Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘snacks’

Bavarian PretzelsOne bite into a warm homemade pretzel and I was hooked. Like so many other baked items, pretzels are so much better when they’re made from scratch. Bearing a plate of freshly-baked pretzels, my friend Miho came to visit. As I sampled a poppy seed-covered one, I was immediately impressed with its soft chewy texture. After savoring every last salty bit of it, I asked her, “How did you make this?” She replied, “It’s easy.” I laughed. She obviously wasn’t aware of the fact that I bake bread bricks. “I will show you,” she said. And that she did. She came over again and guided me through the step-by-step process of pretzel-making. With new found excitement to experiment with yeast, I’m planning to make trays and trays of these twisted wonders. Spirits “rise” when you bake with friends!

Bavarian Pretzels
Raley’s Something Extra Magazine

Prep: 30 minutes
Rise: 45 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes total

INGREDIENTS
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp. sugar
1 package Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast
3 to 3-1/3 cups flour, plus extra for kneading, divided
2 tbsp. baking soda
Freshly ground sea salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Place water in a large mixer bowl and sprinkle sugar and yeast over the top. Let stand for 5 minutes or until yeast starts to foam. Beat in 2 cups flour until smooth.

2. Using a dough hook, beat in remaining flour. Knead several times on a lightly floured board and place in a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat both sides. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll each into a 15-inch long piece and twist into pretzel shapes. Let rise for 15 minutes.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; stir in baking soda. Preheat oven to 450°F. Grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle with a few grinds of salt. Drop pretzels a few at a time into boiling water, cooking for 15 seconds on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with additional salt and bake for 10 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.

Serves: 6

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Use coarse salt to sprinkle on the pretzels before baking.

2. Miho sprinkles poppy seed and/or sesame seeds on the pretzels prior to baking.

3. We cut the dough into 8 pieces, to make slightly smaller pretzels.

4. To shape the pretzels, Miho told me to make a loop first and then to twist the ends together and then twist them again. The twisted ends are then folded down on top of the loop.

ENJOY!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas Crunch a munch or is it munch a crunch? Either way, roasted chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, make for a crunchy and healthy snack when you have the munchies. Chickpeas roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper become a simple and satisfying treat – or kick up the flavors by using your own favorite combination of spices or by adding one of the spice mixtures included below. According SELF Nutrition Data: This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6 and Folate, and a very good source of Manganese.

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Adapted from a Rachael Ray Recipe

BASIC INGREDIENTS
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 T to 1 T olive oil
Salt to taste (approximately 1/4 teaspoon)
Pepper to taste, optional
Spice or spice mixture of your choice, to taste (approximately 1/2 to 1 tsp)

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Open can of garbanzo beans and pour into a colander, wire-mesh sieve, or salad spinner.

3. Drain, rinse well with cold water, and drain again for about 10 minutes.

4. Pour onto towels (paper or kitchen) on a flat surface and cover with another towel. Roll the chickpeas between the towels to dry. This also helps to remove any loose skin from the chickpeas. Discard skin.

5. Combine the chickpeas with oil in a large bowl. Add selected spices or spice mixture. Stir to evenly distribute spice mixture.

6. Pour the seasoned chickpeas out onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake until crunchy, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Moroccan-Style Spice Mix:
Fine Cooking Magazine
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cloves

In a small bowl, mix all of the spices. Store in an airtight container.

Cajun Spice
Whole Foods Cookbook
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon paprika
1/8 cup dried thyme
1/8 cup dried oregano
1 T cumin powder
1 T onion powder
1/8 cup garlic powder
1/8 cup dried sweet basil
1 T freshly ground black pepper
1 T freshly ground white pepper
1 T cayenne pepper
1/8 cup salt

Combine all ingredients. Keep stored in a covered jar in a cool dark place for up to 6 months. Makes 1¼ cups.

Mexican Spice Mixture
Whole Foods Cookbook
1 T chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients. Keep stored in a covered jar in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix
$5 Dinners
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper

Add each of the dried spices to a bowl and gently stir. Store in a resealable plastic baggie or small ball canning jar with tight fitting lid in your spice cabinet.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Canned chickpeas have a fair amount of sodium. To control sodium levels and to have more flavorful chickpeas, it is best to soak and cook chickpeas yourself. Check out this link on How to Soak and Cook Chickpeas. At the very least, to keep this a healthy snack, use low sodium canned chickpeas.

2. Keep in mind that the chickpeas dehydrate while roasting, so one can does not yield a lot of the finished product. You’ll probably want to double the recipe.

3. Bake the chickpeas until they are Corn-Nut-crunchy, unless you prefer them chewy in the center.

4.  About halfway through the baking time, I took the tray out of the oven, stirred the chickpeas around, and then put the tray back into the oven to finish baking.

5. I roasted chickpeas with the Moroccan-Style Spice Mix for the photo.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Sugar and Spice Pecans Do more ingredients and more steps make a recipe better? Not necessarily. Last week my daughter and I attempted to make an elaborate pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The recipe involved more steps and more ingredients than a usual pumpkin pie recipe contains. In the end, the pie was good, but not incredibly better than other pumpkin pies of the past. However, one of the steps in the recipe required making sugar-coated pecans. Unlike other sugar-coated pecan recipes that incorporate one spice, this recipe’s winning combination of spice made these pecans stand out as the best part of the pie. Their ease of preparation make them a great snack for holiday parties or a crunchy salad topping. Put these crunchy bites of spicy-sweetness into cute jars, complete with a ribbon and tag, and you have a delectable gift to give to family, friends, and holiday party hostesses.

Sugar and Spice Pecans
Adapted from a recipe by BRIT & CO

INGREDIENTS
1 pound pecan halves
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Place egg white and water in a large bowl. Whisk mixture until egg whites are frothy. Add pecans and stir to coat.
3. In a separate bowl mix together sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add to pecan mixture and stir until well-coated.
4. Spread pecans onto a baking sheet and bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
5. Let pecans cool completely.
6. Store in an airtight container.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Toasting the pecans first brings out their flavor. Make sure they are completely cooled before using them in this recipe.
2. I love the recipe as it is, but just for fun, I’m going to try experimenting with other spices to see what variations I can come up with. Cayenne pepper, ancho chili powder, and espresso powder come immediately to mind.

ENJOY!

Read Full Post »

Pizza Hummus Pizza-flavored hummus? As a lover of hummus, this recipe caught my eye. I thought of all the wives and mothers out there who constantly battle to get their loved-ones to eat a more healthy diet. Why not be clever and sneak this healthy dip onto the table under the guise of a tasty “PIZZA” dip? It’s worth a try!

Pizza Hummus
Food Network Magazine

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 to 3 cloves garlic
3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the tomato paste, oregano and basil and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
3. Transfer the tomato paste mixture to a food processor. Add the garlic, chickpeas, chickpeas liquid, tahini, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt.
4. Purée until smooth and creamy.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. To learn about the “Nutritional Facts for Roasted Sesame Tahini,” read this article from SFGate.

2. Two 15.5 oz. cans of chickpeas equaled 3 cups of drained and rinsed beans for me.

3. I used 2 cloves of garlic, but the next time I make this, I will try adding 3 cloves of garlic for a little bit more flavor.

4. Next time I will also add a little bit more basil and oregano. I may even try adding fresh basil and fresh oregano. The conversion for dried to fresh herbs is about 1 teaspoon of dried to 1 tablespoon of fresh.

5. I also will try sprinkling a little bit of diced sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil) on top of the hummus before serving.

6. Obviously it is more nutritious to serve this dip with vegetables, but pita chips would be great with it, too.

ENJOY!

Read Full Post »

crudities  with dip Instead of serving a tray of high-calorie appetizers at your next party, how about presenting a beautiful platter of fresh crudités? Boring, you say? Not if you serve the crudités with a variety of interesting dips! Don’t be fooled by the simple list of ingredients in the Herb Dip; the fresh herbs really shine in this easy and delicious recipe. Tempt your guests with the cooling flavor of lime juxtaposed against the heat of chilies in the Chili-Lime Sour Cream Dip. Last, but certainly not least, the Peanut Sauce is sure to be a crowd favorite – what’s not to like about peanut butter with a little attitude?

Herb Dip
Recipe by Ina Garten

Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 2 cups

Linnell’s Notes:
Due to the cream cheese, this recipe produces a thick dip. To further cut calories, you could experiment with low-fat versions of the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. For best flavor, though, you’re going to have to leave some fat in the recipe!

Chili-Lime Sour Cream Dip
Recipe from Better Homes and Garden

Ingredients:
One 16-ounce carton of sour cream
Two 7-ounce cans of diced green chilies, drained
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup jarred salsa
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon mild or hot chili powder
2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bottled hot pepper sauce to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl combine sour cream, chilies, cilantro, salsa, garlic, chili powder, lime peel, salt and bottled hot pepper sauce. Cover and chill overnight.

Makes 3¾ cups

Linnell’s Notes:
The level of preferred heat can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amounts of chili powder and hot pepper sauce. Also, the type of salsa you use, will affect the heat of the dip. Chilling the dip overnight allows the flavors to meld.

Peanut Sauce
Recipe originally from Sunset Hors D’oeuvres Cookbook

Ingredients:
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup
1/2 – 1 teaspoon soy sauce, to taste

Directions:
Mix ingredients until well-blended. Serve with raw vegetables (cucumber, jicama, bell pepper, carrot and celery)

Makes 3/4 cup

Linnell’s Notes:
After tasting this at one of her parties, I begged my friend Tina for this recipe. Because it’s a crowd-pleaser, I double or quadruple this recipe when I make it!

