This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!
Appetizers, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

Our Favorite Fresh Vegetable Dip

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It’s a great appetizer or side dish!

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

At my house, the best way to make sure we eat our veggies is to always have some prepped and ready to snack on. I think that’s why those bagged salads, precut baby carrots, and ready-made vegetable trays at the grocery store are so popular. Preparing vegetables can be so time consuming! On the weekends, I like to spend some time cutting bell peppers and cucumbers, then portioning them into little containers to pull out of the fridge for my lunchbox all week long. Wait. I just reread that sentence. I’m not sure I like to do that… but I sure like the results. And you know when I like the results even more? When I’ve thought ahead enough to make some veggie dip like this one!

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

It’s not that veggies aren’t tasty enough on their own, but sometimes we need some extra motivation, ya know? 🙂 My husband can testify to that, haha! Some people just like dipping their veggies in ranch dressing, but since my husband isn’t a ranch sort of guy, I have to be a little more creative. This fresh veggie dip meets both of our needs: it has a cool and creamy base with tons of flavor, but not that unmistakable ranch flavor. The ingredients are somewhat similar since it uses onion and garlic as the base flavors along with some herbs like dill and parsley, but what makes this vegetable dip stand out from the crowd is the addition of Worcestershire sauce! This adds a complex salty depth to the herby goodness.

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

Like most dips, this comes together in a flash but I do recommend making it ahead of time so it can chill in the fridge for about an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to marry and taste even better! 🙂 If you want to healthify the dip, you could substitute some plain yogurt for part of the sour cream. I think the recipe is amazing as-is though! Hope you enjoy!

one year ago: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake
two years ago: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
three years ago: Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins
four years ago: Pumpkin Graham Muffins
five years ago: Roasted Chicken
six years ago: Homemade Maple & Brown Sugar Almond Butter
seven years ago: Pumpkin Soup and Homemade Croutons

This cool and creamy fresh vegetable dip is easy to make. It's a great appetizer or side dish!

Fresh Vegetable Dip

  • Servings: ~ 2 cups
  • Print

from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • a few cracks freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh vegetables, for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream and mayonnaise. Add seasonings: onion powder, dill, garlic powder, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Taste and season with black pepper as desired.

Cover and chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

Serve with fresh vegetables!

Notes: You can also substitute some of the sour cream for plain yogurt (Greek or regular).

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Give your Christmas a makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior. Learn more in my review of Total Christmas Makeover.
Reviews

Book Review: Total Christmas Makeover

Give your Christmas a makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior. Learn more in my review of Total Christmas Makeover.
Give your Christmas a makeover with this practical approach to help your family learn what it means to truly celebrate their Savior. Learn more in my review of Total Christmas Makeover.
description of the book from the publisher:
In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it’s important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ’s birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.
Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.
In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God’s grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season.
As usual, my five point review:
  • Devotionals can be really hit or miss–they can be too serious, too fluffy, too focused on a particular audience, or so many other “toos.” There are several times of the year where devotionals can be really helpful, in my opinion. Without going into too much detail about the church calendar, I believe that God has given us times of the year to refocus on Him. Christmas is one of those times! Melissa Spoelstra’s devotional is a great way to not just get “into the holiday spirit” but also keep Christ part of your celebration.
  • The book is divided into three sections: rituals, relationship, and rest, with ten days of devotionals that relate to each theme. These themes are extracted from the author’s study of Biblical celebrations (Passover, festivals, Day of Atonement, etc.). She explains, “these were times of remembrance to help focus on God’s character and historical moments of His faithfulness” (p. 2). That’s not how we celebrate holidays, is it? But that’s how we should… how I would like to.
  • Each devotion begins with scripture, printed right in the book to make it easy to read. The devotion itself is about two pages long and has a short prayer. The next two pages include reflection questions and practical application points. Though much of the “devotion” portion itself is directed towards women, the scripture, reflection questions, and application points could definitely be used in a family setting to encourage your family to seek after Christ during the Christmas season.
  • As with all devotionals or “Christian” books, good ones make you think. While I haven’t read every devotion yet (I wanted to save some for December!!), the ones I did read have caused me to consider what our family’s holiday celebration will look like as our son grows up. Of course we still want to be part of our family of origins’ celebrations but we also want to make our own rituals in Nashville… with our church, our neighbors, our friends, and as our own family. Balancing that is hard, and I don’t have any answers except to say that things will come naturally in time. I hope. 🙂
  • All in all, Total Christmas Makeover is a great devotional for the upcoming holiday season. It is short and sweet, but thoughtful and practical. Best of all, it is Christ-centered. I hope you will find a copy to read with me this Christmas season!
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About the author:
Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God’s Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the “First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree,” “Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness,” and “Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible” studies and “Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home” book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.
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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse. However, I was not required to write a positive review and received no compensation. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks for the chance to read this great book!
Desserts, Other, Recipes

