supposed to be all "eat healthier in the New Year" but the fact is that New Year's Resolutions, made during the post holiday let down while you're hungover from too much akavit, don't stick.

My small change for today is to offer a vegetarian alternative for your game day snack spread, evening cocktail party, or Cinco de Mayo fiesta.  While this recipe may not qualify as healthy, my grandmas--born around the turn of the previous century--would recognize the ingredients used to make it.

This hot, spicy, cheesy vegetarian dip has the flavor of a cheese-stuffed pepper without all the fuss. Salsa verde provides the heat in a smooth dip great for parties and game day snacking.

I tried my first Chile Relleno in Cody, Wyoming over the summer vacation. A roasted Hatch chile stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese, dipped in an egg batter, fried, then covered in a sauce made from more roasted chiles. And more cheese. I've ordered that dish twice more since we came home, made the flavor combo into a pizza even, but didn't think about making it into a dip until I spied twin warming trays at a holiday party. Little signs labelled one tray Buffalo Chicken Dip and the other Jalapeño Popper Dip. 

It was like dueling hot spicy cheesy dips--one for omnivores, one friendly to vegetarians. What a brilliant idea.
For more awesome veggie apps and snacks, please see my Pinterest board. For more game day snacks, just use the search bar on the sidebar to search for 'game day snacks'. For more recipes using Hatch chiles, please see my Hatch Chile Recipes Collection. For more recipes using tomatillos, please see my Tomatillo Recipe Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks trying to support their local producers by sourcing winter game day snacks out of produce grown locally during the summer.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Trail Mix with Leftover Halloween Candy for #Choctoberfest

Got leftover Halloween candy? Mix it up and stretch it out with fruit and nuts for a {Leftover} Halloween Candy Trail Mix.

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Do you buy the Halloween candy that you like, or do you buy the Halloween candy that will not tempt you? [Does anyone actually like Bit-o-Honey?]

When I moved to Ohio I realized that, unlike the 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas or New Year's, the day that Halloween is celebrated is not set in stone. Around here, some towns have their kids trick or treat on the weekend before October 31st for reasons that have escaped me. [Let's celebrate Thanksgiving on a Sunday, hmm? That actually makes sense, so you're not working all day long and then pulling the best American meal of the year out of your ear 24 hrs later.]

Our town always celebrates on the 31st, which means that many years our flat, well-lit, sidewalked town with houses close together is overrun with 'people from off' coming to double dip on their trick or treating. I am quite curious this year, as Halloween falls on a Saturday, to see what reasons folks will invent to come trick or treat in our town. It's possible folks will keep to their own towns, and in that case I'll need to change up my game. See, I usually buy candy I DON'T want to have leftovers of, so I am not tempted into additional snackage.

Using an overgrown volunteer zucchini and other squash for our jack-o-lanterns.
Using an overgrown volunteer zucchini and other squash for our jack-o-lanterns.

As a side note, I've got kids with peanut and dairy allergies on my block, so I always have 2 bowls of candy: one that only contains nut- and dairy-free packages (i.e., pure packets of sugary goodness) and one that may have nuts and/or dairy. I've got signs on each bowl, and often kids thank me. Consider doing that yourself.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Make Your Own Layered Taco Dip Bar

Set out skillets and bowls of your favorite fixings, along with plenty of chips, and let everyone make their own layered taco dip just the way they like.

I think this time of year is an ideal time to strut your stuff. Show off what you've been up to in the kitchen, show off the fabulous job your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers or you cousin's sister's daughter* did in the farm or garden. I think a Make Your Own Layered Taco Dip Bar is an excellent way to do so.

A Make Your Own Layered Taco Dip Bar works for a variety of eaters and appetites. Vegetarians and omnivores alike can heap their plates high, and if you just want a nibble of a few things you're good as well. It can be an appetizer spread or a full on meal. Most of the toppings can be prepared in advance, making this as easy as browning ground beef and whipping up a Fast & Easy 3 Ingredient Bean & Hatch Chile Dip.

You can set up this concept any time of year as fresh vegetables--while delightful--are not integral to the spread. Preserved [I've put up 4 kinds of salsa so far this year] and frozen vegetables work just fine. A Superbowl party, an entertainment industry award event, basketball playoffs, the Stanley Cup . . . [do they do something for baseball?] or just because. Or you could just set up a Make Your Own Layered Taco Dip Bar for a family dinner, like I've shown here.
My brilliant friend Cathy, upon hearing all about the salsas I've been making, suggested I host a Salsa and Margaritas party. I love the idea! Right now is hectic--along with putting up the garden bounty as it comes in fast & furious, I'm spending my energy helping my spouse deploy. The idea of a party is a wonderful thing to clean the house for look forward to, so I've scheduled one for later this year. I'll provide the house, my Cheater Margarita Smoothies and an assortment of salsas [and dogs, I also have an assortment of dogs--but they will be out of the way with the kids]. I will invite my guests to bring their favorite margaritas, guacamole or salsa, chips, or dessert. Let me know if you host one!

For more appetizers, please see my Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks board on Pinterest. For more Layered Vegetable Appetizers, please check out my Clickable Collages of Recipe Suggestions page and scroll own past the beets. Finally, because I started this blog not to bury Caesar my recipes, I've got both a Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient and a drop down menu of ideas on the right sidebar. Want to know how to use this blog? Click here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spiced Cottage Cheese Chip Dip

Cottage cheese blended with spices makes a simple dip that is great with potato chips or vegetable dippers. But really, you want it with potato chips. The ruffled kind are best.

On this blog I typically share how I feed my family the seasonal produce of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Occasionally I'll share other, non-produce inspired recipes.

This is one of those times because every summer gathering needs a good potato chip dip.

This is an old family recipe that has been passed onto the 3rd generation. My daughter now makes it, and scribbles the amounts I call out in decimals--".66 mayonnaise", anyone? It seems awfully silly for a family recipe of what amounts to a diet food [used as a way to get more potato chips into my mouth] but no matter.

Growing up my mom didn't buy those tubs of sour cream-based dips for parties. She'd just make up this dip instead. When my brother comes home from overseas, in addition to fried eggs, he wants a bag of chips, a container of cottage cheese, and seasoned salt--the bachelor version. I thought everyone ate cottage cheese as a chip dip, and had no clue cottage cheese was thought of as a diet food until recently.

We are particular about our cottage cheese and prefer a dried style and smaller curd than most nationwide brands. Each time we move I have to find a new cottage cheese source, and here in Ohio it's Michigan brand cottage cheese.  Since I'm still not really sure how to respond when someone yells O-H!, and since my spouse is from Michigan, there is no foolish sports-related reason not to live in Ohio and enjoy Michigan brand cottage cheese. No sponsorship implied--sharing a fine example of 'good' cottage cheese for this dip. Back on the east coast it was Nordica brand. I never found a good brand in Hawaii. I ate sushi and malasadas instead.

For grins and giggles, even though there's not a vegetable in it or a Chip Dip Category on it, check out the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. If you're still got time to kill while avoiding something more pressing, head over to Pinterest and follow my Awesome Vegetable Apps and Snacks. Still want to poke around? Learn how to Use This Blog here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Avocado Queso Dip

Avocado blended with queso and salsa verde for a creamy smooth dip. An excellent base for another layered vegetable appetizer.

This is not a sponsored post, though it probably reads like it. It's just on my mind, coming through the pen, and eventually through the screen. There is nothing to disclose.

In anticipation of Earth Day my family spent Saturday morning at our community park. We dug out muck from a drainage ditch, spread mulch across a playground, and enjoyed the pleasant feeling of being tired from physical work. That sounds so snooty, but our workdays are not spent shoveling, raking, and hauling wheelbarrows. It's a nice change to work at something physically and have immediate gratification. We went home and kept on going. Spending a weekend doing yard work is very fulfilling for me, though I understand I'm in the minority. I can deal with that.

See, I've got a secret: I've got good tools.

Just like how sharp knives and pizza stones make my days successful in the kitchen, the right tools make working in the garden a dream. I've mentioned my daughter's peach trees before, but what I haven't said was that the semi-dwarf variety was sneaking up to the power lines. My spouse fretted, then researched and bought a pruner stick. This tool is amazing. After he lopped off the offending branches, my daughter took charge and completed her annual pruning with ease. She's taller than I am, true--but her success comes from this tool. [It's her tree, she's in charge, we just advise and assist as needed.] One success led to another and I decided to do something about the bush that was trying to take over the driveway.

