Greek Salad Skewers and a BIG Giveaway!

by Jamie on July 10, 2011

Post image for Greek Salad Skewers and a BIG Giveaway!

It’s summer. It’s hot. Too hot – I think the heat is to blame for my missing culinary mojo. There’s just something about 95 degree temperatures that makes turning on my oven a little less appealing than normal.

With all the heat, blue skies, and an 85 acre pond in our backyard, we’re kind of used to last minute entertaining. So we keep the fridge stocked with simple, fresh ingredients that can be transformed into delicious eats without too much cooking involved.

For our recent Fourth of July festivities, I decided to keep things pretty effortless and portable, so people wouldn’t have to be tied to the table while enjoying the food. One of the most well received items on the menu were these easy Greek Salad Skewers. With only 6 ingredients and minimal prep time, these Greek Salad Skewers couldn’t be easier – or cuter!

Now, here’s where things get a little fun! I want you to share YOUR favorite appetizer recipe that uses 6 ingredients or less (see below for specifics) for the chance to win a $600 gift card. I’ve teamed up with American Express and their Dinner @ 6 promotion to create simple appetizer recipes that use 6 ingredients or less.

Are you seeing a theme here with the number 6? Let me explain. American Express recently launched two cash back credit cards – Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday.

One of the most exciting benefits of the Blue Cash Preferred card is that Cardmembers receive 6% cash back for purchases at the supermarket – the highest cash back rate available for grocery purchases! With these new Blue Cash® Cards, there are no spend minimums, cash back caps, ongoing enrollments or rotating categories of cash back benefits. Which is a pretty sweet deal when used responsibly.

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Greek Salad Skewers

July 10th, 2011

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

12 grape tomatoes
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 12 (1/2-inch) cubes
1 mini cucumber sliced into 12 pieces
12 pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons Za’atar*.

12 (4-6 inch) bamboo or wood skewers

Directions:

1. Thread the skewers starting with a tomato, then a piece of feta cheese, a cucumber and an olive. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

2. Just before serving, arrange skewers on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Za’atar.

Notes:

- I highly recommend finding Za’atar. It’s such a great spice (a blend of sumac, sesame seeds and herbs) to have on hand. I love the brand Urban Accents because it’s flavorful and readily available at my local market.


 

Requirements for Participation

One winner will receive a $600 Gift Card from American Express:
1. Submit your favorite APPETIZER recipe that features 6 ingredients or less. You MUST cut and paste the entire recipe into the comment form. If you have a blog, please also provide a link to the post.
2. You may submit 2 recipes – leave each recipe in a separate comment.
Seasonings, spices and herbs, garlic, vinegars and oils DO NOT count as one of the 6 ingredients.
3.. Contest ends July 23, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Entries that do not follow the directions above will be deleted without notification.
4. Winner will be posted in a follow up post by July 29, 2011.
5. Contest open to US residents only.
6. Winner will be chosen via random.org and will have 3 days to respond or a new winner will be selected.

Additional Entries

If you also have a MAIN COURSE recipe that uses 6 ingredients or less, be sure to head over to goodLife {eats} and enter on Katie’s blog as well. Good luck!

Disclosure

This post and the giveaway are sponsored by American Express. The views and opinions expressed within this post are my own.


Rebecca July 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Serves 6 as appetizers

2 pounds mussels
1 cup white wine (they suggest 1/2 cup but I need more to steam that volume)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
4 pinches smoked paprika (pimenton)

Clean your mussels. There are a zillion ways to do this, this is mine: I put them in a big bowl of very cold water for about 10 minutes. This encourages them to expel their sand. Scoop them out (not dump, if you dump the sandy water over them, it defeats the purpose) one by one and scrub them under running water. Most cultivated mussels have the bissus (beard) removed but if one lingers, yank it toward the hinge (if you do it away from the hinge, it can kill the mussel prematurely) or cut it with a knife. Discard any mussels with chipped shells or that are not completely shut; they are more than likely dead and it’s not worth finding out if it may or may not make you sick, right?

Boil your wine in a medium pot. Add the mussels, cover and steam them open over high heat until they open. You can start checking at 3 minutes, but it can take up to 6. I like to use the lid and potholders and shake them around a little from time to time, to make sure they’re getting equal access to the wine and heat.

Once open, let the mussels cool. Twist off and discard one of the shells from each mussels (discard any that didn’t open), making sure that the remaining shell contains the mussel. Reserve the mussel broth for another use. Mash butter, parsley, garlic, pimenton and salt to taste in a small bowl and slather each mussel with the compound butter. Arrange them in a broiler-safe tray and chill them in the fridge until the butter is hard. [This is a great do-ahead interval, if you’d like to prepare these for when you entertain.]

Preheat the broiler (or your oven to 500, if you don’t have a broiler). Broil the mussels until the butter is bubbling hot, about 2 minutes (or up to 4 in an oven).

Jennifer B July 15, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Spinach Artichoke Wontons

1 – container store bought spinach artichoke dip
1- package wonton wrappers
1- egg, beaten
canola oil for frying

Dipping Sauce
1 cup mayo
1-2 tsp. Siracha hot sauce

Put 1 -2 tsp of the spinach dip in the middle of each wonton. Apply a light egg wash around the outer edges of the wrapper and fold the wonton diagonally making sure that you get any air bubbles out. Fry the wontons in hot oil until browned. Drain on a paper towel.
Mix the Dipping Sauce ingredients together and enjoy!

Crissy Durst July 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Fried Ravioli

Olive oil, for frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, for dipping

Directions

Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.

While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.

When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.

Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Crissy D. July 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Oven Frites

Ingredients
4 medium (8-ounce) baking (russet) potatoes
1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
3/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Scrub potatoes well; pat dry with paper towels.
With knife, cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then cut slices lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide sticks.
Evenly spray two 15 1/2″ by 10 1/2″ jelly-roll pans with nonstick cooking spray. In one pan, carefully toss all potato sticks with olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. Transfer half of potatoes to second jelly-roll pan.
Bake potatoes on two oven racks 30 to 35 minutes or until browned and crispy, rotating pans between upper and lower racks and stirring potatoes once halfway through cooking.

Kara M July 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm

BLT Dip:

Ingredients:
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 plum tomatoes, diced
2 green onions, diced

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon, tomatoes and onions. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Garnish with extra bacon or green onions. Serve with crackers. chips, or french bread.

Makes about three cups.

Kara M July 15, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Warm Broccoli and Cheese Spread

1 pkg cream cheese, cubed
1 cup sour cream
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen, chopped broccoli, thawed, drained, and patted dry
2 cups (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, and salad dressing mix until blended. Fold in the broccoli and 1-1/2 cups cheese.
2. Spoon into a shallow, 1-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with crackers or sliced french bread.

Makes about 3-1/2 cups

Aubrie July 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Barbecue Chicken and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

1/2 large sweet (Walla Walla or similar) onion, thinly sliced
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 Tb. canola oil
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
4 tortillas
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. In medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-10 minutes or until onions are brown and caramelized. Stir in barbecue sauce and chili powder. Stir until well combined. Add diced chicken.
2. Place one tortilla in large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Top half of quesadilla with a quarter of the chicken/onion mixture, and a sprinkle of cilantro, if desired. Fold in half. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with remaining 3 tortillas. Cut each tortilla in quarters. Serve with fresh veggies or green salad.

Aubrie July 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Here is my second recipe. Super easy and always a hit!

Ranch Cheeseball

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg. (1 oz) Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (dry)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Crackers, for serving

Combine cheeses, dressing mix, and green onions in medium bowl. Form into ball. Roll in chopped nuts (or parsley flakes if you don’t like nuts). Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm. Serve with crackers (I prefer Ritz, honey-wheat Wheatables, and Triscuits). Enjoy!

Tisheena Lowe July 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

White Corn Guacamole

3 avacados, cubed (not mashed)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded, diced
1 can sweet white corn
1/2 can black beans

1 bunch cilantro, chopped
lime juice
salt
pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Lime juice, salt, pepper to taste. I think I ended up with about 5 teaspoons of lime juice, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a couple twists from the pepper grinder.

