Category Archives: Appetizers & Snacks

Zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls: Enter to Win a Set!

We are in the final week of Emeril’s One-Pot Blogger Party finishing in style and celebrating the release of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders by giving away Zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls.  You are going to love these!  The bright red color is ideal for holiday entertaining, Valentines Day, birthday parties, or summertime backyard barbecues.  They stack for compact storage and are durable enough to use every day.

Beyond practical, the flame shaped design inspires creativity when setting the table or buffet.  Use just one or all seven, here’s a few simple ideas to utilize this serving set:

  • An assortment of olives for an olive bar
  • Ice cream toppings for a Sundae party
  • Garnishes for tacos, fajitas, or baked potatoes
  • Homemade holiday candies
  • Condiments for large parties
  • See how Emeril uses them here on HSN:

The unique shape allows for a snug grouping with other platters or plates to save space on a buffet or inspire artistic expression.

Inspired?

Enter to win Zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls for yourself!

There are a number of ways you can enter.  Each of the following count as 1 entry, which means you can enter up to 5 times to increase your chances to win. Please be sure to use a valid email address.

Here’s how:

1.  Leave a comment on this post to let me know how you might use these serving dishes.
2.  Subscribe to Savoring Today (top of the right column) and leave a comment to let me know you did. If you are already a subscriber, let me know that too!
3.  Share this post on Face Book and leave a message that you did so on the Savoring Today Face Book page.
4.  Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter with a link back to this page and mention @savoringtoday in your tweet.
5.  Email friends (no minimum) about the giveaway with a link back to this page and either cc: savoringtoday@comcast.net or leave a comment here that you did.

This drawing will conclude our blogger party on Saturday, October 1stThe winner will be determined by Random.org, only U.S. residents are eligible.

Labor Day Eats: Feature Fridays

Labor Day became a federal holiday 117 years ago, marked by parades and parties recognizing trade and labor organizations.  Today, families enjoy one last vacation before school starts, NFL and college football seasons begin, and backyard parties abound.  If entertaining or creating a dish for a potluck is on the agenda for this three-day weekend, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  Instead of featuring just one site this week, there is a whole list—Enjoy!

Menus:

Barbeque Menu – Savoring Today
10 Labor Day Menus – Ezra Pound Cake
Labor Day Gourmet Grilling Party Menu – Recipe Girl


Main Dishes/Meat:

Grilled Thai Ginger-Garlic Pork Chops – Fine Cooking
Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Roasted Red Pepper Dip – Family Fresh Cooking
Sausage Kebabs – Bell’ Alimento
Jamaican Jerk Chicken – Kayotic Kitchen
Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Vidalia Onions – Savoring Today
Vegetarian Recipes for Barbecue Season – New York Times

Appetizers & Sides:

Melon & Mint Salad – Shutterbean
Roasted Garlic and Dill White Bean Dip – How Sweet It Is
Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese – Jungle Frog Cooking
Sauteed Corn with Chile Peppers, Ginger and Garlic – Cinnamon Spice
Grilled Summer Sweet Corn – Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
Romaine Salad with Hatch Chile Dressing – A Communal Table
Goat Cheese Balls with Herbs, Pecans, & Bacon – The Kitchn
Parmesan Rice Crisps with Roasted Tomato Salsa – Gluten-Free Goddess

Desserts:

Brownies for Grown Ups – The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen
S’mores Pie – Foodess
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bites– Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Limoncello Cheesecake Bites – Bitter Sweet
Rustic Peach & Plum Tart – Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach
Honey Cinnamon Peach Pie – My Kitchen Addiction

Bacon, Leek & Cheddar Mini Quiches: Test Kitchen Tuesday

This weekend I am hosting a bridal shower for a friend’s daughter, who is really more like family. Do you know what it’s like having neighbors or friends that have been through thick and thin with you and you consider their kids, your kids? Well, that is what makes this bridal shower so special.  I love cooking, but cooking for a gathering of friends rates at the top of my favorite things list.

These Bacon, Leek & Cheddar Mini Quiches at FineCooking.com will be a tasty addition to the list of light lunch ideas—and a great excuse to buy a new pan.  To accommodate all of our guests, I will adjust this recipe for a gluten-free and lactose-free menu, I like that I can make them in advance.  Who doesn’t need more recipes for make-ahead hors d’oeuvresI hope you join me in this delicious adventure!

In the next week or so:

1.  Make the recipe (posted below)
2.  Leave a comment describing your experience, opinion, adjustments, etc.
3.  Subscribe to comments if you want an update to see what others have done.
4.  If you are especially please with your creation, send a photo to savoringtoday@comcast.net, or include a link to your site.

Bacon, Leek & Cheddar Mini Quiches

Source: by Kate Hays, Fine Cooking
Yield: 4 dozen
3/4     lb.  bacon — cut into medium dice
3       cups  medium-diced leeks — washed and drained
(about 3 leeks, white and light green parts only)
1 1/4   cups  half-and-half
1        cup  grated extra-sharp Cheddar (4 oz.)
2        large  eggs
2        large  egg yolks
2        tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1        teaspoons  kosher salt
1/2      teaspoons  freshly ground black pepper
1/4      teaspoons  ground nutmeg
Cooking spray
2        1.1 lb.  packages frozen puff pastry sheets — thawed according to package directions (preferably Pepperidge Farm brand)
Flour as needed for rolling out the dough

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until browned and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pour off all but 1 to 2 Tbs. of fat in the skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and cook the leeks, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

While the leeks cool, combine the half-and-half, Cheddar, eggs, egg yolks, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add the cooled leeks and the bacon and stir to combine.

Assemble the mini quiches: Lightly spray four mini muffin tins (or two if your tins have two dozen cups) with cooking spray.

Working with one sheet of puff pastry dough at a time, use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 10- by 18-inch rectangle. Stamp out 3-inch circles of dough with a cookie cutter and gently press the rounds into the mini muffin tins, making sure that each round is centered and that the dough extends up to the top of the tin. Fill each with about 1 Tbs. of filling-you can fill right to the top of the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling until all the filling is used. You may not need all the dough; save leftovers for another use. You can bake the quiches immediately or freeze and bake them later (see Make-Ahead Tip, below).

To bake: Heat the oven to 400°F and position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Bake the quiches, switching the position of the tins halfway through baking, until the filling is puffed and the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Make Ahead Tips: Unbaked quiches can be frozen for up to a month. Freeze the quiches in the muffin tins for about 2 hours, or until set. Remove them from the tins and transfer them to an airtight container, setting parchment or plastic wrap between layers, or seal them in a plastic bag. To bake, transfer the quiches back to the tins and bake immediately, without thawing. Baking time for frozen quiches will be about 30 to 35 minutes.

NOTES: You’ll need four mini muffin tins for this recipe (or two if your tins have 24 cups). If you don’t have enough muffin tins, you can assemble the quiches in batches, storing the remaining egg mixture and dough in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

Popsicle Parade: Test Kitchen Tuesday

It is hot here in Colorado, a perfect week to try a few ice-cold recipes for Test Kitchen Tuesday.  When our kids were little, we went the easy route freezing fruit juice for simple frozen treats. These recipes definitely raise the bar and the enjoyment for the entire family, saving a few pennies along the way.  Whether you like creamy, icy, sweeter, or healthier, there is something for everyone here.  For even more creative ideas (with exact measurements) check out the Ice Pop recipe maker at Fine Cooking and let me know what you think of their recipe tool.

I hope you join me in this delicious adventure!

In the next week or so:

1.  Make the recipe(s) (posted below)
2.  Leave a comment describing your experience, opinion, adjustments, or suggestions.  ♥ If you do focus on altering it to economize, choose healthier ingredients or techniques, make it gluten-free/allergy sensitive, embellish for entertaining, or incorporate into batch/once-a-month cooking, please mention that too.
3.  Subscribe to comments so you can see what others have to say.
4.  If you are especially proud of your creation, snap a photo and send it to me at savoringtoday@comcast.net so it can be included in this post or include a link to your site with your comment.

Berry Yogurt Popsicles

Source: Simple Sugar & Gluten Free (SS&GF)
2 1/3 cups Greek yogurt, divided
1/2    cup organic sliced strawberries
1/2    cup organic blueberries
choice of sweetener to taste: stevia, agave, or thawed white grape juice concentrate

Puree 2/3 cups of the Greek yogurt and the strawberries in a mini-food processor with sliced strawberries. Sweeten to taste. Place the strawberry yogurt in a pastry bag or a large Zip-loc bag, cut off a tiny corner and squeeze into the bottom of 6 (4-ounce) popsicle molds, being careful not to get any on the sides of the molds. Freeze for 20 minutes.

Puree 1 cup of Greek yogurt then sweeten to taste. Place in a pastry bag or a large Zip-loc bag, cut off a tiny corner and squeeze on top of the strawberry layer, being careful not to get any on the sides of the molds. Freeze for 20 minutes.

