Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

30 Recipes for the Holidays!

Well, Dining at my Desk Readers, I did it. This is the first year I’ve actually created a blog post for each day in December (though have tried valiantly since 2010), and overall, yes, I’m exhausted, thank you for asking. From the beginning to the end, we’ve had soups, side dishes, breakfasts, cookies, ice cream and even a mashed potato and fried chicken cake, but the recurring theme throughout all the recipes is they came from members of Chicagogrammers.

What is Chicagogrammers, you ask? It’s a group of Instagrammers based in Chicago, and it’s free and easy to join. I founded Chicagogrammers with my amazing blog wife, Chrissy, of The Hungary Buddha Eats the World, and this post wouldn’t be complete without a humongous THANK YOU shout out to her and her amazing organizational skills, follow-through and creative powers. She’s just the best. Next big thank you to all of our truly outstanding and inspiring members. While I highlighted the food bloggers here, it’s important to note we have a wide array of lifestyle, fashion, travel, parenting and beauty bloggers we count as members. We’re Chicago-based Instagrammers, bloggers and influencers, and I think 2017 is going to be a great year for us!

Ok, now down to business. I’m here to recap all 30 days of these insanely delicious recipes, so get ready for a feast for your eyes!!

Drunken Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

(1) Drunken Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: Comes to us from none other than co-founder Chrissy of The Hungary Buddha Eats the World. Boozy ice cream ranks right up there on my personal scale of top foods I want to eat either separately or combined. Enjoy!

Gluten-free Cranberry Oat Bars

(2) Gluten Free Cranberry Oat Bars: These little dandies are from Marie at Lady Ace Kitchen. They’re for all of you people who can’t tolerate or just don’t like gluten, which I’m convinced is people who only like eating desserts.

sweet potatoes 1

(3) Maple Bacon Sweet Potatoes: Ok, technically if we’re counting this as a Chicagogrammer, that’d be me, because these were served to a group of bloggers at a Morton Salt event, which was QUITE tasty. These were seriously some of the best potatoes I’ve ever eaten.

rosemary-shortbread-christmas-tree-cookie-cutter

(4) Rosemary Shortbread Cookies: Oh, these sweet little savory cookies come to us from Ellie of the breathtakingly gorgeous blog, Hungry by Nature. Seriously, visit her blog RIGHT NOW. It’s worth soooo many drools. Hi, Ellie!

Lambrusco-Sangria-10

(5) Lambrusco Sangria: If you all haven’t heard of The Kittchen, pull yourselves out from under your rock and say hi to Kit, the wonderful blogger who also founded our lean, mean blogging machine The Windy City Blogger Collective. She’s in her kitchen all the time whipping up goodies and treats, and this sangria looks particularly delish if I must say so myself.

Perfect+Pancakes+(Gluten+Free,+Paleo)+-+Personally+Paleo

(6) Perfectly (Gluten Free, Paleo) Fluffy Pancakes: Another fabulous blogger, Katie of Personally Paleo, gives us the recipe for her super fluffy gluten-free, paleo pancakes. I’m personally not paleo, but her site is full of awesome recipes for those who are!

Fried-Chicken-Cornbread-Mashed-Potatoes-Layered-Cake-Recipe-1

(7) Fried Chicken, Cornbread, & Mashed Potatoes Layer Cake: Hmmm. As of most of my recipes of the day, I never got around to making this…cake, but I really, really want to. This crazy concoction comes to us from Caitlin of Public Lives, Secret Recipes. Another amazing blog to check out when you have a minute!!

SquashQuinoa

(8) Herb-Roasted Squash with Quinoa & Cranberries: Meet Anne of ASquared. Anne and I actually go back a ways in our (other) professional lives, so it’s always fun to give her a little shout and love, and she’s loving us right back with this delicious quinoa dish. Ok, after January 2, this is going on our dinner menu forever!

Cream Cheese Pineapple Pepper Dip

(9) Cream Cheese, Pineapple & Green Pepper Dip (Dorothy’s Dip): Oh, this one I ACTUALLY MADE, can you believe it?! It’s from a new friend, Alana the blogger behind the fabulous party blog, The Jolly Hostess. A combination of slightly strange ingredients comes together in this dip to, as Tim Gunn would say, make it work. This is the easiest dip, and is so good!!

