20080331

I just joined The FOODIE BLOG ROLL

I was invited to join the Foodie Blog Roll and I'm really excited to be part of such a great group of food enthusiasts! There can never be too much food or too many food fans!

Take a moment to check out the blogroll for some other great food blogs - just look on the right side bar for the icon and check them out!

Here's to more food and drink blogs for all us foodies! Don't forget to stop by my martini blog, The Martini Diva for the latest designer martini recipes and some martini tips and tricks!

20080327

BAKED HERB POTATO CRISPS - Healthy, Tasty, Homemade Potato Chips!

I love potato chips. I love potatoes in any form, but potato chips are a guilty sin of mine. So I decided to create some of my own that were baked, not fried and had flavor without all the salt and artificial ingredients that you get with packaged chips!

Try these out - they're great, they're healthy and they're cheaper!!!

Serve these up with some nice slices of aged cheddar and my Diva Apple Martini from The Martini Diva, Yum!

Text recipe for Baked Herb Potato Crisps:
Ingredients:
1 Large Russet Potato, sliced thin
Sea Salt
Seasonings/Herbs of your choice (I like Garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary and tarragon the best. Sometimes I add some Parmesan cheese and cut the sea salt down.)
Pam Cooking Spray
Directions: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with Pam then lay the potato slices on the sheet one by one. Spray the potato slices with Pam, then sprinkle on your salt and seasonings and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, checking every 5 minutes to remove the slices that have browned and crisped up.

Don't forget to download the recipe for the Diva Apple Martini to go with your Potato Crisps!

20080325

CURRIED CHICKEN TEA SANDWICHES

This recipe for Curried Chicken Tea Sandwiches is based on my Curried Chicken Salad Recipe - I'm letting you in on one of my most secret recipes here!

I use a mild curry that can be found in any spice isle, but you can rev it up with hotter curry spices if you so desire. If you do, drop the number of tablespoons down to one! Curry powders from most supermarkets are rather weak so I use a lot.

I will sometimes just boil the chicken, but I prefer it roasted with the same honey and curry. You can also use a roasted or broasted chicken from the deli!

These go great with my Pieces of Eight Martini from The Martini Diva!

Treat yourself if you don't have any company - settle down with this little snack and the Pieces of Eight Martini and watch Pirates of the Caribbean again. Ahoy there, nothin' better than a martini, some curry and Captain Jack!

20080324

No Corned Beef Appetizers, 'Cause I Ate the Whole Thing!

Just a quick post to apologize for not getting a recipe for appetizers using my left over corned beef. You see, my first attempt to make corned beef turned out so good we ate it all!

Now, before I can try out some recipes for appetizers I'll have to buy another brisket and save it just to make some appetizers - and it's not on sale anymore, lol.

So, mea culpa, my bad, no corned beef tidbits to post - BUT here's a couple of little tricks I use when I have someone stop by unannounced and I don't have time to prepare any tiny food noshes:
  • I always take the pieces of leftover take-out pizza, cut them into bite size servings and freeze them in aluminum foil and a nice freezer bag. I label them (so I know what is what) and, voila, out comes the packet ready to pop in the toaster oven and warm up as I prepare a batch of martinis from my Martini Diva blog.
  • I also freeze a lot of my own recipes here. I just make extras and pop them in freezer bags for surprise visitors. Many of these recipes are freezable and I try to mention that when I post them.
  • I always keep cream cheese and sour cream on hand. Cream cheese is a necessity for an appetizer foodie - you just plop some on a plate and pour over a chipotle sauce, some leftover chili, even fruit jellies and add some crackers. Sour cream, of course, needs only a few herbs, flavored salts and you've got a dip.
  • I've often taken some bread, brushed it with butter and garlic and then heated up some leftover meat to place on the quick "rustic" bruschetta, top it off with a complementary cheese, sprinkle on a few herbs and heat under the toaster oven. You'd be surprised how good these can be!
  • I always keep wonton wrappers in the freezer. You can stuff anything in a wonton wrapper that heats up well and you've got hot Tiny Foods. I just tried some cream cheese with a little raspberry chipotle sauce mixed in, added some green onion tops, wet the wrapper and sealed it and fried them up. Yum.
BTW- you can always have green onion tops for "chives" - cut the onion tops off and plant the bulb!!! You cut off the new tops and the bulb grows more - everlasting "chive"! Mine even made it through an Arizona winter - I had green "chives" for my baked potatoes all during the cold months!

