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Snacks

Summer Spreads

 

Food boards can be so much fun. They are super easy to put together and you can get creative. I put together a sweet and savory platter for Father’s Day and I was so happy with the way it turned out. I am a huge fan of salty and sweet. When people ask, do you prefer salty or sweet, I literally can’t even. Clearly the only answer is both. But back to this spread. What I love about this concept is that you can make it a light lunch or a heart snack. Entertaining? Just put one of these out and everyone will be so pleased. I will admit my favorite item on this board is the grilled naan. I’ve expressed my love for grilled bread in the past, so it should come as no surprise. So simple, yet amazing with cheese or salami or beer dip or alone. Also, I love that you can theme it out. Do a Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian inspired board. Have fun and pick your favorites!

For this spread, I included

Grilled naan (literally drizzle in olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt. Grill until you see grill marks and it’s just slightly toasty.)
Green Olives
Pub style beer cheese dip
Pretzels
Crackers
Hard Salami (locally made!)
Honey sriracha Gouda
Port Wine Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Bar mix
Mixed Berries
Lemon Cookies
Milk Chocolate

 

We also did a dessert favorite inspired board. The goal was to get the fire pit started and cook these over the fire, but then the wind happened and there was just no doing this. The gas stove made a fine alternative, so we roasted them over the stove top. Still delicious and such a fun spread. A mini cupcake/cookie/candy spread would also make a tasty dessert inspired spread.

For this spread, I included

Chocolate
Peanut Butter Cups
Chocolate caramel candy
Lemon cookies
Biscoff cookies
Graham crackers
Marshmallows

Toast Four Ways

 

I love toast. There I said it. I absolutely love toast. I always have. The problem is normal piece of toast with butter will not hold me over in the morning. I need there to be a bit more to it. So, I’m sharing a bit more to toast than just toast. I love dressing it up with veggies and all sorts of interesting things. The more that I can get to balance on the toast, the better it is going to be. It’s also great to have something simple to whip up on those nights you need something quick for dinner. Or the perfect quick lunch. And obviously, breakfast. This could even be a snack, just cut it in half and boom perfect snack for sharing. Or, because toast it so delicious, you could just have an indulgent snack and not even worry about it. But in the spirit of sharing, I give you, four delicious toasts.

 

 

 

 

 

Ricotta Toast. Beautiful ricotta toast. To make this version mix some ricotta and cinnamon together. Spread it on your toast and add some almonds. You can toast the almonds if you want, I think that it would add that wonderful crunch factor. The almonds here are not toasted because I happened to make this at work for lunch one day, but when I make this again, I will toast them. Drizzle with a generous amount of honey and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Avocado Egg Toast, my breakfast basically every morning, in some form. For this version, I mashed an avocado and mixed in some seasoned salt. Spread that on your toast. Scramble an egg and add some cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and drop it right on top. That’s it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love anything caprese. Especially when it includes avocado. This toast is my FAVORITE toast. I used shredded mozz because I had it on hand. I would highly recommend slicing some instead because….cheese…and it would be amazing. Shredded it also delicious. Then alternate between sliced tomato and sliced avocado. Drizzle on some olive oil and salt. Sprinkle with torn basil and then dive into what I would consider Heaven on toast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut butter and jelly. Such a classic. Add some sliced banana and crushed cereal and you literally have two breakfasts turned into one phenomenal toast experience. I just spread on some peanut butter and jelly. Sliced up a banana and topped with some crushed honey chex cereal. This toast is so simple yet so tasty!

Churro Fries

Churros and fries. Two of my favorite things! Put them together and BOOM you have an amazing snack. So the truth behind these little treats is that I could not find the appropriate pastry tip. I was full on in the process of making these when I searched my collection of tips and could not find the right one. So I improvised and grabbed a smaller version and what happened next was magical. My husband came into the kitchen and he was like what are you making, french fries? I responded “Um, no…churros” We both looked at each other and agreed that churro fried are genius and delicious. They are super easy to make. The dough is tough though. The original recipe I adapted from mentioned a cloth pastry bag and I absolutely agree. It’s a must when working with this recipe. If you use a plastic one, it will bust. Once you drop these pieces of heaven into the oil it will not take very long to cook. I suggest removing them just as you see a hint of golden brown color come through to avoid overcooking them. Let them rest for a minute, cover in sugar and cinnamon, and enjoy. You can also eat them with chocolate drizzled on top, which is extra amazing.

Ingredients

For the Cinnamon and Sugar Mixture

For the Dough

Instructions

  1. Combine 1/2 c of sugar and cinnamon together in a bow and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the water, remaining sugar, salt, and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from the heat and add in the flour. Mix until a dough ball forms.
  3. Prepare the pastry bag and tip. Add the dough and set aside.
  4. In a large heavy-bottom pot, add the oil. To rise about 3 inches. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Squeeze about 4 inches of dough out and cut with scissors. Let cook until lightly golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let the churros sit for a couple minutes to drain oil and then cover with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Just a Taste.

Queso Dip

What to choose…what to choose?! It was a tough call with the first Cino de Mayo themed post this morning, but I figured you cannot go wrong with cheese! This queso dip was so easy and so good. My husband and I literally stood over the skillet testing it because it was that addicting. The spices kick up the flavor and heat. I was really happy with the outcome of this dip. It’s reminiscent of that velveeta and salsa melty cheese dip but taste a lot better and doesn’t include a ton of chemicals. All of that is to say this dip is much better. If you love cheese you are going to love this dip. You can make this entirely on the stove top if you want, but I highly recommend adding some queso fresco on top, popping it under the broiler and let the magic happen. This cheese gets all toasty and really enhances the dip eating experience. I mean how could you make cheese better? Add more cheese of course!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in medium skillet. Add flour and whisk together cooking for about a minute until the flour mixture is golden brown. Slowly add in the milk, whisk together to eliminate any clumps that form.
  2. Add in the american cheese and whisk together to melt. Add in a little milk to thin if needed. Add in the tomatoes and spices to taste. With the spice, I added a few sprinkles, and then tested. I found about a 1/4 of each or so was good. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let boil a bit to thicken. Crumble some queso on top and pop it in the oven under the broiler until the cheese gets toasty.

Notes

Soft Whole Wheat Pretzels with Easy Cheesy Beer Dip

These soft pretzels were a happy accident. I was fully prepared to make your standard soft pretzels when…gasp!….I had no more all-purpose flour. Be sure to check your pantry before you start baking!! I happened to have white whole wheat flour, so I gave it a shot. Drum roll…….(spoiler it’s on the blog so I’m sure you know the outcome)….. they were delicious! The texture was perfect, the flavor was great, I could not have been happier (and relieved). The test was when my mother tried one. She is the first to call out “did you use whole wheat flour? I can tell.” She actually enjoyed them. Also, my son took a whole one and nearly devoured the entire thing. Whole wheat pretzel test, passed!

I think that pairing it with some easy cheesy beer dip helped. While my son didn’t try the dip, my mother and I enjoyed it. I had to make sure I had pretzels left for the shoot it was that good. I will be honest, at first we weren’t sure about the dip. I added a healthy dose of sriracha and boom! It turned from questionable to amazing. Really, the pretzels are amazing on their own, but when you can incorporate a cheesy dip to go with it, I say go for it. Because cheese.

Soft Whole Wheat Pretzels

Soft Whole Wheat Pretzels

Ingredients

Additional Items Needed

Instructions

  1. Combine the water, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast. Add in the flour and melted butter and combine just until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth yet sticky and pull away from the bowl. Grease a large bowl with the vegetable oil. Move the dough to the greased bowl and turn over to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 50-55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 large sheet pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water and 2/3 cup of baking soda to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 24 inch rope. Make a U shape with the dough. Grabbing the ends, cross the two pieces over each other, twisting once. Press the ends into the bottom of the U, slightly, to make the pretzel shape.
  4. Place 2 pretzels at a time into the boiling water. Boil for about 30 seconds and then remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Place on the baking sheet and brush the tops with an egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

Adapted from Annies Eats

Easy Cheesy Beer Dip

Easy Cheesy Beer Dip

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute or so, Slowly whisk in the milk and beer and cook until the mixture thickens. Add in salt, pepper, dry mustard and Worcestershire and cook about a minute more. Remove from the heat and add in the cheese, whisking until melted. Add in sriracha to taste. Serve warm!