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Crab & Artichoke Dip

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Happy (almost) New Year's Eve!

I'm back from vacation in the Bahamas and have had a few slow-ish days back at work.  No matter. It's about time for another holiday, right?  I don't know about you, but I'm excited for the new year.  I'm looking forward to trying several new restaurants and checking out a few more music venues.  I'm also really looking forward to it no longer being sub-freezing temperatures...but that wish won't come true for a while.

At any rate, it's been a busy 2017 for me and I'm excited for 2018!  I'm getting together with a few friends to have a dinner tomorrow night and then we're going to a nearby bar closer to midnight.  If you are also getting together with friends and family, make sure you bring this dip with you!  You'll be the life of the party.  True story.

This is one of my favorite mix-everything-together-and-put-it-in-the-oven situations.  Not only is this easy to make, but it's also done in a flash, leaving you more time to get ready to part-ay!

 

Crab & Artichoke Dip

Print Recipe

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, divided
  • 3/4 cups finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces lump crab meat
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • tortilla chips or toasted baguette slices

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese, Parmesan, artichokes, garlic, crab meat, green onions, onion powder, cayenne pepper (if using), and Worcestershire sauce.  Season the dip with salt and black pepper.

3) Place the dip into a pie dish or a 10" cast iron skillet.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese over the top of the dip.

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4) Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or long enough that the dip is warmed through and bubbling.

5) Serve warm with tortilla chips and/or toasted baguette slices.

--recipe very slightly adapted from Delish

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Pumpkin Hummus with Herbes de Provence

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Now that it's November, is anyone else super into the holidays?  I'm a holiday person, but I'm not yet ready to fully embrace the Christmas music and Christmas trees.  Also, I'm dreading the snow.  Fall is my happy place.  Thankfully, we still have a few more weeks of fall weather (I hope!).  In that case, let's continue to put pumpkin in errrything!

This time we're making some hummus!  I went through a pretty serious hummus phase last year.  I swear I need a new hummus category in my recipe index to capture all those recipes.  However, I've been slacking off on making it lately.  Now it's time to get back into the swing of things.  In this case, we mixed the pumpkin with the chickpeas, added some herbs and blended it all together to the desired consistency.  You can use any herbs you like, really.  I chose to use Herbes de Provence because I'm in love with it, but you could use rosemary or thyme instead, for example.

Pair the hummus with carrots, pita, and/or whatever else you like.  I wouldn't be mad if you smear this on top of a slice of toast and just eat it like that.  No shame!
 

Pumpkin Hummus with Herbes de Provence
makes 4-6 servings

Print Recipe

  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence, depending on taste
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

1) Add all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until it reaches the desired consistency, adding more olive oil and/or water if necessary.

2) Serve with pita and vegetables.

--adapted from Pinch of Yum

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I was sort of surprised that, with all the hummus recipes I've posted over the years, I've never delved into a roasted red pepper version.  I think it due to two things -

1. I used to dislike red peppers.  I've really only started to love red peppers in the past year or two.  Once I realized this was a vegetable for me, I have been roasting and sauteing it like it's my job.  Not all of these ventures have made it to the blog, but a decent amount of it has. 

2. I've also been skeptical about roasting my own peppers at home.  This is my first foray into doing this and it was unbelievably simple!  No more skepticism here!

So let's get into it and make sure we jump on that roasted red pepper hummus train.  No excuses!
 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
makes 4-6 servings

Print Recipe

  • 2 medium-to-large red peppers
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
     

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2) Slice red peppers in half and remove the seeds.  Place the peppers sliced side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

3) Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.  Do not move the peppers during this time.

4) Remove the peppers from the oven.  Place on a cutting board and cover with a large bowl to steam them for 15 minutes.

5) Gently peel the skins off the peppers and place them in a food processor.

6) Add the chickpeas, peanut butter, garlic, lemon juice, and seasonings to the food processor as well.

7) Drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is running.  Add more oil or water to bring it to your desired consistency.  Taste and add more seasonings as necessary.

Edamame Avocado Hummus

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Happy New Year!!!

I'm super excited for a new start.  There's something about being forced to think about "starting over" that's a bit refreshing.  I guess it takes some of the pressure off having to declare it myself? Maybe...

You know what's also refreshing?  These Reese's Clusters chocolates which are chocolate-y and caramel-y and currently half price at CVS.  Calories don't count until next week, correct? I'm digressing...

