Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do. Fueled by butterbeans & collard greens.

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On 3:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , ,    5 comments
I love bacon. Not in that incredibly obsessive way the rest of the world seems to be, but I really appreciate bits of bacon sprinkled on food to enhance it. Bacon Lover's Day is August 20 and this recipe may be just what you need.

I've taken my favorite bacon recipe to a new level and have enhanced it to create a sweet and savory, cheesy, buttery quesadilla.

Apple Bacon Jam Quesadillas

I have made bacon jam for quesadillas before, on the blog. It's such a flavorful addition, I can't help but put it on another kind of quesadilla. This time: it's an upgrade.


Breeze, Honeycrisp or Red Delicious apples are best for this recipe. You want a firm, crisp apple with just a little bit of sweetness that will hold up to the intense flavor of the bacon jam and the creaminess of the cheese of your choice. Personally, I don't care for the texture of Red Delicious, but those New Zealand Breeze apples are perfect.


As for cheese, I used Cabot's sharp white cheddar and on occasion I've used Kerrygold's Dubliner. Both cheese are very intense and a very little goes a long way. Brie or mozzerella are great substitutes that melt well and match with the buttery, crispy lavash.

I like using lavash flatbread instead of the usual tortilla for this quesadilla because it holds up better to the weight of heavy ingredients and squares are easier to cut into smaller pieces.

Apple And Bacon Jam Quesadillas

½ cup Bacon Jam (click here for recipe)
1 Apple, sliced (see recommendations above)
2 cups shredded cheese
2 Lavash flatbread
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil

1. Spread one half of one lavash flatbread rectangle with ¼ cup bacon jam
2. Layer 8 apple slices on top of the bacon jam
3. Sprinkle and layer 1 cup of shredded cheese on top of the apple slices.
4. Fold the lavash over to make a sandwich.
5. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and melt 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
6. Cook the quesadilla on each side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients and fillings. Slice into wedges and serve with beer (because beer goes great with everything).

Bacon in Appetizers
Bacon for Breakfast Bacon for Dessert Bacon for Dinner Bacon in Beverages Bacon for Lunch Bacon as a Side Dish Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here:
On 7:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , ,    9 comments
The advent of August means quite a few things to me: my mom's birthday, the school year, the beginning of the end of summer and peak corn season.



I don't know if you know about me, but I am a real, live Corn Star. Three years ago I competed in a local celebrity corn shucking contest against the mayor of Winston-Salem. There were other people there, but my eyes were on the prize and my only concern was beating the mayor. I didn't train for it or anything. I just know that the adrenaline started coursing through my veins and 1 minute later, I was declared the winner and became $25 richer. After this day, my relationship with corn changed.

I've become an expert in making cornbread and even Southern-style succotash, but those are savory. Part of corn's lure is its sweet, juicy, taste of the kernels. Why not use fresh corn in a dessert? I made a Sweet Corn Custard Pie that is part buttermilk pie and part roasted corn.



I puréed half of the fresh corn kernels because I like the texture of the corn popping in my mouth but you can always opt to purée it all for a smooth, creamy texture. Not to forget about the singular second most important part, the pie crust, I used chilled vodka instead of ice cold water to insure its tender, flaky texture. In fact, the crust kept flaking off every time I touched the pie, haha!



Don't forget to check out the dozens of other corn recipes from my Sunday Supper fam. Don't forget to share the love!

Sweet Corn Custard Pie

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups fresh cut corn kernels (3 to 4 ears of corn)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1½ cups sugar, 2 Tablespoons flour, and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in 1 cup buttermilk. Put half of the corn in a blender with the buttermilk mixture. Process briefly, until the corn is chopped up without turning it into a puree. Set aside. Stir in the whole corn kernels. Pour the buttermilk-corn mixture into the pie shell and bake until the top is lightly browned and the center is set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Slice the pie into individual servings.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Pie crust
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon  sea salt 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

2 to 4 tablespoons ice cold vodka, as needed

Appetizer
Breakfast
Salad
Main Dish
Side Dish Dessert Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.


