I'm an intuitive cook — I experiment a lot. My mother didn't prepare food much when I was growing up in Kentucky, so I learned by watching our family cook, Cassie Boyd. She never measured anything, but she was a fabulous cook as well as a warm, loving person. She gave me the confidence to follow my instincts when putting flavors together.
Now when I taste something I like at a restaurant, I'll ask the waiter what's in it, so I can try to concoct it at home. That's what happened with this simple goat cheese spread, which is one of a couple that I make. I love anything goat cheese.
Goat Cheese Schmear
- 8 ounces creamy goat cheese
- 5 ounces fresh arugula
- Spritz of lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients into a food processor; pulse until creamy. Use as a dip or spread with vegetables, on bread or crackers, or in a sandwich.
Nutrients per serving: 32 calories, 2g protein, 1g carbohydrates, 0.5g fiber, 3g fat, 10mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium
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White Bean Dip
- 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 minced anchovy fillets (optional)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary (or any herb in season: tarragon, sage, basil, chives), plus sprigs for garnish
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Blend all ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor until chunky, then slowly add olive oil and blend until smooth and somewhat fluffy. Garnish with herb sprigs and a drizzle of olive oil.
Nutrients per serving: 49 calories, 1g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 3.5g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 151mg sodium
I like to keep homemade spreads and dips like these on hand because my hours are always changing. It's hard to know when lunch or dinner is. But I can always slice up some yellow squash, pop it into the microwave for two minutes and then slather it with a schmear. It's really healthy, and it's a lot quicker than going out for fast food.
My three sons are grown, but they're still in and out of the house all the time, and we have a lot of family and friends. Whoever comes by, I feed. If you come to my house, I'm going to feed you! It's great to have something tasty and homemade to offer. —As told to Gina Roberts-Grey
Annie Potts, 66, costars on CBS' Young Sheldon and in Toy Story 4.