Sweet & Salty Dipped Pretzels

There is nothing better than the combination of sweet and salty! My favorite combination is a chocolate shake and french fries–makes my mouth water just thinking about it! This is one of those divine little inspirations that fit the bill to a tee (and make for a fun holiday treat). These are just plain, however when I made them for a recent party, I also added a sprinkling of colored sugars and jimmies before the chocolate hardened, that made them a little more festive…

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Sweet & Salty Dipped Pretzels

Ingredients:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter-softened
3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cups light brown sugar
pretzels (I was able to make 60 treats, so that's 120 pretzels)
8 ounces semi-sweet Bakers chocolate baking bar

Directions:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter and butter with a spatula. Stir in the sugars until thick dough forms. Roll peanut butter dough into small balls and sandwich between two pretzels; place on baking sheet. Freeze to let the peanut butter set up (since it's so cold here in Wisconsin, I set the tray out on my screen porch for about an hour).

Meanwhile, cut up the chocolate and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds (it took me 1 and a half minutes total). Dip the pretzels half way and put them back on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet back in the freezer (or your screen porch) until set

Kahlua-DIY

December, 2012 001Hi Everyone!!

I seem to make a batch of this every year, it makes a great hostess gift at a party or a fun “little something” for an unexpected visitor. I bought the bottles from Crate and Barrel, but you can find them just about anywhere. Since there’s a long sitting time while the kahlua gets all yummy, I usually try to get it made up by Thanksgiving–thus the reason for this post today, enjoy….

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Kahlua-DIY

Ingredients:

1 cup ground coffee
8 cups sugar
4 cups water
2 vanilla beans-halved and split open
3 1/2 cups vodka
1 2/3 cup brandy

Directions:

In a large stockpot, stir coffee, sugar and water. Heat just until it comes to a boil. Turn off heat and add vanilla beans, vodka and brandy. Transfer mixture to a storage container with a lid and let stand for one month to develop flavors.

After one month, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth until all the coffee grounds clear. Pour into glass jars and add a piece of vanilla bean to each.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

I love just about any recipe that Anne Burrell makes and this one doesn’t disappoint! I added it to our Thanksgiving meal last year and it was a real hit with the ladies (the men are meat and white potato snobs).

I made it ahead of time and then when I needed it, I added a pat of butter on top before cooking, oh my it was heavenly!!

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes- peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 Granny Smith apples-peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 sprig fresh rosemary-finely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, cinnamon and cayenne. Lay the sweet potatoes out on a sheet tray, place them in the oven and roast until they are really soft and mushy, about 30 minutes.

Toss the apples with the lemon juice, some olive oil, salt and the rosemary. Lay them out on a sheet tray and place in the oven during the last 15 minutes of the cooking time for the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the pecans over the apples during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Transfer the sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher. Stir in the apples and pecans and serve.

Adapted from Anne Burrell

Cucumber Salsa

IMG_9530Say what??? I’m posting a recipe?? Well, I’ll have some changes coming soon, but in the mean time… I was at a dinner party last week during one of the hottest days of the year. One of the appetizers was similar to this and it was amazing! I just knew I had to try to recreate it, so here you are-my take on cucumber salsa, a refreshing, healthy summer snack…

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Cucumber Salsa

Ingredients:

2 cups finely chopped seeded, peeled cucumbers (about 1 large english cucumber)
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
chopped jalapeño (amount to your liking-I used about 2 tablespoons very finely chopped)
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove-minced
1/4 cup fat free sour cream (or plain yogurt)
1 teaspoon lemon juice-fresh
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice-fresh
pinch of cumin
pinch of salt and pepper
Tortilla chips or baguettes for eating it on

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the first six ingredients. In another small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour, sparingly over the cucumber mixture. As the salsa sits, the cucumbers will give off liquid, so you can add more of the dressing if you need to, but add it slowly at first so it doesn't get too runny.

Serve with tortillas or toasted baguettes

Green Pepper Dip

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I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Memorial Day! I’m taking a few moments to post this recipe, because you simply must have it! I had never heard of it, nor tried it until yesterday and now I am over the top addicted (and I don’t even like green pepper). It’s super easy and SO good….

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Green Pepper Dip

Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese-at room temperature
1 green pepper-chopped
1/2 onion-chopped
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pinch salt

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, green pepper and onion; set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat mix together the egg, vinegar, sugar and salt. Heat while stirring until thick. Set aside to cool completely.

Mix the egg mixture and the green pepper mixture in a blender or a mixer until completely mixed. Serve with crackers or chips

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