Well folks, I've started getting requests for specific recipes and tips for making things so I have decided to turn it into a periodic "segment" (if you will) for the blog. Happy birthday "Ask Lauren!" This first go around comes from my friend, Natalie. (Thanks Nat!)
Natalie asks: I wanted to check and see if you had a good recipe for spinach artichoke dip or just artichoke dip?
I'm glad you asked, Natalie. ;) I actually do have a terrific recipe for spinach artichoke dip that comes from my husband's family. It has a bit of a kick so if that's not really your thing, use mild rotel tomatoes and omit the cayenne pepper. If you really like a kick, adjust the rotel heat and amount of cayenne pepper to fit your taste!
Spinach Artichoke Dip
1-10oz. box chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1-14oz. can artichokes, chopped
1-8oz. bar cream cheese, softened
1 cup real mayo
2 cups parmesan cheese plus a little extra to top dip
1-10oz. can rotel tomatoes
garlic powder, to taste (I use 2-3 shakes)
cayenne pepper, to taste (I use 2-3 shakes)
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and transfer to an oven safe dish. Shake additional parmesan cheese over top. Bake in a 375 degree oven until bubbly and starting to brown on top, about 20-30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, triscuits or other crackers, or crusty bread. My favorite? Panera's Asiago Cheese Demi Loaf.....yumm!
This is a super easy dip that had ALWAYS been a crowd pleaser for me. I always get lots of compliments and questions about what's in it that makes it so different (that would be the rotel and cayenne pepper, by the way). Another fun trick to transform this delicious dip into poppable appetizers is to mix it up and then spoon it into mini phyllo shells and bake until bubbly and brown on top (turn oven down to 350 degrees if baking this way). Delicious!
Keep the questions coming! If I don't know the answer or don't have a recipe to meet your needs I will research and go to my "test kitchen" (ironically also my regular kitchen) and get one for you!