hot italian cheese dip
I speak from experience, this hot Italian cheese dip will be your warm weather entertaining go to appetizer! It is mine. I cannot count the number of times I have made it. Plus I have a very special giveaway that’s got me all emotional and proud like. Oh, and there’s a video too. Is this possibly too much to fit into one post? I think not. You guys can handle it. I am sitting here typing this wearing my Cabot Seriously Sharp t-shirt (truly a coincidence.) And my gym bag sits next to me which also happens to be tastefully emblazoned with the Cabot logo. My grocery bags are black and red Cabot tartan and I open my wine bottles with a Cabot wine key. What can I say? I am a Cabot girl. But it is not just swag that makes me a Cabot girl. It is the fact that recently I received a box of five or so different cheddars from Cabot, and within a week it was all gone. I didn’t eat it all by myself. I had help from my family. My cheese drawer is since re-loaded with several must-have varieties of Cheddar. Vermont Sharp, White Oak and Alpine Cheddar. I have actually outfitted my cheese drawer with a special “Danger Danger We’re getting low on Cabot Cheddar” alarm system so I never run out. I guess that’s how I got to be a member of the Cabot Cheese Board and the Cabot Fit Team. Then there’s also the fact that the Webster side of my family is a Cabot farm family and has been for generations. Should I go on?
I think I will. Can I just be a bit effusive for a sec? This creamery is actually a cooperative that’s actually owned by dairy farmers here in Vermont, all over New England and in New York. And the really coolest part that not many people know is that 100% of the co-op’s profits go back to the farm families who make milk for their products. Like the Websters and the other awesome generous and cool farmer owners I have met over the years. Cool huh?
That’s the blue part of that inner badge there. But read the outside part too. That’s the really meaningful thing for me personally. Part of Cabot’s mission other than making award winning cheese is also to give back to the communities where their farms are located. So that means for the whole region that they do really cool things in the schools, for community fund-raisers, the farmer’s themselves volunteer on the grass roots level and they support other cooperatives doing good. But on a personal note that means they come to me for helping them with recipe development from time to time. I might tear up here a bit you guys, because this means so much to me. They could easily go to a recipe developer from out of state, but as part of their mission to support their local community, they support a local recipe developer. I cannot tell you how important this is to me living in such a rural place to make it work as a freelancer. Cabot makes that possible.
Doing this freelance work for them means that a lot of the recipes I have created over the years have gone directly for their promotional materials and to live on their website. (Did I ever tell you about the time I turned the page in my Martha Stewart Living magazine and saw one of my Cabot recipes in an ad?) I have lost count at this point how many recipes we’ve collaborated on, but it is a lot. They have even asked me to do a few cooking videos for them. It is such an honor to be a part of their online food content.
Earlier this year I received a package from Cabot and it wasn’t cheese or bags or wine keys. It was their brand new cookbook! Cabot Creamery Cookbook, Simple, Wholesome Dishes from America’s Best Dairy Farms, Oxmoor House. I stood in the mudroom, the packing envelope at my feet, and looked at every single page with my feet firmly planted in place. It is so beautiful with photos of the farm families, lots of happy cows in green pastures and glorious food photography. Later that evening I sat with it for an hour reading the pages and recipes and drooling a bit as I went. It is a delight! I can’t wait for you guys to see it.
As you can guess there are a bunch of recipes I contributed from my years of working with the co-op. If you pick up a copy you can find the complete list of the ones I did on page 256. This hot dip is in the book and it is one of the recipes I have been meaning to share with you guys forever. Mostly because I make it all the time. I developed it almost two years ago, and I have been making it since. Are you mad that I haven’t shared it yet? Sorry.
Every time I make it people ask, “Can I have that recipe?” And I always email it to them or send them the link. Then weeks or months later, they tell me they have started making it regularly too and passing it on. It is just one of those recipes. Once you make it yourself you’ll see that it is so simple you’ll memorize how to do it without the recipe from then on. It seriously will be your go-to all through the warm months and into the fall.
Hot cream cheese and cheddar dip with basil, tomato and onion for an easy appetizer for entertaining.
- 1 8-ounce block Cabot Neufchâtel cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- pinch salt
- 1 1/4 cup shredded Cabot Alpine Cheddar, divided
- 1 slice white bread, crusts removed, chopped in food processor until fine crumbs, about 1 ounce or ¾ cup
- ½ cup chopped grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- Calories: 133
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 276 mg
- Fat: 11 g
- Saturated Fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 4 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 8 g
DISCLOSURE: Cabot Creamery Cooperative did not compensate me to write this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.