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White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls

I can’t believe Christmas is only a week away. It never ceases to amaze me how fast a year goes by the older I get. And while I may have perfected my Masters in Procrastination over the years, gift buying is always an exception. I’m usually done with everything, except stocking stuffers, before the school year starts. And while I may *have* all the gifts hidden in sneaky little spots, that I can only hope I remember all of, it’s still the week before Christmas and I haven’t wrapped a single thing. Ya know what? It’s all going to work itself out, and every darn thing will get wrapped and placed perfectly under the tree, even if it’s not until 3am Christmas morning.

 White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls

One thing I do enjoy wrapping up? Surprises, in the middle of snacks for the kids. And whether I’m serving them for brunch, for snack, or even dessert, there’s nothing quite as perfect for this as the crescent roll. Just picture it: the flaky outer pastry of a perfectly cooked crescent roll, with crumbled spicy ginger snaps, a dash of Christmas colored sprinkles, and a white chocolate drizzle are a perfect outer shell, hiding the perfect complimentary flavors inside, rich cream cheese and sweet white chocolate.

White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls 3

Think of it as a present for your mouth, one that’s just waiting to tickle those tastebuds.

White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls

White Chocolate Gingerbread Crescent Rolls 2

1 8 oz, 8 count, tube of crescent roll dough
4 oz cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 equal cubes
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
8 gingersnap cookies, crushed
red, green, and/or white candy sprinkles

Directions

1. Roll out the crescent dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
2. Fill each crescent roll with 1 cube of the cream cheese, 1 tbsp of the white chocolate chips, and a pinch of the crushed gingersnaps.

3. Start at the fat end and gently roll up the triangle to form crescent shape, repeating for the remaining crescents.

4. Bake the prepared rolls at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
5. In a double boiler, or in the microwave, melt the rest of the white chocolate chips. Drizzle the chocolate over the crescent rolls and then sprinkle the rest of the crushed ginger snaps over top. Finish off with a handful of candy sprinkles. Serve warm.

recipe adapted from Lemon Tree Dwelling

Like what you see? There’s more …

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Nutella Crescents

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Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls

4 Sons 'R' Us: Sugar Crumb Crisps

Sugar Crumb Crispies

Candied Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread

The holidays can be such a chaotic time with all the activities, shoot sometimes I get sensory overload from all the bright lights alone. And planning, hosting, and delivering on family parties and potluck a is often no exception, so when I came across a recipe that simply doused a block of plain old cream cheese in caramel sauce, I knew it was perfect. (And not just because I can never get enough cream cheese; you know my feelings about cheesecake and dips.). ​When in doubt keep it simple. This is going to be my new go-to party spread.

 Candied Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread

According to Buddy, the elf, ‘the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.’ And while we whole-heartedly agree, tasty treats are always a close second for spreading warmth and comfort to family and friends anytime of the year.

Serve this cream cheese spread and watch everyone cheer. We’ve topped it with Heath candy bits, but you could opt for plain toffee bits, or even nuts like pecans or walnuts for a less sweet, more rustic feel. Either way, it invites guests to dig right in.

Candied Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread

Candied Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread 2
8 oz cream cheese
caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
crushed Heath bar candy, toffee bits, or nuts such as pecans or walnuts for topping
sliced apples, pears, pretzels, or graham crackers for serving

Directions

  1. Place the cream cheese on a serving dish. Pour as much caramel sauce as you want evenly over top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle with a generous helping of your topping of choice.
    2. Serve with sliced apples, pears, pretzels and/or graham crackers.

recipe adapted from She Wears Many Hats

Pomegranate, Feta, and Chive Pinwheels

Everywhere we go everything is decorated. And while there may be a whole spectrum of ‘holiday’ colors, red and green are by far the stars of this show. One thing I don’t see a lot of? Festive dishes.

Hold on, let me stop you right there. I’m not talking about the traditional holiday favorites. Or even all the cute ones made to look like Holiday favorites, like our Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread or our Christmas Tree Pancakes. Those are a given. I’m talking about ‘decorated’ festive dishes made specifically with Christmas colors in mind. My Mom used to say that at least half of her enjoyment in a dish wasn’t just taste or even presentation, but about the colors and whether or not they spoke to her. She loves a vibrant presentation, and I can honestly say that I’ve come to appreciate one as well.

