snack

Broccoli Fritters

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I feel like I am always looking for new ideas to get our 2 toddlers to eat vegetables. It's so hard! Max (who is 1)  simply throws everything and Ezra (who is 3) often removes anything green from his plate immediately upon arrival. This past Monday at 5pm I had just gotten home with both kids and had no idea what to make for dinner. I needed an idea quick and I remembered seeing this Broccoli Fritter recipe in my Smitten Kitchen newsletter. In the post, Deb talked about how fritters were the answer to this toddler problem so I decided to try it out on my 2 little veggie skeptics. 

The recipe is quite simple. You chop a head of broccoli into very small pieces, steam it in a skillet, then stir it in a bowl with flour, an egg and some grated cheese. Fry and eat!

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To my surprise, THE KIDS ACTUALLY ATE THEM!!! And I thought they were delicious, too, topped with yogurt, lemon and Maldon salt. I enjoyed a few of them with a glass of rosé. 

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This one will be making a recurring appearance. Recommended! Thanks, Deb. Now I am brainstorming what else I can turn into a fritter...

Broccoli Fritters

Adapted from this recipe by Smitten Kitchen. Makes about 8 fritters.

1 small head of broccoli

1/2 c flour

1 egg

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 c grated cheese (I used a mix of parmesan and cheddar)

salt and pepper to taste, oil for frying

Chop the broccoli into very small pieces (florets and the upper parts of the stems). Throw them in a big skillet with a splash of water and cover to steam (about 5 min). Drain the broccoli and move it to a mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients and stir to combine. Use a potato masher or the bottom of a glass to mash the broccoli mixture just a bit. It's ok if there are still some chunks. Fry heaping spoonfuls (to make patties) in olive oil until both sides are browned. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and serve alongside yogurt and a lemon wedge. My kids also liked dipping them in ketchup (whatever gets the greens down!). Enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving Appetizers in Santa Barbara

I’m always looking for easy, tasty holiday party hors d'oeuvres, and these Pesto Puffs were a hit last weekend at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration in Santa Barbara. 

Every year we head to my aunt and uncle’s beach house for a weekend of cooking, eating, and surfing. My job is always to prepare appetizers for everyone to sample as we cook all afternoon. These puffs were easy to make ahead and they work warm or at room temperature. The cheese has a tendency to ooze out a bit when they are baked, so use a baking sheet with a rim. A couple of my cousins were on cocktail duty: there was a big pitcher of spicy Bloody Marys in the morning, and at cocktail hour my cousin walked around with a tray of Manhattans and adorable Apple Cider cocktails garnished with cinnamon sticks. Before dinner, all the ladies take an annual walk to collect flowers, bark, leaves and vines to decorate the table, and then we eat at sunset. When I was in college, I lived just a couple blocks away…ever since then, I’ve decided it’s my favorite place on earth- can’t wait to go back!

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View from the deck at my aunt & uncle's house

View from the deck at my aunt & uncle's house

I have no idea how to cook a turkey (just pretending here!!) I stick to the veggies. Bottom right: my cousin Vanessa passes out Apple Cider cocktails.

I have no idea how to cook a turkey (just pretending here!!) I stick to the veggies. Bottom right: my cousin Vanessa passes out Apple Cider cocktails.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Other holiday party appetizer ideas:

Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Cucumber Caprese Bites

Radishes with Butter

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These breadsticks made from pizza dough are super easy and soooo good when warm right out of the oven. You can use any seeds or nuts you want, but I chose sunflower seeds and chopped cashews. The cashews are from Essential Living Foods, a company that sells lots of GMO-free, organic and ethically sourced products. You could also add garlic and parmesan. For the full recipe and more pictures, check out my post over at Better Homes and Gardens.

Photos by Erin Gleeson, recipe by BHG

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If you like kale chips, you’ll LOVE sage chips! These little flavor packed crispy bites will disappear in seconds. AND they only take a few seconds to make! Simply drop the (clean, dry) sage leaves into hot olive oil and fry them up for a minute or 2. Make sure you watch them to ensure they don’t get burned. Depending on how hot your oil is, they can go fast. Sprinkle them with salt and enjoy alone, or with wine and cheese. Or you can sprinkle them on top of chicken or fish, or even on quinoa or roasted vegetables. They’ll add a nice kick of flavor to just about anything. Happy weekend, Feasters, and enjoy!

by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast

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My husband, Jonathan, and I took a trip to Alaska recently for our friends’ wedding. Apart from the totally amazing setting overlooking the ocean and snow capped mountains in the distance, their wedding food (by Maura’s Cafe) was absolutely delicious. One appetizer stood out to me, so I set out to recreate it: Gorgonzola Grapes. You could make them using any kind of creamy cheese or nuts, but I used gorgonzola and pecans, which really gave them a kick. Just put a dab of creamy cheese in your palm with the grape and roll it around until the cheese coats it. Then roll the whole thing in chopped nuts and stick a toothpick in it. These are a perfect bite-sized snack with cocktails!

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast