Monday, January 9, 2012

fruit dip

this is a great dip to bring to a party or serve as an appetizer. and it's so fast - it makes slicing and serving apples seem exciting. if you want to, you could add chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans, too. enjoy!

fruit dip (from
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract

mix ingredients and refrigerate for an hour before serving.

magical butter sauce

simple! i found this on tasty kitchen (via pioneer woman... oh, ree!), and it couldn't be easier. i've put this over salmon and sole, but it'd be great on veggies (ooh - especially on asparagus), too.

magical butter sauce
1/3 c. butter, melted
2 T. fruit preserves (any fruit)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
s&p to taste

mix 'er up!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

jalapeño ranch dip

my sister katie made this winner for a family get-together and it went over big time. it's really easy, delicious, and can be served on a variety of dip-vehicles (i prefer tortilla chips). if you're afraid of spice, be sure to remove all seeds and any white parts from the inside of the jalapeño; and if you want spice, keep some white (but toss the seeds). enjoy!

jalapeño ranch dip
16 oz. light sour cream
1 package (1 Oz.) ranch dip mix
2 large jalapeños, de-seeded and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. fresh cilantro
1 whole lime, juiced
2-4 T. milk (if desired)

combine roughly chopped jalapeños, cilantro and garlic in a food processor. pulse until finely chopped. add lime juice, sour cream and ranch mix. pulse until thoroughly combined. add milk, a tablespoon at a time, to thin if desired.

pumpkin muffins

this is a recipe shared with me by my friend joceline. her husband is convinced that he doesn't like pumpkin, but joceline decided he didn't know what he was talking about and took to making things with pumpkin in them and calling them "harvest spice". ha! so these are "harvest spice" muffins that are delicious and so... harvest spicy. by the way, her husband loves these (as does mine). (from smitten kitchen - if you don't read her already, don't miss out any longer - she's great!)

pumpkin muffins
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 c. canned pumpkin (from a 15 oz. can)
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 t. cinnamon, divided
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. ground ginger
1 c. plus 1 T. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

preheat oven to 350°. put liners in muffin cups. whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1 t. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

stir together 1 t. cinnamon and remaining 1 T. sugar in another bowl.

divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. bake until puffed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

(the muffins are delicious, but not so photogenic... so i added a cow)