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).

Advertisements
Appetizers, Recipes

Copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeno Dip

This creamy, addictive jalapeno dip is famous… and for good reason! I don’t make very many copycat recipes, but I can’t get enough of this Chuy’s classic!

This creamy, addictive jalapeno dip is famous... and for good reason! I don't make very many copycat recipes, but I can't get enough of this Chuy's classic!

Can I be honest? I’ve only been to Chuy’s once… I don’t remember what I had to eat for dinner, but what I DO remember is this awesomely creamy and slightly spicy jalapeno dip. I ate my weight in tortilla chips absolutely covered in this dip, and then I slathered it all over my food. Ridiculous.

This creamy, addictive jalapeno dip is famous... and for good reason! I don't make very many copycat recipes, but I can't get enough of this Chuy's classic!

When you hear “jalapeno dip” you probably think spicy, right? But it’s really not, especially if you de-seed the jalapenos. All you have is the wonderful, creamy dip full of zesty lime and cilantro, garlic and ranch. It is to die for, like nothing you’ve ever tasted.

This creamy, addictive jalapeno dip is famous... and for good reason! I don't make very many copycat recipes, but I can't get enough of this Chuy's classic!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to put this dip on anything and everything. I loooove it with tortilla chips, and it’s also excellent when served with carnitas or barbacoa. I suspect it would be good with any Mexican/Tex-Mex dinner. How do I know? Because I also like eating it by the spoonful! I’m sure you will too–enjoy! 🙂

one year ago: Baked Tilapia with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce 
two years ago: Southwestern Cilantro Mac and Cheese
three years ago: Dark Chocolate Double Coconut Macaroons
four years ago: Blueberry Burgers
five years ago: Orange-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry
six years ago: Lemony Kale Pasta

Copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeno Dip

  • Servings: ~2 1/2 cups
  • Print

from Macaroni and Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 2 large jalapenos, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix (1 ounce), storebought or homemade
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse together jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro until finely chopped. Add sour cream, ranch seasoning, and zest and juice of one lime. Process until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl, then whisk in milk in one tablespoon increments until the dip is pourable.

Serve with tortilla chips, on tacos, with grilled chicken, steak, or pork, etc. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!

Appetizers, Recipes

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Spread

Spicy, spreadable cheese dip… what could be a better way to eat your veggies? 🙂 This Jalapeno Beer Cheese Spread is a great make-ahead holiday appetizer!

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Spread--spicy and spreadable cheese dip is a great addition to your holiday table!

One of our favorite Trader Joe’s finds is their Jalapeno Pub Cheese. We first tried it at their sample station with corn chips and totally walked out of the store with both items. Suckers! Haha. All their pub cheese options are good, actually, but the jalapeno flavor is our fave. Last year for New Year’s Day [I know… I am so behind], we whipped up an appetizers feast, and this was one of our favorite snacks from the day! I know we could have gone to Trader Joe’s and bought the real deal, but what’s the fun in that? And the Trader Joe’s in Nashville is smack dab in the middle of a busy shopping area that I avoid like the plague during peak times. So clearly, this was the best option even though it was a little work. But honestly? It’s not really that much work and it’s totally delicious and SO worth it.

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Spread--spicy and spreadable cheese dip is a great addition to your holiday table!

Basically, all you do to make this delectable spread/dip of the goddesses is throw some ingredients in your food processor [hope yours isn’t part of the Cuisinart recall 😦 –I have my grandma’s 1980s food processor, fortunately… or a blender would work fine too] and pulse away! Just a few minutes to deliciousness!

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Spread--spicy and spreadable cheese dip is a great addition to your holiday table!

We enjoy this beer cheese spread with corn chips the most. There’s just something about those salty chips with the spicy spread… but if you want to be a little healthier, you can use it as a veggie dip too. The snap peas were surprisingly good with the spicy dip! Now, I know I’ve been going on and on about how spicy and wonderful this beer cheese spread is, and if you use jalapeno–it is going to be spicy! But fear not–if spice isn’t your thing [no shame! I didn’t start delving into the spice world at ALL until I met my husband]–just leave out the jalapeno! It’ll be equally flavorful and delicious without the jalapeno. I mean, who can resist cheese!??!

one year ago: Cranberry Crumb Bars
two years ago: Crockpot Minestrone Soup
three years ago: Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares
four years ago: Streuseled Cran-Apple Sweet Potato Casserole
five years ago: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
six years ago: Sweet-Spicy Pretzel Mix

Jalapeno Beer Cheese Spread

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

adapted slightly from The Fresh Market

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup liquid – beer is preferable to make this spread more “authentic” but for serving to children, non-drinkers, pregnant ladies, etc. you can use water, cooking wine, chicken broth, etc. Some people who make this bring the beer to a boil on the stovetop, then reduce it to a simmer and cook it down over an hour or so to reduce the alcohol content. Then you can add extra water/broth to make a 1/2 cup of liquid. Use whatever liquid you feel comfortable with!
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 jalapeno, finely minced – most of the seeds removed
  • corn chips, crackers, pretzels, crudites for serving

Directions:

Combine liquid, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, and parsley in a food processor. Pulse until blended. Add jalapeno and pulse again–mixture may have some lumps.

