Loaded BLT Dip & Baked Potato Topping

Oh my, potato pie!  Let me count the ways…

To use this dip.special-k-sour-cream-and-onion-cracker-chips-detail-prod-dyp300x247

  1. Dip for veggies, chips, french fries, crackers, taquitos, flautas, garlic bread, mozerella sticks…
  2. Topping for your baked potato
  3. Mixed with hard-boiled egg yolks to devil your eggs
  4. Mix with potatoes, chopped hard boiled eggs, onions, and celery for potato salad
  5. Mix 2T with 1/2c tuna for tuna salad
  6. Spread on hearty sandwich bread for a killer mayo substitute
  7. As a dollop added to a bowl of fresh split pea soup (or chili… or tomato soup… or potato soup… or tortilla soup….)
  8. toss a little with fresh pasta and parm
  9. fold into a rice pilaf
  10. serve on your chicken enchiladas, or for Taco Night!
  11. probably more I haven’t thought of yet
  12. or just lick it off your fingers to get the last bit out of the bowl

178090139_XSIt’s not nearly as fat-dense as just sour cream, because of all the other goodness folded in — and no added salt or sugar removes two of the other major tripwires.

You can substitute low-fat (not fat free — significant flavor will be lost) sour cream for some portion of the regular sour cream, and knock out more the fat and calories.  Experiment to get a balance that suits you and yours.

If you like extra heat, use hot rather than mild Rotel (diced tomatoes & green chilis).

If you’re a garlic hound, add more Sriracha.

If you like things cheesy, add 1/2 c shredded parm, or 1 c shredded sharp cheddar… or whatever cheese you’re into.

Love avocado? Trying to cut some of the saturated fat? Try substituting 1/2 c mashed avocado for 1/2 c of the sour cream. (that’s about 1 small avocado)441390

Think bacon is the pot of gold at the end of the pig?  Double (or triple) the bacon!

Basically — add, subtract, multiply and alter to suit your own buds!

This recipe makes 4 cups of dip.
(16 x 1/4 c servings)
[1/4 cup is just about right to dress a med baked potato or to make 4 deviled eggs]


  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilis, drained
  • 6 slices thick high-quality bacon — cooked, drained on paper towels, & crumbled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 T Sriracha sauce
  • 2 T dehydrated minced onion
  • 2 T dried, or 1/2 c  fresh chopped basil
  • 1 T dried, or 1/4 c fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 T dried, or 1/4 c fresh chopped parsley or cilantro (I like parsley better)
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t mustard powder
  • 3 T Chia seeds (like Bob’s Red Mill)

Mix ingredients together and chill for at least 1/2-hr before serving.

(I like to divide it up into 4-oz cups with lids so people can have their own little dip cup, and so leftovers are already portioned into smaller servings.)

Roughly, if you make this dip as written out here with regular sour cream, you get these

nutrients in 1/4 c:

  • 100 calories
  • 7g fat (4 Sat)
  • 4 carbs
  • of which 1.5g are fiber
  • and of which 1.5g are sugar
  • 3g protein



Holiday Egg Salad for Sandwiches or Samplers

-9 hard-boiled eggs
-1 small onion, minced fine
-1/4 c sundried tomatoes, rinsed, minced, soaked in 2 Tbsp cranberry juice for 30 minutes, and drained
-½ cup chopped pickle or drained dill pickle relish
-6 Tbsp mayonnaise
-2 tsp large grain English mustard
-1/4 c chilis in Adobo sauce, minced or snipped with kitchen scissors (use a little of the sauce)
-favorite hot sauce to taste

It’s a good idea to mince and then soak the sun-dried tomatoes in juice while the eggs cook and cool —

This is good both for sandwiches and for topping small toasts or vegetables as appetizers or tapas.



1/4 c bacon, crumbled


1/3 c minced ham + 1/2 c shredded sharp or tangy cheese


slices of avocado  to garnish

oromit chilis, and add 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill + 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Smoked Tuna Salad

ImageSince a local landmark is “Barnacle Bill” — an open air seafood market that specializes in on-site smoked salmon — and some tuna as well, it seems only right to come up with recipes that use them!  After some reading and working through recipes by others — here is my first try.  It’s full of all sorts of flavors I usually have not associated with tuna salad — this is not the apple-pickle-mayo stuff I grew up on.

