Refreshing Fresh Dill, Feta and Greek Yogurt Dip

A good party always needs a good dip! Some friends and I recently celebrated a big birthday! We were fortunate to spend the weekend at one friend’s brother’s house directly on the beach in Cape Cod. AMAZING! We all brought our favorite snack/comfort foods. One friend brought this greek yogurt feta dip from Marzetti. It was sooooooo good! I couldn’t stop eating it! We also had some Hood Chive Cottage Cheese, Pub cheese and Onion Dip, of course. For dinner we enjoyed lobster, steak and burrata with tomatoes and basil.

I decided I had to try to recreate the feta greek yogurt dip when I got home. After a few trials, I found one that was just as tasty.

Fresh Dill, Feta and Greek Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

½ cup of plain greek yogurt

1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

8 ounces of cream cheese

4 ounces of feta, crumbled

Zest of ½ lemon

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Add all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk together or mix on high for about a minute. Place in a container to allow for dipping. Enjoy!

You can try crackers, pretzels or veggies with this fresh, yummy dip!I used one of our favorite gluten-free crackers from Crunchmaster.

What is your favorite dip?

Shop my favorite items I used to make this!

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Here are some other dips that would be a hit at any party!

Guacamole and a Layered Dip

Salsa Verde (and the Taco Meatballs you can dip into it!)

 

Meatloaf Two Ways

Meatloaf is really comfort food at its best. What is better than meatloaf? Meatloaf meatballs! This recipes tells you how to make both from the same mixture. I’m a big fan of making more than I need since it is doing the same work for double recipe. That means I can put something in the freezer to easily pull out one night when I need a quick meal.

Meatloaf (Bulk recipe)

Ingredients

2 pounds of ground beef (top round or sirloin)

1 pound of pork sausage (Wegmans sells 1 pound tubes that are labeled gluten free)

½ cup of gluten free bread crumbs

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ of a red onion, grated

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

½ cup of milk

2 eggs

½ cup of ketchup

1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar

3 Tablespoons of honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all the ingredients up to and including the eggs.  Make a small patty and cook it, so you can taste for seasoning. Repeat with more seasoning if needed.

For Meatloaf:  Once seasoned to your liking, split the meat mixture in half. Form two loaves of meatloaf. Place them on a metal cooling rack over a baking sheet. Make the sauce by mixing the ketchup, balsamic vinegar and honey together in a small bowl. Pour a couple of tablespoons of sauce over each loaf, then brush to cover. Cook in oven for 50 to 70 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 160 degrees (FDA Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures). Take out of the oven and brush again with sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes and asparagus or polenta and green beans.

For Meatballs: Once seasoned to your liking, make one and a half to two inches in diameter meatballs. Heat a large skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil in it.  Sear each meatball and place on a metal cooling rack over a baking sheet. Cook in oven for about 20 minutes. Check your largest meatball close to the center and make sure it is cooked through.  Serve with the sauce for dipping. Tip: you can keep the meatballs warm by placing them in a slow cooker on warm or low with a little beef stock (enough to cover bottom of pot, not meatballs).

You can make either of these methods to feed a crowd or make one of each and freeze half. I know, I know, some of you don’t like making such big batches 😉 Make a 1/2 batch and let me know how it turns out!

For my family, it works for me to cook in large batches when I have time, so for those many times that I cannot cook, we have something delicious and homemade to pull out of the freezer.

As a family with a child who has celiac disease, our take-out options are limited and often more expensive, so having easy meals in the freezer are a life saver for our busy lifestyle. It helps that we have a large deep freezer in the garage. What are your go to bulk meals?

