Party time again! This time for my adorable nephew’s 1st birthday, he had a monster theme and I was in charge of an appetizer. I went with a family favorite and old stand by, Spinach Dip but you could add any dip to this cute hollowed out bread bowl.
For the eyes I used toothpicks covered with asparagus stalks then topped them with mushroom caps and inserted black olives into the cap.
For the mouth I cut a red pepper into a tounge and used carrot sticks for the teeth.
and for the arms and feet I used chunks of a separate round loaf of bread and uses the asparagus tips for fingers and toes gut from a radish on his legs. I attached them with toothpicks as well.
I think it was a great addition to the Monster Party!
Thanks everyone, I just realized I made it to 50,000 views. I started this on a whim and never went through the proper channels to advertise or upgrade but still the hits keep coming so my little hobby has paid off in my eyes. Hope you enjoy my blog and recipes. The most popular post to date is still Creamy Reese’s Peanut Butter Dip. Have you tried it? Thanks again to all my Facebook, Pinterest and email followers for viewing and sharing my posts.
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.
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.
Tzatziki sauce or Greek Yogurt
Chopped Kalamata Olives
Chopped Pepppadew Peppers or Roasted Red Peppers
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Chopped Fresh Parsley or Oregano
Serve with Pita, Celery or Pretzel Crisps
Other ideas, Pine Nuts, Roasted garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tabouli
I made Key Lime Pie last week, one of my family’s favorites, and as I was licking the spoon and bowl I had an idea. Why not make this into a dip that I could eat on graham crackers and fruit? So here it is, tastes just like the pie,I don’t have to lick the bowl anymore and it’s so easy with only 3 ingredients I will be making it all Summer.
Key Lime Pie Dip
1 c sweetened condensed milk
1 c sour cream
1 1/2 T key lime juice
Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. Garnish with a lime slice and graham cracker crumbs if desired. Serve with graham crackers, apples, strawberries, vanilla wafers etc..
There has been a lot of “buzz” about pimento cheese lately. It is turning up on restaurant menus, in food magazines, and in the dairy section of my grocery store. I remember having it as a kid and I remember hating it. I tried it on our trip to St. Augustine last week on top of broiled oysters, not half bad. So now if you know me I have to make it myself. It’s just my thing. I of course do things the hard way which means roasting my own red peppers, (they sell them in a jar right next to the pickles in my store). Not at all required, but yes I did it, also I like a little heat so I roasted some of the jalapenos from my garden, again not necessary, add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your cheese and I am sure it will be just as good. But in case your like me here is what I did.
Wash and dry 3 red bell peppers and 2 jalapenos. Turn on the grill ( mine is gas) You can also do over the stove if you have gas or under the broiler. Place the peppers on the grill and close the lid, roast pepper until skin is completely black, turning occasionally to get all sides.
When all sides are charred place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, leave for about 15 minutes, this helps the skins peel off easily
using your fingers or small knife peel all the black parts off of the pepper.
Then chop the top off of the pepper and removed the seeds, chop into tiny pieces.
Now you are ready to make the cheese.
8 0z grated yellow cheddar
8 oz grated white cheddar
3 roasted red peppers chopped finely
2 roasted jalapenos seeded and chopped finely (omit if you don’t want the heat)
3/4 c mayo
1 T dijon mustard
2 t sweet paprika
1/4 t cayenne
Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir, and stir until the cheese starts to get pasty. cover and chill. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with crackers or celery or try it on a grilled cheese sandwich.
Beet and Blue Cheese Hummus
Valentines’s Day is right around the corner, looking for a festive snack that doesn’t involve sugar or chocolate. Try making this delicious and savory hummus, go all the way and cut pita into heart shapes with a cookie cutter or serve with red veggies like peppers and cherry tomatoes.
Beet and Blue Cheese Hummus
1 15 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
3 T Tahini (sesame seed paste)
2-3 T blue cheese ( you could also use feta)
1 t salt
1/2 c sliced pickled beets
2 T beet juice from jar
1/2 c olive oil
1T chopped green onions
Add all ingredients except oil to a food processor, turn on and slowly drizzle olive oil in. Continue to process until all ingredients are completely smooth, add more oil if it is too thick.
Serve with pita, tortilla chips or fresh veggies. I drizzled some extra beet juice on top when serving.
We always have a book club Christmas party, and the stakes are high. Not only can these girls read and have intelligent conversations, they are crafty, gourmet cooks and food connoisseurs. So when choosing a dish to bring you can’t resort to the usual stand bys. Last year I saw a picture of this cheese ball snowman and thought that’s it, food performance art. Now I know culinarily speaking it is not that exciting but it makes up for it in entertainment value.
Frosty The Cheeseman
1 large box and 1 small box of velveeta cheese any flavor
2 bricks cream cheese softened
cut the velveeta into 3 pieces, like a snowman they should vary in size from large to small, using your hands roll them into ball shapes ( velveeta is like playdoh, its easy)
frost the balls with the cream cheese and stack them using toothpicks to hold them together.
cut arms, hat, and buttons from carrots ( be creative use whatever vegetables you have)
cut a bow out of a green pepper
use black olives for eyes
Heres the fun part, put frosty in a fondue pot or electric fry pan on low, watch Frosty melt into a puddle of goodness, and serve with chips.
This dip is perfect for a Fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving gathering. All the taste of pumpkin pie with out the hassle of baking, and its a finger food so it is perfect for parties.
Creamy Pumpkin Dip
1 8oz brick of cream cheese softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 t vanilla
Mix the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, spice and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric beater until smooth and incorporated. Serve with apples and ginger snaps.
For a pretty and festive presentation, hollow out a small pumpkin or gourd and serve dip inside.
Book Club time again, this month’s selection was The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. It tells the story of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemmingway’s first wife. I loved it, but then of course historical fiction is my favorite genre, and Paris in the 1920’s intrigues me. It also meant the food for book club would be easy, Paris, Spain, champagne and elegant meals, there was lots to choose from. And did I mention costumes, I do love to dress up and putting together a flapper costume was great fun. The hardest part this month was narrowing my options down. I chose to go with olives as my ingredient. In chapter three, Hadley tries olives for the first time at a greek restaurant in Chicago, she says, “I suppose it’s embarrassing, but I’ve never had olives before.” Ernest replies, “That should be illegal. Here open”. and feeds her an olive which starts their romance. I made an olive plate, but also wanted to actually make something so I made a dip that I also served at my sons chip and dip graduation party.
A kalamata olive aioli, which I loosely based on the Kalamata dip served at Nordstrom’s cafe with their fries (it is delicious, try it if you ever get a chance). It is simple, elegant, and has lots of applications, it is a great dip for crunchy potato chips or raw veggies, a great spread for bread and cheese or chicken sandwiches, and would also be great on roasted vegetables or french fries.
Kalamata Olive Aioli
1 1/2 c mayo
3 cloves of garlic, or 5 cloves of roasted garlic
1/2 c pitted kalamata olives
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t lemon zest
add mayo, olives, garlic and lemon juice and zest to a food processor, blend until olives are completely incorporated into the mayo.
Add pepper and stir, and serve.