Pomegranate & Feta Pinwheels 2

Red pomegranate arils and bright green chives stud a bed of snowy white feta and whipped cream cheese, and it’s all wrapped up into perfect pinwheels. Talk about the total package! Visually engaging with a mouth-watering flavor combination, these just beg to be included in your Christmas buffet or at any holiday party.

Pomegranate, Feta, and Chive Pinwheels

Pomegranate & Feta Pinwheels

8 oz whipped cream cheese
5 oz crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup chives, chopped
⅓ cup pomegranate arils, rinsed and gently patted dry
4 fajita size tortillas

Directions

  1. In a medium size bowl, stir together the cream cheese, feta, chives and pomegrante arils.
    2. Spread the cream cheese out evenly over all four tortillas.
    3. Roll each tortilla tightly (like you would a Swiss or jell roll) and wrap the roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the filled tortillas for at least one hour, or overnight if making ahead of time.
    4. Use a serrated knife to slice each tortilla into 12 pinwheels before serving.

recipe adapted from Melanie Makes

Eggnog Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread is one of the sons’ favorite things to eat, and it’s little wonder why. It’s sticky, it’s sweet, and it’s basically dessert that they have permission to eat for breakfast and they get to wash it all down with a tall glass of cold milk.

Think you don’t have time to make such a yummy dish from scratch? We’ve made this super simple to make, so simple you’d have to try hard to actually mess it up.

Eggnog Monkey Bread 2

Even better? This isn’t any ordinary monkey bread recipe, this one is dressed specifically for the holidays, with its typically sugary sweet, pull apart pastry and a liberal buttered eggnog cream poured overtop.

Eggnog Monkey Bread

Eggnog Monkey Bread

1 can (16.3 oz) regular refrigerated biscuits, no flaky layers or butter flavored

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp nutmeg

6 tbsp butter, melted

Directions

1. Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar and the nutmeg, stirring to combine.

2. Separate the biscuits and use a pair of kitchen shears to cut each one into 4-6 pieces and put the cut pieces in a large zip locking bag, or a large tupperware.

3. Add the sugar mixture to biscuits, seal, and shake well to evenly coat the biscuit pieces.

4. Transfer the sugared biscuits to a greased 6 cup bundt pan.

5. Mix melted butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and pour it all over the biscuits in pan.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes, or until golden brown.

7. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. To remove, tip the bundt pan upside down onto a serving plate, give it a pat or two if needed to release the bread, and top it with the eggnog glaze.

Eggnog Drizzle

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp butter, softened

1/2 tsp rum extract

3 tbsp eggnog

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Directions

1. Stir together all the ingredients until evenly combined, add more eggnog if you’d prefer a thinner consistency. Drizzle the eggnog glaze over the monkey bread.

Crusty, Fool-Proof Baguettes In 30 Minutes Flat

Quick & crusty baguettes in 30 minutes flat. Say that five times fast. How many of you thought you’d ever be able to say that at all, let alone believe it? This recipe is like the best (not anymore!) kept secret on the planet. It’s so easy, it’s been called fool proof. It’s perfect for beginner bakers and as an easy introduction to from-scratch bread making. Plus, it only uses five (yes, 5) everyday ingredients you probably already have in stock.

Baguettes for Beginners 2

Soft and flaky on the inside, crisp and crusty on the outside. They’re perfect for tearing into and chewing alongside your favorite pasta, your favorite cheese, your favorite soup, or for something as simple as slapping on a slab of your favorite butter. These baguettes are perfect. And they can be made last minute. Goodbye pre-planning and hours of rise time. I won’t miss tip-toeing around the house or trying to time nap time so heavy foot steps and little running feet wouldn’t make my dough fall, that’s for sure!

Baguettes for Beginners 3

This recipe makes two loaves, and we love to enjoy one fresh out of the oven with our favorite spices in a little olive oil for a quick and easy appetizer to tide us over while our main meal cooks.

Crusty, Fool Proof Baguettes In Under 30 Minutes Flat

Baguettes for Beginners

2 cups very warm water
1 packet yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups of flour

Directions

 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set the bowl on top of your preheating oven for ten minutes. Stir in the salt and add the flour a half-cup at a time, until the dough becomes soft, but not sticky. Knead the dough until elastic.

2. Cut the dough into four even pieces. Roll each of them into four long, thin ropes. Twist together two of the ropes to form one loaf. Twist the other two ropes together to form a second loaf. Transfer both onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3. You can now bake the loaf right away (if you’re in a hurry), or allow it to rise for an additional 15-30 minutes on top of your warm oven.

4. Fill a large bowl with 3-4 cups of ice. Open your hot oven and place the baking sheet with the baguettes inside, then toss the ice cubes on the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door. Do NOT open your oven for 15 minutes (the steam for the ice is what creates the crunchy outer crust). Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.

5. Serve warm with butter or with a dipping sauce of your favorite seasoned olive oil.

Cranberry Orange Rice Krispie Treats

Cranberry and orange is such a dynamic flavor duo, and it seems to pop up a lot during Fall. We also think it’s perfect for The Winter Holidays. And Rice Krispie treats have and will always one of the kids’ favorite things to make and to eat. So combining the two was a win for everyone. They still got to make , play in, and eat sugary, sticky crunchy melted marshmallow goodness, and we got to experiment with adding in some gourmet (that’s a stretch, isn’t it?) grownup mix-ins.

Cranberry Orange Rice Krispy Treats

If you haven’t experimented with going beyond the basic Krispie treat, this recipe is a perfect starting point. The tartness of the dried cranberries is balanced out by the sweet orange and packed into every chewy bite.

Cranberry Orange Rice Krispie Treats

Cranberry Orange Rice Krispy Treats 2

3 tbsp butter
1 bag (10 oz.) mini marshmallows
1/4 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup dried cranberries, such as Craisins

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add in the marshmallows and stir. Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Orange zest and juice. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside.

2. Pour in both the cereal and dried cranberries, carefully stirring (so none spills out) until everything’s evenly coated with the melted marshmallow. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with non stick spray, and then transfer the cereal to the dish. Use the back of a greased spatula to gently press the mixture down and out, evenly into the dish. Let the treats cool completely, then cut into squares before serving.

recipe adapted from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Crispy Mini Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

As if a classic case of the Mondays wasn’t hard enough to to beat already, it’s also rainy. And it’s supposed to be rainy for most of the week. Talk about a lack-luster start to the week. But I’m not letting that stop me from bringing you this snack recipe.

I know, I know, such dedication. I mean it, I’m putting off my nap for it 😉 I kid, kinda.

Mini Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls 2

These are everything you love about jalapeño poppers, but cleverly tucked into a mini fried egg roll shell. Talk about having a surprise hidden inside!

Mini Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls 3

They’re creamy, they’re cheesy, bacony, and spicy with just the right amount of crunch. These are great party appetizers, and they’re also great grub for game day.

Crispy Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

Mini Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 package wonton wrappers
canola oil, for frying

Directions

  1. In a large skillet or medium-large pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees.
    2. Stir together the cream cheese, cheddar, jalapeño peppers, garlic powder and green onions until evenly combined.
    3. Place each wonton wrapper diagonally (like a diamond) and add 1 tablespoon of filling. Brush a little bit of water on the edge of the wrapper and fold in half pinching to seal. Fold the sides in and roll the egg roll ensuring it is completely sealed.
    4. Drop each egg roll into the hot oil for about 3 minutes, or until brown and crispy.
    5. Remove the fried eggrolls to paper towels to drain. Let them rest about 5 minutes before serving.

recipe adapted from Spend With Pennies

Like this idea? Be sure to check out these other fun egg roll ideas!

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls 7

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls with Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce

Ham Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls 2

Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls with Ham or Bacon

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips 2

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The fun doesn’t stop when we’ve finished painting, carving, decorating, whatever-ing our pumpkins, and have packed everything away. Hell, who am I kidding, yes it does. But everybody loves Mom’s homemade pumpkin seeds so they have to just suck it up and help me through the painfully slow process of rinsing and completely separating the seeds from every last bit of pumpkin goop.

