RSS

Category Archives: Appetizer

Basic Crostini

Basic Crostini

Another first for me with the most recent cheese board was a basic Crostini. I have eaten it before, but never made it.

It is quite possibly the easiest thing I have ever made. I did use one shortcut to make my basic Crostini, which added to the ease. If I make it again I will probably make my own baguette.

The family loved it and it worked great on the cheese board. Basic Crostini is a perfect cross between bread and a cracker. It is crisp with a bit of chew and a light flavor.

The Hubs was such a fan that he has already asked me to make some more. I will oblige this weekend. The small amount of time to make basic Crostini using purchased Baguette is so small. Additionally, it is definitely easy enough that a 13 year old can make it. Mine did!

Have you ever had Crostini? What do you think?

Basic Crostini Recipe

  • 1 Baguette
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Sea Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice baguette into ¼” rounds. Place on baking sheet or sheets.
  3. Using pastry brush, coat both sides of each slice of baguette with olive oil.
  4. Remove peel from garlic and slice each clove in half lengthwise. Rub cut side of garlic over the top of each slice of baguette. Salt each slice of baguette.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Turn baking sheets one half turn in oven about halfway through baking time. If underside of crostini is not browning, flip over so that both sides brown.
  6. Remove browned crostini from oven and place baking sheet or sheets on a wire rack. Cool completely before serving.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Appetizer

 

Tags:

Cheese Twists

Cheese Twists

Have you ever made a recipe and then thought, why haven’t I done this before? I had that experience this past Saturday when I made Cheese Twists and Sesame Twists.

In a recipe that my father had since the late 1970’s is where I first ran across Cheese Twists. I have seen other recipes for Cheese Twists and similar products in stores.

When I was deciding what crackers and breads to serve on the cheese board Cheese Twists came to mind. When making a cheese board it is important to keep the breads and crackers to a more neutral palate. Cheese Twists were going to be a good choice.

I used to have a rule about making a food the first time for company or an event. For the get together over the weekend I threw that rule out the window. I made many new foods, all of which were a success.

The Cheese Twists were no exception. They were so good. I had many compliments and The Hubs asked if they were really hard to make. It was hard to keep a straight face when I told him that they weren’t too hard to make.

Cheese Twists were so simple that Daughter Number One could make them, probably. I know that the other three girls could. Few ingredients, easy preparation, and voilà! You have a stunning and delicious addition to a cheese board, game night, or a dinner party.

While I am calling these Cheese Twists you can also make them with Sesame Seeds or other flavorings. As easy as they are I will definitely be experimenting in the future. Who knew that something that I have wanted to make for over three decades turns out to be one of the simplest and most amazing.

Have you ever eaten Cheese Twists? If you are a fan of light, flaky dough and cheese you should definitely give these a try.

Cheese Twists

  • 1 box Puff Pastry (defrosted (2 sheets))
  • Flour (for dusting)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  1. In a small bowl beat the egg with a small bit of water.
  2. Brush the surface of the pastry with beaten egg.
  3. Sprinkle ¼ cup of grated cheese over the egg wash. Gently press the cheese into the pastry.
  4. Using a sharp floured knife or pizza cutter divide the puff pastry in half cross-wise. Then cut those 2 pieces into ½” strips. Hold onto each end and twist each end in opposite directions to make spirals; lay on a prepared baking sheet.
  5. Repeat with second pastry.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely before serving.
  • You can add additional types of grated cheese to the Parmesan such as Emmentaler or Gruyere.
  • To make Sesame Twists replace or add about ¼ cup of Sesame Seeds over the egg wash. If omitting the cheese add some sea salt for flavor.
  • Fresh Herbs can also be used.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 30, 2018 in Appetizer

 

Tags: ,

Cheese Board

Cheese Board

Food is such an important part of my life. Some of the most memorable occasions are attached to the food served. I would like to make similar memories for my kids. Saturday my family gathered to celebrate Daughter Number One’s Master’s Degree completion. I wanted to do something grand, so I made a cheese board.

As you know, I love cheese. That is one reason I love making a beautiful cheese board. My cheese board was so much more than a cheese board. It was a charcuterie board or a sample platter.

