Avocado-Mango Salsa (with roasted corn chips)

Avocado-Mango Salsa with roast corn chips.

Avocado-Mango Salsa with roast corn chips.

Sometimes you just gotta have a snack!   And if that snack is good for you, you’ll have waaay less guilt while you munch away.  So is anything better to snack on than salsa and chips?    Not in my house there isn’t.

Munch away on this!!

Munch away on this!!

I think most people know how good avocados are for us.  Each serving of this snack provides more than half the daily requirement of  potassium and is also a good source of fiber and monounsaturated fat.  A serving of 3 tablespoons of salsa and 6 chips is only 92 calories.  Use your own judgement in deciding if you can have more than 1 serving?????  It is so good I think you will want to have more.

Whoever had the idea to combine these ingredients was really on to something:  creamy avocado, sweet mango, spicy cilantro, and tangy lime.  They just belong together.  Add in the crispiness of corn tortillas sprinkled with a little salt.   WOW!  Mr. D. says it’s the best salsa he’s ever had.  He’s become bored with the usual red salsa(s) that are tangy and spicy.  This makes a nice change from all that and it might even be considered “addicting”.

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If you would love to have a bowl of this yumminess pop up in front of you right now, you are not alone.  But hang on for a bit, because it only takes a few minutes to make it.  Part of the enjoyment of this salsa is the chunkiness of the avocado and mango, so don’t mash them.  Once mixed, let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  We loved the home-made chips too.  They are very crisp and have just a tad of salt sprinkled on them.  A tiny bit more salt in the salsa is all that’s needed to bring this whole taste experience together in a big way.

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AVOCADO-MANGO SALSA with ROASTED CORN CHIPS

Yield:   about 12 servings  (serving size is 3 tablespoons salsa and 6 chips)

The colors of the ingredients make it appetizing.

The colors of the ingredients make it appetizing.

Ingredients:

  •  12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
  • cooking spray
  •  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped peeled avocado
  • 1 cup chopped peeled mango (the golden mango is an Ataulfo mango)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • cilantro sprigs, for garnish, optional

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Arrange tortillas wedges in a single layer on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  Coat wedges with cooking spray.  Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon salt evenly over the wedges.  Bake at 425* for 8 minutes or until crisp.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges.

Spread out on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray,

Spread out on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray,

They become crispy and golden.

They become crispy and golden.

3.  Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, avocado, mango, chopped cilantro, and juice, tossing gently.  Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Serve with chips.

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SOURCE:  Cooking Light

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Pizza Puffs

Pizza Puffs

Pizza Puffs

These are little bites that contain all the flavors that you love about pizza!   I made these awesome nibbles as part of a brunch buffet and everyone loved them.  They are extremely easy to make, and you can vary what you put into them according to your taste.  Whatever you like for pizza toppings can go into these delicious little morsels.   I’m going to keep these in my file as an appetizer or a great snack when game watching, or having an outdoor barbecue. These delicious little puffs will have everyone wanting more.

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I used some crumbled pre-cooked sausage and chopped pepperoni in mine plus I added some pizza dough flavoring to the batter.  I also included shredded mozzarella cheese because, really, what is pizza without the cheese?  When you serve these you will want to have a bowl of warm marinara sauce nearby to spoon over the puffs, or for dipping.

PIZZA PUFFS

Yield:   24 mini puffs

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flourIMG_7200
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pizza seasoning (optional, but good)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 ounces, shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces chopped pepperoni,  about 1/2 cup
  • 4 ounces italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to  375*F.  Grease 24 mini muffin cups.

2.  In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. (flour through pizza seasoning)

2.  In another small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the milk and egg.   Add to the dry ingredients.  Mix to incorporate, then stir in the cheese, pepperoni and sausage.

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Let stand 10 minutes.  (This is important, it’s what makes them really puff up)

3.  Stir batter again, and divide among the muffin cups.   Bake till puffed and golden, 20 – 25 minutes.

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4.  Warm the pizza sauce and serve with the puffs for dipping.

 

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It occurred to me after making these that they could be well suited to a breakfast menu by substituting bacon and chopped ham for the meats, and cheddar cheese for mozzarella.    I must try that next time I make these.

 

SOURCE:   adapted from a recipe from Little Kitchen

Kielbasa Apple Skewers

Kielbasa-Apple Skewers

Kielbasa-Apple Skewers

Whenever our family gets together for a holiday gathering we usually start around mid-afternoon, but dinner is not served for several more hours.  Of course, everyone is hungry so we always have appetizers, and each of us brings one to share.  These were part of my contribution to the family gathering.  Bonkers awesome is what they were.  The men just loved them, and all that I brought disappeared in a flash.  Had I anticipated how good these would be I would have prepared more.

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Even when our main entreé is ham, I like to have kielbasa for Easter as well.  So I thought these appys would be a good way to work it in.  I used a precooked kielbasa that weighed about 1 pound, and warmed it through before cutting it up for the appetizers.  I paired it with Granny Smith apples because of their tartness.  I did not want a sweet apple.  The dipping sauce I made consisted of light sour cream,  whole-grain mustard and horseradish.  These were hearty enough to quiet the “hungries”, but not heavily laden with fat and calories.

Dipping sauce, all made, and its ingredients.

Dipping sauce, all made, and its ingredients.

These can be put together at the last minute by simply slicing the kielbasa, slicing up the apples, match them up in pairs, thread onto  skewers, and serve with the dipping sauce.  Easy.  Beautiful.  Deeeelish!

