Dips aren’t just for the Superbowl, which is why I’m posting this today.
I’m a big fan of dips whether there’s football to watch or not. I mean, yes, it’s always better with football (especially college football), but whether or not you have a big game coming up or you just want a good snack that’s easy to put together, dips are always a good choice.
I love baked dips, but cold dips are even easier to put together. And they take less time.
And they don’t get to that weird not-hot-anymore-but-not-exactly-cold temperature that just makes it….gross. No need to worry about reheating this and setting it back out.
This is a combo of two my favorite things: cool, creamy greek yogurt and the flavors in chimichurri sauce. Lots of fresh herbs, spicy garlic, hot red pepper, and a pinch of sugar to tie it all together.
And you can’t overlook the chips. Even with the best dip, if you have flimsy chips that break as soon as you try to scoop some up, it’s not going to be good. You’ll have chip shards scattered in the dip and that always ends with people trying to scoop their broken chip pieces out with more chips or eventually just digging it out with a spoon. Never good.
So get good chips. Thick, crunchy chips with good flavor and texture by themselves.
For this dip (and a new hummus coming soon), I’m using my new favorites: Late July chips. They’re so crunchy and not flimsy at all! They stand up to this dip, hummus, and would probably make awesome nachos, too.
Always on the hunt for new dips to make? Me too. Here’s some favorites I’ve found lately – all yogurt based, and a lot with avocado!
Creamy Avocado Onion Dip
Cheesy Garlic Yogurt Dip
Creamy Avocado Dip
Spicy Southwestern Yogurt Dip Trio
Chimichurri Spiced Yogurt Dip
Who says creamy dips have to be full of fat? This mix is full of flavor thanks to the fresh herbs and chopped garlic.
- 2 cups plain greek yogurt
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup scallions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Spoon the yogurt into a medium bowl and add all the rest of the ingredients. Mix the herbs and spices into the yogurt until everything is combined.
- Eat immediately or place in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Sweets are a major part of our food pyramid.
Whether its cookies or cinnamon rolls or cakes, we go through sugar pretty quickly. Over the past year, I’ve had the chance to work with Dixie Crystals, making and updating some of their older recipes. It’s been fun to see what was popular and “the new thing” from 50 or 60 years ago – plus, it had me making some things I might never have made myself!
I think I’ve done about 20 recipes in total, and these were some of my favorites:
Each Peach Praline Cobbler
Cherry Cheesecake Sour Cream Waffles
Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese
Bavarian Potato Coffee Cake
Cream of Artichoke Soup
And now for the giveaway! Dixie Crystals is offering up a big prize pack for 2 lucky people! Each winner will get a case of Dixie Crystals sugar, a Bake It Forward tin, and a super cute apron.
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Giveaway is open to US residents.
It’s no secret that I love whole grains.
For a few years, Nick called all my dinners “berry food”….mostly because I had a 2 year long straight-up love affair with wheatberries. Once I found them, I just couldn’t stop!
I almost always use whole wheat flour when baking, and I love trying new whole grain salads, side dishes, and breakfasts.
Oats are main staple in my pantry – from everything to morning oatmeal, smoothies, quick risotto, and cookies. Bulgur is so easy to swap in for dishes that call for rice. Cornmeal makes a fantastic breading for chicken and perfect buttermilk cornbread. Millet is a great swap to use for spanish rice recipes – the flavor goes perfectly together!
From sweet to savory, breakfast to dinner, we’ve tried it all:
Steel Cut Oat and Tomato Stuffed Zucchini
Wheatberry Cranberry Salad
Strawberry Wheatberry Salad
Quinoa Raisin Maple Salad
Cherry Almond Chia Granola
No Bake Cocoa Cookies
Butternut Oat Risotto
When I first started cooking whole grains a few years ago, the brand I first found was Bob’s Red Mill. They have just about everything you could imagine, the quality is incredible, and I’m a sucker for cute packaging. If you haven’t fallen in love with whole grains like us, I’ve got something that might just push you over the edge.
And lucky for you, they’ve put together the ultimate whole grain prize pack for you!
The prize pack will include:
- Organic Tricolor Quinoa
- Whole Grain Millet
- Whole Grain Spelt
- Steel Cut Oats
- Scottish Oatmeal
- 10 Grain Cereal
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- Hard White Whole Wheat Flour
- $100 Bob’s Red Mill gift card
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This giveaway will be open until next Tuesday – good luck!
Bob’s Red Mill is providing the prize package for this giveaway. I was not compensated for this post – all opinions are my own.
Before I even tell you about this easy and crazy delicious breakfast, I have to apologize. The inspiration for this dish came from our trip to Montreal this fall, and I STILL haven’t done a recap! But I’m working on it, I promise. I have pictures from the trip in 3 different places and I keep forgetting where everything is. So….coming soon.
But until then, you’ll just have to settle for one of my favorite things that I got from our trip.
The first meal Nick and I had in Montreal was at a little restaurant called Olive et Gourmando, and I fell head-over-heels in love. Like….I wanted to set a cot in the corner and just live there.
The place was packed – definitely a good sign. We grabbed 2 seats at a bar, right in front of a 6-foot tall window opened to the streets, letting the breeze in through the potted rosemary and peppers in the window sill. As we sat and started to unwind from a long morning of traveling, we ordered sandwiches to share – the Cubain (oh.my.goodness. best sandwich ever) and a Smoked Trout Salad sandwich, plus a local beer for him and glass of wine for me.
Halfway thru lunch, a lady sat down beside us, taking the last seat. We ended up talking for the rest of our lunch and she gave us some fantastic restaurant suggestions. But her strongest suggestion was simply to come back to Olive et Gourmando for breakfast the next morning, because “breakfast here,” she said, “is even better than lunch.”
So we did. And it was.
It is freezing here. And I know some of you are having even colder weather right now.
To help us get through winter together, I’ve got some great giveaways lined up for the next couple of weeks! This is partly because I’m not a fan of winter and partly because I will hit 5 years of blogging in February and I want to celebrate by giving away some of my favorite things!
First up – Stonyfield Yogurt! Stonyfield has always been my favorite, and even though I can’t always get the new flavors in my little town, we always have it in the fridge. Always.
It goes into smoothies, overnights oats, and is tossed with fruit and nuts for snacks.
I stir it into pound cake batter and mix it with cream cheese to fill chocolate cups. Stonyfield yogurt (especially their plain greek) is definitely a staple in our house, and I want to share the goodness with you!
To help spread the goodness, the folks at Stonyfield have put together this awesome giftbasket worth $100 for one of you – talk about a pick-me-up in the middle of winter!
This gift basket includes:
- Stonyfield tote bag
- This Lunch Rocks recycled lunchbox
- Food Inc. DVD
- On the Go Alternative Paper Towel
- Preserve Measuring Cups
- Life is Better with Stonyfield mug
- Stirring It Up – Gary Hirshberg book
- Preserve Sandwich container
- Stonyfield chapstick
- $50 in Stonyfield coupons
Good luck to everyone! Contest open to continental US residents. And keep your eyes open for some more giveaways coming soon!
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I’m also working with Stonyfield this year and can’t wait to share some new recipes with you guys.
Out of everything we grew in the garden this year, I think I’m most proud of the butternut squash. It was the first time we’d ever tried growing our own and somehow, they turned out 100 times better than anything I could buy in the store.
Even compared to the best I’ve had in the past, these were sweeter and an almost annoyingly-neon orange inside. There’s still 1-2 on the porch, waiting to be used, plus a few in the freezer that I roasted and put away for quick weeknight meals, like this one.
A few weeks ago, Crown Maple offered up a challenge to take a sweet recipe and give it a savory twist using their maple syrup. First of all – sweet and savory in one dish? Sign me up. And having an excuse to do all this with some amazing maple syrup? It was a no brainer.
Most butternut squash casserole-type dishes I’ve had err on the sweet side with nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, etc. And with the sweetness from the maple syrup, I knew I needed everything else smoky, savory, and salty to really make this dish shine.
So I put some of my favorite things together for the topping on this: smoked paprika. bacon. onions. fresh rosemary.
And, of course, some Crown Maple Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup to bring in some richness.
Thanks to the butternut squash I had squirreled away in the freezer this summer, this dish came together in about 30 minutes! Perfect for an easy weeknight meal (especially if you have frozen squash) and for holiday dinners.
We had this with some green beans and bone-in pork chops the other night….and it may be one of my favorite fall meals that I’ve made so far. But you can never go wrong with bacon + maple syrup.
This recipe is entered in the Crown Maple #TaptoTable contest – I can’t wait to see the other dishes! Make sure to check out Crown Maple on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too. I love their syrup (and the cute packaging!).
Baked Butternut Squash with Bacon, Onion, Maple, and Rosemary
This has almost all of my favorite things: creamy butternut squash, salty bacon, sweet maple syrup and onions, and fresh rosemary. I microwaved my butternut squash to cut down on the prep time, making this dish easy to whip up on busy weeknight.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 2 Tbsp Crown Maple Dark Amber syrup
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- Slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and either bake the squash (at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes) or microwave the squash (in dish with 1” of water) until it is cooked through and tender.
- Mix the cooked squash with the salt, smoked paprika, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Spoon the mixture into a greased baking dish and smooth out into an even layer.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the bacon until crisp, the remove from the pan. Add the onion and scallions to the pan with the bacon fat and cook over medium until tender. Crumble the bacon and add back to the onion mixture. Stir in the maple syrup and rosemary.
- Spoon the bacon mixture over the top of the squash. Bake the dish at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until warmed through.