Tag Archives: Appetizers

Ceviche – Recipe of the Week

Image by lunamarina

Since we have been talking about eating close to nature, this seemed like the perfect recipe to share with you this week. Use all fresh ingredients and enjoy this deliciously healthy, traditional Mexican dish.  It comes from my cookbook, Mexican Favorites – 21 Traditional Recipes This light and refreshing dish can be served as an appetizer or side dish for lunch or brunch. I first discovered ceviche when I was working in Houston, TX, and loved it. I finally realized I could make it myself. If you use very fresh fish, I promise it will be amazing.


  • 1½ pounds fresh sea bass or flounder deboned and cut into ½” pieces.
  • (Any fish or shellfish will work. Scallops and shrimp are especially good)
  • 7 whole fresh limes (enough Juice to cover fish)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin and cut in small pieces
  • 1 whole avocado, ripe, but firm, cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano, finely chopped, (or substitute 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges and avocado slices for garnish


  1. Dice the fish (approximately ½” cubes. (If using shrimp be sure to use cleaned, de-veined and steamed or parboiled shrimp).
  2. Spread out fish (except shrimp) in a non-metallic bowl. Squeeze juice of 6 limes and pour over the mixed seafood to cover it completely – use more limes if necessary.
  3. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (This step cooks the fish, do not marinate shrimp, they tend to get tough).

An hour or two before serving:

  1. Chop and diced the tomatoes, onions, avocado and herbs.
  2. Drain the marinated seafood in a colander to remove excess lime juice and pat dry with paper towels and place in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add shrimp, vegetables and seasonings to the marinated seafood.
  4. Squeeze juice of one lime and sprinkle over the mixture and toss well.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. When ready to serve, arrange in individual serving bowls.

Garnish with lime and avocado slices. Servings: Varies – depends on whether it is an appetizer or main dish.  Cooking Time (in lime juice): 8 hours

Recipe Tips

  • You can alter the recipe to suit your own taste. Make it as spicy or as mild as you wish.
  •  Do not marinate shrimp, it will get tough. Steam or parboil the shrimp and add them to the mix a few hours before serving.


Spanakopita – Spinach Phyllo Pie – Recipe of the Day

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#a31515″] Wonderful Appetizer or a Delicious Meal[/typography]

Spinich Phyllo Pie

Spinach Phyllo Pie is a flavorful spinach and feta Greek dish that is a wonderful appetizer, but can also be served as a main dish. It is perfect when served with Tzatziki Dip, a creamy, tangy cucumber dip flavored with garlic that complements this dish as well as many grilled meats and vegetables.


  • Olive oil
  • ½ bunch fresh spinach
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly whipped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried dill)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • 5-10 sheets phyllo dough


  • Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  • Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  • Wash the spinach thoroughly and remove stems – then, squeeze the leaves to remove any remaining water – squeeze them until they appear wilted.
  • Chop the spinach and the green onions.
  • Place both ingredients in a large mixing bowl with the egg, dill, and feta.

spinach-pie ingredients - premixed

  • Mix until well combined.
  • Lay 1 or 2 phyllo sheets flat on a very clean counter.
  • Rub a little olive oil on each sheet and place 1/5 of your filling near the bottom of the sheet.

spinach-pie filling

  • Fold in the sides of the sheet(s) and roll them up.
  • Place the rolled, stuffed phyllo onto the baking sheet with the seam facing down.
  • Brush the top with a little olive oil.
  • Repeat the process four more times.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve with Tzatziki Dip (see recipe below).

Tzatziki Dip

In addition to the perfect sauce the recipe above, this dip can also be served with grilled meats, vegetables or  pita bread for dipping.

Tzatziki Dip
by Robyn Mackenzie


  • 3 tablespoons high-quality olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped 


  1. Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper – whisk to combine well.
  2. Blend the yogurt with the sour cream with a wire whisk.
  3. Add the olive oil mixture and blend thoroughly.
  4. Add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill.
  5. Chill for at least two hours before serving.


Slow Cooker Appetizers – Busy Mom’s Slow Cooker Series

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Cheesy Mexican Fondue
Cheesy Mexican Fondue from Better Homes and Gardens

Slow cooker appetizers are perfect for every occasion – football games, birthday parties, holiday gatherings, etc.

What could be better than having nice hot appetizers to eat while you watch every game – not just the Super Bowl?

