Category Archives: Appetizers

Homemade Stovetop Popcorn

Mmm. The perfect snack. Leave the yucky microwaved stuff behind. With coconut oil, this is the BEST! New movie night tradition.

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Making your own stovetop popcorn is easy. Not only, that it’s super tasty and this recipe is the bomb. My kids (and husband) love movie nights that involve a giant bowl of this stuff.. CCoconut oil is the secret ingredient, skip the canola or vegetable oil and go straight to the good stuff. I buy my   coconut oil in 54 ounce tubs, but if you will only be using it for popcorn it’s still worth buying a small container! (Check out Amazon and Vitacost for a good selection. If you sign up using my Vitacost referral link, you’ll get $10 off.)

You might wonder, why not just pull out the microwave stuff. It’s a staple in so many homes. Easy and good movie night snack, right? Hold that thought. The synthetic butter flavoring is diacytel and may cause lung problems and most of the bags are lined with perfluorooctanoic acid, a carcinogen.

Don’t worry! There’s another option. Homemade is the way to go.

If you are looking to simplify homemade popcorn even more, check out a   Whirley-Pop Popper. This is the gadget we normally use, and it’s even easier. Today, though, I put my kernels in a good old pot and shook it around the old fashioned way to show you it can be done. :-) The bonus of using a heavy bottomed pot is that you get a little extra arm workout.

I’d say, if popcorn is something you just make once a month or a couple times a year, go with the pot method. If you make it weekly (or more – I’m telling you, it’s that good and easy. I love a snack I can give my kids in minutes.), investing in a  Whirley-Pop Popper is something you might want to do – and it’s not even that expensive.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Stovetop Popcorn
Serves: 9 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Put 2 tablespoons in the bottom of a pot with a lid and add 3 popcorn kernels. Put the lid on and turn heat to medium (if you are using a thick bottom pot, turn it up a touch more.)
  2. Let pan sit on stove until the 3 kernels pop. Remove lid and add ½ cup of kernels. Replace lid. In the beginning shake pan every 20 or so seconds. As the corn begins popping, shake every 10 seconds.
  3. When the popping has stopped, pour popcorn into a bowl.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. drizzle half of if over the popcorn and sprinkle with a little salt. Toss. Drizzle with the remaining butter. Toss. Add more butter and salt to taste.

Mmm. The perfect snack. Leave the yucky microwaved stuff behind. With coconut oil, this is the BEST! New movie night tradition.

Linking up to these fun parties!

 

Homemade Salsa

We love Mexican food. The one thing that makes an appearance most often is salsa. It goes perfectly with anything – quesadillas, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salad, tostadas and on and on. Sometimes we even feast on just chips and salsa for dinner.

I can’t remember the last time we’ve purchased salsa from the store. Once you see how simple it can be to make and how superior the taste is to those bottles on the store shelf, I don’t think you’ll go back either! I made this for a cookout a few weeks ago and I had numerous comments on how good the salsa was. Several people even asked for the recipe.

You can have this homemade salsa done in under 5 minutes though I prefer making it ahead of time (even the day before) and letting the flavors develop as it chills in the refrigerator.

I’ve frozen extra salsa before, and even though it doesn’t taste as good as freshly made (and is a little more watery) it still hits the spot. If you are going to be adding it to a recipe and cooking it anyway, I don’t think you’d notice a difference at all.

Homemade Salsa you can have done in under 5 minutes! This rivals what you'd get at any restaurant. We LOVE it!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Salsa
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • ¼ onion (I've used red, white, and yellow)
  • Cilantro (I love cilantro, so I use lots but adjust to taste)
  • Juice from ½-1 lemon (a couple Tablespoons)
  • ½-1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ -1 teaspoon cumin
  • Red Pepper Flakes
Instructions
  1. Pour the diced tomatoes into a blender or food processor. Add the de-seeded jalapeno, garlic, onion, cilantro, ½ teaspoons salt and cumin. Squeeze in the juice from half of the lemon.
  2. Pulse the blender until everything is in small pieces. Taste and adjust salt, cumin, and lemon juice. If you want it spicier, add a few red pepper flakes.
  3. Refrigerate until serving.

 

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Italian Layer Dip

Basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. All things I love and this dip puts them over the top. No pasta or heating of the oven necessary. This appetizer is refreshing, creamy, and light. Served on top of bagel chips (or thinly slices baguettes toasted in the oven) and you have the perfect combination. Serve it with a nice salad and you’d have an ideal meal for a girls’ night.

This would also make a great addition to your Valentine’s dinner.

I’m a little sad this is the last Friday in January. Coming up with fun dips all month has been a blast and very tasty. If you’ve missed any of the dips when an international flair, you can find them here.

In case you are wondering what to do with the rest of the container of ricotta, next Friday I’ll have a recipe to share with you that will solve that problem.

