Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category
Confession time: Since I went out for sushi with Brittney and Laurie last week for book club, I’ve been craving sushi like mad. We went to Thai-namite in downtown Milwaukee and I got shrimp tempura and sweet potato rolls. It got me thinking how terrible grocery store sushi is. I’ve had good luck at Trader Joe’s, but other than that I don’t bother.
I am heading to Glorioso’s market on Saturday for a canning class (given I’ve already canned apple pie filling, garlic dill pickles and cranberry apple butter, but there’s always more to learn). Thai-namite is right across the street, so I think I may have to make a pit stop.
Speaking of great food, Brenton has this obsession with all things beer and especially beer dip. We made the best beer cheese dip with bacon tonight. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but we did use 1/3 less fat cream cheese :) Plus, I firmly believe in portion control. All things in moderation — no matter what it is.
Of course the starring role in this dip was the bacon. Remember when I reviewed Pig of the Month BBQ? Turns out we still had a pound of chipotle bacon in our freezer. Although I don’t care for bacon by itself, I love adding it to salads, burgers, dips, etc. I could even see spreading this dip onto a panini instead of mayo.
Beer Cheese Bacon Dip
1-8 ounce package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons beer, or to your liking (we used PBR, but any beer you like to drink is fine)
2 teaspoons ranch seasoning
3 bacon strips, crumbled
Mix cream cheese with bacon, cheese and ranch seasoning. Add beer to thin the dip out to your desired consistency. Serve.
Question: What do you do with leftover bacon? My dad loves making a breakfast dish with fried potatoes, bacon, mushrooms and onions. Try as I may, I cannot make it as good as he does.
I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but life has gotten in the way…like it always does :)
But this time, it’s all good things.
I’ve been working on a few food stories for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I got to make these to-die-for homemade pretzels for their DIY column (for you King Arthur Flour fans out there, these are their Hot Buttered Pretzels).
I’ll make sure to post the recipe next week, after it prints, for those living outside Wisconsin. But let me tell you this: These pretzels were seriously the most delicious treats I’ve made in months. And unlike many other recipes I’ve made for the paper, I wasn’t super stressed out or yelling at B (which is what usually happens when we are flying around the kitchen and trying to take pictures at the same time). I blame our lack of counter space :)
One of the main reasons I wanted to try pretzels was because B has been making his own bread with the stand mixer.
His latest creation:
Don’t mind the “my bread has a tumor” shape. It still tasted great!
Speaking of baking, I’ve got a pile of ripe bananas that are calling my name on the counter. I may have to try this Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread recipe from King Athur flour.
Question: Have you tackled homemade yeast breads?
Although it seems like just yesterday that She’s on the Run came to be, one whole year has gone by (I can’t even believe it).
But when I look at my first post, it reminds me how much has changed.
I’ve moved, switched jobs and have been through more life experiences than I’d care to admit (such as being hit by a tough economy firsthand). I’ve also had my share of good times and discovered a new passion. Take this blog for example. It combines my two great loves: cooking and writing. And it’s great to look back at all my culinary accomplishments this past year (and laugh at the ones that haven’t gone so well).
To celebrate, I’m compiling my favorite recipes.
Cookie Dough Truffles
For those of you who make chocolate chip cookies just to sneak bits of the dough, these tiny treats are for you.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
The most delicious way to cook with butternut squash.
Taffy Apple Salad
I’ve easily made this salad a dozen times (including a tasty batch last week). The combination of apples, pineapple and marshmallows puts me over the moon.
Potato Carrot Zucchini Pancakes
A unique twist on traditional potato pancakes.
Tater Tot Casserole
This may not be the best looking dish of the bunch, but it’s definitely the most comforting.
Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
Shaped like a muffin but with the flavor of a doughnut…make these for a truly special breakfast.
My preferred way to use up Summer’s fresh rhubarb.
Gnocchi with White Beans
This dish is easy and impressive – definitely worthy of serving to company.
My Birthday Cake
So what if I didn’t exactly make this? The carrot cake from Simma’s is the best I’ve ever had. in. my. life.
Happy Birthday, She’s on the Run! Here’s to many more!
Our pumpkins this year were better than ever. The first year we carved pumpkins in our apartment on the east-side of Milwaukee, we placed it on the ledge by the radiator and the pumpkin molded within a week.
Note to self: Don’t put pumpkins by a heat source.
