Category Archives: Snack

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Creamy Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

The best way to be a better cook is find recipes you like and learn to make them your own way. Some months I get lazy and never make anything new–I don’t mind the same lunch every day of the week. But reading blogs help me find recipes good enough to break me out of my rut.

This recipe from Mississippi Kitchen looked too good to pass up. I never buy as much spinach and salad mixins as I should so instead I wanted to take the same flavors and put them in a dip. This has a ton of savory, salty flavor and surprisingly healthy ingredients. You could serve this at a party and they’d never know it’s a bean dip!

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Seasoning should be the last step of this recipe. There’s no right amount of salt–you’ll need to taste it and figure out how much to add based on how salty your ingredients are.

Always taste a sauce or dip with whatever you’re using for dipping; if you’re using vegetables you’ll want the dip to be on the saltier side, while if you’re using seasoned crackers keep it on the bland side.   

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 servings):

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 4oz feta, crumbled

  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetables for dipping 

Method:

  1. Add the beans to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

  2. Add in the tomatoes, sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and feta and process.

  3. Slowly add more buttermilk to get the dip to the right consistency while processing. Only add as much as you’d like to make it the right thickness.

  4. When done, season to taste with salt.

  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator when not enjoying. 

Black & White Chex Mix

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Did you know today’s national cereal day? I probably wouldn’t have if the people at Chex cereal didn’t tell me and invite me to celebrate.

I really need a calendar with these fun food holidays like national cereal day, national peanut butter day, and—of course—national margarita day(which was thoroughly celebrated). I even forgot the Oscars were last weekend until that day, but thankfully I already had this classy snack to watch it with.

Black tie events are not my style but white and dark chocolate most certainly are. This Chex mix has a good balance of flavors; it’s a perfect class act for an award show party or just a football party. And it’s fairly easy to put together, too.

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When you’re making this recipe, just like any other recipe that involves melting chocolate, make sure to pick a brand you trust and know melts well. Some chocolate chips have too many preservatives added to them and seize up instead of melting. Anything that markets itself as baking chocolate is a good bet for melting.

Black & White Chex Mix

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 8 servings):

  • 2 cups chocolate Chex cereal, divided
  • 2 cups vanilla Chex cereal, divided
  • 2/3 chocolate chips, divided
  • 2/3 white chocolate chips, divided

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Method:

  1. In a large bowl mix together 1 cup chocolate Chex cereal, 1 cup vanilla Chex cereal, 1/3 cup white chocolate chips, and 1/3 cup chocolate chips.
  2. Melt the remaining chocolate chips over the stove or in a microwave.
  3. While the chocolate is melted, mix in the remainder of the chocolate Chex cereal until it’s well-coated.
  4. Pour the chocolate covered Chex onto a non-stick surface and gently flatten into a single layer.
  5. Repeat the same process with the white chocolate chips and vanilla Chex.
  6. Let the Chex sit until the chocolate has rehardened.
  7. Break up the chocolate covered Chex into bite-sized chunks.
  8. Mix the chocolate covered Chex in with the rest of the ingredients well.
  9. Serve at room temperature or store in a cool, dry place.

5 Vegetarian Super Bowl Dip Recipes

This weekend might be the biggest weekend for football, but it’s also the biggest weekend for dips. As a vegetarian I usually live off of nachos whenever I’m at a party or sports bar. I could never get tired of spicy salsa and creamy guacamole, but making your own dips always tastes better than buying a pre-packaged one from the store. Here are 5 recipes to satisfy the vegetarians and meat-lovers alike at your party who just want to dip on in.

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Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients(Serves 8-12 people):

  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 8oz shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese, divided
  • 1 15oz can white beans, rinsed and drained

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the hot sauce, cream cheese, and 6 ounces(about 1 1/2 cups) of shredded until mixed.
  3. Fold in the beans, adding a little bit of water if necessary until fully incorporated.
  4. Scoop the dip into an oven-safe bowl and spread out the remaining cheese on top to cover it.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese begins to brown and the center is hot.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve hot with crudité and nachos.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients(Serves 6 people):

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1 roasted red pepper with the skin peeled
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar

Method:

  1. For the roasted pepper, heat an oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the pit out of the pepper and lay it on a baking tray.
  3. Brush the pepper with olive oil and roast it for 15-20 minutes until the skin starts to blister away. Let the pepper cool before trying to peel off the skin.
  4. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until the hummus is completely smooth.
  5. Move into a bowl to serve or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a week.

