Tag Archives: Appetizer

Italian Herb Flatbread

Going into this weekend I had one thing on my mind…Relax. I was tossing around the idea of heading to the cape for a little escape because I really just needed a little break. Over the past few weekends, we have been painting the house like nuts and then heading out for the normal work week.

Instead, I stayed around and planned on getting back into the kitchen to make something new and different. Flatbread!

It turned out that my sister needed an appetizer to bring to a party last night, so it was perfect timing. I wasn’t really sure how the flatbread was going to turn out, but I don’t mean to too my own horn, but toot toot! Haha.

I am more excited about it because I hadn’t really cooked much with yeast, and this just felt like an accomplishment.

Italian Herb Flatbread

Ingredients:

1 1/3 Cup Warm Water 2 7g Sachets of Fast-Acting Yeast
2 Teaspoons Honey 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tablespoon Diced Basil 1 Tablespoon Chopped Rosemary
1 Clove of Garlic, Diced 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

1. In a tall container, I used a drink jug, mix the water, honey and yeast. I warmed the faucet water for 10 seconds in the microwave. Set it aside until it becomes frothy.

Flatbread Yeast

2. While the yeast is doing it’s thing, take a large bowl and mix the flours, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and herbs. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, add it to the flour mix. Begin stirring it gently and once you can get your hands into it, knead the dough until it is smooth. Leave the dough in a ball and place it into a clean bowl. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and place it in a warm area for 40 minutes.

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3. While the dough is setting, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, 1 tablespoon basil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the oil sit until the dough is ready.

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4. Once the dough is ready, cut it into 8 smaller balls of dough. Gently roll them out into thin circles. The flatbread will puff up when they are cooked. Brush the top side with the olive oil mix and place it on a cast iron pan at medium heat, oil side down.

Flatbread- Steps

5. Leave the flatbread on the skillet for about a minute, or until the bread is slightly browned. Then spread the oil on the top side and flip it. If the flatbread springs back when you touch it, it’s cooked. Once the second side is cooked, remove it from the heat and dust it with a little salt.

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6. Cook each piece and let them cool before slicing them up. And Finito!

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When Maggie went to grab the dish at the end of the party, it was completely empty and there were rave reviews. “YOU WERE THE ONE THAT BROUGHT THE FLATBREAD?!”

Great success.

I am really quite happy with how they came out and am already trying to think of new ways to mix it up. Maybe an onion spin on it?? Or parmesan cheese??

 

Easter, Easter, Easter!

Happy Easter

 

Easter for my family was fairly low key which was nice. I actually haven’t been home in a while for Easter and I feel like I kind of forgot what the celebration was like. I woke up this morning around 7 and started making some goodies for breakfast. The star of the meal was by far the Apple Cider and Rum French Toast, that was topped with chunky applesauce from Trader Joe’s. YUMMY.

Apple Cider French Toast

 

Ingredients:

4 Slices of White Bread 3 Eggs
1/4 Cup Apple Cider 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Bacardi Rum

Directions:

1. Mix up the eggs, apple cider, rum and cinnamon until well blended.

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2. Soak the bread lightly in the mix on both sides and cook it on a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray over medium heat. Brown it on both sides.

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And ENJOY! These were such a hit. You could really taste the apple cider in the french toast, with a hint of rum. the chunky apples sauce on top really tied it together.

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I also made some soft, hard boiled eggs. Doesn’t make sense…but it will! I am a BIG fan of these guys and I felt like they were appropriate for Easter considering they are shaped like an egg still. If I had thought about it a little more, I may have added a little dye to the water to color them 🙂

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So fun right??! They are super easy. Boil some water and place the eggs in for 6 minutes exactly. When you take them out, place them right into a cold bowl of water. When they are cool, peel them and enjoy! Love them!!

We enjoyed all of this with some bacon and fresh berries. I’d say a solid showing for breakfast.

After breakfast, we headed out to church.

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Then started getting ready for the main event. I took on the job of just one of the appetizer plates. I decided on a festive Bunny Veggie Platter. I had previously made a cornucopia for Thanksgiving and wanted to do something similar for Easter.

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The bunny is simply made of Pillsbury Breadsticks.

Directions:

1. Take a two pieces of tin foil and shape them into the body and the head of the bunny. Place them next to each other on a greased cookie sheet. Start by placing the bread sticks over the bread sticks over the tin foil, making sure you tuck a portion of each stick under the tin foil. This makes sure that there is something to hold up the bunny once your remove the tin foil. Add on a piece for the nose and ears. I had some leftover, so I made a carrot as well.

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2. Mix 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of water in a small bowl. With a brush, generously paint it on the bunny. Season with salt to taste and garlic powder to taste. Bake the bunny (and carrot in our case) in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are nice and browned.

 

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3. Once the breadsticks have cooled, flip them over carefully and peel out the tin foil. This is why it is important to tuck the breadsticks around a bit. It won’t have anything to stand on if you don’t.

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Once the tin foil is out, you are done! Place chopped veggies around it to make it look nice. I used two olive slices for the eyes because the dough ones moved a bit when it came out of the oven. One of the eyes baked onto the ear. Not a good look for a bunny.

I think this turned out really well. So festive 🙂

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We had some family come over and had little easter egg hunt for the little girls. It was a lot of fun to watch them run around the yard looking for eggs and getting all excited. I was thinking that maybe we should hide beer and have an adult easter egg hunt. That may just happen next year…

Over all, it was a really fun Easter. Nothing too crazy, but exciting enough!

What is your ideal holiday?? Low key with family or wild and crazy?!

 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Brent is a big fan of anything buffalo flavored. ANYTHING. If you are staring at a menu, it’s not hard to guess what the man will get. So, I know this is a bit late, but for the Superbowl, I made a buffalo chicken dip with shredded chicken mixed into it. It’s super easy to make, and much healthier than you think!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

 

Ingredients:

1 8oz Package of Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
1 Rotisserie Chicken 2 Tablespoons Buffalo Sauce
Blue Cheese to top it off

 

Directions:

1. Peel the chicken off the rotisserie chicken and shred it into thinner pieces. Mix it with the room temperature cream cheese (just to make it mix in easier). Then add in the buffalo sauce. Add it in to your liking.

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2. Put it into a flat pan, I used a pie plate. You can top it with blue cheese. Then bake it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the top to brown slightly and it to be warmed throughout.

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I ended up doing it half and half with the blue cheese and half without because Brent isn’t the biggest fan of blue cheese. The dish was a hit though. It’s very simple, light tasting and over all one of the healthiest buffalo dips. Everyone really liked it and you can really make it as spicy as you would like!

 

If you are having some people over for a movie, a game or anything, this is a great dish. I’m positive this will be a winner because it is healthier for you, and packed with buffalo flavor.

 

What is your favorite dish for game time??

 

I love anything dippy. Chips and dip, veggies and dip. Munchy and dippy for me!

 

Chick Pea Cakes and Cape Cod Fun

This weekend I headed back to Cape Cod for a fun family reunion with some family friends of 20 years. It had been an unbelievably long time since the last time we had run into them so it was great to catch up and relax on scenic Cape Cod. There really isn’t a more relaxing place to escape from they everyday stresses.

This house, as well as the others along this stretch of beach have no electricity and no running water. How about that as an escape from every day life.

One of the highlights by far was going on a whale watch. I had never done anything like it and I feel like a whale watch has that stigma of sitting on a boat, staring out into the ocean just crossing your fingers that something would happen for hours on end. Well, that was seriously not the case on our trip. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Although whales don’t travel in groups, they come together in what’s called an association and feed in large groups. Absolute amazement.

This is a baby who was just outside the large group playing around. She would jump out of the water, spin around and just play while her mother fed with the large group. She is only 8 months old!

The entire trip was just amazing. You can’t imagine how majestic these animals are. If you ever get a chance to do something like this, I highly recommend it. It was a once in a life time experience.

Now, when I had initially got to the house, Mama C put us right to work cooking for our large group of 17. I was in charge of the grill, and my brother was whipping together his Chick Pea Cakes with a Red Pepper Cream Sauce. Although I obviously didn’t have a hand in the cooking, I thought this recipe was truly delicious and unique. The Red Pepper Sauce was so surprisingly flavorful, you could really put it on anything. I was thinking it would be fantastic served on top of a grilled chicken, or even as a salad dressing.

Without further ado, this is Matt’s Chick Pea Cakes!

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Olive Oil                                                1 Cup Minced Onion

1 Jalapeno, Minced, Stemmed and Seeded     1/2 Cup Scallions, Sliced

3 Cups Chickpeas (30 oz)                                  3/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice                                Black Pepper to Taste

2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil

Directions:

1. In a medium sized skillet, warm the 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil. When it is warm, cook the onions until they are soft.

2. When the onions are cooked, add in the jalapenos, garlic and scallions. Cook these for an additional 2 minutes.

3. Now turn off the heat to the stove but leave the pan on top of it. Add in the chick peas, 2 more tablespoons of olive oil, and salt to taste. Stir it up, and now you want to mash them. Matt didn’t have the appropriate tool handy, so what better than an old fashioned hand mashing.

They don’t need to be completely mashed, but you want to make sure at least half of them are thoroughly squished because this is the glue to your patty.

4. Transfer your chick pea mixture into a bowl and allow it to cool. Stir in your chopped basil leaves, lemon juice and pepper. Form these into 12 patties. Matt used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to shape them.

5. Now just heat them up on a skillet to brown each side of them. You don’t have to worry about cooking them through at all because there’s nothing raw in them 🙂

6. Once these are browned, take them off the skillet and set them aside. Now for the Red Pepper Sauce. In a mixing bowl, or with a hand mixer, add the following:

1 Roasted Red Pepper                                     1 Piece of Wheat Bread, crust removed

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil                                    1/4 Sliced Almonds

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed                                  1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

Blend it up until it is smooth.

And Finito! You can serve the sauce on the side as a dipping sauce or put it right on top of each. The sauce really makes this recipe so don’t skip out on it!

This really is fantastic and I would love to see how else you can use this sauce. It is extremely versatile and I plan on mixing things up with this sauce. Maybe I’ll even throw it on some eggs in the morning?!

So thanks to Matt for sharing this and Mama C, Matt and I apologize to our guests for not sharing the product with you…we ate it all about 15 minutes after they were finished! Whoops!

Let me know what you guys think!

Happy Eating Everyone!