OK, so let's get down with some real food.  Yum!  Did you know that I don't like most beans?  I'm partial only to garbanzo beans/chickpeas and soy beans/edamame.  All other beans can see their way out!

Today, we are making hummus with edamame and I'm super excited because it's healthy (to counteract the chocolate I'm eating) and it's tasty!  It's also so easy to make that you'll be whipping this up all the time.  I can use more easy peasy recipes in the new year, that's for sure.  If you don't have edamame at hand, I guarantee that the dash to your local grocery store will be worth it.  And think of all that cardio you can get in running there and back.  I'm already helping you work on your fitness in 2017.

Enjoy!!

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Minced Lamb with Rosemary Hummus

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It's vacation time!!! I'm hanging out in West Palm Beach this weekend with my old roommate and we are living it up!

By living it up, I mean we drank margaritas at midnight by ourselves on Thursday (midnight margs!).  Then we worked on Friday and that night, we sat on the couch, ordered Indian food and drank caramel apple mimosas.  So for the first 24 hours we went back to doing the same things we did when we lived together 3 years ago.  Same thing, different place.

Speaking of other things that are same, but still different, let's talk about this lamb and rosemary hummus!  I've been showering you with quite a few hummus recipes this year, but now I'd like to show you a different twist on this dish.  Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs so why not marry it with hummus? I'm also a huge fan of lamb, but I rarely make it, so I decided that these things should be brought together at the same time.

To be honest, I ate this as a meal.  As in, I sat down and ate this with pita bread and called it lunch and dinner.  No regrets!  If you want to live this kind of high life as well, I encourage you to make this!

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Bacon Feta Guacamole

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Oh yes, we're doing this today.  We're going there.  We're taking all of our favorite flavors and ingredients and we're putting them into one thing.  Yes siree...that's how we roll.

This recipe comes to you courtesy of this month's Secret Recipe Club match, I Am A Honey Bee.  Nicole is the brainchild behind this blog.  I think she and I would get along fine because:

1) she hates olives.  This product is the highest on the list of things I really dislike.  It's even higher than pickles and that's saying a lot.

2) she labels everything.  I had to laugh when she mentioned that she labels the kitchen cabinets.  I may or may not have labels on anything stored in a container in my pantry.  I mean, how else are we gonna know what's in there?

3) Nicole is the grammar police.  Yep, I'm guilty of this too.  Though I wouldn't say that I feel guilt when correcting grammar.  I think of it more as a service :)

So now that you know we're long lost sisters, I've got even more evidence for you in the form of this bacon feta guacamole.  Yup.  Keep breathing.  Guacamole and I have a thing.  It's a good thing and it's not going anywhere.  But anytime we can expand upon such a thing, maybe we should do that.  Adding bacon and feta allows you to take a few awesome things and combine them together, and clearly create another most awesome thing.  Thanks for this recipe Nicole!

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Lemon Hummus

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The heat has arrived!  The heat has arrived!

Guess what, as I suspected, I love/hate it.  I love that it's so nice and warm.  BUT.  I didn't realize that my cute little 4th floor walk up with the skylight in the ceiling absolutely traps heat like none other.  So that's splendid.  I'm really trying to survive without A/C this summer.  I can make it, right?  Someone please say "yes".

So far, I've only broken down and gone to the neighborhood coffeeshop to bask in the air conditioning once.  OK, maybe twice.  I just really suck at making iced coffee and the two times I drank hot coffee in my apartment over the past week have left me dripping in sweat.  Not cute.  And how can I resist an iced Nutella latte.  Iced. Nutella. Latte.  It was fabulous.

This lemon hummus is almost as fabulous.  I really can't compare hummus to chocolate.  Chocolate will always win.  However, if you're really trying to be on top of your health game, then this lemon hummus is the shizzz.  Generously dip vegetables and/or pita and/or crackers into this fountain of citrus-y goodness (do you like that description?) and proceed to eat without caution.

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Zucchini Hummus

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Friends!

The "Big Move" is done!  I mean, I do still have to do a few more things to organize.  I also have to finish putting up my wall art/pictures/etc, BUT everything is in one building.  I consider that a win!

