It was at that point I said let’s call this shindig off while Manservant was anxiously turning off the water and trying to figure out how to turn it on again, without it pouring into his office. Let’s face it, Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is not a good time to be looking for a plumber and I didn’t want to have 9 people eating on not paper plates-and then not have water-our most valuable resource- to clean up with. Well, Manservant somehow managed to pull it off and now we have water and one more water related issue to add to our broken kitchen faucet and dead water heater incidents this year. They say things happen in threes and I’m sure hoping this is #3. In this case we did have our party and even though Manservant was in the shower when everyone arrived, we all quickly forgave him.
I managed to grill some lemon oregano chicken, serve it with some tzatziki sauce and grilled pita, make an eggplant gratin and a really good salad topped with hearts of palm, artichokes and roasted peppers. Dessert was a baked skillet cherry pie that I decided on after discovering cherries from 2015 still in the freezer. No one was the wiser! All of these were a hit but it was the appetizers that just didn’t seem to fly. I loved them, but I think everyone else was being somewhat polite. I kept to the theme and made a big mezze plate with sliced chorizo and cheese, some marinated white beans, some skordalia-a garlic Greek spread that I adore-and then I made (IMO) a really good hazelnut, allspice and blue cheese spread that I stuffed into celery. Other than that spread, everyone was just kind of ho hum on the appetizers. Let’s admit it. People like this:
I could have made my Mediterranean Layer Dip with hummus and tzatziki, but hummus has never been my fave! And it is so totally not my generation. I may like hummus, but I wasn’t raised on it. I was raised on Lipton’s onion soup dip and those plastic dip containers you buy at the grocery. And Perfect potato chips. I don’t even know if those are still around. They for sure aren’t in Colorado. Don’t ask me how I know. In any case we had some really good white beans and some great celery spread to munch on while we cleaned out Manservant’s office. We took out the drenched carpet pad, the old disgusting carpet and two desks and two bookshelves, four chairs and filing cabinets and currently are looking at a cement floor that we are considering staining. Just one more task to add to our growing list, but one thing’s for sure-at least we are still eating well! And hey! After all that moving and cleaning I’m sure our bodies can absorb some delectable cheese dip.
People love to eat calorie laden gooey cheese dips with potato chips and crackers. I know it, because I am one of those people. Had I served this dip it would have been gone in 10 minutes flat. I know this, because it has happened before. But I didn’t serve this dip. I made it for Manservant and myself and we have been taking bites of it all week long. It is good hot and it is also good cold. The spiciness of the black pepper seems to shine through more when it is cold. Now when I say cold I guess I mean room temperature and I also mean baked first. Much better to meld the flavors that way. Yes, this dip is filled with onions, but they are sweet onions and honestly if I didn’t tell you they were there, I’m not sure you’d know. One could also add drained green chilies or a chopped chipotle or even some grated cheddar to give this dip some extra flavor. This dip works as a template for all your favorite flavors. Add to it what you like best, but honestly it is perfection just as is. Make a big batch and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. Perfect for happy hour, you can just bake what you need and have more for the next one! It might take awhile to be happy in this house given the current state of affairs, but even I must admit that I sure wasn’t unhappy to see that carpet go!
A few more great dips:
Mom’s Artichoke Dip
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 c mayonnaise
- 1 c fresh grated Parmesan
- 1 c diced sweet onions (or more if you like)
- 2 t freshly ground black pepper
- Drained Green chilies, or a chopped chipotle, or even some Cheddar (All optional, but all good!)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a bowl, using an immersion blender, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan,and black pepper. Blend well.
- Stir in diced onion. Spoon the mixture into a 6″ baking dish. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until dip is golden brown and crusty on top. Really.
- Serve with your choice of dippers or just a spoon. May be served hot or at room temperature.
Thanks White on Rice!
Keywords: Dip, Appetizer, Onion Dip, Pepper Dip