 

Carrot Ginger Soup

Even though the weather seems to be getting warmer (wishful thinking that spring is near!) soup is still a great comfort. Especially, this light, delicious soup (which is vegan and gluten free if you need it to be). It is a great lunch with grilled cheese or perfect starter for you Easter dinner.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil

½ teaspoon of sesame oil

1 large sweet onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 inch of fresh ginger, minced

5 to 6 large carrots, diced

1 ½ teaspoons of salt

¼ teaspoon of pepper

5 ½ cups of chicken or vegetable stock

Sour cream or plain greek yogurt, optional

Directions

Heat oils in a stock pot. Add onions, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add carrots, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add the stock and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Blend with a handheld blender or allow to cool and transfer to a blender or food processor to puree. If there are lumps, run through a sieve. Keep in stock pot on low heat or in a crock pot on warm or low until ready to serve. Top with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if you like.

Spring will be here before we know it! With a slight chill in the air, soups make an easy, healthy lunch, served with a salad or sandwich. Let me know if there are any recipes you want to see for the spring!

Here are some of my other soup recipes if you are in the mood for something different.

 

Burrata and Tomatoes with Fresh Basil

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. It’s on a Tuesday night, so planning a romantic dinner amidst the usual weeknight craze of kids activities, homework and work can be a challenge. This appetizer or snack for 2 takes less than 10 minutes to make. It is decadent, delicious and oh so easy to make.

 

Burrata with tomatoes

Ingredients

1 – 4 ounce ball of burrata

Handful of grape tomatoes (8 to 10), chopped

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon of kosher salt

Pinch of black pepper

3-4 leaves of fresh basil, torn

Directions

Dry off the burrata carefully with a paper towel and place on the center of the plate. Place tomatoes around it. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tomatoes and burrata. Lastly, shower the plate with fresh basil. Serve with 2 forks 😉

This would be a great appetizer to serve with my poached salmon and quinoa risotto. Top off the meal with ice cream sundaes with fresh whipped cream.

What are you serving for Valentine’s Day?  or celebrating early over the weekend?

Guacamole, Dip and more Superbowl Ideas, oh my!

As many of you know I am not the biggest football fan 😉  I enjoy cheering local teams though and since I live less than 20 minutes from Gillette Stadium (and shop at the Trader Joe’s in its shadow!), I am looking forward to next Sunday!  I always love a chance to cook, so here are some recipes and ideas for your Superbowl Sunday feast.

This is my favorite Guacamole recipe! Use it on its own to dip your favorite tortilla chips into or add it to a layer dip. You’ll see my idea for a layer dip below.

Guacamole

Ingredients

2 – 3 avocados (depends on size, 2 large or 3 small)

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

4 Tablespoons finely chopped tomatoes

2 Tablespoons of minced red onion

1 handful of cilantro, chopped finely

Directions

Add avocado, lime, salt, cumin and pepper to a medium sized bowl. Mash together with a fork. Add tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Mix together. Add more lime juice if needed on top to keep guacamole from browning.

If you want to make a layered dip, here is an idea:

Take a can of black beans and mash with a fork and place on the bottom of your serving dish.  Place a layer of the guacamole. Take 8 ounces of sour cream and mix with 1 teaspoon of chili powder. Add that as the next layer. Top with 1 cup of shredded cheddar, cilantro, chopped olives and chopped tomatoes. Let sit in fridge for 2- 24 hours. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or add it to a tortilla with some shredded chicken or pork.

Dip, chips, wings, meatballs, ribs, chili, pulled pork, Rainbow pizza or grilled pizza…you name it! There are so many options for your football feast. Desserts? Make these Chex Crispy Bars, Ice cream sundaes, brownies or cupcakes and frost with chocolate frosting and then pipe white frosting to look like laces. Simply having chocolate chip cookies or a bowl of M & Ms or rolos or hershey kisses would be plenty!

What are you having Sunday night for the Superbowl?

Apricot Glazed Wings

I made these wings for dinner last week (waffles and wings, a spin on chicken and waffles) and I could not wait to share it! I let my kids lick their fingers and I may even have too 😉 Many of you are watching football or basketball games over the next couple of weeks. I like to watch. I don’t really understand football and much to my husband’s dismay, I don’t really want to try to understand it. I’m happy to create yummy treats for those who enjoy watching it. Try these for your next game day party! You will not have leftovers! Just remember, lots and lots of napkins 🙂

Apricot Glazed Wings

Ingredients

About 2 pounds of chicken wings

3 Tablespoons of apricot preserves

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

1 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the ingredients, except the wings, together in a large bowl. Microwave for 10 seconds. Whisk the sauce together and pour about ½ of it into another large bowl. Toss wings with ½ of the mixture and place on a cooling rack that is over a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Toss with the remaining sauce (that was kept in a separate bowl) and serve!

