Another Quick Fall Appetizer That’s Oh So Delicious!

Appetizers are either far too complex or plain old boring. If I am going to cook a meal and make a dessert, I don’t want to spend too much time preparing an appetizer. Solution…Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini. These sumptuous appetizers are gourmet without trying too hard, and they are speedy to make (any sous chef…aka my husband, can whip these out in a jiffy!) Fig Fruit

YOU ONLY NEED THREE INGREDIENTS…plus a knife! 

1. 1 package crostinis (you can find these in any grocery store bakery department). If you can’t find crostinis, just grab a box of gourmet crackers!

2. 1 jar fig preserves (I personally love Organic Adrianic Fig Spread from Dalmatia carried at most stores including Whole Foods) You can mix it up by choosing a fig and orange preserve as well.

3. 1 block of soft goat cheese (plain or one with herbs would work well too)

Sliced French Bread Baguette

The Self-Explanatory Way to Assemble Your Gourmet Appetizer

1. Spread goat cheese on crostini (if your goat cheese is not soft enough to spread, then spread your fig preserves first and layer a slice of goat cheese on top)

2. Using a different knife, spread fig preserves on top of goat cheese

3. If you want them to look a little prettier you could always add a sprig of mint or basil to garnish or for another variation you could drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle with chopped walnuts

4. Arrange on a plate

5. Serve!Sheep milk cheese with basil and black olives, on cutting board

Sometimes the best things come in simple combinations. Embrace how easy delicious can be!

From The Mom in Me, MD

One of the Best (and easiest) Appetizers for Fall…Caramel Apple Brie…just a bite away

Looking for a quick and easy appetizer that wows every time? Butterscotch-Caramel Brie with Dried Apple, Pecans, and Cranberries-This tasty version of caramel smothered brie does just the trick. Not only do the flavors resemble a caramel apple…they take a huge gourmet leap forward by incorporating both sweet and savory flavors!

The tasty supplies:

1 jar of Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch and Caramel Topping (you may have to hunt for this in the grocery store, but most mainline stores do carry this. If you can’t find it, it is okay to substitute with a mixture of Butterscotch and Caramel from another company such as Sanders. If you have the time, you can also order Mrs. Richardson’s online from Amazon)

1 bag of dried apple slices

1 bag of dried cranberries

1 cup of whole or chopped pecans

1 wheel of briecheese

How to smother your brie:

Simply heat your Butterscotch and Caramel in the microwave or stove top until warm. Add in your dried apple slices, dried cranberries, and pecans. Pour over the wheel of brie. Serve with crackers. Oh, my goodness! It doesn’t get any better! So simple…so fast…so good! Great for football tailgating in the fall, a Thanksgiving appetizer, or even a winter treat!

From,

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Watermelon Juice…Sipping on Tsamma!!!!!

Watermelon tends to be a summertime favorite. Slice it, dice it, cut it into chunks, drizzle it with honey, squirt it with lime juice, sprinkle it with mint…DELICIOUS! Not only is watermelon delicious, it’s a great treat alternative to popsicles, ice cream, and other sugary summertime snacks for your little ones. While I’ve tried just about every recipe with watermelon that you can imagine…I’ve never tried to make watermelon juice; and, now I don’t have to!0079

My watermelon growing friends at Frey Farms have created a new drink that is taking the juice market by storm! TSAMMA Watermelon Juice! While water and milk are my toddler’s main beverages, juice is an occasional treat. Instead of apple juice try this fun alternative. You can also use it to make your own homemade watermelon popsicles!!! Pour it into the molds, stick in the freezer…fun summertime treat! Or, if you’re a traditionalist, a watermelon slice is pretty delicious too! We like to think they grow in our backyard!!!photo 5 photo 1 photo 1

TSAMMA and Frey Farms didn’t ask me to give them a shout out…I just think they’re pretty awesome people with some great products! Available at Earth Fare, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods, and a ton of other local grocery stores. My little one likes to pick her own! For tips on how to pick the perfect watermelon check out this earlier blog…HOW TO PICK YOUR WATERMELONphoto 4 photo 1

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The Healthiest Veggie Soup in the Pot…kale never tasted so good!

My sister has been on a vegetarian kick for some time now. And, while she wouldn’t consider herself a full-fledged vegetarian, she rarely eats pork, occasionally eats chicken, and avoids beef like it’s the plague. I admit, I love my fruits and veggies, but a good sirloin burger every now and again does make my mouth water and my stomach rumble.Diptic

My point being…my sister was ranting and raving about one of her new favorite veggie soup recipes from the Eat to Live Cookbook: 200 Delicious Nutrient-Rich Recipes for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Reversing Disease, and Lifelong Health -extra healthy (loaded with everything GREEN) and super yummy! I decided to give it a try, but since my husband is something of an extreme carnivore and I love chicken, I modified the recipe to meet our dietary needs and our taste buds’ expectations. I found the original recipe (Golden Austrian Cauliflower Cream Soup) to be a little…hmm…dense in flavor, even rich. So, if you want to stick with the original, go for it. If you want to keep it vegetarian but agree with my “dense” assessment, simply add in a can or two of vegetable broth. If you can’t do nuts, skip on the cashews. Finally, if you like your meal to have some meat, stick with my version of the recipe…The Healthiest Chicken and Veggie Soup in the Pot.

Lets Get Produce Shopping & Chopping:

1 Head of Cauliflower-cut into pieces

3 Carrots, coarsely chopped

1 cup coarsely chopped celery

2 cloves minced garlic

2 Tablespoons of  Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest or other no-salt seasoning

2 cups carrot juice

4 cups water

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup raw cashews

5 cups chopped kale leaves or baby spinach

1 large box of organic Chicken Broth

1 Cooked Rotisserie Chicken-Skin removed and breast meat cut into slices or chunks

Diptic

Lets Get Steaming & Simmering:

Chop, Chop, Chop!!! Yes, cutting up veggies can be a little time-consuming. Once you have finished chopping, throw everything EXCEPT for the cashews, kale, chicken, and chicken broth into a large pot. Put a lid on your pot and simmer for about 15 minutes or just until the veggies are tender. Get your food processor ready!

Next grab 5 cups of your chopped kale and throw it in a smaller pot to steam on the stove top. If you have a steamer insert great! If not, then just add about 2/3 cups of water to the kale and put a lid on it. Steam on medium-high for about 15 minutes or until fully cooked. If you chose to use spinach instead of the kale, just skip the steaming step. You will be able to toss the raw spinach right into the pot of soup in just a few minutes.

Now take 2/3 of your soup (veggies and broth included) and blend them in the food processor with your cup of cashews until you have a smooth and creamy mixture. Once smooth, add back into your original soup pot and stir. Toss in either your steamed kale or your raw spinach and stir. Now add your chicken broth and your pre-cooked rotisserie chicken meat. Stir. Time for super!Diptic

I paired this soup with a loaf of Rosemary and Garlic Bread, but it would also work well in a bread bowl. Happy Healthy Eating! Kale never tasted so good. My little one agrees! For more healthy recipes, click on the link above to order the Eat to Live Cookbook.

 

From,

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Another Quick Fall Appetizer That’s Oh So Delicious!

Appetizers are either far too complex or plain old boring. If I am going to cook a meal and make a dessert, I don’t want to spend too much time preparing an appetizer. Solution…Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini. These sumptuous appetizers are gourmet without trying too hard, and they are speedy to make (any sous chef…aka my husband, can whip these out in a jiffy!) Fig Fruit

YOU ONLY NEED THREE INGREDIENTS…plus a knife! 

1. 1 package crostinis (you can find these in any grocery store bakery department). If you can’t find crostinis, just grab a box of gourmet crackers!

2. 1 jar fig preserves (I personally love Organic Adrianic Fig Spread from Dalmatia carried at most stores including Whole Foods) You can mix it up by choosing a fig and orange preserve as well.

