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Dip or dollop? Tips for adding dips to your favorite dishes

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

How to... Doll up your dishes with dips

Dips are more than just appetizers or snacks! Add flavor to your favorite recipes by dabbling with dollops and drizzles of dips.

Tomato soup with dollop of dipStep 1: Dip your dish

Dips were created for... well, dipping, so anything that can be dipped deserves a little dipping love. Think for a second about your favorite meals -- if any of them can be turned into finger food, pair them with a dip! For instance, cut baked chicken into smaller strips and dip them in a preserved lemon dip or a tangy barbeque sauce.

You can approach desserts the same way -- put together fruit, pretzels and marshmallows and enjoy dipping them in a delicious chocolate fondue.

Friends' night fondue >>

Step 2: Drizzle your dish

Sometimes the consistency of your meal makes it harder to dip, but if you just want a hint of added flavor, give it a drizzle of a dip on top. For example, you could try a drizzle of sweet and creamy yogurt or caramel dip on top of your standard fruit salad recipe. We especially like the Quick & Creamy Caramel Fruit Dip Recipe.

Drizzling is also a great way to add a little spice to a dish. For instance, you could drizzle enchiladas with a jalapeno dip or pork chops with a honey mustard dip.

Step 3: Dollop your dish

When you dollop, you're going "all in" on added flavor, so it's important that you like the dip and the flavor combination of the dip and the dish. Dollop away on dishes that are easy to mix up, like soups, stews, salads and baked potatoes. We like the El Taco Loco Dip Recipe dolloped on tortilla soup or taco salad in place of sour cream.

Step 4: Dive all the way in!

When you really love a dip, there's no sense making it sit on the sidelines -- try incorporating it into your recipe for a whole new taste sensation. We love how the Future Food Brands Santa Barbara Bay created Artichoke and Jalapeno Potato Cakes using an artichoke jalapeno dip:

artichocke and jalapeno potato cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded potatoes
  • 1 package (12 ounces) Santa Barbara Bay Artichoke Dip or (12 ounces) Safeway Artichoke Jalapeno Dip
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

  1. Place shredded potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add artichoke dip to potatoes, and toss to coat all.
  3. Fold in artichoke hearts, cheese and egg.
  4. Pour lemon juice over mixture.
  5. Place the bowl in the refrigerator, and chill for at least one hour.
  6. Heat a large skillet with about an inch of olive oil.
  7. Drop potato mixture, by tablespoons, into heated oil and cook for about one minute.
  8. Turn and brown on second side.
  9. Remove to heated plate and continue until all are cooked.
  10. Serve garnished with chopped artichoke and Parmesan.

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For more info on this topic...For more household tips, check out:
Super Moms guide to cleaning & cooking for the family

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