Category Archives: Dips

Cashew Crusted Chicken with Creamy BBQ Sauce

Cashew Crusted Chicken w/Creamy BBQ Sauce

Hey there! Look! It’s some food! Yes, I’m still eating over here. Actually we’re eating quite well since we are no longer able to go out to restaurants every weekend.  We’re doing a lot of cooking at home lately but I usually have about a 10-15 minute window when the boys aren’t crying or needing attention so things have gotten a little simpler these days.  A lot of salads and potato sides with a simple grilled meat is what we’re cooking up these days.  I’ve been eyeing all of the delicious Stubbs BBQ sauces I have in the pantry and was excited to do something a little more creative, maybe something that I could share with you guys.

SO, here it is! We don’t have picky kid eaters yet but I bet this might even be kid approved.  You could make them as chicken fingers and serve the sauce as a dipping sauce on the side instead if your heart so desires. What kid doesn’t love dipping stuff? Oh man, I’ve officially become a mommy blogger haven’t I? Oh well, embrace it! Don’t worry, I’ll post some pics of the kiddos at the end too 🙂

Cashew Crusted Chicken w/Creamy BBQ Sauce

I started by ever so quietly (since the babies were sleeping), smashing cashews. I’ll let you guess how that one ended up.  Just throw them in a bag and smash the crap out of them with a mallet until they’re in tiny pieces. I suggest you do this on a weeknight so you can take out some of that workday stress on the nuts.

Cashew Crusted Chicken w/Creamy BBQ Sauce

Then I set up a little assembly line for the breading.  I think I’ve gotten a pretty good process down for this that doesn’t dirty 25 million dishes and make a mess everywhere.  I fill one freezer bag with flour, then I filled another freezer bag with the breading (in this case crushed cashews and breadcrumbs.) Then I whisked up some eggs with a little cashew milk, honey, dijon mustard and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Cashew Crusted Chicken w/Creamy BBQ Sauce

I used chicken tenders but you could use breasts cut into strips as well.  First, add a piece of chicken to the flour bag and toss gently to coat. Then dip it in the egg mixture and move it to the cashew breading bag and toss it around until coated on all sides. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.

Cashew Crusted Chicken w/Creamy BBQ Sauce

Then you sauté them up using a little olive oil until they’re nicely browned and cooked through.  I usually turn the oven on and hold the chicken there while I cook a few batches.  You can also finish cooking them in the oven if you find they’re browning before they’re fully cooked through.

Cashew Crusted Chicken w/Creamy BBQ Sauce

It’s funny that there is a spoon in the sauce because I could probably have eaten it with a spoon. I may have judged myself but it was certainly not out of the realm’s of possibilities.  This delicious little concoction was simply a mixture of plain greek yogurt, a little mayonnaise and Stubb’s Hickory Bourbon BBQ sauce.  I have yet to find a flavor of their’s that I didn’t like so you’ll be in good shape whichever one you choose.

Cashew Crusted Chicken with Creamy BBQ Sauce

This was seriously so delicious, I can’t wait to make it again. I’ll also be whipping up this sauce for more meals this summer, maybe to dip some grilled vegetables in or as a sweet potato fry dipping sauce, mmmm…

WHAT’S MAKING ME HAPPY THESE DAYS:

nahant

The beautiful place that we call home.  Summer has arrived and the beach days are here! Every afternoon when I go out for a walk I’m reminded of the beauty that surrounds us.  A few nights ago right as I was putting the boys to bed, it’s as if the whole world was glowing and calling me outside.  It was 8:30 and everything was this deep yellow shade, like some sort of dream world.  I ran down to the end of the street and snapped some photos. It was unreal!

kitchen

The pendant lights that just went up in our new kitchen. I’m in love. I’m not ashamed to say that I pull up pictures of the new house on my phone multiple times a day and just stare at them. Only a few more weeks until moving time! eek! Guess we should probably pack huh?

boys

These guys. Of course. I’m treasuring every moment.  They obviously know the other one exists but they don’t spend a ton of time interacting yet. BUT, there was this rare moment last weekend when I was visiting my parents, I laid them both down on the blanket to change their diapers and went to go grab the diapers and wipes. When I came back they were laying staring at each other and then Camden reached over and touched his cheek and babbled a few sounds and Jax responded with a coo. OMG, melt my heart!

boys2

boys3

 

And a few more, just for cuteness overload 🙂

Enjoy the chicken and the babies! Hope all is well with you guys!

