Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I think I am pretty good at reading my wife. I know when she is hungry, upset, happy, anxious, and I think I have a pretty good idea of what she really loves to eat. She gets me to, but in so many different ways. I know that I am the cook in the house, but I think I am so much more than that. Sure yesterday I rocked out homemade crepes for my wife, a Thai curry fish recipe, as well as a Thai beef salad that I knew would be a bend to her knees on first taste, but I also think that I provide some other good things such as a great sense of humor, a good hug, and an emotion and discipline to guide my kids through their early times in life (and hopefully much longer than that). My wife has introduced me to things, or maybe reintroduced me to things, that I would have probably never had ever wanted again, and this recipe is one of those. It’s the classic spinach and artichoke dip.

This is one of those dips that she fell in love with back in the late 1980’s, or early 1990’s at the chain TGIF. It’s that iconic image when opening their menu back then. The spinach and artichoke dip. Heck, we even recall going out to eat there when I returned home (I wasn’t going to say no) and sure enough that was ordered as an appetizer.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe
Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe

As I have been home or a couple of weeks, I have been purging things in my refrigerator and cupboard (and doing a pretty good job at it), and this was a perfect creation to use up a can of artichokes, cheese, breadcrumbs, mayo, sour cream, and a bag of spinach my kid was so gung ho to use up for lunch. Do you think he touched the spinach? No.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, quartered, drained, chopped
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, cooked, strained, cooled, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated with microplane
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
  • crackers, bread, vegetables, or other dipping items that you desire

This recipe is way too easy. The hardest part is probably waiting. Waiting for the spinach to cook and cool, or the dip to be  cooked and ready. Seriously.

Start by adding the spinach to a pot. Add in the water and bring this to a medium heat. Basically cook down the spinach until softened, only a few minutes, then strain, press out all of the water, and let it cool.

During this time, get a mixing bowl. If you want to use your electric mixer feel free. Add in the chopped artichokes, half of the cheese, mayo, sour cream, garlic, and salt. Give this a good spin or mix. Yes, we are still waiting on that spinach to cool.

As we wait, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and get your casserole dish out. OK, now that the spinach is cooled, and chopped, toss this into the mixing bowl, and give another good mix.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe
Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe

Scoop the mixture into the casserole dish, add the remaining cheese to lightly cover the top, then sprinkle on the breadcrumbs.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until that top is nice and golden and bubbly.

Get ready. You know that molten hot dip you know you shouldn’t dig into but can’t resist? Yeah, this is one of those.

This dip is a crowd pleaser. It’s best served right out of the oven, scorching hot, or warmed. As much as my wife loves it, I will admit that I like it to in moderation. With that said, it’s a dip that is hard to walk away from. You might say things like ‘That’s it for me’, ‘I’m out’, ‘Get that away from me’, but one thing is for sure, I will find you coming back for another swipe of a veg, cracker, or chip. Yep, it’s that good. I hope you enjoy!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, quartered, drained, chopped
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, cooked, strained, cooled, and chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated with microplane
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup fine bread crumbs
  • crackers, bread, vegetables, or other dipping items that you desire
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the spinach to a pot. Add in the water and bring this to a medium heat. Basically cook down the spinach until softened, only a few minutes, then strain, press out all of the water, and let it cool.
  2. During this time, get a mixing bowl. If you want to use your electric mixer feel free. Add in the chopped artichokes, half of the cheese, mayo, sour cream, garlic, and salt. Give this a good spin or mix. Yes, we are still waiting on that spinach to cool.
  3. As we wait, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and get your casserole dish out. OK, now that the spinach is cooled, and chopped, toss this into the mixing bowl, and give another good mix.
  4. Scoop the mixture into the casserole dish, add the remaining cheese to lightly cover the top, then sprinkle on the breadcrumbs.
  5. Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until that top is nice and golden and bubbly.
  6. Get ready. You know that molten hot dip you know you shouldn’t dig into but can’t resist? Yeah, this is one of those.

 

Garlic Cilantro Lime Dip

I’m a real sucker for sauces, salsas, and dips. I can’t say that everyone else in my family is the same that way. So as I typically do, I scavenge through my refrigerator looking for things that can be used up, or things that I can come up with in terms of new ideas. I remember this clearly. It was taco Tuesday night at my house. Who can forget taco Tuesday’s right? This is when I found some cilantro and some sour cream that needed to be used before it went bad. Are you like me when it comes to sour cream? You use a tablespoon or so, then it sits there only for you to keep looking at the expiration date? Well, no more!

