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  1. Thursday, August 14

    Featured Recipe: Spinach Artichoke Dip

    I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe with you yet. I’m a Spinach Artichoke Dip junkie and I LOVE my recipe for it. This is seriously good dip.


    First, the recipe. Then, a few tips based on my own trial and error.

    Spinach Artichoke Dip
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese
    • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
    • ~6 handfuls of spinach, chopped a bit then sautéed
    • 4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    • Splash of tabasco sauce or a few shakes of cayenne pepper
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl then transfer to a casserole dish.
    3. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
    4. Serve with corn chips, baguette, fresh pita, pita chips...YUM.

    TIPS:

    – Use FRESH parmesan cheese. This is important for the consistency.


    – I buy quartered artichoke hearts and then just break them apart with my fingers. Saves you from having to wash a cutting board and knife!


    – If you’re making this for yourself and aren’t too worried about presentation, mix the stuff right in the dish you’re going to cook it in. Again, cuts down on dishes to wash! HOWEVER….if you want the dish to look nice, mix it in a bowl first then put in the dish…otherwise you end up with stuff cooking on the side of the dish.


    – Definitely saute your spinach before mixing it in to get the water out. 6 handfuls will seem like a lot, but it really cooks down. If you don’t want to bother with the saute step, just buy canned spinach and use about 1/3-1/2 of the can, but make sure you drain it!

    – This is not the healthiest recipe. If you want, you can use low-fat mayo and cream cheese. But, I say just go full fat and indulge!


  2. Wednesday, August 13

    I Heart New York…mostly

    I’m home! After 5 weeks of travel craziness, I am actually HOME. It’s nice to be here, but the trip was completely wonderful and I’m sad it’s over.


    Monday before we left town, my dad and the girls ventured into NYC with me to have lunch with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend. We grabbed a quick bite at Terramare Cafe on the upper east side. The food was tasty, especially the fresh parmesan cheese on my dad’s pasta. Delizioso! But, seriously, what is with the cost of food in NYC? I can’t believe how much you can spend simply on food!!! This is why ‘I heart New York…mostly.’

    In fact, let’s play a little game. See if you can guess how much the Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza (personally-sized pizza, mind you) & Artichoke Paremesan Panini were. Give up? $17 each! CRAZY! I mean, it was good and that parmesan cheese ruled, but really? $17? Gotta love New York.


  3. Sunday, August 10

    Week 81 Menu

    Ah, I’m in New Jersey…you know what that means. GOOD bagels. I love you, Chester Bagel. (If you’re a Jersey Girl (or Boy)…you should really go to Chester. Cute little town and, of course, great bagels!)


    We actually fly HOME this week, so I’m going to have to be responsible for my family’s nutrition once again. Bummer!

    MONDAY:
    – Leftovers at my parents (after some great food this weekend!)

    TUESDAY:
    – Flying home…so, definitely eating out

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Going away party for our friends…I have to bring a side dish…maybe Artichoke Dip & chips (and then I can share my recipe with you later this week!)

    THURSDAY:
    – Crêpes (in honor of our trip that is sadly OVER)

    FRIDAY:
    Margherita Pizza

    SATURDAY:
    Asian Spinach Salad

    SUNDAY:
    – Leftovers

    Now, let’s see what YOU’RE eating this week!


  4. Friday, August 8

    I won the Gelato Lotto!

    Seriously, if there was a Gelato Lotto, I hit the jackpot. My sister Anne worked as an intern for Ciao Bella Gelato this summer. When our families got together on Cape Cod this past week, Anne brought 21 pints of gelato for us to sample. That’s right, folks, TWENTY-ONE. It was awesome.


    What made the whole thing even sweeter is that Ciao Bella’s gelato is scrumptious! The flavors are very rich and, well, scrumptious! And everything is all natural. My personal favorite was Key Lime with Graham Cracker Swirl. (I don’t want to admit how much of that I ate, so I won’t.) Ooo, and the Blackberry Cabernet was soooooo good.


    Anne’s internship is done and I’m not getting paid for this, so believe me when I tell you this is great gelato. Go buy some! It’s a perfect summer treat.

    You can find Ciao Bella Gelato at stores like Whole Foods, as well as Ciao Bella scoop shops and various restaurants. Click here to search for locations.

    Flavors pictures: Blackberry Cabernet, Coconut, Blood Orange


  5. Song of the Week: Jack Johnson

    I know you all know I love Jack Johnson and today’s post is not news, but I went to his concert this week and it was GREAT. I’ve seen him a few times before and Jack never disappoints. Seriously, that guy is just cool.

    The concert this week was really fun. Zach Gill from ALO played piano/keyboard for all the songs and it added a really great sound to all the music. Loved it. We left the concert before the encore to beat the crazy traffic out of the parking lot, but when we got to the car we could hear Jack singing solo with his guitar. It was quiet except the music. A great way to end the night!

    Anyway, here’s a link to the new album, Sleep Through the Static. Although, I think Brushfire Fairytales will always be my fave. (click the links to hear samples and/or buy the MP3s)

    PS – I almost took Cate to the concert. There were crazy storms that day, though, so ix-nay on the ate-cay. Which was a good thing. For some reason I forgot concerts are LOUD. Cate would have hated the decibel levels, even if it was “Curious George’s Daddy” singing to her. 🙂


  6. Tuesday, August 5

    Featured Recipe: Skillet Peaches à la Mode

    I’m staying with Nate’s gradmother this week. She always has a doctor’s-office-worthy selection of magazines to peruse while relaxing by the sea. I couldn’t help but notice the cover of this month’s Better Homes & Gardens. The featured recipe looks summery, simple and sweet. Perfect!


    I’m the queen of cheat in the kitchen…if there’s an easier way to do something and it still tastes good, I’m on it. I think this recipe is going to be perfect for me. I can’t wait to try it. I’m really hoping peach season will be in full swing when I arrive in New Jersey later this week!

    And you better believe I’ll be trying this recipe with other fruits, too. Ah, the possibilities!

    (I’ve linked to the recipe on BHG above, or you can find it on my Recipes-Sweet Things page.)


  7. Sunday, August 3

    Week 80 Menu…I’m Back (kind of)

    Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been so quiet this week. No Internet access at our cottage on the Cape and, I must admit, it was a welcome repose. Sadly, our Cape week is over. Here’s Anna hopping a boat back to real life.


    I’m actually still traveling for the next 10 days, but it’s going to be quieter time with family, and perhaps even some cooking? We shall see…

    MONDAY:
    – Clam Chowder at Jamie’s Pub in North Scituate, MA

    TUESDAY:
    – See if I can convince Grammy to let me cook for her

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Jack Johnson concert!

    THURSDAY:
    – Driving to NJ…hopefully my mama will have a lovely dinner waiting…hint hint 🙂

    FRIDAY-SUNDAY:
    – With family in NJ

    Last week was awesome…so many menus and comments! (I will certainly be perusing your menus if I actually DO cook this week). It’s time once again to post your menus…bring it on!