Cashew Crusted Chicken w/ Creamy BBQ Sauce

Allergy Egg, Milk, Tree Nuts, Wheat
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lightly salted cashews
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used cashew milk)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1lb chicken tenders or breasts

sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Stubbs BBQ Sauce

Directions

1. Whisk the egg, milk, honey and mustard in a shallow bowl and season with salt & pepper.
2. Place cashews in a plastic bag and break into small pieces using a mallet or meat tenderizer. Add bread crumbs to the bag and toss to combine.
3. Pour flour into another bag. Dredge chicken by first tossing in the flour bag, then dipping in the egg mixture and finally tossing in the cashew bread crumb bag until coated. Continue process until all of the chicken has been breaded.
4. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through. You may finish them up in a 350 oven once they have been browned if you are working with thicker pieces of chicken.
5. Stir together yogurt, mayonnaise and BBQ sauce and serve chicken drizzled with sauce. It never hurts to have more on the side for dipping! 🙂

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

….AND…its Friday already! Woohoo!  This was the best week, it flew by, I was super productive with my work projects, the weather was beautiful and I got in some good crossfit workouts.  Now to move on to the OPPOSITE of healthy workouts and take a look at this creamy dreamy dip recipe.  Actually, it’s not THAT bad for you, but we’re definitely not tipping into the healthy scales at all here.

One of the very first recipes that I used to make when I was younger was a hot artichoke dip, in fact according to tradition, I still whip up a batch for our appetizer extravaganza every Christmas.  I decided it was time to come up with a cold version I could make in the summer that still had that oh-so-delicious creamy artichoke flavor but without the heavy (and hot) melted cheese.

SO, I came up with this version, and it was pretty freakin’ awesome if I do say so myself.

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

It’s as simple as throwing all of the ingredients in a food processor, blending it up, and pouring it into a bowl.  Its awesome kept simple with chips but I’m sure it would also be great on some grilled crostini or with some fresh crudités.

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

BTW – if you haven’t tried Kettle Brand Salsa Picante tortilla chips, they are the bom diggity of all diggity.  I picked some up for the first time this weekend and we gobbled them up with this dip.

Enjoy this summer dip while the nice weather lasts!  You can probably make it in the fall or winter too, I won’t tell.

Happy Weekend to all!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Getting a new body wash scent.

BodyWash

haha, sorry that picture is GINORMOUS, its like I forced my body wash to take a mug shot.

I’m generally a pretty brand loyal person but when it comes to body wash, I need a different scent, every, single, time.  In fact I don’t think I’ve ever, once in my life bought the same scent twice.  Its a weird thing, its like its my life’s mission to try out every smell that exists on my body (in body wash format of course).  This piña colada wash is pretty awesome, especially since you know what a coconut freak I am. In fact, I think its time to go lather up with some right now after that tough workout today, see ya!

Artichoke Feta & Ricotta Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 can artichoke hearts (14oz)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Medium scallions (white & green parts)
  • drizzle olive oil

Directions

1. Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth & creamy.
2. Pour into a bowl and store in refrigerator before serving.

Chocolate Flax Almond Butter

Chocolate Flax Almond Butter

I am SO happy to be reunited with almond butter!  I feel like it’s a long-lost friend that I haven’t seen in forever but we were able to pick up right where we left off last :).  Sometimes I take short cuts by buying things pre-made but almond butter is one of the few things that I have to make myself.  Whenever I buy it in the store, it is never the right consistency, it’s always hard and somewhat chunky and doesn’t work great for dipping fruit into or smoothing onto a piece of toast.

Chocolate Flax Almond Butter

I’ve been bad about making it lately so as a result I have been in an almond butter drought! But it could last no longer! I decided to make a big deal about its return and make it extra healthy with some flax and extra delicious with some chocolate.  Holy yum!

Chocolate Flax Almond Butter

Making your own almond butter is seriously easy, I made this batch today quickly on my lunch break.  If you have a good food processor and some almonds, get an empty jar and a spoon ready because its time to make some!  For this variation, I tossed some raw, unroasted almonds in a little maple syrup & ground flax seed.  Then I roasted them for 15 minutes, let them cool slightly and then threw it in the food processor to let the magic happen.

Chocolate Flax Almond Butter

Rich, creamy and DELICIOUS!

Chocolate Flax Almond Butter

For a snack this afternoon I dipped some pretzels into the chocolate almond butter.  Um. Yah. That was freaking amazing. It was like a decadent chocolate covered pretzel with just the right amount of salty and sweet.

Enjoy!

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

A freshly made bed.

FreshlyMadeBed

Yes. Just Yes.

Chocolate Flax Almond Butter

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups raw unroasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Toss almonds, flax seed & maple syrup together in a bowl until evenly coated. Spread almonds in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
3. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
4. Empty into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. You will need to scrape the sides off occasionally so it mixes evenly. It will take around 8-10 minutes to get the right consistency.

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Bruschetta

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Bruschetta

Not sure where you guys live but here in Massachusetts Sunday was one of the nicest days we’ve had this year.  It was as though everyone was rising from the dead and coming out to see the light.  The beach was packed with people biking, running, walking their dogs, pretty much anything that got them out of the house and into the sun.  We got an early start on the day, whipped up some smoothies for breakfast and then got our errands out of the way before the stores filled up.  We followed it up with a nice long walk with Oto around the island.  For lunch we cooked up some salmon burgers and then I got my nails done while Tom went to swim training.  He’s training for a triathalon this summer and has been putting lots of time in running, biking and swimming.  I always admire how committed he is to his goals once he sets them for himself.  Can’t wait to go cheer him on in August!

Anyways, since we’re talking about an awesome day, let’s talk about some awesome food too…

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Bruschetta

This actually started out as an entirely different meal but ended up being even better as leftovers.  I originally made this as a pizza fondue which we dipped small chunks of bread into.  It was out-of-this-world delicious and we were lucky to have a bunch of leftovers.  It didn’t melt to the same consistency when I reheated it so we started just piling it on top of bread and realized that it almost tasted better as a bruschetta-type topping.

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Bruschetta

This would be the perfect appetizer to make for a party.  You can prepare everything ahead of time if you’d like and then before serving just reheat in the microwave (or stovetop), toast up some bread points and call it a day.  I used a round piece of onion focaccia that I cut into wedges and then cut each wedge in half (depth-wise) so it wasn’t as thick.  The nice part about the topping is the consistency, its not quite as watery as regular bruschetta so you don’t have to worry too much about the bread getting soggy.

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Bruschetta

I finished it off with some grated parmesan cheese, I’m sure it would be amazing with some fresh basil as well.  Only a few more months before I can start planting my summer herbs and have constant access to fresh basil, mint and thyme!  You could also make it vegetarian by omitting the sausage & pepperoni and adding some vegetables like zucchini or peppers.

If you decide to make this as a fondue, prepare the same way, just serve immediately with bread cut into small cubes.  It’s pizza night without all the mess!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

The sound of spring birds…

Now that we’ve fixed the bathroom vent and I’m no longer dealing with creepy birds IN our house, I’m really starting to enjoy the sounds of birds outside the house.  When we go for our afternoon walks the birds are out chirping in full force, I always imagine that they are talking to each other about what a beautiful day it is (and this year, probably how crappy that winter was)…

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Medium onion (diced)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2lb sweet italian sausage (casings removed)
  • 3oz thinly sliced pepperoni (diced)
  • 24oz chunky tomato sauce**
  • 8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Directions

1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
2. Remove casings from the sausage and add to the pot. Break the sausage up into small pieces using a spoon or spatula. Cook until lightly browned & cooked through. Drain excess fat from the pot if necessary.
3. Add the tomato sauce and stir well. Continue cooking until sauce is heated through (5-10 minutes).
4. In a bowl toss the mozzarella cheese and diced pepperoni with the corn starch until coated well.
5. When sauce is hot, slowly stir in the mozzarella cheese mixture until creamy and melted.
6. If serving as fondue, serve with small pieces of bread. If serving as bruschetta, serve on top of lightly toasted bread.*

Note

* Can be made ahead.  Before serving, reheat in the microwave or on the stove top over low heat.

