Category Archives: Appetizer

Sweet Onion “Crack Dip”


I’ve been seeing this dip posted on several other blogs and was intrigued to make it myself.  I’ve always been a fan of spinach and artichoke dips, so this could possibly be good. This recipe can be found in Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden by Todd Porter and Diane Cu of  the blog White on Rice Couple (one of my favorite food blogs). Anyway, this recipe is super easy, has loads of flavor and is aptly named “crack dip”!
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened/room temp
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 T freshly cracked black pepper
  • toasted Sourdough bread, French baguette, pretzel flats or crackers
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mayo, Parmesan, onion and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Spread the mixture into a 6-inch baking dish or small oven-safe dish. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until ingredients are melted together and crust is a dark golden brown. The darker brown the crust, the better the flavors.
  4. Serve hot with your favorite bread or crackers. The crispier the better.

This was really good!


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Addictively good Korean chicken wings

KoreanChickenWingsI was looking for a simple but tasty Korean chicken wing recipe and I think I found it on Eat the Love.  This is so simple and addictive, you’ll make this all the time. What we like about it is the depth of flavor with little effort.  The sauce is not too spicy but just right.  We’ve made it twice already with rave reviews each time. We serve with a side of kimchi and beer!


  • 2 lbs chicken wings, drumettes and flats separated with tips discards or saved for stock
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 1-inch knob of fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean chile paste)
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (this is important for flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil


  • wire rack that fits inside baking sheet
  • rimmed baking sheet covered with aluminum foil


1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Place the wings (on the rack) in the oven for 15 minutes, then flip the wings over and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Flip one more time and bake for 10 more minutes or until the wings are crispy golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

2. While the chicken is roasting, prepare the sauce by forcing the garlic through a garlic press. Peel and finely grate the ginger. Place the garlic and ginger in large sauté pan, toast briefly and then add the remaining ingredients (gochujang, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, fish sauce and sesame oil). Cook for about 4-5 minutes to dissolve ingredients.  Turn off heat and then once the wings come out from the oven, turn the heat to medium and cook the sauce until it starts to thicken slightly, about two or three minutes. Toss the still warm wings in the sauce and serve immediately.

Makes about 12-16 medium sized wings, enough for 4 to 6 people as appetizers.

Article adapted from Eat The Love:

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Creamy Moutabel (Eggplant Dip)

MoutabelOne of my most favorite dishes while I lived in Abu Dhabi has to be the moutabel.  It’s similar to baba ghanoush but way better in my opinion. It’s simply a garlicky, roasted eggplant dip. It’s like a cross between baba ghanoush and hummus. Or if hummus and bab ghanoush had a child, this is what it would be. I just love it and could it eat every day.  I especially love it with pomegranate arils and sumac, which takes the moutabel to another level. Don’t be shy about using sumac, it has such a nice sour citrus flavor and its color compliments the eggplant dip quite well. You will really love this recipe. Enjoy!

Here’s my version that is simply delicious. It’s a modified Lebanese/Syrian version:

  • 1 eggplant (about 1 lb) roasted or grilled
  • 1/4 tahini (I like the Oskri brand, Lake Mills, WI)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of Chobani plain Greek yogurt (1 single serving)
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon (or to taste)
  • 2-3 TBSP really good Olive oil (enough until you like the consistency)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the eggplant lengthwise and score the flesh so it’s cooks evenly. No need to salt or oil. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
  3. Cook for 30-40 minutes at 400F until the flesh is soft.  Or you can grill them.
  4. Cool in the fridge until cold.
  5. In my Blendtec blender (or food processor): I add the cold eggplant, garlic, yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil.  Add a little salt and blend in short pulses until a nice creamy texture.  I add more olive oil and salt to taste.  Similar to how you make hummus.
  6. Cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with pomegranate arils and some sprinkles of sumac. You can add more oil on top too as this is often how they serve it in Abu Dhabi.  These are optional but really make it taste better.
  8. I recommend dipping veges (celery, cucumbers, etc) and also toasted pita (or Arab bread) in moutabel.  But I could dip stuff like chicken and other meats in it too.


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