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Whatever the occasion – raucous football parties, kids just hanging out, fancy dinner parties, brunches and lunches  – you can’t go wrong with these tasty puffs! Flaky crescent rolls wrapped around bits of warm, creamy, garlicky chicken make easy and sophisticated appetizers or filling snacks. These were good, but after tasting just one, I immediately went into my “what about this?” mode. Just about anything can be wrapped in crescent roll dough. Ideas for fillings flooded my head. What about using crab meat or shrimp? And what about curry chicken, barbecued beef, Chinese barbecued pork, taco meat, sautéed mushrooms . . . you see what I mean? With this recipe you are only limited by your imagination!

Garlic Chicken Puffs
Recipe found on Tidy Mom

Ingredients:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup cooked chicken, shredded
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls

Instructions:
1. Mix cream cheese, garlic and chicken until well-blended.
2. Unroll crescent rolls and cut each triangle into two triangles (when you unroll the crescent rolls, 2 triangles are attached making a big square. I just cut from there following the perforation for one cut and made another cut from the other corners – giving you 4 little triangles).
3. Place 1 teaspoon of chicken mixture on the center of each triangle and fold the corners in over the mixture.
4. Place on cookie sheet, lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with no stick spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. For more evenly-sized triangles, I made a minor adjustment in the way I cut the dough. After unrolling the crescent rolls, notice that two triangles make up a rectangle. You will have four rectangles. I cut each rectangle apart from the other rectangles. I gently patted the diagonal perforations together before cutting each rectangle in half width-wise to create 2 squares. Each square was then cut diagonally – from corner to corner. You should end up with 16 triangles.


2. Using kitchen shears, I snipped about ten chive stems from my garden and stirred them into the chicken mixture. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
3. To prevent any of the filling from leaking out, I sealed each puff by pressing the edges of the dough together.
4. I covered a cookie sheet with parchment paper instead of using foil and cooking spray. Mine were done in about 12 minutes, but all ovens vary in temperature accuracy. You’ll want to check them at least 10 minutes into the baking process.
5. I transferred the puffs to a wire rack to cool – just so the bottoms wouldn’t have a chance to get soggy.
6. This recipe could be made even easier by using a rotisserie chicken or canned chicken instead of cooking chicken yourself.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Walking down the “white” carpet with a smile on my face and a handsome young man on my arm, I spied a dozen cameras pointed at me. For a fleeting moment, in my pretty dress and sparkling shoes, I felt like a celebrity. I wasn’t a celebrity, but I was something better – a very happy mother-of-the-groom being escorted down the aisle by the best man, my charming oldest son!

#1 – Taking Better Videos on your Smartphone
If someone was taking a video of the wedding processional using their smartphone, I hope they read “How Can I Shoot Better Video On My Smartphone?” first. Whether you’re a paparazzi or a parent or a grandparent trying to record special moments, you’ll benefit from these helpful tips provided in this Lifehacker article.

#2 – Those Deceiving Snacks!

It’s easy to be confused about which snacks are healthy and which ones are not. Most snacks start out with a healthy ingredient, but become unhealthy as other ingredients are added and processing takes over. Here’s a list of 50 Seemingly Healthy Foods That Are Bad for You from Shape Magazine. To whet your interest, I offer you the first dozen offenders on the list:

1. Microwave Popcorn
2. Light Salad Dressing
3. Trail Mix
4. Granola
5. Artichoke Spinach Dip
6. Flavored Fat-Free Yogurt
7. Dried Fruit
8. Flavored Soy Milk
9. Energy Drinks
10. Smoothies
11. Turkey Sandwich
12. Parfait

#3 – Creative Billboards

Creativity knows no bounds, as is illustrated in these billboards from around the world.

#4 – Food to Go or Go to Food?

Every month, somewhere in this world, there’s a food show, food competition, or food festival being held. If you like to travel and if you like to eat good food, you may want to arrange your travels around food festivals. Here are just a few on my food “bucket” list:

January – Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie (World Pastry Cup), Lyon, France

February – Salon du Chocolat (in French), Marseille, France

March – Paris Cookbook Fair, Paris, France

April – The Great American Pie Festival, Celebration, Florida

May – International Biscuit Festival, Knoxville, Tennessee

June – Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, Arcata, California

July – Garlic Festival, Gilroy, California

August – Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, Maine

September – Ludlow Food Festival, England

October – Truffle Festival, Alba, Italy

November – Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Kona, Hawaii

December – Baker’s Market, Vancouver, BC

For a more comprehensive list of food festivals all year long, go to foodreference.com

#5 – I Believe
“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
― Audrey Hepburn

Have an unbelievably great weekend!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: