GIARDINIERA, SWEET AND HOT

GIARDINIERA, Sweet and Spicy

CHEW WANNA EAT?
GIARDINIERA, SWEET AND HOT

If you love a sweet and spicy Giardiniera mix, this is the recipe for you! Bob and I used to buy this all the time because we believed it was a healthy snack. Then we noticed the sky-high sodium and discontinued snacking on it. Since I’ve been on a fresh veggie kick recently, I had a craving for Giardiniera. I came up with what Bob and I believe to be an outstanding and less salty version. Best of all, if you want it hotter, you can easily add more hot. If you want it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

     Please know that there was a lot more cauliflower and carrots immediately after making the Giardiniera. Someone, (namely Bob) kept picking them out and eating them. (OK, I had a few, but it was mostly Bob).

INGREDIENTS:

5 cups raw vegetables, peeled and sliced
1 TBSP garlic, sliced or minced
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
¼ – 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper or 10 peppercorns
4 tsp dried dill weed or 3 sprigs fresh dill
1 ½ tsp chili oil (add 2 tsp for hotter mix)

PREPARATION:

Place all vegetables except onion and cucumber in a 4 qt saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring covered pot to a boil. Boil one minute only because you want the veggies crisp tender. Drain in colander. (Keep in mind that the veggies will be cooking as the water comes to a boil. Also, they’ll continue cooking after you drain them unless you plunge in iced water. Whether you plunge in iced water is entirely up to you. It depends on the degree of tenderness you want. You could also rinse with very cold water to help stop the cooking process.)

In small bowl, whisk garlic, white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, dill weed and chili oil. Set aside.

Add cooked veggies, corn, and cucumber to a large bowl and pour marinating liquid over them. Stir to combine. Pour into sterilized jars making sure to push veggies down until they are covered by liquid. (If necessary, add enough vinegar and water in a 50/50 mix to fill jars completely. Cover, and refrigerate for a couple of days for best flavor.

VEGETABLES: carrots, bell peppers, mini sweet peppers, asparagus, sliced red onion, scallions, 1 ear corn cut off cob, cauliflower florets, celery, cucumber

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Giardiniera, Sweet and Spicy (2)

Giardiniera, Sweet and Spicy

GIARDINIERA, Sweet and Spicy

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SHRIMP NACHOS

Shrimp Nacho Platter (3)

CHEW WANNA EAT? Delicious shrimp nachos?  Ohhhhhhhh, I’ll bet you do!  They are out of this worth addictive.  And nothing is more simple to make.  Ideal for hot summer evenings, get-togethers with friends or family, and they’re even fast enough to make for a snack.

INGREDIENTS:    2 – 3 Servings

12 – 16 oz raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined

 

1 TBSP garlic, minced

½ tsp chipotle chili powder

1 TBSP fresh lime juice

¼ tsp cumin

½ can black beans, drained

1 cup corn

 

PREPARATION:

Drizzle a little olive oil in hot 10” skillet.  Over low/medium heat, sauté Shrimp, onion, garlic.  Sprinkle chipotle chili powder, lime juice, and cumin while stirring. When shrimp is pink, add beans and corn.  Stir and heat through.

THAT’S IT!  REALLY!

Serve over chips of your choice.

Offer grated cheese (I serve Monterey Jack and Colby), diced tomato, sliced black olives, sliced scallions, shredded lettuce, sliced jalapenos, avocado, sour cream, and salsa.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Shrimp Nacho PlatterShrimp Nacho Platter (3)Shrimp Nacho Platter (2)

 

 

 

HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER

Peanut Butter

     Economical and purely healthy – that’s my favorite.  This peanut butter is a cinch to make, and very delicious.  What better rainy day project for you and the kids than making homemade peanut butter.  It’s great for your dogs, also.  There is no Xylitol in it.  Natural peanut butter without all the additives is very expensive.  This?  Not so much.  Not even close.

Serve it with crackers, sliced apples, bread, toast, English muffins, stir a little in your oatmeal, cook with it.  Gee, the possibilities are endless.

INGREDIENTS:  Makes about 1 ½ cups peanut butter.

2 cups dry roasted peanuts

2 dashes salt

Drizzle of honey (a few teaspoons)

Blend until desired consistency is reached.  You can make it as smooth or crunchy style as you’d like.  Depending on your blender, it can take anywhere from 3 – 5 minutes.  Store uneaten portion in refrigerator.  If you see oil on the top?  That’s what natural peanut butter does.  Stir it and it will be fine.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Peanut Butter (3)Peanut Butter (2)

Peanut Butter (2)

BRAN MUFFINS, TIKA’S BEST

Tika's Best Bran Muffins (3)

     I’ve been making these muffins for Bob for years.  They are quick, easy, and healthy.  The best thing about them is they are not the dry, flavorless muffins that you’ll often find.  What are my secret ingredients?  Banana and Molasses!  They add moistness, an additional flavor level, and more nutrients.  The muffins freeze beautifully.  Make a double batch and freeze individually with plastic wrap.  When you want one, Grab it out of the freezer.  By the time you’re dressed or arrived at work, it will be ready to eat.  Or give it a quick zap in the microwave. YIELD:  12 good sized muffins.

