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Reunited, and It Feels So Good…

Yep. That song. Don’t pretend like you don’t know it. Cause you do. And it is stuck in my head since yesterday when my sister Lindsey repeated the refrain half a dozen times.

I’m sure you are wondering why she might want to sing that particular tribute to the 70’s over and over right before Christmas, instead of say… Frosty the Snowman? Or Jingle Bells?

Well I will tell you— drumroll please— it’s because our little sister is home from France!!!!! In case you didn’t know, that is a major event in our lives. Definitely reason to celebrate. And celebrate we did.

We also sang “Christmas Shoes” a few times, and it is holding strong as the Worst Christmas Song Ever.

So anyway, Steph-O returned and we had a party. We made (and decorated) the most awesome gingerbread cookies you have ever seen (I will give you recipes and pictures of said cookies this week, I promise). We drank Hot Spiced Drunken Apple Cider, and DANG it was good. I am sharing that recipe with you here:

Hot Spiced Drunken Apple Cider!

Also, I made some spinach and artichoke dip.

Spinach+Artichoke+Cheesy Happiness is a tribute to almost every meal Stephanie and I have ever eaten in a restaurant, and since she’s been gone, I made it my mission to create a spinach dip that would wow my sister upon her return. This recipe makes a lot, and I’m thinking it was pretty good because it was annihilated.

I started with 14 ounces (two 7 ounce jars) of marinated artichoke hearts that I drained and then coarsely chopped. To that I added a 10 ounce package of frozen spinach that I thawed completely and then squeezed all the water out of, and 2 cloves of garlic, all minced up very finely.

**** Tip: Take the frozen spinach out of the packaging and place it in a collander. Run warm water over it until it’s thawed, and then squeeze it dry with your hands. This will save you a TON of time. It will also keep your fingers from freezing.****

Throw in 8 ounces of softened cream cheese (I used neufchatel- 1/3 less fat!), 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1/4 cup mayonnaise (both the “light” variations). Then you will need 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella.

And TexasPete. Oh yes. I didn’t measure ‘ol Pete. Just tossed some in till I thought it looked right. Maybe it was a tablespoon. Maybe it was more. You could leave it out altogether if you and Pete are not friends, but we like some spice with our spinach.

Find your hand mixer and blend this all together. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and pour the creamy spinachey artichokey goodness in there to bake for 20-30 minutes at 350. Serve with veggies or crackers or chips. I served ours in a whole wheat bread bowl. Yum.

I wish I could show you a picture of the finished product, but I was in a hurry, my phone battery died (and with it my camera), my ankle is SPRAINED and I am hobbling around like the old woman that lives in the shoe. So you will just have to 1. trust me, 2. use your imagination, and 3. make this one for yourself.

Spinach Artichoke Dip


14 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Texas Pete- a teaspoon, a tablespoon, 1/2 a cup, none at all… totally up to you

To Make

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a small baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Mix all ingredients until well blended and creamy. Pour into baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve with vegetables, chips, crackers, and or bread.