Archive of ‘Appetizers’ category

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

I recently made a very yummy and unique salad as a side dish with our dinner… a chilled Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad, to be exact! It’s a perfect chilled salad to serve when the temperature heats up, like it’s doing here in Oregon this week (temps of 108)!Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I discovered the recipe on Pinterest and thought it sounded interesting… and guess what? It was FANTASTIC! Cold, ripe and sweet watermelon pairs unbelievably well with slightly salty feta cheese; the addition of chopped fresh mint, a touch of olive oil and a smidge of red onion make this recipe a delectable and refreshing summer salad!

The recipe could not be any easier to prepare… there are two methods and both are simple! Here’s how to prepare this yummy salad:  Cut up a well-chilled watermelon into cubes (only need 6 cups worth of watermelon cubes – for me this was only two large slices out of a whole watermelon!)

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add remaining ingredients to the watermelon cubes (crumbled feta cheese, olive oil, thinly sliced red onion, and chopped fresh mint, then season with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.  Toss gently to combine, and try not to break up the feta crumbles too much.  See the printable recipe below for another way to prepare this salad!

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once salad is gently mixed together, it is ready to serve… but I feel it is at it’s best when the flavors have had time to come together in the fridge… and the watermelon is really COLD, so I refrigerated the salad for about an hour before serving.  When ready to serve, place it in a pretty serving dish, garnish with a fresh mint sprig (if desired) and dig in! It’s DELICIOUS!

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you have a great day!  We’ve had record-breaking heat here in the Portland, Oregon area this week.  Our power has gone out 2 times in 24 hours (last night and this morning), so it hasn’t been fun trying to stay cool with no electricity or cooling, but we are thankful for CANDLES… and that the problems have now been fixed.  Whew!!!

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/watermelon-feta-and-mint-salad

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Sweet and cold watermelon salad with fresh mint, salty feta cheese crumbles and a bit of red onion make this unique dish a "must" on a hot Summer day!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 cups cold watermelon, cubed
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Directions
Method 1: (this is the method I used)
  1. Combine all ingredients in large serving bowl. Toss gently, to combine, trying to not break up the feta crumbles too much. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve and enjoy!
Method 2:
  1. Combine all ingredients except for crumbled feta cheese. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle salad with feta cheese crumbles (but do not mix it in) right before serving. Serve and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin to your Pinterest boards!Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Maple and Cinnamon Spiced Nuts

Recently I made a batch of Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts and served them at a birthday dinner for my husband.  Pecans, cashews and almonds are coated in a small amount of maple syrup and beaten egg white, then tossed with sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon and a touch of cayenne pepper, and  baked until done (and delicious!). Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
They were really quite good; we enjoyed them alongside other snacks/appetizers before dinner!  They are really easy to make – here’s how:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Whisk granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl until spices are well blended. Set aside.

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate large bowl, beat or whisk the egg white with the maple syrup until the liquid is bubbly and frothy.

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add pecans, cashews and almonds to the egg white mixture. Stir well, to fully coat the nuts with the egg white/maple syrup mixture.

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once the nuts are coated, add the spice mixture, and stir well, to fully coat the nuts with the spices.  Line a large (13×9) rimmed baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper.

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Pour the coated nut mixture out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spread them out so they are in a single layer, separating them from each other as much as possible.  Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes (then re-spread them out), so the nuts and sugar won’t burn.

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When they are done baking in 25-30 minutes (mine took 25), they will be dark brown, and almost all of the liquid will have dried onto the nuts.  Spread the nuts out on a clean piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil to let them continue drying (and are not sticky).

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Store the nuts in an airtight container.  You can serve them as a wonderful tasting snack OR they would be a great gift idea for a friend any time of the year, when packaged in a cute mason jar or decorative container!

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

These Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts are delicious! Not too sweet, not too spicy… just right!  Sure hope you will give this recipe a try. I really appreciated how easy they were to make!

