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 (https://thetripledipper.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=136&action=edit), 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.

INGREDIENTS

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

IMG_3420

DIRECTIONS

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.

IMG_3428

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.

IMG_3425 IMG_3427

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)

photo 1 (14) photo 2 (16)

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

photo 3 (13)

DIPPABLES

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 http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=907, 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…..

photo 4 (10)

Happy Dipping!

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

 

“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.

INGREDIENTS

start

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!

7

1 1/4 cups sour cream

8

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

DIRECTIONS

*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 🙂

DIPPABLES

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

 finished

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.

INGREDIENTS

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.

photo 1

 WHAT TO DO

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.

photo 2 photo 4

DIPPABLES

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  🙂

photo 2 (9)

Happy Dipping