Marshmallow & Cream Cheese Dip

Jeff’s family made this all the time growing up, and I love it–especially with apples. You could consider it an appetizer or dessert, since it’s such a sweet and delicious thing to serve with fruit. You can also make it more festive by adding food coloring–we colored it green for St. Patrick’s Day.

And this one is naturally gluten free–just serve it with fruit and stay away from graham crackers.

Marshmallow & Cream Cheese Dip

  • Servings: 8?
  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple, yet incredibly delicious. Just remember to soften the cream cheese beforehand.

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (7 oz.) pkg. Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

Directions

Blend cream cheese and marshmallow creme until smooth. Add vanilla and mix. Serve with fresh apples, fruit, or sweet crackers.


 

Pico de Gallo Salsa

If I’m going to have chips and salsa, I love to have pico. I love the fresh made salsa at Harmons and wish I had a recipe for it, but this is a pretty good recipe adapted from one on All Recipes. Just make sure you give it lots of time to sit, so it can absorb the flavors.

And this one is naturally gluten free, just like the tortilla chips you eat with it.

Pico de Gallo

  • Servings: 8?
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Chopping takes a while, but it’s delicious and easy to come together.

Ingredients

  • 6 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large Red Bell Pepper or 2 small Green Bell Peppers, diced
  • ½ White or Red Onion, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • Juice of 1 lime (or 1/2 if it’s very juicy)
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 pinch Garlic Powder
  • Salt (quite a bit) and Pepper to taste

Directions

Stir all ingredients in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours so flavors can meld.


 

Seven Layer Bean Dip

The best part is the seasoned sour cream.

If you’re making this gluten free, make sure to use a gluten free taco seasoning mix because many have wheat in them. I know for sure that McCormick and Kroger don’t have gluten, or you can make your own taco seasoning mix.

Seven Layer Bean Dip

  • Servings: 12?
  • Difficulty: easy
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Serve with tortilla chips for a great party dip.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. can Refried Beans
  • 1 ½ c. Sour Cream
  • ½ pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix (or gluten free taco seasoning mix)
  • 1 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ Avocado, chopped
  • 1 Tomato, cubed
  • 4 Green Onions, sliced
  • ½ can Olives, sliced

Directions

Spread beans in glass pan or platter. Mix sour cream and taco seasoning for second layer. Third layer is cheese. Sprinkle rest of ingredients on top.


Harry Potter Butter Beer

We’ve had this as part of a Harry Potter Halloween party a few times, including dragon steaks, gnomes (aka baked potatoes with smiley faces because gnomes are described as looking like muddy little potatoes), and venomous tentaculars (green beans). This is adapted from a news site’s butter beer recipe that they posted after Harry Potter land opened.

And like most drinks, this one is also naturally gluten free.

Harry Potter Butter Beer

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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It takes a little work and you have to let the caramel cool, but it makes a fun drink and the cream is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Water
  • 6 Tbsp. Butter
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¾ c. Heavy Cream, divided
  • ½ tsp. Rum Extract (optional–maybe even better without)
  • 6 c. Cream Soda (about 1 ½ liters or 4 cans)

Directions

Gently boil brown sugar and water, stirring often, until candy thermometer reads 240° (230° for high altitude). Stir in butter, salt, vinegar, 1/4 c. cream. Cool to room temp, then stir in rum extract.

Topping: Combine 2 Tbsp. of the mixture and remaining ½ c. cream. Use mixer to beat until just thickened, about 2-3 minutes. To serve, divide brown mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 c. per glass). Add 1/4 c. soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill glass nearly to top with additional soda, then spoon whipped topping over each.


Homemade Root Beer

One of the best parts of homemade root beer is the root beer slush that forms after an hour or two of bubbling. It’s not the Fourth of July without it! And it’s also really fun at Halloween for a witch’s brew.

*Note: They stopped making McCormick Root Beer Concentrate in 2020. No! We’ve tried several other kinds of concentrate. Some are okay, some are gross. We know Hires and Watkin’s are not good. We did try Torani root beer syrup and added some extra sugar and vanilla, and it was pretty good, albeit a bit expensive. We’re going to try Zatarain’s next, since they’re from the same parent company as McCormick.

And like most drinks, this one is also naturally gluten free.

Homemade Root Beer

  • Servings: 5gallons
  • Difficulty: easy
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Perfect for the 4th of July or witch’s brew on Halloween.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle McCormick Root Beer Concentrate
  • 5 lb. Sugar
  • 6 – 7 lb. Dry Ice
  • 5 gallons Water (a little less)

Directions

In an Igloo dispenser, stir sugar, some water, and concentrate until sugar is dissolved. Then add ice (being careful not to let it touch your bare hands) and remaining water. Cover loosely with lid and stir occasionally. Ready in 1 hour.


