This has been a very frustrating week for many reasons, and I unfortunately spent a lot more time hosting my own personal rage induced pity party than I did coming up with something to make for you today. Then yesterday I got to spend an incredibly rejuvenating and very much needed day with my family. I know I can count myself as one of the lucky ones that I don't have to dread once a year visit with estranged relations, but instead get to look forward spending a day with people who I don't just love, but actually like. Yesterday I got to meet the newest addition to our big crazy clan at only two days old and visit the home of my aunt and uncle who have just moved back to the area after seven years away. The day ended with sandwiches with my parents, aunt, boyfriend, and brothers on their deck. There was a moment, laughing with my brothers about something that we've laughed about so long none of even remembers how it got started that the stress of my week left me, and I just felt profoundly privileged for the people in my life. The ones I've chosen and the ones that were chosen for me.
Now, you're probably wondering why I'm rambling on about my family on a recipe for artichoke dip. This makes no sense now, but I promise you it will in a bit. You see, my mother is an amazing woman, and the kind of person who, throughout my entire childhood, even after going back to work, made the family a home cooked meal damn near every night and still does. I, unfortunately, was the world's pickiest child, and denied myself those warm childhood memories of mom's pork roast because I decided to be a vegetarian at about the age of two (that's not a joke, I was a weirdo). So, some of my favorite food memories are from when I was in high school and the six minutes I attended college, and having "snack dinner" with my mom. Snack dinner would happen when we didn't know what we wanted for eat, but were still definitely very hungry, so we would just go to the store and buy crostini and brie and apples and candied hazelnuts and spinach dip and sometimes even cheesecake. Then we'd eat leisurely on the deck, or while watching a movie, and enjoy the time we got to catch up.
This happens to still be one of my favorite ways to eat, just little bits and bobs all piled together on a plate. I try not to do it all the time, but the fact is, even though I love to cook and do consider it my greatest passion, sometimes after work I am just too damn tired. So I let the cheesemakers, and the salami curers and the olive pickers do the work for me. This is where the artichoke dip recipe comes in. I didn't just want to post a picture of me eating cheese and crackers, and I have had someone ask me to put this recipe up (Hi, Brian!), so I settled on the dip. This is one of the easiest things in the world to make, it's terrible for you, and it's delicious. I've taken this to parties and two of my friends have literally made themselves sick eating so much of it (so watch out). So tonight, to cap off my great weekend, and prepare myself for the possibly tumultuous week ahead, I'm having snack dinner with artichoke dip, some great bread, pears, olives, melon, and a nice hard cider.
Artichoke Dip with Peppadews
- 6 oz sharp cheddar, grated (this will yield you about two cups of shredded cheese)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I don't particularly care for mayo, so I like to use just enough to keep it together, not so much that it's super gloppy)
- 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts (I'm all for fresh cooking, and god bless the soul who cooks and cleans artichokes for a dip but it's sure not me)
- 1/2 cup finely minced onion
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 1/2 cup red peppadews, chopped (Most any peppers in brine will work, or if you want more heat and are not a wimp like me, fresh hot chilies will work as well)
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, adding the mayo last.
- Grease an 8x8 pan (or something close to that size, I'm making minr in a pie dish) and pour dip mixture in in to pan, topping with 1/4 cup shredded parm.
- Stick it in the oven and let it go for about a half an hour, or until it's all brown and bubbly and it looks like this.
- Oh, and also, don't forget to let it cool down. That shit is molten right now and will burn your mouth to smithereens.
That's all she (I) wrote for this week pals. Thanks for checking in again, and I'll see you next Wednesday!