**For sauce, I used a mixture of Rao's Four Cheese sauce and Trader Joe's bruschetta topping.

Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

You guys are probably just as stuffed as I am from the super bowl but I wanted to share this quick dip with you before I forget.  This is a super easy, super delicious recipe that you’ll want to keep in your toolbox.    The recipe is from my Mom, I’ve made it a handful of times and its always delicious and received well.

Speaking of the Super Bowl… holy crap that was a blowout huh?  Seattle won so I’m happy about that but it was just sad, I felt kind of sorry for Denver.  I was starting to root for them to get a few more points so they would feel a little better about it.  Oh well, I’m glad they didn’t because I won $50 on the final score! wooohooo!

Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

We had some of this dip leftover so I made a huge spinach salad tonight topped with this dip, some roasted garlic caesar dressing & buffalo shrimp.  YUM!  I bet it would also make a delicious sauce to serve with some grilled chicken, steak or veggies.  Ooh, that just gave me an idea, I think tomorrow night I am going to make a veggie quinoa bowl topped with this sauce.

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

When you get a warm day during the winter where you can actually drive in your car without a jacket on.  Saturday & Sunday were so gorgeous, we were able to get outside and take a nice long run.  I took a little trip to Trader Joe’s and blasted my music while driving WITHOUT a jacket.  I know it sounds weird but its just so freeing to not feel all bulky for once after bundling up in winter clothes for weeks.

It was nice while it lasted, now back to the cold & snow…

Roasted Red Pepper Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

  • 12oz jar roasted red peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice half lemon
  • 14oz artichoke hearts (drained)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth & creamy.
2. Serve with chips, crackers or crostini.

 

Hummus Mediterranean Dip

Hummus Mediterranean Dip

Well it’s officially the new year now and we know what that means right?  About 3 weeks of crowded gyms and people posting about their salads and smoothies.  I’ve decided not to do the traditional “lose weight” resolution that I never stick to but instead I’ve worked on making more realistic, easy-to-achieve goals.  I’ve made 3 resolutions:

1.  Drink more water.  Whenever we go anywhere on the weekend I have to bring a full water bottle with me and it must be empty by the time we come home. I’m always good about drinking during the week when I have a full glass at my desk but on the weekends I completely forget to drink when we’re out and about.  I think carrying a water bottle is a fairly easy-to-follow rule and so far I’ve been pretty good about it.

2.  Try to read at least one book a month.  I’d like to spend less time watching TV and more time reading so I thought this was a good one.  I’m about halfway through “The Book Thief” right now and its only January 7th so I’m on track to finish this one by the end of the month if not earlier!

3. The last one is a joint one with Tom.  We decided to eat breakfast at home on the weekends unless we’re going on a trip.  We fell into a habit of going to the gym in the morning and then being so hungry by the time we got out we’d end up going out for a big breakfast or Starbucks or something.  It’s just as easy to come home and whip up a delicious (and cheap) omelette!

What are your resolutions this year?

Hummus Mediterranean Dip

Since I’m assuming most people are trying to be healthier after indulging over the holidays, I figured I would post a healthier dip that you could make for all those big football games coming up. Or you can just make it just because it’s so freaking delicious you may want to eat it with a spoon.

Hummus Mediterranean Dip

Basically all we’re doing here is taking 2 of my most FAVORITE dips ever and putting them together in one fancy presentation. I guarantee this will be a hit if you bring it to a party.  The dip in the middle is my Avocado Tomato Feta dip which was my #1 viewed recipe in 2013, the dip on the outside is my creamy dreamy Peanut Hummus.  I SUPPOSE you could cheat and use some store-bought hummus if you HAVE to, but if you haven’t made that hummus recipe yet, you need to do it.  The flavors work so well with the fresh bright flavors in the avocado tomato dip.

Hummus Mediterranean Dip

Ok, so now for the pretty presentation?

1.  Using a pie dish, place a smaller bowl in the center of the dish upside down.

2.  Spread the hummus in an even layer around the perimeter of the pie plate.

3.  Remove the small bowl and then fill the center with the Avocado Tomato Feta Dip.

Voila! Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Snowshoeing!

Snowshoeing

We got a nice dump of snow in Massachusetts last week.  We fought the urge to stay inside and be lazy all day so we shoveled ourselves out (or Tom shoveled us out), and then we set out to get some fresh tracks.  Despite the SUPER cold temps, it felt good to be outside and sweating.  I love how quiet the woods are after a snow, it’s so peaceful.

