Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

It’s very rare that I make the same thing two nights in a row. Sure, we use leftovers with the best of them, but if I am cooking it is extremely uncommon for me to cook the same thing on two consecutive nights. This little factoid is important because as soon as I made these roasted chickpeas and my husband tried them he made me promise to make them the next night for dinner as well! That’s when I knew I had a winner!

I love chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and thought I used them a lot. I make homemade hummus, throw them in salads, stir them in soups, and even toss with pasta. So I couldn’t believe I have never had them baked. It’s a whole new world!

 Not only are these good enough to eat two nights in a row, but they are also easy enough to make even if you want them every night of the week! Active prep time is about 90 seconds and then you just pop ‘em in the oven while you get the rest of dinner ready.
Just drain the garbanzos and then pour onto a couple layers of paper towels. Then, grab another layer of paper towels and place them on top. Rub back and forth gently (you don’t want to squish them!) until most of the skins have slipped off. Then gather up the skins and toss them out and put the beans in a bowl.
Toss with the spices and stir. Then turn onto a baking sheet.
Bake until brown and crispy. Time will vary between 30 and 45 minuted depending on how dry your chickpeas were before baking. Just start checking them at 30 minutes and about every 5 minutes after.
Serve ‘em up! We had ours with some grilled salmon on night one and baked chicken on night two, but they’ll go with anything! Michael also mentioned that he thought they would be great as an alternative to peanuts or almonds as a party snack or appetizer – which they would!
Enjoy!

Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. Dry between 2 layers of paper towels, rubbing gently to remove skins. Discard skins and place chickpeas in a bowl.
  4. Toss with next 4 ingredients and pour onto prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes. Stir the beans at least once during baking for even browning.

Truffled Pea Soup

 


Hi there!

Last week was my spring break and I spent it soaking up some family time in Chicago with my mom and sisters. We had so much fun! But, I realized that “spring” in Chicago is very different than “spring” in Northern California. It was quite chilly and windy and we were wearing coats everywhere we went. The really funny thing was, as soon as it got up past 50 degrees, all these crazy people in shorts came out! It was like shorts, sun dresses, and tank tops everywhere! I couldn’t believe it!  I guess they had spent a very long winter in sweaters and coats and they are ready to change up the wardrobe, but geeze! At 50 degrees I’m still in a parka! (Ok, I’m a bit of a wuss).

So, basically what I’m trying to say is, here’s something for those of you that think that spring means 50 degrees and windy :)
This pea soup couldn’t be easier, or more delicious! It requires just a few ingredients and a bit of time to bring together.
The secret ingredient that brings this soup from “yum” to “OHMYGOSHTHATSGREAT” is a teeny bit of truffle oil. A little of this stuff goes a long way so I suggest getting a small bottle of the good stuff rather than a big bottle of the ok-but-not-great stuff.
After sautéing the garlic and onions, just add the peas, straight from the freezer. Couldn’t be easier! Toss in some chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make a totally vegetarian dish) and let cook for about 20 minutes. Then blend it up in the blender until you have a smooth, silky, soup you’ll enjoy no matter what climate you’re in.
The great thing about this soup is it is perfect for the season if your spring is 70 and sunny and you can buy fresh peas in the farmer’s market and have a bowl on your porch, but it’s also perfect if your spring is 50 and windy and need something to warm you up after your chilly walk home. So make up a batch asap! I think I might have to go back to Chicago just to prove my point! ;)
Enjoy!

Recipe: Truffled Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz bag frozen peas or 2 1/2 cups fresh peas (shelled)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock (homemade if you have it!)
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • white truffel oil for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Preheat a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and tarragon. Cook 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add frozen peas and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, 15-20 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Make sure to remove the top circle of the blender so that steam can escape.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with a drizzle (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) of white truffle oil.

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup with parmesan crisps

Happy Friday!