Okay, I've been busy with my art and my Pop Culture Blog and my new The BRAT in the HAT rant blog, but I'll be making up some new recipe cards this week and you'll be getting some new appetizer ideas soon!

Ciao for now, bella!

20080321

SWEET POTATO PUFFS

If you're having sweet potatoes with your ham for Easter Dinner make a few extra to try this recipe!
These are absolutely scrumptious and quite healthy for you as sweet potatoes are very nutritious. Substitute low (not non) fat cream cheese and sour cream for the higher fat ones.

Text recipe for Sweet Potato Puffs:
Ingredients
2 Cups Mashed Sweet Potatoes
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
1/4 Cup Milk
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Sliced Green Onions
1/2 Teaspoon Basil
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Rind
14 Teaspoon Pepper
Sour Cream for garnish
Parsley for garnish
Directions:
Presheat over to 350. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and blend with electric mixer at medium speed unitl well combined. Then beat on high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Spoon mixture into balls onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake uncovered for 20 to 35 minutes or until cooked through - try to get a light browning on the balls. Cool 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with a side of sour cream with parsley as a dip.

You can also make this into a casserole to serve as a side with your Easter dinner- just spoon the mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Spoon the sour cream over the top and sprinkle on the parsley.

These will go great with some of my delicious designer martinis from The Martini Diva!

20080316

Spinach Balls - A green appetizer that is perfect for St. Patty's Day

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day - Green Appetizers! Spinach Balls are a good way to get some dark greens into your diet while still enjoying your appetizer fetish! Faith and Begorrah!

You can substitute olive oil (most appropriate for spinach, just ask Popeye!) for the margarine to make them healthier too! Use some whole grain bread crumbs to pump up the roughage and you've made these a healthier tidbit!

Add some more of my recipes (use my search bar on the right to search for specific appetizers or for certain ingredients) and grab some of my great designer martini recipes from The Martini Diva and you've got a great little St. Patrick's Day Party in the making!

Text recipe for the Diva Spinach Balls:
Ingredients:
1 Lb. Frozen Chopped Spinach, Thawed
1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
10 Tablespoons Melted Margarine OR Olive Oil
1-3/4 Cups of Bread Crumbs
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Large Onion, Minced
5 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme Leaves
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Directions:
Preheat Oven to 350. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach and put it in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well by hand or with a spoon. Place the balls closely together on a baking sheet.
Cook in the top half of the oven until firm to the touch, about 20 - 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and transfer to your platter. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves or another green and serve.

P.S. STAY TUNED ON TUESDAY - I'LL BE POSTING A RECIPE FOR USING YOUR LEFT OVER CORNED BEEF AS APPETIZERS!!!!!

