Spring is nearly here, and your calendar is probably already filling up with engagement parties, bridal showers, and weddings. Maybe you’re even planning one of your own! Whatever your reason for celebrating love this spring, if you’re in charge of preparing or planning the food, you’ll need to not only consider taste but also aesthetics. Treats that are both beautiful and delicious please the palate and add that extra touch of elegance and style to any party.

Not sure where to start? Check out these perfect party dip hacks! We promise they’re “berry” good.

Terrific Tarts

For starters, skip the standard onion and guacamole dips. Go for the White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl and the Heaven Sake Cheesecake party dips instead. The premixed flavor packets are meant to be combined with whipped topping and cream cheese, but there’s no reason not to deviate from the norm. For example, why not buy mini tart shells, fresh mint, dark chocolate, and berries too?

Readymade mini tart shells are often available for purchase in the freezer or refrigerated display cases of most major grocery stores. If your store is all sold out of the ready-made tart shells, don’t stress. The shells are surprisingly easy to make. They require the following pantry staples:

  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Shortening (Chilled)
  • 1/3 Cup Butter (Cubed)
  • 1.75 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. Ice Cold Water

The tart shell ingredients should be combined just like any other pie crust. As such, everything but the water should go into a food processor and get run through the coarse or pulse setting. Afterward, the water should be added a little at a time until the mini tart dough can be easily rolled up into small balls.

Once the tart dough has been shaped into small balls, you’ll need to roll each one out. Next, place them into their respective, greased tart pans and bake them for 20 to 30 minutes in a 375-degree oven. Ideally, the oven should be preheated for 10 to 15 minutes before sliding the tart pan onto the center shelf. However, some ovens may take longer to come to the right temperature.

Allow the cooked tart shells to cool. To continue, use a pastry bag to pipe the party dip into the mini-tart shells. Be careful not to overfill the bag because the warmth of a person’s hand has the potential to heat up the dip. And if the dip is partially chilled, it will hold the shape of the pastry bag tip longer.

Afterward, add shaved chocolate, berries, and fresh mint to complete the presentation. They’ll make excellent engagement party or bridal shower desserts. And if you’re having the party outside, we’ve got another berry good hack you may want to try. It involves candy molds and the freezer.

A Cool Party Dip Alternative

Instead of piping the party dip into the mini tart shells, fill cute little candy molds instead. Then place them into the freezer 24 to 48 hours before the engagement or bridal shower is expected to begin. Depending on the freezer’s temperature, the dip should harden and take on the shape of their molds.

Before the guests arrive, pop the frozen party dip sculptures out of the molds. Use them to create little appetizer or dessert plates. If you’re going with the appetizers, plate the frozen dip with freshly sliced fruits and decorative swirls of yogurt.

If desserts are the engagement party or bridal shower order of the day, grab some sliced pound or sponge cake. Place the sliced cake onto individual plates and dust them with powdered sugar, then use the frozen party dip molds as the pièce de résistance. Put one on top of each cake and serve. As the dip melts, it will combine with the cake and taste amazing.

To uncover more great party dip hacks like these, contact us today.

 

Caramelized onions add a deep, rich flavor to most any savory dish. Sometimes, though, you don't want to take the time to cook them before you can start the rest of your recipe. Taking a shortcut with our Caramelized French Onion Dip mix gives you all the flavor without the fuss.

Try these seven crazy, ingenious recipes with our Caramelized French Onion Dip to make your family or dinner guests think you slaved over the meal. Then use the time you save for an extra cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

1. Hearty Roast Beef or Pork

Not only does the dip mix save you time you'd usually spend measuring spices and mincing herbs, but you can save even more time by popping it into the oven or the slow-cooker and using that cook time for other tasks.

For quick clean-up, prepare your meal in an oven cooking bag. This also keeps the meat moist, while the "low and slow” cooking technique makes it tender.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour into the bag and shake it well to coat the inside.

Next, place a beef or pork roast inside the bag. You can use any cut of beef or pork, but a rump roast or sirloin roast works well. Scrub baby carrots, small potatoes, and baby portabella mushrooms; if the potatoes are large, cut them in half.

Mix a package of Caramelized French Onion Dip mix with 3/4 cup of water. Pour the sauce over the roast, massaging it through the bag to be sure the whole surface is coated. Add the carrots, potatoes and mushrooms and close the bag with its tie. Cut five or six 1/2-inch slits. Bake the roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until it is tender.

2. Not Your Mama’s Meatballs

Mix up a batch of Caramelized French Onion Dip meatballs; you won't need your mama’s marinara to top them. They're perfect all by themselves or served up on crusty French or Italian bread rolls as sandwiches.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix 1 package of dip mix with 1 pound of ground turkey, 1/2 cup of oatmeal, and 1 egg. Use your hands to blend everything thoroughly and then form the mixture into meatballs. For an extra touch, tuck a small piece of mozzarella or cheddar cheese into the center of the meatball.

Place the balls on a 9-inch x 13-inch baking sheet that you've lined with parchment paper, and cook them for 20 minutes or until they are cooked through.

If you still want a sauce after you taste these yummy treats, mix a little softened cream cheese, sour cream, and dip mix together in a saucepan, and heat it through on low heat.

3. Palate-Pleasing Cheesy Bread

Cheese and onions: what more do you need to know about this dish to know it's going to be a new favorite?

You can use any cheese blend that you have on hand if these aren't your favorites. And you can even make this ahead of time and freeze it for later. Just pop it into zippered freezer bags before baking, then thaw and bake it when you're ready to nosh.

Grate 2 cups each of sharp cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses. Mix them with 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (the good, fresh stuff), 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons softened butter, and a package of Caramelized French Onion Dip mix.

Cut a loaf of crusty French bread in half lengthwise, and spread the cheese mixture on both halves. Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or if you're baking it straight out of the freezer, bake it for 20 minutes.

4. Kicked Up Grilled Cheese

It's hard to believe, but there might be times when you actually have a bit of Caramelized French Onion Dip leftover after a party. Don’t let it go to waste!

Spread one side of two slices of whole wheat bread with the dip. Place one slice dip-side down in a skillet or on a griddle (or panini press). Then, top with your favorite cheese (a smoky Gouda would be terrific) and add the second slice of bread, dip-side up. Toast the sandwich on the first side and then flip it to toast the other side.

5. Too Tired to Cook Pasta

If you have Caramelized French Onion Dip and pasta, you've got dinner!

Mix the dip according to the package directions, add a little olive oil to the dip to thin it slightly, then toss it with cooked pasta. Serve it warm with a green salad or chill it for a unique twist on pasta salad.

6. (Semi)Homemade Salad Dressing

Impress your family or guests with a special salad dressing. Make Caramelized French Onion Dip according to the package directions, then add a splash of milk to make it pourable. Toss a variety of salad greens, some walnuts or almonds, a bit of feta or bleu cheese, and a handful of dried cranberries, and then top them with your "secret recipe" salad dressing.

7. Creamy French Onion Chicken and Rice

While you are preparing the chicken, cook 1 cup of brown rice in 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of water until it is tender.

Slice and sauté one onion in a little olive oil until it is translucent and just beginning to turn golden. Add 1 cup of chicken broth. Season two skinless, boneless chicken breasts or four thighs; add them to the onion and broth, and cook them for 8 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup Caramelized French Onion Dip, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, stirring it in thoroughly. Cook it for 4 minutes longer or until the chicken is cooked completely.

Spoon rice onto a plate and top it with the chicken. Pour the pan sauce over the top of the dish.

Want more ideas? Contact us today for more simple deli-delicious recipes and gift ideas!

 

February is heart-focused for two reasons - one is Valentine’s Day and the other is that it's Heart Health Month. If you’re looking to celebrate both, horseradish products should certainly be on your shopping list. Horseradish is heart healthy and may be incorporated into a thoughtful gift.

What makes horseradish heart healthy? Why it’s the natural, fat-free ingredients! It contains mustard oils, enzymes, vitamin A and vitamin C. According to The Herb Society of America, it is believed to benefit more than just the heart and circulatory system. For example, it is sometimes used to combat minor edema and inflammation.

Health factors aside, horseradish has the potential to elevate romantic meals too. For instance, imagine enjoying a platter with oysters seasoned with a horseradish and bacon sauce. Oysters are also sometimes served on or with horseradish ice, which is easy to make. It involves combining simple syrup, horseradish and vinegar together. Instructions on making the shaved, horseradish flavored ice are readily available on many recipe sites.

Other aphrodisiacs may benefit from a spoonful of horseradish too. Let’s take beets for example. They could be combined with horseradish to create a fabulous borsht. Brussels sprouts, another veggie known to spark desire, taste excellent with horseradish. Just make a horseradish sauce and pour it over your lover’s helping of Brussels sprouts right before presenting the plate.

Clearly, lovers could skip the fancy dinners and choose to give each other bottles of horseradish paired with additional gourmet treats. We’ve got a Horseradish Heaven gift basket that would be phenomenal in that regard. It contains crackers, mustard, dip, pickles, spread, block cheese and of course, horseradish. They’re all packaged in a quaint basket complete with a cheese cleaver. 

Let's celebrate this February with heart-healthy horseradish!

Don’t torture friends and family with leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches. There are so many better ways to get rid of leftovers, especially when cheese dips are in the house. A Spice Above’s Blazin’ Buffalo Dip is one of our personal favorites to use with holiday leftovers. Sold in one ounce packages, it’s made with cayenne peppers, paprika, garlic, hot sauce, butter, vinegar and more. Here’s what this fabulous cheese dip can do:

Shred any leftover holiday meats and fold them into a big bowl of Blazin’ Buffalo dip. Make sure that every last morsel of meat is absolutely drenched in the stuff. Then fill a platter with leftover bread, celery sticks, tortilla chips and other starchy dippers. Put the two dishes on to the table and let everyone dig in as often as they please.

Got leftover cranberry dressing too? Puree the dressing until it’s nice and smooth. Next, stir some into the cheese dip, tasting as you go. Then finish up by using the spread to make a platter full of turkey or ham Paninis. If you don’t have a Panini press, don’t get your winter scarf in a knot. Try grilling the sandwiches on the stove top or using old-fashioned toast instead.

Wondering what to do with leftover cauliflower and other vegetables? Guess what, Blazin’ Buffalo dip can jazz them up too. Just reheat the vegetables and use the cheese dip as a saucy topping or toss the veggies into it. Either way, they’ll be coated with hot, cheesy goodness. So everyone is less apt to complain about eating leftovers again.

And if your assortment of leftovers consists of nothing more than a little of this and a pinch of that, rejoice. Then reach for the refrigerated pizza crust. Pillsbury™ has a fantastic recipe posted online for Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. They’re not really cupcakes, they just look like them. And the cups are filled with cheese dip and spoonfuls of leftovers. To discover other ways cheese dips can easily turn lame leftovers into something spectacular and mouth-watering, please contact us.

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