But that didn't mean we couldn't party like the best of 'em. Grandmunchkin was too little to appreciate it, but for Hubby and me I prepared a dip that had been on my wish-list since a friend brought this unforgettable item to a covered-dish Christmas buffet two years ago.
Fiesta Hot Artichoke Dip is the sort of appetizer that lifts dips out of the doldrums. It makes you want to stand over the veggie tray and graze ad infinitum. It tasted great with chips and crackers, too (as well as atop a barbecue sandwich I had for dinner last night.)
Made with Neufchatel cheese instead of the higher-fat-content regular cream cheese, you can graze on it without guilt (especially when you think about all the fresh veggies that are going down alongside it). An ample contribution of fresh green onions and artichoke hearts (rinse the hearts thoroughly to help lessen the sodium content) into the dip mixture makes this a healthy option.
Even though the word "hot" is in the recipe, we found it just as delightful served cold and straight out of the fridge. But taking time to warm it makes it easier to scoop the veggies and chips into. (Save this recipe for your Super Bowl Blowout Party next month.)
The new year of 2011 got off to a great start, tastebuds- and health-wise, with the introduction of Fiesta Hot Artichoke Dip into our culinary fare.
Fiesta Hot Artichoke Dip
1 (1-ounce) package taco spices and seasonings (I used the lower-sodium variety)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (8-ounce) package Neufchatel cheese
2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained (cut each heart into several sections)
1 (8-ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onion (divided into two 1/4 cups)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl combine all ingredients except 1/4 cup green onions. In 2-quart greased baking dish spoon artichoke mixture. Bake 25 minute or until heated through. Garnish with remaining green onions and serve with assorted fresh vegetables or tortilla chips. Makes 5 cups.