Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snowed-in-Superbowl 2010

So, we were invited to a friend's apartment for the Superbowl. Even though they only live about 4 miles away, we were not sure we were going to make it because of the snow that has not been cleared from the roads and the limited metro service. Planning ahead, I bought ingredients for spinach and artichoke dip and made some cookies to bring over -- just in case. It turned out it wasn't possible to get there, so I made the super-bowl snacks anyway for myself and my husband-- we have quite a few cookies left, but all of my fabled Spinach and Artichoke dip is gone :) Below is the recipe, changed only slightly from it's original glory. Don't be afraid of the blue cheese in the mixture, it gives it "depth of flavor," as some might say :) Also pictured are some of last year's Superbowl cookies -- Go Steelers!

Phateline's Phamous Spinach and Artichoke Dip:

½ bag frozen spinach thawed and drained well (or whole bag fresh baby spinach, chopped, cooked and drained)
1 regular can artichoke hearts drained with a teaspoon of juices reserved for mixture (1/2 back frozen artichokes - thawed)
¾ cup mozzarella cheese
¼ cup soft crumbled blue cheese (go for a moist blue)
1 package of cream cheese softened (reg or lite)
1/4 cup of mayonnaise (reg or lite)
1 teaspoon of dried Italian Herb Mixture (just plain herb mixture, don't use a salt/garlic etc mix)
2 cloves of fresh roasted garlic
½ teaspoon of cayenne and/or your favorite hot sauce
½ teaspoon sea/kosher salt (don't use that throwaway Iodized !#$!)
½ teaspoon black pepper
teaspoon of fresh lime juice

handful of pine nuts (optional)
3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded mozzarella
(diced tomatoes or sliced green olives might make also nice toppings after baking)

Mix dip ingredients together with all purpose fitting of mixer; the garlic spinach and artichoke hearts should break up. Mix on Low for about 2-3 minutes until well blended. Mix for 30 seconds on high to further break up until smooth. I use my mixer, but you can even mix by hand, just make sure the spinach and artichokes are chopped well. Spread in a shallow ceramic baking dish (I used about a 6" by 8" by 3" deep) and top with toppings. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes (cover with foil half way). Serve with warm crusty bread, pita chips and veggies. Serves about six.

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