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/maple-cinnamon-spiced-nuts/

Maple and Cinnamon Spiced Nuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups pecans
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom (optional- I left it out)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl until spices are well blended. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat or whisk egg white with maple syrup until the liquid is bubbly and frothy.
  4. Add pecans, cashews and almonds to egg white mixture. Stir well, to fully coat the nuts with egg white/maple syrup mixture.
  5. Once the nuts are coated, add the spice mixture, and stir well, to fully coat the nuts with the spices. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper.
  6. Pour the coated nut mixture out onto a parchment paper-lined large baking sheet. Spread them out so that they are in a single layer, and separate them from each other as much as possible. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes (then re-spread them out), so the nuts and sugar won't burn. When they are done in 25-30 minutes, they will be dark brown, and almost all of the liquid will have dried onto the nuts. Remove from oven, and spread the nuts out on a clean piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil to let them continue drying (and are not sticky). Store the nuts at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Maple Cinnamon Spiced Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

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Coconut Candied Cashews

Looking a great tasting snack that doesn’t take a lot of work?  How about these delicious Coconut Candied Cashews?  Made with coconut oil, coconut milk, sugar and coconut flakes, they will be an instant hit at any gathering where snacking is involved!Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks! These coconut candied cashews will be a popular item at any gathering where snacking is involved! Delicious!
I found the original recipe for these candied cashews (Trader Joe’s inspired) on Pinterest, and thought they sounded wonderful!  The recipe is very straightforward, easy to make, and the results are amazingly delicious!  The only problem I have had is STAYING OUT OF THEM, because they are soooo good!  Here’s how to make ’em:

Begin by putting the cashews in a large bowl.  Melt the coconut oil and pour it over the cashews. Stir, to coat.

Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Whisk the canned coconut milk until fully blended, then pour 1/4 cup of it over the cashews. Stir again, to coat the cashews.

Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add the granulated sugar. Stir, to fully coat cashews.

Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place a silicone liner onto a 9×13 baking sheet.  Gently spread the cashews out on the sheet.  Bake cashews at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir. Spread out cashews. Put back into oven and bake for 10 additional minutes. Remove from oven. Stir. Spread out cashews.   Put cashews back into oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. (NOTE: During last 5 minutes of baking, pulse coconut flakes 7-9 times in a food processor until the flakes become fine, for next step).

Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle the finely processed coconut flakes over the cashews. Stir well, to coat the cashews. Spread cashews back out on the baking sheet. Place pan back into oven and bake for 10 minutes more.

Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The cashews will be done after 10 minutes OR when all of the syrupy liquid is gone from sheet.  Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Let cashews sit until cooled to room temperature. Once cool, separate any cashews that might have clumped together.

Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once cashews have cooled to room temperature and the coating has firmed up, they are ready to serve. Offer them to your family or guests on a pretty serving plate or in a bowl… and watch just how fast they disappear!!! They are so very good!

Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will give this fun snack a try.  It really only took a few minutes to get them in the oven, then the only effort (if you can even call it “effort”) made was just keeping them stirred as they baked. Easy Peasy! You might also want to check out my recipe for Tex-Mex Party Nuts… they taste amazing, too!  Enjoy!

Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: http://www.dessertnowdinnerlater.com/coconut-cashews/

Coconut Candied Cashews
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These coconut candied cashews will be a popular item at any gathering where snacking is involved! Delicious!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Appetizer/Snack
Serves: 3 cups or 12 (¼ cup) servings
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cashew halves (Used roasted/salted cashews for salty/sweet balance)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (from a can)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
Directions
  1. Begin by putting cashews into a large bowl. Melt coconut oil and pour it over cashews. Stir, to coat.
  2. Whisk the canned coconut milk until fully blended, then pour ¼ cup of it over the cashews. Stir again, to coat the cashews. Add granulated sugar. Stir, to fully coat.
  3. Place a silicone liner onto a 9x13 baking sheet. Spread cashews out on the sheet. Bake cashews at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir. Spread out cashews. Put back into oven and bake for 10 additional minutes. Remove from oven. Stir. Spread out cashews. Put cashews back into oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. (NOTE: During last 5 minutes of baking, pulse coconut flakes 7-9 times in a food processor until the flakes become fine, for next step).
  4. Sprinkle finely processed coconut flakes over cashews. Stir well, to coat the cashews. Spread cashews back out on baking sheet. Place in oven and bake 10 minutes more.
  5. The cashews will be done after 10 minutes OR when all of the syrupy liquid is gone from sheet. Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Let cashews sit until cooled to room temperature. Separate any cashews that might have clumped together. Once cashews have cooled to room temperature and coating has firmed up, they're ready to serve. Store in covered container.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Coconut Candied Cashews / The Grateful Girl Cooks! These coconut candied cashews will be a popular item at any gathering where snacking is involved! Delicious!