Isn’t the week back after vacation just the worst? Ever since I got back I just keep thinking, “If I were in Hawaii I’d be doing (blank)” and it’s always something WAY cooler then I’m really doing. Speaking of cool, I’m also freezing all the time because I want to wear things that show off my tan before it disappears but mother nature does not seem to be agreeing with me! I know, really serious problems, huh? :)
My solution to the post vacation blues? Park my butt in the kitchen! I’ve been whipping up lots of new things and I can’t wait to share them, starting with these cute-as-a-button soup shooters.
I made them as an appetizer, hence the tiny size, but you could just as easily serve this chunky, flavorful, healthy soup in as big a bowl as you can handle. Soup is one of my favorite things to make because it is quick, easy, and perfect for “health-ing up.” That’s to say, when you make your own soup you can leave out or substitute for things like butter, cream, etc. that many ready made soups contain. This soup is very low in calories but you’d never know by how good it tastes!
First, you have to broil the tomatoes and red bell pepper. Just place them on a baking sheet and place under the broiler on the top rack until the tomatoes begin to pop and peppers begin to char. This will take about 5-10 minutes depending on your broiler. You’ll want to turn the peppers to make sure they char evenly.
When you remove them, immediately place the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This steams the peppers and makes the charred skin really easy to remove. If you’ve ever tried skinning a pepper without doing this, you know how tough it can be. After you try this way you’ll never do it any other way! Just let to sit for about 10 minutes and then peel the skin off with ease!
Meanwhile, chop up your onion and garlic and sauté in a medium sauce pot with olive oil. Then add the tomatoes and skinned bell peppers. Add in the seasonings and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer.
While the soup is cooking, you can make the parmesan crisps. These are pretty tough, so get ready. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make 9 parmesan mounds. Place in the oven to cook. Remove. Voila! They are so easy, and so perfect for crumbling over your soup!
Using an immersion blender or a regular one, puree the soup (in batches if you are using a regular blender). Serve in whatever kind of cup you like – I like these cute multi colored ones! Top with greek yogurt, chives, and a parmesan crisp.
Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Roasted red pepper and tomato soup with parmesan crisps

Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 1/4 cups parmesan cheese
  • greek yogurt and chives for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to broil. Position the rack in the highest position. Place tomatoes and bell peppers on a baking sheet and broil, watching constantly, for 5-10 minutes, until tomatoes start to pop and peppers char. Turn peppers at least once to evenly char.
  2. Remove tomatoes and peppers from the oven and immediately place the peppers in a boil and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove plastic wrap carefully and peel skin from peppers. Coarsely chop.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and bell peppers along with seasonings and 1/2 cup chicken stock or water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer uncovered 15 minutes.
  4. Puree soup in a blender or using an immersion blender. At this point, if you want the soup a little thinner, add the other 1/2 cup of chicken stock or water. The texture of your soup will depend on how juicy your tomatoes were!
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place heaping tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese 2″ apart. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool before removing from the parchment.
  7. Top pureed soup with greek yogurt, chives, and parmesan crisps.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Hey there!

You guys, I have a problem. Last week my Dad called me and said we needed to have a serious talk. I was like, “woah, what’s up Dad?” He told me he had to talk to me about something that he’d been thinking about for a long time, and he couldn’t keep quiet any longer. After he read this post from last week, he just knew he had to act. That’s when I realized…I was having a quinoantervention. That’s right, my dad told me there was only so much quinoa he could take. How can one live on quinoa alone?! If anyone could test that theory, it’d be me. So, here goes…I’m addicted to quinoa. There. I said it. Admitting it is the first step, right? So, in honor of my dear ol’ Dad, you’ll not find a speck of quinoa on the blog this week. Well, unless you have leftovers from making this…or this….or these... Ok,
Ok, I’ll stop.
Full disclosure Dad, the quinoa ban only lasts till all my Super Bowl leftovers are gone…enjoy it while you can. :)
So, as we continue our week to some of the best Super Bowl snacks in the world, I give you homemade soft baked pretzels.
I made these last year for Super Bowl and they were such a hit that I’ve made them for pretty much every large gathering since and they are always everyone’s favorites. If you search the internet, you can find lots of recipes for “quick” or “easy” soft baked pretzels and if that’s what you want, fine, but they won’t be anywhere close to as delicious as these are. It’s not even that these are difficult to make, it’s just that they take time. You use yeast, and when you use yeast you have to let it rise. You also boil the pretzels before baking them, which may sound unnecessary, you may even be tempted to try one of the recipes out there that only requires baking. But if you want that true soft pretzel soft on the inside crisp on the outside texture this is the only way to go.
Plus, the whole process is kinda fun :) Folding the pretzels was a little tough (for me!) at first, but I got the hang of it. Michael kept trying to get be to “swing and twist” them like the pretzel makers at the mall do. Let’s just say I ruined quite a few pretzels that way!
I highly suggest a side of nacho cheese to go along with these, as well as some good mustard. I also suggest making about twice as many as you think you need, and swiping some to save in the kitchen before putting them out for the wolves. I’m not greedy, I swear! It’s necessary.
Enjoy!

Recipe: Homemade Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt or Sea salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
  3. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
  4. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  5. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Buffalo Wings

You guys…T-6 days till one of the greatest days of the year!

Super Bowl Sunday! I love the Super Bowl every year. The snacks. The drinks. The football. The snacks. The commercials. The snacks.

Did I mention the snacks??? :)

But if it’s possible, I’m even more excited for this year since my hometown team – the San Francisco 49ers – are in the big game! Full disclosure, I’m a bit of a bandwagon fan…my real hometown team, the Seattle Seahawks, missed out and a chance at winning it all because they couldn’t play defense for 30 seconds at the end of the game (I’m not bitter), but when you live in the area and have a husband that watches every game, pre-game, and post-game you get to know the team and have some Bay Area pride. I am also loving the Bro Bowl/Harbowl/Superbaugh business that’s going on. I think I like it because I imagine what it would be like if it were me going up against one of my siblings in the biggest game of the year. Someone is winning some serious bragging rights at next year’s Thanksgiving!

Ok, back to the snacks! You absolutely, positively, cannot under any circumstances have a Super Bowl party without buffalo wings. Don’t even try. It’s basically un-American. So make them. Better yet…make these.

Buffalo wings are probably one of the easiest Super Bowl snacks to make…and one of the most delicious to eat! These buffalo wings are baked, which I strongly prefer to their deep fried cousins. One they are baked you simply toss them in a mixture of butter, cayenne pepper, and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Don’t even think about trying another sauce. Frank’s and wings go hand in hand. No need to get too fancy here.

This quick and easy recipe is a crowd pleaser every time. I serve mine up with some homemade “blue cheese dressing.” AKA a container of blue cheese crumbles mixed with a cup of greek yogurt. No one will ever be the wiser. And you can dunk away without guilt.

Be sure put these wings on your menu for Sunday. Just be sure you grab a few…quick. Before you know it, the plate will look like this!
Enjoy!

Recipe: Baked Buffalo Wings

Ingredients

  • Buffalo Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Frank’s hot pepper sauce
  • Wings
  • 5 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix pepper sauce ingredients in a medium bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in hot sauce; keep warm.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°. Set a wire rack inside each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Toss wings in oil, salt, and pepper. Divide wings between prepared racks and spread out in a single layer.
  3. Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, 45–50 minutes. Half way through, switch position of racks.
  4. Toss wings in Buffalo sauce. Serve immediately.

 

Spicy Kale Crostini with Salted Pumpkin Seeds

Hey there!

The holiday season is upon us! This mean cookies galore, Mariah Carey on full blast, time with family and friends, and lots of parties. I love parties…throwing them, attending them, planning them, and especially eating at them! Without fail, my favorite thing about any party is the appetizers. I love apps. What’s not to love? You get a wide selection of different types of foods and all in small pop-able bites! I made this app a few days ago as part of my clean-out-the-fridge extravaganza, but it’s definitely going on the holiday menu this year.
The thing about appetizers is…a lot of the time they are the healthiest. Don’t get me wrong, I love a hunk of brie or jalapeño popper as much as the next gal, but this is an appetizer that is delicious AND easy on the waistline.
Sautéing the kale with lots of garlic, salt and pepper adds lots of flavor. Adding red pepper flakes gives a nice kick, and red wine vinegar brightens everything up. You’re left with a really balanced bite that’s perfect for any party plate.
The secret weapon for this dish is in toasting the bread. Sick in under the broiler for a couple minutes, then take it out, flip it, and then cover it in parmesan cheese, stick it back under the broiler and it comes out toasty, cheesy, and ready for topping.
The pumpkin seeds add great texture, but also a good salty flavor boost. If you need a reminder on how to make them, you’ll find it here!
I’m planning on doing lots of appetizer trials in the coming weeks, so be on the look out for more perfect party bites just like this!
Happy holidays!
Enjoy!

Recipe: Spicy Kale Crostini with Salted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • 8 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup (or more) parmesan cheese
  • 8-12 slices of baguette

Instructions

  1. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds. Add kale and sauté about 15 minutes, until reduced. Add red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar. Stir and cook 5 more minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to broil. Move oven rack to top position. Place baguette slices on a sheet pan. Broil, watching all the time, until brown. Remove from oven, flip toasts, cover un-toasted side with parmesan cheese, return to oven and broil, watching all the time, until cheese is brown.
  3. Remove from oven and top with sautéed kale and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Jalapeño Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Hey there!

Guys, I have so much to share with you! Last weekend Michael and I went to Las Vegas! It was one of the most fun weekends I’ve had in awhile and I am so excited to tell you about our travels, all the fun we had, and the food! OH THE FOOD! One particular meal may have changed my life. Just sayin’.

But first…It’s Thanksgiving week! Yipee! I love Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t? A holiday centered on food? Sign me up. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the variety of food you get to eat. And it’s not just dinner, oh no, there are appetizers too. And if you are in the need for a Thanksgiving appetizer that will knock your socks off, look no further.

Jalapeño Corn Dog Mini Muffins.

You’ve got all the things you love about a corn dog (don’t lie, you know you do) packaged up in a perfectly pop-able bite. Just for good measure add a kick of jalapeño and you’ve got a crowd pleasing app that will keep everyone around the coffee table and outta your hair in the kitchen. Just make sure you keep a few in there for yourself!

This recipe starts with a pretty basic corn muffin recipe. Mix it up and all you need are a couple “embellishments.”

The only trick to making these super simple muffins is filling the muffin tins. You need to grease the pan really well, then add a little bit of batter to the bottom, then drop in the hot dog, then fill the batter up the rest of the way. As an alternative, you could chop the hot dogs up into small pieces and stir them into the batter with the jalapeños. I’m sure it would taste delicious, but I like having the hunk-oh-hot dog in the middle like a Thanksgiving surprise!

I’m telling you, this quick and easy appetizer might just become part of you Thanksgiving tradition!  Give it a try and you’ll see!

Enjoy!

Recipe: Jalapeño Corn Dog Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 hot dogs, cut in 1/2″ chunks
  • 2 jalapeños, finely chopped
  • Cooking spray
  • mini muffin tin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine the first 3 ingredients.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add milk mixture; stir just until moist.
  4. Stir in chopped jalapeño.
  5. Coat mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon a little batter into the bottom of each well. Add hot dogs. Fill with batter to just below the top.
  6. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for about 5 minutes then remove from the pan and serve warm with a side of ketchup.
  8. Note: You may find that the tops crack due to the steam created from the hot dog…don’t worry, they taste just as good! :)

 

Simple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Hi!

Do you have some extra pumpkins laying around? I took 3 total trips to the pumpkin patch, plus couldn’t resist the cute little on-sale pumpkins at the grocery store. Sooooo, we barely have room on our front stoop to walk in the door! I’m planning on using some of these pumpkins to try my hand at homemade pumpkin puree, but until then, it’s pumpin seed time!
I love roasted pumpkin seeds, it seems like everyone is roasting them now. Carve your scary (or in my case cute) halloween pumpkin…roast the seeds. The problem I have had (and eek! made) some pretty terrible home roasted pumpkin seeds. But never fear. I’ve finally got it all figured out.

