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Posts Tagged ‘snack’

October means pumpkin season is here!  I cleaned out our pumpkin to make the kids a Jack-o-lantern and saved the seeds.  I put the seeds in salted water overnight.  Drained the seeds and roasted them with a little olive oil and more salt, 350ºF for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes.

salted and roasted pumpkin seeds

Now I have a snack to distract me from the little buckets full of candy and chocolate!

If you have more than you think will be consumed in a few days, store your seeds in a zip-top bag in the freezer.

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Remember how I was trying to think of ways to use up my bag of Teff flour?  Well, I did it again.  This time I made muffins with a boost of fiber from the sneaky addition of Teff to the batter.  The neat thing about Teff is that in small portions it is easily incorporated into any recipe with all-purpose flour, including these lemony blueberry muffins.

Look good enough to eat, eh?

Here’s another tip for you… If you are like me and don’t like soggy areas of muffin around the fresh berries, use dried blueberries instead.  Dried berries are always in season and you won’t have to wait for them to thaw.  The best part is no soggy muffins!

  • 1 cup dried blueberry flavoured cranberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Teff flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 12 paper muffin cups
  • turbino sugar for sprinkling

Note: My typical recipe includes 2 or 3 mashed bananas, the lack of extra moisture should have been more apparent to me.  This recipe would be improved with the addition of a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt or applesauce.  I didn’t have anything else on hand.

Pre heat the oven to 325ºF.

Mix the wet ingredients with the lemon and blueberries and set aside.  Combine the dry ingredients (except the turbino sugar) in a large bowl.  Make a well in the dry mix and pour in the wet mix.  Stir until the flour disappears, the consistency should be lumpy but evenly moist.

Divide the batter between 12 regular sized muffin cups in a metal tin.  These would also be cute as mini muffins for a brunch or coffee table.  Top with about 1/2 tsp of the turbino sugar.  Turbino sugar is coarse and will not completely melt during baking, this leaves a crunchy topping to the muffins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotate the pan half way through.  The middles should be set and the edges lightly golden brown.

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Good Carrots - Bad (for you) Chips - Ugly Broccoli

Broccoli that over stays its initial welcome in the crisper gets a little gnarly looking.  With a shake, trim, and peeling it can suffice as a snack.  Add crunchy carrots and kettle salt and pepper chips and you have the setting of a dip plate.  Pick your favorite dip and have at it!

Mmm... French Onion Dip

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While at Sprouts market I found an interesting cheese in the deli area.  There were a few different flavours to choose from; lemon poppy seed, roasted red pepper, and cranberry port.  After enjoying the mango cream cheese spread at our friend’s house at New Year’s, I felt a little adventurous and picked up the cranberry port.  Much to my surprise, this was made in Canada!  There’s no way I’m not going to buy this now.

Tangy.  Munch munch.  Slightly sweet.  Munch.

Do I have to share?

This is great.  I’m upgrading to first-class cheese spreads.

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Tuna Steak and Orange Peas

It was late and I wanted a quick meal out of the freezer.  Passing up the frozen leftover pasta and ice cream, I grabbed the chunk of yellow fin that didn’t end up as sushi and the peas.

The orange zest was nearly omitted but I’m glad the citrus note was there.  Just a slight tang in the background, it helps you forget that this meal was an iceberg a few minutes earlier.  A small pat of butter melted on the peas, because you can’t eat peas without butter, that would be wrong and the French Canadian woman in me would be very disappointed if you didn’t.

The tuna was still raw in the center, as you can see from the blurry picture.  Put a good amount of freshly cracked pepper on both sides.  Get a pan smokin’ hot and sear top and bottom of that little fish fillet.  Peppery heat and cool center will play your taste buds like a harpstring.

Need not mention… only eat raw seafood that is supposed to be eaten raw, handle with the up most care, and don’t give this to little ones or granny just to be safe.

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As football season comes around I start thinking about finger food.  Everyone on FN (Food Network.com for y’all who are new here) is rallying up their best game day snacks – and most are thinking about budgets.  I love to cook and share the food with friends and family, big game day is a perfect stage for this flare for food of mine.

Keeping budget in mind, not that I have a finite number in my head, or that there’s one agreed upon, it’s still in the forefront when dreaming up interesting nosh for Hubby and gang.

While eating lunch, which included a side of corn kernels to attempt to boost my veggie intake at work, I threw some hot sauce and butter over the sweet little nubs of corn.  Sprinkle with salt and you have yourself one cool combination of spicy, sweet and salty!  What if this was fried up in some Johnny cake batter?  I was enthralled with the idea.  This would be a simple twist on corn cakes that would taste like Buffalo wings, without the chicken to weigh down the imaginary budget.

Adapted from Paula Deen‘s Corn Fritters

Yield: 24 fritters

  • 1 1/4 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can corn, drained  1 cup frozen corn, warmed through*
  • hot sauce*
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Heat oil to 325ºF.

