All of the Green Things

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We had a little shindig over the weekend to celebrate both an early St. Patrick’s Day and the fact that my hubster, and most of his grad school pals, completed their comprehensive exams last week. A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT. Now they just have ot pass all their classes, and they will be good to go!

And in the spirit of St. P’s, I attempted to make as many green-colored foods and drinks as I could. And so I give you, a few of my favorite simple foods with a green twist…

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Green Champagne

A quick tip on green champagne…We put our food color right into the bottle, BUT here’s the thing. I have Americolor food coloring, which is really made to color icings and cakes and cookies and things. It’s more of a paste than a liquid. I recommend using the good ol’ cheap grocery store stuff. The Americolor dropped into the bottle in a few clumps, and with the first pour, looked like the photo above. But by the end of the night, it was completely dark emerald green – the clump of food color had slowly dissolved with all the bubbles!! It was kind of a fun experiment, but seriously. Use the cheap, watery stuff…

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Crinkle Cake Cookies

These cookies are SO GOOD. And I love them because you can make so many varieties.

Ingredients:

1 box cake mix (I used french vanilla)
2 eggs
6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, eggs, and butter. Add food coloring (if you want! Or you can use colored cake. Or anything you want…endless options!). Form into balls and roll in powdered sugar mixture. Coat them good!! Place on baking sheet and cook for 8 minutes. YUM. Add extracts for yummy flavors, too.

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Skinny Taste Spinach and Artichoke Dip

What did we do before skinny taste? I seriously LOVE this spinach and artichoke dip. Made it exactly to recipe, and it is AMAZING. Check out the recipe!!

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Turkey and Zucchini Roll Ups

Couldn’t be easier. Use an apple peeler to make some ribbons of zucchini. Wrap a slice of zucchini, a slice of turkey, a dab of mustard, and a pinch of broccoli slaw all up together, and secure with a toothpick. Healthy! Easy! Green!!

Baked Brie has ALWAYS been my go to party recipe. I made it here and here and used brie another way here. But I haven’t switched it up much over the years. I was in the mood for a good baked brie, and thought long and hard about how to make it St. Patrick’s themed. And then I realized: Green Pepper Jelly! Delicious and green. Also, green apples and pears served for dipping (and wheat thins, but they aren’t pretty or green). I even added a little shamrock on top. OH HEY.

Baked Brie with a shamrock :)

Baked Brie with a shamrock 🙂

Baked Brie with Green Pepper Jelly

Baked Brie with Green Pepper Jelly

Appetizers {Whole 30}

This past Sunday, I witnessed the most heartbreaking football game of all time. There was so much sadness in my heart.

The Packers *sob* aren’t going *sob* to the SUPERBOWL *sob wail.*

I’d like to say it was a good game, because for most the game, it was! But the it’s like, they didn’t keep their head in the game. And they had it stolen out from under them.

More sadness.

But on the UP side, we had a few friends over to watch, so I whipped up a few Whole 30 friendly appetizers I thought I would share with you today!

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Obviously, you can never go wrong with a veggie tray and some guacamole, but I really just wanted to make a little something different for myself. The first is SO EASY. I mean, it’s so easy, in fact, you don’t even really need a recipe…

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

I mean, how have I not done this before anyway? I baked these guys at 375 for around 20-30 minutes. Just totally depends on your oven. I served with BBQ sauce on the side if anyone wanted it. It’s basically a nod to the Hawaiian Pizza without all the other stuff. They were a hit, and vanished rather quickly…

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My other appetizer, which may look a little odd because there are green, are

Avocado Deviled Eggs

The idea here is to replace mayo with avocado. You CAN make a paleo mayo, and use that, but frankly I really don’t eat mayo and to make a whole batch just for these seemed silly. Plus a little green for my Packers seemed appropriate.

Ingredients

8 eggs, hardboiled

1 ripe avocado

1 tablespoon mustard

salt & pepper

paprika for sprinkling

All you do is carefully slice your eggs in half, emptying the yolks into a bowl. Mash these yolks together with your avocado and mustard, adding salt and pepper to taste. I actually whipped out my immersion blender to make sure I got them as creamy as possible. No one wants lumps in their eggs!

Fill your egg whites back up, and you are set to go.

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Okay guys… other Paleo / Whole 30 appetizers you love? Share them, please!

Crostinis for your Christmas Party

Are you hosting or attending a holiday party and are just fresh out of ideas for some delicious food? I highly recommend a crostini platter. It couldn’t be easier or prettier!

Megoirs

I tend to always make the same treats for every party I host or attend. So when my roommate and I recently threw a little holiday get together, I decided to switch it up. I finally landed on a build-your-own crostini platter. This idea comes from Julia, as so many of my creative ideas do!

It is exactly as it sounds – first, you slice up one or two french baguettes, at an angle, and coat each side of the pieces with a little olive oil. Simply bake these for 8-10 minutes on each side (anywhere between 350-400 should work) until they are nice and toasty. They can be served warm or at room temperature.

