Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Over the weekend, I went to my friend Jeanne's house to drink wine and watch movies. Your general Girls Night. I wanted to bring some kind of snack, something warm to offset the bite in the air as of late. Luckily, I read Alisa's blog earlier that week and she had mentioned how delicious Cooking Light's Spinach Artichoke Dip is, so I decided to give that a go.

It is SUPER easy to make. I, like Alisa, didn't use the oven at all but instead put everything in the crock pot and set it on high for 1/2 an hour and then left it on warm for another 1/2 hour. It was perfect! So yummy. Perfect for baked tortilla chips, pita bread or veggies.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8 ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 (13.5 ounce) package baked tortilla chips (about 16 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (2 tablespoons Parmesan through spinach) in a large bowl, and stir until well-blended. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with tortilla chips.

Then, on Sunday I was struck with inspiration and decided to give the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I had read about on a whirl. Talk about your perfect fall cookie! The pumpkin taste is mild and really yummy with the chocolate chunks. It ends up having more of a cakelike constancy than just plain chocolate chip cookies. Light and delicious...I HIGHLY recomend them.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Set the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

3. In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and beat just until blended.

4. Mix in the dry ingredients.

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips or chunks and nuts, if using.

6. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoons 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

7. Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Rotate the sheets halfway through baking to ensure even baking. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for a few minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from "Too Busy to Cook?" Volume Two


Lys said...

Ya had me at Pumpkin *LOL* I guess I need to start getting ready to purchase a stand mixer.

I'll let ya know how the recipes work out -the dip seems super simple.

Sparky said...

I made the spinach dip last night for a couple friends. I served it with homemade pita crisps and it was delicious!!!