Red, White, & Green

Wow, it’s been some time since I actually sat down and wrote a post…..I think I need to really promise myself to do this more often, as it’s almost therapeutic for me, the writing of course, not the cooking & the eating ūüôā

I have 3 dips I need to write about, but two of them are from November, so I have to go back and really remember what they were and the story behind the nights they were eaten. Many of you that know me know I have a good memory, I remember everything I have eaten and every article of clothing I have worn since I was in kindergarten. Though, lately, my memory hasn’t been my best friend, not sure if it’s stress, or just life, but I need to dig deep to find the other two…so today you get this mediterranean beauty!

The Fourth of July for me the past few years (thank you for the reminder Heather) has been a work day. I have been doing trunk shows at the lovely Terranea resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, for the past 4 years. ¬†Everyone should go, it’s fun, ¬†close to most, and you will feel like you are on vacation even in your own backyard. ¬†http://www.terranea.com/¬† Anywho….back to dip, this year I didn’t have to work on the actual 4th, which meant I could cook, and of course EAT! ¬†I went through the list of dips that are in my roster, and this one jumped out at me. ¬†Though this holiday is very American and red, white, and blue, this dip is sort of not, and it’s red, white, and green…..though pretty to look at, much better to taste.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 lb of feta cheese crumbled

8 oz’s of cream cheese

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

3 tbs dry vermouth

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1 cup sun-dried tomato chopped

3/4 cup of pesto

white pepper to taste

HOW TO

Sooooooo……evidently I did not go to the Derek Zoolander school for kids that can read good….because not only did¬†I realize something until just now, I also needed almost double of 2 of the ingredients, but I made it work.

No oven needed (well not really), I didn’t toast the pine nuts (this was the portion I conveniently skipped over) and I still think it tasted great! ¬†But by all means toast them in your little heart desires. I did get to use not only my big food processor, but my best friend the mini chop, it was a good day over here.

 www.finecooking.com/item/30492/3-ways-to-toast-pine-nuts 

In your food processor combine the following: butter, feta cheese, cream cheese, garlic (I used 4 cloves), vermouth, white pepper, and shallot. This needs to be as smooth as possible!

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While this is whirling away, you can try to do step 2 as neat as possible, it’s a challenge I tell you!

Take a small/medium glass bowl, and wipe the sides with olive oil or cooking spray, and then put¬†plastic wrap on the inside, with the sides of the wrap hanging over, so you can lift the dip out, this bowl will be your mold. ¬†I tried every which way, like seriously I was sweating trying to get the creases out, it’s impossible…..don’t try.

Start to layer in this order: sun-dried tomato, pine nuts, pesto, cheese mixture, and keep going until you run out of something. The pesto I used, was one we brought on our picnic at the Steely Dan concert¬†a few weeks back,¬†if you spread this on a tire it’s amazing, buy this now¬†http://www.giovannirana.com/products/basil-pesto-sauce/¬†Here is where my attention to detail, and my reading skills could have come in handy. ¬†I should have had more sun-dried tomato, & pesto, but I just grabbed and ran at the store….so make sure you have enough, maybe even more than the recipe calls for.

I had a lot of cheese left over, I used it on my sandwich today, it’s amazing on its own, I am counting the hours until I can have more. ¬†I squished as much as I could into this medium(ish) bowl, and it served about 15-20 people.

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wrap it up tight at the top, and put a cover on (if you have) for at least an hour. ¬†I did mine over night, but if you don’t have time, it will set in about 60-90 minutes.

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This was the only picture I could get of it out of the plastic (which was actually super easy to remove) because everyone devoured it the minute it was put out.  This was one of my favorites to date!

DIPPABLES

Veggies

Triscuts (better than the veggies)

Happy Dipping

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I struggle with this blog…I go to enough parties, I love making¬†dips, I for sure eat enough, so why am I not posting more, making more, and eating more?? ¬†Only answer I can come up with is TIME…..it’s everyone’s enemy, there is just not enough of it in our days, weeks, months……so I give you something today that takes NO time, but makes everyone happy.

