Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips 1
With graduation parties and barbecue’s in full swing, I thought it was the perfect time to share this fruit salsa. Is it an appetizer? A snack? Dessert? All of the above. We even ate it with a spoon for breakfast one morning. Of course, it’s always better with chips but that’s kind of my life motto about everything.
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips 3
I made this a few weeks ago for Noah to take for snack at school. They encourage healthy options when you bring in snack for the class which I totally love. The kids gobbled it up and the recipe was requested by several teachers. I call that a success.

Although it does take a little time to prep and chop all the fruit and make the chips, the process is really simple and absolutely worth the time. I say put everyone in your family to work to cut down on prep time. As always, Noah climbed up on the counter with his kid knife and was my little sous chef. Plus, it makes a HUGE batch so it will feed a crowd at a party or your family for a few days.
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips 2
The fruit is dressed in a mixture of honey and lime that adds a nice touch of sweet and tartness.

This fruit salsa is a light, refreshing option that you don’t have to feel guilty about which means you can spare a little room for dessert. Am I right?
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips 4
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips

1 lb. strawberries
6 oz. raspberries
6 oz. blackberries
3 kiwi
2 peaches
1 pineapple
1 (15 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 lb. grapes

3 Tbsp. honey
1 lime, juiced

40-50 flour tortillas
Coconut oil spray
Cinnamon sugar

1. Finely dice all the fruit. Place in a bowl and gently mix. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and lime juice. Keep separate until ready to serve. Once ready, gently stir in the “dressing.”

2. For the cinnamon sugar chips:  preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the tortillas for about 20-30 seconds per side, being careful not to burn. Slice each tortilla into 8 triangles (I use a pizza cutter to make quick work of it). Place triangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray the tortillas with coconut oil spray then sprinkle with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy.

 

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Crab Rangoon

Crab Rangoon 1
We don’t go to Chinese buffets too often but one of my favorites that is always there is crab rangoon. I’m a sucker for cream cheese and anything fried. Man, the crispiness combined with the smooth, creamy filling is just incredible. I’ve professed many times that I’m all about salty and crunch, gets me every time.
Crab Rangoon 2
Every once and awhile, when we’re feeling particularly gluttonous, we make a big Chinese feast. It usually consists of Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp, Mongolian Beef or Beef and Broccoli, fried rice and these crab rangoon as an appetizer (because clearly that’s not enough food…). It’s always glorious and delicious and upset stomach inducing, but totally worth it. I’m not even going to mention how many of these we can take down.

Crab Rangoon

12 oz. imitation crab, finely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. wonton wrappers
egg white
sweet and sour sauce, for dipping

Place crab, cream cheese and garlic powder in a food processor until well combined. Place egg white in a small bowl. Fill each wonton wrapper with a tablespoon of filling and dab egg white on the corners of the wrappers. Fold two ends together, then the other ends to make a little package. Make sure they are completely sealed. Fry at 350 degrees F until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and serve with sweet and sour.

Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip

Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 5
I have a thing for dips. Chips and dip are my nemesis, my inner fat kid’s favorite snack. Seriously, I would eat them everyday if I could. We were playing a game recently called Truth Be Told and each round you have to answer a question about the reader of the card. Then they are read aloud and everyone tries to guess what the reader said. So, you come up with an answer that is fitting to the reader since you get points if they guess your answer. Does that make sense? Anyway, one of the questions was “what’s one food you wish was healthy?” CHIPS. Chips are always the answer. Chips for life. Sweets I can take or leave most of the time but savory snacks get me every time.
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 1
So when I started thinking about something yummy to share with you all for the Super Bowl, my brain naturally went to a dip that I could dunk chips into. Sorry I was a little self-centered but I figured you guys wouldn’t argue. I’ve been really digging bleu cheese lately and was enjoying it in a Cobb salad with some bacon and roasted corn a few days ago and thought it would make an amazing sweet, smoky and tangy combination for a hot dip. With tortilla chips of course. I guess if you want to be healthy you could use celery, but it’s the Super Bowl, why would you want to do that?
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 3
This dip is mixed and cooked in a crock pot for easy prep and clean up. I love a set it and forget it kind of appetizer especially for football games since I usually have a lot of snack-y type things to prepare. This could even be mixed up the night before and refrigerated. Just add another half hour or so to the cooking time to ensure it warms through and the cheeses melt.
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 6
The super sweet corn and strong, stinky bleu cheese create a nice contrast. And bacon makes everything better. I may have eaten half the batch for lunch yesterday. Maybe. This would be perfect for snacking on while waiting hours for the pizza to be delivered on Super Bowl night. Not that we would know from experience.
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 2
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip

3 1/3 cups frozen corn, thawed
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cubed
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled*
Salt and pepper to taste

Dump all ingredients into a crockpot and mix. Cook for 2 hours on low, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortillas chips or raw veggies for dipping.

*Before cooking, partially freeze bacon then slice very thinly. Cook in a skillet and it’s recipe ready.
Bacon and Bleu Hot Corn Dip 7

Hot Black Bean Dip {Football Food}

Hot Black Bean Dip
Those that know me well know that chips are my downfall, my nemesis, that one food I just can’t resist. I seriously have a hard time practicing self control when they are around. Which is why they are only in my house on rare occasions. Football games being such times since they are the perfect snack to inhale while watching the game. And although I would be perfectly happy with a bowl of chips (sea salt kettle chips to be precise), it’s nice to whip up a dip so that I can say I had black beans for dinner instead of just chips……
Hot Black Bean Dip
Tortilla chips are the perfect vehicle for this spicy, smoky, cheesy black bean dip. This dip takes a few steps but it’s very simple and can even be prepared ahead of time then put in the oven right before kick off, giving you time to whip up more delicious food to chow down on during the game. Because I guess eating chips and dip for dinner is not the appropriate adult thing to do.

And if for some totally indescribable reason you don’t like chips (I’m not sure we can be friends anymore), this dip is also very tasty atop crispy baked sweet potato fries.
Hot Black Bean Dip
Hot Black Bean Dip
recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 (15½-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed well, divided
2 canned chipotle chiles, minced + 3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
¾ cup water
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½ cups frozen corn, thawed
6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups), divided
6 ounces sharp Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups), divided
¾ cup chopped cilantro, divided
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking pan (I used an 8×8) with non-stick spray.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and salt, cooking until softened and translucent (about 4 minutes).Add the garlic and chili powder and cook another minute. Stir in 1 can of black beans, chipotles and adobo sauce, water and tomatoes. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, 2-3 minutes.

3. Transfer the black bean mixture to a food processor or blender then add the vinegar. Process until smooth then pour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining black beans, corn, half of the cheeses, 1/2 cup cilantro and pepper. Dump into prepared pan then top with the remaining cheese. (At this point you can cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake and serve – if you do this add 5-10 minutes to the baking time). Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Top with remaining cilantro for garnish.

Three Cheese Fondue

Three Cheese Fondue 2
Fondue is usually our go to meal on evenings when Noah spends the night at my parent’s house. He’s a cheese and carboholic but I’ve just never felt comfortable letting him eat something with so much wine in it. Poor guy would be ticked if he knew what was going on when he wasn’t around.

I’ve made many different fondue recipes, I’ve never actually made the same one twice. That is, until now. This will most definitely be my go-to recipe going forward. I am not a fan of swiss cheese so after trying several different versions of the classic fondue, I decided it was time to switch up the cheese and break tradition.
Three Cheese Fondue 3
This fondue recipe combines smoked gouda, extra sharp cheddar and parmesan to create the ultimate ooey, gooey dip for all your favorite accompaniments. Some of our favorite dippers are chicken, steak, crusty French bread, ciabatta, steamed broccoli and lightly sautéed zucchini. Soft pretzels are also pretty darn amazing if you are really feeling wild.

Three Cheese Fondue
recipe adapted from Nugget Market

1/2 lb. smoked gouda, shredded
1/2 lb. extra sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan, shredded
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
¼ cup cornstarch, enough to coat the cheese
Kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Grated nutmeg to taste
Shot of hot sauce
Assorted dippers such as bread, chicken, steak, broccoli, zucchini, soft pretzels, carrots

1. Smash the garlic cloves and rub inside of fondue pot or heavy saucepan; then discard the garlic.

2. Put saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat (or heat fondue pot to medium heat) and add the white wine, scraping with a wooden spoon to dissolve the garlic residue. Toss the gouda, cheddar and parmesan in a bowl with cornstarch, add the cheese to the saucepan or fondue pot and melt; stir to prevent scorching. When melted, add the nutmeg and hot sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste.

 

Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole

I absolutely love magazines but rarely buy them but when I saw this one last week I just couldn’t resist.
Bacon!
Yikes…not good for the whole diet thing. Seriously, 108 bacon recipes! That’s just crazy talk.
Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole
This guac recipe is not from the magazine but can you tell I had bacon on my mind? I whipped up a Mexican feast for the in-laws this past weekend and needed a yummy little appetizer to start things off. Joel is kind of addicted to guacamole so I knew it would be the perfect starter.
Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole
I have a standard go-to guacamole but I wanted to spice things up and try one of the many fun, creative varieties that I have been seeing so much of lately. And really, what’s better than roasted garlic and bacon? Not much in my opinion.
Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole
My father-in-law Ken doesn’t even like guacamole but he really enjoyed this recipe. I think that says a lot!

The roasted garlic brings a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and the bacon brings its signature smoky, saltiness. The perfect way to start off a little fiesta!

Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole
recipe slightly adapted from Fabtastic Eats

1 head of garlic
Olive Oil
3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 avocados, pit removed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Juice of 1 Lime
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped*
Kosher salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Meanwhile, slice a bit of the top off of the garlic (just enough to cut open each clove) then place it on a square of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Seal it up tightly and bake for about 45 minutes.

2. Place avocados in a bowl and mash to desired consistency. Squeeze roasted garlic into the mashed avocado and mix along with the bacon, cayenne, lime juice and cilantro. Add kosher salt to taste. Enjoy with chips and carrot sticks.

*I left out the cilantro because Joel isn’t a big fan but I think it would be an amazing addition and am totally adding it next time.

Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole

Fried Ravioli

Fried Ravioli
What’s better than pasta? Pasta coated in breadcrumbs, fried and dipped in marinara sauce. I made these up along with some pizza poppers for the Super Bowl last weekend. This is a little off topic but I made the poppers with Pillsbury garlic breadstick dough this time and omg were they good. Definitely recommend doing that asap.

Back to the ravioli. These are super simple to whip up and only require a few ingredients making them the perfect appetizer for your next gathering. I only let myself have one then proceeded to drool as Joel ate a hefty amount of them.
Fried Ravioli
These are definitely better with fresh ravioli (5 cheese is my favorite) but if they aren’t available frozen will do. Try these crispy little babies out, you won’t be sorry.

Fried Ravioli
recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 box store-bought ravioli, thawed if frozen
2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
marinara or pizza sauce for dipping

1. Heat oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, place the milk in a one bowl. In another bowl (I use a pie plate), combine both breadcrumbs with the 2 Tbsp. parmesan.

2. Dip the ravioli’s in the milk then into the breadcrumb mixture until fully coated. Fry, a few at a time, until golden. Drain on a paper towel then enjoy with marinara or pizza sauce.