Warm Mexicorn Dip

Warm Mexicorn Dip | Pinky's Pantry
This dip has been a long time favorite in my family. It’s very, very easy to make because you just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and microwave it! It’s a great appetizer for a Cinco de Mayo party. I you want to make this meatless, you can omit the bacon. I think it’s fine without it, but my kids swear it tastes better with bacon. Either way, you’ve got to give this recipe a try. You won’t be sorry. Make sure you serve it warm!

WARM MEXICORN DIP

  • 4 cans (11 ozs. each) Green Giant mexi-corn, drained well
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 of a 16-oz. container sour cream
  • 16 ozs. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 or 4 green onion stalks, chopped (depends on how big they are)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Microwave until hot and bubbly, stopping to stir halfway through (about 5 minutes).
  3. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
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Hot Clam Dip in Bread Bowl

Hot Clam Dip | Pinky's Pantry
This is an old recipe that I’ve had for many years. I got it from one of my old cookbooks, but sadly, I don’t remember which one. Probably a Junior League cookbook. Clam Dip is rich, creamy, and utterly delicious. I haven’t tried making it with low-fat cream cheese or mayo, but I don’t see why you couldn’t if you felt inclined to try cutting down on the calories. Let me tell you though, calories or not, this dip is worth every scrumptious bite!

HOT CLAM DIP IN BREAD BOWL

  • 1 (1½-lb.) unsliced round bread bowl
  • 2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • a couple of dashes tabasco sauce, or to taste (optional)
  • 4 (6½-oz.) cans minced clams, drained
  • 4 large green onions, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Slice top 2 inches off bread and reserve for lid.
  3. Cut out insides of bread, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell.
  4. Tear cut-out bread into pieces to use for dipping.
  5. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, worcestershire sauce, and tabasco (if using) in large bowl until well-blended.
  6. Stir in clams and green onions.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Pour filling into bread bowl.
  9. Place reserved lid on bread.
  10. Wrap bread tightly in 2 layers of heavy-duty foil and place on cookie sheet.
  11. Bake until filling is very hot and bread is crusty, about 1 hour.
  12. Unwrap bread and place on serving tray.
  13. Remove lid and lean lid against bread at angle for a pretty presentation.
  14. Lid can later be cut into cubes for dipping.

NOTE:  If you can’t find a bread bowl, or you just don’t feel like doing the whole bread bowl thing, you can skip it (like I did in the photo above). Just beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, worcestershire sauce, and tabasco together in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth. Microwave for 3 minutes or until cream cheese mixture is hot, stopping to stir every 30 seconds or so. Mix in drained clams and green onions. Microwave 30 seconds more. Stir well and serve with sliced baguette bread for dipping.

Hot Artichoke Dip

Hot Artichoke Dip | Pinky's Pantry
The first time I tried artichoke dip was at a restaurant in San Francisco. It was to die for. They served it with thin, crispy tortilla chips. The dip was warm, cheesy, gooey, in short, everything you want in a dip. One bite and I was a fan for life.

This dip is easy to prepare. If you have a food processor, you could throw everything except the artichoke hearts in there and get it all blended together. Then add the artichoke hearts last and pulse them a few times so they’re chopped but not mush. Scrape it all into your gratin dish and bake.

HOT ARTICHOKE DIP

  • 1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can (14 ozs.) artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Beat in mayonnaise until well combined.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir together well.
  5. Transfer mixture to a pie plate or shallow gratin dish.
  6. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and top is golden brown.
  7. Serve hot with bread, crackers, tortilla chips, or veggies.

Copycat La Bou Creamy Dill Dressing

Dill Dressing | Pinky's Pantry
La Bou is a local bakery cafe chain. They opened their first store in 1981 and it was a huge success with people lined up outside to buy their delicious handmade croissants. Since then, they’ve expanded to open several stores in the greater Sacramento area serving wonderful salads, sandwiches, soups, pastries and espresso drinks. But what they’ve really become famous for is something that’s not even listed as a choice on their menu. I’m talking about their baguette bread that they serve with a creamy dill dipping sauce. I know it sounds weird to dip slices of bread in what is essentially a salad dressing, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It is so addictive that every time you go there, you’ll find yourself ordering a full or half baguette with dill sauce to take home.

Anyway, it’s with extreme sadness that I report that our local La Bou in town has just closed its doors. Everyone at work was so dismayed to hear the news. They were right down the street from the office and were a favorite lunch time spot. I can’t understand why they closed. To mark this sad occasion, I’m making a copycat version of their dill dressing for the family to eat with some baguette bread this evening. I don’t know how La Bou makes their actual dressing, but this tastes just like it and will hit the spot whenever you need a La Bou fix.

COPYCAT LA BOU CREAMY DILL DRESSING

  • 1½ cups mayonnaise
  • 1 pkg. Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch dressing mix
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
  • 1¼ cups water
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.
    (If you don’t want to mince the dill by hand, you could place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until dill is finely minced.)
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

NOTE:  If you make this in a food processor, the dip will seem frothy and bubbly immediately after mixing, but don’t worry. The bubbles will settle down and disappear after the dip has sat for a while. It will also seem very watery at first, but will thicken a bit in the refrigerator. La Bou’s dipping sauce is really pretty thin but if you want yours to be thicker, feel free to cut down on the amount of water you add.

Warm Cheesy Salsa Dip

Warm Cheesy Salsa Dip | Pinky's Pantry
It’s Super Bowl weekend this weekend! My Old Goat can hardly wait. His favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers, are playing. He’s going to be glued to the TV all day so I’ve planned a few appetizers and tailgate party dishes for him to nosh on while he enjoys the game.

I learned to make this recipe from my sister, Helen, who is a great cook and an amazing hostess. She was living in Ohio and during one of our frequent phone calls, she told me about this recipe that was perfect for football parties. I decided to give it a try and have been making it for Superbowl Sunday ever since. Not only is it deliciously addicting, but it’s super easy to prepare. All it takes is three ingredients. Now what could be simpler than that?
Warm Cheesy Salsa Dip | Pinky's Pantry

WARM CHEESY SALSA DIP

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large jar (24 oz.) of your favorite chunky salsa (I used Pace Chunky Salsa)
  • 1 box (1 lb.) of Velveeta cheese
  1. In a small saucepan, brown the ground beef and drain off the fat.
  2. Stir in the whole jar of salsa. You can use mild, medium or hot depending on how spicy you want it.
  3. Cut the cheese into cubes and add it to the beef and salsa mixture.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is completely melted.
  5. Transfer mixture to a small crockpot and set on Warm.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

Fresh Strawberries with Citrus Dip

Citrus Dip | Pinky's PantryIt’s strawberry season in California. We’re seeing them everywhere – in the groceries, at the farmers market, and displayed for sale on folding tables set up on the side of the roads. They’re big, red, juicy, and oh-so-good! The strawberries are so delicious, they really don’t need any embellishment, but my kids love dunking them in this easy Citrus Dip, which goes great with any fruit, though strawberries are our favorite dunkers.
Citrus Dip | Pinky's Pantry

CITRUS DIP

  • 1 8-oz. box cream cheese
  • 1/2 can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • sugar
  1. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Blend in frozen orange juice concentrate, adding more or less to taste.
  3. Add sugar to taste.