Living in Southern California, you get used to not only amazing Mexican food, but also really fresh avocado, when you put them together you get Guacamole….but what else can you put into a bowl of this mashed up green joy?? BACON!! ¬†There is a new trend happening all over the US, restaurants are throwing whatever they can find into Guacamole, some say don’t fix what isn’t broken…I say load it on. ¬†Everything from Lobster, to prosciutto, to crab, and to my favorite crispy bacon.

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INGREDIENTS

3 large ripe avocado’s

1 medium tomato seeds removed

3 strips of bacon

1/4 cup minced red onion

1 TSP fresh lime juice

1/2 TSP smoked paprika

1/4 TSP ground chipotle

1/4 TSP kosher salt

black pepper to taste

HOW TO

I am pretty sure if you know me, you know that I don’t follow instructions well, so I doubled this recipe, but tripled the bacon ūüôā

Half avocado’s, pit, and scoop them into a bowl, & mash!

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Cook bacon until crispy and put into your trusty food processor

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Add everything to the bowl …

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Fold everything together, so that you have your desired texture…I like mine on the chunkier side

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DIPPABLES

Tortilla chips

This dip took no longer that 5 minutes to put together, the only thing that was time-consuming, was someone was eating all the bacon, so I had to keep making me…not naming any name, but I did go to a spinning class immediately after making this.

HAPPY DIPPING

Tarta de queso , no s√≥lo para el postre m√°s !!

I was searching for something to make for a party last month, something different, something weird if you will. ¬†I wanted to make something easy that everyone would love, and I ended up with the 12 step program of dips…..was a fun one to make though. ¬†If you are a baker this is right up your alley.¬†Cheesecake, America’s favorite dessert….evidently Mexico’s favorite savory dip. ¬†Not much else I can say about this, you will have to be the judge for yourself! ¬†Enjoy, Mexican Cheesecake!

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

2 tbsp. melted butter

3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese (softened)

1 cup ricotta cheese

4 eggs

10 oz grated cheese

1 can (4.5 oz) green chile’s

1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped ( I omitted this devil, blech)

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup salsa

salt & pepper to taste

HOW TO

I don’t know about your kitchen, but on the surface, mine seems to be in perfect order, but when you open the cabinets to find something, an explosion of epic proportion takes over. ¬†I know I had a springform pan, and after turning my life around trying to find it (which I didn’t), I made my way to Macy’s to buy a new one, thanks Martha Stewart. ¬†Make sure you have this handy device before you start cooking (just my 2 cents).

Pre heat oven to 350′. Crush tortilla chips, I put them in a bag and used a rolling-pin, I made mine a medium size, and mixed both flax-seed tortilla chips, and tostitos together. ¬†The flax-seed chips gave the crust a little nutty flavor. ¬†Combine chips with butter, and press neatly into the bottom of the pan, try to cover the whole thing, so nothing leaks.

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Beat cream cheese, and ricotta cheese with a mixer, so you get a smooth cheesecake like substance.

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Gradually adding in all 4 eggs, beating after adding each additional egg.

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Add in green chiles, cheddar cheese, and if your heart so desires, cilantro.  Season with salt & pepper.

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Add your cheesecake mixture to your prepared pan.

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I have an extremely old 1920’s oven, so I have to cook anything ¬†3-4 times longer than it says on any recipe. ¬†This calls for 45 minutes to 1 hour of cooking time. ¬†I suggest you cook until the middle is set, stick a knife in, and when it comes out clean viola!

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Ok, here is where it gets fun! ¬†The cake needs to set, so make sure you refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but if possible overnight. ¬†When I made this, I combined the salsa and sour cream (this is your “frosting”) and put it on while it was setting. ¬†BIG mistake, it got hard and I had to scrape it off and re-do it in the morning. ¬†I suggest doing it right before you serve it.

Add toppings to, well the top….think of your favorite nachos and add whatever you would put on those, on the top of the cake. ¬†There were going to be a lot of kids at this party, so I didn’t go crazy, just some more cheese and olives, but I would have used bacon, and jalapeno if it was an adult party.

Make sure you take this out of the fridge an hour or so before you serve so it can soften up.

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DIPPABLES

Tortilla chips worked the best, and we had some crackers too.  This also spread well on crusty bread, and some people ate it like a slice of cake.

HAPPY DIPPING!

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS

After being in Milan at the end of January for 5 days, and eating and drinking my way through the city, I thought the next entry should be somewhat healthy. ¬†When I got back, I literally couldn’t button my pants (unfunny), so I gave up booze, and bad food for 30 days, and then I no longer was in need of a new wardrobe.

In my group of friends, eating and drinking, is a huge part of our get togethers, we all stand around the food and talk for hours, while shoveling whatever goodness is in front of us, into our mouths….Superbowl was no different this go around. ¬†Wings, ribs, grilled veggies, chili, dips, chips, dorks (if you get this reference then I love you more). ¬†Stuffed ¬†to the max…happy to have contributed¬†in the health(ier) department this year. ¬†ENJOY, Burnt Pineapple Salsa!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large pineapple

1/2 of a red onion

1 large jalapeno

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I omitted, you don’t have to)

3 TBS fresh lime juice

salt & pepper to taste

This was definitely one of the easier dips I have made, and honestly one of the fastest.

HOW TO

Cut pineapple into 1/2 inch rounds (in case you need help, see link)

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 In a cast iron pan, or non stick skillet, char pineapple over high heat, I did this about 5-7 mins per side.

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Let the pineapple cool completely, and then chop in your food processor.  If you have knife skills, you can chop by hand, I do not!

Mince 1/2 of the red onion, garlic, and jalapeno, add lime juice, and place into a bowl.

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This is the time to add the cilantro (that evil evil herb) to your bowl if you so choose…..

Lastly, season with salt & pepper…and serve ūüôā

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DIPPABLES

We used cucumber, endive, and nut thins (chia seed is the best)

Happy Dipping!

What’s Shakin Bacon…..

I am not going to start this post with a promise of not going on another “break” because chances are, I will be disappearing into the abyss of the shoe world, BUT I will do my best to at least post once a month.

I can’t believe it’s 2015, 2014 was a good year in some ways, and in others it was a real mother f*cker (sorry Judy). ¬†I am not sad to close the book on it, but I do wish time would slow down just a little. ¬†I remember being a kid and I couldn’t wait to be a “grown up”, now that I am grown up, I wonder what the rush was……and why I didn’t take more naps!

As the holiday’s were approaching, I was invited to a friends for both Christmas eve, and Christmas day, so I had the opportunity to make 2 dips. ¬†I am only going to post one here, as the other was an update to the first dip I ever did on here, and I will share the “secret” on that post from 2013. ¬†Without further ado here we go, PS this was so good I have made it two times in one week!

INGREDIENTS

6 slices of bacon ( I used a whole pack..ooops)

8 oz softened cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

5 oz wilted spinach ( I wilted in the bacon grease)

2.5 oz grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tbsp parsley ( I used dried)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp roasted garlic ( link below)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/roasted-garlic-recipe.html

salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

I roasted the garlic before I started to put the rest of the ingredients together, and my whole kitchen smelled AMAZING…..

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The remaining garlic cloves I had, were spread on crackers, this is a crowd pleaser on its own!

The most important part of this dip is obviously the bacon, it needs to be very crispy, don’t be afraid to use more than 6 slices!

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Once the bacon is to your liking…..take out put to the side on a plate. KEEP THE GREASE! At this point you should pre-heat your oven to 350′

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For the most part spinach is our healthy friend, it’s there to make us feel like we are eating well, and getting Iron, but its opposite day, and today it’s getting wilted in BACON grease…..you know this way is better ūüôā ¬†Set pan aside.