On 12:00 PM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , ,    2 comments

Garden tools and cakes. That's what we're talking about today. And a giveaway.

Actual garden tools and actual cakes. Contrary to popular belief, the Hoecake is a real thing. Known as johnnycakes in the Northern U.S., a modern day hoecake is made with a cornmeal slurry, made with yellow or white cornmeal, salt, boiling hot water and milk, sometimes a sweetener and always fried in a cast-iron skillet.

Rumor has it that traditionally they were cooked on the flat part of a hoe, like a griddle. I'm not sure if that part is true, but I am sure this recipe is delicious.

How do you know you've done it right? The edges are golden brown, crispy and buttery while the inside is like cake--dense yet tender while the white chocolate chips have barely melted. Slather on fresh whole butter and pour hot maple syrup over these bad boys and you have the best breakfast since... sliced bread.

Guess what!? We are celebrating Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks' 6th Blogiversary and we are giving away a KitchenAid 5 quart Artisan Mixer in the color of your choice! How awesome is that?

We are also giving away a great collection of cookbooks that will keep you busy in the kitchen all year long!

*The Fly Creek Cider Mill Cookbook by Brenda and Bill Michaels
*Best of Bridge Home Preserving
*Vegan Everyday by Douglas McNish
*Sweet Mornings:  125 Sweet and Savory Breakfast and Brunch Recipes from Patty Pinner
*Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani

Enter NOW by clicking on the Rafflecopter below. Come back each day for more chances to win. Scroll down for Official Contest rules and regulations. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway





  • Lemon Lavender Cake from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

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  • No-Churn Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake from Jenni Field's Pastry Chef Online


  • Coconut Dream Cookies from Fearlessly Creative Mammas


  • Salty Dog with with Fennel and Rosemary from Platings and Pairings

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  • Easy Strawberry Lattice Pie from Confessions of a Cooking Diva


  • Frozen Hot Chocolate from The Heritage Cook


  • Boozy Blackberry Beer Cocktail from Cindy's Recipes and Writings


  • White Chocolate Banana Hoecake from Nik Snacks

  •  

  • Chocolate Banana Naked Cake from Brunch-n-Bites



  • Giveaway info and disclosure:
    This giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older.  The giveaway begins on 8/1/16 at 12:00am EST and goes through 8/14/16 at 11:59pmEST.  Approximate retail value for the mixer is $350.  Approximate retail value for the cookbooks is $90.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.   The winner will be selected and e-mailed within 5 days of the end of the giveaway. Winner has 48 hours to respond to the e-mail or another winner will be chosen.  The sponsors will not be held liable for any malfunction or damage of the products received.


    Special thanks to the bloggers that made this giveaway possible!



    On 5:45 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , ,    2 comments
    This fun fruit dessert (or special treat) borrows flavors from margaritas. For adult fun, add Tequila to infuse the melon and cantaloupe cubes, which also get a sprinkle of sea salt accented with fresh lime zest. The longer the melon soaks, the more flavorful it becomes.

    If you know anything about me, you know that I hate watermelon. I mean, hate. The Devil has nothing me, because watermelon is number 2 on my Do Not Eat List.

    I hate the scent, I hate the texture, I hate the seeds. It's just terrible. If we were in the desert and a bite of watermelon would save me from death, y'all would just have to let me die. Ok, enough about that. You get it. Don't expect me at the Watermelon Festival.

    So when I first came up with the idea for the skewers, I was going to do papaya, honeydew (my fave!) and cantaloupe and call them "Adult Firecracker Melon Pops" or Bomb Pops or something like that. Then I got lazy and just decided to stick a Popsicle stick in a piece of melon, soap it in Tequila and sprinkle with flavored salt.


    Sounds great, right?

    Then I couldn't find sticks.
    Or my Tequila that I'd purchased.

    I'm not a quitter, so here is the result!

    I found the Tequila (I hid it from myself!), used paper straws to thread the melon cubes and I used watermelon ONLY because it looks really pretty... doesn't it?

    My favorite part of this recipe is the lime salt, though! It smells so fresh and clean. I just want to put this jar in my purse and carry it around all day. As a matter of fact, I carry a vial of lime oil in my purse at all times for a quick pick-me-up when I'm fatigued or need an instant mood booster.

