Monday, July 5, 2010

Artichoke Dip

Lest you think all I make are yummy soups, I'll have you know I do have a large repertoire of recipes. I only recently (I know I'm way behind in the foody scene) fell in love with artichoke dip.

I mean REALLY in love!

I am always watching my calories so I only make it when we have special guests. Thank you John and Sarah for giving me the opportunity to indulge myself!

Artichoke Dip

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a small baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, basil, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

As I've said before, we travel frequently and therefore visit many restaurants on the road. Thankfully, my children have pretty much outgrown many fast food restaurants. They will never outgrow the Olive Garden!

I usually get the soup and salad combo - always watching my calories it seems. Once the girls and I tasted this soup, I knew I had to recreate it at home. It is pure comfort food - creamy chicken soup with soft pillows of potato dumplings also known as gnocchi.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Adapted from CopyKat Recipes

1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half and half
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound potato gnocchi

Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter, when the onion becomes translucent, add the flour, and make a roux, let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

Into the roux add in the carrots, celery, and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasonings.

Simmer 10-15 minutes and correct the seasonings with salt and pepper.