Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe

As I was putting together the menu for my mom’s 55th birthday celebration, her Ina Garten themed dinner party, I knew that I wanted some appetizers that were quick to make.  I wanted to be able to have the appetizers ready and out on the coffee table before everyone arrived, so I could really focus on the dinner.  I decided to make a couple different dips that you could use with crackers, chips, or even vegetables!  As I flipped through the two Ina Garten cookbooks that I borrowed (stole) from my mom, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics and Barefoot Contessa Family Style, I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to look online!

Sun Dried Tomato Dip - Ina Garten Recipe @FoodMarriage

What’s great about the Barefoot Contessa Website, is that if you don’t happen to own one of the particular cookbooks, you can still find the recipes!  I came across a yummy looking recipe for a Sun-Dried Tomato Dip, which actually comes from the original The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I whipped it up the morning of the dinner party and stored it in the refrigerator until serving.  I thought it was great!  However, I did let my mom take home the leftovers (lucky her!) and she said the next day it was AMAZING and 10 times better!  Based on that feedback, I would definitely recommend making this the night before you plan to serve it so the flavors can really mix together. That seems to be the trick to making a great dip even better!!

Sun Dried Tomato Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 cups of dip

Sun Dried Tomato Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 10 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 scallions

Instructions

  • It is best to make this recipe the night before you plan on serving it to allow the flavors to mix together well.
  • Let your cream cheese sit out to soften.
  • Drain the sun-dried tomatoes from the oil. Chop about 8 tomatoes to make 1/4 cup.
  • Thinly slice the scallions and set aside.
  • Using a food processor, puree the sun-dried tomatoes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and salt.
  • Once everything is well blended, add in the sliced scallions and pulse the food processor twice.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Serve with crackers, chips, or vegetables!
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Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s “Sun-Dried Tomato Dip Recipe” from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Party Sized Herbal Iced Tea Recipe

I absolutely LOVED everything about this Herbal Iced Tea that I made for my mom’s birthday dinner!  Since her birthday dinner was Ina Garten themed and I was making all of Ina’s recipes…I knew I had to find a drink recipe in addition to all the food I was making!  When I found Ina’s Herbal Iced Tea recipe in her Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook, I knew it would be perfect!

Herbal Iced Tea Recipe - Party Sized and Caffeine Free @FoodMarriage

It’s a great recipe because it has no added sugar (the apple juice in it sweetens it) and it is caffeine free!  I took Ina’s recipe and altered it just a bit, swapping out the Red Zinger Tea for Wild Berry Zinger Tea.  And I also tripled the recipe to make it party-sized!!  Since I was having the entire family over for dinner, I knew I wanted enough to fill a large drink dispenser so there would be enough for everyone!  As everyone arrived for the birthday dinner party, I greeted them at the door, welcomed them to my own “Barefoot Contessa” restaurant, and served the Herbal Iced Tea in stemless wine glasses to make it fancy!

Party Sized Herbal Iced Tea

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 gallons Herbal Iced Tea

Party Sized Herbal Iced Tea

Ingredients

  • 12 cups water
  • 12 cups apple juice
  • 12 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
  • 12 Celestial Seasonings Wild Berry Zinger tea bags

Instructions

  • Boil 12 cups of water in a large pot on the stove.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and steep all 24 tea bags in the water for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags and let the tea cool off a bit.
  • Combine the tea with the 12 cups of apple juice. Pour into a drink dispenser and place in the refrigerator until it is cold.
  • Serve over ice cubes.
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Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s “Herbal Iced Tea Recipe” from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook.

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Wedding Wednesday: Congress Hall themed Cake Pops for a Rehearsal Dinner!

I love the opportunity to get creative!!  I recently made cake pops for a couple’s rehearsal dinner. Their wedding was being held at Congress Hall in Cape May, NJ.  Congress Hall is America’s oldest seaside resort (they opened in 1816!)  They have an iconic ballroom with Tiffany Blue walls and a black and white checkerboard floor, and it is the prefect setting for a glamorous wedding!

Congress Hall Ballroom

Congress Hall Ballroom: Photo Courtesy of CapeResorts.com

To capture the magic of Congress Hall, the cake pops that I made for the couple’s rehearsal dinner were themed to match the decor of the wedding venue.  I made them black and white with accents of Tiffany Blue!  I even used Edible Ink markers to add the couple’s monogram to the cake pops!

Congress Hall Themed Cake Pops (Black and White with Tiffany Blue Accents) for a Rehearsal Dinner @FoodMarriage

This was also my biggest cake pop job to date!!  135 cake pops!!!  I needed to use three display boxes!  I used one large wooden box with a chalkboard front and then used two smaller ones for off to the side.  I was SO proud of these cake pops!!!!!!

Congress Hall Themed Cake Pops (Black and White with Tiffany Blue Accents) for a Rehearsal Dinner @FoodMarriage

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Wedding Wednesday: Paris Themed Bridal Shower Cake Pops!

Since friends and family have started seeing my cake pop work, I’ve been getting more requests to do some cake pop jobs on the side.  This is really exciting for me because it give me the chance to create different types of cake pops that I would have never thought of doing before!

Paris Eiffel Tower Themed Cake Pops @FoodMarriage

What’s funny about the way I work with my cake pops is that I never know exactly what I am going to do until I start doing it.  I have the general theme idea in my head, and then I create as I go!  Recently, I was asked to make cake pops for a bridal shower.  I was told that they had a Paris theme for the shower and that they would like the pops in black and white if possible.

Paris Eiffel Tower Themed Cake Pops @FoodMarriage

This cake pop order was for 50 cake pops, so I made half in chocolate and half in vanilla.  It made it easy to determine which pops were which flavors…Black = Chocolate.  White = Vanilla. For the decorations, I thought it would be neat to have various different designs throughout the entire display.  So I did some with black sugar crystals, some with clear sugar crystals, some with white nonpareils, and some with white or black candy drizzle.  And then the stars of the display were the plain white cake pops that I drew little Eiffel Towers on with a black edible ink marker!  (I recommend Americolor Gourmet Writers…they work the best!)

Paris Eiffel Tower Themed Cake Pops @FoodMarriage

For the actual display, I found a Paris-themed photo box at the craft store which I used for the base.  And then I found some scrapbooking paper that was labeled as “French Script” to use as the background for the display.  I have no idea what it said because I don’t know French at all!  I hope it said something nice, haha!!  The script background did end up looking really cool and really contributed to the overall look and feel of the display.

Paris Eiffel Tower Themed Cake Pop Display @FoodMarriage

I finished off the cake pop display with some embellished and raised Paris-theme stickers, which really tied everything together.  After making this display, I totally fell in love with it….now I want to go to Paris and see the REAL Eiffel Tower!!!!

For more information on how to make cake pops…visit my basic “How To Make Cake Pops Post.”

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Pink Glitter Football Cake Pops!!

Our Girls Fantasy Football League is in full action now!!!!  I don’t think I’ve ever paid so much attention to football games until now!!  I already shared a little sneak peek of the cake pops I made for our Girls Fantasy Football Draft Party, but now I am excited to share them in a little more detail!

Pink Glitter Football Cake Pops for Girls Fantasy Football Draft Party @FoodMarriage

I have made football-shaped cake pops before for my nephew’s first birthday, so I already had an idea of what I was going to do.  But this time I jazzed up the cake pops by making half of them pink and added pink sugar crystals to make them fun and glittery!

And as with any cake pops I make, I always feel that the details in the display really give the cake pops the WOW factor!  For this display, I got a regular photo box from the craft store and added some stick on rhinestones.  I also got a little puffy football and dazzled that up with rhinestones as well.  Inside the box, on top of the foam, instead of using shredded paper like I often do, I added in pink and clear plastic gems (found in the wedding section of any craft store).  And then the background is just scrapbook paper with a football background and some fun stickers I found in the scrapbook section!

Pink Glitter Football Cake Pops for Girls Fantasy Football Draft Party @FoodMarriage

To finish off the display, I added some additional scrapbook paper underneath with more footballs on them, a real football, and then a cheerleading teddy bear that I saved from my freshman year of high school! (Go Lansdale Catholic!!!!!!)

And the flavor of these fun delicious treats?  They are what I now call “Chocolate Lover’s Dream…” – a chocolate fudge cake mixed with decadent chocolate icing.  Absolutely AMAZING!!!!

Pink Glitter Football Cake Pops for Girls Fantasy Football Draft Party @FoodMarriage

Since we have 12 girls in our league, clearly we could not eat all 42 cake pops by ourselves (especially after eating all of our other appetizers).  So I was able to pack up my husband, Pat, some football cake pops to take to his draft party with the boys!!  They never had anything like this at their draft parties before!!!

Pink Glitter Football Cake Pops

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: About 40-45 cake pops

Pink Glitter Football Cake Pops

Ingredients

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • Ingredients required for the cake (listed on cake mix box)
  • 1 cup chocolate frosting (feel free to use a store-bought kind)
  • 1 (14 oz) bag of brown-colored, milk chocolate flavored candy melts.
  • 1 (14 oz) bag of pink-colored, vanilla flavored candy melts.
  • Half a bag of white-colored, vanilla flavored candy melts (7 oz needed)
  • Pink sugar crystals
  • Lollipop sticks

Instructions

  • Bake your cake according to the directions on the box.
  • Allow your cake to cool completely.
  • Crumble your cake up (Use your mixer to break it up).
  • Add in 1 cup of frosting and mix well (this will give it a sticky texture).
  • Roll your cake into about about 2″ size balls. Once you get it into a ball shape, roll it between your hands to slightly make it more of an oval shape. Place your oval shape onto a tray covered with wax paper and then pinch each end together between your fingers to make it come to a point. This creates the football shape.
  • Once your footballs are shaped, place your tray into the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm up.
  • Melt a small amount of the brown candy melts and a small amount of pink candy melts. Dip each end of a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and the press the stick about 3/4 of the way into the ball. Do this with each ball (I did half in the brown candy and half in the pink candy. I also did about half of my footballs with regular-sized lollipop sticks and then the other half with slightly longer lollipop sticks. This allowed me to display them all at different graduated heights in the display).
  • Once you have sticks in all your footballs, place back into the refrigerator for another 10 minutes or so. This will ensure that the sticks stay in your balls.
  • Melt more of your brown-colored chocolate candy melts, and dip half of the cake pops into the melted candy so it is covered completely. You may want to tap it on the side of your dish to eliminated any excess candy. Place each cake pop standing up in a styrofoam block until the candy hardens.
  • Next, melt your pink-colored vanilla candy melts and dip each the remaining pops into the pink candy melts. Once you tap off any excess candy, immediately sprinkle your pink sugar crystals all over the football. You will need to do this before it has a chance to dry so it sticks.
  • Once your cake pops are hardened and dry, get your white-colored vanilla-flavored candy melts out. Using a disposable candy decorating bag, melt your candy right in the bag and then use to paint the tops of the footballs with lines and laces.
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xoxo, Food Marriage