Most schools are back in session, but Little Miss’s preschool tends to start up later. Lucky me, I’m the president of the PTO there, and we have a small cadre of volunteers for a number of reasons. In an effort to get things kicked off on a positive note, I invited some of the moms who have volunteered to help out already to my house for munchies and our first meeting.
And of course by some munchies, I made a tomato and avocado salad, brie with dessert sauces, marinated mozzarella with grape tomato skewers, and a hot cheesy spinach dip. Ok, and a few other things. In fact, I just realized that I forgot to put out the truffles. Oops. (See, don’t you wish you were part of my PTO?)
It was good. I finished up the avocado and tomato salad for dinner last night, and it’s possible that I’m currently snacking on the spinach dip right now as my dinner for tonight. Oh choices, choices.
Cheesy Hot Spinach Dip
3/4 c mayonnaise
8 oz neufchatel, softened (that’s the naturally lower in fat cream cheese — don’t buy the plastic fat free stuff. Ick)
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1/4 t Indian chili powder (ok, that’s what I have and I love it, but use cayenne pepper or something similar)
12 oz frozen spinach
1 c cheddar cheese, grated (again, don’t buy the pregrated stuff)
2 c Parmesan cheese, grated (do I need to repeat myself? I’m not even saying anything about the green can)
Salt and pepper to taste (barely any salt, but the pepper is needed)
Saute your well chopped onion in the olive oil. While it is sauteing, defrost your spinach and squeeze the heck out of it to get out allll the excess moisture. You want nearly dry spinach. Or be brave and lightly chop some fresh spinach and toss it in when the onion is nearly done.
Once the onion is sauteed, add the garlic for about thirty seconds. Then add the mayo and neufchatel. Toss in the spinach and chili powder (cayenne pepper). Stir on medium low heat until it’s nice and combined and the neufchatel is totally melted.
Slowly add the cheddar cheese. As in add one small handful at a time, stir until totally melted, then add the next handful. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with an icky mess of cheese. Once all the cheddar is incorporated, do the same for the Parmesan.
Once everything is incorporated, salt and pepper to taste. With the salt in the cheeses, you shouldn’t need much at all. Serve it hot (keep it warm in crock pot doo-hickey) with fresh bread — Hawaiian is great, but French is pretty darn good, too. When you run out of bread, tortilla chips make a good substitute. Not that I’d know personally…
This would also be great with chopped artichoke hearts. Or diced fresh tomatoes added at the end. Or other cheeses. Or anything your imagination can come up with, I’m thinking!
If you like me and want me to have the chocolate that I so desperately need, go vote for my pretty banana boats over at Laura’s Best Food/Foodie Foto. Please vote for me?