Food, Wine & Spirits

Medium Well: Cooking with Food Wine & Spirits, is back! This category is home to an array of delicious recipes, handy tips and savory favorites, including the culinary delights of Hollywood’s departed.

Taco Dip Casserole


This recipe is a Super Bowl tradition in my family. It’s also a hearty dish to serve at parties, or for dinner. A healthier version of the dish can be prepared. Substitutions are noted at the end of the recipe.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees


1.5 pounds ground beef          
1 can (15 oz) seasoned black beans
2 cans (16 oz each) refried beans
1 package of Taco seasoning
16 oz sour cream
2 pkgs (8 oz each) softened cream cheese
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese 
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 can (2.5 oz) pitted and sliced black olives


Cook ground beef. Drain and rinse. Add package of taco seasoning. Add water according to package directions. Mix well and simmer until throughly cooked. Remove from heat. Set to side.

Evenly spread refrained beans over the bottom of a 9″x 13″ pan. Blend cream cheese and sour cream together. Spread mixture over the refried beans. 

Drain juice from black beans and sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture. Evenly distribute 3/4 cup of shredded cheese over the black beans. 

Spoon seasoned hamburger into dish and spread over the shredded cheese. Add entire jar of salsa on top of hamburger.

Evenly distribute the remaining 1 1/4 cups of Mexican cheese over the salsa. Drain the black olives and sprinkle over cheese.

Place casserole dish in oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until dip is bubbling and cheese has completely melted.

Remove dish and serve with tortilla chips.

*** Healthy Version Substitutions ***

– Use lean ground beef, or ground turkey
– Substitute fat-free refried beans for traditional refried beans
– Use fat-free sour cream and fat-free cream cheese
– Use 2% or low fat shredded Mexican cheese
– Substitute baked tortilla chips in place of regular tortilla chips


Swiss Cheese & Almond Dip

Dip1Swiss Cheese & Almond Dip

This appetizer will have ghouls and goblins of all sizes, screaming for more! A sinfully delicious blend of Swiss, Parmesan and cream cheeses, with just the right amount of onion and select seasons for a tasty kick. Accented with crunchy almond slivers, this devilish dish will be the hit of any party. Enjoy!

Dish Type: Appetizer
Oven Temperature: 350°
Cook Time: 30 minutes



2 ½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 ½ cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup of mayonnaise
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
1 (8 ounce) package of softened cream cheese
1 cup of coarsely chopped red onion
1 cup of slivered almonds (optional)
1 bag of pita chips, or any other type of small dipping cracker.


Preheat oven to 350°

Mix all ingredients together (with the exception of the paprika and almonds), in a large bowl. Pour into an ungreased pie dish. Evenly sprinkle paprika and then almond slivers over top of mixture. Bake at 350° for approximately 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with pita chips, or any other type of small dipping cracker.



Berries & Cream With A Twist 

Strawberries Cream Walnuts

Berries & Cream With A Twist

This is one of my favorite, low-calorie desserts!

There are a couple of variations for you to try. Both are heavenly good!

1 1/2 cups sugar-free heavy whipped cream
1/4 sliced strawberries*
1/4 shelled walnuts**

In a dessert cup, or small soup bowl, spoon-in whipped cream. Top with strawberries, and sprinkle with walnuts.

*May substitute with 1/4 fresh blueberries
**May substitute with 1/4 shelled pecans


Scrambled Egg Muffins 

Scrambled Egg MuffinsThis is an easy, low-carb recipe that can save time for those with limited cooking schedules. Make a batch for the week, and keep them refrigerated to pop into the microwave for a quick breakfast, snack, or even dinner.

Tastes delish with a side of salsa!

Preheat Oven: 350°





1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup diced and sauteed onion (may use olive oil, or butter)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese (Pepper Jack , sharp or cheddar)

RECOMMENDED ADDITIONS (may be used in any combination, or as a single item):

1/2 cup of ground pork sausage
1/2 cup of turkey bacon bits (or regular bacon)
1/2 cup of chopped peppers (green, or red)
1/2 cup of frozen, chopped spinach (thawed & drained)

Prepare and cook any meats to be used in the mixture and drain well. Set to side. Do the same for any vegetables that will be used.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Add sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, milk and onion. Fold in meat(s) and/or vegetables. Stir is cheese.

Grease muffin cups, and spoon in mixture to fill 1/3 of muffin cup.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife (inserted in center) is removed clean.



Cauliflower Pizza 

Cauliflower Pizza

Cauliflower Pizza

This is a scrumptious and healthy alternative to traditional pizza. A friend of mine passed this along to me and we just love it!


1 cup riced cauliflower
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese*
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp water

Assorted toppings: Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, turkey sausage, turkey pepperoni, black olives, onions, peppers, etc.


Place chopped cauliflower in food processor and pulse until resembles rice. Add water to cauliflower and place in microwave for approximately 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower softens (not too soft).

Remove cauliflower from microwave and stir in mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, garlic, oregano, salt and egg. Consistency should be similar to a cookie dough’s.

Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray, or thin coating of Olive oil. Evenly spread mixture onto cookie sheet (either in shape of rectangle or round pizza). Brush top of mixture with a light coating of olive oil. Bake (crust only) at 450° for 12-15 minutes.

Remove crust from oven, layer selected toppings onto crust, and place back into oven. Broil until the cheese melts (approx. 4-5 mins).

*You may substitute the Parmesan cheese with 1/4 of finely crushed Ritz crackers.

Bon appetit!