SOME (APPETIZER) RECIPES TO SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!

The other day while searching for the Beau Monde dip recipe – to include with “Spice Up Your Life (In The Kitchen)” – I began coming across some old appetizer recipes I haven’t used for quite some time…and I remember some of them being favorites once upon a time.

So I thought it would be a good idea to share some of these with you today! It’s a few days before Easter as I am writing, so perhaps you are planning a party and could use a few appetizer recipes. That being said, I have discovered a glaring omission to my list of herbs and spices – Italian Seasoning! For those of you who like to know these things, Italian seasoning is a combination of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil. Use in any recipe that calls for Italian seasoning!

This first recipe from my appetizer file is a dip that contains dill and is called DILLY DIP. To make Dilly Dip, you will need:

1 cup Miracle Whip dressing
1 16-ounce container sour cream
4 teaspoons EACH dill weed, instant minced onion and parsley flakes

Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Serve with fresh raw veggies. Makes 3 cups.
**
Here is a recipe for SESAME CHEESE LOG. To make Sesame Cheese Log you will need:

3 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup Chablis wine
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
¾ lb Jack cheese, grated
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds

Beat cream cheese until soft. Blend in grated Jack cheese, salt and spices. Shape into a log 10” long. Toast seeds at 400 degrees about 5 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle seeds on wax paper, then roll cheese log in seeds, pressing in gently. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
**
HERBED MUSTARD SPREAD

To make Herbed Mustard Spread, you will need:

2 TBSP butter, softened
2 TBSP coarse mustard
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP chopped chives
2 tsp chopped parsley

Mix butter, coarse mustard and Dijon mustard until creamy and smooth. Stir in chives and parsley. Makes about ¼ cup. Each 2 teaspoon serving contains about 43 calories.
**

SESAME GARBANZO BEAN SPREAD

To make Sesame Garbanzo Bean Spread, you will need:

1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup sweet white onion, chopped
3 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP sesame seed oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Chill or serve at room temperature in toasted pita bread, or toasted English muffins or bagels – or use as a dip for raw vegetables. Makes 1 ½ cups.
**

BLACK BEAN DIP WITH MARJORAM

To make Black Bean Dip with Marjoram you will need:

2 15-oz cans low sodium black beans, drained
1 cup diced white onion
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1 TBSP chili powder
¼ tsp white pepper
1 TBSP cumin
4 TBSP fresh marjoram
2 cups non-fat yogurt, plain
3 cups jicama sticks
2 ½ cups celery sticks

Place beans, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin in food processor and process until smooth, adding water until desired consistency is reached. Remove to a bowl and fold in the yogurt and chopped fresh marjoram. Serve with jicama, celery and carrot sticks.

*Sandy’s Cooknote: If you can’t find fresh marjoram, use dried but remember the rule of thumb – for most herbs is: 1 teaspoon of the dried herb = 1 tablespoon of the fresh. In converting fresh marjoram to dried, then, you would use 4 teaspoonfuls instead of 4 tablespoons.
**
Here’s a recipe in which you can use some of those caraway seeds you were wondering what to do with! To make WARM REUBEN DIP, you will need:

1 (14½ oz) can chopped sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
1 TBSP caraway seeds
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
12 ounces deli sliced roast beef or corned beef
¼ cup thousand island salad dressing
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
Pumpernickel party bread and/or rye crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine sauerkraut, caraway seeds, and mustard. Spoon sauerkraut mixture in bottom of 2 quart rectangular baking dish. Place beef on top. Spread thousand island dressing over the beef and then sprinkle with the Swiss cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with bread and/or crackers.
**
This next recipe is also a hearty kind of dip for the fellows to dig into when a football game is on. To make Spicy Beef dip you will need:

1 lb ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
¼ cup catsup
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook first three ingredients in a skillet until meat is lightly browned and onion is tender. Stir in next four ingredients. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat. Remove from heat. Add cheeses. Heat and stir until cream cheese is meted and well combined. Keep warm in chafing dish or buffet server and serve with crackers.

(*Ok, I raised four sons. We never had to worry about keeping something warm in a chafing dish or buffet server—you laid it out on the coffee table and in a few minutes it had been devoured. This recipe makes 3 cups.)

CALIFORNIA DIP

To make California dip you will need:
1 cup plain yogurt
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
¼ cup buttermilk
1 TBSP parsley flakes
Salt and pepper

Mix and chill; use as dip for raw vegetables. 10 calories per serving.
**
This next recipe from my files is a guacamole recipe from Lawry’s Restaurant; to make Guacamole Con Cilantro, you will need:

2 medium avocados
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
1½ tsp seasoned salt
½ tsp seasoned pepper
1 TBSP chopped cilantro

Mash the avocados with a fork; add the lemon juice & blend. Add remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Makes 3 cups.
**
Even though I am not keen about curry, I found a few recipes in my appetizer file that have curry as an ingredient. To make Low Cal Curry Dip you will need:

2 cups plain yogurt
1½ tsp curry powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp bottled steak sauce (such as A1)
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp celery salt
2 tsp onion flakes
Artificial sweetener to equal 3 tsp sugar
Salt
Assorted raw vegetables

Blend all ingredients except the raw vegetables; mix well. Store in refrigerator several ours to develop flavor. Serve with raw veggies.
**
NO-FAT ONION DIP FOR SHRIMP

1 cup non-fat sour cream
½ cup non-fat cream cheese
2 thinly sliced green onions (about ¼ cup)
1½ tsp fresh horseradish, peeled and grated
1 tsp lemon juice
3 TBSP chopped fresh dill weed
Salt, to taste

Mix together all ingredients. Serve with cooked shrimp. Makes about 1½ cups.

If you like these recipes and would like to see more on sandychatter, let me know!
Happy Cooking!
Sandy

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