Goat Milk Yogurt Caprese Salad

Love a good caprese, but mozzarella got you down? Simply layer goat milk yogurt in between each slice of tomato for a creamy (but not overpowering) substitute. Finish with olive oil, fresh basil and salt & pepper to taste.

Going, Going, Gone Goat Cheese Bean Dip

There is a highly addictive bean dip that for years permeated many a holiday party and Super Bowl. Then it took a leave of absence as two primary ingredients posed a bit of a problem: cream cheese and sour cream.

For the big game yesterday, I gave it a goat milk makeover and it was a huge hit. To hear previously restricted party-goers give themselves permission to dig in and enthusiastically go back for seconds, made me so happy. There’s no reason we can’t all enjoy traditionally cream-based party dips!

So without further ado, here’s how to make “Going, Going, Gone Goat Cheese Bean Dip” for your next party:

Blend the following in a bowl or food processor:

1 can Frito Lays Bean Dip (available in the chip aisle)
8 oz goat milk yogurt (replaces sour cream in the original)
8 oz goat cheese (replaces cream cheese in the original)
Half a packet or 3 tbsp taco seasoning
Half a bunch of green onions, chopped

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Cover with Mexican blend shredded cheese (I used a cheddar blend, which is naturally lactose free but shredded goat cheese could work too). Sliced olives can also top the cheese, if you prefer.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with chips and watch as it makes a disappearing act.

What about Kabob?

Spring weather + BBQ = kabobs for all seasons. This weekend started out sunny, making it the ideal climate for BBQ and coincidentally we had two such invitations from friends. I thought I’d pass along their savvy skewer ideas…

My brother-in-law Tim and sister-in-law Laura christened their newly purchased grill with a rainbow of kabob ingredients: steak, chicken, pineapple, red onions and bell peppers. Delicious!

Next up, my friend Monica assembled a very impressive feast which included an appetizer kabob: fresh green grapes, mozzarella, and prosciutto. No grilling necessary, but equally attractive and tasty.

I look forward to sharing more BBQ ideas when summer officially kicks off. For now, we get to enjoy “spring showers” (and/or downpours).

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Basic Guac

Avocados + tomatoes + salt + cumin. Done. I’ve never made guacamole before (shocking as a Californian native, I realize). So the other night I decided to improvise with two ripe avocados. Fortunately after working in food PR early in my career, I knew exactly how to cut, seed and scoop avocados. After mashing the contents, I added freshly diced tomatoes, a pinch of cumin and sea salt to taste. David upped the salt after a taste test, which definitely helped. We had it with delicious chips from a nearby Mexican foods store. Guac for two.

Ready for the game?! Tomorrow I tackle gumbo..

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Super Bowl Shuffle

Spinach artichoke dip + chicken apple sausage = faster than the halftime show. Every year, I’m more interested in the food served on Super Bowl Sunday than the game. So this afternoon I tested out a couple of apps that would be perfect for the big game, or any party really:

  • Spinach artichoke dip – Adapted from Everyday Food, I used more spinach than artichoke, so it produced a bright green color. Much healthier than the store bought version, it’s still big on flavor. (Note: I didn’t have scallions, so I doubled the garlic instead.)
  • Homemade “chips” – Slice 1-2 tortillas into chip sized shapes and place in a pyrex dish; drizzle lightly with olive oil and fresh parmesan; mix to coat. Broil until crisp and golden brown (10 minutes or so). Place on a paper towel to cool slightly.
  • Chicken apple sausage – I chose Bruce Aidell’s, but any brand is fine. Slice into 1/2-inch pieces before placing in the same pyrex dish. Broil until cooked through (10-12 minutes). Serve with forks or toothpicks.

The whole process took less than a half hour. Touchdown!

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Holiday Indulgence

Crab meat + aioli + toast + muenster = decadent appetizer. I had to get this one in before David and I get healthy for the New Year! On Christmas Eve my mom had us try a super indulgent appetizer that’s rich on taste, but pretty lean on prep time.

Starting with King Crab legs, separate and rinse the crab meat. Then, mix the meat in a bowl with a small jar’s worth (approx. half a cup) of aoli. Place slices of sourdough or french bread on a cookie sheet, so that each piece is small enough for cocktail napkins (cut into smaller pieces, if necessary). Spread the meat mixture evenly on each piece of bread, then place a slice of muenster or havarti cheese on top of the meat. Broil in the oven until bubbly and golden. (Check to make sure the bread and meat are warmed through – and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.)

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