Get Dippy for New Year’s Eve


Appetizers – dips on back tray

Just a quick post of two recipes, both from, that I had good luck with as part of my Christmas Eve cheese tray. I was trying to throw some lower-fat options into the mix, although I still had plenty of decadent cheeses, including a surprise hit, Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar. Like cheddar with a Parmesan hit, we all loved it.

But, meanwhile, both the white bean dip and edamame hummus below were delicious and quick to throw together in my mini-processor. I served them with crudités and whole wheat pita triangles (see edamame recipe), substituting za’atar (and lots of it) for oregano.  The photo of the two trays doesn’t show the dips well, so I’m also posting a shot of the leftovers which have made a nice lunch the last couple of days.

At bottom, check out the gorgeous lobster tails and stuffed potatoes my brother Mark and his wife Elaine served – wowsa! We had string beans with sweet red pepper, too. I also brought along the last of the Cognac chocolate sugar plums I’d made this season, originally for my Good Taste column in the December Packet Magazine.  I took some along on Christmas Day too where I saw my niece and nephew’s family. The ones pictured here are from my friend’s choucroute dinner I was lucky to attend in mid December.

On Christmas Day my brother-in-law baked a huge bone-in ham and served it with the most decadent scalloped potatoes (with duck fat!) I’ve ever had. I triumphantly carried home the ham bone trophy that he insisted they would only end up throwing away. So I’ll make split pea soup and deliver some to them, because, boy, they sure deserve it!



Happy New Year everyone!

White Bean Dip

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 pitas
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or za‘atar, and more of it!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color.

Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Edamame Hummus

  • 1/2 pound frozen shelled edamame (green soy beans), about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons), juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Suggested serving: Sliced cucumbers, celery, and olives – I used purchased crudité, carrot, grape tomatoes, jicama, and snap peas.

Boil the beans in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, or microwave, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.

In a food processor, puree the edamame, tahini, water, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix until absorbed.

Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the parsley and drizzle with remaining oil. Serve with the suggested vegetables, or refrigerate, covered, up to 1 day.

From Food Network Kitchens




Sugar Plums

Sugar Plums

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