Category Archives: appetizer

Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Italian Stuffed Artichokes - Just the TipI like when Brian is a little scared when I am making something he is unfamiliar with. I get a sick joy out of semi-convincing him that what he’s about to eat may or may not be edible or may or may not be poisonous. That was definitely the case with these stuffed artichokes.

When I was cleaning the artichokes, I jokingly asked him what the first person who decided artichokes might be edible was thinking. He replied by saying that he wasn’t really sure that they were still, and repeatedly asked me, “you really ate these growing up??”. We did grow up eating artichokes in their whole form, enjoying scraping the “meat” from each tender leaf. I stuffed these artichokes with toasted breadcrumbs seasoned with a ton of garlic, nutty anchovies, and fresh parmesan cheese. Delicious.

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Chinese Lettuce Wraps

Chinese Lettuce Wraps - Just the TipIt’s been approximately 15,000 degrees in Boston for the past week or so and I am OVER IT. I like summer for its activities (cookouts, beach times, general good times/moods), but NOT for the weather. I tend to “run hot” and can get down right surly when overheated. So, it makes me wonder why over the last week I’ve made things, such as pizza, which requires a 500 degree oven, or polenta, which requires near constant stirring over a hot pot for a good 40 minutes. Not wise. In typical fashion, I waited for the heat wave to end to make something that requires little cooking/heat/effort. I actually made the filling to these lettuce wraps (which is yummy, by the way) on Sunday when I had some extra time, and just had to reheat tonight and serve with some crisp baby romaine leaves and some brown rice on the side.  Perfect light summer supper.

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Cod Cakes

IMG_4253 I made these cod cakes on Christmas Eve and they were a huge hit. In fact, I made them early in the day (and reheated them in the oven when it was time to serve) and people kept popping in the kitchen to steal one. SO delicious and easy.

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Artichoke Bars

I’m a little obsessed with this dish. I’ve made it a handful of times over the summer for parties and it’s always a big hit. Besides the cheese, it’s a total pantry dish, too. But really, who doesn’t always have cheese? I know I always do. 🙂

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Broccoli Cheddar Cupcakes

I have an aunt who has successfully been on weight watchers for like 20 years. She has these old school recipe books that I can’t even reference on the internet (imagine??). She made a copy of this recipe for me a while back and I’m a big fan. The one part that I find wee bit hilarious is that while this recipe boasts about being 2 ww points (with the old points system), there is itty bitty fine print that says that doesn’t include the biscuit. Ummm, huh? Either way – make these next time you want a snack!

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Saucy Asian Meatballs

I made these for a family BBQ and they were a hit. I just made the meat mixture and sauce ahead of time and baked them off when I got to my parents house, then tossed them in the sauce. Poof – instant appetizer.

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Mini Brie and Dill Popovers

When I saw this recipe I immediately thought of my mom as she looooves popovers. Since my lovely mother is on an extended one-month vacation in Puerto Rico right now (jealous…), I decided to make these to hopefully make her a little jealous in return 🙂

(I’d rather be in puerto rico, but these popovers are addictively delicious)

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Cool Ranch Buffalo Chicken Nachos

I love football so much. Actually, not really, but I do love that it lets me get away with serving food like this for dinner.

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Cheesy Faux Sausage Balls

Gimme Lean vegetarian sausage is one of my favorite swaps for real sausage. It is low-cal, fat, sugar, and cholesterol free, and has a great sausagey flavor and texture. I’ve used it in sweeter/breakfast applications and in pasta dishes with great success. These sausage balls are doughy and cheesy and are a fantastic appetizer (or breakfast with some maple syrup!). Enjoy!

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Eggplant and Chickpea Dip

I received some pretty asian eggplants in my CSA box this week and I had absolutely no idea what to do with them. When I did a quick search on foodgawker, I found this caponata-like dip recipe and knew that I had found a winner. Flecked with sweet basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and ginger, this dip makes a perfect summer snack. Serve with pita chips or warm pita and enjoy!

