Pickle lovers unite! This idea is by Grillo’s Pickles, but I never see it sold in my stores so I made my own. Eat it like a dip, put it on a burger/dog and you’ll love it on a taco.
Pickle de Gallo Ingredients: (as dip for ~4) ~3/4 cup dill pickles (~4-5 spears) ~3/4 cup sweet pickles (mine were bread & butter chips) 1/2 cup tomatoes 1/4 white onion 2 cups baby arugula (or a bunch of cilantro or parsley) 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 cup pickle juice (some dill & some sweet)
Directions: Chop the pickles, tomatoes, onion, and greens/herbs.
Add it all to a bowl and stir in the oil and pickle juices. Stir well and refrigerate at least an hour.
Serve as dip or as a topping. Enjoy!
We put this on pulled pork tacos the first time and ate the rest with tortilla chips. I became obsessed and made it again serving it with crackers and another time with potato chips. It is so addicting. I love having bringing an offering that is vegetarian/dairy-free/gluten free (depending on your dipper) and fresh!
The mix of pickles is the key – it would be so strong with only dill pickles so definitely try it with both. I used greens for freshness (and once because cilantro is polarizing and I wasn’t sure if the group is into that). We all need more veggies, right?
It is flavorful and crunchy – make some and tell all the pickle puns. 😉
It has been a minute since I made some deviled eggs! These beauties are so springy with lemon and herbs.
Lemon & Herb Deviled Eggs Ingredients: (for ~6 servings) 6 eggs 2 tablespoons mayo 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 2 teaspoons lemon juice (half a lemon) ~4 chives 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano salt & pepper
Directions: Hard boil and cool the eggs, then peal them. Slice them in half and pop the yolks into a bowl. Chop the chives. Add in the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, chives, oregano, salt and pepper.
Mash and mix well, beat with a hand mixer or stir and blend in a food processor. Set up a zip-top bag to sand upright into a heavy drinking glass. Then spoon the filling into the bag. Plate the egg halves, snip a bottom corner off the bag and pipe the filling into each one – fill each just to the top of each well, then go back and add a swirl to the top to ensure each has enough filling. Sprinkle remaining chives and grate some lemon zest over the top. (I lost one half in the pealing process – RIP, it couldn’t be saved).
I loved these! They were definitely lemony (only too much according to the 7-year-old but don’t trust his palate, he loves sour candies so I’m not sure what he’s talking about). He ate one half quickly and had thoughts about another one. The little girl dipped her cheese and crackers into the filling of her deviled egg a few times then ate the egg white.
I’ll definitely repeat. I’m envisioning the summer when we have herbs growing in the garden out of control! I had chives but the other fresh herbs that are ready was sage & mint – either of those would be weird. I don’t care about parsley but go for it. Fresh oregano and thyme would be my other picks!
We had these with an appetizer dinner and I love that they’re easy to just make a few and have no leftovers. Leftovers are fine for these but if I did have leftovers, I’d chop them and serve it on toast for a savory breakfast or into a pita for lunch!
Apps for dinner might be a new tradition here! I didn’t have an occasion so I just made these delicious bites for dinner with a few other snacks and it was so fun! Phyllo cups get filled with brie and whole berry cranberry sauce and just a bit of rosemary – just a little assembly required.
Cranberry not your jam – lots of alternative ideas below!
Brie & Cranberry Cups Ingredients: (app for ~6) 1 package phyllo cups (15 mini cups) 1/2 wheel of brie 1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce 1 sprig of rosemary 2 tablespoons butter
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Slice the brie into small pieces. Open and stir the cranberry sauce.
Chop the rosemary while the butter is melting then stir together. On a baking sheet, lay out the phyllo cups and fill each with 2 small pieces of brie (to mostly fill the cups but not over the top edge). Spoon a tiny dollop of cranberry on top, then spoon butter/rosemary into the cups. Bake for 5-8 minutes as the package indicates and until the brie melts. Enjoy!
I had whole berry cranberry sauce and used it for these Thanksgiving Hot Wraps so I froze the remainder and here it is! These brie cups would be great with some raspberries or blackberries, out of the oven they could get a dab of jam (don’t bake that), or some pieces of bacon or caramelized onions.
We had these little cups as well as some crackers and dip, some caesar salad, and some ranch popcorn chicken. Everyone liked something and it was a fun meal.
These little turnovers had a few flavors we love, in an easy format, plus the kiddos helped and liked them. We used puff pastry, hummus, roasted chicken, salad dressing, and tomatoes.
Anything in crescent dough is good in my book but the hummus in here was great! They would be perfect as an app or we had them with some orzo and some salad.
Greek Chicken Turnovers Ingredients: (for 8 turnovers, serves ~4 as a meal or 8 for apps) 1 tube crescent rolls (or crescent dough as a roll would make double sized ones) 1 cup roasted chicken (~1 chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken) 1-2 tablespoons creamy caesar dressing 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or fresh chopped oregano 1/4 cup hummus 1-2 small tomatoes
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350-degrees (or as the package directs).
