Vidalia Onion Dip

Vidalia Onion Dip was another one of my mom’s favorites that I discovered on a well used recipe card in my card file. You know this is a good recipe when she commented on the number of people that requested that she bring this over and over again.  You might wonder how I know these little facts, my mom (and now I do this same thing) wrote copious notes inside covers of her books, note books and recipe cards, these notes included everything from when she served it last, where she served it and any noteworthy fact she wanted to remember.  My daughter served this last weekend; after a day in the stadium watching our favorite college team play football.  This dip was perfect to serve on a beautiful fall day celebrating with great friends. This recipe is now a three generation favorite in our family!

vidalia-onion-dip

Vidalia Onion Dip
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups finely shredded Swiss cheese
  2. 2 cups chopped Vidalia onions
  3. 2 cups mayonnaise
  4. 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine first three ingredients. Pour into a greased casserole dish, top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake 325 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be made ahead up to 2 days. Just refrigerate until you are ready to bake.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Layered Crab Dip

This recipe has been a family favorite for many years.  I know it originated years ago and I think it is time for a Layered Crab Dip revival.  My mom always made this as well as her friends, this was their signature go to appetizer.  I am sure the fact that it is quick, easy and delicious is the reason they all made this recipe.  All I can say, I made it this past weekend, served it with water crackers and it was fantastic.  This goes back to the old saying “Mothers are always right” I know mine was with this recipe!

layered-crab-dip

Layered Crab Dip
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  2. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  3. 1/2 medium onion, grated
  4. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  5. 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  6. 1/2 - 3/4 cup seafood cocktail sauce
  7. 12 oz. fresh jumbo lump crabmeat
  8. 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
Instructions
  1. Assemble dip in the following order; spread on a serving plate
  2. Layer 1 - cream together the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion, lemon juice and mayonnaise; spread on serving plate.
  3. Layer 2 - spread cocktail sauce over cream cheese layer.
  4. Layer 3 - Spread crabmeat over cocktail sauce.
  5. Layer 4 - Top with minced parsley
  6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa

We just returned from the upper Midwest where the weather is beautiful, waters are wonderful and the farmers markets are at their peak.  When in the Midwest, you absolutely have to try the fresh sweet corn.  Abundant and oh so sweet, the ultimate taste of summer.  After I purchased corn at the market, it was back to stir up this delicious salsa.  I have to admit, it was so delicious, we just could not stop eating it!  Great as an appetizer served with tortilla chips, but this salsa would be equally delicious along side grilled chicken or over fish tacos.

fresh corn and avocado salsa

Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ears of fresh corn, husk remove and kernels cut off of the cob
  2. 2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
  3. 1/3 cup olive oil
  4. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  5. 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
  7. 2 avocados, ripe but firm, diced
  8. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  9. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  10. 4 - 8 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  11. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  12. 1/2 cup lime juice
Instructions
  1. Mix all vegetables together in a medium bowl. Combine olive oil, cumin, oregano, red wine vinegar, hot pepper sauce, chili powder and lime juice. Pour over vegetables and mix thoroughly, Salt and pepper to taste.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Tomato Toast

I cannot walk past a display of farm fresh ripe tomatoes this time of year.  I am such a huge tomato fan, my husband is convinced that I could eat them everyday for every meal.  He is pretty much on target with that comment.  Tomato Toast is my latest tomato creation.  Crispy grilled bread, cheese filling, topped with tomato slices – perfect for an appetizer or side dish.  

tomato toast

Tomato Toast
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Ingredients
  1. 4 slices of crusty bread cut 1/2 inch thick
  2. olive oil
  3. 1 large tomato, sliced
  4. 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  5. 2 tablespoons pesto
  6. 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  7. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare grill or grill pan. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Slice tomato. Combine ricotta cheese, pesto and parmesan cheese. Grill one side of bread until golden brown and crusty, turn bread slices. Spread grilled sides of bread with ricotta cheese mixture. Cover grill and heat until hot. Remove from grill. Top with sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Caramelized Onion Tart

I am a great fan of picnics.   I think it dates back to when I first met my husband and we lived in Northern Michigan.  Beautiful parks and lakes were abundant and we always packed a picnic and headed out to explore the area.  A great picnic can consist of a run to the deli and a great bottle of wine or a few make ahead specialties that you can prepare in advance and serve cold or at room temperature.  This Caramelized Onion Tart is picnic perfect.  You can make early in the day and it is easy to transport.  I like to pack a bottle of good balsamic vinegar to drizzle on just prior to serving.

caramelized onion tart

 

Caramelized Onion Tart
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. Onion Topping
  2. 5 red onions, thinly sliced
  3. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 tablespoons butter
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  6. salt and pepper
  7. 1 teaspoon sugar
  8. Crust
  9. 2 cups flour
  10. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 3/4 cup milk
  13. 1/4 cup olive oil
  14. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  15. 1/2 - 3/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  16. Balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Filling -In a large skillet melt the butter and the olive oil. Add the onions. Cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the thyme, salt and pepper (to taste) and sugar. Reduce heat to medium low and cook and additional 20 minutes, stir frequently. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Crust-In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the milk, olive oil and butter. Mix until all is incorporated. Place dough on a floured surface and knead a few times. Roll into a rectangle approximately 10 x 14 inches. Place on a baking sheet.
  4. Cover with onion filling. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.
  6. If desired, drizzle with balsamic vinegar when serving.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upside Down Pizza

The name explains it all – the pizza toppings are on the bottom and the crust is on top.  You can add or substitute any pizza ingredients that you like.  You simply pour over the crust batter and as it bakes it puffs and turns golden brown.  Perfect to serve with a salad for a casual dinner.

upside down pizza

Upside Down Pizza
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, mild or hot
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 4 oz. can sliced black olives, sliced
  5. 1 cup pizza or marinara sauce
  6. 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
  7. 1 green pepper, diced
  8. 10 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1 cup milk
  11. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  12. 1 cup flour
  13. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  14. 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, crumble sausage and cook over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring frequently until sausage is cooked and onion is transparent. Drain sausage mixture and return to skillet. Add olives, sauce, mushrooms, green pepper, and heat until bubbly. Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan. Top with sliced mozzarella slices.
  2. In a blender, blend milk, eggs, milk, oil, flour and salt until smooth. Pour mixture evenly over mozzarella. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake uncovered in a 400 degree oven until the crust is puffed and golden brown about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Are You Ready for the Big Game?

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GAme Day Wings

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Cocktail Peanuts

You will find many versions of spiced nuts when shopping, how great it is to make your own in under ten minutes.  These peanuts are a little salty, a little sweet, and a little spicy.  They are quick to prepare and as the name says, perfect to serve along side your favorite cocktail.

cocktail peanuts

Cocktail Peanuts
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
  2. 1/2 tablespoon butter
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon. curry powder
Instructions
  1. In a heavy frying pan, melt butter and mix in brown sugar and curry powder. Stir in peanuts and cook for 3 - 4 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the nuts are coated. Cool on foil, separating the nuts with a fork. Store in a covered jar.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Olive Oil Marinated Goat Cheese

Recipe #1 in the Spartan Oil #EVOOChallenge.

When challenged to create recipes using Spartan Oil Olive, I took the challenge with no hesitation.  I use their olive oil in many of my recipes and always find the results outstanding.  When testing these recipes, we hosted a party for eight, all of our guests serving as my “taste testers”.  This proved to be a wonderful evening of great food, olive oil discussions and candid comments.  As the week progresses, you will see my other EVOO challenge recipes. 

Looking for a make ahead appetizer that you can make up to one week in advance?  This appetizer is perfect with a great glass of wine or a cocktail. Serve the marinated cheese on crackers or baguette slices.  If you have any leftover, you can refrigerate and it will be terrific in other recipes. Here are a few ideas: mix with warm pasta and roasted vegetables for a terrific pasta dish, spread on baguette slices and broil until bubbly  or put the goat cheese in an oven safe ramekin and top with sun-dried tomatoes and bake in a 350 degree oven until melted, serve with crackers.

Olive OIl Marinated Goat Cheese

Olive OIl Marinated Goat Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 2 logs of goat cheese, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
  2. 1 cup Spartan Olive Oil
  3. 4 bay leaves
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh ground mixed peppercorns
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  6. 1 large clove of garlic, slivered
  7. 3 tablespoons fresh basil, slivered
  8. Sliced baguette
Instructions
  1. Place goat cheese in a serving dish with one inch sides. In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat oil, bay leaves, pepper, and thyme until it sizzles. Pour hot oil over goat cheese. Sprinkle garlic and basil over cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature prior to serving. Serve with baguette slices.
Notes
  1. Marinated goat cheese may be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Game Day Wings

I don’t know about you but this is one exciting time of year – the football playoffs.  Yes, if you know me well, you know that I am an avid fan and especially loyal to one Midwest NFL team.  With the Super Bowl just weeks away and play-off games going on now – I thought it was time to post my Game Day Wing recipe.  You can serve these with or without the classic ranch dressing on the side.  If you like your wings “hotter”, just step up the amount of red pepper you add.  These will definitely put you in the game day mood.  Cheers for those pigskins!

GAme Day Wings

 

Game Day Wings
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Ingredients
  1. 16 chicken wings, cut apart
  2. 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  3. 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  4. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 3 tablespoons honey
  6. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place wings on baking sheets, salt and pepper both sides of the wings. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over wings. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven when the wings are glazed and the meat is falling off the bones.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/