Last weekend, we had the privilege of hanging out with friends and family for one reason or another the entire weekend. My mother-in-law's birthday party, friends reaching out to us, and a certain famous annually-held football game. Each place we went, I was pleasantly surprised at the food that was offered to us. Each one literally had a bowl of wonderful, deliciousness that I HAD to share. It's no secret I love to cook, but I also love to EAT! I asked each owner of each super bowl of food I was impressed with to provide me with the recipe so I could pass them along, and here they are (you're welcome!):
To start, our friends Cook and Kim Glover had us over for dinner as a 'thank you' for them staying at our place while some work was done on their house. No thanks necessary, but if food is the gift of thanks, I'LL TAKE IT! It was lovely as always to spend time with them and dinner was truly fantastic - you could tell that there was much thought and love put into their stuffed chicken pinwheels, seasoned roasted potatoes, and green beans; but as an appetizer, we had an amazing spinach artichoke dip, which stood out to me for the remainder of the evening. Remember, this is not meant to be fat-free or incredibly healthy...this was a bowl of gooey, rich, yumminess, and here is the recipe Cook gave me to pass along to you:
BAKED ARTICHOKE SPINACH DIP
2 cups canned artichokes; chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach; thawed & drained
16 oz cream cheese; softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan cheese; grated
3 tablespoons garlic; minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes; crushed
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 baguettes; sliced
olive oil; for drizzling
salt & pepper; to taste
Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl combine the softened cream cheese with the mayonnaise. Mix in the artichokes, spinach and Parmesan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the mixture. Spread into a shallow baking dish. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until top is browned slightly and dip is bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
While the dip is baking, slice the baguettes into 1/2 inch slices. Place them, single layered on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Once the dip is out of the oven, bake the bread at 400 for 7-10 minutes or until slightly toasted. Enjoy.
Next, we visited my sister-in-law Tricia's house for my mother-in-law's birthday celebration. There was barbecue and LOTS of dips and chips. But one bowl full of goodness in particular stood out to me. My sister-in-law's friend, Pauline, made potato salad that melted my face off it was so good. So of course, I asked her for the recipe! There were two "secret ingredients" she was selfless enough to point out and I will make sure to tag those in the recipe so you're aware of the importance in the recipe itself. Now this recipe is truly down-home, because there was no measurements she could provide for me...just add the ingredients to the potatoes to taste...and it WAS to taste!!
PAULINE'S POTATO SALAD
Finely GRATED (not chopped) onions (SECRET INGREDIENT!)
Evaporated Milk (SECRET INGREDIENT!)
About 2 Hard-Boiled Eggs, finely diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Add all ingredients together and enjoy!
I brought an awesome bowl of love to this party in the form of a dip that Chelsea calls Slap-Yo-Mamma Dip. I call it Ex-Wife Dip (for reasons I'll save for another post!) and it was given to Adrian a long time ago by our friend, Caren, and I make different variations of it to take ownership of it. I couldn't blog an entire post of recipes and not share one of my own! This dip is a HUGE hit everywhere we go so be certain to take note of this SUPER bowl:
EX-WIFE SLAP-YO-MAMMA DIP
1 small pkg ground breakfast or Italian sausage (I use ground turkey and just season it with Italian seasoning and lots of sage, and it tastes just like sausage!), browned
2 -8 oz pkgs cream cheese (I use Neufchatel - it's just as rich, but way lower in fat)
2 cans extra spicy Ro-Tel
Place all ingredients into crock pot until melted...serve with tortilla chips (I use organic multi-grain). For this last weekend's dip, I blended a can of organic black beans until creamy and added it to the dip...HO-LEE MO-LEE, it was good!!
We then spent the day of football with our friends Derick and Jennifer Thompson, in order to get some work done AND celebrate the game and our friendship all at the same time. I typically do not eat pork, as it is the hardest meat for your body to digest, but once in awhile I make an exception in moderation - especially when there are all-natural and organic ingredients being used! Well...I can honestly say I had the best carnitas ever...it was a bowl full of juicy pulled pork, and I'm drooling right now thinking about it. We also had delicious turkey chili, and I brought twice-baked potatoes and macaroni salad, but this pork recipe is the one that was so good it almost made me cry, so here is the recipe Derek passed along to me to pass along to you:
PULLED PORK CARNITAS
Archer Farms Carnitas Seasoning pack - this is specifically a Target (pronounced 'tar-jhay') brand and it has variations of all-natural and organic ingredients for all of the products.
Place pork roast in crock pot for about eight hours- he put his in at midnight and it was ready at 8am...add seasoning packet and follow directions for amount of water to add (he used lime juice in place of the water for a mighty-tender roast) Shred pork and put on corn tortilla with a little cheddar cheese on top - Derick nearly blackened the corn tortillas on the stove-top and it really added something special to the carnita...I'm salivating again!
So there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen! I hope you get to enjoy this post-full-o-recipes beyond just reading them...more than anything, I simply wanted to convey to you that it doesn't have to be a once-a-year football game for you to be able to celebrate and enjoy some sort of Super Bowl. (TOUCHDOWN!!)