Spinach and Artichoke Dip

What is it about cloudy, cold, and rainy weekends that makes you want to lay around and veg-out?  The list of things I ate this weekend would include salt and vinegar chips, chips and salsa, ice cream, pretzels, baked potato with plenty of yummy toppings, and an apple just to make myself not feel like a failure.  So what did I cook for dinner? Uhh, nothing that could be considered dinner food!  A pie dish full of spinach and artichoke dip.  Thank goodness, Nate was in the snacking-mood too!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip - #TheNotSoDesperateChefWife

Spinach and Artichoke Dip - #TheNotSoDesperateChefWife

Ingredients
1 10 oz box of frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded 
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (Lowry’s)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less for desired kick)
1/2 a teaspoon garlic powder
More shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
– Optional – a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce

Directions
-preheat oven to 375 degrees

-add spinach and artichoke hearts to a medium-sized pot with just enough water to boil for 3-4 minutes.  You just want the veggies to be more tender and cook out some of the frozen/canned flavor.  Then drain in a colander.

-mix all of the ingredients and add to a baking dish

-sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top

-bake for 30-45 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and starting to brown

-Chow down!

**We mixed some of the dip with our baked potatoes.  Just imagine, a spinach and artichoke dip, double-stuffed potato! DEE-licious.
***Everything tastes better fresh.  Of course, artichoke hearts are definitely worth getting canned and the frozen spinach is a time-saver.  But if you’d like to saute fresh spinach, you want to end up with a cup of spinach.

Homemade Pimento Cheese

Thank goodness my sister-in-law is also an excellent cook.  She makes awesome…well…everything!  This is her very own recipe for pimento cheese that can be used for the classic pimento cheese sandwich, a kicked-up grilled cheese, on toast, as a dip, or whatever else you like it with.  If you like to make baked cheese bread, sub the mozzarella with this stuff.


Ingredients
1 wedge (about 1/3 lb) mild or medium hoop cheddar, shredded
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayo
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2  teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3-1/2 teaspoon Cajun mix, depending on what your taste is!
1 oz jarred pimentos


Directions
Mix together the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and mayo.  
Add pimentos and spices and stir until well mixed.  
Refrigerate for 1 hour.  (Don’t worry if it the spices seem to mild at first, the flavors will intensify in the fridge. If its too mild after an hour, add in some more spices and just mix again!)

Recipe Swap: Home Made Salsa

There is nothing that we love more than chips and salsa.  It really never gets old and is always delicious.  The great thing about pigging out on salsa is that it is super healthy for you, so you don’t have to feel guilty about over indulging…except for the chips.  Darn them!

So when doing a recipe swap with Mike from Mr. Shine’s Food Blog it was a no-brainer which recipe I was going to choose! I only made a few adjustments.  Oh yea, and you may have heard of Mike’s wife Ashley from The Shine Project.

Home Made Salsa

Home Made Salsa

 Ingredients
4 small California white peaches (or 2 large)
5 tomatoes
1/2 a cucumber
4 tomatillos
2/3 of a red onion

2 teaspoons roasted garlic
2 cups cilantro
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
juice from 2 limes
a couple pinches of salt
a couple grinds of pepper

Directions
Give the peaches, tomatoes, cucumber, tomatillos, and red onion a rough chop.
 
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. And pulse until your desired consistency.  


The salsa was so yummy and I even brought it to a neighborhood cook out.  Everyone loved it!  I also want to try the Mexican Hummus.






 

Edamole Dip

All dips have a special place in my heart…and my belly for that matter.  One of my favorites is guacamole, it’s green, fresh, healthy, and quick to whip up (perfect for a party!).  Guacamole also goes great with tacos, quesadillas, sandwiches, wraps, salada, etc.  


But, avocados can be expensive and it is sometimes difficult to find a good one.  Then you prepare your dip and look forward to leftovers the next day, you open your fridge to a brown gross mess.  What the heck?  An alternative, EDAMAME!  AKA soy beans.  They are just as healthy, green, and fresh tasting.  You can always find them in your frozen vegetable section and don’t turn brown…well eventually everything turns brown, but you know where I’m getting at!  You are also more likely to find the little ‘mamies on sale than the avocados.  The batch I made today uses 1 cup avocado and 1 cup shelled edamame.  Next time, I think I’ll try just 2 cups of edamame.

