Archive for the ‘Dip’ Category

As part of New Year’s Eve and day, B and I have a tradition to eat extremely decadent food to end and start the year on a good note.  For New Year’s Eve day, we made: Parmesan crusted goat cheese ball with basil oil (I didn’t strain the oil like she did in this recipe though); an arugula salad with cherries, gouda, and pralines with a dijon mustard dressing; and lobster ravioli (we used the fake lobster instead of steaming and cleaning them).  It started out as being a dinner I was going to make for B, but given my terrible time management, it ended up mostly a dinner made by B for me.  The goat cheese was great, nice and light and a good way to start the meal.

The arugula salad was also great.  The sweetness of the pralines and cherries with the sharpness of the gouda and dressing was great.  We actually used two types of gouda since I had gone to our local supermarket and B had gone to Whole Foods to get some herbs they didn’t have at the other supermarket.  We used smoked gouda (I got that) and a very aged gouda (B got that).  The aged gouda was different from anything I had ever seen; it was a hard cheese and was very similar to Parmesan. It was, however, absolutely delicious (but I’m a cheese girl).

The ravioli was the biggest endeavor.  We made the dough from scratch and rolled it out.  We tried to use our ravioli attachment but, alas, that was not meant to be.  For some reason we just cannot make ravioli.  They either don’t come out filled enough, get stuck in the machine, or are just off.  One of these days we’ll learn the trick.

For New Years day we planned to eat french onion soup and beer steamed mussels.  I spent most of the day curled in the fetal position on the couch due to the champagne and beer imbibed the night before so B enjoyed the soup day of (I had made it ahead of time) and made the mussels for us (I helped a bit since I had become more human by that point).  I calculated the Weight Watchers Points Plus for the soup; it made seven servings and were 3 PP per serving without the bread and gruyère cheese.

B said that this mussels recipe was the best we had made to this point.  We have previously made a fennel recipe and the standard one with white wine.  This was the first time we did it with beer.  The mussel’s recipe was built off of something online that we had found that I cannot find now (go figure).  It was very simple.  We basically did garlic, onion, chopped tomato, and beer to taste.  We also added some thyme since we had it leftover from the lobster ravioli.  We figured, its mussels, you can’t really go wrong.

All in all, a good end to 2011 and beginning to 2012, which will be very, very eventful for both B and I.

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I made this for my family’s Christmas Eve party.  It seemed to be a hit.  I’ve had good luck with dips from Annie’s Eats before (I definitely recommend the jalapeno popper dip) so I adapted the recipe from one she had on her site (Source).  I adapted it based on my own preferences and what was in the kitchen.  I love cheese and garlic and I prefer a slightly chunkier dip.  Also, my mother had done the shopping for the dip since I was baking it at my parent’s house and not at my home so I had to go with what was available.  Enjoy!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 can coarsely chopped canned artichoke hearts
5 cloves roasted garlic, smashed
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. roasted red pepper flakes

If you to make the roasted garlic: Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Take the five cloves of garlic and cut the tops of each clove.  Put the five cloves in a tin foil pouch.  Bake garlic for about 20-25 minutes or until soft.  Allow to cool before adding them to the dip recipe.  Squeeze roasted garlic out of each clove and smash with a knife to use in dip.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, Parmesan, sour cream, mayonnaise, spinach, artichokes, roasted garlic, salt and red pepper flakes.  For the artichokes, I pulled all the leaves off the hearts before roughly chopping them up.  Mix well with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are evenly blended.  Spread into a small baking dish (I used a gratin dish).  Sprinkle additional  Parmesan over the top if desired.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is slightly browned (I baked it in a toaster oven and it only took about 30 minutes to be done).  Serve warm with toasted baguette slices or  pita chips.

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