Crab-Rangoon-Pull-Apart-Bread

(10) Crab Rangoon Pull Apart Bread: Oh, this was a HUGE hit on Instagram, and still not quite certain why we haven’t made it yet… It’s like, all my favorite things – carbs and cheese and faux crab. It’s from Alison of Rosie Discovers, another fantastic blogger who’s also a member of Chicagogrammers!

Little Lemon Snow Bites

(11) Little Lemon Snow Bites: Ok, here’s another recipe I actually had blogged about before. These little cookies are so refreshing – sweet and tart, and everybody loves a cookie with a filling. Plus candy is an actual ingredient, so that’s pretty exciting!

Smores-cereal-bar-ready-to-eat1

(12) Smores Cereal Bars: I love Smores, and these cereal bars look like no exception to the kinds of goodies I love most. Michelle from Honest & Truly, gives us another lip-smacker of a recipe. She’s got tons of other recipes on her blog, which are a good mix of naughty and nice for your new year’s resolutions!

Beef Ragu

(13) Beef Ragu: Hyam of My Midwest Kitchen brings us this complete winner of a recipe. Meat stew over polenta? Yes, we’re into that! This will also be going in our winter lineup for sure!

06-true-food-immunity-soup-fsl

(14) Immunity Soup: This recipe is part of quite a long blog post recapping some of the events we went to this fall. One of my favorites was the opening of True Food Kitchen in River North, and to celebrate, I included Dr. Andrew Weil’s cleansing soup recipe. Seriously, January, I’m looking at you.

Gingersnap-Icebox-Cake-with-Cranberry-Mascarpone-Whipped-Cream-3

(15) Gingersnap Icebox Cake with Cranberry Mascarpone Whipped Cream: Omg, whoa. By far the most beautiful cake EVER, this icebox cake is from Danielle, a registered dietician who blogs at The Every Kitchen. Obviously this is a health food. Definitely check out her blog when you get a  chance – the pictures are stunning!

peppermint brownies

(16) Peppermint Brownies: These luscious holiday treats are from the lovely Christine of Lattes, Life & Luggage. Her blog is filled with great recipes, book recommendations and travel musings, and she’s an awesome member of Chicagogrammers!

Spinach Herb Lasagna

(17) Spinach Herb Lasagna: One of my personal favorite blogs is Make it Like a Man, where Jeff shows us how to make stuff, you know, like a man. If Main Squeeze were to make this, it would be a man making a manly meal for a very dainty and refined lady. Hmmm, I wonder where he would find one of those.

Salted Caramel Eggnog

(18) Salted Caramel Eggnog: Yay!! This boozy treat is from Maris of the fabulous food blog In Good Taste. Maris is a wonderful person and her blog matches her personality – it’s just truly great. Be sure to take a look when you get a chance!

Funfetti-Cookies_Macarons-and-Lavender-12-768x512

(19) Funfetti Cookies: Basically there’s nothing I love more than cookies that mostly come from a boxed mix. Using prepared ingredients make things go a lot faster in the kitchen, and these look simply so good. They’re from Lephan, of the awesome blog Macarons & Lavender. She’s another fabulous Chicagogrammer I met this year!

Creamy Butternut Squash and Crab Bisque

(20) Creamy Butternut Squash and Crab Bisque: This is a unique one, because it comes from Kate of The Ginger List, an Instablog. So delicious and creamy, obviously crab is the perfect accompaniment to a butternut squash soup.

Carmelized-Onion-Dip

(21) Caramelized Onion Dip: Ooo, yum. Just looking at this dip makes me want to eat it ALL RIGHT NOW. It’s from Kathryn of Foodie Girl Chicago, just another fabulous blog from a fellow Chicagorammer.

Cranberry-Pear-Spinach-Rice-Pilaf-LONG-PIN

(22) Cranberry Pear Spinach Rice Pilaf: This looks SO fresh and delicious, and I can’t wait to make this in the new year! This rice medley is from Maggie of The Love Nerds, and I’m really hoping to meet her in the New Year!

Classic Basil Pesto

(23) Classic Basil Pesto: Really, it doesn’t get much better than a simple pesto sauce on pasta…or anything. Kelly of Chicago Supper Club gives us the perfected version of this classic sauce.

