Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! I had my very first 8K yesterday and then spent the afternoon in Winston-Salem at my sister's house! We played with Rusty in her HUGE fenced backyard, which Rusty loved, and then did some shopping at Hanes Mall. I got some new running tanks/ tops, some new cute sandals for spring/summer, a new dress, and some yoga pants. Of course those were all must-have purchases :)
Well, it's Sunday again and we all know what that means! This week's recipe is a healthier version of the oh-so-popular Spinach Artichoke Dip. I mean, don't get me wrong, this is definitely not a healthy dip/side but healthier than the stuff you get at restaurants. I originally found this recipe June 2010 on Recipezaar when I was looking to add a course to my Italian dinners I make every summer when my aunt and her family come visit my house for the weekend. I'm not going to lie, this recipe is not the quickest prep but after many trials and errors it now turns out great! The prep is the most time-consuming but once you have everything together, all you do is bake it and its ready to go!
I added my own variations to the recipe too (more spinach, less cheese, more artichokes!) after making it the first time since my rule is always follow a recipe exactly the first time and then make your own variations the next times. HERE is the recipe that I found back in 2010 and have used since: Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip (lower than normal fat).
Here are my personal tips from making this delicious dip for my friends and family:
- I use almost double the spinach and artichokes since I like it more veggies than the cheese part.
- If you use less sour cream, the dip tastes so heavy so I always add a little more-- the equivalent of 2 small containers from the grocery (I think 16oz total).
- For added flavor, I get the seasoned, marinated artichoke hearts. The extra seasonings from the oil taste AMAZING in the dip. If you can't find marinated artichoke hearts (I get mine from Aldi), then add some Italian seasoning before mixing all the ingredients together.
- I use probably ½ to ¾ head of Garlic. Everyone in my family is a big fan of garlic so I use a microplane and grate all the garlic cloves into my mixing bowl.
- I don't use the onion power and it still tastes great!
- I use half the amount of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese in the mixture and then i use the rest on the top to make a nice little crust when baking the dip.
- Don't microwave this, it tastes so much better baked!! Broil the last few minutes to get the nice crust on the top.
- Finally, I finely dice tomatoes and sprinkle over the top of the dip after it comes out of the oven!
- I serve with toasted baguette slices as an appetizer.
Here's the italian meal (baked ziti, eggplant lasagna, salad, garlic bread, bruschetta, spinach artichoke dip) I prepared when my family did Christmas at my house in 2010. You can see what's left of the Spinach Artichoke Dip on the top right portion of this picture :)
Which restaurant is your favorite Spinach Artichoke Dip? Have you ever tried making it at home?? What is your favorite Italian dish?