something to savor…sweet pumpkin dip

I was hooked the first time I tried this (some 5 years ago…)  It’s the perfect fall dip and it goes fab with red or yellow Bartlett pears or sweet, tart Haralson apples, or gingersnap cookies (if you like those).  And, if no one’s looking, you can eat it by the spoonful right out of the bowl.  (I have done it.)


Sweet Pumpkin Dip
adapted from Libby’s and various friends’ recipes
yield 5 cups

2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz.) 100% pure pumpkin
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or more, to taste)

BEAT cream cheese and pumpkin in large mixer bowl until smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger; mix thoroughly. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with sliced pears, apples and gingersnaps. Enjoy.

>shrimp sauce

>Another great dipping sauce for fondue meats or veggies… similar to the Benihana version. (I like to mix a little of the ginger and shrimp sauce.)

Shrimp Sauce

2 c. mayo
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 T. garlic juice
2-4 tsp. ketchup
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. white pepper

Whisk together and serve with cooked meats or veggies.

>ginger sauce

>This dipping sauce is a fabulous accompaniment to meats and vegetables. We like to use it for our fondue, but it would also go well with grilled or sauteed foods. It’s very similar to the ginger sauce served at Benihana’s.

Ginger Sauce

1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. soy sauce
2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 oz. gingerroot – peeled and chopped
juice of lemon
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. white vinegar

Blend well and serve with cooked chicken, beef, veggies.

>kortney’s chile con queso dip

>This queso recipe has sort of evolved over time, and continues to increase in intensity each time I make it. When my sister started making it, I couldn’t handle the heat. We always had to make two separate batches – how lame was I? Anyways, now my craving for spice and heat is up to par with the rest of my family.

There are many variations you can add to change it up each time. Note: be careful handling the peppers with your hands. You don’t want to end up touching your eyes after dicing them. Another Note: this is the one and only time I eat Velveeta. Not a big fan of processed cheese food otherwise. I’m just sayin…

Here is the basic recipe:

2-3 jalapeno peppers, diced
2-3 seranno peppers, diced
1 anaheim pepper, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans Rotel (tomatoes & green chiles)
3/4 – 1 log of Velveeta cheese, cubed
olive oil for sauteeing peppers & onions

Saute peppers and onions in olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Once soft, add Rotel and cubed cheese and melt over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Once heated through, remove from heat and serve with tortilla chips.


If you’re really into heat, add a diced habanero pepper.

To make it more of a “meal,” add a pound of cooked and crumbled hamburger or I’ve also done cooked chorizo sausage – it adds a nice change of spice. And, Trader Joes has a good soy chorizo. You can’t tell the difference between the real stuff.

My sister likes to add 3/4 to a can of beer, sort of adds that “beer cheese soup” flavor. She also likes to add cilantro and cumin.

My suggestion is to experiment and find your best mix of flavors. You will not be disappointed.