Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Tag: snacks (page 1 of 2)

Kabocha Squash Toasts

Are you looking for an appetizer that is as colorful as it is flavorful?  With roasted kabocha squash, ricotta cheese, and onions cooked in a maple syrup-apple cider vinegar reduction, these kabocha squash toasts are so tangy and so delicious! The maple syrup-cider vinegar reduction is what makes these toasts so special to me.  As the sautéed onions simmer in the sweet/sour mixture, they take on a soft, jammy texture and a smoky flavor that blends beautifully with the slightly nutty flavor of the kabocha squash.  Add that lusciousness to ricotta cheese, and you have a wonderful meeting of flavors and textures.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Slightly decadent, yet at the same time wholesome, this pumpkin chocolate chip bread is moist, sweet, and spiced with the iconic flavors of cinnamon and cloves.  A thick slice of it tastes delicious with a hot cup of coffee or tea, or a cold glass of milk.  It’s the perfect afternoon treat or after-school snack.  And this recipe makes two loaves, so you can either keep both loaves for yourself, or keep one and give one away and make someone’s day!

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Maple Herb Roasted Almonds

This recipe takes almonds to a whole new level, with all the sweet, salty, and spicy flavors blending beautifully.  The almonds are lightly roasted in a mixture of maple syrup and melted butter with a pinch of cayenne pepper, then mixed with fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme.  If you are looking for an inspiring appetizer or an appealing and healthy snack, these maple herb roasted almonds are the answer.  The herbs blend so wonderfully with the maple taste, and the pinch of cayenne adds the perfect amount of heat.

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Pumpkin Apple Bread

Pumpkin puree and finely chopped apple slices keep this bread naturally moist, while cinnamon and cloves give it that classic, comforting taste and aroma.  What better way to savor fall than to bake with apple and pumpkin?  And it is a bonus to have a bread that is sweet enough to be considered a treat, yet wholesome enough to be considered a hearty, healthy snack.  The recipe makes two loaves, so keep one loaf and give the other away, or keep both loaves!

pumpkin apple breadI adapted this recipe from one I found in my Hollyhocks & Radishes cookbook by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson. Since I did not have quite as much pumpkin puree as the recipe called for, I added some chopped apple slices to make up the difference, and the combination is delicious.  It is a very mild bread, and my husband, who is not a huge fan of a strong pumpkin flavor, prefers this adaptation.  My kids love it too, as do some of their friends (I often pack extra in their lunches so they can share).pumpkin apple breadThis past few days the weather has really turned, and it has been chilly and breezy outside.  It is dark earlier in the evenings, and dark when I take the kids to school in the mornings.  Suddenly the inside of the home becomes more appealing, and we spend more time inside.  We crave cozy things like baking bread, hot tea and blankets, soft lamps and candles.  I get to wear my favorite rain boots out and about, and tromp around in the woods taking pictures of the colorful leaves before they fall, and as they fall.

pumpkin apple breadI was leafing through a cookbook the other day and saw a recipe for ice pops.  When I saw it, I realized how far away summer seems now! Instead of dreaming up fun flavor combinations for homemade ice pops, after a busy day spent going all kinds of different directions, nowadays we are sitting down in the evenings with a cup of hot tea.  Even my kids are getting into drinking herbal tea, and I love using that as an excuse to drink a cup with them and try to find out what’s going on in their lives, though I don’t think I ever really find out as much as I’d like to.  This pumpkin apple bread goes perfectly with tea, by the way.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Stay warm and cozy! I am sharing this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Maggie @ Spoon in a Saucepan.pumpkin apple breadpumpkin apple breadred maple tree

Pumpkin Apple Bread

  • Servings: two loaves
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Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 and 2/3 cups of white granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree (if you prefer to use all pumpkin and no apple, just use 2 cups of pumpkin puree)
  • 1/2 cup of apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 3 and 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars.  In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then add them to the butter/sugar mixture.  Add the pumpkin, chopped apple, and water.  Stir well until thoroughly combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ground cloves.  Stir with a fork until well combined.  Stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the pumpkin mixture.  Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Fold in the nuts, if you are using them.

Pour the batter into the greased loaf pans, distributing the batter evenly between the two pans.  Bake in your 350-degree oven for about one hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes in the pans, then gently turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from one found in Hollyhocks & Radishes by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson.

Black Bean-Mango Salsa

Black beans, mango, and corn make up the main part of this colorful salsa.  Cilantro, red onion, mint, lime juice, and honey add irresistible flavor.  Packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, this salsa is a beautiful, healthy, and tasty addition to any table.  Top a salad with it to add nutrition and flavor, or spoon it onto tortilla chips, or as in my photos, try it with crispy polenta discs. Or just take a spoon and eat it straight!  Either way, it is delicious!

black bean-mango salsaIf left to my own devices, I would probably eat way too much bread and cheese.  So it’s really nice when I can find a super-healthy, clean eating recipe that I love, a dish that can energize my body and help me work hard and stand strong.  The balance of flavors in this salsa is wonderful.  A bit of sweetness from the mangoes and honey is mixed with a bit of zing from the lime juice and cilantro.  It is a great snack, salad topper, or side dish.

black bean-mango salsaI adapted this recipe from my husband’s beloved “Thrive Energy Cookbook” by Brendan Brazier.  I was drawn to it because my grocery store has had mangoes on sale for the past couple of weeks, so we have had mangoes in our fruit bowl waiting to be used.  Now that I have found this salsa, I expect it will become a regular in our rotation, because it is so delicious, easy, and versatile.  I used thawed frozen corn instead of fresh, and substituted honey and olive oil instead of the agave nectar and hemp oil called for in the Thrive recipe.

The days and evenings of this month have been very full.  I have not posted as often as I would like to.  It’s not that I haven’t been in the kitchen–quite the contrary!  I just haven’t gotten the photos or the recipes organized.  But that is about to change.  I am about to get back on track.  Recently, I started playing the piano again, after almost three years away from it.  Since my dad died, I have been unable to touch the piano.  I think it has something to do with the emotions released when playing the piano.

black bean-mango salsaIn any case, although I am very rusty, it feels good to have that part of my life back again, and I know my dad would be glad about it too.  I stumbled across a really pretty song that I am now working on, called The Dance, written by Tony Arata.  Apparently, Garth Brooks also is known for singing it.  I am not usually a country music aficionado, but this song really caught me.  The melody is so beautiful, and the words….they are a good reminder.  We don’t always know how things are gong to turn out.  Sometimes it’s better that way, otherwise we may not take risks or go for our dreams.  If we try to avoid heartbreak, disappointment, or failure, we might miss out on the things that make life worth living.  “Our lives are better left to chance….I could have missed the pain…but I’d have had to miss the dance.”  It’s not like we haven’t heard this message or something similar to it before, but when it is put to music in a beautiful song, sometimes it’s like hearing the message for the first time again.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and enjoy the beautiful fall colors if you live in an area like mine, where the leaves are just starting to turn beautiful shades of red and gold.  And if you try this salsa, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do here!  I’m sharing this recipe at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Zeba @ Food For The Soul.black bean-mango salsablack bean-mango salsa

Black Bean-Mango Salsa

  • Servings: about 3 cups
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked or rinsed canned black beans
  • 1 cup of mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup of sweet corn kernels, fresh or thawed from frozen
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, finely diced
  • a handful of fresh cilantro leaves, torn and stems removed
  • 3 or 4 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir gently and thoroughly.  Best served immediately, but can also be kept tightly sealed in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Use on top of salads, with tortilla chips or polenta discs, or however you like. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier.

 

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