Recipe—Off the Chain Cheddar Crackers

Off the Chain Cheddar Crackers

A couple of my totally awesome work buddies are trying to kick off one of the greatest businesses Sacramento could ever gain (that is of course, in my opinion). It is called Off The Chain Bike Bus Tours. Bike buses are growing in popularity and I would LOVE to see one brought to Sacramento! Come on, riding a pedal powered bike throughout Sacramento with 15 of your closest friends, making stops at your favorite bars and restaurants, enjoying the scenes, all while burning calories. How much better could it get!?!?

This my friends, is a bike bus. Rad, right?

This my friends, is a bike bus. Rad, right?

If this company takes off they will look to expanding to several other cities around the United States. Support them and you may see one pop up in your neighborhood!

If this company takes off they will look to expand to several other cities around the United States. Support them and you may see one pop up in your neighborhood!

Since this business will launch in November I am already planning my first bike bus outing. I envision a day of hopping from bar to bar and peddling around town with all my best friends. Being the experienced drinker I am, I know that will require some solid carbs, such as these fabulous homemade cheddar crackers. I made these the other day and they went perfectly with ice-cold beer. (I’m sure they’d go great with a soda pop or water too if that’s your cup of tea.) These crackers are light, fluffy, buttery, and cheesy and are absolutely perfect if you are just sitting around having drinks with family and friends or even for a picnic, Sunday hike, or beer bus tour around Sacramento.

BikeBusFun

Can’t you just see yourself cruising around town on this?!?!

 

INGREDIENTS
3/4 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
dash of paprika

STEPS

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Cover and refrigerate dough for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Shape the dough into 1″ balls and place a couple of inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Press down with a fork leaving hatch marks on top.
  • Bake for 12–14 minutes or until the edges just start to turn a nice golden color.
  • Leave on baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Note: These crackers will stay fresh in an airtight container for several days.

Recipe adapted from Chef in Training.

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Recipe—S’More Snack Mix

S'More Snack Mix

S’more snack mix please! Last year I made a Valentine’s Day Snack Mix that was a total hit with my followers and also my little man’s little buddies at school. Well it’s that time of year again and I was trying to come up with something fun. All kids love Teddy Grahams so those were a given ingredient. What goes better with graham crackers than M&M’s and marshmallows? This was a no brainer! I had to make s’more snack mix. This is a perfect treat whether or not it’s Valentine’s Day. I’m thinking I will make a big batch for our next summer camping trip (with traditional M&M’s of course). You can just serve it in a large bowl (perfect for a party) ORRRRR you can make your own Valentine’s Day snack bags to pass out!

DivaDiCucina_SMoreSnackMix3

Last year I had a couple people contact me requesting that I share my valentine snack bag design so that they could print and make their own. This year I thought I would just go ahead and include it right here on my blog. That’s right! You can download a pdf of the cute cards I designed and print and make your own! How fun is that?!? A special homemade bag of snack mix for the kiddos to share with their friends! You’re welcome.

Click to Download PDF

Click to Download PDF

I hope you enjoy this fabulous mix as much as me and my munchkin do! I wish all of my followers a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love and happiness.

xoxox
The Diva

S'More Snack Mix

Note: This recipe makes enough to fill 24–26 snack size Ziploc bags or 1 large bowl. IF you don’t want to print and trim these on your own just take the pdf file to Kinkos or Staples and they can do the work for you. 😉

INGREDIENTS
3 (8 oz) bags Honey Teddy Grahams
10 oz bag mini marshmallows
2 (12.6) oz bags Valentine’s M&M’s

STEPS

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.

STEPS TO CREATE THE VALENTINE’S DAY SNACK BAGS

  • Make snack mix as directed above.
  • Distribute mix into snack sized ziplock bags.
  • Click on the above picture of the Valentine’s Day tabs.
  • Save the pdf to your computer.
  • Print out however many pages you will need to a heavy card stock.
  • Cut out the valentines along the black trim marks.
  • Fill in the “To” and “From” portion of the valentine.
  • Fold each valentine in half.
  • Staple along the top of the ziploc bag.
  • Wellah!

 

If you like this recipe, perhaps you will LOVE this!

