Creamy Roasted Garlic Hummus Recipe

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve made hummus and it just hasn’t worked. I mean, it worked because blending chickpeas, tahini, garlic, salt and olive oil together forms a dip. But it didn’t work, ya know? My hummus just was never as smooth as I wanted it to be and didn’t have as much flavor as I wanted it to have.

But I think I’ve figured out a few tricks to get us that much closer to really flavorful and creamy hummus! For sure, roasted garlic is a must. Roasting the garlic imparts so much flavor to the hummus, but also grating 1 small raw garlic clove (or more depending on your preference) is key. But in my world, you can’t have too much garlic!

French Olive Tapenade Recipe

I am so excited to share this recipe with you today! It’s one that you could always have the ingredients for in your pantry and be ready to throw together in just a few minutes. Who doesn’t love a recipe that’s impressive yet fast to throw together?! And there’s something really elegant about a Provencal tapenade recipe. Makes ya feel fancy!

You all know how much I love salt, which I think is why I love a tapenade recipe – it really is quite salty! You want to serve this with plain baguette or butter crackers so that you don’t compete with the flavor (read: salt) of the tapenade.

3 Tips for Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

You didn’t think I was going to talk about football eats without talking about buffalo wings, did you?! I think wings might be one of my top 10 favorite foods – they really take me back to college, being dragged out of my sorority house to go watch football at Buffalo Wild Wings. The good ‘ol days, eh? I particularly love this wing recipe because they’re baked, have no butter, and are still super crispy and really hit the spot.

I mean, look at these! Don’t you just wanna jump in and grab one? Too bad they were gone in like 4 minutes flat – hubby couldn’t wait for me to be done taking pictures of these.

The on going debate in our house, though, is drumstick vs. actual wing. Hubby prefers all drumsticks, and occasionally even asks for all drumsticks when we’re out. I actually prefer the wing!

How to Make Simple Guacamole

When I was getting ready to make this guacamole, I realized I didn’t have any tomatoes! Can you imagine my horror? Then I remembered an episode of TSC’s podcast where they interviewed Dr. Steven Gundry. Now, I don’t want to go down this rabbit hole of the Plant Paradox and what veggies are OK and which aren’t. But, he said in the episode that traditional guac does not have tomatoes. Never knew that! So, I remembered that moment from the podcast just in the nick of time before I ran out to buy a tomato to make guacamole.

I think part of me loves guacamole so much, and really avocado so much, because it’s such a good vehicle for salt. And y’all know how much I love salt! But really, I would encourage you, unless you have a health reason not to, to up the salt on your guac! It brings all the flavors together. I start with about 1/4 tsp of salt per avocado, mix all the ingredients up and then I taste with a chip. I think the key is to taste with whatever dipper you are serving, because if it’s a salty tortilla chip you have to account for it in the guac. Just taste as you go!

I love how a homemade guacamole tastes fresh – don’t you think? And it’s really so much better than a prepackaged guac from the store. I will say, though, if you don’t have the time or you can’t find ripe avocados (or yours haven’t ripened yet), the store-made Whole Foods guacamole is so, so good. I am game for buying their guac any day. Don’t buy the stuff that’s vacuum sealed in plastic, it’s not the same. Just make it!

Mushroom Risotto Arancini

I have to confess to you. I was very, very nervous to make these arancini. Basically, anytime a dish requires frying, I get a little nervous. It’s a method I’m not 100% comfortable with, and really, the internal guilt of eating something fried settles in when I am making it myself. BUT, these arancini were totally worth overcoming my fear for. This recipe calls for left over risotto!

If you recall, last week I shared a recipe for my 25 minute mushroom risotto, which makes a great dish for arancini! I took the leftovers from that risotto to make these little balls of utter perfection. You can make them ahead, too, and just reheat to serve!

Goat Cheese, Honey, Pistachio Toasts for White Wine Cheese Pairing

Yesterday, I shared my marinated feta and olive recipe that I prefer to pair with pinot noir. Today, I’m sharing these little goat cheese appetizers that I love with a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc or even a rose wine.

You guys know I love an easy recipe, especially an appetizer that feels well thought out but is still easy to keep in your back pocket. Most of the time, I have these ingredients in the house. I’m constantly using goat cheese in an appetizer situation so I typically have it on hand. And aren’t they pretty?! Especially when you’ve got that swirl down!

I also really love a pop of green on this dish with the pistachios! The pistachios are an important part of this appetizer recipe; they really balance the sweetness of the honey and the tanginess of the goat cheese.

Marinated Feta & Olives for a Wine & Cheese Night Appetizer

I must tell you – I am not a sommelier. I poked around, found some pairings I thought we would enjoy and here we are. So, if you’re going to argue with me that feta and red wine don’t mix, I hear you. But also, I poked around the Internet a bit and did find that a light pinot noir will pair well with feta. And so here we are!

I personally love how the feta and olives pair with a low key pinot noir, but feta also pairs well with sauvignon blanc and rose wine. You’ll want something dry and light as the olives give a salty punch compared to feta on its own.

I love to DIY marinated feta and olives, or really any marinated cheese. It always feels pretty impressive even though, I swear, it’s so. easy.

How to Roast Shishito Peppers with 3 Ingredients

I’ll be honest with you – I’ve never noticed shishito peppers in the grocery store before. Then, hubby and I went out with friends to a ramen place and we had blistered shishito peppers for an appetizer – I’ve been hooked ever since! And I’ve been actually noticing the peppers at the farmer’s market and Trader Joe’s.

 

Did you know: 1 in 10 shishito peppers are very spicy? The rest are just warm. And when they’re blistered, they make the most excellent vehicle for salt. Yep, these little guys are just an excuse for me to eat some salt. Because if you follow me on the ‘gram, you know I’m 100% obsessed with salt. In fact, I’ve got about 10 or 11 types of salt in my cabinet. #psycho

These cook up super fast – they puff, blister, and deflate. You can eat it in one bite and really do you here! You can season it up with anything! I used a Mexican spiced salt that I bought when I was in Mexico last year, and unfortunately it doesn’t have the ingredients in it. I’ve grabbed a few options for different salts I would try on these below.

Beef Empanadas Recipe

You didn’t think we’d talk about cocktail party recipes, like this and this, and not talk about empanadas, did you?! I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that! These empanadas have been crowd pleasers lately, especially with the aioli I shared with  you in the chicken thigh tapas post!

These empanadas use puff pastry as the shell, which give a lovely crunchy, buttery and almost sweetness to the empanadas. And there are 2 secret ingredients that make it interesting – keep reading!

Upgrading Pigs in a Blanket with Kielbasa

Being Polish, one flavor that always strikes me as the holidays is kielbasa. My grandmother always serves up kielbasa around holidays, but the from-the-butcher kind that tastes so amazing relative to the mass produced kind. So for this pigs in a blanket appetizer recipe, I encourage you to find a butcher that sells Polish kielbasa, and if you’re in the NJ-CT-NY area, get Rapacki!

We recently hosted a cocktail party before leaving for our New Years trip to Paris (!!!), and these were such a hit! You know I’m all about any opportunity to graze and these are delightful. The puff pastry adds a sweet crunch to the salty, savory kielbasa. Plus, they bake quickly (once your pastry is defrosted) and reheat well!