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Category Archives: Appetizer

White Cheddar Popcorn

White Cheddar Popcorn| Licious Food

Welcome to my contribution to the Leftovers Club! Here’s hoping you will enjoy it Aly of Cooking in Stilettos. It’s my favorite snack food and I want to share the love.

Can you believe it September, my most favorite-ist month? This year has flown! Yes, I am still alive and will be turning another year older on Saturday (yay, me). If my Mom happens to be reading this … one word, Amazon … actually three words, Amazon Gift Card.

So essentially life is good. I entered a contest, I made it to the semifinals, and then I lost. Poop. Thank you to all that voted! I’m sure the best person won.

I’m alive and kicking with a roof over my head. Still living la vida loca in Virginia. I have pushed my LA dream back to 2014 for some health care. If you don’t have it … you truly-uly miss it and I wants it. I have also been busy working on taking the next step with this blog. I can’t wait to reveal it and host a little giveaway as thanks; sort of like giving a birthday gift to a lucky reader.

Now on to today’s post (in my Oprah voice) white CHEDDDDAR PopCORRRRRRRN! I love white cheddar popcorn. It’s fantabulous and I could eat it all day, every day. My most favorite white cheddar popcorn is Oogie’s and it’s very hard to find it where I live. I have tried lots and lots of other brands and it’s not as good as Oogie’s. It’s a Debbie Downer moment each time I try another brand that just does not compare. What constitutes a good white cheddar popcorn? It should taste of cheese with a subtle undertones of onion and garlic with a kiss of salt. I’m not big on salty. Salty over powers the cheese and that just blows. What do you do When you can not find your favorite snack? Why you simply make it and surprise it’s quite easy!

Bonus – when you add cheese popcorn to caramel popcorn that is simply freakin’ delicious. Trust me and check out this post I did awhile back … Cheese and Caramel Popcorn, it was an introduction to my love of Oogie’s and the sweet and cheesey delight.

So, the next time you have a movie night make it a white cheddar popcorn night!

Until next time,

White Cheddar Popcorn
A Licious Original Recipe

Ingredients
1 ounce white cheddar powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
6 cups of popcorn, popped
Olive Oil Spray

Directions
In a small bowl combine white cheddar powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, white pepper. Set aside.

Using either a large bowl or in my case a roasting pan, add popped popcorn and coat popcorn with oil. Leave no popcorn dry! I found that the spray help me coat the popcorn evenly and not leave it oily. Next add the cheese mix to the popcorn and toss, toss, toss and toss some more. Then serve to the hungry masses!

Home Field Advantage Wings

Home Field Advantage Wings| Licious FoodI was suppose to post this wing-mazing recipe prior to Superbowl and it didn’t happen.

Take this as a lesson. Don’t. Put. Off. I had planned to compose this post and have it publish on the Friday before the big game but I said, “naah, I can do it in the wee hours of the morn and still accomplish my goal.” Yeah, about that.

FFWD TO NOW: I am just posting this wingtastic recipe due to the putting off and other things. So let’s pretend that Superbowl hasn’t happened and the winner of the game is still TBD. My twitter timeline and instagram feed is not full of how great Beyonce is …yada, yada. Seriously, if they decide to make a Wonder Woman movie and they cast Beyonce as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. I will be “pised” (if you have ever watched “The Sweetest Thing” you will understand “pised”). She’s a great singer and I will leave it at that.

So back to the Superbowl preparation; you know you want to serve some wing-a-lings. What’s a Superbowl party without those delish fingerlickin’ toe tapping bits of deliciousness?! These wings are double cooked so they can be doubly awesome. Bah-zing!

The sauce is sweet yet tangy. The sauce contains a favorite Trader Joe’s product that I have stumbled across, their Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar along with some other ingredients that you will reduce in a saucepan.  Another great thing about the sauce is that you can give it another notch of heat on the kick barometer by adding more hot sauce to the mix, if you prefer.