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Firecracker Guacamole

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Serves 6 people):

  • 3 ripe medium-sized avocadoes
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro(optional)

Method:

  1. Peel and mash your avocadoes together in a large bowl.
  2. Carefully dice the onion, tomato, and pepper. Add the tomato and pepper in with the avocado reserving the onion.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium with a little water in the bottom. Quickly sauté the onion in the water for a couple minutes until the diced onions are semi-translucent. Remove from the heat and add in with the avocado.
  4. Add in your citrus and salt and cilantro if using and mix all of the ingredients together.
  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to a day.

Avocado Sour Cream Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 8 servings):

  • 1 ripe medium avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or low-fat sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly chopped chives

Method:

  1. In a food processor(or however you’d like to do it), puree the avocado until it’s completely smooth.
  2. Fold together the avocado puree, sour cream, onion powder, salt, and 2 ½ Tablespoons of chopped chives.
  3. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining chives.
  4. Serve with Kettle Brand Chips and veggie crudités

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Creamy Avocado Onion Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 minute

Ingredients(Serves about 4 people):

  • 1 medium-sized avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons plain 0% Stonyfield Greek
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Method:

  1. Pit and seed the avocado and put the meet in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mash the avocado with a fork until it’s smooth and uniform in color.
  3. Add in the Stonyfield Greek, salt, and olive oil and mix.
  4. In a small pan, heat some cooking oil and sauté the minced onions quickly until they turn brown(this shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds). Keep the pan moving so that they don’t burn.
  5. Add the onions and onion powder to the dip and mix until smooth.
  6. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and serve with chips and crudités.

 

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix + T-Shirt Giftaway

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix

Since 2014 started, I’ve been to the gym 3 times, the grocery store once, and the kitchen to grab another handful of this Chex mix about 17 times.

Before the holidays General Mills had sent me a box of inspiring ingredients and blogger recipes including Julie’s, Caitlin’s, and my own. For a while they stumped me, but chocolate Chex and caramel candies couldn’t be passed up.

This mix has rich chocolate coated Chex, sweet powdered Chex, and white chocolate chips for a delicious trio that’s hard to beat. It’s more of a dessert but if you want to sneak a few handfuls before dinner, I won’t say a word.

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix

Chocolate Caramel Chex Mix

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 10 cups):

  • 10 .5oz caramels(or an equal equivalent)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate spread*
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
  • 4 cups Chex cereal
  • 4 cups chocolate Chex cereal
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

*I used Hershey’s chocolate spread. A spread like Nutella would work as well.

Method:

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the caramels and chocolate spread.
  2. Once the ingredients are almost melted, add in the milk and stir until it makes a smooth and shiny sauce.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups Chex cereal and the chocolate caramel sauce until the cereal is evenly coated.
  4. Lay the Chex out in a single layer on a non-stick surface for about 20 minutes to cool.
  5. Once cooled, gently break apart the large chunks of cereal to smaller bite-sized pieces.
  6. Toss the chocolate caramel Chex with the chocolate Chex cereal and white chocolate chips until evenly mixed.
  7. Store in a sealed container at room temperature when not enjoying.

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General Mills, the company that makes Chex, recently opened up the “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Swag Shop” with funny merchandise and gave me 2 coupon codes for me and a reader to get a t-shirt. If you want a free Cinnamon Toast Crunch tee for yourself or a friend, comment with your favorite cereal and I’ll randomly pick a winner Friday.

Holiday Vanilla Chex Mix

Holiday Vanilla Chex Mix

I don’t know about you but I usually don’t expect to like any cereal without “Chocolate” or “Reese’s” in its name—Those are just my personal preferences. But shockingly I’ve found a new favorite that doesn’t fit into either of those categories.

