Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label appetizer. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger Tomato Jam Dip

Hot, hearty, cheesy, beefy--I've unpacked the adjectives for this dip, but the name pretty much says it all. It's a bacon cheeseburger dip using tomato jam to provide some bold summery flavor in winter.

Why is it that there's a big eating event in the dead of winter? Sure, sure, Thanksgiving is generally after a frost, but most of the Thanksgiving vegetables lend themselves to long storing or freezing. I'm talking about walking into 3 different grocery stores in 2 days [yes, I get around] and being assaulted with goal posts surrounded by mounds of fresh tomatoes and peppers and avocados. That ain't right.

Fresh tomatoes, everywhere on the mainland US that I've lived, don't taste very good in the dead of winter. It's almost criminal to tantalize shoppers with the prospect of fresh vegetables when the flavor doesn't back up the promise.  I turn to preserved tomatoes (those that I've canned, slow roasted and frozen, or jammed) for my winter time tomato flavor. I'll happily buy a jar of salsa [or crack open a jar of strawberry salsa] but make fresh tomato salsa from the store stuff to eat during the game? Not happening. Not now. I will GORGE myself on fresh tomatoes from July-ish through October-ish, but then I put up as much as possible so that I can enjoy these summer flavors in winter.

Here's another way I use my preserves.

If you're watching the game in shorts and a t-shirt, this recipe may not apply to you. While I like my room temperature snacks, our TV is in the basement along with the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve and I need something to keep me warm while watching.
Sure, sure, having 2 to 3 dogs piled on my lap [occasionally tap dancing on my hard cider-filled bladder] does provide an extra 120 pound layer of insulation. However, it also prevents me from getting up to pee get refills of this savory dip. I suppose that's a form of portion control. You can see a quick pic of us on my FB page.

I made this dip last year* after being inspired by the Bacon Double Cheese Burger Dip at Closet Cooking. I thought that using some tomato jam (from Marisa's recipe at Food In Jars) would provide a bit of bold spicy sweetness to play off of the bacon, so I got busy with some of the cow that lives in my freezer.  This recipe works both as a dip for a sturdy tortilla chip and a filling for a slider bun (those pictures did not turn out as well though).

For other recipes using ground beef, please see my Ground Beef Recipe Round Up, 106 recipes from a whole host of food bloggers covering a variety of eating styles and categories [though there are no desserts using ground beef in this round up. that's icky to me]. Need a hot vegetarian dip? Try my Baked Artichoke and Arugula Dip instead.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Baked Artichoke and Arugula Dip

This recipe combines farm share arugula with artichoke hearts and loads of cheese in a baked vegetable appetizer.

I've been sharing a lot of game day appropriate appetizers lately since it's 'tis the season and all, but I've been feeling a bit . . . well, guilty . . . since I've been using a fair amount of meat in them.  I'm glad to share a meat free [and vegetarian if you select a vegan Worcestershire sauce] hot appetizer to join in the line up. 
This is a tasty way to eat up arugula from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, your garden, your folks' community garden plot, or the farmer's market. Usually when we get a big bag of arugula we're also getting a bag of salad mix, a cabbage, bok choy and perhaps another leafy green. I've talked about Greens Paralysis before, and it really comes down to this: if I can use arugula as a recipe component, not as a loose leafy green, I am more likely to use it up. If I wait for the perfect opportunity to add a handful of fresh arugula to a recipe . . . I end up tossing slimy forgotten leaves into the compost bin.
One easy way to get arugula processed into something yummy is Arugula Asiago Pesto (recipe here--scroll down to the bottom). This freezes well and I use it like I use basil pesto (large volume 'empty the garden before frost' recipe here), though not the same as I use Fresh Tomato Pesto (recipe here).

I came up with this appetizer because I had a late season bag of arugula and a desire for a hot appetizer. Using my food processor to combine everything made quick work of the vegetable preparation, and this was a warm and cheesy way to enjoy an early evening adult beverage.
I haven't tried it, but warming this dip in a little slow cooker should work fine, similar to my Slow Cooker Salmon Artichoke Dip. I'm just happy to turn the oven on while there is frost inside my window!
For other recipes using arugula, please see my Arugula Recipes Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index. For other Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, please see my Pinterest board of the same name (linked).

