Paula Deen’s Three Cheese Artichoke Dip (Cheat Treat!)

This.  Recipe.  Is.  So.  Good.  Consider this more of a review from a satisfied customer than an original post, because I deserve no credit.  I just have to share.  Cause it made me so happy.  Three cheeses.  Artichokes.  Fresh  french bread.  Warm.  Salty.  Creamy.  The definition of goodness.

Arichoke Dip

 

Look at that beautiful color!  And it was so warm, creamy, and delicious on the inside!

Now let me just insert a little something in here.  I am not going to say much about it, but I want you all to know, I am by no means supporting or condoning what Paula Deen has said or done in her past…in fact I don’t want to get tied up in that conversation at all.  I just found a recipe that I love, and am sharing it with you because this is a food blog and that is what I am committed to doing.  Sharing recipes I find.  That being said…if I got treated like she has for every stupid thing I have said in my past…if I got disciplined for everything the younger Tabitha said or did that was off….I would have no life or freedom.  Because we are all human and mess up.  What she did was not okay.  But God forgave me for moments when I hurt other people, and gave me opportunity for new life instead of condemning me for my mistakes, and I believe that should be extended between people as well.  Now.  Enough of that.  WHO’S READY FOR SOME FAN FREAKING TASTIC ARTICHOKE DIP?!  Cheesy melty goodness is coming your way!!

Visit foodnetwork.com for the original!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz Softened Cream Cheese
  • 2 C Mayonnaise
  • 14 oz Artichoke Hearts (I think I ended up with more of than that…I kept adding just a few more, haha…)
  • 2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C Shredded Parmesan (I was also generous with this…I guess you could say I did adapt it after all…just by tossing in extra of what I like when nobody is looking :P)
  • 1 C Mozzarella, Shredded
  • Dash Hot Sauce
  • Dash Worcestershire (This is what caught my attention to this recipe!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh french bread, crackers, etc…

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Heat up that oven to 350 degrees!
  2. Beat the softened cream cheese until it is creamy and smooth.  If you have a stand up mixer like I do, you can plop it in the bowl, set it on a medium-low setting and let it go while you grate cheese, measure mayo, slice green onions, etc.  It gets it nice and creamy.  We like creamy!
  3. Add everything else and stir till combined.  (If you want to…you can sneak a little more parm on top…sneaky sneaky…)
  4. Pour into a baking dish and bake 30 to 40 minutes until nice and browned on the top.  I used a pie plate and it worked, but some grease did bubble over in the oven so either handle very carefully or use something deeper!
  5. Put out and party!  This dish was perfect for a bachelorette party I was throwing!  We had TONS of food, and yet this still had barely any left overs!!  Everyone loved it, and you will too!!
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Savory Zucchini Bites

These were fun!  I liked them, and my husband REALLY liked them.  Seriously.  They were done before the rest of the meal and I had to keep swatting his hand to keep him from devouring them all before we sat down for dinner, haha.  Something about the saltiness of the parmesan, the sweet nature of the Zucchini, and the crunch of the sunflower seeds kept him chattering about these guys all night long.  The original recipe, which has been much adapted, called these little bites of deliciousness “Zucchini Tots.”  I decided to change the name because when I read “Zucchini Tots” I started thinking “Tater Tots” and that was what I had on my brain when I bit into them….what I found was more of a fun little mini quiche sort of effect.  Very delish.  But I didn’t want you to be surprised, expecting a tater tot like I was….so here you have it, let’s make some Savory Zucchini Bites!

Adapted from http://www.emilybites.com.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 C Zucchini, Shredded
  • 1/2 Red Onion, minced
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 C Oatmeal
  • 1/4 C Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/3 C Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drain as much moisture as possible from the shredded zucchini.  Place on top of a paper towel and squish it with another paper towel to get more of the moisture out.  You’ll be amazed at how much just keeps coming!
  3. Mix together all the ingredients!
  4. Spoon into a greased MINI muffin pan.
  5. Bake until beautifully golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove from the pan using a butter knife or some such tool…and enjoy!!  Fun!!!

 

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Zucchini Bites 1Drain as much moisture as possible from the shredded zucchini.  Place on top of a paper towel and squish it with another paper towel to get more of the moisture out.  You’ll be amazed at how much just keeps coming!

Zucchini Bites 2

 

 

Put all the ingredients in a bowl…

Zucchini Bites 3

 

And mix!Zucchini Bites 4Spoon into a greased MINI muffin pan.

Zucchini Bites 5

 

And bake until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.Zucchini Bites 7

Carefully remove from the pan.  I used a butter knife to loosen around the outside and it worked well.

Zucchini Bites 8

 

Now serve along side a yummy protein!  Though really…these have plenty of protein too, since there are two eggs in here!!

Zucchini Bites 11

 

Here they are along side our Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers!  It was the perfect side 🙂

Zucchini Bites 9

Creamy Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

My husband had long ago decided that he did not like spaghetti squash.  No sir. Didn’t like it.   And then he tried this.

He changed his mind.  😀  I love it when I can change peoples’ minds about a food.  It makes me feel like such a success 😀  I’ve left my print on the world!!  Ohhh hey…that would be a good show for Food Network.  “I Didn’t Like….”  A competition to see which chef can change a picky person’s mind.  Ha!  I’m a genius.  Someone should hire me, haha.

This was a fantastic side dish for steak!!  It had that creamy, garlicy, cheesy satisfaction without the carb-filled pasta.  So tasty and quite healthy!!!  Yes it has a bit of cheese…but Parmesan is one of the best health wise! 🙂

One more fun thing about this recipe!!  I have never been too good at making sure spaghetti squash get cooked all the way.  Just being honest here.  Well, because of this wonderful book, Everything Gluten Free Slow Cooker Cookbook, I finally NAILED IT!  That’s right.  I cooked the spaghetti squash in a crock pot!!!  I love my crock pot, it helps me time things!!!  Yaaaay!!  I hope that thought will be a great tip for your kitchen too!!!!  You simply pierce the squash a few times, put it in the crock pot, and pour in a small amount of water, about 3/4 C and cook on low for 7 or 8 hours 🙂

Adapted from http://ahealthymakeover.blogspot.jp

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Large or Medium Spaghetti Squash, cooked and shredded
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 3/4 C Vegetable or Chicken Broth, Preferably Low Sodium
  • 1/3 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Grated Fresh Parmesan…my 1/2 C was generous 🙂
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!!!

  1. Get your spaghetti squash cooked!! If you want to try my new method, start the morning of, poke a few holes and place in a crock pot with about 3/4 C of water.  Cook on low about 8 hours.  Cut in half and shred squash with a fork.  You can also cut in half and  bake cut side down in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes to an hour or even microwave about 12 minutes if you’re in a hurry!
  2. Melt butter or coconut oil over Medium heat.  Saute onions until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook about a minute more.
  3. Toss in the cooked spaghetti squash and stir so your tasty garlicy bits are incorporated throughout.
  4. Add the broth and almond milk and stir in.
  5. Add the parmesan and stir in.  If it is too runny, let it reduce for a few minutes.
  6. Add parsley, salt, and pepper, stir, and serve hot aaaaaaand delicious!!

So simple, and yet such delicious, classic flavors!  Perfect mid week side dish!

 

Pour your water into the crock pot!

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 1

 

Stab the squash and place it in.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 2

 

And cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4).  Cut in half, remove the seeds, and shred with a fork.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 3

 

Now this is where things got crazy and the pictures had to pause.  Hahaha.

Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat and saute your onions until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Then add garlic and saute for about a minute more.  Toss in your cooked squash and stir.  Add liquids and stir.  Then add parmesan and stir.  Lastly, salt, pepper, and parsley.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash 4

Now serve!!  This is one of those great things that could be a main dish or a side dish!  It’s just…all around glorious!!  I hope you enjoy!!

Quinoa Mint Zucchini Boats

Mint.  I’ve decided you love it or you hate it.  I really do like it.  My husband really doesn’t.  Usually I use his reaction as a gauge as to whether or not I should blog about a meal.  The day I made these, I broke that mold.  I wasn’t going to share this recipe with you all, because he so desperately did not like them.  But then I realized something.  Just because my husband doesn’t like mint, does NOT mean that everyone else in the world hates it too.  In fact, a lot of my followers are foodies with fancy tastes (go you!), and they love fresh herbs and more “grown up” tastes, so they would probably love this!  Yes, I consider goat cheese and mint to be grown up food.  Says the girl that used to eat a box of corn dogs a week.   😐  Don’t judge me!  Praise the Lord my husband inspired me to start eating healthy or I’d probably have had a heart attack by now!!

Anyways!  Back to my boats 😉  I thought these were tasty!  I made them as a side dish for a roasted chicken I made…but between the protein packed quinoa and lentils, they were hearty enough for me to warm one up for lunch the next day!

So.  If you love mint.  And goat cheese.  And quinoa.  And PARMESAAAAAN. (I love parmesan).  Then this recipe is for you my friend!  Read on!  And make this for your friends and they’ll think you’re all fancy pants!!!  😉

Adapted from greatist.com

Here’s what you need: (To make 4 boats)

  • 2 Medium to Large Zucchini
  • 2 C Cooked Quinoa
  • 3-4 Handfuls Spinach, Roughly Chopped
  • 6-8 oz Goat Cheese, Chopped/Crumbled
  • 1 C Cooked Lentils
  • 1/2 C Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Do your prep!  Make sure you have your quinoa and lentils cooked.  Chop your spinach and mint, and make sure your goat cheese is in small pieces!
  3. Wash your zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds so you have “boats.”
  4. Heat up a grill pan.  Brush zucchini with some oil.
  5. Grill zucchini, preferrably covered, until you have nice grill lines and they are starting to get tender.
  6. While zucchini is grilling, mix all other ingredients except for Parmesan in a large bowl.
  7. Remove zucchini from grill and place on a baking sheet.  Fill generously with the quinoa/lentil mixture.
  8. Top with Parmesan, put in the oven, and cook until it is warmed through and the Parmesan is melty and browned!
  9. Take out.  Serve.  Look fancy.  🙂

 

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure you have cooked quinoa and lentils.  Chop  everything.  Wash your zucchini and cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.  It should look kind of like this!

 

Mint Zucchini Boats 1Mix together everything else EXCEPT the shredded cheese.

Mint Zucchini Boats 3Yum!  Now grill your zucchinis!  You can do this on an outdoor grill too, I just didn’t have one yet when I made these 🙂  You’re just looking for them to be starting to get tender, but still able to hold together.

Mint Zucchini Boats 2Place them on a cookie sheet…

Mint Zucchini Boats 4Grill lines, yeah baby!  Fill generously with the stuffings…

Mint Zucchini Boats 5Top with Parmesan to your tastes….

Mint Zucchini Boats 7Bake until everything is heated through and the Parmesan is getting melty and browned.  Serve along side a protein, or just eat them for a snack or even lunch!

Mint Zucchini Boats 6Pretty!  I hope you enjoy this!!!  Let me know if you try it, and what alterations you make!!