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Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Guacamole

Guacamole

With a very big game coming up this weekend and lots of people getting together to eat tons of snacks and root on their favorite team, I thought it would be a good time to share with you one of my all time favorite snacks.

Shhhh, don’t tell…this recipe is super easy! 

This is one of the things that I get asked very often to bring to gatherings. When I was still working, my work friends would practically beg me to bring this in. I even had people bring me the avacados so I could make the dip for everyone. We make this very often to just snack on in our house and it makes an apperance at many family gatherings throughout the year.  My kids both love this so much and I fed it to them both as babies as a snack and they would eat a whole ‘little’ bowl right off the spoon!

I also saw that Whole Foods has organic avacados on sale today, for one day only! So run on out and get some and make this delicious snack for your game day gatherings, or just cause you want a yummy treat!

Guacamole
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2 ripe avacados
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping tablespoon fresh salsa, home made or the kind you find in the cooler section or your grocery store (I use Rojo’s brand Fresh Cut medium salsa)

Slice avacados open and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh of the avacado into a small mixing bowl and slightly mash with a fork. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and fresh salsa and stir. Add more salt, pepper and garlic powder to fit your taste. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for parties.

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White Bean Dip

 White Bean Dip

Now who doesn’t love a good hummus dip? I think hummus and pita is a wonderful snack or appetizer. So when I came across this Italian version, I knew I just had to try it. This version is made with white or cannellini beans instead of garbanzo beans (chickpeas). This dip is equaly as creamy and flavorful as hummus and the addition of the lemon juice and the parsley add a refreshing flavor to the dip. I served this with my home made pita bread and also crunchy pita chips for a little variety. I myself prefered the soft fluffy pita to go along with this delicious dip. Since we are all trying to stick to resolutions this time of year, a healthy way to enjoy this dip is to serve it with your favorite vegtables.

White Bean Dip
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1 (15 ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup (loosely packed) fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
⅓ cup olive oil
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons freshly gorund black pepper

In the bowl of tha food processor, combine the beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse on and off until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually mix in the olive oil untl the mixture is creamy. Season the mixture with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with fresh baked pita bread or crunchy pita chips.

Adapted From: Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Italian

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 Fried Green Beans with Spicy Dipping Sauce

These are one of my favorite appetizers, so I thought it would be a good idea to share them this month in time for Thanksgiving. I tried fried green beans for the first time quite a few years ago and I absolutely loved them. I have ordered them a few times since, but I never thought about making them at home until this past summer when I had a huge pile of fresh green beans from are garden. They are battered with a simple beer batter recipe and fried quickly. The batter has a wonderful flavor and the texture pairs perfectly with the crunch of the green beans. The dipping sauce is a recipe that mimicks the sauce that is served with the fried green beans at P.F. Changs. The sauce has the perfect amount of spice, however if you would like less spice you could always add less of the chili sauce. I highly recomend these green beans for your holiday appetizer menu or any appetizer menu for that matter.

Also, this particular batch of beans was truly made from scratch as we used my husbands home brewed beer in the batter and the green beans were home grown in our garden. Just another pure and yummy bonus!

Fried Green Beans with Spicy Dipping Sauce
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Bean Recipe

Vegtable oil, for frying
1 cup beer
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 pound green beans

Directions
Preheat oil to 375 degrees F.
Dip green beans into batter to coat, letting excess drip off. Fry in the oil in batches, until they are golden and crisp. Remove from oil to a paper towel lined sheet tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Dip Recipe

1 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons sirachi chili sauce
6 green onions, whites only, coarsely chopped
4 garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Place ingredients in blender or food processor and mix til smooth.

Beans Adapted From: The Neely’s; Sauce Adapted From: Food.com

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