The first step to perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds is to get them clean and dry. Like really, REALLY dry. I give mine a through cleaning in a colander and then spread them out on a couple layers of paper towels.
Try to get them in one layer, you don’t want them laying on top of each other. Things could get weird. Ha!
I usually let mine dry for two days. I know. It’s a long time. And they’ll look dry after one night. But be patient. You want them super duper dry before you roast them. Trust, me. This step is worth it.
After two days, peel them off the paper towels (they will stick, don’t worry it’s normal). And put them in a medium bowl. Add some good extra virgin olive oil.

Then add the good old fashioned kosher salt. I know you’ve seen recipes for pumpkin seeds with all kinds of spices and seasonings, and I’m sure they’re delicious. But for me, it’s hard to beat the old standard: olive oil and salt. Mmmm.

If you’ve done any looking at roasted pumpkin seed recipes online, you’ll find that there are pretty much two schools of thought. #1 Roast at a high temperature for a shorter period of time, and #2 roast at a low temperature for a longer period of time. I’ve tried both…several times. There’s no doubt in my mind that low temp, long time is absolutely the way to go. Go ahead…try both ways…I dare you to disagree with me! :)
Once they are roasted the possibilities are endless. Snack on them plain, give salads a crunchy topping, add them to oatmeal or cereal, scoop them on soup…seriously they are good on just about everything!

My front porch full of pumpkins isn’t looking so bad now! :)
Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Simple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • about 2 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly clean the pumpkin seeds and allow to dry on paper towels about 2 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. Toss pumpkin seeds with olive oil, sprinkle on salt and toss again.
  4. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Roast 45-50 minutes, tossing a few times, until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and re-season with salt to taste.

 

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Pumpkin BBQ dipping sauce

Oh Heyyy.

Are you all candied out? I am! I stuck to the ol’ give one out, eat one, rule last night and while I enjoyed my Halloween binge immensely, I am paying for it today! Feeling in the mood for some good, clean, non-chocolate covered food!

These turkey meatballs will make a perfect like supper tonight paired along side a much needed green salad. :)

These meatballs pack lots of the big flavors of Thanksgiving into a perfect little bite. They are filled with earthy herbs and coated in breadcrumbs to make them extra crispy, they’d be fantastic by themselves, but then you dunk ‘em into the Pumpkin BBQ sauce and you’ve got an over-the-top flavor blast that will keep you coming back for more.

These meatballs are baked, which gets us all the crispiness we want without the fat and oiliness that frying brings. There are two keys to making these meatballs cracklin’ in your mouth crispy. #1 In addition to using breadcrumbs as a binder, you roll the meatballs in breadcrumbs before cooking, and #2 you sear the meatballs in a skillet before baking them. Both of these steps are essential in getting the perfectly crunchy exterior I’m always looking for in a meatball.

While the meatballs are in the oven, you can make the pumpkin BBQ sauce. Don’t gimmie that face! It is delicious.

I’ve really been working to try to increase my use of pumpkin in savory dishes. I use it all the time in sweet dishes and baked goods, as evidenced here…and here…and here! But I know it can be great in savory applications too, so I’ve been experimenting. This is one experiment that turned out very very well!

Plain pureed pumpkin is only slightly sweet, so it can really morph into whatever you need it to. Plus it has such a rich velvety texture it is perfect for this dipping sauce that needs to hold up to hearty turkey meatballs. You get some tang from the BBQ sauce, kick from the hot sauce (you can use any kind you like-I love Tapatio), and just a bit of sweetness from the honey. This sauce is a fantastic counterpoint for the herby (have I mentioned crispy?) turkey meatballs.

Perfect party appetizer, light supper, afternoon snack, any way you roll ‘em, I think you’ll love these flavors-of-Thanksgiving meatballs!

I’ll be enjoying them for dinner tonight, with NO just one ok maybe a few pieces of candy for dessert ;)

Enjoy!

Recipe: Baked Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients (except olive oil) in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined – hands are a great tool for this!
  3. Shape into small meatballs. Roll in breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet. Continue until all meatballs are coated.
  4. Prepare a wire rack set over a large baking sheet.
  5. Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in two batches, sear the meatballs in the skillet (adding the 2nd T of oil after the first batch), and place on the wire rack.
  6. Bake meatballs on the wire rack 15-20 minutes, until cooked though.
  7. Serve with Pumpkin BBQ dipping sauce.

