Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip


Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip is addictively good! Serve it alongside your favorite chips and veggies.


Tonight I’m revealing my appetizer recipe for the Breakstone Blogger ChallengeSweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip!

This recipe was actually inspired by my Father-in-Law. His favorite thing to whip up for a quick & easy appetizer is softened cream cheese mixed with sweet-hot pepper jelly, served with corn chips. Brilliant! The combo of tangy sour cream & cream cheese with sweet & spicy jelly is CRAZY good.


Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip


Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip is addictively good! Serve it alongside your favorite chips and veggies!


  • 8oz reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream
  • 8oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 8oz hot pepper jelly (I used Dickinson's Sweet 'n' Hot Pepper & Onion Relish)


  1. Combine all ingredients and serve with sliced cucumbers, carrots, celery or corn chips.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.


So ridiculously easy, right? Also, you can find sweet-hot pepper jelly right next to the other jellies in your grocery store, or try looking near the specialty cheeses/meats. It. Is. Spectacular. Promise!


In other news, maybe you were wondering if it was 20 degrees above average today? It was. IT WAS! We reached 73 degrees in Central Iowa AWESOME! Take that, winter…

Apparently we’re supposed to get owned in the next couple of days – cold, wind, rain, the works – but I’ll revel in the moment while it lasts.

Maybe you’re also thinking that 70 degree temps in November would be a outdoor runner enthusiast’s dream come true? I’m sure that’s the case for most people but, as my brother and I were discussing the other day, we’ve already made the mental shift into gym mode for the season (it took me long enough!) so I appreciated the mild weather through the window as I chugged along on the treadmill this afternoon.

I’ve been digging interval workouts lately and have gone back to this 5-minute interval routine several times over the past week or so:

Time Speed Incline
0-2 4.0 1%
2-5 6.0 1%
5-10 6.5 1%
10-15 7.0 1%
15-20 6.5 1%
20-25 7.5 1%
25-30 6.5 1%
30-35 7.0 1%
35-40 6.5 1%
40-43 6.0 1%
43-45 4.0 1%
Total: 4.75 miles

This routine goes by quickly, is challenging and the change of pace keeps things interesting, without having to constantly be changing the speed on the treadmill. Finished up my workout with 15 minutes on the elliptical. Blammo!

I came home to the sweet smell of…caramelized onions?! I had some extra time before work this morning, so I caramelized a couple onions for tonight’s dinner (what, you don’t caramelize onions in your free time?) and the house still smelled INCREDIBLE when I got home. I actually thought I had put something in the crock pot and forgot about it!

Anyway, they were one of the toppings for tonight’s dinner of BBQ Pizza!


Oh. Dear. Lord. This was fantastic and SO easy!


Confession: I am terrified of baking with yeast. I just…can’t. Therefore I’ve never made my own pizza dough and it looks like it’ll be awhile before I even think about attempting it, because my new Trader Joe’s makes a fantastic, ready-to-bake whole wheat pizza crust dough!


It was so easy to stretch out – no shrinkage or stickiness at all. It took about a minute to get it from dough ball to pizza base!


Zee toppings: Previously mentioned caramelized onions (my favorite thing ever)


steamed broccoli,


leftover BBQ brisket,


cheddar cheese, banana pepper rings and Bone Suckin’ BBQ Sauce!


On goes the sauce, brisket (tossed with a little sauce,)

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broccoli and caramelized onions.

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CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THESE!! I caramelized 2 onions for my pizza (I cut the big dough ball in half – half for me, half for IBE!)


Finally we’ve got the cheese and banana pepper rings.

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Into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Gawjus!


I’m not even saying this because it’s Trader Joe’s, but this crust is fantastic. Just a little sweet and perfectly doughy without being soggy. Plus it was NINETY NINE CENTS!


Caramelized onions? yes. BBQ sauce? Yes. BBQ Brisket? YES! Most amazing combo ever. Homemade pizza is so much fun (and great for using up leftovers!)


Woo, that was good, super filling and my goodness, so inexpensive. Love that!

With that, I am off – lots to do around the house tonight. See ya’!


