A PLACE TO COOK, CRAFT, CREATE, REMAKE AND PLAN SOME FUN PARTIES FOR MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Family Fun Times Valentines....

I went to a Valentines Dinner Party the other night and I tried the most delicious dip! It was with fresh cranberries and cilantro with a little jalapeno, lemon juice, sugar and cumin. It sounded so easy. I hung out by this dip the ENTIRE night!  It is embarrasing when I find something I love I just can't stop eating it!  That's my downfall! FOOD!  go figure.....
Oh YUMMY is this stuff heavenly!  I could stand here and eat it all day!  

Cranberry Salsa Dip with Cream Cheese
INGREDIENTS:
12 ounces or about 3 cups fresh cranberries chopped in blender or chopper
1 green onion, VERY finely minced (I used mostly the green ends)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, cored,  and finely diced (cut it in half if you don't like some HEAT)
3/4 cup sugar (you can add a whole cup but it is very syrupy and sweet...I'd knock it down to 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (8 ounces each) packages cream cheese, light or regular, softened
Wheat Thin Crackers, for serving or Tortilla Chips
Chop about 3/4 cup at a time in your blender on "pulse"...or use a food processor for speed....

You can freeze fresh cranberries in the bag to use all year...did you know that?  Yeah,
the cranberry salsa keeps in the freezer too....so I put half of it away in a tupperware for another party!  

It looks like a lot of cilantro when you are done...so you could go less on it if you wanted....
The sugar is really sweet....It would taste okay to use less if you are watching sugar intake....

My hubs bought the jalapeno and it was large so I only used about half of it
and saved the other half for chili I made the next day....

I didn't have a lemon so I used lime juice....It was okay but I think lemon tastes much better...
but lime will do in a pinch for sure! 
DIRECTIONS:
Pick over the cranberries looking for smashed or bruised ones. Then use your blender for the cranberries or a  food processor and  coarsely chop about 3/4 of a cup at a time.  Put into a bowl and add the sugar. Then chop the green onions, cilantro, jalapeno and add them in and mix up. Then add cumin, lemon juice and salt and mix. Transfer the mixture to a covered bowl or tupperware and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to overnight) so cranberries lose  their tartness.
When ready to serve, put the block of cream cheese on a really pretty plate.  Top with the cranberry mixture.  Surround the plate with wheat thins crackers.  So very Yummy! 
I really like it with Wheat Thins because chips fall apart when you try to push them
into the cream cheese....it may be better with soft whipped cream cheese...but it wouldn't look as pretty on the plate.....

You could line the pie plate with cream cheese and pour the cranberries over it...
but I think the block looks so elegant and pretty spread with the cranberry salsa.....

I wonder if it would be good on a fresh turkey sandwich...hmmm....I've got a
turkey in the freezer too...I think I'll have to experiement on that!!  
My friend Debbie shared the recipe with me at the Valentine party.  It's a great appetizer for any get together. The thing is we have to stock up on those cranberries when they are out in the produce section.  I happened to have a bag I had stashed away in the freezer. So lucky day for us!


Valentines Dinner party....for the fam....

My Valentine Dinner table...so cute, right?  I love the hanging heart ornaments hangin
from the chandelier....

Here's my granddaughters at their little Valentine kiddie table with the heart plates....aren't they sweet?  
This was my valentine this year....delivered to my classroom by Mr. Moss! 

The hubs got me some Valentines flowers....I forgot to take a close up pic
till the little baby roses were kinda wilted....oh well...it's still a fun memory...

I love that guy still after 30something years....

Texas Sheet Cake for dessert.....done by cute Caitlin and Devin...the newleyweds...
See that little piece missing?  I did that.....no will power at all....sigh....

And yummy German Chocolate brownies...done by my daughter Tiffany....

And cute Valentines Strawberry cupcakes....the kids loved these....

And we played this very fun game....check it out sometime!  

  It's a great Valentines Day dip for a fun party or for anytime! 


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