Vegan Sushi

I’ve shared vegan sushi recipes before, but earlier this winter, I thought of another idea that I just had to try. I wanted to make vegan sushi that looked like, well, not vegan sushi. I thought that if I marinated pink Chioggia beets they’…


I’ve shared vegan sushi recipes before, but earlier this winter, I thought of another idea that I just had to try. I wanted to make vegan sushi that looked like, well, not vegan sushi. I thought that if I marinated pink Chioggia beets they’d look pretty darn similar to tuna. How cute would that be?! There was just one problem: Jack hates beets. Sure, he’ll eat certain beet recipes from time to time, but that only happens when I put a dish in front of him and don’t tell him what’s in it. And in our house, vegan sushi is one thing we […]

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Miso Soup

Raise your hand if you love miso soup! Same. The cloudy broth is warming, nourishing, and deeply flavorful. On a cold, gray winter day, there’s nothing I crave more. It clears my head and warms me up from the inside out. For years, I only ate mis…


Raise your hand if you love miso soup! Same. The cloudy broth is warming, nourishing, and deeply flavorful. On a cold, gray winter day, there’s nothing I crave more. It clears my head and warms me up from the inside out. For years, I only ate miso soup at Japanese restaurants. But after Jack and I traveled to Japan for the first time, we got curious about Japanese cooking at home. We cooked soba noodles, we made matcha, and we decided to try a miso soup recipe. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I certainly didn’t imagine the […]

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Vegan Tomato Gazpacho

This tomato gazpacho is a flavorful, cold soup, perfect for lunch or a fancy appetizer! Topped with olive oil, finely sliced basil, pine nuts, flaky salt, and coarse ground pepper, this vegan gazpacho is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! This soup requir…

vegan gazpacho
This tomato gazpacho is a flavorful, cold soup, perfect for lunch or a fancy appetizer! Topped with olive oil, finely sliced basil, pine nuts, flaky salt, and coarse ground pepper, this vegan gazpacho is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! This soup requires minimal cooking too!

How to Make a Cheese Board

Confession: I brought a sad cheese plate to last year’s Friendsgiving, and it went ignored in the corner. It was an embarrassing moment for a cookbook author,…

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cheese board recipe

Confession: I brought a sad cheese plate to last year’s Friendsgiving, and it went ignored in the corner. It was an embarrassing moment for a cookbook author, and I’ve been determined to improve my cheese board game ever since.

I walked into the party to find a gorgeous and elaborate cheese board nearly spanning the full length of the dinner table. My friend Jordan has a degree in sculpture, and she can sure put together a beautiful cheese board.

I took the opportunity to study her design. I can’t say that my efforts are quite to her level yet, but I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to share with you today.

cheese and crackers

Building a beautiful cheese board feels like a fun art project. We’ll mix different flavors, colors, shapes and textures to build an enticing appetizer board. Give yourself some time to put it together, and you’ll enjoy the process all the more. The trick is to fill every little space on the board with nuts and fruit so it looks completely abundant.

A cheese board is the perfect excuse to break out your special serving items. If you don’t have a dedicated cheese board in your cabinets, though, don’t fret. For your base, you can use a nice wooden cutting board, a large serving platter, or even a tray or baking sheet covered with parchment paper. If you don’t have a set of cheese knives, offer butter knives, cocktail forks, cocktail picks or toothpicks.

Basically, anything goes, and no occasion is too minor for a cheese board. You just might have everything you need at home already. How about a cheese board with your French 75 this evening?

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baked brie with balsamic red onions

Despite my deep affection for cheese, to the point that one of my favorite things to do on a New York City weekend is to dip into Murray’s and treat us to something crumbly or aged or rich and runny, I don’t love cheese plates. It …

Despite my deep affection for cheese, to the point that one of my favorite things to do on a New York City weekend is to dip into Murray’s and treat us to something crumbly or aged or rich and runny, I don’t love cheese plates. It feels really good to get this off my chest. At first, it was just a budget issue; I still feel the sticker shock from the first time I tried to put together one of those cute boards with five or six different wedges on them, plus the crackers, breads, pickles, dried fruit, toasted almonds, olives, cured meats, and all of the other minimum requirements of our latter-day horns of plenty. But I was also put off by the waste. Even though so much went unfinished, the leftovers were unsalvageable, as fingers, forks, knives, and crumbs got into everything (a particularly shuddering thought in the age of Covid). Instead, when people come over, or what I remember of it, I prefer to focus on one or two decadent, attention-grabbing things and nothing grabs attention on a cold winter day like warm, runny cheese.

make a flaky galette doughwilt onions in butterbalsamic jammy red onionsassembly, not cutebrush with egg washready to bake

Baked brie was all the entertaining rage in the 1970s and 80s. Nothing was more glamorous but accessible, an imported cheese that everyone knew and could pronounce. But as Americans got more sophisticated about imported cheese — manchego! Humboldt Fog! — in a crushing fall from grace, brie became the opposite of chic. And this is where my interest piqued — dated and unhip, you say? Where can I sign up?

baked brie with balsamic red onions

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Easy Tapenade

Olive lovers, tapenade is for you! Tapenade is an olive spread or dip hailing from the Provence region in France. It’s bold, zippy, briny and salty, though…

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easy tapenade recipe

Olive lovers, tapenade is for you! Tapenade is an olive spread or dip hailing from the Provence region in France. It’s bold, zippy, briny and salty, though we’ll be sure to keep the salt level in check.

Served with crostini or crackers, tapenade is a wonderful appetizer with drinks. It offers some welcome contrast when served with creamy dips, like hummus or spinach artichoke dip. You can also spread it onto sandwiches, dollop it onto salads, and more. Tapenade will keep for a week or two in the fridge, so you’ll find many uses for it.

tapenade ingredients

Tapenade is named after the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. Over the years, olives have become the predominant ingredient, and I used capers as a subtle accent. Similar olive spreads have been served in the Mediterranean for ages, which is why tapenade is a natural pairing with your favorite Mediterranean flavors.

Traditional tapenade also includes anchovies, but being vegetarian, I omitted them. This dip is loaded with complex flavor regardless, and it’s suitable for vegans and those with shellfish allergies as well.

To make this easy tapenade, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients and a food processor. It comes together in about 10 minutes with mostly pantry ingredients! You’ll need Castelvetrano and Kalamata olives, fresh parsley, capers, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Let’s make some already.

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35 Best Vegan Appetizers

These easy vegan appetizers prove how fun plant-based eating can be! As I compiled this list over the weekend, I found myself itching to make each one of these vegan appetizer recipes. They’re colorful, bold, and bright, the kind of food that mak…


These easy vegan appetizers prove how fun plant-based eating can be! As I compiled this list over the weekend, I found myself itching to make each one of these vegan appetizer recipes. They’re colorful, bold, and bright, the kind of food that makes you want to reach out and try it…and then go back for another bite. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or someone who eats everything, you’re going to love these vegan appetizers! They range from creamy dips to refreshing salsas, from pretzels to spring rolls to bruschetta and beyond. Over the years, we’ve made them for parties, date nights, cookouts, […]

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Smoked Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Potato Skins.

Potato skins are a total throwback for me!  I mean, who doesn’t love these little crispy, cheesy bites of love? If you’re going to make them, do it this week. Let’s go ALL OUT. Before this, it had been ages since I’ve made potato skins. I have a sweet potato skins recipe here on the […]

The post Smoked Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Potato Skins. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Potato skins are a total throwback for me! 

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins with ranch

I mean, who doesn’t love these little crispy, cheesy bites of love? If you’re going to make them, do it this week.

Let’s go ALL OUT.

scooped out russet potatoes

Before this, it had been ages since I’ve made potato skins. I have a sweet potato skins recipe here on the blog – it’s a million years old.

My grandma LOVED potato skins when I was growing up. If we ever went out to eat, she ordered them. I loved them a lot too, but then again my favorite food growing up was… potatoes. So in any form, I was in. 

It was probably a quintessential 90s or early 2000s app, right? 

potato skins with caramelized onions and cheese

These potato skins are a dream! Perfect for your New Year’s Eve night at home when you want to enjoy all the snacks with champagne.

The recipe takes a bit of time, but the potatoes already have to bake for an hour. So while that happens, I like to crisp up some bacon and caramelize an onion. Get it good and caramely and golden and sweet. Ideal to mix with savory cheese!

homemade ranch

After the potatoes are baked, sliced and scooped, the secret is throwing them in a hot oven so they get crunchy on the bottom. And the edges! This makes for the perfect boat – or, um, vehicle – for all of our toppings.

Smoked cheddar! The best, smokiest, savory cheddar cheese. Oh how I love this.

The caramelized onions! Sweet perfection that melts into the cheese and bacon seamlessly. 

Bacon for crunch. And just because… it’s bacon. Of course.

Green onions too – for crunch and a little bite. They add great flavor.

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins

Then!

Then after you think we’re done making these wildly flavorful potato boats, we’re going to drizzle them all with ranch.

Oh my word.

I am so hooked on this ranch. Remember earlier this year when I grilled sweet potatoes and drizzled the ranch all over those?

I’ve basically been waiting to make these since then. The ranch is INCREDIBLE. It’s so good for drizzling or dipping.

The ranch recipe will make extra and it stays great in the fridge. You will find yourself dipping all the things in it. 

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins

I realize these may not look like much but I can’t even explain how much the caramelized onions and smoked cheddar take these over the top. They make them 500% better. Like, I will never make them another way now!

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins with ranch

Give me all the dip!

smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins with ranch

Smoked Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Potato Skins

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Smoked Cheddar and Caramelized Onion Potato Skins

These potato skins are incredible! Topped with caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, bacon, scallions and homemade ranch.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 6 russet potatoes
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • olive oil for spraying/brushing
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

homemade ranch

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives or 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Poke a few holes in the potatoes with a fork and place them on a baking sheet. Spray or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake the potatoes for 50 to 60 minutes.
  • While the potatoes are baking, heat the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until crispy and all the fat is rendered, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to remove excess grease.
  • In the same skillet with the bacon grease, add the sliced onion with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat - if there isn’t enough bacon grease left, you can add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Cook the onions, stirring often, until the become caramely and golden - about 30 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them and keep stirring! Lower the heat as needed so they don’t burn.
  • Once the potatoes are done, increase the heat in the oven to 450 degrees F. Slice the potatoes lengthwise. Scoop out most of the center, leaving a bit around the edges to stuff. You can discard this or save it to use in soup, salads, etc - whatever you want!
  • Brush or spray the insides of the potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them in the oven to 10 minutes - this really helps them get crispy and delicious!
  • Remove the potatoes and top with the smoked cheddar and caramelized onions. Place the sheet back in the oven for 5 minutes, just so the cheese melts.
  • Top with the scallions, bacon and a drizzle of homemade ranch. Enjoy!

homemade ranch

  • Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until pureed and combined. This will make more than you need. Store in the fridge in a sealed container and use for salads or dipping. This lasts for about a week!

bite out of smoked cheddar and caramelized onion potato skins with ranch

Chomp.

The post Smoked Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Potato Skins. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Steamed Dumplings

Over the years, Jack and I have made so many steamed dumplings together. Like all our favorite cooking projects (sushi, bao buns), steamed dumplings have a simple division of tasks. I make the filling, and Jack makes the dumplings. Then, we eat! If you…


Over the years, Jack and I have made so many steamed dumplings together. Like all our favorite cooking projects (sushi, bao buns), steamed dumplings have a simple division of tasks. I make the filling, and Jack makes the dumplings. Then, we eat! If you’re looking for a fun activity for a weekend, a date-night-in, or even New Year’s Eve, I hope you try this steamed dumplings recipe. It’s a blast to make, and it’s not at all complicated (thanks, store bought wonton wrappers!). Best of all, it’s delicious. The filling is spicy and savory, with a refreshing gingery kick. I […]

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Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream…

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creamy spinach artichoke dip recipe

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream cheese, sour cream, plus green onions and poblano pepper or bell pepper.

We’ll cook the green onions until they’re a little golden and frazzled around the edges, which is an easy way to yield tons of flavor. I’m obsessed with using lightly spicy, tender poblanos in this recipe (a great twist on standard spinach artichoke dip) but you can use a red bell pepper for a mild dip (also delicious!).

creamy spinach artichoke dip ingredients

The end result is not the most beautiful dip in the world, but it’s definitely amongst the most tasty. It’s creamy and indulgent, yet tastes fresh and full of flavor. This dip is fully loaded with veggies and greens, so it’s actually more redeeming than you might think.

I hope you’ll whip together this spinach artichoke dip on the holidays, or for movie nights, or just any time you get a hankering for it. I’m daydreaming about serving this dip at parties next year!

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