    And trust me: these skewers are instant mood boosters!

    TIP: For added fun, freeze the skewers (including the sprinkle of salt) so you can cool off while you enjoy them!


    Melon Skewers with Lime Salt
    Serves 6

    2 Cups watermelon, red or yellow, quartered and cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 Cup Honeydew, quartered and cut into 1-inch cubes
    1 Cup Cantaloupe, quartered and cut into 1-inch cubes
    1/2 cup tequila (optional)
    2 limes
    Flaked sea salt or coarse salt

    1. Arrange melon in a single layer in two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. Pour Tequila over melon cubes and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

    2. Remove melon from Tequila and thread each cube, alternating colors, onto a paper straw or wooden skewer and arrange on a platter. Season with lime salt. Serve.

    Lime Salt
    1/4 cup salt
    1T lime zest

    Use a spoon or a mortar and pestle to mix the zest in the salt. Store in an airtight container. Use within 2 weeks.

    For long-lasting salt, bake or dehydrate your infused sea salt recipes for 90 minutes at 150°F or the lowest setting your oven will allow. You don’t want your salt to brown, you just want to dry out the zest.

    Allow to cool completely and store in a cool dry place.  Use within 1 year.

    On 9:56 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , ,    9 comments
    Whether its: Lights, camera, action! or Ready! Set! Eat! creating a DIY Popcorn Bar for your next party is easy.


    I helped throw one of my very best friends a baby shower a few months ago, to help celebrate her baby boy's impending arrival with lots of gifts and a little bit of good food.

    I just love the surprised look on her face!

    I got the bright idea to create a popcorn bar so everyone could snack on the tasty kernels and taken some home as a souvenir. I bought these janky little "party favor" boxes at the Dollar Tree and they were terribly small and I do NOT recommend them.



    Instead, make or buy paper cones or paper bags so guests can snack at the party or take the bag home.


    Be creative! Put your popcorn in baskets lined with neutral or fun, decorative dish towels.


    Use plastic or ceramic popcorn boxes for display purposes. I bought mine from Sur La Table quite a few years ago. I've seen the plastic ones at Target and Kmart.



    Or go low-tech like me and repurpose brown craft paper bags into vessels by folding down the tops and placing them in large decorative whicker baskets.


    Per 3 cups fresh hot of popcorn add:

    Cinnamon Roll
    1/2 T ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    Pinch of sea salt
    2 T powdered non-dairy creamer
    2 T granulated sugar

    Mexican Taco
    ⅛ tsp coriander
    2 tsp. chili powder
    2 tsp. onion powder
    1 tsp. paprika
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp. salt
    ½ tsp. cumin

    Lightly Salted
    1T kosher or sea salt

    Use microwave popcorn or go old school and use a popcorn popper or pot on the stove for fresh popcorn.
    On 8:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , , ,    8 comments
    I love the Food Wine Conference. Every year it gets better and I've loved watching it evolve over the past four years. The quality has never wavered and the surprises still wow me time and time again. I guarantee I'd feel as if I was missing out on something if I didn't attend. I've got some tips and tricks on how to survive the amazing inspiring 3-day schedule, set in Sunny Orlando, Florida.

    1. Make your hotel reservation early
    Not only is the conference located in the stunning Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida, but the amenities are plentiful and luxurious. I recommend everyone to stay here and not another property down the street. If not only for the pools, world-class golfing or the beautiful views, do it for the restaurants and shops that will have you exploring during your free time.

    2. Wear comfortable shoes 
    There's a lot of walking to and fro between meals, special events and activities. I know you want to dress to impress. I know you want to break out those sparkly little numbers you got on sale at Aldo, but there is a time and place for that, I promise, but your dogs will thank you after the first day. The impressive expanse of the meeting halls alone will have you wishing for your Dr. Scholls if you're not careful.


    3. Bring your stretchy pants.
    Come hungry because you will be fed, wined, dined, snacked, dessert'd, lubricated, hydrated and treated like queens and kings the entire time. Just when you think you can't fit any more into your belly, you will remember you have your trusty elastic band sweatpants on and you go for the second dessert. With gusto.


    4. Bring a swag bag for your swag bag
    You're a veteran traveler. I know you. You have your carry-on bag weight down to a science and you can whip out a handi-wipe at the drop of a hat to combat any airline illness. Make sure you pack an extra bag simply for all of the swag you'll receive just by walking in the door. Don't be like me and have to smoosh this entire basket into my ONE baby carry-on suitcase in addition to my clothes, 2 pairs of shoes, curling iron, flat iron, my other swag bag and my make-up bag. NOTE: Everything made it back to North Carolina in one piece.



    5. If there's a pre-conference contest, enter it

    There is nothing to lose and everything to gain when you enter a contest sponsored by #FWCon. Four years ago, I entered the Dixie Crystals Brownie Dessert Contest and I won. It changed my life. I met the most amazing people who helped me see things I didn't see in myself and helped me grab the opportunity to turn my win into something bigger than myself. Fast-forward to 2016 and I won the #MakeItWithMilk Contest sponsored by Florida Milk. I'll always feel like a winner at the Food Wine Conference, even if I never enter another contest. I kinda win at the Food blogger's jackpot just by being among some of the best co-workers in the world.

    Proud Florida Milk brand ambassadors 


    6. Find a friend
    Strangers are just friends we haven't met yet, right?


    Well, you might just meet somebody famous. Or your new blogging buddy. You never know who you will encounter at Food Wine Conference.

    This year I met Donatella Arpaia.


    Four years ago, I met Katie Workman and we reconnected in my hometown last summer. And she remembered me. Yay.

    7. Register for #FWCon. And often

    No matter what stage you are in your blogging career: veteran, novice or somewhere in the middle, this is the conference for you.  It's about connecting with other bloggers. It's about connecting with brands. It's about self-improvement. If you want to kick-start and generate ideas learn how to be a better blogger and truly cultivating blogger relationships, this is the place to be.
    On 5:00 AM by Nikki @ NikSnacks in , , , , ,    5 comments

    50 recipes for the perfect summer get-together! Whether you're planning a barbecue, picnic, or outdoor party, check out everything from appetizer recipes, entree recipes, cocktail recipes, dessert recipes, side dish recipes and more to go with your BBQ! #greatbloggerBBQ

    Summertime is just around the corner, and to celebrate, Susannah from Feast + West and Erin from The Speckled Palate are hosting the Great Blogger Barbecue! That's right: sizzle sizzle!

    There’s no better way to kick off the summer than getting together with friends over food and drinks and these coconut blueberry vodka ice pops :) We’re inviting y’all to join in on the fun. We're bringing you 50 recipe ideas from cocktails and mocktails to casseroles and desserts. Scroll to the very bottom to see and clock on what everyone else is making!


    Speaking of desserts, as soon as I was asked to participate in the BBQ, I knew I was doing these pops. It's nice to make stuff for the kids, but these are Adults Only.  


    My only problem: I didn't have molds. I went to Target and found some, but they were $12.99. About $8.99 more than I wanted to spend. I spent 2 days looking for them and all I needed to do was go to Marshall's. $6.99. Boom. Insert celebration dance here!


    I used some of that very good sweet potato vodka in these little guys.

    And fresh blueberries. I'm still into blueberries! I can't help it.

    They're smooth, a little creamy and a great finish to a big, grilled holiday meal.  

    Coconut Blueberry & Vodka Ice Pops
    Yield: 6

    1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
    3 T Covington Sweet Potato Vodka (50ml or ONE airplane bottle)
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 cup fresh blueberries

    Whisk together coconut milk, vodka and powdered sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside. Place the blueberries in a large bowl and muddle slightly. Spoon blueberries into each ice pop mold. Pour in coconut milk mixture and top with more blueberries and juice.  Freeze 4-6 hours.

    TIP:

    Because alcohol does not freeze, do not add extra vodka or you'll have a mess on your hands.


