Bren’s parents are visiting from Colorado this week, so before an awesome dinner at AV, we hosted our parents at our place for drinks and apps. I made a cheese plate, roasted butternut squash soup shooters and that World’s Greatest Pumpkin Dip that Brendan’s been dying to try. Oh, and attempted to make Moscow Mules using Bren’s new copper bday mugs, but that may not have been the best cocktail ever. We’ll just have to practice. 
Happy birthday to the smartest, kindest, funniest, most interesting man I’ve ever dated. I love you, Journalist Brendan Gibbons!


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. 

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