I am in a book club. That means I am super smart.
You should be impressed.
Just kidding, we’re reading Mindy Kaling’s book next.
This weekend it was my turn to host our wine party intellectual discussion. I love to host get-togethers, it’s the perfect opportunity to pretend that I know what I’m doing with this here “adult” life of mine.
Food was a must, clearly, though I was really torn as to what to serve. Originally I planned a drool worthy menu of girlie finger foods, then I got an intense craving for Mexican and started dreaming of sizzling fajitas. Thank the Lord my friend Caroline stepped in to clear things up and suggest that, while fajitas are always delicious, perhaps the originally planned girlie food menu would pair better with the wine. Lest we forget our priorities.
Here are the tasty treats I whipped up.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
This may be one of my favorite things to eat in the history of all eating ever. There’s just something magical about the ooey, gooey, creamy, cheesy goodness that gets me every time. And since it has spinach and artichokes in it, it totally counts as a vegetable in my book.
1 packet frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz. cream cheese (don’t wimp out on me, go for the full-fat stuff. It’s way better)
½ cup sour cream
½ cup real mayonnaise (I like Hellman’s)
½ cup grated Mozzarrella
¼ cup grated Parmesan
garlic salt (however much you like)
red pepper flakes (some like it hot)
Mix all ingredients together in an oven-safe baking dish. I covered mine with foil. I don’t really know what would happen if you didn’t, probably the end of the world. But I don’t want to be dramatic or anything.
Bake it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Then remove the foil, sprinkle the top with whatever extra Mozzarella/Parmesan cheese you have left, and put it in a low broiler for 5ish minutes. The cheese will be all bubbly and magical on top. You can thank me later.
Serve with crackers, or unapologetically dive in face-first. Totally up to you.
Open-Face Cucumber Sandwiches
These are a cinch to make, and people eat them up. You’ll need 8 oz. cream cheese, one Italian dressing seasoning packet, a cucumber and some bread of your choice. You can use little crostini-type bread, bruschetta-esque bread, whatever tickles your fancy. I used a skinny French bread, about 3 inches in diameter.
Slice your bread into ½ inch slices. Slice the cucumber pretty thinly too. It’s all about the proportions, man.
Mix up the Italian dressing seasoning packet into the softened cream cheese. I will tell you from past experience that this mixture becomes even more divine when you add some garlic salt and chopped dill.
Spread some cream cheese mix onto a piece of bread, top with a cucumber, repeat. You can sprinkle with a little paprika for presentational cuteness.
Because it’s what’s on the outside that counts.
Just kidding. Except in this case.
These are divine. Pure Heaven in your mouth. Trust me when I tell you that you want to eat these ohemgeerightnow. First, fry your bacon so it’s crispy, then slice the brie, and jam up those bread slices. I cooked my sandwiches on the stove top over a low heat. The end game here is for the cheese to get all melty and gooey.
The crispy, salty bacon and rich, creamy cheese combo makes my heart go pitter-patter. The raspberry jam doesn’t hurt, either.
I borrowed The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for these bad boys, and they were fantastic. I used flour tortillas, a mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese because it’s what I had in my fridge, and sautéed the sliced jalapenos in butter to calm their heat a bit. And because, duh, butter.
Mmmm. Book club.