Despite the dragging feet, and whining the whole way, in the end they’re always happy to be able to enjoy the finished product.

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

And this seasoning blend did not disappoint. They were toasted to perfection with the perfect blend of bold Cajun spice and a solid savory with hints of paprika and Worcestershire.

Think pumpkin seeds aren’t your thing? Think again, or at least you’ve got to give them another try. With the proper seasoning, pumpkin seeds are an amazing snack. And this blend is one of our Fall favorites.

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds 2

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 scant teaspoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
salt, to taste
2 liberal dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp melted butter

Directions

  1. Rinse the seeds well and remove as much of the pumpkin pulp from them as possible. Some of the small pieces are going to adhere, but they won’t hurt anything. Think of those teensy, tiny pieces as flavor booster. Pat the cleaned seeds dry with paper towels. Do this quickly so they don’t stick too much.
    2. Toss the pumpkin seeds with the seasonings. Stir together the melted butter and Worcestershire, and then stir them into the seeds until they’re evenly coated.
    3. Roast the seeds at 300 degrees, stirring & turning from time to time, like every 20 minutes, for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until nicely browned and crunchy.

Crab Rangoon

These little fried ‘dumplings’ are an American ‘Chinese’ take out favorite. They’re stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and flaky crab meat. Real or imitation meat both work just fine, depending on your inclination and your budget.

crab rangoon 2

We love these little appetizers, especially since we discovered that they can be deep fried or baked, giving us some options convenience and calorie-wise.

Crab Rangoon

Best of all? We can get all the same flavors we love from our favorite take out, but whipped up at home in under 30 minutes, and that’s a generous estimate– in reality it’s more like 20 minutes.

This is everything you’ve ever imagined in an incredibly creamy crab filling that you can easily seal up into a triangle (or square) of delicious wonton wrapper casing.

The finished crispy wontons are loaded with cream cheesy crab goodness that’s sure to be an irresistible hit at any dinner or dinner party.

Crab Rangoon

crab rangoon 3

1 block, 8 oz, cream cheese, softened
2 oz crab meat or 2 sticks imitation crab meat, finely diced
1 tbsp confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
20 wonton wrappers
Oil, for deep frying

Directions

  1. Mix all the cream cheese, crab meat, sugar, and salt in a bowl, stirring to evenly incorporate. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Dab some water on the outer edges of the wonton wrapper and fold the two ends of the wrapper together. Fold the other two ends to make a tiny parcel pictured below. Pinch to seal tight and make sure that there is no leakage.

2. Heat up a pot of oil for deep-frying and fry the crab rangoon until golden brown. Dish out with a strainer or slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by laying the crab rangoon on a dish lined with paper towels. Let the crab rangoon cools down a bit before serving them with sweet and sour sauce.

Pizzadillas

While we try to keep things ‘PG’ rated at best around these parts, occasionally (just occasionally, promise!) things may change. Like now.

Once upon a time, a quesadilla and pizza got together. They had a very lovely, love child. The Pizza-dilla.

And tummies and tastebuds rejoiced throughout the land and we all lived happily ever after!

 Pizzadillas

Everything you love about a crispy, crunchy quesadilla oozing melted, cheesy goodness, but instead of stopping there it’s topped off like a pizza with tomato sauce, more cheese, and a few pepperonis for good measure.

These are a perfect thing to make with the kids. They’re easy to assemble and easy to cook, without a lot of parental assistance required. Helloooooo, Sous Chef Sunday!

Pizzadillas

2 tortillas. Regular size
1 cup cheddar or mozzarella, shredded
3 tbsp pizza sauce
1/2 cup cheddar or mozzarella, shredded
3 slices pepperoni
1 tbsp sliced black olives (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat.
    2. Place one tortilla in the pan, sprinkle One cup of cheese evenly out over it, and top it with the second tortilla.
    3. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.
    4. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the quesadilla followed by the mozzarella, pepperoni and olives.
    5. Bake at 400 degrees just until the cheese on top has melted, about 5-10 minutes.
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