You’ve been charged with bringing a dish to a potluck. What do you opt for: drink, appetizer or dessert?

I always pick dessert. It gives me an excuse to try a new recipe and practice quality control, of course!

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  1. Dessert here too! Surprising, huh? :)

  2. Liz @ Blog is the New Black 11.09.2010

    Dessert ALL THE WAY! Your din looks delish- and I’ll have to try that TJ’s crust!

  3. Melanie 11.09.2010

    Oh my goodness, you need to try cooking with yeast! It is SO satisfying to see a loaf of bread rise and then to smell it baking – I baked bread all the time as a teenager with the help of a cute kid’s cookbook (but with great recipes and instructions) called Knead It, Punch It, Bake It!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.09.2010

      I know, I really want to be able to punch down some dough – I’m just so nervous about ruining it! Although…even if I mess it up it’s just water, flour and yeast – that’s like, what, $.10?! ;)

      • Melanie 11.10.2010

        Exactly – you can do it! ;)

  4. Melissa 11.09.2010

    Dessert, for sure. BUT! I was asked to bring something savory to a party recently & I did mini versions of these garlic knots.
    Yes, I had to use yeast, but it was SUPER easy (and actually really fun making the little knots)! I sprinkled mine with a little garlic salt in addition to the topping & they are insane! Must try!

  5. Amanda 11.09.2010

    I’m terrified of yeast too! I had one flat loaf of bread not too long ago…still haven’t recovered. And I always pick dessert too–for the same reasons you do!

  6. Darcy 11.09.2010

    Does the dough come frozen or thawed? I’ll have to wait for the poor store to re-stock!

  7. christina 11.09.2010

    hmm…either dessert or app. hard to choose b/c i have some fantastic recipes for both. would probably end up bringing one of both! lol

    i’m scared to death of baking with yeast, too. i feel ya.

  8. Abby 11.09.2010

    I finally made it to Trader Joes today! Yay! And I bought that exact same crust…can’t wait to try it. Your pizza looks amazing!

  9. oh my – that is MY KINDA pizza!! YUMMO!

  10. I NEED to try that TJ’s pizza dough! But we have tons of frozen boboli crusts in the freezer to work through already :(

  11. Rachel 11.09.2010

    ooh, i used to always choose dessert…but now i go with side dish! I discovered an awesome roasted vegetable couscous dish with a lemon balsomic sauce… it sounds fancy and like a lot of work, but it totally isn’t! impress people with minimal effort!! :)

  12. Bridget 11.09.2010

    That pizza looks great! I could eat onions daily if it didn’t ruin my breath. :) I usually make an appetizer for a party. I’m not a good baker and I enjoy a good appetizer as well. I’m looking for a new recipe so if you’ve got some of your personal faves post them. I tried so many of your recipes and they’re all delish!

  13. eemusings 11.09.2010

    I loveeee caramelised onions! If I have spare time I’ll generally boil eggs or make fried rice or something like that. Oh, and if I can handle yeast Kristin, you can too! Seriously, it is SO easy – I’m a total kitchen noob and I’m making my own pizza dough now. I’m even getting used to the nasty yeast smell.

  14. I used to bring desserts – was actually forced to bring desserts when I was big into making cheesecakes. Now, I’d rather bring an appetizer and it is usually a lightened up version of spinach artichoke dip.

    I’ve heard great things about the TJ pizza dough…next time I am in Des Moines I’ll have to grab some, as well as one of everything else. Better remember to pack the cooler!

  15. Sara 11.09.2010

    The one good thing I got out of a lousy college relationship was a good (yeast-included) pizza dough recipe. I add some Italian herbs or garlic or jalapenos to it and it’s sooooo good. You need to lose the fear and give it a try! (This written by someone who can’t bake worth a darn.)

    I usually offer to bring drinks — because I love to pick out wines! — but I accidentally volunteered to bring dessert to a viewing of the Project Runway finale (Tangent: WTF, Nina and Michael?) and managed to find an amazing recipe for pumpkin bread pudding. I served it with vanilla ice cream and toasted pecans…huge hit.

