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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Girls Big Night Out ( staying in! ) and Artichoke Spinach Cream Cheese Dip

When you are having a Girls Night Out with lots of dancing and singing and delicious food, make sure to include this delicious Artichoke Spinach Cream Cheese Dip! I was so lucky to be invited to a Girls Night out for my birthday. I made my cherry cheesecake ( see recipe index) and Artichoke Spinach Cream Cheese Dip, perfect for a cold winters eve!
This is where I was invited for Girls Night Out! You won't see this in L.A.!

Gretchen's Fish Chowder oh my gosh, just heavenly, I would love a bowl right now. Gretchen is an amazing cook and baker, everything she makes is made with love. She made about 5 gallons of soup! There were 4 of us! My kind of cook! Are you sure you aren't Italian Gretchy?

Dave's amazing homemade French bread. Now I wouldn't say I was a such bread snob, okay well I when Dave says he is going to bake bread, I am first in line. Laura and Dave are always so generous and deliver loaves piping hot out of the oven, you have to be quick if you want a slice, which I always do slathered with fresh churned butter, not that I make that or anything, a girl can dream, right? Don't leave the bread unattended at any time, B Zach is in the house!

Meredith's famous Caesar Salad please cut the onions properly Nettie!

Pull up a sofa and and a book!! No way, there will be lots of laughing, scrumptious food and dancing and singing, it's Girls Night out!!

Look at those chunks of seafood and fish and yummy potatoes. Nom Nom Nom!!

What a special meal prepared with love. I will always have fond memories of our special night out!

My Cherry Cheesecake with two candles, one for Laura and one for me. Happy Birthday Laura!

Okay! So when we are together it's not all about the food, well for me it is...but my other passion besides food is dancing and we did lots of it with Dance Revolution!!

Artichoke Spinach Cream Cheese Dip - After dancing app!
Dance, dance, dance! Sing, sing, sing until you throat is so sore from yelling, you think it's singing until you play the video that Meredith taped, thank you so much Meredith for opening your home to all of us, I had a most wonderful time! Wish I knew how to post videos of us all dancing and singing, I am sure it go viral on youtube! After lots of singing and lots of dancing and lots of laughing we worked up an appetite. My Artichoke Spinach Cream Cheese Dip - I was worried we wouldn't have enough so I made enough for a full dinner and lots of leftovers, take some home please!! Note to self-don't food blog when you are starving!! I doubled this recipe: Artichoke Spinach Cream Cheese Dip: 1 cup thawed frozen spinach, 1 1/2 cups thawed chopped frozen artichokes, 6 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 8 ounce package of shredded Jack Cheese for top of dip. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 quart glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. Heat spinach in microwave for 5 minutes, squeeze dry. Heat artichokes in microwave, I used jar artichokes and included the marinade liquid- yum, why not? Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until soft. Pour these ingredients into a food processor add remaining ingredients and pulse until completely blended. Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle Jack Cheese on top. Bake until hot 15-20 minutes. Serve with french bread or crackers or just a fork! This recipe has been linked up to my favorite blogs: Weekend Potluck Linky
Photobucket Six Sister's Stuff
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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cranberry Nut Muffins

Cranberry Nut Muffins
Merry Christmas and a very Happy Healthy Holy New Year! This is my first blog post for 2012 and I am still in the Christmas spirit! Today is still Christmas on some of your calendars and I still have my tree up! Hubs gave me a new laptop as my big Christmas gift, he is just the most thoughtful wonderful person! Now I can blog anywhere in the world! I have one of those older brains, which takes me a while to figure out these new electronics, so please bear with me.This is why I haven't blogged in weeks, but I am excited to learn and hoping it will make my life easier! This is one of my favorite recipes for the holidays or anytime. I really love the taste of cranberries, tart and crisp the way the cranberry bursts in my mouth. It has such a clean healthful taste as it lingers on, fruity-fresh. I have made this recipe before as a bread and wanted to experiment as to how they would turn out as a muffin.My kids absolutely adore muffins, I had to shoo my daughter away just to do a photo shoot, before the muffins were all gobbled up.

I use the whole cranberries, not chopped so that the muffins are bursting with cranberry flavor. Please make sure the cranberries are completely cooled so that you don't have 3rd degree burns in your mouth like me...

I love how the cranberry muffins look with Lily's Roses!

Oh great! The Barbie muffin paper got in the shot- so professional- Right??

It's Christmas by the bay and unseasonably warm, but there are no complaints here from "The L. A. Girl"! I can get used to this Maine living...last I heard at the local donut shop is that we are going to be making up for it and it will be a "Wicked Snowy Wintah!!" OH-OH.... the word wicked and wintah is really scaring me....but wait...I can bake all day if I am snowed in..yippee!!

My favorite tugs.
I love our harbor, I am so lucky that I can walk here everyday!! I have counted my blessings for 2011 and am very excited for 2012. Happy New Year to you. Love, Nettie


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange or clementine juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Fresh or Frozen Cranberries ( I use whole cranberries)
1/2 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare muffin tins by placing muffin papers inside.If you are doing a photo shoot, leave the Barbie papers for personal use.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, oil and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Use an ice cream scooper and scoop batter into muffin papers.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Makes 18- 24 muffins, depending on size.  This recipe has been linked up with my favorite fabulous blogs!
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