Archive for Appetizers and Snacks

July 16th, 2014

Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles

Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles


Hot days call for cool measures.  These Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles are as cool and refreshing as they are delicious!  The beautiful colors supplied by mother nature just call out to you to take a big bite!

Your kids are going to love to make them and to eat them {that is of course, if you decide to share…}


Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles


Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles


1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed

8 kiwis, peeled and diced

In a small saucepan, make a simple syrup by heating the water and sugar  until sugar is dissolved.  In a blender, combine the watermelon with 1 tablespoon of the simple syrup.  Blend until smooth.  Divide the watermelon mixture between popsicle molds - you can make the layers even or I did about two thirds watermelon and one third kiwi.  The amount will depend on size of molds.    Add popsicle sticks and freeze at least 2 hours.

In a blender, combine the kiwi with 2-3 tablespoons of the remaining simple syrup (more or less to taste or depending on sweetness of fruit).  Blend until smooth.  Remove popsicles from freezer and pour kiwi mix on top of watermelon mix.  Freeze until completely solid, about 3-4 hours or overnight.




July 8th, 2014

Crockpot Refried Beans

Crockpot Refried Beans

Seriously Refried Beans.  Beans don’t seem that appealing I know.  Refried beans were never one of those things that I really wanted to dip in a spoon and just eat. The refried beans out of a can just don’t seem that appetizing. However, since I have started making my own I can’t get enough of them. These beans are seriously AMAZING!  I can’t even describe the difference between homemade and the canned ones.  They are not even really the same thing at all.   I’d be happy with a bowl of these Refried Beans and a bag of tortilla chips – Dinner!

It does take a little thought ahead of time to make sure your beans have long enough to cook, but other than that they are so simple. I live to double the recipe (make sure your crockpot is big enough) and freeze them in smaller portions to pull out when we need them.

Crockpot Refried Beans

Crockpot Refried Beans


1 pound dry pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
1 jalapeno, seeded
1 1/2 – 2 yellow onions
3-5 teaspoons minced garlic, divided use
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
about 5 Tablespoons bacon drippings
1 lime


Note – I live at a high elevation, so I place my beans in the crockpot the night before and cook on low overnight. If you live lower, you can cook them the morning of, or overnight if you are worried about them cooking through. You can’t over cook them. :)

Place beans in crockpot and cover with water until water is at least 2 inches above the beans. Add the jalapeno and 1 onion that has been peeled and cut in half, and 3 teaspoons minced garlic. Cook on high 6-8 hours.

When the beans are tender, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, discard remaining liquid. Place the beans, cooked vegetables (jalapeno, onion and garlic) and the vinegar in a blender or food processor. Blend until desired consistency is reached using the reserved liquid a little at a time. Return to crockpot on low.

Mince the remaining onion (use your judgement here – either a half or whole onion). Heat the bacon drippings in a skillet over medium-high heat; add the minced onion and remaining garlic and cook until tender. Add to the beans and stir to combine. Add salt to taste, be generous. Before serving, stir in the juice from 1/2 of the lime. (Again, add more if desired.) I like my refried beans topped with a little Cotija cheese.


July 1st, 2014

Easy 4th of July Strawberry Sticks

Strawberry Sticks

Today is July 1st and that means on Friday people around the country will be celebrating the 4th of July. There will be picnics and barbecues going on all over the county and fireworks will light up the night skies. Hopefully, it will be a day filled of family, friends, good food and a whole lot of fun.

Every celebration needs great food, and these Easy 4th of July Strawberry Sticks are festive. Decorated in Red, White and Blue they are perfect for all those picnics and barbecues; or how about while watching fireworks.

