Growing Out On A Limb


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Hot Cheesy Spinach Dip

This is a recipe that I have made off and on for a few years but have never recorded anywhere.  I didn’t get a picture of it but it is definitely one for the books!

The original recipe is here and I mostly follow it to the letter.  It would also be really good with artichokes or maybe some parmesan cheese substituted for a bit of the mozzarella.

It is ooey gooey cheesy goodness but hey, the spinach and garlic have to count for something right?  It is also a great recipe to do ahead of time and just pop in the oven when the time comes.

INGREDIENTS

3 Tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 bag fresh baby spinach (you might chop it if you mind bigger pieces of spinach in your dip)

1/2 cup white wine

salt and pepper to taste

hot sauce to taste

1/2 cup chopped green onion (I have used chives before too)

3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup half-and-half (I usually use whole milk because I have it on hand)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the garlic, baby spinach, and white wine.  Cook and stir until spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Mix in salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Remove from heat.  Drain off the liquid and transfer to a medium bowl.

Mix green onion, mozzarella cheese, mayonnaise, and half-and-half into the bowl with the spinach mixture.  Transfer mixture to a medium baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is lightly browned.


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Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

When the Superstore puts those bags of four red peppers on sale I always grab one with the intention of roasting the peppers for something.  I rarely know what:  hummus, soup, or maybe just on sandwiches. 

This time I did this pasta sauce.  Oh yummy.  I did make a few changes based on comments:  I used milk instead of half-and-half, parmesan cheese instead of Romano, dried basil instead of fresh (although fresh would be preferred) and I left the butter out completely (it was good without it but I might add at least some next time).  I also added a bit of flour to help thicken things up. 

INGREDIENTS

2 large red bell peppers, roasted

2 Tbsp garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh basil

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups milk (I used 2%)

2 Tbsp flour

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

4 Tbsp butter

Salt and pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

Roast the red peppers.  Cool and remove skins.  Cut into small pieces. 

In a skillet, cook the garlic, basil, and red peppers in 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat for ten minutes. 

Puree using an immersion blender.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. 

Add the half-and-half slowly, then the Parmesan cheese.  Cook and stir until the cheese melts.  (If using, add the butter and stir until melted). 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for five minutes. 


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Stewed Rhubarb

This is just a simple recipe I found for stewed rhubarb.  Nothing fancy… just rhubarb, some sugar to cut the tartness, and a bit of water to get things cooking.  The proportions are right for my tastes though, so I wanted a record of it.

I love stewed rhubarb on toast.  Or on my spoon.

 

INGREDIENTS

6 cups rhubarb, cut to 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp water

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a large pot on medium heat.  Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until rhubarb is soft.  About 15 minutes.

 


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French Onion Dip

Mmm, I love a good dip.  But so many of the highly-rated onion dip recipes call for onion soup mix … it really turns me off and it’s not something I keep in my pantry (blech). 

This recipe does onion dip without the nasty soup powder and it is so good!  After reading several reviews, I did increase the onions to 2 cups and cut down the mayonnaise by half so it wasn’t the over-powering flavor.  And I definitely took my time caramelizing the onions (that is the trick, right?). 

Here is my slightly revised recipe: 

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups chopped onion

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a large skillet over low heat.  Add the onions and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook until the onions are caramelized to a nice golden brown (this took me at least 40 minutes on low heat), stirring frequently.  Remove the onions from the heat and cool. 

Mix together the remaining ingredients.  Stir in the onions when they are cool.  Cover and refrigerate fora t least 2 hours before serving. 

This is so good with raw veggies, bread sticks, as a sandwich spread… mmm!