Friday, November 30, 2007

Buffalo Chicken Dip

My daughter-in-law, Emily, brought a variation of this over on Thanksgiving as an appetizer. She served it with tortilla scoop chips. It is delicious!

2 cups - cooked chicken, diced or chopped
1/4 cup hot sauce (or to taste)
12-18 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat Oven: 350°

In a large bowl combine: chicken, hot sauce, cream cheese, dressing and ½ of the shredded cheese. (Adjust the amounts of hot sauce and/or cream cheese to make the dip mild, medium or hot per your own taste.)

Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake at 350º F for 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips and/or bite-size raw vegetables

Veggie Pizza Appetizer

This recipe has been around forever, but sometimes it's good to resurrect these old tried and true ones. I got this from a friend after we attended a weekend retreat together many years ago. Through the years I have tweaked it a bit, changing the main ingredients to low fat varieties when available. Here are the basics.

1 - (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 - (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 and 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 - teaspoon dill weed (fresh or dried)
2 - cups assorted fresh vegetables, chopped (any combination of broccoli, green onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, sliced black olives, or whatever you like)
2 - Tablespoons of shredded parmesan, cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Unroll crescent rolls and place on large baking pan.
Press seam lines to seal.
Brush top of layer with an egg wash (an egg yolk mixed with a teaspoon of water)
Bake 10-12 minutes until light brown.
Cool completely.

Combine remaining ingredients except vegetables; mix well.
Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over top of crust.
Sprinkle chopped vegetables over top of crust.
Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of vegetable layer.
Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to one day ahead.
Cut into small squares for serving.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


This is my Mom's chili recipe. If you prefer a hotter, spicier chili, use hot (instead of mild) beans and extra chili powder. On cold wintry nights it really warms you up. Serve with crusty bread.

3-stalks of celery cut into thin slices
1-large onion, chopped
2-pounds of lean ground beef
2-cans Brooks mild chili beans
2-medium size cans tomato sauce (about 15 ounces)
2-beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1-Tablespoon sugar

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Place onions and celery in frying pan and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add ground beef, sprinkle with teaspoon of salt and cook until meat is browned. Drain fat from the pan. Transfer cooked meat, onions and celery to a soup pot. Add beans, bouillon, chili powder, sugar and tomato sauce. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer (covered) for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, to avoid sticking.

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This dip is very popular at holiday parties. Serve bagel chips or bruschette (small toast rounds) for dipping. The bacon may be omitted, to make it a vegetarian dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

8- slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1- ten ounce package of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1- fourteen ounce can quartered marinated artichoke hearts (drained)
1- five ounce container garlic herb-flavored cheese spread
1- cup shredded parmesan cheese
1-eight ounce container sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Place crumbled bacon in a medium bowl. Add spinach, artichokes, cheese spread, parmesan cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise and mix well. Spoon mixture into a medium casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Souper Dip

I promised Drew that I'd post this recipe. It's a tasty hot dip recipe that my friend Joanna gave me many years ago. It makes a lot, so if you are preparing for a small group, you might want to half this recipe. When I make it I use small crocks (like onion soup is served in) to bake it in, but it can be baked in any casserole (or 2). Allow room at the top of the dish for expansion during baking, so that it doesn't overflow.

Preheat oven to 350.

2 pounds of bulk sausage (original Bob Evans works well)
2 pounds of Velveeta (cut into cubes)
1 package of dry onion soup
8 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
1 medium can of chopped tomatoes
1 pinch of oregano
1 pinch of chili powder

Brown sausage in a large frying pan, over medium heat, until cooked and crumbled. Drain fat from the pan. Lower heat and add cubed Velveeta to the pan. As the cheese melts, stir in the remaining ingredients until all the cheese has melted and the mixture is well-combined. Spoon into 2 two quart casserole dishes (or 4-6 small crocks), lightly sprayed with Pam. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.