Janet's Notebook
Simple Dip Recipes For Your Next Gathering


Candied Nuts and Brie Dip


From spinach and artichoke to classic onion and cheese, there's nothing better than starting an evening with friends than with a tasty dip. It's like a magical appetizer nobody can pass up.

With Easter a few weeks away, I thought it would be great to share some simple dip recipes to help you start planning your Easter menu.

When testing Leslie Coleman's (Roswell, GA) Baked Crab Party Dip the Test Kitchen smelled amazing. This would be perfect to have in the oven as company arrives.

"This is an easy crowd pleaser that looks and smells as luscious as it tastes," says Leslie. I tried it with crab and scallops and loved the flavor combination.

Warm and creamy out of the oven, when dipped in the pumpernickel bread, I couldn't get enough of this dip. Fresh is always best, especially on a holiday, but in a pinch substitute with imitation crab as Leslie suggests. It'll still be a winner.

Another "fancier" dip is Lisa Goff's (Chula Vista, CA) Candied Nuts and Brie Dip. "I love this recipe," shares Lisa. "I serve with apples and bread."

Brie is a deliciously soft cheese that takes a topping wonderfully. You can use jam, chutney or brown sugar, nuts and brandy like Lisa does. After the cheese comes out of the oven it's warm and gooey. Paired with the sweet and crunchy topping, it'll be hard to stop snacking. If you don't want to cook with alcohol, try substituting the brandy with balsamic vinegar. Your guests will love this.

Grishma Shah's (Nashville, TN) Eggplant Dip/Raita is a favorite that's been passed through generations of her Indian family. "I learned it from one of my aunts who still makes it the best of all," explains Grishma. "Every time when the family gets together at my grandma's place for any type of celebration this condiment has to be there. The meal is incomplete without it."

With fresh ginger, garlic, roasted peanuts, and green chilies, the mix of flavors in this recipe is downright perfection. Similar to a hummus in texture, I suggest serving with veggies like radishes, carrots or celery and some pieces of pita. A delicious way to welcome company.

Another extremely flavorful dip is Michael Hall's Three Cheese Pepperoncini Spread. "This is my own take on a Greek feta spread known as Kopanisti," reveals Michael. "I love the combination and bite from the cheeses with the zing of the peppers and garlic."

I loved the combination too. Feta is a bit salty and combined with creamy blue cheese, it packs quite the flavor punch. There's a definite bite to this dip, but I wouldn't say it's too hot. If you don't like things spicy, cut back on the peppers and pepper juice.

In my household, there's a staple at any gathering - onion dip. Over the years, I've become a huge fan of Jenni James' (Tempe, AZ) Favorite Onion Dip (From Scratch).

Caramelizing the onions brings out so much flavor, you'll never go back to the store-bought stuff again. Try to prepare this recipe the day ahead. Letting it sit overnight really lets the flavors meld together. It's an easy and tasty dip everyone is sure to enjoy.

Do you have a favorite dip you serve when having company? Make sure to share... I love trying new recipes. Happy Pinching!



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8 Comments
DSNjustpinchme
Debbie Sue - May 23, 2017
Everybody loves Homemade Caramel Apple Dip ! A real treat!
DSNjustpinchme
Debbie Sue - Apr 4, 2017
Give this dip a try! It's a Blue Ribbon Winner!
Awesome Avocado Dip