Orange Juliuses

It was always exciting when Mom would ask if we wanted to make Orange Juliuses, like those fancy drinks in the mall food court that were too expensive for us. Haha, so I’m not sure if these actually taste like Orange Juliuses, but they’re at least a nice orange treat.

And like most drinks, this one is also naturally gluten free.

Orange Juliuses

  • Servings: 2?
  • Difficulty: easy
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A cold, creamy orange drink that doesn’t require ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c. frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 3/4 c. Milk
  • 3/4 c. Water
  • 1/4+ c. Sugar
  • ½ tsp. (at least) Vanilla
  • 20 Ice Cubes or until thick

Directions

Mix in blender until drink is desired thickness and ice is all crushed.


German Adventspunsch

I was introduced to a variation of this on my mission, at a ward Christmas party in Vienna. But it’s in both Germany and Austria. Then I bought Winterzeit tea and brought it back to America to make this at home. We made it every Christmas morning for a few years after my mission while the tea bags lasted, enjoying drinking out of fancy tea cups and a tea pot I bought at a second hand shop in Bayreuth, and eating Lebkuchen or Stollen with it.

And like most drinks, this one is also naturally gluten free.

German Adventspunsch

  • Servings: 8?
  • Difficulty: easy
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A nice, hot punch with the flavors of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Cherry Juice (or a juice with cherry in its title)
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Lemon (Juice and Peel)
  • 1 Orange (Juice and Peel)
  • 3 Bags Christmas/Wintertime Tea

Directions

Place cherry juice, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in pot on medium heat. Cut peel from lemon and orange into pot (avoid white part or punch will be bitter). Squeeze juice from lemon and orange into the pot. When juice is boiling, place tea bags (tied together) in juice, making sure that strings hang over side of pot. Boil on medium for about 10 minutes. Then remove bags and squeeze out the liquid into punch. Pour punch through strainer into pitcher (to catch cloves, etc.) and serve hot.


Bear Lake Raspberry Shakes

This was adapted from a cookbook, and you don’t necessarily need to stir in the last ice cream and fresh raspberries at the end. It just ensures thick shakes and big pieces of fruit.

And if you’re making it gluten free, it’s naturally gluten free, as long as the ice cream is from a new container or hasn’t been scooped previously with the same scoop as a gluten-filled ice cream.

Bear Lake Raspberry Shakes

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Swap out the raspberries to make other great shakes.

Ingredients

  • 3 c. Vanilla Ice Cream, divided
  • ½ c. Milk
  • ¾ c. Fresh Raspberries, divided

Directions

Place 2 c. vanilla ice cream in blender. Add milk and ½ c. raspberries. Blend well. Pour into bowl. Add remaining 1 c. ice cream. Stir in by hand. Gently stir in remaining raspberries. Pour into tall ice cream glass. Makes 2 servings.


Deviled Eggs

Traditional deviled eggs often don’t have pickle relish, but we grew up with these and I find it adds a nice flavor and texture. Deviled eggs are always a crowd pleaser that get gobbled up, but they do take a fair amount of time to make, with boiling the eggs, peeling, slicing, making the filling, and then piping into the whites.

Right now there aren’t specific amounts listed (mostly I’m just listing the ingredients so I remember).

Also, if you’re making these gluten free, they’re naturally gluten free. BUT make sure to use a new jar of mayo or one that’s dedicated to be gluten free, otherwise you could end up with crumbs from double dipping from previous sandwich-making. 

Deviled Eggs

  • Servings: varies
  • Difficulty: medium
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It’s not Easter without deviled eggs!

Ingredients

  • Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Salt
  • Mayonnaise (or new jar/dedicated gluten free mayo)
  • Sweet Relish
  • Paprika

Directions

Hard-boil eggs for 10 minutes, then cool. Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Place yolks in a bowl and whites on egg plate. Mash the yolks to remove chunks (such as with a pastry cutter), then add a few large spoonfuls of mayo and a few small spoonfuls of relish. Mix together and adjust mayo and relish as desired. Before filling, lightly salt the egg whites. Place the filling in a pastry bag with the largest star tip possible (to prevent clogging). Pipe the filling into the whites. Garnish with a dusting of paprika.


Dill Dip

Growing up, we always had Dill Dip at Thanksgiving with the relish tray. Haha, we probably consumed most of it before dinner with carrot sticks, just as an appetizer.

If you’re making it gluten free, this is naturally gluten free. BUT just make sure to use a brand new mayo jar or one that’s dedicated to be gluten free–otherwise, you could end up with bread crumbs from double-dipping to make previous sandwiches.

Dill Dip

  • Servings: 12?
  • Difficulty: easy
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Great with carrots, celery, and cucumbers.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Sour Cream
  • 1 c. Mayonnaise (or new jar/dedicated gluten free mayo)
  • 3 heaping Tbsp. Dried Minced Onion
  • 3 heaping Tbsp. Dill Weed
  • ½ tsp. Celery Salt
  • ½ tsp. Onion Powder

Directions

Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate. Best if made the night before.