Category Archives: Appetizers/Snacks

Blue Cheese Dip

Blue Cheese Dip @ NancyCIf you like thick, creamy dips and blue cheese, you’ll have to try this! This Blue Cheese Dip is made with plain Greek yogurt (or you can substitute light or fat-free sour cream). I like to use fat free Greek yogurt. I know not everyone is a fan of blue cheese–in fact, people seem to either really love it or hate it. I’ve always liked it. Actually, I can’t think of any kind of cheese that I don’t like!🙂

This is a good recipe for summer, if you want to have a snack with fresh veggies. It’s good with crackers or chips, too. And it would also be yummy with something spicy like buffalo chicken wings. It’s super quick and easy to make and if you have time, you’ll want to make it a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it–for some reason, this dip seems to taste better when made ahead!

BLUE CHEESE DIP by NancyC

Makes about 1 2/3 cups (tastes best when made a day before serving)

  • 4 oz. finely crumbled blue cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream (or 1/2 cup of each)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • Optional: salt and pepper to taste; you can also add in some garlic or onion powder too, if you like!

In medium size bowl, mix blue cheese crumbles with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream. Add in the lemon juice and mayonnaise, blending everything well. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Spoon mixture into serving bowl and serve or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve–it tastes best if you make it the day before serving it!

Serve with crackers, veggies, or chips. Also tastes great with spicy foods like Buffalo Chicken Wings!

So are you a fan of blue cheese too? Do you have a favorite blue cheese recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Show and Share.

Strawberry Fruit Dressing and Dip

Creamy Strawberry Fruit Dip @ NancyC

The weather feels very summery where I live, and when it’s warm outside, I tend to eat more fruit because it’s so refreshing. And when you serve fruit with a dressing or dip, it makes a great warm-weather dessert! This Strawberry Fruit Dressing and Dip is big on strawberry flavor and really good served with strawberries or a mix of fresh fruit chunks–pineapples, sliced bananas, apple wedges…whatever fruit you like.

I call this recipe a dressing and a dip because it’s thin enough to use as a creamy dressing, drizzled over your fruit, but you can also dip your fruit in it, if you don’t mind the thinner consistency. I think it’s best when you make it a day ahead and refrigerate it–it gets a little creamier the next day and thickens slightly more.

This recipe is really easy to make–just add all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and you’ll have a delicious strawberry dressing or dip to enjoy with your favorite fruit!

STRAWBERRY FRUIT DRESSING AND DIP by NancyC

Makes about 3 cups

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) package softened cream cheese, regular or light
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup strawberry jam, preserves, or fruit spread

Make your block of cream cheese extra soft by heating it in the microwave in a small microwave-safe bowl for 40 to 50 seconds. Then add all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend well (the mixture is on the thick side initially, so you may have to help stir it along several times if using a blender).

Keep fruit dip refrigerated until ready to serve–it’s best if you can make it a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight. You can serve the dip in a small bowl with a large platter of fruit or serve the fruit and dip together in individual small bowls or cups. You can also serve the fruit on individual small plates with the dip drizzled over the fruit.

Note: You can substitute another kind of fruit and fruit jam for the strawberries–you could use blueberries with blueberry jam, pineapples with pineapple preserves, etc. Use whatever fruit you like best. You can use either fresh fruit or drained fruit from a can. I prefer using fresh fruit, but either works.

Do you have a favorite dressing or dip that you like to serve with fruit?

This recipe was featured on Meal Plan Monday.

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Show and Share, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

CucumberDillHummus@NancyCreative.com

Cucumber Dill Hummus

CucumberDillHummus@NancyCreative.com

If you’ve ever grown cucumbers in your garden, there’s a good chance you end up with more than you know what to do with! So here’s a recipe you can use some of those cucumbers in. If you’ve never tried making hummus before, this would be a great time to try it out–you can whip it up in a blender or food processor–it’s very easy to make! This hummus has a mild cucumber and dill flavor–if you really like dill, you might want to add in a little more for a stronger flavor.

CUCUMBER DILL HUMMUS by NancyC

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

  • 1 (15-ounce) can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • Half of a medium-size cucumber, washed, peeled, and coarsely chopped (about 1  cup)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 Tablespoon fresh dill (for a stronger dill flavor, add a little more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional garnishes: a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh or dried dill, a sprinkle of paprika, 1 1/2 Tablespoons finely chopped cucumber

In a high-speed blender or food processor, add the Garbanzo beans, cucumber, and lemon juice; blend until smooth. Add in the olive oil, tahini, dill, salt, paprika, and minced garlic; blend all ingredients until smooth.

Spoon hummus into a small serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh or dried dill, a sprinkle of paprika, and/or some finely chopped cucumber. Serve with toasted pita bread, crackers, or veggies–cucumber slices are great with this! Cover and refrigerate any leftover hummus for up to 5 days.

It’s hard to believe there are just a few weeks left of summer! I’m really going to miss those long, sunny days and the abundance of home-grown fresh fruits and veggies. Have you grown any cucumbers in your garden this year?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Simply Sundays, Sunday Features, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Handmade Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Inspiration Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Share Your Style, Feathered Nest Friday.

Sweet Pickle Deviled Eggs@NancyCreative.com

Sweet Pickle Deviled Eggs

Sweet Pickle Deviled Eggs@NancyCreative.com

I’ve made deviled eggs several different ways, but never with sweet pickle relish. I know lots of people make it that way, so I decided to give it a try. The pickle relish gives these eggs a good flavor and the pickle taste is mild, so you don’t need to worry about it being too overpowering. I originally made these deviled eggs for a baby shower and everyone really liked them!

You can spoon the egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves or pipe it in–I piped it in and that worked out pretty well for my first time doing it!

SWEET PICKLE DEVILED EGGS by NancyC

Makes 24 deviled egg halves

  • 12 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/2 cup regular or light mayonnaise (you can use a little more if you want a creamier mixture)
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of paprika for egg mixture, and more for sprinkling on top
  • Optional: dash of onion powder and/or garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish or finely chopped sweet pickle (drain or squeeze out any excess liquid)

Slice the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise and remove yolks; set egg white halves aside.

In small bowl, mash egg yolks and then add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika, stirring mixture well (if using onion and garlic powder, add these in, too). Add in the sweet pickle relish, blending everything well.

Spoon egg yolk mixture into the centers of the egg white halves (or you can pipe the mixture in). Garnish with a light sprinkling of paprika, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Deviled eggs are great for a summer picnic or potluck, so hope you get a chance to try these out this summer! What special add-ins do you like in your deviled eggs?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Inspiration Thursday, Show and Share, Wow Me Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday.

Watermelon Peach Salsa@NancyCreative.com

Watermelon-Peach Salsa

Watermelon Peach Salsa@NancyCreative.com

I enjoy trying different fruity salsa flavors in the summer months. So far I’ve made Peach Cucumber Salsa, Mango-Jalapeno Salsa,  Zesty Watermelon Salsa, Blueberry Salsa, and Savory Strawberry Salsa. I recently found a new one to try at MyRecipes.com. This summery salsa combines watermelon, peaches, basil, and chives, flavored with some lime juice and hot pepper jelly. The pepper jelly makes this quite spicy, so if you don’t like spicy, you could try substituting a peach jelly or jam. The original recipe says to serve the salsa in cups over baby heirloom tomatoes, kind of like a fruit salad, but you can also serve it in a bowl with tortilla chips for more of a snack–just omit the tomato portion of the recipe. Or you can mix the tomatoes right in with the rest of the salsa ingredients. I like it both ways–with or without the tomatoes–so you may want to try both ways, too.

WATERMELON-PEACH SALSA by NancyC, slightly adapted from MyRecipes.comMakes 6 servingsFor the salsa:

  • 1/2 cup hot pepper or red pepper jelly (if you don’t like spicy, use a peach jelly or jam)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice, fresh or bottled
  • Optional: 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 cups seeded and diced watermelon
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches (I used a combination of yellow and white peaches)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

For the tomatoes:

  • 3 cups cherry, grape, or baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together pepper jelly, lime juice, and lime zest (if using); stir in watermelon, peaches, basil, and chives. Season halved tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste, then spoon into cups. Top tomatoes with the salsa mixture and garnish with basil sprigs. Note: if you serve the salsa with tortilla chips, you can omit the tomatoes and serve the salsa in a bowl (you can also mix in the tomatoes with the rest of the salsa ingredients and serve in a bowl that way, too).

Fruit salsa is great for summer snacks! Have you made any fruit salsa this summer?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Inspiration Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Let’s Get Real Friday.

RosemaryFocacciaBiscuitBread@NancyCreative.com

Rosemary Focaccia Biscuit Bread

RosemaryFocacciaBiscuitBread@NancyCreative.com I’m not originally from the south, but I’ve grown to love southern food. And that includes biscuits–especially biscuits! I love them hot from the oven with some butter or topped with sausage gravy…mmm! So of course I was excited about reviewing the new cookbook 60239109877540LBiscuits: Sweet and Savory Southern Recipes for the All-American Kitchen by Jackie Garvin. This book starts off with a little biscuit history and then goes on to share tips and recipes for making all kinds of biscuits…rolled, patted, layered, or cut. Traditional favorites like Buttermilk Biscuits, Baking Powder Biscuits, Cornmeal Biscuits, Angle Biscuits, Sweet Potato Biscuits, and more. There’s a recipe for Gluten-Free Biscuits, too. As you look through the book, you’ll also find some wonderful creative recipes to make with biscuit dough–delicious-looking recipes like Raspberry Biscuit Pudding, Biscuit Donuts, Loaded Baked Potato Biscuits, and Skillet Toasted Biscuits. There’s also a section on Biscuit Toppings which includes recipes for Sausage Gravy, Bacon Tomato Gravy, Chocolate Gravy, and Country Ham and Redeye Gravy. Biscuit-related dishes and desserts for every meal are in this book too-Chicken and Dumplings, Hamburger Pot Pie, Double-Decker Strawberry Shortcake, Blackberry Cobbler, and Peach Raspberry Scones, to name a few. I decided to try the Rosemary Focaccia Biscuit Bread because, in addition to biscuits, I also love focaccia–so what could be better than a combination of both? And it looked like a simple, easy recipe anyone could make. If you’re not familiar with focaccia, it’s an Italian bread often served with olive oil for dipping. This recipe is a delicious, savory version of a biscuit in focaccia form–the fresh minced rosemary flavors it nicely with a subtle hint of garlic from the garlic powder. You will need some parchment paper for lining your pan when you make this. You’ll also notice that the recipe calls for soft winter wheat self-rising flour. Soft winter wheat is a variety of wheat that has a low protein and gluten content, often used in biscuit-making. The White Lily brand is a soft wheat flour and King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour is a soft wheat flour, too. If you can’t find soft winter wheat flour, just substitute regular self-rising flour.

ROSEMARY FOCACCIA BISCUIT BREAD from Biscuits: Sweet and Savory Southern Recipes Makes four 4-inch squares in an 8 x 8″ pan

  • 2 1/2 cups soft winter wheat self-rising flour (or substitute regular self-rising flour)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450˚F. Place flour in a large bowl. Stir in rosemary and garlic powder. Add milk and olive oil. Stir until dough is wet. Cover the inside of an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Sprinkle dough with olive oil and spread dough evenly over paper. Make indentations over the entire top surface of the dough with your knuckles. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 450˚F preheated oven for 15 minutes or until top in brown and inside of bread is done. Remove and let cool on cooling rack.

This recipe is great for breakfast or brunch when you want to serve something a little different. It’s really good and I’m sure your savory-loving family and friends will love it! And it is super-easy to put together, so there’s no reason not to try it! Are you a biscuit-lover like me and what is your favorite kind of biscuit?

Linked to Full Plate Thursday, Let’s Get Real Friday, Inspire Me Monday.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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It’s been awhile since I tried a new hummus flavor. I’ve made quite a few different kinds of hummus already–like Avocado Hummus, Lemon Artichoke Hummus, Black Olive Hummus, Black Bean Hummus, Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, Pumpkin Hummus, and good old regular Hummus! Roasted Red Pepper Hummus was next on my list. It was worth trying–the roasted red peppers, blended with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and other spices give this hummus a nice flavor and a creamy consistency that’s great for spreading on pita bread or other breads (I also like it on sourdough) and also for using as a dip with veggies, tortilla chips, or crackers. If you’re a hummus fan like I am, you just may want to try this out!

ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS by NancyC

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 3/4 cup roasted red bell pepper pieces from a jar, drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons olive oil (start with 2 and add 1 more if consistency is too thick)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1 to 2 Tablespoons additional finely chopped roasted red bell pepper from jar, for garnish

In a high-speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients and mix until everything is well blended.

Spoon hummus into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped roasted red bell pepper if desired. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, fresh veggies, or warmed or toasted pita bread. Note: the garlic and pepper flavor get a little stronger the day after this hummus is made.

I’m glad hummus is healthy, because it’s one of my favorite things to eat or snack on. What’s your favorite healthy snack or dip?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me MondayShow and Share Tuesday, Let’s Get Real Friday.