This celebration was for family. I had invited family to add to the board. It ended up being so much more than I had imagined. This was the ultimate cheese board.

If you are calling it a cheese board the important part is cheese. Obviously, if it’s a charcuterie board, you want to focus on the charcuterie. If you are not familiar with charcuterie it is a reference to cured or cooked meats, like sausages, hams, or bacons.

Choose a few cheeses to focus on, with some meats to accompany and amplify the flavors of the cheeses. With a cheese board it is all about the cheese flavors. Of course you want the accompaniments, but they should not outshine the cheese. Think of the cheese as the bride. No one should ever outshine the bride at her wedding!

So, pick cheese with different flavors and textures. Choose from hard, semi-hard, and soft cheese. Also serve cheese made from different milks: cow’s milk, goat milk, sheep milk. While you want different flavor profiles steer clear of flavored cheeses, such as fruit flavored blues. Remember, good cheese stands on its flavor.

One of the next steps is selecting the base to serve the cheese on or with. While cheese and crackers go together like peanut butter and jelly this is a cheese board not a kid’s sandwich. Some water crackers, wheat crackers, crostini, and sesame twists all work well. Again choosing different textures is important.

Meat can be important to move from a cheese board to a charcuterie board or an ultimate sample board. Dry salamis, prosciutto, hams, and even smoked salmon are all good choices.

Fruit is the next ingredient. I prefer using fresh fruit, but dried fruit is also good on a cheese board. Grapes, apples, and pears are wonderful choices. The flavors and textures are excellent with cheese; think about apple pie and cheddar cheese or brie and pears. Figs and apricots, fresh or dried, are also good.

I like adding nuts to my cheese board. Raw almonds are one of my favorites. I also like cashews, walnuts, and pecans with a cheese board. Nuts add another texture and flavor profile.

Condiments can make or break a cheese board. The condiments are where you can really add some additional flavor. Stone ground mustard and pickled vegetables are where you can add some vinegary zip. I like using sweet pickles, spicy pickled garlic, and pickled red onions. For some sweetness I add honey in a small dish or jellies that pair with the cheeses you have on your board; apple jelly, jalapeno jelly, raspberry jam.

cheese board

cheese board

I also like adding a few bite sized sweets; bite sized brownies or butter tarts work well. Always add some good quality chocolate. I think dark chocolate is a great pairing with cheese.

Last, add some greenery to fill in the spaces. Fresh arugula or other flavorful greens are a good option. Edible garnishes like fresh herbs really add to the look and aroma of a good cheese board.

Lay out your cheese board on a cutting board or two or some platters. Make sure to have toothpicks for cubes of cheese and meat, small knives for each cheese, forks for meats, and little spoons for the condiments.

ultimate cheese board

Ultimate Cheese Board

Then your cheese board / charcuterie board / sample board is ready. It is time to sample away.

Add your own favorites to make a one of a kind awesome cheese board. While these are some very basic guidelines the best part is to enjoy making it and add things that you love.

Share some of your favorite cheese board or charcuterie board ideas with me!

Maybe a cheese board will become a memory for someone you love, too!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 28, 2018 in Appetizer

 

Tags: , ,

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

I mentioned that when I made the Shrimp Scampi on National Scampi Day I made Stuffed Mushrooms to go with them.

Looking back I cannot remember I time that I did not like mushrooms, unlike most kids. My dad made several mushroom dishes that I just loved. He made Fried Mushrooms, which many of my friends from my school days still remember fondly. Sautéed Mushrooms was another dish he made that I enjoyed. However, my favorite was Stuffed Mushrooms. In fact, of the three this is the recipe I make the most.

This Stuffed Mushroom recipe is easy to make. Plus, you can make it with ingredients found in your house right now, unless you don’t have large fresh mushrooms. This recipe allows the flavor of the mushroom to shine through as the star. Also, this basic Stuffed Mushroom recipe is perfect for some special little add-ins like diced crab or Italian sausage.

The Hubs loves these as much as I do. Daughter Number Three isn’t touching these, and Daughter Number Four likes the filling. She isn’t fond of the texture of a large cooked mushroom.

