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‘Easy’ Category

  1. White Bean And Marinated Artichoke Spread

    August 8, 2014 by admin



    I’m calling this one a spread because it’s pretty thick. Now, if you’re like me and you go to Costco, you sometimes grab those mega two jars of marinated artichoke hearts. I love them as part of a snack, or chopped into salads (I use the oil as the dressing with a little balsamic vinegar). I even have a great chicken and mushroom recipe I use them for. But. BUT I haven’t found marinated artichoke hearts in any dip. It’s always the canned artichoke hearts that you chop up and mix with mayo and cheese and back. (Recipe HERE). I did an extensive internet search and found a few recipes that mixed artichoke hearts (plain) with white beans. Could I do this but use MARINATED artichokes? Yes. Yes, I could. And the result is terrific. We had friends over and the gentleman liked it so much he smeared it on his burger. That says a lot I think…when you’re will to smear.





    Seriously, you probably have all this stuff in your house, especially if you’re a food hoarder.

    Lemon, garlic, olive oil, cannellini beans, marinated artichoke hearts, rosemary, and Parmesan.



    Drain and rinse the beans, put everything into a food processor. Press START and pulse that muther till it’s smooth. Easiest spread ever.


    Step one, put everything in the food processor. I like to zap the garlic first and then add ingredients.

    Step one, put everything in the food processor. I like to zap the garlic first and then add ingredients.


    Use your *magic* to make it smooth. By magic, I mean electricity.

    Use your *magic* to make it smooth. By magic, I mean electricity.


    Put it in a pretty bowl.

    Put it in a pretty bowl.



    I give this five pretzels because it’s easy, quick, you probably have the ingredients, it’s healthy, you can use it in sandwiches, and people who like hummus will like it. The hint of rosemary brings a little garden-freshness to it, lemon adds sunlight, and the marinade on the artichoke hearts is just lovely.

    Here’s the recipe if you want to print it out:

    White Bean And Marinated Artichoke Spread
    An easy dip/spread that uses marinated artichoke hearts.
    • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans,drained
    • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained
    • 1 small clove garlic, chopped (about one tsp. chopped garlic)
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (really, to taste. Start with one and then add more.)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1. Put it all in a food processor and blend until smooth.
    2. Serve with bruschetta, pita chips, pita bread, crudités, or on a sandwich.
    3. Keeps in the fridge for about five days.



  2. Tomato Bruschetta–My Favorite Dip

    April 9, 2014 by admin

    Brilliant. Simple. Delicious. Bruschetta.

    Brilliant. Simple. Delicious. Bruschetta.

    I had to check the website about a dozen times, but I can’t believe I never posted my favorite dip. Maybe I didn’t post it because there’s really no official recipe, and it’s not really a dip. Maybe I didn’t post it because it’s so simple. All of that is ridiculous. This is one of my favorite dishes, and is one of the recipes that got me to actually like tomatoes. There’s a combination of flavors: sweet, salty, slightly bitter. A combination of textures: smooth, crunchy. Add a little basil and use heirloom tomatoes at the height of the tomato season, and you’ll probably have a foodgasm while eating.

    When tomatoes aren’t in season, I use cherry tomatoes since they have a little more flavor.

    There’s no official recipe, but here is one anyway. Amounts vary on how much you have on hand, how much you want to make, etc. You can make this Vegan by skipping the cheese. If you want to make it Carnivore, add bacon. Whatever.  This works great for a party, but I eat this a lot on its own for lunch or dinner. Beautiful with a glass of wine.

    4.0 from 1 reviews
    Tomato Bruschetta--My Favorite Dip
    Recipe type: appetizer, vegetarian
    A simple treat to spoon over grilled bread.
    • Tomatoes
    • Garlic
    • Olive Oil
    • Kosher Salt
    • Parmesan Cheese (optional)
    • Basil (optional)
    1. Dice tomatoes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and stir. Set aside to bring out juices.
    2. Crush garlic and finely dice. Add to tomatoes.
    3. Pour in olive oil until things look a little juicy.
    4. Toast sliced bread. You can use a toaster, or cook in a 425 oven for 5-6 minutes, or broil for a minute or so.
    5. Spoon tomatoes over bread and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan and basil.


    Ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, bread, olive oil, salt.

    Ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, bread, olive oil, salt.


    Dice the tomatoes.

    Dice the tomatoes.


    Sprinkle with Kosher salt and set aside. This will bring out flavor and the juice.

