Family Favorites · Garden

Mediterranean Feta Dip

Mediterranean Food is so fresh and delicious.  Daughter, Sarah, has made this recipe many times with rave reviews.  I decided to make it but add diced cucumber, making this more like a Greed Salad.  Using fresh Feta cheese, in block form, allows the cheese to absorb the olive oil and seasoning.  My family agrees that the cucumber takes this dip to a new level.  If you like Greek olives, you could add those as well.  I served with Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips.  Scrumptious!

MEDITERRANEAN FETA DIP

1/3 cup olive oil
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
4-5 green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 diced English cucumber
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (I used fresh block Feta)
2-3 teaspoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning
fresh baguette, sliced thinly or Pita chips
optional balsamic vinegar

  • On a large platter drizzle olive oil until you have a thin layer on the entire platter. You may use more or less here depending on your preference.
  • Add the tomatoes, green onions, and feta on top of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the Greek seasoning to taste.
  • With a spoon carefully combine the ingredients. We found that we like a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top. If desired, drizzle a little balsamic on top.
  • Serve with warm sliced baguettes for scooping up the dip.

Recipe modified from the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

 

New Favorite

Smoky Eggplant Dip

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. It started with fried Eggplant in my Mother’s kitchen, and through the years I have experienced eggplant in many ways.  I have made Ina Garten’s Eggplant Spread dozens of times.  This recipe is more like baba ganoush, with that wonderful smoky flavor.  The dip would be wonderful served with a fresh Greek Salad.

SMOKY EGGPLANT DIP

Makes about 2 cups

2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, or to taste
6 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), well-stirred if a new container
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste, if desired
Pinch of cayenne or aleppo pepper
Pinch or two of ground cumin
2 tablespoons well-chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
Toasted sesame seeds or za’atar for garnish (optional)

  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • Brush a baking sheet or roasting pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Prick eggplants a few times with a fork or tip of a knife. Over a gas flame, grill or under a broiler, evenly char the skin of your eggplants. I like mine quite smoky and like to leave no purple visible. Transfer to a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, trim off stem and cut lengthwise. Place cut side down on prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until very, very tender when pressed. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Next Step Option 1: Food Processor: In a blender or food processor: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and into the work bowl. Add tahini, lemon, cayenne, cumin and 1 tablespoon parsley. Blend in short bursts (pulses) until combined but still coarsely chopped.
  • Taste and adjust ingredients if needed. You may wish to add more salt and lemon.

To serve: Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter with second tablespoon of parsley, and some toasted sesame seeds or za’atar, if desired. Serve with pita wedges or naan.

Recipe from Smittenkitchen

Family Favorites · Holidays

Smoked Salmon Dip

Dips and appetizers are a staple for the holidays.  In 2020, we will not be having the large holiday parties and gatherings, but we can still enjoy our favorite foods and traditions in our homes.

Ina Garten’s Smoked Salmon Dip is an easy, delicious dip that last well in the refrigerator for a day or two.   Smoked Salmon is a favorite of mine, anytime of year, but dip time is holiday time!

SMOKED SALMON DIP

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced

  • Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth.
  • Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt and pepper, and mix.
  • Add the smoked salmon and mix well.
  • Chill and serve with crudites and/or crackers.

RECIPE FROM INA GARTEN 

Family · Family Favorites · Skinny

Layered Mexican Dip…Low Cal Style

Our family was gathering for a late Sunday afternoon dinner and Mexican food was planned.  I needed a good starter but wanted something that wasn’t high fat/high calorie.  I have had 7 layer dip many times and this is a low cal twist to that recipe.  I used 2 cups of refried beans and 1 cup salsa for the bottom layer and otherwise, used the recipe as below.

It was a great little dip and I like it served with vegetables (especially Jicama) along with the chips.

MEXICAN LAYERED DIP

1 cup refried beans, vegetarian/low-fat
1/2 cup salsa
1-1/2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 avocados, pitted, peeled & mashed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
juice from 1/2 lime

TOPPINGS:

1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced black olives
cilantro sprigs

DIPPERS:

raw vegetables spears; red/yellow/orange bell peppers, jicama, daikon radish, carrots, celery, etc.
tortilla chips or strips

  • In small bowl, combine and stir beans and salsa. In separate bowl, combine and stir Greek yogurt and taco seasoning. In third bowl, combine and stir mashed avocado, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Use a 8×8″ pan or bowl or similar size.  Place bean mixture on the bottom, guacamole  in the middle, yogurt mixture on top; smoothing each into an even layer using the tip of a table knife.
  • Sprinkle on toppings: shredded cheese, tomatoes, onions, olives. Top with a sprig of cilantro.  May be assembled, covered, and refrigerated up to 6 hours in advance. Serve with veggie spears and/or tortilla chips.
Recipe slightly adapted from Yummy Life
Family Favorites · New Favorite

Hot Wing Dip…anytime

Hot Wing Dip came into my life thanks to oldest daughter Megan’s friend, Jacqui.  It was instant love for both of us, although Megan prefers Ranch dressing vs. Blue Cheese dressing.  Either way, it’s a hearty appetizer that is great to share at a potluck, tailgate, Olympics gathering, or just because! This time I split the recipe into two 8×8″ or 9×9″ casseroles to share at different events.

Hot Wing Dip has the same impact as hot wings but 1) not as messy and 2) easier to prepare. What’s not to love?

HOT WING DIP

2 bricks cream cheese, softened
16 oz. bottle Franks red-hot BUFFALO sauce
16 oz. bottle Blue Cheese dressing (or Ranch dressing)
6-8 cooked chicken breasts (depending on if you like it creamier or a bit drier)
1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • Bake or steam the chicken, cool. Cut into smaller pieces. At this point you can either shred the chicken or place in a food processor to chop.

  • Combine chicken with cream cheese, sauce, dressing and 1/2 of chopped green onions (white portion). Sprinkle top of dip with chopped green portion of onions. Place in greased 9×13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes.

Serve hot with corn or tortilla chips, Ritz crackers, and celery.

Family Favorites · New Favorite · New Traditions

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip for your Football Championship Party!

This Friday I’m feeling under the weather so am reposting my Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip as an idea for the coming AFC and NFC championship games.  So good and would also be great baked on potato skins.

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

As I retreat for another nap, let me just say,  GO Denver Broncos!

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip is a holiday/party regular.  This is an easy, tasty appetizer to serve for a holiday party or family gathering.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP (BAKED) WITH PITA CHIPS

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke heart quarters, drained and coarsely chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeeze to drain
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
Toasted baguette slices, assorted crackers or Pita Chips (recipe below)

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach and bell pepper.

Spinach Artichoke Dip ready for cheese topping and baking
Spinach Artichoke Dip ready for cheese topping and baking

  • Spoon mixture into greased 1-quart casserole.
  • Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Cover and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with pita chips, crackers or baguette slices.

Pita Chip and Dip
Pita Chip and Dip

PITA CHIPS:

Package pita bread
olive oil
garlic salt
Fresh shredded parmesan cheese

IMG_1450

  • Brush pita bread with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake pita in oven until cheese melts and bread is toasted. Remove from oven and cut into 6 or 8 wedges per pita bread.
Family Favorites · New Favorite · New Traditions

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip is a holiday/party regular.  This is an easy, tasty appetizer to serve for a holiday party or family gathering.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP (BAKED) WITH PITA CHIPS

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke heart quarters, drained and coarsely chopped
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeeze to drain
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
Toasted baguette slices, assorted crackers or Pita Chips (recipe below)

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach and bell pepper.
  • Spoon mixture into greased 1-quart casserole.
  • Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.

  • Cover and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with pita chips, crackers or baguette slices.

PITA CHIPS:

Package pita bread
olive oil
garlic salt
Fresh shredded parmesan cheese

  • Brush pita bread with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake pita in oven until cheese melts and bread is toasted.
  • Remove from oven and cut into 6 or 8 wedges per pita bread.
New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cucumber Cup Appetizers

Pinterest is a wonderful invention, giving us instant access to so many wonderful ideas.  One of those ideas that daughter, Sarah, and I chose for one of the wedding appetizers was cucumber cups.  What the heck is a cucumber cup, you say?  Read on….

Wash the cucumber.  Using a potato peeler, peel stripes around the cucumber.  Cut off the round end of the cucumber.  Cut the cucumber into 1″ slices.  Taking a grapefruit spoon or teaspoon, hollow out about 2/3 of the center of the cucumber.

Fill each cucumber cup with the filling of your choice.  Some of the ideas I’ve used include:

  • hummus with a chopped piece of red pepper on top
  • goat cheese with a drizzle of honey and a pecan or walnut on top
  • cream cheese with salmon/lox and a sprig of fresh dill
  • dip…any dip you please

It’s cucumber season, so cut some cups for an easy appetizer that will chill you down after a hot day.

Family Favorites · Uncategorized

Food Themed Bridal Shower … Cheesy Apple Spread is recipe number 1!

It seems my world truly revolves around food, as it does for my daughters!  Our oldest daughter, Megan, was married last year; we asked bridal shower guests to share a favorite recipe to insert in a cookbook.  This year daughter, Sarah, is also engaged and we did the same for her shower.  I  photocopied hand-written recipes of Grandmothers, Great-Grandmothers, and other family members no longer with us.  We also asked each guest to write a note the bride inside the cookbook.

As favors, we gave each guest a copy of three of Megan’s favorite dip/spread recipes which we also served at her shower.

Megan’s recipe favors at bridal shower

The dips shared were Cheesy Apple Spread (today’s post), Hot Wing Dip, and Peach Salsa.   They are all family favorites.  The Cheesy Apple Spread recipe has been in my recipe box for at least 30 years.  Younger daughter, Sarah, loves this dip as well and prepared the dip for the shower.  Cheesy Apple Spread is truly an oldie but still a goodie!

Apple Dip

CHEESY APPLE SPREAD

8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped apple

Ingredients for Apple Dip

  • Blend together the cream cheese and mayonnaise.  Add shredded cheese and chopped apple.  Chill until ready to serve with Ritz or other favorite crackers.