Fuji Apple Chicken Salad with Creamy Champagne Vinaigrette.

Welcome to my lunchtime fave: the fuji apple chicken salad! Made at HOME!  I promise this will be the last fall salad! I mean, I almost promise. Yes, I share a ridiculous amount of fall salads, especially including apples, but they are just the best salad add-in. And this one is SO good.  A year […]

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Welcome to my lunchtime fave: the fuji apple chicken salad! Made at HOME! 

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

I promise this will be the last fall salad! I mean, I almost promise. Yes, I share a ridiculous amount of fall salads, especially including apples, but they are just the best salad add-in. And this one is SO good. 

homemade apple chips

A year or two ago we started getting panera once a week for lunch while working. Mostly, my kids were obsessed with different items, but I have gone through phase after phase of their salads – there are multiples that I really love!

I’ve made the strawberry poppy seed chicken salad before and I’ve made their mediterranean kale salad with quinoa too. And! I make their baja grain bowls frequently. 

toasted brown sugar pecans

Even though we’re cooking constantly here, sometimes the dishes aren’t ready for lunch (as in, they need to be photographed!) and lunch take out has added the best spark to the day. It also helps that the salads are fairly healthy, even when I do want to get a vat of broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. As delicious as this is, it puts me in a food coma and I can’t work after!

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

A long time favorite of mine has been the fuji apple chicken salad. The apple chips, gorgonzola and vinaigrette bring so much life to the salad! I’ve recreated it almost exactly here, with a few exceptions.

Fuji apple chicken salad perfection:

I made my own apple chips, which aren’t quite as crunchy as store-bought ones. You know? They are still really good! Just never as crisp. You can either make your own or grab some from the store. I use these in salads year round, that’s how much I love them.

pouring champagne vinaigrette on fuji apple chicken salad

Also, I either broil or grill some chicken thighs or breasts. It’s delicious, but not necessary. If I was going to prep these for the week ahead, I’d probably use a rotisserie chicken for ease. Or any leftover grilled chicken!

I make pickled onions instead of using raw red sliced onion in the salad. Because pickled onions are ALWAYS better! The tart, briney flavor is out of this world. You can make these ahead of time, of course. I like to keep a batch in the fridge every week.

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

Finally, I made a creamy champagne vinaigrette instead of a white balsamic. I modeled this after my creamy balsamic dressing in the blueberry salad this summer (which was such a hit!) and oh my word – it is SO good. I’m pretty sure panera has their dressing bottled if you just want to buy that for an extra legit salad. But mine is super close and SO good. 

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

I mean, see that texture?! Crunchy and crisp and refreshing and satisfying and hearty! Everything a salad should be.

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

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Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

This fuji apple chicken salad is a copycat of the delicious version from panera! Topped with a creamy champagne vinaigrette - it's so good!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
For the apple chips 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

fuji apple chicken salad

  • 2 fuji apples, thinly sliced (or 1 to 2 cups apple chips)
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pickled onions, for serving
  • 1 cup cubed or shredded chicken breast
  • 8 cups spring greens
  • ½ cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • salt and pepper

creamy champagne vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • To make the apple chips, preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Thinly slice the fuji apples and place the slices in a single layer on the sheet. Bake for 1 hour, then flip the slices and bake for 1 more hour. You can do this head of time and store them at room temp in a bag or container.
  • To toast the pecans: heat the pecans in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add in the brown sugar. Toss and stir constantly, as the pecans toast and the sugar melts. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until toasty. Remove and spread on a piece of parchment paper to cool. You can leave these whole or chop them.
  • To assemble the salad, toss the greens with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Top with chopped chicken, the apple chips, toasted pecans, chicken, gorgonzola, tomatoes and dressing. Toss well and serve!

creamy champagne vinaigrette

  • Whisk together the vinegar, garlic, cream, mustard, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stream in the olive oil while whisking until emulsified. Serve with your favorite salad! This dressing stays great in the fridge. Just shake or whisk it to combine before serving.

fuji apple chicken salad with champagne vinaigrette

This is heavenly.

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Tomato Picnic Toast with Blue Cheese Mayo.

This is anything-but-boring tomato toast.  And it is so, so perfect for the next month or two, when tomatoes are at peak ripeness – for both lunch and dinner! And let’s be real… maybe even breakfast. It wasn’t until I started this blog that I knew about the phenomenon of mayo tomato toast. Sure, we’ve […]

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This is anything-but-boring tomato toast. 

tomato toast with blue cheese mayo

And it is so, so perfect for the next month or two, when tomatoes are at peak ripeness – for both lunch and dinner!

