Spinach and Artichoke Dip

We all know what happened last Sunday….

It was Super Bowl Commercial Day! I just have to say that this year they really keyed in on our emotions as opposed to making us laugh. I still stand by my previous comments that it was just a little “dusty” in the room during the Budweiser “Lost Puppy” ad. No, I was not tearing up…that was someone else named Kelley…*cough*…

Anyways…

We all gathered around our televisions to either watch the football game, which was quite the game, by the way, or the commercials, which had their ups and downs (c’mon Nationwide…was that necessary?) To be honest, we are all probably most excited for the Super Bowl spread as opposed to anything else. Wings, hotdogs, chips, and dips. What’s not to love? We had an excuse to chow down for a full four hour period of time and not feel guilty about it because, um…hello? It was Super Bowl Sunday.

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I personally made this dank Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Bon Appetite. I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and bam! There it was. Looking all hot and tasty. So, I thought why not? Dips are pretty easy to throw together and they are usually crowd favorites for parties. Plus, anything that combines cream cheese, sour cream, AND mayonnaise is probably worth the fuss. (All full-fat versions, by the way, none of this low/reduced fat nonsense up in here. C’mon…it’s a holiday. Live a little).

Let’s. Get. Started.

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THE INGREDIENTS. 

  • 1 package Frozen Spinach, thawed, drained (like super drained…don’t want watery dip) and chopped
  • 1 can of Artichoke Hearts, chopped
  • 1 large Shallot, finely diced/grated
  • 1 clove of Garlic, finely diced/grated
  • 1 tsp of Vegetable Oil
  • 4 oz of Cream Cheese (at room temperature…trust me)
  • 1/2 cup of Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
  • 3/4-1 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Chips…Crackers…Toasted Baguette (my personal preference)…Basically, a vehicle of your choosing for the dip because a spoon is frowned upon

THE METHOD. It’s pretty simple really. Cook this. Chop that. Throw everything together and stir. Bake until bubbly and delicious. Okay…fine. I’ll go into a little bit more detail.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, add your oil and sauté the shallot until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in your garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Add your thawed, DRAINED, and chopped spinach. Cook for a few minutes. Season to your liking with salt and pepper. Set aside and allow it to cool.
  4. In a large bowl (or food processor if you really want to get that dirty) add your cream cheese (at room temperature), sour cream, and mayonnaise. Stir until smooth and combined.
  5. Fold in your chopped artichokes, spinach mixture, and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper until it tastes delicious.
  6. Place in a quart-sized baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or so. Allow it to cool slightly before serving.
  7. Serve with the vehicle of your choosing.

ENJOY IT. Not that this tip is necessary. We have homemade spinach and artichoke dip. Who needs to be told to enjoy it? Certainly not this girl. This particular version is thick and luxurious…the way all dips need to be really.

Until next time…

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Pimento Cheese

The holidays are officially in full swing. Office parties, cocktail parties, and Christmas dinners are the norm. Food and drinks are everywhere. More than likely, you’ll be asked to bring an appetizer or two to an event in the coming weeks. Sure, you have your go-to’s, but attend the same parties every year and that particular dish is beginning to become a little bit boring.

I, myself, have a go-to and I’m willing to share this item with all of you so that you can have something new to bring to the table. You’re welcome.

Now, I’m famous in my family and friend circles for this, so you must do it proud and make it the right way. You have to agree to this before I share anything with you…

Agreed?

Good.

Let’s get started.

Drum roll please…

The infamous dish is…Pimento Cheese! It’s a Southern classic and delicious to boot. With only 5 ingredients, it’s a simple recipe to throw together in time for any kind of party.

So what are we waiting for?

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THE INGREDIENTS. These ingredients are specific and very much necessary to the final product.

  • 1 lb Sharp White Cheddar Cheese (No, you can’t use yellow…Why? Because I said so. Also, don’t use pre-grated cheese.)
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers (No, you can’t use that jar of pimento peppers. Why? Because it makes crappy pimento cheese.)
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise (You can make your own or you can use store bought. I recommend Blue Plate or Duke’s.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish Paprika
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • Pinch of Salt

THE METHOD. Basically, throw everything into a bowl and stir it on up while tasting here and there to make sure that everything is coming together nicely.

  1. For the peppers, you can use your grill or turn your broiler on to high. Oil up the peppers and roast until they are charred on all sides. The better the char, the easier it will be to peel them later on. We’re going for total blackness. Once they are done, place them a bowl to cool off.
  2. Grate up your pound of white cheddar and place it in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Peel the char off of your peppers. Remove all the seeds. Chop the up into a nice, small dice. Add them to the bowl with the cheese.
  4. Add your 1/2 cup of mayo, the paprika, cayenne, and salt.
  5. Mix it up until everything is thoroughly combined.
  6. Taste to check your seasoning. If you want it kicked up notch, add some more cayenne.

ENJOY IT. Pimento cheese is delicious on it’s own. It’s wonderful on buttered crostini or grilled in the form of a sandwich. If you’d like to be healthy, eat it with some celery. It’s a very versatile dish.

So, change up your usual appetizer and make some pimento cheese. Your guests will love it, I promise you. In fact, I just made it for my sister’s company Christmas party and they said it reminded them of their Grandmother’s. Honestly? That’s the best kind of compliment because everyone knows Grandma’s food is the best.

Go on. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

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