Remember a recipe is simply an outline. You adapt and make changes where you see fit and make it yours.

Until Next Time,

 

Home Field Advantage Wings

“A Licious Food Original Recipe”

Yields: 12 Wings

Ingredients:

12 Chicken wingettes

2/3 cup Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar*

2/3 cup water

3 Tablespoons honey

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons hot sauce

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.

Clean your wingettes and place on a baking sheet.

Bake wings in the oven for 30 minutes.

While your wings are baking start working on your sauce reduction. In a sauce pan add the vinegar, water, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and hot sauce. Cooking at a high heat you are going to reduce the liquids until it’s reduced in size along with resembling a syrup/glaze. It should take about the same amount of time that it takes to cook your wings in the oven.

Remove the sauce from the stove and let cool. Remove wings from the oven and let sit.

Set up your fryer and begin heating your oil to the proper temperature to fry your wings. I set my fryer to 375F.

Using a large ziploc bag pour the cooled sauce into it and set aside. Zip and prop it accordingly so it will not drip. Next fry your wings, I like to fry 4 at a time since my fryer is on the small side, but if you can do 6 at a time go for it. You will fry the wings to a nice golden brown color (about 5 to 7 minutes). You’ll know when to take them out since they will also begin to float to the top. Remove and place on a paper toweled lined plate to drain for about a minute or so.

While the wings are still somewhat hot you are going to want to add them to the ziploc bag and shake until the sauce completely covers the wings. Remove wings from sauce with tongs and plate to serve with your dipping sauce of choice.

*You don’t have a Trader Joe’s or you can’t locate a Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar then try doing 1/4c orange juice with 1/4 c. champagne vinegar.

“Hail Mary” Bacon Cheese Dip

Hail Mary Bacon Cheese Dip| Licious Food

Another day of blogging?! Holy Shnikes! It’s my favorite day coming up soon and I want to share some yums with you! Original “Licious Food” yums.

My favorite day (ok, one of my many fave days) – Superbowl Sunday, is a day that I will have to work but hopefully you won’t.

I love the Superbowl simply for the parties and usually the half time show. That’s right, I’m here for the food -whoop whoop!

Can you tell I was never sports oriented? I was that girl/kid that was always picked last for EVERYTHING. I excel better at solo types of sports, just a fact, although I was pretty bad ass at volleyball.

So let me tell you about this dip. It’s the jam. It’s like a loaded baked potato without the potato — that’s why potato chips were invented.

Why is sour cream, cream cheese, bacon, and cheese so magical? I guess it’s one of life’s mysteries.

To get the full impact be sure to make this dip at least a day ahead. The flavors need to meld together.

I bet you can’t have just one chip? ;)

Until Next Time,

Looking for more dips? Check out these previous postings: 

BBQ Chicken Dip

BBQ Chicken Dip

Steak and Cheese Dip

Steak and Cheese Dip

“Hail Mary” Bacon Cheese Dip
“A Licious Food Original Recipe”

 Ingredients
4 oz cheese, extra sharp and crumbled
8 oz sour cream, light
3 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 c bacon crumbles
1 t. bacon rendering (grease)
1/2 t. garlic powder
1t. dried parsley
1/2t. black pepper
1/2t. ranch powder
pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions
The great thing about this dip is that I used my food processor/Ninja to make this particular yum.

Slice bacon into pieces (About 4 to 5 slices) and cook/bake in the oven or atop your stove. Cook bacon to nice and crispy and let cool. Reserve 1 teaspoon of baking grease.

In your food processor/Ninja take the 4 ounces of cheese, cut them into 1/2 inch slices, insert into your processor. You will be using your blades to crumble the cheese. Should resemble crumbles, no one crumb will look the same. Remove the cheese crumbles from the processor into a large bowl.

