Walnut Red Pepper Dip


Is it me, or sometimes do you just make a recipe that you just know you can always get along with?  Like… you make it and eat it and just think that you can have this every day forever and not get sick of it?!

Maybe it’s me, but if you don’t know what this feels like, well you just haven’t tried this recipe yet.  I’ve already made it twice this month and I’m making it again this weekend.  It’s that good.

This Dip was something I wanted to try as a “healthy” option for a few things i made for our NYE party this year.  It was the first thing to go… it is SO SO yummy.  I’ll be making it again for the Puppy Bowl Superbowl and think you should too!

Here’s the recipe for all of my friends who have been bugging me all month 🙂

Walnut Red Pepper Dip

2 cups Raw Walnuts (pieces or whatever is cheaper)
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 jar (12 oz.) Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed and drained
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

1. Pulse walnuts, cumin, sugar, and salt in a food processor until walnuts are finely ground.
2. Add peppers, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, process until smooth.
3. Serve with veggies, crackers, chips, or even slices of crusty bread.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light 

Crush those nuts! :)

Crush those nuts! 🙂



This dip has been delicious on just about everything I’ve put it on!  I have been buying the walnuts from Trader Joe’s, which the only options are for raw walnuts, but it would be just as good if you have roasted walnuts.  Also, since you’re pulverizing the nuts, don’t spend extra money on getting the whole ones either.


Italian Hoagie Dip

This dip is going to rock your world.

But first, for all of you who are all like, “WTF is a hoagie?” … let’s get this settled before I begin.  A “hoagie” is the Philly word for a Sub Sandwich.  A submarine.  It’s all the same thing.  In Philly… we call them hoagies.  That’s all I’ve ever known, and all I’ll ever call it, so don’t try and convince me otherwise.

SO, this fabulous dip that I’m finally sharing with you (I made it for my Superbowl party!) is a mixture all of the delicious ingredients that go into an Italian Hoagie.  As a dip.  Whaaaaaaaaaaaa?  I know.  It’s ridiculous, and you have to trust me on this, you’re going to love it.

My boyfriend Dave’s obsession with Hoagie Dip started a few years ago, when our friend Allie brought over a grocery store deli-made container of it.  He (and I) fell in love.  Allie wasn’t welcome unless she had a container for a few years.

After not having the famous Hoagie Dip for some time, I decided it was my turn to give it a go and try to make it from scratch.  It turned out amazing, and my favorite part being that it was customizable with light-mayo instead of whatever gross stuff they use at the store.

Hoagie Dip


1 Onion

1/2 cup Sliced Hot Banana Peppers

1/2 head Iceberg Lettuce

1 Tomato- halved and seeded

1/4 lb each of the following:  Turkey Breast, Ham, Genoa Salami, & Sharp Provelone Cheese (that was the cheapest way for me to go, you can go fancy with the meats if you’d like)

1/2 cup Olive Oil Mayo

1 teaspoon EVOO

1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon Dried Basil

1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes


1.  Chop the Onion, Banana Peppers, Tomato, and Iceberg into a small dice.  Put into a bowl and set aside. 

2.  Chop the Deli Meats and Cheese into small squares/pieces and add into the bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Serve in a bread bowl if you’d like.  

Easy-Peasy, right?!  You can add Mayo if you want it to be a little creamier, but I liked it the way this turned out.  It was much less mayo-ey than the store bought kind which I definitely appreciated.  Serve this dip with Triscuits, sliced Baguettes, or really anything!

This dip tastes just like the real thing… an Italian Hoagie!!!!

photo 1 (12)

Had to show off my bread bowl!

Had to show off my bread bowl!




You may also like these other great dips from It’s Good to be the Cook…

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

Beth's Famous Buffalo Chicken Dip

Beth’s Famous Buffalo Chicken Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip



BBQ Deviled Eggs

I’m so super excited to brag and announce that this delish recipe was chosen as a Host Favorite (TWICE!) for this week’s Daily Dish Foodie Friends Friday!  TWO big Thank You’s to Ericka & Cindy for choosing my recipe 🙂

Foodie Friends Friday

Read more at http://www.foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com/recipes-that-caught-our-attention-6/#Yrzw1kWkeHqdfcel.99


Is anyone hosting an Oscars Party this weekend?  I am so excited to see who’s going to win this year.  Typically, I have very strong hopes for one movie or actor in each catagory… only having seen one or two a year.  This year is different.  I am SO excited!  I cannot figure out who to root for.

I really enjoyed Django, loved Zero Dark Thirty, and am nearly obsessed with Silver Linings.  AH!  Bradley Cooper AND Jennifer Lawrence?  LOVE THEM!

Anyway, I am sharing with you a recipe that would be perfect for a little appetizer for an Oscars Party… or any party really!  I made these for my superbowl party, and they were a huge hit.  I think I ate three of them myself too… whoops!

BBQ Deviled Eggs

Recipe adapted from:  The Neelys


12 Hard Boiled Eggs

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil Mayo

4 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce

2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s… my fav)

Salt, Pepper, Chives, and Smoked Paprika


1.  Carefully slice the hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise.  Scoop out the yolks putting them in a mixing bowl and place the whites on a plate.  Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, salt and pepper, mixing together.  Taste and season accordingly.

2.  Put the filling in a ziplock bag and seal.  Cut a small hole in the bottom corner.  Fill the holes in the egg whites with the mixture from the bag.  Top with Chives and Smoked Paprika (use regular if that’s all you have, but Smoked Paprika would be a GREAT addition to your spice cabinet if you don’t… and you can get it at TJ’s for $1.99)

I happen to think this is like, the best picture I've ever taken on here!

