- 1 tablespoon of hot water
- ¾ teaspoon of cumin
- ½ teaspoon of hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1/2 cup of peanuts
- 1 cup of pretzels
- 2 cups Crispix
- 2 cups of Chex
- 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
- 3 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
- Pinch (or 2) of sea salt
In a large (microwaveable) mixing bowl, combine cereal, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. In a separate ( but smaller) bowl, combine honey, water, hot sauce, cumin, and salt. Mix well, and then pour over cereal mixture. Add dashes of worcestershire sauce and combine well. Microwave for 1 minute and toss. Microwave for another minute and toss; add pretzels. Microwave for 30 more seconds and toss. Add another pinch of sea salt, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
I am sooo on the cupcake bandwagon. I love the plethora of bakeries, trucks, ATMs (yes we have cupcake ATMs in Chicago), and whatever else has emerged as the cupcake fad continues. So in the spirit of this LOVEly holiday we have on the 14th, I figured I would make something both single and taken friends could enjoy: Cupcakes! (Thanks to always cool LC for the recipe inspiration).
2 Vanilla Cake Mix Boxes (plus ingredients to make: Eggs, Veggie Oil, Water)
Red Food Coloring
Raspberry Flavored Drops (found near the food coloring)
Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting and Pretty V-Day Sprinkles or Pearls
In two separate bowls, make the cake batter according to the directions on the box (and pre-heat oven). Add about ¼ of one bowl of batter to the other; the bowl with more cake batter will be the one you use for the actual cupcakes, so set aside (that sounded like a math problem but stay with me). Add a couple drops of both the red food coloring and raspberry flavoring to the bowl with the less amount; this will be your mini hearts bowl. Continue adding color and flavoring until desired amount of both is reached (you should just barely taste the raspberry flavoring, but you will need to add quite a few drops to the mixture). Pour red mixture in a non-stick baking pan so there is an even, thin layer, and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. In the meantime, fill the cupcake pan with cupcake liners, and fill the cups halfway. Once the red cake has cooled, use your mini-heart cookie cutter to cut out small hearts. Place the heart in the center of the cupcake mix, and then add more batter around the heart (if you pour it directly over the heart, they will tip over), filling the cupcake liner about ¾ full (it’s okay if you see the tip of the hearts peeking out; you are going to put icing on them anyways).
Bake according to box. Remove, let cool, frost and decorate. I used these V-Day inspired toothpicks to add a bit more decoration. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, ALL! Enjoy!
With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, I took last weekend to dig out a dip I found a couple years ago in an article by Kathy Lee Joel. This was literally all I made a couple years ago (for. every. party), and I figured I’d modify it (with a few healthy ingredients) and bust it back out for Super Bowl XLVII. Make it ahead of time, refrigerate it, and then pop it in the oven before guests arrive to ensure it is ready to go!
- 8 oz. package low fat cream cheese at room temp
- 1 can of not marinated, drained artichoke hearts (I was not paying attention to the size of the can, so use your judgment as to how much you want…I like them, so I used a big can).
- 1 cup of steamed spinach - I just put about a bag of spinach in a large Tupperware container with a damp paper towel over it and microwave for about 35 seconds…should equal out to about a cup of steamed spinach (it shrinks so much).
- ½ cup of low fat mayo
- ¾ cup of grated or shaved parmesan cheese (my fav is Trader Joe’s)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 6 large basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of pepper
- Generous amount of mozzarella cheese (for the top of the dip)
Grease a baking pan and preheat over to 375 degrees. In a food processor (or blender) combine all ingredients (except the mozzarella). Spoon out evenly onto pan and top generously with mozzarella cheese. Pop in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese on top starts to brown and bubble. Serve with toasted bread, pita chips and/or tortilla chips. Enjoy!
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves (packed into the measuring cup)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (you can use walnuts as well)
- 3 large cloves fresh garlic (4 if smaller)
- 1/4 tsp. salt (more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper (more to taste)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (more to taste)
First, bake the nuts on a flat baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 3 to 4 minutes, but keep checking them to avoid letting them burn (I toasted more than ¼ cup to garnish the pasta). Then, in a food processor (or blender), pulse the basil, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper until basil and garlic are finely chopped (about 30 seconds). With processor still running, gradually add the olive oil to form a smooth and thick consistency.
Transfer pesto to a medium bowl and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss and serve with cooked pasta (the pasta will heat the pesto on its own). Looking for a little extra health? Swap out one cup (or a half cup) of basil for a cup of spinach. Eat up! Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for your garlic breath.