Edamole Dip

Edamole Dip
If you do not own a mini food processor, no problem.  You can use a regular one if you are making a larger batch and the back of a fork would suffice.  However, I think it is important to tell you how much we LOVE our mini food processor!  Honestly, we’ve used this baby 100 times more than our large processor.  They are perfect for dips (duh), marinades, chopping onions on the fly, salad dressings.  Regular processors are so heavy and clunky, and really kind of awkward.  The mini version is so easy to get out, store, and move around.  Anyway, enough kissing up to the mini food processor, here is our lovely bundle of joy:


Ingredients
1 cup avocado, diced
1 cup shelled, edamame
1 cup tomatoes, finely diced
1 cup red onion, finely diced (use less if you don’t care for onion!)
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 huge handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper

Directions
-Cook the edamame according to package directions.
-Add the avocado, edamame, lime juice, and a pinch of salt & pepper to a small food processor, pulse until combined and a desirable consistency.

Here is mine:

Edamole Dip

-Scoop mixture into a container.  Add the tomato, onions, jalapeno, and cilantro to the container.  Stir to combine the rest of the ingredients.  Taste and season if needed.



HOW TO STORE GUACAMOLE
-Scoop the guacamole into an air tight container/tupperware
-Rip a sheet of plastic wrap and push it down over top of the dip.  The plastic wrap should be touching the guacamole.
-Smooth the loose plastic rap around the edges of the container.  You are creating a sealed environment for the dip!
-Cover the container with the lid as usual

Edamole Dip
Edamole Dip




CAR-amelized Onion Dip

Is there a word that you mispronounce all the time…and you are fully aware of it?  For some reason, your mis-pronounciation sounds better to you, but to the rest of the world listening to you butcher the word you sound like a dufus?  For me, it is “caramelized.”  And no matter how many times I’ve told Nate I don’t care about how it is supposed to be said, every time I say it, he corrects me.  It really gets under his skin, and I actually find it hilarious!!  I pronounce caramelized CARE-amelized.  Nate says it is supposed to be CAR-amelized. Same difference!  Oh shoot, that phrase grinds his gears too!  

When we first started dating our senior year of high school, we got into some random conversation about hedge hogs.  Only I pronounced it and spelled it “Head Chog.”  I never thought anything of it until Nate said it slowly and I realized he was saying HEDGE HOG.  There is not a blond hair on this head, but for some reason I went through the first 18 years of my life saying “head chog” and no one noticed or corrected me!  But, head chog is still my preference.

Another one that comes to mind is a friend of mine growing up, instead of saying “freckles” she said “frackles!” Now that is just weird… 🙂  So I know I am not alone in word ridiculousness, what are your funny pronunciations???

Ok, sorry about getting side tracked on that random story, but after you read this recipe you’ll realize it wasn’t so random after all!  If you don’t like onions, please stop reading from this point on.  This dip is stuffed full of caramelized onions.  Once you’ve tried this, you’ll never buy the store bought french onion dip again!  And you can’t ignore that this recipe is basically fat-free…a healthier dip choice for all you Super Bowler’s!

Servings: 8-10
Weight Watcher Points Per Serving: 4-3

Ingredients
3 of the largest yellow/sweet onions, sliced thinly
8 oz fat-free cream cheese
8 oz fat-free or reduced fat sour cream
8 oz fat-free mayo
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions
-In a large bowl mix the mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, and garlic powder together and set aside.  (The cream cheese will need to be room temperature to mix in, I pop mine in the microwave for about 15 seconds to help it out.  But do NOT microwave the metal wrapper!)

-In a large pot on medium heat, melt butter and olive oil.  

-Add all of the sliced onions, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar to the pot. Toss to coat the onions evenly.

-Cook the onions until they are nice and caramelized…mine took about 20 minutes (To caramelize, you cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they shrink down and turn a gold / caramel color.  Refer to my picture above)

-Remove the onions on to your cutting board and let cool for 20-30 minutes.  Then roughly chop the enormous pile of onions and add them to the cream cheese mixture.

-Stir the dip until the onions are fully incorporated into the mix.  Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or until ready to eat.

It maybe really hard for you to wait this 45 minutes, I suggest you lick the spoon.  If that doesn’t hold you over…grab another spoon, stir that dip some more, and lick that one too!

*This dip is great to make a day ahead, the flavors fully develop over night.
*Feel free to add other spices for a completely different flavor of dip.  Sometimes I add oregano, a bay leaf, celery seed, or onion powder.

K-Mo’s Pico De Gallo

I don’t think there is a simpler recipe to make than pico de gallo.  Yet everyone has their own way of making it.  It just goes to show that no matter what you are cooking or baking in the kitchen, the possibilities really are endless!  And the great thing about pico de gallo is it goes with almost everything.  You can spoon it on top of grilled chicken, a salad, fish, beef, beans, rice and if you are like me, just eat it by the spoonful.  You can dip chips, celery, bell peppers, crackers, whatever you want into it.  Now that I think about it, pico de gallo is quite promiscuous! Well, here is my version of pico de gallo.


WW Points Per Serving: 0!

Ingredients
4 roma tomatoes
1 small white or red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, chop as fine as possible
1 large handful of cilantro
juice of half a lime
a drizzle of olive oil
Sounds pretty normal so far huh? 
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


Directions
Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and stir together.  Then dump the pico over whatever you wish or dip whatever you wish into the pico!


Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

After our families Christmas lunch my sister-in-law invited my husband and I to stick around and pig out…as if we hadn’t already!  She made this buffalo chicken dip that wasn’t the prettiest dip in the world, but hot dang was it addicting.  There is something to be said about a dip that you can’t stop eating even after a huge Christmas feast.  Her dog was standing underneath me, hoping I would accidentally drop a chip for her to scarf down. I dropped some dip alright…on her head!  Poor dog.

So it has been 2 days since I tried this dip for the first time and I already made it for myself because I could NOT stop thinking about it.  It did not take me long to track down this recipe…you can find many versions of it on All Recipes and on one of my favorite blogs The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I used a hotter wing sauce though because the more spicy the better. Also lightened the recipe up a bit to help all the piggies out there be able to eat as much as this dip as possible in one sitting!
I try to take my own images, but in this dip’s case it is not photogenic and…I had already eaten my portion and had to hurry to stash it away before I devoured the whole thing.  So the picture did not get snapped!  Found this picture at All Recipes. 

Original Recipe 

Servings: 5 
WW Points Per Serving: 13 

This Recipe 

Servings: 5 
WW Points Per Serving: 8 

Ingredients

1 12.5 oz can chunk chicken breast in water 
1 8 oz package light cream cheese 
1/2 cup fat-free ranch dressing 
1/2 cup hot wing sauce (choose which ever heat you prefer, I like it HOT!) 
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 

Serve with:

celery 
rice crackers 
crackers 
tortilla chips 

Additional Toppings:

blue cheese crumbles
bacon
celery
green onion
tomato 

Directions 
In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, add the wing sauce. 

Drain and rinse the chunk chicken. Shred the chicken into smaller pieces as you place it into the same sauce pot.   
Stir in the fat-free ranch dressing and add the cream cheese.  Stir the dip often as the cream cheese is melting and once it is combined, add the cheddar cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted in and combined.   
Pour into a serving bowl or if you are like me, just eat it out of the sauce pot (I know, classy)!

Peachy Pineapple Corn Salsa

 I can not believe it is November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  After putting up and cleaning up the Halloween decorations I thought, why do we spend so much time decorating our homes, only to take it all down in what feels like days later?  So, I am going to start decorating for Christmas now (sorry Thanksgiving!) and enjoy those decorations for a whole month!
We are having Nate’s best friend and his new girlfriend over to the house for dinner tonight.  Over the past couple months the boys have been hunting and have come back with ducks and geese.  So guess what is on the menu tonight?  

I am all for trying new meats and food in general, but I still like to have something “normal” to eat on the side…on the off-chance that someone dislikes the adventurous dish, there is something to fill up on.  I haven’t met anyone who did not like this salsa!  It is fruity, sweet, spicy, and healthy all in one bowl.  You can eat it with tortilla chips, in tacos, or even on a salad.  And if you are having people over for dinner and need a quick appetizer to throw together, this is it!

Ingredients
1 16oz jar of peach salsa
1 16oz bag or box of frozen corn (plain corn, not the bags of corn with cream sauce)
1 15.25oz of black beans, drained and rinsed
20oz can of crushed pinapple, drained (leave a small amount of juice in the can for flavor, you just don’t want the salsa to be soupy)
1 bell pepper, diced (any color, I usually choose orange)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional, this is only for those of you who like it spicy)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
1 bag tortilla chips
Directions
Ok are you ready for this?  This may be the hardest dish to prepare on my blog…

In a large food storage container, add and stir together all of the ingredients above.  

Grab some chips, and enjoy 🙂
That’s it!
Modifications
-Add a small red onion, finely diced
-Add some cilantro for a fresh herb flavor
-Use a different jarred salsa for your “base”
-Instead of crushed pineapple try mango, peaches, papaya