The eggplant is an awkward vegetable. It’s purple, sports a strange and pointy green hat, and literally resembles a sore thumb. Poor thing.
Give it a bit of an edge. Dice it up and toss it with balsamic vinegar and a few chopped cherry tomatoes. The awkward aubergine will become an enigmatic eggplant as a member of the prestigious bruschetta trio.
Excellent finger food for parties or for dinner, give these bite-sized bites some confetti of their own by sprinkling them with a couple handfuls of shredded cheese before they make their complete retreat from the oven.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 eggplant, about the size of a canteen
- Splashes of balsamic vinegar (3-4 tbsps)
- Olive oil
- Bit of italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary)
- Pinch of chili flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 fresh baguette
- Shredded cheese (totally optional, if that floats your boat)
Heat oven to 350. Chop garlic and let it cook in a bit of olive oil just before turning golden. Add halved cherry tomatoes and a tiny bit of salt. Place a large lid over skillet and wait until tomatoes look kind of wrinkly.
Meanwhile, chop eggplant and add into mixture. Add couple splashes of balsamic vinegar and a coin of olive oil and cook until texture is spongy. Incorporate spices, salt, pepper.
Cut baguette into 1-2cm thick disks with a serrated knife (looks like it has shark teeth). Lay on a flat baking tray lined with either parchment or aluminum foil. Pat each with olive oil and a spoonful of bruschetta. Let cook in oven for about 7 minutes.
Take out of oven and add cheese. Crank the heat up to broil if you want to brulée your cheese. Re-insert into the fiery furnace for a minute or two. Watching cheese melt is like watching the sun set.
Although beets look like brains, they will fuel yours with the nutrients it needs to outlast the last of your midterms. Arm your hands with gloves lest you want your fingernails stained a bright fuchsia. These chips are easy to make and will be ready in ten minutes or less. You’ll never want to settle for an ordinary golden potato chip again when you can crunch and munch upon these vibrant half-moons of red delight.
- Olive oil
Line a long, flat pan with aluminum foil (if you have it) and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice beets thinly (width should be about 2 centimetres) and toss to coat with olive oil and salt. Lay on pan and bake for about 10 minutes, or until crunchy.
Beat that beet up and enjoy!!
Why waste your gingerbread quota on inedible houses when you can make incredible gingerbread popcorn? It will be poppin’ around the Christmas tree and melting on the tips of your tongues. Suffice it to say, this is the BEST snack we’ve ever made. It is the horse-drawn carriage to Cinderella’s ordinary pumpkin. The fairy godmother of the spice cupboard will bippity-boppity-boo one cup of kernels into two batches of flavours. Make both the gingerbread popcorn and the chili variety for the holidays and you are guaranteed a more-than-merry little Christmas.
Gingerbread Popcorn (adapted from about.com)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup popcorn kernels
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
Prepare oil in a large pot on medium heat and drop three “test” kernels in until popped. Add rest of the popcorn, shaking the pot constantly to avoid burning the little darlings. They are quite sensitive.
Once popcorn is popped, remove from heat and set half aside for the gingerbread popcorn and preheat oven to 200.
In same saucepan, combine butter, sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt over medium-low until mixture looks syrupy. Let it bubble a bit, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Add baking soda (weird but necessary, as you will bake the glazed popcorn to harden it). Pour over popcorn.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment, spread the puffed up kernels evenly and inject into your hearth (oven) for 1 hour, nudging it around a bit every 15 minutes or so.
Behold the best thing you will ever eat this holiday season. And the seasons after.
Cheesy Chili Popcorn (adapted from allrecipes.com)
- ½ popped popcorn (…about 8 cups, see above recipe)
- ¼ smidgeon of butter
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsps parmesan cheese powder
Melt butter with spices and cheese until combined. Pour over popcorn and toss vigorously. Great for parties.
We three are mad as hatters for baked goods, and these rich, flaky scones definitely fit the bill. Perfect for tea parties and un-birthday celebrations alike, scones are a real treat that are also very easy to make if you know a few ground rules.
1. Use only fridge-cold butter, not softened or melted.
2. DO NOT OVERWORK THE DOUGH. You’ll have to knead it, but try to handle it as little as possible. Overworked dough will have a chewy, rather than flaky texture.
3. Scones keep for a few days if stored in an airtight container, but are best fresh.
If raspberries and chocolate chips aren’t your cup of tea, combine either raisins, blueberries, almonds, apples, and cheese into your scones for a whole other dimension of delicious.
Raspberry and Chocolate Cream Scones (adapted from the Joy of Baking)
Ingredients - Yields 8 scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) cream (we used coffee cream, but heavy cream would make these babies extra decadent)
- ½ cup chocolate chips, semisweet
- 6-10 raspberries
Preheat oven to 375 C. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Break fridge-cold butter up into small chunks. If you have a well-stocked arsenal of kitchen gadgets, mix butter and flour with a pastry blender. Otherwise, use your hands. Mixture should look like tiny doughy pebbles.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and cream.
Pour liquid mixture into butter/flour bowl, and mix until just combined. When doughy enough to handle, gently knead 2-3 times on a floured surface.
Next, flatten dough and pile chocolate chips and raspberries on top. Use discretion when deciding on the number of raspberries to use, as you don’t want sticky dough. Knead another 2-3 times.
Pat until an inch thick. If you want to be cute, cut out shapes using a cookie cutter (otherwise any old cup will do) and place on a baking sheet. Handle dough sparingly. Try to get as many scones out of the first flattening as possible.
Bake for 15-18 minutes while you ponder why a raven is like a writing desk.
Incidentally, the scones should not be browner than a writing desk.
Serve with tea.
Roasted chickpeas are a mighty satisfying snack food. Much to the delight of the makers of Food Inc, they are not made from corn (as is everything else, evidently). AND they’re good for you! Best when eaten fresh out of the oven, these chickpeas are perfectly guilt-free companions to any scary-movie marathon. We used a tandoori spice mix from our cupboard to season them but the original recipe—which calls for a teaspoon each of cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper—fares just as well.
Even if this weekend shapes up to be a Halloworkend, no worries! Munch and crunch on these spicy spherical darlings and spook your stress away.
Roasted Chickpeas (adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body)
Ingredients- Fits on 1 large baking tray
- 1 Large Can Chickpeas
- 1 Tbsp Tandoori Spice
- ½ Tbsp sugar
- Canola oil, to drizzle
- Salt, to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 425
Drain and rinse chickpeas, lay to dry on paper towel completely. Some of the skins will peel away but do not discard them! They will be the crunchiest components of this creation!
Once dry, mix in medium-sized bowl with a bit of oil and toss in spices, and sugar
Lay flat on baking sheet and toast for 40-60 minutes until firm and visibly coated in a layer of crunchy goodness.