MOZZARELLA STICKS

MOZZARELLA STICKS

12 egg roll wrappers
12 string cheese
sunflower oil
Marinara sauce

  • Start in the corner of the egg roll wrapper and roll cheese half way.
  • Fold in at the corners
  • Brush remaining open edges with water and continue rolling until well sealed.
  • Heat 1/2 inch of oil to 375˚.
  • Fry sticks a few at a time until golden brown all the way around.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve with marinara.
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GARDEN TOMATO SALSA

GARDEN TOMATO SALSA
6 cups chopped tomatoes
i bunch cilantro, chopped fine
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime*
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
jalapeno, minced to taste

Toss all together and chill 24-48 hours before serving. You end up with about 7 1/2 cups of salsa.

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CHEX PARTY MIX

CHEX PARTY MIX
3 cups corn CHEX cereal
3 cups wheat CHEX cereal
3 cups rice CHEX cereal
1 cup salted, roasted peanuts
1 cup pretzel sticks
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss cereals and nuts together.
  • In a small saucepan melt butter.
  • Whisk in Worcestershire sauce and seasonings until well blended.
  • Pour over cereal and nuts and toss until evenly coated.
  • Spread on a large cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, stirring often until crisp.
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BEER AND CHEDDAR FONDUE

I’ve decided to join Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice who hosts Magazine Mondays in an effort to clean out my pile of ‘to do’ recipes from my magazines and cookbooklets.  This recipe was so good.  We’ll be making this again.

BEER AND CHEDDAR FONDUE 
from fine cooking Appetizers 2009
 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper to taste
3 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 cups grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Gruyere
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I omitted as I’m deathly allergic)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
1 12 ounce beer, preferably Budweiser (I used Dos Equis)
3 tablespoons Amontillado sherry 
Sea Salt
Dipping items – crusty bread, apples, sausages, etc…

  • Melt the butter in a fondue pot or heavy sauce pan.
  • Add onion and garlic, stirring until it carmelizes.
  • Add the caraway seeds and stir to brown them.  
  • Add the beer, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer to mellow the flavor, about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl toss the cheeses with the cornstarch, mustard and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the cheese mixture, a handful at a time, stirring each batch until smooth and all cheese is incorporated.
  • Stir in sherry and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Keep warm over a low flame. 
Magazine Mondays are hosted by Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice
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PICKLED EGGS

 I used to make these for our VFW and they were a favorite!

PICKLED EGGS
1 dozen JUMBO eggs
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
1 whole dried chile pepper

  • Hard boil the eggs.
  • Drain and fill with cold water. Allow eggs to sit in cold water for 20 minutes.
  • Peel the eggs and place in a glass jar, alternating with the onion rings. Add the red pepper.
  • In a medium saucepan combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Pour the hot vinegar solution over the eggs. Cover tightly and let stand in refrigerator for several days before serving.
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GARDEN TOMATO SALSA ~ CLASSIC GOOD EATS

Just in time for Superbowl tailgating!!

GARDEN TOMATO SALSA
6 cups chopped tomatoes
i bunch cilantro, chopped fine
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime*
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
jalapeno, minced to taste

Toss all together and chill 24-48 hours before serving. You end up with about 7 1/2 cups of salsa.

 

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TUNA CAKES with FRENCH REMOULADE SAUCE ~ CRAB or SALMON too

Good Morning, Tamy here filling in for Joanne. While I know these aren’t Italian they are yummy and simple, so we’ll just go with Simple Saturday.

TUNA CAKES with FRENCH REMOULADE SAUCE
CAKES
12 ounce can all white albacore tuna, drained well**
1 large egg
1/8 cup mayonnaise
panko crumbs
sea salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon green Tabasco sauce

SAUCE
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup safflower oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk egg until golden and consistency is smooth.
  • Add mayonnaise, salt, pepper and green Tabasco sauce, whisking until well blended.
  • Add enough panko crumbs to make a paste.
  • Add tuna and blend well.
  • Form 6 cakes or logs.
  • Set cakes on paper towels and chill 30 minutes.  The paper towels will draw out excess moisture.
  • In a cast iron pan melt butter.
  • Roll cakes in panko crumbs.
  • When butter is frothy, add tuna cakes.
  • Brown each side until golden.
  • In a food processor mix together all the sauce ingredients until well blended.
  • Microwave 1 minute until hot.
  • Pour over tuna cakes and enjoy.

**Crab or Salmon works well too.

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Jerk Chicken Wraps – Fire Day Friday

Ahhh, the holiday parties have passed but don’t look now…NFL playoffs are starting and tailgate parties are popping up.  

I know, chicken wraps can seem a little boring, but not these.  These wraps are packed with the bold flavors of Carribean jerk seasoning and are great portable “party food”. 

Jerk Chicken Wraps
Serves: 10 wraps

Ingredients

  • 4 ea chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 2 1/2 cups jerk marinade  (1/4 cup reserved for mayo)
  • 10 ea flour tortilla, burrito size
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 4 oz cheese, sliced thin (monterey jack, colby jack, or pepper jack)

For the spicy mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup jerk marinade

Instructions

  1. Marinade the chicken according to the marinade directions.  You can use a commercial brand, Walkerswood is a popular brand but I’ve never tried it.  I prefer to make my own with a blend of dry seasonings, onions, chilies, and liquids (recipe here).  
  2. Mix the mayo ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  3. Preheat a charcoal grill to medium heat (350f).
  4. Grill 8-10 minutes a side or until the chicken breasts reach an internal temperature of 160f.  
  5. Let chicken rest for 15 minutes before slicing as thin as you can across the grain.
  6. On each tortilla, smear 1 tablespoon of the spicy mayo to one side.  Top with two slices of cheese, a handful of lettuce, and several slices of chicken.
  7. Fold the top of the tortilla down, the bottom up and roll up burrito style. 
  8. Slice in half and serve.

Notes

  • You can cook the chicken a day in advance.  These wraps are delicious served hot or cold.
  • I use a lower grill temp for chicken because I don’t want the savory marinade ingredients to burn.  But if you like to grill at high temps and 4-6 minutes a side, knock yourself out.  
  • Also makes a tray of 20 appetizer servings.
  • I like to wrap ours in deli paper before slicing, it holds them together better if making a tray of them.
Jerk usually uses bone in chicken but tastes great on boneless chicken too!
Place to the side like this, fold top down, bottom up and roll left to right.
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CHOCOLATE HUMMUS, SWEET CARAMEIZED ONION DIP & PEANUT BUTTER DIP

Holiday parties, football parties, and New Years buffets.  They are all around us. And at every one, there is a dip of some sort.  Fruit dip, chip dip, veggie dip, you name it, it’s there. 

Here are a few of my favorite dips.  And believe me, I don’t need a special occasion to eat any of these. 
The chocolate hummus is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  My bean hating, hummus despising, 9 year old requests this all the time.  It goes with fruits, crackers or pretzels.  Did I mention this was amazing.

I am in love with onions so of course the caramelized onion dip has a special place in my heart.  I’ve made it several times and end up eating way, way too much.

The peanut butter dip is just pure joy. Sweet smooth and just perfect. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chocolate Hummus
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup splenda (or sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 – 4 tablespoons warm water

  • Mix everything in a food processor. Add water as needed for consistency.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sweet Caramelized Onion Dip
2 large sweet onions, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon fat-free cream cheese, room temp
1 tablespoon I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, light
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat on the stove. 
  • Once butter has coated the bottom of the pan, add onions, salt and cayenne pepper. 
  • Saute for 10 minutes, stirring often. 
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for additional 25 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and caramelized. 
  • Add mustard and vinegar to the pan. 
  • Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  • In large bowl, combine sour cream, mayo and cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. 
  • Add cooled onions to the mayo mixture and mix thoroughly. 
  • Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to combine. 
  • Serve with your favorite veggies or chips.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Peanut Butter Dip
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (I used lite n fit)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used peanut butter chocolate chips)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey

  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with apples, veggies or pretzels.  or just a spoon.
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PARTY MEATBALLS

These are a great recipe for a potluck or buffet.
I always make too much on purpose because the leftovers freeze so well.

MEATBALLS*

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, finely minced
1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
1 teaspoon minced garlic from the jar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 jumbo egg, beaten

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients and blend well.
  • Shape into 1 inch balls.
  • Place meatballs on un-greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until browned and baked through.
  • For frozen meatballs, put the sauce in the crock pot first and then stir in frozen meatballs. They’ll be ready in 3-4 hours.

*I sometimes cheat and buy the bags of meatballs from Costco or Sam’s Club

SAUCE
3/4 cup cranberry sauce**

3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 3/4 cups Heinz chili sauce
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin slivers

  • In a large saucepan combine jelly, chili sauce and vinegar.
  • Bring to a soft boil and simmer 5 minutes stirring constantly to prevent scorching.
  • Layer meatballs, peppers and spicy sauce in crock pot.
  • Warm meatballs in sauce for 3-4 hours before serving.

**I always have some leftover from Thanksgiving or Christmas at this time of year.

You can put all the leftovers in the freezer together. Be sure to thaw them thoroughly before reheating.

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