Monday, July 06, 2009

Happy 4th

layered jello dessertsWe had an enjoyable Independence Day. Good friends, good food, good times.

As you can see, we had fun with Jello.

We learned a few things too, like don't pour warm gelatin liquid on top of the whipped topping, or you will you end up with floating blue goo on top of your dessert. I chose to disguise it with more whipped topping and a cherry, of course. It was a hit.

But then, that's the magic of the Fourth of July BBQ, everything is a hit. Cook it on the grill and smother it with your favorite brand of bottled BBQ sauce, and it's your own little piece of heaven. They'll even eat their veggies-and like it.

You know, there's always something you forget to buy at the grocery store, and after two follow-up trips to pick up what had been forgotten, I was still missing that vegetable soup mix I usually use for the dip. I'd had enough of traveling in the heat and decided to improvise with whatever I had in the house. Here is the recipe I came up with. Feel free to substitute low-fat or fat-free versions of ingredients.

bowl of spinach dipSpinach Dip

1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water squeezed out
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cups prepared ranch dressing
1 cup sour cream

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Chill for 30 minutes before serving with chips and crackers or other dippers of your choice.

I used an envelope of ranch dressing mix and followed their directions to prepare the dressing, but you can use bottled ranch, creamy italian, blue cheese or other creamy salad dressing. Also consider adding chopped cucumber, chopped roasted sweet red peppers or other veggies you like to the dip.

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