IN THE KITCHEN ◽ TIPS
I recently purchased a cast iron skillet cookbook. I use my skillet some, but not enough, and wanted some more ideas.  Several of the recipes in this book looked simple enough, and super tasty. 
 
Why not serve up some of these this summer for your family and friends?

Giant Cookie

  • 1 c softened butter

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 t vanilla

  • 1 t baking soda

  • 2 t hot water

  • ½ t salt

  • 2 ½ c flour

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips

  • Nuts (optional – I used pecans)

 

Preheat oven to 350 and heat the skillet in the oven while making the batter.  In a large bowl cream the sugars and the butter.  Add eggs, one at a time, combining each time before proceeding.  Stir in vanilla.

Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to batter, along with salt.  Stir in the flour, chips and nuts.

Remove skillet from oven (it will be hot!) and put batter in, spreading with spatula.  Place in the oven and bake about 25 minutes (test to see if done in the center) til golden brown.  Serve with ice cream, if you desire!

Quinoa Casserole

  • 1 cup dry quinoa

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 ½ T olive oil

  • 1 ear of cooked corn kernels

  • ½ red bell pepper diced

  • ½ cup onion, chopped

  • 1 jalapeno seeded and sliced

  • ½ t salt

  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

In a small saucepan cook the quinoa in the broth, let it sit covered, to fully absorb the liquid.

Meanwhile, remove the corn from the cob and cook in the cast iron.  While that’s cooking, dice the other veggies.  Add them to the corn and cook til onion is soft and peppers start to brown. 

Stir in the quinoa, season with salt and combine all.  Keep skillet hot to lightly brown the quinoa, about another 10 minutes.

Stir in the cheese, remove from heat and serve.

Lemon Cake

  • ¾ c sugar

  • Zest of two lemons

  • 6 T butter cut into pieces

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 c flour

  • 1 t baking powder

  • ½ c milk

 

Preheat oven to 350. 

In a large bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest, working them together.  Add the butter, and cream til light.  Add the eggs one at a time, combining thoroughly after each.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE BURGER & DIP RECIPES. DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR OTHER TIPS STORIES.
Burgers & Dips
by Marcy Lytle
Summer Skillets
by Marcy Lytle
IN THE KITCHEN ◽ TIPS
All the Snacks
by Marcy Lytle

You’re going to need snacks this holiday season, lots of them.  There will be hungry guests, kids that want “something to eat,” and you yourself are going to be hungry from all that shopping and wrapping and going here and there while you enjoy the holidays!  Oh yes, maybe you’ll have turkey and a fancy meal…or maybe not!  There’s always the option to set out a buffet of snacks you’ve put together ahead of time, so that you have them to pull out when you’re too tired to stand.

Here are a few faves, not necessarily fallish or Christmassy, but oh so tasty.

A huge bowl of trail mix:

  • 5 cups Multigrain cheerios

  • 1 cup Craisins

  • 1 cup Honey roasted peanuts

  • 1 cup Semisweet chocolate chips

 

That’s it!  Make a large bowl of it, and have it ready for guests to nibble on as they walk buy.  Set out cute little plastic cups for them to dip and then dispose, after they’ve eaten their fill! 

The best hummus:

You’ll want a healthy treat during this season to grab and eat on the run, when you need a break from all the rich foods of the season.  This is the best and most simple hummus recipe I’ve found.  Just set out pita chips and carrot sticks, or make to-go containers ready to take to the theater or in the car, as you head out in the holiday madness.

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1/3 cup tahini

  • Juice of 2 lemons

  • 1 T olive oil

 

Place all in a food processor, pulse till well blended but still coarse.  Adjust seasonings. 

 

Cheddar pecan spread:

This is a great spread to have on a pretty tray with savory crackers, nuts and olive, if you wish.  Have those things ready to arrange with this spread, when unexpected family or friends stop by.  Or invite someone to stop by!

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened

  • ¼ cup butter, softened

  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

  • ½ tsp minced garlic, roasted

 

Beat cream cheese and butter til smooth.  Beat in rest of ingredients.  Serve.  (This will last in the fridge up to three weeks!) 

Note:  I mixed this in the food processor, just pulsing a little at a time.  I also added more pecans than called for, and I toasted them and the garlic on a tray in the toaster, just until fragrant.

Smoky red pepper dip:

Another great addition to your snack table, should guests or your family need some nibbles!  It makes such a pretty color, especially when you add the red pepper strips!

  • ¼ c sliced almonds

  • 4 sliced garlic cloves

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 cup mayo

  • ½ cup roasted red peppers

  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar

  • Red bell pepper sticks, carrot sticks

 

Cook the almonds and garlic in the oil til browned, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the paprika.  Puree in the processor with the mayo, the red peppers and the vinegar.  Season with salt.  This is great served in small clear cups with the sticks inside.

Almond butter:

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.  It’s so easy to make and so delicious!  Great to have on hand for the ones with the munchies.

  • 2 cups almonds

  • 2 large pinches kosher salt

  • 3 T vegetable oil

  • 2 tsp honey

  • Whole wheat crackers

 

Blend the almonds and salt in a food processor for five minutes.  Pulse in the oil and honey.  Spread on the crackers.   (I found that I needed to pulse in a bit more honey and oil, but do it sparingly, pulsing each time, until you have the consistency you like.)

Smashed Chickpea Avocado

  • 1 med sized ripe avocado

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 2 T chopped parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Juice of two limes

  • 1 t garlic powder

  • Red pepper flakes (optional) and pita bread or chips

 

Add all of the ingredients except pita to a bowl and mash until combined.  Season and taste.  Scoop into pita bread or eat with chips.  Super yum.

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