Valentine's Day Snack Mix

Recipe—Roasted Carrot Fries

Roasted Carrot Fries

A couple of weeks back we got these GORGEOUS rainbow carrots in our box of organic produce and when my son saw them he honestly didn’t believe me that they were carrots.  They ranged from a deep purple to red and even white. They were just too pretty to get tossed into a salad or cooked any ordinary way. I wanted these to stand on their own. I know I have mentioned in many previous posts that I am always looking for fun and healthy after school snacks for my little man so we decided to make roasted carrot fries. They were awesome! I just sliced, baked, and served them with a little side of ranch (because every 3 year old loves to dip their food in sauce).  These were super quick and a wonderful way to enjoy these rainbow carrots.

Rainbow Carrots

INGREDIENTS
4–5 large carrots (I used rainbow carrots)
olive oil for drizzling
salt
ranch for dipping (optional)

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 425º.
  • Carefully cut the carrots into “fry sized” pieces.
  • Place the carrots on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Toss the carrots to coat and season with salt.
  • Bake the carrots for 15–18 minutes or until crisp tender, flipping once halfway through cooking.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a serving dish or plate.
  • Serve with a side of your favorite dressing or enjoy all on their own.

Recipe—Funfetti Cake Batter Cookie Dip

Funfetti Cake Batter Cookie Dip

The other day I was going to be attending a pool party for one of my favorite munchkins. I knew there would be plenty of kids there and I wanted to bring a snack that all the kids would love and have fun eating. Well turns out the grownups liked this just as much as the little ones. This cookie dip was a HUGE hit! This is a cream cheese based dip blended with a scoop of dry cake mix giving it the true cake batter flavor. It was delicious! Super creamy and just the right amount of sweet. I’m guessing this will forever be a staple on our party menus.  It would be perfect for a birthday party or any type of social event, and I’m sure it will get people talking. This is by no means healthy, but sometimes you just need to relax and let the kids have a little fun enjoying a special treat. It’s all about moderation after all, not that you will be able to control yourself with this dip. So dive in, let loose, and enjoy this perfect youthful treat! I know you can’t resist.

Note: I served this dip with Nilla wafers but I know it would go great with graham crackers or animal crackers as well.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 c butter
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 cup dry funfetti cake mix
1 tsp vanilla
1/4–1/2 c milk
1/4 c sprinkles, plus more for garnish

STEPS

  • Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cake mix for 2 minutes.
  • Add in vanilla and cooled butter and continue beating for another 2 minutes.
  • Beat in the vanilla and then 1/4 cup of the milk. Add more milk as needed to reach desired consistency.
  • Fold in 1/4 cup of the sprinkles.
  • Transfer the dip to a small bowl for serving and garnish with additional sprinkles. Serve immediately with your favorite dippers or refrigerate until ready to serve. (Note: the dip will get very firm in the fridge so remove it 15–20 minutes before you plan on serving it to allow it to soften.)

Recipe—Roasted Fennel Fries

Roasted Fennel Fries

Awhile back I posted a recipe for kale chips. Kale chips are a delicious and healthy snack that my son absolutely loved. I was eager to find more recipes that were just as simple, tasty, and nutritious. I recently used the same seasoning and cooking technique with roasted fennel and had fabulous results. These roasted fennel fries were absolutely addicting. My son and I could not stop eating them! We didn’t even waste time getting out a plate. I kid you not, we were eating the pieces straight off the baking sheet. They were that good! Think french fries, but without the calories and even more flavorful. Roasted fennel fries are not only a great snack but they also make a great side dish for any dinner. Just be sure you make enough because these fries will go fast!

INGREDIENTS

2 large fennel bulbs, fronds removed and sliced into 1/3” thick pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the fennel slices in a single layer.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 30–45 minutes flipping once halfway through.
  • Bake until the fennel is fork tender and a golden brown.

Recipe—Valentine’s Day Snack Mix

DivaDiCucina_ValentinesSnackMix

If you are on Pinterest then you have probably seen one form or another of “Puppy Chow” snack mixes. (Basically a super sweet treat made from chocolate covered Chex cereal and tossed with other tasty goods.) These snack mixes are popping up everywhere! I saw one the other day for Valentine’s Day that looked super cute. I liked the idea of doing something like this for my son and all his little classmates at school but thought his teacher’s may not appreciate it if I get a classroom full of 2 and 3 year olds all hopped up on sugar. I decided to create this lower sugar version snack mix that is great for people of all ages. Have fun mixing any and all of your favorite bite size snacks!

