Archive for the ‘Dip’ Category
As I was trolling though my recipe section, I began to notice something. I use pumpkin, a lot. From breakfast to desserts and dinner, nearly every one of my food categories contains a dish with pumpkin. Since it’s fall and canned pumpkin is everywhere, what better time to do my first recipe roundup?
Question: Do you like cooking with pumpkin? What do you like to make? Links welcome!
Happy Memorial day!
Yesterday we went to Brittney’s house for a pre-Memorial Day party. Ryan made the best ribs ever – I wish I had a picture! It was also the first time Oliver was going to meet Murphy. I really hoped they would get along!
That morning I took Oliver on a 5-mile run (it was probably about 80 degrees outside). Even still, he had a ton of energy to burn.
We played bags, aka corn in the hole, in her backyard. This brought me right back to my college days – so fun! It makes me pine for a backyard of my own, but at least we have our own balcony at the apartment (I know, it’s not even close).
Great start to the unofficial start of summer.
Today I had quite the productive day. After about an hour of weight training at the gym, I did some writing, recipe testing and bread making – homemade sourdough focaccia. In the afternoon, we headed down to my parent’s house (they only live about 45 minutes away) to grill out for the holiday.
My mom has the coolest chip bowl. I just had to take a picture of it. The dip is shrimp cocktail sauce over cream cheese – amazing with crackers. (Except this man looks like his leg was taken off by a shark attack!)
Dinner consisted of prime rib on the grill, corn on the cob, my dad’s potatoes (one of my favorite things he makes-it has bacon, onions and mushrooms in it), fresh tomatoes and focaccia bread.
And Tristan had his first Memorial Day. He is about 11 weeks old and is smiling all the time. I try to catch it on film as much as I can.
How was your weekend? What’s the funnest thing you did?
I’ve gone bananas. Actually, I’ve gone pumpkin.
Two years ago when there was a canned pumpkin shortage in Wisconsin, I made sure to stock up whenever I could (which resulted in a stockpile of about 12 cans). And, literally, I had more pumpkin than I knew what to do with.
And I’m still using my bounty, from which I created these fabulous Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup, Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce and Pumpkin Black Bean Chili.
Still, I haven’t quite satisfied my pumpkin craving this season yet (I’m planing a pumpkin bread pudding for this weekend). In fact, I was weight lifting at the gym yesterday and was hit with the biggest craving for pumpkin dip. (yes, amidst all the sweat and grunting men in the weight room, I am thinking about food. figures.)
I decided to put my new Kitchenaid Mix Master to work and create a dip that was reminiscent of pumpkin pie.
With Marshmallow Fluff in tow, I succeeded.
Pumpkin Pie Dip
Created by Alysha
1 – 8 ounce package Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the cheese, fluff, pumpkin and sugar in a bowl and beat until combined. Add the spices and continue mixing. Taste. Add more spices if needed. (Note: My biggest cooking resolution right now is to taste as I go along. I have the biggest problem with that because I like to wait until the “grand finale,” aka when I am ready to sit at the table and eat.) Refrigerate dip until ready to serve.
Serve with sliced apples, grapes, animal crackers, graham crackers and marshmallows.
Question: What’s your favorite thing to make with your fixer (stand or hand-held)?
Most people have an idea for an invention, Ross Segel was someone who actually did something with it. He’s the founder of Snack Patrol, a snack food company that produces Cheese Jerky. (Learn more about Ross and his unique snack in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article I wrote here.)
While researching, I also got to experiment with recipe development. I made Beer Cheese Jerky Soup (delish), Pizza Dip and Beer Dip. With Cheese Jerky and Lakefront Brewery’s Wheat Monkey beer, this beer dip screams Wisconsin. It also pairs perfectly with pretzels.
Cheese Jerky Beer Dip
2 packages Cheese Jerky, grated
1 – 8oz package Neufchatel (or cream cheese), room temperature
1 ½ tsp Penzeys buttermilk ranch seasoning
2 Tbsp Lakefront Brewery’s Wheat Monkey beer, or more to taste
1. Place Neufchatel cheese in a mixing bowl and beat. Add Cheese Jerky and 2 Tbsp beer.
2. Mix in ranch seasoning until blended. If you want a thinner consistency, add more beer.
3. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy with pretzels.
For more info on Cheese Jerky, visit cheesejerky.com.
Spinach artichoke dip. Cheesy, creamy and gooey, this appetizer is often the most indulgent thing you can order at a restaurant. Take Chili’s for example – one order has 1130 calories! Hello!? This is supposed to be a good choice. It does have two rock star vegetables in it. But when you start adding bags of cheese and jars of mayo, this dish quickly turns into one of the worst choices you can make while dining out.
Good news for you, I’ve experimented with this old favorite to make it healthier, while still maintaining the same gooey consistency and knockout flavor. Meet Alysha’s Lightened-up Spinach Artichoke Dip.
Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 – 10 oz package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 – 14 oz can artichoke hearts, chopped thoroughly
4 green onions (whites and greens), diced
1 cup light alfredo sauce 9(I used Ragu)
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Transfer to a medium-sized casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes.
OK, so I wouldn’t quality this as a health food-dish per say, but it still has a lot going for it (less cheese, light mayo, etc). What i especially like about this spinach artichoke dip is that it’s very thick and vegetable heavy. It stands up well to tortilla chips, pretzels or a slices baguette. All in all, a winner in my book.
What’s your favorite dip?
I am a peanut butter fiend. I’ve used it in pies, sandwiches (PB and banana, anyone?), in oatmeal and on top of waffles. Nothing beats this savory spread with a hint of sweet – except a new product I found called Better’n Peanut Butter. This stuff tastes like a better version of peanut butter and it has half the calories, much less fat and no preservatives. My only gripe is that it’s extremely hard to find and if you do, you’re forced to pay about $5 for a modest-sized jar. This is one of those cases where you have to decide between buying a healthier product and spending more or getting one packed with fillers and paying much less. Well, screw this dilemma – I’m making my own!
Alysha’s Peanut Butter
2 cups dry, unsalted peanuts
1 tsp. honey, or more to taste
2 tsp. canola oil (about)
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Place nuts in a food processor with salt. Continue grinding as you add the oil and honey and until you reach your desired consistency. Refrigerate for up to 2 months.
Sorry to toot my own horn, but this stuff is amazing. I ground mine to a very smooth consistency and have since tried it twice: after first making it and after it sat in the fridge for a day. Unlike the store-bought “natural” varieties, oil never settled to the top (perhaps because I didn’t use that much?). After seeing how easy, delicious and CHEAP this was, I don’t know why more people don’t make it themselves. That, and you aren’t dealing with partially hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats). I’m officially hooked.
Today I put some peanut butter on top of a toasted whole wheat bagel and added more honey. I also used this mixture as a dip for some farmer’s market apple slices.
What are your favorite things to do with peanut butter?