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  1. Swiss Bacon Dip (#24)

    March 25, 2012 by admin

    I found this dip randomly. I don’t know how. But I did. And I wanted it. DEEPLY. I’m happy to say that it’s durned good. Good in that deeply decadent I-sort-of-feel-ashamed-of-myself way. It’s a Rachel Ray recipe, and even though I’m not a big fan of her approach, I do like this cheesy, gooey, salty, crunchy, bacon dip. And thankfully there’s no EVOO in it (which annoys me when she says that because she then immediately says “That’s extra virgin olive oil” and if she’s trying to save time by saying EVOO, then why the hell does she tell us what it means. Just say olive oil, for crying out loud! But I digress.)

    RECIPE

     

     

    Ingredients

    • 8 slices center cut bacon, chopped
    • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 rounded teaspoons prepared Dijon style mustard
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
    • 3 scallions, chopped
    • 1/2 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
    • Baby carrots and a selection of spiced flat breads, cocktail sized pumpernickle  or rye breads, or sliced whole grain baguettes, for dipping

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Brown bacon in nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Drain crisp bacon bits on paper towels.

    In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon, Swiss and scallions with cooked bacon. Transfer to a shallow small casserole or pie plate and bake until golden and bubbly at edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Top with chopped smoked almonds. Place dip on a platter and surround warm dip with breads and carrots for dipping.

     

    THE PROCESS

     

    Well, you get your ingredients, see, and you put them in a bowl,  see, and you stir like the Commies are coming to get you and the only way to stop them is to thoroughly mix bacon, cheese, and scallions.

    Or something like that.

    Cook your bacon first. Make sure it’s crisp.

     

    Add all the ingredients together (except the almonds)

     

    Spoon ingredients into a bowl and bake until bubbly.

     

     

    While it’s cooking, chop your almonds. You can do it the old fashioned way and cut the almonds on a cutting board, but why pass up an opportunity for getting out your aggression? Put your almonds in a baggie and then pound the crap out of them with a rolling pin.

     

     

     

    When the dip is done, top with the almonds.

     

     

    THE VERDICT

     

     

    Now, I went crazy on this. It was great. But it’s really intense. So…originally I’d give it 5 Pretzels, but then I downgraded it to a 4 because you just can’t eat a ton of it without making yourself feel bloated and gross. Still. It’s got a ton of flavor. We liked this on crackers, although bread and veggies worked too. We saved some to heat up for later, and it was still great. Kealoha used some of the filling for an omelette, and that got RAVES.

    Putting leftover dip into an omelette is pretty brilliant.

    So. The verdict: 4 out of 5 pretzels. Yum.

     

    I won’t say Yum-O, because that’s what Rachel says and every time she does, I die a little on the inside.

     


  2. Cheeseburger Dip #23

    March 10, 2012 by admin

    Click on picture to go to original post, or read my take on it below.

     

    You know I’m sort of obsessed with recipes that taste like sandwiches but are really dips. It started with the Reuben Dip, and I guess that was my Gateway to the Path of Cheese Destruction. I went willingly. Gleefully even.

    One day, I did a random search for a Cheeseburger Dip because I was thinking, man, I’d like a cheeseburger but I’d like to be able to dip things into it. I was pretty sure I could come up with a recipe (I’ve got the basics down for good dips. It involves cream cheese), but I was feeling lazy. And I found one. So, this isn’t MY recipe, it’s on Closet Cooking and he’s got some pretty terrific stuff on there.

    I decided to try this. It’s great. Cheesy, cheeseburger-y, and just plain awesome. I’ll post my pictures, but the pictures from the Closet Cooking blog are a lot better than mine. I was rushing this dip and the picture taking. I blame my hunger on that.

     

     THE RECIPE

    It's a lot of stuff, but you probably already have most of it on hand.

     

    Ingredients

    1/2 pound ground beef

    6 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

    1 small onion, diced

    1 clove garlic, chopped

    4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

    1/2 cup sour cream

    1/4 cup mayonnaise

    1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

    1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

    1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

    2 tablespoon ketchup

    Optional: top with lettuce and tomato when the dip is baked and bubbly.

     

    Directions

    1. Cook the ground beef in a pan over medium heat, set it aside and drain the grease from the pan.
    2. Cook the bacon in the pan until crispy, about 6-10 minutes, set aside and drain all but a tablespoon of the grease.
    3. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
    4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
    5. Mix the ground beef, bacon, onions and garlic, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, mozzarella, cheddar, worcestershire sauce and ketchup and pour it into a baking dish.

    Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the top starts turning a light golden brown and then sides are bubbling, about 20-30 minutes.

     

    THE PROCESS

     

    Cook separately the ground beef, bacon, and onion. (Or you can do what I did: Have your hubby cook the meat while you snap pictures.) Then cook the bacon and then the onion. You can use the same pan. In fact, you SHOULD use the same pan. Why waste the flavor?

    Mmmm. Meat.

     

    Bacon, chopped and ready to be crisped.

     

    Mix everything up.

     

     

    Mix and put in a serving dish. I find pie plates work great for sandwichy dips.

     

    Bake and serve.

     

    I made a slight mistake. I didn’t have any mozzarella so I used all cheddar cheese. While it didn’t affect the taste any (it was still great) it did affect the color and gooey factor. For these reasons, I can see why you want the combination of cheddar and mozzarella. Color and melty gooeyness. Also, I’d reserve some of the cheese and put it on the top of the mixed ingredients.

