Watching your weight around the holidays can be a nightmare with heavy, traditional meals and holiday parties among family and friends. That's why Laura Buxenbaum from the Dairy Alliance has a few recipes that could help lighten up your party treats.
Blue Cheese Apricot Puffs
Be the talk of the party with these buttery puff pastry bites filled with creamy blue cheese. Apricots and fresh rosemary pair perfectly with the richness of the blue cheese.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
2 sheets puff pastry dough
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 (4-ounce) container blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 egg lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. Thaw puff pastry dough according to package directions. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and blue cheese, mixing well. Add remaining six ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside bowl.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one sheet of the dough, using a rolling pin to flatten slightly. Cut sheet into 12 equal squares. Repeat with second sheet of dough. Place one square into each of the mini muffin cups, pressing down and into the side gently to create a cup, leaving excess at the top. Using a small scooper or tablespoon, evenly fill each of the cups with the cheese mixture. Brush dough with egg wash. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for approximately 10 minutes. Serve immediately or let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to three days. To reheat and serve, place on a lined baking sheet and warm in oven for 10 minutes at 325°.
Baked Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip
A hot spinach-artichoke dip is always a hit at parties, and this one is packed with protein from the yogurt and the cheese.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (8-ounce) container low-fat plain yogurt
1 cup shredded part-skim, low-moisture Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped red pepper
Combine all ingredients except red pepper and mix well. Pour mixture into 1-quart casserole dish. Bake at 350º 20-25 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with chopped red bell pepper. Serve with toasted bread or whole grain crackers.