Spinach Artichoke Dip

This would have been good to post for St Patrick’s Day but I am a day off (oh well!). It would also be good to serve for a March Madness Party so I am still in the clear! My favorite way to eat it is with Pretzel Chips, or a slice of warm baguette.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 can artichokes

1 10ox box frozen spinach

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

(optional) 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

freshly ground pepper to taste

In a small saucepan place the spinach and artichokes along with the juice from the artichoke can. Heat until everything is very soft (about 5-8 minutes). Drain through a sieve.

Soften the cream cheese by microwaving on high for 1 minute. Place in a food processor along with drained artichoke/spinach mixture. Add remaining seasonings and blend until smooth.

Serve warm. You can pre-make this and place in an oven safe dish and reheat to serve. Serve with pretzels, chips, veggies, bread, etc.

Ray’s cheesecake

My childhood best friend’s father was a great cook. He loved cheesecake. After I had my first son he made me a delicious cheesecake, the best I had ever had. He passed away the day before my son’s bris so I never got the chance to ask him why the cheesecake was so incredible. His wife kindly copied out all of the dog-eared recipes in his cookbooks and after much trial and error (which of course my husband did not mind at all) I think I have figured out how to make it. My kids will tell you that the reason it tasted so good was that it was made with love. I think they are right!

Ray’s Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 pkg)

1/3 cup sugar

7 tbs butter, melted

2 pkgs. cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 tsp grated lemon rind

3 eggs

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into a 9 inch springform pan going partially up the sides. Preheat oven to 300F.

In a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, beating until fluffy. Add lemon rind, then eggs one at a time. Beat until blended, pour into pan and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar for 30 minutes. Cool and refigerate at least three hours or better yet, overnight. Garnish with fruit (this will hide any cracks that may have happened when cooling).

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