Home Cooking

Easy Appetizer Bites Two Ways – Mushrooms & Spanakopita Recipes

Marly Schuman

January 25 2012 - 10:30 AM

App_bitesI've always thought that homemade anything tastes better, and I can usually feel better about eating something when I know exactly what's in it. Appetizers are easy enough to grab from the freezer aisle. Resist the urge. For your next Superbowl party, holiday gathering or dinner party, try your hand at this simple concept. Buy some frozen puff pastry dough, arm yourself with a few mini muffin tins, and you're ready to go. 

I made a mushroom and caramelized onion version as well as spanikopita. Spanikopita can be a pain to perfectly fold in phyllo dough, so this method was much easier. These don't need to follow an exact recipe and can really follow your personal taste. With these proportions, I used all of my puff pastry and nearly all of my filling. 

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Home Cooking

Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Toasts

Country of Origin: USA
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Main Ingredient: Bread
Additional Features:

SIMPLE & STRAIGHTFORWARD

  • 1 loaf crusty french bread or sourdough
  • 6 oz. goat cheese, herbed if preferred
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, yellow and red
  • ~1 cup mixed greens (watercress, arugula), a premade mix from the grocery store will work fine
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half, tossing in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Use a prepared baking sheet – this will get sticky, so if you have a sillicone baking mat or foil, that would be best. Spread tomatoes evenly across, and roast until tomatoes have softened, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Remove tomatoes and set aside, allowing them to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat your grill. If you don’t have one, simply turn your broiler on low.
  6. Slice bread into about 1/2 inch thick pieces, cutting in half if you are using a wider loaf. Depending on the size of the loaf, you’ll likely need only 1/2.
  7. Brush the bread with olive oil on each side. Throw onto grill on medium high, browning each side evenly for 3-5 minutes. Avoid burning!
  8. Spread the goat cheese in an even layer on to the bread.
  9. Next, toss tomatoes on each slice so most of the bread. Top with the greens.
  10. Lastly, drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

Home Cooking

Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Cookie Recipe

Country of Origin: USA
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Main Ingredient: Almonds
Additional Features:

GLUTEN FREE

almond coconut cookiesAdapted from The Minimalist Baker

Makes about 12 small cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal (ground almonds works)
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used half brown sugar, half honey)
  • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 3 heaping Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Ground almonds in food processor until powdery with few chunks – or buy almond meal.
  2. Mix with coconut (make sure it isn’t sweetended), baking powder, salt, cacao nibs and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine egg, coconut oil and vanilla.
  4. Mix wet into dry ingredients until combined.
  5. Refrigerate mixture for 15-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Then, form into small bite sized balls on prepared cookie sheet about 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.
  7. Allow to cool thoroughly, then enjoy!

Home Cooking

Thai Coconut Curry Recipe

Country of Origin: Thailand
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Main Ingredient: Coconut
Additional Features:

VEGETARIAN

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (you can substitute olive oil)
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 package tofu, cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tsp thai red curry paste
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, torn
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Rice to serve
  1. Heat oil in a very large, deep sauce pan on medium.
  2. Add carrots, and make sure they are thinly sliced enough as they take awhile to cook.
  3. Once they start to brown, add in the peppers, mushrooms and garlic.
  4. In a separate pan, heat the remainder of the oil and brown tofu on both sides. Set aside.
  5. Once vegetables are slightly browned and partially cooked, add in your red curry paste and mix to combine.
  6. Next, add in the broth, sugar, soy sauce, sriracha, tumeric, salt, pepper and juices from the limes to the vegetable mixture. Allow to simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes.
  7. Lastly, add in the coconut milk and tofu. Allow for the flavors to combine and simmer on low for 10-15 more minutes.
  8. Stir in the torn cilantro a few minutes before serving. Turn heat off and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Note that the mixture will be like a soup the first time you eat it. If you store it with rice before reheating, it will be more like a traditional thai curry.

Home Cooking

Charcuterie and Cheese Board

Country of Origin: Italian
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: NA
Main Ingredient: charcuterie
Additional Features:

HOLIDAY, SIMPLE & STRAIGHTFORWARD

3 cheeses: one mild like a chèvre, something in between like a pleasant ridge reserve and a well aged cheddar or Gouda.

3 meats: thinly, thinly sliced prosciutto, sopressata, summer sausage. Keep everything at room temp at least an hour before guests arrive.

For a veggie-friendly option add a tahini-free hummus with chickpeas, lemon juice, lots of garlic cloves, pinch of sea salt …cumin or smoked paprika… smoked salt and drizzle of Olive oil to finish.

Throw on roasted red peppers, a tapenade, cornichons, honey, homemade date spread,crackers or sliced baguette drizzled in olive oil, and an arrangement of olives. Voila!

– Jenna Temkin

Home Cooking

Puppy Chow Cookie Recipe

Country of Origin: USA
Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Main Ingredient: Peanut Butter
Additional Features:

DESSERTS

Adapted from Cookies & Cups
Makes 3 dozen cookies

Cookie:

  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Coating:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1/2 bittersweet and 1/2 semi-sweet)
  • 2/3 cups peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 2 large cookie sheets.
  2. Cream together peanut butter and butter. Then add in sugars.
  3. Once combined, add in vanilla and eggs.
  4. Carefully add in dry ingredients.
  5. Once combined, roll out tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets, about one inch apart. These cookies don’t spread much.
  6. Bake about 9 minutes, until solid in the middle.
  7. Allow cookies to cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Mix together butter, peanut butter, and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 1 minute or until melted.
  9. Put powdered sugar in a shallow bowl separately. Dip cookies into chocolate mixture and then into powdered sugar mixture. You can cover both sides or just the top.
  10. Allow to dry on parchment paper or eat immediately.

