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5 Ways to Make Caprese Salad

Posted on May 16, 2012 in Recipes | 1 comment

I love the simple flavors of a caprese salad….basil, fresh mozzarella, and tomato.  Purchasing fresh ingredients is the only way to go. If you have space to grow your own basil and tomato plant, even better.  Even if you don’t have a yard you can grow these in pots.

I also add a dash of kosher salt and drizzle balsamic glaze (I like the brand Blaze) to really give a punch of flavor.

1.  Caprese on a Stick:  Spear cherry tomatoes, fresh mini mozzareall balls, and basil leaves on toothpicks to serve as an easy appetizer

Serve in a martini glass for a little extra something

Same idea, but with balsamic glaze drizzled:

2.  A Bowl of Caprese: Chop up all the ingredients, mix together, and people can dish up the amount they want

3. Caprese Pastry Bites:  Cut pieces of puff pastry, fill with the chopped up caprese, wrap up and bake at 400 degree for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and puffy.

4. Traditional Caprese Salad: Layer your ingredients

5. Arugula Caprese Salad:  Use arugula, chop up tomato and mozzarella, and use the dressing recipe below (or just use oil and vinegar)

Dressing for arugula caprese salad (thanks to my friend, Christina, for making up this recipe)

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon

Blend together in a power mixer

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Sweet-N-Tangy Salsa….aka Texas Caviar

Posted on May 7, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

This salsa is always a hit whenever I have parties.  It’s easy to make ahead of time (much easier now that I have the Vidalia Chopper) and is so colorful!

You’ll need:

  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can of blackeyed peas, drained
  • 1 can of shoepeg corn
  • 1 jalepeno
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil (original recipe is 1/2 cup, but I don’t think that much is necessary)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup sugar (I used baking Splenda to save on calories)
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar

1. Chop up all the peppers, onion, and jalepeno (this is where having a chopper is nice, especially since I usually make triple batches for parties)

2. Put the oil, pepper, sugar, and vinegar in a saucepan.  Bring to boil to dissolve and then let cool.

3. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit in fridge overnight.

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Baked Brie with Kahlua & Pecans

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone eat this and not fall in love….it is sooo delicious.  I first ate this mouth watering appetizer at a friend’s place years ago (thanks Mrs. Taylor!) and have been making it ever since.  There are few ingredients, it’s quick & easy to make, and have I mentioned it’s delicious?

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 medium wheel of brie or 1/2 a large wheel
  • 1 cup Kahlua or any coffee liquor
  • 1 cup brown sugar – not packed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

1.  Preheat the oven to 410 degrees.  Lay some tin foil or parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick

2. Lay out the puff pastry sheet

3. Cut the brie in half – horizontally.  This way you can layer the ingredients  (I like to scrape the white coating off the outside of the brie, but it’s not necessary)

4. Set 1 layer of brie in the pastry and top with 1/3 cup brown sugar,  1/3 cup pecans, and 1/3 cup Kahlua.

5. Place the other layer of brie on top and add the same amount of ingredients on top.

6. Wrap the puff pastry around the brie and top with another layer of the same amount of ingredients (maybe a little extra if you want).

***Greta is always by my side when I’m preparing food!

7.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned and puffy.

8. Serve with crackers or bread.  Enjoy!!!

 

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Holy Great Guacamole

Posted on Apr 9, 2012 in Recipes | 2 comments

This is such an easy and delicious recipe…I’m talking 5 minutes prep time.  Guacamole is full of healthy fats and makes a colorful addition to your table.  Tis the season for margaritas & chips and guac!

 

What you’ll need:

  • 3 ripe avocados (if they aren’t ripe enough by the time you need to use them, you can microwave them for a little bit to soften them)
  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes, without the juice and seeds, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 lime, for the juice
  1. Mince the garlic
  2. Finely chop up the tomatoes (to drain the juice and seeds, cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze the innards into the sink before chopping)
  3. Spoon the insides of the avocado out
  4. Add salt
  5. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of a lime (this prevents the guacamole from turning brown)
  6. Mix all together and enjoy!  It’s best if eaten shortly after being made.  However, to store it put it in an air-tight container in the fridge.
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Proscuitto, Fig, and Cheese Pinwheel Appetizer

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

This is one of the favorite recipes that I created.  They’re easy to make, there aren’t many ingredients, and everyone who tries these gooey sweet-n-salty delights loves them!  15 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cook time.  Makes about 16.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/2 cup softened cream cheese (I like to use whipped)
  • 1/3 cup fig preserves
  • 1 package (4 ounces) proscuitto
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesan (using a mix of parmesan and mozzarella is good too)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees
  2. Roll or spread out puff pastry onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or tin foil for easy clean up – sprayed with non-stick if you want).
  3. Melt the cream cheese in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften it and then spread it on the puff pastry
  4. Layer the proscuitto, fig preserves, and shredded cheese
  5. Roll it up and cut into 1 inch slices
  6. Lay them out on the pan and bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is puffy
  7. Eat your heart out
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