Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Festive holiday dip

You might be surprised how I come up with ideas for this food column. Take this week's topic, for instance. It's the perfect example of putting the cart before the horse, as my daddy used to say.

I was shopping in the Kohl's home section recently, drooling over pots and pans I'd love to cook my dinners in and wishing I could replace my everyday china with something more colorful. And don't get me started on my desire to own more kitchen gadgets. But what really caught my eye was a collection of blue-tone dinnerware adorned with the cutest, chubby snowmen. I especially liked a small square bowl and immediately envisioned a pretty holiday photo for a future food column. Yes, I admit, I often buy plates and bowls and linens that I like and then plan a food column around the purchase.

As soon as I saw this pretty little bowl I knew I must do a dip recipe. Hostesses can't serve cookies and cake only at Christmas, right? (But don't fret; you'll see holiday sweets soon enough in this space!)

Back to the dip. My family enjoys dips at home, at parties or even restaurants. I don't make appetizers often, so it's a treat when we have something new to dip our chips or crackers or veggies into.

I really treated everyone last week with a new dip from Kraft Foods. I read many recipes featuring a favorite dip ingredient -- cream cheese -- before I settled on Red Pepper Cheese Dip.

It only takes a few minutes to mix this four-ingredient, delicious recipe. Let it chill for an hour or so, and it's ready to dip with snack crackers. I loved the flavor combination in this recipe, which reminded both me and my husband of pimiento cheese. The dip's color is a lovely shade of orange with pretty pieces of roasted red pepper and green chives to dress it up. Put the dip in a pretty bowl, and you have a festive addition to your party table.

We ate our dip for several days.

I must make another confession. While my turkey breasts were cooking Thanksgiving Day, getting nice and tender for our evening meal, I ate dip and pumpkin pie for lunch. A new tradition is born!

Red Pepper Cheese Dip
  • 1 container (8 oz.) whipped cream cheese spread
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh or frozen chives
  • Crackers
Mix cheeses, red peppers and chives until well blended; cover.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

Serve as a dip with crackers.

Kraft Foods

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