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#INFINITERECIPE  was a limited run series previously done on SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS that reviewed cookbooks and shared some easy-to-make recipes from site administrator Shannon Muir, celebrating the use of words in the culinary arts. As we are full swing into the holiday season, this column revisits some of the highlights from #INFINITERECIPE as developed by the site administrator for quick and easy party fixings.

This collection features the best of the #INFINITERECIPE column, plus one new recipe for you to try!

HEALTHY HOLIDAY HUMMUS

  • 1 16 oz can low-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of one whole lemon
  • -1/2 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 4 strips of roasted red pepper
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (but may need more to reach consistency)

Low sodium chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and no added salt keep this healthier for the heart, while extra garlic and tahini (sesame paste) bring in the added flavor to make this worth the effort over store bought.

  • Juice the lemon.
  • Put all ingredients except olive oil, artichoke hearts, and red pepper in a food processor.
  • Blend until creamy and well mixed, slowly adding oil (or more water) until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Add artichokes and red pepper strips. Separate out the leaves of the artichokes so they are spread throughout the food processor.
  • Pulse to break up the red pepper and artichokes into chunks. When blended, small chunks of red pepper and artichoke should bevisible.
  • Can serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

#INFINITERECIPE – HEALTHY HOLIDAY HUMMUS is new to SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS.

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN SALAD

When I have canned chicken around, it’s hard for me to think past seeing it as just for casseroles or just chicken salad for sandwiches. I challenged myself to create an entree salad using canned chicken. I looked at some other recipes for inspiration, along with my own flavor palette preferences, and tweaked a little.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12.5 oz can of chicken breast, diced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 4.25 oz can chopped black olives, drained
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped in half
  • ½ tsp spiced sea salt
  • 2 tsp dried chopped onion
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, divided
  • black pepper to taste
  • dried parsley for garnish

STEPS

Juice 1 lemon and set aside.

Cut up 1 cup worth of grape tomatoes and set aside.

Open chicken and drain.

In a large bowl, add chicken and break up any large chunks.

Add salt blend and mix well.

Add ½ cup of the Greek yogurt to moisten chicken.

Open and drain the chopped olives, add to mixture, and mix.

Add feta cheese and mix.

Add dried onion and mix.

Add lemon juice and mix.

Add tomatoes and mix.

Pepper to taste.

Add rest of Greek yogurt to coat evenly.

Serve on plate and garnish with parsley.

The result is a refreshing, easy to eat entree salad perfect for a book club gathering!

#INFINITERECIPE – Mediterranean Chicken Salad was originally published  at INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS but recipes were not transferred when merging  to become  SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS.

FRENCH ONION DILL DIP

INFINITE RECIPE searches out recipes that could easily be done for book club gatherings, often by reviewing cookbooks that appear to have suitable recipes.

Sometimes the greatest prompting for a cooking challenge is when you make a little mistake.

One year where I work, we decided to do different dips for National Dip Day (March 23rd each year in the United States). I promised my team I would do my French Onion Dill Dip without realizing what I’d typed. It turned out I’d never prepared onions for my dips anything close to that kind of method before; my traditional way of doing things was an onion dill dip using a ratio of various spices and dried onion.

So now, I found myself in a bit of a pickle, as the saying goes. I’d promised a French Onion style dip.  I needed to learn how to make that happen and still keep it characteristic enough of what reflected my taste and style.

I ended up doing research online about how to caramelize onions, as that would be the key to really making it a French Onion style. While I’d browned onions before, I’d never actually needed to caramelize them in my limited cooking experience. This made me rise to the challenge and learn how.

When I brought the dip in to the office, everyone gave good compliments, which let me know my risk paid off!

While I won’t give away my exact recipe and steps, I do want to post this as encouragement to try new things and see how minor changes to a recipe may create amazing new experiences.

Below is a photo of the final result, taken at the office that day. We weren’t being graded on presentation, just everyone having a good time and enjoying the taste!

#INFINITERECIPE – FRENCH ONION DILL DIP 
was originally published at  INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS but recipes were not transferred when merging  to become  SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS.

EDAMAME CREAM CHEESE DIP

INGREDIENTS

– 1 8 oz whipped cream cheese
– 1 frozen 12 oz package ready-to-eat edamame (soybeans),
shelled and thawed to room temperature
– Juice of 1 lime
– Zest of 1 lime
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– ¼ cup diced red onion
– 2 tbsp green onion
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– ½ tsp to ¼ tsp roasted red pepper flakes (to taste)
– ¼ tsp salt
– t¼ tsp pepper
Preparing ingredients in advance
  • Make sure edamame package is thawed to room temperature.
  •  Add edamame to food processor and pulse until pureed. Scrape the sides if necessary.
  • Add lime juice, garlic cloves, red onion, green onion, olive oil, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Continue to pulse until all ingredients form a paste. Scrape the sides if necessary.
  • Put whipped cream cheese in bowl.
  • Fold in mix from food processor until blended consistently.
  • Once the blend consistency is achieved, fold in the red pepper flakes and the lime zest.
  • Chill several hours at minimum so that all flavors mix.
  • Serve with crackers or vegetables.

#INFINITERECIPE  – EDAMAME CREAM CHEESE DIP
was originally published at INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS but recipes were not transferred when merging  to become  SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS.

MEDITERRANEANMINI-SALAD SKEWERS WITH GARLIC GREEK VINAIGRETTE

SALAD SKEWERS

  • One box decorative toothpicks or wooden mini party forks
  • 1 12 oz jar of Mediterranean style roasted red pepper
  • 1 6.7 oz jar pitted Kalamata olives (sliced and pitted if possible)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 8oz block of traditional feta cheese OR 1 bunch celery (for non-dairy alternative)

GARLIC GREEK VINAIGRETTE

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  •  ½ teaspoon dried ground Mediterranean oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Skewers ingredients for the non-dairy version using celery
  • Start with preparing the salad skewers by slicing Kalamata olives in half if required (if unable to buy pre-sliced), to equal the amount of skewers you wish to prepare.  Each skewer has ½ an olive on it.
  • Peel the cucumber, slice into ¼ inch rounds, and divide each round into fourths until you have enough equal to the amount of skewers you wish to prepare. Each skewer has ¼ a piece of cucumber on it.
  • Get out a roasted red pepper from the jar, make sure all the brine is drained, and divide it in half. Then, cut each half into ½ inch squares. Repeat with more peppers if needed until you get equal to the amount skewers you wish to prepare. Each skewer needs one segment of red pepper.
  • Cut off ¼ inch slices from the feta cheese, short side across, and divide into six ½ inch squares. Repeat until you get equal to the amount of skewers you wish to prepare. Each skewer needs one piece of feta cheese. (For the non-dairy option, just cut stalks of celery into ½ inch slices until you get the amount needed, with one slice used per skewer.)
  • Build skewers from top to bottom as follows – olive, cucumber, red pepper, feta cheese (or celery) – and set aside in a storage container. When all skewers are finished, put the storage container in the refrigerator.
Dressing Ingredients
  • In a bowl, mix together all of the vinaigrette items except the olive oil, salt, and pepper and blend together.
  • Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until fully blended.Salt and pepper the vinaigrette to taste and then refrigerate until needed.
  • When ready to serve, arrange the skewers on a plate, shake up the vinaigrette again, and drizzle over the mini-salad skewers.

#INFINITERECIPE  – MEDITERRANEAN MINI-SALAD SKEWERS WITH GARLIC GREEK VINAIGRETTE
was originally published at INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS but recipes were not transferred when merging  to become  SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS.