Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Growing up, I was very wary of this dish. I thought spinach was disgusting and artichokes are just weird! I tried some at a restaurant several years ago and have been hooked ever since.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

http://natashaskitchen.com/2012/09/30/spinach-and-artichoke-dip-recipe/

Taste: 10

Difficulty: Easy

This dish is so super easy to put together. The hardest part was not turning up the heat to melt the cheese faster. I made this as a side dish for dinner one evening and served it with tortilla chips. When serving hot, I would probably opt for the baguette next time. Since it made so much, I took it to work the next day as we were having “food day”. This time it was served cold with Garlic Butter Ritz crackers. It was a huge success. Everyone raved about it and I gave the recipe to several people.

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Confetti Mac and Cheese

It is Orthodox Lent season so my family is abstaining from meat until Pascha (Orthodox Easter). Therefore, we eat a lot of fish, vegetables and pasta. I wanted an easy dinner idea so decided on frozen fish with mac and cheese. I didn’t want just plain old mac and cheese so decided to try a new version.

Confetti Mac and Cheese

http://www.peasandcrayons.com/2012/12/confetti-mac-and-cheese.html

Confetti Mac and Cheese

Taste: 2

Difficulty: I’ll explain

What I thought interesting about this recipe was that I did not have to boil the pasta while trying to make cheese sauce; mix it all together and then bake for almost an hour. Almost everything was done in one pot. I bought elbow macaroni to use instead of the shells and had a bag of frozen vegetables that needed to be used that I steamed while cooking the pasta.

Here is where it gets interesting. I put the pasta and the milk in the pot and started cooking. The milk was absorbed WAY too fast and I had barely cooked pasta on my hands. I added some more milk and started stirring again (the recipe says this part of the cooking process should only take about 15 minutes). I was stirring and adding more milk for almost 45 minutes. I finally got my pasta cooked adequately so I added the cheese and it officially turned into a mess. It got super thick, which required me to use even more milk (Grr!). I was so frustrated by this dish that ended up looking completely unappealing that I did not even eat any. I let the hubby do that. The man that eats almost anything thought it was an epic fail.

I decided to look at the comments on the post and found that it was not just me. Several other readers had attempted this dish with the same result as me. Very few received the same result as the original source.

I guess I’ll stick to the traditional or boxed way next time 😦

Crock Pot Potato Soup & Homemade Bread Bowls

I had some extra time today so I got to try TWO new recipes! I had originally planned to make the Potato Soup and was going to buy a loaf of artisan bread at the store but forgot (story of my life). I decided to do a search of my food board to see if I had pinned any bread recipes that would compliment my soup and that wouldn’t take all day to make. I had pinned this recipe a while ago but never found the time to make them.

Crock Pot Potato Soup

rachelrecipelover.blogspot.com

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Taste: 10

Difficulty: Easy

I only made a couple of ever-so-slight tweaks t0 this recipe. My hubby does not like corn in his soup and I don’t like bacon in mine so those two ingredients were conveniently forgotten. I also did not have any green onions. Overall though, I thought it was downright tasty!

Homemade Bread Bowls

chef-in-training.com

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Taste: 9

Difficulty: Easy

This recipe was SO easy to throw together! It only has six ingredients and took about 15 minutes to make. Rising time was about an hour and baking time was 20 minutes.

ENJOY!!

Sparkling Jumbo Blueberry Muffins

We don’t get snow days here in Kansas very often so I am taking advantage of the day at home with no demands on my time. I decided this lazy day would be great for trying out a new blueberry muffin recipe. The pictures always make the food look so good you can’t help but try it! The original post came from sallysbakingaddiction.com.

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Difficulty: Easy

Taste: 5

I decided to make mini muffins as I don’t have a jumbo muffin tin. I also don’t like overly sweet so I didn’t add the sparkling sugar on top. The recipe was extremely easy to throw together. It also warns that the batter will be thick. It was VERY THICK. I thought I was going to break my cookie scoop trying to get the batter out of it!

In the recipe, it tells you to preheat the oven to 425 degrees, bake for 5 minutes then turn the heat down to 375 to finish baking. I failed to scroll down to the very end of the recipe where, in italics, it says not to start at 425 when doing mini muffins. Oops! I noticed it when I had just put the muffins in the oven. I immediately turned the heat down but some damage was done. Upon removing from the oven, the bottoms were slightly overdone and the tops were very crusty. I could deal with crusty but I cannot stand overdone which then made the inside dry and crumbly.

Will I make this recipe again? Probably not. I’ll stick with the tried and true recipe from my mother.