Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

Every holiday party needs a great dip and this baked cheesy cauliflower dip is sure to be a hit at yours!

We’ve made this dip so many times over the past few weeks perfecting the recipe. I have to tell you that it’s been such a joy because it’s FREEZING outside and there is truly no greater comfort in life than having a hot skillet of creamy, cheesy goodness bubbling and baking away in the oven.

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

Ordinarily, I’d give “party dip” a bit of a sideways glance – I’m not a huge fan of the who-knows-what ingredients plus a brick of cream cheese that are often in them. But I like to think of this dip as a Love & Lemons-does-midwest-style party dip. Its creamy base is made with pureed cauliflower, Greek yogurt, and a touch of Dijon mustard. It’s topped with cauliflower florets, scallions, and a layer of Roth Grand Cru – a nutty alpine-style cheese that’s made nearby (to us) in Wisconsin – that creates the most perfect flavorful, golden, bubbly crust on top.

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

Start by breaking your cauliflower into small florets. Lightly boil it, then blend 3/4 of the cauliflower to create the dip’s base, while reserving the remaining florets to layer in for texture.

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

Blend the cauliflower with Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and a good pinch of salt. I love how the yogurt adds a bit of tang and the cauliflower becomes lusciously creamy. These flavors work so perfectly with the delicious, mild flavor of the Roth Grand Cru that gets melted on top.

We seriously love this cheese – it’s great on cheese boards and it melts beautifully on this dip. Roth cheeses are made with rBST-free milk sourced within 60 miles of their creamery, so it’s really great quality Wisconsin cheese.

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

Pour the creamy mixture into a skillet and layer it with scallions, cauliflower florets, and grated cheese.

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

That’s it – it’s ready to bake!

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

Bake until golden and bubbly. Meanwhile, get your baguette sliced, toasted, and ready for dipping!

Baked Cheesy Cauliflower Party Dip

Carrot & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Carrot & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

If you ate too many cookies this weekend, I have just the thing for you! This roasted red pepper soup is light and nourishing, yet creamy and delicious. Plus, I think the red soup and green herbs look so festive! If you haven’t gotten around to decorating a tree this year (or if you’re tired of decorating cookies), you can decorate your soup! 🙂

Carrot & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Because red peppers aren’t in season, I use jarred roasted red peppers, which are a super convenient pantry ingredient. Fresh carrots, fresh fennel, and thyme round out the tangy flavor of the peppers. Cannellini beans add creaminess to the soup without adding cream or nuts.

This roasted red pepper soup recipe is an old favorite – it’s on page 203 of our first cookbook which (shameless plug!) makes a great gift. The only thing that I changed in this version are the garnishes. As a contrast to the smooth texture of this soup, I added chopped roasted red peppers and extra herbs. It’s a small detail, but the chunky diced peppers give it a nice texture.

Carrot & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

This is what the roasted red pepper soup looks like before you blend it:

Carrot & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Give it a whirl, then, voila… you have creamy orange-red Christmas soup (or soup for whatever holiday you celebrate).

Carrot & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Like most soups, you can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for a few days – the flavors just get better and better. It also freezes well.

Carrot & Roasted Red Pepper Soup Carrot & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

If you’re craving more soup, go browse more soups in the soup section of our recipe index!

Tahini & Pomegranate Almond Cookies

Tahini & Pomegranate Almond Cookies

I’m not sure why the heck it took me 7 years of blogging about natural foods (that’s 7 holiday seasons) to think of using pomegranates to decorate cookies. Of course, I’ve used them atop Christmas crostini and even holiday hummus, but come on Jeanine, it’s December and what we really need are cookies! These tahini almond cookies are such yummy little treats… they also happen to be vegan and gluten free.

Tahini & Pomegranate Almond Cookies

For this post, we’re partnering, once again, with POM Wonderful because if I haven’t stated it enough on this blog over the years – we think pomegranates ARE wonderful! 🙂 Those cute little POM POMS arils bring such a sweet pop of flavor, plus who doesn’t love a little antioxidant boost by way of dessert?

This cookie dough is made with almond flour as the base, tahini as the binder, and maple syrup as the sweetener. To enhance the almond I used almond extract instead of the vanilla that I would normally use. And to make them extra nice, I spiced them with cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. These flavors are so lovely with the nutty tahini.

Tahini & Pomegranate Almond Cookies Tahini & Pomegranate Almond Cookies

This is a super easy one-bowl recipe. Just mix the dough, scoop them, and lightly flatten them (they won’t spread too much in the oven).

Tahini & Pomegranate Almond Cookies

And decorate them! I can’t get over the little ruby red gems. These make me so happy!

Tahini & Pomegranate Almond Cookies

POM POMS (POM Wonderful’s brand of arils, or seeds, derived from fresh pomegranates), are available now through January in convenient 4.3 and 8-ounce packs. Find them in the cut fruit produce section of most grocery stores.

These cookies freeze well. Make an extra batch (pictured are 2 batches), and freeze any that you might have leftover. Or better yet, bring them to a holiday cookie swap to share.

Tahini & Pomegranate Almond Cookies

Winter Fennel, Sage & Kale Pasta

This Winter Fennel, Sage & Kale Pasta makes a delicious, healthy vegetarian weeknight dinner. Hearty, comforting, and easy, too!

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe

Happy December!

I have a confession to make. I’m really terrible at decorating for the holidays. Some years it happens, others it doesn’t… and then some years we end up with a Valentine’s Day tree because we lose track of time and the work of taking down decorations is far less fun than putting them up.

So here’s my version of holiday greenery for you – it comes in the form of a kale pasta! It’s, of course, edible, and the clean up is minimal. 🙂

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe

This kale pasta is full of all kinds of warming wintery goodness including a base of sautéed shallots, fennel, and savory, aromatic sage. There’s a bit of briny sun dried tomato for pop and (of course) some lemon juice to add a bit of bright cheer.

I used a fancy pasta shape called toscani – I just love the way the kale wraps around the short curly noodles. If you can’t find it, you can use any short cut pasta that you like.

Aside from boiling the pasta, this recipe comes together in one large skillet (or pictured, this pretty braiser), so it’s a great one to have in your back pocket when you need to get a hearty, healthy dinner on the table this winter.

Fennel, Sage, and Kale Pasta Recipe

Serve with olive oil for drizzling and (not pictured, but highly recommended) freshly grated pecorino cheese!

For more healthy pasta recipes, browse the pasta section of our recipe index!

Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

These yummy lemon cookies have a delicious chewy middle, crisp edges, and a sweet citrus flavor. I love them with tea for an afternoon treat!

Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

Say hello to my new favorite cookies. I know, you’re not surprised, because you know how much I love lemon. But these(!) lemon cookies have that bakery-perfect chewy middle with a lightly crisp edge and a perfect balance of light & bright citrus flavor. A real treat, especially now that we’re entering the holiday season, although I would happily take one of these lemon cookies any day of the year.

This lemon cookie recipe comes from my friend Melissa Coleman’s book The Minimalist Kitchen. You may know of her blog, The Faux Martha. If you don’t, go check it out – you’ll absolutely love her. She has wonderfully approachable meal-time recipes, highly do-able organizational tips (check out her pretty pantry), and, man, can that girl bake.

Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

What I love about these lemon cookies is that they have substance – particularly from the cornmeal and poppy seeds. Plus, the mix of olive oil with butter gives them a bright flavor that brings out the citrus essence so well.
   Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

These photos actually make them look kind of small, but made with a 1/4-cup cookie scoop, these lemon cookies are a perfect 1-cookie afternoon indulgence with a cup of coffee or tea.

Citrus Poppyseed Lemon Cookies

For more cookie recipes, check out the dessert section of our recipe index!