Easy White Bean Dip 

1 (15 oz) can white beans (navy or cannellini) rinsed 
3 T. good extra-virgin olive oil​
1 t. to 1 T. minced garlic (your choice)
1 T. lemon juice 
1 t. kosher salt 
1/2 t. ground black pepper

Put all ingredients in a food processor.
Blend well.
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with vegetables or crackers.
Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Preheat oven to 350

1  (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1  (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 T butter, softened
1/4 C. milk
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 C. grated Parmesan

Mix artichoke hearts and spinach together.
Spread in bottom of small casserole dish. 
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  
Gradually add milk, salt, and pepper to cheese mixture.
Spread on top of artichoke/spinach layer.
(May be frozen for later use or refrigerated for up to 24 hours at this point).
Sprinkle Parmesan on top.
Cover casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.  
Uncover and continue to bake 10 more minutes or until golden brown.
Hot Artichoke Dip

Preheat oven to 350

1  (6 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 C. mayonnaise
3/4 C. Parmesan 

Combine all ingredients and place in a baking dish.  
Bake until thoroughly heated and bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes.  
Baked Brie

Preheat oven to 400

1 roll refrigerated crescent-style dough
1 (8 oz) round Brie Cheese
apricot jam (any flavor works well)
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 t. water

Remove 4 crescents and place on a small, lightly greased cookie sheet.  
With fingers, smooth out perforations to form a solid square.
Unwrap Brie and place in center of rectangle.
Place some apricot jam on top of Brie round. 
Bring up all corners of dough to totally encase cheese making sure all openings are sealed.
Brush with egg wash.
May prepare to this point and hold for several hours.
When ready to serve, bake for 30 minutes until golden.
Allow to sit for a few minutes before slicing into wedges.
Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus 

Preheat oven to 450

Ingredients for Asparagus:
30 medium asparagus stalks, trimmed
10 slices bacon
1/4 C. olive oil
kosher salt 

Ingredients for optional dipping sauce:
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 t. Asian chili sauce (Sriracha)
2 T. lime juice
kosher salt 

Make 10 bundles of 3 stalks of asparagus.
Carefully wrap a piece of bacon around each bundle.
Transfer bundles to a rimmed baking sheet.  
Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  
Roast, flipping halfway through until asparagus begins to wilt and bacon is brown, 
20 to 22 minutes.

Meanwhile, make sauce.
Whisk together mayonnaise, chili sauce and lime juice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer bundles and sauce to a platter.
Avocado-Feta Salsa

2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and chopped
1/4 C. finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. snipped fresh parsley
1 T. snipped fresh oregano
1 T. olive oil
1 T. red or white wine vinegar
4 oz. feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
pita chips or tortilla chips

In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, avocado, onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, oil and vinegar. Stir gently to mix.  
Gently stir in feta cheese. 
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve salsa with pita or tortilla chips.

16 oz. Greek yogurt
1  English Cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/2  C. sour cream
1  T.  white wine vinegar
2  T. lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 1/2  t. minced garlic
1 T.  minced fresh dill
1 t.  salt
1/2 t.  ground black pepper

Grate the cucumber and place it on a towel.
Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the cucumbers.
Place cucumbers in a bowl.
Mix in all other ingredients and blend well.
You can serve it immediately or refrigerate to allow flavors to blend.

Sweet Weenies!

Preheat oven to 350

1 pound package bacon
1 package cocktail weenies
1 pound brown sugar (or more, or less....)

Spray a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Cut package of bacon into quarters.
Wrap a piece of bacon around each weenie and secure with a toothpick.
Place weenies close together in pan, leaving a corner empty for ease of basting.
Smother weenies with brown sugar.
Place in oven for 10 minutes.  
Continue baking and basting every 10 minutes until bacon is completely cooked 
(approximately 30-40 minutes) and brown sugar is melted and caramelized.
Black Bean Cakes with Salsa

Ingredients for cakes:
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8.5 ounce) box corn muffin mix
1/2 C. prepared salsa (drained)
2 1/2 t. chili powder
2 T. olive oil
*optional: chopped jalapenos

Ingredients for topping:
1 C. prepared salsa
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 t. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

*you certainly don't need to mix in the sour cream.  
It's equally delicious with just salsa!

Directions for cakes:
In large bowl mash beans with vegetable masher or fork.  
Stir in muffin mix, drained salsa and chili powder (and jalapenos)
In 12-inch skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium-high heat.  
Roll bean mixture into desired size and put in skillet.  
Flatten cakes with spatula.  
Cook 3 minutes each side until browned.  
Remove from skillet.  
Repeat with remaining oil and bean mixture.  

Directions for topping:
In bowl combine salsa, sour cream, chili powder and salt and pepper.  
Spoon topping over cakes.   
Whipped Feta Dip

8 ounces good Feta Cheese
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 t. lemon zest
1 t. chopped garlic
1/4 t. dill
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/8 t. crushed red pepper flakes

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Place dip in a bowl and serve with toasted pita and veggies.