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. 


Home Cooking

NoNo Bars

Country of Origin: USA
Preparation Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 0
Main Ingredient: Seeds
Additional Features:


1 Cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1 Cup sprouted or toasted pumpkin seeds
1 Cup sprouted or toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup juice sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
3 tabelspoons cacao nibs
1/2 cup sunflower butter
1/2 cup coconut nectar
pinch of sea salt

Stir together sunflower butter and coconut nectar, pour over rest of ingredients and fold until fully combined. Pour in to 9×12 parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a second sheet of parchment and press mixture until even. Smooth paper over top so it sticks and refrigerate 2 hours until firm.

Makes 18 bars, 1in x 4.5in.

Home Cooking

Vegetable Curry Pot Pie

Country of Origin: USA
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Main Ingredient: Curry
Additional Features:


1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup rice or almond milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric
root (or 1 teaspoon ground)
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups chopped carrots
4 cups chopped cauliflower
2 tablespoons mirin
2 large bunches Swiss chard,
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place crust ingredients in refrigerator to chill.

In large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft (about 3 minutes). Stir in turmeric, celery, carrots and cauliflower. Add mirin, stir and simmer 2 minutes. Add Swiss chard and peas and fold continuously until chard wilts. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together vegetable stock, arrowroot and curry powder. Pour into vegetable mixture and stir until sauce thickens (1–2 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

In food processor, combine chilled brown rice flour, tapioca flour, baking powder and sea salt and pulse to combine. Add coconut oil
1 tablespoon at a time and pulse to cut into flour mixture. In small bowl, combine milk and lemon juice. With food processor running, pour in milk mixture. Process until just combined. Place a sheet of parchment paper on cutting board and transfer dough to paper. Form into ball and then press into round to fit your Dutch oven (about 1/2-inch thick).

Place dough round over vegetables in Dutch oven and bake 35 minutes or until vegetables are soft and filling is bubbling up over crust. Remove from heat and set aside 2–3 minutes to cool before serving. SERVES 6

© 2014 Terry Walters

Home Cooking

Dark Chocolate Pretzel Thin Cookie Recipe

Country of Origin: USA
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Main Ingredient: Chocolate covered pretzels
Additional Features:


dark chocolate pretzel thin cookieThese cookies, like all cookies, call for good quality chocolate – plus a hefty serving of salt. The sweet and salty combination works perfectly as a dessert that leaves you wanting to finish the whole batch. Whip these cookies together the next time you want to impress someone, give a homemade gift or show up the other guests at your holiday potluck.

Just make sure you bake them for an occasion, or you will eat them all.

Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Thin Cookies
Recipe adapted from The Sugar Hit

Serving Size: 15 large cookies

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Slims, or about 8 oz. chocolate covered pretzels
  • 3-4 oz. dark chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel or sea salt for topping cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Cream together butter and all sugars for about five minutes, or until light and fluffy. I’d recommend using an electric mixer for this.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla, scraping down the bowl in betwen.
  4. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and table salt
  5. Slowly add the flour into the wet mixture.
  6. Set aside 15 full pretzels. With the remaining, cut them on a small cutting board until they are in very small pieces. Add in the pretzel pieces and dark chocolate to the cookie dough.
  7. Roll out the dough to form 15 evenly sized balls, evenly spacing them apart on your cookie sheets. Slightly pat each down.
  8. Freeze for 5 minutes. Then, bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies have spread and are lightly browned.
  9. Remove from the oven as soon as they are done, gently pressing one pretzel into the center of each cookie. After you are done, you should see the chocolate has started to melt on the first cookies. Lightly sprinkle the fleur de sel over the pretzels, so that it sticks to the melted chocolate.

Allow to cool, and then enjoy! Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Home Cooking

Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Toasts

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


  • 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:


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:


  • 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:


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:


Adapted from Cookies & Cups
Makes 3 dozen cookies


  • 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


  • 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:


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.