Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The food you eat before your food

"Appetizers are food you eat before your food to make you more hungry." - Eric Cartman

I don't often make appetizers; when I entertain, my go-to is cut up veggies with some sort of dip or a cheese platter with olives or something like that so I can focus on the other courses. But, I like to make appetizers when I'm going somewhere and that's the only thing I have to think about. I've long been a fan of my aunt's 7 Layer Dip with beans, guacamole, sour cream, avocado, tomatoes etc. and this recipe is another version of that. I saw a recipe in July 08 Better Homes and Gardens that was similar which gave me the idea for it.

It's easy to make your own pita chips to go with this - cut pita bread into wedges and put them in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with olive oil spray. Spray the chips with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until they're slightly brown and chip consistency. I do this with leftover pita all the time so that it doesn't start growing mold.

Layered Greek Dip (makes 2 1/2 cups)

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried Greek seasoning (you can use an Italian seasoning blend)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups prepared hummus
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Pita chips for dipping

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, lemon juice, Greek or Italian seasoning, and garlic with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined.

Spread the cream cheese mixture into a deep 9-inch pie plate, or shallow serving dish. Evenly spread hummus on cream cheese layer. Top with cucumber, tomato, olives, and feta cheese. Serve with pita chips. You can make it ahead, cover it, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.

*I haven't tried it yet but I bet you could use goat cheese instead of the cream cheese.


  1. ummmm. Sounds good -- and if you eat it with veges it's low carb. Right?

  2. Yes, it definitely would be. You can also use rice or corn chips to avoid the flour.

  3. Just had some tasty Vietnamese appetizers today.

  4. Whenever I get the chance, I make a main course of the appetizers. This sounds promising.

  5. come on bec, you've been part of many a great appetizer at family dinner! you can do better than vegetables and dip!

  6. here is that blog I told you about

  7. That's probably my fav Pasadena foodie blog, Lisa. Cathy is a sweetheart. We recently shared a meal with friends.

  8. Did you really just quote South Park?

  9. T - ummm . . . yes, I did. I wondered who would catch that!
    Yes, mom is a wealth of good recipes. I didn't mean that I didn't know of any good appetizers but rather it's hard for me to make a good appetizer and a whole dinner (and have it ready at the same time). My entertaining is a work in progress!

  10. This sounds great. I'm bringing appetizers for my husband's BIG family Pre- Christmas get together this weekend. I'm going to bring this one as a tip of the hat to my niece's husband who hails from Athens! Thanks, Lyn

  11. Lyn - I hope your group likes it as much as ours did. I'm thinking it'll be a good salty treat at a gingerbread house party I'm having on Friday.

  12. Bec,

    This was a real hit, in fact, I then made it for our neighborhood Christmas Caroling party - to date I've gotten 4 requests for the recipe! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I will see you in 2010.