Happy Holidays everyone! Yezzzzz, it’s true, I have been in the land of royally sucking insofar as posting is concerned for the past few months. BUT, I’m back, and with some great holiday ideas that are going to rock the table, and not your waistline, okay?
Please forgive me for being away for so long, and if it makes it any better, I’ve got serious holiday surprises and giveaways comin’ round the bend to make it up to you – my 5 readers. As you can see in the above, early AM shot, I have been busily getting ready for the holidays over at Casa Sampson. I took the super hunky boyfriend with me on the tree hunt, and despite being turned away at the logging roads due to too much snow and not enough snow ploughs, we landed the beautiful Noble now gracing my living room:
Before we get too far down the snow flurry roads filled with giveaways though, I want to gift you the first recipe (if you can call it that) that you’ll want to use at every function you attend. It literally takes less than 5 minutes to pull together, then just slap it in the oven and walk away. You can do this right before you leave for a party, and show up with a warm, crowd pleasing and FAT FREE dip that will knock the socks off anyone that tries it. Make sure to check out the nutritional facts after the recipe, which I got from inputting the whole recipe into my favorite tool, www.myfitnesspal.com. Here we go!
**By the way, there isn’t a picture of the dip because I got caught up in playing with my nephews and forgot to take a picture, but rest assured I’m making this again and will update the post when I have a picture. Better yet, why don’t you make it and SEND me your picture to post in a holiday update! If you do, there might just be a little gift in it for you!
Siiri’s Fat Free Artichoke Dip
- 1 block fat free cream cheese
- ½ a small container of fat free cottage cheese (about a cup or so, this doesn’t need to be exact)
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup (or a handful) of either bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs (I had panko laying around and you can get it at any grocery store in the same isle as bread crumbs. If you use bread crumbs, you may want to use seasoned ones, regular/plain might be kinda gross…)
- Spices: dill, salt, pepper, garlic powder
- Toss the cream cheese, cottage cheese, egg and spices into the food processor (or you can use your magic bullet, but you’ll probably need to do it in 2 phases…) Blend till completely smooth.
- Chop the artichoke hearts roughly so they’re smaller than when they came out of the can. I did NOT do this, and I regret it. Stir drained artichoke hearts into dip.
- Spread into baking dish (You may want to spray with non-stick spray. I did NOT do this and think it would have made the dip brown better on the bottom and also helped the dip release from the dish for better scooping up with your cracker.
- Sprinkle with bread crumbs lightly
- Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. If the bread crumbs have not browned, I turn the oven onto broil and babysit it like a hawk until the top gets brown and pull it out immediately.
Here’s some tips I now have after doing this:
- Salt and pepper it before baking. I didn’t do it since it was my first time and I regret it. I would have added about 1/8tsp pepper and a 1/4 tsp salt before mixing in the food processor
- Bake it in a shallow dish like a pie plate. The thicker the dip, the longer it’ll take to bake.
- Make sure your artichoke hearts are small enough. I think the size really made my dip not as good, it was too much of a mouthful.
- I’d error on too much dill rather than too little. When you’re adding it, it looks like a LOT, but it’s pretty mild, so I’d go for around 2tsps or even 3tsp (which is, of course, 1tbsp)
- If you have something additional to add, like capers, that’d be yummy too.
- Don’t be afraid to really blend the crap out of the mix before you dump and spread into the baking dish. It adds some whipped/airy texture that puffs up in the oven, and adds to the volume.
And here are the awesome nutritional facts:
This recipe makes just the right amount for a pie pan or tart pan, which makes for easy carrying to a party, and simple presentation (tart pans of course look a bit more finished). I listed the dish as serving 6 people, so if you’re really watching your P’s and Q’s, you may want to consider gently cutting it into 6 or 8 visible wedges and then just scooping out that much onto your plate. But honestly, it’s so healthy, it really doesn’t matter!
And rather than serving with just crackers, (although Wheat Thins, Triscuts, or homemade crostini are the best for this), I sliced up raw zucchini and cucumber and placed those right next to my dish as a healthier suggestion. By the time you’re ready for dinner, you don’t feel like you’ve already had dinner.