Classic Hummus Dip

Appetizers

The Holiday Season is quickly approaching!  It’s a time for gathering with friends and family to catch up on the year’s events.  We always have multiple gathering to attend.  Usually there is some sort of work gathering, a gathering with close friends, and of course, a family gathering.  I get our really close friends together at our house between Christmas and New Years for a nice dinner.  Since the gathering is so small, I make it a little fancy.  I like to pull out my “good” dishes and glasses.  This is most certainly my favorite time of year.  I get to see the people I care about most even if this is the only time of the year our busy schedule allows, and I cherish it greatly!  No matter what type of gathering you plan to attend this year, this recipe is sure to be hit!  

Ingredients

Yields 8 servings
3 cans Garbanzo beans
1/3 cup Plus 1 tablespoon Tahini
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 to 5 tbsp. cold water
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. Olive oil
Directions
Combine all ingredients except for the water and olive oil in a food processor or blender. 
Pulse the mixture until combined.  At this point the mixture will not be very smooth.  Add the water 2 tablespoons at a time and pulse.  Continue to add water until desired consistency. Don not over mix.  When desired consistency is achieved add the olive oil and pule 3 more times.   Remove from the blender and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.  
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Cheesy Shrimp on Grit Toast

Appetizers
This is my go-to “Fancy” appetizer.  Every time I make this delicious treat for a bridal shower, baby shower, or any get-together it always steals the spotlight!   This weekend I got to make it for a Baby Shower I hosted for my bosses daughter Joanie.  I absolutely love hosting events like this!  There were actually 3 of us that coordinated the event and everyone did an amazing job!  I posted a few pictures of the event below.  This dish would be perfect to bring to a Thanksgiving gathering or any gathering for that matter!!

Ingredients

For the grit crackers
3 cans chicken broth
1 1/3 cups quick-cooking grits
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic power
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
Freshly ground pepper
For the Filling:
1 pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 tsp. chopped flat-leaf italian parsley
1/2 pound cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
2 tbsp. half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions

For the grit crackers:
In a medium sauce pan on high heat, add the chicken broth and 2 tbsp. of butter.  Bring to a boil.  Add the salt and garlic powder.  Whisk in the grits.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the grits thicken.   Add cheese and stir until combined.  Pour the grits onto a greased jellyroll pan or cookie sheet.  Refrigerate the grits until they have solidified.  About 2 hours ( I make the grits the night before).  
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Using a round cookie cutter.  Cut the grits into rounds.  Melt 2 tbsp. of butter.  Brush both sides of the grit rounds with butter and place them on a cookie sheet.   Bake for 15 minutes.  Turn over the grit rounds and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
For the topping:
While the grit rounds are cooking prepare the topping.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, parsley, shrimp, half and half and salt and pepper.  Top each grit cracker with about a tsp. of the cheesy shrimp mixture.  Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheddar cheese and Bake for 10 minutes.
Slightly Adapted from:



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