Tuesday, February 9, 2010

a couple of dips

I read Willi's blog over at digginfood.com about the Food Harvest project, how she tried to get through a week on $63 worth of food without touching anything that she harvested from her garden or had in her freezer and how hard it was to get through the week. I am always shocked at how much I pay for groceries each week and definitely would find it extremely challenging to get by on assistance if you only get $63 a week for food. So I've been challenging myself to use up the food in my freezer and cupboards and do a bit better budget-wise.

Last Saturday while digging out navy beans from the cupboard to make baked beans with I came across two cans of artichoke hearts. And when I opened to a page in my recipe book with roasted artichoke dip on it I knew I had to make some. D loves artichokes. And as I will be away for Valentine's Day, this is one way to show him he is my Valentine. The recipe in America's Test Kitchen Family Recipe Book actually calls for frozen artichokes but I didn't have those so this is how I did it (adapted from their recipe)

1 can artichoke hearts, drained
Place the artichoke hearts in a pan and roast at 375 deg (my oven runs hot) for 20 minutes or until there is browning on some of the leaves. In the meantime, saute 1/2 medium diced onion with 1 tsp minced garlic and 1/4 tsp of salt. Add

1/4 cup of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup of light mayonaise
1 tsp thyme

Once the artichokes are roasted, puree them in a food processor and add to the onion, mayonaise mixture and blend well. Put the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 deg F for 20 minutes until bubbly and slightly brown.

I served it up with tortilla chips and it was delicious!

Another dip I make regularly and people seem to love is my salsa/cream cheese dip.

To ~ 1 cup of softened cream cheese (if you take it out of the fridge, just pop it into the microwave for 20 seconds or so to soften up) add 1 cup of your favorite salsa. Mix to blend. Add 2 tsps of cumin, a pinch of sugar and a splash of cider vinegar (optional). Mix and serve.

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