Category Archives: appetizers

Meet Mama Foodie

I love me some Oklahomans!

Please meet Mamie Foodie…My guest recipe poster of the day.

I knew we were soulmates when she posted this recipe of a Grilled Chicken Avocado Sandwich which is super close to my favorite sandwich of all time.

This recipe sounds yummy and healthy…Edemame Hummus…take it away Mama!

I’m out shopping for camouflage today. I need it.

There is a pesky fly buzzing around my house.

I tried standing very. still. Watching him. He landed on the window. With all of the force of my entire body, I hurled my Better Homes & Gardens at him with the intention of squashing that pesky. buzzing. fly. I missed.

I tried pretending he wasn’t bothering me. He would buzz by my head taunting me. I let him fly by a few times. I acted as if I didn’t see him. But I did. I saw him. At the very last moment I swung my arm hoping to knock him out of mid-air ending his little game forever. I missed.

Where’s Mr. Miyagi when you need him? I googled “how to hunt flies” and discovered this contraption:

The Amazing Fly Gun. This is an actual product. I’m not joking. This may just be my next Girl’s Pokeno Night gift. I know all my girlfriends are reading this and plan on watching to see how my present is wrapped next month so they are sure to pick mine.

Right? Doesn’t everyone need an Amazing Fly Gun?

Don’t worry girls- I will make up for my lousy fly gun gift with my food. Like this Edamame Hummus. Yummm!

Edamame Hummus? Is there such a thing? YES! And it is amazing!

I had Edamame Hummus for the first time a few years ago in Las Vegas with my sister. I always planned on trying to figure out to make it- but time flew by, life went on and I never experimented. Last week, I was rummaging around in the fridge for inspiration and found some fresh ginger root. I had edamame in the freezer… and a light bulb appeared over my head.

Here’s what you need:

  • Shelled Edamame (if frozen, let it thaw out)
  • Fresh Ginger Root
  • Garlic
  • Red Onion
  • Lemon
  • Flat Leaf Parsley
  • Sriracha (hot chili paste)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Get out your food processor and toss in the edamame.

My boys love edamame. Strange thing for kids to love- but it has a slight nuttiness to it, which they like. They also love to pop the edamame out of the shells. Playing with your food and not getting in trouble: always a plus!

Give the onion a head start and chop it up.

And the garlic. I love garlic, don’t you?

It’s so…


Zest your lemon. Use a microplane or a the teeny tiny part of a box grater.

Lemon zest is good.

Roughly chop the parsley.


Nothing can take the place of fresh ginger. The powdered form just doesn’t cut it.

When you see it in the market- don’t be scared. The ginger roots are HUGE! Don’t buy a 12 inch long piece of ginger root. Just break off a nub and put it in a bag. I break off pieces about the size of my pinkie finger. It ends up costing me about 15¢. What a deal!

To use: scrape the thin skin off with the BACK of a knife. It comes off so easy. Then you either finely mince or use a microplane to grate.

My microplane is MIA so I used the teeny tiny part of my box grater.

Toss the onions, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, & ginger into the food processor.

Add in olive oil.

Sriracha. Gives it a kick.

And the juice of the lemon you zested earlier. Sometimes I use 2 lemons if I want the extra zing. Watch out for those seeds! I had to dig several out. I am a sloppy juicer.

Pule. Pulse. Pulse. Whirl.

Process until you get a good consistency. I like mine to be semi-smooth with some texture.

Transfer to a serving bowl and dip using pita chips.

Now it’s your turn:

Recipe:     click here for printable recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes     Total Time: 5 minutes   Serves: 12


  • 12 oz Shelled Edamame, thawed
  • 1/4 of a Red Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh Ginger Root, finely grated
  • 7 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more if needed for desired texture
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sriracha (hot chili paste)
  • Juice from 1 to 2 Lemons, to taste
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste


Combine all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a serving bowl & serve immediately or store in fridge until ready to serve. Suggested dippers: pita chips, tortilla chips, or crackers. Refrigerate leftovers.

click here for printable recipe

**From Katie:  Thank you Mama Foodie..for not only saving my bootie, but for giving us a yummy and healthy dip for the summer!…and let’s all hope we catch those flies.  These are seriously some of my favorite ingredients..especially the Sirachi!



Filed under appetizers

Spiced Candied Walnuts

I love walnuts. 

I mean pecans are yummy too, but I am just a huge walnut fan.  And they are super good for you. 

I also love candied walnuts that are spiced as well.  They’re wonderful on salads…they just add that special something.

They are sooooo easy to make.  You just have to try them!