12 oz smoked tuna, flaked
1/3 c minced kalamata olives
1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c finely minced celery
1/4 c chopped chilis in adobo sauce
1 T adobo sauce from the chilis
2T lemon j
2T olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Excellent on toast, or stuffed into various fresh veggies….


Auntie’s Cure for the “Too Many Rich Sweets @ Christmas-time” Blues

This is the dish to set in a big tray on the center of the coffee table after everybody’s had all the sweets, treats, and heavy stuff they can manage….

This makes enough for about 12-15 grazing people….

1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
2 8oz jar pickled jalapeño slices, minced fine — reserve juice (Like Old El Paso brand, or some similar)
1 lb broccoli heads, trimmed to bite-sized florettes and slightly steamed
1 lb carrots, cut into “coins” and slightly steamed
1 lg sweet onion, cut into  rings, and then halve the rings into crescents
1 lb brussels sprouts, peeled, stemmed, halved and steamed well
2 c button mushrooms, sliced 1/2″ thick
2 c shredded low moisture, part skim mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz)
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
12 oz your favorite Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
1/3 c sweet pickle relish
2 T A-1 steak sauce
1 T Tabasco pepper sauce
1 1/2 t garlic salt (or 1 1/2 t salt + 1 clove crushed garlic)
1 t dried thyme
3 T freshly ground black pepper

1 very large bowl of freshly popped popcorn!
(make this first and put it in the fridge to chill)
Combine ranch dressing, black pepper, parmasan cheese, Tabasco, A-1 Steak Sauce, pickle relish, and garlic salt with minced jalapenos and about 1/3-1/2 of their juice from the jar.


  • prepare the brussels sprouts first, because you need to steam them until tender — which will take longer than the other steaming.
  • prepare broccoli and carrots and steam until just brightening in color and barely beginning to get tender.
  • remove steamed veggies to paper towels to drain and cool.
  • toss all steamed veggies in remaining jalapeno pepper juice from the jars and set aside to continue cooling — toss every 10 minutes or so as you finish preparing the salad. — yes, this makes for very tarte and very spicy veggies!
  • prepare remaining veggies as directed; and, drain off any remaining liquid from the steamed veggies, and combine in a large bowl or other large container.
  • Toss all lightly with shredded mozzarella and prepared dressing/jalapeño blend.  Arrange on a big tray (cover lightly with plastic wrap if you are preparing ahead) and serve with a big bowl of freshly popped popcorn!!!!



*why the popcorn?  to kill the burn if you eat too many of these veggies, of course!  (or try a big glass of milk)

Sunny & Spicy Broccoli Salad

A great summer salad (or anytime, actually) from the farmers’ markets of New Mexico. Spicy, savory, and slightly sweet.

Feel free to use fewer jalapenos for less heat; or to add cayenne for more.  And any dried berries will work — currants, raisins, dried cherries….

Use halves and pieces of cashews rather than whole cashews.

Makes about 12-15 servings
3/4 – 1 c  each

3 lbs fresh broccoli, washed and trimmed to bite-sized florets
8 oz bermuda onion, sliced into paper-thin rings, then cut to half-moons
1 large carrot (about 3 oz) shredded into paper thin strips (with a peeler)
8 oz bacon cut to 1/2″  pieces and cooked crisp, drained
1/3 c dried blueberries
1/3 c dried cranberries
1 c roasted/salted cashew pieces
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 c fresh ranch dressing
3 T mayonnaise
1/2 c pickled jalapeño slices, seeded and minced

  • Whisk vinegar, dressing, mayo, jalapenos, berries, and shredded onions/carrots together and chill
  • lightly steam broccoli, then rinse with cool water.  broccoli should  be firm and barely crisp
  • toss cooled broccoli with dressing, cashews, and bacon bits, then cover an d chill at least 3 hrs.