I happened across this recipe through pinterest, and had to give it a try! We’re a big fan of brownies at my house, and I ADORE chocolate, but sometimes I just want to switch it up a little. So, why not lemon “brownies”? This was even quicker/easier than making brownies from scratch (because you don’t have to melt any chocolate!), and they would be a fantastic dessert option for a bridal shower or luncheon because of the light, fruity taste!
“Lemonies” (or Lemon “Brownies”)
From Ashley’s Kitchen, of McDonuts
I am a big fan of simple recipes for easy entertaining. Here is one of my all-time favorite recipes that is as easy as can be:
Roasted Grapes, Thyme and Fresh Ricotta on Grilled Bread
This recipe is so simple but looks so beautiful in its presentation. Your holiday guests will think you are a gourmet chef after tasting this simple (but very delicious) recipe!
fresh thyme sprigs
good rustic/french bread, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
fresh ricotta cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Spread the grapes onto a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the kosher salt. Lay thyme leaves over top of the grapes. Mix and toss gently with your hands or a spoon. Place cookie sheet in the oven for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on your oven, times will vary) or until grapes just begin to burst — they will smell and look beautiful!
2. In the meantime, heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. I typically use our George Foreman Grill for this and it is so easy! Brush the bread with olive oil and grill until toasted.
3. Assemble the ingredients: spread fresh ricotta over each slice of grilled bread. Top with the roasted grapes but be very sure to discard the thyme sprigs. The sprigs are overpowering in taste if you serve them with the grapes on the bread. The thyme is just meant to season the grapes, not to serve with them. And voila – an easy recipe for entertaining during the holidays!
Recipe adapted from: Real Simple Magazine and http://www.wellsphere.com/healthy-eating-article/lunch-roasted-grapes-with-thyme-fresh-ricotta-grilled-bread/1501505
I happened across this recipe in an old library book (which I can’t remember the name of now–dang it!). And, I know what you’re thinking: APPLE salsa!?!? But, trust me, it is delicious! The tart apples and lime juice are perfectly balanced by the creamy avocado and zippy cilantro. I get compliments on this stuff whenever I take it to a potluck of any kind; it’s also especially great when served with fajitas. Plus, it looks gorgeously festive for the upcoming Holiday season! Enjoy!
1 Cup Granny Smith (or other tart) apple, diced
1/2 Cup ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1/4 Cup sweet red pepper, diced (as you can see from the picture, I also used some yellow peppers)
1/4 Cup purple onion, diced
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeño, seeded and minced (I never actually use this, because we like it a little less spicy!)
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and toss well. Make an hour or two ahead for best flavor results. Yield: 2 Cups.
From Amanda’s kitchen, of ArtisanMaskers
Mock Apple Crisp
Doesn’t this Autumny apple crisp look delicious? Well, if you thought those were apples you’d be WRONG! Believe it or not, this is a picture of my sister’s “mock apple” crisp, which uses not apples, but ZUCCHINI! (Great way to use up all the excess zucchini from your garden, right?) Here we go!
First, to turn all that zucchini into “apples”!
8 Cups Zucchini, peeled, seeded, and chopped into “apple-like” chunks or slices
3/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
Boil zucchini pieces in lemon juice until tender (about 15 minutes). Add sugar, spices, and cornstarch and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly.
To make “crisp” topping, cut together with a pastry blender:
1 Stick Cold Butter (1/2 Cup)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Oats
1 tsp Cinnamon
Pour your mock apple mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle crisp topping crumbs evenly over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until top looks slightly browned. Enjoy hot with ice cream!
I’m actually expecting my fourth baby right now. That being the case crazy cravings hit me at weird times. Just before midnight the other night, I NEEDED nachos! With good, gooey, spicy nacho cheese, of course! Well, I never buy Velveeta, so I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find a good recipe online that I’d actually have the ingredients for. I was surprised that a lot of recipes were basically just a white sauce with sharp cheddar added. Easy! So, here’s the slightly spiced up version I whipped up to satisfy the craving.
Easy Nacho Cheese at Home
2 Tbsp margarine
¼- ½ a small onion, diced (roughly 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp flour
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash black pepper
1 ½ – 2 Cups milk
Cheddar cheese to taste, sliced or grated
½ can diced green chiles (4 oz can; you could probably scoop in a couple tablespoons of your favorite salsa, if you don’t have chiles on hand!)
Melt margarine over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and peppers. Gradually whisk in milk. (Adjust amount of milk according to your own preferences on thickness.) Whisk often until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes. (Don’t let the sauce boil or the milk will curdle. Still tastes good, but the creaminess is ruined. If you’re nervous, just watch it carefully, whisk pretty constantly, and lower the heat as needed. You shouldn’t have a problem.) Lower heat and gradually add cheese. When cheese is melted, stir in chiles (or salsa). Cook just a couple minutes more to let the spicy flavors blend, then remove from heat. Serve with or pour over tortilla chips! This should make enough for you, your honey, and a couple of friends. Or just you, if you’re expecting, too. ;D
From Jennifer’s kitchen (of ClayBouquetShop)
My Mom made these for my sister and I when we were kids (my aunt sent her the recipe from a magazine), and I now make these for my husband and me for a quick dinner. It’s an easy recipe, hearty, and mighty scrumptious…and only uses a saute pan (large) and a few muffin pans for easy clean-up. Perfect for a party appetizer (the recipe is easily multiplied) or a quick and easy recipe for an eat-with-your-hands (or a fork and knife) item while watching a DVD together on Friday night. They reheat wonderfully in the microwave or oven for leftovers, but it could be a bit messy if you are working on DIY crafts. : )
(Photos and a variation of the recipe was found on http://allrecipes.com/recipe/barbecue-beef-cups/
I’m glad I didn’t have to make them to get photos to share…way too busy with bouquet orders…and getting ready for vacation with my husband! : )
Saute the onion until they are cooked (translucent). Add the meat, cook fully and drain.
Mix the BBQ sauce into the meat mixture in the cooking pan. Fully coat the meat, but don’t make it too wet, as the biscuits would end up soggy.
By Janice of NeverAPlainJane
I love this recipe. The ingredients are available any time of year, it can serve a group of any size, and it works for any meal.
3 lbs small potatoes (Yukon Gold or Red Bliss)
3 Tbs. olive oil or butter
¼ cup chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley
Fresh ground pepper
- Throw your potatoes into a pot of cold, salted water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until you can easily slip a knife into one of the potatoes. I usually check mine after ten minutes, then every few minutes after that.
- Drain your potatoes and transfer back into the pot. Smash (not mash, we’re going for hearty chunks not smooth mush) with the back of a wooden spoon while drizzling with your olive oil or adding chunks of butter.
- Transfer to a roasting pan and broil until potatoes start to crisp.
- Shower with chives or parsley, sea salt, and pepper.
If you are making smashed potatoes for some lucky guests attending brunch, throw in some bacon bits. For any meal-centric gathering, consider adding a generous handful of grated cheddar. Stick the cheese-topped potatoes back under the broiler for an additional minute or two so the cheese gets nice and melty. Should my husband be in attendance, it wouldn’t hurt to have a dish of sour cream available as well.