7 Layer Mediterranean Dip

I find it super annoying that everyone always brings a 7 layer dip to parties…always…like you could bet money on it. The overall concept of a 7 layer dip sounds pretty good, but usually its a disgusting mush ball of refried beans and sourcream…gag! I hate refried beans a lot, they might be my least favorite foods.  Anyway for the Superbowl I wanted to make a new modern (refried bean-less) 7 layer dip, show people that it could be really good and not disgusting. When searching FoodGawker I stumbled upon something even better!And so I present to you (in pictures) 7 Layer Mediterranean Dip:

(ingredients from this recipe) modified slightly

-1  tub of Hummus
-1 peeled and diced cucumbers
-3/4 cup shredded romaine lettuce
-1/2 diced red onions
-1 diced tomatoes
-1/2 cup diced kalamata olives (these are much cheaper if you buy them at a grocery store that has an olive bar)
-1 cup crumbled feta cheese

-Tzatsiki Sauce
-pita chips

And there you have it! We made ours in Tupperware (for easy travel) but it looks very cute in a glass Triffle dish so you can see all the layers!

Nachos

Well I wouldn’t say these are that healthy, but they also weren’t that bad either.

-Tortilla Chips

-One Can Black Beans

-Pico de Gallo

-1 Avocado

-1 Bag shredded low fat cheese.

Pretty simple. Layer, repeat, layer repeat. The key with all Nachos is proper layering. Then cover with foil @400 for about 1 minutes, then remove foil and broil for about 5 minutes.  This was an awesome dinner. Our Cour Cream went bad, otherwise I would have done a bit of that too!

 

Fall Foods: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Would you like to consume 8 million calories in one soft pumpkin flavored cream cheese filled sandwich?! Of ocurse you would! Lets get started.

I actually made these like 3 weeks ago, and for some reason have taken my sweet time posting them. Oh well, better late than never! And we still have a good few weeks before the dreaded winter devours my all too short Autumn…):

This recipe is actually really easy, kids could easily help too. The recipe originally came from this blog, and I basically followed it to a T. It says the recipe makes like 12, but mine made 24! So I dont know what kinda crazy large whoopie pies Martha was making, but this makes a ton! The only down side I found was that they stick together really bad, and then they kind of tear themselves apart if you stack them. I may have needed to cook them a little longer to “dry them out” a bit.

The cream cheese frosting was the easiest and BEST part, I really want to make Mr. Gaunt a pumpkin cake with this frosting for his birthday!

RECIPE:

3 cups of AP Flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 tablespoon of Cinnamon

2 tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 cups of light brown sugar

1 cup of vegetable oil

3 cups of pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of Vanilla

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Filing

12 oz of Cream Cheese, softened

4 oz of unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste  ( I just used vanilla)

2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

To make the Cookies –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.  In a Large bowl combine the brown sugar and oil until well mixed. Add in the pumpkin and stir to combine. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until completely incorporated.

Using a tablespoon ice cream scoop, drop scoops on the parchment paper about 1 inch apart.  Bake for 15 – 17 minutes rotating the pans half way through. The tops should be just starting to crack or firm to the touch. Let them cool completely before filling.

To Make the Filling –

Cream together the cream cheese and the butter until they are light and fluffy. Then add in vanilla bean paste and stir to combine. Sift in the powdered sugar in 3 additions making sure to mix well after each addition. Set this aside to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Using a piping bag, pipe a good amount of frosting on one cookie and top with another cookie pressing down ever so slightly. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

These were a HUGE hit at the party I went to. I even bought this cute plate at target for $3! If you have a Halloween part I definitely suggest making these!

Home Made Pizza Rolls

I made these last week for a friends BBQ. People seemed to like them a lot, I should have made more! These actually took two tries. I got the idea a few weeks ago when we went to a Pizza/Bar place for Trivia night, and a friend ordered these amazing Pizza cinnamon roll things. I thought I could easily make my own but they ended up being too thick and not cooking in the middle. They looked good though:

After that failure I searched the web a bit and found this recipe for Pizza Pops, I didn’t feel the need to do the “pop” part (although if I were making them for kids I might) but I followed the recipe pretty closely. The only changes I made was using part 2% Ricotta and Skim mozzarella (the ricotta idea came from the original cinnamon roll like ones) for the cheese, as well as low-fat Pizza sauce and Low Fat Turkey pepperoni. If I had thought about it earlier I would have made my own Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, but I didn’t so I used one of those Pillsbury Pizza dough rolls.

The secret is to cut them pretty thin, no more than a half-inch thick. That way they cook thoroughly. You should try them, they are fun, and would be great for game days!