Next add the sour cream, cream cheese, bacon rendering, and spices into the food processor. Pulse until incorporated, no cream cheese lumps. It might look soupy however when refrigerated it will firm up again.

Pour mixture into the large bowl that contains the cheese crumbles and add the cooled bacon pieces. Fold the cheese and bacon into the sour cream mixture. Cover and Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, however if you can prepare this dip a day ahead then all the better. Let those flavors meld!

Serve with your favorite potato chip (That would be Utz’s Kettle Classics Dark Russet Kettle Chips for me)!

Makes Approximately: 1 and 1/2 cups.

Cilantro Chicken Salad

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Cilantro Chicken Salad

Music and Food, that is where my memories are. This chicken salad has been on my mind and in my memory since last September. It. Was. That. Good!

The memory is tied up with meeting my online friend, Jessica, and adding a slew of new friends by way of Jessica. It also brings to mind that my previous job told me shortly before going on this trip that my job would be ending at the close of that month. Good times.

So confession time … I am a nerd but not in your typically brainy nerd fashion; I am a nerd that helps man message boards while also posting and creates fan sites. I have made great friends through this. Friends that I have actually met. I have also met my celebrity crushes du jour and actually co-hosted a fan event. I know crazy, like seriously cray cray. You should hear my Mom when I tell her what I am going to do and have done. She thinks I am touched in the head. I say she just doesn’t get the power of social media.

I went to NYC last September to finally meet Jessica for this thing called “CosmoCon”. CosmoCon is a fan initiative that just steamrolled. Fans of the Sirius XM Cosmo Radio Station decided to meet up and make a weekend of it in New York where subsequently the radio shows are hosted. I knew of Cosmo Radio and would listen when I would rent a car yet it was not an every day thing by no means. I wanted to meet up with my friend Jessica that I would chat with on the “board” (that’s the cool lingo, for message board) and Facebook. Let me just say, I had a great time (and I plan on doing it again this year). They made this stranger feel very welcomed and launched a new thing for me to get all nerd like about.

CosmoCon had a welcome reception with passed h’ordeuvres. One h’ordeuvre was this tasty Cilantro Chicken Salad that was served on a tortilla chip. It was delightful and delish! I wanted to be a pig and eat every single one and not share with others. I could have just have been hungry but I think it was just greed.

I am all about salads and fruit in the summer and this chicken salad is totally perfect for summer. The cilantro comes through with every bite. That bitter/smoky hit that is cilantro. This is my own recipe based on that memory since I didn’t ask for a recipe. It’s simple and easy; another staple for summer recipes. So I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do! Below you will find the recipe and a video that was taken during CosmoCon thanks to Tara the Foodie .

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Cilantro Chicken Salad
A Licious Original Recipe

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups skinless cooked chicken, (rotisserie chicken is my go to so this was half a rotisserie chicken for me)
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon of  a salt seasoning (like a seasoning salt)
2 teaspoons of sour cream
1/4 cup light or olive oil mayonnaise
juice of a half lime (approximately 1 Tablespoon)

Directions
Chop cilantro, onion, and garlic and set aside. Juice half a lime and set aside.

In a food processor add chicken, cilantro, onion, garlic, seasoning, sour cream, mayo, and lime juice (essentially add all ingredients into the food processor). Pulse food processor until mixed and chicken has been chunked. I like to get my chicken somewhat fine so it’s easier to place on bread or crackers.

Empty mixture from food processor into a bowl of your choice and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating, need to give it time to set up and marry.

Serving suggestions: Sandwich, wrap, with crackers, with pita chips, in a pita, or with tortilla chips.

 

White Pizza Dip

White Pizza Dip

Pizza biancaHere it is my Superbowl recipe. Wait for it … White Pizza Dip. Thank me (or Lipton) now. It contains a lot o’cheese, I do eat healthy -I promise. This is a potluck taker, a party pleaser — it is the sheezy! Want to get fancy with it? Stick it in a fondue or bread bowl.

A friend turned me on to this recipe at a long ago work potluck, it was love at first taste. I decided to take the recipe and make it mine. It became my go to for work potlucks and by omitting pepperoni and adding chopped tomatoes, it became vegetarian. I like to make a dish all can appreciate however if you are lactose intolerant then this dish is so not for you – fair warning.

This was my breakfast, lunch, and almost dinner yesterday. P.S. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. This is not the dish to partake of if you are planning to do some exercising. It makes it hard to hit that Reggaeton Stomp if this is in your belly.

Whita Pizza Dip is a socializing type food. A Superbowl Party is a perfect socializing event. It’s one of those days you don’t count calories. I turn into Fat Bastard, “Get in my BELLY!”  When I indulge in this dip, I like to compare it to a smoother version of the filling used in Lasagna. Three words to sum of this dish: Tangy, Cheesey, and Garlicky.

You can either be slow or fast with the making of this dip. I prefer to set it and forget it aka slow cooker. Make it ahead of time, it tastes even better the second day!

Until Next Time,

Jennifer

White Pizza Dip
Adapted from Lipton’s White Pizza Dip

Ingredients
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix

1 16 ounce container or reduced fat sour cream

1 cup of reduced fat ricotta cheese

4 ounces of cream cheese, cubed

1 cup mozzerella cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup diced tomatoes, drained

Directions
In your slow cooker/crock pot add all ingredients. Set slow cooker/crock pot on HIGH and cook for approximately two hours; stirring occassionally.

Serve in a container of your choosing along with sliced Italian or French bread. In my case I used sliced toasted Garlic bread. Garnish with cheese and diced tomatoes (I would have garnished with diced tomatoes however I stuck the tomatoes in the freezer).

One Bite Steak and Potato

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One Bite Steak & Potato 1

If there was a perfect bite for you what would it be?  For me it would be steak and potato.  I am a meat and potatoes girl, they give me such joy!

I would be depressed if I could not have those simple joys in my life.  The thought of a piece of perfectly cooked beef that melts in your mouth accompanied with a potato that’s tender yet crispy and has a whispering of sea salt has me turning into Miracle Max from The Princess Bride, Mmmmmmmmm!

My friend, more like my frenemy, moderation wants me to be sure to insert the phrase – “in moderation”.  So meat and potatoes are fabulous IN MODERATION and should go with a balanced meal that includes vegetables.

There have been books published and an Oprah episode recently pushing for a more vegetarian/vegan society but I say pish posh.  I think we need beef, chicken, pork, and the list can go on … it has essentials that we need and it is just down right goo-ood!

It’s a circle of life I gladly complete on a daily basis however every one is entitled to their opinion and should follow their own bliss.  I just know a faux piece of beef will never make me happy and a mushroom could never replace my love of beef – it can complement my beef though.

This posting is my entry for the February Kitchen Play Menu that was thankfully extended to March 6, 2011.   The sponsor for this particular menu is Canadian Beef and after reading about how their cows are raised and are fed I have another reason to love Canada.

Did you know that United States is the largest exporter of Canadian beef?  The U.S. exports 77.5 percent. I had no clue either, the more you know.

After reviewing the possible options that I could make and submit, the Amuse Bouche, One Bite Steak with a Frite and Shallot Jam was the winner for me.

To make it my own I  decided to make a version that uses a crisp potato pancake as the base while adding a filling that is compiled of cream cheese, sour cream, and chives.  The piece of resistancé is the bite of beef simply seasoned and topped with a balsamic and Vidalia onion reduction.

This dish is definitely a party starter and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have making and eating it!

Que Sera Sera ,

Jennifer

RECIPES

Crispy Potato Cakes
I located the recipe on Epicurious ( a great source for recipes) and did not make any changes, so to get the recipe and print please click on the link; Crispy Traditional Pancakes.