 

For blog-picture-taking, I played with my lighting situation this past weekend when I made a new dish (soon to come!) and it's been interesting.  However, I chalk that up to user error ... aka my error.  Must try again next weekend!  At any rate, I'm still getting through a backlog of dishes I already made and shot at my old apartment, so never fear, I still have content to post.  Seriously though, I have been trying to get these older recipes up for some time now, but between moving and working late nights I haven't been able to do so.  #Fail.

Can I bring you this zucchini hummus as a peace offering?  I'll also tell you a secret.  I put peanut butter in this!  Don't worry, you can't taste it, but in a pinch, peanut butter is a good substitute for tahini.  Tahini is actually sesame paste, which means it's a nut paste, which is pretty much the same thing as peanut butter!  The flavor of the tahini and peanut butter are different, but the difference is not noticeable once the peanut butter is mixed into the hummus.  And I say "use peanut butter in a pinch", but really, I've given up buying tahini for good.  Part of the reason I haven't made hummus often is because I always felt I needed to purchase tahini.  I would get the large container (which is the only size container I could find) and use maybe half a cup of the product before it went bad.  I just hated wasting all that money on something I knew I wasn't going to use up.  But now peanut butter has swooped in to save the day!  I'm not saying you're going to see an influx of hummus recipes on the blog now....but don't be surprised if you do!

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Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

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It's once again time to talk about how much I hate moving.

I took some time today to go through the insane amount of paperwork that I keep around for no reason.  As each year goes by, we (and by we, I mean "everyone in the world") are going more and more paperless.  Yet, I still have documents from 2007 all up in my grill.  Why!?!

In addition, I've been hoarding a ton of recipes that I tore out of food magazines over the past several years.  I had this not-so-great system where I would rip out the recipe and then loosely categorize it so I could find it later and actually make the dang thing.  Well, I'm sure you can guess how well that has been going... Spoiler alert: Not well at all! I've maybe made three of those recipes in the past three years.  Hmmmm... So anyhow, I cleaned out a lot of papers and old books and work manuals that I'm never going to look at again.  It feels great to get rid of things but honestly, I just need someone to remove my paper-hoarder gene.  It's stressing me out.

When I'm stressed out, I tend to overeat.  To counter this, I decided to at least give myself something healthy to munch on.  Shockingly, it's been working!  In fact, it worked so well that I've been craving this hummus over sweet treats!  If you know me at all, you know that's a bold statement.  I'm never one to pass up chocolate or caramel or popcorn (which is not really sweet but dangit my popcorn obsession is spiraling out.of.control.).  When I see this hummus, every other option goes out the window and all of a sudden I'm sitting on the couch watching YouTube videos and munching on hummus, carrots, and sweet peppers.  I'm really hoping this trend continues, but I do have all that 50%-off Valentine's candy hanging out in my cupboards and they are calling to me...

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Tangy Baked Brie

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I've wanted to make baked brie for such a long time!  And given my utter undying love for brie cheese, it's absolutely amazing that I haven't.  I tried to make it for my housewarming party almost 3 years ago (!!!), but it turns out that I had gone appetizer-happy and there was WAYYY too much food already.  So the baked brie, which I was going to make last, got nixed.  RIP housewarming baked brie.

This month, I realized that I could redeem myself.  I was assigned to Jessie Weaver's blog, The Vanderbilt Wife, for my October Secret Recipe Club assignment.  Jessie is a wife and a mom of 3, living in Chattanooga.  She started her blog as a way to write more regularly and also as a way to encourage other women.  I love that!  Jessie has several different sections on her blog, but looking through the Recipe Index, I came upon a recipe for Tangy Baked Brie and the heavens opened and cheese rained down.  Alright, not really, but I did get super excited and immediately decide that this recipe was gonna be THE ONE!

Of course this was the one week I couldn't find a round of suitable brie in the store (of course!), so I grabbed a large wedge of brie, cut it in half and placed it into a smaller baking dish.  Crisis averted.  Didn't you know that cooking/baking also involves creativity and the ability to be resourceful under pressure?  Fact.

Soooo when this little goodie came out of the oven, I may have eaten a bit of it.  And by a bit, I mean a lot.  As in, the whole thing.  Is that a problem?  I mean, I don't think it's a problem, but my cheese consumption has been outrageous lately so I'm not the one to give advice here.  But it was so good!! Jessie really outdid herself here.  I'm so glad I finally have a go-to baked brie recipe that is quick, tangy, and tasty.  I'll be making this at all housewarming parties to come!

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