MINI NAVAJO TACOS - Indian Fry Bread or Sopaipillas

Photo taken by John Pozniak

One of my favorite things to eat here in the Southwest is Indian Fry Bread. Here in Arizona we call it fry bread, in New Mexico it's called "sopaipilla", but by any name it's fried bread! It's sort of a native or Hispanic version of the famous beignets you'll find at the Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, though I suspect the fry bread was around long before the beignet!

When I was in New Mexico most of the restaurants served it in the bread basket with a bottle of honey. I quickly became addicted. There is a cousin to these breads called a "funnel cake" which you'll find at most county fairs - though that is a slightly different batter which soaks up considerably more grease.

Here is Arizona, Fry Bread is often served up with beans, cheese, chilies and other goodies and called a "Navajo Taco". I found that these make a wonderful appetizer if you just make the fry bread smaller, more the size of a traditional beignet! Just chop up all the toppings ahead of time and fry the bread while your guests are sipping their first martinis!

(from one of my Navajo friends from my art show days!)
3 cups flour
I tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups warm water
Lard or other shortening
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl. Add milk, mixing thoroughly. Add the warm water a little at a time. Knead dough until it's not too sticky then cover the bowl and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.
Pull off two inch size balls of dough and pat by hand into rounds about 1/4-inch thick. (To make appetizer size fry bread just pull off about 1" balls of the dough, pat flat in your hand to about 1/4".) Punch hole in center of each round to allow air into the dough so it will puff up. Fry in hot lard (yes, lard is traditional) or other shortening until the dough begins to form bubbles. Turn over and fry on other side until golden.

For The Traditional Dessert - just drizzle with honey and/or powdered sugar. Want to get really sinful? Melt some dark chocolate and drizzle that on top! Add fresh strawberries and then the melted chocolate! Go hog wild and have some fun by adding some cream cheese!

For Mini Navajo Tacos - simply pile on some of your favorite following ingredients or place all these ingredients out separately in bowls and let your guests pick and choose! Navajo Taco Topping Suggestions:

Cooked beans - Anasazi Beans are traditional but try black beans or pintos
Cooked and shredded or ground beef, pork or chicken (spiced to your tastes)
Shredded Cheeses
Diced Green chilies, Jalapenos or chipotles (smoked peppers)
Diced Tomatoes
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Onions
Chopped Lettuce
Pico de Gallo or Salsa


CHEESE FONDUE - The classic 70s foodie fad is back!

Yes, Fondue is Back! If you want to know how popular fondue was in the seventies just visit a Good Will store and look at all the vintage fondue sets they have in orange, mustard and avocado!

Mine was orange and I still have it so I'm right back "in the groove" again! See? It pays to keep everything! Frankly, though I wish I'd tossed it so I could have one in stainless steel (anything but orange!) My vintage fondue set is in perfect working order so I have absolutely no excuse - and it is retro so I will not replace it!

1 Tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
2-1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese'
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and blend in the sour cream and flour to make a paste - sort of like a roue. Whisk in the milk and half and half and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to simmer, stir in the salt and pepper and stir frequently until the sauce thickens or about 5 minutes. Whisk in an additional tablespoon of flour if needed for desired thickness.
Remove from heat, stir in the shredded cheese until melted. Pour cheese into a fondue pot and light the tea candle underneath to keep warm - you'd be surprised how many people forget that step! Serve with 1 to 1-1/2 inch cubes of French bread or sourdough, fruits and veggies!

Serve with some of my martini recipes from The Martini Diva and boogie down on the food!



Though I am not a big fan of pizza, Barbecued Chicken Pizza is an exception for me. I have loved this pizza since I first tasted it at a California Pizza Kitchen decades ago.

This is a recipe I adapted once when I wanted this pizza and didn't want to deal with making dough and didn't have any french bread or English muffins to fake the dough but I did have tortillas! It's also a great way to use leftover barbecued chicken.

The best part is you get the great tastes that I love in this pizza without all that bread or dough! Try serving this with one of my tropical flavored martinis - Pieces of Eight Martini or The Pink Flamingo Martini - from The Martini Diva and you have a flavorful snack for your cocktail hour or even for dinner!

Text recipe for Crunchy BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 - 12 inch flour tortilla
2 to 5 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup grilled chicken breast, cubed or shredded
1/4 cup red onion, diced fine
1/2bunch of fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the tortilla on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake until crisp on both sides. Layer the barbecue sauce, cheese, chicken, onion and cilantro on the tortilla then place back in the oven for about 4 minutes to heat and melt the cheese. Slice into wedges and serve!

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Yes, you heard me right. A grilled chocolate sandwich! They are absolutely delicious, terribly sinful and extremely easy to make:

You'll need a good french bread or even a sweet bread like raisin bread, sliced. You'll need a flat chocolate candy bar, try to get ones that are no thicker than 1/8", and you'll need butter (you can use Pam spray if you like, but butter really adds a flavor element). You will also need a good griddle or a large non stick skillet. You can use one of those sandwich makers too.

Cook these just like you do a grilled cheese: Butter your bread slices, place several in the skillet/griddle, lay down enough slices of chocolate to cover the bread but keep it slightly away from the edges to stop "melt-over" to the pan. Top off with another slice of buttered bread and grill until the bread is browned and crispy and the chocolate is melted. Cut these into long 1" slices of triangles, place on a plate and top off with some powdered sugar.

Yum, these are really good and you can add other ingredients for more fun. Try spreading a little layer of marshmallow fluff on one slice of bread or add some thinly sliced bananas or other fruit.

Serve these up with my Chocolate Banana Martini and you've got a nice little Tiny Foods dessert party that will tickle the chocolate lovers in your crowd!



I was just posting about making stuffed olives for a friend of mine for his martinis on my Martini Blog and I realized I should also post my recipes here. They really do make wonderful appetizers as well as drink garnishes so here's a few of my tried and true stuffed olive recipes:

Tip: Always start with really nice, jumbo green olives. You can get the ones that are already stuffed with pimento (ugh) or you can get them plain but pitted.

My very favorite stuffed olives are Blue Cheese stuffed olives. You simply dry the olives then pack them tightly with blue cheese or gorgonzola if you prefer. I have also added chopped pecans to this mixture from time to time. I've heard of mozzarella being used also, but I think the blue cheese is a great combo with the olive.

Another favorite stuffed olive of mine is the salmon with lemon and capers. Very tres chic! (tray shiek, get it?) I simply marinate some cooked salmon with lemon juice and a few capers then stuff the olives just before serving time. Remember the lemon will act as a cooking agent somewhat so don't over cook your salmon. Or you can use smoked salmon!

I really love garlic stuffed olives and you can buy these, however, I have found the garlic tends to get a little limp in prepared, bottled versions so I prefer to make my own. I simply slice raw garlic and insert into the olive cavity. I let these "pickle" for at least 2 days for best flavor.

You can use other veggies too like carrots, asparagus, onions and even half a cherry tomato. And you can use roasted peppers and sun dried tomatoes too. I've even stuffed olives with other varieties of olives!

I've stuffed olives with cream cheese combined with a host of other ingredients including bacon, herbs and veggie mixtures. I have also stuffed olives with cubes of pepperoni and salami.

Use your imagination and have some fun with your olives and your ingredients. There's nothing better than an olive for tiny foods and you get the added health benefits that olives are famous for!
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