Creamy Dreamy Dip

Hi Friends!

Happy Tuesday! I figured I’d stop in and share my latest obsession: Creamy Cheesy Dip/Spread (made in about 5 minutes with a blender). Seriously… I think I’ve made this dip about 5 times in the last month (3 times for social gatherings and 2 times just because I couldn’t stop thinking about it). I make it a little differently each time, but this way seems to be my favorite.

And if you have these ingredients… how can you go wrong, really?!

Three of my favorite things....

Three of my favorite things….

This is super easy to make and can be made with so many different flavor combinations… serve it with some sliced baguette, a good dip chip or some veggies… I’m also loving it as a spread on sandwiches.

Sorry for the lack of photos… but I didn’t think that blended cheese would photograph well.

Noelle’s Creamy Dreamy (cheesy) Dip:

*adapted from a cream cheese box–I can’t find it on the Organic Valley website or I would link it for you.*

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened.
  • 1 (8 oz) brick cheddar cheese (I am a big fan of Cabot Extra Sharp)
  • 8 oz. Plain Greek Yogurt/Sour Cream
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tsp. onion powder or chives.
  • 2-3 tsp. smoky paprika
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a few good cranks of black pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon (optional)

Grate your cheddar cheese.

Add all ingredients into food processor/blender–EXCEPT your cream cheese and lemon juice. Pulse until everything is chopped/well combined.

Add in remaining ingredients and pulse for a few more minutes until everything is incorporated.

Scrape into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for an hour or so before serving–this allows the flavors to really come together.

Want to add in some veggies? Throw in some broccoli, spinach or kale.

This dip is real good. Please try it!

 

 


Fresh Picked Plates-July

I love local food…especially when it’s coming straight out of the garden or from a farm down the road.

Even though the growing season has been slowed down with all the rain, we’ve been very blessed with loads of arugula, radishes, swiss chard, beets and beet greens, chives, scallions, cilantro and lettuce. We’ve also been picking up beans, carrots and other veggies, along with local meats, eggs and cheeses at the market or our co-op.

My favorites (potatoes, tomatoes and peppers) are coming along and I can’t wait… we’re also going to have a squash and bean surplus…perfect for the freezer!

Anyway, here is a peek at how we’ve been using up all of our greens lately (please forgive my less than stellar photography skills):

A simple salad

A simple salad with radishes, goat cheese and chicken.

Roasted beets that we've been putting in everything!

Roasted beets that we’ve been putting in everything!

I was on a butternut crust pizza kick a few weeks ago:

A squash pizza crust with chicken, scapes, local cheese and Ben's BBQ Sauce

A squash pizza crust with chicken, scapes, local cheese and Ben’s BBQ Sauce

A Squash Pizza with arugula, garlic scapes and olive oil.

A Squash Pizza with arugula, garlic scapes and olive oil.

But we always love our giant salads…

Another delicious salad with carrots, beets, beet greens, avocado

Another delicious salad with carrots, beets, beet greens, avocado

A simple green salad topped with yellow carrots, scallions and a mustard vinaigrette.

A simple green salad topped with yellow carrots, scallions and a mustard vinaigrette.

Beet greens and swiss chard topped with goat cheese.

Beet greens and swiss chard topped with goat cheese.

Cold soba noodle salad over greens (salad has green beans, green tomatoes, peppers, scallions, cilantro)

Cold soba noodle salad over greens (salad has green beans, green tomatoes, peppers, scallions, cilantro)

And we’ve had a few other tasty hot meals:

Lasagna rolls (ricotta made by me) and a big salad with chevre.

Lasagna rolls (ricotta made by me) and a big salad with chevre.

Local Pepper stuffed with barbecue pinto and adzuki beans, black rice, local cheddar and topped with chives.

Local Pepper stuffed with barbecue pinto and adzuki beans, black rice, local cheddar and topped with chives.

And here are some of my meals I’ve been packing for breakfast/lunch:

First potato(!) with eggs, local cheddar and chives and a big beet and green salad.

First potato(!) with eggs, local cheddar and chives and a big beet and green salad.

Beets, Swiss Chard, Beet greens, carrots, cilantro, mint, scallions, grilled veggies, a local burger and pecans with a roasted garlic vinaigrette

Beets, Swiss Chard, Beet greens, carrots, cilantro, mint, scallions, grilled veggies, a local burger and pecans with a roasted garlic vinaigrette

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Swiss Chard rolls with rice, dill, garlic and lemon juice, big green/beet salad

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Green pepper stuffed with rice, and local chicken sausage, eggs, onion, and eggplant

 

What about you? What’s your go-to summer meal? What’s been on your plate lately?


