Snack Recipes

Edamame Hummus Recipe Recipe

Edamame Hummus Recipe

04.28.11 by Jackie

Edamame beans, also known as soybeans, are a common, healthy snack in our home. They're packed with fiber, protein and iron. So it's especially good because most of the family is vegetarian. To change things a little, I removed the thick velvety shells and made edamame hummus. The spread is made the same way I would make regular garbanzo hummus, except that I flavored it with feta cheese for a creamier texture.

I left the edamame hummus on the table while preparing dinner. Everyone spread it on warm pieces of garlic bread. It's a great way to keep everyone patient while I’m getting dinner ready. If you're planning on serving it for a party, you could create crostini appetizers. They're always a hit!


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How to Make Hummus Recipe

How to Make Hummus

04.11.11 by Jackie

Hummus is very easy to make, plus it can be prepared in advance. All you need are garbanzo beans, oil, lemon and a few other ingredients. I made a batch today, and after whipping it together, I served the hummus in tiny cups and garnished it with roasted bell peppers and lemon crackers.

If -like us- you host a lot of dinner parties, you might feel a little pressed for fresh appetizer ideas. My criteria for the perfect appetizer, besides being incredibly delicious, is that it doesn’t take an insane amount of time to prepare. I love to cook, but it’s (usually) more fun to spend time with your guests! All you need is a simple recipe, the right ingredients and attractive, small containers to show them off.


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M&M Cookies with Toffee Peanuts Recipe

M&M Cookies with Toffee Peanuts

04.04.11 by Jackie

It might sound strange, but in my opinion, making cookies is like making risotto. What I mean is that in general, you shouldn't use too many chunky ingredients to accent the cookie dough. I typically make use of whatever I can find in my pantry, and this time I limited the additions to coconut toffee peanuts and M&Ms.

The M&Ms came from a package of goodies from Rutgers University. My father-in-law was inducted into Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni a few years ago and has stayed close to the school. The colors of the Scarlet Knights are faithfully represented in the M&Ms, and I think they add a nice touch of color to the cookies while showing off some school spirit. Thanks, Dean McCormick!


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Salmon Tortilla Pinwheel Appetizers Recipe

Salmon Tortilla Pinwheel Appetizers

03.14.11 by Jackie

Salmon wasabi pinwheels are super easy to make. I prepared wasabi and dill-flavored cream cheese in advance and stored them in the refrigerator until dinner time. The assembling part is so simple a child could roll them. In fact, that’s exactly what we did. I let the kids prepare the rolls and then slice them into bite-sized pieces. We secured the cute appetizers with fancy hors d'oeuvre picks.

For those who can tolerate a little bit of heat, I topped the appetizers with wasabi flavored peanuts to repeat the same flavors from the filling. My husband Lulu brought them back from a recent trip to Texas. Lulu knows what a foodie I am so he always tries to find new products for me to experiment with. It’s not all that altruistic though, since he’s usually the beneficiary of these creations. Don’t I have the sweetest husband?


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Easy Party Appetizers: Foie Gras Stuffed Prunes with Almond Tuiles Recipe

Easy Party Appetizers: Foie Gras Stuffed Prunes with Almond Tuiles

12.29.10 by Jackie

Foie gras stuffed dried plums are my guilty pleasure. The dried plums (prunes) are baked with maple syrup, and to enhance the texture and flavor, I add a pinch of fleur de sel and a sprinkle of crumbled almond tuile cookies. These little appetizers will definitely be served by the dozens during our New Year Eve's dinner.

I know this recipe might raise some eyebrows on several levels. I've always loved,  perhaps worshipped, the French culinary delicacy called foie gras. If you've never tasted foie gras before, it's like eating a piece of intensely flavored, semi-softened butter. Some people think it's an abomination and constitutes cruelty to animals. I believe that in Chicago for a time there was even a ban on foie gras and that the sale and production of foie gras is still illegal in California.

The other thing you might find odd is that I chose to use prunes in an elegant appetizer. I was surprised to learn from Lulu that in America, prunes are marketed as digestive aids and have a rather negative stigma. That is not the case in France. Prunes are often served as a snack for children, and just yesterday I saw them on a fruit and cheese platter at the end of a lovely meal we had at my friend's home. They’re now marketed in the U.S. as dried plums, not prunes, because there was so much negativity associated with prunes as a laxative.

I hope this recipe will inspire you to try new ingredients, or perhaps old ingredients in new ways.


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