grilled artichokes with shishito pepper aioli

Grilled Artichokes with Shishito Pepper Aioli

Growing up, I wasn’t a particularly picky eater. Like many kids, I just didn’t like vegetables. I would always grumble at my mom’s insistence that I eat something green and/or leafy. Thank goodness she never made me sit at the dinner table until I finished all my vegetables because I would most likely have sat there until I turned 18. I’m proud to say that I’ve come a long way since then. I am certainly much better at eating vegetables now. In fact, I enjoy eating a variety of them and even grow some in my garden.

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feta and lemon dip

Feta and Lemon Dip

Feta, the firm, yet crumbly cheese from Greece, is transformed into a smooth and tasty dip, with the texture and tanginess reminiscent of hummus. Once you make it, it will become one of your favorites.  Trust me!

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football food: spinach and artichoke dip

Over the last couple of posts, I’ve shared some yummy snacks that are perfect for your football party or tailgate.  The last one I want to share with you is this warm and creamy  Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  This is easy to prep ahead of time, then bake in the oven about 30 minutes before you and your guests are ready to eat. I usually serve this with tortilla or pita chips.  I added the breadcrumb topping to give it a little crunch and more garlic flavor.  The garlic is not overpowering in this recipe since it is roasted for a mellower and nutty taste, but decrease amount if you are garlic-averse. Continue reading

football food: cowboy caviar


Chips and dip make great football food.  They are easy to prepare and serve, easy to eat with one hand (so you don’t have to put your beer down), and best of all, they are very tasty.  I had never heard of Cowboy Caviar until my sister-in-law, Liz, shared this recipe with me.  According to Saveur Magazine, legendary Texas cook Helen Corbitt invented this black-eyed pea salad in the 1940s. Cowboy Caviar is  tasty alternative to the standard salsa or guacamole with its blend of black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro. It is best made a day ahead to let all the flavors of the dressing and salad meld together.  I think all your guests will love this vegan and gluten-free dip. Continue reading

cheddar cheese dip with jalapeños

trader joe's pub cheese with jalapeños

Since I’ve got a ready supply of jalapeños at the moment, I’m always looking for ways to use them.  Chris recently discovered Trader Joe’s Pub Cheese, a “gourmet spreadable cheese,” reminiscent of Velveeta, but with more flavor.  It comes in three flavors: Sharp Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar with Jalapeños, and Sharp Cheddar with Horseradish.  For our new favorite dip, I melt the cheese, add a tablespoon or two of drained salsa, and some sliced jalapeños.  It is so simple and easy, yet very tasty.  Next time, I might make nachos by adding Ortega chiles, canned no-bean chili, diced tomatoes to the melted cheese and then spooning all that gooey cheese over tortilla chips.  Yum!!

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