If you like buffalo wings follow the same recipe but melt a little butter into your favorite wing sauce (I discovered Wegman’s Buffalo Hot Sauce this week and it is delicious and gluten free!). Separate the sauce into 2 bowls. Toss the wings in one bowl and place on rack over baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Toss with remaining sauce and serve with some ranch dressing or blue cheese (just check that it is gluten-free!)

Put these out on a platter alongside a bowl of Doritos, pot of chili, fruit plate and a veggie platter or some meatballs. Later in the in the week, I’ll have my barbecue ribs recipe for you too! What is your favorite game day snack?

The Best Recipes of 2016

To celebrate the end of 2016, I’m sharing this list of your favorite recipes from Mamma’s Cooking. Thank you for reading!

1.  Appetizer Ideas for Thanksgiving

2. Rainbow Pizza

3. Cooking Your Thanksgiving Turkey

4. Spoon Roast

5. Gingerbread Cookies

6. Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

7. Holiday Mashed Potatoes

8. School Snack and Lunch Ideas

9. Apple or Pear Crisp Recipe

10. What to do with Leftover Cod

This completes my 31 days of posts! I challenged myself with a post a day in December and I did it! Best wishes to you all for a great celebration tonight and an even better 2017. Look tomorrow for my 2017 Cooking Bucket list.

 

Favorite Meatball Recipes from 2016

Meatballs are a great way to feed a crowd as a main meal or as an appetizer. They are kid friendly and can be made as healthy or as decadent as you like. Any of these recipes would be great for tailgating, watching football on tv with friends or ringing in the new year.

You can use ground turkey, chicken, pork, beef or your favorite mixture. Meatballs are a canvas. Make them with Asian flavors, Tex Mex or the classic Italian. Here are some of my favorite meatball recipes from 2016:

Greek Meatballs

Taco Meatballs

Bahn Mi Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Italian Stuffed Meatballs

Meatballs, Plain and Simple

What is your favorite meatball?

 

 

 

 

Mussels for your New Year’s Celebration

An easy, festive and light idea for your New Year’s Eve celebration is a big pot of mussels! All you need along side it is a good loaf of crusty bread. You can accomplish that with gluten free bread by toasting it and it is just as good to dip it into the broth! You will soon have a bowl of empty shells.

Mussels with White Balsamic Broth

 

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup of diced white onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 pounds of mussels, cleaned 

3 Tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth

handful of fresh cilantro or basil, torn

Directions

Heat olive oil in medium sized pot. Cook onions and garlic in oil for a couple of minutes. Add mussels and stir. Add remaining ingredients, stir and cover for about 10-15 minutes, or until all the mussels are open. If a mussel doesn’t open, discard it. Toss with cilantro and serve.

With all the holiday festivities, heavy food and sweets turning toward lighter but still delicious feasts are welcome! What are you serving for New Years?

Easy appetizers

Merry Christmas! Christmas Day is finally here! In the few minutes of calm while the kids play with their new toys, I am drinking some egg nog and thinking about what to prep for Christmas dinner!

Having easy appetizers ready, will keep everyone happy while you finish dinner. This year I’m making: A block of cream cheese with some raspberry jelly on top, served with crackers; broccoli and carrots to be dipped in Wegman’s hummus, a plate of salami, a bowl of grapes and tangerines, shrimp cocktail and my daughter’s favorite, a big bowl of Doritos. Nothing fancy but something for everyone 🙂

Here is a compilation of past posts with recipes for appetizers:

Appetizer Ideas for Thanksgiving

Rainbow Pizza

Meatballs, Plain and Simple