Delightful Dips and Spreads
by Brenda Hyde
With the arrival of warm weather I always get out the dip and spread recipes. They are easy and delicious, whether serving them to company or to your family on movie night. The trick to really getting the most out of a dip or spread is serving it with a variety of breads, crackers and vegetables. Cheese dip is great with pretzels for instance. You can spread it on the big soft pretzels or scoop it up with mini pretzels, rods or sticks. The kids love it! I try to avoid potato chips and corn chips because of the fat.
Baby carrots are another family favorite and go well with seafood dips. Other options are bite size pieces of bagel, whole grain crackers, celery, green pepper slices, radishes or other raw vegetables. You can also make your own pita or tortilla crisps by cutting the bread into triangles, spraying with butter flavored cooking spray on both sides, sprinkle with seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, or seasoning salt and bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned. The recipes below are easy and quick, plus they don't require cooking!
Italian Dip with Crackers and Veggies
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Caesar dressing
Crackers-whole wheat variety is good.
Beat cream cheese , Parmesan, and dressing with electric mixer until smooth. Place in a pretty bowl, then center the bowl on a platter with the crackers and baby carrots surrounding the dip.
Snappy Cheese Spread
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 jar Kraft Old English Cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1 stick butter or margarine
2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Beat cream cheese and Old English together. Add butter, sour cream and horseradish and beat well again. Serve with crackers, breadsticks or pretzels.
8 ounce cream cheese
1/2 stick margarine, softened
5 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tsp. minced onion (works well using processor)
Beat all ingredients with electric mixer until smooth. Spoon unto bowl and serve with crackers, pretzels or chips.
Cream Cheese Clam Dip
8 ounces cream cheese
1 small can minced clams (reserve 1 tablespoon juice)
3 tablespoons chopped green onion or chives
dash garlic powder
Combine cream cheese, clams, reserved juice, onions, and garlic. Blend well. This is especially good with whole grain crackers, baby carrots or bagel pieces.
Salmon Dill Dip
1 can salmon, drained, flaked and bones removed
1 cup sour cream (light or no fat is fine)
2 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 Tablespoon fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried
1/4 tsp. salt
optional: diced green pepper
Mix all ingredients together, squeezing the juice of the lemon into bowl. Mix well and chill. Serve with carrots, celery or other crunchy vegetables or crackers. A great after school snack!
8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup finely cut dates
1/4 cup finely chopped chutney
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add next 4 ingredients and mix together well. Stir in 1/2 cup nuts. Put in serving dish, sprinkle with remaining nuts and chill. Serve with crackers or pita chips or apple slices.
Savory Shrimp Dip
1/2 cup milk
2 pkgs (8 oz. ea.) cream cheese softened
2 cans (4 1/2 oz. each.) shrimp, rinsed, drained, and chopped
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt (or powder)
1/4 tsp. dill weed, or 1/2 tsp. fresh dill
Blend milk and cream cheese. Stir in shrimp, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic, and dill. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Serve with vegetables, crackers, or bagel chips. It also is great for spreading on mini bagels. Makes 3 cups. Note: I also use the frozen salad shrimp.
About the Author
Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer, editor, herb gardener and mother to three children. For more herb recipes and tips visit her at Old Fashioned Living.