A dish of hummus (A Lebanese Dish) with pine n...

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What would any gathering be without dips (I am talking about food ; )). Sure the Meat is the primary main course, but before you get there, something has to help those veggies go down. It’s like a good salad – I eat it for the dressing. At a party – we eat the veggies for the dip. Otherwise, it’s just eating spoonfuls of dressing and dip. That’s not right, right?

Below are a few ideas for dips to serve. You can have just one or multiple – it’s all up to you. The below are some of my favorite, however, there are plenty out there and if you have sour cream, mayo or creme fraiche – anything can be turned into a dip. I do not go into a ton of detail for the dips, mainly list the ingredients. The instructions are more or less – mix all together.

Let us get this party underway!

Blue cheese Please see my post: http://wp.me/p1dHov-3p

Feta & Herb – Please see my post: http://wp.me/p1dHov-2Q

Salsa (for more information other posts: south of the border http://wp.me/p1dHov-20 Salsa http://wp.me/p1dHov-l)

INGREDIENTS

Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ½ lemon
1 – 2 TBS Cider Vinegar
2 – 3 garlic cloves diced
½ – 1 tsp salt & fresh ground black pepper
1 TBS olive oil
½ green/red pepper, seeded and diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 med white onion, diced
4 – 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno diced (optional)
1 – 2 ripe avocados, diced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

  1. Whisk the Lemon, Lime juice, Vinegar, garlic, Olive Oil, salt and pepper. Put aside.
  2. Prep all the vegetables, add to same bowl as the “dressing”
  3. Toss together, taste and adjust seasoning (salt, vinegar, lemon or lime juice)

Goat Cheese & Herb
INGREDIENTS
1 log goat cheese
1 TBS minced parsley
1 TBS minced basil
.5 TBS minced thyme
1 tsp minced majoram
2 tsp minced garlic
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
splash of cream/milk

Mix all together. Or pulse in a food processor/blender.

Taste and adjust salt/pepper as needed.

Lisa’s Taco

INGREDIENTS

1 med onion diced
1 can refried beans (vegan/vegetarian – make it 2 cans if you omit the hamburger)
1 LB 90% lean ground beef
2 cups diced velveeta or other favorite melting cheese
36 oz of salsa (or 3 cups) (heat level of your choice)
1 – 2 jalapenos diced (your call – optional)
3 cloves garlic minced

  1. Brown the hamburger on the stove in a large sauce pan. Drain off the extra fat.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and Jalapenos if using. Stir add cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add in the refried beans. Stir to combine
  4. Add in the salsa and cheese. Continue stirring over reduced heat until the cheese is melted. This dip will burn if left unattended.
  5. Done. Serve with tortilla chips

It is really good, but needs to be served warm. A crock-pot set to low is ideal. Or reheat in microwave or on stove top if it becomes too cool. I doubt it will last that long. : )

Hummus

INGREDIENTS for basic recipe

1 can chick peas ( 16 oz) – 2 cups if you make yours from scratch. Reserve the liquid.
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Juice from 1 Lemon
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (more if you want more heat) Or use a few drops of Tabasco
2 – 4 cloves of Garlic, depending how garlicky you want it
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TBS Tahini paste

Place all in a food processor/blender and pulse a few times before blending on high. You want a nice smooth texture. Taste. You may need to add some of the chickpea liquid or more olive oil if it’s too thick.

Serve with fresh vegetables and/or pita bread. Optional: Top with fresh extra virgin olive oil just be for serving.

Optional Ingredients:

Cilantro instead of parsley
Sun-dried tomatoes
More garlic ; )
Minced olives
Capers
Roasted Red Peppers, skin removed
Jalapenos, seeded – roasted if you wish
Paprika

Ranch

INGREDIENTS

1 cup mayo
1.5 cups sour cream
1.5 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 TBS Lemon Juice
3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1.5 TBS chopped parsley
1 TBS Dill
1 TBS chopped chives
2 cloves garlic minced
1 chopped scallion
1 TBS Dijon mustard or .5 TBS powdered mustard
White pepper
Salt to taste

Mix all together. Or pulse in a food processor/blender.

Taste and adjust salt/pepper as needed.

Curry

INGREDIENTS

.5 cup mayo
1.5 cups sour cream
1/4 cup cream (or coconut milk if you have it)
2 TBS Hot Curry Powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cardamom
2 tsp garam masala
1 TBS grated ginger (minced)
2 tsp grated garlic (minced)
Salt
White Pepper

Mix all together. Or pulse in a food processor/blender.

Taste and adjust salt/pepper as needed.

Serve with fresh vegetables or use as a base for a creamy sauce.

Dill

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mayo
1.5 cups sour cream
2 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 cloves garlic diced
1/4 cup diced onion
Salt/pepper

Mix all together. Or pulse in a food processor/blender.