Pecan Meltaways

(24) Pecan Meltaways: Again, sometimes the simplest cookies are the ones we keep coming back to over and over. Joelen of What’s Cookin’ Chicago brings us the recipe for these simple, delicious treats.

Smore Brownies

(25) Smores Brownies: Ok, I might have a real thing for smores. Obviously they are a great love of my life. Bringing us this gorgeous brownie recipe is Kelsey of With a Little Grace.

Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese

(26) Apple Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese: If you haven’t had bacon jam yet, you might want to rethink your life choices, and then start slathering it on your grilled cheese. Thanks for the great idea, Annie! Annie is the inspiration behind this grilled cheese and the fantastic blog, The Brazen Gourmand.

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(27) Chocolate Blueberry Basil Smoothie: Oh January 1, you’re looming right around the corner, but Erin of Erin’s Inside Job reminds us that you don’t have to give us chocolate if you pair it with fruits and herbs!

Tiramisu

(28) Tiramisu: Ooo, yeah. Pretty much the best dessert you can get in an Italian restaurant, and just a delicious choice anytime, Mrinalini of Mrinhearts brings us this scrumptious looking pudding.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

(29) Cauliflower Pizza Crust: Yes, January looms very large, and in the new year, we’re going to be eating a LOT more pizza on veggies crusts. Here to save our (considerably larger after the holidaze) butts is Jenn of Leasing Happiness.
meatballs

(30) Cheesy Skillet Meatballs in Arrabbiata Sauce: Yeah, these are a whole skillet of yums. Brought to us by Allison of Life’s a Beacham, these little round balls of love are gluten-free and full of cheese! My favorite!

Ok, there you have it! 30 recipes from 30 awesome Chicagogrammers! Hope you enjoyed the drools as much as I did. Here’s to a fantastic 2017 – enjoy this weekend with your friends and family, and I”ll see you back here in January!

 

 

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It’s almost Christmas, so let’s bring on the appetizers!! Today we have Kathryn, a Chicagogrammer and blogger at Foodie Girl Chicago. Her blog is FILLED with amazing eats and gorgeous pictures. It’s hard to narrow down to just one recipe, but I do LOVE caramelized onions, so this dip squeaked by the Rose Sangria (which also looks FANTASTIC, btw!).

Carmelized-Onion-Dip

Caramelized Onion Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, vertically sliced
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sherry, divided
  • 1⅓ cups plain lowfat greek yogurt
  • ⅔ cup whipped cream cheese
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp white (or black) ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 sourdough baguette
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc)
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the full recipe with instructions, be sure to visit Kathryn at Foodie Girl Chicago

Carmelized-Onion-Dip-Baguette

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If you’ve ever been with me while ordering Chinese, Thai or any other otherwise Asian food, if crabr is on the menu, I’m ordering it 100% of the time. There’s something about the sweet crab deep fried with cream cheese that gets me every time. Also, if you know me at all, you know I love and crave delicious, naughty carbs. So when crab rangoon meets bread, you know I’m there, full force. Another Chicagogrammer, Alison of Rosie Discovers, is solely responsible for this phenomenal-looking bread. I literally cannot wait to make it.

Crab-Rangoon-Pull-Apart-Bread

Crab Rangoon Pull Apart Bread

  • 1 round or oval sourdough loaf
  • 2/3 cup crab classic, diced
  • 4 oz cream cheese-warmed
  • 1 cup diced muenster cheese
  • 2 green onions diced
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the full recipe with instructions, head over to Rosie Discovers!

Crab-Classic-Pull

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You may have read in my post from last week with the exciting Rosemary Shortbread cookies that I’ve met a lot of new friends this year. Tis true, and I’ve got a brilliant class of Chicagogrammers to thank for it! One of these new friends is Alana of the wonderful entertaining blog “The Jolly Hostess.” She’s got entertaining in her blood and a slew of family (and friends!) recipes to go along with them! This (perhaps slightly strange-sounding) recipe comes from a friend’s Irish aunt, Dorothy. It’s got pineapple, green pepper and onion all mixing and mingling in cream cheese. I don’t know how these flavors came to be, but I think the whole thing sounds fantastic, and I’m planning to make it soon (this weekend?!?)

Cream Cheese Pineapple Pepper Dip

Cream Cheese, Pineapple & Green Pepper Dip

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz can of crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp dill
  • Dash black pepper
For the full recipe with instructions, please visit Alana over at The Jolly Hostess!
cream-cheese-and-pineapple-dip9 (1)
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Mmmmm, Cuban Sandwiches. The perfect sandwich? One might think so. Roasted pork, ham, pickles, swiss cheese, mustard. Yum. Ok, so turning that into a dip is clearly the best idea ever. Thanks, Dad What’s 4 Dinner, you’re officially the best Dad of the year!!

Hot Cuban Dip

Hot Cuban Dip

Read on »

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Well, you got 23 days of blogging out of me for December, and that’s:

So, the holidaze were just that, and although I avoided the stomach flu this year, I was brought down by some other special plague, a truly horrid cold that left me zombie-like, but I naturally pushed through and burned the candle at both ends, clearly prolonging my misery. Today is the first day I feel like I’ve returned to the land of the living, and I was getting sick on the 23! That’s 8 days of awful. Is it possible that I would rather have the stomach flu?

Well, nothing like a little barf talk to ring in the New Year, and guaranteed not to make you barf (unless you eat nearly a CrockPot full of them…), are these 6 fabulous recipes for balls brought to you by some pretty awesome bloggers! I think we can all agree that meatballs are an easy go-to appetizer, and if you’re running short on time this evening, there’s always a CrockPot full of previously frozen balls in a vat of bbq sauce. You’re welcome.

Also, today I’m skipping the ingredients and sending you right on over to the bloggers for the recipes, so be sure to click the links.

Meatball 1: African Spiced Bison Meatballs with Cilantro Chutney and Tamarind Dip

Wow, Chrissy, that’s a mouthful. Coming to you from The Hungary Buddha Eats the World, is my Blog Wife, Chrissy (our anniversary is on January 20th), with a meatball recipe I’m sure never to recreate, unless it’s in her kitchen and I’ve polished off an entire bottle of wine. But seriously, they look awesome, and I think I tried the cilantro chutney once, although, yeah, I was likely drunk.

African Bison Meatballs

Go see Chrissy at the Hungary Buddha for the recipe for these African Spiced Bison Meatballs with Cilantro Chutney and Tamarind Dip.

Meatball 2: Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce

Veering toward a much easier path, we’ve got a quintessential stand-by, for those of you who want something just a touch classier than frozen meatballs in bbq sauce, though Meggan of Culinary Hill assures us you can use frozen meatballs for this one.

Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce

Visit Meggan for her classic Crockpot Meatballs in Grape Jelly Sauce.

Meatball 3: Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

Ooo, I love Asian flavors, and I love meatballs, so I’m 100% certain I’d love these super easy Spicy Asian Meatballs from The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen.

Spicy Asian Meatballs

Visit Chandra at The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen for the recipe for the Spicy Asian BBQ Meatballs

Meatball 4: Swedish Meatballs

I have to admit, growing up near Bishop Hill, Illinois, a small Swedish colony turned amazing tourist day trip, I’ve eaten my fair share of Swedish Meatballs…and I LOVE THEM. SO. MUCH. Sue over at A Palatable Pastime whipped up some from-scratch Swedish Meatballs, and they look absolutely amazing. This is one recipe I think I’m going to have to make.

Swedish Meatballs

Visit Sue at A Palatable Pastime for her amazing take on Swedish Meatballs

Meatball 5: Thai Style Pork Meatballs

Well, these meatballs look simply delicious. Combining Thai flavors into pork meatballs is Regina from Leelalicious.

Thai Style Pork Meatballs

Visit Regina for her recipe for Thai Style Pork Meatballs.

Meatball 6: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Blue Cheese Dressing

Ha, a twist! You thought I was going to bring you just balls of beef and balls of pork, but you were wrong!! I’m sneaking in a chicken meatball, buffalo-style. I love buffalo anything, so these are just super exciting!

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Visit Jo at Jo Cooks for the full recipe for Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

To pin all of these fabulous meatball recipes for the future, use this image:

Meatballs 6 Ways

 

 

 

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