Spice Up Your Study Snack!

This week I was at the library longer hours than I found myself sleeping. So wrapped up in my countless final projects and paper, I forgot to eat, so when I’d return to my room at night, I was ravenous for food! Looking for something a little sweet and a little crunchy, I grabbed a bag of pop corn, popped it into the microwave and within minutes the greatest study snack of all time was created!

By drizzling a little bit of agave nectar onto my freshly popped popcorn followed by a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon, I created the study snack that dreams are made of!

Popcorn is a simple and healthy snack that can be easily kicked up knock by adding season or spice!

 

Celebrating My Favorite Snack

HAPPY NATIONAL PRETZEL DAY!! Pretzels are my snack of choice because they bring everything to the table.  Soft or hard, with or without salt, there are endless varieties of pretzels guaranteed to satisfy! From pretzel buns, to chocolate coated, and even being put inside of M&Ms, it seems that there is no place pretzels can’t be taken (figuratively and literally).  My personal preference when it comes to pretzels would have to be a hard sourdough or a regular twist pretzel dipped in peanut butter. I basically could eat any kind of pretzel dipped in peanut butter to be honest!

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My mom, brother, and myself (from right to left) at Julius Sturgis back in 2005.

If you wanna celebrate National Pretzel Day in all its glory, here are some great ideas:

  • If you are willing to make the trip or live in the Pennsylvania area, head over to Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. This over 150 year old landmark hold interactive tours where guest learn to tie their own pretzels and watched them get baked off! I’ve actually been there, and can attest to it being a fun and interesting experience!  CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITE HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION!

If you’d rather celebrate in the comfort of your own home here are some awesome recipes you may be interested in:

  • Feeling ambitious enough to make your own soft pretzels? Take them to the next level by adding spinach, artichoke, and bacon!! Check out Half Baked Harvest’s Spinach, artichoke, and bacon stuffed beer soft pretzel here.
  •  Try out this sweet and salty Carmel Pretzel Brownies.(I may actually make these tonight!) RECIPE HERE

MY TIP: If you live in an area where Wawa convenient stores are located, stop and eat one of their delicious soft pretzels. You will not regret it, and if you are not doing for yourself, at least do it for me!

Enjoy your day, today & enjoy your pretzels, always!!!

Popeye Approved Chips!

Veggie chips are all the rage recently! I cannot  look on Pinterest’s Food&Drink section without seeing at least five different recipes for different kinds of veggie chips.  From zucchini to sweet potato and even kale, it seems that EVERY vegetable is being chip-ified.

Wanting to jump on to the chip bandwagon and try one of these healthy alternative for the classic chip, I made my own creation: a spicy cajun spinach chip! Recipe as follows:

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Cajun Spinach Chips

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of spinach
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of olive oil
  • Cajun Seasoning (My favorite is Slap Ya Mama, get it here!)
  • A pinch of salt
  • A  sprinkle of garlic powder (optional)

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Place two cups of spinach in a bowl and add  1/ 2 to 1 tsp of olive to slightly coat the leaves.
  3. Add Cajun seasoning, mixing thoroughly  to coat each leave.  Use as much as desired.
  4. Lightly grease  a baking sheet wrapped with foil. 
  5. Place leave in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, depending on desired crispiness.
  6. After removed from the oven, let cool for a minute or so before removing them from the foil.
  7. Once removed enjoy  as a tasty, spicy and crunchy snack.

TIPS&HINTS:photo 2 copy 8

  •  BE SURE NOT TO DRENCH THE LEAVES IN OLIVE OIL OR THEY WILL SHRIVEL UP.
  • Make sure you remember to grease the foiled pan so the spinach leaves do not stick.
  • I suggest using regular spinach leaves opposed to baby spinach leaves. I originally  used baby spinach leaves and they crumbled easiler.
  • I ALSO suggest that you try to use fresh spinach because  they will yield a more chip like texture.

(Recipe based off this recipe)

FOR THE LOVE OF HUMMUS: My Homemade Hummus Recipe

From my prior post you may have come to the conclusion that I am a BIG fan of condiments.  Basically anything I can put peanut butter or hot sauce on are my  favorite foods. But recently I’ve been getting more and more into hummus.  I have always like it for the casual dipping of veggies and pita chips, BUT now I can say I am OBSESSED WITH IT!! I find reasons to put it on anything and I could eat virtually anything with hummus on it (This is NOT an exaggeration! I find raw carrots to be repulsive and consider them the Devil’s vegetable, but lately I’ve even been eating them with hummus!!). HUMMUS IS A GAME CHANGER PEOPLE!

Taking my enthusiasm for hummus to the next level, I’ve decided I’d take a whack at making my own ! Utilizing what I had in my fridge and pantry, I concocted a flavor packed hummus creation! Recipe as follows:

 

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Garlic Tomato, Spinach and Olive Hummus

Serving: 2-3

Ingredients:photo 1 copy 10

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp dices garlic tomatoes
  • 2-3 large black olives
  • handful of baby spinach (approximately 8 leaves)
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp  water
  • pinch of salt/ ground pepper for taste

 

 

Instructions: 

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Desired texture of the blended chickpeas.

  1. Prep ingredients: Remove skin from chickpeas, cut steams off the baby spinach, and slice olives.
  2. First, place chickpeas into a blender (or magic bullet) and blend for a minute to two until grainy like sand.
  3. Add half  of the tomatoes, olives, and spinach. Proceed to blend for about a minute until ingredients mix in with the chickpea.
  4. Add 1 tsp on olive oil and 1/2 tbsp of water and blend until smooth, about two minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, oil and water until completely blended and smooth.
  6. Then add a pinch of salt and pepper (more or less depending on how you want it to taste) and pulse giving the hummus a final mix. You may need to add a bit more water or oil depending on the constancy.
  7. Chill for at least 20 minutes then enjoy with veggies, chips, or anything of you choosing!
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My homemade hummus & spinach chips! SPINCH CHIP RECIPE COMING SOON!!

This flavorful hummus is a fresh and healthy snack that can be put on anything from celery, to pita chips, to rice cakes and more! Compared to store bought hummus, my homemade hummus had a more powerful chickpea flavor. The flavors of the tomatoes, olive, and spinach added a more depth of flavor; however, next time I  think I’ll add a little extra garlic for a kick. I cannot wait to play around with adding different flavors to my hummus. What type of hummus do you think I should try making next? Reply in the comments!!  

Note: I am eating spoonfuls of hummus as I write this and I am loving every moment of it.