Anybody ready for an easy appetizer recipe?
Since the weekend is on the horizon now (huuuump daaaay), it feels like the perfect time for something simple and quick to whip up for family or friend weekend funtivities. This dip is just that, and features a super secret ingredient that keeps things a bit healthier than your typical cheese dip.
Speaking of weekend plans, my husband and I spent a recent Sunday afternoon attending the beautiful wedding of one of his college friends. Obviously it was a special day for the bride and groom, but it also felt significant for us because it was the first wedding we’ve attended since our own last October.
To be real with you guys (to a fault usually right?), I was a little nervous about it.
I was afraid that the day might feel overshadowed by the fact that we were no longer the people getting married. Now, before you think I am the most self involved person that’s ever walked the earth, let me give you some more context. We can all agree that a person’s wedding day is a major life event, you plan it for months, it’s the start of a new life chapter, it’s filled with anticipation, butterflies, first looks, and warm-fuzzy moments shared with the most important people in your life; it’s a BIG day… and it’s a little bittersweet to fully realize that it’s over.
In the end though, guess what? Going to a wedding when you’re already married is WONDERFUL.
First of all, you’re no longer entrenched in the planning process, so you don’t feel the need to compare every choice that the happy couple made to your own (so long party favors, color schemes, and catering decisions; I’ve got my life back). Second, being at a wedding floods you with memories of your own day; the look on your groom’s face as you walked down the aisle, the promises you made to each other, the delirious walk hand-in-hand after being declared husband and wife for the first time, and the sweet kiss you stole in the church lobby before the rest of of the wedding party came to hug you (just us?). Re-living memories from that day will always be special, but I have a sneaking suspicion that little moments that I’ve forgotten about will keep cropping up as other weddings jog my memory in new ways over the years. Third, and last, you get to welcome people that you love to team marriage with a huge party. Being married is amazing, hard, rewarding, comforting, challenging, and life changing. Showing my support as friends get married feels like a bigger deal now, we’re fellow travelers on this road of wedded life, and encouraging their commitment and relationship has a funny was of strengthening my own marriage too.
Veering back to food from wedding memories, let’s talk about this fabulous appetizer. This recipe has all of the elements of a toasty piece of bruschetta, but served easily as a dip to feed a crowd. Remember that super secret ingredient I mentioned earlier? Well, what really makes this dip special is: food processed cottage cheese.
Stick with me here folks, I know food processed cottage cheese sounds a little weird, but it’s sooooo yummy. Especially when it’s combined with smooth cream cheese, a hint of tangy mayo, and fragrant garlic to become the perfect lightened up dip. Bonus: the cottage cheese brings extra protein to the table instead of just being a calorie bomb like typical sour cream based dips.
Let me break down how easy this appetizer prep really is for you guys; food process cheese, stir together entire cheese mixture, spread cheese layer in your baking dish (it fits a 9 x 13), chop the tomatoes, mix tomatoes with basil/olive oil, top cheese with tomatoes, then let the oven to the work. That’s it. Serve the dip warm with some sliced crusty french bread or your favorite kind of cracker.
So speaking again of weddings and weekend plans (which are our weekend plans once a month through December; hello twenty-something life), I’m off to go plan my high school BFF’s bachelorette party… and there’s a strong change that this yummy dip might just make the menu for that night.
- 1½ C Cottage Cheese
- 1 Block cream cheese (room temperature)
- ½ C Shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ C Shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
- 2 Cloves of diced garlic
- 2 C Chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Chopped basil (fresh or dried)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop the tomatoes and dice the garlic (and basil if fresh) and set aside.
- Scoop the cottage cheese into the food processor and pulse a few times, add the cream cheese to the processor and blend the cheeses together until they are smooth.
- Stir the shredded cheese, mayo, and garlic into the cottage cheese mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the cheese evenly in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
- Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and basil and sprinkle them evenly over the cheese mix.
- Bake the dip for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is warm and the tomatoes are soft. Serve immediately with sliced fresh bread or crackers.