Monday, February 13, 2012

Yummy Spinach Dip!

So as everyone (well most normal people who aren't living under a rock) in North America probably knew...two weekends ago was the Super Bowl. I am VERY happy to announce due to my total dislike for anything New England Patriots (sorry Jen!) that the New York Giants rallied late in the game to pull off a 21-17 victory against New England in Super Bowl XLVI!! GO GIANTS!

I will admit that I am not a die hard Giants fan. Growing up in Southwest Florida my whole life I am a through thick and thin Miami Dolphins girl so much so that it is represented not only on the front but on the back of my car as well! With that being said, as much as I LOVE my fins...I dislike (I'm saying dislike because I am trying to be polite!) the Patriots just as much along with there QB Tom Brady. So I will pretty much route for whoever they are playing against! :)

Anyway, I get side tracked easily! So two weekends was the Super Bowl and we ended up going over to some good friends of ours house to watch the game and I decided to bring over Spinach Dip. Now this isn't my original Spinach Dip recipe that I have used for several years this is actually a dip that I started making after my cousin Kasey brought it over one time to a party that we were having at our house and it was so good (and I don't even like spinach!) that I had to have the recipe! People like me who don't even like spinach or spinach dip really like this dip that's how GOOD it is. Trust me!

The original recipe comes off the back of the Lipton Vegetable Soup mix box with one little alteration which I am positive is what makes this dip as fabulous as it is. First let me give you the recipe and then I will tell you what we do differently....

Spinach Dip


  • envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Vegetable Soup Mix
  • container (8 oz.) sour cream or 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
  • can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)


Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; chill 2 hours.
Serve with your favorite dippers.

Now as I stated before I do a few things different (not anything I came up on my own mind you but its still different.) I don't use the optional water chestnuts because I don't care for them but if you like them by all means give it a whirl! The one thing different I do and I believe Kasey found this out on accident because she bought the wrong ingredient one time but I could be mistaken about that, is we use frozen CREAMED spinach instead of just regular and it makes it a million times better in my opinion. It just adds this extra creaminess that is just simply heaven! Another thing is I don't cook my spinach. I'm not sure what Kasey does but I just never have since frozen spinach is already cooked anyway I just let it thaw out then add it. I don't even squeeze dry it because since you aren't cooking it it doesn't get all that extra liquid and I don't want to loose any of the yummy creamy part. 
I do usually double the recipe when I make it because a) it goes SO fast at parties you really want the extra dip and b) I usually place my dip in a bread bowl right before serving and after I have hollowed out the crust If I make just one batch of the dip it usually doesn't fill the whole bowl like I like it to! :) 
So there you have it. At your next get-together try this easy and inexpensive dip. I know you will love it as much as we all do! 
As always if you end up trying it let me know what you think! 
Have a good week!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TWD: Baking With Julia - White Loaves!

Today kicks off the very first week of the new Tuesdays with Dorie blog group that I am apart of. As I said before in my previous post we will be baking recipes from the Baking with Julia cookbook by Dorie Greenspan. Our first recipe was for you guessed it...White Loaves of bread! This weeks challenge was hosted by Laurie and Jules, the creators of Tuesdays with Dorie, and you can find a copy of the recipe here on Jules' blog - Someone's in the Kitchen! Every Tuesday when a recipe is due to be posted there will be a different host with a link to his or her blog to get the recipe OR if you are feeling really adventurous you could buy the book HERE and join in the fun! :)

Now the whole reason why I entered in this blog group in the first place is because I was  am hoping it will make me a better baker. I have tried to make homemade bread once before (it was a Barefoot Contessa recipe for Honey White Bread) and while it wasn't a complete bomb it wasn't fabulous either. Especially the 2nd loaf that I froze!

I have read a few of the other blogs that were posted today on the TWD:BWJ blog to see how everyone else did on their loaves and I have to admit it makes me feel a little intimidated cause most of these people can really bake and where commenting on what a breeze this dough was to put together. I mean I didn't think it was hard but believe me when I tell you I had flour EVERYWHERE by the time those loaves went into the oven! LOL

I was also a little worried about my stand mixer. Its new to me I have only used it a couple of times and one step of the directions said to "beat and knead at medium speed for about ten minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic." Well I read somewhere not to go over speed 2 when kneading and that you only have to knead the dough for like 5 minutes total or else you could burn up your motor. Does anybody know anything about this?? 

All in all I think it was a fairly successful recipe. I think next time I will definitely be trying a few of the suggestions to add a cinnamon swirl to one of the loaves that sounds delicious! Here is a picture of my White Loaves....  

Till next time TWD Fans....Happy Baking! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Four Cheese Pasta with Peas and Ham!

Before I get into the recipe for today I thought I would let you all in on a little secret of mine. I am a cookbook/magazine JUNKIE! There I said it and I feel a little better now that  its out in the open! LOL 

But seriously guys when I say I have a problem I am not joking around. I have cookbooks everywhere (one of the reasons I was trying to talk my hubby into getting me an ipad for xmas was so that I didn't have to have cookbooks everywhere because I could get digital ones!! ) and about a million and one magazine subscriptions. I can't help it I am a sucker for a good cookbook and magazine! 

Anyway, todays recipe is one we actually had last week for dinner and I got it out of I believe December's Food Network Magazine. I love FN Magazine but I rarely ever make any of the recipes cause they usually contain ingredients that the guy with the killer dimples (my hubby!) doesn't like. If it was up to Danny we would have spaghetti every night and that would be ok with him. Me I need variety I can't eat the same thing ALL the time! 

So here you go:

 Four Cheese Pasta with Peas & Ham


  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces penne
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (1 scant cup)
  • 3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces fontina cheese, grated (1 scant cup)
  • 3 ounces deli ham, in 1 piece, diced
  • 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until very al dente, about 8 minutes, adding the peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg white, evaporated milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
Drain the pasta and peas; wipe the pot dry and return the pasta and peas to the pot. Add the butter and stir to coat. Add the cheddar, mozzarella, fontina and the egg mixture. Place the pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes, adding the ham halfway through cooking (don't let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble). Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the parmesan.

**This dish was very tasty and we will probably have it again sometime in the future but next time I think I will boil the pasta a little longer. Your not supposed to cook it all the way because it continues to cook in the pan with the cheese and everything else but that did NOT happen with ours. So while the flavoring was good, it would have helped if the noodles were cooked all the way!

Well that's all I got for today! TGIF ya'll and HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY to ME!! Can't wait to go out tonight with all our friends!!

Have a GREAT weekend!