Yes, that’s right. You are looking at a meat chicken wing stuck into a bowl of creamy, yummy ranch dip. I know it’s like a train wreck that you can’t turn away from, and I can just hear some of you yelling “TREIF!” But before you totally freak out, let me tell you the pre-dinner story as it went down at my house last night.
I’ve been working like a mad woman for the past 3 days at my job – early mornings + late nights = neglected family, house, dog, cat and especially dinner. Who wants to cook dinner when you are so busy you don’t even have time to break for lunch? Not me. So that was the scene last night when my hubbie called me on his way home from work to ask, “what’s for dinner?” “Well, I’ll tell you what’s for dinner,” I say. “Not a darn thing unless you stop at the store and get something.”
So hubbie went to our local Tom Thumb and came home with a box of frozen Meal Mart spicy Buffalo-style chicken wings. I baked the chicken wings, along with some non-spicy chicken nuggets for my daughter and just as we were about to sit down to eat, I had a wonderful Treif idea … You can’t have Buffalo wings without ranch dip, right? So, Tofutti Pareve Sour Cream + Lipton’s Pareve Ranch Recipe Secrets = a yummy, creamy (very dairy-like) dip that is just perfect to tame the spice of the chicken wings.
So I whipped up a batch and we happily dipped spicy chicken wings and various other veggies into our ranch dip. It made for a fast, easy-to-prep dinner and not a single chicken wing was left behind. I also have a great recipe for homemade chicken wings that I’ll post soon, but if you’re in a hurry, this menu can’t be beat.
We were fortunate to spend Sunday evening with good friends and good food at a pot-luck-type dinner in celebration of Purim. I unfortunately didn’t think to take pictures of the yummy food until we were about halfway finished with most of it or, as is the case of the Baked Artichoke Dip pictured above, there was way more of the “bottom of the dish” showing than dip.
But then I decided, hey, an empty dish really says a lot about the food right? It says it was so darn good, there wasn’t a bite left behind! Which I promise is almost always the case with this recipe for Baked Artichoke Dip (or as it is called in the Southern Living Cookbook where the recipe came from – Baked Artichoke Spread).
Now, I’ve never personally spread it on anything but it is amazing as a dip for tortilla or corn chips, or I’ve even used it as a dip for raw vegetables when I’m in a healthy mood. But either way, if you’re looking for a delish dairy appetizer, you cannot go wrong with this dip. In fact, I’ve made this dip so many times and for so many years that page 33 in my 1987 version of The Southern Living Cookbook has seen better days. It’s the most well-loved, well-used page in the entire book, which says just about as much about a recipe as an empty dish at the end of a party!
Baked Artichoke Dip (or Spread)
- 2 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I’ve also used the powder type Parmesan but fresh is better)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I’ve also made this recipe with Light Mayo and it’s still decadent beyond belief so go ahead and save a few calories)
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (I’m way heavy-handed with the next 3 ingredients … maybe more like several good shakes of garlic powder, Worcestershire and hot sauce)
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Dash of hot sauce
- Fresh parsley springs (I’ve never actually used the parsley in this recipe. I’m thinking the chef was trying to squeeze in at least 1 healthy ingredient)
Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well. Spoon into a lightly greased 1 quart casserole or souffle dish. I always sprinkle extra Parmesan cheese on the top so the dip has a nice cheesy layer that will brown easily while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (It actually take more like 30 – 40 minutes for the top to be nice and brown). Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve with toast points or melba rounds … or chips or raw veggies.
Yield: 3 cups … which will be gone within the hour.
Happy Dipping & Happy Kosher
A few weeks ago, I participated in the Kosher Connections Blog Party on Mishloach Manot ideas for Purim. At the time, I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to give this year so I blogged about last year’s Mishloach Manot basked of Challah and Grape Juice. And while I still love that idea (not mine, I borrowed from someone else), I decided to try something new this year. My hubbie came up with the theme, “Jungle,” which is wildly appropriate since our daughter LOVES all things animals, and our Mishloach Manot evolved from there.
It was complete chaos in our house last night and this morning trying to get the gift baskets ready but everyone helped and my family just left to begin deliveries. Here are some pictures of the baskets and items inside.
Lion and various other animals cupcakes in Zebra-striped cupcake holders and boxes.
Also included in the “animal” basket are animal crackers, juice and misc. candy and a small plastic animal (sorry, forgot to take a picture of the animal).
Three different animal baskets (purchased at the .99 cent store).
Cute gift tag created by my hubbie.
Juice, animal crackers, candy & plastic animal on bottom, cupcake on top.
Mishloach Manot galore on our dining room table/assembly line ready to be delivered!