Cream Cheese Mixture
2 ounces softened cream cheese or in my case Neufatel Cheese
3 Tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream
1 Tablespoon of fresh chives, chopped

Directions:  In a small bowl add all ingredients and mix until there are no lumps. I used a fork and some good old fashioned elbow grease. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Balsamic Vidalia Reduction
1/2 onion sliced
1 teaspoon
1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey
2 teaspoons of sugar
3 Tablespoons of Sherry Cooking Wine (or use what ever wine you have on hand)

Directions:  In a small saucepan caramelize onions in olive oil. Raise temperature to a high heat and add balsamic, honey, sugar, and Sherry. Boil down mixture until it resembles a syrup ( approximately 12 -15 minutes. Be sure to consistently stir mixture. If mixture becomes too thick simply add more Sherry wine until you get a resemblance to syrup. Set Aside

Steak
Season and cook steak how you prefer, set aside on a plate once finished cooking and let rest for five minutes and then slice. You can do small slices or large slices … you are the artist of this canvas.

Assembly
To plate simply place the potato cake first then add the cream cheese mixture. You can use a plastic bag filled with the cream cheese mixture and after cutting of a tip, pipe on the filling. Place steak bite on the filling and top with Balsamic Vidalia Reduction. Give yourself a pat on the back and serve.

Mexican White Sauce

Mexican White Sauce 1

Since Superbowl is upon us, the theme of this post is DIP. I’m not talking about tobacco dip – that is just down right nasty!

A dip I have wanted to try for some time is my favorite thing to eat at Mexican restaurants in Virginia. It is the white salsa or as I like to call it salsa blanca Mexicana, thank you three years of Spanish!

It is usually served along side your regular red salsa and chips and I loves it! I like to actually mix the red with the white – which makes this little piggy wee wee in pleasure! It is kick your shoes off in a fit of glee good!

You can usually find this sauce in the Mid Atlantic/Southern states’ Mexican restaurants. It is what you would consider to be Mexican American cuisine, heavy on the American from what I understand when I read about the differences of Mexican restaurants found on the west coast and east coast.

Deciding a few years ago that I wanted to make this salsa blanca Mexicana for myself. Notice I said a few years ago … I googled and nada yet I did not give up hope.

I tried again after a few months and I finally hit jackpot. Some of the concoctions sound down right scary so they were quickly vetoed.

Jackpot #1 was a discussion forum on davesgarden.com and Jackpot #2 was found on allrecipes.com.

The latter recipe was bleck! It sounded like what possibly could be in the sauce I had eaten but I would be wrong. I let the concoction sit for days in hopes that the flavors would meld together and it never happened, it was AWE-ful.

I decided to give the recipe I had located on Dave’s Garden forum a go. Plus, it would be perfect for my dip theme!

The recipe was a winner even though I still don’t believe this is exactly what I eat at the Mexican restaurants in town and my guineas agreed. I wonder if I call my local Mexican restaurant would they share the recipe with me? Hmm.

This sauce/salsa/dip is sweet with undertones of heat thanks to the red pepper and cayenne. The Mexican sour cream and vinegar adds a nice acidity to the mix. It’s a great accompaniment to the usual salsa and chips.

Until Next Time,
Jennifer

Mexican White Sauce

Recipe from cgclemons from davesgarden.com

Ingredients
1 Cup Mexican Sour Cream (I used Cacique Crema Mexicana Agria Grade A Sour Cream)
¼ Cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 ½  Teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (try to avoid the seeds)
¼ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Milk or Buttermilk to thin
Directions
In a medium size bowl combine sour cream, ketchup, vinegar, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, and sugar – mix well.  Add milk accordingly, you want it to the consistency of salad dressing (runny – for lack of a better term).   Refrigerate for at least 24 hours to allow the ingredients to incorporate.
Serve with Tortilla Chips.

Can’t locate Mexican Sour Cream in your grocery store? Try making it! Fine Cooking’s Mexican Sour Cream

Touchdown Wings

wings1

Wings – magnificent wings.  I love wings!  I don’t like getting my hands dirty but for wings I am willing to make the sacrifice.   Chicken wings is a great social food – you can bond with friends and family over wings.  However, you must add some liquid refreshment whether it be alcoholic libations or an icy cold soda … Icy Icy cold Cherry Coke with two cherries is my poison.  Wings, Coke, and a smile.  It’s always the simple things – am I right?

Touchdown Wings are simply Mahogany Wings with a couple of extras.  They are simple and easy – baked and not fried!

The taste is sweet, garlicky, sticky, with a smidge of heat. The finishing touch for these wings is the broiler so you can achieve the crispiness like fried wings.

Touchdown Wings

Adapted from All Recipes: Mahogany Chicken Wings

2 lbs chicken wings, split (or wingettes if you can find them)
1/3 cup soy sauce, low sodium
1/3 cup honey
1/8 cup molasses
2 T. Barbecue Sauce
1 T. Sweet Chile Sauce
1 T. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 T. water
½ t. ginger, minced
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Directions
In a medium size bowl add soy sauce, honey, molasses, barbecue sauce, chile sauce, water, ginger, and garlic. Whisk until all ingredients are mixed together; set aside.
In a large size Ziploc bag place the chicken wings that have been split and cleaned.  Add liquid mixture and seal Ziploc and refrigerate for two hours.  Give the Ziploc bag a shake every 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large baking dish ( you can either line baking dish in foil for easy clean up or not – your choice) place the wings along with the marinade/sauce.   Bake the wings for 50 minutes.   Every 15 minutes coat the wings with the marinade/sauce with either a spoon or pastry brush.  You want the sauce to adhere to the wings which will be easier since the marinade/sauce will thicken as it bakes.  Also during the baking process remember to turn the wings once.
After baking for 50 minutes remove wings from the oven and give the wings a final coat of the marinade/sauce.  Set your broiler to High.   Place the wings in the broiler for approximately 5 minutes … every broiler is different so you will need to monitor this process.  When the wings start to get a crispy finish you will want to remove from the broiler and turn the wings and place them back in the broiler for another 5 minutes before removing.
Serve your wings with your favorite sauce accompaniment.  I used a BBQ Ranch Sauce, which is simply one part BBQ sauce to two parts Ranch dressing.

Happy Eatings!

Barbecue Chicken Dip

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BBQ Chicken Dip

Are you looking for a quick and oh so delicious appetizer to serve to many?!?  Then look no further!  Barbecue Chicken Dip is a hands down crowd pleaser – at least in my office it is.

This dish is my take on the ever popular Buffalo Chicken Dip.  I simply omitted the Buffalo Sauce and added my favorite Barbecue sauce.

My favorite Barbecues Sauce hails from Canada.  I discovered Canadian Club Barbecue Sauce over a year ago at the Toronto’s Womens Show and now I need to visit Canada at least three or four times so I can stock up – I am totally not kidding.  I bought five bottles when I went visiting last month and my stock is already getting low. I have yet to find a good American counterpart and I am open to suggestions.

Barbecue Chicken Dip
adapted from Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients

2 c. shredded chicken breast *

12 oz. pkg. Reduced Fat cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup Ranch Salad Dressing

1 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce of Choice

2 c. shredded Monterey Jack/ Colby Cheese

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a casserole dish add chicken, cream cheese, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, and 1 cup of monterey jack/colby cheese. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, stir mixture until evenly blended. Add the remainder of cheese. Return dip to the oven for an additional 2 minutes to melt cheese topping.

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, pita chips, crackers and ENJOY!

* You can use any type chicken you prefer;rotisserie chicken, canned chicken or in my case I simply baked skinless boneless chicken breasts with my favorite seasoning.

Happy Eating!

BBQ Chicken Dip

Updated recipe as of July 5, 2010.

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