When I’m in the kitchen, I feel as though I truly belong (insert expected stereotypes and various snickers from the peanut gallery). No really, though, I de-stress in the kitchen. When I am cooking, nothing can hurt me. It’s better than any bubble bath with added glass of wine (again, add various “did she really just say that?!”‘s and *gasp!*s). Just let me get in the kitchen and cook to my heart’s content.
I have recently started bringing both of my children into the kitchen with me. My son is starting to show enough maturity to where he will actually listen to me instead of talk over me and act like he knows what he’s doing (a common occurrence in nearly eight-year-old boys). My 16-month-old daughter likes to play with the utensils more than actually cook, so I usually let her have a wooden spoon or a spatula so that she can get more familiar with the instrument by banging it on various surfaces, up to and including the counter, stools, cabinets, and her highchair. They make for very cool musical instruments for toddlers.
Meanwhile, on another glorious day in the kitchen (again, queue snickers, stereotypes, and judgmental obscenities) I thought about how much I missed spinach artichoke dip. It was my favorite appetizer to order whenever our family went out to eat, and I wondered if I could make it near as good as some of the places I had had it (Olive Garden was in the top three). I went ahead and looked up some recipes for it, but none of them really appealed to me. They didn’t use near the fresh ingredients I would expect them to, or I thought that maybe the dip would come out kinda bland. So I took some inspiration from a few recipes (including one from FoodNetwork.com) and combined them, with a few twists of my own (you may find my final version here: ). Another bright idea I had found, on Pinterest (yes yes I know, very typical) was to slather it onto bread and grill it. GENIUS!
The end result was fabulous. While my son won’t come within five feet of the stuff, myself, my husband, and my daughter all chowed down. I did not envy my son’s leftover macaroni and cheese dinner, nor did I wish someone else had made it. This was my victory, no matter how small, it was still mine.
I hope you all try this recipe. Feel free to send me some feedback on the recipe page with any added tips or tricks!
Live to Mangia! another day!