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Whether you have a deck or a patio or are just enjoying a lazy summer day on the lawn with friends, you just HAVE to offer up some snacks.

For most everyone, THE go-to snack is chips and dip, or maybe some vegetables and dip. And there’s nothing wrong with that. As an inexpensive snack, you can’t go wrong with chips and dips.

However, for the sake of argument (and for the sake of writing something meaningful here), let’s presume you’re open to the idea of serving something other than the, regular, usual suspects.

I know, I know… But seriously, hear me out.

Let’s leave potato chips out of this for a moment and look at some other things. Like veggies.

Again, you can serve up chilled veggies with a sour cream based dip, BUT let’s look at a couple of other ideas.

How about trying a Peanut Butter & Cream Cheese Dip? It goes GREAT with crisp apples, pears, and even celery! Just place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy. For a lighter, fluffier dip, just add a bit of milk or water.

1/2 cup            Nino’s Homemade Peanut Butter

1/2 cup            Cream Cheese, Softened

3 TBSP            Brown Sugar

½ tsp               Vanilla Extract

Pinch               Cinnamon


Another fabulous dip is actually a salad, if you want to think of it that way. What I LOVE to serve is my Homemade Caesar Dressing with CRISP Chips of Hearts of Romaine.

My Caesar Dressing recipe is (if I do say so myself) an authentic, robust, THICK Caesar Dressing. Make this ahead of time and refrigerate it, and it’s as thick as any great dip you’ll buy at the store. I serve it by buying a three pack of Hearts of Romaine and cutting each leaf into 2-inch long pieces (like chips). Then, I pile them into a chilled serving bowl nested in ice. Sprinkle some shaved Parmesan cheese over the romaine and enjoy this fabulous dip bite by bite.

Here is the link to my Caesar Dressing. You can also click on the video below to see how I make this amazing dressing. It will store in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

Want to impress? Chilled, Grilled Shrimp or Nuggets of Grilled and Chilled Breast of Chicken are always a hit.

For the shrimp and chicken, skewer peeled and deveined 16/20 count size shrimp and/or 1” cubed boneless breast of chicken, sprinkle with salt, pepper and any seasonings you prefer, and grill over medium heat until JUST cooked through but moist. Then, chill and remove from the skewers.

There are LOTS of dips I can recommend, but among my favorites, which work great for both of these choices, are:


If you’re enjoying a late-night snack and looking for something wonderful to go with a cup of coffee or perhaps an evening beverage, try my Tiramisu Crème Dip. It can be served with cookies, the traditional Savoiardi (Italian lady fingers), or vanilla pound cake. You can even serve it rolled in crepes and dusted with cocoa.

This is a recipe you’ll want to tape to the inside of your cupboard door!

Whether you’re entertaining friends or family, it’s always a treat to slow life down, sit back and enjoy conversation and great moments with some great snacks and dips.

I hope you try one of these delicious suggestions this summer.

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