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Cheddar Cheese, Bacon and Chive Dip

We had a little reunion of sorts a couple of weeks ago with some friends from college, so I made a dip to take over to munch on before we went out for the night.  It was really simple, and though I used light where I could, this can not be classified in any way shape or form as figure friendly.  But hey, isn’t that what Friday nights are for?!

1 block 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1/2 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 TBS Onion Onion! seasoning from Tastefully Simple

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 slices cooked bacon

1/2 TBS fresh chives

Cook the bacon, then chop.  Mix the ingredients all together and chill.  The longer the dip has to chill the better it will be, because all of the flavors will really meld.  Would be great served with Tastefully Simple’s beer bread (which I also made), tortilla chips, chips, crackers…  really limitless!

Warm Crab and Lemon Dip

I got this recipe from a new “Finger Food” cookbook.  It took slightly more time to prep than anticipated, but luckily I had extra hands in the kitchen to be able get everything done (thanks Mandy, Sarah and Heather!).

1/3 cup butter

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 shallots, thinly sliced

1 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I didn’t have cayenne, so I used chili powder)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

11 oz crabmeat, drained

2 TBS lemon juice

2 TSP Worcestershire sauce

3 tsp chopped tarragon (I omitted this)

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs (I used panko)

1 TBS chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 350.

Melt half the butter in a sauce pan, then cook the garlic and shallots for 2-3 minutes or just until softened.  Add the mustard powder, cayenne or chili powder, and whipping cream.  Bring to a simmer and slowly whisk in the cream cheese, a little at a time.  When the cream cheese is completely incorporated, whisk in the cheddar and allow to cook , stirring constantly, over very low heat for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.  We had to add a bit more whipping cream, because the mixture was too thick.  Remove from the heat and add the crabmeat, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and 2 tsp of the tarragon.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Mix then transfer to a small baking dish.

Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan, add the breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and remaining tarragon, and stir until just combined.  Sprinkle over the crab mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.  It wasn’t getting golden enough for me, so I put the dish under the broiler for a few minutes.

Serve warm.