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Friday, July 27, 2012

Jalapeno Popper Dip: Recipe Swap

For my third round of the Recipe Swap I was assigned The Jey of Cooking.  I was very happy with this assignment because this is a blog I already follow!  I just went to my Google Reader and looked at what recipes of hers I already had 'starred'.  I immediately decided on this dip.  It had made the rounds a few times on many popular food blogs, but I hadn't yet made it.  What prompted me -- a fresh batch of jalapenos straight from our porch garden!  

This dip was creamy and cheesy and spicy and awesome!  It goes perfectly with salty tortilla chips and a nice, cold beer.  It's just like it's namesake appetizer, but in casserole form.  I only made a few changes -- using reduced fat cheeses (since it's what I usually buy), chopped roasted Hatch chiles (from our own freezer stash)  and fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced.  Unfortunately (even though I swear I remember taking a photo of the dip ... grrrrrr) I can't seem to find the picture!  So, just a lonely recipe to post today, but once our next 'harvest' of jalapenos comes in I'll be sure to make this delicious dip again and this time snap a picture!

Jalapeno Popper Dip
from The Jey of Cooking


8 ounces of cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat.)
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped green chiles
8 medium jalapeƱos (I'd use 4-6 if large peppers and 10 if small.)
8 ounces shredded cheese, Mexican blend or colby jack
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Seed and dice jalapenos.  Wear latex gloves for this step -- trust me, you don't want to rub your eyes a few hours later and end up in burning tears!
  • Combine softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, green chiles, jalapenos and shredded cheese in a large bowl.  Stir to combine, until the peppers and shredded cheese are evenly dispersed.  Spread mixture out in an 8x8 baking dish.  
  • Combine panko and parmesan in a small bowl.  Sprinkle evenly over dip in baking dish.  
  • Spray the top with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until browned on top and bubbling.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chicken Gnocchi Soup: Secret Recipe Club

For this month's Secret Recipe Club I was paired with Jen of Jen's Journey.  I had many great recipes to chose from on her blog.  She also has lots of great reviews on her blog, I even found a few new books to read while I was there!  This recipe caught my eye because we were expecting 'cooler' weather here in the DC area.  And, by cooler I mean highs were going from the low 100s to the low 80s.  Not exactly typical soup weather, but it worked!

It was delicious -- I made a few changes but nothing drastic.   The tender gnocchi paired well with the sweetness of the carrot.  We did just throw the frozen gnocchi into the soup to cook, so we had to add quite a bit more liquid, I used chicken stock.  We used a leftover grilled chicken breast for the shredded chicken and it added a nice, smoky flavor.  We thought it was tasty and will definitely make it again when it really does get 'cooler' this fall.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup
adapted from Jen's Journey
serves 6

3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, finely diced
2 minced garlic cloves
4 tablespoons flour
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 pound potato gnocchi
1 bag fresh baby spinach
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly grated Parmesan cheeses(optional)

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Melt the butter and add in the olive oil.  When melted, add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent and softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the flour and stir to make a roux.  Cook mixture for 1-2 minutes, until begins to turn a very light brown.  
  • Whisk in 4 cups of the chicken broth and turn to medium-high.  Let the mixture simmer until it begins to thicken.  
  • Add the shredded carrots, shredded chicken, gnocchi and remaining 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot.  Stir well and allow the soup to simmer again.  Once returned to a simmer, add in the spinach and stir to wilt.  
  • Add the half and half, thyme and oregano to the soup and stir well.  Bring back to a simmer then serve.  Top with grated parmesan if desired.