Category Archives: Appetizers

Kanapki (Open Face Polish Sandwich)

So obviously I am on a Polski kick tonight but you know what? It was just well over due! A good friend of ours happens to make a really mean true polish kielbasa so we are very lucky that we don’t have to jump through hoops to get the good stuff. Anyhow I made Kanapki with our Galumpkis tonight and I didn’t even know about them until I went to a cookie swap a couple of years back. I was amazed because the ingredients are so off the wall and doesn’t seem like they would go good together at all! Well I certainly was surprised when I had four of them and just had to know how to make them! Lucky our kielbasa comes from the same source but unfortunately I always forget the exact way it was made and in what order to stack things up so I just wing it. Kanapki is a polish open face sandwich and there are MANY different variations and ways to go about it! Some use hard-boiled eggs, others use onions and horseradish, some even salami. Like I said there is not one true way to go about it other than rye bread, kielbasa, and cheese. Those are the staples.

Ingredients

Rye Bread

Mayonnaise

Deli Ham

American Cheese

Dill Pickles

Kielbasa

Tomato

So basically you just take the rye bread and cut it in half.

Remove the casing from the kielbasa (I know, I am so sorry Tim but it needs to be done… nothing against the kielbasa, it is the best in the world, but it’s just the way the Kanapki is made)

Spread a thin layer of mayo over the top then layer each ingredient as listed above on top of each other.

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Homemade Roasted Garlic Hummus

So I am apparently on a homemade pita chip rampage and have this constant urge to make more! Last night I thought I would try my hand at a Homemade Roasted Garlic Hummus and it would be a perfect excuse to make more! Now that’s using my head! So today after work I headed to the grocery store for more whole wheat pita bread and to see if they carried Tahini. While they do sell Tahini, but I am a little too cheap to purchase a small jar of it for an arm and a leg to only use on the occasions that I make hummus. So with that said, I improvised! Yes, you may now call me the Queen of Improvising because apparently I am a GENIUS!

Wiki defines Tahini as “a paste made from ground, hullen sesame seeds used in North African, Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cuisine. East Asian tahini is made from unhulled seeds. It is served as a dip on its own or as a major component of hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva.”

So in a nutshell, it is a paste made of sesame seeds that can either be hulled or unhulled. If it’s a paste, can’t I just make a paste out of something else that’s thick and hearty to substitute it with?

Pssssssh…. I have researched a bit because I was very sad that my hummus might be a flop… then lo and behold I find numerous resources that tahini is more for texture and binding property to the hummus, rather than a huge flavor thing, so I decided to make the hummus with roasted garlic! Why am I comparing roasted garlic to a sesame paste? Because after you roast it and let it cool, it turns to a paste when you apply pressure with a fork or spoon, silly! Thats 5 gold stars for even thinking of something like that! Oh and by the way, the hummus tasted exactly like Delicious Sabra Hummus!

Ingredients

1- 15 oz Can of Chickpeas or Garbanza Beans

6 Cloves Garlic; roasted in olive oil

2 Tsp Cumin; ground

1 Pinch of Chilli Powder

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 of a Lemon; juiced

2 Green Onions; only the green ends sliced for garnish

Pita Chips (The recipe is a few post back), Crackers, or pretzels to dip!

So initially you need to drain and rinse your chickpeas or garbanza beans…

Take your cloves of garlic and roast them in a ramkin in the oven at 400 submerged in 1/4 cup olive oil until tender or 10-15 minutes, or wrapped in aluminum foil with a drizzle of olive oil for the same amount of time.

(Before roasting)

(This is after roasting… see the tenderness! They should practically pop right out of their shells!)

If you used a ramkin because you lack aluminum foil like I do, reserve the oil from roasting the garlic and to add to the ingredients in the food processor. If you are classy and used foil on the other hand, just add 1/4 c olive oil and don’t bother reserving what is left over in the foil.

Now that the beans are all clean and the garlic is roasted, add them into the work space in your food processor! Add the cumin, chilli powder, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Pulse until blended well and spoon into a serving bowl!

  

Next, slice up your scallions and sprinkle them on top!

 

Tada!

BTW Saki is going through a laser pointer withdrawal…

He apparently has been on it all day and by the looks of things I will be up all night!

Oh boy!

Garlic and Herb Bread Dipping Oil

 Nothing starts a meal better than a crusty and flakey loaf of french bread and a warm garlicky dipping oil, don’t you think? I came across this at a friend’s birthday dinner at Michael’s Pasta In A Pan in Springfield, Ma and was hooked at the first bite! The moment you walk in, you are greeted at the hostess station. As she tucks the menus under her arm, she ladles out a bowl of the dipping oil and grabs a basket of fresh bread with her free hand before she finally beckons you to your table. Once your settled in and you tear apart a roll to try this concoction… there are no words!

BRILLIANT!

Anyways about a year later, I attended a Pampered Chef Party for a coworker and while I was browsing the catalog I saw a container for the ingredients to a dipping oil! OMG! there were two different kinds so of course I ordered them! As time went on I used them up (rather quickly might I add) so I eventually started making my own! I mean how hard can it be, right? It only takes about 5 minutes and is the perfect start to any pasta or meat dish! YAY!

Ingredients

2 Cloves Garlic; smashed and minced

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil; A really good quality of oil because you WILL taste the difference

1 Tbsp Oregano

Parmesan Cheese

Salt

French Bread

Measure out your olive oil.