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KIELBASA APPLE SKEWERS

Yield:   I made about 36 skewers with the quantities given below.

Ingredients:

  • 1   (1-pound) precooked kielbasa, warmed through in a saucepan with some water, or grilled.
  • 1 -2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced or cubed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons, chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.  Slice the kielbasa into 1/4-inch thick slices.

2.  Cut the green apples into thin slices or small cubes.   Thread kielbasa and apples onto skewers. (toothpicks)

3.  In a small mixing bowl,  stir together the sour cream, parsley, mustard, horseradish and salt.

4.  Arrange the skewers on a serving tray and serve with the dipping sauce.

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SOURCE:   Adapted from Food Network Magazine

 

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.

Yes, it was Super Sunday, and no we didn’t watch the game, go to a party, or cheer for any particular team, but I did use game day as an excuse to make some foods associated with game watching.  I guess I’m more interested in food than football!  Anyway, I made these easy little pinwheels that we enjoyed for lunch with some fresh fruit.  Then I went on to make a chicken quesedilla casserole for dinner.  I’ll be telling you about that in a few days. so stay tuned.

These easy to hold little pinwheels make a great appetizer, combining two flavor favorites; bacon and cheddar cheese, wrapped into crescent roll dough.  You can eat them with your fingers, no utensils required, while in the other hand you hold your favorite beverage.  A neat party food, I think.  One that guys will like–at least my husband did.  In fact, he asked me to make them after seeing them in a picture.  Turns out he was on the right track with that suggestion.  I liked them very much too.

BACON CHEDDAR PINWHEELS

Just a few ingredients, you probably have on hand.

Just a few ingredients, you probably have on hand.

Yield:   Makes 12 – 16, depending on how thick you cut them.

  • 1 roll refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 2 Tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup cooked bacon pieces,  4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1.  Preheat oven to 350* F.  Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

2.  Unroll the crescent roll dough;  pressing each section into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle,  firmly pressing the perforations to seal.

3.  Spread 1 Tablespoon dressing over each dough rectangle to the edges.  Sprinkle each with bacon, cheddar cheese, and onions.

Layer on the fillings, then roll up.

Layer on the fillings, then roll up.

4.  Starting at one short side, roll up each rectangle;  press edge to seal.  With serrated knife, cut each roll into 6-8 slices;  place cut side down on prepared baking sheet.

Slice, then bake.

Slice, then bake.

5.  Bake 12 – 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown.  Immediately remove from baking sheet.  Serve warm.

Served warm with fruit for a light lunch.

Served warm with fruit for a light lunch.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels, a neat little appetizer.

SOURCE:   Pillsbury Baking

Chicken Liver Pate with Crostini

Chicken Liver Pate with Crostini

Chicken Liver Pate with Crostini

When our family all gets together to open gifts on Christmas Day we always have appetizers to snack on, and everyone brings something to contribute to the table.  This year I want to bring something different.  I remember that my husband often speaks of a liver pate that his grandmother used to make, and that the family was very fond of.  So I decided to try my hand at making some.

First I did a web search, and up came quite a number of different recipes.  I read most of them, and the comments for each one,  then I developed my own recipe based on the ingredients from some of them, and added in some seasonings I thought would enhance it.   I made it today and served some to my husband.  First of all he was very surprised, then he said he loved it, and it reminded him of his grandmother’s pate.  I’m very pleased with the result which I plan to bring on Christmas Day.  I think it would go well on a table of appetizers for New Year’s Eve or anytime you are entertaining.  It takes about 30 minutes to make, and you get approximately 3 cups of pate.  Keep it covered in the refrigerator and it will last quite a long time.   Ahem—-not so long at my house because I keep snacking on it!

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To make the crostini,  I used a large Baguette, sliced on the diagonal, about 1/2 inch thick.  Place the bread slices on a baking sheet, brush or spray with olive oil and sprinkle with a little garlic powder. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 – 6 minutes till crisp.  Spread some pate on each “crostini” and top with crumbled hard-cooked egg, sliced green onions, or leaves of parsley.

CHICKEN LIVER PATE

YIELD:   Makes about 3 cups of pate

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • 4 Tablespoons of fat    Use chicken fat if available, or butter.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped.   I used up some green onions in mine.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons dry sherry,  white wine,  or chicken broth
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice   )  here I used 1 teaspoon Penzeys Tsardust Memories, a Russian-style seasoning that contains salt, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, marjoram and black pepper.
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg   )
  • hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

WHAT TO DO:

1.   Melt fat/butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the liver and 1/2 the chopped onion.

Saute the liver with chopped onions.

Saute the liver with chopped onions.

Reduce heat to low and cook about 7 – 10 minutes until liver is tender and no longer pink.  Add the garlic and cook another minute till it releases it’s fragrance.  Remove from heat.

2.  Place liver mixture in a food processor or blender.  Add the liquid, i.e.. sherry, wine or chicken broth.  Also add the cream cheese, remaining chopped onion, allspice, nutmeg, salt, pepper and hot sauce/cayenne.  Process till smooth.  Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours to chill and firm up.

3.  To serve:  transfer the pate into a mold or serving dish and crumble hard-cooked egg over the top.  Garnish with sliced green onions, or parsley.   Spread on crostini, or serve with toasted bagel chips or crackers.

Chicken Liver Pate with Crostini

Chicken Liver Pate with Crostini

SOURCE:  a Carolyn Original

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