Getting to the heart of the matter

You work so hard, you boil, you broil, you bake, you bbq….then you pull, poke, and chew….UNTIL you get to the heart…of an artichoke. I have to admit, I am the girl who buys artichokes, cooks them, and eats 2 and leave the rest to become this years science fair entry, in the back of the fridge. I have tried every recipe on pinterest, and all good, but at the end of the day, just too much work….so this week we have an artichoke dip, that gives you all the love and flavor of these very stubborn, but yummy vegetables.

Last weekend, I made my way down to Carlsbad to visit some friends, other crazies who love to cook, eat, and drink as much as I do. A few months ago, I went down to see them, and forgot to bring the dip (, so I had to make up for it this trip. Not only did I make tonight’s feature, BUT I remade last weeks, and actually remembered making it this time…sorry mom 😉

They gave amazing reviews to last weeks, I changed it up a bit and added applewood bacon, not just regular bacon, and it did add just that one touch that it may have been missing. However, this dip, was gone in an instant, total crowd pleaser…here goes.


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, thoroughly drained. (when you think you have drained them, keep going, you’re not even close)

1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced ( I used 4)

5 oz of goat cheese, softened. Depending how much you love goat cheese, use more or less

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Dash of cayenne pepper….give it a kick and use TWO

Dash of cracked black pepper



I think the reason I was so excited to find and modify this dip was because it didn’t contain mayonnaise, it’s the devil, and really good for nothing….blech.

Pre-heat oven to 350′

Let all 3 cheeses soften for a bit, I left them on the counter for about 45 minutes, it really made the mixing without a hand blender much easier. Put all the cheeses, the cayenne, and black pepper together and mix until smooth.


Take your very very drained artichokes and put them in the food processor, mini chop, or if you are confident in your ability to keep all 10 digits on your hands, use a knife….chop coarsley, and fold into cheese mixture.

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Place this yummy concoction into a a baking dish, I used a metal pie tin, but you can really use anything that can be put in the oven. (These would be really cute in individual ramekins at a dinner party)

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Bake for 25-30 mins until the dip is browned slightly and bubbly.

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We used a whole bunch of different things, but really we only needed a fork. Get a baguette, and lightly toast it, this was my favorite. We also used ridged chips, rosemary crackers, and some very yummy, but very not appreciated vegetables (endive, cucumber, and peppers)

This was one of my favorite dips to make, and this was for sure be served at a party in the near future…..

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Happy Dipping!

* next week we have a dip that was requested by a very special man in my life…..wait and see.




A lesson I learned yesterday when making this weeks dip….5 bottles of champagne could make dirt taste good, but trust me, even with 4 bottles less than we had, this dip would have been a masterpiece.  I love bacon, with breakfast, on burgers, on pizza, and on cupcakes, bacon is a perfect addition to anything!  Now, for my vegetarian friends, please note, this may not be as good with a meat substitute, so probably best for you to sit this one out.

I wake up early, actually I don’t sleep, many of you know this, so I have a friend who lives down the street, who DOES sleep, but wakes up rather early.  This is good for me, because sometimes he wants to go to breakfast at 8 am on Sunday mornings ( I know what’s wrong with us).  That is exactly how my Sunday started yesterday, and it was a day filled, with bubbles, online shopping, gossiping, and of course….BACON.

I have been playing on Pinterest every night before I go to bed, and I saw this dip, and had to try it….I can’t wait to experiment more with this dip, as I feel like adding chorizo, sriracha chicken, prosciutto, would light up most of your lives…let’s get to it.


1 cup caramelized onions (we will have a lesson on this later) I used 3 large white onion

4-6 strips of bacon ( what dreams are made of) cooked to a crisp


3 whole scallions ( I used a lot more) you will need both the green & white parts

1 tsp cider vinegar ( I used apple cider)

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ( I suggest adding a little more for a kick)

1 3/4 cup sour cream ( I used 2 cups)

Sea salt & coarse black pepper for tasting


I really wanted this dip to be on the more chunky side, so I used my mini chop and just hit it a few times.

Again, I mention the bubbly, ( we did add a 3rd person, so don’t think 2 people drank 5 bottles, not that it hasn’t been done) so an ingredient picture didn’t make it for this week. Ingredients are pretty self explanatory.


Like last weeks dip, this can all be put together in one easy, monkey can do it, step….BUT if you don’t know how to caramelize onions, perhaps a lesson is needed (don’t worry I needed one too)


Please use the butter, it says optional, but it should be mandatory!  After you turn these onions from boo to whoo hoo, it’s time to throw it ALL in a bowl, add the salt and pepper to taste and put in the refrigerator.  Wait 5 minutes until the devil on your shoulder pushes you to the fridge to take a bite of this happiness…..put it back in, and then take it right back out, b/c you can’t just have a bite!


Everything is better with RRRRRidges….so of course ruffles take center stage.  Also, Celery, jicama, carrots, cucumber, anything crunchy that doesn’t have an over powering taste because you are going to 100% want to enjoy every bit of bacon….



“Radishes, though often eaten, are miserable things…”‘

A truer statement has never been spoken, and this was said back in 1846,  by William Andrus Alcott .  Why do these wonderfully beautiful, bitter, and crunchy salad toppers get such a bad rap? I love salad, I think the lettuce is the bummer, if I could have a bowl full of veggies, crunchy toppings, and dressing multiple times a day, I would be a happy girl.  I have just started putting radishes in my salad, and I find the thinner they are the better they taste, so the dip I made is a great way to ease into this delicious yet misunderstood veggie…..

As with the ricotta dip I made 2 weeks ago (sorry I have been tardy, shoes trump dip) I brought this to a friends house to try, and to get honest opinions….I actually tried this out on two different nights, and when I tell you the adjustment I made you will understand why.



1 pound radishes (about 25), julienned, plus whole radishes, for serving (I used my mini chop)

5 6

3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup) I doubled, b/c I love cheese!


1 1/4 cups sour cream


1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons) I USED SUGGESTED AMOUNT OF JUICE….TOO MUCH

4 1

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/3 cup chopped fresh dill

2 3


*Much like the dip, this has just the right amount of steps*

Combine julienned radishes, sour cream, feta, lemon zest and juice, salt, and dill.

A monkey could make this 🙂


Radishes (duh)

Potato chips (come with ridged or don’t come at all)

Pita Chips

Any amazingly crunchy vegetable, will accompany this dip very well


Here was the rub with this dip….sometimes I follow directions TOO closely, and I definitely used too much lemon juice….I just went for it, so when I went to serve it, it was a little too liquidy….So, the next night I had some friends over, and decided to throw the directions out, used 1/2 the amount, and then….viola perfect!

I promise my next post, will be chock full of jokes, and my normal funniness ( I am funny), but right now I am going to pass out…..

Happy Dipping

Mangia Mangia….

There are no good sayings, puns, or titles with the word ricotta, so you get a generic title today.

I went to a girls night on Sunday and decided to try out two dips, one you’re about to read about, and the other, needed some help, so you will read about that next week.  I went the simple route this week, and instead of a traditional “dip” you are getting a spread.  Sorry to all of my Jewish friends who will not be able to eat this on crostini for the next eight days!

This “dip” is something that you can have with your meal, it’s light, fresh, and really can be eaten any time of year.  Of course it’s meant to be an appetizer, but if you eat this before dinner, your pants may need to be unbuttoned by the time the main event comes around.


1 CUP fresh ricotta

2 TBSP chopped fresh basil (save some leaves for garnish)

2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

Kosher Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Even my trusty best friend the mini chop couldn’t chop the herbs, they are too small.  I am super accident prone, so instead of having a “dip” with pieces of my fingers, I used a pair of scissors.  The pieces of basil were bigger than I would have liked, but it worked.

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Get a bowl, put all the ingredients in the bowl, stir said ingredients,  season with salt and pepper…..then put the bowl on the table for all to enjoy.  This one is pretty easy, I think a monkey could make this one….I got this recipe from Martha, maybe she made it up while she was in the slammer, and her creativity was on hiatus.

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We had everything from pretzel chips, green beans, cucumber, peppers, and potato chips.  I really think the best of the best would be some toasty crostini, the kind that rips the top of your mouth……no pain no gain  🙂

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Happy Dipping

Cool as a cucumber

I love shoes, I love food, and right now, I have to love shoes more than food. I have been crazy booking the fall season for Melissa, and if don’t I won’t have a money to buy the food that I love so much.  So in the end, I love shoe more than food 🙂

Last week we were in LA market, and I always show out of a wonderful showroom that feeds me for 4 days straight, so much good food that by the time I leave I have to go and detox before I do it all over again in Dallas a week later.

One of my favorite movies is Mermaids, where Cher is this boy crazy, single mom, who only cooks appetizers, if only we could live on little sandwiches, mini quiches, and of course DIP!  Every time I spend market with these girls, I have cute little BLT’s, Caprese Skewers, and Ranch dip that makes any other dip fall by the wayside.  This go around, Christa made a cucumber dip that was so yummy, I had to steal it for this weeks entry.


2 Cups Greek Yogurt

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely chopped

1 cup crumbled feta

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice





DIRECTIONS (this is a simple one)

Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or so overnight before serving.


We had veggies, which were very good, but nothing as good as a pita chip…..

Back to regular programming next week…….Happy Dipping!!!


HOT Chile in the City!!

I am pretty sure I will never find the fountain of youth, become a billionaire, or go to the Moon, BUT what I am sure of, is that I have found the cure for laryngitis.  

This week I am stealing an idea from one of my favorite restaurants; Mas Malo.  I try to go there as often as I can, but it’s downtown, and nothing is close in LA traffic.  So, on the most ridiculous day, Valentine’s day, I made my way to the mean streets of LA, with a good group of friends, and without my voice.  No reservation, no problem, we are going to put you in the dungeon.  I wondered if this was where they put people who clearly did not have a date for Valentine’s day, little did we know, this is where they put all the cool kids…..

I started off whispering, which was weird in itself, my “date” ordered me the Burnt Habanero cream salsa, and some chips, I started eating it, the voice started coming back, and by the end of the meal I sounded almost normal again.  You know how some very religious people swear they see Jesus in their toast.  I swear I heard my voice in a vat of salsa on the most hated day (by most) of the year!  That being said I have copied this dip and bring you nothing original!


  • one container of Mexican crema (the more you use, the less bite it has)
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey (just like the crema, the more you use, the less hotness you will get)
  • salt



  1. In a food processor: blend the crema (about 70% of the container), cilantro,  juice of half a lime, a pinch of salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons honey & chipotle peppers from entire can ( I added ALL the sauce, b/c I love spicy, beware if you don’t)  
  2. Blend until well combined.
  3. Add salt to taste 



Really the only thing that worked for me was tortilla chips……..

I am tired, and on the road, and now very hungry…..enjoy!


Happy Dipping!


What’s the Dillio???

I, like George Washington, cannot tell a lie (ask my mother, she will 100% confirm, but that is a story for another blog)…..I didn’t make this dip today, or even this week.  I have been eating this one since I was a child, and have been loving it ever since!  We all have that one childhood friend who is more like a family member, in this case she was always my “cousin” of course I was the more well behaved one 😉  Her mom used to make this for parties, and now decades later it’s all I want when I go stay with her when I go to NYC.  

A few weeks ago, during the coldest spell that New York had seen since the Reagan Administration (I joke, but seriously it was cold) we holed up on a Sunday afternoon, with bloody mary’s, dip, candy, and booked Alissyn’s flights for her honeymoon (alcohol was needed, sorry Al, love you mean it!)  It’s not a healthy recipe, but it’s not as bad as a few of the others I have posted.

So, as I sit down after a long few weeks, with about 8 more to go, I give you the dip that I didn’t make today, but that I have come to love for a lifetime:


16oz. sour cream ( I use light, it’s still just as good)
16 oz mayo (gross, but necessary)
1 tablespoon dill weed
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix all above ingredients together.  Refrigerate overnight (I never do this, but supposedly it tastes even better) taste before serving may need to add a little more dill weed or garlic depending on tastes.

 Veggies: See picture….you can add whatever you like

Pretzels, and my personal favorite…..pumpernickel bread!!

Happy Dipping!


Say Cheese……

Though new to the blog world, I do know that consistency is a must, and I have had a hiccup….I have been out of town for 2 weeks, and wasn’t able to post last week….everyone gets one fail right???

I was in NYC for work and then to Puerto Rico for one of my oldest friends bachelorette parties, so I wish this weeks dip could have been a diet recipe, as I believe I have eaten a small village, but what fun would that be?

I love cheese, as much as I love shoes, and wine, and for those of you who really know me, this isn’t a small love.  There are not many cheeses I don’t like, and if I am not a huge fan, I usually will grow to at least want to go on a second date….then the rest is history.  This weeks concoction doesn’t involve any hoity toity ingredients, you can make it in 5 minutes (minus the cooking time), and ingredients can easily be added.  My mom used to make this for parties, and it’s always been a favorite of mine.