Then pick out your fixings. You can choose whatever you would like! I put out some jam (fig is your best bet), sun-dried tomatoes, plain goat cheese, goat cheese with pesto on it, and…

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Bell Pepper Nachos

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Um, heck yeah. The summer always leaves me hankering for more fresh veggies, and less time using the oven. These “nachos” are absolutely the most perfect appetizer for a summer party. Girls night, anyone? These are vegetarian, but you could definitely take this idea and do whatever you’d like with them. Add beef, chicken, or anything you like on your regular nachos! Also, these are not exactly paleo, but could easily be made that way if that’s how your roll.

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Bell Pepper Nachos
adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients
2 lb. bag of mini bell peppers
1 cup corn (frozen, fresh, whatever is easy)
1 cup black beans
3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 squeeze of lime juice
shredded cheese for sprinkling on top
cilantro for garnish

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice all your bell peppers in half, stemming and seeding them along the way. Lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3. In a bowl, mix together corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, onion, jalapeno, salt, pepper, and lime juice. You can make this in advance and refrigerate if you’d like the flavors to meld together a bit more.

4. Fill each bell pepper half with your black bean mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, and place in oven for 5-6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and ingredients are heated through.

5. Garnish with cilantro, and enjoy! Other suggestions: Serve with sour cream, salsa, extra guac, or whatever suits your fancy.

Delicious, healthy, fresh, and summery!! And the best part? GUILT FREE!

#foodhacks 🙂

Pear and Prosciutto Wraps

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I love prosciutto, especially when paired with fruit. I made this little side dish the other night, and loved it! Quick, simple, and even non-paleo folks like it!

Pear and Prosciutto Wraps

You’ll need:

1 large pear
8 slices prosciutto
1 bunch arugula
1/2 lemon
drizzle of olive oil
salt & pepper

Directions

Cut your pear into 16ths, and place the slices into a bowl. Coat the pear slices with the juice of 1/2 lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Slice your prosciutto in half. On each half slice, place a few pieces of arugula and one slice of pear. Wrap the prosciutto around it, securing it with a toothpick if necessary. Chill for 30 minutes.

Voila! Enjoy your pretty and delicious appetizer.

Piggies!

I have no shame. What can I say…I like meat. I like pork. I especially like the bacon part of pork. And so, I made two little piggy appetizers last weekend. Both are completely simple and completely delicious. I hope you enjoy!

bacon water chestnuts

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Ingredients

1 pound bacon
2 (8 oz) cans water chestnuts
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup ketchup

Directions

Soak several toothpicks in a bowl of water. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Depending on the size of your bacon, cut each slice into 4-6 smaller pieces – large enough to go around a water chestnut but not so large that it doubles up. Wrap each water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. (You could even do this without the toothpick, then serve with toothpicks. Take your pick!) Put in the oven for 20 minutes on a baking sheet.

Meanwhile, mix together the brown sugar, ketchup, mayonnaise and Worcestershire. After 20 minutes in the oven, remove the chestnuts from the baking sheet and place onto paper towels to soak up some of the grease. Also wipe down the baking sheet. Coat each chestnut in the sauce and return it to the baking sheet.

Bake an additional 30 minutes, at which point the bacon should be nice and crispy. These are best served hot, but honestly, bacon at any temperature is delicious! I also served the extra ketchup sauce as another condiment along with mustard for both of these recipes. Delicious!

pigs in a blanket

Pigs in a Blanket. Because hot dogs never lose.

Ingredients

1 package of cocktail weenies (approx 42)
2 packages of crescent rolls

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Open your crescent rolls, and slice each triangle into three long and skinny triangles. Wrap one weenie in each of these skinny triangles, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until nice and toasty brown.

Could it get any easier? We love these with mustard, but the sauce from the recipe above is pretty tasty too.

Enjoy all your piggies!

Bruschetta

I love good bruschetta, but I have to say that Giada’s recipe is delicious. I was so happy that I made it for our party over the weekend. It combines fresh mozzarella with the classic flavors of tomato and garlic. Perfection!

Bruschetta

Bruschetta (from Giada De Laurentiis)

Ingredients

1 (32-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and spun dry
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large French baquettes, sliced 1-inch thick (about 36 slices)
1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thickDirections

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.In the bowl of a food processor, add drained tomatoes, 1 cup basil leaves, olive oil and 2 cloves garlic. Pulse until smooth, but somewhat chunky. Season with salt and pepper.

On a baking sheet, line up baguette slices. Toast in oven for about 3 minutes or until light golden brown. Working quickly, rub the remaining garlic on the toasted side of each slice (I skipped this part) and then lay a piece of mozzarella cheese on top. Place bread back in oven and melt cheese slightly, about 45 seconds. Remove from oven and spread one tablespoon of the tomato mixture on each piece.

Place bruschetta on decorative platter and garnish with basil leaves.