Friday, January 9, 2015

Roasted Sweet Potato Nachos

Layers of roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with salsa verde, black beans, salsa and even taco meat if you've got it--all tucked under a blanket of cheese and baked until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips for a tasty vegetable appetizer, another Awesome Veggie App {link to my Pinterest board}.

It's time for the Game!

In our family, that could mean Ticket To Ride, Sushi Go!, Qwirkle, Timeline or our newest find, Black Fleet (all game links are Amazon affiliate links). Several years ago, after repeated failures attempts we became a family who plays games together.
We don't play Candyland or Monopoly. To be honest, I never found those games particularly enjoyable and thought I just wasn't the type of person who liked to play games. I was wrong. It wasn't me--it was the games we had. If you'd like to have a blast playing games together, read on. If not, jump down to the nachos.

How did we become a game-playing family? My spouse. His engineer brain took on the task after my efforts failed, and he has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Over the holidays we had 12 people around the table, 3 generations, ages 14-86, laughing to the point of bladder control issues while playing Telestrations.
Telestrations is a combo of Telephone and Pictionary. Each person gets a drawing pad and a list of words. You read a word, draw a picture to describe the word, then pass your pad to the next person who writes a word based on your drawing. That person passes it to the next, who draws a picture based on the word they see, and so on. We bought 2 games so we'd have enough drawing pads for everyone--it's great for large group.

The Board Game Family is the blog where my spouse discovered our first successful games. Check them out here. Once you know the style of game that you like to play, you can find new ones yourself. We've had great success with Spiel des Jahres winners, and now enjoy cooperative as well as competitive games each week. It's great fun--yes I'm saying this about sitting around the dining room table playing games with my teens--and good for our mental and emotional health as well.

We don't feed our games, so the table gets cleared off, hands washed, and food put away before the games come out. If you're interested in another sort of game--say, you wanna watch football while eating these nachos--be my guest. They're certainly yummy and would work for that sort of game too.

For other recipes using sweet potatoes, please see my Sweet Potato Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index for this blog.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Teriyaki Roasted Mushrooms

Teriyaki sauce tossed with roasted mushrooms for an easy to fix savory appetizer.

It's been over a week since our Fall Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share ended. One moment I'm blogging my Thanksgiving After Action Report, the next moment I'm cleaning up from Robert Barker's latest escapade [he chewed a hole in my nukable neck wrap and I vacuumed rice & flax seed from the living room rug. Now there are piles of rice & flax seed all around the yard]. You can read about Robert's story--and get a dog food recipe--here. The end of the Fall CSA means two things:  time for mushrooms and time to squeeze in all my end-of-year posts before I take a holiday break.
No, it doesn't mean I'll stop blogging about what we're eating from the farm share. Although we only get fresh foods from the farm for about 6 months of the year, to paraphrase the words of my birthday t-shirt, "We eat local because I CAN" (seriously cute shirts, no affiliation to disclose). The point is that I've been freezing and canning and filling up the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve like a boss an ant all Fall, and after I take a couple of weeks off to host my family-of-origin (flung from the far corners of the globe to Southwestern Ohio for the holidays) I'll be back on it with seasonal CSA-inspired recipes, ways to use local foods, and the occasional indulgence thrice weekly in 2015.
Mushrooms and end of year posts . . . there's a connection. We don't get mushrooms in the farm share, though if I'm lucky I can score an occasional King Oyster mushroom at the farmer's market--so I like to make mushroom treats for my spouse and I while I'm not staring at overwhelming piles of mustard greens. I'm also participating in Holiday Baking Week next week, sharing five sweet holiday recipes [though predominantly getting my ethnic on] with giveaways for you folks.

That means I need to get my savory and New Year's recipes up now, like this little effort-big taste vegetable appetizer, one of my Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks (link to my Pinterest board). My spouse and I consider a skillet of mushrooms a mini-date--we're easy to please--and I've shared several recipes. You can find more mushroom recipes in my Mushroom Recipe Collection, part of my Visual Recipe Index.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sweet & Sour Ham Balls & Upcycling Food

Ham and ground beef form the base of these meatballs, baked in a sweet and sour sauce. Great as an appetizer or over rice. Read on for how I upcycle one holiday ham into 2 new dishes.