P.S. – if you want to get some snow shoes but don’t feel like dropping big bucks you can buy them at Ocean State Job lot for $45. 🙂

 

 

 

A Holiday Cocktail Party

Holiday Cocktail Party Ideas

Shrimp with Chipotle Cocktail Sauce

Hope you all had a great weekend! We hosted a holiday cocktail party on Saturday and despite the cold temperatures and snow outside we had a full house with lots of great food, drinks & friends.  I’ve found that it usually works best to make a bunch of appetizers so that people can fill up on whatever they like no matter what time they arrive.  I tried to take photographs of what I could so I could share some ideas with you guys.  This fed about 25 people with a little leftover.

Shrimp with Chipotle Cocktail Sauce

This first one was chilled shrimp with chipotle cocktail sauce.  Simply mix together ketchup, prepared horseradish and Chipotle Cholula sauce.  It adds a nice smoky spicy flavor to the traditional shrimp cocktail.

Mushroom Goat Cheese Cups

I also served goat cheese mushroom cups.  Here is what you do:

Sauté 10 oz diced baby bella mushrooms, 8 oz diced shitake mushrooms, 1 small diced onion, 3 cloves of garlic & 2 oz goat cheese.  Season with salt, pepper & thyme. Fill pre-made appetizer cups with the mushroom mixture and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  The mushroom mixture can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

These were jalapeños that I stuffed with cream cheese, gruyere and scallions and then wrapped in bacon.  Bake for 20 -30 minutes until bacon is crispy.

BuffaloChickenCups

Using a mini muffin tin I made these buffalo chicken cups.  Simply create little cups using crescent dough and then stuff with a mixture of  chicken, mayo, shredded cheese, salt, pepper & Frank’s red hot.

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Dip

I didn’t get a finished photo of this but it was SO good.  I put a layer of bruschetta in the pie dish and then topped with a layer of sweet italian sausage, pepperoni, another layer of bruschetta and a top layer of melted mozzarella cheese.

Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip

I think my favorite dip of the night was this Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip that I made served with bagel chips. If you’re hosting a brunch, this would be a killer spread to serve with bagels. It combines all of the fantastic flavors of bagels and lox without all of the assembling.

Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip

Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip

8 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoons mayo
1/2 cup cottage cheese
8 oz smoked salmon
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup diced red onions
2 tablespoons scallions
1/4 cup capers

Mix everything together in a food processor except 1/2 of the salmon and the capers until smooth & creamy.  Empty into a separate bowl and stir in remaining salmon & capers.

Spiced Pear Champagne Cocktail

In addition to the beer & wine we served a Spiced Pear Champagne cocktail which was SO good!  I found some Cinnamon Pear Cider at Trader Joe’s so I just mixed a bottle of that with a bottle of Champagne and 1/2 bottle St. Germain. We went through it so quickly that we had to make another bowl with regular cider which was equally as delicious.

Dessert Tray

For dessert we put out a dessert tray with brownies, lemon squares, mini cupcakes and gingerbread men.

In addition to everything pictured I served a vegetable platter with dip, chips with salsa & ranch dip and a cheese salami platter.  It seems like a ton of food but people plowed through it pretty quickly, it’s always better to have too much than not enough!

Happy Holiday Party Season!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

So can we agree that homemade is almost always better?  I say almost because there are certain items that I leave up to the professionals since I just can’t seem to match it at home.  Hummus used to be on that list.  I’ve made it quite a few times and…well, it was ok.  It tasted like hummus and it was fine, but it was nowhere near the delicious creamy hummus you buy at the store.

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

I say it used to be on the list because after this hummus, it has been removed. Completely.  This stuff is SO freaking yummy, I may not ever touch the store-bought stuff again.  That’s a lie, I’ll probably get lazy next week and buy some Sabra at the store, but for now, I’m going to revel in my homemade hummus glory.

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

I’ve read on a few blogs lately that the trick to creamy hummus is peeling the chickpeas.  Holy moly were they right!  I know, it sounds tedious, and it kind of is, but you will completely forget all about that when you try this stuff. Just turn on your favorite TV show or blast some music and sit down for a peeling party, its actually kind of relaxing.

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

Look at that stuff.  How awesome does that look?  It literally just POURS out of the bowl.