Puree the remaining 2/3 cups of the Greek yogurt and the blueberries in a mini-food processor. Sweeten to taste. Insert 1 popsicle stick into the center of each popsicle. Place the blueberry yogurt in a pastry bag or a large Zip-loc bag, cut off a tiny corner and squeeze on top of the white layer being careful not to get any on the popsicle stick. Freeze for 4 hours or until solid.

Notes: If you don’t have popsicle molds, use paper cups or even ice cube trays.

Chocolate Almond Butter Popsicles

Source: Elana’s Pantry
2    large bananas
¼  cup creamy roasted almond butter¼  cup water
2    tablespoons cacao powder
1     tablespoon vanilla extract
¼  teaspoon NuNaturals Stevia
Mix all ingredients in a Vitamix.  Pour “popsicle juice” into molds, adding holders or wooden popsicle sticks and freeze overnight.

Mandarin Orange Ice Cream

Source: Amy Jeanroy @Foodista
3  cans mandarin orange segments, drained
1   juice from orange
1   cup sugar
1   cup heavy cream

Step 1: Puree mandarin oranges, strain juice
Step 2: Measure juice and add enough orange juice to make 2 cups total of liquid.
Step 3: Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
Step 4: Whisk 1 cup of cream until soft peaks form.
Step 5: Fold in orange juice.
Step 6: Pour mixture into plastic bowl.
Step 7: Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until soft but frozen.
Step 8: Whisk mixture until smooth.
Step 9: Return to freezer for 3 hours.

Strawberries & Cream Bars

Source: Like a Bubbling Brook
1       pound fresh ripe organic strawberries
1       cup plain organic whole milk yogurt
(coconut kefir makes a great dairy-free option)
2 ½  tbsp raw honey
1/8   tsp pure vanilla extract

Remove stems from strawberries. Finely dice four of the strawberries and set aside. Then, cut the remaining whole strawberries into halves and place in your blender or VitaMix. Add the remaining ingredients listed above, except for the four finely diced strawberries. Blend until thoroughly combined. Then add the diced strawberries and blend on low just a couple of seconds to mix together. Pour mixture into pop molds and freeze for at least 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, run the pop mold under warm water for a few seconds to loosen before removing the mold.

July 4th BBQ Menu: A Declaration of Flavor

Before loading the blanket in the car and heading for the annual fireworks and funnel cakes extravaganza, something has to hit the grill for the evening barbecue.  Everyone has a favorite that speaks “July 4th backyard barbecue” to them—pasta salad, watermelon, hamburgers, macaroni salad, baked beans, BBQ pork sandwiches, potato salad, steaks, apple pie, and sweet iced tea—all of it worthy of celebrating independence, American-style.

In case you are looking to add something new to your list of favorites or planning a barbecue of your own for the first time, here are a few recipes to consider.  The beauty of this menu is the timing of it all.  Guests can munch on hummus or salsa while ribs finish in the oven, beans stay warm in the crockpot, and dressed slaw marinates in the fridge. Meanwhile, everyone is enjoying ice-cold Strawberry Lemonade or  Rosé Sangrias as the vegetables and corn finish grilling.

JULY 4th BBQ MENU

Something to Nibble:
Chips & Salsa
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

The Main Attraction:
Missouri-Style Baby Back Ribs
Baked Beans
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Classic Coleslaw -or- Celery, Apple,  & Fennel Slaw
Grilled Vegetables

Smooth Sipping:
Rosé Sangria with Pineapple & Guava
Strawberry Lemonade

Sweet Endings:
Sliced Watermelon
Chocolate Dipped Fruit
Triple Chocolate Cookies

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Yield: 2 cups
6      tablespoons  tahini
1/4     cup  extra-virgin olive oil
14       ounces  chickpeas — drained and rinsed
1/2     whole  red pepper — roasted
1        large  garlic clove — minced
1/2     teaspoon  sea salt
3       tablespoons  lemon juice
2       teaspoons  chopped fresh parsley
pinch of cayenne

Roast red pepper, skin side up, under a broiler until skin blisters and is blackened in spots.  Remove from oven and place pepper in a plastic bag to cool–the steam in the bag will make it easier to remove the skin. Once the pepper has cooled, remove the skin and coarsely chop the pepper. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in small bowl or measuring cup.

Process chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, salt, and cayenne in food processor until chickpeas are almost smooth.  Add lemon juice and tahini, scrape down bowl and continue to process until well incorporated, about 1 minute. With machine running, add oil in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds.

Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle with parsley, cover with plastic wrap; let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes.  Serve with pita chips or rosemary crackers.

Missouri-Style Baby Back Ribs

“Show-Me” barbecue sauce is the perfect sweet-smoky way to bring out the great flavor of tender slow-roasted ribs.
Serves: 4-6
1-2     racks baby back pork ribs (4-5 lbs)
3/4    cup  Lawry’s Mesquite Marinade (optional)
3/4    tablespoon  Italian seasoning
3/4    tablespoon  onion powder
3/4    tablespoon  garlic powder
1      tablespoon  Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic
1      tablespoon  cumin — ground
1/8    cup  Worcestershire sauce
1      teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
2      bottles  beer — preferable Guinness
1      bottle  Show-Me BBQ Sauce — or your favorite

Grill & Oven Method:
Season ribs with the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, Meat Magic, cumin, and black pepper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The step of seasoning overnight can be skipped if there is a time constraint.) In a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals on one side in the bottom of the grill to create a hot side and a cool side. Grill ribs over coals to sear, rotating to cool side of grill to avoid charring.

Grill for 30-40 minutes to allow meat to pick up smoky flavor. Remove from grill and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Baste with marinade and Worcestershire sauce. Pour beer in the bottom of the pan and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Bake at 325° for 3 hours or until meat is tender and  loosening from the bone. Uncover, baste with barbecue sauce and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until sauce caramelizes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut ribs between the bones and serve.

Oven Method:
Season ribs with the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, Meat Magic, cumin, and black pepper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The step of seasoning overnight can be skipped if there is a time constraint.) Heat oven to 325°F.

Place ribs in roasting pan and evenly baste seasoned ribs with marinade and Worcestershire sauce. Pour beer in the bottom of the pan and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Bake at 325° for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender and loosening from the bone. Uncover, baste with barbecue sauce, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until sauce caramelizes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut ribs between the bones and serve.

NOTES: Ribs can be prepared in advance and frozen. When prepared ahead of time, omit barbecue sauce until ribs are reheated.

Grilled Vegetables

Serves: 4-6
1       medium  zucchini — sliced 1/4″ thick, lengthwise
1       medium  yellow summer squash — sliced 1/4″ thick, lengthwise
2       large  sweet onions — sliced 1/4″ thick, in rings
1        whole  red bell pepper — cut into 2″ pieces
1        whole  yellow bell pepper
1       pound  cherry tomatoes — stems removed
10       cloves  garlic — unpeeled
skewers
salt and pepper
favorite spice such as Italian seasoning, curry, granulated garlic, etc.

Prep vegetables as directed. Skewer peppers together, cherry tomatoes together, and garlic cloves together.

Arrange prepared vegetables and skewers on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any favorite spice— Italian seasoning, curry, granulated garlic, etc. (simple salt & pepper works great by itself too).

Let vegetables sit for 10-15 minutes and then grill over med-high heat until just tender and striped with grill marks. Remove each type of vegetable when done and place back on rimmed baking sheet.

Remove skewers from tomatoes, peppers, and garlic.  Remove peel from garlic  and slice squash (roasted garlic should pop right out).  Mix vegetables together in a large serving tray and serve warm.

NOTES: Smaller squash can be halved lengthwise rather than cut into slices. By placing like items on skewers–tomatoes with tomatoes, pepper with peppers, etc.–each one can be removed from the heat when done without leaving other items uncooked. Finished vegetables can be placed in a warm oven until ready to serve.

So, what food says, “July 4th backyard bBQ” to you?

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Foods
Girlichef Friday Potluck
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop
Real Food Whole Health Traditional Tuesdays
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania

Greek Nachos [via Not Without Salt]: Feature Fridays

With a temp forecast of  94° today, my Friday web-cruising was jaded a bit with my desire to find something cool and refreshing.  From the moment I laid eyes on these Greek Nachos at Not Without Salt they just seemed to say “summer” to me.  They look fresh, light, and ready to invite cool breezes on the patio—just right for hot summer nights. Enjoy!

Chocolate Kiwi Popsicles [via Showfood Chef]: Feature Fridays

After 90° temperatures here in Colorado yesterday, it is no surprise these kiwi popsicles at Showfood Chef caught my eye.  What can be better than a recipe with two ingredients–especially when one of them is chocolate?  These look refreshing, delicious, and fun for summer treats.  Enjoy!