Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Roasted Vegetable Phyllo Dough Pizza

Step outside of the traditional pizza box with this flaky Roasted Vegetable Phyllo Dough Pizza. Razor-thin layers of crispy phyllo dough are topped with herb roasted vegetables, grated parmesan, and fresh mozzarella cheeses. This recipe is a serious game changer in the world of pizza.

Now you guys know me when it comes to my undeniable love for pizza.  It is that single food that in all of my *covers mouth and coughs <insert age here>* years that I have never grown tired of.  I literally make this every single week, sometimes more than once a week.  I’ve made it a million and 7 ways and have had a bajillion different toppings, sauces and yes even crusts.  There’s not a single thing I don’t like about pizza. That being said, after having a family pizza shop for 17 years I consider myself to be an expert when it comes to taste, texture, and well, what makes a good pizza.  Is it the sauce?  Is it the dough?  Is it the cheese?

The answer is simple… yes! It’s all 3 to be honest.  You can have a killer sauce and awesome dough but if you put on the wrong cheese it will ruin the pizza.  Same thing with the dough – you have fresh burrata, basil that is as pristine as can be and that sauce… you’d sell your grandmother for another batch of it but then you get the dough. It tastes like that pizza that you found under your bed, covered in dust bunnies and a rogue penny embedded in it that you lost in your room when you were 13.

So know this folks, when I post a pizza recipe, it’s good.  No I mean it’s GOOD!  If I won’t eat it I would never post about it. I’m a HUUUUUUUUUUGE pizza snob and this girl does not play when it comes to pizza!

And today, that’s where this pizza comes into play.  I teamed up with my SoFabFood.com Family to share one of my killer pizza recipes. This recipe, yeah it’s definitely going to be outside of your pizza comfort zone because this is definitely not a standard pizza shop pie but dear lord it needs to be!  If I didn’t know how to make this and I found someone who could I’d be their best customer!
Taking your pizza to the next level!

Avocado Egg Crostini

Move over smashed avocado toast, you’re big brother is in town and taking over your favorite go-to snack!  Crispy olive oil crostini, fried egg, thinly sliced avocado, salt flakes and a few dashes of Sriracha elevate your smashed toast to a whole new level!

Oh smashed avocado dippy egg toast how I love you beyond words. You’re healthy and delicious; messy and worth every napkin in the house; comforting and simplistic. However…

<deep sigh>

I’ve been cheating on you…

I’ve been loving someone else more; giving them my love and adoration. I’m not replacing you – please you will forever have a place in my heart but for the time being, you have no place in my belly.

It’s not you, it’s me. I just wanted to dip my toes in another pool…a pool of deliciousness. So okay peeps, you know how much I absolutely LOVE my avocado egg toast but I wanted to mix it up. While it’s pretty much the same toppings as the toast making just a few tweaks totally changes the recipe into something different, something…more. I had a few bageuettes at home and they were getting a bit hard.  And while I could have turned them into croutons or breadcrumbs, I didn’t need any. So I decided to just make some crostini bread for something later. I just wasn’t sure what the something was.
Take your favorite go-to snack and make it a appetizer or snack show stopper!

Chimichurri Sauce

Jump on board the Flavor Train with this Ultimate Chimichurri sauce! Packed with fresh herbs & spices you’ll send your dishes over the top with this insanely delicious sauce!

So chimichurri sauce is one of those sauces that sounds super complicated and requires special ingredients but it’s not and it doesn’t. These ingredients are ones that you pretty much can find year round in the store. Cilantro is a KEY component in this dish. But I know, I know you hate cilantro. Fine, you can make this with using just fresh parsley and oregano – some say it’s actually the authentic Argentine way. However for me it’s all about the Cilantro. I need it and I love it.

To make this dish is seriously simple – no real prep work other than chopping the onions ahead of time.  All you need is a food processor and a little patience (just to stream in the oil).

