I am sharing with you some of my most favorite and popular party foods. They will quickly disappear. Try some of them for your next get-together.
Mixed Olives, Sliced Cheese and Breadsticks
Serve with your favorite cheese, cut into slices, and breadsticks.
1 cup mixed Italian olives
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, (flat-leaf parsley, basil, oregano)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
To prepare the olives:
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and let sit for 1 hour. Serve at room temperature. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Deviled Eggs and Smoked Salmon
6 large eggs
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup olive oil mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
6 oz smoked salmon slices
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Place the eggs in a saucepan just large enough to hold the six eggs. Cover with cold water and place the pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the saucepan.
Let the eggs rest in the hot water for 12 minutes. Drain the water from the pot and add some ice cubes and cold water to cover the cooked eggs.
Let them cool until you can handle the eggs without burning your fingers.
Gently tap the eggs in several places and remove the shells. Place the peeled eggs on paper towels to dry.
Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks and place in a mixing bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork. Add the onion, celery, mayonnaise, mustard and salt and pepper. Mix well.
With a spoon fill each egg where the yolk had been with some of the mixture.
Place the eggs on a platter and chill.
Arrange the eggs and salmon on a serving platter. Sprinkle chives over both and serve.
To make this ahead: cook the meatballs and prepare the sauce separately. Refrigerate separately until serving time. Then reheat the sauce, add the meatballs and cook until the meatballs are hot. Pour into a serving bowl.
For the Meatballs
1 lb organic ground pork
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup almond flour
For the Sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
6 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon Gochujang (red chili paste)
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
To make the meatballs:
Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
Using a cookie scoop form into 21-22 one inch balls and saute in peanut oil over medium heat until cooked through and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
To make the sauce:
Combine the sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauces, chili paste, water, sugar and arrowroot in a small saucepan. Reserve the scallions.
Whisk until combined and bring to a boil.
Simmer for five minutes until thickened.
Add the cooked meatballs and scallions to the thickened sauce and stir to coat. Heat for a few minutes. Pour into a shallow serving dish.
Serve with fresh celery and carrot sticks and thinly cut radish rounds.
Makes 8 servings.
8-ounces canned tuna
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, washed and drained
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, onion, parsley, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Place the tuna in a food processor and pulse to break it up.
Turn the speed to low-speed and add the olive oil mixture, a little at a time, until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the mixture is smooth.
Pour into a small serving bowl and chill. Serve with fresh-cut vegetables and crackers on the side.
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the bread
1 clove minced garlic
2 large tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped oil cured Italian olives
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 baguette, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch-thick slices
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl; except the bread slices. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Lightly grill the bread slices and then brush them with olive oil. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the tomato mixture onto each bread slice and arrange on a serving plate.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon cold leftover brewed coffee
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Position rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Use an 8 by 8 silicone baking pan or line a similar sized metal or glass baking dish with foil or parchment paper so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch. Spray the prepared pan completely with cooking spray.
Put the butter, oil and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. (Alternatively put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, not touching, the water, and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)
Stir the brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs and coffee and beat vigorously by hand until fully incorporated and the batter is thick and glossy. Add the cocoa, flour and baking soda and stir just until it disappears.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with a few crumbs, about 30 minutes (40 minutes if not using a silicone pan).
Cool the brownies in the pan on the counter. Lift brownies out of the pan by the foil, if needed. Peel off the foil and cut into 16-2-inch squares.
Store extra brownies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
A low-carb diet is a diet that restricts carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary foods, pasta and bread. It is high in protein, fat and healthy vegetables. A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Some people who eliminate gluten from their diet end up following a low-carbohydrate diet, but not always. Many people who follow a low-carb lifestyle do eliminate gluten because they choose to keep their carbohydrates low. However, they are not the same. A gluten-free diet does not ensure one is on the right plan to lose body fat. A low-carb lifestyle does not ensure one is avoiding gluten. However, with a little label reading, the two can work well together in managing health and long-term weight management.
These recipes are made to fit a gluten-free/low carb diet. They are made with nut or gluten-free flours . In order to keep the recipes low carb you must eliminate regular sugar and use a sugar substitute. If you only want a gluten-free recipe, then you can use regular sugar. Either way, I can tell you that they all taste very good.
Lemon Ginger Scones
Makes 8 scones
2 ½ cups almond flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute or sugar substitute blend, divided
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Lemon zest from 2 lemons, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.
Mix the 2 tablespoons of sugar substitute with half of the lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, ¼ cup sugar substitute, the ginger, salt, baking soda and the remaining lemon zest.
In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, eggs, ¼ cup cream and vanilla.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Turn the mixture out onto a cutting board dusted with almond flour. Pat into a half-inch thick round.
Brush the top of the dough with the 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle the dough evenly with the sugar/lemon zest mixture. Cut the dough into 8 equal triangles.
Carefully place them on the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. These scones freeze well.
Coffee Nut Muffins
1 cup pecan flour (meal), divided
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute or sugar substitute blend
1/4 cup whey protein powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 oz) sour cream
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar or brown sugar substitute
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or coat with cooking spray.
Stir together the brown sugar substitute and chopped pecans. Set aside.
Dissolve the coffee granules in the brewed coffee and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the pecan flour, almond flour, soy flour, sugar substitute, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium bowl, beat with a hand mixer the sour cream with the butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs. Then beat in the coffee mixture.
With a wide spatula, fold the coffee mixture into the nut flour mixture. thoroughly combine.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle each with the topping.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until set and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for ten minutes and then remove them to a wire rack.
Low Carb Gluten Free Brownies
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) sugar-free milk chocolate squares (I use Lily brand)
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) sugar-free dark chocolate chips (I use Lily brand)
2/3 cup (5 ¼ oz) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar or sugar substitute or sugar substitute blend
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line the bottom of an 8×8 or 7×11 baking dish with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
Put the chocolate and chocolate chips in a saucepan with the butter and melt them together. Add the vanilla. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.
With a hand mixer beat the sugar substitute and eggs (about 2-3 minutes until the mixture is creamy). Add the chocolate mixture and stir.
Gradually stir in the almond flour, salt and baking powder.
Fold the nuts into the mixture and pour into the prepared pan. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan.
Bake for about 45 minutes until the mixture is no longer wiggly and beginning to crack in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven to a wire rack to cool.
When cool, cut into small squares.
When it comes to giving this holiday season, be creative and make a truly personal gift for your friends and family. Homemade mixes are also one of the best Christmas gifts. There’s nothing like a homemade food gift, beautifully packaged along with recipe cards, to add warmth to the holidays.
Makes about 8 cups
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3 cups raw almonds, sliced
Adjust the oven rack to an upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon in large bowl. Whisk in oil. Fold in oats and almonds until thoroughly coated.
Transfer oat mixture to prepared baking sheet, spread across sheet into a thin, even layer (about 3/8-inch thick). Using a stiff metal spatula, compress oat mixture until very compact.
Bake until lightly browned, 50 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through baking. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Break into pieces of desired size and package in decorative containers for gifts.
Apple Tea Mix
- 2 tablespoons loose green tea
- 2 tablespoons snipped crystallized ginger
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 6 dried apple slices
- 6 3-inch cinnamon sticks
In a small bowl combine tea, crystallized ginger, allspice and cloves. Divide tea mixture and dried apple slices among six paper tea filters. Tie the tops of the filters with kitchen string, tying a cinnamon stick at the top of each. Place filled tea filters inside six decorative heat-proof mugs.
Attach the following directions for serving:
To Make Spiced Apple Tea: Add 6 to 8 ounces of hot water to one mug. Add a tea bag and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bag. Place cinnamon stick in the mug and serve.
Hazelnut Brownie Mix
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ounces milk or dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
- 1/3 cup mini marshmallows
In a 1-quart decorative jar layer sugar, cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Spoon over chocolate in the jar. Top with hazelnuts and marshmallows; fasten lid.
Attach the following directions for making brownies.
To Make Brownies:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan. Grease the foil; set pan aside.
In a large bowl whisk together 2/3 cup melted butter and 3 eggs until well combined. Add the contents of the jar to the butter mixture; stir until well combined. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes. (Moist crumbs will remain attached to wooden toothpick inserted near center of brownies). Cool brownies in the pan on a wire rack. Use foil to lift uncut brownies out of the pan. Place on a cutting board. Cut into bars.
Coconut-Pecan Muffin Mix
Makes: 1 gift (4½ cups)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- One 7-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut (2 2/3 cups)
- 3/4 cup pecans (chopped)
- 12 muffin paper cup liners
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugars and salt. Mix in the coconut and pecans.
Transfer the mix to a resealable decorative paper bag. Wrap with ribbon and affix with a label and a gift tag with the baking instructions.
Copy the following instructions on a gift tag or label to include with your gift:
“Heat oven to 350º F. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 large eggs and ¾ cup canola oil. Add the muffin mix and stir just until combined. Divide among the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin lined with the paper liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.”
4 dozen truffles
- 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate
- 1/2 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
- 2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Coarsely chop both chocolates and set aside.
Heat the cream and instant coffee in a saucepan, stirring to blend. When bubbles start to form along the edge of the pan, remove from the heat. Scatter the chocolate over the cream, stirring gently until melted. Set aside for 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the liqueur and vanilla. Stir gently, just until evenly blended. Scrape the chocolate into a shallow bowl. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 1 week.
Using a teaspoon or a melon baller, scoop up enough chocolate to make balls 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Thoroughly combine the cocoa and powdered sugar in a bowl, making sure all the lumps are removed. Roll the balls in the cocoa mixture, shaking off the excess, then transfer to wax paper. Place each truffle in a candy paper cup and package in a decorative gift boxes.