What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

October 3, 2010

Layered Fiesta Dip and a “Falloween” Party

Filed under: Appetizers & Dips,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 7:34 pm

It practically seems insulting to post this, since it is so ridiculous easy and has been around such a long, long time.  There are a few different versions circulating though, and I am asked for this recipe from time to time, so I am going to go ahead and share it, in the hopes that some of you out there might appreciate it and – hopefully – not be insulted.

We attended a “Falloween” party last evening, and I brought along this dip, along with my Gluten Free Brownies.  We went home with a couple Brownies leftover, but this dip was wiped right out. 

My husband tells me that this Layered Mexican Dip recipe actually originally came from the Hostess whose party we attended last night.  It was passed on to his mother back in the 70’s and then to me many years after, and it has changed through the years I have made it so that I no longer even remember the original incarnation. 

Before I share the recipe, let me share a few snapshots from the party, will you?

This party is an annual shindig and it is always so much fun, especially for the kiddos.  Each year, there is a different theme and different activities.  This year, there was a bounce house.

And pumpkin decorating.

My baby decided to keep it pretty simple.

There were more elaborate decorations on display, though.

Last year, professional face-painters were on hand to adorn the faces of the wee ones…

…and the not so wee ones.

The “I’ve Just Been Run Over” design was a big hit with both the big and the little boys.

This gathering is one of the highlights of our Autumn each year, and my boys are looking forward to the next year’s event before we even pull into our driveway on the way home from  the current year’s party!

They talked about the party tonight over Layered Fiesta Dip.  Yes, I did say that the dip I took was wiped out last night.  But I have learned through the years that nobody is really satisfied unless I make two dishes: One to take along, and one to keep at home for the next day! 

Here are the recipe proportions for a single 9 x 12 dish or a single large round platter or pie plate.  Double everything if you are making two dishes like I did.

What you need:

1 – 15 ounce can Refried Beans

4 oz block Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 packet Taco Seasoning Mix (about 2 Tbsp if you buy it in bulk like I do)

1/2 -12 ounce package Shredded Mexican Cheese (or Colby or Mild Cheddar)

1/4 cup Chopped Green Onion

1 medium Diced Tomato

What to do:

First, spread Refried Beans in bottom of serving dish.

Combine Cream Cheese, Sour Cream and Taco Seasoning with mixer until fairly smooth.

Spread Cream Cheese mixture atop Beans in dish.

I like to leave a little of the Beans on the edge uncovered if I’m using a round plate.

Sprinkle with Shredded Cheese.

Top with Green Onions and Tomatoes. 

You can also add chopped black olives, and as much as I would love to,  my family begs me not to so I don’t.

Serve with Tortilla Chips.

This really is so simple, and so yummy!  Try it for your next party or potluck, but be sure to make an extra dish that you don’t have to share! :-)

September 2, 2010

Baba Ghanoush

Filed under: Appetizers & Dips,Recipes,Vegan,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 6:49 am

Or Baba Ganoush’.  Or Baba Ghannouj.  Or Baba Ghannoug.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Anyway it’s spelled, this is my favorite amongst favorites of the Greek restaurant dishes.  Sure, Hummous rocks my world.  I’m very fond of Tabbouleh.  And of course, I love me some Greek Salad.  

But Baba Ghanoush holds a very special place in my heart.  It’s creamy.  It’s smokey.  It’s so satisfying and nutritious. 

And until now, I was never able to replicate the restaurant flavor at home.  I tried a few times, but each attempt was followed by a soupy, not-at-all-smoky-tasting bowl of mush which ended up in the trash.    Maybe my inability to recreate this dish well is why I held it at such high esteem among the other Mediterranean recipes.   Absense makes the heart grow fonder, they say.  (Who exactly are “they”, by the way?  Does anybody really know?)

I saw this recipe over at Tasty KitchenThe Parsley Thief had posted it, and even though I had tried to make Baba Ghanoush time and time again, the recipe caught my eye and I was inspired to give it one last chance.  I’m so glad I did, because this is the Baba Ghanoush of my dreams!

I’ve roughly doubled the recipe here, just ’cause I just can’t get enough of this stuff.

What you need:

2 Medium Eggplant (Mine were slightly overgrown fruits from my own garden)

2 Cloves Garlic, peeled

2 tsp Course Sea Salt

1/3 Cup Tahini (Sesame Paste)

4 Tbsp Lemon Juice (or the Juice of 1 Lemon)

Olive Oil

Chopped Fresh Parsley

What to do:

Prick eggplant (both the normal and mutant-looking one) with a fork in a few places and place on grill over medium heat. 

Cook, turning as needed, until nearly completely blackened all over.

Turn off grill, close cover and let cool for a couple hours.

Remove eggplants to dish, cover and chill in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cut into eggplant and scrape flesh from blackened skin.  Or vice-versa. 

Either way, it’s going to be a slimy job, but somebody has to do it.

It won’t look pretty either.

Place the “guts” in a colandar.

It’ll be worth it, I swear.

Discard the burned skins, unless you can think of something crafty to do with them.

If you can think of something crafty to do with these, well then….move over, Martha!

Let the pulp sit in the strainer for half an hour or so to drain off excess liquid.

Place Garlic, Salt, Tahini and Lemon Juice into the bowl of your Food Processor.

Add Eggplant pulp.

And pulse until smooth and creamy.

Remove to serving dish, and drizzle with olive oil and chopped fresh Parsley.

Serve with grilled pita wedges or fresh raw veggies.

It’s not even 7 a.m. yet and I’m thinking of tossing my granola and eating this for breakfast instead!  It’s so yummy!!

 
 

Powered by WordPress