Once you do this, smash and mince your garlic, then heat a skillet over medium heat and add the garlic and oregano.

 

Once the garlic is fragrant, remove from heat and sprinkle in a pinch of salt and a table-spoon of grated parmesan cheese. Mix well.

Take your loaf of french bread and slice it up.

Once that is done, arrange it on a platter along with the dipping oil and serve!

Serve along with a pasta or meat dish! And don’t forget your greens!

Phew now that dinner is all done, time to relax…

Saki was just lounging around minding his own business when Sadi decided she was finished begging for the evening and tried to move in on his spot!

She even gave my poor kitty the stink eye!

Little devil!

 

White Bean Dip with Homemade Pita Chips

Well, I don’t know about you, but I love chips and dip! I definitely resort to them when I have a huge case of the munchies… but always feel über guilty about it afterwards. I have some great news to share with you all… I finally found a better for you and heart healthy alternative to all of our munchies related problems! Yay!

This recipe is really simple and only takes a little over 20 minutes to put together! I stumbled upon this while watching a show on the Food Network years ago, but never thought to try it until recently… I am glad that I did! Not only did i score a great snack that the roommates FREAKING LOVED, but I also put some of the beans from our stash in the pantry to some good use! *And no, it still didn’t make a dent in our supply.

Note: To make this recipe even more healthy, use whole wheat pita in place of regular pita bread like I did! They taste just as good, if not better! Also You don’t have to stick with the herbs I seasoned the pita chips with…. feel free to explore with different seasonings of your own choice! The possibilities are endless darlings!

Dip Ingredients

1- 15 oz Can of Cannellini Beans; drained and rinsed

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil; a good quality brand because you can really taste the flavors of the oil in the dip

1/4 Cup Fresh Curley Parsley

2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Cloves of Garlic; smashed and minced

Salt and Pepper

Pita Chips Ingredients

4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

Salt and Pepper

6 Pitas

 

Drain and rinse your beans and parsly!

Next take a food processor and add the beans, parsley, lemon juice and oil, garlic to the work bowl.

If you don’t have a food processor then you can just mash the beans, mince the parsley and garlic, then combine the ingredients well! Where there is a will, there is a way!

Season with salt and pepper then pulse until coarsly chopped and blended.

 

Scoop the beans out into a small serving bowl.

Next you will take your pita bread and cut them in half. (Note: I found it easiest stacking them and cutting them all at once)

Cut each pita half into four wedges so you get 8 wedges out of each pita.

Next, I used the bag the pita came in to shake the pita wedges in olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper.

A large Tupperware will work better, but my large Tupperware was occupied at the time so I had to be resourceful haha. XD

 

After they are evenly coated, bake at 400 in the oven on a single layer in a cookie sheet.

They should only take 8-10 minutes until they are slightly toasted.

Remove from oven and place in a bowl to serve alongside the white bean dip!

Caution: Extremely yummy and addicting!

See It even makes Saki smile!!! Happiness overload!!!!

Sarah’s Brushetta with Balsamic Glaze

When we have company over either for dinner, drinks, or both I always have to make something for us to munch on. i am HUGE with garlic and consider myself the garlic queen because I put it in just about anything and everything I make! Sad I know, but super yummy!

Anyways one of my good friends Jake and I have always competed over who makes the best brushetta and after he held the title for quite a while I made my come back! It all started when I dragged Mikey out to Enrico’s Brick Oven Pizza one afternoon for a late lunch and we ordered their own brushetta. Well lo and behold when our waitress brought it over it was the most amazing brushetta I have ever had!!!!!

It had this brown syrupy glaze on it that I couldn’t pin point until we had just about demolished it! Long story short, it didn’t take long for me to perfect it! Mind you Enrico’s serves their brushetta on top of a flat bread cheesy garlic bread which I do occasionally but even keeping it simply like this recipe is just as yummy!

Brushetta

1 Loaf Crusty Fresh Bread; sliced (French or Chiabatta are perfect)

3  Large Beef Steak or Romano Tomatos; cored & diced

2 Cloves Garlic; smashed & minced

1 Tbsp Fresh Basil; minced

1 Tbsp Red Onion; minced

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more for bread

Salt & Pepper

Freshly Grated Parmesan and Asiago Cheese

Glaze

1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

3 Tbsp Sugar

On a cutting board mince your basil as well as your garlic and combine in a medium-sized bowl. Once that is done mix it well with 1 Tbsp. olive oil so the garlic and the basil flavor the oil. mince your red onion and combine it well with the olive oil mixture. Core and dice the tomatoes then discard the juices left over from them so it doesnt make the bruchetta watery and your bread soggy. Combine the tomatoes with the olive oil mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once that is done, take a small sauce pan and heat the balsamic and sugar over medium high heat while whisking continuously for 5 minutes or until it has a syrupy consistency. It is important to keep whisking while it is on the burner so the balsamic and sugar do not burn. Once it has the right consistency, set aside.

Turn your oven broiler on high and arrange bread on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the bread and broil for 2-3 minutes or until toasted.

Once bread is toasted arrange them on a serving platter and top with a heaping table-spoon of the brushetta. Sprinkle grated parmesan & asiago cheese on top then using the whisk drizzle your balsamic glaze over each slice!

Voila!