Monday, September 10, 2012

Giveaway: Allen's Spinach Makes a Delicious Appetizer

So the other day I get an e-mail from a lovely woman who works with Allen's Vegetables about a giveaway opportunity for their product for Vegetarian Awareness Week. Though I'm not a vegetarian by any stretch, I love veggie appetizers and sides as a healthy alternative, and I try to go meat-free once a week if I can.

Plus, the student in me perked up at the idea of free food and the cook in me reveled in the idea of trying a new recipe.

How cute is this? Reminds me of my childhood.

I gave the product a try, and I have to say — I was pleasantly surprised! I always shied away from canned veggies, but the spinach was very close in flavor to frozen spinach and much easier to prep — no defrosting or cooking necessary.

I used Justin as a guinea pig and made these spinach rolls for happy hour paired with a chilled Pinto Grigio. It made a great combination.

Here's my version:

Crunchy, cheesy, buttery and somehow still light.

Popeye Spinach Triangles
Preparation and Cooking Time:
45 minutes
Ingredients1 can (13.5 oz.) Popeye Spinach
 to 1/2 lb. butter, melted
6 green onions, minced
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill weed
Fresh ground pepper
8 or 12 phyllo pastry sheets
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (four slices)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Drain spinach well, pressing to remove as much moisture as possible. Saute onion in 1 Tablespoon butter. Combine onions, spinach, cheese, 2 Tablespoons breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, dill weed, and pepper. 

Triangles: Brush 1 sheet phyllo dough with melted butter. Cut into 2-inch wide strips. Cover remaining dough with wax paper and damp towel to prevent drying. With 2-inch edge toward you, place 1 level teaspoon cheese mixture on left hand corner of strip. Fold corner with filling up and to the right, diagonally and straight until a triangle is formed. Place on a baking sheet; brush with melted butter. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until puffy and brown. Serve warm. 

Slices: Place 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise in front of you on a sheet of waxed paper. Brush with butter and sprinkle with fresh breadcrumbs. Repeat until 4 phyllo sheets are stacked. Spread 1/3 of spinach mixture over top phyllo sheet. Roll tightly as for a jelly roll, using waxed paper to lift and guide the roll. Transfer to baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Repeat until 3 rolls are made, keeping the remaining phyllo dough covered with waxed paper and a damp towel as you work to prevent drying. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into 1-inch slices using a serrated or electric knife. Refrigerated, canned crescent rolls may be substituted for phyllo pastry sheets.

Enter the giveaway to win a free can of the spinach used in this recipe along with a pretty little printout of the recipe as well! To enter, do two things:

1. "Follow" this blog
2. Leave a comment on this entry to tell me your name and favorite appetizer!
Giveaway closes Friday at 7pm!


*The recipe, giveaway product and accompanying photo courtesy of Allen's Vegetables via RMD advertising - many thanks to their generosity!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Good Morning: Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte Donuts

It's finally fall. Or at least close to being fall. Yesterday in St. Louis we had 68 degree weather after a string of over-100 heat waves and sweltering summer humidity. Fall is more than welcome.

Justin and I hit Kayak's Coffee by Forest Park in the morning and headed out to Soulard Market afterward. One thing we discovered about the market is that in one hall they actually sell a lot of food — including homemade donuts.

Which got me to thinking …

 The ubiquitous and delicious pumpkin pie latte is one of my favorite things about fall. You'll absolutely see a post at some point about how to perfect this drink. For now though, I thought it might be fun to turn that classic into a donut. Why not?

There's actually no pumpkin in the donut — it's just the spice mix that's reminiscent of the flavor.

1 tube canned biscuits, like Grands
canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
small pinch ground clove
small pinch ground nutmeg
optional: small pinch ground ginger
For the icing:
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee
3 tsp water
1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Prepare the cinnamon-sugar mixture by combining the sugar, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Prepare the icing by first dissolving the instant coffee in the water, then adding the vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir until a glaze forms. If it is dry, add water by the teaspoon and stir until it smooths out.

2. Preheat a pan with a thin covering of canola oil (1/4 inch or so) on medium heat. Pop open the biscuits. Cut a small hole in the middle of the donuts — you can use a cookie cutter, but due to my understocked kitchen I used a shot glass.

3. Fry the donuts lightly in the oil for about 2 minutes per side. Blot them on a paper towel and roll them in the cinnamon-sugar. Serve with glaze on the side or drizzled on top.

Happy Autumn, Readers. Now go grab some cider, scarves, and boots!


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