Sunday, 24 April 2011

Warm Goat Cheese, Herb & Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

What a wonderful Easter weekend! Filled with lots of family, loads of food and amazingly warm, sunny weather. Absolutely perfect (if you don't count Brad's on-going sniffling and all-around sickness. Poor guy!). We started off the day with an Easter scavenger hunt for the kids. In years past we've done the 'hide the eggs all over the house' type thing but this year (and last) we decided to whip up a scavenger hunt for each of the kids. I love making up rhyming ditties so I went to town with the clues such as:

"You love to read Potter books about wizards and ghosts but your next clue is near the machine that makes toast!"

"Milk comes from cows, cows all say 'moo moo', your next clue is hidden where we fix your boo boos."

Yes, I don't think Dr Seuss and his peeps will be knocking on my door but it was a lot of fun! Now hiding the clues in the right spot and in the right order proved to be harder for me since I was exhausted from our first family celebration with my cousins. But it as all worth it when the kids were running around reading clues and finding their chocolate stashes. I felt like they were on their own little "Amazing Races' and I was Phil Keoghan saying "Missy Moo, you are the first team to arrive!".

Anyway, today we went to my parents' place along with my sisters and their families for supper. As usual I take festivities of any kind and turn them into a chance to cook for others and, often times, try new recipes on unsuspecting (well, I think they've caught on by now) family members. This weekend I made some great make-ahead cinnamon buns as well as this deliciously tangy dip that has a hint of heat in it.

With 9 kids under foot and 3 dogs it's never a dull moment. As with any family event in our family there was LOADS of food! Along with the bread and dip I brought my sisters made a delicious Spicy Chicken Dip and a gorgeous chocolate Smartie ice cream cake! If I can sweet talk my sistas into sharing their recipes I'll post them asap! Needless to say the dog and I went on a 3km walk as soon as I got home to compensate for my gluttony over the weekend!

Back to the dip at hand!! Talk about a blending of great flavours --creamy, tangy goat cheese, fresh chives, sun-dried tomatoes (one of my FAV flavours) and basil from my garden all blended together. Sadly, I've used my poor basil plant so much lately that the poor thing looks like it has a bad case of mange. I think I need to give it a rest and let it recoop a bit!. This dip was delightful and so easy to make ahead of time! I could also see stuffing a chicken breast with this dip!

Another added bonus is that this dip is egg-free so all of our family members could enjoy it (even though my wee 2 year old nephew with an egg and peanut allergy -- or any of the other kids for that matter -- wouldn't have ventured into my dip for all the chocolate eggs the Easter bunny could give them). I'll give them a few years and hopefully they'll come around to loving this tangy and 'oh so hard to stop eating' dip!

Warm Goat Cheese, Herb & Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
Inspired By:

1 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup onion or shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 oz (1/2 pkg) cream cheese, softened and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup creamy goat cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup (divided) fresh chives, chopped
1/8 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook for several minutes until onions are transparent. Lower heat to medium-low and add red wine vinegar, sugar and milk. Whisk well.

Add creamed cheese and whisk until cream cheese has melted. Add goat cheese and whisk well until melted and mixture is fairly smooth. Add basil, chives (leaving a few for the top of the dip), sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes. Mix well.

Serve immediately with baked pita chips, crackers or tortilla chips OR place dip into a dish and place in refrigerator until ready to use. Preheat oven to 350F and bake for approximately 15 minutes or bubbling at the sides and heated through.


Kelly said...

This looks great :) Glad to be a new follower!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Hi Kelly! Thanks for following my blog. I'm on my way over now to check out your recipes. :)

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