Serve with chips, or add to tacos, chicken, salad, whatever you can think of! :)

Courtney July 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Eggplant Towers
Serves 4 – Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 Large Eggplant
2 Large Tomatoes
1 Large Ball Fresh Mozzarella
1 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs
6 Leaves Fresh Basil, sliced

Preheat oven to 350F.
Using your full size slicer slice your eggplant, place the sliced eggplant in a salt water bath. Meanwhile slice your tomatoes and mozzarella. Rinse the eggplant and dip into breadcrumbs. Place on a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil that has been sprayed with non-stick. Spray the nonstick on the top of the eggplant as well. Bake for 10 minutes, and then flip. Bake for another 10 minutes. Add the tomato and mozzarella on top of the eggplant along with a sprinkle of the fresh basil. Cook for 5 more minutes. Stack the towers and enjoy! :-)

Ellie Henry July 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Roasted Garlic Canapes

2 heads garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon salt
Assorted fresh vegetables and toasted breads

1. Cut off tops of garlic heads, leaving tight outer covering intact. Place garlic heads, cut side up, on a sheet of aluminum foil or in a garlic roaster. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, or cover with a lid.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden. Cool. Squeeze out pulp from each clove.
3. Process garlic pulp in a food processor until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Add cream cheese; pulse 2 or 3 times, stopping once to scrape down sides.
4. Add butter and salt; process 1 minute or until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days. Pipe onto vegetables and breads. Yield: 2 2/3 cups.

Katie {Epicurean Mom} July 17, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Stuffed Mozzarella Squash Blossoms

http://www.epicureanmom.com/2011/07/stuffed-mozzarella-squash-blossoms-with.html

Ingredients:
12 squash blossoms, stamen removed
8 oz mozzarella, grated
1 cup flour
2 eggs
Vegetable oil
1 tablespoons sea salt plus more for garnishing
1/2 tablespoon pepper

Preparation:
Wash squash blossoms, radishes and carrots. Place the radishes and carrots aside. Very gently take the stamen out from inside the blossom. Pat dry and carefully fill the blossoms with mozzarella cheese, twist the top of the blossoms to close off, repeat with remaining.

Place the flour into a shallow bowl and add the pepper and salt, mix until well incorporated. Beat the eggs in a bowl and place next to the flour (like an assembly line.) Dredge the squash blossoms in flour mixture (do not tap off excess), then in the egg wash and back in the flour, until very well coated. Repeat with remaining blossoms.

Pour oil into a tall rimmed frying pan, filling about 2-3 inches. Heat until hot but not smoking, about 350-380 degrees. Carefully fry blossoms in batches, until a nice golden brown color. Serve warm.

Lisa July 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I’m more of a no-recipe kind of girl :) But this one is way too easy.

won ton wrappers
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 sm. can diced chiles

Combine the cream cheese and chiles. Place a dollop of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of a won ton wrapper and fold up like a little envelope. Brush the edge with water to seal.

Deep fry until golden brown on each side. They taste exactly like jalapeno poppers :)

Shea July 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Caramelized Fennel and Bleu Cheese Flatbread

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tsp yeast
1/3 olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 fennel bulb, washed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Greek seasoning
4 oz Bleu cheese, crumbled
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained

Directions:
Preheat oven to 500°. Mix the hot water with yeast; set aside. In a stand mixer on low, combine the salt and flour and slowly drizzle in the oil with the mixer on. Add the water/yeast mixture and continue mixing until a ball forms. Move to a bowl coated with olive oil, cover and refrigerate.

Drizzle some olive oil – I used about 3 swirls from my bottle – in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, stir for a few seconds then add the fennel slices. Stir and combine with the olive oil, and reduce heat to medium. Saute until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Generously coat a pizza size stone with olive oil. You could also use a baking sheet; I’ve done that before and it works just a well. I like using my stone because it’s nice and seasoned. Take the dough out of the fridge and half. Save the rest of it for later; you’ll be making this again.

Spread it out thin, covering your stone or baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle the Greek seasoning evenly. Next, layer the tomatoes, fennel bulb and bleu cheese.

Remove the stalks from the fennel and throw away, but keep the fronds (the cute thin little strands on the top). Slice the bulb as thin as you can.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is starting to brown a little, Slice into squares, and top with some of the fronds.