 

Home Cooking

Easy Pumpkin Coconut Curry

Country of Origin: Thailand
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Main Ingredient: Pumpkin
Additional Features:

GLUTEN FREE, VEGETARIAN, VEGAN

pumpkin curryCurry Sauce

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 8 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Additional ingredients:

  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 small cooked pumpkin, skin removed and diced (can substitute sweet potato or squash)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced or frozen kale
  1. Saute diced onion in coconut oil in a large, deep pan until it starts to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the garlic, ginger and lime, stirring until onion starts to brown.
  3. Mix in the coconut milk and pumpkin, whisking until combined.
  4. Add in the spices and Sriracha sauce, along with a bit of salt and pepper. You can add more later on when the vegetables are added in.
  5. Simmer on high for a few minutes to combine. Meanwhile, prepare your shrimp, cauliflower and kale, cutting the cauliflower into smaller, bite sized pieces.
  6. If you are tight on time, microwave the cauliflower on high for 2 minutes. Otherwise, add it in first to the curry broth and turn the burner down to medium low.
  7. After about 10-15 minutes, add in the pumpkin and vegetable broth. Cover and turn the burner up again to reduce the liquid. It may seem like too much liquid, but it will reduce down so the vegetable broth is necessary.
  8. Lastly, add in the shrimp and kale.
  9. Once cauliflower is cooked, turn burner off and allow to cool for a few minutes. Serve immediately on top of rice.

Home Cooking

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Country of Origin: USA
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Main Ingredient: Pumpkin
Additional Features:

DESSERTS

pumpkin filled cream cheese muffinRecipe adapted from The Table
Makes about 12-16 muffins

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 container)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

 

Muffin Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 dash allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (note: if you double the recipe, you will need a bit more than 1 12 oz. can)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 /2 tsp vanilla

 

Streusel Topping (optional)

  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. With an electric mixer, combine powdered sugar and cream cheese. Set aside or refrigerate.
  2. Mix together all dry muffin ingredients (flour, spices, baking soda)
  3. Combine all wet ingredients (eggs, oil, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla). Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Lastly, in a separate bowl, mix together small pieces of fbutter, flour, sugar and cinnamon together with your hands until small chunks have formed and very little powdery flour is left.
  5. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F. Prepare muffins tins.
  6. Fill each muffin cup about 1/4 full with batter. Using a small spoon, add a small amount of cream cheese frosting just to the center of each muffin. Top with muffin batter until cream cheese is covered – only about 3/4 full.
  7. Top with streusel topping if using.
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes. Adjust baking time to about 45 minutes if you are making a loaf pan.

Home Cooking

Savory Overnight French Toast Casserole

Country of Origin: US
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Main Ingredient: Bread
Additional Features:

VEGETARIAN

*Note: This recipe is not exact. Feel free to change depending on what ingredients you have on hand.

  • 1/2 large loaf challah bread
  • 1 cup milk (1-2% will give a creamier flavor)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes (cherry tomatoes would be even better)
  • 1 cup mozzarella, either whole or shredded
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried basil, or one small handful torn fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cut bread into small, bite sized pieces. Using slightly stale bread is totally fine.
  2. Whisk together eggs, milk and seasonings.
  3. Dice tomatoes or halve your cherry tomatoes. Then, tear your mozzarella (if in ball form), into small pieces.
  4. Spray or butter a small, 9X9 or 8X8 pan. Scatter bread pieces along the bottom evenly. Add in the cheese and tomatoes, pushing into the bread rather than leaving at the top.
  5. Then, pull off tiny pieces of the cream cheese and hide in between the pieces of bread. Don’t make the pieces too big because the cheese will spread.
  6. Finally, top with the egg mixture. Using a large spoon, press the bread down into the liquid.
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have all night you can bake immediately, but it won’t have the same bread pudding-like texture.
  8. In the morning, remove the casserole, uncover and leave at room temperature while the oven preheats to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until slightly browned on top with cheese melted.
  9. Serve warm and enjoy!

Home Cooking

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunk Ice Cream Recipe

Country of Origin: US
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Main Ingredient: Milk
Additional Features:

DESSERTS

cookie dough ice creamIce cream Base:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Cookie Dough: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Optional add in: 1 cup dark chocolate covered pretzel thins, chopped into small pieces (can use dark chocolate shavings or chips instead)

 

  1. First, make the cookie dough. Cream together the butter and sugar. Then, add in the milk and vanilla.
  2. Mix in the flour and salt until well combined. fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Roll the dough into bite-sized pieces. Make them smaller than you think they should be, a bit bigger than regular ice cream would have. Place on a prepared pan and put in the freezer.
  4. Next, using a mixer, combine milk and sugar until dissolved for a few minutes on medium speed.
  5. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
  6. Pour into ice cream maker – according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  7. Turn of the ice cream maker and, by hand, mix in the frozen cookie dough and dark chocolate pretzel thins if using.
  8. Eat immediately or freeze for a firmer texture. Enjoy!