Although Greg and I both enjoy cooking we love a good restaurant. Searching the internet for good reviews is one of the first things we do when we visit a new city. We have our local favorites, and we even plan vacations around the restaurants we like the most.
I am thrilled when we I can duplicate some of our favorite restaurant dishes at home! A few of my favorites are Hot Crab Dip, that we enjoyed several years ago at a restaurant with Greg’s brother. Pot Roast Stuffed Baked Potatoes are one of my favorites from a restaurant just down the road from our house. I had Heirloom Tomato Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette at one of our favorite places in Savannah on my birthday a few years ago. All of these recipes can be found on www.notjustsundaydinner.com.
Feisty Feta Dip with Shrimp is a new one to add to the list. We had this tasty appetizer at one of our favorite restaurants in Augusta, Georgia. It is super easy to make. Crab meat can be used instead of shrimp, or you can leave out the seafood completely. Serve warm with pita chips or warm pita bread.
Feisty Feta and Shrimp Dip
- 6-oz. crumbled Feta cheese
- ⅓ c. chopped jarred roasted red peppers
- ¼ c. chopped jarred artichoke hearts
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 to 2 tsp. hot sauce
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 to 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 to ½ c. cooked shrimp, cut into large bite-size pieces
- Warm pita bread or pita chips, for serving
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the feta cheese, chopped peppers, artichoke hearts, onions, garlic, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Pulse until ingredients are well combined, but still slightly chunky. While pulsing add 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil until the dip reaches desired consistency.
- Stir in cooked shrimp and spoon into a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through. Serve with pita bread or pita chips.
While writing this article, I decided to do a little research about Memorial Day. Honestly, I am not sure I’ve ever understood the difference in Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day until now. Memorial Day is among our oldest holidays, originally conceived in the aftermath of the Civil War. It is a time to remember and honor those who have fallen in service to our country. As it turns out there is quite a bit of controversy about Memorial Day. More than I care to get into but much can be found on the internet, if you are interested. If I could make two suggestions, the first would be to read this article by a former Navy pilot http://observer.com/2015/05/its-perfectly-ok-to-say-happy-memorial-day/ and watch this video on the lone Marine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTPmcp-ZGWQ.
With Memorial Day just around the corner, many will be gathering with friends and family. Anything that can be cooked on a grill will most likely be prepared that day. Many ribs, hamburgers, and hot dogs will be cooked. Potato salad and homemade ice cream will be in abundance!
Greg is typically in charge of the grilling on big cookout days at the Melton house while I am in charge of all other food, including appetizers, sides, and desserts. Doesn’t seem quite fair does it? It’s a good thing I enjoy being in the kitchen!
I am always looking for a new dish or two to throw into the mix. This year I plan to serve this delicious Vera Stewart recipe for Confetti Pasta Salad. Made with fresh spinach and dill, grape tomatoes, and lemon juice the flavor is light and will pair great with the other dishes you will serve this Memorial Day. Considering that many dishes will have to be prepared, the ease of this recipe is also quite appealing.
Confetti Pasta Salad
- For the Salad:
- 8-oz. uncooked small to medium shell pasta
- 2 c. coarsely chopped fresh spinach
- ¼ c. finely chopped onions
- 1 (4-oz.) pkg. crumbled feta cheese
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
- For the Vinaigrette:
- ¼ c. fresh lemon juice
- 1 lg. garlic clove, pressed
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ c. vegetable oil
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
- For the vinaigrette, combine lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Slowly whisk in oil until combined.
- Toss pasta with tomatoes and remaining ingredients, including vinaigrette. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.
Just in time for the National Championship game tonight I bring you this recipe for an excellent dip. This dip would be a great addition to your football lineup! I’ll have this out to munch on tonight at our football party for two. We spend many more nights alone these days. A sure sign of getting older…a quite house with no kids. Oh well, it’s a good thing we like each other. 😍
Our friends, Matt and Teresa, told us about this great dip recipe. It’s a favorite in their house and now a new favorite of ours! The tangy cider vinegar paired with the salty feta is a great combination. (For the best quality always buy the feta chunk, not the crumbles. The same goes for blue cheese.) Teresa doubles the feta, but I did not. I made one addition to the dip after this picture was taken, though. I added about 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped. I think cilantro is probably a love it or hate it thing. I love it, I had it, and I added it.
I must add one final note for Wesley…ROLL TIDE!!! 🏈
Black Bean, Corn and Feta Dip
- 2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 (15-oz.) cans whole kernel corn, drained
- 8-oz. (1 cup) feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- 1 to 2 green onions, chopped (green part only)
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ c. olive oil
- ½ c. apple cider vinegar
- ½ c. sugar
- Mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Serve with corn chips.