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Happy Halloween! I love candy as much as the next girl, but if I was being really honest I would tell you that I prefer fruit-based dessert more than chocolate-based desserts. Hence sharing a fruity dessert on the day ‘o candy, right? 🙂 But this isn’t just ANY fruity recipe. It’s a versatile sweet treat that’s healthy enough for breakfast and indulgent enough for dessert. Say whattt? Yup! Breakfast or dessert, it don’t matter. Originally I set out to make an apple crisp–using apples from a recent trip to the apple orchard, natch. But then I spied some pears in the fridge (from my brother-in-law’s parents’ house!) and added those bad boys in. Extra yum!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Since I was making this recipe as part of a recipe contest for Steviva, I wanted to make the crisp topping a little healthier than usual. (If you want, you can find Steviva on FacebookTwitterGoogle +,  Pinterest, and Instagram.) Instead of loads of butter and sugar in the crisp topping, I decided to toss in additional crunchy elements… chia seeds and sliced almonds, to be exact. And let me say… what a great idea! The crisp topping turned into this fanastic crunchy, granola-y layer. It actually stayed crisp in the fridge for a few days until we polished off the leftovers. Amazing! I used just enough Steviva Blend (erythritol and pure stevia) to sweeten up the topping a little bit. Plenty of warm fall spices and apple and pear flavor come through. This might be one of my new favorite recipes! It’s delicious served with vanilla yogurt or ice cream, and I think it would be perfect with a bit of whipped cream too! Enjoy!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

one year ago: Apple Cider Pancakes
three years ago: Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin
four years ago: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote
five years ago: Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew
six years ago: Individual Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
seven years ago: Aunt Charlotte’s Tex Mex Corn

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

Ingredients:

for fruit

  • 8-10 cups chopped pears and apples, unpeeled in 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

for topping

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Steviva Blend
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2-4 tablespoons sliced almonds, optional
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • vanilla yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream, etc. for serving, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10 inch round baking dish with cooking spray. (A square baking dish or pie pan would also work.)

In a large bowl, toss together pears, apples, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Spread in prepared pan.

In the same bowl, stir together oats, Steviva Blend, chia, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If desired, stir in almonds. Cut butter into small chunks, then use a pastry blender or two knives to cut butter into the oat mixture until it is evenly distributed in tiny pieces. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until topping is golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve with some vanilla yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream, if desired.

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!
Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies #Choctoberfest

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

Cookies! But not just any cookies… these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They’re absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

Oh guys. I know we’re just chatting through the computer screen right now but I seriously wish I could share a plate of these cookies with you right now. If I had just one word to describe them it would be, without a doubt, irresistible. I mean, just look what happens when a mama lets them cool too close to the edge of the table.

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

*insert crying/laughing/LOL emoji right here, please*

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

The little guy doesn’t get too many sweets, but you better believe I just let him go to town on that cookie. He earned it–and it was SO freaking cute to see how excited he got with each chocolately bite. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

These cookies are just ridiculously good. Since they’re flourless, they’re loaded with tons of oats, peanut butter, and mix-ins. All of the above makes them crazy chewy and soft. It’s pretty much impossible to walk past a cookie jar full of these babies and not grab one (or three). #provenfact #askmehowiknow

Cookies! But not just any cookies... these Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies are filled with oats, peanut butter, pretzels, butterscotch, and CHOCOLATE!  Duh. They're absolutely irresistible and a great way to cap off #Choctoberfest!

Everyone’s first thought when they see pretzels in baked goods (especially chocolatey ones like these cookies!) is that they’re suddenly a sweet ‘n salty treat. That’s true, but in these cookies, the pretzels almost play a different role… they give the cookies an extra depth of flavor. I would say it’s almost earthy, but who wants earthy cookies? So we’ll just call them good. Very, very, very good. Irresistible, even. Hope you enjoy!