Here’s the link to the post on my website: http://tinyurl.com/4dgn3vz

Shea July 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Baked Feta

1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 4 oz container crumbled feta cheese
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
Crusty French bread, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 350. In an oven safe dish, combine the tomatoes, feta, lemon juice and pepper flakes. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly. Use as a dip with the bread pieces, crackers or pita chips!

Rebeka M. July 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Mom’s Cheesy Artichoke Dip – the ingredients are a little unconventional, but don’t knock it ’til you try it!!

1 brick cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can artichoke hearts
1 packet cheese powder from Mac ‘n Cheese
~1 tsp. garlic powder
~1-2 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat cream cheese and mayonnaise together until combined. Mix in cheese powder (just trust me) and garlic powder. While blending, chop the artichoke hearts, then gentle fold into cheese/mayo mixture. Pour into 8×8 casserole pan, and sprinkle paprika over the top. Bake until hot and the top begins to brown, or about 40 minutes. Serve with vegetables, bread, or crackers.

Maria Dimakos July 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Hot & Spicy Feta Dip
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese (preferably Greek Feta)
1 – 6oz package of cream cheese
4 cloves fresh garlic
¼ cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil
¼ pine nuts
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Red Wine vinegar
Olive Oil (depends on how creamy you want your dip)
Salt & Cracked black pepper

Take the feta, 4 gloves of garlic, cream cheese, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, red wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes and place them in a food processor. Do not add any salt, pepper, or olive oil to this mixture yet. Pulse the mixture until uniform, but not overly combined. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the food processor and blend. Once combined into a dip texture, taste mixture to see if it needs salt. Depending on the type of Feta cheese you purchased, your dip may or may not need salt. Add freshly ground pepper to the mixture and salt if needed. Pulse food processor a few more times to combine.

Put dip in a festive platter and serve with pita chips. It is ready to enjoy! Please note that if you decide to make this dip the night before a party, please store in the fridge. The flavors of this dip will intensify the longer it sits in the fridge.

Maria Dimakos July 17, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Savory Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

10oz Crimini or baby Portobello mushrooms
1 cup softened goat cheese
½ cup softened cream cheese
¼ cup diced roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1 clove of garlic minced
¼ cup plain Panko crumbs (don’t have Panko, use bread crumbs)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoons salt for the cheese mixture, ½ tsp salt for topping
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper for cheese mixture, ½ tsp pepper for topping
2 tablespoons olive oil

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Wipe the outside of your mushrooms with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or grit. Pull out the stem of the mushroom and with a melon baller, remove the gills of the mushroom but be careful not to pierce the mushroom flesh. Place the mushrooms on a non-stick cooking pan, open side up.

Combine goat cheese, cream cheese, diced roasted red peppers; 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and minced garlic into a bowl. I use my hands because it allows me to evenly distribute all the ingredients, but you can use a fork if you’d like. Take this mixture with a spoon and place it into each of the mushrooms.

Combine ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons olive oil, Parmesan cheese and Panko. Sprinkle this mixture on each of the mushrooms.
Place stuffed mushrooms in a 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Once the cheese is nice a bubbly and the crumb mixture has become golden brow, these are ready to eat!

Enjoy!

Donna B. July 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Spiced Candied Cashews

Ingredients
2 cups raw unsalted cashews
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the nuts, sugar, water, and salt into a large skillet over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook until the water is nearly evaporated and the liquid becomes syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the spices together in a small bowl.

After 10 minutes, sprinkle the spices over the nuts and stir well. Continue stirring constantly while the water evaporates completely, about 5 minutes. When there is no longer any sugar syrup left in the bottom of the pan, turn off the heat and stir the nuts vigorously but carefully in the pan until the sugar seizes up and the nuts are evenly coated with crystallized sugar.

Turn the nuts out onto the lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Cool completely before sifting the excess sugar from the coated nuts and storing in an airtight container.

Cook’s Note: DO NOT touch the nuts at any time while cooking or just afterward. Cooked sugar is extremely hot and can burn instantly when touched.

Donna B. July 17, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Mini Beef Wellingtons

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef tenderloin, cut into 24 (1-inch) cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel and season all sides with salt and pepper. Quickly sear the beef on 2 sides only until deep golden brown, about 4 minutes total; do not overcook. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Reduce the heat to medium, add 1 tablespoon butter and the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown and release liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and shallots and continue cooking until mushroom mixture dries out, is golden brown and shallots are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat to the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

On a work surface, roll 1 sheet of puff pastry to a 10 by 14-inch rectangle. Put teaspoon-sized mounds of mushroom mixture on the pastry, evenly spacing them in 4 rows of 3. Top the mushroom mound with a piece of beef, seared side up. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into even squares around the meat and mushrooms. Working 1 at a time, pull 2 opposite sides of pastry up over each beef piece, then fold the ends over the top to make a packet. Invert and arrange the packets seam side down on the baking sheet and press them lightly to seal the pastry. Repeat with the remaining beef, mushrooms, and pastry. Lightly brush the tops with the softened butter.

Bake the Wellingtons until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven to a serving platter and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Maryam July 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Grilled Chicken Nachos

8 cups tortilla chips
1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
3/4 cup spicy barbecue sauce
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 cups shredded Chedder cheese (or any cheese you prefer)

Heat grill. Tear off a large rectangles of heavy duty foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spread tortilla chips down center of foil. In small bowl, combine chicken and barbecue sauce and spoon over tortillas. Sprinkle with tomatoes and cheese.

Seal packages with double fold. Place on grill, cover, and cook on medium coals for 8-10 minutes until hot and cheese is melted.

Mrs. Puma July 17, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Party Pinwheels
See full post with optional add-ins on my blog here: http://www.pumalifeblog.com/2011/02/super-bowl-snacks-party-pinwheels.html

Ingredients:
2 blocks cream cheese, softened
1 pkg ranch mix, more or less to taste
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped black olives
Flour tortillas (8-12)

Directions:
Mix ranch mix into cream cheese. Mix in bell pepper and olives. Spread onto tortillas and layer with any optional items. Roll tortillas and refrigerate for an hour. Slice into 1 inch bites and serve, or refrigerate until serving.

Mrs. Puma July 17, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Southwestern Spinach Artichoke Dip
http://www.pumalifeblog.com/2011/02/super-bowl-snacks-southwestern-spinach.html

1 1/2 blocks cream cheese, softened
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 jar artichoke hearts
1/2 can Rotel (more or less to taste)
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesean cheese, shredded
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning
Pita bread for dipping (or others dippers, optional)

Thaw spinach and soften cream cheese. Drain and chop artichokes. Mix all the ingredients together well, saving 1/4 cup of each cheese to top. Mix up the remaining jack and parmesean cheese in a separate bowl. Spread mix into a greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheese blend. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350, or until bubbly. Leave the oven on while you cool the dip.

If you’re using pitas to dip, Leave the oven on while you cool the dip. Slice the pita bread into triangles and arrange on a baking sheet. Toast the pita chips in the oven for about 3-4 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

Thursday Girls July 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Thanks for posting, we love it! So much so that we shared with our readers on our weekly blog roundup! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/oHuxDm
xo, Thursday Girls

Matt July 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Fried Pickle Chips

For frying: I use a cast iron dutch oven, place about 2 inches of oil in it.

2 tsp salt
2 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper

I Jar of pickle chips
2 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
2 cup Panko Bread crumbs.

In a fryer or Dutch oven, heat oil to 350F.

Combine flour with a tsp of each of the spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper) and mix thoroughly.

Combine panko breadcrumbs with a tsp of each of the spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper) and mix thoroughly.

In a bowl whisk eggs.

Pat dry pickle chips between layers of paper towels, removing as much liquid as possible.

Dredge pickles in the flour mixture and shake of excess, then dip in egg, then dredge in panko mixture and shake of excess.

Carefully drop into the oil. don’t overcrowd the pan so they don’t stick together. When golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve with ranch and enjoy!

Amy July 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

If oil and spices don’t count then this only has one ingredient!