Start by boiling a medium saucepan of water.  Once it boils, drop in 2 cups of walnuts to blanch. Blanch just means to quickly drop something in boiling water.  Leave them in for about 30 seconds to one minute then quickly drain them in a colander.

Now quickly again, while the water is still sticking to the nuts, dump in 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and 1/3 cup of brown sugar.  Also add 1/2 of a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt,  and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper. 

Mix this all up so the nuts are well-coated.

Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Trust me, this will keep you from scrubbing a pan later.  Spread your nuts in a single layer on the parchment paper.

  Put these in a 350º for 15-20 minutes.  And oh mercy me….

If you can stand it, let them cool.

But, they’re really good warm and fresh from the oven.

I had to save some of these for a wonderful salad I made for dinner though.  I’ll share more on that with you tomorrow. 

If you make these, I dare you to try not to eat the whole bowl.  They’re so addictive.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Spiced Candied Walnuts


Filed under appetizers

Bay Scallop Ceviche Avocado Salad

A few weeks ago when my folks were here, we visited 1492 New World Latin Cuisine.  My dad was going to order their ceviche.   After I explained to him just what ceviche was, well….he ordered something else.  The problem was, now I’ve had ceviche stuck in my head now for two weeks. 

Last night I finally made it.  Ceviche (also called Seviche or Sebeche) is a South American dish that is basically a citrus marinated seafood. It is typically some type of raw seafood, whether it be fish, shrimp or scallops soaked in citrus juice, (most commonly lime or lemon juice) for hours.  A common misconception is that the seafood actually cooks in the citrus juice.  The juice does alter and firm up the structure of the seafood, but it does not kill bacteria like cooking does, so if you’re wimpy about that, this may not be the dish for you. 

Do you still want to read on?

Okay, here is how I made my ceviche. This recipe uses common ceviche ingredients.

You’ll need a pound of Bay scallops.  I bought these at Wal-Mart and they are very reasonably priced.

And you’ll need to juice 8 limes.  Cut them in half and squeeze as much juice as you can out of them.  Mine almost made a cup of lime juice, when I was done.

Holy hangnails, that lime juice runs all over your hands and stings like fire in any cut or hangnail ya might have.

Now we’ll need to do some chopping.  Start with one-half of a red onion.  Chop it as finely as you can.

Next, chop up one cucumber.  Cut it in half, then cut it in half again longway,s and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a spoon.  Also, chop it up as finely as you can.

Chop up one jalepeno and 1/2 cup of cilantro as well. Also, chop a tomato in half and scoop out the seeds with the spoon tip again.  Dice it up finely.

Toss it all into the bowl with the lime juice and add 2 tablespoons of olive. 

Mix this all up.

Pour it over your scallops.

Oh yes! Don’t forget to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper like I almost did!

Now cover this and let it set out at room temperature for about an hour.  This helps get the “cooking” action going quicker.  After an hour, you can chill it if you wish for another hour.  You can let the mixture marinade for up to 6 hours, but I wouldn’t advise any longer than that as the lime juice will break down the scallops too much and your veggies will become mushy as well.  After 6 hours you must drain off the lime juice marinade!   You can actually do it after 2, if desired and eat up!

You will see the opaqueness of the scallops turn to whiteness as they begin to firm up and cook. 

When you’re ready to serve this, you can have some options.  Serve it in small bowls with some tortilla chips. 

I found something lacking in this approach.  It just needed something else.  I remembered seeing some recipes online that called for adding chunks of avocado into the mix. 

I thought I could do better than that.

Ahhh, that’s it. 

This would be incredibly light and refreshing in the dead heat of summer.

The tanginess of the lime, and the sweetness of the scallops mixed in with the heat of the jalepeno and the cilantro were great over the creaminess of the avocado.

Try some Ceviche soon, you’ll be glad you did.

Katie’s Printable Recipe- Bay Scallop Ceviche Avocado Salad


Filed under appetizers

Roasted Warm-N-Smoky Salsa

I am anticipating.

Anticipating growing my backyard heirloom tomatoes.  Mr. Wonderful, on the other hand, is probably not anticipating the work that will go into that.  Are you Mr. Wonderful? Huh …huh?

Of course he is.

And I think I may add some peppers this year.  In fact, I’d love a salsa garden.With the abundance of tomatoes I had last year, I want to have some ideas of what to do with the bowls full I’ll be getting besides just putting them in salads and on sandwiches.

So I’ve been experimenting with using fresh tomatoes and I thought I’d try a roasted version of salsa that you serve warm.

This was pretty easy to do so don’t let the roasting part scare you off.

For this version, I used roma tomatoes but you can substitute any variety of your favorite fresh tomato, just judge by size and adjust accordingly.  I’d also recommend making a double recipe of this – this makes about 12-16 ounces of salsa and I personally want twice that much after tasting it!

Take 8 roma tomatoes and slice them in half.

Also slice one onion in half, then peel it and slice it in half again.  Cut one pablano pepper in half and remove the stem and seeds.

Take a cookie sheet, and line it with foil.  Drizzle a little olive oil over it and brush it over the bottom of the pan.  Place all your vegetables cut side down onto the pan.  Add 2 cloves of peeled garlic on with them.

Drizzle some more oil over the top and then kind of brush it over all the vegetables.  Pop this into a 400º oven for 20-30 minutes.

Roast them until the tops start to blacken.

Take everything off the pan and dump it into your food processor.  You can also pour in the juice on the pan that’s accumulated.  It’s delicious stuff.

Also add in one of these.

Red fresno peppers.  I added one and if you can’t find these – just use a jalepeno.

Also add in a hunk of fresh cilantro, about 1/2 cup.  Spoon in a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.

Not pictured (sorry) – the smoky part – add in 2 tablespoons of chipotle and adobe sauce out of the can.  If you don’t know what these are – you can find them in the Mexican section of your grocery store.  This brand is widely available.

These are smoked jalepenos that are canned in a wonderful spicy red sauce.  If you feel like being brave and adding in a pepper, feel free! 

Process all of this up until smooth, about a minute in your processor.

Also not pictured, squeeze in half of  lime or about one tablespoon.

Pour all of this into a bowl.

Serve it up with some tortilla chips while it’s still warm.

Now I can’t wait for my tomatoes to grow.

Cuz I’m making this alot!

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Roasted Smoky-N-Warm Salsa

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Keeping it Real – Fails in Food Blogging? And an Appetizer if You Want it…

It’s the first day of a new year.


Let’s just begin this year with complete honesty.   Food blogging isn’t always the pristine beautiful final shot of gourmet food that ends up on the page you read.

Sometimes the blogger is surrounded by a kitchen full of mess.  Sometimes eggs are mistakenly cracked  on the floor,  and the KitchenAid mixer swirls out of control. while flour is not thrown only on the bloggers face and clothes, but on the cabinets overhead also.  Does this sound like personal experience?

I  can tell you I recently wiped a small spatter of sweet potato puree off the ceiling.

Hey, food bloggers are human, just like the rest of you!

Especially this food blogger.

I made these appetizers recently.  I found them in my new Pampered Chef Easy & Impressive Appetizer Recipes Cookbook.  I made them for Christmas Day actually.  I think they were a failure but I’m not sure. I thought they were okay, but I’m one of those people who has yet to find a food I dislike, so I have to go by the leftovers still in a baggie in the Fridgidaire.

Sun-Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Puffs.

But maybe kids under 25 don’t appreciate those tastes?

The sound of these sent my taste buds spinning.  I could just see them perched cutely and evenly spaced along a long rectangular Hors d’oevre platter, their tantalizing filling bursting out of the top of fluffy little biscuits, light as air.


Here’s how it went.

I heated some water, butter and thyme and tossed in a little salt and pepper in a saucepan.  Then I let it come to a boil and added some flour.

Upon adding the flour, I stirred vigorously until it pulled away from the sides of the pan, about one minute.    It kind of forms a ball of sorts, that’s when you know it’s ready.  Spoon it into a bowl and crack in some eggs.  Stir again like crazy until everything is nice and smooth.

I had a kitchen towel under a glass bowl in these pictures.  Looks kinda strange…

Spray a mini-muffin pan with baking spray.  Scoop some dough into each one and bake for 22-25 minutes or until they tops turn a golden brown. Remove from the oven and cut a small slit in the top of each puff.

In another bowl, mix some goat cheese, cream cheese and milk until smooth, stir in some sun dried tomatoes that you’ve finely chopped.  Spoon this mixture into a pastry bag or a ziploc with the end snipped off and pipe down into the center of each puff where you’re cut the slit.

Tada.  The finished product.

My take?

I liked them.  But I also adore the twang of goat cheese, and I can eat sun-dried tomatoes straight out of the jar. I am a foodie and I love gourmet tastes and textures.

Our kids? They like the pop in the oven appetizers you buy at Sam’s Wholesale like Bagel Bites.

Perhaps I need to try them again on a more foodie defined audience?  One thing I’m not a fan of – thyme.  For some reason, it’s not my spice – maybe some nice basil next time to compliment the tomato flavor?

Any suggestions?

I think this is a fail…what do you think?

