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Appetizers and Snacks

Date and Bacon Tarts with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts + Savory Fig, Rosemary and Parmesan Cornmeal Cookies

December 22, 2016

These sweet and savory holiday party snacks pair well with the 2013 Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon I received from Cultivar Wine

Holiday Appetizer Recipes | Date and Bacon Tarts with Mascarpone and Hazelnuts + Savory Fig, Rosemary and Parmesan Cornmeal Cookies | Fake Food Free #freeproductreview

Tis the season for snacks and appetizers. At least that is what I’ve been telling myself as I’ve snacked my way through breakfast, lunch, and dinner the past week. I try to rotate a carrot or celery stick in every now and then, but who am I kidding. 

At this point, it’s best to cast dietary caution to the wind and enjoy some holiday food. And drink a little wine. 

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Balsamic Pearl Onions

September 10, 2016
Balsamic Pearl Onions Recipe | Delicious as a snack and perfect as a cocktail garnish | Fake Food Free

I was browsing the Whole Foods salad bar the other day when I came across balsamic marinated Cipollini onions. Balsamic and onions are two of my favorite things so I dropped one in my to-go box. One bite and I wish I had taken 3 (or 10) more. 

These onions are not new, and neither is the idea to glaze them in a balsamic-based sauce, but this was most certainly a new thing to me. Sweet and tangy, I just can’t get enough of them.

Given that I could snack on these all day, I decided to try my own version with pearl onions. 

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15 Picnic Recipes to Celebrate the End of Summer

August 24, 2016
15 Picnic Recipes to Celebrate the End of Summer | Fake Food Free

The end of August is rolling around. Even though schools have started and I’ve been thinking a lot about pumpkins, there is still that one big celebration that closes us out of summer and sends us into the next season. 

For all of those Labor Day cookouts and picnics coming up, I decided to go through some of the recipes here on Fake Food Free and pull out a few that are perfect to take or make for your next cookout. Some are from way back when and others debuted just this summer.

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Grilled Baba Ganoush with Basil Garlic Olive Oil

July 26, 2016
Grilled Baba Ganoush with Basil Garlic Olive Oil Recipe | Fake Food Free

My goodness they were monsters! 

I’m not sure if I’ve been growing and buying Japanese-style eggplants for too long, or if things have changed, but the American variety of eggplants at the supermarket last week were absolutely huge.

They were eye-catching, though. So much so that I took one look and decided it was high time I made baba ganoush again. 

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Smoky Chipotle Shrimp Dip with Shrimp Cucumber Salad

June 28, 2016

This shrimp dip layers flavors and textures to create a delicious and easy to make summer appetizer. It pairs well with the 2015 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose that I received from Cultivar Wine!

Smoky Chipotle Shrimp Dip with Shrimp Cucumber Salad Recipe | Paired with Cultivar 2015 Napa Valley Rose | Fake Food Free #cultivarwinebloggers #partner

Shrimp is a summer food to me. I rarely have it in the kitchen until hot days begin to bring about thoughts of the beach and ocean.

My shrimp recipes are pretty standard — tossed with pasta, stirred into sweet corn risotto or wrapped into Asian-inspired spring rolls. When I found a bag of sustainably harvested small shrimp (often called salad shrimp) at the market last week, though, I was too excited to use it in one of my regular recipes. 

I’d been having trouble finding shrimp from a good source so when that find lined up with my shrimp season, I needed to celebrate a little. 

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Spiced Bourbon Soaked Cranberries

December 22, 2015

   Spiced Bourbon Soaked Cranberries Recipe | Fake Food Free | Delicious for garnishing cocktails or even for topping your pancakes!

Quick. If you make these cranberries right now they will be ready for your New Year’s Eve cocktails. And trust me. You are going to want them for your cocktails. 

These tart little berries are sweetened with a syrup made of raw sugar, rich bourbon and aromatic whole spices. They take only minutes to prepare and they make a good destination for the half bag of cranberries left in the fridge that you can’t find a use for.

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Skillet Mushrooms in Rosemary Gravy and Smoked Ham and Olive Spread

November 18, 2015

These savory snacks make a great start to holiday meals. Their rich, earthy flavors are an ideal match for the Cabernet Franc I received from Cultivar Wine.

Skillet Mushrooms in Rosemary Gravy and Smoked Ham and Olive Spread | Holiday Snacks and Appetizers | Cultivar Wine Pairing on Fake Food Free #partner  
The idea of snacks for Thanksgiving day seems a little absurd. It’s not like we really need to include more food in the celebration. And having snacks around certainly isn’t because we need to satisfy hunger. If you are like me, hungry won’t even be a part of your vocabulary for at least 36 hours. 

Yet there is something about little bites to kick off the celebration that feels like a necessity. All that cooking makes you want to eat. Why not take things over the top? It is Thanksgiving after all.

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Quick Pickled Long Beans with Lemongrass

July 29, 2015

  Quick Pickled Long Beans with Lemongrass | Fake Food Free

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve gotten away from canning. I used to be all about the jams and relishes.

Until I wasn’t.

And by that I mean until I had the pantry stocked with too many condiments than two people (and the occasional friend or family member) could possibly eat. 

So I’ve scaled back a bit. Only small batches, and as it turns out, a lot of quick pickling. I actually prefer quickly pickling. Yes, you have to eat the veggies within a few days, but you can make much smaller amounts and things stay crisp. Something I used to struggle with when water bath canning. 

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Chocolate Cherry Goji Bars from Superfood Snacks

July 17, 2015

Chocolate Cherry Goji Bars from Superfood Snacks by Julie Morris | Fake Food Free

There is a good chance that just opening this book will make you healthier. I know it’s a pretty bold claim, but I’m certain it’s true. 

I received a review copy of Superfood Snacks: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-Dense Recipes by Julie Morris a few weeks ago and it has been sitting on my desk glowing with health and vibrance ever since. I gladly accepted the offer from Navitas Naturals to review the book. They even sent along some goji berries and cacao nibs so I could make this recipe. But I wasn’t sure what to expect until I finally go the copy. 

It turns out, I’m kind of crazy about it. 

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Almond Coconut Spread

June 3, 2015

Almond Coconut Spread | Fake Food Free | An almond butter spread with coconut oil. A great way to use leftover almond meal from making almond milk!Before you read on, you should know that I had no intention of posting this on the blog. It all began while experimenting with ways to use the nut meal that was leftover from making almond milk. 

While I was sprinkling it over salads and stirring it into yogurt, I thought, it must have enough life left in it to blend into something spreadable. 

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