Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I hope that you all had a nice Christmas!

Are you celebrating New Year’s Eve? We usually keep it pretty low key around here. My only tradition for that evening is watching “The Twilight Zone” marathon on the sci-fi channel.¬†I love the old shows – the black and white ones. They have such a charm to them and can be sort of spooky without being scary and horrifying. I can’t stand horror movies and “The Twilight Zone” is about as scary as I care to watch!

Well, that being said, what’s more fun than watching old black and white shows? Eating while watching them! ūüôā

Here is¬†a recipe for my favorite all-time comfort food! Hot and cheesey Spinach and Artichoke spread/dip!¬† This can be baked in a casserole dish or spread on pizza crust, topped with cheese and baked like a pizza! ¬†But no matter how it is served, it makes a nice comforting dish on a cold winter’s night…

I like to serve this dip/spread with thick slices of bread,  made with frozen bread dough. I prepare the bread according to the directions on the package, but place it on a greased cookie sheet so that it can spread out a bit. Once baked, I brush some melted butter over the top and sides then  sprinkle on some LaVae! Seasoning.  It makes a very nice herb bread and compliments the cheese and other flavors in the dip/spread.

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year!

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Into a large mixing bowl place:

      1 c mayonaise

      2 Р8 oz cream cheese, softened

       1/4 t nutmeg

      2 T  chopped garlic

      2 T garlic flavored Ms. Dash seasoning

Mix until creamy. Then add:      

      1 Р14 oz. can artichoke hearts (unseasoned,well drained and chopped)

      9 oz. box frozen spinach (thawed,drained and rung in a towel to remove all excess moisture)

      1 c  grated parmesan cheese

      8 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese

Stir until combined. Place in a greased casserole dish and top with:

      8 oz. shredded mozarella cheese

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbling and the cheese is starting to turn a light golden brown. Serve with chunky slices of herbed bread or any other bread you would like to use…

Bread Pudding

Christmas is coming! I thought I’d start the season out with a recipe for¬† bread pudding. This¬†dessert is good anytime of year but for some reason, I associate it with Christmas. Whenever you choose to serve it, it¬† is a yummy way to use up any dry coarse bread you may have lying around the house.

I showed the pudding, in the photo above, with a¬† little¬†melted raspberry preserves and a sprinkle¬†¬†of¬† toasted almonds over the top¬†for extra flavor and texture…

 

It is also very good with strawberries! But I think my favorite way to eat this bread pudding is just plain and simple…

This pudding¬†is sweet enough on its own. It really doesn’t need any additional toppings…but it is good with just a ¬†little dolip of whipped cream! ūüôā

Bread Pudding

You will get the best results if you use a coarse bread for this pudding. If you only have regular bread just lay it out on the kitchen counter for awhile to dry it out a bit…

In a heavy medium-sized saucepan put:

      2 c milk

Heat until hot then turn off heat and add:

      6 T butter

      1 c sugar

      1/4 t  salt

      1/2 t  almond extract

Stir and then let sit until the sugar and butter melts. Meanwhile, grease a 9-inch baking dish. Put:

      4 cups of slightly packed coarse bread cubes

spread evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. Into a small bowl put:

      4 eggs

Beat them slightly then slowly add about 1/4 c of the hot milk mixture into the eggs. Whisk together and then gradually add the egg mixture into the warm milk mixture. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Carefully pour this mixture over the bread cubes. Pat the pieces of bread down into the egg/milk mixture so that all the bread pieces have been saturated.

 Let sit for 5 minutes. Then place into a 350 degree oven and bake for 50 minutes. When done, the center will be puffed and springy to the touch and will be a deep golden brown on top. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

¬†This is one of those desserts that can be enjoyed warm or cold but it makes an especially ¬†nice warm “comfort” dessert on a cold day…