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Recipe ingredients are available at the supermarket and require little or no cooking.
Garlic-herb dip — Halve 3 heads garlic crosswise. Place in an oven-safe dish. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool slightly until easy to handle. Squeeze out the soft garlic pulp; mix with 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon each lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley. Taste to determine if additional, salt, lemon or parsley is needed.
Hot crab dip — Mix 3 ounces cream cheese, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Add hot sauce and chopped parsley to taste. Fold in 1/2 pound crabmeat. Spread in a baking dish, top with breadcrumbs or panko (Japanese breadcrumbs). Bake at 425 degrees until golden, about 45 minutes.
Blue cheese dip — Mix 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese, 1/2 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream, 1/4 cup buttermilk and some minced chives.
Buffalo dip — Make blue cheese dip adding 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 1/2 cup finely chopped celery, and replace chives with minced celery leaves.
Bacon-jalapeño dip — Mix 8 ounces cream cheese, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup milk, 4 slices chopped cooked bacon, 1 tablespoon bacon dripping, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar and 2 thinly sliced jalapeños. Spread in baking dish; top with buttered breadcrumbs/panko. Bake at 350 degrees until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Queso dip — Cook 1 tablespoon each butter and flour in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 pound shredded cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup each cream cheese, milk and jarred salsa until smooth. Meaty variation, stir in 1/4 cooked beef or ground turkey.
Veggie dip — Combine 1/4 cup each finely chopped red and yellow bell pepper, celery, zucchini and green onions. Mix 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 2 tablespoons milk. Stir cheese mixture into the vegetables; season with salt and pepper.
Smoked salmon dip — Make veggie dip but omit zucchini; add 4 ounces chopped smoked salmon and 2 tablespoons each capers and finely chopped fresh dill.
Onion dip — Cook 2 thinly sliced onions in oil in a skillet over medium heat until golden, about 35 minutes. Cool, chop and mix with 1 cup sour cream, and 4 chopped green onions. Salt to taste.
Bacon-onion dip variation — Stir in 6 slices crumbled cooked bacon.
Pizza snack mix — Bake 1/4 pound sliced pepperoni at 350 for 15 minutes; drain on paper towels. Toss 2 cups each pita chips and cheese crackers, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons each minced parsley, oregano and basil, or use pizza seasoning to replace the herbs.
Asian snack mix — Combine 1 cup each sesame sticks, wasabi peas, peanuts and crisp rice cereal. Toss with 1/2 stick melted butter, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon each red pepper flakes and salt. Bake at 350 degrees, 20 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and toss with 5 cups vegetable chips.
Curry snack mix — Toss 4 cups crisp rice cereal, 2 cups puffed rice, 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes, 1/2 stick melted butter, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 large pinch cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with 1 cup chopped dried mango.
Enjoy easy and tasty snacks with family and friends.