These Stuffed Mushrooms are impressive enough to serve as hors d’oeuvres or appetizers at a party. However, I whip them up for dinner or a snack just because I love them. The Hubs never complains about it, so it must be a good thing.

Do you love mushrooms? Let me know what your favorite mushroom recipe is.

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 12 large mushroom caps
  • 1 stick butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow baking dish.
  2. Clean the mushroom caps and wipe dry.
  3. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small pan or microwave; set aside to cool.
  4. Using the palms of the hands, thoroughly coat mushroom caps with butter and put them in the baking dish.
  5. Mix the bread crumbs, parsley, onion, salt, pepper, and egg together.
  6. Fill each mushroom cap with the mixture.
  7. Melt the remaining butter.
  8. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each cap then drizzle the tops with melted butter.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Garnish with chopped parsley, green onion, or additional grated Parmesan if desired.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Appetizer

 

Tags:

Steamed Chicken Wontons

Steamed Chicken Wontons

Another busy day caught me somewhat off guard for a dinner idea. This is why I perform best when I have a plan, in all areas of my life. I looked in the refrigerator and boldly announced that I would be making dumplings for dinner. The looks on the faces of my family were close to blank. I restated what I was making and the unknowing turned into something between inquisitive and expectant. We were going to have Steamed Chicken Wontons for dinner.

I knew Daughter Number Three would be thrilled. Earlier this week she had specifically asked for Chinese Food.

While I have used Wonton wrappers in the past, it is not a regular event. There is a bit of skill involved, because they can dry out easily. Wonton wrappers are an egg based dough rolled out thin, like ravioli dough. I have made homemade wonton wrappers in the past, but for these Steamed Chicken Wontons I used packaged ones. They were purchased for the Crab Rangoon I put together earlier in the week.

I whipped up the Steamed Chicken Wontons using food I had on the refrigerator. They went together so easily. The longest part of the entire meal was waiting for them to steam.

My family was very impressed. They liked the flavor and, although I know The Hubs would have preferred deep fried, they liked how they were cooked. I also made a couple of dipping sauces to go with them. I am delighted that the Steamed Chicken Wontons were a hit.

Everyone will be expecting me to make these again, and I definitely will.

Steamed Chicken Wontons

  • 30 wonton wrappers
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast
  • ½ -1 cup greens (spinach, bok choy, cabbage, escarole, etc)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup green onion
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Cabbage or lettuce leaves for steaming

Dipping sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Marmalade or Apricot Preserves
  1. Place a stock pot with steamer basket (or other similar pot with steamer) on the stove. Fill ½ way with water and turn to high.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor place chicken, greens, carrot, cilantro, green onion, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger. Using multipurpose blade pulse ingredients until they are diced and combined. Do not over process and make a paste.
  3. Keeping unused wonton wrappers covered with a damp paper towel, remove one wrapper to work surface. Place one teaspoon of filling into the center of the wrapper. Using a pastry brush, brush beaten egg on 2 adjoining sides of wrapper. Bring the side that has the two sides not brushed with egg forward to the sides brushed with egg to form a triangle. Press the wonton wrapper sides together firmly to seal. Continue until you have filled all of the wonton wrappers.
  4. Place a few leaves of cabbage or lettuce on the bottom of the steamer. Lay 5-7 filled and prepared wontons onto the leaves. Place the lid on the steamer and steam for about 10 minutes, until the wrappers are soft and translucent.
  5. Remove wontons carefully with a slotted spoon to a platter.
  6. Continue steaming wontons until they are all cooked. You may need to replace the cabbage or lettuce leaves with fresh ones. This prevents the wontons from sticking and cuts down on them becoming gummy.
  7. Serve cooked wontons with dipping sauce.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 26, 2018 in Appetizer, Dinner Recipes

 

Tags: , , ,

Onion Straws

Onion Straws

April is National Grilled Cheese Month and April 12 is National Grilled Cheese Day. To celebrate I made a variety of Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, a Tomato Bisque, and Onion Straws. These light, crispy onion treats are sometimes called onion strings, onion crisps, or frizzled onions. Whatever you call them I call them delicious.

I have no idea why I thought onion straws would be good served with or on the soup and sandwiches. That was my thought, and it turned out to be a good one.

Let me quickly remind you that I do not have a 100% success rate with deep frying. Just go back to my Oscars Night Golden Fried Night from March. My deep fried goodies were a complete mess except for the eggs. Those Deep Fried Deviled Eggs are still being extolled.

Never one to give up or be deterred I was giving deep frying another try. I read several recipes about onion straws and knew this was going to be a successful endeavor.

The onion straws were wonderful! They were a delicious accompaniment to the soup and sandwiches. One whole onion turned out to be too much for the dinner, so I refrigerated the onion and buttermilk mixture. As it turns out Onion Straws were also a perfect complement to the grilled chicken breast and burgers that The Hubs made the following night.

Onion Straws definitely go in the win column for deep frying. These slightly sweet crunchy beauties will crown many dishes in the future.

Onion Straws

  • 1 whole onion (cut into rings)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  1. Peel onions and slice very thinly, using a mandoline slicer. If you do not have a mandline slicer carefully slice with a knife. Unlike onion rings, these do not have to be complete rings.
  2. Separate the onions and place in a low sided dish. Pour buttermilk over onions. Ensure the onions are completely submerged. Set aside and let soak for 30-60 minutes.
  3. In a separate low sided dish combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and peppers. Set aside.
  4. Fill a deep fryer or Dutch oven with oil. Heat to 375 degrees. See note below.
  5. Using a slotted spoon or fork remove some onions from the buttermilk. Transfer to flour mixture. Coat the onions completely with flour mixture. Using a separate slotted spoon, fork, or tongs shake off excess flour.
  6. Carefully drop the onions into the hot oil. Using an appropriate utensil for hot oil, move the onion straws around gently to separate. When they are evenly golden remove from hot oil to a paper towel covered platter.
  7. Repeat with remaining onions.

NOTE 1: As a rule of thumb, you need enough oil so that your food can be kept as separated as possible while cooking, and so that it can be kept fully covered by oil. Overcrowding of a deep-fryer will result in a nothing more than a soggy mess! The oil should be smoking hot before the food is added. A handy test for correct temperature is to toss in a bread cube. It should be a golden color after 30 seconds.

NOTE 2: Once you have enough cooked onions, turn off the oil. The onions in buttermilk will save if refrigerated.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 15, 2018 in Appetizer, Side Dish Recipe

 

Tags: , ,

Cookie Dough Cheese Ball

Cookie Dough Cheese Ball

The month of April is a very exciting month for food themed days. This week we have Grilled Cheese Sandwich day, which is one of my favorite. The following week we have Cheese Ball Day and Animal Cracker Day back to back on the 17th and 18th. My mother and I combined the two for a sweet treat this past week and served a Cookie Dough Cheese Ball with Animal Crackers.

My mother discovered a savory cheese ball recipe decades ago. She makes it for nearly every family dinner and oftentimes when she is asked to bring a snack.

You can find the recipe here: https://wordpress.com/post/ortsofsorts.com/647

She told me a couple of weeks back that she was in charge of snacks at her sorority meeting this past week. Being a former Activity Director at Long Term Care facilities she has a knack for using food theme days. Because of the upcoming cheese ball day, she was going to take her standard. She had decided she was going to take some Animal Crackers, too, just for fun.

My oldest daughter had told me about a Cookie Dough cheese ball she makes for parties that is sweet. She uses animal crackers and graham crackers to serve it with. I got ahold of her and got the recipe.

When mom served the sweet dip it got mostly favorable comments. Some of the women thought it was too sweet. I love sweet things and have to admit it was very sweet.

Mom invited my two youngest down to try it over the weekend. It was still, sweet. Daughter Number Three doesn’t like overly sweet things quite as much, so she was not a huge fan. Daughter Number Four did seem to like it. Both mom and I ate a bit more of the Cookie Dough Cheese Ball, for good measure.

I can think of several things I would do differently if I were to make it again. First, I would add a bit less powdered sugar. Second I would roll it entirely in the mini chips. I would also have an alternate dipper that is less sweet than animal crackers; possibly pretzels or graham crackers.

In all it was a successful cheese ball. While the savory one my mom traditionally makes is my all-time favorite I am glad to have the Cookie Dough Cheese Ball recipe, too.

