Buffalo Cheese Dip


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, and Happy 2015!! As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, I receive a ton of recipes emailed to me on a regular basis from various online sources, and saw one I wanted to try, especially since the big “Game Day” is approaching and I know people are always looking for new dishes to serve up at Super Bowl parties. The great thing about this recipe (by Pillsbury) is there are only five ingredients; well, really four… one is an optional garnish. The one thing I did differently from the original is heating up the dip. I tried it both cold and hot, and in my personal opinion, it’s much better when warmed. You can also add some shredded chicken, if desired.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 4-5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup Yoplait® Greek 100 plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)

Directions

  1. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and all but 2 tablespoons of the blue cheese with electric mixer on medium speed about 30 seconds or until combined.
  2. Add yogurt and wing sauce; beat 30 seconds longer.
  3. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with 2 tablespoons reserved blue cheese and green onions. Drizzle with additional wing sauce, if desired.
  4. For the heated version, follow steps 1 & 2, transfer to a greased casserole dish, and cook in a preheated 350° oven for approximately 35 minutes or until hot. Stir, then top with the reserved blue cheese and green onions.
  5. Serve with celery sticks, carrot sticks, cauliflower, broccoli, tortilla chips, or chicken strips.

Yields 16 servings

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Guiltless Blue Cheese Dip/Dressing


Healthy Blue Cheese Dressing

With summer quickly approaching, I’m doing my best to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor. I’ve been marinating chicken wings (yes, I’m baking them), and decided I wanted a blue cheese dip to accompany them this time, but know that packs a punch with fat and calories, so was on the hunt for a lighter recipe. I found quite a few using non-fat Greek yogurt, and went with the one I wanted to try, making a couple of modifications. I love that this is about half the calories of your traditional blue cheese dressing and the only fat comes from the blue cheese/gorgonzola. Blue cheese lovers rejoice!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • Juice of 1/4 small lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • Pinch onion powder
  • Drizzle of honey or agave

Directions

  1. Combine blue cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Worcestershire and vinegar in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add all seasonings and a drizzle of agave or honey and stir well with a fork.
  3. Serve with chicken wings, your favorite salad, veggies, etc.

The thickness of the dressing will vary depending on the brand of Greek yogurt you use. If necessary, add water (one tablespoon at a time) and stir until dressing reaches desired consistency.

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Queso Blanco Dip


When I lived in Atlanta, I used to frequent a restaurant called La Fonda, that served a lick-the-bowl-clean queso dip which honestly, is one of the main reasons I would go there. I’ve yet to find a restaurant here in LA that comes remotely close, so I decided to try to duplicate it at home. Since it’s been about ten years since I’ve had that incredible dip, it’s hard for me to compare, but I can tell you this one is truly yummy!

Queso Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. White American cheese, cubed or broken into pieces (can be found behind the deli counter at most grocery stores)
  • 2 tbsp. diced green chiles
  • 1 pickled jalapeño, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. pickled jalapeño juice
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Pinch of ground cumin, optional

Directions

  1. Toss all ingredients into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes, stirring every minute. This will start out watery, but will form into a nice, runny dip. Be careful… the bowl will get hot.
  2. Serve immediately with chips.

Note: Microwave ovens vary, so this may take less or more than four minutes – mine took a little over three. 

Tip: The dip will thicken as it cools, so if you want to maintain the thinner consistency, keep it warm in a small crock pot on low.

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Ranch Dip/Dressing


Being from Upstate New York, I grew up consuming a LOT of Buffalo wings, which were normally served with blue cheese dressing on the side. Flash forward many years… and now, when I do eat wings, I usually dip them in Ranch. However, I don’t keep Ranch dressing in my fridge, so decided to make my own the other day since I recently made some delicious drumettes. I’m no Ranch dressing connoisseur, but I think this easy recipe is incredibly tasty!

The consistency of this is more of a dip, so if you desire it thinner to use on a salad, eliminate the sour cream.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 1/8 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. dried chives
  • 1/4 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • Generous pinch of seasoned salt
  • Generous pinch of ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine mayo & buttermilk in a bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and whisk well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

* Tip: If you’re a blue cheese person, simply add 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire to the recipe and some gorgonzola, and voila… blue cheese dressing!

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Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce


Here’s a healthier version of the traditional blue cheese dressing/dip to accompany my healthy chicken wings, or use in your salad.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup light or fat-free small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fat-free/skim milk
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. crumbled blue cheese

Directions

  • Place cottage cheese, vinegar, milk, white pepper, garlic and half of the blue cheese in a blender or food processor.
  • Cover and blend on low speed until smooth & creamy.
  • Spoon into serving dish and stir in remaining blue cheese.
  • Cover and refrigerate until serving.

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Spinach & Artichoke Dip (similar to Houston’s)


If you have ever been to Houston’s restaurant, then I’m sure you’ll agree with me that their signature spinach and artichoke dip is beyond delicious! I’ve been making a similar dish for years, and it’s always what I bring to parties or a dinner at someone’s house. Needless to say, it’s devoured in record time and I’m always asked for the recipe. Truth to be told, I actually have two, and have served them both. At some point, I will have to make the two at the same time and have my friends vote on which one they think is the winner, although I think this one will come out on top. I must warn you that this is not a low-calorie appetizer, but it is sure to please!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 tbsp minced onion
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup fresh-grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 (10 oz.) boxes frozen chopped spinach – thawed, squeezed dry
  • 12 oz. jar artichoke hearts in water (not oil) – drained, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in butter until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly whisk in cream & broth, and continue cooking until boiling.
  4. Once boiling, stir in Romano, lemon juice, hot sauce, and salt; stir until cheese has melted.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir sour cream into pan, then fold in dry spinach and artichoke hearts.
  7. Fold the mixture into a microwave-safe serving dish, and sprinkle cheddar evenly over top.
  8. At this point, the dip can be refrigerated until ready to serve, if desired.
  9. Microwave dip on 50% power just until cheese has melted.

Serve hot with tortilla chips for dipping, and sour cream and salsa.

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