October 11th, 2008

spinach artichoke dip

dip 4

a few of you asked for the spinach artichoke dip recipe from my last post, and as you demand, so i deliver. this dip is incredibly tasty, really easy to make and even works for people who proclaim to not like artichokes (like me). anything with spinach and artichokes instantly classes up a party, and your friends will think you spent a lot more time on it than you did. enjoy!

dip 2

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October 8th, 2008

homemade wheat thins!

wheat thins 1

let’s pretend for a minute that you’ve got some people coming over to watch, let’s say, the presidential debate in half an hour and you’ve just made your famous spinach artichoke dip for the occasion. then suddenly you realize you have no chips, crackers or bread to toast and serve with your dip (which is weird, because you usually always have chips, crackers or bread). there’s not enough time to get to the store and back. what will you do? what will you do?

wheat thins dough 1

i’ll tell you what you do: you quickly put together this incredibly quick and easy recipe for one of america’s favorite crackers! maybe you give it your own twist with some dried herbs you have in the pantry. maybe you call them “pete thins” because you think it’s hilarious (even if no one else does). when your guests come in, they’ll be welcomed with delicious dip as well as homemade warm crackers. your guests will rejoice and probably shower you with gifts.

wheat thins dough 3

seriously, these crackers are incredibly easy to make, and if you’re the type of person that likes to know what goes into your snack foods, this is the recipe for you. now the only thing i need is a good recipe for triscuits. anybody have one they’d like to share?

wheat thins 2

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October 3rd, 2008

almond cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting and toasted coconut

almond cupcakes 4

if you search for “almond joy” or “mounds” cupcakes, you’ll either find recipes that have chocolate cupcakes with coconut frosting and almonds on top, or cupcakes that you hollow out and fill with something else. while they may be delicious, i wanted to focus on an intensely almond cupcake with rich dark chocolate frosting and top it with crispy toasted coconut.

almond cupcakes 1

you might recall that i’m not a fan of wimpy cupcakes, and this one is no exception. these are decadent and indulgent. this recipe makes 24, so you might want to share them with someone you love or else you’ll find yourself indulging more than a few times a day.

almond cupcakes 5

the beauty of using almond extract is that you can tweak the flavor as you go. after i initially mixed the batter, a taste test told me that they needed more of a kick. quarter teaspoon by quarter teaspoon, i adjusted until i knew the cakes would have the rich taste i was after.

almond cupcakes 7

i don’t typically make chocolate frosting, but this one really blew me away. i think the difference  was using higher quality chocolate than i’m used to. typically it’s simple nestle tollhouse morsels (which are excellent), but this time i went a different route – shaving down ghirardelli baking bars bit by bit. it was a labor of love that resulted in me getting chocolate all over my clothes and apartment, but it paid off in spades.

almond cupcakes 6

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