    Sprinkle with Kosher salt and set aside. This will bring out flavor and the juice.

    Add finely chopped garlic. Start with one clove. Add more if you want more kick.

    Add finely chopped garlic. Start with one clove. Add more if you want more kick.


    Add enough olive oil until things start looking juicy.

    Add enough olive oil until things start looking juicy.


    Spoon onto toasted bread. Sprinkle with cheese. Kick back. Enjoy.

    Spoon onto toasted bread. Sprinkle with cheese. Kick back. Enjoy.


    You can also serve goat cheese with pesto spooned over it and topped with a sundries tomato. The colors are amazing!


  3. Baked Fontina With Garlic And Herbs

    February 8, 2013 by admin

    Fontina Dip with garlic slices, herbs, and olive oil.

    Fontina Dip with garlic slices, herbs, and olive oil.

    Today marks my return to the Dips, Balls, and Logs Blog! Woohoo! Coming soon…posts on Chili Cheese Dip, BBQ Pork Steamed Buns, and Mushroom Dip. Today, it’s Baked Fontina With Garlic And Herbs, which won my spontaneous poll on my website as the dip you most wanted to see.

    This dip is super easy, delicious, cheesy, and great if you have PMS or your drunk. That’s because it’s not really a dip at all. NO. It’s melted cheese. Let me say that again: MELTED CHEESE.

    It’s also delightful. It smells fragrant and green and if you make it, you may want to lock yourself in a room with some candles, a loaf of bread, this dip, and…well…I’ll leave the rest of that list up to you. Enjoy.




    Baked Fontina With Garlic And Herbs
    Recipe type: Appetizer
    Cuisine: Cheese, Dairy
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 6
    Melted cheese that's gooey and sinful and lovely.
    • 1½ lbs Italian fontina, rind removed and cubed
    • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • kosher salt
    • pepper
    1. Adjust top rack of the oven so that it sits about five inches under the broiler. Preheat broiler.
    2. Spread cheese into cast iron pan. Drizzle with olive oil.
    3. Mix herbs and garlic and sprinkle over cheese and olive oil.
    4. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
    5. Bake for 6 minutes, or until melted, bubbly and slightly golden.


    Simple ingredients. In fact, you don't even have to follow the recipe. Just eyeball it.

    Simple ingredients. In fact, you don’t even have to follow the recipe. Just eyeball it.


    Add the diced cheese and drizzle liberally with olive oil.

    Add the diced cheese and drizzle liberally with olive oil.


    Top with herbs, sliced garlic, and salt & pepper.

    Top with herbs, sliced garlic, and salt & pepper.


    Bake until golden and bubbly and luscious.

    Broil for 6 minutes, or until golden and bubbly and luscious.


    Broil for 6 minutes, or until golden and luscious.


    Please Pin, share, tweet, make it, eat it with others, and let me know what you think.





  4. Christmas Tree Meatloaf (aka Holiday Phallus)

    December 23, 2012 by admin

    Christmas Meatloaf

    Ah, Christmas. You know, nothing says Christmas to me like shaping a loaf into a slightly phallic, yet festive, shape. Keeping this in mind, I decided to make a Christmas Tree Meatloaf. Originally, I was going to color the mashed potatoes green, but everyone in my house vetoed that. They said plain mashed potatoes would suggest snow. (I think they’re messing with me.)

    Great thing about this: you don’t need a recipe! You just need some meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and a little bit of butter. In fact, I’ll just show you how I put it together. You don’t even need words, which is great, especially if you’re making this for dinner while drinking spiked egg nog.

    From my heart to yours, may your holiday season be like a good meatloaf: slightly kitschy, a little bit awkward, and deeply comforting.

    Here, then, the PROCESS:


    Christmas Meatloaf 1


    Christmas Meatloaf 2


    Christmas Meatloaf 3



    Christmas Meatloaf 4



    Christmas Meatloaf 5



    Christmas Meatloaf 6


    Christmas Meatloaf 7


    Christmas Meatloaf 8



    Christmas Meatloaf




  5. Olive Cheese Ball Bites

    December 9, 2012 by admin


    These are a classic from my childhood. I’m pretty sure it’s some recipe from the 1950s, but I have no proof of that. It just FEELS like a 1950s recipe. These are easy to make, and fun to do with your kids. I used to help my mom. If they can’t handle forming the ball around the olive, they can at least flatten the dough out in their hands and you can wrap the olive.

