December 8, 2017

The Secret is in the Sauce...

A huge "Thank You" to everyone that attended our Clever Girl Open House this year.  We had record attendance, and a good time was had by all.  We love seeing our wonderful customers all year 'round, and it's lovely to have a chance to visit with you all on this special night.  Lots of you asked me to share some of our recipes from the event, and I'm happy to do so.  (I must also thank my mom, Jinny, for manning the kitchen for me during this busy evening.  Thanks Mums!)

Our Clever Candy Cane Marshmallow Dip was a hit.  Here's how to whip up this tasty treat.

Candy Cane Kiss Marshmallow Dip
1 container (7 oz.) Marshmallow Fluff
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 tsp Peppermint Extract
¼ c Peppermints, crushed
1-2 drops red food coloring (optional)

    Using a mixer on low combine Marshmallow Fluff, cream cheese, and peppermint extract.
    Sprinkle with crushed peppermints and continue to mix until they are fully incorporated into the fluff.
    Add red food coloring to create a light pink color. This is optional.
    Serve with chocolate graham crackers, or your favorite dipper.

Set your time machines back about 52 years for this next one: A classic from the swinging sixties...


  • 2 cans sliced water chestnuts not diced
  • 1 pound bacon not thick-sliced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 brown sugar packed
  • 2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes Sriracha or other hot sauce or to taste (optional)
  • toothpicks soaked in water for 30 minutes before using

  • Directions:
    Preheat oven to 375F. Place a wire rack over a sheet pan and set aside.
    Mix together ketchup, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce and Sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.
    Slice bacon into thirds crosswise. Wrap one piece of bacon around a water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Place each wrapped water chestnut onto the wire rack. Repeat until bacon and water chestnuts are gone.
    Bake in preheated oven until bacon is starting to crisp (around 30 minutes or so). Remove from oven and, using a basting brush, generously dab sauce all over each appetizer. Return to oven and continue cooking until bacon is crisp and sauce is sticky and thick, another 10-15 minutes.
    Serve immediately. They'll go quickly!

    Next up is a standby we serve almost every year.  It couldn't be easier, or more decadent.  
    Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip from Paula Deen

    1 (8 ounces) block cream cheese, softened
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 (14 ounces) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    2 green onions, sliced thin
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan
    1 cup shredded mozzarella
    Dash hot sauce
    Dash Worcestershire sauce
    Salt and pepper
       Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand held electric mixer until smooth. Then beat in the mayonnaise until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and stir together until combined. Transfer the dip to a pie plate or shallow gratin dish. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling. Serve hot with crackers, tortilla chips, crostini or veggies.  

        Another great dish is this warm, rich and creamy cheese and tomato spread.  

        Easy Baked Goat Cheese Marinara Dip

        • 1 300g package goat cheese
        • 1 cup marinara sauce
        • ¼ teaspoon salt
        • ¼ cup fresh basil (optional)
        • ½ teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
        • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)

        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
        2. Remove the goat cheese from the package and break up the  log into large chunks in the center of your baking dish. Using the tips of your fingers, press the cheese slightly so that it spreads about an inch thick. Do not allow the cheese to touch the edge of the pan. Keep at least an inch of free space all the way around.
        3. Spoon the marinara around the goat cheese. Be careful to place the sauce all the way around and as evenly as possible.
        4. Sprinkle the top with salt.
        5. This is also where you could add the dried oregano and ground black pepper if you decide to do so.
        6. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes - just until the sauce around the cheese begins to bubble.
        7. Once you remove the dip from the oven, swirl the cheese lightly through the sauce and top with a little fresh basil.
        8. Serve with thinly sliced baguette.

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