Recipe: Pumpkin BBQ dipping sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 T hot sauce*
  • Up to 1 cup water
  • *optional

Instructions

  1. Comine pumpkin, BBQ, and hot sauce in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir together.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in honey.
  4. Add water 2 T at a time until you reach your desired consistency (I added about 8 T water total)
  5. Keep warm (adding water if sauce becomes too think) until ready to serve.

 

 

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage and Serrano Pepper Honey

Hey there!

Hope you are ready to launch into your weekend with a delicious appetizer! Appetizers are the perfect food to me. There are so many good things about them…they are small, meaning you can have many more and still be within the “acceptable” range of eating, you can get a variety of different foods, styles, and types of cuisine-you never have to stick with a theme or try to make things “go together,” and you can usually eat them with your hands. See? Perfection. I would almost always order, like, everything off the appetizer menu than just one entrée. For some reason Michael does not feel the same way, we really should have talked about that in our pre-marriage counseling…

Anywayyyy. Speaking of marriage, my in-laws were up to visit last weekend. I’m pretty lucky because I have awesome in-laws, and I’m not just saying that cuz I know they read this (Hi guys!) they are truly awesome. I spent the weekend cooking everything from the most recent issues of Food and Wine, Bon Appetite, and Cooking Light with her. Sounds like a great weekend, huh?!?

This butternut squash tart came from Bon Appetite. As soon as I turned the page to it, I knew I had to make it. And boy, and I glad we did! This one is going in my permanent appetizer recipe bank.

I love butternut squash so obviously I loved the nutty, slightly sweet slices so carefully arranged on fluffy, buttery puff pastry. Plus, you get to practice your kindergarten skills while brushing the puff pastry! I’ve never yet met someone who doesn’t like to play with their food.

The fried sage is an amazing touch. Earthy, homey, and (gasp!) crunchy! I think I will be frying up sage and adding it to lots of dishes this fall!

But, for me, what was so special about this dish was the pepper honey sauce.

I used a Serrano pepper – I like it hot people! – even though the recipe says to use a jalapeno or thai chili. The hot bite of the pepper combined with sweet, syrupy honey is a match made in heaven. Then drizzle it on the roasty squash and top with sage. This is a balanced recipe with so many flavors going on you’ll think your taste buds are working overtime!

Try out this app and then laminate the recipe card, cuz you’ll want to keep that bad boy around for a while!

Oh and I am pretty sure it tastes better if you make it with your awesome mother-in-law. Right Roberta?? :)

Recipe: Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently roll out 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed (from a 17.3-ounce package) on a lightly floured surface to a 10-inch square (just enough to even out). Transfer to prepared sheet.
  2. Brush pastry with 1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp. water. Arrange twelve 1/8-inch-thick rounds peeled butternut squash (cut from squash’s neck) over pastry, overlapping as needed and leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place another sheet of parchment paper over squash. Set another large rimmed baking sheet over the tart. (This will weigh down the pastry dough and steam the squash slices.)
  3. Bake until bottom of pastry begins to brown and top begins to puff, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove top baking sheet and discard top sheet of parchment paper. Brush squash slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with kosher salt. Return tart, uncovered, to oven and bake until pastry is deep golden brown and cooked through, 25–30 minutes longer.
  5. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 cup honey, 1 thinly sliced Fresno, jalapeño, or red Thai chile, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat (add another thinly sliced chile if more heat is desired). Boil until thickened slightly and syrupy, about 6 minutes.
  6. Line a plate with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet until just beginning to smoke. Add 12 fresh sage leaves; fry until crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  7. Slice tart. Arrange 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan on top; drizzle with chile-infused honey. Garnish with fried sage leaves and a few grinds of black pepper.

See the original recipe from Bon Appetite here

 

Garlic Bread to die for!

I admit it. Sometimes I judge the quality of my recipes by how quickly and ravenously they are eaten. If I’m using that criteria, this might be the best thing I have ever made.