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal mix, flour, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, combine milk and eggs. Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture, stirring well. Stir in butter and corn.

Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a Dutch oven, or use a deep-fryer. Drop by tablespoons into hot oil. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Chive Dip

The small patch of chives growing in the front garden were put to work for a fresh dip.

  • bunch of fresh chives, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roasted in the skin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • pinch of salt

Roast the garlic cloves in the oven ahead of time.  I like to throw them in with whatever is cooking the night before since the oven is already on anyhow.  Peel the skins off or squish the pulp out of the paper casing.  Mash the garlic with a little salt then add the chives and sour cream.  Mix well and add more salt if needed.

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Hubby declared this as the best snack type food I’ve ever made.  He doesn’t usually eat sweets or deserts (except for the stash of super dark chocolate for their “antioxidants”) but this captured those taste buds by surprise.

I was watching Dessert First on Food Network where the host, Chef Anne, was making tiny cherry pies and petit fours.  While I’m allergic to almonds and can’t make the petit fours, I can certainly eat cherries!  I had a package of frozen pie dough on hand and I must have had ESP at the grocery store when I bought cherry pie filling on a whim.

Baking when it’s 100 degrees outside is not exactly fun, but I’m willing to sacrifice one day of kitchen inferno for the cause (and to eat the food!).

To make this recipe from scratch click here, otherwise I simply took ready-made ingredients and followed the same instructions.  If you are very particular about presentation, make little round shields out of foil for each mini pie.  I used a sheet of foil which caused the filling to spill out of the vent holes, in most cases ripping the roof off the pies.  In hindsight, strategically placed holes would probably have prevented the mini pies from turning into mini volcanoes.

A dollop of plain Greek yogurt and fresh mint adorn my mini cherry pie.

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Baba Ganoush

Not wanting to leave half an eggplant to whither away in the fridge, I roasted it in the oven (since it was on for muffins at the time).  A dash of salt and garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.

baba ganoushThe obligatory tahini was added, and as usual it was too much.  Tahini might be taking a hiatus in the pantry for a while.  Baba ganoush tastes so much better at our Indian restaurants, this last attempt has decided its fate in my kitchen.

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Left over breads make wonderful panini sandwiches.  You can put just about anything in a panini, add some cheese to glue everything together.

This quick late night snack was made with turkey, extra sharp cheddar cheese, and thin slices of dense pumpernickel bread.  I bought the loaf last week and threw half in the freezer to carry through to this week.  Buying a whole loaf rather than sliced can help extend the life of your bread.  I would rather have fresh bread everyday, like after school at grandma Rita’s house, I just don’t have the time (or energy) to keep up.

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jalepeno colby drop biscuit

On a complete whim at the grocery store, I bought half a dozen jalapeño peppers.  The thought even crossed my mind… I have a Serrano plant at home!  Unfortunately, this plant of mine has fallen behind in producing a nice crop of peppers.  Last year I was overloaded with perfect little peppers.  They must need more pot ash, and maybe a tad more TLC…

The second problem was a shortage of bread.  I’ve been trying to lose this darn muffin-top after our second baby, bread is a no-no.  I do keep it around for sandwiches and PBB toast (that’s peanut butter banana toast, just regular toast not Elvis peanut butter and banana & bacon) for the eldest, now five years old.  I decided biscuits would be the fastest thing to make to satisfy that urge to go overturn a Mrs. Baird’s truck.

While assembling the ingredients for the biscuits, the peppers sent me a message… eat me.  I grabbed the fattest one from the bunch and the colby jack cheese next to it in the deli drawer of the fridge.  A smirk slapped itself upon my face.  Outrageous, I would have not only fresh steaming biscuits… they were going to be studded with cheese and peppers.  My mouth felt like it was Niagara Falls. 

I can’t tell you how good these were, you’d have to come over next time this feeling washes in.  Hot steam rushes out of the tender center of the baked mound.  Then there’s the outer crust, dimpled and uneven, showing glimpses of the special additions made at the last second.  If I had sprinkled sea salt over top before baking, the biscuits would have to be heavily guarded by the RCMP.  Next time, my pretties, next time.  As they were, you can see, deliciousness.

Half of the biscuits ended up in the freezer, because this batch was way too good to let it go stale lying around waiting to be devoured.  Freezing was actually mentioned in the cookbook I was using (Better Homes and Gardens) and I’ve just warmed up a couple darlin’s as a midnite snack.

jam and biscuits

Now I’ve upped the ante.

Oh look, there’s fresh strawberry-mango jam in the fridge.  Jalapeño and strawberry?  Hmmm… how bad could it be?!  Not freaking bad at all!  There’s nothing better than homemade biscuits with homemade jam.  Pair it with a favorite cup of tea and you’ll have yourself a very pleasant nite.

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