Brownie Batter Dip

So, last night’s Super Bowl was … less than gripping?  Let’s face it: it was a blowout.  Which is great if you’re a Seahawks fan, and really awful if you were rooting for the Broncos.  For the rest of us who had no real emotional stake in the game, it wasn’t terribly exciting.  Even though the game wasn’t riveting, the food was pretty darn good.  Here’s one of the dips that I served last night to some friends.Brownie Batter Dip | A Nerd Cooks Brownie Batter Dip | A Nerd Cooks

I found this recipe on the blog Something Swanky.

You’ll need:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 5 tbs all purpose flour
  • 5 tbs cocoa powder
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbs milk, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for topping

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and 1 tbs milk.  Beat again until it’s relatively smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and beat again, starting out on low so that the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl and get everywhere.  Add another tbs of milk.  If you feel like the dip is still too thick, you can add the last tbs of milk.

Add the mini chocolate chips.  Serve in a bowl, topped with a few more chocolate chips.

You can eat this with whatever you want: graham crackers, apples, etc.  I followed Something Swanky’s lead and used pretzel chips, which were awesome with this.

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Homemade Buffalo Cheese Ball

Our friends, Matt and Adrienne, recently bought a beautiful house in the suburbs of Cleveland.  So, this past weekend, Sean and I drove to Ohio to attend their housewarming party.  It was so good to see them and spend time with them and other friends that we don’t get to see nearly enough.  There was so much food, beer, and laughter.  I woke up Sunday morning, and my stomach muscles actually hurt from all of the laughing that I did.  It was a wonderful weekend.

Homemade Buffalo Cheese Ball | A Nerd Cooks

To help out, I made some cookies (recipes to come!) and this cheese ball.  I found this recipe on Little Leopard Book.  It’s downright addictive.

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbs ranch dressing
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbs Frank’s red hot
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for the pecans.  Mix well.

On a length of plastic wrap, spread the chopped pecans.  Shape the cream cheese mixture into a ball and roll it around on the chopped pecans until the entire ball is covered.

Wrap the cheese ball in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Serve with crackers or vegetables (I used Wheat Thins).

Simple Fruit Dip

Welcome readers, new and old, to my new blog!!  I’ve been toying with the idea of changing the name for a while now, and finally went for it.  A new name and look for a new year, y’know?  I had a lot of fun with “Hey, who cut the cheese?”, but was looking for something with a title that was a little less… silly?  I wanted something that was more pertinent to my life.  I don’t know.  But I just wasn’t feeling it after a while.  At any rate, welcome to “A Nerd Cooks”!

There will continue to be changes during this transition period, so don’t be surprised if things look different from day to day.  Also, if you were one of my (few) followers who subscribed via email, you’ll need to re-subscribe here on this new blog.  And if you haven’t done so already, please “like” this blog’s Facebook page!  There’s a little box on the right hand side of the page that can help you out with this.

Now for the fruit dip!

I brought this fruit dip to a baby shower recently.  At the request of a few friends, I’m blogging about it for you!  The recipe is outrageously simple, and is delicious.  I found this recipe on the blog This Week for Dinner.

You’ll need:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 7 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
  • juice of 1 orange

Blend all of the ingredients together.  Serve with the fruit(s) of your choice for dipping.  Seriously simple, right?

Baba Ghanoush

So, this is baba ghanoush.  Strange name.  Delicious dip.  Let’s talk about it, shall we?

On a recent trip to PA, my dad gave us vegetables from his garden that is currently overflowing with produce.  We received some beautiful, and delicious, heirloom tomatoes, as well as two eggplants.

Yeah, this is an eggplant.  As if you didn’t already know.   I just got a little camera-happy.

We were invited to a Labor Day cookout, and I wanted to bring a little something.  Since we had the eggplants lying around, I opted for baba ghanoush (in addition to a cocktail that you’ll be seeing later this week!).

Adapted from a recipe on Food Network’s website.

You’ll need:

2 small-medium eggplants
olive oil
salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Cut the tops (stem and whatnot) off of the eggplants, and then slice them in half lengthwise.  Drizzle them with some olive oil, and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Place them cut-side down on a baking sheet.

Put the garlic cloves on a small square of foil.  Add a sprinkle of salt and a bit of olive oil.  Seal the foil into a little bundle.  Put this on the baking sheet, too.  

Bake everything for 30-40 minutes, or until the eggplant can be easily pierced with a fork.  Set it aside to cool.

Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh from the skin, and discard the skin.  Place the flesh of the eggplant, roasted garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and some of the chopped parsley into to food processor.  Process until smooth.

Garnish with another drizzle of olive oil and the remaining chopped parsley.  Serve with pitas, pita chips, vegetables, or whatever else you’d like.  Enjoy!

Funfetti Cake Dip

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!  Unfortunately, I don’t have some patriotic themed recipe for you… but I do have an awesome, sweet dip! 


I saw this dip on the blog Eat Yourself Skinny, and knew that I had to make it. I’m a huge fan of Funfetti cake (see my homemade version of Funfetti cupcakes here!), so this dip was particularly appealing to me. It’s very tasty, not so terrible for you, and simple enough to put together that I whipped this up while in my hotel room on vacation. 


You’ll need: 


1 box Funfetti cake mix (I used the white cake) 
1 cup Lite Coolwhip 
2 cups plain, non-fat yogurt 


Mix everything up in a bowl until it’s all well-combined. Garnish with extra sprinkles, if you desire. Then dig on in! I used graham crackers for dipping, but you could use whatever sounds good to you. I originally had some chocolate animal crackers, too, that I thought would be particularly good with this dip. But I sort of… ate the entire bag before leaving for vacation, and was too lazy to make another trip to the store. Use whatever you’d like, though! Enjoy!! =) 

 

Buffalo Shrimp Dip

I almost forgot about this post.  It’s been sitting there, labeled as a draft for about a month and a half now.  Why I never decided to finish and post this is a mystery.  Especially since this dip was so good.  Everybody loves some Buffalo Chicken Dip (see also: Crack Dip), right?  Right.  Well how about Buffalo Shrimp Dip??  I don’t know why I never thought to make it with shrimp, since the idea is clearly genius.  At any rate, this is a nice, very easy variation on a classic tailgating/party/any time staple.


Recipe adapted from the Snappy Gourmet‘s blog.


You’ll need:


8 oz. package of low fat cream cheese
1 cup low fat sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar, plus a little more for the topping
1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce
1 (1 oz.) Ranch seasoning packet
2 tsp lemon juice
1 lb. cooked shrimp, chopped
vegetables, pita, crackers, chips, etc. for dipping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  


In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, hot sauce, Ranch seasoning, and lemon juice until well combined.  Stir in shrimp.


Scrape the dip into an oven safe dish, and top with some more cheese.  Bake for approximately an hour.

I could have sworn that I had some pictures of the finished product… but as it turns out, all I have is the “before” pictures.  Oh well, you get the idea!  If you’d prefer the original recipe, by all means substitute some cooked shredded or chopped chicken (or the canned stuff) for some or all of the shrimp.  
 
The dip seems to get spicier the longer it cooks, so if you’re concerned about the heat level, consider reducing the amount of hot sauce you use.
 
If you’re having friends over, heading to a party, or are just hungry for some dip, consider making this one.  Enjoy!!

Creamy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip

I served this dip at our Halloween party a few weeks ago, and it was delicious!  The original recipe can be found at Clean Eating Chelsey.



You’ll need:


1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/3 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup milk (or almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Combine all of your ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat.  Stir frequently as the ingredients warm up, and whisk until smooth.  Once the mixture comes to a slow boil, lower the heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Stir this occasionally to avoid scorching your dip.  You can serve this hot or cold (I served mine chilled) with some fall fruit, graham crackers, or other baked goods.
I served mine with graham crackers and some granny smith and gala apples.  After slicing the apples, I squirted a little lemon juice over them to prevent premature browning.  As it turns out, the lemon juice really ads a nice little zing that works really well with the dip, in addition to keeping the fruit looking pretty.

This was a big hit at the party, and very simple to throw together.  I look forward to making it again, and will likely whip it up when we have friends in town next weekend =).  Enjoy!