Smoked Salmon Dip


It’s late October and I’m having a tough time giving up my warm weather habits…  I’m resisting the impending cold weather as long as I can.  Even if it is a bone chilling 32 degrees outside, I still prefer to order my latte over ice early in the morning on my way to work.  I know that once I start to order it piping hot, I’m going to be drinking it that way until the warm weather arrives again in the spring.  I look at it this way, we still have at least another week of glorious warm weather here in Southern Oregon and I am going to take advantage of it.  That means getting outdoors and enjoying the bright sunshine while it is still here.


While preparing my Smoked Salmon Dip for an appetizer for a dinner party later this evening, I spied some cedar waxwings in one of the trees outside my kitchen window.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and grabbed my camera.  Cedar waxwings are sleek crested medium sized birds that frequent my neighborhood in the fall of the year.  They arrive in large noisy flocks to eat the fruit off of the flowering crab apple tree in the back of the yard.  Cedar waxwings are distinctive for they look like little bandits with dark black masks streaked across their faces.


Another way of identifying a cedar waxwing is by the glossy dark grey wing feathers and bright yellow tip on its tail.  Cedar waxwings are similar to Bohemian waxwings but are smaller in size.


A pair of cedar waxwings deciding on which juicy berry they are going to pick first.  The one on top of the photo is a juvenile.  You can tell by the lightly mottled brown feathers on its breast and back.  By next spring its plumage will look like the mature adult perched on the branch below.


Cedar waxwings are without a doubt, greedy little birds.  They are in the trees as soon as the sun comes up in the morning, and they stay throughout the day, gobbling up as much fruit as they can fit into their bellies.  It’s amazing to see how many berries one single bird will gulp down.  Within a few short weeks all of the fruit will be stripped from the trees.  Regardless of what the calendar says, that in my mind, officially marks the end of the warm summer months…


After snapping a few photos of the cedar waxwings, I resumed preparing my Smoked Salmon Dip.  My Smoked Salmon Dip is light, flavorful and easy to make. It’s made with good quality smoked Oregon Chinook salmon, fluffy cream cheese, light sour cream, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  My Smoked Salmon Dip tastes amazing on crackers, toasts, chips and even fresh vegetables.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 6 ounces smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • a few dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • garnish with bits of smoked salmon or fresh snipped herbs

Begin by placing the cream cheese, sour cream, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and hot sauce in a medium sized bowl.  Using a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese mixture until it is light and fluffy.  Be sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure that the mixture is well incorporated.  Break apart the smoked salmon into smaller pieces removing the skin or any bones.   Add smoked salmon to the cream cheese mixture and blend well.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Keep chilled.  Place in a dish and serve.  Garnish with bits of smoked salmon and herbs.  Makes approximately two cups.

41 thoughts on “Smoked Salmon Dip

  1. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen

    Tessa, your bird photos are just astonishing! Mine turned out so bland.. you’ve inspired me to try a little harder to capture them with my camera. Your colors are so vivid! I love this dip.. I’m perishing because I have everything, except the smoked salmon and I’m too lazy to go pick some up!

    1. Tessa

      Thank you! I must admit that I had to slip on a telephoto lens to capture the shots and I also had to hide from them. Once they heard the click of the camera, many would fly away. Obviously, I only got shots of the greediest birds in the trees :).

        1. Tessa

          No tripod. I leaned my camera on the side of the house. The birds moved too fast. I shot with a really fast shutter speed and fortunately the light was not too bright.

  2. skoraq cooks

    Enjoy the last moments of warm weather to the fullest Tessa :-) The dip is great. To be quite frank I have never thought about making dip from smoked salmon. It was always salmon and fresh bread and nothing else. But this dip sounds too good not to be tested :-)

  3. Promenade Claire

    What fantastic photos of the birds Tessa. Simply superb, especially the one eating the berry!
    And Smoked Salmon pate is my all time favourite and I’m loving your addition of horseradish to give it some pep

  4. mjskit

    Your cedar waxwing pictures are gorgeous! It’s already a beautiful bird, but you really captured it’s beauty! Great shots!!!! What a great salmon dip as well. Of course I would have a hard putting smoked salmon in a dip because we have so little, but if I did – this would definitely be the dish.

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Greg! As a matter of fact, you can find cedar waxwings in SoCal! From what my little bird book says, they can be found there in the winter months. I’ve never seen them there either but, it’s all about what kind of habitat they prefer. Shrubs, trees, and lots of berries.

  5. Sissi

    Tessa, I don’t think I have ever seen such beautiful and delicious-looking smoked salmon. I’m usually not a big fan of salmon in any form because most of them are overfed, super fatty and disgusting, but this one… Transformed into a dip it must be an extraordinary treat!

  6. Velva

    I am craving the cooler weather and it has finally arrived. Love it! The cedar wax wings are fun birds. Thanks for sharing the outside bird excitement and the fabulous salmon dip.

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