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Truly Organic Fig Jam

In Fruit and Jams, Fun Foods On August 31, 2020 0 Comments

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Prep time: 30 minutes
Makes: 3 to 4 cups
Storage: in three 2-cup Mason jars, refrigerated for up to 1 month

With luscious figs in season right now, if you’re blessed with a tree, make this “truly organic fig jam”. If you don’t have a tree, try to find extremely ripe figs at a farmers’ market.

Serve the fig jam on crusty Italian or French bread alongside walnuts and/or cheese. Yummo!

Ingredients:
3 pounds organic fresh figs, rinsed & drained
1-3/4 cups organic, unbleached, granulated sugar
1/2 cold water or a little more

Directions:
1. Cut figs in half and place them in a 4 to 6-quart saucepot.

2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar; stir until evenly combined.

3. On medium-high heat, bring the figs to a boil.

4. When figs are boiling, add 1/2 cup water and stir mixture so that sugar will not burn at bottom of saucepot.

5. Cook figs on low (simmering boil) for about 30 minutes.

6. Occasionally stir the fig jam as it reduces and thickens or it will burn at bottom of saucepot.

7. After 30 minutes, the jam will have thickened and turned brown.

8. Remove saucepot from heat and set aside on a cold burner, covered.

9. When fig jam has cooled, transfer it to three 2-cup mason jars. Cover and tightly seal jars; store in refrigerator.

Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Toasted Sesame Hummus

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods On July 28, 2020 0 Comments

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: 3 cups
Serves: 6 to 8 (leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week)

Tired of the same old hummus? This recipe is made with toasted sesame oil.

Watch everyone’s expression as they take their first bite!

Ingredients:

One 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons Tahini paste
3 tablespoons plain, Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Serrano chile, stem discarded
2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lime
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh sprigs of your favorite herbs (for garnish)

Directions:
1. Place garbanzo beans, Tahini paste, yogurt, garlic, chile, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and olive oil in a food processor.

2. Process the ingredients until they are uniform.

3. Add the lime juice and salt; process and taste.

4. If needed, adjust seasonings and add 1 more tablespoon sesame oil. Process once more.

5. Transfer the hummus to a bowl and garnish with herbs.

6. Serve hummus with corn tostadas, corn chips or your favorite crackers, toasted bread slices, etc.

Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Zucchini Chips

In Fun Foods, Vegetables On June 1, 2020 0 Comments

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These zucchini chips are fun to make and fun to snack on! Just slice them and air dry overnight. Broil them in oven and you’re done. They’ll disappear in seconds!

Prep time: 5 minutes for cutting & overnight drying
Broil time: 6 to 7 minutes per side
Makes: 30 to 40 chips

Ingredients:
One 18 X 12-inch baking sheet (you can use a larger one for more zucchini)
parchment paper (to line baking sheet)
3 to 4 zucchini
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt, for lightly sprinkling zucchini

Directions:
1. Line an 18 X 12-inch (or larger) baking sheet

2. On a cutting board, cut and discard zucchini tips.

3. Cut remaining zucchini into 1/4-inch thick slices.

4. Place the zucchini rings on parchment-lined baking sheet, lightly sprinkle with salt & let air dry 8 hours or overnight.

5. Line another 18 X 12-inch (or larger) baking sheet and “lightly” oil it with a basting brush.

6. Transfer the zucchini rings (salt side up) to second baking sheet.

7. Turn on the oven “broiler” – this is the overhead element that turns red for broiling or grilling in oven.

8. Transfer the baking sheet with zucchini rings to oven rack positioned 6 inches away from oven broiler element.

9. Broil zucchini rings 6 to 7 minutes per side or until they turn golden brown and crisp but not charred.

10. Transfer the zucchini chips to a platter and serve as a snack or as a side dish.

Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

Avocado Toasts

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods On May 2, 2018 0 Comments

Make these Avocado Toasts  anytime you feel like something fun. You can also surprise a Mom on Mother’s Day and include these in a delicious brunch!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 French baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices & toasted
1 large, ripe avocado
4 to 5 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 of a Jalapeño pepper, minced
salt, to taste
6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half, flesh discarded & skins cut into slivers

Directions:
1. Lay out the bread slices on a serving platter; set aside.

2. Cut avocados in half, discard pits & remove flesh from skins. Discard skins.

3. Place avocado in a medium bowl.

4. Using a potato masher, mash avocado until it is coarsely-mashed.

5. Stir in the grated cheese, minced Jalapeño and salt, to taste.

6. Using a spoon, gently add some avocado mixture to each toast on platter.

7. Garnish toasts with extra grated cheese and tomato slivers. Serve immediately.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

Valentine’s Day Tuna Tartare Rolls

In Appetizers / Starters, Fish & Shellfish, Fun Foods, Holidays On February 2, 2018 0 Comments

If you want to stay in on Valentine’s Day, make this tuna tartare appetizer. It’ll pair well with the bubbly. And – you’ll have fun in the kitchen!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes: 12 to 14 bite-size starters

Ingredients:
One 5 to 6-ounce sushi-grade tuna filet, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely-chopped chives or stems from green onions
1/2 teaspoon grated, fresh ginger
juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
dried, crushed red chili pepper, to taste
salt, to taste (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt)
4 Persian cucumbers, peeled and tips cut & discarded

Directions:
1. In a 4-cup mixing bowl, combine the chopped tuna filet, chives or green onions, ginger, lime juice, olive oil, chili pepper and salt.

2. Taste the tuna tartare and, if needed, adjust seasoning and olive oil levels.

3. Cover the tuna tartare and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife or mandolin, take one cucumber and make paper-thin slices lengthwise.

5. Repeat slicing remaining cucumber.

6. Working with one cucumber slice at a time, place scant 3/4 teaspoon tuna tartare at one end.

7. Gently and tightly roll up the cucumber slice; secure the tuna tartare roll with a toothpick.

8. Set each tuna tartare roll on a serving plate.

9. When all rolls have been assembled, serve them immediately.
Wine Pairing: Champagne, Prosecco or Sauvignon Blanc wine
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real