Gonzo Garbanzos

Ingredients
Two 15.5 ounce cans chickpeas — drained, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup shelled pistachios (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400.
Place the chickpeas in a medium bowl and discard any loose skins. Toss with the olive oil, salt, black pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper until evenly coated.
Spread the chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and quickly stir in the thyme and pistachios, if using. Bake until crunchy, about 10 minutes more.
Let cool and serve at room temperature.

http://amy-zach.blogspot.com/2009/05/gonzo-garbanzos.html

Amy July 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm

This one only has one ingredient too…

Ranch Crackers
1 bag oyster crackers
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 packet ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour oyster crackers in a 13×9 pan.
Whisk together oil, dressing mix and garlic powder.
Pour over crackers and mix well, coating all crackers.
Bake for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

http://amy-zach.blogspot.com/2009/05/ranch-crackers.html

Taylor July 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Dip
http://www.greensnchocolate.com/2011/05/creamy-roasted-red-pepper-dip.html

2 red bell peppers
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven on broiler setting. While it is heating, wash your peppers. Place peppers on baking sheet and once oven is heated, place peppers in oven. Keep a close eye on your peppers, making sure they don’t burn, and after one minute, take the peppers out of the oven, turn them onto other side, then return to oven. Once they are blistered on all sides, remove them from the oven. Place the peppers in a paper sack or ziploc bag that can be sealed. Let them sit for 15 minutes in the bag.

After 15 minutes, you can remove the peppers from the bag and the skin should easily be torn off. Cut off stem and place red peppers in food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until mixture is very smooth. Transfer dip into serving bowl and serve with crackers, pita chips, or slices of baguette. Enjoy!

Taylor July 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Baked Goat Cheese Dip with Caramelized Onions and Figs
http://www.greensnchocolate.com/2011/05/baked-goat-cheese-dip-with-caramelized.html

16 oz goat cheese
14 dried California Mission figs, quartered
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large white onions, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
French baguette, sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In small pot, combine figs with sherry, along with enough water so the figs are completely covered. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let the figs plump while the onions are cooking.

In medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic, rosemary, and salt and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the onions are lightly browned. Add figs (without excess liquid) to onions and stir to combine.

In an oven-safe dish (the size of your liking, depending on how deep you want the dip to go and what onion to goat cheese ratio you want) spread goat cheese evenly. Top with caramelized onion and fig mixture, and bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Serve immediately with sliced baguettes. Enjoy!

Megan W. July 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Here is one of my new favorites, Italian Herb & Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes…

Ingredients:
6 vine ripened tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup oregano, chopped
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan)
ground black pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and scoop out the mushy insides using a melon baller and set aside. Leave the thick tomato wall in tact making sure not to pierce through the skin.
3. In a medium sized mixing bowl add in the tomato pulp, herbs, bread crumbs, cheese, and pepper to taste. (You can also add about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil). Mix ingredients together until mixed evenly.
4. In a 9×13 pan line up your tomatoes and fill each with the pulp mixture. Top off with a sprinkle of olive oil. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Check out my post at: http://thefreshfridge.com/2011/07/italian-herb-cheese-stuffed-tomatoes/

Megan W. July 19, 2011 at 9:15 pm

And one of my own creations…perfect for St. Patty’s Day:

Mini Reubens with Hot Dip Spread

4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
4 tablespoons Thousand Island Dressing (we used a yogurt based dressing with 1/2 the calories of regular, but regular dressing will work too)
3/4 cup shredded Swiss Cheese
1/4 pound sliced Pastrami or Corned Beef
6 tablespoons sauerkraut
18 slices of Pumpernickel Rye Bread loaf (approx. 1/2″ thick slices)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. In a small bowl combine softened cream cheese, thousand island dressing, and shredded swiss cheese. Mix well and then transfer to a small baking dish. Place dish into oven, uncovered and bake for 10 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
3. Slice pumpernickel rye bread into 1/2″ thick pieces and toast each piece.
4. Layer by spreading on a layer of hot dip on a piece of toasted rye bread, then stack on a couple slices of pastrami and top with sauerkraut. Serve immediately, while still hot.

And here is my blog post link! – http://thefreshfridge.com/2011/03/hot-dip-mini-reubens/

Meagan Christie July 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Simply Delicious Ham Roll-Ups

Ingredients
1 package precooked sliced ham sandwich meat
1 large jar dill pickles
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp Garlic Powder

Directions
Stir softened cream cheese and garlic powder in a bowl. Spread softened cream cheese in thin layer on ham slices. Place a pickle on the end of each ham and cream cheese slice. Roll up jelly roll style. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Stick a toothpick in and enjoy!

I have grown up eating this at every family gathering and wouldn’t want anything else!

Meagan Christie July 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm

I recently fell in love with goat cheese, ergo, I fell in love with this flavorful concoction:

Adapted from Whole Foods:

Ingredients:
12 slices whole wheat baguette, lightly toasted
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 green apple, thinly sliced
1 cup diced strawberries
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Spread the baguette slices with goat cheese and top with apple slices and strawberries, pressing to help the fruit adhere. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with basil and a generous amount of black pepper. Enjoy!

Merry Graham July 19, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Grilled Mediterranean Portobello Cups
½ cup Italian Salad Dressing
4 large Portobello mushroom, stems removed, brushed clean
3/4 finely chopped sweet red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup finely chopped Kalamata Olives
1 1/2 cup grated Italian 5-blend cheese

Directions
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the Italian salad dressing and mushroom caps; marinade 20-minutes. Place mushrooms, cap side down, on a greased broiler pan. Divide and place red pepper, chopped artichoke hearts, and olives in the cavity of the mushroom, and top with cheese. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10-minutes or until cheese is melted. OR, place mushrooms on a perforated grill plate and place on a medium-high grill, close cover and grill for 10-minutes or until cheese has melted. Serves 4.These are absolutely delicious a true gluten-free mini pizza!

Merry Graham July 19, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Lavender Coffee Goat Cheese Roll
1 tablespoon roasted coffee beans
1 teaspoon culinary dried lavender
1 teaspoon Tellicherry Peppercorns
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
8 ounces goat cheese log
10 small basil leaves

In a spice grinder or coffee grinder, finely grind coffee beans and dried lavender and peppercorns. Roll goat cheese log in ground mixture and press the lemon zest on top of the spiced log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up until 6 hours. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves. Serve with crackers. Serves 8.

Kate@Diethood July 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

Butternut Squash, Grape Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese Quiche Cups

http://diethood.com/2011/07/19/butternut-squash-grape-tomatoes-and-feta-cheese-quiche-cups/

(Makes 12)

You will need:

olive oil
2 cups chopped butternut squash
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 large egg
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.
Toss the butternut squash with some olive oil and spread it onto a baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Flatten the bread slices with a rolling pin and tuck each slice into a cupcake tin that’s been coated with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the half-and-half, egg, feta cheese, basil, salt and pepper; whisk until well combined. Set aside.
When the squash is done, mix it together with the tomatoes.
Spoon the squash mixture into the the bread cups.
Spoon the cheese mixture over the squash and tomatoes.
Bake for 15 minutes. If you like it crunchier, let it sit in for another 2 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the quiche.

Wanda M July 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

Southern Crab Dip

¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup crabmeat
½ cup mild cheddar cheese, grated fine
1 tsp. horseradish
4 TBL French dressing

Combine all ingredients, chill.

Wanda M July 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

Correction: That was supposed to be 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise

Wanda M July 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

This is my husband’s creation that he makes every New Year’s eve for one of our appetizers.

Bourbon Cocktail Links

1 pkg Hillshire Farms Beef Lit’l Smokies
1 mini bottle good grade Bourbon
1 bottle Hickory Smoke or Chipolte BBQ sauce (or favorite)
1 TBL brown sugar
½ tsp onion powder

Poke one hole in each smokie with a toothpick.

Combine bourbon, bbq sauce, brown sugar and onion powder in a small crockpot.
Add smokies, mix until covered.

Heat on low for 4 hours.

Niki July 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Brie with Apples and Garlic
2 whole heads garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lb brie wheel, chilled (or 4 – 4 oz chilled)
apples
butter
sugar
small amt cinnamon
warm french bread

Saute gralic in oil for 5 minutes.
Cover, reduce to med-low for 15 minutes or until garlic is soft. Drain on paper towels.
Bake brie 400* for 10-15 minutes.
Cook apples in butter and a pinch of sugar until soft.
To eat, spread a little roasted garlic on warm french bread, then brie, then apples.