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Tex-Mex Party Nuts

If you are looking for a delicious appetizer for your next party (or just want a unique snack), you should give these Tex-Mex Party Nuts a try! Slightly sweet, slightly spicy and totally addicting, they will be a big hit… AND they are totally EASY to prepare!Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I found the recipe in a cookbook a friend of mine gave me several years ago for Christmas, and was anxious to try it. I waited until my husband bought an “industrial strength size” jar of mixed nuts at Costco, then smuggled enough out of the jar to make this recipe. Wow… am I glad I did! These roasted mixed nuts are amazing, and the best part is… they are easy to make with a few simple household spices, and only take a few minutes to make! Here’s how:

Measure the mixed nuts into a large bowl. Add melted butter, and stir until the nuts are coated.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate small bowl, mix together the spices EXCEPT for the granulated sugar (save that for later!). Sprinkle the spice mix over the mixed nuts, and stir to fully coat.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread the spiced nuts onto a 15 x10 x 1 inch baking pan. Spread them out in a single layer. Bake the nuts, uncovered, in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. When done, immediately pour the hot spiced nuts into a medium bowl.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle the nuts with granulated sugar while they are still HOT from the oven. Stir to fully coat.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Let the nuts cool completely, then serve on a pretty plate or in a serving bowl.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The Tex-Mex Party Nuts also make a lovely gift during the holidays. Simply place the nuts into a canning jar, then decorate, and enjoy giving them as a gift to a friend!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The first time I made them I was afraid (before trying them) that they might be TOO spicy, but was pleasantly surprised to find out they absolutely were NOT!  Perfect combo of slightly sweet/slightly spicy ingredients! The nuts will keep for up to 3 weeks, if you store them in an airtight covered container at room temperature.  The recipe is EASILY doubled… or tripled.  Sure hope you will give them a try… they are quite tasty!

Tex-Mex Party Nuts / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: The cookbook titled : “Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook”, Page 272, Wiley Publishing, Inc., Copyright 2010, General Mills.

Tex-Mex Party Nuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Southwest-inspired slightly sweet, slightly spicy mixed nuts will be a big hit at your next party!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups salted mixed nuts
  • 1½ Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
  • --------------------------------------------------------
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (set aside)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Place mixed nuts in a medium sized bowl. Add melted butter and stir until the nuts are fully coated.
  3. In a small bowl, place all spices EXCEPT for the granulated sugar. Mix together. Sprinkle spice mix over the buttered mixed nuts, and stir until coated.
  4. Place nuts onto a 10 x15 x 1 inch baking pan in a single layer. Bake the nuts uncovered for 10 minutes. The nuts should be fully roasted. Remove nuts from oven and immediately place them into a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the nuts with the granulated sugar while the nuts are still HOT. Stir to coat.
  6. Let the nuts cool completely, then serve.
  7. If storing, the nuts will keep for about 3 weeks in a covered airtight container at room temperature.

 

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Crispy Homemade French Fries

I LOVE french fries, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because Crispy Homemade French Fries are easy to make and delicious, and a curse, because they are easy to make and delicious! See my dilemma? Uh Huh.Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I tried a recipe for beer battered fish last year, and ended up making some homemade fries (chips) to serve on the side. Boy, oh boy… they were delicious, and actually very easy to make.  Crispy on the outside… soft on the inside. Thought I’d share it with you.  Here’s how you make ’em:

Peel, rinse, then cut potatoes, by slicing potatoes lengthwise into 1 inch slices, then cutting each slice into finger thickness sized strips. Dry the potatoes as much as you can by patting them dry with paper towels.

