Category Archives: Snacks and Apps

Green Olive and Celery Salad

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see more of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are July, August, and September).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your blog reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Here’s a funny little thing, while we’re eating bits and bobs this week.  Not quite a salad, not quite a relish, full of flavor and crunch and brine and pop.

I found it via Lottie + Doof, where Tim says he found it in a Sicilian cookbook.  It’s kind of weird.  Whatever.  It’s great.We scooped spoonfuls onto the baguette rounds we ate alongside our shakshuka the other day.  I had a little pile of it beside my sandwich.  I daresay it could go right into a sandwich of the right sort quite happily.  Or serve it as part of an antipasto spread, of course.  Or just with a fork. Continue reading

Caramelized Onion Hummus

I see, scrolling down the page here, that I haven’t been feeding you anything too substantial lately.  A little of this, a little of that.  A few different kinds of bites cobbled together can make a meal, though.  Especially when of the little bowls on the table is a bowl of hummus.This caramelized onion hummus is light and a little sweet.  It’s addictive by itself but it also keeps nice company with a spread of tzatziki, tomato jam, and a pile of pita bread.  A salad on the side–hopefully a Greek salad, in these last days of good tomatoes and peppers–and dinner is served.  If you want to get fancy, serve a few stuffed grape leaves as well.

Now is a time that you’ll be happy to have cooked chickpeas on hand.  If you don’t, start a pot now or open and drain a can.  If you have caramelized onions defrosted from the freezer, you can have this dip on the table in five minutes.  Otherwise give yourself an hour and five minutes to allow time to cook those onions nice and slow before you make this otherwise-quick dish. Continue reading

Green Olive Cream Cheese

I like to cook, but I love it even more when people feed me.  We had dinner at a friend’s house recently and devoured a pile of peppers stuffed with a mixture of green olives and cream cheese.  This morning I spent three minutes making a bowl myself and ate it for breakfast scooped onto sweet pepper slices.  I suppose it would be fine on a bagel instead, if that’s your thing.  Or spread onto whole wheat bread for a veggie sandwich.  Or piped into celery sticks.  Or served with crackers at a party.  Or…I’m going to have to make another bowl.

If you got to choose, would you want to cook or being cooked for?

Continue reading

Chilled Beet and Yogurt Soup

I know, I know.

I was posting hot soup recipes in July and August and now that it’s October I’m coming at you with a cold one.  I’m untraditional like that.  Let’s roll with it.

This is a beet lover’s beet soup.  And while I’m exactly not a beet lover anymore, I still speak the language.  And as beet preparations for non-beet-lovers go, this one has a lot to recommend it.  The beet’s sweet earthiness is tamed a bit here by the tang of yogurt and lemon.  And there are only five ingredients.  And oh, the color.  Continue reading

Peach and Ricotta Crostini with Basil

Have you entered the Food in Jars Cookbook giveaway yet?  Do it now.  It’s not just for canning enthusiasts, although it might turn you into one.

The entire point of today’s post is to entice you to run out to the farmers market and scoop up a final case of late-September peaches.  Are you convinced?  Because this weekend we are making jam, probably for the last time this summer.  Saffron Peach Jam.  Yes, it’s as intriguing as it sounds.  Yes, you will want to cook along.  And yes, a side benefit of having peaches in the house is that you can eat them on ricotta-slathered toast for breakfast. Continue reading

How to Caramelize Onions

Or maybe I should have titled this post, “How to Caramelize Onions and Why You Don’t Usually Have To.”  Because nine times out of ten, when you want your onions soft and sweet, you can just cook ’em like crazy over high heat and end up with a sweet, jammy mess that will do the trick nicely.  There, I just saved you hours of standing over a hot stove.  Now you have time to read a good book.  You’re welcome.

But, ok, sometimes you want the real thing.  You want a more refined result, a whisper-soft bowl of yielding allium nectar.  Caramelizing onions is transformative, like grilling broccoli or roasting cauliflower or shaving raw brussels sprouts for a salad.  And once you make your first batch and see how little hands-on time it takes, there will be nothing to stop you from making the occasional batch to add to eggs and soups and fancy little toasts and all manner of things.

Make a big batch while you’re at it, of course, and freeze leftover caramelized onions for an easy flavor boost another day. Continue reading

Your Perfect Tomato Sandwich

You know how recipes are just made up?  I mean, some people have a lot of good ideas about food, and some people have extensive experience with food, and those people are probably going to make up good recipes.  But still, they’re just playing around, asking themselves what tastes good.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to recipes, really, and on some topics there is not even the remote possibility of agreement between any two authorities.  Once such topic, I submit, is The Perfect Tomato Sandwich.I’ve tried many.   Tomatoes alone.  Tomatoes with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and vinegar.  I understand that some people like tomatoes with lettuce and bacon.  I’ve even tried this sandwich, the tomatoes opulently nestled into a double setting of mayonnaise and butter.  Perfection is a slippery thing, ephemeral and ever-changing.  Especially when it comes to tomato sandwiches.

My personal current Perfect Tomato Sandwich–which I achieved tonight, just one of many wildly varying Perfect Tomato Sandwiches I’ve had in my life–is pictured above and detailed below.  It is emphatically open-faced, with thin slices of avocado and thick slices of tomato on grainy toasted bread.  Its crowning glory (or maybe it’s a hidden glory?) is a smear of anchovy-laced mayonnaise.

What is your perfect tomato sandwich this summer? Continue reading

Spicy Pickled Peppers

While we’re enjoying September’s fine harvest of assorted spicy peppers, why not preserve a few to enjoy when the season is over?

Honestly, my standard method for preserving peppers (of any kind) is to slice or chop them, pile them into a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer.  But you don’t need a recipe for that, do you?

You don’t need much of a recipe for this, either, but I always like to pickle a jar or two of mildly spicy peppers to enjoy in the fall.  This a a quick refrigerator pickle, which takes little time beyond slicing the peppers and simmering a simple brine for five minutes.  The investment will pay off many times over, since it only takes a few of these pickled pepper rings to spice up any meal. Continue reading

Healthy Cookies

Welcome to Emmy Cooks! You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are June, July, and August). If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Yes, I like vegetables, but I also like cookies.  And let me tell you, having three little girls is a good excuse to make cookies.  Lots of cookies. Chocolate Chocolate CookiesWhole Wheat Chocolate Chip CookiesBittersweet Chocolate Dried Apricot CookiesHazelnut Tea CookiesSavory Oatmeal Cookies with Rosemary and Black PepperButterscotch cookies (go ahead, sandwich them with Nutella).

Those cookies above, as you may notice, do not fall into the health food category.  And that’s ok.  But these cookies below?  They come awfully close.  And they’re lovely.  And I will be making them often.  And I will let my kids eat them for breakfast.

The original recipe comes from Hannah, a fellow Seattleite, chef, and writer of Blue Kale Road.  You should go read her post, a sweet reflection on enjoying the ordinary moments in life, and then you should go to the kitchen and make these cookies.

It’s almost a granola recipe, maple-sweetened with oats and salt and cinnamon.  And since I love my olive-oil granola so much, I figured that olive oil would work perfectly here as well.  And it does.  Did I mention that these cookies are vegan?This batch was filled with fig jam, since I had two open jars in the fridge.  (How does that happen?)  Tomorrow maybe I’ll try raspberry.  Hannah says the cookies freeze nicely, assuming you have any left over for long enough to freeze.  We didn’t. Continue reading

Five-Minute Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Oh, school.  Its arrival is so bittersweet.  Even though I liked school as a kid, I was never quite ready for summer to end–who is?  And now that it’s my own kids heading happily back to class, a part of me is sorry to see them go.  (Another part of me is looking forward to a few mornings a week alone with my baby, of course, and to the single hour of silence in my day at her naptime.)

So yesterday we celebrated the Last Day of Summer Vacation with swimming, ice cream cones dripping onto the sidewalk, and an afternoon in the park.  Today dawned all business instead: breakfast, brushed hair, a stocked backpack, and then a bike ride to school to deliver our oldest to the rigors of first grade.  (It looked pretty fun, actually.)

And by the end of the day we were all exhausted.  Quesadillas, rice, beans from a can.  And this salsa.  This salsa!  It brightened everything right up.  Bring home a pound of tomatillos and a lime next time you’re out, and in five minutes you’ll be cheered right up.  Have the energy to go beyond quesadillas?  I love tomatillo salsa on black bean tacos, taco salads, huevos rancheros, and chilaquiles.  Especially chilaquiles.  Maybe it’s a good thing that the seasons are changing after all. Continue reading