Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cheering on a lively, healthy carrot dip good for tailgating or any time

Three cheers for the Baylor Bears, who won our college’s homecoming game this past weekend. And three cheers for Carrot Dip; since last year’s homecoming, I’d saved the recipe in my file to make for this year’s tailgate party. In the middle of a weekend of fast-food and not-always-healthy eating it gave us a reason to bring out the veggies for digging into a tasty and healthy dip.

I shredded enough fresh carrots to make 1 1/2 cups and also chopped green onions to make 1/3 cup. All this was folded into a mixture of fat-fee sour cream, low-fat mayo, and low-fat cream cheese (I use Neufchatel). Seasonings included lower-sodium soy sauce, prepared horseradish, salt, and pepper.

Dippers were zucchini sticks, red Bell pepper strips, fresh carrot chips, and three varieties of chips. The recipe (courtesy www.bhg.com) called for using an electric mixer to make the mixture smooth (before you fold in shredded carrots and green onions), but mine turned out plenty smooth just by beating it with a wooden spoon. (This also saved having to clean up the beaters for the electric mixer). The recipe advised chilling the dip in a covered container for from 4 to 24 hours and not to prepare further ahead than this, or the dip would become too thin. I stuck within the 24-hour limit; everything was just fine, but I can see how very much beyond this might affect consistency.

We feasted and fested and lavished in our annual weekend with family and friends at our alma mater. Carrot Dip helped make things wonderful.

Carrot Dip

1/2 of an 8-ounce carton sour cream
1/2 of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 teaspoons soy sauce (I used the lower-sodium variety)
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
1/3 cup chopped green onions
dippers such as flatbreads, crackers, tortilla chips, celery sticks, sweet pepper strips, jicama sticks, and/or zucchini sticks

In a medium mixing bowl beat together sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, soy sauce, horseradish (if using), salt, and pepper. Use an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Stir in shredded carrots and green onions until combined. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours (do not prepare further ahead than this, or the dip will become too thin). Keep the dip chilled while you are transporting it. Stir dip before you serve with dippers. Makes about 2 cups dip (approximately 10 servings).

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