Katie’s Printable Recipe- Sun-Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Puffs



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Green Chile Salsa Bites – A Great Holiday Appetizer

Today is my work annual Cookie Exchange. The ladies from work each bring 6 dozen cookies.  Then we swap 1/2 dozen with each person and end up taking home 6 dozen different cookies.  We also print off the recipes for our cookies and using scrapbooking, we make a Christmas Cookie Cookbook.  My boss Beth is the scrapbooking queen and she provides the materials and instructions.

We also eat.

Tonight’s theme was Mexican. We’re having Spicy Black Bean Soup, chips and salsa, and cornbread.  I was the last to sign up so I signed up for some sort of appetizer.

To match the Southwest theme, I decided to do these Green Chili Salsa Bites.

A little like a semi-spicy mini-quiche, they’re easy, fun and bite size for your party.  Here is what you’ll need.

Cream cheese, salsa, eggs, chopped black olives, green chiles, salsa, green onions, and garlic.

Seriously, how can you go wrong with these ingredients?  I love them all.  On a sidenote, if you like things a little spicier, substitute the green chiles for 1 jalepeno pepper, finely chopped.  The version here will be for all to enjoy, even those who can’t handle spicy.

Start by throwing a block of cream cheese into your mixer.  Turn your mixer on fairly high and beat this so it’s nice and smooth.  Dump in your salsa and eggs. I started with my beater blade and switched to my whisk.  It just worked better on the cream cheese.

Once you’re done, it will be a pinky liquid.

Toss in 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion, 1 tablespoon of green chiles, 2 tablespoons of chopped black olives, one finely minced or pressed garlic clove, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

Mix this for about a minute, just until it’s all stirred together well.  Your batter will be runny.

Spoon it into well-sprayed mini-muffin tins.  You should have enough batter for 24.

Oh goodness.  See the little flecks of olive and green chiles in there?

It’s a beautiful thing.

Now pop these into a 350º oven for about 15-18  minutes.  Mine took about 17.  You want to check one of the center ones with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.

Remove them from the oven.

Place them on a plate or platter.  Top with a little dollop of sour cream.  Then take some cilantro.  I like to just snip it over the top, letting some decorate the plate or platter like confetti.

It’s a good thing to do.

These little cuties are a great, one-bite appetizer for your next party, or, heck, for just popping in your mouth while you watch a movie some night with your kids.

Either way, try them!

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Green Chile Salsa Bites

Cooking with Love,



Filed under appetizers

Spinach Artichoke Dip- Why BUY It?

Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Even if they don’t like spinach all that much, most people truly love this concoction.

Mr. Wonderful and I have this favorite low-maintenance Friday night supper when we’re home alone.  Friday nights seem to cause teenagers to disappear out of the house.  We buy one of those roasted chickens, a frozen package of TGI Friday’s Spinach Artichoke Dip and some blue corn tortilla chips.

Here’s what you do – you scoop up some of the dip on a chip, then you place a good size bite of roasted chicken on top.   It’s heaven I tell ya.

But here’s the thing.  It’s like $3.00 or something for one little tiny package of the dip.  I knew that I could make it myself and do a lot better than that!  So here goes.

Take one package of frozen chopped spinach. Place it in a bowl and microwave it for about 2 minutes.  Times will vary depending on your microwave.

Remove, squeeze and drain.

How, you ask?  Either place it in a tea towel or other thin cloth, and draw up the towel around it and squeeze, or do it my way, if you don’t feel like washing a nasty spinach filled towel.

Toss it into your ricer, if you have one and press.

This works beautifully.  And it gives you another use for that pesky ricer that takes up so much room in your pots and pans drawer.

Take one can of artichoke hearts and chop them up a bit.  It’s really to your preference on the size.

Eat about 10 of these while you chop if no one’s looking.

Just kidding, but I truly love artichoke hearts.

Now, the rest is easy. Just measure and dump:

-the spinach
-the artichoke hearts
-one 8 oz. block of cream cheese
-one 8 oz. container of sour cream
-3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
-one cup of your cheese of choice – I wanted mozerella but only had monterey jack on hand.
-one melted stick of butter
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-And just for kicks, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

I highly recommend doing this in a mixing bowl that is not the one you’ll be serving it in.  Learn from my experience please.

Mix everything up really good.  I actually decided to use my hand mixer.  The cream cheese was a little too hard.

Spread it in a 2 quart baking dish.

And just for fun, add a little more cheese on top.

Pop it into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes on 350º or until it begins to bubble around the edges and the cheese is melted on top.  I took mine out and sprinkled it with some chopped tomatoes, just for some pretty color.

T.G.I. Fridays, watch out.

There’s a new kid in town.

And she doesn’t cost and arm and a leg.  And there’s wayyy more to her.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Spinach Artichoke Dip

Cooking with Love,


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