(Better Than) Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip

applebee's spinach and artichoke dip

(Better Than) Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I’ve heard people say they’re nuts about the Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  I’m really not much of a fan of chain restaurants.  We have an Applebee’s in our town and I think I’ve only been there a few times (only because someone else chose the location).  I have nothing against Applebee’s.  We just choose to frequent mom and pop restaurants (see our road trip family rules).

Forget the chains.  I have a Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe that I would put up against any restaurant recipe.  Honestly, I’ve never come across a better version.  Yes, I’m bragging.

Frugal Tip:  Instead of going out to eat, invite another couple over this weekend.  This is the perfect thing to serve at a casual party.  In my opinion, it’s so much more fun (and frugal) to invite people over to your home instead of going out to a restaurant.

(Better Than) Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip
 
Do you love Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke dip? This version is even better!
Ingredients
  • 1 14-oz. can artichokes, drained and chopped
  • ½ of a 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained (re-freeze the remainder to use the next time)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ C. sour cream
  • ¼ C. mayonnaise
  • ¼ C. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ C. Romano cheese, grated
  • ¼ C. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Panko bread crumbs (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese and mix well.
  3. Spread the dip in a baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Next, sprinkle Panko bread crumbs on top with a little pat of butter here and there.
  4. Bake until completely heated through and the cheese begins to bubble and brown.
  5. Serve with crackers, cocktail rye, pita, tortilla chips or even veggies.

 

Green (Deviled) Eggs and (No) Ham: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Green Eggs - Colored Deviled Eggs

Did you know that March 2nd is the anniversary of the legendary Dr. Seuss’ birthday?  Today, I honored his memory by making my version of green eggs (without the ham).  These colored deviled eggs are pretty easy to make, yet they look really difficult.  I made them in neon colors last year around Easter time.  Since my son recently requested deviled eggs (and they are one of my husband’s favorites as well) I decided to have a little fun with them.

I would eat them with a goat.  I would eat them in a boat.  I would eat them here and I would eat them there.  I would eat them anywhere!

Visit Mommysavers for complete step-by-step instructions on how to make these crackled colored deviled eggs

 

Green Eggs

Homemade Asiago Cheddar Crackers

homemade cheese crackersThese yummy homemade cheese crackers are based on my Homemade Cheese Straws recipe, they just are cut with a tiny fondant cutters  instead of made into straws.  Don’t have Asiago cheese?  Not to worry!  This dough recipe is very flexible.  Substitute a wide variety of cheeses and spice combinations, based on your favorite flavors and what you have at home already.

Homemade Asiago Cheddar Crackers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Better than store-bought!
Ingredients
  • 1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ C. grated asiago cheese
  • ¾ stick butter
  • 1 C. flour
  • 1½ Tbsp. milk
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. seasoning (I used Tuscan seasoning)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine cheese and additional ingredients to form a pliable dough. Roll dough to ⅛” thick. Use a fondant cutter to create fun shapes, or simply use a knife to make squares. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.

Baked Brie in a Bread Bowl

Baked Brie in Bread Bowl

Baked Brie in a Bread Bowl

  • Bread bowl
  • One bulb roasted garlic, mashed into spreadable paste (DIY:  How to roast garlic)
  • 1 brie cheese round
  • 1 tsp. rosemary leaves

This baked brie recipe is sure to impress any guests at your New Year’s Eve gathering.  They’ll never guess how easy (and frugal!) it really is.  First, I started with this Super-Easy Bread Bowl Recipe.  Basically, it’s any regular beer bread recipe.  Instead of making it in a bread pan, bake it in a bowl.  There are many variations on beer bread.  For this recipe, don’t make the sweet version.  You’ll want the savory nature of the cheese to stand out.  I normally add about 1/3 – 1/2 C. sugar to my beer bread.  For this version, I’d dial back the sugar in the bread dough to just a tablespoon or two.

Next, cut the top off the bread bowl and hollow out enough of the bread to insert the brie round, reserving the bread which you’ll cut into cubes for dipping.  Spread the roasted garlic paste over the brie and sprinkle with rosemary. Next, put the top of the bread bowl back on and wrap in aluminum foil.  Bake for 40-45 min. at 350 until the cheese has melted.  Remove the top and cube for dipping as well.

Frugal Tips:  If you haven’t yet discovered all of the great seasonal cheeses at ALDI, head there PRONTO!  Many of them will go away until next November.  Their brie is just $2.99.  You can’t beat that!  We also really loved their Spanish cheese variety pack, which included yummy Manchego cheese.

brie in bread bowl

brie in bread bowl

 

Pumpkin Deviled Eggs for Halloween

pumpkin-deviled-eggs

Halloween food doesn’t have to all be about candy!  Last night, I made these cute little pumpkin deviled eggs.  Basically all you do is add a little red and yellow food coloring to the egg yolk mixture for the orange color.  I used a knife to get the striated look of the pumpkins, and sprinkled with paprika.  Then, I cut a strip of lettuce for the pumpkin’s stem.  You could also use chives or green onions for that.  My boys (the big one AND the little one) love these things.  All twelve were gone within about half an hour.

Frugal Tips:  Eggs just may be the most versatile frugal food.  Plus, they’re a really inexpensive source of protein.  It’s easy to compare the price of eggs to the price of other protein foods. A dozen large eggs weigh 1 1/2 pounds, so the price per pound of large eggs is two-thirds of the price per dozen. For example, if large eggs cost 90¢ per dozen, they cost 60¢ per pound. At $1.20 per dozen, large eggs are only 80¢ per pound.*

Source:  Incredible Edible Egg

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