Most of us know to use chimichurri on skirt or flank steak. Rightly so, it’s awesome (see pic below) but you can use it in so many other ways. I love it atop a fritatta or as a base for a steak/chicken/shrimp crostini. It’s great used with grilled steak on a pizza or really any protein. And yes even in a soup it’s a nice additive topping.

Kick up your meals by topping them with some amazing Chimichurri sauce!

Bacon Chicken Ranch Meatballs

We’re talking this is a meatball game changer folks!  This homemade blend of ground chicken and bacon, ranch and spices make up one SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS meatball! You cannot eat just one of these! And if you tried well, that’s just cruel!

Growing up Mom only ever made meatballs when she made spaghetti. They never were made outside of that.  Maybe if she had leftovers she made meatball subs but she never set out to intentionally have meatballs be the main dish. And never, ever were they considered an appetizer.  They were kind of like the “Plus 1” on a wedding invite.  They weren’t really invited but it was assumed they’d be there. And if I’m being honest here, Mom’s meatballs weren’t exactly on the top of my favorite foods list for 2 reasons:

  1. They had GINORMOUS chunks of onions in them. No no no no NO, never never never in my world, EVER!
  2. She used the exact same recipe for her meatballs as she did for her meatloaf… and I hated her meatloaf

Now I didn’t have my first “OMG that’s what a meatball is supposed to taste like?!?!” until I was in my mid-twenties and I was on a date pre-Mr. Fantabulous.  This guy (how terrible am I that I can’t even remember his name but I can remember the food?!) took me to this little Italian restaurant in the middle of no where for dinner. The place was old school – marinara stained red and white checkered tablecloths, old wine bottles with wax dripping down the sides and a waiter that spoke very broken English.
Take your meatballs beyond the plate of pasta!

Cucumber Cups with Creamy Chicken Whip

Easy, Healthy, Lo-Carb and Seriously Delicious are what these Cucumber Cups with Creamy Chicken Whip are all about! Cream cheese, chicken and spices whipped to a light mousse pipped into a cucumber cup.  Um HELLO!  YOU CAN EAT THE BOWL! 

*WARNING  – this post is deep and emotional* Wow, the end of January already.  I’ll be glad when this month is over because this month has sucked for me royally. The only thing that has been keeping me going is all of the healthy and delicious foods I’ve been whipping up.  With my sister’s recent passing I did something for the first time in my life – I went to food for comfort.  Food for comfort, not comfort food.  Big difference.  To me comfort foods make you feel all snuggly and hugged from the inside. They remind you of a memory, something that made you feel safe, loved, secure.

Yeah, no, food was nothing like that. I was (am still) so devastated that I literally was empty; numb. It’s like you are so sad that you can’t even cry if that makes sense. Mr. Fantabulous did everything perfect (and still does) to help me through the initial days after she passed to even now however I still felt … empty. I would just wander around the house, tissues in hand not really looking or focusing on one thing.  Even though not once did he ask for anything I would go out to the kitchen, cook/bake but it was like *I* was just going through the motions.  I had no appetite yet somehow all I did was eat.. non-stop.  So desperate to “feel” something other than sadness and pain.

…and that’s where food came into play. Food tastes good. It provides a type of satisfaction that is almost euphoric at times; it made me feel something other than pain. If it wasn’t nailed down or frozen solid I ate it. I did this for honestly about a day and that night I was sick as a dog. My body isn’t used to that.  That night I didn’t sleep much (from being so sad and from being so sick  – god my poor stomach) and started to think about what I had done.

So the next morning as I was making him his breakfast I started to reach for the jar of peanut butter and wheat bread (even though I literally ate a yogurt and protein shake like 10 minutes prior). I wasn’t hungry but it was like something my head triggered a “food = no more sadness” thought however this time I caught myself.  So I figured if I was going to eat (because honestly I cared but not really) I’d at least make healthy stuff that wouldn’t make me gain 50 pounds overnight or make me sick as a dog. Plus you know me, I firmly believe that eating healthy does not mean you have to sacrifice flavor.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you sacrifice flavor

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