People Make the Party and So Does Spinach!

Vegetables, not exactly healthy when mixed with cheese and put in a French bread loaf.  It makes for a great party dish though!

I wasn’t sure that I was going to make this as we had a ton of food already.  I showed this Pinterest pic of a yummy bread loaf with spinach dip to my friend Tracy and she said, “Get in that kitchen!  We need it!”  So I obeyed and the result was pretty amazingly yummy.  It was made with love, so that usually reduces the calories and we dove into it like cave men, so it’s “paleo”.

Recipe used was Stuffed Spinach Dip French Bread from Carlsbad Cravings.com on Pinterest.  Apparently it’s a retro recipe originally published in 1950 by Lipton on the back of the vegetable soup mix packet.

INGREDIENTS
1 loaf French bread
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained/patted dry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use reduced-fat)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

i didn’t use the 1/2 chopped bell pepper or the paprika that the author uses.  I’m not a fan of either even though they add pretty color.  Since I wanted to eat it and not just look at it, I left them out of this recipe.

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take the middle of the bread out to create a bowl.  Set aside the bread.  I saved the bread that I cut out.
In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat.  Sauté the onions, then add the garlic.

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Add the spinach, pesto Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and mayonnaise.  Leave the heat on and mix thoroughly until the spinach is warm.  Reduce heat to low and stir in cream cheese until melted. Stir in sour cream, Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese until combined.

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When all is combined, place it in the bread bowl and spread mozzarella cheese over the top.

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Bake on a baking tray at 350 F degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden.

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You’re supposed to let it sit for about five minutes before diving in, but I’m not sure those directions were followed?  We took it out of the oven and dug into it.  We tried to cut the bread but learned it would have been good to cut it all the way through before baking.  It was really tasty any way you slice or try to slice it.

Anyone else has a party dip bread loaf recipe?  Share it here and I’ll make it for the next gathering!  It’s just about Palm Springs season for the gang.

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Sparkling Strawberries

A friend of mine had a few friends over recently.  Several of us haven’t seen each other since before Early December so there was much need to celebrate and catch up!  Since there were New Years resolutions and health conscious goals, I tried to find something to bring that was celebratory without being super rich like chocolate cake.  I found a recipe for Champagne Strawberries and adapted it a little.

This is an easy recipe but it’s not quick.  Allow at least a day to prepare.  I started with a basket of strawberries, roughly two dozen.  I washed them, dried them and put them into jars.

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Here’s the hardest part…I opened a bottle of sparkling wine and poured it over each jar of strawberries to fully cover them.  Try not to drink any until you’ve covered all of your strawberries.  (I ended up using the whole bottle for my three jars.)

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I put them in the refrigerator and soaked them for about 24 hours.

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The next day, I took the strawberries out of the jar and patted them dry.  I made a simple glaze.  I didn’t love it but it was ok for this time.  I just did powdered sugar, couple of teaspoons of milk and some vanilla extract. The recipe called for frosting in a can which I’m not a fan of.  I made the glaze just to drizzle over the berries.  It didn’t look as pretty as the frosting pics but it tasted good.

I tried one of the strawberries immediately from the jar and determined that if you can serve these immediately they would be best cause they retain some of the fizziness so it’s a fun bite.  If you can’t, they still are tasty.

I drizzled the glaze over the berries and sprinkled with rainbow sprinkles.  Rainbow sprinkles cover a mulitude of imperfections such as the berries not being completely in season!  Since the berries were soaked in booze and covered in glaze, it didn’t matter that they weren’t the sweetest on their own.  Place each berry on a cupcake wrapper and ta-da!  Super easy and looks sort of fancy.

has sugar and sparkling wine so it’s not really in the healthy category, but I’ll say it’s a win cause it’s way healthier than something else I could have made.

Find yourself a reason to celebrate and make these boozy berries sometime soon.

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