I usually double this, and everyone will tell you it takes too long and it’s never bubbly enough, so this time, I just kept as is:

2 packages of shredded cheese ( I use one Mexican blend, and one Cheddar)

1 egg

splash of milk

2 jars of salsa ( I used one mild and one hot)

* so in reality, these are the only ingredients……BUT, HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN GET CREATIVE!

Some additions we have tried: 

black olives, shredded chicken, any & all kinds of beans, jalapeno’s, ground beef, and bacon.

If you try this dip and add your own ingredients, I would love to hear 🙂

THROWING IT TOGETHER (but first pre-heat your oven to 350′)

Here comes the complicated part: put everything, like each and everything listed above in a bowl, mix it together…….and then pour it in an oven safe dish!  Whew, broke a sweat with this masterpiece!



*This particular version had black beans, and diced jalapeno.

Place dish in oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese becomes very bubbly. it’s good even if it’s not well done, but the gooier. the better!



Now I can’t lie to you, so I will tell you, the end result picture is NOT the one from this night….because before I could even get my camera out, people started breaking into it, and there wasn’t enough to photograph (oops).  However, I had made this not long ago, and a friend put a picture on his Facebook page, or else I would have to go make another one at 6am and really not what I want to be eating for breakfast (or do I).



*not the prettiest, but one of the most popular!


We have been using scoops, they have baked scoops now too, so you can offset the calories of the cheese with the baked chips 😉  I swear when I was a kid we used Doritos, so I think tortilla chips, or Doritos are your best bet.

So to the 6 other girls I shared laughs, stories, and amazing food and drink with this past weekend, don’t eat this before the wedding, or we won’t fit in our dresses….the rest of you are free to dip!




Jalapeno Popper was a Rolling Stone

This weeks entry is special because I got to make something yummy to celebrate a friends sons first birthday. Tristan is an old friend, a dear friend, and someone who I am so happy & thankful to facebook for the reconnect!

Last year at this time 1/21/2012 Asa was introduced to the world, he is one of the happiest babies, I have ever met, he also has the most amazing hair (see picture)


Asa @ 6 mos

I wasn’t sure what to make, I sent some ideas to Tristan, and had her pick. It didn’t occur to me until I was in her kitchen on Sunday with the dip, that she was a vegetarian, this dip had bacon…oh wait, She picked it, guilt be gone! This recipe DOES contain bacon (yum) but if you don’t eat the real deal for religious, or even dietary reasons, make without, or make with turkey bacon, vegan bacon, etc. There are a ton of options for those that do not partake in this gastronomic past time.( I do feel bad for you though) 🙂


Before you start making this masterpiece, pre heat your oven to 350′


6-8 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy (If you are lucky enough to live by a Trader Joe’s, they have thick cut bacon for $3.99, I used all 10 sliced)

4-6 jalapeno’s, chopped and deseeded (like the post 2 weeks ago, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES, I am the only idiot who can’t remember)

In the food processor Bacon & Jalapeno

2 8-oz packages of cream cheese (softened, I used lite)

1 cup of mayonnaise (this is the devil, it’s disgusting, I used 1/2 blech)

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup diced green onion

Combine all the above into a bowl and mix together until the cream cheese is smooth


Transfer all this yumminess into an oven proof dish, I seem to have donated all of my dishes to friends (If you are reading this and have one, can you bring back PLEASE)


Not quite ready to bake yet, the most important part comes now, the topping! Sprinkle this ALL over the top of the dip.

1 cup of crushed crackers (I used something comparable to Ritz, whatever has butter in it use, Trader Joe’s has butter crackers)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( I doubled this, nothing like cheese overload)
1/2 stick of melted butter


Bake for 20-30 minutes, my oven is very old (from the 60’s), nice to look at, but very unpredictable, so I did 15 minute increments. It really needed like 35-45 mins for it to be extra bubbly, browned, and melted.

I have to say this was one of my favorite dips/apps I have ever made. All the flavors went together very well, and by the looks of the below picture it seemed to be a hit when I left, I don’t know what the status was an hour later! Crowd pleaser? I think so!


If anyone tries this with another type of meat, or even meatless, please let me know your thoughts!


We used pita chips, and these new lavash chips from Trader Joe’s that will probably be discontinued next week.  I think it would work well with a ridged potato chip.  For those of you who think using celery would be a good alternative to the “unhealthy” cracker or carb….need I remind you this dip has 2 lbs of cheese and enough bacon to scare your cardiologist.

As I walk out the door to hop my flight to NYC, I wish I had even a spoonful of the heat the jalapeno’s packed, b/c it’s going to be COLD!