We bought these babies at a roadside stand by our house for a swinging deal – $8 for all three. I carved the cupcake and B did Frankenstein and Oliver.
Besides admiring our work, I love baking off the pumpkin seeds to snack on. But did you know that you can bake more than just pumpkin seeds?
Awhile back when we made Pasta with Spaghetti Squash, I experimented with a spiced curry recipe that I absolutely adore.
One spaghetti squash yielded just under a cup of seeds.
Curried Spaghetti Squash Seeds
The seeds from one spaghetti squash, rinsed and dried
Olive oil, to taste
Curry powder and salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place your seeds in an even layer on your baking sheet. Lightly drizzle oilve oil over the top and stir. Sprinkle salt and curry powder over the top. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and enjoy!
Question: Did you carve pumpkins this year?
I’ve gone bananas. Actually, I’ve gone pumpkin.
Two years ago when there was a canned pumpkin shortage in Wisconsin, I made sure to stock up whenever I could (which resulted in a stockpile of about 12 cans). And, literally, I had more pumpkin than I knew what to do with.
And I’m still using my bounty, from which I created these fabulous Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup, Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce and Pumpkin Black Bean Chili.
Still, I haven’t quite satisfied my pumpkin craving this season yet (I’m planing a pumpkin bread pudding for this weekend). In fact, I was weight lifting at the gym yesterday and was hit with the biggest craving for pumpkin dip. (yes, amidst all the sweat and grunting men in the weight room, I am thinking about food. figures.)
I decided to put my new Kitchenaid Mix Master to work and create a dip that was reminiscent of pumpkin pie.
With Marshmallow Fluff in tow, I succeeded.
Pumpkin Pie Dip
Created by Alysha
1 – 8 ounce package Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the cheese, fluff, pumpkin and sugar in a bowl and beat until combined. Add the spices and continue mixing. Taste. Add more spices if needed. (Note: My biggest cooking resolution right now is to taste as I go along. I have the biggest problem with that because I like to wait until the “grand finale,” aka when I am ready to sit at the table and eat.) Refrigerate dip until ready to serve.
Serve with sliced apples, grapes, animal crackers, graham crackers and marshmallows.
Question: What’s your favorite thing to make with your fixer (stand or hand-held)?
Most people have an idea for an invention, Ross Segel was someone who actually did something with it. He’s the founder of Snack Patrol, a snack food company that produces Cheese Jerky. (Learn more about Ross and his unique snack in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article I wrote here.)
While researching, I also got to experiment with recipe development. I made Beer Cheese Jerky Soup (delish), Pizza Dip and Beer Dip. With Cheese Jerky and Lakefront Brewery’s Wheat Monkey beer, this beer dip screams Wisconsin. It also pairs perfectly with pretzels.
Cheese Jerky Beer Dip
2 packages Cheese Jerky, grated
1 – 8oz package Neufchatel (or cream cheese), room temperature
1 ½ tsp Penzeys buttermilk ranch seasoning
2 Tbsp Lakefront Brewery’s Wheat Monkey beer, or more to taste
1. Place Neufchatel cheese in a mixing bowl and beat. Add Cheese Jerky and 2 Tbsp beer.
2. Mix in ranch seasoning until blended. If you want a thinner consistency, add more beer.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy with pretzels.
For more info on Cheese Jerky, visit cheesejerky.com.
Spinach artichoke dip. Cheesy, creamy and gooey, this appetizer is often the most indulgent thing you can order at a restaurant. Take Chili’s for example – one order has 1130 calories! Hello!? This is supposed to be a good choice. It does have two rock star vegetables in it. But when you start adding bags of cheese and jars of mayo, this dish quickly turns into one of the worst choices you can make while dining out.
Good news for you, I’ve experimented with this old favorite to make it healthier, while still maintaining the same gooey consistency and knockout flavor. Meet Alysha’s Lightened-up Spinach Artichoke Dip.
Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 – 10 oz package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 – 14 oz can artichoke hearts, chopped thoroughly
4 green onions (whites and greens), diced
1 cup light alfredo sauce 9(I used Ragu)
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Transfer to a medium-sized casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes.
OK, so I wouldn’t quality this as a health food-dish per say, but it still has a lot going for it (less cheese, light mayo, etc). What i especially like about this spinach artichoke dip is that it’s very thick and vegetable heavy. It stands up well to tortilla chips, pretzels or a slices baguette. All in all, a winner in my book.
What’s your favorite dip?