Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cheesecake Fruit Dip

Hubby and I went to a friend's house for dinner last night.  It's fairly customary with our friends that we usually bring dessert since I have a "thing" for baking and all things sweet.  And last night was no different.  Except there was no time for baking.  I had about an hour at home, after stopping by the grocery store, before we had to leave for dinner.  I kept thinking I could quick whip up a batch of cookies.  But cookies just weren't doing it for me. 

It hit me on the way to the grocery store.

Fruit dip. 

Perfect!  Why didn't I think of it sooner?

Years ago Hubby and I went to a dinner party. A fancy, catered, dinner party that my boss at the time hosted at her home.  The spread was impressive and delicious.  Though I don't recall most of what was served, one thing stood out.  A wonderful, creamy, cheesecake like dip in the midst of a tray of the most beautiful ripe plump strawberries.  What a heavenly little bite.  I had never had anything like it.  I couldn't get enough and must have eaten at least a dozen. 

So simple yet so memorable.

I have made a few variations of this dip over the years.  The original recipe had sour cream in it, however I used Greek yogurt last night and this new version will be my go to recipe from now on.  The dip has body but is light enough to easily dip into.  It comes together in minutes and couldn't be easier to make. 

It's a blank canvas for whatever cheesecake combination you can dream up.  Fruit, such as a strawberries, green apples, nectarines, pineapples and grapes are all great choices.  Chocolate wafer cookies, shortbread cookies or graham crackers also pair nicely.  And if you want to go salty, try dipping in pretzels and topping them with a slice of fruit. 

Though I haven't done this yet, I had the idea of placing a small bowl of graham crackers crumbs on the serving platter along with the fruit and cheesecake dip.  Plunge your fruit in the cheesecake dip then swipe it through the graham cracker crumbs for the total cheesecake experience.  Definitely trying that next time. 

If you are heading to a Memorial Day BBQ this weekend cheesecake fruit dip is an easy crowd pleasing dessert.  I'm quite certain you wouldn't come home with any leftovers.


Cheesecake Fruit Dip
from The Ginger Snap Girl

8 ounce package of cream cheese
6 ounces plain non fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a deep medium sized bowl.  Using a hand mixer, starting on low and increasing to medium high speed, blend until fully combined and creamy, about 2 minutes. 

Can be made two days ahead.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Serve with fresh fruit, cookies, graham crackers or whatever your heart desires!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fabio's Cheese Bomb Biscuits with Onion Bacon Butter

I had high hopes of posting before now.  Really, I did. I have a fun tea party post that I'm determined to share with you all before we hit fall!  And maybe even before summer officially arrives.

A whole month has passed since my last post.  And here we are again...It's Secret Recipe Club time!  Thank goodness for SRC because without it who knows how long would pass between posts.

This month I had the pleasure of being assigned the fun blog It's Yummy for My Tummy!  Mmmm.  That's a concept I can totally get behind.  The name comes from her daughter who often says, "Mommy, it's yummy to my tummy!"  Awww!  Heather's blog is all about sharing recipes with her friends and family and of course, all of us!  I found a number of yummy eats that I put on my possibility list.  For those of you who know me, you know my tummy very often guides me to the sweet side, but this time I kept coming back to these savory cheesy biscuits.  

This recipe is really easy to make.  15 minutes and you will have biscuits in the oven.  And if you are feeling indulgent you can whip up some green onion bacon butter while your biscuits are baking.  The biscuits are delicious and tender with a bit of crunch on the top from the cheese.  They are fantastic on their own, but a little green onion bacon butter really takes them over the top. 

I paired my biscuits with a creamy tomato basil bisque (sorry, no recipe for's from Campbell's latest soup creations).   The parmesan cheese complemented the tomato soup perfectly.  I had to restrain myself from eating more than one.  I see a repeat of my soup and a cheese bomb biscuit for lunch tomorrow!


Fabio's Cheese Bomb Biscuits and Onion Bacon Butter
Adapted from It's Yummy to My Tummy originally from Fabio Viviani

For the biscuits:
2 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling on top of biscuits
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) shortening
1 1/4 cups half and half (or heavy cream--I used all heavy cream), plus extra for brushing tops of biscuits

Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and cheese and stir until ingredients are well mixed.  Cut in shortening using a hand pastry blender or a fork until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add in half and half and stir until just combined. 

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat until 1 1/2 inches thick.  Using a 2 inch floured cutter, cut out each biscuit and place it about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.  Or you can scoop out the biscuits with a spoon or ice cream scoop.  Brush each biscuit with half and half (or heavy cream).  Sprinkle the top of each biscuit lightly with remaining cheese.  Bake for 15 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.

For the green onion bacon butter:
1 stick (1/2 cup) slightly softened unsalted butter
3 teaspoons sliced green onions
3 teaspoons of finely chopped bacon bits

Place all ingredients in a mini food processor and blend until well combined.  If you don't have a food processor use a knife to finely chop the green onions and bacon to desired size and stir into butter.