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Snacks & Sides

Pickled Cucumbers

Pickled Cucumbers

These were served on the side with my Swedish Meatballs so I decided to figure out how to make them myself.  Turns out they are super easy to make and even easier to eat!

INGREDIENTS:

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  • 2 small cucumbers sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced as thinly as possible
  • 2 scallions diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno (totally optional if you like to add spice, I also kept the seeds to add more spice)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 4 tsps salt
  • 3 tsps sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large jar with a lid add water, vinegar, salt and sugar
  2. Close the jar and shake vigorously until the brine is mixed
  3. Add your vegetables to the brine until completely covered, if you have too much brine just pour a little bit out, or add to a second jar with some of your vegetables
  4. Close jar and let sit at least a few hours or overnight 
  5. Serve as a side to meatballs or eat plain!  
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Homemade Potato Chips

Ingredients:

  • 4 potatoes or about 2 pounds (I used Dutch potatoes and LOVED them, but you can do any kind of potato, including sweet)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 4 quarts oil
  • Garlic salt to season

Directions:

  1. Wash your potatoes thoroughly, peel if you'd like
  2. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes as thinly as possible.  Mandolin is preferred since it's faster and more uniform, but it's definitely do-able with a knife.
  3. Rinse your potato slices and drain them
  4. Place into a large bowl with 1 cup of vinegar and enough water to submerge them
  5. Let them soak for at least 20 minutes and up to a day
  6. Remove from the liquid and pat dry
  7. Heat your oil until it's 375 degrees(I bought a thermometer and it made ALL the difference in making these potato chips the right level of crispiness, I strongly suggest monitoring the temperature)
  8. Place in a handful of chips at a time
  9. Using tongs separate them and flip occasionally if necessary
  10. Once the chips start turning golden brown on the edges, remove and place into a large paper bag
  11. Sprinkle in salt and toss
  12. As soon as the oil is back to 375 degrees, begin the process again until you have cooked all the chips
  13. Toss and set aside until you are ready to eat, and then Enjoy!
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Collared Greens and Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 4 batches of collared greens
  • 6 pieces of bacon

Directions:

  1. Cut the bacon into small 1/2 inch pieces and cook in a large skillet
  2. Place bacon on a paper towel to remove excess grease
  3. Shred the collared greens and place into the bacon fat in batches
  4. Cook until the greens have wilted
  5. Return the bacon to the veggies and stir to combine
  6. Enjoy!
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Meringue Cookies

Does it count as a dumpling if it's a cookie?  Oh well.  I made them anyways!  I love meringue cookies.  Since they are mostly just egg whites I like to think they are a better cookie option than most ;)

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Place the egg whites into a large bowl and turn on your electric mixer until the egg whites are fluffy
  3. With the mixer running, add the sugar a tiny bit at a time
  4. Keep the mixer on high until mixture forms stiff peaks
  5. Using your spatula, fold in the vanilla and vinegar
  6. Place small spoonfuls of meringue onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  (I tried to do the squeegie bag style, but I am clearly an amateur pâtissier, so I just used a spoon)
  7. Smooth out each cookie with the back of the spoon
  8. Bake for 40 minutes, and then turn the oven off and leave inside for 1 hour.  Do not open the door!
  9. Remove from oven and enjoy!!
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Pizza Rolls

I don't know about you guys.  But I LOVE pizza.  I made a pizza, and can share the recipe later, but way more exciting are my pizza rolls!  As a kid I would house these things like it was my job.  Bagel bites and Pizza Rolls were the best afternoon snacks.  Now I have come up with a recipe which is much fresher, and super easy to make!  As always, my recipe is intended to be simple for everyone to be a cooking star!  You can even choose to make it gluten-free if you feel so inclined.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups of pizza dough (I bought my regular dough at Trader Joe's and gluten free from Bob's Red Mill.  It's totally up to you if you want to be GF or not)
  • flour (I used coconut flour)
  • 1 cup diced pepperoni
  • 3/4 cup diced Mozzarella
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 10 leaves fresh basil
  • garlic powder (large pinch and 1 tablespoon)
  • garlic salt (large pinch and 1 tsp)
  • large pinch of oregano 
  • parsley (large pinch, 1/4 teaspoon, and 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
  2. You should know by now I like to keep things simple.  In a bowl combine the pepperoni, mozzarella, tomato sauce, dried and fresh basil, large pinches of garlic powder, garlic salt, oregano and parsley.
  3. You're almost done!
  4. In a small frying pan heat up your garlic clove, olive oil, red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon of parsley
  5. In a small bowl combine the 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, and 1 teaspoon parsley
  6. Take about a tablespoon of your pizza dough and place onto a lightly floured surface
  7. With a rolling pin flatten out the piece of dough so it's about 3X3 inches
  8. Place a large spoonful of your filling in the center of the dough, fold in half, and seal all edges
  9. Dip the morsel into the olive oil mixture covering all sides
  10. Then coat one side by placing it in the garlic powder mixture
  11. Add to a lightly greased baking sheet
  12. Repeat the process until you have a few dozen pizza rolls evenly spaced on the baking sheet
  13. Place into the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until they are golden brown
  14. Allow the cheese to cool and bit, and enjoy!
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Artichoke Pesto Sweet Potato Bun

