APPETIZERS

RECIPES
Brushetta
Zippy Crab and Artichoke Dip
Pecan Cheese Crisps
Sushi
Fondue
Onion Bhajis
Spanakopita
Potato Wedges: Crispy Sweet Potato, Smokey Mexican Beef

BRUSHETTA
Basic Brushetta.
6 plum tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic
1-2 tbsp olive oil
½ – 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
6 – 8 basil leaves
salt and pepper
baguette
Quarter tomatoes and remove seeds, chop fine. Add garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped basil leaves or oregano. Salt and pepper to taste.
Baguette: slice diagonal ½”. Coat both sides olive oil. 1. Toast top rack 5-6 minutes at 425° F or 2. Toast griddle 1 minute each side.
Serve topping cold, bread hot on baguette. Cottage cheese on side (hot bread melts cheese)
Options: 1. Mozzarella + above 2. Sundried tomato + feta 3. Garlic aoli 4. Onions 5. Feta melted 6. Cheve 7. Capers 8. Pesto, red wine vinegar, red onion, tomatoes 9. Cube baby mozzarella 10. Parmesan 11. Shallots 12. Roasted red pepper 13. Cucumber, peppercorns 14. Roasted chicken 15. Finely chopped prosciutto, grated cheddar, garlic aoli, minced peppeocines 16. Asiago cheese 17. Whole wheat bread 18. Town House ‘Italian Herb’ Flatbread Crisps 18. Olives 19. Jalopeno 20. Cooked pork sausage 22. Balsamic vinegar, no oil

ZIPPY CRAB and ARTICHOKE DIP
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
½ c mayonnaise
7 oz can crabmeat drained
6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts drained and chopped
¼ c chopped green onion
½ c diced red pepper
½ c diced celery
¼ c finely chopped parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp tobasco sauce
Beat cream cheese till smooth. Add mayonnaise and blend.
Fold in rest of ingredients. Refrigerate covered.
Serve with stoned wheat thins, vegetable crackers.

PECAN CHEESE CRISPS
1 c cheese grated (sharp cheddar, asagio, blue, parmesan)
2 tbsp butter soft
1c flour
½ tsp paprika (or curry powder, tsp chopped fresh parsley, rosemary etc)
pinch salt
¼ c milk
½ c finely chopped pecans (or cashews, pine nuts)
In bowl, blend cheese, butter. Add flour, paprika, salt. Add milk and mix well to form a soft dough. Fold in pecans.
Take small pieces of dough and place well apart on large greased cookie sheet. Press dough down to spread as flat as possible. They also spread as they bake. Bake @ 400° F for 8-10 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

SUSHI
Rice: wash sushi (sticky) rice until water runs almost clear ~1 minute. Boil 1¼ c water per cup of rice together. Boil 1 minute to foam. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook 12-15 minutes. Remove heat and let stand covered 15 minutes.
Rice dressing. Heat ½ c rice wine vinegar + 3 tbsp sugar + 1 tsp salt to dissolve but don’t boil. Add 1 tbsp dressing per cup of rice. Store screw top jar.
! c rice per large nori wrapper.
Sauces:
a. Jalapeno Soy. Combine in glass jar: 1 c soy sauce, 1 jalapeno sliced. Shake well and refrigerate. Gets hotter with age. Remove jalapeno when correct heat.
b. Ginger Soy. Combine in glass jar: 1 c soy sauce, juice 4” knob ginger.
c. Citrus Soy. Combine ¾ c soy sauce, 5 tbsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp orange juice
d. Sesame Soy. Combine 1 c soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds.
e. Balsamic Sauce: In sauce pan, boil 1 c balsamic vinegar and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes reducing to half volume. Stir in 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp fig jam. Simmer for 5 minutes. Rewarm to serve.
Mayonnaise:
a. Lemon Mayo. ½ c mayo, 1 tbsp sour cream, ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest, 5 tsp fresh lemon juice
b. Spicey Mayo. ½ c mayo, 1 tsp Sriracha chile sauce
c. Wasabi Mayo. ½ c mayo, 2 tsp wasabi powder + few drops water, or 2 tsp wasabi paste.

1. Roasted Asparagus. Goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, asparagus (olive oil, salt @400° x 10 minutes). Balsamic Soy Sauce.
2. Avocado Grapefruit. Wasabi mayo + crushed salted and roasted almonds (or peanuts or cashews) + avocado + pink grapefruit + cucumber + black pepper. Ginger Soy dipping sauce.
3. Jicama Lime. Wasabi mayo + jicama + cilantro + lime juice + salt. Citrus soy dipping sauce.
4. Lamb. Tomatillo slices + mint leaves + lamb (cooked, shredded or cut ¼” strips) + sliced bell pepper. Tempura dipping sauce.
5. Ginger Crab. Crab (tossed ginger juice, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper) + 2 cucumber strips + scallions. Citrus soy sauce.
6. Miss Piggy. Pork + peach slices + jalapeno + cracked pepper. Tempura dipping sauce.
7. Tuna and Spicy Radish. Tuna + radish (sliced thinly and coated with hot sesame oil = cayenne and sesame oil) + daikon radish + sprouts. Citrus soy dipping sauce.
8. Fish. Fish fillets (rinse, pat dry, salt and pepper, soak ¾ c buttermilk with 1 egg beaten together; bread ¾ c white cornmeal seasoned with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cayenne; fry med heat 3 min each side, drain) + spicy mayo + grated carrot + jalopeno + scallion + cilantro. Jalopeno or citrus soy dipping sauce.
9. Thanksgiving. Cranberry sauce + mayonnaise + turkey or chicken + celery sticks + scallions.
10. Two Tiger. Tomatillo or red tomato slices + grilled shrimp + avocado + cilantro.
11. Cordon Bleu. Sauté chicken + 1 thin ham slice + 1 slices Swiss cheese + black pepper + 8-10 sprigs chives. Balsamic soy dipping sauce.
12. Green Eggs and Ham. Eggs (2 large beaten with lemon pepper seasoning), mix with ¼ c grated sharp cheddar, ¼ c chopped parsley, cilantro or basil. Cook butter med low keeping curds large. Cool.
13. Dixie Chicken. Chicken (cut 1” strips, marinate 3 c buttermilk, 2 tbsp hot sauce up to 24 hours; Coat flour, then tempura, deep fry x 3 minutes) + lemon mayonnaise, cole slaw + sweet onion. Serve citrus soy dipping sauce.
14. Crunchy Tuna. Tuna (7 oz, 2 tbsp lemon mayo, 1 scallion) + carrot. Deep fry entire roll in tempura batter 350°30-40 seconds.
Tempura batter: mix together 1 large egg, 1 c ice water (sparkling water or very cold beer), ¾ c all purpose flour, ½ tsp baking soda mixed very lightly. Store batter fridge.
15. Sesame Shrimp and Mango. Shrimp (coat oil, press in sesame salt, bake 2 min each side @450°) + mango slices + scallions + cilantro. Jalapeno or ginger soy dipping sauce. Black sesame seeds.
16. Club. Lettuce + jack or cheddar slices + salami + onion slices + tomato + salt and pepper + turkey slices. Soy sauce +/- mustard, mayo, pickles.

FONDUE
Melt all in double boiler and serve in fondue pot.
1. Milk Chocolate Fondue. 2 – 11 ½ oz milk chocolate chips + 1 cup heavy whipping cream or Eagle Brand Evaporated Milk. Melt in double boiler.
Add: 1. 6 tbsp Kirsch or Cointreau or Brandy 2. ¼ tsp mint extract or 1-2 tbsp crème de menthe 3. mocha: 2 tbsp instant coffee, ¼ tsp cinnamon and cloves 4. Cola: 4 tbsp cola, substitute 2 oz milk chocolate with 2 oz baking chocolate 5. Chocolate Nut: 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate, 1 c whipping cream, ½ c chopped nuts (smoked almonds, pecans, walnuts), ½ c shredded coconut.
2. Fresh Lemon Fondue: combine 1 c sugar, ½ c cornstarch, ½ tsp salt. Gradually add 4 c water. Set heat to 395, stir, boil for 1 minute. Add 2 tsp lemon zest, ⅓ c lemon juice, ½ c butter. Stir and serve with dates, fig bars, brownies, or fruit cake.
3. Peppermint Patty. 8 oz thin mints + 3 tbsp cream
4. Dark Chocolate: Chop up chocolate, add hot cream + pinch cinnamon + Amaretto or orange liquor.
DIPS
Fruit: strawberries, cherries, banana chunks, grapes, apple slices, orange slices, tangerine slices, pear, kiwi, grapefruit
Pastries: holy finger, angel food cake, macaroons, doughnuts, cream puffs.

ONION BHAJIS
Sift 1 c chickpea flour into large bowl. Add 1 tsp salt, 1/4 c ground rice, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds. Mix. add 2 fresh green chilis finely chopped (+/- seeded), 2 large onions thinly sliced into half rings and separated, 1 c fresh cilantro finely chopped. Mix. Gradually add scant 1 c water and mix to form thick batter and all ingredients thoroughly coated.
Heat sunflower oil med heat at 350 (cube bread browns 30 sec). Add 1/2 tablespoon quantities to fit as single layer. Cook 8-10 minutes till golden brown and crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Keep hot in low oven. Serve hot with chutney.

SPANAKOPITA Makes 24 triangles
Saute 1 large onion in 1/4 cup olive oil. Add 1 tbsp dill, 1 tbsp oregano, 2 tbsp garlic minced, 1/2 tsp mint. Saute 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 c white wine. Cook till reduced. Remove heat and let cool. Add 2 packages frozen spinach (thawed, drained and chopped), 2 c feta cheese crumbled, 2 eggs, 1/4 c lemon juice. Combine well.
Make stack of 4 sheets phyllo brushing each layer with melted butter. Cut into 4 equal strips. Work with 1 strip at a time (cover remaining phyllo). Lay strip in front, spoon 2 heaping tablespoons filling in bottom corner of strip, fold in half diagonally creating triangle. Continue folding over into triangular shape until reach the end. Repeat till all filling used. Brush tops with butter.
Bake on sheet 350 for 20-25 min till golden brown.

POTATO WEDGES
a. CRISPY SWEET POTATO WEDGES WITH GARLIC AVOCADO AIOLI Serves: 8
How do you produce crispy sweet potato wedges? 1. Oven racks on upper level 2. Soak sweet potatoes in cold water for an 1 hour to draw out excess starch 3. Corn flour absorbs the natural moisture that occurs during the baking process 4. season with dried herbs instead of fresh to prevent extra moisture being baked into them 5. Salt only after baking 6. Preheat oven and pans lined with baking (parchment) paper.
Wedges: 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into wedges, pat dry paper towels. Add 1-2 tbsp cornflour/corn starch into a large zip-lock bag, add the wedges, seal the bag with air in it, and shake vigorously to evenly coat the fries.
Preheat oven 450°F, heat up baking trays, remove and line parchment paper (no sticking, no mess), lightly spray with cooking oil spray. Empty the wedges onto trays, spray oil and mix with Spice Blend: 2 tsp sweet paprika, 2 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, optional ½ tsp red chilli powder (or 1 tsp red chilli flakes), 2 tsp dried thyme, salt. Space wedges so not touching.
Bake for 15-20 minutes to just fork tender; flip and return for 5-10 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Turn oven off, leave door ajar and further crisp 5 minutes extra.
Avocado Garlic Aioli: Combine 1 large avocado, 2 tbsp mayonnaise (or sour cream or plain greek yogurt), 1 c garlic crushed, 2 tsp lemon juice, sea salt to taste in a small bowl add smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, ancho chili powder, ground cumin, and black pepper in a small food processor. Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth and creamy.
Season your new found crunchier wedges with sea salt. Spray them with a little extra canola oil. Taste deep fried but really aren’t.
b. SMOKEY MEXICAN BEEF WEDGES Serves: 4
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Wedges: Cut 6 medium potatoes (or 5 large) scrubbed and washed (leave skin on) in half lengthways, then cut each half in half lengthways again, and then cut each half in half lengthways again until you have 8 wedges. (Make sure they are about the same thickness and size). Arrange potato wedges in a single layer on a large baking tray. Sprinkle over Spice blend: 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp gr cumin, 1 tbsp garlic powder, ½ tsp chilli powder (optional) and salt to taste (about 1-2 teaspoons). Drizzle 3 tbsp olive oil and toss everything together to coat evenly. Sprinkle with extra salt if needed and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden, crisp and cooked through.
Taco Meat Saute 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 onion diced and 1 red pepper diced till transparent. Add 2 garlic c crushed, fry 30 seconds. Add 500g ground beef breaking up with a wooden spoon. Mix in 1½ tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp gr cumin; add ¼ cup water mixed with 1 teaspoon stock powder; cook for an extra 3-5 minutes.
Toppings: 2 shallots, finely chopped, ¼ fresh coriander, Sour Cream, Tomato Salsa OR Sweet Chilli Sauce, Chopped Avocado, Chopped Tomatoes or Grated Cheese
Once the wedges and Mexican beef are done, ladle the meat onto your serving dish and place the wedges on top and around the meat. Top with desired toppings.

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I would like to think of myself as a full time traveler. I have been retired since 2006 and in that time have traveled every winter for four to seven months. The months that I am "home", are often also spent on the road, hiking or kayaking. I hope to present a website that describes my travel along with my hiking and sea kayaking experiences.
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