Tag Archives: artichokes

Creamy artichoke bruschetta and Louisiana Friday night around here

First off…TGIF ya’ll. Thank God it’s Friday!!! It seems each week I am increasingly eager to get to Friday. There is just something about Friday. Today has been a tad bit gloomy and overcast. It has rained some with a little bit of sunshine mixed in. It’s been a busy week for us and I am just ready for whatever downtime I can get. Trust me, my expectations are low. I am nothing if not realistic. But the weekends have to bring some relief from the harried pace our weeks seem to take on, right? Just nod and back away slowly friends. There is something about Friday, isn’t there? Makes you want to party, celebrate, bow to the weekend Gods. And celebrate we shall. Today, I picked up 7 kids in the carpool line. Yeah…7. It was like trying to fit clowns into a clown car. My life is literally comparable to a circus and I am the ringmaster. It’s an incredibly funny and fitting comparison. So I loaded up my mini van aka swagger wagon with kiddos and backpacks and I toted them home. And then I decided since it was a Friday during Lent, it was overcast and we had a house full of kids that I needed to whip up something creamy and meatless and uber fantastic. That makes total sense, right? Exactly. This creamy artichoke bruschetta recipe that I found on http://www.thecookierookie.com fit that bill. Not only was it a cinch to whip up, it was a hit amongst my fellow circus people. They enjoyed it. The flavors just explode in your mouth. The creamy texture of the topping mixed with the crispness of the bread is simply heaven. It’s a perfect Friday night treat that lets you know the weekend has arrived…pop the top on that Angry Orchard Apple ginger beer or you know…whatever beverage you want.(clears throat) I just chose a beverage at random. Lol. This appetizer, that can totally hold its own as a meal in my book, is a perfect little treat to celebrate the weekend. It’s good to savor that. Hold on to the weekend and make it count ya’ll.

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party like its Mardi Gras ya’ll!! That is how we roll in our circus.

Creamy Artichoke Bruschetta

serves about 10

stuff you need~

1 load French bread, cut into slices
Olive oil
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (aka what we call shaky cheese…idk)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon parsley flakes

what to do with the stuff~

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your bread slices on a foil lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil.

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Bake in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until bread is nice and crispy.

Meanwhile, mix together all of the ingredients except the mozzarella in your standing mixer or with an electric mixer.

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Spread a generous amount of this mixture over each piece of toasted bread.

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Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over each piece of toast. Pop it into the oven for about 15- 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and has little browned spots on it. So seriously devilishly delicious. It’s a party for your mouth ya’ll.

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my lovely taste testers approve and rate it totes delish.

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you want a piece don’t you?

PW’s Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Now I told ya’ll that I love Pioneer Woman’s recipes.  They are scrumptious (her word) and realistic and please a crowd.  With my crew over here, we are a crowd so that is definitely important.  This recipe makes a big ole skillet full and will please your crowd (or a few hungry Cajuns as they say ha ha!!).  This is a meatless dish but you can totally add some roasted shrimp or some grilled chicken if you want to make it a full meal.  Then it becomes a one pot wonder and who doesn’t love that?  I think next time I make this I will add the shrimp and I will substitute the spinach with kale.  It is so creamy and so dreamy and just mmmm…mmmm…can’t talk because my mouth is full GOOD!  Now that Fall is here, this is a great dish to make for friends who come over to watch the game or for a girls’ night in.

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Spinach Artichoke Pasta (Adapted from the Pioneer Woman) 

Makes about 10 servings 

Ingredients

12 oz. penne pasta, cooked al dente

6 Tablespoons butter, divided

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved (they do carry them already halved if you want to get those)

2 bags of baby spinach (I used one of those plastic containers of baby spinach they have in the store now and that was plenty)

3 T. flour

3 cups whole milk

1/4 t. cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 ounces cream cheese (optional…but yeah…its good)

1 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (less or more, depending on you )

1/2 seasoned panko breadcrumbs

crushed red pepper, according to taste

Instructions

Melt 2 T. of butter in a large skillet.  Over medium heat, add minced garlic and give it a good stir.  Now it is time to simply wilt your spinach.  It will seem like way too much but I promise, it cooks down quickly.  Stir it around until it is wilted or about a minute…then remove from the skillet and then set aside.

Add 2 T. butter to the same skillet and raise the heat to high.  Toss in those artichoke hearts and stir around until they get a little color to them, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the artichokes from the skillet and set them aside.

Reduce the heat to low.  A the last 2 T. of butter to the skillet.  When it is melted, whisk the flour into the butter.  Gradually pour in milk and whisk it in.  Let this cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Take care to stir frequently and not let the mixture scorch.  Add the cheeses, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Stir frequently to melt the cheeses and if it is overly thick, stir in a little chicken broth.

Add artichokes and cooked pasta, tossing gently to combine.  Gently fold in the spinach.  Sprinkle the top with those pretty red pepper flakes (use sparingly…those babies pack some heat!), plenty of Panko breadcrumbs, and an extra sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Now, stop eating it out of the skillet.  Its good right?  Now, dish it up and sit down and enjoy this bowl full of pasta perfection.