Recipe: The Rainbow Connection

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I love rainbows!!!! I mean who wouldn’t? A true natural wonder! And it’s one of the things I miss about Ireland. I never tire of seeing rainbows. I’m like a little kid on Christmas morning and I get so excited I feel like I could bust out of my skin! When I was at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork if I saw a rainbow outside I would run for my camera and snap away, as I did here.

But growing up I was exposed to a different sort of rainbow. I mentioned here before that my mother was a drug dealer. I know it sounds strange to say it in such a matter of fact way, but it was indeed fact. Day in and day out I saw these nefarious characters come and go through the house taking baggies of different drugs and leaving behind a wad of cash (or if my mom was feeling generous it would go on their account to be paid another day). It only occurred to me a few years ago that all of these customers of hers had names with colors in it. Steve Green, Cheryl Black, Mike White, Dave Brown and so on and so on. And looking at their drugs of choice from this vantage point, it makes sense. Steve Green bought marijuana, which is green.  Cheryl Black bought barbiturates, or downers (also called, what else, Black Beauties). Mike White bought speed, uppers (they were white looking pills). Dave Brown bought a brown sticky kind of paste thing called Hash.

Of course no kid should have to know these things and maybe it was better I only had this epiphany later in life. But the good news is, I don’t even have to change their names  to protect the (not so) innocent. These were their code names, or shall was say customer account user names!

Because we were so poor (my mom used any and all profits to support her own drug habit) we never had an afternoon snack when we returned home from school. But raising my own kids and being the foodie that I am I made sure that each day after school we had special time to sit, chat and eat. My daughter and son shared the goings on of their day before they “hit the books” of homework. So I tried to make sure what they were eating was somewhat healthy.

Their favorite treat was a big platter of colorful veggies with my famous spinach dip. This was great since many kids their age had an aversion to vegetables. They also loved a big platter of freshly cut fruit with a (kinda naughty) marshmallow dip. It is amazing how beautiful and vibrant fruits and veggies are. Since we eat not only with our mouths but also our eyes, it is great to have something that is so good for us but also looks gorg too! And placing these dips into a hallowed out cabbage (for the spinach dip) and a hallowed out half of a pineapple (for the fruit dip) is a a real WOW presentation!

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Spinach Dip ingredients

1 10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (it is important that you squeeze the spinach to get as much of the liquid out as possible) or you can use fresh spinach, steamed and squeezed of liquid.
2 1/2 tablespoons of Knorr Leek Recipe Mix (about 3/4 of the package)
2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix (don’t actually make the dressing just use the dried ingredients from the package)
Preparation
Pour all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Put into a hollowed out cabbage or other veg (such as a pepper) and serve with your favorite cut up veggies. This can also be used as a dip with pita crackers etc. Great for entertaining a crowd! It lasts in the fridge for several days.

Marshmallow Dip Ingredients:

1 pkg Cream Cheese (let soften at room temp)

1 jar “Fluff” Marshmallow

Preparation

Place into a food processor or use a mixer to blend them together. Put into a bowl or into a hollowed out pineapple half. Serve with freshly cut fruit.

 

I hope you enjoy these healthy treats and they take you somewhere over the rainbow, way up high!!! And I’m not talking about “that” kind of high! But a natural healthy one!

With colorful love,

YDP

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