Archive for the ‘Snackage’ Category

A fun and simple recipe that I picked up at my knife skills class. This came with the section where we learned how to cut a mango. Take a little off the top and bottom so that it will sit level on the cutting board top to bottom. Then take your knife at the top of the mango and peel the skin down off the mango. It shouldn’t take much effort and the blade should do most of the work with a gentle sawing motion. Do the same to get the edible flesh off the mango. Start at the top and go in a little and shave it down top to bottom. There is a woody core in the middle of the mango and it is quite large. I keep shaving off the mango fruit until it starts to get tough. Lay the fruit flat and slice and dice and then begin.


1/2 loaf French bread cut into half-inch slices

1/2 a mango (I wind up using the whole mango)

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced

1/2 up shredded Romano Cheese

1. Preheat the broiler

2. Arrange the French bread slice in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Cook them on the top-level of the oven on the broiler setting for one to two minutes per side, until toasted. Remove from heat.

3. In medium bowl mix mango and basil

4. Top each slice with a spoonful of the mango and basil mix. Top with a sprinkle or two of the Romano.

5. Return the topped bread to broiler for 2-3 minutes. They are done when cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

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I kick off my first post in a while with an entry from Paula Deen. Instead of butter we’re worshiping at the altar of Paula’s other favorite ingredient…bacon. What I like the most about this recipe is the chili powder. A touch of salt with a wallop. I can’t wait to pop this into the oven and smell it all come together. Plus how can you argue with anything that is both breakfast and dessert?

On a side note I’ve been baking my bacon lately instead of pan frying it. It is crunchy and chewy, salty and not burnt. In the past I’d have pieces that were charred on one end and nearly raw on the other. Now I have crispy and crunchy bacon and that seems to be relatively greaseless. Now if only I could find a way to clean the inside of the oven.


1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons chili powder

8 slices thick-cut bacon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a cooling rack inside the prepared pan and set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine the brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge the bacon slices in the brown sugar mixture and arrange the bacon on the rack. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

From: Food Network 

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The recipe below is for those days where you might want the flavor of a latte or mocha without all of the heavy milk or cream. It also works well if you have some plain robust beans that are unflavored and you are in the mood for some flavored coffee.  Be careful as the chocolate syrup tends to settle out. So make sure you give it a stir before you pour or ladle. The recipe says to make it in a crock pot. But I imagine it would work just fine in a saucepan or camping coffee pot on the stove on low heat.


8 cups of brewed coffee

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

1/2 teaspoon anise extract

4 cinnamon sticks, halved.

1-1/2 teaspoons whole cloves

Additional cinnamon sticks, optional.


Brew coffee and add to crock pot with the sugar, syrup and anise. Using a double piece of cheesecloth add the cloves and the cinnamon sticks. Gather the ends and tie them off into a bag and steep in crock pot for 2-3 hours. Discard the bag, ladle spiced coffee into mug and garnish with an additional cinnamon stick if you desire.

*Anise extract may be hard to find. McCormick makes some, but I couldn’t find it in my spice aisle. I tried grinding anise seeds with a mortal and pestle. I think that released too much anise and made the flavor overwhelming. To make your own fill a 1/2 pint canning jar with whole star anise. Fill with vodka, leave indefinitely. Star anise also stores well in sugar to make anise flavored sugar. From: Askville 

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This one reminds me of one trip out for sushi. I was surprised to get an avocado slice in with my usual tempura order.


1 avocado, sliced into ¼ inch slices

½ cup milk

½ cup flour

1 egg, beaten

Canola oil, for frying


Lime Sriracha Mayo

½ cup mayonnaise

Juice from ½ lime

Sriracha, or other spicy chili sauce



Fill a skillet with oil until it’s about ¼ – ½ inch full. Heat on high until oil sputters when a drop of water is dropped in.

Place the milk, flour and egg into three separate shallow dishes. Beat about a tablespoon of water into the egg mixture. Take a slice of avocado and dunk in milk, then the flour, then the eggs, then back in the flour. Place each slice on a plate until you’ve dunked the whole batch in batter.

Slowly add the slices to the oil. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan, so stop before they all start touching each other. After about a minute you’ll see the edges turning brown, this means it’s time to flip them over. Allow to cook for another minute and then remove them from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

To make the mayonnaise, mix together the mayo, lime juice and sriracha. Add the Sriracha to taste depending on how spicy you want it. Serve along side your avocado fries and enjoy!

Maybe season fires with garlic salt?

An easy way to slice the avocado is to slice it in half and remove the pit. Cut the avocado into slices while it is still in the skin making sure not to cut all of the way through the skin. Take a metal spoon and scoop out the avocado slices.

From: A cozy kitchen


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Cheese Straws

These have been around for a long time. But it seems that the internet and foodies are starting to rediscover them. This recipe from the fine folks at the Splendid Table doesn’t disappoint.


1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Sift together the flour, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper. Put the butter and grated cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix for several minutes, until thoroughly blended. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and cheese, and mix until completely incorporated. Add the water, and mix for one minute longer.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead five or six times. Roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick, and cut into strips 1/4 inch wide and 4-6 inches in length. Place the strips on un-greased cookie sheets 1/2 inch apart, and bake in the preheated oven for 12-16 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Cool completely, and store in airtight containers.

From: The Splendid Table

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I rely on the New York Times for in-depth reporting…and instructions on how to make your own Nutella. This is what real journalism is all about my friends. 

The recipe is surprisingly simple and allows room for interpretation and improvisation. Take out the hazelnuts and add some peanuts or peanut butter?  How about some fruity flavors? Maybe coffee beans? Maybe not.


1 cup peeled Hazelnuts

4 ounces semisweet chocolate (no chips)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter.

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 to 2 tablespoons not or vegetable oil

3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Toast 1 cup peeled hazelnuts in a dry pan until they are fragrant and golden, then let cool. Meanwhile, melt 4 ounces semisweet chocolate (not chips) and 2 ounces unsalted butter (4 tablespoons). Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Blend cooled nuts in a food processor until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes, drizzling in 1 to 2 tablespoons nut or vegetable oil. With the machine running, add the chocolate mixture, 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer to a container and refrigerate.

From: NY Times

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Root Beer Bundt Cake

Who can argue with a recipe where you bake a cake and serve it with ice cream and it tastes like a root beer float?



2 cups root beer (do not use diet root beer)

1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs


2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup root beer

2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder


Vanilla ice cream


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it, dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy–do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.

For the root beer frosting:

Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth.

Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the Bundt in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving, with the ice cream on the side

From the book: Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

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