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Blending In (and Monterrey Spinach Artichoke Dip)

I have always been one of those people who blends in pretty easily. I don’t stand out in a crowd with my looks or personality. In high school, I wasn’t one of the most popular people, but I also wasn’t in the least popular group either. I was just kind of average, moving along happy where I was.

I haven’t changed much. In fact, I haven’t thought about the “popular” crowd concept much until I had a kid in grade school. It is interesting to see how the “cliques” form, once again, when we are adults. I always thought that once you were out of high school, you were past those cliques, but there always seems to be a group or two still interested in forming and being a part of the popular clique. You walk up to school to pick your kid up, and there is always that circle of mom’s who I like to call the “Barbie Brigade”. Beautiful, dressed to the nines, and socially hip. Those mom’s who couldn’t have possibly gained an ounce of fat by having their children. The mom’s who stand out in the crowd because they are put together and have an interesting aura around them.

Then, there is me… and lots of other moms like me. We walk up to school with one kid screaming at the top of her lungs because you made her put on a coat and the other dressed in striped pink tights, a red dress and hair sticking out everywhere because of the static electricity in the air. As the mom, by the time school is out for the day, the good hair day that lasted all of 10 minutes has gone all wrong. You realize that you are wearing one black shoe and one brown shoe and you can’t remember if you actually rinsed the shampoo out of your hair that morning when you were in the shower. Oh, you stand out all right… but not necessarily because you want to!

There are some things that the Barbie Brigade and the mom’s like me all have in common. If you take the time to dig a little deeper, your original thoughts about all of us may be a little different. Some of the mom’s in the Barbie Brigade are the nicest ladies I have met… and trust me, I’ve tried really hard to hate them. Some of them live up to your expectations as well. Same goes for the mom’s out there that simply blend in. You may think that they are off-putting or not interesting because they are so “normal”, but if you get the chance to know them you will find they have personalities that outshine even the most put together of moms.

This Monterrey Spinach Artichoke dip is a lot like those moms who blend in. If you were to pass it on an appetizer line, you most likely would not be too terribly tempted to try it. I mean, really… how much different can a Spinach Artichoke dip recipe be? Take it from me on this one – you want to get to know this dip. I don’t know if it is the Monterrey Jack cheese or what, but it has such a delicious and unique flavor you will be coming back for more and more.

Monterrey Spinach Artichoke Dip (from my friend Emily)

1 pkg (8 oz.) frozen spinach, defrosted
1 can (13 oz.) artichoke hearts, non-marinated, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pkg (16 oz. total) cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream (or milk)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or use a crockpot). Mix the spinach, artichokes, garlic, cream cheese, cream, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and Parmesan in food processor. If you are doing the crockpot recipe, just add the entire cup of Monterey Jack cheese instead of a 1/2 cup. Place in oven safe dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack. Bake covered for 15 minutes, remove cover and bake 10 minutes longer.

*I use the crockpot for this recipe. I just throw everything in there and cook on high for about an hour until it is heated through and the cheese is melted. Watch it carefully though because if it gets too hot, it will burn*

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Comments

  1. Sounds very good! I like that it can be made in the crockpot :)

    Karens last blog post..Carrot Cake Showdown and a Giveaway!

  2. I love spinachs, looks very healthy!

    Learn English Onlines last blog post..English Grammar Secrets

  3. Ah, Kristen, you’re not helping my diet plans with this one! I can’t wait to try it. And btw, you always look pretty put together to me!

  4. I love the dish you are serving it in :)!
    Actually, I am going to make that this weekend! Keep the ideas coming!

  5. I love your commentary on popular high school kids and Barbie moms! I of course was not the popular kid, and will not be the Barbie mom. I could make a living on blending in. Too bad they don’t pay for that, right? :-)

    The dip looks good. I haven’t met a spinach/artichoke dip I haven’t liked, so I think I would like this one too. It sounds great with the Parmesan and monterey jack.

    Stephanies last blog post..Easy Decadent Truffles

  6. That looks so good!

    marguerites last blog post..Honey Curry Wings & Win a KitchenAid

  7. Re: Stephanie’s comment on not getting paid to blend in – sounds like you’d make a good spy! I mean think about it… they basically DO get paid to blend in. So there you go. New career path!

    camilles last blog post..Gnocchi with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Corn

  8. I LOVE spinach artichoke dip so this recipe is already standing out as a good one to try. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever seen spinach-artichoke dip served in France so I bet my guests would be impressed if I served this as an appetizer. Have to find French substitutes for the cheeses…

    Hopies last blog post..Crème à la féta et aux poivrons rôtis

  9. This looks really great! I love the addition of the monteray jack.

    carries last blog post..Sauteed Balsamic Portabellas with Basil

  10. wow…super easy and sounds delicious!!!
    i think i will definitely be addicted to this dip.

    lululus last blog post..Blueberry Streusel Muffin

  11. What a great twist on an old favorite!!

  12. One of my favorite dips. I love Spinach and Artichoke. I bet the shredded Monterey Jack adds a wonderful flavor. I know what I’m making next time I need a dip.

    Chucks last blog post..Black Forest Bun Recipe

  13. Lovely story! The recipe fits this post perfectly. I bet you could pass for one of the Barbie Brigade if you wanted to.

    Cynthias last blog post..In defense of excess

  14. Classic dish with a twist!

    The Duo Dishess last blog post..Striving to be the Biscuits of Today?

  15. Just serve the Barbie Brigade one of your dishes and they will melt in your hands. : )

  16. I enjoy your thoughts on parenting. And the dip looks so good! I love Monterey Jack so I’ll be trying this.

    Lyndas last blog post..Polish Sausage and Peppers

  17. Great post! I wonder what kind of mom I might one day be. I have a feeling it won’t be the always put together kind! But I would also never pass over a gorgeous dip like this. Lesson learned!

    Andreas last blog post..Quick and Smoky Miso Soup

  18. Mmmm..this looks so good! I bought some Manchego cheese at the store wanting to try it and I didn’t really know what to do with it (Other than cram the whole wedge into my mouth). I think I’ll swap out the MJ for the Manchego.

    Barbie Moms…When you’re only 5’1″ the Barbie Moms tend to overlook you, literally. That’s why I stay in the car and pick Caedon up in the cul-de-sac. :)

    PS. I’ve missed you during my not-so-self-imposed blogger sabatical. I’m getting caught up, slowly. Congrats on the girly!

  19. Haven’t had that yet. Looks great. I’ve been using Hummus or Tzatziki lately. That’s worth a try.

    Gennaros last blog post..Planning A Perfect Romantic Getaway

  20. I can relate to the Barbie Brigade. I was the mom who came to school with slippers because I forgot to change to shoes.

    I love the combination of Spinach and Artichokes. This sounds like a delicious recipe. I will finally use that crockpot!

    Lilianas last blog post..World Peace Cookies – Tuesdays with Dorie

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