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February 3, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Filed under: Appetizers, Dessert, Holiday — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:12 pm

Goodness!  I’m noticing a trend!  The last few posts have been about chocolate.  I must like chocolate or something!

This is actually the 2nd time that I’ve made this dip.  The first time I made it to bring to a party after a Cougar football game.   It was very well received especially by the women their!  I think this dip would be perfect to bring to either a bridal or a baby shower.

I brought this dip to the Super Bowl party that my husband and I attended this weekend.  I seem to have a tough time going to a party or gathering and not bringing something.  I guess it could always be worse!  I’ve heard some people call certain dips that are super addictive, Crack Dip.  I think this might just be one of them! I spotted this dip on The Nest a few years ago when I was just discovering food blogs.  I don’t remember where I first found it though!

This recipe comes together very easily.  So easily that I bought the ingredients on our way to the party and made the dip at the party!  Thanks for letting me dirty up your kitchen Brooke!  I alwasy love recipes that include ingredients that are easy to find and are decent in price!  This recipe is both of those things!  I brought graham cracker sticks to dip, but I have also tried it with Nilla wafers.  Both were great!  I don’t have a picture because I forgot to grab the camera!  There are pletny of pictures of this recipe out there!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip




  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Stir continuously, until the brown sugar dissolves. (You can also do this in the microwave but watch it closely. The butter/sugar mixture will boil over fast. Stir every 30 seconds or so.)
  2. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla and set aside to cool.
  3. Beat the cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar for 1 minute.
  4. Slowly beat in the cooled butter mixture and beat again for another minute.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  6. Pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate.
  7. Garnish with additional chocolate chips or nuts, if you choose.

January 13, 2009

French Bread

Filed under: Appetizers, Bread — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:47 pm

Well, this is a bit of late announcement but my food related resolution is to learn to make bread and not be so afraid of it.  I think I was afraid of the dough not rising or the bread turning out tough or doughy.  I was also inspired by my brother in law’s wife.  She always makes the best bread.  She made challah for our family holiday get together.  It looked gorgeous (is that possible?) and tasted delicious!  I decided that I would just suck it up and give it a whirl!  I first decided to consult the talented and oh so encouraging ladies on The Nest for some advice about where to start.  Many lovely ladies suggested the King Arthur Flour website, some sent me to their blogs and some suggested The Bread Baker’s Apprentice cookbook.  I went to the King Arthur Flour website and nosed around and then I went to my local library to look for the Bread Baker’s Apprentice but didn’t have success because the library is under construction.  I did put myself on the wait list for the book.

I was very nervous about baking bread but it turned out quite well.  I approached it with attitude of, “Here goes nothing!”  My one snafu with the recipe was that I think I may have hurt or killed my food processor.  The motor started smoking when it was doing the last of the kneading!  Smoke is never good.  It didn’t smell too pretty either.  So I quickly unplugged it to discourage any more smoke!  I’ll let you know how the food processor is holding up next time I use it!

I was so excited that this recipe worked, the dough doubled in size when it rose the first time and the crust was beautiful.  I was also happy that the bread turned out even though I didn’t have the pan that the recipe calls for.  My husband and I had this bread with the stuffed shells that I previously posted about.  We got a good giggle out of dinner that night.  I sliced the bread and we started eating the shells and bread.  Before we knew it we were just dipping the bread in the sauce from the stuffed shells.  It was as if we completely forgot about the main dish and were just focusing on the appetizers or bread!

So, now that I’ve had success with this bread I have made a list of different types of breads that I want to make in the future.  You’ll see those breads here very soon!


Food Processor French-Style Bread

source: King Arthur Flour website


2 packages (2 scant tablespoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm (110°F to 115°F) water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
6 cups (approx.) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups 90°F water
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water, for glaze


Note: Make sure your food processor will accommodate the amount of flour in the recipe. If it does not, cut the recipe in half.

Combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and sugar in a measuring cup. Stir until dissolved, and let sit 5 minutes, until bubbles appear.

Put all of the flour and salt into the work bowl of a food processor. Using the plastic (dough) blade, pulse four times to lighten and mix.

With the machine running, add yeast mixture, then 90°F water as fast as the flour will absorb it. Stop the machine as soon as all the liquid has been added.

Check the dough by pulsing it 7 or 8 times. It should pull together to form a ball. Watch the processor bowl where the side meets the bottom; if there are still granules of unincorporated flour, the dough is too dry. Pulse in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough pulls together to form a ball. If dough clings to sides of bowl, it’s too wet; gradually add more flour while pulsing.

The formation of the ball marks the beginning of the kneading process. Turn machine on and let “knead” for 60 seconds — do not let it knead any longer! If you have to use a metal blade, only “knead” 45 seconds and finish kneading by hand for 3 to 4 minutes.

Put dough into an oiled bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with a tightly woven towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out, and divide in four pieces. Roll each piece into an oval about 15 x 8 inches. Starting on the long side, roll dough into a 15-inch cylinder. Pinch edges to body of dough, tapering ends evenly.

Place dough seam-side down into well-greased baguette pans. Cover dough with a towel, and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

About 10 minutes before baking bread, preheat oven to 425°F. Place a shallow pan on the bottom shelf of the oven.

Just before baking, slash loaves diagonally with a sharp blade, about 1/4-inch deep. Brush lightly with egg glaze. Place 1 cup of ice cubes in the hot pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. Quickly place loaves on shelf above and close door to preserve the steam you’ve created.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature of bread reaches 190°F. Immediately remove baguettes from pans and cool on a rack to prevent crust from becoming soggy. Yield: 4 baguettes.

Nutrition information per serving (2-inch slice, 24 g): 43 cal, 0 g fat, 2 g protein, 9 g complex carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 5 mg cholesterol, 73 mg sodium, 20 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 22 mg calcium, 15 mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 6, July-August 1992 issue.


January 4, 2009


Filed under: Appetizers, Holiday, Mexican, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 10:54 am

This might become a recipe that I will bring to parties and large gatherings more often. I brought this to our New Year’s Eve celebration for when we had the munchies later in the evening. This recipe was quite easy to put together. I enjoyed the tomatoes because they gave the dish a bit of color. My husband also enjoyed the tomatoes because they were cut up so small!! I came across this recipe in my new Barefoot Contessa cookbook and decided that I should try it. The fact that avocados were on sale at the grocery store, helped too! Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the guacamole, but I trust that you know what it should look like!



source: Food Network


  • 4 ripe Haas avocados
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 8 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced


Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

Creamy Herbed Spinach Dip

Filed under: Appetizers, Holiday, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 9:20 am

This spinach dip has quickly become my favorite dip to bring to parties or large gatherings. I brought this to our low key, relaxed New Year’s Eve celebration. I love the little kick of the Tabasco sauce. I first saw this recipe on an America’s Test Kitchen show on PBS. I loved how simple the recipe was. I would direct you to the actual recipe on the website but you have to be a member to view it. I am not a member yet because I don’t use their website often enough, even though I would love to have one of their cookbooks!

I don’t have a picture to show you because I forgot to take one at the get together! Oops! I’m pretty sure you know what Spinach Dip looks like though!

Creamy Herbed Spinach Dip

source: Cook’s Illustrated


10 oz frozen chopped Spinach

1/2 cup Mayonaise

1/2 cup Sour Cream

2 TB chopped shallots

1 TB chopped fresh dill leaves

1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 small garlic clove-minced

1/4 tsp Tabasco

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 medium red pepper, chopped (I omitted)


Thaw spinach for 3 minutes at 40% power. Squeeze partially thawed spinach of excess water through a clean tea towel. Put all ingredients into a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Dip can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Serve with pita chips.

November 23, 2008

Smoky chipotle hummus

Filed under: Appetizers — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:38 pm

I love this recipe. Before Nate and I got married I learned that he was quite fond of hummus. He would buy a container of it from Trader Joe’s and a bag of Salt and Pepper chips and eat that for lunch or even a snack. After we got married I was always on the look out for a recipe for hummus. I found one in one of my Everyday Food magazines. He liked it but we both agreed that there wasn’t anything special about it.

A few summers ago we went to Powell’s books in Portand, OR and I scored a Bon Appetit Cookbook for 50% off. So last spring I decided to try a new recipe and went on the hunt in the cookbooks that I already have, rather than using the trusty internet!

This hummus recipe is our new favorite. I love the spicy flavor but also the hint of mexican flavoring. This time that I made it I opted to not use the cilantro I have used it before and it was delicious. I just decided not to use it this time because I didn’t have it! This recipe makes quite a lot so I suggest making it for a party or large gathering.



Smoky Chipotle Hummus

source: Bon Appetit cookbook but found here at


  • 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)*
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chilies**
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 4-ounce jar sliced pimientos in oil, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 6-ounce packages roasted-garlic bagel chips


Reserve 3 tablespoons garbanzo beans for garnish. Blend remaining garbanzo beans and next 7 ingredients in processor until smooth. Add pimientos; process, using on/off turns, until pimientos are coarsely chopped. Transfer hummus to medium bowl. Stir in cilantro. Season hummus to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with reserved garbanzo beans. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Accompany with bagel chips.

*Sold at Middle Eastern markets, natural foods stores and some supermarkets. **Chipotle chilies canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at Latin American markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets.

August 26, 2008

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Filed under: Appetizers, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 4:32 am

Guess what I made with those 6 wonderful pickling cucumbers? You guess it! Refrigerator pickles!!

My dear husband won’t being touching the poor things with a ten foot pole because as I mentioned, he despises anything with a vinegar smell. He describe pickles as mummified cucumbers. Hmm! More for me!! I’ve been having a tough time letting them sit for the 4 days. I’ve been sampling them too!

Mom this recipe might be competition with Grandma’s recipe!

This picture was taken while the cucumbers were cooling before I put them in the refrigerator.

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

source: Cooking Light


6 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers (about 2 pounds)
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I omitted)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced


Place 3 cups cucumber in a medium glass bowl; top with 1 cup onion. Repeat procedure with the remaining 3 cups cucumber and remaining 1 cup onion.Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Pour over cucumber mixture; let cool. Cover and chill at least 4 days.

Note: Pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.


7 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)

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