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‘Easy’ Category

  1. Dip #11 — Curry Mango Dip

    September 13, 2011 by admin

     

    After looking over the last 10 dips, I realized three of them have black beans in them. Maybe I’m sort of obsessed with black beans or something. (I have a great recipe for a black bean cake. Cake as in burger not yummy-with-frosting.) But it’s time to move on.

    Here’s a great dip I served at my Dip Party. Explanation to follow. (To make it look a little prettier, I swirled some extra chutney on top. That’s optional.)

     

    The Recipe

     

     

    4 ounces cream cheese, softened

    8 ounces sour cream

    1 teaspoon curry powder

    ½ cup mango chutney

     

    The Process

     

     

    In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream. (Or use mixer with paddle attachment.) Add curry and chutney. Stir well to combine and chill.

    When making this, I actually screwed up and put all the ingredients in together. I had to overmix it a little, so the chunks of mango in the chutney got a little liquified. Ah well. It still tasted great. I would recommend creaming the cheese and sour cream first though.

     

    The Verdict

     

    In Japanese cooking there’s some approach (that I can’t remember) which seeks to create harmony in food. It attempts to balance both flavors and color. For instance, you want every plate of your food to have the colors white, red, black, brown and green. So let’s say you have a tuna sandwich. Wheat bread, white filling, green lettuce, red tomato and black olives on the side. You also want to create harmony with flavors. Something truly satisfying is at once sweet, sour, salty, bitter.

    In short, this dip does this. There’s heat from the curry and mango dip, but it’s also cool from the cream cheese and sour cream. The mango chutney adds sweetness, and if you use a bagel chip for dipping, you also get a tang of saltiness.

    I love this dip. I give it 5 out of 5 pretzels, as did many at the dip party. Kealoha wasn’t crazy about it, but he’s not a fan of things with spice. He gave it a 3.

     

    The Dunkables

     

    Bagel chips (Our favorite. Plain bagel chips with sea salt.)

    Pita chips

    Veggies

    Naan

    Pretzels

    You could try regular chips but the dip is a little thick and might break them.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


  2. Dip #9 — Black Bean Salsa/Salad

    September 4, 2011 by admin

     

    The Recipe & Process

     

    This recipe is so easy, I’m combining the two steps. Here are the ingredients:

     

     

    2 cans Black beans

    1 ½ cups frozen corn

    1 ½ cups diced tomato

    1 bunch sliced scallions

    1 each of green, red, yellow peppers, diced

     

    Mix above together in medium bowl.

     

    In separate bowl: mix sauce.

     

    Sauce:

    1/3 cup veg. oil

    1/3 cup red wine vinegar

    1 tsp Worcestershire

    2-3 tsp tabasco

    2 tsp cumin

    Salt and pepper to taste

     

    Pour the sauce over the salad. Salad tastes better the longer it sits. It’s good right away, but even better the next day. 

     

     

    The Verdict

     

    I got this from someone when I lived in Miami. A coworker of my boyfriend’s, if I remember right. That was…oh…17 years ago? Ouch.

    Anyway. It’s a terrific, subtle dip. We give this dip a 4 out of 5 pretzels. It won’t wow you with it’s flavor. It’s not that kind of dip. This one is quiet, yet seductive. You’ll keep going to this dip long after those fancier dips have had their way with you.

    In Miami, we served it with plantain chips. Soooo good. The salad is refreshing and crisp, and really good for you. I like to let it set out for an hour or so and let the flavors meld before serving it. It makes a lot so it’s great for a party. It’s not spicy because there are no jalepenos in it. Who cares? Not every salsa needs to be spicy. This is also terrific as a side salad, without any dunkables at all.

     

    The Dunkables

     

    Tortilla chips

    Plantain chips

    Corn chips

    A spoon.

     

     


  3. Dip #8 — Buffalo Chicken AKA Hot Wing Dip

    August 25, 2011 by admin

    A reader sent me a recipe for this ages ago, and then I lost it. I remember thinking “Holy cow. Like hot wings in a dip? Really?” I was both repulsed and drawn to the recipe. I never made it though because the recipe called for canned chicken, and I just couldn’t swing that way. Then I lost it. (I lost ‘it’ as in the recipe, not I ‘lost it’ as in my sanity.)

    I found another recipe in a free book by Gooseberry Patch, but as I started to put it together, I knew the ratios couldn’t be right. Almost an entire jar of hot sauce AND bleu cheese dressing? That sounded awful. And spicy. And soupy.

    So, I tweaked the recipe. This is the tweaked version…but if you make it, do it to taste. Start with these ratios, and if you want more heat or more dressing, simply add it in to taste.

     

    The Recipe

     

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened

    2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (great use for a rotisserie chicken)

    1/3 cup hot sauce

    ½ cup bleu cheese dressing

    1 cup shredded cheddar

     

    The Process

    Mix everything but the cheddar. Taste. Add more hot sauce and dressing if you need to. Pour into casserole dish.

    Top with cheddar cheese and bake in 350 oven for about 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

    The Verdict

    The original recipe called for 15 ounces of hot sauce and bleu cheese dressing, but that’s almost the whole jar. I just couldn’t do it. So I added less. (See above.) It’s an easy recipe; you just mix it all together. The next time I make it, I’ll probably get a higher quality bleu cheese dressing.

    So what’s the verdict? WE GIVE THIS DIP 5 Pretzels!! Yay!!

    Why 5 pretzels? As my cousin Jennie said “This dip is like life-changing”. Or something like that.

    I threw a dip party for my dippy friends Debbie, William, Jason, Karen, and Kealoha, and everyone agreed that this dip is a rock star. It’s full of flavor, surprising, spicy, creamy, cheesy, salty, and just plain terrific.

    I think you could even put this on mini rolls and have Buffalo Wing SLIDERS. Oh, man.

     

    The Dunkables

    Chips

    Tortilla Chips

    Pita Chips

    Bagel Chips

    Celery

    Or on mini rolls with a little lettuce for sliders


  4. Dip #6 – Black Bean Spread with Lime and Cilantro

    August 11, 2011 by admin

    Kealoha and I were invited to his parents’ house for dinner. I was narrating all day and didn’t have a lot of time to make a dip or go shopping. This dip used all the ingredients we happened to have in our house, except I made a quick stop at the store for cilantro. It’s a healthy dip, but don’t let that scare you.

     

    The Recipe

    From “Cooking Light” Magazine

     

    3 garlic cloves, peeled

    ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, undrained

    diced tomato and avocado (optional)

    The Process

     

    1. With food processor on, drop garlic through food chute; process until minced. Add chopped cilantro and next 5 ingredients, and process until smooth.

    That’s it. Basically, put it in a blender and mix until smooth. It’s really easy. Instead of chopping the garlic myself, I put it in the processor first and let the machine do the work.

     

    The Verdict

     

    When it was finished, it looked a little weird. Simple. Next time around, I might reserve a little of the liquid from one can to make sure it doesn’t get too soupy. To add texture, consider adding in chopped tomatoes and avocado.

    I was a little leary about Kealoha’s parents liking it…but they LOVED it. We couldn’t stop eating it! It’s a great spread, with or without putting in anything extra.

    It’s got that kind of fresh taste with the zip of lime, hint of cilantro. The little bit of salt really brings out the flavor. And then there’s the garlic and smooth black beans. Mmmmm. Honestly. I love this dip. Easy. Fast. Low-call and high fiber. Delicious!

    This gets 5 out of 5 pretzels. Really. It’s super easy, and you can make it any time of the year. And you can’t stop yourself from eating it. If there’s any left, it keeps well for days.

    The Dunkables

     

    Nacho Chips

    Corn Chips

    Fried Plantains

    Crudites


  5. Dip #5–7 Layer Bean Dip

    August 5, 2011 by admin

    This is that dip you have at parties and everyone eats all of it, but you just never think of making it. And I’m so glad I finally know how. It’s freakishly easy. It’s also versatile. If you don’t like a layer, simply replace it with something you do like…like guacamole or jalapeno peppers or whatever.

    The quality of the dip will probably change with the quality of ingredients you use.

