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Recipe: Caramelized Onion Dip

Give that old-school version of onion dip a new spin


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With a little more than a week to go until Super Bowl XLIX it’s time to start planning the game-day feast. And what’s better than a new dip to add to the big-game menu?  Nothing! Update the old-school onion soup mix version of onion dip with caramelized onions for a new spin. This made from scratch caramelized onion dip is a bit cleaner with a savory and sweet flavor that gets tied together with a blend of creamy Greek Yogurt, Sour Cream and Cream Cheese. You’ll never want to go back to be pre-made dip. So, dunk in your favorite veggies and enjoy crudité heaven all around.

Ingredients
1/4 cup 2 percent Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 yellow onion chopped
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt & pepper to taste

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Directions
Melt butter in a cast-iron or sauté pan.  Add onions and slowly stir until golden & tender.  (About 20 minutes) Let cool-down.

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While the onions are cooking combine cream cheese yogurt, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper.

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Place everything in a bowl and beat with a hand-mixer until all combined.

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Spoon into a center of large platter with vegetables flowered around.

Nicole Meyer
Author: Nicole Meyer
Foodie, Nicole Meyer (A.K.A. Nic) adores sharing her best dishes with you. Nibble your way through her everyday recipes, seasonal finds and holiday tips. For more, visit nibblesbynic.com

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Recipe: Zucchini Pasta with Grated Parmesan Cheese

A roasted zucchini and garlic pasta with grated parmesan cheese is a lighter alternative to traditional pasta.


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Resolutions…Resolutions…blah blah blah. I’m not here to read you the riot act on healthy eating.  We all know what we have to do and what we shouldn’t do.  However, I am here to provide you with some delicious foodie tools that just might get you motivated to cook a bit more and order in a bit less.  This Zucchini & Roasted Garlic Pasta with Grated Parmesan Cheese uses half the carbohydrates of traditional pasta replacing some noodles with zucchini, which holds on to the authenticity of the dish while cutting out some major calories.  Twirled together with savory roasted garlic and tangy cheese, you’ve got a home-cooked winner!

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium green zucchini (about 12 inch long)
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Salt for degorging the zucchini (removing excess water)
1/2 pound cooked spaghetti according to directions
1 whole head of garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
chopped chives for garnish
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Take your mandolin or a very sharp knife and slice zucchini into thin strips (slightly thicker than linguine noodles)

Place zucchini in a colander with a bowl underneath.  Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 20-30 minutes to drain the excess water and then wipe it off.

Steam zucchini until tender. (I used my rice cooker!)

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Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet and add spaghetti and zucchini

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Pour in broth. Let boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer.
Cook the sauce until it appears thicker and mix in roasted garlic (see below) and Parmesan cheese.
Toss all together with tongs and season with salt & pepper.  Serve with fontina cheese & garnish of chives.

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How to make roasted garlic: To roast the garlic, preheat you oven to 400 degrees and peel away the outer-layers of the skin leaving cloves intact. Slice the top off of the pointy end of the bulbs with a sharp knife exposing each garlic clove. Position garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top. Wrap it tightly in aluminum foil to completely close it up. Cook 45-60 minutes until the garlic looks soft and tender. Let cool and peal outer-layer of each individual clove; it should squeeze right out.

nibblesnic


Nicole Meyer
Author: Nicole Meyer
Foodie, Nicole Meyer (A.K.A. Nic) adores sharing her best dishes with you. Nibble your way through her everyday recipes, seasonal finds and holiday tips. For more, visit nibblesbynic.com

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RECIPE: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple Glazed Squash

A phenomenal holiday side-dish success


What do you get when you combine two of your absolute favorite winter veggies together?  Complete and phenomenal holiday side-dish success. That’s what!!

Ingredients
1 lb. fresh green or purple baby Brussels sprouts washed, trimmed & discarded of any loose leaves
8 garlic cloves (if too large cut in half so all are uniform)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon “aged” balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup (make sure you use 100 % natural;  pancake syrup won’t do this dish justice.)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 large butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch squares (In most markets the hard work is done.  You can find the squash packaged this way.)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

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Directions
Line 2 cookie sheets with foil and spray with cooking spray.
One the first sheet evenly spread out Brussels Sprouts and garlic cloves.  In a small bowl combine olive oil and vinegar and coat the veggies with the mix. Season all with salt and pepper.

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Now take squash and place on second baking sheet.  Toss with maple syrup and evenly spread out.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

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Roast both in oven in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the edges start to slightly brown in color and the inside is tender.

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Combine both together and serve.

Nicole Meyer
Author: Nicole Meyer
Foodie, Nicole Meyer (A.K.A. Nic) adores sharing her best dishes with you. Nibble your way through her everyday recipes, seasonal finds and holiday tips. For more, visit nibblesbynic.com

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How to: Make Fantastic Holiday Bark

Add a little here, touch up a little there


One of my favorite reasons to “cook” instead of “bake” is because nothing has to be precise.  You can add a little here, touch up a little there.  Take a little taste as you go along without worrying about getting sick from a raw egg poking around.  If your recipe needs another dash of salt, just sprinkle it right in there.  That is why most (if not all of my desserts) are as least complicated as possible and this Holiday Bark is right up there. Only five-ingredients, minimal steps and tons of fun to make.  Plus the more unique each piece breaks up, the better!

Ingredients
1-8-oz bag of milk chocolate chips
10 crushed OREO’S of your choice
Sprinkles of your choice in a fun assortment of colors.
vegetable oil (optional to melt chocolate)
1 cup mini marshmallows

Directions

Line a 9x 12 baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. (I like to cut it out to form fit the base of the pan; If you don’t have this size baking sheet then use a baking pan lined with tin foil.)
Pour chips into a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 2 minutes; stirring after 1 minute until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. (Add in oil the chocolate is clumpy.)

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Add in marshmallows & OREO’s and stir until fully coated.

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Spoon chocolate onto the pan creating a thin even layer.  (A spatula is helpful tool in getting a nice uniform spread.)

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While chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with sprinkles and press down extremely gently.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes OR until nice and firm.
Remove from pan and break into irregular pieces. Store in an air-tight container.

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Nicole Meyer
Author: Nicole Meyer
Foodie, Nicole Meyer (A.K.A. Nic) adores sharing her best dishes with you. Nibble your way through her everyday recipes, seasonal finds and holiday tips. For more, visit nibblesbynic.com

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Recipe: Seared Brussels Sprouts

This seasonal recipe is simply prepared but erupts with flavor and taste


Thanksgiving is ALL about the sides…no news flash here to anyone. By the way, please don’t think I am suggesting for you to spend hours upon hours slaving away in the kitchen..how fair is that? It’s your holiday too.  On that note, this brings me to my latest dish, “Seared Brussels Sprouts with Purple Grapes.” While this seasonal recipe is so simply prepared, it actually erupts with flavor and taste.  Bonus…it’s budget friendly which will ensure a true Happy Thanksgiving To You!

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Ingredients
10 oz. brussels sprouts halved and trimmed
3 garlic cloves grated or minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
20 portabella mushrooms halved
1/2 cup purple grapes (smaller ones are better for this dish; if you have large ones, cut them in half.)
2 thyme sprigs with leaves removed
Kosher Salt
ground pepper

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Directions
Heat a large skillet with olive oil for Brussels sprouts.

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Once sizzling hot, position Brussel sprouts face side down on the pan and let cook for 8-10 minutes.

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When they appear charred, mix in mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper & thyme leaves and stir around until all is tender.
Add in grapes and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the grapes appear glossy.
Remove from pan and serve.

Nicole Meyer
Author: Nicole Meyer
Foodie, Nicole Meyer (A.K.A. Nic) adores sharing her best dishes with you. Nibble your way through her everyday recipes, seasonal finds and holiday tips. For more, visit nibblesbynic.com

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