3. 1 block of soft goat cheese (plain or one with herbs would work well too)

Sliced French Bread Baguette

The Self-Explanatory Way to Assemble Your Gourmet Appetizer

1. Spread goat cheese on crostini (if your goat cheese is not soft enough to spread, then spread your fig preserves first and layer a slice of goat cheese on top)

2. Using a different knife, spread fig preserves on top of goat cheese

3. If you want them to look a little prettier you could always add a sprig of mint or basil to garnish or for another variation you could drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle with chopped walnuts

4. Arrange on a plate

5. Serve!Sheep milk cheese with basil  and black olives, on cutting board

Sometimes the best things come in simple combinations. Embrace how easy delicious can be!

From The Mom in Me, MD

One of the Best (and easiest) Appetizers for Fall…Caramel Apple Brie…just a bite away

Looking for a quick and easy appetizer that wows every time? Butterscotch-Caramel Brie with Dried Apple, Pecans, and Cranberries-This tasty version of caramel smothered brie does just the trick. Not only do the flavors resemble a caramel apple…they take a huge gourmet leap forward by incorporating both sweet and savory flavors!

The tasty supplies:

1 jar of Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch and Caramel Topping (you may have to hunt for this in the grocery store, but most mainline stores do carry this. If you can’t find it, it is okay to substitute with a mixture of Butterscotch and Caramel from another company such as Sanders. If you have the time, you can also order Mrs. Richardson’s online from Amazon)

1 bag of dried apple slices

1 bag of dried cranberries

1 cup of whole or chopped pecans

1 wheel of briecheese

How to smother your brie:

Simply heat your Butterscotch and Caramel in the microwave or stove top until warm. Add in your dried apple slices, dried cranberries, and pecans. Pour over the wheel of brie. Serve with crackers. Oh, my goodness! It doesn’t get any better! So simple…so fast…so good! Great for football tailgating in the fall, a Thanksgiving appetizer, or even a winter treat!

From The Mom in Me, MD

Mediterranean Tabouleh that Cleopatra would approve!

If you aren’t familiar with Tabouleh…you are missing out! This is one of my favorite Mediterranean side dishes. Not only is it incredibly easy to make, it is also deliciously healthy! I have tried numerous tabouleh recipes, but it always tastes the best when I cheat! Yes, cheat! For some reason, The Near East Company has the perfect combination of spices that I just can’t find in other recipes. Using their box mix (cheating) and then adding my own twist to it always makes the best tabouleh! This mix is a little hard to come by, but I usually can find it at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, or other organic grocery stores.photo 2 photo 2

Near East also makes some awesome couscous, rice pilaf, and lentils! These boxes double as fun shaker toys for your toddler! Ayla was entertained the entire grocery shopping trip! I’ve got quite the percussionist on my hands! photo 1

 

 

 

 

 

What in the World Goes Into Tabouleh? 

1 box of Near East Tabouleh Mix Wheat Salad

3 Roma or vine ripened tomatoes-finely chopped

3 tablespoons (at least!) fresh lemon juice. I love lemon so I usually squeeze in the whole lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil (optional). It will be a little dry if you don’t use this, but if you are watching your fat intake it’s okay to skip the oil.

1 cucumber chopped

1 bunch of freshly chopped mint

1 bunch italian parsley finely choppedphoto 3

Cleopatra’s Recipe: 

1. Prepare the tabouleh bulgur wheat and spices as the box instructs, but don’t add anything else until I tell you! To prepare the box mix you simply combine the wheat and spice pack in a bowl. Add 1 cup of boiling water to the mixture and cover. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. After your wheat has been in the fridge for 30 minutes, take it out and add your chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, cucumber, mint and parsley. Mix it all together.

3. Cover it again and put it in the fridge again for at least 1 hour. Letting it sit in the fridge overnight will guarantee the best marriage of flavors!

Want a long life, healthy arteries, and beautiful skin???? A Mediterranean diet is said to guarantee all of these things! So, dig in. Who knows, every bite may give you an extra year to live!

From The Mom in Me, MD

 

 

 

 

Butterscotch-Caramel Brie with Dried Apple, Pecans, and Cranberries: an appetizer worth craving!

Running sport fitness woman. Closeup of female legs and shoes in

YOU MIGHT NEED TO TAKE A RUN AFTER THIS ONE! CALORIE LOADED BUT TOO GOOD TO PASS UP!

Looking for a quick and easy appetizer that wows every time? This tasty version of caramel smothered brie does just the trick.

The tasty supplies:

1 jar of Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch and Caramel Topping (you may have to hunt for this in the grocery store, but most mainline stores do carry this. If you can’t find it, it is okay to substitute with a mixture of Butterscotch and Caramel from another company such as Sanders. If you have the time, you can also order Mrs. Richardson’s online from Amazon)

1 bag of dried apple slices

1 bag of dried cranberries

1 cup of whole or chopped pecans

1 wheel of briecheese

How to smother your brie:

Simply heat your Butterscotch and Caramel in the microwave or stove top until warm. Add in your dried apple slices, dried cranberries, and pecans. Pour over the wheel of brie. Serve with crackers. Oh, my goodness! It doesn’t get any better! So simple…so fast…so good! Great in the summer for picnics, fall for tailgating, winter for the holidays, and spring just because!

From The Mom in Me, MD

Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini: The perfect start to every meal

Appetizers are either far too complex or plain old boring. If I am going to cook a meal and make a dessert, I don’t want to spend too much time preparing an appetizer. Solution…Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini. These sumptuous appetizers are gourmet without trying too hard, and they are speedy to make (any sous chef…aka my husband, can whip these out in a jiffy!)Fig Fruit

YOU ONLY NEED THREE INGREDIENTS…plus a knife! 

1. 1 package crostinis (you can find these in any grocery store bakery department)

2. 1 jar fig preserves (I personally love Organic Adrianic Fig Spread from Dalmatia carried at most stores including Whole Foods) You can mix it up by choosing a fig and orange preserve as well.

3. 1 block of soft goat cheese (plain or one with herbs would work well too)

Sliced French Bread Baguette

The Self-Explanatory Way to Assemble Your Gourmet Appetizer

1. Spread goat cheese on crostini (if your goat cheese is not soft enough to spread, then spread your fig preserves first and layer a slice of goat cheese on top)

2. Using a different knife, spread fig preserves on top of goat cheese

3. If you want them to look a little prettier you could always add a sprig of mint or basil to garnish or for another variation you could drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle with chopped walnuts

4. Arrange on a plate

5. Serve!Sheep milk cheese with basil  and black olives, on cutting board

Sometimes the best things come in simple combinations. Embrace how easy delicious can be!

From The Mom in Me, MD

Berry-Avocado Salad with Rotisserie Chicken

Want a quick but healthy lunch! Berry-Avocado Salad with Rotisserie Chicken is one of my favorite go to’s! Today, after a quick workout and a stop at the local farmer’s market, I was ready to eat! This salad doesn’t skimp on protein or healthy fat so it’s a great choice after the gym. IMG_7462

Yummy Salad Fixin’s: 

1. I love using mixed organic greens but any dark green leafy lettuce will do.

2. 1 Rotisserie chickenIMG_3118

IMG_31113. 1 container fresh blueberries/blackberries or both

4. 1 container fresh strawberries

5. 1 container gorgonzola cheese crumbled

6. 1 bag of honey roasted slivered almonds

7. 1 cucumber

8. 1 ripe avocado

9. Choose your favorite vinaigrette. (I love Simply Dressed Pomegranate Vinaigrette by Marzetti.)

How to Toss it Together: 

IMG_7473

Excuse my appearance…un-showered…no make-up…sweaty from the gym! Ah, well, what do I have to prove:)

Simply put all of your salad greens in a bowl, slice your strawberries and throw them in. Add your rinsed blueberries. Slice the chicken breast from your rotisserie chicken and add that to the top. Chop your cucumber and slice your avocado and add these to the mix. Next, top with slivered almonds and your gorgonzola cheese. Drizzle a small amount of vinaigrette and toss. Next step…dig in!

From The Mom in Me, MD