Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crock Pot Pizza Dip

We enjoyed a really nice weekend celebrating our oldest daughter's 14th birthday. I mentioned on Friday that I had a busy day ahead preparing for her sleepover that night.

This was her cake I made, she requested a chocolate chip cookie cake decorated like a pizza. It was a lot of fun to make and a huge hit with the kids!

Keeping up with our pizza theme, she wanted "bagel bites". If you know me well enough, I nicely told her I would not purchase the store bought version but I was more than happy to make them homemade. We topped mini bagels with pizza sauce and a variety of toppings such as: sausage, ham and cheese. These went over very well and were so easy, even my 6 and 3-year-old helped.

I also wanted to try out a new dip I've had on my mind for awhile. They were more than willing to be my taste testers along with my parents who stopped over. Essentially I wanted to combine my love for pizza into an appetizer, a simple dip that I could toss into a crock pot and go on with my evening.

Good is an understatement, this dip is really amazing! Slathered on little garlic toasts, these are certainly addicting little appetizers. Or in my case, maybe even a meal. I stuck with a combination of hamburger and mild pork sausage for my choice of meat; but I'm sure maybe some tiny or chopped pepperonis would be great. Add in mushrooms if that's your thing.  I'm thinking this new dip will be perfect for some holiday parties coming up!

Crock Pot Pizza Dip

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. mild pork sausage
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Garlic toasts:
sliced french baguette
melted butter or olive oil, for brushing on
garlic clove, for rubbing

In a large skillet brown hamburger and sausage until cooked through and no longer pink. Drain and dump into crock pot. Add in crushed tomatoes, diced pepper, garlic clove, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and Parmesan cheese. Stir together well. Cover and let cook on low for 2 hours or just until warmed through.

To make garlic toasts, lay french baguette slices on a large cookie sheet. Brush each slice with either melted butter or olive oil. Bake at 350 for 5-6 minutes, just until a little crunchy. Remove from oven and immediately rub each toast with a peeled, whole garlic clove.

Serve dip with warm garlic toasts.

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