I am a pretty good cook and like playing around with recipes. I have adapted these recipes for you to enjoy.
Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip
9 cups broccoli florets
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 cups green beans, trimmed
2 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed
½ bunch curly kale, washed
2 cups cauliflower florets
9 cherry tomatoes
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
4 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1. To prepare crudité: Put a large pot of water on to boil. Set a large bowl of ice water by the stove. Blanch broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes in the boiling water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice bath to chill. Drain well. Blanch Brussels sprouts, green beans and snap peas in the same way.
2. To prepare dip: Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, shallot, dill, vinegar, garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer to a serving bowl; set it in the center of a large circular platter or decorative serving board.
3. Arrange kale around the bowl, with the frilly edges on the outside. Top with the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, snap peas and cauliflower. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.
To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Artichokes and Shrimp Dip
8 whole artichokes
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. rosemary
2 4½ oz. cans shrimp
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbs.. dijon mustard
2 tsp. tarragon
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ cup onion, minced
1. Wash and trim artichokes leaves. Cook artichokes in boiling water. About 1 inch deep. Add to the water lemon juice, salt, pepper, bay leaf, tarragon and rosemary. Cook for about 45 minutes or until leaves pull off easily.
2. To make shrimp sauce you add mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions and shrimp. Mix all ingredients well.
3. Place shrimp dip in ramekins and artichokes on one plate each. Makes nice appetizer or first course.
Spicy Avocado Hummus
4 ripe avocados
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
½ cup finely diced red onion
1 jalapeño, finely diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
¼ cup lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1. Combine avocados, chickpeas, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, oil and salt in a food processor. Puree, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth. Garnish with more cilantro, if desired.
To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Arugala Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1½ lbs. arugala
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
2 shallots, minced
¼ tsp. salt
1. In small bowl or blender mix together garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, shallots and salt.
2. In large bowl add in arugala and tomatoes. Pour over dressing and serve.
Blue Cheese Dip with Herbs
2 cups low-fat labneh (see Tip) or reduced-fat sour cream
1½ cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups crumbled blue cheese (8 ounces)
1. Combine labneh (or sour cream), mayonnaise, basil, chives, parsley, tarragon, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic powder and pepper in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in blue cheese.
Tip: To make 2 cups low-fat labneh, line a large fine-mesh sieve with four layers of cheesecloth. Set over a bowl deep enough to leave at least 3 inches between the bottom of the sieve and the bowl. Spoon in 4 cups low-fat plain yogurt. Refrigerate until the yogurt is quite thick and at least 1 cup of liquid has drained into the bowl, 12 to 24 hours. (Discard the liquid.)
To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped up
5 scallions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. butter
1 8 oz. whipped cream cheese
2 cups sour cream
1 cup muenster cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease small baking dish.
3. In medium bowl combine all ingredients.
4. Place in greased baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Serve with crackers
Salami Jalapeno Poppers
12-14 medium jalapenos, halved with seeds and veins removed
1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
6-7 slices Columbus Salami
1. Place the slices of salami on a lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until crispy.
2. Meanwhile, place the cream cheese and mozzarella in a small bowl and mix until well combined.
3. Fill the jalapeno halves with the cheese mixture.
4. Once the salami is crispy, pat the pieces dry and crumble into bite-sized pieces.
5. Top each jalapeno with a small amount of crumbled salami.
6. Place jalapenos on lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 28-20 minutes, or until cheese mixture turns golden brown.