Dips/Spreads

Guacamole Genua Style (revisited)

This post is from many years ago but since it is Cinco de Mayo I thought I’d repost it! Guacamole isn’t just for Cinco de Mayo either! Enjoy it every day if you want! Avocados are good for you! An update on the avocado “tree” I had all those years ago…It didn’t last. We don’t have the proper surroundings for it. Living with an extremely strict HOA we can’t have ANY kind of fruit trees outside our screen enclosure. So my little tree is no more. Very sad.

I love guacamole! (I think I’ll marry it!- inside joke) I always thought it was so hard to make until my cousins Linda and Kim showed me how when they were visiting me. Ever since then I was hooked on making it myself. I am always looking for the sale on the Hass avocados. They are the best to use. There are other larger avocados out there but they just don’t do it for me. The color is wrong too and the taste is bland. So stick to the Hass. They are usually from California but lately the ones I’ve bought have been from Mexico. Still really good. I make guacamole at least once a week! It goes great on so many things other than chips. Sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, steak, you name it. I also bought one of those avocado slicers to make the slicing easier, but it’s just as easy to score and then scoop out the avocado with a large spoon. Though it is actually good for getting the pit out without cutting open your hand and getting blood all over the guac.  But you can just cut open an avocado by slicing all the way around the long way and twist the two halves apart. Then take a sharp knife and whack the seed with it till it sticks in and twist. Just don’t whack your hand in the process! The seed should come right out. And I planted one recently, I had to see if I could actually grow it. It works! Just waiting for fruit! (See picture below) Though that might not happen but we will see! As soon as I finish writing this I am going to make another batch as well! And when you buy avocados pick ones that are a nice color and firm. If they are already soft you will have to use them right away. They take a day or so to soften on the counter, once they do put them in the fridge and use in few days. They should not be mushy! Mushy is bad. I also make mine half mashed and half chunky. But if you don’t like chunks mash away!

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 large Hass avocados

1 large plum tomato (halved, seeded and chopped)

¼ cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon cilantro (or ½ cup fresh chopped)

juice of 1 lime or lemon

¼ cup jalapeños, chopped (I use the pickled ones in the jar but fresh is good too!) If this is too hot for you lessen or leave out.

2 cloves garlic, minced or chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt (regular will be fine if you don’t have the Kosher)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut open the avocado and slice and chop one of them and place in a large bowl. Do the same with the second one but set aside.

2. Mash the avocado in the large bowl with a fork till all mashed up. Add the rest of the ingredients as well as the unmashed avocado and mix gently so you don’t mash all the chunks. (Unless you want it all mashed!)

3. Chill and serve in a few hours. If you will be waiting longer to serve place a piece of wax paper over the top of the guacamole in a container and cover tightly. It will start to turn brown from oxidation if you don’t do this. Also adding a little more lime juice will help. If it does start to turn just mix it up, there’s nothing wrong with it, just won’t look as pretty.

Regular Avocado

Non-Hass Avocado

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Hot Shrimp Scampi Spinach Dip

I have now made this dip twice. It is beyond incredible! Creamy, garlicky, cheesy, rich and loaded with shrimp. If there is anything left over you can use it as a topping on baked fish as well, which I did! Still incredible. If you don’t like shrimp or garlic stay away. Once you start eating this you can’t stop either so be prepared. The first time I made it we had a friend over for cocktails and snacks, this friend is a chef by the way. He was blown away by it. So it’s officially my new dip. It is best served with tortilla chips or pita chips. Even thin crostini would be great or crackers. I used greek yogurt cream cheese the first time I made it. It’s a mix of greek yogurt with cream cheese and fewer calories than regular cream cheese. But it’s just as good with regular cream cheese which I used the 2nd time. The recipe also calls for a shallot, which I didn’t have the first time I made it so I used 1/2 of a Vidalia sweet onion. I also used light mayonnaise but feel free to use regular.

Give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Hot Shrimp Scampi Spinach Dip

Hot Shrimp Scampi Spinach Dip

INGREDIENTS:

1 8 oz. package cream cheese of choice (cut up into cubes)

10-12 oz. medium cooked shrimp, chopped into chunks. (2-3 chunks per shrimp)

2 cups fresh spinach leaves roughly chopped

2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (feel free to use more cheese also)

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon minced garlic (more if you like a lot of garlic!)

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Basil leaf for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the shrimp, spinach, shallot, and garlic.

Stir gently until the shallot is translucent and the spinach is wilted. This should take about 5 minutes, making sure all the ingredients are heated through.

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.

Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese and the cream cheese and mix well.

Put mixture into a baking dish large enough to hold it all. 8×8 or larger. Anything is good as long as it’s large enough to hold it all. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and bubbling.

Garnish with a basil leave. Serve hot/warm!

2015-10-24 17.18.54-1

Refreshing Cucumber Salsa

2015-06-07 12.38.50

I received this recipe in my email this weekend and just had to try it out. It was originally from a Taste of Home reader from North Dakota (Crisp Cucumber Salsa) and the only thing I changed was the type of cucumber. I used the english/hothouse cucumber and didn’t peel it. The original recipe called for peeling the cucumber, which I would only do if I used a regular variety. The english style holds up better and stays firmer.

I made the recipe for a couple of friends and it was a huge success. So easy and healthy as well! The original recipe called for serving immediately but I think letting it chill for a bit would be better. I will definitely be making this quite a bit this summer!

A refreshing, light, crunchy salsa/relish. It would easily go on burgers, hot dogs, chicken or fish as well! I might even try using greek yogurt instead of the sour cream next time! If anyone tries it that way let me know!

Ingredients:

2 cups finely chopped, seeded cucumber (I used english cucumber)

1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato (1 medium plum tomato)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 TBS minced fresh parsley

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup light sour cream

1-1/2 tsp lemon juice

1-1/2 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp seasoned salt

Baked tortilla chip scoops

Instructions:

1: In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, tomato, red onion, parsley, jalapeño pepper, cilantro and garlic.

2: in a small bowl add the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt.

3: Pour creamy mixture over the cucumber mixture and mix gently. Coating all ingredients.

4: It can be served immediately but is better chilled for about 15-30 minutes before serving. Stir before serving.

Calories: 16 per 1/4 cup (without chips)

Fat: 1g

Sodium: 44mg

Carbs: 2g

Protein: 1g

Hot & Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone’s new year is off to a good start so far. Keeping with the whole having black-eyed peas for New Years is the reason for this recipe. Ok, yes I was supposed to post it BEFORE New Year’s but life happens and I am doing it now.

This recipe was adapted from one of my favorites, Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Her recipe was Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip. Click the link if you want to see the original.

I didn’t have all the exact ingredients so I changed it up a bit. It was delicious, yes, was. My husband and I devoured it. So delicious! So spicy! So darn good!

Feel free to change the ingredients around, I did! So hopefully even though we didn’t have this exactly on New Year’s, I hope it brings good luck

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Dip

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (about 14 ounces) Black-Eyed Peas

½ medium Vidalia onion, chopped fine

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

¼ cup light sour cream

1 cup grated Habanero Cheddar Cheese (I used Cabot, it was in the house)

3 tablespoons salsa (any kind)

salt & pepper to taste

Tortilla chips (I used Trader Joe’s Quinoa & Black Bean tortilla chips)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Drain and rinse can of black beans. Put in large bowl and mash with a fork but leave some whole.
  3. Add rest of ingredients. Stir to combine.
  4. Spread into a 1¼-1½ quart baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and hot. (I baked for 30 minutes)
  6. Serve with tortilla chips!

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Dip Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Dip Quinoa & Black Bean Tortilla Chips

Mary’s Famous Mexican Dip

Yes I know I have been quite negligent with my blog lately! I am so sorry everyone. I made a promise to myself this morning to do better and I will!

Today’s recipe I have tried to get for years! Everytime I visit my sister Michele in NJ for any type of party she always has this dip. Her mother-in-law Mary makes it and showed Michele and everyone falls in love with it! Even the kids! So on a recent trip there, Mary happened to be in attendance as well and the dip was on the menu. So with camera and notebook in hand I got it! FINALLY! It’s a type of layered dip that you serve on a platter. Serve it with tortilla chips. I would recommend using stronger chips as well because this dip has so many yummy things you don’t want to lose anything because of a broken chip! We’ve all been there, digging in to a great dip and snap! Broken chip. You try again. Snap again! Another broken chip. So find your best thicker/stronger chips for this recipe.  I am also playing with an idea to make this as an Italian dip as well. I’ll post that when I work it out! So for now, here’s everyone’s newest favorite party snack! Thanks Mary!! (Now I want to go and make some to snack on!)

Mary preparing the famous dip!

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese (you can use light cream cheese if you wish)

1  jar (16oz.) of your favorite salsa

Shredded lettuce, about 2 cups

Shredded cheddar cheese, about 8 ounces

3-4 campari or plum tomatoes, chopped (Or you can use 1-2 large)

3-4 scallions, chopped (use whole scallion)

¼ cup jalapeño slices

1 small can sliced black olives (You can use green if you don’t like black)

So pretty!

Directions:

  1. On a large platter spread cream cheese to cover bottom.
  2. Spread salsa over the cream cheese.
  3. Add shredded lettuce on top of the salsa.
  4. Add the shredded cheddar evenly over the salsa.
  5. Top with the chopped tomatoes.
  6. Add scallions.
  7. Add jalapeño slices.
  8. Top with black olives.

Serve with sturdy chips!! Eat some before it disappears!

It's going fast!

Spicy Crab Dip

Long time no post! I’m still trying to get in the routine of blogging when I get home from work. Being I don’t get home till 7pm it’s been tough. But I am determined to get back into this everyday, again. Today’s recipe I found through Taste of Home magazine. I had gotten it in an email. I used to get the magazine but have had to cut back so now I just get emails. This recipe is simple, quick, low-calorie and delicious! Plus it won’t break the bank. It uses the imitation crabmeat but feel free to use the real stuff if you want! I also substituted light mayonnaise and light cream cheese for the full fat ones. Again, feel free to use the regular kind. It can be served with crackers or veggies. Your choice! Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Taste of Home magazine

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons dried minced onion

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons white wine

1 tablespoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional

2 packages (8 ounces each) light cream cheese, cubed

1 pound imitation crabmeat, chopped


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a food processor, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the crabmeat, mix well.

2. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm with crackers or vegetables.

Makes 4 cups

Roasted Garlic Mayo & Butter

So I am in week two of being back to work. I’m still trying to get organized so today’s blog will be brief. I’ve been on a garlic roasting binge lately and I am using it in everything. I have now made roasted garlic butter and roasted garlic mayonnaise.Both delicious and not so strong because the roasting mellow the flavor. Yes they both look similar but they are very different and very tasty!

Roasted Garlic Butter

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of roasted garlic

1 cup softened butter/butter substitute

DIRECTIONS:

Put ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

Roasted Garlic Mayo

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of roasted garlic

1 cup light mayonnaise (or regular)

DIRECTIONS:

Put ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth.

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