Archive for the ‘Snacks’ Category

Looking for good luck in 2010? A Southern New Year’s Day food tradition, eating Black Eyed Peas will not only brings good luck, but you might also get rich if it’s eaten with collard greens. In the South it’s usually Hoppin’ John, a spicy bean dish made of black-eyed peas simmered with bacon, sausages or ham hocks, onions, spices and rice, which is made to bring in the New Year.  However, I’m not a fan of Hoppin’ John even though I am a Southern girl.  It’s very common that I call my mom on New Year’s to have her ask me if we’ve eaten our black eyed peas and collard greens.  I’m not a fan of collard greens.  Never have been and doubt I ever will.  The smell is just horrible!  Black Eyed Peas I can do but I had to find a way to eat them that didn’t incorporate ham, bacon, or sausage since I don’t eat any of those things either.  So for the past several years I have made this black eyed pea salsa, which has been perfect for New Year’s bowl game snack.  I on the other hand love it because I like to think it will bring good luck in the coming year.
So if you are a believer in the urban legend, it is said for the best good luck of the year, one must eat Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day, then try this alternative to Hoppin John.

Happy New Year!!

Black Eyed Pea Salsa with Chips

Print Recipe


2 (15-ounce) cans black eyed peas

½ cup purple onion, finely diced (or green onion)

½ cup cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar

1 tsp cumin

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

 ¼ tsp salt

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup olive oil

 1 yellow bell pepper, diced


  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Mix well.  Place in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator.  It is best if stored overnight before serving.
  2. Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips.

Cheers!  Happy 2010!


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Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

Here is 2 of 5 in the holiday gift idea series.  This recipe is one my mom taught me and this is a really easy recipe.  Growing up in Georgia, pecans are a favorite and every holiday my grandfather would give my mom a big container of pecans.  I’m not sure where he got them from but my mom used it for several things but these pecans were one of them.  My mom’s recipe is a mixture of sugar and salt and she likes them a little more salty then I prefer.  I added cinnamon to mine and used less salt.  As you can tell you can customize them to your preference.  These came to mind when I was trying to think of gift ideas because they are a favorite around my house.  I make them every Fall.  I remember making these before our road trip to Charleston for our wedding.  Due to a lot of money going to the wedding this was our go-to snack on our road trip, which meant less money spent on other things along the way.  I think Scott finished them all before we even got to the South Carolina boarder! 

I microwave the pecans in this recipe because that’s how my mom taught me, but you can also bake them in the oven at 350 till they are crunchy.  I even find that sometimes I don’t microwave them long enough and stick them in the oven to cook a little more till they are crunchy. 

For the packaging of the pecans I found these great frosted bags from My Own Labels.  For the label, I went back to a reliable source Paper Source who has several wonderful things.  I found these labels which were even better because they came with a template.  I just used Tempus Sans ITC for the font.  Very easy!


Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

Print Recipe

1 1/2 cups whole pecans
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Boiling Water
Place pecans in a colander.  In a saucepan bring water to a boil.  Once at a boil pour boiling water over pecans and drain.  Transfer pecans to a microwave safe dish.  Evenly sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, and salt over pecans and stir until all pecans are evenly coated.  Place dish in microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes.  Remove dish and stir pecans.  Microwave the pecans for another 2 minutes and remove and stir.  Then place the dish in the microwave again for 1 minute and remove to stir.  You want to make sure the pecans aren’t browning too much.  If they are browning too much then do not place them in the microwave the last minute.  If they aren’t brown place in the microwave again for another 1 minute.  Pour the pecans out on parchment paper and let cool.  Once cooled they should be crunchy.  If they aren’t you can always place in a oven preheated to 350 for a couple additional minutes.

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With Thanksgiving coming up this week I was looking for something easy to make this weekend.  I’m not sure how this idea came to me but I’m glad it did because it actually turned out pretty good.  What’s even better it was a perfect snack for the whole family.  I made two versions because I wasn’t sure which one would be best.  I made one version using pizza sauce and cheese with a little bit of spinach for the girls.  They still aren’t pesto fans.  With this version I rolled them up and cut them like you would cinnamon rolls.  Sprinkled with additional cheese and baked them.  I have to say these turned out “prettier” to me then the next version but they both tasted great.  On the second version I mixed a little bit of homemade pesto I had left-over with the tomato sauce and used that for the sauce.  I then used chicken, sundried tomatoes, and mozzarella for the filling.  I also used a little bit of parmesan for the topping which is where I went wrong because it browned too quickly.  So I omitted in the recipe here so you don’t make the same mistake.  Instead I would suggest using mozzarella sprinkled on top.  Another thing I did differently with these was after cutting them I placed them in a muffin tin.  Scott preferred these, but I preferred the rolled version.  They went over great with the girls too which is always great!  These would be great served warm with a little pizza sauce for dipping. 

Now I’m back to planning my Thanksgiving menu.  This year it’s just the four of us.  My parents are staying home.  For some reason this hasn’t changed the amount of food I’m planning to cook.  The thing is I know the leftovers will be eaten by Scott.  It’s the one time of the year he actually eats leftovers!

Also, stay tune till tomorrow’s winner for the cookbook giveaway.  Thanks everyone who left comments. I think the next cookbook I will have to indulge in is Ree’s cookbook.  I’ve actually been wanting it so now it will be a must! 

Enjoy the scrolls!!


Cheesy Pizza Scrolls

Print Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk

For Cheese Filling:

  • ½ cup tomato sauce (I used Boboli pizza sauce)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese (I used 2%)
  • ½ to ¾  cup regular spinach, chopped

Preheat oven to 390 degrees.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Make a well in the center of flour mixture and place buttermilk in the well and mix to form a soft dough.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to a 12” square.  Place the tomato sauce and oregano in a bowl and mix to combine.

Spread the tomato sauce mixture over the dough and sprinkle with spinach and cheese.  Roll to enclose the filling.  Slice the roll into 9 to 10 pieces and place side-by-side in a lightly greased 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.  You can sprinkle with additional cheese if you like. 

Bake the scrolls for 25-30 minutes or until golden.



Now for the 2nd version….Chicken Pesto Pizza Scrolls



Chicken Pesto Pizza Scrolls

Print Recipe


  •   2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk

For Filling:

  • ½ cup tomato sauce (I used Boboli pizza sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Sundried Tomatoes, diced (not oil packed sundried tomatoes)
  • 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese (I used 2%)

Preheat oven to 390 degrees.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, oregano and salt.  Make a well in the center of flour mixture and place buttermilk in the well and mix to form a soft dough.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.  Roll out to a 12” square.

Mix together tomato sauce and pesto. Spread the tomato pesto sauce mixture over the dough and sprinkle with chicken, sundried tomatoes, and cheese.  Roll to enclose the filling.  Slice the roll into 10 pieces and place each piece into a lightly greased muffin tin.  Sprinkle the tops with cheese and bake for 15 minutes.

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Guac and Crab Dip

It’s football season!  Scott usually can’t wait for September 1st to arrive.  The start of college football!  So on Saturday and Sunday it’s pretty normal that football will be on the TV and if it’s not football it’s Dora or Wonder Pets.  I prefer Saturdays to Sundays because college football is so much more entertaining to me.  Scott’s a South Carolina fan and I really don’t have a team of choice.  I went to a Savannah College of Art and Design which didn’t have a football team and even though I grew up in Georgia I’m not a UGA fan or Georgia Tech fan.  I know many of my friends would be upset that with that comment as most of them went to UGA or GATech.  Either way college football is an exciting time and with that, comes a need for a snack while watching the game.  If your house is the same as mine around this time of the year and you need a game day idea here is a little twist to your traditional guacamole.  It’s guacamole with lump crab meat.  You can adjust the amount to how much you prefer the taste of the crab.  It’s fresh and super easy to make.  I’m addicted to Stacy’s Pita Chips so I paired mine with pita chips but choose the chip of your choice. 

Guacamole with Crab


Avocado and Crab Dip

Print Recipe

  • Two avocado
  • One tomato, diced
  • ½ cup to ¾ cup lump crab meat
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place avocado, tomato, garlic, and cilantro in a food processer and process until well mixed.  Place avocado mix into a bowl and stir in the lump crab meat and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with chip of choice. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone and of course enjoy the football!  South Carolina is up against Arkansas.

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Homemade Granola


I love granola, but honestly I have never made homemade granola…of course until now!  It reminds me of our family trips to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone.  My parents and I would meet up there with my dad’s brother’s family and we would spend a week out in the wilderness hiking and camping.  My Aunt, Uncle and cousins would pack up their RV and drive from Iowa and we would meet them there.  Of course we took the other route and flew.  My Aunt Ter would always bring along homemade granola.  She would pack big bags of it so we would have for the week.  My cousins and I would always have a zip lock bag packed away in our backpacks and at the resting point of our long hikes that was the first thing we grabbed to much on.

Lately, I was getting tired of having oatmeal in the morning but I was trying to think what alternative I could have…then it clicked, Granola!!  Shortly after, I stumbled on a very cute blog called Running the Traveling Road.  She had a great granola recipe that I knew I had to try.  I made a couple adjustments to my recipe by adding pecans and reducing the sunflower seeds and subbing out some of the brown sugar for sucanat (non-refined cane sugar)…oh and added maple extract.  The end result was super delicious!  The best thing about granola is you can pour milk over it and have it for breakfast.  Add it to your yogurt with fruit or even grab a handful for a snack.  Even my girls loved it!  I gave them a couple bites and Laine looked at me and said her famous “yummy mommy!”  So it’s a winner and I think this means I will be making lots of homemade granola in the future. Thanks Running the Traveling Road for the recipe!


Homemade Granola

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup ground flax
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed (I used ¼ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup sucanat)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp maple extract

Preheat oven to 250.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper

Mix together first 7 ingredients (thru pumpkin pie spice)

Whisk together brown sugar, oil, honey, salt, vanilla and maple extracts.  Incorporate wet ingredients into dry.

Spread evenly on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring the granola every 15 minutes to ensure even baking and color.

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