Tag Archives: snacks

Mediterranean Bites

My mom is planing to visit in a couple of weeks and I am already planning my shopping list and menu. While Andy doesn’t mind the vegetarian fare, I try not to “inflict” my dietary restrictions on house guests. Not that I think every non-vegetarian has to have meat in every meal, but coming from me it can sometimes be misconstrued as trying to trick them or force them into my way of doing things. While I’ll still probably pick up some bacon and chicken (or something along those lines) I did find a meat-free meal that we can all enjoy. Featured on Cupcakes and Cashmere, these Mediterranean bites are a great way to make sure there is a little something for everyone.

Medi 1 Medi 2 Medi 3 Medi 4 Medi 5

Bonus points for being something you can whip up 15min or less, since most of it is pre-made. You can see the full post here, which includes a recipe for the tzatziki sauce

 

All images from here.


Dear Friends…

I have found Holiday Snack List Item 2. It comes from the blog Joy the Baker and is called  Salty Pretzel Vanilla Caramel Corn. I would like to do a test run of this recipe and I need two volunteers to come to my house and take all of the finished product with them. I’m afraid that if I make this for just Andy and myself we will be to large to fit out the front door of our house.  And if we did manage to squeeze through the door, my orthodontist would probably kill me. Caramel, popcorn and crunchy pretzels? I’m pretty sure that those are the top three “Thou Shalt Not’s” of braces. Realistically, probably numbers 2-5 since gum and granola bars do more damage.

Caramel Corn 1

Salty Pretzel Vanilla Caramel Corn

makes about 14 cups popcorn

adapted from Karo Syrup

about 12 cups popped popcorn

about 2 cups pretzel twists

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 250 degrees F,  Grease a large (but shallow) roasting pan with butter or cooking spray, and add popcorn and pretzels to the pan.

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt  Whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil.  Allow to boil over medium heat (without stirring!!) for about 5 minutes.   The mixture will be deep gold and bubbling.

Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda.  The mixture will foam and froth.  That’s ok.  Keep stirring.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Quickly pour warm syrup over popcorn and pretzel mixture.  Use to large spoons to toss the mixture, coating all of the popcorn and pretzels in caramel.  Work as quickly as you can.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and toss.  Return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and toss.  Allow to cool before handling and packaging.

Caramel corn will last up to 4 days well wrapped at room temperature.

 

Seriously, how amazing does that look? Weekend candy making party?

 

Images from here.


Honey Chai Almonds

Every year I like to bake/make holiday snacks for my friends and family.  It’s only September, but I now have the first recipe for my list, this delicious recipe  from Joy the Baker. These sweet treats may not even make it to the gift baskets. Andy loves spiced nuts and he loves chai, so I may have to make a decoy batch with double the cinnamon to distract him. I’ll only need to hold him off long enough for them to cool and get packaged.  He’ll leave them alone once they’re safely in their wrappers. To much work to open and with the tell-tale crinkle of cellophane will be sure to have me peaking into the kitchen to see whats going on.

IMG_9892

 

Ingredients:

makes 3 cups

adapted from Weelicious Lunches

3 cups raw almonds

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper (depending on how spicy you like your nuts)

3 tablespoons honey

coarse sea salt for topping

 

Directions:

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper with olive oil or cooking spray.

Place almonds on baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.

While the almonds are in the oven, in a small bowl, toss together cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, salt, and pepper.

Remove the toasted almonds from the oven.  Drizzle with honey and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with the spice mixture and toss well to ensure that all of the almonds have a bit of spice. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.  And heck.. drizzle with a bit more honey if you’d like.

Return to the oven and toast for 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and immediately trasnsfer the warm nuts to a plate to cool or jars for storage.  The nuts will begin to harden as they cool and become difficult to remove.

Store almonds in an airtight container for up to two weeks.