Monday, May 11, 2009


One of our favorite weekend snacks is Artichoke Dip. I probably whip some up every other weekend or so. It is very easy, very tasty, and a bit fattening, so serve it with veggies to dip and tell yourself that makes it healthier.

Artichoke Dip

6 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 c. cream cheese
1/4 c. mayonnaise

salt and pepper
shredded Parmesan

Put the artichoke hearts (remember to drain them or you'll have a soupy mess, believe me) in a food processor with the cream cheese, mayo, salt and pepper and blend until its just a little chunky. I'll often add frozen chopped spinach, shredded mozzarella cheese, and other spices (garlic is good, as is basil) to this. And sometimes I'll use plain low fat yogurt instead of mayo. My measurements above are approximate, so if your dip is looking to thick add more mayo or yogurt.

Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with Parmesan, or use breadcrumbs like I did here since I was out of Parmesan. You just want something to form a nice crust on the top. I also used three ramekins rather than one dish this time. Bake in a 375° oven for about 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the Parmesan or what have you has become golden.

Serve with fresh veggies (broccoli, sugar snap peas, baby carrots, tomatoes), crackers, or some good sourdough. Mangia!

And do yourself a favor: go to Costco and pick up the roasted garlic cheddar. Its a whitish cheese with a green rind, behind the dip in the picture above. If you like garlic, this cheese is fantastic (and stinking up my fridge). If you don't like garlic you probably don't want to come to my house for a while.

* * * * *

I took the pups for a walk on Saturday, one we've done quite a few times in the past. Its only about two miles round trip, but I think Mac is turning into a real bulldog and this might have been his last big walk for the summer. The heat is just too much for the little guy, and on the return trip we were ambling along at a snail's pace. Its too bad because he loves to get out in the public where he can be properly adored by everyone who will stop to say hi.

We got to the park, got a drink of water at the dog fountain, and then sat on the hill under a tree for a while. I poured a water bottle over Mac to cool him down a bit, and I'm sure the cool grass felt nice. Check out that tongue lolling out the side of his giant mouth.

Ayla hopped around us, since she's the Energizer Bunny. She loves running in the grass, even when she tries to corner and wipes out, skidding along on her face. She's... special. I like this picture where she's running because she looks rabid, vicious, and insane. And you can see her pretty teeth.

She's really just a big scaredy-cat, sweetie of a goofball though.

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