Sunday, January 23, 2011

Football Fare

I love cowboys. Simply put, they make me happy. Actually, I love cowboys so much that I don't even care if they're dressed like Santa and it's the end of January: I will wear my cowboy apron and be happy. So, that's exactly what I did - all weekend. 

This afternoon, I tied my apron on to try out a new dip with hopes that it'd wow the husband and be good enough to take to our neighbor's Super Bowl party. We love spinach and artichoke dip (not as much as I love cowboys, but it's still good), so when I saw Ellie Krieger's recipe for a lightened up version, I had to try it. 

I bought all of the necessary ingredients - from the frozen artichokes to the Neufchatel - this morning and was really looking forward to following the recipe from start to finish. (I have a tendency to stray from recipes, but knowing that I wanted a good dish to pass, I thought I should stick to the original.) So with the husband and the dog man in the garage doing whatever it is boys do in garages, Miss Stella and I set out to make Ellie's Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip.

I preheated the oven and cooked the onions and garlic over medium heat until they were so fragrant my mouth watered.

Then it was time to whip out the food processor. (Is using the food processor ever going to get old? Really?) Basically, all of the ingredients get thrown in the processor and mixed until smooth. This step probably took a whole 20 seconds. And the dip was beginning to look so good.

I sprayed my dish and used a spatula to spread the dip around. (And actually, there was so much dip - my cookbook said the recipe made 12 servings - that I thought I'd scoop some out and freeze it. The husband says I'm obsessed with freezing things and that our little freezer is too full to feed my addiction, but I did it anyway. I guess I'll let you know in a couple of weeks how it thawed.)

Before the oven
About 15 minutes after I'd started, my dip was ready to go in the oven. I was feeling quite good about myself: I had easily thrown together a quick dip filled with healthy ingredients, and I was 25 minutes away from serving the husband a fun treat, perfect for our afternoon of football watching. 

After the oven
As you can see, it didn't look much different when it came out of the oven than it did when it went in. But it was ooey and gooey and warm. The cheese, even though there was only about 1/2 cup of part-skim mozzarella in it, was visible and stringy when I spooned the dip out of the casserole dish. I was pretty happy with the dish so far and called the husband in from the garage.

Sure, it looked great and was easy to put together, but the husband's opinion was what mattered most. He knows I've been searching for a football-party-appropriate dish to serve to the neighbors that'll help them like me. 

"Well, it's nothing to write home about," he told me with a straight face. "I don't mean to be mean, but it's not that great. You used healthy stuff, didn't you?" I was caught. I wasn't trying to pull a fast one on him, but I was really hoping I could make a good dip without all the fat. 

We ate our fair share of the dip and cursed the TV as we watched the Bears lose (I knew I should have worn my team jacket from elementary school for good luck). But the dish wasn't that great. If sitting on the couch in my cowboy apron couldn't make me love that dip, I don't think anything can.


  1. Oh man, I hate it when something doesn't turn out like you hope it will. I'm a huge fan of spinach dips too. I looked at the ingredient list and can't find a reason that it wouldn't have tasted good though. It might be as simple as adding a splash of lemon juice, honestly. You used reduced fat, not fat free, so the flavor should still be there. It looks gorgeous.

  2. My thoughts exactly! I'd expect the dip to taste awful if I used fat-free ingredients, but I honestly thought this one sounded really good. I might try your advice on the lemon juice. I've got tons of dip left, so I might as well experiment!


Thanks for taking the time out of your day to show my space a little love.


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