Let me know if you have a favorite cheese ball recipe! Is it sweet or savory?

Sweet and Savory Cheese Balls

Sweet and Savory Cheese Balls

Cookie Dough Cheese Ball

  • 1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips (plus extra for rolling)
  • Animal Crackers (for serving)
  1. Cream together butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
  2. Add in sugars and vanilla and mix until completely combined.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Using nonstick spray, lightly coat your hands and plastic wrap. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for several hours until firm.
  5. Remove from refrigerator and roll in additional chocolate chips.
  6. Serve with animal crackers.

Note: Grahams, Chocolate Grahams, or Pretzels would also be good for dipping. Note 2: May be rolled in chopped pecans instead of or in addition to mini chips.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 9, 2018 in Appetizer, Dessert Recipes

 

Tags:

Baked Potato Skins

Baked Potato Skins

A little over a week ago I posted a game day favorite that I made for the family. I don’t always make food centered on televised sporting events. Especially if it’s a game I want to watch I would rather not be in the kitchen. Of course the pressure cooker chicken wings I made were easy and are mostly a set it and forget it food. This weekend I made a couple of somewhat more intensive game day snacks, but only slightly more work. I made baked potato skins and loaded nachos.

Because the Final Four fell on the Saturday before Easter I didn’t want to spend hours making game day food. I would be spending hours the next day making Easter dinner. Additionally I wanted to make something different than my typical game day food. We do chicken wings frequently. I have never made baked potato skins as an appetizer or game day fare. While I have made loaded nachos before I generally make Queso instead.

To start the potatoes I washed up some medium sized potatoes, prepped them, and popped them in the oven.

I got the assistance of Daughter Number Four to shred some cheese for me. It would be needed for both dishes. She also offered to cook some bacon for me. I gave in to her desire to make it in the microwave. Both recipes also called for diced green onion. I halved a few grape tomatoes for the nachos. The other big part of the nachos was a can of meatless chili I bought at the store. Typically I do not buy canned chili, however I did not want time spent or mess of cooking chili.

Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos

They both assembled fairly quickly and easily once the ingredients were prepped and the potatoes baked.

The family enjoyed the loaded nachos but was especially delighted with the baked potato skins. I can foresee these becoming a new game day staple. Chicken wings may have been dethroned!

If you are planning on watching the NCAA basketball tournament final tonight you can make either of these! Wings are still an option, and super easy in the pressure cooker.

What is your favorite game day food for sharing with family or friends? I’m always on the lookout for something new.

Baked Potato Skins

  • 6 medium sized Russet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese (grated)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 slices bacon (cooked crisp (optional))
  • Green onion (diced)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and scrub potatoes thoroughly. Poke potatoes with a form to pierce skin, about 5 times. Make a small slit in the top of the potato with a sharp knife. Lightly rub the skin of the potato with olive oil.
  2. Bake potatoes for about 1 hour in a preheated oven until tender. Remove from oven to cool slightly.
  3. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. With a large spoon gently remove pulp (inside of potato) and set aside in a bowl. *
  4. Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Place potato skins on oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Top each generously with shredded cheese. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted and edges are brown.
  5. Remove from oven and top with crumbled bacon, sour cream, and green onion. Serve warm.

Note 1: Some people discard removed insides (pulp). I save them to make mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, etc.

Note 2: These may be topped with a variety of toppings. Chili, jalapeño, shredded pork, additional types of cheese, etc. They can also be dipped in salsa, garlic butter, etc. They are very versatile.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 2, 2018 in Appetizer

 

Tags: ,

Pressure Cooker Chicken Wings

Pressure Cooker Chicken Wings

Friday was a full day. I had things to do for work. There were things to do for family. The entire week has been nonstop. Food was a big part of that. So I decided to take a break. It’s March Madness and some big games were to be played. I opted for something easy that seems typical of watching basketball; chicken wings.

Right now you must be thinking I’m crazy. Chicken wings and easy do not seem synonymous. Have you ever made homemade Buffalo chicken wings?

I can remember as a young person living at home with my parents when my dad first heard of, ate, and then made these at home. That was when chicken wings came from the butcher as an entire chicken wing. Dad had to cut them just right. Then came the soaking, dipping, deep frying, and draining of the wings. More sauce was applied after that. Of course they were not complete without the obligatory homemade Blue Cheese dip, celery and carrot sticks.

