Cook's Corner: Dip ideas for your big party

Published 11:11 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2006

By Staff
If you read this column regularly, you probably know how much I like to try new things. I hope that you do too. Since I'm fulfilling a promise to pass along some dip and spread recipes this week, I've decided to throw in some you may never have tried before.
I love to try new recipes out on my friends, especially the unsuspecting ones.
Although most folks enjoy the typical onion dips, spinach dips, cheesy dips, and other such common items, sometimes a new twist is a welcome treat.
Some of today's recipes I have given a try and found most to be well accepted among my family and friends. The first recipe was one that I tried simply because my husband could live on Buffalo wings. This was something a little out of the ordinary, which filled my need for a little something different while it filled the need to satisfy my husbands craving.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
Three-fourths cup red, hot pepper sauce
1 and one-half cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
1 box chicken-flavored crackers
Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.
If you don't like quite so much hot sauce, you could cut it down to suit your taste. I actually used one-half cup of Louisiana hot sauce and one-quarter cup habanera sauce. Really was kickin' but we loved it.
This next recipe is sure to be a hit with the kids. Just tell them the olives and pepper are for decoration and you'll be fine.
Hot Pizza Dip
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
One-half tsp. dried oregano
One-half tsp. dried parsley
One-quarter tsp. dried basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce
2 tbsp. chopped green bell pepper
2 ounces pepperoni sausage, chopped
2 tbsp. sliced black olives
In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, oregano, parsley, and basil. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate, or a shallow microwave-safe dish.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese on top of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the pizza sauce over all. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with green pepper, pepperoni and olive slices. Cover, and microwave for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
I'm not sure why this next recipe has the name that it has, but it is a good one.
Alabama Sin
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
8 ounces diced cooked ham
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (1 pound) loaf round sourdough bread
Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, ham, onions and jalapeno peppers. Cut a circle out of the top of the bread, and remove the center leaving a 1-inch shell of bread. Fill bread with the cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the dip is heated through. Serve with crackers for a wonderful taste experience!
If you need something for the baguettes or pita chips you've decided to prepare, this next spread is wonderful. It's even pretty good on a chunk of pineapple.
Spirited Cheese Spread
One-half cup butter, softened
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. brand (or sherry or port wine)
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
In a food process, combine all ingredients and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate before serving to allow flavors to mingle. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Spread will keep for one week in the refrigerator or up to 3 weeks in the freezer.
This next recipe is for a dip that is good with fruit. It actually was a request from a co-worker who made it once, but for some reason has lost the recipe. I hope this is what she's looking for.
Fruit Dip
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
Three-fourths cup confectioners' sugar
One-eighth teaspoon lemon juice
In large bowl, blend cream cheese, marshmallow creme, sugar and lemon juice with electric mixer until smooth. (Cherry juice may be substituted for lemon juice in this recipe.)
I hope that some of these dip recipes will come in handy for you this holiday season. I'm looking forward to getting out my pretty serving dishes and helping out with the refreshments at the next party.
Be sure to check back here next week for some great last minute side dish recipes. I hope to pass along something you can prepare using what you have in the pantry.
Don't forget to send your ideas, tips and recipes. I'd love to hear from you and I promise to share your information with our readers, if you let me! Send all information to me at, or give me a call at 867-4832.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!

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