I got a box of Vanilla Chex back in September when they invited me to the Wine & Food festival. Skeptical, it took me a month or so to open it, but after I did I just kept eating it by the handful. The vanilla-coated Chex are surprisingly sweet and delicious. It’s impossible to stop after just one.

After I ate half the box, I felt like I should do something with the rest that’d be more exciting than handfuls of cereal. Since it’s (already) the holiday season, what better way to use it than make holiday Chex mix? The vanilla, cinnamon, almond, and chocolate flavors blend perfectly for an addictive and delicious party snack.

Holiday Vanilla Chex Mix

This recipe has you make your own cinnamon sugar almonds but you can cut out the cooking completely by buying flavored almonds at your specialty grocery store.

Holiday Vanilla Chex Mix

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Vanilla Chex cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup M&Ms

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the almonds, cinnamon, oil, sugar, and water until the almonds are covered and there’s no liquid on the bottom.
  3. Pour the almonds in a single layer onto a non-stick baking tray and roast for 10 minutes or until the cinnamon sugar begins to clump on the almonds.
  4. Remove the almonds from the oven and let them cool briefly.
  5. In a clean bowl, combine the almonds, Chex cereal, and M&Ms and toss well before serving.
  6. Keep in a sealed bag at room temperature when not enjoying.

Seasoned Baked Tortilla Chips

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Do you know where you can find the best deal in New York City? It’s not in Manhattan—it’s sure as hell not in Times Square—, it’s at the C-Town grocery chain where you can get 36 corn tortillas for 99 cents. Less than 3 cents a tortilla—how can you go wrong?

I couldn’t make enough tacos and quesadillas to use these up so I decide to make nachos instead. I’ve made hint of lime chips before and these were just as easy. They have a nice subtle flavor to have on their own, but pack a real spicy punch dipped in salsa or guacamole.

The trick to getting these irresistibly crispy is leaving plenty of room for them to bake on the trays. Overcrowding a tray will make some of them chewy and others burnt, so break it up into two baking sessions if you have to.

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Baking these means they’re free of the unhealthy frying fats, which makes them perfect for smothering in healthy fats like avocado and shredded cheese(just kidding(sort of)).

Seasoned Baked Tortilla Chips

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 6 servings):

  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

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Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two baking trays with non-stick foil or paper.
  3. Cut a stack of the tortillas with a long, sharp knife across and then perpendicular, then two times on the diagonals to make 8 stacks of equally-sized chips.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the soft chips with the rest of the ingredients until they’re evenly covered.
  5. Spread the chips out in a single layer on the baking trays.
  6. Bake the chips for 10-15 minutes until slightly browned and crisp.
  7. Remove the chips from the oven. Let them cool slightly before serving.
  8. Serve with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or dip.

Chocolate Almond Granola Bars

Chocolate Almond Granola Bars

I’m a snacker. I can’t imagine how somebody could go from lunch all the way to dinner time without snacking on something. Seriously, how do they do it? I’m usually reaching for a candy bar or bag of popcorn at 3pm and more often than not know I should be eating something healthier.

I first made these bars last Summer and they disappeared as quickly as they set. They’re unbelievably delicious for something that takes 10 minutes to make with simple ingredients. This time around I used homemade chocolate cashew butter in place of the almond butter because it’s what I had on-hand and they tasted just as good if not better.

Chocolate Almond Granola Bars Drizzled

Just like the first time I made these, I used candied ginger instead of dried fruit. I love a little bit of spice with my chocolate. I’d highly recommend chopping your almonds and fruit before adding them to the batter because the larger portions will make your granola bars harder to cut in the final step.

Chocolate Almond Granola Bars

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 8 to 10 bars):

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey**
  • 1 cup oats*
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate rice crisps cereal*
  • 1/2 cup almonds, crushed or sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

*To make these granola bars gluten-free, make sure these two ingredients are certified gluten-free.

**Use 3 Tablespoons of agave to make these vegan.

Chocolate Almond Granola Bars Uncut

Method:

  1. In a microwave or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips.
  2. Stir in the almond butter and honey until smooth.
  3. Add in the oats, cereal, almonds, dried fruit, and salt and mix until everything is completely covered.
  4. Line an 8 x 8 baking tray with wax paper. Dump the batter into the pan and press down into an even layer.
  5. Refrigerate the bars until they’ve hardened—about 20-30 minutes.
  6. With a sharp knife, cut the bars in half horizontally and into quarters vertically into 8 2 x 4 bars.
  7. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Almond Granola Bars Uncut Stacked

Oatmeal Energy Bars

Oatmeal Energy Bars

These bars were something of a fail, but definitely one worth sharing.

I love granola bars, prepackaged snack—basically anything from the grocery store that calls itself healthy and has too much sugar in it. They’re always delicious and the right portion but usually overpriced. Why not make your own?

Well, these taste much fresher than your typical grocery store splurge and that’s their only flaw. They’re somewhere between a chewy brownie and a granola bar which is a texture that takes some getting used to. Besides that the ingredients are simple and wholesome and full of fiber.

Oatmeal Energy Bars Done

While the chocolate definitely makes this look like a dessert, it’s not that sweet and the texture is more chewy than cakey. It’s a great power snack or something to pack in a lunchbox that’s a little healthier than other desserts.

Oatmeal Energy Bars

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 16 squares):

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour(whole grain or gluten-free are good substitutes)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, separated
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Oatmeal Energy Bars Ingredients

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour and the oats.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together 1/2 of cup peanut butter, oil, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, egg, and water until smooth.
  4. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients until they form a batter.
  5. Lightly oil an 8 x 8 pan and pour the batter in in an even level.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center has set.
  7. Melt the chocolate chips and remaining 1/4 cup of peanut butter together and mix until they make a ganache.
  8. Pour the chocolate on top of the baked good and spread it out evenly.
  9. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour until the chocolate has set.
  10. Slice into squares before serving.

Oatmeal Energy Bars Ganache

Lunch Box Trail Mix

Lunch Box Trail Mix

I’m a conservative when it comes to trail mix politics. I won’t go near one at the store if it has dried pineapples or brazil nuts; I would say that even pumpkin seeds are pushing it for me. The best trail mix is the simple kind you grew up with.

This is a classic mix with a few different nuts, chocolate M&Ms and of course lots of peanuts. My 5-year old self would probably pick out the chocolate first and leave the raisins behind but I’ve come to appreciate them more and more.

Lunch Box Trail Mix Candies

Pay attention to whether the nuts you use are salted or unsalted. I’d recommend only using salted peanuts and unsalted cashews and almonds for the best flavor. Roasted nuts are more traditional but use whichever you think have the best flavor.

Lunch Box Trail Mix

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 5 cups or 20 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 cup whole cashews
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1 cup Raisins

Lunch Box Trail Mix Yield

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Store in an airtight container and keep in a cool place when not eating.

Chocolate Cashew Butter

Chocolate Cashew Butter

Cashews and chocolate are an underappreciated combination.

Peanuts and chocolate have Reese’s. Almonds and chocolate have Trader Joe’s chocolate covered almonds. Hazelnuts and chocolate have Nutella. When will cashews get their moment to shine?

Until they do, we’ll all have to settle for homemade, which really isn’t so bad once you taste it. The cashews have a nutty, roasted flavor that perfectly mixes with the cocoa powder’s bitterness. If you have powdered vanilla, it’s a great way to add another depth of flavor. Starting the day off with a spoonful of this on toast or oatmeal will certainly keep you happy and healthy.

Chocolate Cashew Butter Ingredients

You can use roasted or unroasted cashews for this recipe, whole or halves and pieces. Since you’re pureeing them into a butter anyway, I would recommend choosing whichever is cheapest at the store.

Chocolate Cashew Butter

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 16 ounces):

  • 3 1/2 cups unsalted cashews
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 5 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder(optional)

Chocolate Cashew Butter Making

Method:

  1. Combine the cashews and oil in a food processor or high-speed blender and puree according to the manufacturer’s directions until the cashews make a smooth butter.
  2. Add in the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and salt and blend until its mixed.
  3. Move to a sealable container and store at room temperature when not eating.

Chocolate Cashew Butter Yield