Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category
Have you ever had Fordhook (Swiss) Chard? Me neither! Yet, for some reason I decided to grow it in my garden this year. I should also mention that this is a cold weather plant, and I did not plant my seeds until the middle of April. Somehow, though, it is doing fantastic, along with the rest of my garden!
I am going to share a chard recipe with you today, but first, give you an update on my garden. Everything I am highlighting below was started from seeds, unless I say otherwise.
My star performers right now are my squash: (these are three plants in a 6 foot long box that I built just to give you an idea of size):
My snap peas, seen here on the right winding around the pole trellis I built:
My pole beans, borage and Fordhook chard:
And the cucumbers (on the tall, board trellis), and tomatoes (on the poles). The tomato plant towards the middle of the picture was purchased, the rest are from seeds:
We have also been eating fresh salads from the garden daily and have truly enjoyed just about every herb there is to be grown from out there!
My homegrown chard was more leaves than stem, so I supplemented with some celery I had. Other than that I stuck with the recipe exactly. In all honesty, I was afraid to taste this. I tried the chard during the prep process, and did not care for it. The stems are similar to celery, but incredibly bitter. The leaves are similar to spinach, but same problem. So I was already going into this a bit biased. I am not one for “unusual” foods, especially vegetables. This recipe just did not look all that appetizing once I cooked it, even though it smelled fantastic.
See! That just looks pretty gross to me!
Oh my gosh, I was pleasantly surprised! The chard was fantastic and I would definitely cook this again! Even though there was very little cheese, it made a huge difference and probably made the dish. This recipe definitely made me eager to find more yummy ways to cook chard. If that’s not possible, this one will certainly do the trick! Go buy some chard this week and try something new!
When we were asked if we wanted to review another Gooseberry Patch book, I was excited to see that it was all about Garfield’s favorite foods. My children loved looking through the pages and reading the comics. Like all Gooseberry Patch books, I loved the little tips and tricks throughout.
When the book arrived, it took me awhile to pick my first recipe from Garfield Recipes with Cattitude! There are so many from breakfast ideas, snacks, dinners, desserts, and lasagnas. Lots and lots of lasagna!
I went with the Cool and Creamy Onion Dip. I wanted to have a fun dip recipe ready to eat this long weekend. I am so glad that I did because by the time it was ready to eat, we had been invited to a last minute BBQ! We brought the dip with some snack crackers and I was thankful to have something to share.
Cool and Creamy Green Onion Dip
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 bunches of green onions, chopped
Combine cream cheese and mayo and mix until blended. I don’t know about you, but I can never get the cream cheese mixtures smooth so I decided to make this recipe in my food processor. It worked out pretty well.
Add milk and Worcestershire sauce and bled well. Stir in onions. Cover and refrigerate for three hours.
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Yep, just checked the calendar and it is December 23. How did that happen? Are you ready? Do you need a quick appetizer? You just might have all of the ingredients on hand for this one, and it is quick and easy! If you have a food processor, it will be even quicker and easier!! This cheese ball is always a crowd favorite — as in, they-practically-lick-the-plate-clean favorite! We call it “Aunt Christine’s Cheese Ball” because I got the recipe from my sister about 20 years ago.
1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
½ tsp. season salt
1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 green onions
1 package luncheon meat, thinly sliced (the cheap stuff!)
Finely chop the green onions. Chop the luncheon meat (I like to use Buddig beef), reserve half. Combine the remaining beef, onions and all other ingredients.
Refrigerate for a while so that it isn’t “sticky”; form into a ball and roll the ball in the remaining chopped beef. Serve with crackers.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a health, safe, and Happy New Year with friends and family.
I LOVE hummus … I do NOT love paying for it in the grocery store, especially for the good stuff; in addition, when you make it yourself you can control the ingredients/taste – I added some extra garlic to mine. Jen alerted me to her friend Briony’s blog several months ago, Freeze Your Way Fit, and this yummy recipe for homemade hummus. Full disclosure here – I make a HUGE mess in the kitchen when I make this recipe so I make a lot of it at one time. I can fit 3 “batches” into my 9 cup Kitchen Aid food processor; this time I made a total of 6 “batches”. Tahini is the most expensive ingredient, and it is also the messiest! Even our local Walmart here in L.A. (lower Alabama, also known as NW Florida) carries tahini, $4.75 for the amount needed to make all of these batches — it probably cost me about $12.00 to make all of the hummus shown below.
Ingredients (for one batch – multiply by 3 to fill a 9 cup food processor):
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I grew up calling these garbanzo beans!)
1 small garlic glove, minced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne (red) pepper
3 Tbsp. juice from lemons (I uses concentrate this time and it worked just as well)
¼ cup water
6 Tbsp. tahini, stirred well
2 Tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Step One: Put chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor; process until fully ground. Scrape down sides with a spatula. Make sure all parts of the food processor are put together before you put the ingredients in!
Step Two: With the food processor running, slowly add the lemon juice and water and continue to process for one minute. Scrape down the sides with a spatula again.
Step Three: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini (easier said than done – it is the consistency of tile grout!) and 2 Tbsp. oil.
With the food processor still running, add the oil-tahini mixture in a steady stream through the feed tube. Continue to process until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed.
Can be served immediately with crackers. Refrigerate any not used immediately. Also freezes beautifully! Freeze small portions. Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds on full power, stir, and heat another 5-10 seconds. If it seems a little dry, just add a little bit of olive oil.