Garlic Cilantro Lime Dip Recipe
Garlic Cilantro Lime Dip Recipe

This recipe is way too simple to put together and lasts a handful of days in the refrigerator. It’s great on tacos, baked potatoes, and drizzled probably on anything that sour cream would lend a hand to.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • salt to taste

That’s it! What is not to love about that!

Add the cilantro, garlic, and lime juice to a food processor. Pulse and spin that baby until everything is nice and fine.

Garlic and Cilantro Lime Dip Ingredients
Garlic and Cilantro Lime Dip Ingredients

Add the sour cream to a bowl and fold in the garlic, cilantro, and lime mixture. Give it a good stir until everything is nice and smooth. Give a taste, and season with salt.

Hope you enjoy!

Scallion and Ginger Oil

Scallions and ginger, oh my! OH MY is right. This stuff is something to be reckoned with. I normally have some sort of homemade sauce in my refrigerator, and it’s funny because we just upgraded our refrigerator, and kept our older one, primarily for all of my condiments and sauces. I swear I have an aisle of Asian condiments or ingredients, a variety of barbecue sauces, mustards, and ketchups, only to name a few. My wife is happy now that all of these condiments have their own home. But let’s get to the point. Scallion and ginger oil. Holy Moly this stuff is the bomb diggity. Super simple to make, and trust me, you will be using it on pretty much everything, well, besides chocolate chip pancakes or something along those lines, but that’s your game.

Scallion and Ginger Oil Recipe
Scallion and Ginger Oil Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of scallions, cleaned, and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of grapeseed oil, warmed
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar, to taste

I say to taste because once the mixture cools down and mixed, add more salt, soy sauce or vinegar to your liking.

Start by heating a pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the oil and let it come to a warm, if not hot temperature. Nothing smoking hot, but something you know is nice and warm.

During this time, get your other ingredients ready.

When the oil is hot, add the scallions, ginger, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar to a bowl.

Scallion and Ginger Oil Ingredients
Scallion and Ginger Oil Ingredients

Pour in the hot oil, and give a good stir. Let it come to room temperature, then taste a bit and adjust any seasoning if necessary.

Scallion and Ginger Oil
Scallion and Ginger Oil

Trust me when I say this. This stuff rocks. It’s almost the hidden umami that everyone questions when I use it, either on potatoes, omelets, or on grilled meat. It’s that good, and it lasts for weeks in the refrigerator.  Don’t judge me on the tomatoes, as I know they are not in season here, but we grilled some meat, had this as a side alongside some rice, and it was amazing. Simple and easy. Go for it and enjoy!

Indian Style Spiced and Glazed Cashews

I thought of just posting photos of food, but that would just be Instagram or Facebook, right? There is a rhyme to my reason, and that being said is to have this as part of my virtual memoir for my family. It’s part of that story where one of them is going to say ‘what was that awesome food Dad made that one day?’. That’s what this is about. This particular is only due to the fact that I went to Costco (yep) and purchased a crap load of cashews. Not only were they great sampling, hence why I bought them, but I figured I was going to create something out of them. When I brought them home, my wife started snacking on them, like her daily dose of almonds. I knew I made the right decision, so when my family left to run errands, I decided to come up with a spiced up cashew snack that I knew she would love (my kids, not so much).  Indian style spiced and glazed cashews that were addicting.

Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe
Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe

Let’s get this started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of plain cashews
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (make your own)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of water

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees.

Next, on a medium heat on a large skillet, add the butter, and sugar. Toss in the water and nuts and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes. You want the water to pretty much evaporate, and the butter and sugar to caramelize those nuts.

Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe
Indian Spiced and Glazed Cashews Recipe

Excellente. Toss those suckers as well as you don’t want those cashews to burn. Adjust the heat as necessary but keep them from burning.

Once you have a great glaze on those cashews, remove them from the heat, and add them to a large bowl (or whatever holds the amount of cashews) and toss in the spice mix.

Toss well, or use a spoon to make sure the glaze and spice gets all over those nuts.

Line a baking sheet, or in my case a cast iron skillet, with parchment paper, and layer the spiced cashews.

Place into the oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until they look delicious and you cannot wait any longer.

You want to talk about great Indian spices, and an awesome nut, well sit around a small bowl of these and you have it going on. I hope you enjoy!