20080312

HEALTHY EATING TIPS - REDUCE FAT AND CALORIES AND ADD NUTRITION TO YOUR SNACKS

Since many appetizer recipes are created without regard to caloric content, including many of mine, here are some cooking tips for making recipes healthy and reducing your guilt!
  • You can substitute plain yogurt in many recipes that call for mayonnaise. Yogurt adds less fat and can add a zingy tang to the dish! Plus it's very good for you! You can also use the light mayos.
  • Replacing butter in dishes can help make the recipe more healthy. You can saute in a vegetable or meat broth instead of oils or butter. Use olive oil instead of other cooking oils to add nutrition. You can replace butter and shortening when you're baking with applesauce, fruit purees and even tomato puree! Sunsweet even makes a special product for this purpose called "Lighter Bake". There is a butter replacement called "Earth Balance Buttery Sticks" that works pretty well as a substitute in baking.
  • Substitute breast of chicken or turkey in recipes calling for more fat laden red meats. Sometimes you can leave the meat out altogether!
  • Use lower fat cheeses like mozzarella instead of cheddars. There are also reduced salt and calorie cheeses now available as well as low fat and non fat cream cheeses and sour creams.
  • There are a number of sugar replacements on the market now for baking and cooking, like Splenda, though personally I believe in using all natural ingredients when I can. Also you can again substitute fruit purees, honey and even molasses in many instances.
  • To add more nutritional value to foods you can use dark green leaf vegetables like spinach and kale instead of iceburg lettuce, use buttermilk or yogurt instead of creams.
  • Whenever possible replace fresh fruit and vegetables or frozen instead of canned.
There are a lot of ways to increase the health of your appetizers and turn you tiny foods into nutritional snacks. I'm just beginning to learn how to eat more healthy and I've begun to apply this to some of my own h'ors d'oeuvres recipes.

I am starting to experiment with new recipes that include foods higher in anti-oxidants and are more nutritionally beneficial. Try out my Taste of The Islands Nachos for one of my healthier recipes for snacks. I'm starting to use a juicer for my martini recipes that use fruit juices too!

Here's to a healthier happy hour!

20080307

HOT CHEESE PUFF APPETIZERS

Cheese Puffs are a classic retro appetizer that were really popular in the fifties and sixties. They are really simple to make and pretty tasty for such easy work.

Here's the text recipe:
Ingredients:
1/4 Cup Soft Butter
1/2 Pound Grated Sharp Cheddar
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Onion Powder
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Directions: Mix all the ingredients well and chill for two hours. Roll the dough into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, flattening slightly. Bake at 400 degrees for five minutes or until toasty brown.

Now, go don your pearls, grab some martini recipes from my blog, The Martini Diva, and waltz into your party like a June Cleaver Queen!

P.S. You might get a kick out of this humorous Pop Culture Art from my Fabulous Fifties Females Series at PopArtDiva.com: "A Lady Must Learn To Cook To Keep Her Man"

20080304

CREAMY TENDERLOIN TIDBIT APPETIZERS - Bite Size Steak!

If you're a steak lover you are going to gobble these appetizers up. The Creamy Tenderloin Tidbits are a wonderful way to serve steak as tiny food!

Serve these up with my recipe for Classic Gin Martini from my blog, The Martini Diva and you'll wow your guests!

Don't forget to download both images for the front and back of your recipe card! Here's the text recipe:

Ingredients:
One Baguette
1-1/2 Pounds Beef Tenderloin, Trimmed
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
Fresh Sage Leaves
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, Chilled
1 Teaspoon Ground Sage
Garlic Salt
Salt and Pepper
Instructions:
To Prepare Crustini - Slice the baguette into 1/2" rounds, brush with olive oil, top with minced garlic and toast.
To Prepare Savory Cream - Whip the cream in a well chilled medium bowl to soft peak. Add the sage, salt and pepper and whisk until the peaks are firm. Refrigerate until assembly of tidbits.
To Prepare Tenderloin - Rub the beef with garlic salt and pepper. Grill the tenderloin until medium rar. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes (this will keep the juices in when you slice). Then slice the tenderloin thinly into about 30 pieces.
To Assemble the Tidbits - Spoon a dollop fo the savory cream on each crustini piece, then lay a slice of the tenderloin on the cream and top off with a dollop of the same savory cream. Garnish each with a fresh sage leaf.

Don't forget to download my recipe for Classic Gin Martini! Enjoy while watching a classic James Bond thriller - my favorite Bond is Pierce Brosnan but I can sit through a couple of hours of Sean Connery too!
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All postings and original art by PopArtDiva.com, copyright 2000-2012. This blog is for entertainment only. All links provided are for the convenience and amusement of the blog visitor only and not to be construed as endorsements of any form. Sharing recipes of my favorite foods and snacks.