Fresh Herb Dip

Raise your hand if you are still buying store bought dips…now use that hand to smack your face, kidding!  But seriously, why oh why are we still buying plastic containers of mediocre dip when we can make our own glorious tasting dip at home in about 30 seconds?  I make this for all the raging parties I have throughout the year and everyone LOVES it, like they go nuts for it.  Great veggies deserve great dip and we all deserve to know what’s in our dip too, am I right?  Here is what’s in this dip…

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup neufchatel or cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • Large bunch fresh parsley
  • Lots of fresh dill
  • Green onions
  • Salt/pepper

A couple of things here, you can use reduced fat versions of these ingredients but I advise that you really study the label before you decide that the lighter version is actually better (because most of the time it’s not).  If you go organic this is usually not an issue but just some food for thought.  Also, neufchatel cheese is just a lighter version of cream cheese but it shouldn’t contain anything weird.

For the herbs…I use parsley, dill, and green onion (yea I know that green onions aren’t an herb, whatever).  You can totally play around with this combo, maybe you want to add basil…or perhaps sub in some chives for the green onion, or maybe you’ll add something really cool that I haven’t thought of yet, EVEN BETTER.

You will need a food processor to make this dip come to life, although I suppose you could do it by hand if you’re cool with spending the time to chop a bunch of herbs into teeny tiny pieces.  I am not cool with that.

For the food processor, you just need a super rough chop.

After you’ve thrown in the super roughly chopped herbs, add the rest of the ingredients.

Now pulse…and then do it again, and again, and then some more.

Keep pulsing until you get something that resembles the photo below.  Then taste it and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

It’s done…and it is FREAKING GOOD.  Serve this at your next party and when everyone asks where you bought it you can nonchalantly say, “Oh, I just whipped it up from scratch.”  People will think you have your whole life together because you made dip from scratch, trust me.

Marinated Shrimp

I don’t even know how to start this blog post, I want to convey the awesomeness of this marinated shrimp but there are no words that exist in the English language worthy of describing it.  This recipe was something that my mom used to make when we were kids, it’s from an old southern cookbook that she (thank GOD) still had.  I remember admiring the dish but I don’t think I ever actually ate it, kids are weird.  I asked her one day if she had remembered making some sort of shrimp thing with olives and capers…she did.  She handed me the cookbook and I made this for the first time on New Year’s Eve 2014.  I don’t think my life really began until the moment I ate that first shrimp, I fell head over heels in love.  We’re still together today and things are going great.

The most difficult thing you will need to do when making this is to not eat the whole thing before you even serve it.  Here’s the recipe.

  • 2 lbs shrimp, cleaned, boiled, and chilled
  • 1 white onion thinly sliced
  • 1 jar pimento stuffed olives, with liquid
  • 4 tbsp capers, with liquid
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed

Mix everything together and marinate for 12-24 hours.  Obviously the longer it marinates the better.  One tip I have is to use the Marukan Sweet and Tangy Rice Vinegar, pictured below.  It has some sugar in it and that helps to balance out the tartness of the vinegar.  You can also use a rice vinegar without sugar and then add it in, you can use honey or agave to sweeten it.  I would suggest starting with a tablespoon of your sweetener and then tasting it.  Or just make your life easy and buy this stuff.


I am so not a raw onion fan but once these are marinated I CHOW on them, all of the pungency is gone and you won’t even have onion breath, promise!

This is a great make-ahead appetizer and it’s pretty darn healthy…and it will change your life.

Skillet Frittata, because you’re lazy.


It’s New Year’s Day!  You’re waking up feeling reborn, refreshed, and ready for a new start.  Just kidding, you’re super hungover and just want to eat your weight in greasy breakfast food.  I’ve got a compromise for you, a simple one pan breakfast that’ll satisfy your stomach without wrecking your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier on day one.  You need a large cast iron skillet for this recipe so if you don’t have one you’ll need to follow this recipe instead (and get a cast iron skillet already!)  This frittata starts with eggs and then the sky’s the limit.  For this recipe, I decided to use a ton of fresh herbs because I had them on hand and turkey sausage because, well, I had that on hand too.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice
  • 8 turkey sausage links, cut
  • 1 leek, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Set your broiler on high. Whisk eggs and milk, add the spices and half of the cheese, set aside.


Sauté the leek and turkey sausage in your cast iron skillet with a good drizzle of olive oil. If you don’t know how to properly clean a leek,  I’ve got a tutorial here.

Turn heat to medium low and add your egg mixture to the skillet. Cook until the edges start to set, shaking the pan occasionally (about ten minutes).

Top with remaining cheese and transfer to your oven. Broil until the top is firm and golden, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs.

You can add more veggies to this, just sauté them in the pan with the leek and turkey sausage.

You can also make this frittata with ham and kale, like I did here.


Or you can make it with mushrooms, tomatoes, and goat cheese like this one.

I hope everyone is enjoying their New Year’s Day with a great breakfast and a strong Bloody Mary.  Happy New Year!