Aunt Julie’s Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

½ c chopped sun dried tomatoes

1 14oz. Can artichoke hearts, chopped

1 10oz bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

8 oz sour cream

¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

4 oz Feta cheese, crumbled

½ c onion, chopped

1/3 c mayonnaise

1 T red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, grated

S&P to taste

Directions:

Place sun dried tomatoes into 1 c water in microwave for 3 min. Set aside

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, onion, Feta Cheese, S&P together in bowl

Add the Parmesan cheese, artichokes, garlic and vinegar into bowl and mix together

Add in spinach and mix together

Add in tomatoes (drained) with the above mixture

Place in deep dish and bake in microwave on high for 12 minutes or in 350 degree oven 20 min

Serve with veggies or tortilla chips

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Caramel Corn

16 cups popped popcorn (unsalted)

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cups brown sugar

½ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (if can’t find use corn syrup)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup oatmeal cookie mix

½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ cups pecan (chopped or not)

1 cup raisins, divided

1/4 cup cinnamon sugar

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 250F. NOTE: Keep popcorn mixture in the bowl, mix it with the caramel mixture and THEN divide onto sheets!!!!!

Spray two baking sheets with nonstick baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl (the largest heat safe bowl you have in the house) put popcorn and 1/2 cup raisins in it. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, sugars, golden syrup, lemon juice and salt.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter and sugars melt together.

Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.

Boil gently until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (300F on a candy thermometer) 6-9 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in oatmeal cookie mix and the baking soda.

The syrup with bubbles and foam with the baking soda is added, simply stir until it subsides. Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture and stir with a large wooden spoon until a caramel glaze completely coat all the popped corn and mix until all the popcorn is covered.

Divide the caramel corn between the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle caramel corn with 1/8 cup cinnamon sugar per baking sheet. 

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and stir and flip (I use a heat proof spatula) the caramel corn.

Bake for another 20 minutes. Do the same again.

Let caramel corn cool completely.

Store in a tightly covered container for up to a week.

Best Queso Dip

prep time: 10 MINUTES cook time: 15 MINUTES total time: 25 MINUTES

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half, or evaporated milk (I used 2 cans of evaporated milk)
  • 2 chipotle chiles, diced (canned in adobo sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Place a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add the butter, shallots, garlic and jalapeño. Saute for 3-4 minutes to soften, then add the half & half and chipotle peppers.
  • Whisk in the cornstarch. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, so the half & half can scald (not necessary with evaporated milk). Then lower the temperature to medium-low. Next stir in the cream cheese and mustard.
  • Slowly start adding the shredded cheese. Stir and add by the handful, until the sauce comes together. If you prefer your cheese sauce a little thinner, add an extra splash of half & half. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a slow cooker or fondue pot.

NOTES: We felt this was too bland, so we added in more Taco Seasoning, Cumin and salsa to taste

Any leftovers make great Beer Cheese Soup

Add one bottle (enough to make more “soupy”)

I also fried leftover Hash Browns and placed in bottom of soup bowl, then added soup