Wow! I feel like I've been out of the kitchen for months (probably because I have.) The broken foot really slowed me down, as any extra standing just made things worse. I am now two weeks into physical therapy (Jeff Fahrenbruck--you rock!) and five days out of "the boot," so things are looking up. This next week will be very, very busy as we wrap up the school year, but I plan to get back in the kitchen in a meaningful way right after that.
My biggest foray into the kitchen was for Mother's Day. My contribution was the veggie tray. While this isn't a dish that showcases my cooking talents, it is pretty, and I found a couple of dips in The Big Book of Appetizers that were standouts, and certainly had a little more sophistication than the ubiquitous ranch dressing. They were also very well received, and I can see more applications for them than just a crudite accent. The dip in the bell pepper (foreground) is a Blue Cheese and Toasted Walnut Spread. The blue cheese taste was there, but pretty mild. Even those who aren't blue cheese fans (or walnut fans) seemed to enjoy this. I used the recommended Saga blue cheese, but a stronger flavored cheese could be used for a more pronounced blue cheese flavor. I'd actually like to try tossing this in a fondue pot and using it as a dipper for sliced apples and pears.
The other dip was a Yogurt and Green Onion blend from the same cookbook. This dip had a wonderful, fresh from the garden taste which could easily be modified by changing the herbs used. This would also make a fabulous baked potato topping.
Of course, the real reason to gather is family, and here are my two granddaughters, who top the list of my favorite family members: