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This is a great appetizer that is relatively easy to make and really impresses people I got the idea from Trader Joe’s feta cheese puff pastry cups my friend Kaitlyn served at a pumpkin carving gathering (I think I might have single-handedly put down half of those). I went home thinking that I might have found a use for the 5 jars of plum jam I had made a few weeks before. I tinkered in the kitchen and this is what I came up with, though I used raspberry jam here since that is readily available in the grocery store. I plan on making this dish as an appetizer for our family’s Christmas gathering.

Savory Feta Pastry Puffs

Makes 24 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package phyllo dough (usually contains 2 sheets of many layers)
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 large jar raspberry jam, or any jam you prefer (I actually prefer plum jam)
  • 16 – 24 ounces crumbled feta (depends on how much you like cheese)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to as instructed on the phyllo dough package. Spray the cups of 2 muffin tins so that phyllo dough does not stick and set aside.
  2. Spread out one sheet, cut into 4 squares. For each square divide the layer sheets into 3 and mold each division into a cupcake tin. (Before dividing the sheets into layers you can cut them into a large circle if desired to make them look slightly neater.) Repeat this process with the second sheet of phyllo dough. Now all your muffin tins should be lined with phyllo dough cups.
  3. Add about a table spoon of feta to each cup (make sure there is a little left over.) Divide all the onions between the cup and then add about 2 teaspoons of jam. Sprinkle the remaining feta on top.
  4. Bake for at least as long as the phyllo dough package indicates. Then continue baking until the dough has crisped and the contents of the cup are bubbling.
  5. Let rest at least 10 minutes before trying to remove from muffin tins. They will be very hot (I know from personal, tongue burning, experience.)

Note:

  • This dish can be taken to the next level by adding bacon or using bacon jam.
  • These are great reheated, just pop back into the oven for about 15 min (or even the microwave if you don’t have the time.)
  • 2 paired with a salad makes a great lunch, it has that quiche-y sort of vibe
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These granola bars make a great quick snack on the run or a fast and tasty breakfast. Out of all the recipes I have found for granola bars this one has the least amount of sugar (and whole wants mounds of sugar for breakfast!?!) They are very easy and you can substitute different dried fruits or nuts, and even add mini chocolate chips, to suit your taste.

Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

Makes 20 bars

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond silvers
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 pan or cookie sheet.
  2. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, honey and brown sugar. Then stir in almonds, raisins and cranberries.
  3. Press mixture into pan using wax paper, you finger tips and palms to
  4. Bake 25-30 min, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 min then cut into squares and remove from pan to continue cooling. (Note, you wan to cut while still warm as the granola hardens while it cools.)

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Fruit, sugar, chocolate…. what couldn’t be good about this combination?? Honestly this was my favorite candy growing up, and one of my father’s favorite candies as well. Some of my earliest memories are of stopping at a candy store on our way to my grandparents and picking up a small bag of this delicious treat, we both prefered dark chocolate, and the bag would always be finished by the time we arrived.

This treat is deliciously easy to make, and only requires a bit of patience. Also, another perk, if there is leftover chocolate I love making an impromptu fondue with fruit such as strawberries, apples or pears.

Chocolate Covered Candied Orange and Lemon Peels

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges and 2 lemons (or all oranges or lemons, which ever you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 large bars or 4 smalls bars dark or milk chocolate

Directions

  1. Cut fruit in quarters, then peel fruit making sure to keep peel in tact. Slice peel into prox 1/8th inch wide strips.
  2. In a saucepan bring water and sugar to a simmer. Add peels and cook until saturated, about 30 – 45 minutes, stirring several times.
  3. Lay candied peels on a baking sheet covered with wax paper and let dry. This should take 3-6 hours, if you want to dry them overnight or are in a humid environment then you can put them in the fridge.
  4. In a double boiler (ie, a bowl over a saucepan) melt the chocolate. Take the candied peels, dip them in the chocolate with a fork, and then place on another baking sheet covered with wax paper.
  5. Let chocolate harden (either by leaving out or by placing the pan in the fridge.)

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