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Friday, December 23, 2011

The rush of the holiday

So I started the day with the lofty goal of cleaning my entire house, prepping all Christmas day food, doing all the laundry and also finding time to start my jewelry contest project. 

So far, I'm pretty happy with what I've accomplished . . .  I started my day with a 9am hot rock massage.  Then went to the grocery story for the 90th time this week (feels like it anyway).  Took the older kid to the doctor for what appeared to be an ear infection (wasn't, thank goodness) and got an ice pack for the younger kid who managed to take a header into the corner. .. her shiner is looking much better now.  The 2nd load is in the washer and the house is still a wreck.  I think I'll treat myself to a dirty floor for Christmas.  The dogs will just be tracking mud in anyway, as we still have no snow in my part of Michigan!

So far I've manged to prep the spinach artichoke dip, the cold spinach dip (the one you serve with pumpernickel bread), a cheeseball, some cream cheese & salsa dip, my nearly world-famous bean dip, some salmon spread and the crab rangoon filling.  And I managed to squeeze in dinner of a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin and some homemade cheese scalloped potatoes.  All that really remains for Sunday is the cocktail sauce (which I ever buy, I'm a girl of Polish heritage, we Pols need our fresh horseradish . . that store-bought stuff is never horseradishy enough for me!)

Spinach Artichoke Dip:
1 block cream cheese (fat free is just fine if you're diet conscious)
handful of shredded mozarella
1/2 C fresh grated pamesean
handful of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 can artichokes, drained & chopped
generous scoop of sour cream (fat free is just fine)
garlic powder until is smells garlicy enough for you (somewhere between 1/2 t and 1 T or 4-6 fresh cloves, mashed to a paste)

Place all ingredients in an oven-proof casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, until slightly browned and bubbly.

Bean Dip:
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans
1 jar salsa (any variety)
1 T each: cumin, cilantro, onion powder, garlic powder

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Heat in an oven-proof casserole dish at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or in a crock pot or on the stove top or in a microwave until heated through.

Mixture also freezes wonderfully.  I often make a double batch and then freeze half for a rainy day.  Can be mixed with taco meat or cooked chicken for burritos or enchiladas.  Also makes a great nacho topping.

These are the only recipes I can think of off the top of my head.  If anyone is interested, I will look the others up and post them as well. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, if that's what you celebrate - otherwise, have a good weekend.  We have been jokingly having a Festivus Celebration today - in preparation for the Christmas get together. 


  1. How about the recipe for your cheese scalloped potatoes?

    Sounds like this will be an interesting blog to follow. Love to get new recipes. You cook like my girlfriend does, by smell and pinches and dashes.


  2. Let's see . .. . I'll see if I can remember what I did.

    6 med-large potatoes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 yellow or white onion, finely diced
    2 C milk
    1/2 stick butter
    dash nutmeg
    fresh parmesean (and a microplane)
    sharp cheddar (and a box grater)

    Preheat oven to 375. Spray or butter an 8" square baking dish

    In a saucepan, melt the butter. Then add the onion and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add milk and cook until heated through. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat.

    Arrange 2 layers of potatoes, coat with milk mixture. Grate parmestan and cheddar on top (I used more parmesean than cheddar). Repeat with potato/milk/cheese layers until you run out of stuff.

    Top mixture with more parmesean and cheddar. Sprinkle some dried parsley on top if you're feeling up to it.

    Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    The potatoes took as long as a pork tenderloin took to cook (pork tenderloin seasoned with salt & pepper, then coated with honey mustard, sprinkled with crushed rosemary, wrapped in bacon and placed on a baking sheet).

    One day I'll write down measurements and take pictures for the blog. :-)