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat oil in large skillet or stock pot until it reaches 350 degrees. I used my electric skillet, which has a temperature gauge on it. (No electric skillet? Try using a meat or candy thermometer to get the accurate temperature). To ensure you get a good “fry” on the potatoes, make sure oil is heated to 350 degrees.  Carefully put cut, dried potatoes into hot oil. Let them cook for about 8 minutes, turning to cook on both sides.

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Remove potatoes from hot oil (Use a slotted spatula or slotted spoon to help remove them).

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place hot potatoes onto a baking pan or a wire rack with paper towels underneath, to drain the oil off of them (without the paper towels sticking to the fries). Then let the fries rest on paper towels for just a minute while you reheat oil back to temp.

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat the oil back to 350 degrees. Once oil is at temperature again, carefully add the fries for a second cooking (this is what gives them a crispy texture on the outside). Cook for 3-4 additional minutes, until crispy and hot! Remove chips and drain on paper towels once again.

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Season to taste with salt (or seasoning salt). Serve and enjoy your crispy homemade french fries!

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It’s really easy to make your own delicious and crispy fries at home… the key is cooking them twice and the temperature of the oil being ACCURATE and hot enough.  If I can do it, so can YOU.  Hope you have a great day, and please pass the ketchup to dip my fries in, okay?

Crispy Homemade French Fries / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

Crispy Homemade French Fries
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
It's EASY to make your own delicious, crispy french fries at home!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3-4 small to medium russet potatoes
  • Vegetable oil (enough for 2 inches depth in skillet)
  • Salt (or seasoning salt), to taste
Directions
  1. Peel, rinse, then cut potatoes, by slicing potatoes lengthwise into 1 inch slices, then cutting each slice into finger thickness sized strips. Dry the potatoes as much as you can by patting them dry with paper towels. The drier the potato strips, the less oil splatters you should have.
  2. Heat oil (enough to cover skillet with 2 inches of oil) in large skillet or stock pot until it reaches 350 degrees. Use a thermometer (meat or candy) to gauge temperature. I used my electric skillet, which has a temperature gauge on it. Carefully place cut, dried potatoes into hot oil. Let them cook for about 8 minutes, turning to cook on both sides. Remove potatoes from hot oil (I used a slotted spatula to help remove them). Place hot potatoes onto a baking pan or a wire rack with paper towels underneath, to drain the oil off of them).
  3. Let them rest for just a minute while you reheat oil temperature back to 350 degrees.
  4. Carefully add the chips for a second "fry". Cook for 3-4 additional minutes, until crispy and hot! Carefully remove fries from hot oil with a slotted spatula or spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. Season to taste with salt (or seasoning salt). Serve hot, and enjoy!

 

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Homemade Boursin Cheese

I’ve been testing recipes to serve guests during the upcoming holidays… various bruschettas and crostinis, and recently tried this recipe for a spreadable herb and garlic-flavored cheese… Homemade Boursin Cheese, to be exact! It was so easy to make, and is crazy delicious!Homemade Boursin Cheese / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

What exactly IS Boursin Cheese, you ask?  I researched it and found online (thanks Wikipedia) that besides the fact that it is a completely delicious cheese spread, it was created in Normandy, France in 1957 by Mr. Francois Boursin.  Mr. Boursin apparently got his inspiration from “fromage frais” (“fresh cheese”), in which his countrymen would enjoy fresh creamy cheese that they seasoned themselves – with their choice of fresh or dried herbs and garlic, then spread on bread.  Mr. Boursin created a recipe for this delectable creamy cheese, and the recipe became known for being the first flavored FRESH cheese sold throughout France, and it’s popularity has spread throughout the world.

The cheese is super simple to replicate using whipped cream cheese and a variety of herbs and minced garlic. All ingredients are stirred together to blend and then refrigerated (covered) for 24 hours to let the flavors develop. That’s it!

Homemade Boursin Cheese / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Homemade Boursin Cheese / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Homemade Boursin Cheese / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Homemade Boursin Cheese / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After the cheese has been covered and refrigerated for 24 hours, it is ready to serve at any gathering of family and/or friends. Serve with an assortment of crackers or small baguette slices.  The recipe is EASILY doubled or tripled to serve a small or large crowd, and it tastes amazing! Sure hope you will give this recipe a try!

Homemade Boursin Cheese / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I am definitely going to be making this again! I’m so glad I found this recipe, because it is a PERFECT appetizer! When I tasted the finished product, I was amazed at how much flavor was in the cheese!  Sure hope you will consider making this… the prep time is less than 5 minutes, and 24 hours later, you will have an amazing appetizer spread to serve with your choice of crackers or bread! YUM!

Homemade Boursin Cheese / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source:  http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/homemade-boursin-cheese-recipe/

Homemade Boursin Cheese
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A soft creamy flavor-packed cheese spread, enhanced with a variety of herbs and fresh minced garlic... perfect served with gourmet crackers or sliced baguette.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 1 ½ cups
Ingredients
  • 12 ounce tub of whipped cream cheese
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2 "scant" teaspoons of each:
  • dried parsley
  • dried oregano
  • dried tarragon
  • dried marjoram
  • dried thyme
  • dried sage
  • dried basil
  • dried chives (Note: I used fresh minced chives from our garden!)
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well (by hand) to fully incorporate all ingredients, and mixture is creamy.
  2. Cover bowl or place into an airtight covered container, and refrigerate cheese mixture for 24 hours to let flavors fully develop (for absolute best flavor).
  3. To serve, place bowl of Boursin cheese alongside a variety of gourmet crackers or French baguette slices. Spread cheese onto the crackers or bread with a small butter knife, and enjoy!
Notes
Prep time is just that... prep time to prepare the cheese. Does not take into account time for refrigeration.

 

 

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Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Brushchetta

I’ve been on a bit of a bruschetta kick lately… testing appetizer recipes to decide what to make over the holidays for our family and friends. I recently made this flavor-filled recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato and Kalamata Olive Bruschetta, and it was a big hit!Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe is really easy to prepare. It’s wonderful taste comes from a garlic-rubbed toasted baguette slice, topped with feta, cream cheese and a sun-dried tomato/garlic/basil/kalamata olive tapenade. I love that you can prepare everything ahead of time, then easily put it all together at the last minute!  That’s MY kind of appetizer!  Here’s how you make this Mediterranean flavor inspired bruschetta:

First slice a small baguette into 1/2 inch slices. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil, then rub a garlic clove over each piece.

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Bake for 7-9 minutes or until bread is light golden brown in color, and crispy. (You can also put the toasted baguette slices into an airtight container and save for a day or two before using, if you need to make this up ahead of time).

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Combine and mix cheese mixture in one bowl, and tomato/garlic/olive tapenade in another.

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After baguette slices have cooled completely, spread some of the feta/cream cheese mixture onto each piece.

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Top the cheese mixture with some of the tomato/olive/garlic and basil mixture (LOVE those Mediterranean flavors!)… place bruschetta onto platters…and serve!

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it! These are totally easy to prepare… they look good, and taste even better! Your guests will enjoy this flavor-filled appetizer! Best part is you can easily double or triple the recipe, as needed, depending on the number of guests!  Here’s one piece I saved for YOU! Hope you enjoy it!

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a wonderful day!  May you find moments of rest, gratitude, and fulfillment as you move throughout the busy-ness of this day!

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/sun-dried-tomato-and-kalamata-olive-bruschetta/

Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Brushchetta
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Quick to prepare, and wonderfully delicious, this appetizer will bring Mediterranean flavor and color to any serving table.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small French baguette (or pre-sliced bag ready for appetizers), thinly sliced
  • Olive oil (to brush on baguette slices before toasting)
  • 4 ounces Feta cheese crumbles
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
  • 3 garlic cloves, divided
  • 4 ounces Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 10 medium basil leaves, thinly sliced into "ribbons"
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the baguette into slices approximately ½ inch wide. Lightly brush each slice with olive oil, then rub one of the garlic cloves over each piece. Place the slices in oven and "toast" only until the slices are slightly browned (takes approx. 7-9 minutes). When done, remove from oven and let cool completely.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the Feta and cream cheese together until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Coarsely chop remaining garlic cloves, kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Slice the basil leaves into thin "ribbons" and stir into the tomato/garlic/olive mixture. (TIP: Easiest way to slice basil leaves is to stack leaves on top of each other. Roll tightly up lengthwise. Slice into thin strips).
  5. When you are ready to serve, spread each baguette slice with the feta/cream cheese mixture. Spoon a little of the tomato/olive/garlic/basil tapenade on top of the cheese... and serve!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Sun-Dried Tomato And Kalamata Olive Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Classic Bruschetta

Do you enjoy Bruschetta? I sure do. The amazing Italian flavor of garden fresh tomatoes, paired with fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar served on a garlic infused, toasted baguette slice pushes all my buttons… it’s delicious!Classic Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Bruschetta basically means toasted Italian bread with toppings. Okay… that works for me. Here’s what you do to make this classic appetizer!

First, slice a baguette into thin slices (or buy them pre-cut if your grocer sells it that way). I figure 2-3 slices per person is about right, but make as much or as little as you want.  Lightly brush each slice with olive oil.

Classic Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Rub a garlic clove over each slice of baguette. This adds extra flavor to the “toast”.

Classic Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place slices on wire rack and position about 5 inches away from heating element in oven. Broil baguette slices until golden brown and lightly toasted. Remove from oven.

Classic Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Combine. finely chopped Roma tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. I AM SO SORRY THIS PICTURE IS BLURRY. DON’T KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED. I ONLY INCLUDED IT SO YOU COULD GET A HINT AT WHAT THE TOMATO MIXTURE WILL LOOK LIKE... except I am confident yours will look a lot better! (Some days are like that!)

Classic Bruschetta / the Grateful Girl Cooks!

When ready to serve, I used a slotted spoon (it helped drain a little bit of the juices) and spooned the tomato mixture onto each toasted slice of baguette. I arranged the slices on a serving platter, then garnished each slice with thinly sliced fresh basil.

Classic Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it!  It’s an easy and tasty classic appetizer to serve because the tomato mixture is made ahead, and you can also toast the baguette slices ahead of time. Then all you have to do is put the bruschetta together at the last minute before serving!

The fresh taste will wow your guests… and your mouth, as you devour these bites of Italian yumminess!  My photos only reflect HALF of the recipe as written… the recipe itself makes enough for 5-6 servings (averaging 3 pieces per person!).

Classic Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a fantastic day! Hope you will give this recipe a try… I think you will LOVE it!

Classic Bruschetta / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://www.food.com/443987

Classic Bruschetta
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, basil, Parmesan cheese, etc. combine to make this Classic Bruschetta appetizer!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 5-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 baguette, cut into thin slices.
  • Olive oil (for brushing on bread slices)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (to rub on bread slices)
For bruchetta:
  • 2 ½ cups minced Roma tomatoes (FINELY chopped)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
Directions
  1. Place the minced tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine, then let this mixture sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors "come together".
  2. Brush each baguette slice with a small amount of olive oil. Rub a clove of garlic over each piece for added flavor. Place baguette slices on a rack under the broiler (abut 5 inches from heating element), and lightly toast until golden brown. Remove from oven.
  3. When ready to serve, place tomato mixture onto each slice of toasted baguette. Sprinkle each slice with thinly sliced fresh basil. (To easily slice basil, roll leaves up together into tight cylinder, then slice).
  4. Serve, and enjoy!
Notes
If you want additional flavor, you can add thinly sliced fresh basil to the tomato mixture, if desired (about ⅓ cup). I left it out, but added fresh thinly sliced basil to each slice.