Taste and adjust salt/pepper as needed. Serve with fresh vegetables.

Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

3 avocados, split in half, seeds removed and flesh scooped from skin
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 med onion (red referred), minced
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded, diced
2 scallion stalks, diced
1/4 cup packed, diced cilantro
salt (more than you think)
pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon

  1. Put the avocados into a bowl. Mash them with the back of a fork or spoon. Leave as chunky or smooth as you wish.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients to combine.
  3. Taste and adjust salt/pepper as needed.

Serve with tortilla chips or as a side for tacos, quesadillas, baked potatoes,

Creamy Salsa

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of your favorite salsa (store-bought – I would recommend the fresh salsa in the produce section.. but jarred salsa works well too)
1 cup sour cream

Mix together and serve.

Optional:

2 TBS fresh cilantro minced (if using pre-packaged salsa – it will freshen it up)
1 diced jalapeno (if you want a little more spice – but also helps to freshen it up)
1/2 avocado smashed
2 garlic cloves minced
1 TBS Lime juice
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite mexican cheese mix

Olive (yummy)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup small diced olives (your favorite mix)
1 TBS fresh diced Parsley
1 TBS fresh diced Thyme
1 TBS fresh diced Oregano
1 Cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
3 cloves garlic minced
1 TBS lemon juice
pepper to taste
1 TBS sun-dried tomatoes minced or 2 TBS diced oven roasted tomatoes (optional but add nice flavor)

Mix all together in a bowl or pulse in a food processor/blender until you get your desired consistency,

Taste and adjust salt/pepper as needed.

Tomato, Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Ok – we are going to do this one with pan-roasted corn and some southwestern zing.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups whole kernels of corn (Frozen, canned or if you can get your hands on about 4 ears of fresh corn – all the better)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 med onion small dice
1 red bell pepper, seeded, and small dice
2 jalapenos, seeded and small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
4 plum tomatoes small diced (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1 cup cooked black beans
1/4 cup packed cilantro, diced
1 TBS Lime juice
1 TBS Chili powder
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 Cayenne pepper (more if you are brave)
1/2 tsp Cumin
2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive oil
salt
pepper

  1. In a large cast iron pan (cast iron was made for cooking corn, but if you don’t have one use whatever saute pan you have about 12 inch), add the olive oil and heat until the oil starts to simmer.
  2. Add in the corn and cook stirring occasionally until over done (about 10 – 15 minutes). You want it to “char” a little on the outside. It will also shrivel a bit. This is ok, it will be nice and sweet. If you don’t like it that way – then stop the cooking process when you like it.
  3. Once the corn is done to your liking, add in the garlic, onion, peppers, celery, beans and season with the chili powder, cumin, celery salt, cayenne pepper and fresh ground black pepper. Saute for just a couple of minutes. You still want the veggies to be firm. Don’t for get to taste before adding more salt.
  4. Remove from the heat, let cool then add in remaining ingredients – tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro. Mix together
  5. Taste and adjust with seasoning if needed.

5 Cheese Filling/Dip


This recipe can be used as a dip, spread (reduce the amount of sour cream and cream) or filling for pasta (like stuffed shells). You can also add any other fresh herb you have on hand – thyme, oregano, chives, scallion, etc..

INGREDIENTS

½ package of herbed goat cheese
¼ cup diced fresh mozzarella
¼ cup fontina cheese (swiss or Italian)
½ cup ricotta cheese (can use low-fat)
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cream (can use light cream)
1.5 cups sour cream
1.5 TBS fresh parsley
1.5 TBS fresh basil
2 – 3 cloves garlic, whole
¼ cup rough chop red onion
2 TBS rough chop shallots
1 scallion cut into ½ pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
** Note – the parmesan cheese will add salt, but the mozzarella and cream will absorb salt. So wait until the end to add salt.


Add all ingredients (except salt) to a food processor and puree.
Taste – adjust with salt/pepper as needed.

Sun-Dried Tomato

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
3 TBS minced sun-dried tomato
1 TBS Sun-dried tomato oil
4 cloves garlic minced
1 TBS fresh minced Parsley or Basil
.5 TBS lemon juice or white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together. Or pulse in a food processor/blender.

Taste and adjust salt/pepper as needed.

Dip Helpers:

Common sides for most dips:

Veggies: Celery, Brocoli, Cucumbers, Carrots, Peppers, Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, Cauliflower
Chips: Tortilla Chips, Potato Chips, Corn Chips, Veggie Chips, Pretzels
Bread: Toast points, Toasted baguette/loaf, pita, ciabatta, pizza crust, croissants, bread sticks

Hopefully these ideas will assist at your next gathering or just snacking on.

Happy Snacking!

Nicole

About culinaryease

I am a single mother who loves cooking and providing tips, techniques, to get everyone out of the takeout lane and into the kitchen.

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