Niki July 22, 2011 at 1:52 pm

–Olive Spread —
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup salad olives, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 TBSP olive liquid
dash pepper
serve with: Ritz, club, or wheat crackers

Beat cream cheese and mayo, stir in rest. Cover and chill 24 hours. Serve with crackers.

Charity S July 22, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Olive Treat

½ cup of Olives (pitted)
½ cup of Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 tsp. Fresh Basil
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt

Combine olives, tomatoes, and basil in a bowl. Toss mixture with the olive oil. Lastly sprinkle the salt over the mixture. Serve and enjoy.

Linda July 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm

FRIED ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS
Vegetable oil for frying
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
12oz beer or club soda
3 stiffly beaten egg whites
2 doz. Zucchini blossoms
Sea Salt

In a large pot heat 2″ of oil until 350 on a deep fry thermometer. Combine flour, salt, and beer wisk until just blended, fold in the stiff egg whites. one by one dredge the blossoms in the batter and lay them in the oil, don’t croud the pan. Cook flipping once with a spider or slotted spoon until golden brown about 2 to 3 min. total. Transfer to paper towels and sprinkle with some sea salt,,,,Enjoy them while there HOT !!!!

logan July 22, 2011 at 10:13 pm

mixed stone fruit salsa
1 c chopped cherries
1 c chopped plums
1 cup chopped peaches
1/2 c chopped red onion
1 mince jalapeno
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp minced basil leaves
1 tsp kosher salt

mix assorted stone fruits, jalapeno, onion, garlic and basil together in a medium size bowl. add your lime juice, olive oil and salt. enjoy immediately or let sit in the fridge for about an hour.

logan July 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Baked Brie

1 wheel of brie
1 sheet of puff pastry dough
4 tablespoons honey
apple slices
grapes
crackers of your choice

Preheat oven to 350. Using a nonstick baking sheet, place brie on top of puff pastry. Drizzle with honey and fold each corner of the pastry over the brie so that it is completely wrapped up. You can cut off any excess pastry dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a nice golden brown. (In the last 5 minutes you can pull out and drizzle more honey on top of the puff pastry if you wish). Cool for about 10 minutes. Serve with sliced apples, grapes, and crackers. So delicious!

Casey Powell July 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup hot wing sauce ( I use Pete’s ) you can use more for a hotter/spicier flavor
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (reserve some cheese to put on top before baking)
2 to 4 cups boneless shredded chicken breasts ( I use close to 4 cups)

Boil chicken breasts in salted water or chicken stock for flavor. After they have cooled, cut them in half and shred.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Put mixture in a baking dish. Top with extra cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. It should be bubbly and a bit brown on the edges. Serve with chips (Frito’s), carrots, sliced cucumber celery or bread.

Casey Powell July 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce

3 cups Greek Yogurt
juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
1 T finely chopped fresh dill (can substitute mint leaves for a slightly different version)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

If you don’t have Greek yogurt, strain plain yogurt as described above. Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. Slice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel. cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.

In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. Serve with pita chips, pita bread, carrots, or anything!

Summer July 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

This is a fruit dip that is so easy and really good.

Fruit Dip

1 brick (8 oz) of Cream Cheese
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream together. Chill

http://ohweshouldnthave.blogspot.com

Liz M. July 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Orange BBQ Chicken Skewers

Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 c. pineapple chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
1/2 c. barbecue sauce
3 T frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Using 8 long wooden skewers, (two, side by side, for each kabob) thread chicken alternately with peppers and pineapple onto skewers, to create 4 kabobs.

Mix barbecue sauce and juice; brush on kabobs.
Grill kabobs on medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, brushing occasionally with remaining sauce.

Liz M. July 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Fresh Salsa

3 lg. ripe tomatoes, seeded & diced
1 lg. onion, diced
3 jalapeno peppers, chopped, seeds reserved
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. firmly packed fresh cilantro, minced.
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, omitting jalapeno seeds to make a less spicy salsa. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavor to develop. Mixture may be processed in blender or food processor prior to refrigeration if a less chunky salsa is desired.

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