When my husband and I were dating, he was always amazed that I could make a meal from appetizers versus ordering a large entree off the menu. Yes, personally I preferred the bacon wrapped scallops and crab dip over the shrimp scampi! I think he soon realized this part of me would never change as many times a side salad and appetizers make the perfect meal for me. Plus, isn't it an excellent way to add more interesting tastes to your palate? Now he has come over to the "dark" side and we've enjoyed many evenings satisfying our hunger with appetizers as a meal. One of our hands down favorites is spinach artichoke dip and I've always searched for the perfect recipe but have never been pleased with the results. Last year, a family friend made our favorite appetizer at Thanksgiving and I immediately asked for her recipe. I've tweeked it the last several months and am finally pleased with the creation that it has become our favorite entertaining recipe.
It seems we now stock up on the ingredients in order to whip it up quickly if we are having a "craving" or need a quick meal one night. What I love about this recipe is that it has the "perfect" amount of spinach and artichokes and neither outpowers the other.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
1-10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and juices squeezed out
1- 6-8 oz. jar of artichokes, drained and put in food processor or blender
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (reserve for topping)
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Squeeze out all liquid from thawed spinach
3. Add chopped artichokes
4. Add all remaining ingredients (except monterey jack cheese) and blend together (I use a handheld emersion blender but you can place in a large food processor or blender)
5. Place mixture into 8x8 baking dish or oval crock and bake for 20 minutes
6. After 20 minutes, take out of oven and sprinkle monterey jack cheese on top. Place back in oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
7. Enjoy with your favorite pita chips or crackers!
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