Italian Layer Dip. Yum! A creamy ricotta and cream cheese base topped with tomato, basil, olive oil, and balsamic. Refreshing and flavorful.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Italian Layer Dip
 
Ingredients
Base
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese (full fat is thicker and holds up better)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • ⅛ t. salt
  • 2 T. fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 T. grated Parmesan
Topping
  • 3 roma tomatoes (1 cup) deseeded and diced
  • 2 T. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 T. chiffonade basil
  • ⅛ t. garlic paste
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • Additional basil for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan
Instructions
Base
  1. Combine the cheeses until smooth.
  2. Stir in salt, parsley, and parmesan.
  3. Spread on the bottom of a plate or pie pan.
Topping
  1. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Let sit for an hour.
  3. Using a slotted spoon to let as much of the liquid off as possible put on top of the cheese layer.
  4. Garnish with additional basil and freshly grated parmesan.
  5. Refrigerate until serving.
Notes
Serve with bagel chips or thinly slices baguettes that you toast in the oven.

Linking up to Motivation Monday, Recipe Sharing MondayMindful Mommy Monday, Pin It MondayHappiness is Homemade, Natural Living MondayGood Tips TuesdayTGIMLiving Proverbs 31Mama Moments MondayBabies and Beyond, Tending the Home Tuesday, Share Your Stuff TuesdayTitus 2 Tuesday, Do Tell Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, A Wise Woman, WFMW, Welcome Home Wednesday, Homemaking Link-Up, Lovely Ladies, Wednesday Link Party, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Show and Share WednesdayMixing Bowl Party,  All Things ThursdayFabulously Frugal Thursday, Simple Lives ThursdayProverbs 31 Thursday, Thriving ThursdayHouse to HomePin It ThursdayThrifty ThursdayFoodie Friends FridayThe Weekend ReTreatHearts for HomeFamily Fun FridayLet’s Get Real,  Frugal Homeschool FridayFollow Our ThriftFellowship FridaysStrut Your StuffLink Party PaloozaWeekend Wind Down, Show Stopper Link PartyTitus 2sdayOld Fashioned Recipe Exchange

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Indian Layer Dip

Okay. Let me be honest. I love this dip. It has Indian flavors or cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala that will make it stand out from the crowd and have people asking what’s in it but not over power their taste buds. This is great with pita chips or naan. Another great option for eating this would be to spread the chickpea base into a wrap and load it up with the toppings and spinach (even chicken if you’d like) and eat it as a sandwich. Don’t forget to find all the recipes for layer dips with an international flair here. Fabulous Indian Layer Dip. I couldn't stop eating this. Take a hummus base and give it an Indian twist and you have perfection.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Indian Layer Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cans chickpeas (or 3 cups cooked)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 T. oil
  • ¼ t. ground ginger
  • ½ t. cumin
  • ½ t. ground coriander
  • ½ t. turmeric
  • ½ t. garam masala
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • salt - amount depending on salted or unsalted beans
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 T. chopped tomatoes
  • 1 T. chopped red onion
  • 2 T. diced cucumbers
  • cilantro or mint
Instructions
  1. Puree chickpeas, water, garlic ,and oil until smooth.
  2. Add ginger, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala, salt, and lemon juice.
  3. Spread chickpea mixture in a pie pan or dinner plate.
  4. Spread with a thin layer of yogurt.
  5. Top with tomatoes, onion, cucumber and cilantro or mint.
  6. Serve with naan or pita chips

Follow along on Facebook and Pinterest and subscribe via e-mail so you don’t miss out on the other layer dips coming the next two Fridays. Linking up to Mindful Mommy Monday, Happiness is Homemade, Recipe Sharing Monday, Motivation Monday, Pin It Monday Hop, Mama Moments Monday, TGIM, Natural Living Monday, Good Tips Tuesday, Babies and Beyond, Titus 2 Tuesday, Share Your Stuff Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday, Tending the Home, WFMW, Welcome Home Wednesday, Lovely Ladies Linky, Homemaking Link Up, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, All Things Thursday, The Pin It Party, Pin It Thursday, Thriving Thursday, House to Home, Mommy Brain Mixer, Let’s Get Real, Thrifty ThursdayFamily Fun Friday, The Weekend ReTreat,  Let’s Get RealShow Stopper Saturday, Strut Your Stuff, Weekend Wind Down, Link Party PaloozaDo Tell Tuesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Foodie Friends Friday
Pincentive Blog HopWellness Wednesday

Mediterranean Layer Dip

The second variation in our Friday focus in January of easy layer dips takes a Mediterranean spin. Hummus is one of my favorite snacks and this takes it up a notch with feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. One of the great things about dips is that they are easy to adapt to personal taste. Just leave off the ingredient you can’t stand (that would be olives for a few of my siblings).

While eating this, one of my sisters commented, “This stuff is addicting. I can’t stop eating it.”

Don’t forget to find all the recipes for layer dips with an international flair here.

Refreshing Mediterranean Layer Dip. Feta, olives, and hummus make the perfect combination. Great for parties served with pita chips.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Greek Layer Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces hummus (1¼ cups)
  • ¼ feta cheese
  • sliced olives
  • red onion, chopped
  • red bell pepper, chopped
  • cucumbers, chopped
Instructions
  1. Spread the hummus onto a small pie plate or decorative dinner plate.
  2. Top with feta cheese, olives, red onion, bell pepper, cucumbers.
  3. Serve with pita chips.

Follow along on Facebook and Pinterest and subscribe via e-mail so you don’t miss out on the other layer dips coming the next two Fridays.

Linking up to Mindful Mommy MondayLiving Proverbs 31, Recipe Sharing Monday, Mama Moments Monday, Natural Living Monday, TGIM, Happiness is Homemade, Good Tips Tuesday, Babies and Beyond, Share Your Stuff Tuesdays, Teach Me Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, WFMWWelcome Home Wednesday, Lovely Ladies Linky, Fabulously Frugal ThursdayAll Things Thursday, The Pin It Party, Pin It ThursdayThriving Thursday,  From House to HomeSimple Lives ThursdayThrifty ThursdayMommy Brain MixerLet’s Get RealThe Weekend reTreatStrut Your StuffLink Party PaloozaWeekend Wind Down Party, Show Stopper SaturdayFoodie Friends Friday, Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange

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Mexican Layer Dip

I love Mexican food. I also love easy recipes and ones that don’t require any cooking. This recipe is similar to 7 layer dip and makes a perfect party food. My siblings (okay, maybe me too) even enjoy having it for a simple supper.

The layer of sliced avocados is the perfect twist that most people haven’t experienced in a dip before. Make it ahead of time and store in the fridge and you have one less thing to worry about the day of your party.

Don’t forget to find all the recipes for layer dips with an international flair here.

Easy Mexican Layer Dip. Super yummy and simple put everyone loves it. My siblings eat it for supper.

Mexican Layer Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can refried beans (1½ cups homemade)
  • ½ t. taco seasoning
  • ¼-1/3 sour cream
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • diced tomato
  • diced red onion
  • sliced olives, optional
Instructions
  1. Mix beans and taco seasoning together. Adjust with salt and additional seasoning to taste.
  2. Spread in the bottom of a pie pan.
  3. Spread with a layer of sour cream.
  4. Cover with the sliced avocado.
  5. Top with cheese, tomato, red onion, and olives.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

Every Friday in January I’m going to be sharing a layered dip with flavors from around the world! Be sure to subscribe via e-mail, like us on Facebook, and follow on Pinterest so you don’t miss out.

Linking up to Mindful Mommy MondayRecipe Sharing Monday, Natural Living Monday, TGIM, Living Proverbs 31, Mama Moments MondayBabies and BeyondShare Your Stuff TuesdayTending the Home TuesdayTitus 2 TuesdayTeach Me TuesdayDo Tell TuesdayLovely Ladies LinkyWFMWHouse to HomePin It ThursdayThriving Thursday, Simple Lives ThursdayThrifty ThursdayAll Things Thursday,  Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Let’s Get RealThe Weekend reTreat, Strut Your Stuff, Link Party Palooza,  Pin It MondayGood Tips Tuesday, The Pin It Party, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Foodie Friends Friday

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5 Ideas for Layer Dips

Recipes for 5 different layer dips with flavors from around the world - Indian, Oriental, Mediterranean, Mexican and Italian. They are soo addicting. Great option for Super Bowl or other gatherings.

You are supposed to bring a dish or appetizer to share, but your week is packed so you need something quick and easy that you can make ahead of time. Or perhaps you are in the mood for a light snacky dinner. It might be that you don’t want to turn the oven on. 

Whatever the reason, layered dips that are excellent chilled or room temperature fit the bill perfectly. They are easy, fun, different, and flavorful.

The five Fridays in January we are going to take a trip around the globe and enjoy layered dips with Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, Oriental, and Italian twists.

As each post becomes live, I’ll link to it here. (First two pictures are now linked to their recipe!)

First up will be my favorite way to enjoy a Mexican Layer dip on January 3rd.

Recipes for 5 different layer dips with flavors from around the world - Indian, Oriental, Mediterranean, Mexican and Italian. They are soo addicting.

Recipes for 5 different layer dips with flavors from around the world - Indian, Oriental, Mediterranean, Mexican and Italian. They are soo addicting.

Recipes for 5 different layer dips with flavors from around the world - Indian, Oriental, Mediterranean, Mexican and Italian. They are soo addicting.

Recipes for 5 different layer dips with flavors from around the world - Indian, Oriental, Mediterranean, Mexican and Italian. They are soo addicting.

Recipes for 5 different layer dips with flavors from around the world - Indian, Oriental, Mediterranean, Mexican and Italian. They are soo addicting. Great option for Super Bowl or other gatherings.

Linking up to Faith Filled Friday, Let’s Get RealThe Weekend re-TreatPin It MondayLink Party PaloozaStrut Your Stuff