Homemade Pokey Sticks

Homemade Pokey Sticks

Throughout college, I longed for the buy one get one free days at Gumby’s.  The pokey sticks are like garlic cheesey bread, but in pizza form.  Absolutely a comfort food in college, great as a snack or late night food.  I’ve also been one to eat these for breakfast!

When I saw this recipe on Lauren’s Latest, I was very excited because it was quite close to the original Pokey Sticks.  This is a savory snack, great appetizer, so served with a salad could be dinner on it’s own.  I hope you enjoy!

Head over to Lauren’s Latest for the recipe.

I do not have a Kitchen Aid mixer so I did the dough by hand.  You can do it!

 

 

Kale, Fennel, and Feta Tarts

Kale Fennel Tart

These little gems are a flaky, savory blend of delicious flavors.  Working with the pastry dough is easy.  The edges of the dough bake up around the filling quite nicely.  These are a terrific appetizer or an accompaniment to a main dish.

Kale Fennel Tart 3

Kale, Fennel, and Feta Tarts

makes 12 tarts

Adapted and inspired from Saveur and Saveur

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 1  sheet of thawed puff pastry
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped kale and cook, stirring frequently until wilted, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel and let cool.  Once cool, squeeze the excess moisture out of the kale.

Next, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil in the skillet over medium heat.  Add the green onions, garlic, and fennel.  Stirring occasionally, cook until softened for about 5 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and stir in the kale.  Mix in the feta cheese and parsley.  Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Preheat oven to 375° and line one baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll the thawed puff pastry sheet onto a floured work surface. Cut the sheet into 9 squares. Cut L-shaped slits on opposite corners of each square (creating a frame-like shape). Take hold of both corners and fold them toward the opposite side, passing one corner under the other and pressing them in place, to create a diamond-shaped pocket to hold the filling.

Add 2 Tbsps of filling into each pocket. Place pockets on the prepared baking sheets and brush the outer edges with melted butter. Bake until golden brown and puffed, 30-35 minutes.  Served best warm.  They also reheat nicely in the toaster oven the next day.

Root Vegetable Fritters

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Yet another CSA vegetable inspired recipe.  I had a bag full of turnips and wanted to try something different than my usual roasting recipe.  I have always been a fan of potato latkes so I jumped at the chance to try out some different vegetables! I made these for a potluck and they were completely gone in minutes!  The original recipe called for fontina cheese which I was unable to find at the grocery store, so I used muenster cheese the first time.  When I made them again I tried mozzarella cheese and it worked just as well.

Root Vegetable Fritter Recipe

adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

Ingredients
1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated
3 turnips , peeled and grated
2 parsnips, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup mozzarella or muenster cheese, grated
3 medium egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

vegetable or canola oil for frying

1 cup sour cream for topping

Directions: 1. Grate the root vegetables by hand or with a food processor.  Mix together the grated root vegetables, garlic, and muenster or mozzarella cheese.  Mix in the egg whites, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.  Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.  Pour 1 inch of vegetable or canola oil into a frying pan.  Heat over medium high heat until when a pinch of flour turns brown in the oil in about 5-10 seconds.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into the pan.  Flip in a few minutes when the bottom is golden brown.  Remove from the oil when the second side is golden brown and place onto a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.  Continue until all the fritter mixture is used.

Serve immediately and top with sour cream!

Apple Blue Cheese Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

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For the past few weeks I have been having a love affair with blue cheese.  I’ve been eating it on all my burgers and when I tasted it in the Panera fuji apple chicken salad I was hooked!  Also I must gush about how much I love red leaf lettuce.  It is my favorite leaf for salads, a cross between soft greens and crunchy romaine it is perfection. I decided to create my own salad and pulled out a salad dressing I discovered a few years ago.  This salad dressing is incredibly simple to make and very quick to whisk together.  I promise you will not be disappointed with this salad 🙂

Apple Blue Cheese Salad

adapted from allrecipes.com

Serves 4

Ingredients

The salad:

1 head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite size pieces

1/2 cup shredded carrots

2 oz blue cheese, broken up into chunks

1 apple, cored and sliced

1/2 cup walnuts, broken into pieces

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1/8 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar

1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl, layering in order from bottom to top.  Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients.  Toss the salad with the dressing.  The salad dressing will keep well in the refrigerator.  Remove the dressing from the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Spinach Artichoke Pizza

Spinach Artichoke Pizza 1

Spinach artichoke dip is one of my favorite appetizers (Check out my Restaurant Style Spinach Artichoke Dip). So when I saw this as an option for a pizza topping I had to try it out!  It is quite tasty, although it is not traditional pizza by any means.  I brought this as an appetizer and it was devoured.  By far the most incredible part of this recipe is the crust.  It was so easy to make, the dough was great to work with, and I loved the garlic flavor!

Spinach Artichoke Pizza 4

Next time I think I am going to try to split the dough for the crust in half and make two smaller, thinner crust pizzas.  Yum!

Spinach Artichoke Pizza Recipe

Garlic Pizza Crust Recipe

Restaurant Style Spinach Artichoke Dip

spinach artichoke dip

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and it is by far the best spinach artichoke recipe I have ever tasted.  It reminds me of the spinach artichoke dip you order in a restaurant only it’s better because you make it with fresh spinach! It tastes creamy, garlicky, and will be gone quickly if you bring it to a potluck.  This recipe is large enough for a group.  I think sauteing the spinach and artichokes in the garlic butter are part of what makes this recipe so fantastic.  Be warned that you may not be able to stop eating this dip!

Restaurant Style Spinach Artichoke Dip

adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bag of fresh spinach leaves, chopped **
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container of reduced fat sour cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
garlic salt to taste

**a 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained of water will work too, but I think chopping fresh spinach is easier and tastes better.  If you do use frozen spinach, make sure you squeeze the extra water out of the spinach so that your dip will not be watery.

Directions

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic,  spinach and artichoke hearts. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Mix cream cheese and sour cream into the spinach mixture until it has melted and is smooth and creamy. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with tortilla chips, carrots, celery, or fresh bread.

Goat Cheese Arugula Bruschetta

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I made these with my sister to bring as an appetizer to a holiday party.  The title bruschetta is a bit of a stretch, it’s more of an arugula goat cheese toast with tomatoes but it is tasty nonetheless.  I made half of the recipe and it was plenty to bring to a party with 8 people.  But if you have a larger crowd then the full recipe might fit the bill!  The ratio of the goat cheese spread to lemon arugula topping is important because the arugula lemon spread is potent.  So be sure to put at least double the amount of goat cheese spread to arugula lemon topping and enjoy!

Goat Cheese Arugula Bruschetta Recipe