Popcorn Party Mix

Sure, you can open up a bag of store bought party mix, pour it into a bowl and serve it to your guests. Or, you can make your own customized, crunchy, savory party mix that people will devour. Just you and your TV on Sunday night for The Oscars? No problem. This bowl of deliciousness will keep you company during the show and happens to love a couture gown.

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Popcorn Party Mix

From Smitten Kitchen

3 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp popcorn kernels
1 cup peanuts
2 cups waffle pretzels
1 cup broken-up bagel chips
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp mustard powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Heat oven to 250°F.  Heat olive oil over high heat in a large pot and add in your popcorn kernels, cover with a lid.  Wait for all the popcorn to pop and when the popping begins to slow down, remove pot from heat and dump your popcorn in a large mixing bowl. Add in the nuts, pretzels, chips or crackers to the popcorn.

Place butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Melt the butter and keep cooking it, stirring occasionally until it begins to turn a golden brown.  Remove from heat, and whisk in worcestershire, sugar, spices and salt.

Pour butter mixture over popcorn mix and toss well until all the ingredients are coated. Spread out the popcorn mix on a large baking sheet or two if needed. Bake for 45 minutes. Let the mix cool completed before storing.

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Locked & Loaded Nachos

I like to think of myself as a nacho artisan. I’ve come a long way from my microwave nacho days where I would take a humble bag of tortilla chips, some taco sauce from a jar, shredded cheese and zap it in the microwave. Years later I took my nacho game to the next level by topping my nachos with fresh tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream, sliced green onions and black olives. Today, I am proud to say I have reached new heights in my nacho career. Game-winning, crowd-roaring heights – just in time for the Super Bowl! I present to you my Locked & Loaded Nachos. Tortilla chips (from Whole Foods…I told you I was not messing around) are topped with the finest and freshest ingredients on this earth. Black beans pureed with sauteed fresh garlic and red onion and then hit with little bit of lime juice. Fresh tomatoes diced to perfection and mixed with jalapenos, red onions, vinegar and cilantro. Guac. And the finishing touch – sliced jalapenos and radishes. Oh and artfully piped sour cream. Does anyone know a skilled nacho conservator by the way?

 

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Locked & Loaded Nachos

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Black beans

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Guac

  • 1 avocado
  • half a lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Chips and assembly

  • sturdy tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • sour cream

Heat olive oil over medium heat and add in red onion and garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes until the onion is soft. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor and add black beans, lime juice, and ¼ cup water. Season with salt and pepper and process until smooth.

Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper and red onion. Mix until smooth.

Preheat oven to 425. On a sheet pan, lay out your tortilla chips and top with dollops of the bean mixture and shredded cheese. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with guac, pico de gallo, sliced jalapenos, radishes, and a drizzle of sour cream. Devour. They’re insane.

Buffalo Wing Popcorn

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Last year, I went all out and it was awesome. Wings, chili, cornbread, baked salami, deviled eggs – the spread was ludicrous and I retired from ever hosting a Super Bowl party again. This year, I wanted to keep things simple yet festive, so I decided to make this insanely addicting Buffalo Wing Popcorn. It’s like caramel corn with a spicy zing. And, I just couldn’t resist making my football deviled eggs again. This is a great dish to bring to a party – it’s easy enough and the caramel + buffalo wing flavor is a game-winning combination.

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Buffalo Wing Popcorn

From Bon Appetit

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

8 cups popped plain popcorn (from ½ cup kernels)

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup hot sauce

3 tbs unsalted butter or margarine, cut into pieces

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp baking soda

tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 300°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. Lightly coat parchment or foil and a large bowl or large nonstick pot with nonstick spray; add popcorn to bowl or pot.

Bring sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, swirling pan occasionally, until caramel is a deep amber color, 10–12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in hot sauce and butter (mixture will bubble). Return to a boil and cook another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt, baking soda, and cayenne. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and toss to coat. Spread out popcorn on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

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Latke Night In America (Support the Troops)

Chanukah is kind of like the county fair. BBQ beef, the opportunity to win prizes, and a celebration of freedom in the best way we know how- eating fried stuff. On Chanukah, we celebrate the Maccabees beating the Greeks (‘mericans love a good fight), and the Temple menorah burning for eight straight nights (fireworks). In the spirit of the holiday, I decided to heat up my skillet and make you folks some latkes. Latkes are an ambitious undertaking for anyone, especially for those living in under-ventilated apartments. But, one bite of these golden fried latkes will make it all worthwhile. Grab your buds, grab some brews and get ready for a star-spangled fight, cuz it’s Latke Night in America.

