8.02.2012

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Spread (or Dip)


For awhile there this blog was lacking recipes.  We've been having to be more budget conscious these days and for some silly reason one of the first things we figured we could cut back on was food.  We ate a lot of tuna melts, pasta, and breakfasts for dinner.  Nothing is wrong with these meals and we're still going to frequent them, but the idea of not cooking something new each week became downright depressing to me.  I don't like cooking without it being inspiring (most of the time).

Sure there are nights when a bowl of cereal would work for me, but a few times a week I like, and need, to cook something new.  Trying out recipes is something I love and also a good creative outlet for me.  It's why this blog originated and why I don't see it going away any day soon.

Yesterday I decided I could tackle this recipe while Anderson was awake.  Silly me.  Although he does play well by himself he wants to be where the action is, especially if I'm cooking.  I do love it when he stands up on my legs and I quickly sweep him up to show him the onions I'm cooking, the sauce I'm making, or in this case, the cheesy spinach and artichoke side I was whipping up.

I adapted this recipe from Country Living where they call for a few more steps and a couple more fancy ingredients that I honestly didn't have time for.  What started as fascination grew into hunger for Anders and soon I was putting this dish together while feeding him dinner in the kitchen.  Motherhood is quite the juggling act and although you could reference this recipe if you don't like it as rustic, this worked just fine for us.

Without any protein in mind for dinner last night, or really any that had defrosted from the freezer, I decided we could have this as a spread atop good bread.  It wasn't bad at all and filled us right up.  While it was toasting in the oven we dipped some tortilla chips in it and found it to be a delicious dip, perhaps for the next party we throw?

However you use this, I hope you like it.  Anderson sure did once I realized he really was over bread and peas and wanted to have a take at what I had been making!

{Recipe adapted from Country Living}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bag (6 ounce) baby spinach
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil and butter the saute the garlic and onion until translucent- about 4 minutes.  Add the flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes then gradually add the milk, whisking it in and turning the heat up to medium high.  Bring it to a boil and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes more.

2.  Once the sauce has thickened remove it from the heat and add in the cream cheese the some salt and pepper to taste.  Stir so that the cheese melts into the sauce then throw in your spinach, whole or roughly chopped, and your chopped artichokes.  Continue stirring so that the spinach wilts down into the sauce and enjoy!

Variations:  If you want this to be more like the spread you've ordered in restaurants you can chop your artichokes and spinach or even use frozen thawed spinach and combine those two in a food processor before adding to your sauce.

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