Chop and mix the chicken, the dressing, and oregano. Unroll the crescents and lay each triangle flat, then spread hummus onto each triangle. Add chicken onto the wide part of the triangle and top with tomato slices and salt & pepper. Carefully roll the wide end of the triangle and roll over onto itself towards the point. Place onto a baking sheet.
Bake for ~10 minutes (according to your crescent rolls) until golden brown.
We had these with orzo and some tomato/cucumber/feta salad in Italian dressing. They were so fun! The hummus is really subtle but adds some substance and keeps them from being too liquid-y and dripping.
Each kid ate one. They’re not always excited about foods all together but these are flavors we like and they were a hit. They’re very, very into feta in salad.
They reheat well too – especially if you undercook a bit (maybe 8 min versus 10) and reheat in the oven or toaster oven. They don’t need to be served hot – room temp is good too!
Plan now – these Thanksgiving inspired nachos are perfect for leftovers, or if you’re not the host and want to whip up something with Thanksgiving vibes leading up to the holiday!
Thanksgiving Nachos Ingredients: (serves ~4 as a meal, or ~6 as an app) 1 package waffle fries 2/3 cup jellied cranberry sauce 2 tablespoons sour cream 2 tablespoons mayo 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese ~1 cup turkey (I used roasted chicken as it was before Thanksgiving) ~1 cup turkey gravy 6 sage leaves, chopped
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400-degrees (or as waffle fry package directs). Bake the fries (or air fry, but like nachos, there will be toppings and continue to cook). Blend together cranberry sauce, sour cream, and mayo. This can be prepped in advance and refrigerated.
Chop or tear the turkey into bite-size pieces and warm. Mix or warm the gravy. When the fries are cooked, top half with the cheese, half the chicken, and a drizzle of gravy. Then place the remaining fries on top with remaining cheese, and another gravy drizzle. Return to the oven for ~3-5 minutes to melt the cheese.
Remove from the oven and top with sage and a drizzle of cranberry sauce. Enjoy and serve remaining cranberry sauce and gravy on the side.
We had it for dinner with some green beans on the side. It was so fun! The 1st grader ate it all – and took care of the remaining cranberry sauce. The pre-schooler ate the cranberry aoli-sauce by the spoonful and only took a few bites of the rest.
I loved the bites with everything together! They are kind of a fork-nacho but these would be fun with sweet potato fries too! They could be party friendly as mini “stacks” and maybe a toothpick to hold together to serve a portion. The subtle cranberry was really good and would be great on a sandwich or wrap for leftovers or on a turkey burger!
Add this to your leftovers – or make this if you’re not having a turkey dinner!
These Italian Deviled Eggs are a twist on traditional deviled eggs with lots of herbs, some balsamic drizzle, Italian dressing, and parmesan cheese! I loved these and it would be good as egg salad too!
Italian Deviled Eggs Ingredients (for 12 eggs) 1 dozen eggs, hard boiled and cooled 2 tablespoons of 2 or more herbs (basil, parsley, chives – or any combo also with rosemary, oregano, or thyme) 3 tablespoons mayo 1 teaspoon yellow mustard 2-3 tablespoons Italian dressing 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated 1 small tomato, seeds removed 1 tablespoon balsamic reduction (optional)
Directions: Slice the eggs in half and pop the yolks into a bowl with basil, parsley, chives, mayo, mustard, Italian dressing, parmesan, and salt & pepper.
Mix very well, breaking up all the yolks. A hand mixer works well or it could go in a food processor. Place a plastic zip-top bag into a glass or a small bowl to stand upright while you scoop the filling in. (It can remain like this until serving in the refrigerator with the egg halves.)
When serving, chop the tomatoes separating out the seeds so they are not too wet and drippy. Push the filling to the bottom corner of the bag and snip the end off to have about 1/4 inch opening. Fill each egg half (I fill each to be level with the egg to know that there’s enough, then I can go back and top each with a swirl higher to all be even.) Sprinkle with tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic. Enjoy!
I loved these! The herbs and the salty parmesan with the sweet balsamic was so great together. They are nice for variety in a spread – flavorful, not super heavy, protein, no gluten if that matters.
If you have leftover balsamic – you’ll use it a million ways! A drizzle on pizza, on tomatoes, on caprese salad, on grilled veggies, on grilled cheese – or whatever! You could skip it, but it lasts forever and I definitely recommend it. Top with some shaved parmesan if skipping the balsamic!
We often have deviled eggs as a side for dinner or as party food. They travel well – though need to stay very very cold so you could bring them ready to assemble to serve. These little egg holders are worth their weight in gold – for your fridge or transport. Without an egg tray, slice off a little so the egg cup will sit flat. I didn’t transport them to walk them down the deck stairs – they felt so secure as-is!
You also could chop it all and serve it as egg salad! Scoop some onto melba toasts and top with the tomatoes and balsamic reduction.