     

    7 Layer Bean Dip

    (With thanks to Dana and her aunt for sharing the recipe)

     

    THE RECIPE

    1 15oz can refried beans, heated

    1 c. sour cream

    1 .78 oz pkg. taco seasoning mix

    1 c. diced tomatoes

    1 4.25 oz jar diced green chilies, drained

    1 2.25 oz can sliced ripe olives, drained

    3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    2/4 c. shredded monterey jack cheese

    1 jar salsa

    tortilla chips

    THE PROCESS

    Spread warm beans on 10 inch serving platter. Combine sour cream and seasoning mix; spread over beans. Layer remaining ingredients over sour cream mixture. Serve with salsa and chips. 6-8 servings

    Now, I didn’t heat the beans, because I wanted to make this ahead of time. It’s great cold. I think this is a good dip to bring to a party because you can assemble it there.

    We found that the taco seasoning and sour cream was too salty. If I make it again, I’ll only use 1/2 the seasoning pack.

    We replaced the jalepeno peppers with avocado.

    Here’s the step by step process in pictures. (I know. It’s so easy you don’t need pictures, but I have a good camera, so I feel like I have to use it.)

     

     

     

     

     

    THE VERDICT

    We give this 4 out of 5 pretzels. Or maybe we should say tortilla chips. It’s a great dip and I know it will be devoured at the next party. Next time, I’ll definitely use the taco seasoning to taste, but beyond that…it’s great. Now I can finally make this dip. It’s a little spicy, creamy, and a little bit sinful. AND you can eat a TON of it without making yourself sick, a definite dip-bonus. I should know.

    THE DUNKABLES

    Tortilla chips

    Fritos

    Veggies (maybe)

    Or even tortilla shells. I bet this would be great in a burrito.

     

     

    Got any comments or have any great recipes you’re willing to share? Please either comment here, or email me at tanya@tanyaeby.com. 

     

     

     

     


  6. Dip #4 — Santorini Dip (Greek Dip)

    July 29, 2011 by admin

    This recipe comes from writer and foodie Meg Holmes who, one day last summer, created the dip using what she had in her fridge. I’m glad she didn’t use everything in her fridge, because then it would probably have corn in it and Red Bull or something.

    She calls it “Santorini Dip” because she’s always wanted to visit there. I didn’t know what Santorini was, but I thought it might be a dance. Close. It’s in Greece. And here’s a picture.

    THE RECIPE

    8oz plain Greek yogurt

    6-8oz crumbled feta

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    3 TBS chopped fresh dill

    sea salt/black pepper to taste

    (Meg also adds a tiny squeeze of lemon sometimes, but it’s not necessary)

     

    THE PROCESS

    Add the Greek yogurt and feta into a bowl. Chop the garlic and dill. Mix. Serve or refrigerate to let flavors blend.

    (Obviously, this is another easy dip. I love quick dips where you only have to chop a couple of things. It ups the ‘pretzel factor’ in my mind.)

    The dip was a little too thick at first, so I added a little milk. I would’ve added lemon but I didn’t have any.

    THE VERDICT

    When I first tried the dip I thought “Hmm. Good. This is a Three.” Then I took another bite and I thought, “That’s ridiculous. Clearly it’s a Four.” Fifteen minutes later, Kealoha and I had nearly finished off the whole dip. It was supposed to be an appetizer, but it nearly became our entire dinner. We agreed, hands down, it gets 5 Pretzels.

    Why?

    Reasons for a 5 Pretzel Rating:

    1. Ease of preparation.

    2.  Munchability.

    3. Continued muncahbility.

    4. Dip is good right away, or it can sit in the fridge and be great later. (Two days later, the dip was still fantastic.)

    5. Versatility. This would be terrific in a veggie sandwich. Think: pita bread, this dip, shredded carrots, cucumbers, chick peas. Oh, mama!

    DUNKABLES

    This is the perfect veggie dip. The dill is really fresh and it has clean crisp flavors. We used thick cucumbers, carrots and celery and some beans from our garden. This would also be great with bagel or pits chips, or in a sandwich.