    Doughy, crispy, with a bit of the salty olive center = SO GOOD! Of course, I’m bias, because I remember making these and watching reruns of Laurence Welk shows. (I was a strange kid. My favorite childhood shows: Perry Mason, Star Trek, Star Search, and Laurence Welk.) So, fair warning.

    Olive Cheese Ball Bites
    Recipe type: Appetizer
    Cuisine: Balls
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 8
    Crisp, chewy, slightly salty balls of wonder. And only a few ingredients. (You can also freeze these before cooking.)
    • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 1 ¼ cup flour
    • ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)
    • Sprinkle of paprika (optional)
    • Green olives, drained
    1. Mix cheese and flour and paprika. Add butter and mix well.
    2. Take a tablespoon or so of the mixture and work in hand until it forms a dough; shape around an olive. Place 2” apart on greased baking sheet. Chill 1 hour.
    3. Heat oven to 400. Bake 15-20 minutes. Balls will brown slightly on top and at the bottom.


    And the process in color photos!:


    Just 4 ingredients. 5 if you use Paprika.


    Mix flour, cheese, and paprika. Add in warm melted butter. Stir.


    It’ll look like this. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make a stiff dough. The heat of your hands and playing with the dough will make it pliable. So, no gloves on this one.



    Squeeze a tablespoon or so of dough in your hand, flatten, add your olive.


    Roll and pinch dough around olive.


    Put on a tray and chill for at least an hour. You can also freeze them at this point and bake later.


    Bake for 15-20 minutes. I didn’t let them chill long enough, so they flattened a little. Still, you can see the bottom with crisp, and the inside will still be a little soft. Oh, baby!


    There you go! Olive Ball BITES! Perfect for that retro party. Serve with martinis and pineapple and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon (I’ll post to blog soon), and a cheese ball, and marinated mozzarella on sticks and…I could on and on.





  6. Baked Asparagus Dip (#27)

    May 25, 2012 by admin


    I wanted to celebrate the release of my new book “Foodies Rush In” by posting another dip just in time for the weekend! This week’s dip is super easy and takes advantage of all that asparagus out there. I decided to make it when a friend dropped off a ton of asparagus from her farm.

    It calls for 1 lb cooked asparagus. I like to roast my asparagus in the oven. Toss asparagus with olive oil and salt and roast for about 10 minutes. Let cool.





    1 pound fresh asparagus, cooked and cooled

    1 cup mayonnaise

    1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

    1 minced clove of garlic (optional)




    Preheat oven to 350. Chop off tops of cooked asparagus into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Chop the asparagus in a food processor. Combine all ingredients and then put in a casserole dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until it starts to brown and bubble.


    See how easy that is? Here are the pictures of the process:

    Chop the asparagus (but save the tips)


    Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and....




    Spread in your favorite shallow casserole dish or pie plate.


    Bake and...






    This is a solid 4 Pretzels. It’s easy, uses few ingredients, and you could probably add chopped artichoke hearts for a twist. Try it with tortilla chips or crackers. And while you’re kicking back with this and a glass of wine, think about checking out “Foodies Rush In”.

    Oh! Shameless self-promotion! I know. But it IS  a foodie book.



  7. Crack Dip (AKA Loaded Baked Potato Without The Baked Potato Dip) #21

    February 1, 2012 by admin


    I don’t have all the pictures for this one. I made it over Christmas when I got a new camera and in my excitement, I forgot to take pictures of the step by step process. This one is so easy, you really don’t need the pictures. Basically, buy the ingredients, mix them together, wait, eat.



    16 ounces sour cream

    1 package Ranch Dressing or Dip (dry mix)

    3 ounces bacon bits (the real kind in a bag)

    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    ¼-1/2 cup milk (optional)


    For the Ranch Dip…you want something like this:




    Mix all the ingredients together. Refrigerate 24 hours.




    My brother went crazy over this. He stood at the table, dipped his chip in, took a bite, said “Huh”, took another chip and repeated the process over and over. It was pretty funny. Every now and then he’d ask me “What’s that dip again” and I’d tell him and he’d say “Man. That’s pretty good.” He took home all the leftovers.


    We give this 4 Pretzels. It’s not my personal favorite, but it is a crowd pleaser. You do want it to sit for 24 hours so the flavors meld. I found the dip was a little too thick, so I added about 1/4 cup of milk to get it to dippable consistency.






    And it would probably be great on a baked potato.


    Here’s the dip again with my curry mango dip. Isn’t it festive?

