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Cookin' ATVS Style: 4th of July Party Foods

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I thought this week we’d scale back slightly and go with something practical for the Fourth of July. A couple of simple dip options for your party.

Billy Gomila

Avocado Dip

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
1 packet powdered ranch dressing mix
1 tbsp sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

My sister found this one...somewhere. Probably Pinterest, so whoever came up with it, apologies for not being able to credit you here. I do have to say that it's a fantastic dip, much smoother than the typical guacamole -- of which I am not usually a fan. I have texture issues with avocados, but when they're well-blended and smooth, I very much enjoy the flavor. What's more, this is extremely easy and quick to do.

Instructions

1. Peel your avocado and remove the pit.

2. In a food processor, combine with the ranch mix and sour cream/Greek yogurt. Pulse until well-mixed and smooth. Serve with your favorite chips.

Apologies for the lack of pictures for all of these.

White Bean Hummus

I love some good hummus, and this is an easy and light recipe that avoids olive oil. Save your calories and fat for the barbecue/meat you're grillin'. And for the drinkin'. Courtesy of the Food Network.

Ingredients

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1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I used bottled, and I'm fine with that)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste -- I found it in the kosher food section of my local Winn-Dixie)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, peeled

Instructions

Drain and rinse your beans, then toss them in a food processor along with all the other ingredients. Pulse until smooth, and then serve with some warm pita, pita chips or bagel chips (a favorite of mine). I recommend making this right before your party, after a day or so it'll dry out a bit.

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Cilantro-Jalapeno Salsa

My wife's recipe, recycled from last year (but still excellent).

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Ingredients:

1 28-oz can peeled whole tomatoes
1/3-to-1/2 of a 12-oz jar of pickled jalapenos (with liquor)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4-to-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
t tbsp olive oil
1 tsp parsley (can be fresh or dried)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, in all (stems included)

Instructions:

1. Drain the juice from the can of tomatoes into a blender, then add the remaining ingredients. Blend well.

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2. Add the whole tomatoes, and pulse to your desired consistency.

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