As my brain kicks over into Holiday Mode [doubtless spurred by the failures--shown on my FB page--when I branch out in a new cookie direction despite having a baking deadline plus production quota for the Airmen's Cookie Drive] I'm uncovering a tendency to value traditional flavors over the latest food fad. [Not that I'm up on food fads--I'm utterly behind the times in food and fashion both.] During the holidays it seems, more than usual, I need to make each kitchen session count. That's where the second half of the post title, Upcycling Food, comes into play.

Making a beloved Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole--layering mashed potatoes, stuffing/dressing, turkey and gravy into one yummy dish--is not upcycling. I'm not making something entirely different with the leftovers, I'm just repackaging the same goodness in a different container. While I love that casserole, it's not the concept I wish to expound upon.  I want to talk about upcycling--making something entirely new out of previously used materials.

When we moved in the back yard was partially fenced. We knew we'd be getting a dog [though we didn't know we'd get two more, then lose one, then get another--nor did we know that I'd start a blog and chronicle our pet population with pizza recipes] so we planned to have the partial fence removed and a new fence put in to completely enclose the yard. My clever spouse took a look at the still perfectly useful cedar fence and suggested he use it to make our raised beds.  As you can see through my little collage, it worked.  He upcycled the fence boards into raised beds which we filled with dirt, manure, leaves, and more manure. Then I grew food. It always comes back to the food with me.

This recipe is from my grandma (Mrs Harry Olsen of Fort Frances, Ontario) who was given it by Kathleen Smith (Mrs George C.B. Smith). When my mom wrote in the notes that it was given to my grandma 'years ago' we're talking a long time ago! This recipe has been made in our family since when, Mom?
These ham balls use a pound of cooked ham--if you serve ham at a holiday meal, you can serve ham balls as an appetizer at a holiday party, then serve Ham Ball & Black Eyed Pea Chirashi Rice for New Year's good luck.  That's 3 different meals out of one ham, that's upcycling, and that's almost all I've got to say about that.*

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Greek-Seasoned Acorn Squash and Tahini Dip

A Greek spice blend combined with roasted acorn squash and sesame tahini paste for an awesome vegetable appetizer (link to my Pinterest board of Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks). Great with vegetables or crackers.

Local. Buy Local. Eat Local. We've all heard these slogans. Most of us attempt to increase the percentage of local businesses we support and increase the amount of local food we eat. Choosing to shop at a local business hurts . . . well, perhaps Amazon? . . . but keeps your money in your local economy.
Am I saying I shop and eat exclusively locally? Heck no. I live in Ohio and have this thing for bananas and avocados, after all. But the more I look around the more I find local businesses worth supporting.

The Greek seasoning I used in this dip is from a local business, Spice Paradise (link to the FB page). The owner creates her own spice blends as well as selling spices, cookies, soups, and other prepared foods. I've enjoyed several of her soups at fundraisers and this gal knows her spices. She even made a custom bagel spice blend for me, a 'nearly everything' blend for my Everything Bagel Focaccia [my spouse does not eat poppy seeds].

Look around your area--see if there's a local business you can support.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sausage Cheese Apple Balls

A blend of Italian and breakfast sausages with cheese and apple in a bite-size appetizer.

With Fall comes an increase in my kids' busy schedules. Marching band, sled hockey and sewing all happen in the evenings and that means sometimes dinner is actually Substantial Afternoon Snack. A snack like this, with some apple slices, veggies and hummus, and a glass of milk or cider is enough for my kids to fuel up and power through the rest of a long day.

When I set a goal of increasing my vegetable appetizer recipes on the blog at the beginning of this year, I deliberately concentrated on appetizers that don't use meat. Participating in #AppetizerWeek added a bunch to get the ball rolling [goodness, pun was not initially intended but I'm going with it] and I've added some each month. I'm going to broaden this list to include some meat-containing appetizers, starting with these Sausage Cheese Apple Balls.

I made these first while preparing to host a bunch of fellow military spouses, and I was ridiculously distracted in the preparation.  I'm so grateful that Joyce arrived, said 'can I do anything to help?' and took over the baking that night. Because the recipe makes a ton, I froze half of the dough. My son baked them later for a snack and I took some photos. Well, those photos fell into the swamp didn't turn out, so I made up another batch and tweaked it a bit. I now prefer a blend of breakfast and Italian sausage for our snacks.