Serve with corn chips, crackers, pretzels, or crudites. Jalapeno Beer Cheese Spread can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Letting it sit for awhile before serving helps the flavors marry but it’s addictive no matter when you break into it! Enjoy!

Appetizers, Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes

SRC: Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Fancy up your buffalo chicken by serving it in some cool, crisp lettuce wraps! This is the perfect game day appetizer or light dinner option. Mmmm!

Fancy up your buffalo chicken by serving it in some cool, crisp lettuce wraps! This is the perfect game day appetizer or light dinner option. Mmmm! #secretrecipeclub

This month for Secret Recipe Club I was assigned to The Avid Appetite, a fun blog written by Rachel. Rachel lives in Jersey City with her family and shares her love of family, fun, and food through her wonderful blog that she’s maintained for 5+ years. So many of her recipes sounded so delicious that it was hard to just pick one! After checking out my options, I narrowed it down to Pepperjack Pimento Cheese Dip, her favorite Iced Coffee recipe, Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges, and Berry Baked Oatmeal… and my final pick, Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I wish I had time to try everything!

Fancy up your buffalo chicken by serving it in some cool, crisp lettuce wraps! This is the perfect game day appetizer or light dinner option. Mmmm! #secretrecipeclub These buffalo chicken lettuce wraps certainly hit the spot! They were the perfect blend of spicy, creamy, cheesy, and cool. We enjoyed them during Selection Sunday last week [go Hoosiers!], but they’d be equally good during any sporting event, party, or get together. To be honest, buffalo chicken isn’t always my favorite–some versions are too spicy, and most versions are too messy–but this recipe may make me a diehard fan. 🙂 If you like buffalo chicken, you’ll love this recipe!

Fancy up your buffalo chicken by serving it in some cool, crisp lettuce wraps! This is the perfect game day appetizer or light dinner option. Mmmm! #secretrecipeclub

I changed a few things with Rachel’s original recipe–namely, using feta cheese and ranch dressing in place of bleu cheese and bleu cheese dressing, but the heart of the recipe is still there. If you’re a bleu cheese fan, knock yourself out, haha. I also added celery on top for some crunch! Yum! Thanks, Rachel, for this tasty treat!

one year ago: French Toast Casserole
two years ago: Tasty Mexican Lentils

three years ago: Quick Chocolate Pudding
four years ago: Alice’s Vanilla Tea-Infused Granola
five years ago: Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 8 as an appetizer, 4 as a meal
  • Print

from The Avid Appetite

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts or 4-5 chicken thighs – I used bone in, skin on chicken thighs but boneless skinless would work too
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil, if using boneless skinless chicken
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s red hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or bleu cheese
  • 1 head Boston or iceberg lettuce, washed and dried, then separated into individual leaves
  • 1/3 cup ranch or bleu cheese dressing
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken on a large baking sheet lined with foil. [If using boneless skinless chicken, brush chicken with olive oil.] Sprinkle chicken with pepper, paprika, and thyme. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Let rest for about 10 minutes to cool, then remove skin and bones and chop into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, place cream cheese, hot sauce, and feta in a large mixing bowl. Stir together and add chicken. Transfer mixture to an oven safe baking dish to heat through, or place in a skillet set over low heat. Cook until cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, spoon buffalo chicken into prepared lettuce leaves. Drizzle with ranch dressing and top with celery.

Enjoy!

Be sure to check out all the other recipes made by my SRC friends this week at the link below!

Appetizers, Recipes

Homemade Jerky #bookclubcookbookCC

Did you know you could make jerky in the oven, without a dehydrator? Well, you can…and it’s so easy and delicious! 

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

I used to think beef jerky was gross and smelled terrible, but nearly seven years married to Ben has changed my taste a wee bit. 🙂 Once in awhile, it absolutely hits the spot! [But I still think it smells bad.] Ben loves it so much that he often chooses it as a road trip snack, or I’ll buy him a bag of something interesting if I come across it somewhere. A few years ago, I stumbled upon the perfect Christmas gift for him… beef jerky seasoning/cure blends so he could make it for himself! And it’s been fun to see him experiment with homemade jerky ever since!

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

That’s why I immediately thought about sharing our his method of jerky making for this month’s edition of #bookclubcookbookCC! Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise is our hostess, and her book choice was The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. This book is supposed to be an excellent Civil War historical fiction novel–it is now on my list to read, though I didn’t get to it this month. [Psst… if you’re reading this post on February 29th, be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway. I’m behind this month so it’s only live until 6pm Pacific time today!]

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

Even if you haven’t heard of this book, it inspired the early 1990s movie version of Gettysburg, a film my sister and I absolutely dreaded our dad watching while we were growing up. It was two VHS tapes long and just seemed to drag ON and ON and ON. 🙂 Since dried beef was common food fare for Civil War soldiers, I wanted to share our homemade beef jerky method with you today in honor of #bookclubcookbookCC! I’ve never tried Civil War era beef jerky, but from my internet research it seems pretty bad. Hopefully this version will be a little more palatable. 🙂

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

When you read through the recipe below, you’ll notice that it takes a LONG time to make beef jerky. A minimum of 24 hours and really, for good beef jerky, more than 48. Most of the time is spent marinating the meat in the fridge. Ben has some purchased seasoning/cure mixes that he has used and recommended [link in recipe], but he has also experimented with his own blends too–but he didn’t write down what he did so I can’t share them with you. In the recipe, I do link to another blog post I found online with a few seasoning suggestions so you can check those out if you prefer to not purchase seasoning. After this, you’re ready to cook the meat. Since we don’t have a dehydrator, we use our oven set at a very low temperature and keep it propped open just a bit for ventilation. From what I’ve read, this isn’t authentic beef jerky since it isn’t really completely dried/smoked and it does cook a little, but it’s pretty darn good. The whole cooking process can take up to 5 hours, so this isn’t a process to start later in the evening. The longer you cook it, the drier the meat becomes… and as it cools, it will dry out even more. When at home, we keep our jerky in the fridge to keep it fresher longer [obviously not the traditional method], but it will last at room temperature or outdoors for a few days if you want to take it camping or on other outdoor adventures. Supposedly this method of cooking jerky makes it last for 1-2 months, but ours gets eaten wayyy before then so I can’t say for sure. Ha!

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

Ben has made it to keep around the house as a snack, but also for family get togethers and a camping trip. It is so tasty and fun to make! I think it would be a great family project–just make sure to not eat the whole batch during the cooking process! Enjoy! 🙂 Thanks, Ashley, for hosting this month and inspiring me to share this awesome treat with everyone!

Homemade Beef Jerky... easy, tasty, & delicious! #bookclubcookbookCC

one year ago: Freezer Breakfast Burritos
two years ago: Spicy Chicken, Spinach, and Corn Enchiladas
three years ago: Italian Sausage and Red Rice
four years ago: Sausage, Apple, and Egg Casserole
five years ago: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Homemade Jerky

  • Print

Method from Two Dogs in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 pounds beef, in cuts like london broil, bottom round, eye of round, flank steak, etc. – you want a lean, tender cut
  • seasoning blend – we used this one from Nesco. You can also make your own… with any flavors/seasonings you like! There are several recipes here, but I haven’t tried them. From my research, you will want to use 1 tablespoon of salt for each pound of meat to help cure the jerky.

Directions:

Begin a day or two before you want to cook your jerky. Two days before is better, if you can swing it. You’ll want to start by trimming any extra fat off your beef, then cutting the meat into thin strips about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. If you cut against the grain it will be more like regular beef jerky, but if you with the grain, it will be more lean in texture and appearance. Place in a large bowl, toss with seasonings of your choice, and then cover well with plastic wrap [tuck in so it doesn’t dry out]. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Remove meat from marinade/seasoning. If your mixture has any liquid, just shake it off but you don’t need to pat it dry or anything. Now you have some options….

You have two cooking methods options:

  1. Thread strips onto kebab skewers and place directly on oven racks that have been sprayed with cooking spray. You’ll have to space them out to go in between the slats, and line the bottom of your oven [before preheating] with foil to avoid a big mess. This is a quicker cooking process, and helps cook the meat evenly but it’s a little trickier to set up.
  2. Place strips about 1/4 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Much easier, but may take a little longer to cook.

Bake for 45 minutes, being sure to place a dish towel in the oven door for slight ventilation.

After 45 minutes, check meat every 20 minutes until meat is done. Each slice will take different amounts of time to cook based on its size and thickness. It should take between 2 and 5 hours total for all the meat to cook, depending on how chewy you want it. When it comes out of the oven, it should be darker in color and slightly dry to the touch, but it will harden/dry more as it cools. When each slice is cooked, allow to cool completely on a cooling rack, patting any grease off with a paper towel. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag. We keep it in the fridge for safe keeping over 1-2 months [not that it lasts that long!] but it’ll last a few days at room temperature. The better dried it is, the longer it’ll last on the counter without spoiling. We feel it’s better to be safe than sorry, but it’s ultimately your choice. Enjoy!

Giveaway
This month Ashley at Cheese Curd in Paradise, this month’s host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!
One of our lucky readers – US and Canada only! – can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from February 1st till February 29th at 6 o’clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

*Disclosure: Ashley received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.