 

INGREDIENTS:

½ of a large over-ripe banana

2 ¾ cups bran cereal

1 ¼ cups milk

½ cup sugar

2-3 TBSP molasses

1 large egg

¼ cup Canola or vegetable oil

½ tsp salt

1 TBSP baking powder

1 ¼ cup AP flour

Oatmeal for muffin tops

Optional:  Chopped dates, raisins, finely chopped apple

 

PREPARATION:

In large mixer bowl, mash banana with beater on low speed.  Add cereal, milk, sugar, and molasses.  Let stand for 2 minutes to soften cereal. Add egg and oil, mixing well.

Add sugar, salt and baking powder and mix until combined.  Add flour and mix on low speed, only until everything is combined.  Pour into greased muffin tins, shake oatmeal on top and lightly press into batter.

BAKE 400°F  16-20 min. (depending on size)  Use the toothpick test.

NOTE:  Remember to always store your dates in your freezer so you always have them on hand.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Tika's Best Bran Muffins (2)

Tika's best bran muffinsTika's Best Bran Muffins (4)

CANDIED PECANS

Candied Pecans

Delightfully sweet and crunchy, these wonderful and super easy pecans feature cinnamon,  brown sugar, and a touch of salt.  They take no time at all to make, and everyone loves them.  Put them in cute little jars and top them with a piece of gingham.  Wrap with a ribbon and you have an instant gift! Or just eat them yourself. 

     For great information on the values of eating nuts, please read this article:  http://www.hudsonpecan.com/15-amazing-benefits-pecans-skin-hair-health/

YIELD: About 6 cups

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup light brown sugar

4 ½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

6 cups (about 1 ½ lbs) pecan halves, unsalted

1 egg white

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp water

 

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, add sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white, vanilla, and water together until frothy. Add the pecans and gently toss until the pecans are well coated. Add the sugar and cinnamon mixture and toss until pecans are covered.
  4. Spread the pecans out in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The sugar mixture will harden on the pecans.
  5. Remove from the oven and let the pecans cool on the baking sheet. When completely cool, store in an airtight container.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015

Candied Pecans (2)

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

    There’s just something soothing and homey about homemade peanut butter cookies.  Is it because your grandmother and mother used to make them?  Is it just because they’re so darn good?  I’m not sure, but whatever the reason – we love ‘em! 

     This simple recipe uses one bowl, one measuring cup and a spatula.  It’s simple enough for your beginner baker to try his or her hand.

INGREDIENTS: Yield 25 cookies

3/4 cup – honey*

1/4 cup – butter or margarine, softened

1 – egg

3/4 cup – peanut butter

1 teaspoon – vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon – salt

1/2 teaspoon – baking soda

1-1/2 cups AP unbleached flour

¾ cup chocolate chips

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, cream honey and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Add flour, mixing until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough, one heaping tablespoon at a time, onto well-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. Remove cookies from sheet and cool on wire rack.

Please remember not to feed honey to children under one- year-old.  Read more:   http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/botulism.html

*I used local raw honey

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015

PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES, By Tika

PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES

There is nothing worse than going to the trouble of making cookies and have them turn out flat and sad looking.  Not a problem with my recipe!

I have been baking these delicious cookies since my kids were little.  They are now 38 and 34 with little ones of their own.  I always put semi-sweet chocolate chips in them, but that is entirely up to you.  I also like chocolate chips and caramel bits together.  Again, your choice.

When you hear the bus pulling away and, “Mom, I’m home!”, start pouring the milk.

YIELD:  Makes 35 plump cookies.

1 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar (scant*)

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup peanut butter

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup Quick Cook Oats

2 cups flour

Beat shortening and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and peanut butter, beat well.  Add baking soda, and salt, beat.

Add oatmeal, mix, add flour, and mix to incorporate.  Use a large cookie scoop to place on ungreased cookie sheet.  I hate a burned bottom, so rather than take any chances I now use a silicone sheet.

BAKE at 350* for 13 – 15 minutes (Bake less time if you want a chewier cookie.  I like mine a bit crisp, so I do the full baking time).

*(Don’t pack the brown sugar too tightly or overfill the measuring cup.  They’re a bit too sweet if you do.)

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS:

Chopped walnuts or peanuts

¾ – 1 cup chocolate chips

Heath Bits

Caramel bits (I usually lay them on top of the cookie just before putting in the oven.  If you don’t, whatever is touching the sheet will melt and be not so pretty.)

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PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES_crop_crop

PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES