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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Spinach Dip & Crackers

I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, but I never really acknowledged my fondness for spinach dip, even with its presence always made. Whenever I do the grocery shopping, I end up dumping a bottled spinach dip into the cart. When I eat with friends in Italian restaurants like Cibo, it’s always an appetizer. And so far the best I’ve tried is a homemade spinach and artichoke dip made by my best friend’s mom, and I only get to gobble it once a year when my friend celebrates her birthday.

I’ve been messing around the kitchen with fries and chicken and salads and cookies, but it never occured to me to make my own dip until now—a conversation with my friend about artichokes had to do it. Making a dip is easier and faster than watching a stove or oven cook up your preparation, although there are some dips that are also baked.

Below is the recipe I used, with a bit of tweaking depending on the available resources around. I got it off the All Recipes website.

Ingredients

  • 3 bundles of spinach
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 block of grated sandwich cheese (the one that goes with pandesal)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Preparation

  1. After washing the spinach, chop off the stems. Pull out the spinach leaves to be used for the dip. Finely chop the leaves.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Gradually mix in the Parmesan and grated cheese. Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Throw in finely chopped spinach leaves into the mixture and slowly mix until ingredients are well distributed in the dip.  Chill for a few hours.
  4. Put a few dollops into a small glass or a dip platter. Serve with a handful of chips, bread or crackers.

A few suggestions:

  • Instead of using the regular “pandesal keso”, cheddar cheese would be better to add sharpness.
  • Use real mayonnaise, not the “lite” version. I find real mayo creamier, as opposed to the lighter one that sometimes looks like a blob.

It looked more like sauce than a dip after mixing, because the consistency was not as thick as I expected it to be, but refrigerating it solved the problem. I did a bit of blending to bring out the green, but the color wasn’t as rich as I wanted it, so more spinach leaves might do the trick next time. This is great for parties or if you just want a bite before hitting the sack.

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One of the best terms in my college years is the last term before my graduation. Why not, when all I did was read! I only had four classes, and although I always had the option to cut them on lazy days, more often I opted not to, because I enjoyed all minus one of my subjects. Add to that the thought that my school days are numbered. When again will I be  sitting in a room of 30 people, listening to professors talk about murder fiction,  philosophy or the great works of writers?

Those were the months I intentionally read my crime fiction readings at night, alone in my dimmed room to intensify my experience of the stories and yes, it did give me chills. That was the only term my thoughts about life were almost answered, especially when I decided to  write  down my favorite ideas from different existentialist thinkers to remind myself how I choose to see life. It’s also the term when I learned a few other things that popped into my stream of consciousness, a series of notes-to-self, some of which I wish I realized earlier: do not plan out your life too much; spend more; relish solitude; and continue making animal sounds, because apparently I’m not the only legal adult who has the urge to blurt out a moo or an arf.