Fresh Mozzarella, Basil and Watermelon Skewers

This tasty dish comes to us from Parker Wallace of whatsonparkersplate.com!

Just get out your melon baller and scoop some juicy, seedless watermelon.  Then alternate those delish balls of fresh mozzarella with basil.  Drizzle some balsamic vinegar on it if you’re feeling crazy!  Your guests will be super impressed, indeed – and the prep for your summer party just got much faster!

mozzarella basil watermelon skewers

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Creamy Feta and Dill Dip

This tasty dip comes to us from Parker Wallace of whatsonparkersplate.com!

Ingredients:dill dip

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt

2 Tb fresh chopped dill

2 tsp white wine vinegar

1/3 cup feta cheese

1 Tb lemon juice

1 large clove finely chopped garlic

Dash of hot sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine ingredients and let stand for 30 minutes before serving for maximum flavor. Serve with cucumber, carrot, any veggies and pita bread.

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Salad on a Stick with Honey Mustard and Cilantro Lime Dressings


Salad:

  • 1/2 cup fresh vegetables, cut into 1-inch chunks (suggestions: bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, tomato (cherry or grape), radish and mushrooms)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 ounces of lowfat Cheddar cheese cut into cubes

Honey Mustard Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1 cup plain, fat free or low fat yogurtsalad-stick
  • 3 tablespoons sweet honey deli-style mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Cilantro Lime Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1 cup plain, fat free or low fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon minced scallion
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Salad:
Alternate vegetables and cheese cubes on skewer. To create the salad, use leaf lettuce or spinach leaves and ribbon around vegetables.

Honey Mustard Dressing:
Stir all ingredients together until well blended. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Dip and enjoy!

Cilantro Lime Dressing:
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cilantro, scallions and lime juice. Add salt to taste.
Set aside for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld. Will keep 3 to 4 days in refrigerator.

Makes 8 servings

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Thyme Roasted Grapes with Honey Whipped Ricotta

This recipe was the winner of our Fall/Winter 2014 Recipe Contest. Allison Howe is a Colorado blogger and this recipe originally appeared on dontpanicmom.com

Ingredients

  • Whipped Honey Ricotta
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk Ricotta CheeseCracker-View
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Thyme Roasted Grapes
  • 1 Large Bunch Red or Black Seedless Grapes
  • 2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • A few sprigs of fresh Thyme, extra to garnish
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Whole Wheat 34 Degrees Crisps

Instructions

  • Start with making your Honey Whipped Ricotta. In a medium mixing bowl, whip ingredients together using an immersion blender or hand mixer. When texture is light with small peaks, cover and refrigerate.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash grapes and pat dry with a towel. Line a casserole dish or cast iron skillet with parchment paper. Place grapes inside and drizzle with oil and honey. Break up your thyme into smaller sprigs and intersperse among grapes. Finish with a few cranks of salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 30 minutes and then check to see if your grapes have burst or puckered. The grapes are perfect if they have a bit of dark caramelized spots and a few have burst. If you have larger grapes, then you’ll need to roast a little longer. If this is the case, increase the heat to 450 degrees for another 5 minutes.
  • To Serve
  • Allow grapes to cool for about 10 minutes and then plate on a large platter, including all of the juice. Accompany your grapes with a decorative bowl full of Honey Whipped Ricotta and Whole Wheat Crisps. Garnish with additional thyme.
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Terrific Dip

Gilberta Gilmore, Olathe, Colorado, Mountain States and Regional Winner, 2002

Ingredients:

1 cup diced cheese – your choice of varieties that melt readily
1 cup diced tomatoes
¼ cup diced onion
1 cup diced green pepper
½ teaspoon chopped garlic
1 diced jalapeno pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Melt cheese in microwave on medium setting. Add diced ingredients to melted cheese. Use as a dip for chips or in your favorite omelet.

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Fresh Fruit and Cheese Fries

Culinary creations with cheese developed by Leprino Foods Company and Western Dairy Association. 

Ingredients:

  • Pineapple, cut into 6, 2″ x 1/4-inch sticks
  • Apples, cut into slices
  • Cantaloupe, cut into 3″ x 1/4-inch wedges
  • Mozzarella, cut into 3″ x 1/4-inch sticks
  • Reduced-fat Cheddar, cut into 3″ x 1/4 inch sticks

Directions:

Place 1 pineapple stick, 1 apple slice, 1 cantaloupe wedge, 1 mozzarella stick and 1 Cheddar stick into a paper cone, cup or serving dish.

 

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Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki, a sauce made of Greek yogurt and cucumbers, is used as a condiment, a dressing or a dip for kebabs, pita, salads & vegetables. Frank Bonanno of Mizuna and eight other Denver restaurants recommends this sauce with lamb, chicken or eggplant skewers over couscous. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 English cucumber, cut into chunks
  • ¼ of a red onion
  • 1 orange, zested & juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 24 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse the cucumber and red onion until they are minced but not pureed. Be sure to scrape the sides.

In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, onion, orange zest and juice, lemon zest, yogurt and herbs. Season to taste.

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Party Perfect Cheese Crostini


Ingredients:cheesecrostini

  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 3-ounce package low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup Swiss or Fontina, shredded
  • 1 baguette, sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ⅓ cup Marcona almonds, chopped
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Tapenade:

  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tomato, seeded, chopped
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions:

Mix tapenade ingredients in a separate bowl. Set aside.

Mix the cheeses, thyme, almonds and pepper together. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the baguette slices on a baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, turning slices once. When crostini is browned, remove from oven.

Spread the cheese mixture on top of the bread, turn the oven to broil and return crostini to oven just until cheese melts. Remove from oven and top with tapenade.

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Parmesan Frico with Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Salad

Colorado Chef Jim Cohen was called one of the best chefs in America by Julia Child. He also suggests baking the frico flat to serve as an appetizer. 

Ingredients:

Frico:

  • 8 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated on the fine holes of a box grater
  • 1 Tbsp flour

Salad:

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut in large chunks
  • 4 Tbsp chiffonade of basil (basil cut in ribbons)
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Prepare the frico: Toss the cheese and flour together. Heat a medium-size nonstick skillet over low heat. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture into the pan to form a four-inch circle. Cook until the cheese is somewhat melted but not firm, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the cheese over and cook until firm but pliable. With a spatula, lift cheese out and drape over an upside down custard cup. Let cool. Repeat for the three additional frico.

Prepare the salad: Pre-heat broiler, cut peppers in half and remove seeds. Place peppers on a sheet pan, skin side up. Place sheet pan under broiler and broil until the skin of the peppers are black. Pull from the oven and place in a closed paper or plastic bag to cool. Remove the blackened skin from the peppers and discard. Cut the peppers into ¼-inch strips. Mix the tomatoes and peppers with garlic and let flavors meld for at least an hour. Remove garlic.

To Serve: Place frico on plates. Using a slotted spoon, fill each frico cup with salad mix. Garnish with basil and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

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