While I still love Buffalo wings, they have a bit more kick than my family likes. Tonight I made 2 kinds of wings. Both were easy because I made them, mostly, in the pressure cooker.

The ultimate finished product requires a little baking time followed by a couple of minutes under the broiler.

The first flavor was the obligatory family favorite: barbeque. I got a little bit adventuresome with the second flavor. I made Root Beer wings. Everyone loved the bbq wings. The root beer wings looked odd. They were very pale, even after being under the broiler. I made an executive decision to re-do them. I brushed them with some barbeque sauce and baked them for a little bit longer and then broil them again. This was money. They were so amazing. The sweetness from the root beer combined with the tang and spice of the bbq – so good.

So that’s the recipe I will give you. It is so quick and easy to make that anyone with an electric pressure cooker can do it. Did I mention that I use a package of frozen chicken wings? The pre-cut kind. So, anyone really can make these!

Pressure Cooker Chicken Wings

  • 1 2.5 pound bag of frozen chicken wings
  • 1 cup of Root Beer
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ – ½ cup barbeque sauce
  1. Grease the inside of an electric pressure cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Pour frozen chicken wings into pressure cooker pot. Add brown sugar and root beer. Make sure there is about 1” of liquid in the pot. If there is not, add water.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Turn pressure cooker on to the meat / chicken setting. Ensure the pressure valve is closed. Cook until timer goes off. Turn pressure cooker off and open pressure release valve.
  3. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. When pressure has released, carefully remove wings from pressure cooker and place on baking sheet. Brush tops with barbecue sauce. Bake for about 8 minutes. Turn oven broiler to high and broil for 2 minutes. Remove from oven to cool before serving. Sauce suggestions: Barbeque sauce, Ranch dressing, or sour cream.

These also pair well with beer.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 24, 2018 in Appetizer

 

Tags: ,

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Yesterday was National Artichoke Day. I don’t know as much as I probably should about artichokes. They weren’t widely eaten in Kansas during my youth. In fact, the first time I had an artichoke was when I visited an aunt and uncle in Seattle. They introduced me to steamed artichokes with melted butter. They were intriguing, but not something that I craved afterward. The second time I tried artichokes was as marinated hearts in antipasto my dad made. I liked those. For artichoke day I chose to make a very simple but delicious Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip.

I had never made a spinach artichoke dip previously, although I have eaten plenty. It happens to be Daughter Number Ones go-to appetizer when we go out, just above fried pickles. So, I know what a good spinach artichoke dip should taste like.

I was perusing some old recipe books the other day and ran across a slow cooker spinach dip that sounded interesting. On the opposite page was an artichoke dip. This cookbook is old enough that the current version of spinach artichoke dip probably hadn’t been popularized. I was looking at these recipes and comparing them to dips I have eaten. I decided I needed to create my own.

As last night’s dinner was cooking I threw the ingredients I had chosen for the dip into the slow cooker and turned it on high. By the time dinner was done, eaten, and the tables cleared the dip was done. It was perfect timing because the NCAA basketball tournament is a good reason to eat dip right after dinner!

Apparently Daughters 3 and 4 are not as big of fans of spinach artichoke dip as their oldest sister. Daughter Number Four said that she doesn’t like artichokes. D3, as we all know, doesn’t like any vegetable. Surprisingly The Hubs was hesitant, too. Whatever; that means more for me. They did all try it. Of course they decided they liked it.

I sent a picture to Daughter Number One just to make her jealous. It worked. As a kind-hearted and loving mother I did tell her that it was easy enough even she could make it.

Do you have a favorite appetizer? What about pub food? I can guarantee that this is one appetizer I’m glad I made. This is something that is so easy I can whip it up as a last minute snack for the family. It’s tasty enough I can take it to a party. Big Win!

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 can artichokes in brine (chopped)
  • 1 10- oz frozen spinach (drained)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and turn to high. Stir to combine.
  2. When melted, turn off or turn to low. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Serve with pita or tortilla chips.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2018 in Appetizer

 

Tags: ,