Sep 252012

I bought a bag of baby carrots on sale last week.  They’re great for a quick, crunchy snack and travel well.  But I was getting a little bored of the carrots before the pound was gone.  So I borrowed a trick from my nephews and decided it would be a lot more fun to dip them.

I was inspired by this recipe which suggests toasting the spices prior to mixing them in the yogurt.  After just a minute in the frying pan, the spices were very fragrant which was a nice touch.  The dip is both spicy and delicious!  It was great with carrots, but you could also dip other vegetables or even pita bread.  I would use Greek yogurt next time to make it thicker, but otherwise wouldn’t change a thing.



Spicy Yogurt Dip

1 t coriander
1 t paprika
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t chili powder
2 dashes of cayenne
1 T lime juice
1 c. plain nonfat yogurt, regular or Greek style

Mix spices in a bowl, and place in a small preheated frying pan.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, and then remove from pan.  Mix toasted spices, lime juice, and yogurt in a small bowl.


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Aug 092012

Along with the Zucchini Cheddar Biscuits, I also brought this Chunky Blue Cheese and Yogurt Dip to the dinner party.  You may remember I made a Stilton Walnut Dip over the winter; I thought this version would be a bit lighter for summer.  I tend to prefer dips that have a varied texture, so I didn’t put the ingredients in a food processor and just mixed them in a bowl instead.

Although the dip tasted fairly sharp at first, the flavor quickly mellowed.  I served the dip with carrots and Triscuits, both of which complemented the taste well.  However, the dip ended up having a fairly thin consistency.  Next time I would add some sour cream or perhaps more cheese to make it thicker.  But there’s something about any blue cheese dip that always makes me go back for just one more scoop.



Chunky Blue Cheese and Yogurt Dip

1/4 c. chopped shallot
1 t minced garlic
2 T lemon juice
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. light mayonnaise
1/2 c. crumbled gorgonzola
1/2 t black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Allow to chill for at least 2 hours.

-Adapted slightly from Barefoot Contessa

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Aug 072012

My extended family has an annual summer picnic complete with swimming and bocce, and I was assigned to bring chip and dip.  There is some seriously good food at this picnic, including several traditional recipes like my favorite Zucchini Appetizer, my Mom’s Potato Salad and Lemon Squares, and even Pizzelles.

I wanted to bring something relatively simple but flavorful.  While I am definitely not the first person to put spinach in hummus, I threw this dip together without working from a specific recipe.  I think it came out pretty well, although it had to compete with a lot of other great appetizers.  But with fresh basil, this dip would be good for any summer party.




Spinach Basil Hummus

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 (15 oz.) cans chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. lemon juice
2 T minced garlic
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper

Puree all ingredients in a food processor.  Chill and serve.

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Jun 252012

Oh my, I fell off the blogging wagon again, thanks for being patient.  But I am getting pretty tired of eating cereal for dinner so I better find my cooking motivation!

I made this asparagus wrapped in prosciutto for my cooking club, and it turned out pretty well.  First, I blanched the asparagus spears in boiling water for about 3 minutes, and then rinsed them in cold water.  I’d recommend reducing the cooking time to keep the asparagus a little more crunchy.

Once the asparagus was cool, I spread a thin layer of herbed cheese (like alouette) on a slice of prosciutto, and used it to wrap 3 spears.  I saw some recipes online that called for wrapping each spear individually, but that seemed time intensive.  I think this ended up being the right amount.  It was a great make-ahead appetizer, and I’ll keep this one in my annual rotation for asparagus season!


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Jun 052012

All this rain makes me want comfort food, and these Spicy Baked Potato Fries from Budget Bytes really fit the bill!  This is the kind of thing you’d order at the dive bar down the street (at least the dive bar down my street!)  These are still french fries after all, but I did measure the oil and used reduced fat cheddar cheese and nonfat plain Greek yogurt.  The key here is the spice mixture with lots of chili powder which gives the fries so much flavor.  Who needs a dive bar when you can make these fries, serve them with cheap beer, and crank up the music?



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