Feta Dip

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Dips are just the best. A dinner of dip(s) a great, easy (and usually oven-less) summer dinner, and that is exactly what I did with this feta dip. I had eaten some feta dip at a get together a few weeks ago, and ever since I have been hell-bent on re-creating it at home.

This dip was particularly great outside on a hot day with a margarita. A highly recommended combination. Or any dip with a margarita.

If you will now excuse me, I have a whole bowl of it in the fridge just calling my name for dinner. And it’s all for me since I am the only feta-lover in this household.

FETA DIP

INGREDIENTS

4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces feta cheese, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2-3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped chives
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cayenne pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat olive oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

In a bowl, break up feta cheese into small pieces (you can also use a food processor as well). Mix in cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise until combined. Stir in garlic olive oil, chives, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let sit in fridge at least 1 hour, preferably overnight to let the flavors develop. Serve chilled or at room temperature with Pita chips or vegetables.

Recipe from Cinnamon Freud.

Blueberry and Sour Cream Pie Revisited

Since I have a never ending list of new recipes to try, I don’t remake dishes very often- especially desserts. There are just too many new possibilities that old ones fall to the wayside. However, when I do make really good dessert and repeat it, I notice how much easier it is the second time around.  I made this pie for our New Year’s Dinner earlier this year, and I remember thinking it was a pretty difficult recipe.  But this time around, everything went much more smoothly.

This time around, I found a much better pie crust (a pate sucree actually, how fancy) and I revamped the struesel topping to be even better.  This pie is still absolutely divine.  Something about the combination of blueberries, sour cream, and almond just works.  And if you want to justify this for a holiday pie, just say that the white sour cream represents snow and the blueberries represent snow flakes.  It’s a stretch, but no one will protest this pie replacing a more traditional holiday treat after they take that first bite.

BLUEBERRY AND SOUR CREAM PIE
Pie Adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts
Crust Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart
INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
4-6 tablespoons ice water

For the Pie:
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups blueberries

For the Topping:
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

For the Crust:

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Sprinkle cold butter on top and process until an evenly distributed crumb mixture forms.  At egg yolk and 3 tablespoons of water and pulse.  Add more water if needed until a soft dough forms.  Turn onto plastic wrap and press into a small disk.  Chill for at least 1 hour.

For the Pie:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Grease a 9 inch pie pan.  Turn pie dough onto lightly floured surface and roll out to a 10 inch circle.  Press pie crust into pan, crimping the edges and removing the excess.  Freeze for 20 minutes.  Prick bottom of the pie with a fork.  Line pie with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake for 15 minutes, then remove beans/weights.  Cover the edges of the pie with foil and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes, until sides are set.

While the pie chills or bakes, prepare the sour cream filling.  In a large bowl combine sour cream, sugar, flour, egg, almond extract, and salt.  Whisk together until smooth.  Fold in blueberries.

After crust is baked, pour filling into hot pie crust.  Keep the edges of the pie covered and bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping.  In a small bowl combine butter and flour.  Mix together with your fingers until small crumbles form.  Stir in almonds and sugar.  Once filling is baked, spoon the topping on top of the warm filling.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.  Let cool to room temperature.

Pear and Sour Cream Pizza

It is no secret that I love some wacky pizza toppings (like blueberry jam).  Fruit especially is one of my favorite toppings.  While the pizza bakes, the fruit gets warm, soft, and sweeter than their raw counterpart, adding a great natural sweetness to any pizza (and I love me some sweetness with dinner).  This particular pizza focuses solely on that sweet factor with a sweetened sour cream, pears, currants, and nuts. Really, this is a dessert masquerading as dinner.

The combination of pear and the sour cream topping is ahhhhh-mazing.  Sweet sour cream may not sound like the most appetizing thing to put on top of your pizza, but trust me, it is delicious: sweet and tangy.  The pears get sweet and soft while you bake, and the currants add an extra bite of sweetness.  Although forgotten on this batch pictured above, nuts (walnuts or pecans- candied nuts even if you dare) add a great crunch.

Trust me when I say that you will want to make the entire pizza just for yourself.  You will eat it all and love it.  And you will love life because any life with pear and sour cream pizza in it is great.

PEAR AND SOUR CREAM PIZZA
Slightly Adapted from Heat Oven to 350


INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 package active yeast
1/2 cup water, at 110°F
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Pizza:
1 pear, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, pecans, or candied walnuts
1/4 cup currants

DIRECTIONS
For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 450°F.


In in small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with granulated sugar.  Let sit about 10 minutes, until foamy.  In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour dissolved yeast over flour.  Stir together with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 10-15 minutes, until dough is soft and no longer sticky.  Transfer dough to an lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with a towel.  Let sit in a warm place and rise for at least 1 hour, until dough doubles in size
For the Pizza:

Prepare your pizza stone or baking sheet. Roll dough out to desired consistency.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, honey, and brown sugar. Spread a layer of the sour cream topping on pizza dough, leaving an edge for the crust. Fold pear slices in half and place in an overlapping layer on top of sour cream mixture. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Sprinkle with currants and nuts on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown, and the edges of the pears begin to brown.

Serves 2-3.

Sour Cream Blueberry Pie

When it comes to food, I am a dessert girl.  My sweet tooth knows no bounds.  And when it comes to desserts, I am a pie girl all the way.  I love pies- a flaky, butter crust with a sweet filling is like a little slice of heaven for me.

At first, I doubted this recipe.  Sour cream and blueberries in a pie?  Then, I thought it’d be okay.  Then as I was mixing up the filling, I knew it would be good.  Then, as I was baking the pie, I knew it would be excellent.  As I waited for the pie to cool, I knew this would be one of the best pies I’d had.

And it was.

Do not doubt this pie recipe.  It’s sooooo (that is 6 Os there) good, and it’s not like any other pie I have had before.  It’s creamy, sweet, and delicious.  The recipe has a pecan crumble topping, but I honestly think the pie would be better without it.  Their recipe for pie crust was good but not great, so my search for the best pie crust continues.

SOUR CREAM BLUEBERRY PIE
Slightly Adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts
INGREDIENTS

1 pie crust
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS
Partially bake your pie crust according to your recipe instructions (typically about 20 minutes).Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, sugar, flour, egg, almond extract, and salt together until well mixed.  Fold in blueberries.  Pour filling into warm pie crust.  Bake until filling is just set, 30-35 minutes.  The filling should jiggle slightly and be set on the sides.  Cool to room temperature.