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In a large bowl mix together: cream cheese, sour cream, parsley, and our new best friend roasted garlic.  I used a hand blender to mix it all and it came out very creamy, which is what you want.

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Use your mini chop to make the bacon into pieces that you can’t just shovel into your mouth, you want this evenly distributed throughout your dip!!

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Now add the chopped bacon, wilted spinach, any left over bacon grease, parmesan cheese,  and lemon juice, and mix again.

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I had a small casserole dish and dumped it all in there, and it fit perfectly!

Bake for 25-30 minutes, it should be bubbling like a glass of good champagne, and broil for 4 additional minutes.

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I actually took a video when it came out of the oven, it was bubbling like crazy, sounded like it was going to taste amazing ūüôā

DIPPABLES

Wavy lays, Cucumber, endive (pronounced ENDEEEV, see below)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiD6Ozpv-xg

Rosemary crackers (Trader Joes)

HAPPY DIPPING & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Oh give me a home where the buffalo dips roam

So the promise of no hiatus has again been broken….I think I have to limit myself to two dips a month and then perhaps I won’t be letting so many people down, ¬†(YES multiple people, won’t name names, have told me they are disappointed¬†in me lol) and their parties won’t be sans dip.

A few months ago, yes months, my little “niece” Bella turned 4. ¬†I have been in her life since before she was born, and every birthday reminds me of how lucky I am to have her in my life….she is pretty perfect.

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¬†So, for her special birthday BBQ, I made a Buffalo Chicken dip, that I could have eaten with a fork it was so good. ¬†I know we have all had this, or even a version of this, but this time it was just cheesy, hot happiness. ¬†I honestly think this could be a side dish, taco filling, or even protein on a salad, but for today, let’s use it as a dip shall we. A lot of the guests were doing the Paleo diet (which I have just started doing) and this is very Paleo friendly, and gluten free….if you are lactose intolerant this is not the dip for you ( you know who you are).

INGREDIENTS

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1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup hot sauce ( I like red hot)

1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing 

*I did something different this go around, I used ranch dressing, and put blue cheese crumbles into the dip, best of both worlds

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

*sadly I was in a time crunch, I usually use rotisserie chicken, this time canned, still good

1/2 cup shredded cheese ( I used Mozz)

DIRECTIONS

PREHEAT oven to 350¬įF

Combine ALL ingredients in a baking dish

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Bake 20 min. or until mixture is heated through

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So happy this dip didn’t require a ton of prep, it’s something that can be made in short amount of time, and makes everyone happy!

 

DIPPABLES

Celery, carrots, pita chips, wavy chips

 

HAPPY DIPPING

 

 

You’re the Chocolate to my Peanut Butter

Last week, after I posted, I shared a photo from¬†http://www.magnoliabakery.com/,¬†Have you ever seen a more beautiful cake? ¬†I could stare at cakes all day, I just think they are so pretty. ¬†Anyway, I mentioned when I uploaded this picture on¬†https://www.facebook.com/TheTripleDipper¬†and mentioned that I wanted to do a dessert dip for this weeks post, I got an email from a very good friend. ¬†Ali Burks, had the missing piece of the puzzle, each week after I post I wrack my brain to figure out what to make for my next dip, and Ali’s email was the solution to my dilema.

“I saw you wanted to make a dessert dip, I had to send this your way. I made it for a party on Sunday and it was so damn good!”

~ Ali Burks

So Ali, you are the chocolate to my peanut butter, or vice versa, whichever you want to be! I give you the most amazing dip yet!

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The most beautiful cake!

INGREDIENTS

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups chocolate cake mix, dry
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter chips

I think I have mentioned this once or twice or 300 times, but I am in love with my food processor and mini chop (sound familiar now) ¬†Anyway, there is this one blade that comes with your food processor that isn’t sharp, has no blade, and really just sits there only to be used once in awhile, for what?? ¬†To mix THIS DIP! ¬†It’s really a dough blade, but it worked for this, especially since my beaters have been well….beaten.