The inauguration was so so so important to me and I’m so happy to look forward. Next up: the Superbowl! I’m into the Superbowl for the snacks. And the commercials. And the halftime show. The cheeseball not only resembles a football but it also brings together the two delights of snacking: bacon and cheese.
Football Cheeseball Ingredients: 1 package cream cheese 1 onion 2 tablespoons bbq sauce 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon seasoning blend (Todd’s Dirt or Mrs. Dash or Italian Seasoning or 1/2 tsp Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt) 1/2 pound bacon 1/2 slice of provolone cheese serve with sturdy crackers, like wheat thins or pita chips
Directions: Caramelize the onion- slice and cook over low heat with a tablespoon of olive oil, for ~40 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat when they are soft and golden brown. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. Using a mixer, mix up the cream cheese, caramelized onions, bbq sauce, worcestershire sauce, and seasoning blend.
Wrap in plastic wrap into a ball and refrigerate until serving, or at least 2 hours. Chop the bacon and pan fry until crisp. Then drain the drippings. When serving, unwrap the plastic from most of it and holding the plastic on one side, form into a football shape about 3/4 inch thick so you still have plastic to cover your hands while forming it. Flip onto a serving plate removing the plastic. Push the bacon crumbles onto the top and sides until completely covered. Slice the cheese into one long strip with short strips across to be the laces. Serve with crackers and enjoy!
If you’re making this one in advance, mix up the cheeseball and chill until serving with the bacon separate.
We looooved this. The flavors are fantastic and very chill – it would fit in well with other tailgate-ish foods! Hot tip: leftover cheeseball spread onto a turkey sandwich = delicious.
My mom makes several cornbreads and this one is by far my fav- it has real corn and is so soft but not crumbly. The rest of the fam looooves one with dill and sour cream and onions but my heart is with this one. There’s real corn flavor and I can’t get enough of it. Make a half batch to go alongside your BBQ and then griddle some the next morning with a drizzle of hot honey- you can thank me later. Only make a whole batch if you have enough eaters- it lasts about 5 days refrigerated but spoils in 2 days at room temperature. This would be great in times of potlucks whenever that happens again?
Corn Bread with Hot Honey Drizzle
Ingredients: makes 9×9, ~6 servings
1 1/2 Boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
1 stick softened butter + 2-4 tablespoons to pan sear before serving
8 oz sour cream
8 oz can creamed corn
8 oz canned corn or frozen corn
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Mix together the muffin mix, butter, sour cream, creamed corn, corn, and eggs with a stand or hand mixer until incorporated.
Pour into a 9×9 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
Bake for 35 minutes until set and the edges brown.
While letting it cool, mix together the honey and hot sauce.
In a medium skillet, melt butter and sear each cut side of slices of cornbread.
Drizzle with hot honey and enjoy!
It freezes well or freeze the remainder of the creamed corn and the save the half box of corn muffin mix. Next time you want to whip some together you’ll be well on your way! A whole batch would be 3 boxes of corn muffin mix- everything doubled and that makes a 9×13 so that would take a huge number of cornbread lovers!
All these lettuce-less salad series will not be exclusively with fruit, but this was too good not to come next. Also, we bought a whole watermelon and the kids are just not as into it as other fruit so finding all the ways to use it was necessary. I chopped it up really finely to use the salad as a relish/topping, but it would be great on the side!
Watermelon Mint Salad
Ingredients: (for 4 as a side, for 6 as a topping)
1 cup watermelon
~10 mint leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Chop the watermelon, cucumber, shallot, and mint and add to a bowl.
Add in the olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice plus some salt and pepper and chili powder. Stir well and chill until serving.
This salad is so fresh and light and flavorful. It could be spiced up with jalapenos or other peppers. It would be great as salsa with chips too or in larger pieces as a side. We had it on top of grilled chicken this time.
I love the simplicity most about this flatbread. It has some special touches but is wayyy easier than it seems! The cherries were frozen- with the pits already removed! They can pretty much thaw on the counter while everything else is prepping! What a great way to get another color of the food rainbow in!
Cherry, Arugula & Parmesan Flatbread
4 naan (I used wheat)
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
3 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
1/2 cup dark cherries, frozen
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, or a toaster oven to toast the naan for 5-8 minutes, until crisping on the edges but still soft.
Toss the arugula in olive oil with salt & pepper.
Spread cream cheese on each piece of naan and sprinkle arugula, parmesan, and cherries on top.
Slice & enjoy!
This takes 10 minutes and I can picture munching it on a patio at a restaurant who’d ask $18 for it. I love the cherries contrasting the arugula and parm. The cherries are a great smoothie addition for leftovers or are fantastic on yogurt.
I use naan for the fastest weeknight pizzas ever. This week is nutty at work with an event this weekend so I planned some quick pizzas on naan for a weeknight meal and my Thursday night self thanks that Sunday planning self! Naan pizzas freeze well too if prepping in advance – not an arugula flatbread, but go for it with traditional toppings! I also found tiny naans that are a great kid size for lunches too!