I happen to think this is like, the best picture I’ve ever taken on here!

I will probably never use my normal Deviled Eggs recipe ever again.  The flavors in this recipe are SO amazing and work so well with the eggs.  You can taste the BBQ sauce AND the mustard, and even the zing from the hot sauce.  The Smoked Paprika puts the final touch.  YUM!

So a side note about this recipe… it originally called for half the amount of eggs. I was expecting about 20 people for our superbowl party, so I decided to double it.  Thank god I did.  Despite following the strict perfect-hard-boiled eggs rules, my eggs were a NIGHTMARE!  They took me about a half hour to peel and were a huge pain in the ass.  I ended up ripping into the whites on a few of them.  UGH!  So, needless to say, I was happy to have made extra… and used the “rejects” for egg salad 🙂

This recipe can be found at this week’s Foodie Friends Friday!!

Foodie Friends Friday

Buffalo Chicken Soup

We’re a little spicy food obsessed over here in the It’s Good to be the Cook family… if you couldn’t tell.

The latest and greatest creation, also which has now been named one of Dave’s “Top 5” favorite dinners (whoa!) is this Buffalo Chicken Soup recipe.  It’s got all of the good stuff you’d normally find in and around and dipped with wings put together in a warm, hearty soup.

What could be bad?? (Not rhetorical… the answer is NOTHING!  🙂 )

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Recipe based on:  Bake Your Day

Serves:  4


  • ½ cup uncooked Orzo Pasta
  • 2 teaspoons EVOO
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Carrots, peeled, and cut into half moons
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix (you can get in the salad dressing aisle in little $1 packets)
  • 1 teaspoon Freeze-Dried Chives (my new fav thing ever)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Cilantro, divided
  • 32 ounces Low-Sodium, FF, Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce*
  • 1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (red. fat)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken Breast, shredded/”pulled” **
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
  1. Cook orzo according to package directions until about half way done. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven (yay I got to use mine!!). Sauté yellow onion, garlic, freeze-dried chives in the olive oil for 5 minutes until the onions soften up a bit.  Stir so the garlic does not burn.
  3. Add carrots, celery, ranch mix and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Stir and saute until the carrots are starting to soften.  **Meanwhile, this is a good time that you can cook your chicken if you haven’t yet! I just cooked it in a sprayed pan with some salt and pepper sprinkled on.**
  4. Once the veggies are nice and soft, add chicken broth, buffalo sauce, cheddar, parmesan and shredded chicken (i shredded with two forks). Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the carrots are fully tender.  Bring to a boil, add the orzo, and stir until the orzo is cooked through.
  6. Serve in a big bowl with a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles and cilantro.

I decided to plug this recipe into my nutrition calculator that I just LOVE… just to see how “bad” this was.  You’ll be happy to hear this soup clocks in at UNDER 400 CALORIES!!  3-4 Buffalo wings generally bring in about 500 calories and (my favorite) Buffalo Chicken Dip can bring in almost 300 calories in 5 Tablespoons without including chips!  This soup is a great alternative without losing any flavor!  YUM!

…I may have to replace my famous Buff Chick Dip with this soup for the Superbowl this year!

Everything gettin' all toasty in my new dutch oven!!

Everything gettin’ all toasty in my new dutch oven!!

photo 3 (9)

YUM!  The blue cheese gets all melty when you mix it in.

YUM! The blue cheese gets all melty when you mix it in.

Buff Chick Soup

You may also like…

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Spiced Peanuts

Buffalo Spiced Peanuts

Buffalo Chicken Dip

What did everyone think about the Superbowl? What was your favorite commercial and how’d you like Madonna’s halftime performance?

Personally, my favorite part of the Superbowl holiday now is the Puppy Bowl!! I’m sure you’re not at all shocked.

Dahv and I were invited to our best friends’ house in Delaware to watch the big game and hang out with some friends. This was the perfect opportunity for me to make my famous Buffalo Chicken Dip and share it with all of you! This dip can be a little expensive to make, but it will be totally worth it when your guests can’t get enough of it.


2 Chicken Breasts

2 8oz pkg 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese

1 cup Light Ranch Dressing

1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

1 5oz pkg Crumbled Blue Cheese

3 stalks of Celery, diced

Cayenne Pepper

Ground Black Pepper

2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Any of the following snacks are great for dipping: Sliced Pita, Tortilla Chips, Corn Chips, Crackers, & Celery.

The best part about this recipe is that you can modify so many ways to fit your personal taste. You don’t have to use the reduced fat products, or you can use all of them… you can take out the celery, blue cheese, shredded… any combination! I’ve been making this dip since college and I’ve found this specific recipe is the best.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil the chicken breasts, and then shred them using two forks. Put aside.
Combine the Cream Cheese, Ranch, and Hot Sauce in a blender or food processor. Mix until well combined.
Taste the mixture and see if you like the degree of spiciness and flavor. Add cayenne, ground pepper, or anything else you’d like and mix.
Stop blending. Add most of the blue cheese, the celery, and the shredded chicken into the mixture. Stir until well combined. Dump the mixture into a baking dish or reusable foil container sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Take the dip out of the oven, give it a good stir, and add the remaining blue cheese and sprinkle with desired amount of shredded cheddar.
You can now serve the dip or you can put it back in the oven on LOW. You don’t want to overcook the cheese topping because it will be hard to get through the top layer when you’re dipping!

This batch was a huge hit at the Superbowl party!