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Texas Trash Warm Bean Dip

ncTxTrshWrmBnDp1nm I made this dip against my better judgement. I say that because it’s so hard to stop eating it–it’s totally addicting if you love creamy, cheesy, southwestern-style dips! You bake this in the oven and when it’s done, you dig in while it’s still warm with your favorite tortilla chips. And you may have to force yourself to stop! I added some chopped green chiles to the recipe I had found at Food.com and made it slightly different. All I can say is, wow–this dip is good! You need to try it sometime!

TEXAS TRASH WARM BEAN DIP by NancyC, adapted from Food.com

Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans refried beans
  • 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 13″ baking pan; set aside. In large bowl, blend softened cream cheese and sour cream. Add in green chiles, then mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning mix, blending everything well, then mix in 1/2 cup each of the Cheddar and Montery Jack cheeses (a total of 1 cup), blending into the mixture well. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses (you’ll have a total of 3 cups of cheese to sprinkle on top). Bake at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips.

ncTxTrshWmBnDip2nm This dip is great to make for parties, game-watching, or even when you’re watching the Oscars. Are any of your favorite movies or actors and actresses nominated for awards?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Wow Me Wednesday, Show and Share Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday.

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Texas Caviar

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The Super Bowl is just about here and if you’re planning on watching the game, you’re probably deciding on what kind of snacks you want to make. If you’re still looking for ideas, this Texas Caviar is a great recipe to try! Some people also call this Cowboy Caviar. I’ve seen lots of variations on this dip and decided to come up with my own version. Most recipes you’ll see have black beans, black-eyed peas or pinto beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion. I like adding chopped green chiles and avocado to mine. And olives–don’t forget the olives! It’s actually quite a healthy mix of veggies and beans. I used canned diced tomatoes, but you can dice up some fresh ones, and you can use fresh or frozen corn instead of canned. And it tastes great! Serve it with those scoop-style chips and enjoy every bite!

TEXAS CAVIAR by NancyC

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 1 small red onion (or 1/2 large), finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained (or use an equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained (or use a 10-ounce bag of frozen corn, thawed)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives (I used sliced Kalamata olives)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles (or use fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 2/3 cup Italian salad dressing (regular or light)
  • 1 large avocado, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients, except for the Italian salad dressing, cilantro, and avocado in a large bowl, blending so all ingredients are distributed evenly.

Add the Italian dressing; toss well so all ingredients are coated with dressing.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Then toss with chopped fresh cilantro and avocado.

Put mixture into a large serving bowl or several smaller bowls and serve with tortilla chips.

When it comes to watching the Super Bowl, I have to admit I actually enjoy the commercials the most! I like going to sports games, but watching them on TV just doesn’t hold my interest. What do you like best–the game or the commercials?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Mini Fiesta Cups

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In my last post, I shared a recipe with you called Mini Cannoli Cups–a yummy bite-size dessert made with Nasoya® Won Ton Wraps. And I mentioned I’d be sharing another recipe that’s made with these wraps, so here it is! When I was developing this recipe, I was thinking about the great flavors that are in Tex-Mex style layered dips. So I thought, why not make a mini version–a little bite-size portion of all those great flavors nestled in a baked won ton wrap–a perfect appetizer or finger food for holiday gatherings or parties. If this isn’t Christmasy enough for you, you can always try it out for New Year’s Eve or for game-watching on New Year’s Day! These mini cups are filled with guacamole, sour cream, cheddar cheese, black olives, tomatoes, and green onions–all in tiny bite-size portions. Tiny in size, but very big on flavor! After baking the won ton wraps in your mini muffin pan, keep the baked cups in the pan while you’re adding the fillings, then after they’re filled, arrange on a serving plate.  I thought these were very yummy–hope you do, too!

MINI FIESTA CUPS by NancyC

Makes 52 mini fiesta cups

  • 1 (12-ounce) package Nasoya® Won Ton Wraps
  • 2 cups purchased or homemade guacamole
  • 1 cup sour cream, regular or lite
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped black olives (or use sliced olives; 1 to 2 slices per fiesta cup)
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped tomatoes (or substitute a dab of chunky salsa for each fiesta cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion stems (you’ll need about 4 green onions)

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Using a mini cupcake/muffin pan, press won ton wrappers into cups. Lightly spray them with cooking spray and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until cups are golden brown.

Let cups cool about 5 minutes, then fill each cup with 1/2 Tablespoon guacamole, 1/2 teaspoon sour cream, and a light sprinkling of finely shredded cheddar cheese, chopped black olives, tomatoes, and green onions.

Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

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I have to warn you, once you start eating these, it can be hard to stop! Are you planning on making any appetizers over the holidays?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy.