Hot Crab, Artichoke & Jalapeno Dip with Pita Triangles

1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 14 ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped finely
2 cups bottled mayonnaise
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup drained and chopped bottled pimiento, or roasted red pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 bottled pickled jalapeño peppers, or to taste, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 pound crab meat, picked over
1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Pita triangles, recipe follows

In a small heavy skillet cook the bell pepper in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Cool. In a large bowl combine the bell pepper, artichokes, mayonnaise, scallions, pimiento, Parmesan, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, jalapeño peppers and celery salt. Blend the mixture until it is combined well and stir in the crab meat gently. Transfer to a buttered oven proof 2 quart chafing dish or baking dish and sprinkle it with the almonds. The dip may be prepared up to this point one day in advance and kept covered and chilled.

Bake the dip in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and the mixture is bubbly. Serve with pita triangles

Pita Triangles

8 large pita loaves, with pickets
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Cut each pita loaf into 8 wedges and separate each wedge into 2 triangles. Arrange the triangles, rough side up in 1 tight layer in a jellyroll pan, brush lightly with butter, and season with salt. Bake the triangles in the upper third of a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until they are crisp and light golden, and let them cool in the pans. The triangles may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered in an airtight container at room temperature. Yield 128 triangles.

From Gourmet Magazine

Pesto Cheese Appetizer


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces Roquefort cheese, at room temperature
1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and thoroughly dried
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes, patted dry


1. Combine the cream cheese and Roquefort in a bowl, and mix until smooth. Set aside.
2. Combine the spinach, parsley, basil, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the oil through the feed tube; continue processing until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the walnuts and Parmesan, and mix thoroughly.
3. Line a 5 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving extra wrap hanging over the sides.
4. Spread one third of the cheese mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Next, spread half the pesto mixture, and arrange a layer of sun-dried tomatoes on top. Repeat the cheese, pesto, and tomato layers. Finish with the remaining third of the cheese mixture. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
5. To serve, allow the loaf to come just to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Invert it onto a platter, and provide a cheese-slicing knife. Have a basket of crackers and bread nearby.

Makes 6 to 8 portions

Credits: From The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Workman Publishing.

tuna pate

1-8 oz. cream cheese
2 T. chili sauce
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. tabasco sauce
1 tsp. instant minced onions
2 cans drained albacore tuna

Mix all but the tuna then add the tuna with a fork. Pack in a mold or just put in bowl and chill 3 hours or overnight.

This is great with crackers or can be used as a lunch item by spreading on bagels.

From Rose Sweterlitsch.

asagio dip

1 cup light mayo
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato sprinkles
1 (8 ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
32 (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette, toasted (about 2 baguettes)

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl; spoon into a 1-quart casserole. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with toasted bread.

From Cooking Light

foolproof boiled eggs

6 large eggs

Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium size bowl with 1 quart of water and 1 tray of ice cubes (or equivalent). Transfer eggs to ice bath with slotted spoon; let sit 5 minutes. Tap eggs all over against the counter surface to crack surface, then roll gently back and forth a few times. Begin peeling from the air pocket end. The shell should come off in spiral strips attached to the thin membrane.

From America’s Test Kitchens.

stuffed jalapeno peppers

18 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 8 ounce package fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon skim milk
3 cups corn flake cereal, crushed
Salsa (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membranes. Press garlic through press into a small bowl. Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and oregano, mixing well. Fill each jalapeno half with cheese mixture, using about 1 tablespoon in each. Lightly whisk egg whites and milk together. Finely crush corn flakes in sealed plastic bag. Dip each pepper half into egg mixture, then into corn flake crumbs to coat. Place pepper halves, filled sides up, on baking stone. Spray peppers with vegetable oil. Bake 30 minutes or until peppers are tender. Serve with salsa if desired.

buffalo-style chicken nachos

2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/4; cup Red Hot sauce
2 tablespoons melted butter
10 ounce bag tortilla chips
2 cups shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

1. In bowl, toss chicken with Red Hot sauce and butter. Lay chips, chicken mixture and cheese in baking dish.
2. Bake nachos in 350-degree oven for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Garnish as desired (black olives, green olives, etc.) Splash on more hot sauce to taste.


2 very ripe roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon slivered basil (reserve 2-3 sprigs for garnish)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
One 8-ounce loaf French or Italian bread, cut into 8 slices
1 clove of garlic, halved

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the bread on a baking sheet in a single layer; toast until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes on each side. Rub the toast slices on one side with the garlic clove and top with a generous tablespoon of the tomato mixture. Arrange on a serving tray and garnish with the basil leaves. Let stand, covered, at room temperature until the mixture’s juices have soaked into the bread, at least 30 minutes (but no longer than 6 hours) before serving.
From Weight Watchers Versatile Vegetarian cookbook.

vegetable bites

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 envelope Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix
1/4 cup Grey Poupon mustard
3/4 cup sour cream
Assorted veggies

Combine all ingredients except veggies in a food processor; process until smooth. Chill 30 minutes or until slightly firm. Spoon or pipe with pastry tube onto veggies. Makes about 1 cup. Suggested veggies: Red or green pepper pieces; cherry tomato halves; cucumber or carrot slices; blanched snow pea pods.