The Sweetest Thing.

" I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people" ~Van Gogh

Empanadas. May 6, 2015

Filed under: Appetizer,Dinner — Jessica @ 8:00 am
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I was hoping to share my grocery haul video today but I am having some trouble getting the video to upload. I am hoping to get it up when I have hours to sit and let it upload etc- hopefully Friday since it is a half day of school. In the meantime, I have one of our favorite recipes to share with you. This is not my recipe, it came with Tiffany and I have not changed a single thing about it. These are definitely not healthy, but they are great for an occasional treat or a party. The shell crisps up into flaky perfection while the seasoned meat, melty cheese and salty olives wait inside. Worth every calorie. DSC02334Empanadas Makes 10 Ingredients DSC02321Canola oil- enough to fill a large deep pan about 1 inch deep (the oil should be about 1in to 1.5in deep in the pan)

1 lb ground beef

1 packet sazon

12 oz jar of sofrito

3/4 cup green olives- diced

1 (10 ct) package Goya Empanada shells

4-6 oz Extra sharp Cheddar Cheese – shredded DSC023251. Pour canola oil into fryer pan and heat over medium heat. 2. Cook ground beef in skillet until browned. Add Sazon, Sofrito and diced olives and stir until combined. 3. Lay out one shell. (Keep wax paper underneath). Generously scoop meat mixture onto one half of shell. Top with cheese. DSC023294. Fold shell in half and crimp edges with a fork to seal. I always flip it over and do the other side too. DSC023265. Repeat with remaining shells. Be sure to keep wax paper between the shells while they are waiting to be fried so they do not stick together. 6. Once oil is hot enough, Place empanadas in, being sure not to crowd them. The oil needs to move freely around each one. Cook until the shell begins to “bubble up” and then flip to cook the other side. This takes 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat until all empanadas are cooked. DSC02331 7. Let cool!!! The filling will be very hot if you do not give it time to cool. 8. Enjoy! DSC02338


Super Easy Olive Tapenade. July 9, 2013

Filed under: Appetizer — Jessica @ 6:00 am
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This is my go to appetizer recipe whenever I forget to plan ahead (parties always seem to sneak up on me). My grandmother made something similar years ago and I have been making my version ever since. It is easy to keep a couple jars/cans of olive in the pantry and I always have fresh garlic and olive oil- and that is all it takes! It comes together in less than 5 minutes and can be made a day ahead or at the last minute. It keeps in the refrigerator for a week. Serve with pita or tortilla chips, sliced peppers or my favorite option- crunchy little  bread rounds (crostini).


Olive Tapenade

1 jar green olives

1 can black olives

2-3 cloves garlic (depending on size)

2 Tbls Olive Oil

1. Drain Olives.

2. Toss everything in the food processor, pulse until combined. You can make it into almost a paste like texture, but I tend to stop when it is in uniform little bits.

3. Enjoy!



Bacon Cheddar Squash Bites. July 5, 2013

If you have ever grown zucchini or summer squash, or even know someone who has, you are likely to have it piling up around the house mid summer. As much as I like it on the grill or turned into bread, I still had to come up with some other options. This is one of those options I came up with. They are great as an appetizer or a healthier alternative to tater tots as a side dish.


Bacon Cheddar Squash Bites
Makes 24 bites

1 c grated zucchini
1 c grated summer squash
2 eggs
1/2 medium onion – diced
1/2 c grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
5 slices crisp cooked bacon- crumbled
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°
2. Coat mini muffin pan with olive oil or cooking spray
3. After grating zucchini/squash, place into dish towel & squeeze out excess liquid- This is very important!
4. After zucchini is drained, mix all ingredients in medium bowl until well combined.
5. Press mixture into mini muffin cups
6. Bake at 400° for 20mins. Let cool slightly & serve.
7. Enjoy!


Lemon Dill Hummus. March 15, 2013

Filed under: Appetizer,Snacks,Uncategorized — Jessica @ 6:00 am
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This is my favorite DIY hummus recipe. The fact that it contains less fat and calories than many store bought brands is just a bonus. Hummus is great with veggies or crackers, spread in a wrap with sprouts and cucumbers or served on a salad. I don’t use tahini in this recipe because I really don’t care for it. With fresh garlic, dill, real lemon juice and lemon zest- it is bursting with flavor without the traditional ingredient. I promise. I reduce the fat & calories by using just a small amount of olive oil and letting the lemon juice and “bean juice” work to replace the rest of the oil. This recipe is super simple but you will need a food processor.


Lemon Dill Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans- drained, juices reserved
1 Tbls olive oil
2 Tbsp reserved bean juice
2 cloves garlic -skins removed
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest from 1/2 a lemon
Fresh dill- I just use a handful
Salt- to taste

1. Toss everything in food processor & process until smooth (add more bean juice is necessary)
2. Enjoy!