Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips

Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips

Ahhh Vegas. For some ridiculous reason I managed to completely avoid Vegas for most of my twenties, that is until I was awakened last year and discovered the brilliance of craps and all you drink tables. Yep, Sin City I’m in love!

So in honor of Vegas Week on American Idol I’m paying homage to the mighty poker chip. And what better way to top off a vibrant bell pepper then with cheese? Oh yeah…add some avocado and you can’t stop popping them in your mouth!

Incredibly easy, delicious and not too bad for you. Just use some low fat cream cheese to shave off a few more calories.

Check out Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rock’s blog HERE!

Happy Eating!


Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips 

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tbsp black olives, minced

Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips

To make the poker chips, use a 1.5″ pastry cutter or small lid to cut circles into the flesh of the bell peppers. Reserve the remaining bell pepper scraps for later use.

Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips

Pile the parsley, thyme and dill on a cutting board and mince. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, avocado, garlic and a tablespoon of the herb mixture.

Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips

Mix until nice and smooth.

Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips

Spoon a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on each bell pepper round (poker chip) and sprinkle with the black olives. Top with a dash of the fresh herbs.

Herbed Cream Cheese & Bell Pepper Chips

Bon Appétit! 

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Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

It’s girl’s week on American Idol and I’m cooking up themed recipes for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks Blog. Last night I kept it super simple with my Goat Cheese and Mango Nachos. So for tonight’s episode I’m sticking with the simple and delicious theme with my Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis.

I have a love affair with many different types of foods and pesto is one of them. How easy is throwing some ingredients into a food processor, blending it up and having a delicious dip, sauce, stuffing…you name it. Pesto is so versatile in taste and ways it can be used. Mmmmm I’m getting hungry! Dig in!

Happy Eating!


Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

Ingredients

Pesto

  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 oz fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp red bell pepper, chopped (reserve 1 tsp for garnish)
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Shrimp

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 package crostinis

Toast the pine nuts in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant.

Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

To make the pesto combine all of the ingredients, minus the olive oil, in a food processor and blend.

Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

Pour in the olive oil and blend until smooth.

Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Set aside.

Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant.

Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

Add the shrimp and saute until nice and pink.

Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

Spread the pesto on the crostini, top with the shrimp and sprinkle with the remaining red bell pepper.

Shrimp and Pesto Crostinis

Bon Appetit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Goat Cheese & Mango Nachos

Goat Cheese and Mango Nachos

Last week American Idol kicked off Hollywood Week and I was serving up Cali inspired recipes for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks Blog!

Tonight it’s girl’s night in Hollywood so I’m keeping it dainty, delicious and super simple. Apparently I’m on a goat cheese kick so I had to satiate my taste buds with one more recipe full of my favorite cheese’s punchy flavor. The sweetness of the mango paired absolutely perfectly with the goat cheese.

Try it!!! I had to hold myself back from eating the whole tray…

Happy Eating!


Goat Cheese & Mango Nachos

Ingredients
▪    1 mango, diced
▪    1 avocado, diced
▪    1/4 cup tomato, diced
▪    2 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    2 tbsp jalapeño, minced, reserve 1 tbsp
▪    1 tsp fresh lime juice
▪    2 tbsp red onion, minced
▪    1/4 kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
▪    4 oz goat cheese
▪    tortilla chips, scoops

Preheat oven to 375.

Goat Cheese and Mango Nachos

Mix the mango and next 8 ingredients, through the black pepper, in a large bowl until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Set aside.

Goat Cheese and Mango Nachos

Fill each chip with around 1 tsp of goat cheese.

Goat Cheese and Mango Nachos

Place on a cookie sheet and bake until the cheese has started to melt, around 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Top each chip with a teaspoon of the mango salsa.

Goat Cheese and Mango Nachos

Put back in the oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining tbsp of jalapeños and serve warm.

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Toasted Goat Cheese with Honey

Toasted Goat Cheese with Honey

Last night American Idol landed in Hollywood and I was cooking up my first recipe of the week for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog.

I love goat cheese. In fact I’m pretty much married to cheese in general, but goat cheese is at the top of my list. The hubby and I went to France last fall and we had the most impeccable goat cheese appetizer. Lightly browned, drizzled in honey and served with a hint of spicy arugula. So voila! Here’s my version of that amazing treat.

I apologize for the lack of pics in the process. Once the cheese landed on the skillet there was no touching a camera. You have to work quick before these suckers start to melt. Give it a try. It’s super easy and oh so delicious!

Happy Eating!


Toasted Goat Cheese with Honey
4 servings

Ingredients
▪    1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
▪    1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    8oz goat cheese
▪    2 cups arugula
▪    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
▪    2 tbsp pine nuts
▪    2 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
▪    1/2 lemon, juiced
▪    honey for drizzling

Mix the panko, salt and pepper on a small plate. Slice the cold goat cheese into 1 inch circles.

Toasted Goat Cheese with Honey

Dredge in the panko and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

IMG_8330Toasted Goat Cheese with Honey

Place the arugula equally in 4 martini glasses and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until piping hot. Add the goat cheese and sauté until lightly golden brown, around 2 minutes on each side.

Toasted Goat Cheese with Honey

Remove from the heat and lightly toast the pine nuts until fragrant.

Place the goat cheese on top of the arugula, two per glass, and drizzle with the honey. Top with the pine nuts, red bell pepper and a drizzle of lemon juice.

Bon Appetit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Avocado Tuna Crisps

Avocado Tuna Crisps

Every week during this season of American Idol I’ll be cranking out themed recipes for Yahoo! Music blogstress Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog. Tonight the Idol crew is heading to Hollywood so I wanted to make something fresh, healthy and super quick.

Grocery store confession: I had a customer meeting early in the evening that ran pretty late so I was racing to the store to pick up tonight’s ingredients. Well…I should have gone with my gut when I saw the only sushi grade tuna available was frozen. Yep FROZEN. Let me just say, do yourself a favor and splurge for the real deal…you’re taste buds won’t reject you! 🙂

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a Season 10 Hollywood Week flashback featuring yours truly. Awww memories!

Happy Eating!


Avocado Tuna Crisps

Ingredients
▪    12oz sushi grade ahi tuna, minced
▪    1 tsp lime juice
▪    1 tsp jalapeño, minced
▪    2 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    2 tbsp scallions, minced
▪    1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
▪    2 tsp sriracha
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
▪    table crackers

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients minus the crackers.

Avocado Tuna Crisps

Mix until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Avocado Tuna Crisps

Chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour.

Spoon a tablespoon of the tuna onto the crackers and serve.

Bon Appétit!


Season 10 Hollywood Week flashback!!

Sarah Sellers - American Idol Season 10

Check out my latest YouTube video:

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

For the past two seasons of American Idol I’ve been whipping up themed recipes for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog. Last night the Idol crew visited Long Beach Cali and San Antonio. Since my foodie allegiance rests with the amazingness that is Mexican Food I had to pay tribute to my home state with some tasty Tex-Mex.

Texas has been my home for over a decade now but I was actually born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. Tonight for the first time auditions are heading to Oklahoma City. I grew up with Mexican food in my veins, eating my dad’s fiery hot salsa as a young kid. So we’ll call tonight a dual tribute to both of my home towns.

I swore I would keep it simple…and it is!! Don’t let the lofty ingredient list scare you away. You’ll have enough relish and avocado crema leftover for nachos, salads, dips…whatever you can think of! So dive in…your taste buds will thank you! 🙂

Happy Eating!


Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish
12 bites size pieces

Ingredients

Enchiladas
▪    1/4 cup canola oil
▪    6 corn tortillas
▪    1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded
▪    1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese, shredded
▪    1/4 cup sour cream
▪    3 tbsp yellow onion, diced
▪    3 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    2 tbsp green chiles
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

Avocado Crema
▪    2 avocados
▪    3 tbsp sour cream
▪    1 tsp fresh lime juice
▪    1 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    1/4 tsp garlic powder
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Relish
▪    15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
▪    8oz can yellow corn kernels, rinsed and drained
▪    2 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    2 tbsp red onion, diced
▪    3 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
▪    1 tbsp fresh lime juice
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
▪    1 tsp cumin
▪    1 tsp chile powder
▪    1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed

*Side note: For another quick appetizer top some tortilla chips with the cheese and melt in the warm oven. Top it off with the relish and remaining crema.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small skillet heat the oil over medium low heat. When the oil is hot dip the tortillas one by one in the hot oil until the edges are slightly crisp.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Drain the excess oil on a paper towel and set aside.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Mix the pepperjack and remaining 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Set aside.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

For the relish, mix the black beans and remaining 10 ingredients in a large bowl.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Set aside.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

For the crema mix together the avocado and remaining 6 ingredients in a medium size bowl until nice and creamy.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Divide the cheese mixture into 6 even portions and carefully spoon each portion onto each tortilla.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Fold the edges over the cheese leaving the ends open. Lightly dab the edges with water to seal.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Lay each tortilla seam side down onto a small baking sheet. Bake until the cheese has melted, around 5-10 minutes.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Remove from the oven. Using a serrated knife cut each tortilla in half.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Top with a tablespoon of the avocado crema.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Then top with the relish.

Crispy Enchilada Minis with Rotisserie Relish

Bon appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Crab & Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Crab & Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

For the past two seasons of American Idol I’ve been coming up with themed recipes for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog. Tonight the auditions land in Long Beach, CA so I wanted to come up with something fresh and healthy.

I love the idea of using the avocado skins as a container for the salad. It looks great and makes me feel like I’m getting a little more use out of the avocado.

There will be plenty of vinaigrette left to use on salads throughout the week. If you’re not a fan of citrus vinaigrette then leave it off completely. The crab and avocado are just as delicious without it.

Happy Eating!


Crab & Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
4 Servings

Ingredients

▪    2 large avocados, halved
▪    2 tbsp red bell pepper, diced
▪    2 tbsp red onion, diced
▪    2 tbsp tomato, diced
▪    1 tbsp cilantro, minced
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
▪    1 tsp jalapeño, minced
▪    1 cup lump crab meat
▪    1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
▪    1 large orange, juiced
▪    1/2 lemon, juiced
▪    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
▪    1 tbsp honey
▪    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Crab & Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Cut the avocados in half and carefully remove the flesh, leaving the skin in tact.

Crab & Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

In a large bowl mix together the avocado and remaining 9 ingredients through the lettuce.

Crab & Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Mix until well combined.

Crab & Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Set aside.

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Set aside.

For the vinaigrette mix together the orange juice and remaining 4 ingredients.

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Set aside.

Whisk until well combined.

Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Set aside.

Fill the avocado skins with the crab mixture and lightly drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Bon Appetit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Cajun Shrimp Bites

Cajun Shrimp Bites

Whether I’m making a Cajun themed meal or visiting one of my favorite cities, New Orleans, I have to throw some shrimp in the mix! So for tonight’s American Idol snack try these tasty Cajun Shrimp Bites and enjoy all of the madness in Baton Rouge.

Don’t forget to check back next week when I’ll be cooking up more Idol themed recipes for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog.

**Side Note: please ignore the slightly charred hue on some of the shrimp bites. Apparently oil gets really hot when you  forget about it and leave the kitchen for a minute [insert sarcasm here]!

Happy Eating!


Cajun Shrimp Bites

Ingredients
▪    1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
▪    3 tbsp red bell pepper, chopped
▪    1/4 cup green onions, chopped
▪    1 tbsp jalapeño, chopped
▪    1 egg
▪    1 tsp hot sauce
▪    1/2 tbsp lemon juice
▪    1 tbsp creole mustard
▪    1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪    1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
▪    1 cup panko bread crumbs
▪    2-3 tbsp canola oil
▪    Remoulade sauce for dipping

Cajun Shrimp Bites

Blend the shrimp in a food processor until smooth.

Cajun Shrimp Bites

Add the red bell pepper and remaining 9 ingredients through the Panko.

Cajun Shrimp Bites

Blend until well combined.

Cajun Shrimp Bites

Using an ice cream scoop form 12 small balls and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Put in the fridge until the flavors have combined, around 30-45 minutes.

Cajun Shrimp Bites

Heat the canola oil in a large cast iron skillet and add the shrimp bites.

Cajun Shrimp Bites

Sauté on each side until nice and golden brown. Remove and serve with a side of spicy remoulade sauce.

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Cheesy Prosciutto Biscuit Bites

Cheesy Prosciutto Biscuit Bites

Season 12 of American Idol is moving right along and I’ll be whipping up themed snacks every week for Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog.

Tonight the auditions are landing in Charlotte, North Carolina so of course, I had to make something super southern and comforting. My friend Melanie told me about a popular snack in Charlotte that combines biscuits and salty ham. Usually Country Ham would be used but prosciutto is a perfect substitute if you can’t find it in your local supermarket.

The saltiness of the prosciutto, creaminess of the pimento cheese and sweetness of the biscuits all marry together perfectly. Give it a try…your taste buds will thank you!


Cheesy Prosciutto Biscuit Bites

Ingredients

Biscuits
Adapted from Homesick Texan

Makes 12-15 biscuits

  • Two cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter, cold (8 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 heavy cream

Filling

  • 1 pound shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese blend
  • 3 heaping tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 small jar diced pimentos
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, diced
  • 2oz package prosciutto di parma, cut each slice in half

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Cut the stick of butter into pieces, and work into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry blender until it resembles pea-sized crumbs.

Cheesy Prosciutto Biscuit Bites

Add the liquid, mixing until a bit loose and sticky. Pour dough out on a floured surface, and knead for a couple of minutes. Dough should be smooth and no longer wet. You can sprinkle more flour on the surface if you find it’s sticking.

Cheesy Prosciutto Biscuit Bites

Roll out dough until it’s 1/4 of an inch thick.

Cheesy Prosciutto Biscuit Bites

Using a small round cutter cut out your biscuits. Place on a greased baking sheet close together, and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Cheesy Prosciutto Biscuit Bites

While the biscuits are baking mix the cheese and next 4 ingredients, through the jalapeños, in a large bowl until the mixture is a nice, creamy consistency. If the mixture is too dry add more mayo or jalapeño juice.

Cheesy Prosciutto Biscuit Bites

Remove the biscuits from the oven. Using a serrated knife cut the biscuits in half. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the pimento cheese mixture onto the biscuit, top with a piece of prosciutto and the top of the biscuit.

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Mini Sausage Calzones

Mini Sausage Calzones

Last night season 12 of American Idol premiered with it’s usual dose of drama, sob stories and of course…the new judges! While Mariah and Nicki were turning it on for the cameras I was cooking up my premier recipe for this year’s Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers.

All season long I’ll be making themed recipes for Yahoo! Music blogstress Lyndsey Parker and her Reality Rocks blog. So for tonight’s episode in Chicago I’m keeping with the Italian theme with my Mini Sausage Calzones.

IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t skimp on the cheese!! I was worried about stuffing the dough with too much filling that they lost that cheesy flavor we all associate with a hearty calzone (don’t worry I adjusted the recipe). So don’t be afraid to go crazy with the cheese!


Mini Sausage Calzones

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 can refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
  • egg white
  • marinara for dipping
  • parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 375.

Mini Sausage Calzones

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Sauté the bell pepper and onion until translucent.

Mini Sausage Calzones

Add the sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and sauté for one minute until fragrant.

Mini Sausage Calzones

Combine the mozzarella, Parmesan and dried thyme in a small bowl and set aside.

Mini Sausage Calzones

Spread the pizza dough on floured surface and cut into 8 pieces.

Mini Sausage Calzones

Top with the cheese and sausage mixture. Fold dough over and lightly press edges together with water. Bake until golden brown, around 15-20 minutes.

Mini Sausage Calzones

Serve with the marinara sauce garnished with the chopped parsley.

Bon Appétit!

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