Tag Archives: quick

Sun Dried Tomato Appetizers

As promised!  Yet another thing you can do with all the Sun Dried Tomatoes we made last week.

I made these delightful little appetizers for brunch last Sunday.  I wished after the fact that I had made twice as many because they were gone almost immediately.

That may have been partially because I ate at least four of them.  C’est la vie.  Anyway.

I wanted to be able to call these little beauties “Sun Dried Tomato Crostini” but sadly I did not have a baguette (GF or otherwise) sitting around.  But if you wanted to impress your friends you could use little toasted slices of baguette and call it crostini.  Because that just sounds so much more sophisticated than “appetizers”.

Or we could go the French route and call them “Sun Dried Tomato Hors D’oeuvres”.  (Yes, I had to look up the spelling.)  Or, my favorite, “Sun Dried Tomato Amuse-Bouche”.  But since most of us are not running French bistros I guess “appetizers” will do.

(Note to self:  Someday open a French bistro so you can use fancy words like “amuse-bouche” and not feel ridiculous.)

This recipe makes just enough for 12 but you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the amounts listed to make more.  These come together in under5 minutes and are super yummy and impressive on a buffet table.

Sun Dried Tomato Appetizers

12 of your favorite crackers

2 oz goat cheese

2 oz cream cheese, room temperature

a splash of heavy cream (to get the mixture to spreading consistency)

2 tsp minced fresh chives

1/4 tsp minced garlic

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

12 Sun Dried Tomatoes


Mix goat cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, chives, garlic, and salt and pepper until smooth and spreadable.

Spread a thick layer of cheese on each cracker.  Top with a Sun Dried Tomato.

Makes 12 appetizers.


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Filed under Appetizers, Party Fare

Refried Black Beans

I’ve been making these a lot lately.  They are super quick and easy and go well with pretty much any southwestern or Mexican food you may be having.  I made them this morning, as I have most weekends this summer, to go in breakfast burritos.   Quick, easy, cheap, versatile, AND healthy?  Yes, please.

Here’s everything you need:  1 can of black beans, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano, and 2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro.  This oregano is from my herb garden.  I don’t have  Mexican oregano, and I’m honestly not even sure what the difference is, but if you have some and you want to try it please do so!

And let me know how it’s different 🙂

Start by heating your olive oil in a small pot over medium heat.  Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne, and chopped oregano and toast for a minute to bring out their flavors.

Add the entire can of black beans (liquid and all), and bring up to a simmer.

Using the back of a spoon, mash about half the beans.

Let it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated away and your beans are the consistency you like.  Here mine are almost done.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like mine bone dry so keep a watch on them.  It only takes a few minutes.

Top with some fresh cilantro and serve!  You can, of course, chop up your cilantro before sprinkling it on (I usually do but leaving the leaves whole makes for a prettier presentation, I think)  We do these in breakfast burritos, as I said, but I also put them out on “make your own taco” night.  I also love them alongside my southwestern pulled pork (recipe coming soon!).

This recipe is very versatile and gladly accepts any number of alterations.  As it happened, I had a couple hot cherry peppers from the garden just begging to be included so I chopped up half of this guy right here and added it in with the spices.  You could add some chopped onion or red bell pepper in the beginning before the garlic, you could vary the spices, you could top it with some crumbled queso fresco or sour cream at the end – whatever!  Cooking’s great like that, you can always mix it up and make it yours.


Refried Black Beans

1 (14oz) can black beans

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oil in small pot over medium heat.  Add garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, and oregano and toast for one minute.

Add in entire can of beans, including liquid.  Bring up to a simmer.

While simmering, mash about half the beans.  Stir occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated away and beans look “refried”.

Top with fresh cilantro.

Serves 4.

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Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

So, I’m not actually a huge coconut fan.  I mean, I like coconut as much as the next person, it’s just not my flavor of choice when it comes to desserts.   Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, caramel, coffee, lemon, raspberry… probably a host of others come before it.

But I’m making literally 20 different kinds of cookies and candies right now for Christmas.  In the interest of variety I thought we’d mix it up a bit this week.  (In the last week I’ve made Snickerdoodles, Gingerbread People, Sugar Cookies, Turtles, Buckeyes, Chocolate Chip Biscotti, Chocolate Mint Cookies, Almond Toffee, PB + J Thumbprints, and Magic Cookie Bars.  I’m working on some Vanilla Latte Cookie Truffles right now.  Lemon Bars, White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal cookies, Raspberry Linzer cookies and Cinnamon Rolls coming up the next few days.  I see a lot of kale in my future.)

Macaroons are great for anyone who:

A. Likes Coconut

B. Likes desserts that look elegant but are actually really quick and easy and

C. Doesn’t have any more flour in her cupboard because of making so many cookies in the last week

Which is not actually me…today.  But it is me many, many times a year.  And Coconut Macaroons are naturally gluten free which makes things easier for all of us.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Here’s everything you need:  A 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, a 14oz bag of sweetened shredded coconut (obviously yours will have something in it, oops), 1/4 tsp salt, one teaspoon vanilla, and 3 large egg whites.  That’s the yellowish stuff in the tupperware.  I always have some egg whites sitting around which is weird because I swear I have no recollection of using just yolks in anything.  Anyway…

In a medium bowl, fold together the sweetened condensed milk, the coconut, and the vanilla until well combined.

Whip up your egg whites and salt on high, using a whisk beater if you have one, until you have firm peaks.  (It looks like there is something red on the beaters.  There isn’t.  I have Christmas lights strung up by my mixer.)

Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut…

…until well combined and creamy.

I made mine kinda big.  Yours don’t have to be this big.  I just felt like using my new cookie scoop.

Plop the little piles onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Here they are right out of the oven, the tops nice and toasty brown.  Now, you could leave them like this…

…or you could dip them in dark chocolate for an extra flavor dimension. 

Me gusta mucho el chocolate.


Coconut Macaroons

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 14oz bag sweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp vanilla

3 large egg whites

1/4 tsp salt

Dark Chocolate for dipping (optional)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla until homogenous.

Combine egg whites and salt and whip on high speed, using the whisk attachment (if you have one) until you achieve firm peaks.

Gently fold egg whites into coconut mixture.

On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, drop batter by tablespoonfuls into little mounds 2 inches apart.  Bake 25-30 minutes.

Allow to cool and dip in dark chocolate if desired.

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Filed under Candy, Cookies/Bars