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

I got the idea for this hummus last week when Tom & I were enjoying a nice vietnamese meal.  We had some summer rolls with peanut dipping sauce and we were talking about how freaking awesome the peanut sauce was.  I just wanted to lick it straight from the bowl.  Then the next day I was dipping some carrots in peanut butter and hummus and realized “Um, hello, just combine the two. Duh.”  I know I’m probably not the first person to do this but its SO good, I’m taking credit for it.

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

I added some sweet chili sauce which brought it more towards that sweet/savory taste of the peanut sauce we had at the restaurant.  If you don’t have any chili sauce, try adding just a teaspoon of honey, its really nice to have the subtle sweetness in there with the peanuts.

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

Its so creamy that you can use it as a sauce too.  Tonight for dinner I grilled up some eggplant, topped with some Trader Joe’s Bruschetta and then drizzled with the hummus.  Its like an explosion of flavor in your mouth.

Just make this. Do it. Now. Yum.

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Morning Dew.

GolfCourseMorning

There is something so fresh about the dew on grass early in the morning.  I’m imagining a crisp fall morning with a light dew covering the grass and flowers and the warm sun rising up over the mountains…

Creamy Thai Peanut Hummus

Allergy Peanuts
Dietary Vegetarian
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (15oz)
  • 1 Large garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon creamy unsalted peanut butter

Directions

1. Drain the liquid from the chickpeas and set the liquid aside in a small bowl. Peel the skins off the chick peas by pinching one end with two fingers (you don't HAVE to peel them, but you really should, it makes it SO creamy!)
2. Add the chickpeas to a food processor and blend until crumbled. Add the remaining ingredients and blend REALLY well!
3. Add the leftover chickpea liquid until it reaches your desired consistency.
4. Serve with chopped peanuts and sweet chili sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo Fish ‘n Chips with Spicy Avocado Tartar Sauce

Paleo Fish 'n Chips

Before you get too excited, the tartar sauce is not Paleo.  BUT the rest is, so if you’re going strictly paleo, just skip the dipping sauce, it’s good enough to enjoy without it.  However, if you are allowing some creaminess into your life, the tartar is a must.

I’m not usually the type of person to order Fish ‘n Chips at a restaurant, in fact, I’m not sure I ever have.  I’ve probably picked off of other people’s plates enough for it to count but I can’t remember ever ordering it myself.  Of course its delicious, but that much fried food is enough to make me want to crawl into a hole and die after eating it.

But if you want to cover flaky white fish in a crispy breading of veggie chips, cook in some coconut oil and serve alongside baked sweet potato fries?  That I can jump on board with.

PaleoFishNChips2

I can’t take complete credit for this, I got the idea from Living Nutrition who made fish sticks using crushed plantain chips.  I remembered I had a container of (probably stale) veggie chips and the idea was born.

PaleoFishNChips3

I made the breading by processing veggie chips, almonds, salt and pepper until it was fine & crumbly.

PaleoFishNChips4

I used coconut oil to fry these but I was somewhat limited based on the amount I had left in the jar so I kept a mesh cover handy to prevent the oil from splattering everywhere.  It worked just fine but if you want to be a little safer, you can add more coconut oil.

Paleo Fish 'n Chips

I haven’t made tartar sauce before so I created my own little version using mashed avocado, greek yogurt, mayonnaise, tabasco and my FAVORITE pickles that I ALWAYS have on hand: cornichons.  If you haven’t had them before, you need to try them.  They are small and taste kind of like salt and vinegar chips.  If you were to come by our house at a random time, we’re probably more likely to have cornichons in the fridge than milk. Yup. I’m weird. I know. I like my pickles.

PaleoFishNChips6

I went down to the local fish market (that just opened again for the season, wooohooo!!) and they had Hake fillets on sale for $7.99/lb.  I got a HUGE filet for only $7, it was probably enough to feed 3-4 people.  Hake is a local white fish and it is often on sale for pretty cheap because some people have preconceived notions that it isn’t a high quality fish.  I haven’cooked with it before but our consensus was that it was delicious, flaky and super moist.  Add a low price tag to that and it works for me!

Paleo Fish 'n Chips

Tom liked this so much that he said we should add it to the weekly menu roundup.  We all know that I don’t have a weekly menu, I rarely make the same thing twice, but maybe I’ll make an exception for this. Yup, its that good.

