Tag Archives: mystery basket

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Sprinkles, Hummus, Birthday Cake and Artichokes

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This weeks Chopped Challenge was very special because it  just so happened to fall on my birthday!

The ingredients I was given were very interesting, Sprinkles from Allison Davis, Hummus from Arun, Birthday Cake from Krista Lombardi and Artichokes from Angela Garner.

I decided to make a combination of sweet and spicy party dips including Birthday Cake Hummus and Spicy Buffalo Artichoke Dip.

The hummus was inspired by my favorite peanut butter hummus at the local farmers market and the buffalo artichoke dip inspired by my consistent need to add buffalo sauce to anything possible!

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Ingredients (Birthday Cake Hummus)

  • 2 cups birthday cake batter
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
    • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans (or chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sprinkles
  • pita bread (for dipping)
  • vanilla wafers (for dipping)

Begin by combining the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.  In a large bowl beat together the eggs, sugars, butter, vanilla and coconut milk.  Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Place 2 cups of the birthday cake batter (recipe will make slightly more than that so you can bake up a couple little cupcakes on the side :-), garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice and sprinkles into a blender or food processor.

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Sprinkles are fun!

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Blend well, then serve topped with additional sprinkles!

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I loved the vanilla wafers dipped into this hummus for a sweet treat!

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I then prepared the spicy buffalo artichoke dip.

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Ingredients (Spicy Buffalo Artichoke Dip)

  • 1/2 cup vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (drained)
  • pita bread (for dipping)
  • wheat thins (for dipping)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine well.  Next, add the artichoke hearts and lightly blend for 10-15 seconds.  Pour into a serving bowl with a side of pita bread or wheat thins for dipping.  I topped it with parmesan cheese and chives for a little extra deliciousness and color!

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This is definitely my new favorite dip, it’s kind of like if Spinach Artichoke Dip and Buffalo Chicken Dip got married, this would be their delicious little baby!

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I will definitely be serving this at my Christmas Cocktail Party next weekend!

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Chopped Challenge Thursday: Tomato Paste, Dates, Pastrami and Turnip Greens

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

This weeks Chopped Challenge was made especially special because it was the first challenge that my dad contributed an ingredient to!

His contribution to the mystery basket was dates, one of our families favorite fruits! In addition to dates, Renee Vaughan added tomato paste, Cassie Vaughn added turnip greens and Thomas Kamakani Jr added pastrami!

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It just so happens that my one purchase on black friday was a Panini Press, which I was beyond excited about!  It’s been on my “want” list for a while and I was so excited to get this $50 piece of amazingness for $9.99 on Friday!

So obviously this weeks Chopped Challenge had to be a panini!  I turned these 4 ingredients into a Pastrami Panini with a Sweet Tomato Spread, Turnip Greens and Blue Cheese Rosemary Stuffed Dates.

Ingredients (makes 2 paninis)

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sweet tomato spread (ingredients below)
  • 1/4 cup southern style greens (collard, turnip & kale)
  • 4 oz pastrami
  • 4 dates (pitted)
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary

Sweet Tomato Spread

  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Prepare the tomato spread by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

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Spread the tops of each slice of bread with olive oil.  Flip then spread the sweet tomato spread on the other side.

Top each slice with the southern greens and pastrami.

Next, combine the blue cheese and rosemary, then stuff the mixture inside the dates.  Place two dates on one half of each sandwich.

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Place the other half of the sandwich on top and set the sandwiches in the panini press.

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And press!

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Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes then remove from the press and serve!

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The combination of sweet dates, the savory blue cheese rosemary combination and the herb crusted pastrami was so ridiculously delicious!

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

I’m not going to lie, I might eat this sandwich every day for the rest of the week!

Now slice it open and dig in!

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Almonds, Beer, Tomatoes and Marshmallow Fluff

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This weeks Chopped Challenge Mystery Basket included beer, almonds, tomatoes and marshmallow fluff…  again!

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I combined the beer and almonds to make one of my favorite side dishes, onion rings.

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I then combined the marshmallow fluff and tomatoes to make a side of BBQ sauce for dipping.

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The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Ten: Beer Battered Almond Crusted Onion Rings with a Sweet Marshmallow BBQ Sauce

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Ingredients (BBQ Sauce – makes 2 cups)

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

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Puree until a thick sauce forms.

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Place in the refrigerator while preparing the onion rings.

Ingredients (Onion Rings – makes app. 30)

  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beer
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Begin by slicing the onions into 1/4 inch rounds.

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Next, whisk together the egg, milk and beer. Pour the mixture over the onions.

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Next, blend together the almonds and cornmeal in a food processor.

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Place in a shallow dish.  Combine the flour, salt and cayenne pepper in a separate shallow dish.

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Next, heat a small amount of olive or canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then pre-heat the oven to 400° and prepare a baking dish topped with cooling racks on the side of the skillet.

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Now, you’re ready to go!

Begin, by moving the onions from the milk and beer mixture to the flour mixture, coat well, then toss them back into the milk and beer, then into the cornmeal almond mixture.  Coat well then place into the skillet and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes.

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Remove from the skillet and place on the baking sheet.

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Bake for 6-8 minutes then remove from the oven.

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Serve with the Sweet Marshmallow BBQ Sauce for dipping.

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This is the perfect way to eat your favorite crispy side dish without the guilt of eating fried foods!

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