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Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 02:56 am

Crowd-pleasing holiday dips

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Avocado goat cheese dip

•    3 ripe avocados
•    2 gloves minced garlic
•    1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
•    4 ounces cream cheese
•    4 ounces goat cheese
•    2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
Mix all ingredients at once with a large spoon or hand-mixer in a medium bowl. Serve with blue corn chips, pretzels or crackers.

Smoked salmon dip
•    8 ounces cream cheese
•    1/2 cup sour cream
•    1 tablespoon fresh dill
•    1 tablespoon mayonnaise
•    1/2 teaspoon horseradish sauce
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    pepper to taste
•    4 ounces smoked salmon
Mix all ingredients at once with a large spoon or hand-mixer in a medium bowl. Serve with bagel chips or sliced veggies.

Buffalo chicken dip
•    2 c. cooked diced chicken
•    16 ounces cream cheese
•    1 cup ranch dressing
•    2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a saucepan, combine cream cheese and ranch over low heat. Pour mixture over chicken in a baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with veggies, crackers or breadsticks.

Cream cheese pesto dip
•    8 ounces cream cheese
•    1 diced tomato
•    1 cup pesto
•    1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place cream cheese in a baking dish. Spread pesto over cheese blocks. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and tomatoes. Bake 5 to 10 minutes Serve with quartered pitas or breadsticks.

Honey goat cheese dip
•    4 ounces goat cheese
•    3 tablespoons honey
Stir together in a medium bowl. Serve with fresh berries, apple slices or warm cookies.

Vegan white bean dip
•    1/2 cup white beans, drained
•    1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained
•    1/2 cup juice from either bean can
•    1 teaspoon xantham gum
•    1/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese
•    salt and pepper to taste
Process in a food processor. Serve with carrots, red peppers or pretzels.

Peanut butter dip
•    1/2 cup vanilla or honey Greek yogurt
•    1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
•    Ground cinnamon
•    1 tbs. brown sugar
Mix together in a medium bowl Serve with celery, graham crackers cookies or apple slices.
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