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

Being obsessed with a new song.

I love finding a new song to obsess over.  Right now its the new Pink song, even though the video is FREAKIN weird! That bear with the glowing eyes is totally distracting.

Paleo Fried Fish Sticks

Serves 2-4
Allergy Egg, Fish, Tree Nuts
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1lb white fish (cod, halibut or hake)
  • 4oz dried vegetable chips
  • 1/4 cup unsalted almonds
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions

1. Add the vegetable chips, almonds and a little salt & pepper to a food processor and process until fine & crumbly. Transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside.
2. In another bowl whisk eggs and almond milk together with a little salt & pepper, set aside.
3. Cut fish filet into longer skinny pieces and season with salt & pepper.
4. In a ziploc bag, toss the fish with the almond flour until lightly coated. Remove the fish from the bag, shaking off excess flour. Dip the floured fish in the egg mixture and then in the vegetable chip breading. Repeat process until all of the fish has a solid coating of breading.
5. In a heavy duty skillet, heat coconut oil over medium high heat until hot. You should have a solid 1/2" layer of oil in the pan, depending on the size of your pan, you may need to add more oil. Add the fish and cook in batches until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through. Transfer fish to a paper towel-lined plate and blot off excess oil before serving.

Spicy Avocado Tartar Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 hass avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons cornichon pickles (finely diced)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

 

Cheesy Shrimp Puffs

Happy Friday everyone!!  Hope you all had a great week.  Ummm, is it seriously December 14th??  Is Christmas really less than 2 weeks away? HOLY MOLY! Someone (me) is going to have to get going on that Christmas shopping!! I’m not worried, I work well under pressure (hehe, I hope). AHH!

Ok, so today I’m going to feature another fabulous appetizer recipe that you can bring with you to all those holiday parties I know you’ll be attending this weekend.  They take only a few minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake and the results are AH-mazing!

If you haven’t heard of Immaculate Baking before, its about time you become aware.  They are one of my design clients and they are a really fantastic little company.  They make a variety of delicious refrigerated doughs like cookies, scones, pie crusts, and biscuits!  It’s a small company based right here in Massachusetts, most of their products are certified by the Non-GMO project and they always use simple ingredients you can pronounce (score!)  They make a great buttermilk biscuit as well but I wanted to try out their new Flaky Biscuit.  You can find them at Whole Foods and a variety of other retailers, just check out the store locator on their website to see if they are carried in a store near you. (BTW – The Gingerbread Spice cookies are out for the holidays right now & they are SO GOOD!)

This was a little bit of an experiment since I had never used them before but I was extremely happy with the results.  The biscuits were delicate and moist and the shrimp mixture on top was gooey-ooey goodness.

The idea was inspired by Kathy’s Biscuit Artichoke & Spinach Dip Rolls.  They looked so delicious, I wanted to try my own little version 🙂

Simply quarter the biscuits and spread into cups in a mini muffin pan.  Mix up the shrimp dip and place a dollop on top of each biscuit.

Bake until nicely browned and bubbly.  There might even be some delicious little browned cheese bits on the pan when your done, YUM! No one will even know they are missing (our little secret).

They are best served warm.  I made them a few hours before our party and kept them warm in some tin foil in a warm oven.

The shrimp mixture is delicious but you could also play around with your favorite combination.  I also made another batch with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, thyme & gruyere.  You could also do a spinach artichoke dip biscuit, or maybe a crab puff? The possibilities are endless!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Enjoy!

 

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY:

My husband.

He was away for a company meeting the past few days and it made me realize how much I miss him when he’s away.  Absence does make the heart grow fonder! It was so nice to see him walk through the door yesterday, Oto showered him with a million kisses.

Cheesy Shrimp Puffs

Serves 24
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Appetizer, Snack
Misc Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 can Immaculate Baking Flaky Biscuits
  • 4oz baby shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Open biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters. Spread the pieces apart delicately with your fingers and create small cups by placing each one in a mini muffin tin.
3. Stir all of the remaining ingredients together in a medium bowl. Place a small spoonful of the dip on top of each biscuit cup.
4. Bake Shrimp puffs for about 15 minutes until brown & bubbly.