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Sausage and Harissa Pinwheels

It’s clean out the cupboard time, folks. After almost 7 years in the same apartment, we’re getting set to move in just about 4 weeks. It is in times like these that my food obsession/hoarding really comes to light, and not in a cute way. More like a how-the-hell-am-i-going-to-pack-all-of-this-stuff way. For example, I’ve had an unopened tube of harissa in my pantry for, oh, about 4 years, just waiting for that delicious tagine or some other Moroccan feast worthy of breaking it out for. I tend to pick up random food stuffs for “special” meals or dishes, all the while semi-afraid to use them because then they’ll be gone! The horror, really, the stuff is 2 bucks on amazon… What this leaves me with, of course, is an overstuffed pantry full of too-specific items that will, in fact, never get used. I also had a package of puff pastry in the freezer “just in case”. And obviously tons of italian sausages — I mean, everyone buys 8 pounds at a time at Costco, right?

Anyway, a simple google search for “what the hell do i do with these random ingredients” and I was on my way to one of the yummiest appetizers ever.

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Vegetarian Samosas with Mint-Cilantro Sauce

These are my new obsession!! I love love love samosas but anything deep-fried always comes with a side of guilt. These, my friends, are BAKED. And AWESOME. I kind of want to put this sauce on everything (cats beware).

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Mac & Cheese Muffins

Do I even have to say anything about these little genius muffins? Legit, mac & cheese in muffin form. Handy. Convenient. Delicious. Versatile. And I can’t wait to try them in a mini-muffin tin for parties. Yum.

Truth time: I blatantly failed at following this recipe. I put the butternut squash in the microwave to defrost and promptly found it still sitting in there hours after we were done eating. Oops. And I also forgot the cream cheese, which I think would make almost anything better. Truth be told, as I made them, these were a teensy bit on the bland side — but still amazeballs good because it’s handheld pasta and melted cheese.  Try making the recipe as it was originally written, though – I know I will (try)!

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Eggplant and Zucchini Fritters

Before we left for the Cape last week, I had some eggplant and zucchini from our CSA to use up in a hurry. Perfect time for fritters! These have the consistency of crab cakes — yummy. Would be great with a marinara or an aioli sauce, too.

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Spanikopita Triangles

I did something weird the other day. I actually used one of the groupons that I purchased.

This is big. I have a bad habit of snatching up these deals only to let them wither and expire. Last spring I bought 1 groupon for a cooking class at Eurostoves in Beverly, MA. Foolishly I only bought one, and taking a cooking class solo is just not very fun. Thankfully, I was able to convince my mom to sign up as well (at full price, nonetheless…). I think she thought it would be more like the classes we take each year at Stonewall Kitchen where you sit in a comfy seat and a nice lady cooks, whilst explaining her methods, and then nice people bring you a plate of food and some wine to go with while you learn. This was a liiiiitle different, in that 5 of us were given 12 greek recipes and 2 hours and were told to work it out. I gotta say, I love to cook, but I think i prefer the Stonewall way.

This is one of the recipes we “learned” at this class. I liked that the recipe called to take several layers of filo and stack them up, as opposed to brushing each individual piece with butter, which has always put filo dough in the ‘daunting’ category for me. These make a great appetizer — I made them on the bigger end…you can make them smaller if you have more patience 🙂

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Tabouleh

I can’t believe this is my first time making tabouleh. I have been eating this parsley salad since I was a kid, and I loooove it with sliced red onion and baba ganoush all smooshed together in a pita. SO GOOD. This recipe is easy and authentic — and A LOT cheaper than buying it pre-made in a tub!

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Roasted Zucchini with Fresh Ricotta and Mint

If you have not ever had fresh ricotta cheese, you have not lived.  Seriously, hike down to your local Trader Joe’s and pick up a tub, or hell, make your own. Whatever you do, do it tonight! The stuff is amazing.

We served this dish as a little appetizer and was yum. This would also be really good with sliced eggplant, which I think I will try with the rest of that ricotta!

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Serious Football Food: Buffalo Chicken Dip

I am writing this to entertain myself while Brian watches a Very Important Patriots Game. My mouth is on fire, yet I can’t stop eating this dip.  That’s all.

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Prosciutto Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Fontina and Sage

ZOMG these are good. Perfect blend of salty, sweet, and savory. Yum. These were brought to my family’s house on Christmas so unfortunately I didn’t get a picture when they came out of the oven. Let me assure you that they get nice and crispy and a little oozy with cheese. Perfect make-ahead appetizer, too.

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Artichokes and Pork Sausage with Sage and Lemon

I’ve made this as an appetizer/first course/beginning dish for the all day eating marathon my family likes to call Thanksgiving a few times now and it’s always a big hit. I took a shortcut this year and used frozen artichokes — SOOOOOOOO much easier, and still very flavorful.  This would also be delicious over some spaghetti…yum.

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