    With the unofficial start of summer next week, it’s almost barbecue season! In celebration, I’ve teamed up with several fellow bloggers to bring you 50 recipe ideas for a smashing summer shindig. See all the recipes for our Great Blogger BBQ below!
    50 recipes for the perfect summer get-together! Whether you're planning a barbecue, picnic, or outdoor party, check out everything from appetizer recipes, entree recipes, cocktail recipes, dessert recipes, side dish recipes and more to go with your BBQ! #greatbloggerBBQ
    50 recipes for the perfect summer get-together! Whether you're planning a barbecue, picnic, or outdoor party, check out everything from appetizer recipes, entree recipes, cocktail recipes, dessert recipes, side dish recipes and more to go with your BBQ!

    Appetizers

    Korean BBQ Tofu Sliders with Kimchi Slaw by Hello Little Home
    Corn, Black Bean, and Feta Dip by Lizzy is Dizzy
    Crab, Bacon & Guacamole Crostinis by That Square Plate

    Cocktails and Drinks

    Blackberry Gin Slush by The Speckled Palate
    Homemade Lemonade by Winstead Wandering
    Blood Orange Mocktail by Body Rebooted
    Fleur Collins Cocktail by Hungry Girl por Vida
    Fourth of July Sparkler by Mixplorology
    Black Stripe Cold Rum Cocktail by Honey and Birch
    Fresh Watermelon Mojito by Twin Stripe
    Mint Hibiscus Lemonade by The Little Epicurean

    Entrées

    Salt Plate Shrimp by The Mexitalian
    Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burgers by Simple and Savory
    Roasted Vegetable Grilled Pizza with Garlic Herb Oil by Ciao Chow Bambina
    Memphis Style Pulled Pork by Two Places at Once
    Balsamic & Honey Chicken Skewers with Strawberry-Kiwi Salsa by No Spoon Necessary
    Amazing Basic Spice Rub for Grilling by An Oregon Cottage
    Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs by PasadenaDaisy
    Smoked Porchetta Pork Loin by Tasty Ever After
    Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork by Appeasing a Food Geek
    Peach Barbecue Sauce by The Beach House Kitchen
    Tuna Stuffed Sweet Peppers by SugarLoveSpices
    Herb Marinated Steak Gyros Plates with Tomato-Onion Salad and Green Tahini Sauce by Feed Me Phoebe
    Marinated Skirt Steak with Sweet Corn and Cherry Salad by Domesticate ME!
    Sweet & Sour Chicken Kebabs by Tastefully Frugal

    Side Dishes

    Caprese Pasta Salad by Club Narwhal
    Cranberry Almond Broccoli Salad by Two Sisters Kitchens
    Coconut Milk Mac & Cheese by A Little Gathering
    Cherry Quinoa Salad by Food Lovin Family
    Cheddar, Corn and Bacon Potato Salad by Family Food on the Table
    Lemon Rocket Pasta Salad by Lauren Caris Cooks
    Green Goddess Potato Salad by Love & Flour
    Red White & Blue Watergate Salad by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
    Zesty Potato Skewers by Pamela Salzman
    Quinoa Tabouli by A Fork's Tale

    Desserts

    Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake by Feast + West
    Strawberry Beer Floats by bethcakes
    Cherry Cheesecake Dessert by The Little Blonde Baker
    Light Berry Angel Food Cake by The Creative Bite
    Lemon Cream Tarts with Berries by Girl Heart Food
    Fresh Strawberry Muffins by Spiced
    Lemon Pie Sundae by Flavours & Frosting
    Strawberry Lemon Shortcakes by Dash of Herbs
    Grasshopper Pie by 2 Cookin' Mamas
    Berry Mango Smoothie Pops by HÄLSA Nutrition
    Mixed Berry Vanilla Bean Cake by Cake 'n Knife
    No Churn Cookies and Cream Strawberry Ice Cream by The Secret Ingredient Is
    Coconut Blueberry & Vodka Ice Pops by Nik Snacks
    Strawberry Key Lime Margarita Greek Yogurt Ice Pops by Beer Girl Cooks
    Cherry & Rhubarb Tart by Crepes of Wrath