This is adapted from a recipe by Rachel at Grok Grub after seeing her sweet potato bacon bun on Instagram.  Her recipes are awesome and her pictures are beautiful!  

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour 
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken thigh either ground or cut into small pieces (if you want to make this meal vegetarian you can leave this ingredient out.)
  • 8 oz jar of artichoke hearts
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/2 of a bunch of basil (about 1/2 cup loosely)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Potato Starch

Directions:

  1. Combine sweet potato, tapioca flour, coconut flour and garlic salt in a bowl (I think I cooked my potatoes a little too long so at first my dough was too sticky, so I just added a bit more tapioca and coconut flour which helped to smooth it out)
  2. Set the dough aside and work on the filling
  3. Place your artichoke hearts, garlic, onion, basil and olive oil into a food processor
  4. Blend until smooth and fragrant
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  6. Sprinkle potato starch on a flat work surface
  7. Take about a quarter cup of the sweet potato mixture and roll into a ball
  8. Roll the sweet potato ball in the starch until it has a light coat of starch 
  9. Place the ball in the palm of your hand and press flat.  (Depending on the size of your hand it should cover most of the palm.)
  10. If you want to include chicken, add 1/2 teaspoon of the artichoke pesto and 1 teaspoon chicken to the center of the dough
  11. If you are going to make it vegetarian, just add 1-1.5 teaspoons of artichoke pesto
  12. Fold the edges over and seal creases until it looks like a sweet potato hockey puck
  13. Place the buns onto a lightly greased pan
  14. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bottoms are crispy
  15. Flip the buns and bake for another 5 minutes
  16. Allow the buns a few minutes to cool(my mouth is burned from not learning that lesson), and enjoy!
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Sweet Potato Chips and Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 4 avocados
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tsps garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 diced jalapeno
  • 2 purple sweet potatoes (I chose purple potatoes for fun and color, but you can really use any kind of potato you like)
  • 1 jar coconut oil
  • garlic salt

Directions:

  1. You will want to lead off with the guacamole so that you have something to test the chips out with as you cook them.
  2. Start by slicing each avocado in half and removing the pit. (you might want to hang onto one or two of them to maintain freshness later)
  3. Cut, scoop, and scrape out the meat of the avocados into a bowl
  4. Using the back of a fork, mush your avocados until they are the consistency that you like in your guac.  I prefer a bit of chunk, so I don't mush to intensely.
  5. Slice and dice your white onion into tiny pieces and add to the bowl.
  6. Slice and dice your tomatoes, and put into a sieve to drain out the extra juices and seeds, and then add to the bowl.
  7. I was feeling lazy today so I grabbed 2 tsps of minced garlic from a jar and added to the mixture.  But if you are a fresh person, you will mince 3-4 cloves and add them.
  8. Squeeze the juice of the lemon all over your guac
  9. Sprinkle in the cilantro and jalapenos, and using your same fork stir the guac until all the goodies are evenly distributed.
  10. I highly recommend taste testing at least 1-10 times during this process, add more garlic or lemon as needed.
  11. To make the chips you will need to first slice your potatoes as thinly as possible.  If you have a mandolin, awesome!  Put that setting on thin and get to slicing.  For the rest of us, buckle down for a bit of a tedious process.  Using whatever knife you feel you have the most control of, make the thinnest slices possible.  The key is consistency.  As long as the chip is equally thin (or fat) it will be the right kind of crispy without any burned pieces.
  12. While you are slicing you should also be allowing your coconut oil to heat up.  Empty your jar into a sauce pan and put on medium heat.
  13. After you have sliced all of your chips, you will start putting them into the oil in batches.
  14. Be sure to put them in one and at time so that they don't get stuck together.
  15. As soon as they start to change colors and they no longer are changing shapes, scoop them out and place them into a paper bag.
  16. Sprinkle a bit of garlic salt in, fold the opening over a few times, and shake, shake, shake!
  17. You will repeat this whole process until all of your chips have been fried and your bag is full of salted chips.
  18. Pour into a large bowl and enjoy with your guac!
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