Caramel Apple Dip 


It’s autumn in the north woods and I love everything about it! The leaves are spectacular. Leggings and boots are in effect. Warm soups and chilies are back on. Our family celebrates the season with an annual hay ride at my grandparents, complete with potluck dishes and a bonfire. Sometimes, we even throw in a shrimp boil for good measure.

My dear sister Amy is always finding yummy recipes to share at events and a few years ago, she brought this delicious Caramel Apple Dip to our hay ride. I’ve been craving it and decided I had to have it this past weekend.

It is the perfect dish to share at your next fall event! It’s also easy to make and contains 4 simple ingredients, plus your favorite apple for dipping. It reminds me of biting into a big caramel apple as a kid. (Such a treat!) But it has the added bonus of creamy goodness and my favorite Heath candy bar. (So. Much. Toffee. Goodness.) I love the combination of sweet and tart! I use Granny Smith apples but I encourage you to pair with your favorite. Enjoy!

Thanks to Crumbs and Chaos for the perfect fall treat!

Click here to find recipe: Caramel Apple Dip

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Simple Fish Dip

Okay, y’all. I’ve got something yummy to share. Last fall, I took a trip to see my dear friend Mo in Florida and was lucky enough to meet some new friends too! We ended up at a lovely little local spot called Nauti Nancy’s with live music and cocktails. It set the scene for a very relaxing Sunday. Of course, the menu included a wide variety of items that boasted of our proximity to the ocean. We started off with an appetizer of fish dip, which was raved about by the locals who were dining with us. It was such a simple dish and lately, back home in MN, I was craving the beloved appetizer. I improvised a little and just used tuna (Please don’t laugh. I know we have fish here in Minnesota too but I was taking the easy route.) So, what I am sharing with you is the idea of fish dip because I don’t really have an actual fancy fish dip recipe (yet) to share with you. But I do have the accompaniments and my improvisation which gives a delightful little remake of the fish dip I experienced in Florida.

Without further ado, here is the spread:

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The cracker is just the very basic soda cracker (saltine, if you will). Next, the meaty base consists of a package of white tuna mixed with a spoonful of mayo and some salt and pepper. You could easily improvise here with chicken too, in place of the tuna. The thing is that most of the flavor comes from the toppings so you don’t have to get too fancy with the base. After that, we have diced tomatoes, hot banana peppers, jalapeño peppers, and red (purple) onion.

Once assembled, our simple appetizer resembles a colorful array of flavors:

A delightful close up:

And don’t forget our lovely, little lady, Cholula (any hot sauce will do) to kick up the party to a whole new level. She likes being added right on top, if you dare.

This was my attempt to bring a wonderful vacation memory back to life. And you know what? It actually worked. My husband loved it too. It goes quite well with a cold beer (or two). Enjoy!

Spinach Dip

I’m pretty sure I have printed off or pinned a few recipes for Spinach/Artichoke dip or variations thereof but I have never actually made it. I order it at restaurants. I eat it whenever and wherever it is available. I do, in fact, love it. Which is why when I discovered a box of frozen spinach in the New Year Purge of my freezer, I had an epiphany. After all, it was New Year’s Day and holidays induce a certain desire for scrumptious appetizers – or for me more of an impending need. So, I dug into my Pinterest pins and found this one from Martha Stewart and decided to use it as my guideline.

After evaluating the required ingredients, I discovered that I had no bacon in the house so I was forced to forgo that savory addition. {insert sad face} I was also too lazy to cut up onion {it was, after all, a holiday!} and used some minced onion I had in my pantry instead. I also didn’t have regular cream cheese but a lovely brick of Neufchatel Cream Cheese, which I no-doubt purchased because it touted a “less fat” option.  {oh, the tricks I have to play with my mind to consider naughty things “healthy”!} I think this may have worked in my favor because the Neufchatel gave it a really lovely creamy texture. I also had these delicious flatbread crackers to accompany the dip. They joyfully deepened the flavor, which is always a good thing.  Martha’s Version looked a bit spinach heavy so I cut the spinach in half but kept about the same cream cheese/sour cream amounts.

Spinach Dip

Ingredients:

8 oz Neufchatel
¾ cup sour cream
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1-2 Tbsp minced onion
8 oz Parmesan
Splash of milk

Directions:

Melt the Neufchatel in a saucepan over low/medium heat with the sour cream and add milk to obtain a nice cream texture. Add about ½ the grated parmesan and the spinach.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper too. Transfer to a glass pie plate (or other small baking dish) and top with remaining parmesan. Bake for 14 minutes at 375 degrees and then broil it for 3 minutes.

Voila!

spinach dip

This with the flatbread crackers and a glass of vino? Perfection.

Happy New Year!