What are you putting in your Mishloach Manot today? Share your ideas please so I can get started on next year’s gift earlier : )
Happy Purim and Happy Kosher
Several years ago, I came across this recipe for Sweet Corn Kugel via AllRecipes.com. I can’t even remember what I was looking for because I rarely if ever cook with corn but for some unknown reason, I gave it a try and I’m glad I did. This is one of those staple dishes that I go back to again and again. It’s simple and everyone loves it. Here’s the original recipe from AllRecipes.com (thank you Sigarillo) with my modifications in italics:
Pareve Corn Kugle
- 1 (10 ounce) can white corn, drained
- 1 (11 ounce) can cream-style corn
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup liquid non-dairy creamer (I generally use pareve soy milk but the last time I made this dish, I only had pareve coconut milk so I used that. It worked great.)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries (I sprinkle the cranberries on last and only use on ½ of the dish just in case some folks don’t like cranberries)
Photo from AllRecipes.com
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the white corn, cream corn and eggs until well blended. Combine the flour, salt and sugar; stir into the corn mixture. Mix in the creamer and oil, then fold in the cranberries (as mentioned above, I sprinkle the cranberries on at the end instead of folding in so I can have ½ with and ½ without cranberries. Pour into the greased pan, and spread evenly.
- Place the baking dish in a large pan with 1 inch of water. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, until firm. (I cooked this dish both ways – with the 1 inch of water on a jelly roll pan with the kugel baking dish sitting on top and with the baking dish directly on the oven rack – no jelly roll pan, no water. Both ways seem to work fine).
Once the kugel is cooked, cut into squares and serve on a nice platter. This is a great Shabbat recipe because it’s easy to prepare the day before and reheat when needed.
Enjoy and Happy Kosher
Mishloach Manot delivery day is one of my favorite times of the year. I love both the making and delivering of the Mishloach Manot, as well as the part where I come home and find lots of surprises on my doorstep. It’s so exciting to see the creativity that comes from our community during this time of the year and especially how excited my daughter gets about both the giving and receiving.
Last year, I spent several days in the kitchen baking mini loaves of Challah to include in our gift baskets. I can’t claim the idea for myself because I found it somewhere on the Internet so thanks to the smart, creative person who came up with it in the first place. I’m not sure I’ll use the same idea again this year, but I wanted to share it with you because I think it’s a keeper. And best of all, the recepient of your gift gets a few items that will definitely come in handy for Shabbos if needed.
I start with the bread-machine Challah recipe from Susie Fishbien’s Kosher by Design Picture Perfect Food for the Holidays, which in my house is known as simple “Susie’s Green Cookbook.” And instead of making 2 big Challot, I divide the dough into 8 balls to make 8 mini loaves. Then Zoe gets involved with the decorating, which can be a simple as Sesame Seeds or as fancy as rainbow colored sugar sprinkles or even candy flower sprinkles. It does take a bit of time to make several rounds of the dough/Challot so anything you can do to make it more fun is always welcomed.
Once, the Challah is completed and cooled, I add the following items to a plastic basket/container purchased at the dollar store:
- Place the Challah in a pretty plastic bag (I purchased the confetti treat bags at WalMart in the Party section) and tie the top to seal and keep the bread fresh
- Mini bottle of grape juice because, well, one can’t really have Challah without grape juice right?
- Mini container of peanut butter. Last year I included a single serving size of Sabra Hummus but I haven’t been able to find them this year.
- Bag of large pretzels
- Plasticware and napkin in case someone wants to eat their food on the spot
- A pretty notecard decorated by the one and only Zoe … also one of her favorite parts about Mishloach Manot
- I usually also throw in a few pieces of candy for added color and fun
Happy Purim and Happy Kosher
The Kosher Connection, an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, proudly present our monthly kosher recipe challenge. Each month we will present you with recipes on a different theme from all the kosher food bloggers.
This month is Purim! Since today is Rosh Chodesh Adar, we are sharing all our favorite purim recipes that will be perfect for your mishloach manot this year.
Follow our recipes on Twitter with #KosherRecipes.
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The hubbie made rotisserie chicken on the grill for this past Shabbos. It was so yummy that not a single bite was left … darn it. The above pic is the final delicious result.
Mr. Chicken is rubbed with various spices/ingredients (Sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, dark brown sugar, curry powder) and, per my hubbie, “tied up so he can’t get away.”
Various grill attachments are added.
Mr. Chicken is skewered.
Mr. Chicken is cooked on the grill at 300 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, until chicken is brown, crispy and reaches 165 degrees via temp probe.
Yummy goodness and nothing Treif involved.