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If you are planning to make a few of these 4th of July Strawberry Sticks, be sure to make plenty. These don’t last long, before you know it the entire batch of them is gone. ;)

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Easy 4th of July Strawberry Sticks

1 package strawberry wafer cookies
12 oz. white chocolate (can use chocolate chips, melting wafers, baking squares, etc)
additional chocolate, melting wafers and/or sprinkles for decorating


Line a baking tray with wax paper; set aside. Melt white chocolate according to package instructions. Dip each wafer cookie into chocolate until completely covered. Lift cookie out with a fork and allow excess to drip off and place on prepared baking tray. Repeat with desired number of wafer cookies. Place cookies in the refrigerator until chocolate is set.

To Decorate:

If using sprinkles, add before setting the chocolate in the refrigerator other wise, drizzle with contrasting chocolate, if desired after chocolate has set.


June 26th, 2014

Roasted Corn Relish

Roasted Corn Relish

We like to make fajitas a lot at our house, especially in the summer time when we can take the steak or chicken out to the grill. It is one of those meals every one can enjoy.  It is so simple to throw a couple of extras out on the grill to make this Roasted Corn Relish.  It takes just a few minutes but makes such a difference.  We like to eat it either on the fajitas or on the side with some chips as a dip.  Either way it is delicious.  Of course this Roasted Corn Relish can be made with anything or served as an appetizer or just an afternoon snack, any way you choose.

Roasted Corn Salsa

Roasted Corn Relish


4 ears of corn, husked
10 green onions
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
zest of 1 lime
juice from same lime
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder


Brush the corn and green onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat until slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes for onions and 7 minutes for corn. Once corn is cool to the touch, cut kernels into a bowl. Coarsely chop the green onions and add them to the corn. Stir in the cilantro, lime zest and juice, chipotle powder and salt and pepper. Serve over fajitas, tacos or with chips.


June 24th, 2014

Brazilian Cheese Bread (pão de queijo)

Brazilian Cheese Breead


Even if you’re not a fan of soccer you can’t help but hear all about the World Cup and the beautiful country of Brazil.  My husband actually served a two-year  mission for our church in Brazil before we were married.  He often talks about Brazil and mentions those favorite Brazilian foods.  He would frequent the local bakeries and pick up a baked good for lunch or dinner.  This pão de queijo or Brazilian Cheese Bread  as it is known to me, were some of his favorites.

It makes sense, since I am a food blogger after all and it seems logical that I would eventually make something Brazilian for him.  Well, finally!  These little balls of deliciousness did not disappoint.  The entire batch was gone within minutes.


Brazilian Cheese Bread


And for my gluten-free friends, go ahead and eat this bread.  It is gluten-free using only tapioca flour.

As you watch the World Cup and cheer on your favorite team, a little Brazilian Cheese Bread may be in order.  Afterall, every team is playing in Brazil.

Brazilian Cheese Bread (pão de queijo)


1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (10 ounces) tapioca flour
2 eggs
1 – 1 1/2 cups cheese (I like to use Parmesan and Cheddar but feel free to use all Parmesan or a blend of other cheeses.)


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking pan with parchment and set aside.

Combine the milk, oil, and salt in the saucepan, and whisking occasionally, bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk.

Add all of the tapioca flour to the saucepan and stir until you see no more dry tapioca flour. The dough will be grainy and gelatinous at this point.

Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can do the next few steps by hand. Be prepared for a work-out.) Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it smooths out and has cooled enough that you can hold your finger against the dough for several seconds.

Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. With the mixer on medium, beat the eggs into the dough in two additions. Wait until the first addition has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

With the mixer on medium, beat in the cheese until fully incorporated. The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft with a consistency between cake batter and cookie dough.

Using a tablespoon measure, or a dinner spoon, scoop rounded portions of the dough into mounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Space the mounds an inch or two apart. {Dip your scoop in water periodically to prevent sticking.}

Transfer the sheet with the puffs to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the puffs have puffed, the outsides are dry, and they are just starting to color. Cool briefly and eat. Leftover puffs can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week and re-crisped in a warm oven or toaster oven.

If you need to bake a second tray, be sure to return the oven to 450 before placing tray in the oven.

Recipe slightly adapted from the kitchn.



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Caramel Potatoes

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