 

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Watermelon, Feta, And Balsamic Bites

Looking for a quick bite summer appetizer? How about these cute little Watermelon, Feta, and Balsamic Bites?  Your family or friends will enjoy this unique “finger-food” appetizer, that’s so easy to prepare you won’t even need a recipe!Watermelon, Feta, And Balsamic Bites / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I first tried these at a “Watermelon” themed dinner that my friend hosted. Every part of the dinner from beverages to dessert HAD to include watermelon in some form. The watermelon cube appetizers caught my eye, so decided to try making my own at home!

Watermelon, Feta, And Balsamic Bites / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

They are so very easy and quick to make, and your family or dinner guests will love them!  The most important thing is to start with a COLD, sweet, ripe watermelon!  The sweetness of the watermelon contrasts nicely with the slight “tang” of balsamic vinegar and the salty feta crumbles!

Start by slicing about a 2 inch wide wedge of watermelon. Cut off rind, then square it off, and cut into even sized cubes.

Watermelon, Feta, and Balsamic Bites / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place watermelon cubes onto serving platter.  Take a very small spoon or knife and scoop out a tiny hole in each watermelon cube. Do NOT go all the way to the bottom of each cube (anywhere there is a hole besides the one in the middle, the balsamic will leak out!).

Watermelon, Feta, and Balsamic Bites / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fill each hole with a little balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle the tops of the watermelon with crumbled feta cheese, and garnish with mint leaves! That’s it! No “recipe” necessary for these fun and delicious, quick mini-bite appetizers!

Watermelon, Feta, And Balsamic Bites / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will consider trying this appetizer! We sure enjoyed it! The combination of sweet watermelon, slightly salty feta cheese crumbles, and tangy balsamic is a winning one that I believe you will really enjoy!

Watermelon, Feta, and Balsamic Bites / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Original Idea From: Shari Altree

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Chex Mix Munchies – Made In The Microwave!

My Great Aunt used to make Chex Mix every year. It was a treat, as a young girl at Christmas time, to grab a big handful from what seemed like a never empty bowl of this snack when we visited her home. She would bake it for hours, then serve it. Well, nowadays we can make Chex Mix Munchies… in the microwave in under 15 minutes!Chex Mix Munchies - Made In the Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!It’s as easy as mixing the ingredients together, mixing melted butter and spices, stirring, and cooking it in the microwave. Boom! Instant munchies!

Put ingredients in a large microwavable bowl.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In the Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Melt butter in the microwave.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mix up spices and Worcestershire sauce. Add to melted butter and stir.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour this mixture over the Chex mix. Stir really well to distribute sauce.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In the Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes, stirring mixture well every 2 minutes. When done, spread Chex mix out on paper towels to cool completely.

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once completely cool, store Chex Mix Munchies in an airtight covered container. That’s it!

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The recipe makes about twenty four 1/2 cup servings. Plenty for everyone to eat OR package part of it up and give as gifts!! Enjoy these munchies… and don’t say I didn’t warn you. They are scrumptious!

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In the Microwave / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Adapted From: General Mills Recipe, “Original Chex Party Mix” (recipe on cereal box)

Chex Mix Munchies - Made In The Microwave!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Crunchy and delicious, these Chex Mix Munchies are perfect for a quick snack!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 24 servings (1/2 cup each)
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • 1 cup Cheerios (I used Team Cheerios)
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1½ cups stick pretzels (bit size)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons seasoning salt
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
Directions
  1. Put the cereals, nuts, pretzel sticks, and Cheerios in a large microwavable bowl. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a small microwavable bowl until melted (about 35-40 seconds on high). Stir in Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. When completely blended, pour this over the bowl of cereal mix.
  3. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes (UNCOVERED). Every 2 minutes, stir the ingredients to continue coating everything. When done, spread the Chex Mix out on paper towel and let them cool completely.
  4. Once cool, store Chex Mix Munchies in a covered container.

 

 

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