  16. yeast isn’t scary. get a bread maker and then you’ll get used to it.. baby steps! and i always pick dessert too! so many options, esp. since they can be made ahead of time :)

  17. Jessie 11.09.2010

    I am terrified of yeast doughs too! I finally gave it another try using a recipe from Cooking Light and it was a total success. I actually just wrote about it tonight and the post is scheduled to publish in the morning. Don’t give up on making your own crust!

  18. Steph 11.09.2010

    I am so so sad that TJs came to Des Moines after I moved to the Quad Cities. I too have avoided making my own pizza crust and this looks amazing!

  19. kate 11.09.2010

    Im all about the apps..but I try to usually bring something healthy-ish, just so I know Im covered if I need to balance out my plate!

  20. Tiffany 11.09.2010

    Does your TJ’s have the garlic/herb crust? I love that one! The wheat one is my second favorite though!

  21. Oh, me too–I *always* choose to make a dessert! I think I am just following in my mom’s footsteps!

    I love making homemade pizza! And making your own crust is not that hard; I have total confidence you could do it!!

  22. Emily 11.09.2010

    Agreed. I always choose dessert, too.

    Also, I have a super easy, never fail pizza crust recipe. It uses all white flour, but it works like a dream and is the least intimidating yeast recipe ever. Let me know if you’d like to try it!

  23. Lindsay 11.09.2010

    Don’t fear yeast! I worked up the courage to make my mom’s pizza dough recipe several years ago and I haven’t looked back since! And I’ve never had a yeast mishap. It’s really easy. The first time I made it I was really nervous, though, and had my mom on the phone describing how the yeast looked as it proofed because I was convinced I would mess it up!

  24. Dream Mom 11.10.2010

    I’ve never tried carmelized onions but I’ll have too. I make pizza dough with my Zojirushi Mini Breadmaker (it’s super easy, add ingredients, push dough button and take out dough about two hours later) which makes one pound loaves of bread, perfect for one or two people. You may want to get one since it’s really easy-only $.44 cents to make pizza dough and I split it to make two pizzas! I freeze one half of it and then put the other half in the refrigerator until I am ready to make pizza, which is usually once a week.

    I love broccoli, zucchini and onions on my pizza but I’ve never tried the carmelized onions. Looks really delicious though!

  25. Lauren 11.10.2010

    Oh my goodness, yeast scares the daylights out of me. I’m even afraid to look at it let alone try to cook with it. The pizza looks fantastic girl!

  26. Can I just say, it’s taken me MONTHS to figure out what “natch” means! I’ve been asking people, “is natch a word? What does it mean when people say that? Is it an expression?” And I FINALLY figured it out! You’re using it as short for naturally, right? Right…….?!

  27. Sara 11.10.2010

    I am so intimidated by yeast, too, but I have decided that it will be my Christmas break project. JOIN ME!! :D

  28. Teresa K. 11.10.2010

    Probably would bring all of them. lol.

  29. colleen 11.10.2010

    I actually can’t decided and wonder if there will be an equal balance at the event. So I normally make a dessert and side dish or two side dishes.

  30. ok $.99 pizza crust at TJs??? where is it located in the store because i NEED IT. i will be making that pizza tomorrow (and subsequently making my boyfriend remember why he fell in love with me in the first place ha). i always bring either dessert or side dish!

  31. Pete Jones 11.10.2010

    That pizza looks amazing! Good work with the interval workout on the treadmill, I need to get back into that mode. Thanks for the inspiration.

  32. Emily 11.10.2010

    I’m making BBQ pizza tonight!!!! And seeing yours reminded me how good carmelized onions are – so those will be in the mix, too.

    And I can’t wait to try that app – I’m more of an app girl when it comes to taking stuff to parties.

  33. Stephanie 11.10.2010

    That is too funny that you are terrified of baking with yeast since you have so many wonderful kitchen adventures & are such a great cook! You would do just fine, it’s not that bad I promise (I tried it for the first time this year). I do agree that TJ’s does make a good stand-in though :)

    I’d pick appetizer, I’m not as into baking sweets as I am savory and it would give me a chance to explore a new recipe that I probably wouldn’t get to make at home normally.

