I know it may seem a little preemptive to post a recipe with “poolside” in the title (especially since we’re expected to have some more cold [ish] weather this week), but since a lot of people are gearing up for barbecues and outdoor parties, I decided I couldn’t wait to share this one with y’all! I pinned this recipe months ago and had been dying to try it until our friend Patty brought it to a baby shower I hosted. Everyone kept raving about the awesome dip and finally I asked her what it was- “I saw it on Pinterest. It’s called ‘skinny poolside dip’”. Every single one of us (no joke!) erupted with, “I pinned that recipe too!” Luckily, there was a little left over and I ate every last bit of it for dinner that night! It’s sooo good! I ended up making it for a cookout just a week or so later, with rave reviews. I love this stuff. Even if you don’t have a pool, you’ll definitely want to make it. It’ll be a favorite this summer for sure!
Skinny Poolside Dip
2 cans sweet yellow corn, drained
8 ounces fat free cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 packet (1 ounce) dry Ranch seasoning
1 small can (2.25 ounces) chopped black olives
Mix all ingredients until combined. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips, triscuits, or crackers. Serves about 6-8.
Recipe source: adapted from Home Trends Utah
Have you ever noticed how almost every single party dish revolves around cheese?? Dips, cheese balls, cheese logs, pinwheels….it seems almost every single holiday recipe starts with an 8 ounce package of cream cheese. Not that I’m complaining! However, since learning of my lactose intolerance (and my mom’s, and possibly my sister’s), I tend to pay more attention to these things nowadays. I try to cut down on the amount of cheese dishes I make when I host parties. Goat cheese doesn’t count, thank the Good Lord (I’m not affected by goat’s milk, just cow’s milk), so there’s ALWAYS plenty of that! So, this year, instead of a cheese ball (or two) and a couple of cheesy dips, I chose only one cheesy dish. This Baked Pimento Cheese Dip. Josie debuted it first, then Annie. After drooling over it on both girls’ blogs, I finally decided it was time to make it! Perfect party food, easy to make, and definitely a crowd-pleaser. What more could you ask for?
Baked Tex-Mex Pimiento Cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup greek yogurt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature (reduced fat is fine)
3/4 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped finely
8 oz extra sharp cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
8 oz Pepperjack cheese, grated
1/3 cup minced scallion (2-3 scallions)
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
tortilla chips, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dip, reserving 1 tablespoon of each cheese for topping. Mix well and spoon mixture into the baking dish.
Top with the reserved cheese and bake 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Garnish with additional cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips.
Recipe source: adapted from Pink Parsley; originally from Southern Living
There are 2 kinds of people who will read this blog post: those who know what Raising Cane’s is, and those who don’t. If you are lucky enough to be familiar with it, you’ll know Raising Canes (or Layne’s for you loyalist Aggies out there- myself included) is a fast food restaurant that serves nothing but chicken fingers and fries.
And an awesome, awesome dipping sauce.
As far as I know, it’s mostly us Southern (and a few Midwestern) states that have Cane’s restaurants, but it looks like they’ll be expanding all over before too long. Then it’ll be Cane’s for all! Yippee!
If you know Cane’s sauce, this post will having you jumping for joy. If you don’t, all you need to know is that it’s the best thing to happen to chicken since….well, frying, I guess. It’s mayonnaise-based with a tangy, spicy kick. IT’S AWESOME. Just make it, and try it.
Raising Cane’s Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise (not miracle whip!)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon (just a splash) white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients and chill until ready to serve. Serve with chicken strips or nuggets (fries are also great dipped in it!). Serves 2-4.
Recipe source: adapted from Food.com
Going to a party soon? Need something quick, easy and delicious to bring along? I highly recommend this chocolate chip cookie dough dip! I mean, who doesn’t love cookie dough? It’s a big-time crowd pleaser, it’s easy and it can be ready in no time! I took this to a friend’s party this past weekend and it was a huge hit! I’m telling ya…you need to make this!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus extra for sprinkling
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar until it dissolves and the mixture starts to bubble. Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl, cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar together for 60 seconds. With the mixer on low speed, add in brown sugar and butter mixture, then the salt. Mix until combined. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Garnish with additional mini chocolate chips. Serve with animal crackers, nilla wafers or graham crackers.
Recipe source: barely adapted from What Megan’s Making; originally from How Sweet It Is
I’m sure by now, you’ve all heard about the awesomeness of Pinterest. If you haven’t, get over there right now and discover for yourself how addicting and fun it is! I’ve discovered more fantastic ideas for recipes, decorating, baby stuff, and so much more from there! Among them, this nutella yogurt fruit dip. 2 ingredients. How awesome is that?! I try to eat as much fruit as possible and after discovering this dip, it’s a breeze! If you’re looking for a healthier way to get your kids eating more fruit, definitely try this- it comes together in 5 seconds and it’s really delicious! Your family will love it!
Nutella Yogurt Fruit Dip
1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup nutella
Mix the two ingredients in a bowl and chill until ready to serve. Serve with any fruit you like- my favorites are apples and oranges. Serves 4-6.
Recipe source: The Family Kitchen
I love just about anything with a cream cheese base. Cheese balls, dips, cheesecakes, spreads…I love it all. That’s why I went nuts for these little tortilla roll-ups that my friend Callie introduced me to (sorry the photos are so crummy- I had only a few seconds to snap a couple of pictures before my party!). She brought them to my house for a party and I pretty much ate half the platter by myself. Then I turned right around and made some myself to take to another party! I LOVE them! And the party guests loved them too- they got gobbled up in no time! The ranch seasoning really adds great zestiness and the green chiles give it a nice zing! These are SO good! Perfect for parties!
Zesty Tortilla Roll-Ups
-adapted from my friend Callie’s recipe
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 package (1 oz.) Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix
2 green onions, chopped
1 4-ounce jar diced pimiento, drained
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
1 4-ounce can chopped black olives, drained
1 squirt lime juice
1 package large flour tortillas
Mix all ingredients together and spread in an even layer on tortillas. Roll them up and chill for at least 2 hours. Slice just before serving.
*These are best enjoyed the day they’re made. The tortillas will get a little soggy after a few hours, so if you need to make them ahead of time, just make the filling and keep in the refrigerator until needed, then assemble the day of.
**This would also be great by itself as a dip- just serve with Fritos or tortilla chips! Yum!!
**This post is going to be pretty short and sweet- I have an opera rehearsal soon and this ridiculously hard music isn’t going to memorize itself!!
The other night I decided to be brave and figure out how to cut a fresh pineapple. Can you believe that I had never sliced a pineapple?? They’re just so darn intimidating- all those spikes and scary looking leaf things… But, honestly it’s not hard at all! I couldn’t believe just how simple it was! So with my new-found pineapple cutting skills, I decided to make a fresh pineapple salsa to go on top of grilled fish. YUUUUMMM! So hubby grilled up some Mahi-Mahi and asparagus and I made some pineapple-almond rice and it turned out to be a pretty great meal! However, I love fresh pineapple so much, I ended up eating so much of it that my poor tongue went raw and swelled up! Eeek! So be careful not to eat too much of the stuff…no matter how delicious it is! You don’t want to sthtart thalking like thith. Not fun. Or attractive. Just ask my husband.
Fresh Pineapple Salsa
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into small chunks (measure after chopping)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
handful chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, taste for seasoning and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve over grilled fish, pork chops or chicken. Serves 2.
We have “Mexican Night” at our house quite frequently. Pretty much anytime I see a commercial for a Mexican restaurant, or if someone is making Mexican food on the Food Network, or maybe the wind blows a certain way…I announce we’ll be having Mexican food for dinner. This happens A LOT. And my hubby loves it; simply because he gets a chance to make his (of course, I offer advice from time to time) homemade salsa. We’ve gotten to the point where we wouldn’t dare eat salsa out of a jar because we’re so spoiled to the homemade stuff. And with it being so darn simple to throw together, that’s an ok thing! We like to change it up a lot, but for the most part, it pretty much stays the same. Addictive, not-too-spicy and it gets better the longer it sits….perfect salsa!
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Jalapeno or Serrano chile, seeded and roughly chopped
1 handful chopped cilantro (however much you prefer- we like lots!)
juice of 1 or 2 limes, depending on how juicy they are
half an onion, roughly chopped
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
salt to taste (start with a teaspoon and go from there)
Tony Chacherie’s Cajun Seasoning, to taste (just a little)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
Put all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until everything is well mixed. Taste for seasoning and add extra seasoning or lime juice as needed. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours; overnight is best.
*This tastes fantastic with a couple of Chipotle Chilis in Adobo thrown in instead of the fresh Jalapeno – it adds a great smokey flavor!
Now for my personal favorite – the Guacamole! I could seriously sit down and eat an entire bowl of this stuff all by myself…heck, sometimes I do! There’s just something about the creamy, chunky, salty, tanginess that gets me super excited…this girl loves her guac, ok? To be perfectly honest, most of the time, I make my guacamole by throwing in a few spoonfuls of jarred Chipotle salsa, lime juice and garlic salt (don’t judge me, you guacamole snobs!) and it’s perfectly, wonderfully delicious. This time, however, hubby and I wanted to make the real deal. Fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, lime juice…the whole works. There’s a restaurant we go to with my parents a lot that makes excellent homemade guacamole and this really reminded me of it. It was gooooood.
2 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, grated (I don’t want to bite into a big chunk of garlic or onion…I grate it on my microplane!)
1/4 an onion, grated
juice of 1-2 limes, depending on how juicy they are
handful of cilantro, finely chopped
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl; slightly mash the avocado to make it creamier. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed. Serve immediately.
*A drop or two of olive oil will make it extra-creamy!
With all this salsa and guacamole around, make sure you’ve got plenty of chips! The super-thin kind are our absolute favorites!
I had heard of this dip about a thousand times – originally called Buffalo Chicken Dip, it’s been nicknamed “crack dip” because its supposedly quite addicting. I thought, “hmm, anything with that title must be good!”, and then I read the ingredient list – canned chicken, buffalo sauce, blue cheese, ranch dressing….? BLECH! I’m sorry but that does NOT sound like something I would want to put in my mouth. So I never made it. I mean, I have to draw the line somewhere, right? It wasn’t until I was perusing some of my favorite food blogs looking for Super Bowl recipes that I found this recipe, once again. The guys over at The Bitten Word were raving about this dip – and that got me curious, I mean, if those guys like it then surely I could give it a try. So I did, and I took it to the Super Bowl party. As it turns out, this dip really is like crack…I could sit there and eat it all day! Hubby and I are both big blue cheese fans, so of course we loved it – but here’s a little warning for those of you who are picky eaters (ahem, my sister) – if you don’t like buffalo sauce and/or blue cheese, this dip isn’t for you. And even if you don’t like those things, still give it a try – you might be pleasantly surprised. Everybody at the party loved it! So without further ado – CRACK DIP!!!
Buffalo Chicken Dip (AKA: Crack Dip)
8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup buffalo sauce or buffalo style barbecue sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (shredded mozzarella cheese can be substituted)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a deep baking dish, mix cream cheese, salad dressing, buffalo sauce, and cheese. Stir until combined. Stir in chicken.
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the dish is heated through. Serve with crackers, pita chips, sliced bread or vegetables.
NOTE: Depending on your tastes and the ingredients on hand, you can use 1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese salad dressing rather than 1/4 cup of each. Similarly, you can mix blue cheese and mozzarella, or use portions of each.
*I used sliced baguettes and celery for dipping…mmm, MMMM!
Recipe source: The Bitten Word, originally from Frank’s Red Hot
A few weeks ago, we had our good friends Michael and Andrea (who happens to be a fantastic photographer) over for snacks and a Harry Potter fest. I had no idea what I was going to serve, but I knew I didn’t want it to be too fussy or involved – it was supposed to be just junky snack food, after all! So I decided to flip through one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks that is specifically for having company and found this recipe. Cream cheese, chicken, cilantro, rotel tomatoes….how can you go wrong with that cast of characters?! Sure enough, this was some seriously good dip – in fact, these little roll-ups didn’t even make it out of the kitchen! Once hubby and Mikey got a taste, they pretty much devoured them in no time. So, needless to say, I didn’t wait long before making it again – this time for my mom, who was visiting for a couple of days (the ultimate test, mind you). Thankfully, she loved it too! In fact, she didn’t wait long before making it herself! This is good dip, people.
The recipe is for dipping, but they also suggest spreading the dip on torillas, rolling them up and slicing them to make roll-ups, which is what I chose to do – perfect for parties!
Festive Chicken Enchilada Dip
- Gooseberry Patch “Come On Over”
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used garlic powder)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped or shredded
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (I used onion powder)
10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel tomatoes)
Mix cheeses together until well blended; add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serves 6-8.