And let’s be real… maybe even breakfast.

sliced heirloom tomatoes

It wasn’t until I started this blog that I knew about the phenomenon of mayo tomato toast. Sure, we’ve had incredible tomatoes come mid-summer here PA (for about five minutes) ever since I was a kid, but we usually served them as salad. Or just sliced with some balsamic. 

P.S. there is a super easy, delicious tomato salad in my next book! It was a staple my mom made when we were growing up. Can’t wait!

crumbled blue cheese in mayo

Let’s just say that since the mayo/toast/tomato meal skipped over me, I’ve felt very deprived ever since discovering it. I mean, it is SO GOOD. So simple. Such a classic. How could I go so long without knowing this was a thing?

Granted, I thought I didn’t like mayo until about five years ago. But that’s neither here nor there.

blue cheese mayo on sourdough toast

So. You know I have made just about a million versions of tomatoes on toast right here on this blog. It’s unbeatable in the summer, the perfect lunch or dinner – just so unbelievably good.

tomato toast with blue cheese mayo

Most of my tomato toast varieties include burrata cheese, so I left that out today in order to really switch things up. Hello BLUE CHEESE!

And not just any old boring blue cheese, We’re making blue cheese mayo. Which is really just a fancy way for saying that we’re stirring crumbled blue cheese into mayo. It’s true. 

tomato toast with blue cheese mayo

It.is.everything. 

Especially slathered on sourdough toast!

Especially topped with ripe tomatoes!

Then sprinkle it all with flaked salt and you’re golden.

This is my perfect picnic toast. 

Whether you’re throwing a blanket in the backyard for a weekday picnic lunch or actually venturing to a park, it’s the best way to elevate your tomato toast or sandwich.

Add a sprinkle of fresh chives and you won’t even want to eat anything else all summer. 

tomato toast with blue cheese mayo

Tomato Toast with Blue Cheese Mayo

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Tomato Toast with Blue Cheese Mayo

This tomato toast is my new favorite lunch! Toasted sourdough spread with blue cheese mayo, topped with sliced heirlooms and sprinkled with salt. YUM.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • 1 to 2 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, for topping
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • flaked salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  • In a bowl, stir together the mayo and blue cheese. Toast the sourdough. Spread it with the blue cheese mayo, then layer with the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with flaked salt, pepper and chives. Eat!

tomato toast with blue cheese mayo

But whyyyyy is this so good?

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Smashed Buffalo Cucumber Salad with Avocado.

Oh how I adore this smashed buffalo cucumber salad! It’s refreshing with a touch of heat and also has cheese and avocado which means it’s basically my favorite thing on the planet right now. So! I’d love to know what you’re eating right now. Are you working out of your pantry? Are you grocery shopping […]

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Oh how I adore this smashed buffalo cucumber salad!

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

It’s refreshing with a touch of heat and also has cheese and avocado which means it’s basically my favorite thing on the planet right now.

smashed cucumbers

So! I’d love to know what you’re eating right now. Are you working out of your pantry? Are you grocery shopping once a week, or twice? How is the fresh produce situation in your life?

Not only is it tricky for me to figure out what to share here on the blog, it’s just as tricky in real life to determine what we will eat. I feel like the past month we survived mostly on comfort food, even if it was a salad of sorts. And now that the weather is getting warmer, I’m craving fresher dishes. But that’s also hard since we’re only getting grocery pickup every ten days or so. 

cucumbers with buffalo wing sauce

I’m still making (and wanting!) fresh salads and dishes like this, so I figured why not. After all, you have to know about this deliciousness. 

Enter buffalo smashed cucumbers!

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

Last year I shared this sesame smashed cucumber salad here on the blog and it is SUCH a hit. I actually can’t believe how much I love it and how I often crave that salad, even for a snack. It’s weird. But it’s so refreshing and flavorful at the same time.

Eddie loathes cucumbers so it’s rare that I make that salad for dinner, unless I do just a few cucumbers for Emilia and me. She loves them too, though her preferred method of consumption is by dipping them in guac. 

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

So this bowl!

We do the whole salt + sugar cucumber thing and let them hang out for 20 minutes or so. Enough time to grab the rest of your ingredients. Instead of an actual vinaigrette with this one, we’re doing buffalo wing sauce. It’s spicy and tangy, which is perfect for the fresh, juicy cucumbers.

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

We’re also adding an avocado. It keeps things mild, in a good and creamy way. It also adds some more substance so the salad, you know? So we’re not just eating a bowl of cucumbers.

I love to drizzle the wing sauce on at this point and toss the cucumber and avocado so it really gets coated in the flavor. I also do a splash of fresh lime juice!

Next comes the cheese. I’m all for blue cheese and definitely have it on hand. Plus, it works with the buffalo wing combo. But if you don’t have it or simply don’t like it, use feta, goat or even cheddar. They all work.

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

My favorite buffalo wing trifecta comes next: green onions, chives and cilantro. I love a mix of these three things on ANYTHING buffalo-wing flavored. It really makes a huge difference. 

Finally, a big handful of crushed peanuts. These are everything. They add texture, of course (which I can’t live without) and again, more satiety to the dish! Also wonderful flavor too. 

Doesn’t it look so incredible?!

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

Smashed Buffalo Cucumber Salad

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Smashed Buffalo Cucumber Salad with Avocado

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 to 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 8 baby seedless cucumbers (or english/seedless cucumbers)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce, or more, if you like it!
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (or feta, goat, cheddar, etc)
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Instructions

  • Cut the cucumbers into pieces (some in half, some lengthwise, whatever you want!) and use a jar or meat tenderizer to smash each piece, gently and most of the time, just once. You can discard any seeds that come out, but place all the cucumber pieces in a large strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle on a generous pinch of salt and sugar, and toss the cucumbers. If you want, you can place a bowl (or something heavy!) on top of the cucumbers to help press out the water. Let the cucumbers sit for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • While they sit, prepare the rest of your ingredients!
  • Drain the cucumbers and place them in a large bowl. Toss in the avocado. Add a small pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle with the wing sauce and lime juice and toss. Sprinkle on the cheese, peanuts, onions, cilantro and chives. Serve immediately!

This smashed buffalo cucumber salad is filled with tons of buffalo wing flavor! Avocado, blue cheese, peanuts and lime juice make this irresistible.

Yes to some green!

The post Smashed Buffalo Cucumber Salad with Avocado. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Loaded Chicken Wing Dip with Beer Caramelized Onions.

This wing dip is sponsored by ALDI! I’m so excited to be working with them to bring you some amazing dishes this year! It’s dip season! And I am here for you with this loaded wing dip! Oh my gosh you guys. This app right here is chock-full of EVERYTHING you want to eat (and […]

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This wing dip is sponsored by ALDI! I’m so excited to be working with them to bring you some amazing dishes this year!

It’s dip season! And I am here for you with this loaded wing dip!

This loaded wing dip is full of buffalo wing sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, blue cheese and tons of cheddar. All the flavors!

Oh my gosh you guys. This app right here is chock-full of EVERYTHING you want to eat (and share!) for the Big Game. Gooey, melty cheese, juicy shredded chicken, three sauces, beer caramelized onions (!!) – seriously everything. I’m pumped! 

beer caramelized onions

Today I’m partnering with ALDI again to bring you a deeeelish spread just in time for the Big Game! They have seriously everything you need for an incredible game spread. Not only am I sharing this fabulous dip, but also a few of their new dreamy hummus and salsa varieties. Oh and their ready-to-go wings! So good, and they come with extra sauce. 

My obsession with ALDI is going wild and I’m happy to report that I brought home a huge haul from there on Sunday. I found every.single.thing. I needed for the week plus for this recipe. Woohoo! 

p.s. If you need any ideas for a spread, check out the incredible tailgate football food spread I made all with ingredients from ALDI! 

wing dip ingredients

So the dip. THE DIP!

First, I cooked a few Never Any! Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts from ALDI and chopped them up. I love this recipe because you can make the chicken and use it in the dip, use leftover chicken from dinner or use a rotisserie chicken. You really can’t go wrong! 

wing dip ingredients

Oh my word. I am such a lunatic for this dip! The flavor is unreal. It’s more flavorful than just about any other chicken dip I’ve tried.

See, it’s no secret that I’m a buffalo chicken freak. And if you noticed over the holidays, I made the classic dip (after a 10 (or so) year hiatus!) and fell in love again. It was a weird craving that materialized and everyone else in my family was here for it. We burned out on buffalo chicken dip after making it nonstop in the early 2000s, so bringing it back for a night (or, um, and entire holiday) was a delicious surprise.

This loaded wing dip is full of buffalo wing sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, blue cheese and tons of cheddar. All the flavors!

Then I realized that I love BBQ as much, if not more than, buffalo wing flavors. And I’ve made BBQ chicken dip before, but it wasn’t until someone at our party asked me about it that I considered… combining the two. Yes. Combining them. 

And then adding the other things that we have with wings, so maybe a little smokiness? A little honey mustard? Plus blue cheese and ranch, like usual. Then, trashing it up more with beer caramelized onions! I used the Wernesgrüner Pilsner from ALDI to caramelize and the flavor is over the top.

Oh boy, this is just getting good.

This loaded wing dip is full of buffalo wing sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, blue cheese and tons of cheddar. All the flavors!

If I didn’t loathe celery so much, maybe I’d even chop that up and throw it in the dip for you too. Alas, I saved it as a dipper. But seriously? We have ALL THE FLAVORS here. Can I just call it ALL THE FLAVORS dip? 

Because that sounds appropriate. 

This loaded wing dip is full of buffalo wing sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, blue cheese and tons of cheddar. All the flavors!

Let’s go through the wing dip spread!

Front and center, we have the warm, melty, cheesy dip that is divine. I like to serve this with both the Clancy’s Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips and the Savoritz Sea Salt Pita Crackers. There’s a little something for everyone!

ALDI buffalo wing hummus

Along with that, a few dips. The Park Street Deli Avocado Salsa is refreshing and wonderful. It’s great as a dip on its own but also delish on tacos, salads and bowls! The Park Street Deli Buffalo Hummus complements the dip here so well. It’s smooth and creamy – perfect for when you want that buffalo flavor but don’t have enough time (or, friends to eat it with you!) to make a big dip like this. 

My favorite is the Park Street Deli Jalapeno Lime Hummus. Oh it’s just amazing! It bright but creamy, light but with a touch of heat. Everyone loves this one. It’s amazing on wraps or sandwiches too! 

All of these delish snacks – the Park Street Hummuses, Park Street Salsas and Park Street Wings, along with the Clancy’s Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips can be found at Aldi for a limited time! Run and go get them!

ALDI hummus

Because Eddie loves all things wings, I grabbed a few of the Park Street Deli Wings. These are SO GOOD. They come ready to eat – all you have to do is heat them up. I loved the maple BBQ ones so much. 

This loaded wing dip is full of buffalo wing sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, blue cheese and tons of cheddar. All the flavors!

These extra bites are the perfect things to add to a spread with a hot and bubbly dip! 

Now run run run and get all the flavors.

This loaded wing dip is full of buffalo wing sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, blue cheese and tons of cheddar. All the flavors!

Loaded Wing Dip

Loaded Wing Dip with Beer Caramelized Onions

This loaded wing dip is full of buffalo wing sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, blue cheese and tons of chedder. All the flavors!

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, (thinly sliced)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup Wernesgrüner Pilsner
  • 2 Never Any! Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, (cooked and shredded)
  • 2 8-ounce blocks Happy Farms Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 block Reserved Aged Cheddar, (freshly grated)
  • 1 bag Happy Farms Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese, (plus more for topping)
  • ¼ cup Burman’s Hot Sauce, (plus more for drizzling)
  • 1/4 cup Burman’s BBQ Sauce, (plus more for drizzling)
  • ½ cup honey mustard, (plus more for drizzling)
  • 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 2 tablespoons blue cheese dressing

for serving:

  • Park Street Deli Buffalo Hummus
  • Park Street Deli Jalapeno Lime Hummus
  • Park Street Deli Avocado Salsa
  • Clancy’s Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips
  • Savortiz Pita Chips
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery sticks
  1. Heat a large skillet over low heat and add the butter. Add the sliced onions with the salt and pepper and stir. Cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the pilsner and cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, almost all the cheese (I save a handful for topping the dip!), the hot sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch and blue cheese. You can use an electric hand mixer to combine things more if needed! Once combined, stir in the caramelized onions and the shredded chicken. Spread the mixture in a baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Add on another drizzle of BBQ sauce, buffalo and honey mustard.
  4. Bake the dip for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and bubbly and hot. Serve immediately with carrot sticks, celery sticks, crackers and chips.

This loaded wing dip is full of buffalo wing sauce, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ranch, blue cheese and tons of cheddar. All the flavors!

Give me all the flavors!

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Everything Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Twists.

The rest of December officially just got better, thanks to these spinach artichoke twists!  I mean… aren’t these THE CUTEST!! Yes. They are. But wait until you taste them. If you need a fun little appetizer to serve this holiday season, it is here for you. This is SO much easier than it looks. I […]

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The rest of December officially just got better, thanks to these spinach artichoke twists! 

These spinach artichoke twists are filled with cheese and pancetta. They are buttery and flaky on the outside then sprinkled with everything seasoning. YUM.

I mean… aren’t these THE CUTEST!!

Yes. They are. But wait until you taste them. If you need a fun little appetizer to serve this holiday season, it is here for you.

spinach artichoke filling

This is SO much easier than it looks. I first saw the recipe on bon appetit. It looked incredible and I was dying to make it for a party, but thought it might be too involved.

Spoiler alert: it isn’t at all!

If I can do it, you definitely can do it.

All you need to make this happen is two sheets of puff pastry and a couple ingredients for the filling. Maybe a glass of wine for yourself on the side.

puff pastry filled with spinach artichoke

In fact, I changed a lot of things about the filling. For example, their’s uses frozen spinach and for some reason, I just never have frozen spinach on hand. I don’t love frozen spinach either. But we ALWAYS have fresh baby spinach in our fridge because we use it in smoothies daily. Plus, there is no thawing required! 

And I added in chopped artichokes too. Because nothing screams “the holidays!” like spinach artichoke dip. It’s addictive.

puff pastry filled with spinach artichoke

The filling isn’t overly cheesy, because if is, it will end up seeping out and bubbling all over the pan. It’s best to use a crumbly cheese, one that doesn’t get super melty. You know? I prefer gorgonzola with my spinach, which I have ever since I made this fancier spinach dip. It has blue cheese in it and the flavor is elevated about a million points because of that.

The combination is just wonderful. 

These spinach artichoke twists are filled with cheese and pancetta. They are buttery and flaky on the outside then sprinkled with everything seasoning. YUM.

Oh! The other thing?

I always use pancetta in these twists too. YEP. So we have spinach, shallot, artichokes, pancetta and blue cheese. I mean… I would eat that out of a bowl alone. Snuggled up on the couch with a spoon. And netflix. 

These spinach artichoke twists are filled with cheese and pancetta. They are buttery and flaky on the outside then sprinkled with everything seasoning. YUM.

Then the top is showered with everything seasoning! Just when you didn’t think things could get more flavorful. Wowza.

These spinach artichoke twists are filled with cheese and pancetta. They are buttery and flaky on the outside then sprinkled with everything seasoning. YUM.

The answer to the million dollar question: yes you can prep it ahead of time. YES! See, puff pastry is one of those things that really has to be baked and served almost immediately. It’s how you get the best buttery, flakey flavor and texture.

However, you can assemble this entire thing and throw it in the fridge for later in the day. It’s a win win!

Run run run and make it.

These spinach artichoke twists are filled with cheese and pancetta. They are buttery and flaky on the outside then sprinkled with everything seasoning. YUM.

Everything Spinach Artichoke Twists

Everything Spinach Artichoke Puff Pastry Twists

These spinach artichoke twists are filled with cheese and pancetta. They are buttery and flaky on the outside then sprinkled with everything seasoning. YUM.

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, (thawed)
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 shallot, (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, (minced)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, (chopped)
  • 6 artichoke hearts, (chopped)
  • ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola, (or any blue! cheese)
  • 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, (lightly beaten, for egg wash)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons everything seasoning
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the pancetta. Cook until the pancetta is crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain excess grease. Discard all by 1 teaspoon of the pancetta grease from the skillet.
  3. Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and stir in the black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot softens, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  4. While it’s cooling, prep you puff puff pastry. Use a circular object about the same size as your puff pastry to cut a circle out of the middle of both sheets, the exact same size. You want it to be as large as it can (so it goes to the edges!) – so you don’t waste much pastry. Place both circles on the parchment paper.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together the chopped fresh spinach, artichokes, pancetta, shallots and garlic. Stir in the crumbled cheese. Mix until everything is combined, then place it in the center of one of the puff pastry circles, leaving a ½ border along the edge. On that edge, brush with egg wash. Top the mixture with the other puff pastry circle, so they line up perfectly on top of each other with the filling in the center. Press the edges together.
  6. Use a biscuit cutter (or the rim of a glass) to press into the center, but don’t cut through. Use a sharp knife to cut slits in the puff pastry circle about 1 inch apart – from the center out to the edge. (see my third photo down!) Take each of those slices and gently twist it from the center. (see the fourth photo down.) Twist it two or three times. Don’t worry if filling is falling out and it looks messy – it will still bake up pretty!
  7. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle on the everything seasoning.
  8. Bake on the center rack for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and shiny. Serve immediately!

These spinach artichoke twists are filled with cheese and pancetta. They are buttery and flaky on the outside then sprinkled with everything seasoning. YUM.

Now maybe I need a dip for this too…

The post Everything Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Twists. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Creamy Buffalo Cauliflower Soup.

You GUYS. I made us buffalo cauliflower soup to warm our soul. Yesssss I know. I’m back with more cauliflower and more buffalo-wing inspired cauliflower. Forgive me?  Remember years ago when I first made this cauliflower soup? It was SO incredible and one of my first forays into loving cauliflower, especially in a way other […]

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You GUYS. I made us buffalo cauliflower soup to warm our soul.

This buffalo cauliflower soup is creamy and decadent and silky smooth! Made with cheddar, wing sauce, blue cheese and all the fixins!

Yesssss I know.

I’m back with more cauliflower and more buffalo-wing inspired cauliflower. Forgive me? 

This buffalo cauliflower soup is creamy and decadent and silky smooth! Made with cheddar, wing sauce, blue cheese and all the fixins!

Remember years ago when I first made this cauliflower soup? It was SO incredible and one of my first forays into loving cauliflower, especially in a way other than roasted. 

That cauliflower soup has always reminded me of potato soup because it is so creamy and decadent – without cheese! That’s always a big one for me.

No cheese?! Should I even taste it?

Well I can’t say that this doesn’t have cheese. It does have a litttttle bit of cheese, but only because I whole-heartedly believe that a buffalo-wing inspired dish should have some cheddar. Sure, I know that actual wings don’t have cheese and cheddar, but when it comes to buffalo chicken pizza or anything else that I try to “buffalo,” a bit of cheddar is a must.

Unless we’re talking about this cauliflower. I use smoked blue cheese there, soooo… just don’t leave out the cheese. Moral of the story.

This buffalo cauliflower soup is creamy and decadent and silky smooth! Made with cheddar, wing sauce, blue cheese and all the fixins!

Now here’s the other thing. I have this REALLY OLD recipe on the site for buffalo chicken soup. Many of you are die hard fans over the buffalo chicken soup – like you still tell me how much you love that recipe. Not only is it a good recipe, but it’s pretty darn quick too. 30 minutes or less. 

The photos are terrible, but hey, you win some, you lose some. Actually, back in 2010 they were probably omgthebest photos I had ever taken! 

p.s. the little baguettes on top of that soup take it over the top. It’s embarrassingly easy and simple but if you love buffalo chicken stuff and soup, you’ll be into it.

This buffalo cauliflower soup is creamy and decadent and silky smooth! Made with cheddar, wing sauce, blue cheese and all the fixins!

ANYHOOOO.

That is all where the inspiration for this recipe came from. Actually, I thought of a soup with whole roasted cauliflower florets in it, sort of like how the chicken pieces are in my original soup. Then I determined that would be disgusting and remembered that I had the creamiest, dreamiest cauliflower soup recipe that I love so much.

And that doing some sort of combination of the two would be awesome.

I was right! This is silky and smooth and a little spicy and tangy. You melt a bit of cheese into the soup too. But obviously, the real winner here is the toppings – tons of chives and scallions and blue cheese, all my must-haves for anything buffalo-wing inspired.

This buffalo cauliflower soup is creamy and decadent and silky smooth! Made with cheddar, wing sauce, blue cheese and all the fixins!

And if I’m being honest, I really wanted something crunchy on top. I think you could do a baguette slice or big, crunchy crouton, but I liked the vibe of no bread here, so I skipped it. What you can (and should?) probably do is garnish it with diced celery. But since I believe celery is born from the depths of hell, I skipped that part. 

A bowl of this is SO good. Super comforting and warming, silky and smooth. It’s amazing in shooter form too. And slightly orange, obviously, so it’s the perfect October soup.

This buffalo cauliflower soup is creamy and decadent and silky smooth! Made with cheddar, wing sauce, blue cheese and all the fixins!

Buffalo Cauliflower Soup

Buffalo Cauliflower Soup

This buffalo cauliflower soup is creamy and decadent and silky smooth! Made with cheddar, wing sauce, blue cheese and all the fixins!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, (finely diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, (minced)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, (chopped into florets)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
  • ⅓ cup buffalo wing sauce ((or more to taste!), plus more for drizzling)
  • ⅔ cup freshly grated sharp white cheddar cheese

for garnish

  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced scallions
  • chopped chives
  • crumbled blue cheese
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, then add onions with the salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped cauliflower and vegetable stock, then cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until softened. A few times during cooking, use your spoon to press down and break apart or mash the cauliflower.
  2. Transfer all the cauliflower and liquid to a blender and (carefully!) puree until smooth. Make sure you hold a towel over top of the blender while pureeing. Pour the cauliflower mixture back into the post and heat over low heat.
  3. Stir in the milk and remaining butter. Stir in the buffalo wing sauce. Keep it over the heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or so until the soup is all warm again. Stir in the cheddar until it melts. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper or more wing sauce if you’d like.
  4. Serve the soup immediately and top with cilantro, chives, green onions and blue cheese. Extra wing sauce drizzle if you’d like!

This buffalo cauliflower soup is creamy and decadent and silky smooth! Made with cheddar, wing sauce, blue cheese and all the fixins!

Seriously melts in your mouth!

The post Creamy Buffalo Cauliflower Soup. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Autumn Kale and Apple Salad

I’m moving forward full speed ahead with indulging my autumn obsession, despite the fact that it’s still 95 degrees outside. A good compromise between the crushing heat and my desire for all things fall is a fall-inspired salad. So this week I made this insanely delish Autumn Kale and Apple Salad. It’s so good, guys. […]

The post Autumn Kale and Apple Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m moving forward full speed ahead with indulging my autumn obsession, despite the fact that it’s still 95 degrees outside. A good compromise between the crushing heat and my desire for all things fall is a fall-inspired salad. So this week I made this insanely delish Autumn Kale and Apple Salad. It’s so good, guys. Like so, so, so good. Like, “oops, I just ate a half pound of kale,” good.

Overhead view of a plate full of Autumn Kale and Apple Salad, drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and a black fork on the side of the plate.

Kale Substitutions

I know, not everyone loves kale as much as I do, and I can respect that. This salad would also be great on a more tender green, like spinach or spring mix. If using a tender salad green, just skip the step where I massaged the dressing into the kale.

Blue Cheese Substitutions

If you can’t do blue cheese, don’t worry. Feta or chevre (goat cheese) would also be amazing. You could even shred something like white cheddar onto this salad!

What Type of Apple Should I Use?

I used Jazz apples, which is a nice crisp and fairly tart apple. I suggest getting an apple variety that is at least semi-tart, since you have a good deal of sweetness from the candied walnuts. Check out this cool apple comparison chart from Sprouts Farmer’s Market for reference. 

Close up side view of Autumn Kale and Apple Salad on the plate with dressing.

How to Store Autumn Kale and Apple Salad

If you’re not going to serve all four servings (or two larger sized servings) of this salad at once, it’s best to keep the ingredients separate until just before serving. The kale will continue to wilt from the dressing when refrigerated, and I personally think the salad is best when the dressing is massaged into the salad just before serving. That keeps the kale fluffy, but not dry or tough.

 

Autumn Kale and Apple Salad

All the flavors of fall come together in this Autumn Kale and Apple Salad, with candied walnuts and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup olive oil ($0.55)
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar ($0.41)
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise ($0.17)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard ($0.09)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)

Candied Walnuts

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped ($0.60)
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter ($0.07)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.08)
  • 1 pinch salt ($0.01)

Salad

  • 8 oz. torn kale leaves (about 12 cups) ($2.13)
  • 1 apple ($0.52)
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese ($0.30)
  1. Make the balsamic vinaigrette first, so the flavors have time to blend. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, Dijon, minced garlic, dried basil, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to a jar, bowl, or blender. Close the jar and shake, whisk in the bowl, or blend until the dressing is smooth. Set the dressing aside.

  2. Next make the candied walnuts. Add the butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt to a small non-stick skillet. Heat over medium while stirring, just until the brown sugar begins to melt and sizzle around the edges (one minute).

  3. Add the chopped walnuts to the skillet and stir to combine with the partially melted brown sugar. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring every 10-15 seconds, until the brown sugar fully melts (looks glossy instead of grainy) and completely coats the walnuts.

  4. Remove the skillet from the heat immediately and pour the hot candied walnuts out onto a piece of parchment. Spread the walnut pieces out in a single layer and let cool (about 10 minutes).

  5. Add the torn kale leaves to a large bowl. Add about 2 Tbsp of the balsamic vinaigrette and massage the dressing into the torn kale leaves for about 2 minutes. The kale will wilt to about half the volume.

  6. Cut the apple into four quarters, then cut the core off of each piece. Slice each quarter of the apple into thin pieces.

  7. Divide the massaged kale between four plates. Add apple slices, a tablespoon or two of candied walnuts, and about 1/2 Tbsp blue cheese to each salad. Drizzle a little more balsamic vinaigrette over each, then serve!

Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

Close up front view of an Autumn Kale and Apple Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

How to Make Autumn Kale and Apple Salad – Step by Step Photos

Balsamic vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar

Start with the homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a jar, bowl, or blender.

Finished homemade balsamic vinaigrette on a spoon over the mouth of the mason jar

Close and shake the jar, use a whisk in a bowl, or blend the dressing in a blender until smooth. Set the dressing aside.

Brown sugar, butter, and salt in a small skillet

Next, make the candied almonds. Add 1/2 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and a pinch of salt to a small non-stick skillet. Heat over medium while stirring just until the brown sugar begins to melt a bit and sizzle around the edges (about one minute). It should still be a little grainy (see photo below).

Walnuts added to skillet with molten brown sugar

Once the brown sugar has begun to melt (but still looks grainy), add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and stir to combine. Continue to cook over medium, stirring every 10-15 seconds, until the brown sugar is fully melted (looks glossy, not grainy) and fully coats the walnuts (about 3 minutes).

Candied walnuts cooling on parchment

Pour the candied walnuts out onto a sheet of parchment, spreading them into a single layer, and allow them to cool. The candy coating will harden as they cool.

Bag of torn kale leaves

Now it’s time to prepare the kale. I used a LOT of kale (8 oz. or about 12 cups) because when you massage the dressing into the kale leaves they deflate by about half. So, I used about 2/3 of this large 12 oz. bag of torn kale leaves.

Balsamic Vinaigrette being drizzled over kale in a bowl

Place the torn kale leaves in a very large bowl, then drizzle about 2 Tbsp of the balsamic vinaigrette over top. Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale (this should only take about 2 minutes). The kale will become dark and glossy when the dressing is massaged in.

Sliced jazz apple on a cutting board with a chef's knife.

Cut an apple into quarters, then cut the core off each quarter. Slice each quarter into thins strips.

Portion kale onto plates

Divide the massaged kale between four plates (or two if you want two larger meal-sized salads).

Apple slices added to salads

Add the apple slices to the salads.

 

Blue cheese sprinkled over each salad.

Add candied walnuts and sprinkle about 1/2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese over each salad.

Balsamic vinaigrette being drizzled over an Autumn Kale and Apple Salad with a spoon

Finally, drizzle a little more of the balsamic vinaigrette over top, then serve!

Close up overhead view of Autumn Kale and Apple Salad, with balsamic vinaigrette and a fork on the side.

Seriously, tho.  🤤

The post Autumn Kale and Apple Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

You know how sometimes you have a preconceived notion of a random food item, and refuse to touch it based on that preconception?

The post Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing is creamy and tangy. Forget store-bought salad dressings; this homemade version is easy to make and tastes so much better.

Mixed salad dressed with blue cheese dressing

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but all I’ve been wanting to eat is salad.

From wedge salads and simple grilled chicken salads to Greek-style topped with gyro meat, I’ve been whipping up salads for lunch and dinner all month long.

Now that Elle is back in school, having a few of these quick and easy dinner salads in my repertoire makes weeknight meals a breeze.

(more…)

The post Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

The Creamy Gorgonzola Pasta My Mom’s Been Making Since the ’80s

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

Within my own family, my Queens-born appetite is world-famous. The mythology’s narrat…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


Within my own family, my Queens-born appetite is world-famous. The mythology’s narrative arc stretches to infancy, dark days filled with ceaseless crying after relentless nursing, to the point when my incredulous mother had to bring me to a doctor.

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