I am wondering if anyone else was slightly confused as they watched the Olympics Opening Ceremonies…Sitting with my daughters, our eyes locked on the television, I was perplexed with the initial costumes. Because my kids talk when the announcers are talking, I really had no idea what Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer were saying. The peasant outfits had me saying “What the heck”. There was ball tossing, maybe Ring Around The Rosy. Honestly, I was staring at the television with a straight look of ignorance….then at some point Paige said “Mom this is to be the Industrial Revolution”..I mean I got that, but I was still trying to piece together the peasant costumes.

Then they moved on to J.K. Rowling doing a reading with some large character from her book. Again, Paige had to tell me who the character was as I never read Harry Potter or watched any of the movies for that matter.  Next.. Bedlam, the nurses, and kids jumping on the beds. Cruella Deville and The Queen of Hearts made an appearance to scare the children.  And who else to get the boys and girls calmed down, but Mary Poppins. At the end of that segment, which culminated with some large scary baby in the center of the stadium,  I retreated to my deck.  Paige knew she was to inform me when the athletes entered the stadium.  I did appreciate the fact that they wanted to give us a timeline of British history along with feature some of their greatest countrymen and women. It wasn’t particularly riveting for me, but my daughter’s thought is was outstanding. That is the spirit I want to see.  Paige has been glued to every event since 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. So it really doesn’t matter if I was inspired considering I have been loving the summer Olympics since 1976 and Bruce Jenner…the torch has finally been passed.

Spinach Dip with Crispy Garlic-Herb Bread

Ingredients

-1 pound of fresh baby spinach rinsed (or frozen thawed and drained)

– medium shallot minced

– 3 cloves of minced garlic

– 2 tsp seasoning salt

– 1 tsp of red pepper flake

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1/2 cup chicken stock

– 8 oz softened cream cheese

– 1/4 cup mayonnaise

-1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

– a few dashes of Worcester Sauce

– a few dashes of hot sauce

– loaf of crusty Italian bread

– cup of melted butter

– 1 tbsp minced garlic

– 1 tbsp dried oregano

– 1 tbsp dried basil

– tbsp dried parsley

Directions

1. In large stock pot, heat olive oil add shallots and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t scorch the garlic. Add spinach,  if using fresh pack it into the pot. Add the red pepper flake, seasoning salt, and chicken stock. If you use frozen spinach, use less chicken stock. Allow the spinach to wilt and cook through until tender. If you used fresh, I transfer to a food processor and blend  allowing the stem and leaves to incorporate.  No need for this step if using frozen.

2. While the spinach is cooking, in a separate medium sized pot, cream together cream cheese and mayonnaise.

3. In large bowl, mix together the the spinach and cream cheese mixture. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and Worcester sauce. Mix

4. Transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella cheese.

5. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Crusty Bread

1. Slice bread into uniform pieces

2. Mix minced garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley into melted butter.

3. Brush both sides of bread with butter mixture. Place in the 350 degree oven and flip every 5 minutes until bread is crispy..

Here are some of my other dips that you may want to try as well…..

Maryland Crab Dip with Homemade Soft Pretzel Sticks

Ingredients

– 24 oz. softened cream cheese (softened)

-1/2 cup mayonnaise

-16 oz. lump crab meat

– 1 tsp Worcester sauce

– 2 tsp old bay seasoning

– 2 loaves frozen bread dough thawed

– 1 whisked egg

1. In sauce pan blend together; cream cheese, mayo, crab, Worcester sauce, and Old Bay seasoning  and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low…

2. Cut each loaf of bread dough with a pizza cutter. Each loaf should yield 12-16 pieces. Roll into “sticks”

3. Bring large stock pot of water (seasoned with salt) to a boil….put sticks in the boiling water. Remove with the sticks rise to the surface of the boiling water.

4. Pat the dough dry…..brush with egg wash and sprinkle on additional old bay seasoning

5. Bake in pre-heated of 350 degrees for 20 minutes

6. Cool and serve with dip

Homemade Potato Chips with Beer and Bacon Dip

Potato Chips

– 7 or 8 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes

– oil for frying

– sea salt

On a mandolin thinly slice potatoes, in dutch oven fry potatoes at 350 degrees until they are crisp on both sides..approximatly 8 minutes. Drain on to paper towel season with salt.

Beer and Bacon Dip

– 16 oz. softened cream cheese

– 6 slices of fried bacon crumbled

-1/3 cup beer (not a lager)

– envelope of ranch salad dressing

– 2 cups of sour cream

1. Mix all ingredients together leaving a few bacon crumbles to sprinkle on top!!!!

Remember….Who Do You Want In Your Kitchen On Game Day!!!!!!!

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