Dips are just-right for summer's last days

 

This easy salsa yogurt dip is made by mixing two parts plain yogurt with one part salsa. For example, mix 1 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 cup salsa. Read on for dip recipes from area cookbooks, suited to serve on the patio or around the pool as we say goodbye to summer during the weeks ahead.

This easy salsa yogurt dip is made by mixing two parts plain yogurt with one part salsa. For example, mix 1 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 cup salsa. Read on for dip recipes from area cookbooks, suited to serve on the patio or around the pool as we say goodbye to summer during the weeks ahead. Photo by: food.unl.edu

 

Jan Swoope

 

 

Admittedly, I haven't gotten out and about much during "corona-geddon," as a niece refers to this pandemic period. But this past Friday, I really needed some sympathy cards. What a jolt to walk into the card section of a Columbus store to be met with row after row of Halloween and Thanksgiving greeting cards -- abrupt reminders that seasons continue to come and go, whether we've lately lost track of days or even weeks. Summer is marching its way toward a finale.

 

Mississippi, of course, still has weeks of heat ahead, plenty of time for more family days around the pool, if you're fortunate enough to have one, or al fresco dining. Appetizer dips are perfectly suited to the casual atmosphere and fluid movement of those gatherings, even if they're limited to 20 people.

 

The "same-old" dips still go over well, but I plumbed a few local cookbooks that go back a few years for something a bit different. There were plenty of standard favorites, but I also found recipes calling for amaretto, or chopped dates, or even Dr. Pepper. If you're feeling like something out of the box, you just may find it in today's collection of eight savory and sweet dips.

 

 

Make the most of summer's last hurrah. And may we all be thriving before we ever need those Halloween and Thanksgiving cards.

 

 

BLUE CHEESE BACON DIP

 

 

7 slices bacon, chopped

 

2 cloves garlic, minced

 

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

 

1/4 cup half-and-half

 

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

 

2 tablespoons fresh chives (optional)

 

3 tablespoons smoked almonds, chopped

 

 

· Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain excess fat from skillet; add garlic. Cook until bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes.

 

· Preheat oven to 350 F.

 

· Beat cream cheese until smooth; add half-and-half. Stir in bacon mixture, blue cheese and chives.

 

· Transfer to a 2-cup ovenproof serving dish and cover with foil. Bake until thoroughly heated, about 30 minutes.

 

· Sprinkle with almonds. Serve with Wheat Thins, Triscuits or French bread.

 

 

GLORIOUS AMARETTO CHEESE DIP

 

Makes 1 1/4 cups

 

 

1/2 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened

 

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

 

1 tablespoons amaretto

 

1 tablespoon brandy

 

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted

 

 

· Combine cream cheese, sharp cheese, amaretto and brandy in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Stir in toasted almonds.

 

· Spoon onto a serving dish. Garnish with additional almonds, if desired. Serve with assorted fruit or crackers.

 

(Source: "After the Harvest," Barbara Heard/First United Methodist Church, Columbus)

 

 

MISSISSIPPI STATE SIN

 

 

1 loaf French bread

 

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

 

1/3 cup chopped green onion

 

1/2 cup chopped ham

 

Dash Worcestershire sauce

 

1 1/2 cups sour cream

 

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temp.

 

1/3 cup chopped green chilies

 

 

· Slice off top of bread and hollow out inside.

 

· Mix all ingredients. Pour into hollowed bread and put top back on bread. Wrap in foil.

 

· Bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Serve as a dip or with hollowed out pieces of bread, crackers or chips.

 

("Southern Blend II," Robert Ward Shows/Church of Christ, Columbus)

 

 

DIPSY DIP

 

Makes 1 cup

 

 

1 (5-ounce) jar cream cheese with pimento

 

1 (2.25-ounce) can deviled ham

 

1/4 cup mayonnaise

 

2 tablespoons snipped parsley

 

1 tablespoon minced onion

 

4 drops red pepper sauce

 

 

· Beat ingredients in mixer until creamy. Chill before serving.

 

(Source: "Southern Blend II," Church of Christ, Columbus)

 

 

DATES DIP

 

 

16 ounces fat-free cream cheese

 

3/4 cup chopped dates

 

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

 

2 tablespoons honey

 

 

· Mix together the cream cheese, dates, walnut and honey. Place in a favorite dish and serve with Wheat Thins.

 

(Source: "After the Harvest," Annice Jenkins/First United Methodist Church, Columbus)

 

 

PEPPY CHEESE DIP

 

 

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

 

1 cup Dr. Pepper

 

1 cup toasted pecans or peanuts

 

 

· Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add Dr. Pepper. Stir in chopped nuts. Chill for several hours or overnight.

 

· Serve with potato chips, corn chips or sliced apples.

 

(Source: "A Taste of Grace," Sharon Williams/Grace Baptist Church, Columbus)

 

 

HAWAIIAN FRUIT DIP

 

 

1 cup milk

 

1/2 cup sour cream

 

1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding

 

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

 

1/2 cup shredded coconut

 

Cantaloupe, halved and scooped out for serving

 

 

· Combine milk, sour cream and pudding. Whisk until smooth.

 

· Mix pineapple and coconut with pudding mixture. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

· Fill center of cantaloupe with dip. Serve with fruits such as strawberries, grapes, banana sliced, kiwi, etc.

 

(Source: "Taste and See Too," Katy Susan Allen/First Baptist Church, West Point)

 

 

CARAMEL FRUIT DIP

 

 

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

 

1/2 cup caramel sauce

 

1/4 cup honey

 

1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

 

· Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add caramel, honey and cinnamon.

 

· Mix until well blended. Chill and serve with fruit such as strawberries, grapes, pineapple, apples, kiwi or cantaloupe.

 

(Source: "A Taste of Grace," Sharon Williams/Grace Baptist Church, Columbus)

 

 

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

 

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