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Latkes

Adapted from Bon Appetit photo 1

5 russet potatoes

1 large onion

2 large eggs

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

4 tbs vegetable oil (per fry session)

sour cream

lox

Peel potatoes. Grate the potatoes and onions using the large holes of a box grater or food processor. Using a paper towel ring out the moisture from the potato and onion mixture. Add eggs, baking powder, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mix well. Heat oil over medium high heat. Using a spoon drop a small amount of latke mixture into the pan and flatten slightly with a spatula. Cook for about 2.5-3 minutes per side. Place the latkes on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Top with smoked salmon, sour cream or applesauce. Take a shower.

Tartines

I’m not quite sure what inspired me to whip up a mid-week tartine party. A tartine, for you plebeians, is a French open-faced sandwich topped with spreadable ingredients. It’s possible the inspiration came from looking at a tartine-devoted Pinterest board or flipping through the latest issue of Bon Appetit, or maybe it’s just my innate gravitation toward all things classy. Think of a tartine as a blank canvass.  Don’t know what to do with those heirlooms and fresh goat cheese? Slap it on some good french bread and call it a day. Mash avocado and sprinkle red pepper flakes and sea salt on top. Layer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Ricotta, fresh figs and a drizzle of honey? Yes, please. If you really think about it though, these tartines are not that distant from a dish my dad used to call S.O.S— or, “shit on a shingle,” a staple in U.S. army cuisine, made of rehydrated slivers of dried beef in a white sauce served on toast. Wisely my dad traded his serving of S.O.S for fruit cocktail. I knew I had classy roots. So, if you’re looking for a way to class up a Tuesday night, look no further than tartines. Toast. It’s what’s for dinner.

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Egg Salad and Smoked Salmon Tartine

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

4 eggs

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp mayo

salt and pepper

1 tsp chopped fresh dill

a few pieces of smoked salmon

2 sliced of french bread

Place eggs in a small pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, cover and turn the heat off. Let the eggs sit for about 10 minutes. Peel the eggs and cool until they are room temperature. Smash up the eggs with the back of a fork and mix in the mustard, mayo, dill, and salt and pepper. Brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toast in a 350 degree oven until slightly browned. Place a piece of smoked salmon on the bread, spread on the egg salad and garnish with a sprig of dill. Cut in half and serve.

Roasted Eggplant, Goat Cheese and Tomato Tartine

1 small eggplant

1 tomato, slices

1 clove garlic

red pepper flakes

1/2 a lemon

goat cheese

sea salt

cumin

2 slices of french bread

Wrap the eggplant in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until very soft. Mash up the eggplant in a bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice, red pepper flakes, cumin and sea salt. Brush the bread with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and toast in a 350 degree oven until slightly browned. Spread the eggplant mixture on the bread, dot with the goat cheese and top with fresh tomato slices and sea salt. Cut in half and serve.

Fig and Arugula Salad

2 cups of arugula

4 fresh figs

drizzle of honey

drizzle of olive oil

drizzle of balsamic vinegar

shaved parmesan

salt and pepper

In a bowl, combine arugula, sliced figs, shaved parmesan and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Sprinkle salt and pepper and toss to combine.

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Apple, Gruyere & Caramelized Onion Tarts

Loyal fans, (hi, Mom) how I’ve missed you! Spring has sprung and while everyone is loading up their shopping carts with Matzah and macaroons (no, not the chic ones), I’m busy whipping up little party snacks for the heck of it. These. Will. Blow. Your. Mind.  I can’t even write my usual sharp little intro, these are just too delicious to not swoon over immediately. The combination of tart apple, caramelized onion,  savory mushroom and that sharp gruyere cheese will take your tastebuds to a whole new planet.  These little delights are really out of this world. Plus, the petite size allows you to eat at least five before feeling any sort of food remorse.

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Don’t judge me by my brand name spatula…

 

 

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Source: Williams-Sonoma 

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

4 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp butter

1 granny smith apple, peeled and cubed

1 tsp sugar

1½ oz. shredded gruyere cheese

½ tsp dried thyme

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and throw in sliced onions. Saute for about 20 minutes with a pinch of salt until the onions are nicely brown and caramelized. Set aside in a bowl. Cook mushrooms in the same pan for about 5 minutes and put them in the bowl with the onions. In the same pan, melt butter and sauté apples with the the sugar for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and add to the onion and mushroom mixture. Add the cheese and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Using a pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 2 inch rectangles and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the puff pastry with egg and put a tablespoon of the filling in the center of each rectangle. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Lock yourself in a room with them. Enjoy with good friends.

 

Game Day

The Super Bowl is over, leaving only a trail of beer cans and indigestion in its wake.  It was a game to forget, but a night to remember at my apartment, with guests so sated by the food that one ended up unconscious on the floor. The wings showed more fight than Peyton Manning and the spices in the chili were more aggressive than Seattle’s defense— this was the game of my life.   Football deviled eggs, chili, corn bread muffins, baked salami, hot wings, fun punch, roasted chickpeas, chips, dips and more. This spread was more ludicrous than Denver -2.

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Oven Roasted Chickpeas

1 15 oz can of chickpeas

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1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

Big pinch of kosher salt

2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Drain chickpeas and dry thoroughly on a paper towel. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, zest, salt and spices. Spread the chickpeas on a cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Occasionally move the chickpeas around on the pan while roasting. Let cool and serve. Flavor explosion.

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Football Deviled Eggs

10 large eggsphoto (5)

7 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

pinch of kosher salt

squirt of  sriracha

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

chives

Perfect hard boiled eggs every time: Place your eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let the eggs sit covered for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs and run under cold water. Peel the eggs under cold running water. Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks with the mayo, mustard, cayenne, salt and sriracha until nice and smooth. Stuff the creamy mixture back into the egg whites. Decorate the eggs like footballs with the chives. Become everyone’s favorite hostess.

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Baked Salami

This recipe is from my wonderful mom, Carol

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A work of art.

Large hard salami (2 lbs)

1 cup apricot preserves

1 container frozen orange juice concentrate

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup spicy mustard

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the salami into thin slices, but not all the way through. Place a wire rack on a cookie sheet and put the salami on top so the excess fat will drip off when baking. Bake the salami for 1 hour uncovered. Meanwhile, place the apricot preserves, orange juice concentrate, brown sugar and mustard in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the ingredients are all melted together. Take your salami out and pour maybe half of the sauce on the salami. Bake for another hour, pouring more sauce on the salami every 15 minutes or so. Cut the salami and serve with mustard and cocktail bread.

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Halftime Chili

This recipe is from Bon Appetit

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Oliver’s masterpiece.

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

8 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 pounds ground beef

5 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried basil (used fresh)

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree

1 14 1/2-ounce can chicken broth

1 12-ounce bottle beer

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 15- to 16-ounce can pinto beans

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add meat and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with corn bread muffins, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and sliced green onions.

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Corn Bread Muffins

5 tsp baking powder

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Find a man who makes muffins. Never let him go.

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

3 eggs

1/3 cup oil

1 1/8 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.
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Buffalo Chicken Wings
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2 sticks of margarine (SORRY WORLD)
8 tsp Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat the broiler. Cut the chicken wings in thirds, cutting between the bones. Melt the margarine and add the cayenne, hot sauce, and salt. Put the wings on a sheet pan and brush them with the sauce. Broil them about 3 inches below the heat for 8 minutes or longer until golden. Turn the wings, brush them again with the butter, and broil for 10 minutes or until crisp and delicious. I tossed the wings in extra hot sauce at the end.
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Fun Punch
This recipe is from my Aunt Debbie
1 package frozen limeade concentrate
36 oz of Miller Light (I used Bud)
Malibu rum
Place the frozen limeade in a punch bowl. Fill the limeade container with Malibu rum and add to the bowl. Crack open the beer and pour in. You’re welcome.