Category Archives: Dips, Sauces and Marinades


Tuscan Cannellini Bean Dip Spread

This Tuscan Cannellini bean dip or spread is easy and fast to make. Using canned beans it can be ready in just minutes. Serve with a crusty Italian bread or crispy pitas.

Tuscan Cannellini bean dip
Tuscan Cannellini bean dip

Great to make ahead of time and serve as your holiday guests arrive or take along to a gathering.

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 TBLS fresh Italian parsley leaves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBLS grated Parmesan cheese

Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans. Place all ingredients except the parsley in a food processor and puree. Stir in the minced parsley.
Serve at room temperature with crusty bread, pita or small cut raw veggies.

Guacamole Dip

This fresh guacamole dip is easy and so nutritious. Great for company or a snack for the kids. Adjust the spiciness to your liking. You can use my short cut salsa or chop your own plum tomatoes, garlic, onion and cilantro.


4 x avocados, firm but giving when pressed
1 fresh lime
1/2 cup fresh store made salsa, any style/flavor you like
Tabasco sauce
Tortillas, any variety of corn; white, yellow or blue

Slice the avocados in half lengthwise using the knife up against the pit from one side to the other . Holding each side twist and the avocado will come part easily. Do a chop motion with the knife into the pit and turn the knife and the pit will come out. Spoon or slice out the avocado flesh into a bowl. You can leave the flesh chunky or mashed, its your choice. Cut the lime in half and squeeze all the juice over the avocado. Add the salsa and mix. Use as much or as little of the Tabasco as you like. Serve immediately. Guacamole even with the lime juice in it will brown if left out too long. So make it just before you want to use it. Serve with fresh tortillas if you can get them or lightly salted super market type.

Vanilla Sauce

This Vanilla Sauce only takes a few minutes to prepare and gives a finishing touch served over bread puddings and other starch or fruit based desserts.

Vanilla sauce
Vanilla sauce

1/2 cup sugar
1 TBLS corn starch
1 cup boiling water
2 TBLS unsalted butter
2 TBLS heavy cream
1 TSP vanilla extract
dash of salt

In a small sauce pan combine the sugar and corn starch. Stir in the boiling water. Simmer for a few minutes until it thickens.
Remove from heat and add butter, cream, vanilla and salt stirring until combined. Serve warm over your favorite dessert.

Olive Oil Dipping Sauce

Instead of serving only butter with your dinner bread, try using my olive oil dipping sauce. This one is Italian style. But you can mix any herbs you like. If you have left over don’t throw it away. Use it to marinate boneless chicken or fish.

Olive oil dipping sauce
Olive oil dipping sauce

1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 clove mashed fresh garlic
1 TSP of each; dried basil, grated cheese such as Parmesan and dried parsley
Dash of each; dried oregano, red pepper flakes

Mix together at least an hour before serving.
Serve with a crusty warm bread.

Beer Cheese Dip

This beer cheese dip is easy and can be made a few days before serving storing it a container. I’ve made this one using an olive oil and rosemary bread but any round whole bread will work.

Beer cheese dip
Beer cheese dip

12oz-14.5oz container of sharp cheddar cheese spread
4oz cream cheese
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4-1/3 can of any beer
1 whole round  bread , any type you like

Mix ingredients , except bread together until smooth and soft enough to be a dip. At this point you can store in a container few 2-3 days. Just before serving carve out a hole in the top of the bread wide enough to be filled with the cheese dip. Cut the pieces of carved bread into cubes for dipping. You can also serve with small pieces of fresh veggies or fruit for dipping.

Dipping Sauces for Shellfish

With summer here, serving cold shellfish compliments summer menus. Here are a few Dipping sauces for Shellfish that I like. Feel free to serve them with other foods too.

Dipping Sauces for Shellfish
Dipping Sauces for Shellfish

1/3 cup or equal parts each; sour cream and mayo
1 TBLS lemon juice
1 TBLS capers
1 TBLS chopped chives, fresh is best
Dash of pepper
Mix together and serve chilled.

**Cocktail Sauce
2/3 cup ketchup
1 TSP plain grated horseradish, or more if you like it spicy
1 TBLS lime juice
1 TSP worcester
Mix together and serve chilled.

**Olive Oil Basil Sauce
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 fresh basil leaves
1 TBLS pine nuts
1 TSP crushed garlic
Dash oregano
Salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
Blend all together in a mini chopper or blender.
Serve at room temp.

Fresh Fruit Dips

These are a few dips you can make for a variety of fresh fruits. Change the extract flavor or products to suit your needs; sugar free, organic etc…

Peanut Butter Caramel Dip

1/2 cup Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Sugar Free Caramel Topping
1 TSP cinnamon
a few drops of Vanilla extract, paste if you have it
2 TBLS plain Greek yogurt
Milk to dilute

Mix together and add milk if you need to thin the dip out a bit.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dip

1/2 cup Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Sugar Free Chocolate Topping
1/2 TSP Vanilla extract, paste if you have it
1/2 TSP Espresso Powder
2 TBLS plain Greek yogurt
Milk to dilute

Mix together and add milk if you need to thin the dip out a bit.

Yogurt Dip

1 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
2 TBLS honey
1/2 TSP Vanilla
Dash of cinnamon

Mix together and serve.

Cannoli Filling

Italian Cannoli
Italian Cannoli

This Cannoli filling recipe can be piped into a cannoli shell or used as a cake filling.  For a dip; serve with pound cake cubes, broken cannoli shells pieces, brownie cubes or fresh strawberries .

1LB ricotta cheese, whole milk
5 TBLS confectioner’s sugar
1 TSP vanilla, paste type is preferred
½ TSP cinnamon
1 cup mini chocolate chips
6 store bought cannoli shells
A piece of cheesecloth
**Optional; 8-10 crushed Pistachios**

Put the ricotta cheese in a food processor for a few spins just to cream it. Place the cheesecloth in a strainer, fill with ricotta cheese and set over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap place in the refrig overnight to drain off the extra liquid. Mix the drained ricotta cheese with all the other ingredients (except the nuts). Fill a freezer bag with the filling. You can store it like this for up to 2 days. When you want to use it cut a small slit in the corner and pipe into shells just before serving. Sprinkle the ends with the crushed nuts and dust with a little more confectioner’s sugar.

Beef Marinade

BBQ grilled London Broil
a small serving of grilled London broil. sliced thin

This Beef Marinade recipe can be used on London broil or steaks. Grilling tastes best but it can also be done in a broiler.

1 cup teriyaki sauce (low sodium is fine)
1/2 cup kitchen bouquet or gravy master seasoning sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium is fine)
1/2 TSP celery seed
1 large onion, quartered

Place all in a blender and puree. Pour over meat and let marinate for 3-24 hours, refrigerated. Grill to your liking.

Great Clam Dip

A great recipe to bring to a party.  Can be assembled the night before and baked just before serving. Every time I make this I see someone scrapping the dish to get the last bit out!

Clam Dip
Clam Dip

Recipe Ingredients:

2 (6oz) cans chopped or minced clams with the juice
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 TBLS unsalted butter
1 sm. onion chopped
1/2 of a green or red pepper chopped
1 Tsp each; garlic powder (not salt), oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + a little more for the top

Recipe Directions:

Sauté the onion & pepper in the butter until soft. Mix in all other ingredients and place in a baking dish. Top with a little cheese and bake 20 min on 350.  Serve warm.