Happy New Year! I hope that you had an exciting New Year’s Eve, and a peaceful start to your new year. I am excited to see what 2010 will bring!
New Year’s Eve is a holiday that I have mixed feelings about. It holds a special place in my heart, as my husband proposed to me on New Year’s Eve eight years ago. Some years I feel like getting dressing up in a little black dress and attending (or hosting) a fabulous party, while other years I prefer sitting on my couch in my pajamas. This year we found a happy medium.
My sister hosted us and another couple (who are such good friends we consider them to be family) at her house. We set out a couple appetizers and played with her young kids. After we put them to bed, we dined on a lovely meal (she made surf ‘n’ turf with beef tenderloin and shrimp) followed by chocolate fondu. We wore comfy clothes and lounged around until the ball dropped.
The day before New Year’s Eve, my sister and I divided up a list of grocery items. She would be visiting a specialty grocery store to purchase the meat, seafood, and wine, while I was planning to go to a basic grocery store for everyday items. My sister was planning on making her go-to spinach dip, but as it was necessary for me to pick up practically all of her ingredients during my grocery run, she suggested that I just make it instead.
Spinach dip seams to be a well-loved appetizer in whatever form it may come in. I have many good memories with high school friends picking up a pre-made container from the grocery deli section and eating it with a loaf of Hawaiian bread. My sister’s version is from Cooking Light and is best when served bubbling hot with tortilla chips.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
(Adapted from Cooking Light, September, 2007)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup fat-free sour cream
¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (12-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 (13.5-ounce) package baked tortilla chips (about 16 cups)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Combine 1 ½ cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (through spinach) in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Spoon mixture into a 1 ½-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips.