An excellent choice for the Reuben lovers on your list, this snack sized portion of the classic Reuben casserole recipe comes with a little twist…cream cheese! I made this dip many times and have received rave reviews. You can too…so simple and easy!
1/2 pound of deli corned beef, coarsely chopped
1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed, well drained, and coarsely chopped
1 8-oz. size cream cheese (can use low fat), softened
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
Mix all ingredients in 1-1/2 – 3 quart crockpot. Cover crockpot and cook on LOW for 4 hours. Stir to combine and scrape down sides. Dip will hold for 2 hours on LOW. Serve with party rye bread slices, pretzels, toasted beer bread, or French bread cubes.
Make it a Gift:One of my favorite ways to give a prepared warm dip is in a mini crock pot. The can easily be found at your local Walmart, Big Lots, or online here…especially just prior to the holidays. Look out for themed crock pots as well. I purchased one that was shaped like a football and gave it to the hostess at one of our many Steeler parties. I believe it was only $12! Here is one I found online for around $15
Clean out your refrigerator lately? Do you dread it? I love it…it’s often when I feel most inspired! What I used to see as needless waste, I now see as the new raw materials for my newest creation…and the artistry begins! Here are a few ways that I reduce waste and create some fun and affordable dishes that look like I’ve spent hours in the kitchen…shhh…they are my secret!
Salad Dressing: Nearly empty bottles of salad dressing have many possibilities! Combine two or more vinegar based dressings to create one new flavor and microwave before serving. Top off a beautiful salad with the warm dressing for an elegant wilted salad. For creamy dressings, add approximately 2 Tablespoons of milk to the bottle and shake. Drizzle over steaks or poultry for extra zing!
Garlic Bread: This is a no-brainer! Reheat or toast the bread and cut into cubes. Use as croutons (see salad above!) or grind up for breadcrumbs. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.
Jelly or Jam: I can’t remember when I discovered this, but try this and you’ll never buy ice cream topping again! Simply microwave the jelly, jam or preserves at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until warm and smooth. Add this scrumptious topping to ice cream, pound cake, CHEESECAKE or waffles for an elegant twist. If you have fresh fruit on hand, mix up what you have left and serve it on angel food cake, a drizzle of the warmed preserves and whipped cream…YUM!
Cooked Veggies: Get out your crockpot and throw them all in with a can or two of your favorite chili or beef stew. Perhaps you have some of your own in the freezer? Simmer on low for approximately 2 hours until steamy! Top off the chili or stew with the leftover shredded cheese you have in your cheese drawer!
Raw Veggies: Don’t have enough for a healthy snack tray? Slice what you have and use as additional pizza toppings! Or saute on the stove with olive oil and serve with rice or a baked potato!
Cooked Meats, Poultry and Fish: Not enough for a second meal? Stretch one steak into two servings by making a pasta dish or rice casserole from the leftovers. Try recipe sites like recipeczarr.com for a great selection of free and creative recipes!
With the 4th of July picnics and potlucks just around the corner (um…NEXT WEEK!) here is my favorite tried and true summer salad that always gets rave reviews. In addition to the mild cheddar cheese, I always add a handful or two of sharp white cheddar. Just a personal preference…you really can’t mess this on up! Happy fireworks everyone! Enjoy!
6 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
12 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1.In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cheese and onion. Combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar; pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Just before serving, stir in the bacon.
Make it a Gift: Tell the hostess to “just keep the dish”…purchase a picnic fare cookbook and a unique tupperware-like (travel friendly container). I love these stars and stripes bowls!!! One for you, two for me!