Then again, it helps when you are feeding 10 hungry boys on a Sunday afternoon…but still. It was like light lightning struck: and they were gone.

Just like any good garlic bread, this one starts with lots and lots and LOTS of garlic.

We all know I love garlic. I use about 3 tablespoons or 5-6 cloves. I chop them up super fine, but I don’t grate them, I like to have some chunks in the finished product so you can see the garlic as well as smell, it taste it, and have it be coming out of your pores later :)

The next very important ingredient? Lots of soft butter. I like to whip mine in my stand mixer with the garlic so it gets fluffy and the garlic gets incorporated all throughout the butter.

Then, you slather the garlic butter onto some good french bread. I love garlic bread on french loaves, but if you like sourdough, go right ahead!

Chop up a bunch of fresh parsley. I like lots of it. So much so that one of the boys asked if the amount of parsley on the bread counted as his vegetable for the day! To which I replied absolutely not! Eat your broccoli! I mean…I’m not your mother, you’re an adult, do what you want!

The trick to this bread is double baking. First, you wrap the entire loaf in foil at bake it for about 20 minutes. Then, you remove the foil, open up the halves, and bake the bread again so it gets brown and crispy.

Take it out. Slice it up. Watch it disappear.

Just make sure you get a slice or two before it’s gone!

Enjoy!

Recipe: Garlic Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 loaves french bread
  • 1 lb butter, softened
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Slice bread in half
  3. Beat softened butter and chopped garlic in the bowl of your stand mixer
  4. Slather the garlic butter on your bread
  5. Put halves back together and wrap in foil
  6. Bake for 20 minutes
  7. Remove from oven, remove foil, separate halves and return to oven
  8. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until bread is golden brown

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

 

How to…Roasted Garlic

I love garlic. Like, kind of inappropriately. You know that guy in high school who was oh so dreamy but you knew would be bad news down the road, but you made out with after the football game anyway? That’s garlic. I know I am not going to be loving it so much when I’m sweating garlic out my pores the next day, can’t get garlic taste out of my mouth no matter how much I brush, but I just can’t say no to those spicy cloves.  So, I eat it in any way I can. Raw, sautéed, chopped, grated, minced, and most importantly (for the purposes of this post, I can’t choose favorites) roasted.

As much and I love garlic, I lu-huuuuve roasted garlic. It’s so totally different than any other type of garlic. All the bitterness and spiciness leaves the garlic during roasting and your are left with these roasty cloves that are smooth and nutty and slightly sweet.

Spread it on bread, stir it in pasta, slather it on chicken, top it with cheese, or even honey, or, if you have no self-control like me, eat a few cloves raw right out of the oven.

There are all kinds of opinions on the best way to roast garlic. I’ve tried them all. This is the way I think works best.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice off the tops of the garlic bulbs to expose the cloves. Place in a shallow dish (pie tins or bread pans work great!) and drizzle with olive oil. A lot of recipes will tell you to sprinkle with salt and pepper here. I say “no way!” Why? I don’t think it needs it. Let the garlic shine. Plus, depending on what you are using ir for you might not want extra salt or pepper.

Now is when things get a little crazy people. Roast the garlic at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, and then raise the oven to 400 degrees and roast an additional 30 minutes. I think this combo makes for perfectly roasted garlic. You get the caramelization of the high temperature and the soft smooth texture of low temp roasting. In other words, the best of both worlds!

I’ll roast several cloves at a time, squeeze out the goodness and store it in the fridge for up to a week-if it lasts that long!

Take my advice and roast up a few cloves asap. Just don’t blame me when you’re smelling like garlic for the rest of the week! :)

Enjoy!!

Recipe: Roasted Garlic

Ingredients

  • whole garlic bulbs
  • extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice off the tops of the garlic bulbs to expose the cloves. Place in a shallow dish (pie tins or bread pans work great!) and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Roast the garlic at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, and then raise the oven to 400 degrees and roast an additional 20-30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  4. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves out or the bulb.
  5. Store for up to one week in the fridge.

Cooking time: 1 hour

 

 

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