INGREDIENTS

I grew up on Peter Pan peanut butter, sadly they don’t have it out here, so I settled for Jif, however he didn’t make it into the picture oops!

DIRECTIONS

1. ¬†In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until combined. ¬†Then add in the chocolate cake mix, peanut butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar and beat until combined. ¬†USE YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR ūüôā

MIXIN

2. ¬†Place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. ¬†Bring up all the corners of the plastic wrap and wrap into a ball. ¬†Freeze the ball for about 1 1/2 hours or until it is firm enough to keep its shape. ¬†Now this wasn’t the easiest. ¬†It’s hard to make it into a round ball, but try your best, once it’s on the plate, it won’t really matter.

WRAPPING IT UP

3.  Place the peanut butter chips on a flat plate and roll the unwrapped cheese ball in the peanut butter chips. Make sure to press the peanut butter chips into the cheese ball until it is fully covered.

4.  Place the ball on a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and freeze the cheese ball for another 2 hours or overnight. I placed in the freezer for 2 hours and served pretty much right away, it definately got soft, but by no means melted.

DIPPABLES

I used Nilla Wafers, and Graham Crackers.  I think it would be amazing with strawberries too, even on bread.  You can also just put it on a fork, or your finger, or just lick the plate.

FINI

HAPPY DIPPING (and thanks Ali!)

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Getting to the heart of the matter

You work so hard, you boil, you broil, you bake, you bbq….then you pull, poke, and chew….UNTIL you get to the heart…of an artichoke. I have to admit, I am the girl who buys artichokes, cooks them, and eats 2 and leave the rest to become this years science fair entry, in the back of the fridge. I have tried every recipe on pinterest, and all good, but at the end of the day, just too much work….so this week we have an artichoke dip, that gives you all the love and flavor of these very stubborn, but yummy vegetables.

Last weekend, I made my way down to Carlsbad to visit some friends, other crazies who love to cook, eat, and drink as much as I do. A few months ago, I went down to see them, and forgot to bring the dip (https://thetripledipper.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=136&action=edit), so I had to make up for it this trip. Not only did I make tonight’s feature, BUT I remade last weeks, and actually remembered making it this time…sorry mom ūüėČ

They gave amazing reviews to last weeks, I changed it up a bit and added applewood bacon, not just regular bacon, and it did add just that one touch that it may have been missing. However, this dip, was gone in an instant, total crowd pleaser…here goes.

INGREDIENTS

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, thoroughly drained. (when you think you have drained them, keep going, you’re not even close)

1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced ( I used 4)

5 oz of goat cheese, softened. Depending how much you love goat cheese, use more or less

¬Ĺ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Dash of cayenne pepper….give it a kick and use TWO

Dash of cracked black pepper

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DIRECTIONS

I think the reason I was so excited to find and modify this dip was because it didn’t contain mayonnaise, it’s the devil, and really good for nothing….blech.

Pre-heat oven to 350′

Let all 3 cheeses soften for a bit, I left them on the counter for about 45 minutes, it really made the mixing without a hand blender much easier. Put all the cheeses, the cayenne, and black pepper together and mix until smooth.

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Take your very very drained artichokes and put them in the food processor, mini chop, or if you are confident in your ability to keep all 10 digits on your hands, use a knife….chop coarsley, and fold into cheese mixture.

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Place this yummy concoction into a a baking dish, I used a metal pie tin, but you can really use anything that can be put in the oven. (These would be really cute in individual ramekins at a dinner party)

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Bake for 25-30 mins until the dip is browned slightly and bubbly.

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DIPPABLES

We used a whole bunch of different things, but really we only needed a fork. Get a baguette, and lightly toast it, this was my favorite. We also used ridged chips, rosemary crackers http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=907, and some very yummy, but very not appreciated vegetables (endive, cucumber, and peppers)

This was one of my favorite dips to make, and this was for sure be served at a party in the near future…..

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Happy Dipping!

* next week we have a dip that was requested by a very special man in my life…..wait and see.