  34. Guess who’s making this appetizer this weekend?!? :smile:

    I always bring an appetizer. I just find them to the easiet/inexpensive. A win all around.

  35. Misty 11.10.2010

    That dip looks AMAZING!!! We have always had pepper jelly w/ cream cheese for an app in my family. But we NEVER mixed it together, just plopped out the block o cream cheese and poured the jelly over the top. I will definitely be trying it this way. BTW…my Dad makes homemade sweet/hot canned jalapeno pepper rings(it tastes just like pepper jelly). Can’t wait to try it with those, too!!!!

  36. Marg 11.10.2010

    I never thought of brisket on bbq pizza, great idea on using leftovers. I love pepper jelly w/cream cheese too.

    I always volunteer dessert.

  37. Machelle 11.10.2010

    Ha! I’m scared to death of yeast too! (and the darn sewing machine! That sharp needle moves WAY to fast!). I’ve always wanted to try making my Grannies Bubble Bread recipe…..but I’m chicken!! Cluck-Cluck!!
    As for your question….appetizer. Or a big tossed lettuce salad. Nobody ever brings a lettuce salad but I tell ya it always vanishes in a hurry!

  38. dmcgirl 11.10.2010

    I want to try that Jelly! Maybe for our holiday party at work.
    That will be different!

  39. In college it was all about dessert since I was kind-of poor, lol. I would make cupcakes using jiff mix (like 50 cents) and keep frosting ingredients on hand. They were always a hit cause I would decorate them really fun with candies- using twizzlers and m&ms to make words and phrases.

    Now I prefer to bring a healthy side since most of the parties I go to never have a healthy option ;-) My favorites are: homemade Guac and Organic blue chips, Homemade hummas and staceys pita chips/veggies, or spinich salad with almonds, fruit, goat cheese, etc. OR FRUIT PIZZA! Yum- always a favorite at parties!

  40. Dee 11.10.2010

    Oh my good golly miss molly! This post is just filled with epic food goodness! WOWZA!

  41. Beth @ bethcooks 11.10.2010

    I have to be honest….I LOVE pizza, but I don’t love TJs wheat dough! I make it self usually, and you can really taste the difference. It’s much more fluffy, with big air holes. Maybe I got a bad batch, but I was disappointed with theirs :(

    You need to try to make it one your own! It’s not as hard as it seems!

  42. Miranda 11.10.2010

    The weather has been warm here to, I am loving it! Esp since there isn’t a decent gym to join so I am still running outside.

    The pizza looks amazing! Yummo!

  43. Maria 11.10.2010

    Wow… it all looks so good – especially the pizza, I wish we could get wholewheat pizza crusts in the UK. And good to see the brisket is still going down well. Unfortunately our weather has been lousy in comparison, all icy winds and rain – wish I lived somewhere warm ! xxx

  44. Tamara 11.10.2010

    You have got to try the recipe on page 14


    it is very easy. if I can do ANYONE can. It is simple, fast and so yummy. I skip the cornmeal. It is delish with alfredo sauce, chicken, broccoli and a bit of parm.

  45. […] Triple Churned Sour Cream into three family-favorite Holiday/Thanksgiving dishes. My appetizer is Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip and I’ll be posting my dessert recipe, Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies, on […]

  46. […] pizza.  Having made this many times before, I added a little twist to my usual red onion, I carmelized a sweet onion. (p.s. I plan on making that 3-ingredient app verrrrrrrrrrrrry soon.)  thin slices i could just […]

  47. Sarah J. 11.14.2010

    I just volunteered to bring a dessert to a potluck today. Any suggestions?? P. S. love this blog :)

  48. […] theme for my three dishes. First I lightened up my Father-in-Law’s favorite appetizer, Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip, with cool sour […]

  49. […] the next tapa!  Pepper Jelly Dip.  3 ingredients.  That’s it!  Equal amounts of greek yogurt, whipped cream cheese and […]

  50. Can’t wait to try this appetizer recipe!

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