    The dip may not be pretty, but just cover it with lettuce and tomatoes. No one will know.

     

    THE VERDICT

     

     

    Can you guess? We give this 5 pretzels out of 5! Of course we did. My mom came over and I said we were having an appetizer. I meant for it to be an appetizer but the three of us basically scarfed down the entire dip, before Kealoha said: “Wait. I need to refrigerate it and see how it heats up.” In the morning, he heated it up, ate every last bite and declared that this was a terrific dip.

     

    THE DUNKABLES

     

    Bruschetta

    Tortilla chips

    Fritos

    Bagel Chips

    Vegetables (But why would you want to do that)

    BONUS: Make the dip at a potluck and serve it with mini-buns, then they can scoop the dip sloppy joe style and have mini-cheeseburger-dip-actual-sandwiches.

    Brilliant.


  3. Reuben Dip (#17)

    December 22, 2011 by admin

     

    I saw this recipe in a free cookbook from Philadelphia Cream Cheese. You had to buy a crap load of their cream cheese to get the book, but I’m a sucker for that kind of thing….plus it was an excuse to make cheesecake. When I saw this recipe, I had the same reaction I did to the recipe for ‘chicken wing dip‘: It was either going to be horrific or awesome.

    It was awesome.

    That’s right. I’m deviating from my dip format, and I’ll just tell you up front: this is a 5 PRETZEL DIP. It’s gooey. Comforting. Delicious. I think I’m becoming obsessed with dips-that-taste-like-sandwiches. Really, it is a spreadable sandwich (but that sounds kind of gross).

     

    RECIPE

     

    I forgot to take pictures at first. Here’s one of a couple of the ingredients. Imagine the rest:

     

     

     

    4 ounces (1/2 pkg.) cream cheese, softened

    1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing

    1/4 lb sliced deli pastrami, chopped

    3/4 cup well-drained sauerkraut

    1 pkg (8 oz) Swiss cheese slices, chopped

     

    1. Heat oven to 350.

    2. Mix cream cheese and dressing in medium bowl; stir in remaining ingredients.

    3. Spread onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate or shallow dish.

    4. Bake 20 minutes, until heated through. (Or you can microwave it.) Serve warm with rye bread or crackers.

     

    THE PROCESS

     

    I thought since it’s served in a pie plate, I could use a smallish mixing bowl. So I mixed the cream cheese and dressing, trying to smooth it to get out the clumps. Then I added the sauerkraut.

     

     

     

    Then I added the pastrami and Swiss and promptly realized I should’ve used a bigger mixing bowl. Ah well. It required me to mix slowly and gently while making myself breathe meditatively.

     

     

     

    Put it in the pie plate. Ready to go. I actually made this during the morning, and then popped it in the oven when our friends arrived at night. Perfect.

     

     

     

    Bake that puppy up! Cook it until it’s bubbly and luscious looking.

    You can serve this with pickles too, but when I tried it…all I tasted was pickle.

    We also decided that it needed a stronger sauerkraut taste. I think this comes down to quality of ingredients. I got cheap stuff, but next time I’ll get the fancy 1000 Island dressing and some sauerkraut from the meat area.

    ENJOY!

    And happy holidays.

     

     

     


  4. Baked Feta with Marinara (#15)

    November 12, 2011 by admin

     THE RECIPE

    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.

     

     THE PROCESS

    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.

     

    THE VERDICT

     

     

    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.

     

     

    THE DUNKABLES 

    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.


  5. Dip #7 — Hot Crab Dip

    August 19, 2011 by admin

    Before I even get started here…I just have to say that so far this is my favorite of all the dips I’ve made. In fact, even though I made it last week, I’m still thinking about this dip. AND I WANT TO MAKE IT AGAIN. I’ll tell you more in a minute. Anyway. Hot Crab Dip.

     

    The Recipe

     

     

    Ingredients

    • 1 (6 ounce) can crabmeat, drained and flaked
    • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    Optional: Old Bay Seasoning and chopped chives

    The Process

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. In a small baking dish, mix the crabmeat, cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, sour cream and garlic.
    3. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 45 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

    Mix your ingredients. You'll need a heavy spoon.

     

    I thought the garlic pieces were too big, so I minced them instead of crushing it. Then I added chives because it just looked so white. And then I decided that it needed something on the top so I sprinkled on some Old Bay Seasoning. It’s kind of hard to mix. You’re more or less squishing it together with the back of a spoon.

     

    Ready to bake...

     

    And then into the oven. It really does take about 50 minutes.

     

    Not the prettiest picture, but man, does it smell and look good.

    Wait. This one is a little bit better.

     

     

    The Verdict

     

    I will shout it from the rooftops! I LOVE THIS DIP! It’s hot, creamy, sinful, with the sweetness of crab, the salty bite of parmesan. Oh, my. And it makes a ton! Kealoha and I couldn’t stop eating it. And we couldn’t even talk while eating it. It heated up great too, and then we shared some with friends. I’d love to make this dip again, and try stuffing it into the cap of a portobello mushroom.

    I’m soooo making this at my next party…which is actually tomorrow, so maybe not at my next party. I’m trying to do only new recipes for a while but I so want to eat this again.

    It’s a solid 5 out of 5 pretzels. With another half pretzel just because.

     

    The Dunkables

     

     

     

    Great with any kind of cracker (wheat, sesame, club)

    Tortilla chips

    Fried wonton wrappers