Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

Savory, light, and crispy ham and cheese pinwheels are a perfect appetizer or quick lunch idea!

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’m on a huge bring-my-lunch-to-work kick lately and I’m always looking for ideas on quick, portable meals that won’t break the bank or leave me longing for takeout.

While these ham and cheese pinwheels are perfect as appetizers, they actually make for the perfect lunch too! And they’re dead simple to make- god bless frozen puff pastry!
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Spicy Roasted Edamame


Spicy Roasted Edamame | Total Noms

If you’re looking for a solid desk-drawer snack staple, have I got a super simple recipe for y’all today.

I have been on a really big bring-food-from-home-to-work-as-opposed-to-take-out kick lately. Breakfast, lunch and snacks that I used to buy from around the office are now getting made at home and brought in- everything from coffee, to oatmeal, to fruit, and of course, lunch. But most importantly, I have really been trying to up my snack game- because I can’t keep feeding $1 bills into the vending machine at work. Yes, I love me some Pirate’s Booty. No, I don’t want a giant booty (and an empty wallet). [Read more...]

Game Day Eats: Loaded Potato Skins

Potato Skins

How’s your favorite football team doing this season? As you know, my husband and I are big Jets fans, and while it’s a lonely, sometimes pathetic existence, the 2013-14 season isn’t going as poorly as it could. Hey, at least we’re not Giants fans this season, right? Ha. Sorry, neighbors.

One thing all football fans can agree on is that the game day snacks are paramount to enjoyment of any game.


As the temperatures drop, you have got to make room for toasty, cheesy and flavorful loaded potato skins in your game day eats rotation!

These potato skins have a crisp, salty exterior that gives way to a soft, chewy bite once you dig in. Tangy cheddar jack, crispy bacon, and cool guacamole make these the perfect handheld indulgence while you’re enjoying halftime.


Loaded Potato Skins
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Serves: 4

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 4-6 strips bacon (depending on how much you want)
  • grapeseed oil, for brushing
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • minced jalapeno, for garnish
  • thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce your potatoes all over with a fork, then rub with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until you are able to handle them without burning your hands.
  2. While potatoes are baking, fry up the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until super crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels, then chop up the bacon once cooled slightly into small bits. Set aside.
  3. Bump up the oven temperature to 450°F. Slice each potato lengthwise, then scoop out the insides (reserve these for another use, like breakfast potatoes or whatever else you might like!). Brush the potato skins with grapeseed oil inside and out, and sprinkle with salt once more. Place on a rack on a glass or other warp-proof baking dish, skin-side down, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip potato skins to skin-side up, and bake for another 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Remove dish from the oven, flip one more time, and place about 2-3 tbsp of cheese in each potato skin. Top with the crumbled bacon. Broil for a few minutes, until the cheese is bubbly. Remove skins from the oven, and top with any other toppings you might like- I went with guacamole, minced jalapeno, and scallions. Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Simply Recipes.

To make it even easier, I’ve made another video recipe tutorial to share with you, this time providing step-by-step instructions on how to make these awesome potato skins. Take a look:

I am not into sour cream, so I used guacamole here as a topping, but you can certainly feel free to go nuts with these toppings as you choose.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my new YouTube channel, and while you’re at it, have you signed up for my email newsletter yet? That’s the best way to make sure you never miss a recipe!

Happy Eating :-)

Guacamole + A New Way to Save Total Noms Recipes


Before I get to talking about one of my favorite snacks on the planet, let me get personal for a second. There are 38 days until I get married. Thirty. Eight. Where did the time go? Five years ago, my honey and I were just starting to get to know each other- and now we’re preparing for what will be the biggest day of our lives. I can’t flipping wait!

OK, annoying wedding talk over- let’s dive into this guac. Literally.


I don’t know what it is, but I am addicted to tortilla chips. Maybe it’s the salt, maybe it’s the crunch- but I cannot stop at just one chip. Whether they come from a bag, or are those amazing fresh hot ones sprinkled with coarse salt from the local Mexican joint, I will lose my cool entirely and go ham on them all. It can get embarrassing.

But really, can you blame me? Especially when there’s amazing dips to be paired. I’m a sucker for restaurant-style (NOT chunky) salsa, but I do love a nice bowl of fresh guacamole, and it couldn’t be easier to make.

The hardest part is buying avocados and waiting for them to ripen- the ones at my store are always rock hard, but after a day or two in the fruit basket they will soften up and be perfect for creamy, delicious guac!

Check out my guacamole recipe below!

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Serves: 4

  • 1½ – 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, diced finely
  • ½ plum tomato, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp (loosely packed) cilantro, minced
  • juice of one lime
  • salt, to taste

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the avocado in half from top to bottom. Twist to separate, and remove the pit by whacking your knife (carefully!) into the pit and twisting to remove. Scoop out the avocado meat from the peel with a spoon and add to a bowl.
  2. Add the pepper, tomato, onion and cilantro to the avocado and using a fork or a potato masher, mix everything together until the avocado breaks down and starts to become creamy. Season with salt and sprinkle with the lime juice; then stir again and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

I’ve heard a bit of drama around the mix-ins for guacamole- I’m a big fan of keeping it simple, just some diced tomato, onion, jalapeno, and tons of cilantro and lime juice. Some people prefer garlic in theirs, some like fun things like mangoes and/or pomegranate seeds- whatever floats your boat is bound to be awesome, I think :)


I also am excited to announce a new way to save Total Noms recipes. In addition to pinning, liking, and tweeting my recipes to save for later, you can also save them directly to Ziplist, using the blue “Save” button in the top right underneath the photo in the recipe above. Ziplist is an amazing grocery list app that you can update and take on the go- it’s one of my everyday mobile apps that I rely on to get food on the table! Now, whenever you save one of my recipes to your Ziplist account, the ingredients from that recipe will get automatically added to your grocery list and the instructions will be there for you whenever you’re ready to start cooking. Pretty neat, huh?

And while we’re at it, have you signed up for my email list yet? It’s by far the easiest and best way to make sure you never miss a recipe.

Now tell me- What’s your favorite dip to bring and enjoy at a party?

Happy Eating :-)

Red Bean Dip

Red Bean Dip

Hmm. How to describe the humble red kidney bean? Well, it’s red, and shaped like a kidney. It kind of has a earthy taste, and all in all, is well, just sorta bland on it’s own.

In my mind though, it’s the perfect jumping off point to make a complex, flavorful, and almost butter-like dip perfect for crackers, chips, or even spreading on a sandwich.

This dip might look on the surface like nothing special, but it’s got such a fun array of ingredients and is so simple to make. Not to mention, it’s delicious. Perfect for parties, a picnic, or just some alone time with a box of crackers on the couch, you gotta try this red bean dip :)

Red Bean Dip


Red Bean Dip
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  • 3 tablespoons canola
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 fat cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 15.5 oz can of red kidney beans, reserving the liquid in the can
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish if desired)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp lime juice

  1. In a pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onions start to turn golden. Add the red beans and their liquid, the tomato paste, and the spices (cumin, cilantro, cinnamon, salt and pepper). Stir everything up and allow to cook through. Add the lime juice, stir again, and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Carefully transfer the bean mixture to a mini-chopper or food processor, and pulse a few times to blend everything up but still leave some texture. Pour into a dip bowl, and serve, garnished with additional cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

Adapted from Nigella Lawson for Food Network.

You might think that the cinnamon is a weird ingredient for a savory dip- I felt the same way. But it adds a very slightly sweet warmth that really makes this dip special. I definitely recommend adding it!

Happy dipping :)