  8. White Bean Dip (#18)

    December 28, 2011 by admin


    I had some requests for specific recipes. One was from a healthy eater who’d like a non-dairy, vegetarian dip. This one goes a step further: it’s VEGAN. At least I think it’s vegan. It’s pretty vegan. This is a smooth dip with a little bite. You can adjust the garlic and lemon to your taste. I made the mistake of being really heavy on the garlic and olive oil the first time I made it, so I suggest start with less. You can always add more.




    2 cloves garlic

    1 can (15 oz) white beans, such as Northern or Cannelini, drained and rinsed

    2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

    1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    ½ teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning

    salt to taste


    1. In a food processor, blend garlic until chopped.


    2. Add white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano or Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.


    3. Serve.

    Basically, just put ingredients in food processor and blend until your heart's happy.




    This is a really simple dip, with the added benefit of not having a ton of ingredients. And they’re ingredients that are easy to get year round. It’s a nice change from hummus, for sure. I’ve also added rosemary to this and that creates a really nice hint of winter. That sounds poetic. It’s just good. I give this a 3 Pretzel rating. It’s a good little dip. It’s actually better if you let it rest overnight. It’s a subtle dip. It doesn’t scream at you, and you probably won’t eat it obsessively, but it will make you feel good while eating it. Low fat, high fiber, all that good jazz. And it keeps great.


    The Dunkables



    Bagel Chips

    Root Chips

    Or try making a sandwich with rye bread or pumpernickel, smear with lots of dip, add sprouts, tomato, cucumber and shredded carrots. So good!

  9. Baked Feta with Marinara (#15)

    November 12, 2011 by admin


    from Cooking Light



    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, drained

    1 (4 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese (or soft goat cheese)


    Preheat oven to 350. Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle feta evenly into a 6-inch gratin dish or small shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. top with tomato mixture. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until you see the cheese is starting to bubble.



    Crumble feta in a dish you've sprayed with cooking spray.


    Mix remaining ingredients in separate bowl.


    Pour tomato mixture on top of feta and bake until bubbly.


    This is a really easy dip. The only thing you have to chop, really, is the garlic. Make sure you squeeze out the juice in the canned tomatoes, though, because otherwise it gets soupy. I’ve made this with feta and goat cheese (not together. separately.) I have to say I almost prefer the goat cheese because it’s smoother, but the feta is good too.





    Both cheese and tomatoes have that weird ‘umami’ quality, so when you eat this it’s very comforting. It’s homey. Warm. Gooey. Terrific with a glass of wine. In fact, you’ll probably feel pretty sophisticated eating this. It’s also great for winter because it uses pantry ingredients. And it’s a good dip for Christmas because, well, it’s red and white. Throw some parsley on there and Ho Ho Ho. Kealoha wanted to give it 3 pretzels, but I’m giving it 4 pretzels. Over the years, it’s become one of my quick go-to dips when I need to whip up something.




    This is best with sliced, toasted baguettes. I slice a loaf of french bread, lay the pieces out in a pan and cook for 5-10 minutes (flipping once). Check it frequently because you want the toast golden and not black. Black toast is waaaay not good.

  10. Blue Cheese Walnut Spread (#14)

    October 25, 2011 by admin


    For this week’s recipe, I’m going a little outside my boundaries and posting a spread instead of a dip. Still, you can DIP your knife in and spread it on a cracker, so it almost works.





    Blue Cheese and Walnut Spread from Everyday Food Magazine 

    4 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature

    ½ cup walnuts, chopped

    salt and pepper

    4 ounces (1 cup) cold crumbled blue cheese

    In a medium bowl, stir cream cheese with a wooden spoon until softened. Mix in walnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Gently fold in blue cheese, breaking up as little as possible.



    This is super easy, and a good ‘last minute’ appetizer, since you can just grab the ingredients at the grocery store, mix and serve.

    Cream the cream cheese. (Why does that sound gross?)


    Add the walnuts and salt and pepper.



    Fold in the blue cheese and serve.


    3 pretzels! But don’t dunk in pretzels because they’ll break. This is a spread, not a dip.

    This dip/spread  is good. It’s not great, but when I served it, everyone liked it. Of course, you need to like blue (bleu) cheese. Kealoha wanted more blue cheesiness, which is easy to accommodate. High ranks on ease of this spread. Basically three ingredients and you’re good to go.

    We had steak for lunch with this. I wonder what the spread would taste like spooned onto a grilled hamburger or juicy steak? Mmmm.



    Crackers (wheat tasted really good)

    Slices of pear (great combo)