Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

If you've been following SMAK for a while you know that I enjoy trying new exotic foods and recipes. Whether it's a cold fish cake from Sweden or a ramen from Japan, I like trying everything once. I've found that I really don't mind spending hours in the kitchen preparing a meal or dish for people. I enjoy the process and time put into something that I can share with friends and family. That being said, there are absolutely times when you don't have hours on end to prepare a dish or appetizer to bring with. So today I bring you perhaps the easiest recipes that I have posted thus far on SMAK. cantaloupe

This is the quintessential summer appetizer. As you're reading this, take note, you don't have much time left to jump on this bandwagon as summer is practically over. So run to the grocery store, grab the last of the ripe cantaloupe (you can also use honeydew melon) and pick up some prosciutto as well.

prosciutto wrapped melon

The sweetness of the cantaloupe paired with the delectable saltiness of the prosciutto is enough to leave your taste buds coming back for more. The Italian classic is a great light taste that won't spoil your appetite before dinner.

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and are ready for some fantastic fall recipes!

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

Ingredients:

1 cantaloupe 10-15 slices prosciutto

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice the cantaloupe into 1/2 inch to 1 inch cubes.
  2. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each melon cube and secure with a toothpick.
  3. Arrange on a platter and serve.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños

After an amazing weekend with my best friends, Monday has geared its ugly face once again. Only today I will not be sitting in a cubicle making phone calls. Today I will be enjoying a nice cup of coffee at Heritage, laying out at the beach, and enjoying dinner at Chicago's RPM. One last day with the best friend calls for a little relaxation in Chicago. jalapenos

Yesterday we went up to Libertyville and spent some time with my family. Some awesome appetizers and a delicious meal later, our stomachs were full and we were driving home in a food coma. Today I'm sharing one of my favorite appetizer recipes. It is a quick and easy recipe that will impress anyone you share it with. There is not a lot of prep time involved, so it is very doable for any gathering or party.

wrappedjalapenos

There are other variations of this recipe - a friend of mine mixes that cream cheese with Sriracha hot sauce to add a little extra kick. I have yet to try that out, but am certain that it would be just as delicious. Let's face it, jalapeños, cream cheese and bacon? Is there any better combination of flavors?

bacon wrapped jalapenos

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños

Ingredients:

jalapeños cream cheese bacon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice jalapeños in half, lengthwise, and remove all seeds.
  3. Fill jalapeño halves with cream cheese and wrap with a slice of bacon, securing with a toothpick.
  4. Place on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, or until bacon is fully cooked.

 

Jalapeño Corn Dip

I am sitting in Door County with all of this free time scrambling between things that I want to do and accomplish - finish reading Paris I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down, get a good amount of blogging done or scheduled, work on my novel, relax by the water, do yoga, go for runs, enjoy the time off work. How is it that vacation is ending up being just as much about what I can get done in the next week as it should be able doing absolutely nothing?
corn
I love summer because it is the time of the year that so many of my friends purposely get together on the weekends, hang out, drink beers, eat, play bags. It seems like we all become that much more social during the hot months. Why is that? Do we not like spending time together indoors? Or is it easier/more fun to spend that time together outdoors? Whatever the reason may be, I am okay with it! Spending quality time together and eating while doing so? I am okay with that.
jalapeno corn dip
I was browsing food blogs last week and fell upon a recipe for a jalapeño corn dip. I saw a few key words: jalapeño, corn, cheese. I knew I had to make something similar! Looking over the recipe, it was not exactly what I was hoping for, so I took the essence of the recipe (jalapeño, corn, cheese) and came up with a recipe of my own. I am very happy how it turned out. That the recipe below and adjust it as you please - after the fact I heard that some people thought it was a bit too spicy. If you don't like a kick quite as much as I do, simply lessen the amount of cayenne pepper or Sriracha sauce that you put in.

Do you have any go-to side dishes or appetizers that you bring to summer parties?

Jalapeño Corn Dip

Ingredients:

4 ounces softened cream cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 11 ounce can sweet corn niblets 1-2 jalapeños finely minced (I used two, I like the heat) 1 green onion finely chopped 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded (from a block) dash of cayenne pepper dash of Sriracha hot sauce

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together softened cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Drain corn and let dry on a paper towel to remove excess water.
  3. Add corn, jalapeño, green onion, cheese, cayenne pepper and Sriracha and mix to combine.
  4. Pour into a baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes.

Green Olive Dip

Is anyone else obsessed with 24 Live Another Day like I am? When I found out the Jack Bauer was coming out of retirement and returning to television this summer, I couldn't have been more thrilled. My family and I followed the show religiously and we were very sad to see the show go off the air in 2010. Ingredients

Last night we all sat in front of the TV, watched Jack Bauer save the day, drank a little red wine and chowed down on some snacks.

Green Olives

This recipe has been a favorite in the Engstrom household for quite a while. If you're a green olive enthusiast like I am, this recipe is a perfect snack or appetizer. With no cooking involved, it is a quick and easy to whip up right before a party. You can use this dip with just about anything, but I prefer using Triscuits. The crunch of the cracker with the delicious flavors in the dip make an amazing combination.

Green Olive Dip

Green Olive Dip

Ingredients: 8 ounces lowfat cream cheese 1/2 cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons liquid from green olives dash of black pepper 1 cup chopped green olives

Instructions:

  1. Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise, mix well.
  2. Add olive juice and ground pepper, mix well.
  3. Add chopped olives and mix.
  4. Serve on French bread of crackers.