Category Archives: Appetizers

Loaded Baked Potato Skins

Loaded Baked Potato Skins

Baked potatoes are delicious. They are definitely a comfort food around our household. But what’s better are baked potatoes that you can eat with your hands! Since I had a bunch of extra potatoes lying around, I decided to try out a recipe for potato skins (John was thrilled of course!). I remembered eating potato skins at TGIFriday’s as a kid… so yummy.

I found this recipe on SimplyRecipes.com and it turned out amazing. These delicious finger foods would also be perfect for Superbowl Sunday (or any party for that matter)!
 
Loaded Baked Potato Skins
 
I rubbed the potatoes with olive oil and baked for 50 minutes in the oven (400 degrees F).
 
Loaded Baked Potato Skins
 
Here’s what mine looked like after they baked in the oven. I cut them in half and scooped out the center. After baking for another 10 minutes on each side, I filled them with bits of ham and cheese and broiled until melted.
 
Loaded Baked Potato Skins
 
The end result was amazing! Crispy outside and tender inside filled with amazing toppings! You can garnish with sour cream and green onions or just leave those goodies on the side.
 
Loaded Baked Potato Skins
 
What type of snacks will you cook for Superbowl Sunday?
 

Christina

Hosting a Baby Shower Part 2: Planning the Food Menu

baby shower food menu When planning events, I feel that the food menu is the most overwhelming task to accomplish. I’m always thinking about what my guests will want to eat or how much to make. There have been plenty of times when I make certain foods and no one touches them, while some items are gone in seconds! It just depends on the crowd I guess. 

So my family put together an amazing menu for the party. The food was delicious, portioned to perfection and was pretty much devoured! My mouth is watering for cucumber sandwiches as we speak!

When serving a buffet style menu, it is easy to just pile food on a plate or bowl. But I think the styling and positioning of the food also makes the presentation look nice and more appetizing. Pre-portioning food will also keep guests from grabbing into a bowl of food and help prevent the spread of germs.

So here is the breakdown of the menu…

baby shower food menu

1. Poppy Seed Chicken Salad with Grapes

We adapted our chicken salad recipe from the one found here on Add A Pinch.com. Instead of boiling the chicken, we baked it in the oven with Mrs. Dash lemon seasoning. The cherries and celery leaves were omitted, and we used this Poppy Seed dressing instead of mayonnaise. The chicken salad was served on mini croissants- it was delicious! I personally will be making it again!

baby shower food menu

2. Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

These cute little sandwiches were a hit at the shower! I think they were one of the first menu items to be polished off. This recipe can also be found on Add A Pinch.com. We followed the recipe exactly, expect that we did not serve open faced sandwiches. We added the extra top piece of bread. I’ve had rectangle-shaped cucumber sandwiches before, but these circle-shaped cut outs looked adorable (if a sandwich can be called such!). They also looked nicely stacked on the platters.

baby shower food menu

 3. Caprese Skewers with Fresh Basil

For the skewers, we used fresh mozzarella balls marinated in olive oil and italian herbs. You can find these in the fresh cheese section at the grocery store. Each skewer contained a mozzarella ball and cherry tomato with a folded fresh basil leaf seperating the two. We seasoned the skewers with freshly ground pepper and drizzled balsamic vinegar over the top of them. Just a side note, but if you use white balsamic vinegar for drizzling, it will not turn the cheese brown! These tasted delicious (if you like caprese appetizers) and none of these were left over.

baby shower food menu

 4. Deviled Eggs

The deviled eggs made for the shower were no more than your traditional recipe. If you’ve never made them you could certainly follow this recipe found here on the Food Network. To make enough eggs for the party, we boiled 18 eggs (1 1/2 dozen). This made plenty for everyone to have 1 or 2 and by the end of the party, they were gone. I loved that they were served on the cute egg platters.

baby shower food menu 5. Fresh Fruit Kabobs

Here the canteloupe and honeydew melons were cut using a melon baller. The melons, grapes, raspberries and strawberries were assembled on the skewers and lined up on a platter to be served. I thought this was a much more attractive way to serve a fruit salad, instead of combining all the fruit into one bowl.

baby shower party food menu

6. Veggie Shooters with Greek yogurt “Ranch” Style Dip

This recipe for Ranch Style dip came from my own blog and you can find it here. We cut the celery, carrots, and bell pepper into sticks and put them in the shot glasses with a couple tablespoons of dip. Extra vegetables were also served on the side if guests wanted more.

fat free greek yogurt ranch dip 7. Sand Dollar Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

These cookies tasted more like a butter cookie than a traditional sugar cookie to me. Yum! They were a creative idea for my nautical themed shower! This recipe can be found here on mamamiss.com. The recipe was followed exactly and we did not make any alterations. What a perfect little dessert!

baby shower party food menu Overall, the menu turned out wonderful. All of the guests thoroughly enjoyed the food! We made just enough food without lots of leftovers. I hope this post helps you when you’re planning a menu for your next party! Do you have any other favorite recipes that you make for parties?

Continue on to Hosting a Baby Shower Part 3: Candy Bar Party Favors

baby shower party food menu

 

Christina

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

rosemary focaccia bread

 I love making bread, but sometimes I just don’t have the time for it. Last minute while I’m cooking, I usually think “Oh I wish I had bread”. At that point it’s generally too late to start, especially if John is hungry and wants to eat asap!

This particular flat bread has been on my recipe list for awhile. An Italian restaurant in the city where John and I eat serves a focaccia bread as an appetizer and we love it! I’ve always wanted to try making it myself to see how it would turn out.

While browsing Pinterest, I found this recipe for focaccia bread made in a skillet in under a hour! That’s so fast! It was also super easy to make. The bread was the perfect touch along side my Tomato Cheddar soup.
 

Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Dough
  1. 3/4 c warm water
  2. 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tsp active yeast
  4. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  5. 2 cups all-purpose flour ( divided )
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
Parmesan butter
  1. 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  2. 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  3. 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  4. 1/2 tsp dried or fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Place water and sugar in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over the water and stir few times. Let sit until foamy (about 5 minutes).
  3. With the paddle attachment, turn the mixer on low speed and add 1 cup of flour and salt. Mix until combined.
  4. Add oil and mix well.
  5. Gradually add the remaining cup of flour and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You may need to push the dough out of the paddle attachment if it gets stuck.
  6. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220 degrees F and when it's ready turn it off. Keep the door closed.
  7. Grease the skillet.
  8. Place dough onto a floured surface and fold the dough few times until you feel it's smooth and not sticky anymore. Shape into a ball.
  9. Roll out the dough into a size of your skillet.
  10. Place in skillet. Stretch up the sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
  11. Take the skillet out of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers.
  12. Mix melted butter, parmesan and seasoning in a small bowl. Brush the dough with half the butter.
  13. Place skillet with dough in the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with remaining butter. Let cool until safe to the touch and slice into strips.
Adapted from CunchyCreamySweet.com
My Homemade Home http://www.myhomemadehome.com/
Here’s how my bread looked after rising in the oven.

 
rosemary focaccia bread

After cooking in the oven, my bread was a nice golden brown. I sliced it in to strips, which only made it easier to eat more!
 
You could also add different toppings and make it into a flat bread appetizer or serve it along side a yummy dip! Yay for versatile breads :)

rosemary focaccia bread

Yum! Enjoy!

rosemary focaccia bread
 

Christina