Last year a rogue branch dove down and took root in the mulch, starting a new colony right next to the asphalt and that just wouldn't do. I grabbed a trimmer but got stuck on the whole 'T Rex arm lack of upper body strength' thing. My spouse suggested I try the pruner. Holy cow! That thing cuts through thick branches like butter! After I brushed off some dirt from the blade it went in my finger like butter, too. Don't be like me, treat this tool with respect. [I still have 10 fingertips, I'm healing fine.] I extricated dead shrubs with this workhorse before switching to a smaller tool to remove the spent raspberry canes and transplant some new starts to make a second raspberry bed. On a roll, I fed the strawberry patch a Spring breakfast of coffee grounds and leaf mulch, then decided to feed the rest of the garden beds as well. The kids mowed after I picked violets to make my next Wild Violet treats, and my spouse de-dandilioned the yard with his favorite Japanese tool before spreading mulch on the dogs' race track, re-banking Dead Man's Curve.

We're greening up our little part of the world. Here's a green appetizer for you.

For other recipes using avocados, please see my Avocado Recipe Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, please check out my Pinterest board of the same name.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spicy Lima Bean Dip with Avocado

Lima bean and tahini dip with avocado for creaminess and salsa verde for spiciness. Top with more veggies and queso cheese for a tasty snack!

Ah, April. Everything is greening up outside. Our grass is enjoying the recent rains which, along with last Fall's snack of finely shredded leaves worked in with the mulching mower, results in a vibrant lawn I'd be proud to let a guinea pig nibble. Sadly after 5 years we are without guinea pigs to nibble grass. Instead, I have a posse of dogs who enjoy lying in the sun of an afternoon.
Vincent with the garlic bed.
I've planted peas and chard in the garden, and each day the garlic looks stronger and taller. Interestingly, there's now garlic appearing in 3 out of our 5 raised beds. I rotate my crops and apparently I have missed several bulbs over the years. If I get them out this time, I'm curious what a 'forgotten for 3-4 years' garlic bulb looks like. I'll share a photo on my FB page.

I wanted to green up our plates, as well. In the months leading up to the start of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share season I bounce between using put up vegetables from the freezer and buying fresh vegetables from the store. It is a treat to buy avocados because I know I'll be able to enjoy them as soon as they are ready (they won't be preempted due to vegetable triage).

In this recipe, I decided to keep the green theme going and use some lima beans from the freezer. I grew up eating lima bean and corn succotash but my kids are not fans, so I was looking for another way to use them. The lima beans blend nicely in a food processor and make an awesome veggie appetizer.

For other recipes using avocados please see my Avocado Recipes Collection. For other recipes using beans, please see my Bean Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource to help my readers figure out what to do when they've got ____________ to use. For other Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, please see my Pinterest board of the same name.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Loaded Pizza Fries #EatWithWest #ChubbyChasingMission #CysticFibrosisAwareness

Beef and salami sautéed with farm share vegetables then coated in a seasoned tomato sauce top these baked fries. Mozzarella and cheddar cheese covers the whole pan in cheesy goodness.

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For the first year of this blog I posted a new pizza recipe every Friday night. I shared recipes for pizza dough, savory pizzas with fruit, vegetarian pizzas and pizzas with meat toppings. I posted so many pizza recipes that I even created a Visual Pizza Recipe Index to keep them all tidy, and a Pinterest board devoted to pizza, Friday Night Pizza Night.
Over the second year I added to the Index more slowly, interspersing Friday pizzas with other types of recipes but broadening the types by adding Deep Dish pizzas [I'll probably add a Deep House Dish category to the VPRI at some point since I'm amassing a collection in my notebook].

Today's post is a three-way collision between a Friday pizza recipe & meaty appetizer, a bonus alternative use for the topping, and a request for my readers to help out a family in my town by posting photos on social media. Let's start with the food, which weaves its way throughout the post. I admit I'm slightly surprised by how this idea of mine turned out. When I started thinking about this recipe, I envisioned some sort of pizza-flavored sloppy joes served on slider buns. Kinda like these:

The flavor of the filling was fine, but it was too . . . sloppy for me. This is when the kids are pretty tickled to come home from school and hear "I'm trying a new recipe. Eat one of these pizza sliders for after school snack and tell me what you think." [They like those days better than the "we've got too many beets in the freezer, here's a smoothie" or "find something to eat, I'm busy editing" days].

I'm posting these photos of my kids eating on the blog for one reason--to encourage a little guy in my town, Weston, to take another bite of food. Weston is 3 and needs to gain some weight, and if he doesn't do it by eating he'll need to have a feeding tube inserted in his tummy. Seeing photos of folks eating tasty food encourages Weston to take another bite, so I've tagged this post with the hashtags #EatWithWest, #ChubbyChasingMission, and #CysticFibrosisAwareness. I'd really appreciate it if you could tag and share photos of you/your kids/your uncle eating and share them on your favorite social media channels too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger Tomato Jam Dip

Hot, hearty, cheesy, beefy--I've unpacked the adjectives for this dip, but the name pretty much says it all. It's a bacon cheeseburger dip using tomato jam to provide some bold summery flavor in winter.

Why is it that there's a big eating event in the dead of winter? Sure, sure, Thanksgiving is generally after a frost, but most of the Thanksgiving vegetables lend themselves to long storing or freezing. I'm talking about walking into 3 different grocery stores in 2 days [yes, I get around] and being assaulted with goal posts surrounded by mounds of fresh tomatoes and peppers and avocados. That ain't right.

Fresh tomatoes, everywhere on the mainland US that I've lived, don't taste very good in the dead of winter. It's almost criminal to tantalize shoppers with the prospect of fresh vegetables when the flavor doesn't back up the promise.  I turn to preserved tomatoes (those that I've canned, slow roasted and frozen, or jammed) for my winter time tomato flavor. I'll happily buy a jar of salsa [or crack open a jar of strawberry salsa] but make fresh tomato salsa from the store stuff to eat during the game? Not happening. Not now. I will GORGE myself on fresh tomatoes from July-ish through October-ish, but then I put up as much as possible so that I can enjoy these summer flavors in winter.

Here's another way I use my preserves.

If you're watching the game in shorts and a t-shirt, this recipe may not apply to you. While I like my room temperature snacks, our TV is in the basement along with the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve and I need something to keep me warm while watching.
Sure, sure, having 2 to 3 dogs piled on my lap [occasionally tap dancing on my hard cider-filled bladder] does provide an extra 120 pound layer of insulation. However, it also prevents me from getting up to pee get refills of this savory dip. I suppose that's a form of portion control. You can see a quick pic of us on my FB page.

I made this dip last year* after being inspired by the Bacon Double Cheese Burger Dip at Closet Cooking. I thought that using some tomato jam (from Marisa's recipe at Food In Jars) would provide a bit of bold spicy sweetness to play off of the bacon, so I got busy with some of the cow that lives in my freezer.  This recipe works both as a dip for a sturdy tortilla chip and a filling for a slider bun (those pictures did not turn out as well though).

For other recipes using ground beef, please see my Ground Beef Recipe Round Up, 106 recipes from a whole host of food bloggers covering a variety of eating styles and categories [though there are no desserts using ground beef in this round up. that's icky to me]. Need a hot vegetarian dip? Try my Baked Artichoke and Arugula Dip instead.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Baked Artichoke and Arugula Dip

This recipe combines farm share arugula with artichoke hearts and loads of cheese in a baked vegetable appetizer.

I've been sharing a lot of game day appropriate appetizers lately since it's 'tis the season and all, but I've been feeling a bit . . . well, guilty . . . since I've been using a fair amount of meat in them.  I'm glad to share a meat free [and vegetarian if you select a vegan Worcestershire sauce] hot appetizer to join in the line up. 
This is a tasty way to eat up arugula from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, your garden, your folks' community garden plot, or the farmer's market. Usually when we get a big bag of arugula we're also getting a bag of salad mix, a cabbage, bok choy and perhaps another leafy green. I've talked about Greens Paralysis before, and it really comes down to this: if I can use arugula as a recipe component, not as a loose leafy green, I am more likely to use it up. If I wait for the perfect opportunity to add a handful of fresh arugula to a recipe . . . I end up tossing slimy forgotten leaves into the compost bin.
One easy way to get arugula processed into something yummy is Arugula Asiago Pesto (recipe here--scroll down to the bottom). This freezes well and I use it like I use basil pesto (large volume 'empty the garden before frost' recipe here), though not the same as I use Fresh Tomato Pesto (recipe here).

I came up with this appetizer because I had a late season bag of arugula and a desire for a hot appetizer. Using my food processor to combine everything made quick work of the vegetable preparation, and this was a warm and cheesy way to enjoy an early evening adult beverage.
I haven't tried it, but warming this dip in a little slow cooker should work fine, similar to my Slow Cooker Salmon Artichoke Dip. I'm just happy to turn the oven on while there is frost inside my window!
For other recipes using arugula, please see my Arugula Recipes Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index. For other Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, please see my Pinterest board of the same name (linked).