Tag Archives: dip

Mexican Sour Gherkin Salsa.

We love new things in the garden. You might recall last year we grew mini Sweet Pea Red Currant Tomatoes that were so lovely in my Quinoa Caprese Salad. This year we went for mini cucumbers! They are just as stinking cute as the tomatoes were. This dish could even be made with both the mini tomatoes and the mini cucumbers and be the cutest tea party addition ever. In any case, I have been mixing it with some of our garden tomatoes to make a quick salsa/dip that goes well with corn chips, nachos, tacos, Potato Enchinados, just about everything.

Mexican Sour Gherkin Salsa. Serves two as a condiment with dinner.


8-10 Mexican Sour Gherkins, sliced

1 large garden tomato, diced (I used a purple cherokee)

1 small jalapeño, seeded and deveined, unless you like heat, and diced small

1/4 red onion, diced small

1 T cilantro, finely chopped

1 T cider vinegar, I used Bragg

1 t olive oil

pinch of kosher or sea salt

pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

Combine cider vinegar through pepper in a small bowl, whisking until oil is incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to use.




Filed under Appetizer, Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Dip, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Super Bowl 46 – Some Appetizers!

I just love the Super Bowl because it is all about football food! It is a great “holiday” to make lots of fun little bites for. Especially out here on the West Coast, where festivities begin at noon, there are many hours of eating that happen. Growing up we always had snacks, but being that in the East the game doesn’t start until dinner time, we focused mostly on a big pot of chili and cornbread muffins. So, I really enjoy this new world of an appetizer “holiday’! In honor of the big game, I came up with these appetizers for this year’s party at a friend’s house. I know I am posting this past the big day, but these are versatile enough for any party.

Buffalo Chicken Cups. Makes 32 mini cups. (Recently I have seen similar recipes around, however, I thought this up on my very own before seeing any others.)


8 large egg roll wrappers

1 12.5 oz can of chicken breast meat, drained

1/4 C Frank Red Hot Sauce, or your favorite wing sauce

4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

2 oz blue cheese crumbles

3 green onions

blue cheese dressing

celery sticks


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine chicken, hot sauce, cream cheese and blue cheese crumbles in a bowl. Cut egg roll wrappers into quarters. Using a mini cupcake tray, grease cups (I use coconut oil, but you can use cooking spray) and line each one with one of the wrapper quarters. Fill each cup with a scoop of chicken mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. sprinkle with green onions. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip. (Recipe inspired by Healthy Food for Living)


8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 C Greek yogurt

4 T turbinado sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/4 t kosher salt

1/2 C mini chocolate chips


With a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips. Put mixture in a serving dish and serve with dippers of choice, I like to use apple slices and graham crackers.

Go team!

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Filed under Appetizer, Casseroles/Bakes, Cheese, Chicken, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Holiday, Vegetarian

Guest Recipe: Homemade Nutella.

Growing up, my very dear friend Katy and I spent many an afternoon baking with our Easy Bake Oven or creating and cooking concoctions in the microwave (which you can a little about here…sorry about the boxed brownies, they are no more in my house, scratch only now!). Later in life as I was getting really interested in cooking and other gardening and homesteading practices, Katy was out experiencing the world, earning multiple degrees (I got but one) and conducting any number of shenanigans.

But it seems this has all changed. You see, Katy got married this past summer. And since this event (and even a bit leading up to it) I have received many more food oriented text messages and blog comments from my dear friend. It seems she is getting the itch, and she has told me her hubs surely doesn’t have it, though he does like to eat her good food! So you see, it came as no surprise when I received a text the other day, simply stating “Made homemade nutella!” I told her I would love to put it on the blog and to send me the recipe…so she says, “a lotta nuts some cocoa and smidge of sugar.” Bahahaha! She cracks me up, so I ask where she got the recipe and as it turns out, she made it up! Totally awesome. So I got some more details and wanted to share the recipe with you all on her behalf today.

Homemade Nutella. Recipe written by Katy, photos provided via iPhone by Katy.


1-2 C of hazelnuts

2 t pure cocoa powder (more for flavor if needed)



Crack hazelnuts open if needed. Process in a food processor until they are consistency of peanut butter. Add cocoa and blend. Taste and add sugar to sweeten to your liking.



Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Dessert, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Taco Dip for a Crowd.

Before I launch into this I have to tell you all something, this is the third time I have made this recipe for the blog. The first time was during our Eastern Oregon trip. I made the dip, but the measurements were altered because I did not have the right dish to make it in. The second time was this past weekend. I made a perfect batch for our camping trip…only to put it in the bottom of the cooler and have it fill with water. It was a complete loss. So I resolved to make this again and get it on the blog already! However, you will see in the photo below, I am just plain cursed…I forgot the cheese! Don’t fret, I added it to the top before we munched on it, but still! I cannot win with this one. So, onward!

This is one of my oldest recipes. It really isn’t a recipe at all. It is a combination of foods that are simply layered together in a typical party salad fashion. This dish was born out of my dislike for traditional seven layer salad. The one with the mayo and peas. Yuck! So in college I came up with this variation, which is actually just a taco dip. I will tell you though, I thought I was so smart!

Anyway, I still use this recipe when going to summer parties. It is quick, cheap and ingredients can easily be subbed if you don’t have something on hand. It is also plain enough to be enjoyed by even the pickiest of eaters.

Taco Dip for a Crowd.


1 can refried beans

10 oz sour cream

1/4-1/2 C taco sauce (use your favorite)

1-2 C cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 C shredded lettuce or green cabbage

1 large tomato, seeded and diced (drain on paper towel to avoid excess water in your dip)

15 black olives, sliced

2 scallions, chopped (can sub 1/4 C red onions if you prefer) ~ optional (I don’t normally add either)

1 bag of tortilla chips

Spread beans out in a 2 quart oblong baking dish. Combine sour cream and taco sauce in a bowl. Spread over beans with a spatula. Top with cheese, lettuce, tomato, olives, and scallions. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve.

And this is what it looks like when I remember all of the ingredients!


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Filed under Appetizer, Beans, Cheese, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Mexican Inspired, Snacks, Vegetables, Vegetarian

“Creamed” Chipped Beef.

Nope, not the creamed chip beef that you purchase frozen, boil in a bag, and dump over white Wonder bread toast. Though, that is also one of those strange things I ate as a child. The appetizer I speak of has a name I am sure, but I don’t know what it is. So I have resorted to calling it “Creamed” Chipped Beef Dip because it is very reminiscent of the aforementioned childhood delicacy.

It occurred to me after writing about Polish popsicles that there is a myriad of dishes I grew up with that I no longer eat. I think that most of it stems from how I cook and not from what we eat. I make almost everything from scratch. The many dishes that bring back nostalgia and memories from childhood are quick dishes that could be prepared on a busy weeknight or from holiday celebrations or special occasions.

Most of the childhood dishes I am going to recreate here are things I did not get to eat all of the time. Polish popsicles and cream cheese beef dip are two of those things. Also of note, these things all have one thing in common for me, they are things I loose self control over and gobble down without a second thought. There are several foods off the top of my head I think of that fall into this “gobbling” category. Not all of them are items I no longer eat, but here are a few that make the cut: Polish popsicles, black olives, sour cream, pigs in a blanket (croissant wrapped lil smokies), frozen items like chicken nuggets and tater tots and ANYTHING WITH CHEESE.

Lots of people have a “No” list of food they don’t eat. Be it for health or diet, for control or conviction. A lot of time these are sweet things, or bags of potato chips. I suppose most of my no list items are there because of conviction. I do believe that one should cook from scratch everything they can whenever they can. But we all have ghosts in the closet, little devils that sneak out once in a while and get the best of us.

The result for me in having this realization and in having made Polish popsicles and opened the lid of Pandora’s box a little, is that I am going to embrace it, one dish at a time. And as you will quickly realize about many of these dishes, though not all, there is a common ingredient…cream cheese…perhaps another one of my favorite foods? I think so!

As an aside though, I do eat black olives – by the can, the entire can. In the same way my parents only opened cans during holidays, I only allow them in the house if the recipe calls for it. There is something that happens to my rationale and self control as soon as the can opener hits the aluminum on this one! I distinctly remember the first time I went to the grocery store after moving out of my parents house and realizing I could buy cans of black olives and as much cheese as my little hands could carry.

Alright already, back to the point, “Creamed” Chipped Beef Dip is a creation my mother used to make at Christmastime. It is simple to make and anything but simple to stop eating.

In a food processor, blender, or by hand combine the following ingredients:

12 oz cream cheese

1-2 T Worcestershire sauce (homemade if you can..recipe coming soon!)

1 jar (5 oz) Hormel Dried Beef (if you are doing this by hand chop it up!)

Run a knife through the meat three times before putting it in the food processor.

Run the food processor for 10 seconds.

Add cream cheese and Worcestershire sauce and mix for 10 seconds. Using a spatula, scrape everything back into shape and mix for another 5 seconds.

When it looks like this you are done.

Serve with crackers, Triscuits are my personal favorite.

On deck, cream cheese croissant cookies. Yup.

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Filed under Appetizer, Beef, Midwest Inspired, Mom's Recipes, Snacks