Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed

1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)

2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces

1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths

1 tomato sliced into wedges

1 T olive oil

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 t chopped garlic

2 t cumin

1 T lime juice

Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired

Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and  lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip

 

 

 

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Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

I couldn’t wait for the Holiday Pretzel Crisps to come out so I made these today.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

1 7.2 oz bag Original Pretzel Crisps

1 c  unsalted butter (2 sticks)

1 c brown sugar

1 c chocolate chips

1 c crushed pecans

Preheat oven to 400. line a baking sheet with a silpat or spray with cooking spray

Lay Pretzel Crisps evenly on the pan.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

Melt butter in a small sauce pan with the brown sugar over med high heat

Pretzel Crisp Candy

 

Bring to a boil and boil over med heat for 3 minutes

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

Pour over Pretzel Crisps and bake for 5 minutes

Pretzel Crisp Candy

Remove from oven and scatter chocolate chips and nuts over the top while still warm, slightly pressing them down with a rubber spatula to help them stick.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

Refrigerate baking sheet for at least 2 hours or until candy is hard.Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Pretzel Crisp Toffee Candy

 

** Other additions, chopped peppermint candy, toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, peanut butter chips, mini M and M’s

 

Mediterranean Layered Dip

Mediterranean Layered Dip

 

Everyone has had 7 layer dip and its delicious, here is a little twist, same idea but Mediterranean flavors. Make this as easy or as difficult as you want, use store bought ingredients or make your own Hummus and Tzatziki Sauce.

On a large plate or shallow bowl layer the following ingredients or be creative and add your favorites, anything goes.

Hummus

Tzatziki sauce or Greek Yogurt

Chopped Tomatoes

Chopped Kalamata Olives

Chopped Pepppadew Peppers or Roasted Red Peppers

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Chopped Fresh Parsley or Oregano

Lemon Zest

Serve with Pita, Celery or Pretzel Crisps

Mediterranean Layered Dip

 

Other ideas, Pine Nuts, Roasted garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tabouli

 

 

Graduation Party Revisited

Graduation Party Ideas

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since my oldest graduated from high school. He has now completed his first year of college and is working part time. He votes, pays taxes and insurance and is a true adult in everyone’s eyes but mine, to me he is still my baby. As I see many parents getting ready to celebrate their own children’s accomplishments and graduations I decided to revisit some of the highlights from last year’s graduation party and post them here.

For decorations we did all of our sons school and baby pictures under a sheet of clear plastic on the table, it was fun to reminisce and see all the crazy hairstyles he went through as a preteen. We also rolled the napkins into diploma shapes and tied them with black ribbons. Then made little stacks of them around the table.

Graduation diploma napkins

For food we incorporated his favorite food, chips and set up a chip and dip bar. We set out various types of chips and dips in different bowls plates and cake stands and let everyone mix and match.

Chip and Dip Bar

Don’t worry we also had vegetables for dipping.

Veggie platter

Some dip ideas are… ( click on the link for the recipes)

Salsa and Guacamole

Bacon Horseradish

Kalamata Olive

Beer Cheese

Goat Cheese and Marinara

Sweet Potato Hummus

Pimento Cheese

Also you could include some dessert dips

Creamy Reese’s Peanut Butter Dip

Key Lime Pie Dip

I was lazy and let Publix make the cake, but this book cake would be pretty easy to replicate using 2 different sized rectangular or square pans.

Publix's Book Style Graduation Cake

Congrats to all who graduated and the people that helped them get there, have fun celebrating this momentous occasion.

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus …..with Beer!

Yes another pumpkin recipe, gotta get them in while I can. This one is a spicy earthy dip perfect on Pretzel Crisps or Pita Chips. Beer can be omitted just add more olive oil., or try your favorite style instead, stout, pumpkin beer etc..)Bring this to your next fall gathering.

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

1 can garlands beans (chick peas)

1 can pure pumpkin

4 garlic cloves

2t chipotle chili powder

1/2 t cumin

1/2 t  ground ginger

1 t cinnamon

1 t salt

3-4 T olive oil

2 T honey

1/4 c beer ( I used an IPA, Lancaster Brewing’s Hop Hog to be exact)

2 T lemon juice

1 T pepitas

Combine all ingredients except pepitas in a food processor. Whirl until smooth, taste, add salt or olive oil if necessary. Pour into serving bowl, top with 2 T olive oil, pepitas and a sprinkle of chipotle chili powder.

Fresh Corn Salsa

As you may know I love to use ingredients that are in season, not only is it cheaper, it is delicious. This fresh corn salsa is versatile and yummy. Try it on a taco, tostada, or on top of black bean soup, would also taste great on a salad or by itself on chips and keeps much longer than a tomato or fruit based salsa so it’s great for a potluck too.

Fresh Corn Salsa

2 ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob ( about 2 cups)

1/4 cup red onion chopped

1/2 jalapeno chopped

2 T chopped fresh cilantro

1 t olive oil

juice of 1/2 lime (about 1-2 T)

Remove kernels from cob with a knife, make sure your corn is fresh since we are not cooking it.

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and serve. We had ours on top of a chicken and black bean tostada.

Graduation, A Broken Tooth, and a Chip and Dip Bar

My oldest child is officially a High School graduate and I couldn’t be prouder. We have looked forward to this for weeks, months, years. Everything was going smoothly, I thought I had everything under control and my niece was on her way to our house to share in the festivities. I was getting the linens from the top shelf of the closet for her when something hit me in the mouth.  Suddenly my mouth was filled with tiny pieces of grit, which after thinking for a moment I realized must be my tooth. An alarm clock had fallen out of the closet and hit me in the exact angle that shattered my front left tooth. It was 9pm and my sons graduation, the day we had been counting down to, was the next morning at 8 am. I had a melt down, and not a small one. I was too afraid to look at the damage, it took me a while to be brave enough to look in the mirror. It was in a word hideous.

I thought about not going to his graduation, I thought about canceling our upcoming trip, I thought about calling it a life and never leaving the house again. None of those were viable options. I put on my best tight lipped smile and made it to graduation. I did a mean Geisha impersonation covering my mouth with my hand when I had to speak. It was the right call, tears came to my eyes as I watched  my oldest child take the field with his classmates dressed in his cap and gown. I saw him with new eyes, he was a man now, we had done our job, his whole future was ahead of him. A moment I could never get back or recreate.

Graduation was done, straight to the dentist and 5 hours later I emerged with 2 new front teeth and a huge list of things to do to get ready for a graduation party. I had pre-planned but losing so much time due to injury caused me to reevaluate my list and make some cuts. One thing that made the cut was a chip and dip bar, chips happen to be one of his favorite foods. I bought various types of chips and used different sized bowls and plates to display them, them made a variety of dips to accompany them. This was a big hit and is perfect for a cocktail party, teen birthday or graduation.

We made labels for the different dips, and the nice part is that most of them could be made the night before. One of the crowd and teens favorite was Bacon Horseradish Dip.

1/2 c mayonnaise

1/2 c sour cream

1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese grated

1/4 cup grated horseradish, I used the jarred variety

6 slices of cooked bacon chopped

1 t worcestershire sauce

Mix ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, chill until ready to serve, top with shredded cheese and chopped bacon.

For a festive touch roll white napkins diploma style and tie with black ribbon, stack and place on buffet tables.