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  • Great Recipes for Backyard Entertaining

  • Looking for some easy dips for entertaining around the pool this summer? We have a couple of classics for you — with maybe just a few changes here and there to make them even better.
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  • Looking for some easy dips for entertaining around the pool this summer? We have a couple of classics for you — with maybe just a few changes here and there to make them even better.
    Creamy California Guacamole
    This re-interpretation of an old favorite marries cream cheese and nonfat yogurt with avocados and green chile salsa for creamy texture and zesty flavor. Serve with tortilla chips or crostini (small slices of toasted bread).
    1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    2 cups (16 ounces) nonfat plain yogurt, drained
    4 ripe medium avocados, peeled, seeded and mashed
    1 cup salsa verde (green chile salsa)
    2-3 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
    1 teaspoon salt
    In a food processor or a medium mixing bowl using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese and yogurt until smooth. Add mashed avocados, salsa and 2 teaspoons juice to cream cheese mixture and combine well. Season to taste with salt and additional lemon or lime juice.
    Makes 4 cups
    Quick and Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip
    A savory blend of cheddar, monterey jack and cream cheese gives this hearty dip a full, rich flavor. Serve hot with crisp crackers, crunchy vegetables, thinly sliced French bread or tortilla chips.
    1 cup sour cream
    4 ounces (1/4 pound) cream cheese, softened
    1 can (14 ounces) artichokes in water, drained
    1 box (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (about 1 cup spinach after water is removed)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    11/2; cups grated cheddar and monterey jack cheese mix (in two portions)
    Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
    In food processor or blender, combine sour cream and cream cheese and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add artichokes, spinach and garlic. Process or chop until well combined, scraping sides of the work bowl or blender jar as needed.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine artichoke mixture, lemon juice, half the grated cheese and salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to a 1-quart microwave-proof baking dish and spread smoothly.
    Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges. Remove bowl (it will be hot) and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until cheese is melted.
    Oven Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add final sprinkling of cheese to top of dip and bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly browned and bubbly.
    Yield: 3 cups
    Note: Serve with pita chips, bagel chips, baked tortilla chips, crisp potato skins or crunchy raw vegetables.
    Recipes provided by the California Milk Advisory Board
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