  7. Dip #3–Chocolate Cloud Dip

    July 21, 2011 by admin

    This dip comes from a fun book for kids called “Little Monsters Cookbook” by Zac Williams. He called it “Monster-in-the-Moat Fondue” but there’s nothing monstery about it unless you put a chopped off finger in there and that would be horrifying. That’s why I re-named it. We’re calling it “Chocolate Cloud Dip” in my house because it’s super fast, creamy, and fluffy like a cloud. Wrong color for a cloud though.

    Anywho…

    Yesterday was so hot and the kids wanted a treat. I whipped this up in under three minutes. I’m not kidding. It’s a three-minute snack. AND you can make it while kids cling to your legs.

     

    THE RECIPE

    1 cup whipping cream

    1/4 cup chocolate drink mix (Nesquick)

    1 tablespoon peanut  butter

    fruit or pretzels for dipping

     

    THE PROCESS

    1. Put the stuff in a mixing bowl. 2. Mix it until smooth and fluffy.

    That’s it. There’s really nothing more to say. This recipe is so easy it seems like you must be forgetting something.

     

    THE VERDICT

    We Love LOVE LOVE this! Seriously. We give it 5 out of 5 pretzels. Why? It’s easy. It has three ingredients. The kids love it. AND you could even serve this as a dessert. Seriously. Put a little Grand Marnier in the bottom of a glass with a strawberry in it and pour the mousse over it…just don’t serve that one to the kids. And don’t tell anyone there’s Nesquick in it. That will be our little secret.

     

    THE DUNKABLES

    We used strawberries, bananas, and blueberries because that’s what we had in the fridge. You could also do marshmallows, graham crackers, cookies, pretzels, or just use a plain old spoon. It’s so good. Really.

    Here’s proof:

    Two real children really stuffing their faces with fruit and dip


  8. Dip #1–Avocado Dip

    July 10, 2011 by admin

    I wanted to kick this off right by using a vintage cookbook that my fiance (let’s call him Kealoha) gave to me. He has a box of vintage mini-cookbooks from his mom. For some reason, several of them are about lamb, though Kealoha says he doesn’t recall ever eating lamb as a kid.

    Anyway, tucked in this box was a fantastic little handbook from the makers of Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

     

    I love vintage cookbooks especially when they’re about a specific product. I actually found a recipe for A-1 Steak Sauce that was like A-1 Steak Sauce poured over canned ham and served with a green olive. This was fast food for the 1950s housewife: open a can, pour over a condiment and there you go. Eat up. Oh, and pour another Manhattan.

    This dip seemed appealing because there was very little effort involved, and also because I had a sack of avocados I needed to use.

    THE RECIPE

    Philly Avocado Dip

    1 cup mashed avocado

    1 8-oz package Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese

    3 tablespoons lemon juice

    1 teaspoon finely chopped onion

    1 teaspoon salt

    Dash of Worcestershire sauce

     

     THE PROCESS

    This was a surprisingly easy recipe since it requires no cooking. Mostly you just mash stuff. I didn’t even bring the cheese to room temperature. Nope. I just twisted open that avocado (once I cut around it), mashed about 2 avocados in a bowl with a fork, then added the avocados and the rest of the ingredients into my Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment and blended.

    I didn’t have regular onion on hand so I used some purple onion, and ended up liking the color.

    After the dip was done, I kept looking for something else to do. I was done, so I just drank some wine.

    THE VERDICT

    It’s a great dip! Easy. And it’s perfect right after you make it, or refrigerate it and let the flavors meld. It’s creamy with a little of the wonderful 1950s spice AKA Worcestershire sauce. It’s a great green color, but it could use something else. Maybe top it with some pretty chopped tomatoes.

     

    DUNKERS

    We tried a variety of things, but we liked potato chips and snow peas from our garden the best. It would be great with blue corn tortilla chips, pita, or other veggies.  It’s easy. It’s green. It’s got cheese in it. It doesn’t turn all brown while it sits there on the buffet table. (We know. We stared at it for more than an hour. No brown!) What more could you ask?

    All in all, this dip gets 4 pretzels out of 5.