(mostly) Healthy Seven Layer Dip

Posted on July 23, 2017

 First up, let’s address the photo above. I know it doesn’t make this dish look delicious, but as it turns out, it’s pretty difficult to make a bean dip look exceptionally tasty. I’ve seen other photos, so I know others know how to make this magic happen, but I’m afraid I’m not one of those bloggers. So, we’ll have to settle for a delicious tasting food. Also – this gave me my first opportunity for a video! Fun! See below – maybe not fascinating, but definitely realistic.

 

So – about this dip! Once again, I’m faced with the reality of bringing snacks to a team meeting. This time around, we’re doing a little staff appreciation activity, and I want to bring some food for people to enjoy while we hang out together. I always try to find things that can please many people – healthy but not too healthy, hearty but not overly filling (it’s meant to be a nibble, not substitute for lunch). I thought about bringing just guacamole, but that’s not as healthy or hearty as I’d like. And since I like to add kale to everything, by the time I was done daydreaming about this appetizer, it had turned in to a (mostly) healthy seven layer dip. Remove (or reduce) the cheese, and I think we could even commit to calling this Entirely Healthy Seven Layer Dip.

 

The resulting dip is tasty, filling, and quick to make for a crowd. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Molasses Cashew Bars

Posted on July 16, 2017

I love Molasses.  I didn’t know how much I loved molasses until I made Amish Shoofly Cake.  Due to my love for molasses I later adapted the cake into cookies.  As I thought about a bar recipe to make this week I knew I wanted it to contain molasses and cashews since I bought two pounds of unsalted roasted cashews when they were on sale this week at Sprouts.

I adapted this recipe quite a bit to create these easy bars.  So easy that I didn’t even take pictures while making these bars.  They are quick, tasty and are fabulous with my morning cup of coffee.

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Posted in: baking, breakfast, desserts, quick and easy | 1 Comment

Chewy Granola Bars

Posted on July 9, 2017

 Making my own granola bars has never really been on my radar – I don’t eat them often, so why would I make my own? But in chatting with my lovely and thoughtful and smart pal Amy a few weeks back, she mentioned that “granola bar recipe from Smitten Kitchen is the best granola bars I’ve ever had, I make them as gifts all the time.” And since Amy is – as mentioned – quite brainy, I figured I’d have to add them to my to-bake list.

 

And then this week rolled around, and I was in charge of snacks for my team meeting at work. As the boss lady of this team, I’ll admit that one spot where I flex my power is that I almost never bring the snacks to our bi-monthly meeting (I figure that since I’m in charge of planning the agenda and running the thing, I get to avoid bringing snacks – obnoxious, I know). Anyway, I felt guilty about making some last-minute changes to the meeting agenda, and figured the best way to assuage my guilt was through baked goods. Obviously.

 

I have to say, these bars are basically perfect. They’re sweet, sticky, chewy, adaptable, and incredibly delicious. They’re also easy to make and pack along, and can serve as a breakfast treat or an afternoon snack. I highly encourage making them ASAP, for yourself for a snack or as a treat to bring to a group of folks.

 

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Posted in: baking, breakfast, brunch, hiking snacks, quick and easy, snacks, vegetarian | 1 Comment

Blueberry Pie Bars

Posted on July 2, 2017

July is the ultimate backyard cookout… invite friends over…drink cocktails on a warm summer night…kind of month.  The best kinds of desserts for backyard cookouts are the 9 x 13 favorites!  Easily transportable, easily enjoyed.  Strudel and I decided this month we would share our favorite dessert bar recipes!!  First up, blueberry pie bars, a perfect treat for your 4th of July get together.

This recipe is easy and after cooling completely cuts up nicely into hand-held bars that taste like a big slice of blueberry pie.  This recipe comes courtesy of the Food Network and Trisha Yearwood (apparently she sings and had a cooking show on the Food Network).  The original recipe called for an 8 x 8 inch square pan but I converted it to a 9 x 13 inch pan.  I found a great conversion guide at Food52, one of my favorite food sites!  I additionally tweaked a few amounts of the ingredients to suit my taste, a little more cornstarch and lemon juice than the original recipe called for.

 

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Posted in: baking, brunch, desserts, pies | 1 Comment

Cherry Scones with Fresh Flower Glaze

Posted on June 25, 2017

 I’m not too shy to acknowledge that, for this week’s post, I got fancy. Well, fancy on the outside – since I’m generally interested in making foods that are delicious yet simple, I wanted to see how I could incorporate flowers to dress up one of my favorite recipes. And, since it’s summertime and cherries are everywhere, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to get seasonal with my baked goods.

 

I used my go-to recipe for the scones, subbing chopped cherries instead of blueberries, and I have to say – the fresh sweet cherries are superstars, adding a fresh, sweet flavor. Brushing on a layer of glaze, and decorating with flowers, elevates the scones to another level of fanciness; they seem perfect for cutting into rounds and serving with afternoon (iced) tea. Also, these scones look high-brow enough that it may be appropriate to wear an all-white outfit and a fancy hat while serving.

 

 

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Posted in: baking, breads, breakfast, brunch | 1 Comment

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Posted on June 18, 2017

 

 

After perusing Gourmet Sweet Botanicals I couldn’t resist purchasing their squash blossoms!  One of my fondest memories of visiting Italy 5 years ago, was visiting an open-air market near the Vatican and seeing all of the zucchini for sale with the flowers still attached.  I have never seen that at any farmer’s market here in Colorado.

When I saw them for sale online it took me back to Christmas Eve in Italy when I wished I could have bought them then and cooked them up.

I stuffed these beauties with goat cheese and chicken, rolled them in egg and dipped them in seasoned coconut flour, baked them up and drizzled them with salted butter!

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Posted in: appetizers, brunch, dinner, side dish, travel | 1 Comment

Strawberry Rose Syrup

Posted on June 11, 2017

 Seltzer is my drink of choice, and a few years back we got a Soda Stream, which meant that my pantry was able to morph from looking like a seltzer bottle storage area into a space that actually held food. It also made going to the grocery store a lot less annoying (back when I lived in NYC, I used to get 1-2 flats of seltzer delivered every time I went to my neighborhood grocery store).

 

I never get tired of seltzer per se, but I do occasionally like some flavor to my fizzy drinks. I  really dislike those pre-made drink mixes (blech to artificial flavorings) and with summer very nearly upon us and edible flower month here at S&S, this seemed the perfect time to experiment with some syrup mixers.

 

 

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Johnny Jump Up Spring Rolls

Posted on June 4, 2017

Strudel and I thought it would be fun to create recipes with edible flowers this month!  It’s warming up quickly here in Denver and I was craving something cool and refreshing.  I found this article very helpful in learning how to use edible flowers.  I went to my local nursery for these johnny jump up flowers and just asked that they were pesticide/chemical free.

Don’t know where to get your own edible flowers?  You can buy them online!

I chose johnny jump ups to add to this recipe and bring color to the rolls because they have a slightly minty taste.

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Gold Mine Cupcakes

Posted on May 28, 2017

My daughter and I were extremely lazy this weekend due to all the rain.  As we sat around Saturday we craved cake.  It was a great opportunity to go visit the best cupcakery around!  In beautiful downtown Golden, a stone’s throw from Coors Brewery, is a fabulously decadent purveyor of beautiful and tasty cupcakes called Gold Mine Cupcakes!

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Posted in: cupcakes, favorites in Colorado | 1 Comment

Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

Posted on May 21, 2017

 There’s something about air travel that makes me hungry – I’m very sure that it’s because I’m bored, but I’m never more excited/anxious for a snack as I am when I’m 35,000 feet in the air. Since airplanes invariably have food that’s unhealthy, expensive, and in quantities that don’t meet my hearty appetite, I try to bring my own food.

 

Of course, I always try to bring cut up peppers, etc.  (just to control the snacking), but this soba noodle salad has become a go-to. It’s healthy and filling, stores well in a mason jar, and (if you’re the chatty sort), helps you show off/make friends with flight attendants and seat neighbors (“Oh! What’s that?!” and “What a great idea!” are common comments). Also, as long as you shake up the sauce and the noodles prior to going through screening, it should be TSA compliant.*

 

* note: I did once, seriously, get stopped by TSA when I left the dressing pooled on the bottom of the jar, rather than shaking it up prior to going into the jar. It was told the peanut sauce was considered a “gel” but that since it looked like less than 3 ounces, I was fine. Since then, I pre-shake the jar and haven’t had any issues.

 

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Posted in: healthy, main dish, travel, vegetarian | 3 Comments

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