Another Fresh Picked Plate

I love local food… in case you haven’t figured that out yet…. today’s lunch is another example: tomato, beans and jalapenos from the garden, local cheese and greek yogurt and organic meatballs (I admit, these aren’t local… but they have all good ingredients). Check it out!

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What are you having for lunch?!


Noelle’s Notes to Self

I often make mental notes…sometimes I even write them down. Here is a look at what goes on inside my head-at least what was going on yesterday and today.

1. Check pants before putting them on, they may have a hole in them.

2. Wear black underwear if you have a hole in your black pants, it’ll help disguise this fact.

3. If you know you’re not going to get a chance to pee, don’t continue to chug water. (I failed at this.)

4.  I think it’s time to buy some new pants. And to figure out what the heck size I wear these days. I also need heels. And shirts.

5. Buy butter. There is never enough in our house. Especially after kitchen mishaps…

6. Make more peanut butter cookies. (I succeeded at this.)

7. Run run run run run run run!

8. Iced coffee would greatly improve my day.

9. It is definitely a big sunglasses and messy bun kind of day.

10. To post the latest awkward story? Or not to post?

11. Apparently butter and a hot oven don’t mix. Who knew? (okay, that wasn’t actually mine,  I won’t name names to avoid embarrassing this person.)

12. At this time last year, I was going crazy planning a wedding and working crazy hours. This year, I attended a wedding and am still working crazy hours. Life makes me smile.

13. I eat really odd things when left to my own devices. Like sardines.

14. Find tonic that isn’t full of high fructose corn syrup.

15. Until then, drink this instead. With something local. (Check.)

16. Finish the three two other blog posts I started.

17. Pick up items for giveaway.

18. Give Farmer Ben a big kiss. He is way too good to me.

19. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEND!

20. I’m getting old. Falling asleep before 9 pm is ridiculous.

21. Mail Foodie Penpal Package. (Check.)

22. Where the heck is all my chapstick?

23.  I need more cheese in my life.

24. I love Leonardo DiCaprio… and pickles.

25. Holy Cow! This is my 71st blog post!

26. The Ragnar Relay is actually happening! AH!!!! See number 7. Repeat often.

27. Good luck tomorrow Liz! You are gonna rock it!!!!

The End.


You Don’t Need a Reason…

Update: Congratulations to Liz, you are the winner!

Sometimes you really don’t need a reason other than “just because.”

As I was sitting at my desk on Friday afternoon, wondering if I would ever make it to the end of the day, my wonderful husband walked into the office and placed a perfectly wrapped box in front of me.

“What is this?!” I asked.

He replied, “Just open it.”

I carefully opened the package, trying extra hard not to destroy the pretty wrapping paper.

The box contained a brand new Vera Bradley wallet. A cute design composed of various greens and blues. It instantly brought a smile to my face.

If you know me, you know that I don’t like to spend money on things like clothing, wallets or purses. As a result, my old wallet was on its last legs. Ben, knowing this, decided to get me a “just because” gift…that I could actually use.

So, keeping with the spirit of “just because,” I am giving away a $10 gift card to a local business.

Cheechako Taco is a bangin’ taco joint located in downtown Plattsburgh. They focus on two things: Tacos and burritos. They also get major bonus points for using local produce, tricky trivia questions and crazy decor.

They have a little something for everyone’s taste, all with a unique twist and lots of melted cheese. You can view their menu here.

I highly recommend this place. Check it out if you live in the area or even if you are just visiting!

The Rules:

  • Tell me about a time when you have gotten a “just because” gift and how it made you feel by commenting on this post.
  • One entry per person.
  • All comments must be in by Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm.

Disclaimer: Cheechako Taco has no idea who I am (other than a customer who frequents their shop). They are not sponsoring this giveaway in any way–I am doing it because I love tacos. And burritos. And you. The end.


All I Really Want…

Is a burger and a beer. What foods are you craving right now?  

 

Hand-cut fries, grass-fed beef, Red Hen roll, bacon, braised kale, caramelized onions, arugula, house-made pickles and Vermont Cheddar.

I know a just did a post about the Farmhouse Tap & Grill, but seriously. Go there. This is their handiwork. I dream about this burger. 

Have a great day, everyone!