Appetizers

Loaded Hasselback Potato Bites

by Shawnda on December 29, 2013

in Appetizers,Sides,Veggies & Starches

Loaded Hasselback Potato Bites

How are you spending New Year’s Eve?

We typically celebrate with our closest couple friends, a big spread of appetizers, and good wine. What more could a person ask for? And because you can’t take the country out of the girl, we’ll probably light a bunch of *^%# on fire. Outside the city limits, of course. Because no adult wants to start their 2014 with a firework citation shaming.

And in keeping with tradition, I’ll promptly swear off booze and carbs on New Year’s Day.

But until then? Carbs.

Loaded Hasselback Potato Bites

One of my contributions to the big New Year’s Eve munchies buffet is Loaded Hasselback Potato Bites – a one-bite (two if you’re on a first date… no… still just one ;) ) miniature of the full-sized version.

And they couldn’t be any easier to make. Hasselback half a bag of tiny yukon potatoes. Bake. Slather in Private Selection Roasted Garlic & Herb butter. Sprinkle with your favorite baked potato toppings.

Eat three.

Try to resist the sweet siren song of the leftover buttery bites calling from the kitchen.

Fail.

There’ll be plenty of time to shun carbs later.

Loaded Hasselback Potato Bites

The team behind Private Selection sent me a pack of their new Finishing Butters to play around with this month, including the made-for-potatoes Roasted Garlic & Herb butter.

Private Selection has provided a set of their fantastic Finishing Butters and a $100 Gift Card to one lucky reader! To enter the giveaway, so head over here to enter!

And if I don’t see you before then – have a safe, Merry, happy, and hangover free New Year’s!

Loaded Hasselback Potato Bites

Miniature hasselback potatoes loaded with your favorite baked potato toppings.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb tiny yukon potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Roasted Garlic & Herb Butter
  • Light sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Sliced green onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Line a baking pan with foil.
  3. Using a paring knife, make several cuts about 2/3 of the way through each potato and place the potatoes on the baking sheet.
  4. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake for ~20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  6. Slather with copious amounts of Roasted Garlic & Herb Butter.
  7. Let cool 10 minutes and then top with your favorite loaded baked potato toppings.
  8. Serve warm or room temp.

Notes

Yields: Servings vary

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 35 minutes

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Gingerbread Caramel Popcorn

by Shawnda on December 16, 2013

in Appetizers,Candy,Christmas,DIY

Gingerbread Caramel Corn

I am all cookied out. Every single cookie that I brought home from last weekend’s exchange is gone. I didn’t eat them all, because that would be a terrible idea, but I had my share. And now I can’t even bring myself to edit the photos for the butterscotch cookie post that’s hanging out in my drafts folder.

I’m so over cookies that I’m actually looking forward to a spinach salad for lunch.

Gingerbread Caramel Corn

What I am not over, besides that salad, is caramel popcorn. But not just any caramel corn. Caramel corn spiked with a generous dose of gingerbread spices.

It’s Christmas in a bowl… you know, if you’d ever put Christmas into a bowl and then try to ruin it by sitting on the couch to hate-watch a Homeland mini-marathon. But at least while the frustratingly empty minutes tick by, your house smells like gingerbread and you have handful after handful of spicy, crunchy gingerbread caramel corn to keep you company.

Gingerbread Caramel Corn

Caramel popcorn gets a holiday makeover with a generous dose of gingerbread spices.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups popped popcorn (the yield from 1/3 rounded cup of kernels)
  • Cooking spray or parchment paper
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar*
  • 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean (can substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste)
  • 2-3 tsp gingerbread spice (purchased or homemade)
  • * I don't buy brown sugar so I substitute with 1 tsp molasses + 1/3 cup granulated sugar.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment. Have a rubber spatula handy.
  3. Pop the popcorn and transfer it to a large bowl.
  4. Heat the butter, sugar, molasses, corn syrup, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
  5. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add 2 tsp gingerbread spice and cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Let a little of the mixture cool on a spoon and then taste - not gingerbread-y enough? Add another tsp of spices.
  7. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  8. Stir and immediately pour over the popcorn.
  9. Use a rubber spatula to stir until the popcorn is nicely coated and then transfer to the baking sheet, spreading out to an even layer.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  11. Let cool ~15 minutes before eating.
  12. Store leftovers in a ziptop bag on the counter... if you have leftovers.

Notes

Yields: 6 1-cup servings

Adapted from Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

One of the things I look forward to most every December is my friend (and realtor extraordinaire) Brandi’s cookie exchange. Two dozen women each bring six dozen cookies, dump them in the dining room on their way into the kitchen, and then proceed to drink two dozen bottles of Prosecco.

It’s a cookie exchange that isn’t totally about the cookies. And it is a good time.

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

This year, my favorite part of the party wasn’t the cookies (never is). Or the Naughty Punch (always is). Or even the straight Prosecco when it was too much work to get up and walk into the kitchen for more punch (because why do that when you can carry a bottle around the house with you).

My favorite part was the artichoke bread. Guys. A loaf of bread split in half and topped with a creamy mixture of artichokes, cheese, and garlic and then baked to bubbly, melty perfection.

Who need chips or crackers when you bake your dip directly on the bread?

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

Bubbly, melty, cheesy perfection only gets better with that container of crab that has to be eaten, like, yesterday later. But, you know wasn’t. Because Prosecco.

Serve it with dinner. Or as dinner. And then lunch and dinner again.

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

Cheese, artichokes, and crab are baked on top of ciabatta for the ultimate party food.

Ingredients

  • 1 large loaf ciabatta (my loaf was ~15in x 6in)
  • 2 cans quartered artichokes, drained well
  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (sour cream or mayo would also work)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 green onions, sliced and dark green parts reserved for garnish
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (I used half cheddar, half Monterrey jack)
  • 8 oz lump crab

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Cut the loaf of ciabatta in half horizontally and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, a couple of dashes of Worcestershire, white and light green parts of the green onions, garlic, parsley, and Old bay seasoning.
  4. Stir in the cheese, artichokes, and crab until everything is nicely coated.
  5. Generously top the two halves of the ciabatta with the artichoke mixture, spreading it all the way to the edges of the bread.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the broiler on for an additional 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese (keep an eye on it while broiling).
  7. Slice into strips and serve warm/hot.
  8. I had ~3/4 cup of the topping leftover that I put into a ramekin and baked along side the bread.
  9. Leftovers will keep tightly wrapped in the fridge - reheat in the oven for ~10 minutes.

Notes

Yields: A lot. Servings vary.

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 35 minutes

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Baked Turkey & Cranberry Sliders with Browned Sage Butter

‘Tis the season to pour melted butter on *&^#! –Me.

Festive and classy. That Jason is one lucky guy.

Baked Turkey & Cranberry Sliders with Browned Sage Butter

I did mean it when I said that the internet will always have room for one more baked slider recipe. And I did mean it when I said that this was the season to pour melted butter on [mommy word].

Of course, I mostly said that because I have two more slider recipes hanging out in my drafts folder. And I mostly said [mommy word] because that’s just who I am when my 3 year old isn’t around to hear it and then put me in time-out.

You have never seen a power trip like a 3 year old with that kind of power.

But back to those sliders.

Baked Turkey & Cranberry Sliders with Browned Sage Butter

These buttery bites of magical cookery are the best thing to happen to holiday flavors since… Maybe I’m stretching, here. But, they do come slathered with a spoonful of Bacon & Cranberry Chutney and topped with browned butter with cripsy, salty bites of prosciutto and crunchy slivers of sage leaves.

And then they’re baked until the cheese gets all melty and starts oozing out the sides. Is it an appetizer? Dinner? Breakfast? Something to grab on one of those “just because” trips through the kitchen?

Absolutely.

Baked Turkey & Cranberry Sliders

Repurpose holiday leftovers into a baked turkey slider topped with browned sage butter.

Ingredients

  • For the sliders:
  • 24 dinner rolls (Hawaiian or homemade)
  • 24 slices of turkey
  • 6 slices of provolone (or other cheese), quartered
  • Cranberry & Bacon Chutney (or leftover cranberry sauce)
  • For the topping:
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • 4 large sage leaves, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line a large baking pan with foil.
  2. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until browned, frequently scraping the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula.
  3. Remove from heat and add the prosciutto and sage, swirling to mix.
  4. Slice the rolls in half horizontally (if you break the rolls into 2 halves of 6, you can do this with 4 cuts and not squish the bread).
  5. To build the sliders, top the bottom roll with a slice of turkey (folded to fit), a quartered piece of cheese, a spoonful of the chutney, and the top roll.
  6. Place rolls close enough on the pan that they're nearly touching.
  7. After all rolls are assembled, brush butter sauce onto the rolls and spoon the prosciutto and sage leaves over top.
  8. Bake for ~15 minutes and serve hot. Or warm.

Notes

Yields: 24 sliders

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 40 minutes

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