Monthly Archives: January 2014

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

I love everything about this. Artichokes, creamed spinach, a little mozz, a little cream cheese, a little sour cream – it’s so delicious, it’s gone before you know it. And it reheats really well too. I hosted my friend Missy’s birthday party this past weekend, and threw this together before all the girls showed up for the night…at 3pm. Older, but probably not wiser. :]

SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP (serves a pack of 13 “ladies”, if you include 4 pizzas, another veggie dip, mini cupcakes, a couple cases of CLs/ALs, infinite wine and champagne and a total lack of shame on any of our parts).
– 2 8 oz. packages of creamed spinach (the creamed part is key)
– 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained really well and chopped
– a package of shredded mozzarella cheese (A whole package. Yes, I know.)
– 1/3 C. cream cheese, softened
– 1/3 C. sour cream
– 1/4 C. parmesan
– 1/4 C. mayo (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cook creamed spinach according to package directions. Put into a bowl.

3. Add chopped artichoke hearts to the spinach and stir to combine.


4. To the spinach/artichoke mixture, add the cream cheese, sour cream, mozz, parmesan and optional mayo.  Stir it all together and spread evenly in an oven-proof serving dish.


5. Bake at 350 until cooked, approx. 15-20 minutes.  Remove, let cool, and serve with tortilla scoops or chips. 


Happiness – winter edition

 Bright pink manicures in December

 How cute my mom is with packaging little snacks for me

 My amazing Dad’s last day in the office and a surprise champagne celebration for him by his girls.  <3

 NYE with 2 of my favorite California guys

 Gift exchange party with my girlfriends

 Finding Maggie’s incredible peanut butter cup cheesecake bites in my purse the day after the gift exchange party

 ORGANIC EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. It was honestly ridiculous how happy looking at everything in this cart kept making me.

  

 How in love my Mom and Dad still are after 36 years together

 Saturday celebrations that begin at 3 pm

 My favorite girl’s 4th birthday and her awesome approach to cake-eating.

Wine Club dinner at the Westmoreland Club – at least 2 things on that menu that I’d never had before.

New TV. Comprehensive installation directions. Somebody who actually knew how to assemble it.
Snowstorms (although, okay, I’m just about over them at this point).

I love you, winter! Looking forward to missing you when you go away real soon.  xo

My Dad’s “Better than Any Other You’ll Ever Have” French Onion Soup

For years I tried – and failed – to find a french onion soup that rivaled my Dad’s. It’s not just that he makes it and it’s so comforting it makes me feel like home, but it’s just hands-down delicious: perfect balance of onions and broth, flavor and cheese. There is nobody – no restaurant, no chef, no person – who makes this better than he does. It’s been FREEZING with this polar vortex lately – this is a perfect time to try one of the best soups you’ll ever have.

As a side note – I can’t stand soggy bread, so I just dump some shredded swiss in this and it melts on contact, but this soup does look so pretty with that little island of bread and melted cheese!

FRENCH ONION SOUP (serves at least 6)
— By the way. This is not exactly a recipe you’d file under “healthy”.  Enjoy.
– 1 stick butter (yup, I said it)
– 2-3 red onions and 2-3 vidalia onions, sliced into thinner half moons
– 3 cans beef broth
– 2 cans beef consomme
– 3 bay leaves
– 1/4 C. red wine
– 1.5 C. shredded swiss cheese
– rounds of toasted baguettes 

1. In the largest pan you have, melt the butter over medium heat. 


2. Slice the onions into thin half moons, then add to the melted butter. You don’t want to sweat them, you just want them to soften a little. So no salt needed.

3. When onions are softened but still have some bite to them (that’s the master at work, right there!), open up the cans of beef broth and beef consomme and add to the pan.


 4. Add the bay leaves, then the red wine.

5. Bring the whole mix up to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Simmah.

6. Shred the swiss, cut and toast the french baguette rounds in the oven.  Turn the oven to broil.

7. Scoop some of the soup into an oven-proof bowl. If you don’t like the soggy (but pretty) island of bread and cheese, you can just mix the cheese right into the bowl. If you do, though, place a round of bread on top of the soup, then top with shredded cheese. 

8. My Dad swears the key to melting, not burning, the cheese is to leave the oven door open. I’m taking his word for it.


 



9. When cheese is melted, let cool a bit (it’ll be super hot) and enjoy!!!  You’ll never go back to restaurant french onion soup again.


Mom <3
If you get the bay leaf, it’s good luck!

World’s Greatest Pumpkin Dip


I had this pumpkin dip years ago with KOB at a party in Manhattan, and I’ve been making it ever since. I’ve taken it to parties in three different states and countless cities, and I’ve given out this recipe more times than I can tell you. It’s not the healthiest, but hey – pumpkin’s good for you, right?  Anything that tastes this good deserves a pass, in any case.

WORLD’S GREATEST PUMPKIN DIP (topped with pomegranate seeds – optional)
– 1 15-oz can Libby’s pure pumpkin
– 2 C powdered sugar (make sure this is powdered, not regular)
– 12 oz. cream cheese (1.5 sticks)
– 1 tbsp. cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp. ginger
– pomegranate seeds (optional)

1. Let cream cheese soften, then combine with powdered sugar.




2. Add pumpkin puree and spices, blend. A hand blender really helps mix this all together. You want to combine it all so that there are hardly any lumps at all. 



3. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to let it all combine.

4. Top with pomegranate seeds (this is optional, but pretty – see this post for how to remove seeds from a pomegranate without making a mess) and serve with cinnamon-sugar chips, ideally. Get ready to give this recipe to just about everyone who tastes it. 

Happy 2014.  <3