H is for HAWAIIAN DIP (coconut, pineapple, and cherries)

Sorry for the long time between food posts, folks, but I have been a busy bee with all of the traveling and coming home and working and not feeling food-inspired.  But something finally kicked my butt in gear!  Yesterday, we bid farewell to the one who is really in charge of the advising center, our friend Erin, and we I had to bring a dish.

We had a potluck to honor Erin's departure, and I had considered bringing some Fourth of July cookies, but I figured we would have more sweets than we could handle (we usually do), so I settled on something semi-healthy:  Hawaiian Dip.  You have probably seen this on Pinterest, and let me tell you, it is easy-peasy to make and sooo light and tasty!

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 small package of sweetened coconut (I think the bag has 2 1/4 cups)
1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple (with 1/3-1/2 cup of pineapple juice drained from it)
chopped nuts
maraschino cherries

Beat cream cheese until creamy.  Add extracts and beat them in.  (These weren't in the original recipe, but I thought it added more flavor.)
Pulse coconut in chopper or food processor (or blender?) until chopped into finer pieces.  Pulse can of pineapple in chopper, if desired.
Add coconut and pineapple to flavored cream cheese and mix until combined.
Scoop into serving dish and top with your desired nuts and some chopped cherries.
Serve with cinnamon chips (which is what I did), crackers, pretzels, pita chips, etc.

This was just sweet enough without being too heavy.  The only problem is that people couldn't tell what it was; Zach says we don't work with adventurous eaters.  ;)  I had considered making a food label flag, but I thought everyone would make fun of me for being a nerd.  *lol*  I heard so many people ask what the dish with the cherries and nuts were (I'm afraid the cherries sometimes looked like chopped peppers despite the whole cherry I used to garnish it), and I answered many of the questions.  They would then say something along the lines of, "Oh, that sounds great!" and would try it and agree.

Next time, I'm making my food flag and let my nerd flag fly with it.  ;)

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