Find more new chocolate recipes at the linky here today.

And don’t forget–there’s one more day to enter this amazing CHOCOLATE filled giveaway! Don’t delay! 🙂

one year ago: Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats
three years ago: Pumpkin Bagels
four years ago: Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies
five years ago: 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup
six years ago: Pumpkin Brownies
seven years ago: Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Flourless Kitchen Sink Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Print

from Mama Gourmand

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups lightly crushed pretzels – save some to press on top if desired
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks – save some to press on top if desired
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks – save some to press on top if desired
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips – save some to press on top if desired

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Beat in brown sugar and white sugar, mixing for 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, baking soda, corn syrup, and vanilla. With mixer running on low, add oats–mix until fully combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in pretzels, both kinds of chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips–save some to press on top of individual cookies if desired.

At this point, you can shape into 1 1/2-2 tablespoon sized balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets OR you can chill the dough for 15-20 minutes if it’s too hard to work with. I preferred chilling it first. Press excess pretzels, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips on top if desired.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Don’t overbake! The edges of the cookies should be set and the middle should be slightly overdone. They continue to cook on the cookie sheet, so allow to cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.
Breakfast, Granola, Recipes

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites #Choctoberfest

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean’s. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat… and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there’s that too.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.

Another day, another #Choctoberfest recipe! This one slightly healthier than the delectable cake from Monday. 🙂 Energy bites, granola bites, energy balls… whatever you call them… are SO tasty and SO fun to make. Just mix, roll, and chill, pretty much. They’re great to have on hand for a healthy yet filling snack option or even a quick breakfast on the go for busy mornings. Most recipes use nut butter as the base, so I was excited to find a version that used PUMPKIN as the binder. I always gotta do something different, haha.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.

Since we’re smack-dab in the midst of #Choctoberfest, I decided to try to make an uber chocolately energy bite recipe. Thanks to a healthy dose of dark chocolate cocoa powder AND dark chocolate chips, these Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites pretty much taste like a brownie. I’ve been keeping some in the fridge at work, and they are perfect for a mid-afternoon snack. Healthy, yet satisfying.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.

I’m so thankful that Barlean’s is a sponsor again this year for #Choctoberfest! They sent me a great package filled with Chocolate Silk Greens (think chocolate protein powder, but powdered greens instead–this stuff is great for smoothies!), Essential Women Omega-Swirl Chocolate Mint (mint-chocolate syrup that just so happens to be full of Omega-3s), and Butter-Flavored Coconut Oil, which I used in this recipe. It’s the perfect butter substitute with all the health benefits of coconut oil. I don’t use coconut oil for everything but I really like it in granola bars/energy bites. You can find out more about Barlean’s by following them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube.

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Barlean's. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites are a healthy sweet treat... and they pretty much taste like a brownie, so there's that too.

One of the best parts about these Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites (besides how chocolately they are!) is that it only uses 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree. Sooo it’s a perfect recipe to have on hand to when you have a little pumpkin puree to use up! Waste not, want not. And how could you not want these yummy chocolate energy bites??! Enjoy!

Find more chocolate recipes here today at the #Chocotoberfest linky! And don’t forget to enter this great giveaway before Saturday!

one year ago: Pumpkin & Sausage Pizza
three years ago: Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
four years ago: Funfetti Cookies
five years ago: Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sour Cream Sauce
six years ago: Roasted Vegetable Soup
seven years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites

  • Servings: 32 bites
  • Print

slightly adapted from A Kitchen Addiction

Ingredients:

Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together oats, flaxseed, cocoa, and pumpkin pie spice. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together honey, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and coconut oil. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil for 4 minutes. Stir constantly so it doesn’t burn! Remove from heat.

Pour honey mixture over oats and stir until combined. At this point, you can stir in the pepitas and chocolate chips so the chocolate melts and gets all gooey OR you can wait for 5 minutes before stirring in the mixins. I stirred everything together right away.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for mixture to cool and chocolate to harden, then remove and roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour before transferring to an air-tight container. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!

Disclosure:  Though I received products for free as part of my participation in #Choctoberfest, I was not compensated in any other way and was not asked to provide positive feedback.