Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  I had a splendid time with my family doing and going all day long.

We woke up early to hit the Farmer's Market in downtown Annapolis.  While downtown we stopped for coffee and crepes.  OH BOY were  THEY GOOD!  

I met a gentleman at his milk booth.  I was advised by the Italian bread man to go and get some freshly homemade butter.  In his opinion, it was the best.  I made my way around to the booths and stopped to talk to the Nice man.  You see, his farm is called Nice Farms Creamery.  He was young and enthusiastic about what he was doing.  He explained to me that the butter had been made that morning at around 2:30 am.  The milk had been milked yesterday from 30+ cows on his property, the cream separated in house and used to make the butter.  He had me at butter!  I went on to purchase a gallon of grass-fed beef milk. 

He took great measures to explain to me just how to drink his milk.  I needed to shake it before pouring each glass.  He also mentioned the color and possible taste variation due to his cows being grass-fed. The milk was a light yellow.  As for the taste, it was fantastic!  Cory said it reminded him of milk he drank as a kid.  

I am happy to have a local farmer that can provide our family with milk and butter. He is just over the bridge (Bay Bridge) from our home. I am able to get his goods at two different Farmer Market's in the Annapolis area.

I feel good about supporting local farmers in our area because they provide a valuable service to our community.

The day took us next to get new tires for our car.  FUN, huh?  Sometimes, despite a holiday, we still need to do everyday things.  The day before Cory took the car in for an oil change and the tires to be rotated.  The oil change was quick.  The tire rotation was an issue.  Our tires on the front were wearing good on the outside but the inside tread was rotted in parts.  We learned that our car, which is a 2008, was sold to us with 2002 tires!  UM, how does this happen?  

Our car was not safe to drive.  Cory immediately made an appointment for Sunday.  I think he felt bad because it was on Mother's Day but it did not bother me.  We were able to spend a few hours together while the kids were at home.  It was Finnley's nap time, Rye was studying, Drake was sleeping and Isabella was watching her favorite show.  

The day was proving to be beautiful. The temperatures stayed at around 75 degrees, the sun was shining and we had the whole day before us. As a group, we decided to head to the beach. Oh, we do love the sand and water.

I love watching the waves hit the shore and to hear the kids laughing as they splash and swim. Our two little kids are growing up with sand in their toes...and hair...and belly buttons...and everywhere. This makes me happy.

We returned home and watched a movie. I can't say that Phenomena was the best movie to watch on Mother's Day but it was a good movie. A true story about a mother who is forced to give her son up for adoption and the process of her discovering who he became. I don't want to give too much away.  The beginning is sad but by the end you are left with some sadness but a sense that this Mother felt that everything had come full circle.

It was lunch time and we were all hungry. I decided that I wanted to make something that featured the flavors of lemon and ricotta. I see these recipes everywhere and the flavor combination has my mouth watering with each picture that I come across. We made this recipe HERE for Lemon Ricotta Cheese Stuffed French Toast Crepes by Half Baked Harvest. They were delicious!

My day was perfect.  I enjoyed the time spent with my kids and husband.  I love how relaxed the day proved to be despite how busy we were.    

Our day ended with my favorite dip.  I love the combination of spinach and artichoke together.  I have tried a ton of recipes and for some reason they don't always taste great to me.

I decided that I needed to make my own.  I am looking for a lot of artichoke heart pieces--not just a small bit here or there.  I want to see the spinach.  I definitely want to taste the cheese.   The ingredients are all the same that you will find with any spinach and artichoke recipe but the amounts used for each recipe will vary.  This is how you attain the preferred flavor and texture that we are all looking for.

Honestly, I just want a powerful punch of flavor with each bite.  This recipe provides that for me and I hope that it does the same for you.  It is just as good warmed up the next day or prepared in a crock-pot to be served at a company party or friend gathering.

The key is to use the best ingredients that you can find.  I use a parmesan cheese that has been aged for 24 months.  It has a sharp and poignant flavor and smell.  I use fresh spinach.  I use fresh garlic.

By all means use the ingredients that you can find, just know, that the ingredients in any recipe can make or break any recipe.  

Enjoy this cheesy dip!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

1-8oz package of cream cheese, soft
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2  cup grated mozzarella cheese for dip
1/2 cup grated mozzarella for topping
1/4 cup sour cream
1-12 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Spray the inside of a 7X11 or equivalent baking dish.

2.  Add all of the ingredients to a medium size bowl and mix well.

3.  Add mixture to baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Cover with foil.

4.  Bake dip for 30 minutes or until bubbly and edges are brown (see photo above).

5.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, pita chips, toasted bread rounds or crackers.

Written by Sherron Watson


  1. I love the guy from Nice Farms, he's so chatty! Their yogurt and chocolate milk are fabulous too. This dip looks great, now you have me craving it - will have to give this recipe a try soon! :)

  2. Thank you Laura. I can't wait to see your precious baby.


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