Just like reading the same words over and over can improve fluency, preparing the same recipes over and over can help with cooking skills. My son is learning to cook by mastering one recipe at a time. Since he loves the classic Bisquik Sausage Cheese Balls it was easy to get him interested in making them again, with a twist. As Lydia commented on my Cheddar Apple Soaked Multigrain Muffins, apple pie and cheddar cheese go very well together, so I figured adding grated apple would work in these appetizers.

This recipe is so simple to throw together, even a teen can make it!

For more recipes using apples, please see my Apple Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For more appetizer ideas, please see my Pinterest boards. Want to know how to use this blog? Click here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Beef Tongue Nachos

Wait wait! Don't run away so quickly after reading the title. The picture caught your eye, right? Have an open mind! Try something new! Hear me out. You might like it.

One cook's trash is another cook's treasure. It fascinates me that, across the world, certain foods are perceived as desirable in some ages or areas and seen as unwanted in other times or places.
  • Wheat bread was seen as a peasant food in earlier times, and white bread was the bread of well-to-do folks.
  • Yellow cheese (from pastured cows) is more desirable on pizzas in Asia, whereas white cheese is the desired pizza cheese in the US. The source of this fact is a fascinating article I recently read. You can find it here. My spouse also backs up the idea that pizza cheese in Korea was just different than what he'd been used to [before my pizzas, that is]. Now anything goes.

Beef tongue evokes strong reactions. Depending on experience folks either love it because they've tried it or cringe because it looks like, well, a tongue. In keeping with my philosophy that if you choose to eat beef, you might as well use all of the cuts offered, I am firmly in the "love it" camp. My kids are still cringing because beef tongue looks different than all the ground beef in tidy packages in the freezer (link to my Ground Beef Recipe Round Up).

Does beef tongue skeeve you out?  How 'bout Mashed Potato Casserole, that can be made the day before, and cooked in a slow cooker or baked in the oven? My recipe for Make Ahead Irish Mashed Potato Casserole is in a Featured Bloggers Favorites contest over at SavingStar. Voting enters you in a chance to win a $50 American Express Gift Card, and the winning blogger also receives a gift card. You can find the contest here.
The whole family pitching in to make beef tongue enchiladas. The recipe is coming.
Each time I prepare tongue, the flavor overcomes more of the cringe factor. By our next cow it should be quite commonplace. With this tongue we had enchiladas, sliders, and nachos because there was plenty of meat and I felt like experimenting. This recipe gets shared first because I love the colorful photos and I could go for a plate of nachos right about now.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Color Vegetable Appetizers {Sriracha Pumpkin Hummus}

Pumpkin, carrots, beets, tomatoes, tomatoes, olives and artichokes form a fall color palette in this array of appetizers, including Pumpkin Sriracha Hummus.  Combine the dips for a layered autumn vegetable appetizer--another Awesome Veggie App and Snack (link to my Pinterest board).

If you're rolling your eyes at the thought of a pumpkin recipe already, I'd like to share with you a photo of me that my daughter took on August 6th.

This 42 pound pumpkin was the first volunteer (meaning, I didn't plant it--it came from the compost) I harvested this year. I've since harvested another large one and 5 little ones, including the one shown in the ingredients photo below. I've got 2 more large ones on the vine.  So even if you're not ready for pumpkins, the pumpkins are ready for you. Props to me for exhibiting the restraint to wait until after the autumnal equinox before posting.

Even though it is easy to whip up and awesome vegetable appetizer in the summertime, such as this fattoush dip with kale hummus or this layered summer vegetable appetizer, the slight extra work involved in the Fall (i.e., turning on the oven to roast autumn vegetables) is not unwelcome.  In fact, though I'm happy to warm the kitchen up on a cool fall day, some of these Fall recipes involve nothing more than a food processor or blender. We're now celebrating Fall (and looking forward to more Fall vegetables in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, so here's a suggestion (or 3) of how to enjoy your produce.

Since the beets in my farm share are prolific (yet I still cannot get enough beet greens) I wanted to keep rockin' the beets [get it?  Rockin' the beets?] but I also wanted some nice fall colors to pair with the beets.  I whipped up some Orange-spiked Beet and Walnut spread and thawed a jar of Fresh Tomato Pesto. When I saw this incredibly easy pumpkin hummus over at Naptime Chef I decided to whip that up, add a teaspoon (or more) sriracha to half of it for a bit of a kick, and have the assortment of dips shown above. That pumpkin hummus tasted so good that I grabbed one of my pie pumpkins and did it again from scratch (my Sriracha Pumpkin Hummus recipe is below).

Layer all of these flavors on a platter, add some preserved and fresh vegetables for different textures and flavors, and you've got yourself a feast for your eyes and your belly--and that of a male as well.
Now, this is not a comment on 'girl food' vs 'man food'. Far from it! More like an observation on changing perceptions or stereotypes of gender-related food choices. I participate in a photography group on base, and last week we were hanging our photos for display on the wall of the club. The theme was 'wild color' so I submitted the first photo of this post. An elderly veteran and his wife came in and were commenting about all our photos. They asked what was in that picture, and I told them. Then the gentleman commented "and your husband eats that"? "You bet", I told him. He loves a plate piled high with vegetables--though technically he was deployed when I fixed up the plate for me and snapped the photo. His plate would be more piled and less photogenic since 'it's all going to the same place'.
Sriracha Pumpkin Hummus topped with Fresh Tomato Pesto, Orange-spiked Beet and Walnut Spread, olives, and artichoke hearts--a veritable feast.
Now matter how your pumpkin arrives--in a can from the store, or rising like a Phoenix out of your compost, you can enjoy this dip--and layer it with other ones to enjoy Fall colors in your meal.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fast & Easy Bean & Hatch Chile Dip

Three ingredients and a minute of preparation results in a spicy yet creamy Hatch Chile and Refried Bean dip. This is nice paired with chips and salsa.

Fast & Easy Bean & Hatch Chile Dip | Farm Fresh Feasts

Last minute three ingredient appetizer recipes are NOT something I'm good at. I usually roast a vegetable (like this link to a sriracha butternut squash hummus) from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share prior to processing it into a dip or layering it with other vegetables and cheese (like this link to avocado feta hummus) before serving. It's not terribly difficult, but it's got some steps.

Not this time. Not this dip.

Fast & Easy Bean & Hatch Chile Dip | Farm Fresh FeastsFast & Easy Bean & Hatch Chile Dip | Farm Fresh Feasts
I'd just whipped up a batch of fresh salsa using some roasted Hatch chiles and the pile of paste tomatoes from the garden [it worked fine, and was less runny than I'd expect for a fresh cantina style salsa--no recipe though] and I wanted a creamy counterpart. Looking around for inspiration, I grabbed a can of refried beans from the pantry [here's Kalyn's round up of slow cooker refried bean recipes for making your own], some cream cheese, and a couple more Hatch chiles.

Fast & Easy Bean & Hatch Chile Dip | Farm Fresh Feasts
I get freshly roasted Hatch chiles from the grocery store a mile down the road. Yes, I MapMyWalk'd it so I can declare the mileage on my half marathon training log. Simon is happy for the walk, and I love the flavor. I freeze individual chiles for use year round. If you don't have a source near you, a can of roasted green chiles would be a good substitute.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Eggplant Walnut Dip

Roasted eggplant blended with toasted walnuts and tahini for a savory summer appetizer

Eggplant Walnut Dip from Farm Fresh Feasts

After all the recipe testing and re-testing for HashtagIceCreamWeek I needed to eat piles and piles of vegetables. I say needed both because my body craved them and because the vegetables from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share were piling up all over the kitchen!

I decided to tweak a recipe from last summer: Layered Summer Vegetable Appetizer. In that recipe, I'd kinda glossed over the whole eggplant base in favor of the method [to my madness]. Today I want to shine a spotlight on eggplant dip.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grilled Mushrooms (Full Metal Basket)

Mushrooms simply seasoned then grilled--followed by your choice of seasonings to jazz up the flavor. Simple, easy, keeps the house cool in summertime.

Grilled Mushrooms (Full Metal Basket) | Farm Fresh Feasts

I'm very fortunate that some committed folks made a weekly Farmer's Market happen in my little city.  I can't say I used it much last year--having my hands full with the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share and all--but I did enjoy the visits I made.  Since my spouse hadn't seen it, we did a recce [that would be a reconnaissance mission, it's pronounced wreck-ee if you'd like to co-opt this jargon for yourself] the other week to check out the new and improved sophomore year offerings.  I picked up some eggs, some blueberries, and then I spied the man selling mushrooms.  Woot!  Now I know where I can go for local mushrooms! Once I get into the groove with the farm share I will partake, because we love our 'shrooms.

Mushrooms = at home date night to me. What can I say? I'm easy to please. My spouse and I both love mushrooms and our kids don't, so anytime I'm making a mushroom side dish or appetizer it's guaranteed to be a date night treat.

Grilled Mushrooms (Full Metal Basket) | Farm Fresh Feasts

So far on this blog I've shared mushroom appetizers that are sautéed [my Skillet Mushroom Dip for Two] and roasted [my Soy Sriracha Roasted Mushrooms].  Since the kitchen is heating up by virtue to the east-facing 86 yr old windows [and without my turning on the stove or oven] I figured it was time to get my grill on.  To do that, I bring out my new BGF (Best Grill Friend)--the Full Metal Basket.  I'm purposely not doing an Amazon affiliate link here because 1) the whole affiliate thing seems utterly pointless and 2) I don't know what brand this could be.

Grilled Mushrooms (Full Metal Basket) | Farm Fresh Feasts

This new-to-me basket is large--9 inches square at the base, flaring out as it rises up 3½ inch sides to an upper opening of a square foot. It's perfect for grilling vegetables such as peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, turnips, kohlrabi, beets and mushrooms. I can stir in it without everything flying out [if you've ever seen my stovetop you'd understand].  Since I picked it up at the thrift shop a few months ago I've used it each time we grill.  That's a darn useful tool!

Grilled Mushrooms (Full Metal Basket) | Farm Fresh Feasts

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Avocado Lemon Feta Yogurt Dip

An easy and versatile vegetable dip of creamy avocado, bright lemon, and salty feta in a yogurt base

Avocado Lemon Feta Yogurt Dip | Farm Fresh Feasts

 Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

One of my New Year's Resolutions, for the second year running, is to add more avocado to my life.  I love in it guacamole.  I love it filled with corn and black bean salsa.  I love it smashed with some salt, spread on toast, and eaten with an over easy egg.
I got that idea off a BBC show about astronomy and the SOFIA project where I saw some German astronomers--working on the Very Large Telescope--who who were being interviewed over breakfast high up in the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. One astronomer was smashing an avocado with his toast and egg.  Try it--it's delicious. 

Avocado is just delightful--and no, I'm not being paid to say it. It's a New Year's Resolution that I'm able to keep, which is the best kind of resolution.

Brighten up a mashed avocado with a splash of lemon, add the salty tang of feta cheese, make it even creamier with yogurt, and you've got yourself a real winner.

Avocado Lemon Feta Yogurt Dip | Farm Fresh Feasts

This is the first of two avocado dips I'm sharing this spring.  My second is Avocado Feta Hummus. Both use the delightful combination of avocado and feta, first brought to my attention with Maria's Avocado Feta Dip and cemented into my palate with my Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Tacos and Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken Dip.  I like to serve these dips piled with vegetables and sprinkled with additional feta cheese, and we scoop them up with carrot slices, celery sticks, fingers, or pita chips.  I stumbled across this concept last summer, making my supper out of a Layered Vegetable Appetizer, and refined it during January's #AppetizerWeek when I made a week's worth of vegetable appetizers with a talented group of food bloggers.  You can see all our creations on the #AppetizerWeek Pinterest board.

Not into avocado + feta? How about queso? You can find my Avocado Queso Dip here. 

We've had a string of sunny days, which gives me hope that this winter will come to a close.  Amazing how wonderful time spent in a sunbeam can feel.  I think our dogs have it right--follow the path of the sun from East-facing windows to West-facing windows over the course of the day.  [That's when they're not napping on the heat vents.] This dip makes me think that Spring is right around the corner which, looking at the calendar, it is.  Hooray!