Three-Cheese Ham & Pepperoni Rolls

Whenever I have something casual to cook for- like a picnic or one of Ben’s game nights- I have all these spectacular ideas for new recipes to try. Bruschetta with crudites, pimiento-stuffed olives, bacon-wrapped dates… you name it. There are so many good ones out there to try! But I always run out of time, and I always come back to some of the same ones. For example, any version of pinwheels work like a charm, and I think I tend towards things that I can make in bulk and then cut into smaller pieces for bite-sized snacks.

Pepperoni rolls are another example. And they are ALWAYS gobbled up in a flash! I can’t remember the last time we had these hanging around our house for more than a day.

Three-Cheese Ham & Pepperoni Rolls
Three-Cheese Ham & Pepperoni Rolls

These are so incredibly simple. Just roll out the dough, layer the ingredients and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown. This time I used french bread dough with cream cheese, ham and pepperoni. But you can also experiment with the spreads and spices- I’ve done crescent rolls in the past (though it’s a little flakier), as well as pimiento and hummus with greek seasoning. These can’t really go wrong.

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Three-Cheese Pepperoni Rolls
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
These are my go-to “guy pleaser” snacks when I need something simple and quick! They are always gobbled right up!
Ingredients
  • 2 rolls refrigerator French Bread dough (e.g. Pillsbury)
  • 1 container spreadable cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning (I used Penzey’s Creamy Peppercorn Dressing
  • baby spinach
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • sliced pepperoni
  • sliced ham
  • blue cheese crumbles or cheddar slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Roll out dough onto a nonstick surface into two long rectangles. Use fingers to spread outwards if needed.
  3. Spread cream cheese, sprinkle seasoning, and layer remaining ingredients (in order listed) on dough. Roll the dough tightly, starting from one of the long sides. Pinch together edges with fingers.
  4. Bake at 350 for 18-20 min, or until golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool before slicing.
Layer cream cheese, seasonings and olives on dough.
Layer cream cheese, seasonings and olives on dough.
Add spinach and pepperoni on top.
Add spinach and pepperoni on top.
Top with remaining ingredients.
Top with remaining ingredients.

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Into ze oven!
Into ze oven!
Cool before slicing.
Cool before slicing.
Slice, serve and arrange!
Slice, serve and arrange!

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

This Memorial Day, why not skip the usual mayo-drenched potato salad and deviled eggs, and try a fun new sandwich spin? These pinwheels are a variation of my classic picnicking rollups and are sure to impress even the pickiest of your friends!

Who doesn’t love the combination of cream cheese and lox? I added a few sprigs of dill and red onion for some spice, and topped with some savory capers and feta cheese. You can also add some chopped avocado to make these a bit creamier. Arrange on a platter with some romaine hearts for decoration.

*Note: I also made some pinwheels with a lentil spread, corn and turkey. Comment or contact me if you would like the recipe!

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels
Smoked Salmon Pinwheels
Smoked Salmon Pinwheels
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean, American
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 40-50
This Memorial Day, why not skip the usual mayo-drenched potato salad and deviled eggs, and try a fun new sandwich spin? These pinwheels are a variation of my classic picnicking rollups and are sure to impress even the pickiest of your friends!
Ingredients
  • 8 10″ spinach or wheat tortillas
  • 1 container cream cheese spread (I used a greek yogurt/cream cheese mix)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • baby spinach
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 package smoked salmon, shredded into thin slices (more or less to taste- I think I used a 10 oz. package)
  • cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Gather all ingredients into individual “stations.”
  2. To assemble: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese spread onto each tortilla, leaving a 1/2″ border. Top with chopped dill, red onion, feta, spinach, avocado, capers, and salmon.
  3. Finish by topping with fresh cracked black pepper.
  4. Tightly roll each tortilla, starting from the edges and carefully working your way towards the other side.
  5. Store in an airtight container (or covered with plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  6. Slice into thin pinwheels and arrange on platter. You can also fasten with toothpicks if desired.
Gather Ingredients.
Gather Ingredients.

 

Begin layering.
Begin layering.
Finish layering with salmon, capers, and feta.
Finish layering with salmon, capers, and feta.
Slice, arrange and present!
Slice, arrange and present!
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Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all who have so faithfully served our beautiful country!

Crispy Chickpeas

Looking for a quick snack? This is an easy way to satisfy your salty craving when 4 o’clock rolls around, and it’s a healthy snack loaded with protein and fiber to tide you through ’till dinner! I also enjoy topping my salads with these! You can experiment with any seasonings you like- I chose a sprinkle of cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes- but you can also make them sweet with a drizzle of maple syrup and some cinnamon! Dry them and then pop ’em in the oven at 400 deg for 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!

CRISPY CHICKPEAS
CRISPY CHICKPEAS
Crispy Chickpeas
Recipe Type: Snack
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Looking for a quick snack? This is an easy way to satisfy your salty craving when 4 o’clock rolls around, and it’s a healthy snack loaded with protein and fiber to tide you through ’till dinner! I also enjoy topping my salads with these! You can experiment with any seasonings you like- I chose a sprinkle of cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes- but you can also make them sweet with a drizzle of maple syrup and some cinnamon! Dry them and then pop ’em in the oven at 400 deg for 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sprinkling of cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg.
  2. Spread chickpeas on a couple of paper towels and pat dry.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle spices on top.
  4. Cook for 40-50 minutes until crispy.
  5. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

Guinness Cheddar Dip

Happy St. Patrick’s Day week! My dear friend Sarah had a few of us over this afternoon for a little early St. Patty’s feast. While researching something tasty to bring, I stumbled upon this recipe from The Parsley Thief and couldn’t resist! While I’m not a huge Guinness beer fan in general, I love the tang of the draught when combined with some sharp cheddar and cream cheese. Serve with you favorite crudités like sliced veggies or some hearty crackers! (I considered spreading it on Irish Soda Bread, but I’m not sure how well that would work…)

Anyhoo, wherever you are, have a very merry St. Patrick’s Day! May you discover many rainbows with pots of gold at the end!

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GUINNESS CHEDDAR DIP
Guinness Cheddar Dip
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Irish
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Happy St. Patty’s Day! Here’s a fun spin on the usual cheddar and cream cheese dip, using Guinness draft beer for a little extra tang. Hope you enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used Kroger’s Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese which is lower in calories and half the fat!)
  • 2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup Guinness beer
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced parsley
  • 4 green onions, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • crudités: sliced radishes, carrots, pretzels and crackers
Instructions
  1. Combine cheeses, mustard, milk, and salt in a food processor and pulse until blended.
  2. Add beer and hot sauce and pulse a few more times until smooth.
  3. Stir in parsley and green onions.
  4. Chill for at least 1 hour and serve with crudités!

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GUINNESS CHEDDAR DIP
GUINNESS CHEDDAR DIP

Kissing Acorns

KISSING ACORNS
KISSING ACORNS

This weekend I helped throw a baby shower for one of my dearest friends, who is due on April Fools’ Day! 🙂 Her baby’s nursery is going to be a “woodland creatures” theme, so we decided that so should be the theme of the shower! There were pine cones and fir tree branches in every corner, woodland creatures snuggled together on the mantel, and cutouts of forest animals hanging from the chandelier. We placed all the food on tree trunk “slices” and placed cupcakes in butterfly and flower paper muffin cups. What a fun time we had planning!

One of my favorite parts of prepping for this party was browsing Pinterest for others’ ideas about what makes a good “woodland creatures” party. Who knew that there were so many ideas out there based around this theme? Forest birthday parties, woodland showers, fairy-themed extravaganzas… the list goes on and on! I found a ton of ideas for food, games, and gifts and used a few of them! Pinterest is a wonderful thing sometimes.

One of the recipes I found that I am absolutely in LOVE with was for these little candy acorns. How perfect! They have only four ingredients and are easy to assemble if you have a little bit of time! I got them all done on a snow day last week, and though they were a bit high maintenance to put together, SO worth it.

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Basically, you just take mini Nutter Butter cookies and use a bit of chocolate frosting (which I was already planning on using for the cupcakes!) to stick a Hershey’s kiss on one end, then use a tiny bit more frosting for a chocolate chip on the other side. It’d be easiest if you have one of those little cookie decorating frosting tubes with a smaller opening… unfortunately I just had to use a knife, so it got a bit messy!

Stick them in the freezer to set for at least an hour, or for a few days until you’re ready to serve them!

Kissing Acorns
Recipe Type: Dessert, Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Finger Foods
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 30
One of my new favorites! If you have the time to assemble them, they will be a HUGE hit at your next “forest-y” party (or just for fun!).
Ingredients
  • 1 bag Hershey’s kisses, unwrapped
  • 1 bag mini Nutter Butter cookies
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Chocolate frosting, for assembling (ideally in a small tube)
Instructions
  1. Spread a bit of frosting (you don’t need much) on base of Hershey’s kiss and stick on one side of the Nutter Butter. Add a bit more frosting onto the base of the chocolate chip and stick it on the other side!
  2. Freeze at least 1 hour and as long as a month, until you’re ready to serve!

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Homemade Honey Almond Pistachio Butter

Happy Snow Day! Again! Geez Louise, NC doesn’t know what to do with itself with all this snow! Just when the snow from Tuesday had melted away, we were hit with another good 6 inches of wet snow. Read: enough to close down the entire state for like, a week, and to cancel school for the eight day in the past two weeks.

With the extra time this morning, I decided to do a little recipe development. Honey Almond Pistachio Butter! I love the combo of almonds and pistachios, and I’ve been on a big almond butter kick lately. I like how it’s not too sweet (I’ve been buying the little packages of Justin’s Classic Almond Butter and adding it to oatmeal, plain yogurt, and cereal) but still nutty and creamy. I’ve also been meaning to make my own nut butter for months now. I keep hearing how easy it is, so why keep spending money on something I can make just as well at home? Plus, when you make it yourself you can really get creative and add lots of fun different types of spices and add-ins.

Here we go!

Homemade Honey Almond Pistachio Butter
Homemade Honey Almond Pistachio Butter
Honey Almond Pistachio Butter
Recipe Type: Nut Butter
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
Making your own nut butter could NOT be easier! Feel free to experiment with your own add-ins and other types of nuts!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup roasted pistachios, shelled
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (coconut would work too!)
  • 2 tbsp milk or water
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spread almonds and pistachios in an even layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 8 minutes, sifting halfway through. Nuts will be fragrant!
  2. Pour nuts into a food processor with blade attachment. Process on low for 2 minutes until the nuts form a gritty mixture.
  3. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and continue processing 8 more minutes, scraping down the sides every 2 minutes.
  4. Add honey, oil (optional), milk/water, and a dash each of cinnamon and salt. You can also experiment here with other add-ins!
  5. Process on low until smooth. It will take at least 5 minutes for the nuts to release their oils and become creamy!
  6. Store in mason jars in the refrigerator for up to a month.
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After two minutes of processing on low, your nuts will look like this- a fine crumb mixture!
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Keep on processing… the nut butter might form a big pasty ball! This is how you know it’s time to add in your liquids and spices.
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After a little bit more patience, your butter will start to look like this. Make sure to keep scraping down the sides!
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Store in mason jars in the fridge for up to a month!