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 less 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 at 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 in 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. Top should be lightly browned and bubbling.

Garnish with a basil leave. Serve hot/warm!

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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

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

Firecracker Coconut Dip

Ever have one of those “hump” days that make the “hump” seem like it’s Mt. Everest? Well today was that day for me. I also think I should have made my New Year resolution something other than exercising more. I think it should have been for me to do my blog in the MORNING!! Well today’s mess started yesterday morning. Took my half-and-half out of the fridge for my coffee and thought the container seemed a little on the warm side. Hmmm…Started checking other items. Same thing. Freezer check. Most still frozen but a few items were soft. Not a good sign. So I put thermometers in both places and my fridge was reading 60 degrees! Um that’s not right! And the freezer was almost 50! Also not a good thing. So I cranked the temperature to the highest it would go and by that night the fridge only dropped maybe 5 degrees. Same in the freezer. So I called the service dudes. They told me they’d be here sometime today between 8 and 5! As usual! And they’d call 30 minutes before they arrived! OMG! I was now trapped in the house all day. Afraid to go in the shower for fear the guy would of course show up without calling or something. Couldn’t do anything! Then later in the afternoon I get my delivery from Apple computers with my new iLife 11 software for my iMac. A third of the way through the installation it froze!!! OMG again! Now I’m on hold for tech support and of course the service guy beeps in! He’ll be there in 30 minutes! Yikes! Go back to Apple and they guy on the other end is saying Hello?? Ok so we shut down my iMac (Fiona, I name all my computers) and we try again. He stayed on the phone with me the entire time. All went well! Just a brain fart! It happens. I was scared to do anything for fear I’d erase my entire computer! (that is how you get when you have PCs for most of your computer using life and they always have issues) And for anyone who knows me I am totally attached at the hip to my computer. So as I am saying thank you and hanging up with Apple the repair guy shows up! 5:00! 40 minutes later my fridge is working. For now. Some defroster/heater or something. I needed a drink! So here I am, at 7:15pm finally doing the blog! And now that I’ve put you all to sleep with my ramblings…Here is today’s recipe.

This is a low-calorie dip and so refreshing and different from your usual ranch veggie dips or whatever else is out there. I love making my own dips, I know what is in them and I know what isn’t! You can even serve this dip with grilled shrimp or pork or put it on a burger! Versatility is a wonderful thing! And the “firecracker” is the explosion of flavor you will get from the wasabi or horseradish. If you don’t like it too “hot” put less in. But its sooo good!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 package (8oz.) light cream cheese, softened

1 carton (8oz.) light sour cream

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk or light cream of coconut

1-2 tablespoons wasabi paste (you can also use 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish)

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel

3 tablespoons lime juice

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Beat in the sour cream, coconut milk or cream of coconut, wasabi paste, ginger, lime peel and lime juice until smooth. Chill for at least an hour. Always better to let dips sit and mellow out.

2. Serve with carrots, sugar snap peas, celery, peppers or any other vegetables you like!

Makes about 2½ cups

Homemade “Boursin” Cheese

Years ago I discovered Boursin Cheese. But that little container (only 5.2 ounces!) can be very expensive. I haven’t bought it in years because of that. It would also be gone in minutes because there isn’t much to it. This recipe may not give you a huge amount either (8 ounces at least) but you can also double the recipe and use lighter ingredients as well to save some calories and fat. It’s a cream cheese base so use the light cream cheese. I will not use fat-free cream cheese because I feel that it really loses all it’s flavor when you take away ALL the fat. But that’s just me. It’s up to you and what you wish. If calories are no object then by all means use the full fat version of cream cheese in the recipe. Another great thing about this recipe is that all the herbs and spices in it are very common and I would think most of us have them all on hand in our pantries. This recipe actually comes from The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast Inn. I had stayed there many years ago. The Inn is in Cape May, New Jersey and was a wonderful place, not far from the water. So give this a try and remember to make it the night before. It’s better that way, trust me! The spread itself is mild and is accented nicely by the crushed peppercorns. It’s a great spread with crackers during cocktail hour!

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

freshly ground black peppercorns

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

2. Shape into a ball or log and roll in crushed black peppercorns or place in a serving dish and sprinkle generously with coarsely crushed black peppercorns. Or just serve it in a decorative serving bowl! Your choice!

3. Best if refrigerated at least overnight before serving.

Makes 1 cup

Onion-Horseradish Dip

I am always looking for new and different dips. You get tired of the same old onion dip, same old guacamole, same old veggie dip and so on. I have a stack of magazines that I need to go through for recipes and tips etc. for the blog. One weekend I was going through the Better Homes and Gardens and came across some recipes that all used an immersion blender. You know, the little boat motor thing. This recipe can actually be made in a food processor as well but I followed the directions and used my immersion blender. After splattering myself as I always do, the dip was finished. It was delicious! I would also say it was better the next day. First day the flavors were a bit strong. So if you can wait a few hours or even overnight, it will be worth the wait. I also tweaked it as I always do. It calls for ¼ of a medium red onion. But as you will see in the pictures, I didn’t quite have it so I added a chopped shallot as well. (The pic shows 2 shallots, but I only added one) The garlic clove I used is pretty big, it probably equals 2 normal cloves but we like garlic! I also used heavy whipping cream, calories weren’t that much different from the light so I went for the extra flavor. You can serve with veggies which we did the second night but I had just found these incredible chips at BJ’s Wholesale Club. OMG! They are incredibly light and crisp, salty and just plain delicious! (110 calories in 33 chips!) This recipe also makes a great topping for a nice steak, chops or even chicken!

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. wedge blue cheese (cheaper than buying crumbled)

4 oz. light sour cream (you can use regular if you want)

¼ cup whipping cream

¼ of a medium red onion, roughly chopped (or a large slice like I have above)

1 medium shallot, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½ – 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish (I used 1 teaspoon- we love horseradish)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium bowl crumble about ¾ of the blue cheese. Add the sour cream, whipping cream, red onion, shallot, garlic, and horseradish. Use an immersion blender* to blend cheese mixture until almost smooth.

2. Transfer to small bowl. Crumble remaining blue cheese and sprinkle over the top. Serve with veggies or chips!

* If you don’t have an immersion blender put ingredients in food processor and blend till smooth.

Makes 10 servings (2 TBSP): Each serving has about 85 calories, 8 grams of fat, 23 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 1 gram carbs, 3 grams protein

Mediterranean Dip With Toasted Pita Chips

This dip is a little bit Greek and Italian, hence the Mediterranean reference. It’s a much healthier dip than the ones laden with mayonnaise and sour cream. Not that those dips aren’t good, it’s just that we can’t eat them all the time. This dip uses canellini beans which have fiber, a good thing. It can be served with toasted pita chips or crostini, or any sturdy chip. I will also include a recipe to make your own Toasted Pita Chips. It’s so easy! And if you use the low carb pita chips you can save more calories and add more fiber! But if you don’t have to worry about calories or fiber go all the way with the full fat stuff! (I wish I could!)

DIP

INGREDIENTS:

1 can (15oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 ounces feta cheese (I use light Feta)

1 container (6-7 oz.) plain Greek-style yogurt (any brand is fine)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill

1 large clove garlic, minced

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a food processor put the beans, feta cheese, yogurt, garlic and lemon juice. Puree until smooth.

2. Transfer to a bowl and add the chopped dill. Season with the salt and pepper as you like.

Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Makes 2 cups


TOASTED PITA CHIPS

INGREDIENTS

8 Pita Rounds

olive oil

dried oregano

garlic powder

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Split the pita rounds horizontally, then cut each piece in half. Or just cut into wedge shapes and separate the pita. Depends on how big you want the chips

2. Brush with olive oil and season with the oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Bake on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet, until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

**UPDATE: 7/12/10** I just made this dip and chips. Delicious! So tasty and the chips came out great! Though I may have put too much salt on them, but then again, I love salt.