Monday, November 23, 2015

Cara's Famous Fabulous Clean-Out-the-Fridge Dip

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it, perhaps a few house guests? A few gatherings? That’s the drill at my house. Lots of extra people, lots of extra food, lots of wine, lots of cooking, and hopefully, lots of other people in the kitchen besides me to load the dishwasher!

My family has a tradition of everyone helping with the big meal. This means that cousins and friends will arrive with bags and coolers of food. Space in the fridge will be at a premium. 

So, this week one of our most important tasks will be freeing up some room in the fridge. Here’s one of my favorite solutions (beyond just several nights of everybody-eat-anything-you-want-in-the-fridge) - The Clean Out the Fridge Dip and/or Cheese Spread.

Let me explain.

My fridge (and probably YOUR fridge) is clogged with jars of fancy condiments with only a tablespoon or two left in them. These are things like Sweet Thai Chili Sauce or Fresh Cranberry Mustard or Sundried Tomato Tapenade. They were delicious when I served them for Book Club or Wine Tastings or used them in that complicated but delicious dish I found on Pinterest. 

Now they are layered in my fridge. There are so many that my husband cleverly thought to stack them in the soda rack at the bottom of the fridge door since we don’t drink soda in this house (and YOU shouldn’t either. Ahem.)

And if you look in the deep, dark recesses of the third shelf that you can’t reach unless you bend over awkwardly, there are probably a few lovely items like a jar with only four expensive olives remaining, the remnants of a yummy basil pesto (preserved forever by all that olive oil), or a ¼ cup of Cowboy Cherry Salsa (that costs nearly $7 a jar but is so worth it). Those will also work for this recipe.

Here’s what you do:

1. Place one container of sour cream in a mixing bowl.
2. Mix in several tablespoons to a half cup, of one or more of these leftover fancy ingredients (Sweet and spicy creations go best with sour cream) and blend well.
3. Refrigerate for a few hours if possible or eat straight away. 
4. Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, and/or cut vegetables.


1. Soften one bar of cream cheese. 
2. Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl and add several tablespoons to a half cup, of one or more of leftover fancy ingredients. Sweet, spicy, and salty creations will work with cream cheese. Olives are especially yummo. 
3. Serve with crackers. 
(Another option is to use this spread to stuff banana peppers or miniature sweet peppers and roast – omg, just sayin’.)

Brilliant, right?

It is. 

I take my COTF dips and spreads to events all the time. When someone asks, what’s in this? It can sometimes get a little awkward and there’s really no way to re-create any of them exactly, but that’s what makes it fun. The element of surprise is critical!

Repurposing your expensive fancy ingredients AND cleaning out your fridge - it’s a win-win just in time for Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

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