Note: This recipe makes enough to fill 24–26 snack size Ziploc bags or 1 large bowl.

DivaDiCucina_ValentinesSnackMix2

Here are my final goodie bags. I made some cute tags that I folded in half and stapled over the top.

INGREDIENTS
15.5 oz box Strawberry Frosted Mini Wheats
10 oz box Honey Teddy Grahams
2 c yogurt covered raisins
2 c raspberry yogurt covered pretzels
1 1/2 c dried cranberries
1.25 oz yo’ drops crunchable yogurt

STEPS

  • Combine all ingredients and one large bowl and use a large serving spoon or scoop to mix together gently.
  • Divide mix into snack size bags or serve in one large bowl.
  • Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Recipe—Butternut Squash Crisps

Over the past couple of weeks I have been getting squash on a regular basis from my produce delivery. I’ve been having fun trying to come up with creative ways to prepare them. These butternut squash crisps are a cross between potato chips and potato wedges, but with squash. They’re a fun way to enjoy this popular fall veggie. My son loves sauce so if you or your kids are the same way serve it with a little side of ranch. Happy dipping!

Note: For a crispier squash cut the slices thin otherwise they may come out soggy.

INGREDIENTS
1 butternut squash
2 tsp olive oil
1/3 c breadcrumbs
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Peel the squash using a vegetable peeler.
  • Cut the ends off and slice in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out all the seeds and stringy pulp.
  • Cut into 1/4” slices or smaller. The thinner they are the crispier they will be.
  • Put the slices of squash in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Spread the squash out in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet making sure they don’t overlap. You may need to use two sheets.
  • In a blender pulse together breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the squash slices.
  • Bake squash for 25–30 minutes until the tops of the “crisps” are golden brown.

Recipe—Toffee Apple Dip

I love it when I can find festive after school snacks for my little munchkin. While this isn’t the healthiest snack, we sure had fun making it together. We had it “whipped” up in less than 5 minutes and eaten in almost the same amount of time. Just kidding, I demonstrated some self-control and saved a little for my husband to enjoy for dessert that night. This was so good that when we ran out of apples I was just using my fingers to scoop it out. I know, I’m ashamed, but I couldn’t help it! It was really yummy! A better name for this is probably “Apple Crack”. After we finished the dip off we were trying to think about what else would go well with it and we think some graham crackers or Nilla wafers would make great dippers too. Enjoy! (And I know you will!)

Note: This is the perfect amount for 3–5 people but if you want to make it for a group definitely double or triple the recipe.

INGREDIENTS
1 Heath bar
8 oz cream cheese (1 block)
1/3 c brown sugar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3–5 apples sliced

STEPS

  • Using a very sharp knife cut the Heath bar up into small bits. Set a tablespoon of the bits aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugars, and vanilla,
  • Stir in the majority of the Heath bits.
  • Transfer to a small serving bowl.
  • Top with reserved Heath bits.
  • Serve with sliced apples.

Recipe—Kale Chips

I am someone who does all my menu planning and grocery shopping on the weekend so that I don’t have to worry about making any extra trips to the grocery store during the week. Being the working mom of a toddler keeps me busy enough Monday–Friday. I receive my produce delivery early in the week and one of my recent deliveries had an unexpected bunch of kale that didn’t really fit with anything I had planned on the dinner menu. I decided to use it for a healthy after school snack for my munchkin.

I have seen kale chips popping up all over the place so thought I would give them a try. While they may not look ultra appealing, they are delicious! My son and I gobbled them up. They are so addicting! Even my son kept coming in to the kitchen asking for more chips. While they totally taste best fresh out of the oven, they were still good the next day. They just loose some of that fresh crispiness over time. These are a perfect snack for those people watching their carbs or calories and they really were quick and easy to make. Perfect for snacking!

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch kale
olive oil
kosher or sea salt

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces stripping out the inner stalks.
  • Wash well in water and dry as much as you can. (I used my salad spinner and it worked great!)
  • Evenly distribute the leaf pieces on a large cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Place in oven and bake for 10–15 minutes or until the kale is crisp.
  • Best enjoyed while warm and fresh!