Fixing party snacks takes time and energy. Plus,  the cook wants to be part of the party – not in the kitchen most of the time.  As a result, most people only make the effort to create special appetizers for the big occasions – like the Super Bowl. With a slow cooker, you don’t have to miss a minute of the action. You can let the cooker do all the work while you enjoy the festivities with everyone else.

Slow Cooker Appetizers are #1

If you have many occasions to fix appetizers, you should consider buying more than one slow cooker. You can’t beat them when it comes to appetizers – for the following reasons:

  • You spend less time in the kitchen – You can prepare ingredients in advance; then, on the day of the party place tthem in the pot, turn it on and walk away.
  • You have warm appetizers to serve throughout the day – for anyone and everyone no matter what time they arrive at your party.

Tips for Making Perfect Appetizers Every Time

  1. Broil or brown your meats first – When making Barbecued Chicken Wings for your get-together, broil the raw chicken in the oven or brown it in a skillet to get a good glaze over them before placing them in the cooker. This also cuts down on actual cooking time.
  2. Add paper towels under the lid – The paper will absorb excess moisture from the cooking process. This is useful when you are making snacks that need to stay crisp after cooking. Yes, you can create crisp appetizers in your slow cooker.
  3. Prep as much as you can the night before – Chop ingredients for things like salsa or cheese (queso) dip and leave them in the inner ceramic pot over night in the fridge. When you are ready, pull the bowl out of the fridge and pop it into the slow cooker base to begin cooking. This eliminates chopping the day of the occasion.

Appetizer Ideas

Are you salivating right now? For your next party, try setting up two or three slow cookers for making appetizers. Not only can you cook without having to pay constant attention to the goodies, you can also use the ceramic pots as buffet-style serving bowls.

For incredibly delicious slow cooker appetizer recipes, check out the Better Homes and Gardens Website:  http://www.bhg.com/recipes/slow-cooker/delectable-slow-cooker-appetizers/#page=20

The holiday season is just around the corner. Test the most easygoing hors d’oeuvres around that can be made in the slow cooker from the Betty Crocker Website: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/event-or-occasion/holiday-recipes/slow-cooker-holiday-appetizer-recipes

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Chipotle Popcorn Chicken Recipe – Busy Mom’s Series, Day 16

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”24″ size_format=”px” color=”#b01025″]Chipotle Popcorn Chicken[/typography]

Chipotle Popcorn Chicken
Photo: Gabi Porter

Chipotle Popcorn Chicken – perfect for tailgating season – is so easy to make and heartily welcomed by all that it will surprise you!

Marinating the chicken in buttermilk overnight ensures juicy, flavorful meat under the crunchy-tangy-spicy exterior. Adding chopped cilantro is a nice personal touch and serving the bites with homemade dipping sauces makes them memorable. 

This recipe comes from Marc Murphy’s Upper West Side restaurant “Ditch Plains” in Manhattan. I found it on FoodRepublic.com.


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup canned chipotles in adobo sauce, pureed
  • 2 cups flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Cut chicken breasts into 1 ½-inch pieces. Place in mixing bowl and cover with buttermilk and pureed chipotle chilies.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When ready to serve, dredge the chicken in seasoned flour.
  4. Fry in hot oil (350° F.) just until done. (Do not overcook). A deep fryer is the best choice, if you have one, or use a very heavy cooking pan and a thermometer.
  5. Remove from hot oil, place on paper towels to drain – season with salt, pepper and chopped cilantro.

Try serving with these homemade dips:

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

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Strawberry Orange Soup

[typography font=”Myriad Pro” size=”20″ size_format=”px” color=”#bd1111″]End of the Summer Series – Cold Soup [/typography]

Strawberry Orange Soup is a tasty dish that is seriously out of the ordinary. If you are up to a food adventure, this is a good one. This is my adaptation of a recipe I found  in the New York Times Magazine: http://nyti.ms/12Y4AU6.

Strawberry-Orange Soup
Photograph by Yunhee Kim for the New York Times.


  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprigs of mint


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, orange juice, chopped mint leaves and 1 tablespoon sugar until mint is fragrant.
  2. Push through a strainer and discard solids.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. In another bowl, combine the sliced strawberries, lime juice, 2 tablespoons sugar and chili powder;
  5. Mix gently until well-combined.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring once.
  7. To serve, spoon yogurt onto strawberries and stir.
  8. Garnish with lightly-sweetened whipped cream and mint.

A cold soup like this Strawberry Orange Soup makes the perfect side dish for a summer BBQ and is also an interesting addition to a Sunday Brunch menu.

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